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Best card for $50-100k CDN annual spend?

Best card for $50-100k CDN annual spend?

Old Jan 4, 17, 1:20 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 8
Best card for $50-100k CDN annual spend?

Hey guys,

I was about to upgrade from an RBC Avion Infinite to Infinite Privilege ($120/yr to $399/yr), and saw a link to flyertalk as one of the top hits so here I am

I just calculated my 2016 CC spend, and it was just shy of $70k. I would guess my annual spend will vary between 50-100k CDN.

I have one additional card in my spouse's name ($50 on Inifinite, $100 on Privilege), so the additional cost will be $329/year, which would imply a breakeven on $65,800 spent per year given the extra 25% points.

On paper, seems like a no-brainer to upgrade, especially given the 25,000 bonus points, but thought I'd check in with you guys first to see if there is a better card for this range of annual spend?

Muchas gracias!
blotto is offline  
Old Jan 4, 17, 1:35 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 158
How savvy are you with points?

An SPG American express card is for 2017 (imo), the best card for earning. Transfers to most major airline programs and if you convert to marriott and get the trip packages, it's a fantastic deal.
dafonz is offline  
Old Jan 4, 17, 1:40 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: YYZ
Programs: FOTSG Tangerine Ex E35k (AC)
Posts: 5,582
If your annual spend here is with AC or your aim is to get Aeroplan miles there are better cards out there giving far more than 1.25x for AC spend. And come with priority boarding/checkin/ etc... I don't know how limited or expansive the air travel perks on that card are.

It really depends what you spend the money on (flights with AC/others, gas, groceries etc..) and what you want out of it... AP miles, cashback, avion points etc...
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Old Jan 4, 17, 1:43 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: yyz
Posts: 1,544
Originally Posted by dafonz View Post
How savvy are you with points?

An SPG American express card is for 2017 (imo), the best card for earning. Transfers to most major airline programs and if you convert to marriott and get the trip packages, it's a fantastic deal.
Ditto...

RBC Avion Privilege: $70k spend x 1.25 Avion points = 87.5k Avion points.
1) You can convert to AA. That's not a bad haul. AA has some nice partners.
2) You can convert to BA...lately they've been doing 25% transfer bonus. Could be useful to buy upgrades on BA flights, if that's something you could be interested in.
3) Use them as Avion points. I think 35k gets you a return ticket within North America. Has fees, but no blackouts like Aeroplan.

SPG AMex: $70k spend x 1 SPG points = 70k SPG points
1) You can use them for hotels...some pretty good redemption values on hotels.
2) You can convert to airlines with a 25% bonus per 20k transfer. So 60k * 1.25 = 75k + 10k remaining = 85k. A little less than the Avion would get you, but you have many more airline options
3) You can transfer SPG to Marriott where 1 SPG = 3 Marriott points. At that level, there are some interesting Mariott Flight + Hotel package possibilities.

Wild card: RBC British Airways card...for 30k of spending you get a companion pass. With the bonus points, you can do a nice trip with your spouse on BA somewhere (though the fees are high).

But...the overriding question you need to answer: what do you want to do? Figure that part out, then choose the card that will help you get to that goal.
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Old Jan 4, 17, 2:08 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE100K, WS Gold, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson/NH Gold
Posts: 6,921
Welcome to FT!

In addition to the questions above, do you have any status with airlines and/or hotels that allow you to get better value out of points in certain programs?

For example, I have the Amex Aeroplan Platinum card because it gets me 1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar and I can (usually) get very good value out of those Aeroplan miles thanks to my Super Elite status with Air Canada, making it a tough value proposition or other cards to beat.
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Old Jan 4, 17, 2:09 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: YYC
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Fairmont Plat, IHG Spire, SPG Gold, WS Gold, Hertz PC, National E Elite,
Posts: 2,726
If alot of your expenses are travel, which mine are, the AMEX Gold Personal is tough to beat.

2 points per dollar, which transfers 1:1 to AP, so 2 AP per dollar. Otherwise, I would go with SPG.

I have a personal AMEX Gold that I use exclusively for work (and get reimbursed). Charge about $100K/year on it, of which $90K is travel. A mini-RTW trip annually? I'll take it!
For my personal (non work) card, I use a Visa Infinite for the AP. I would love to use AMEX SPG, but AMEX just isnt accepted very much in my day to day life.
CanuckFlyHigh is offline  
Old Jan 4, 17, 2:52 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: Aeroplan, BA Executive Club, Asia Miles
Posts: 216
One things to also think of (and take the pressure off) is that if a card doesn't work, you can switch for the next year!
stevescott1983 is offline  
Old Jan 4, 17, 4:11 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: YYJ
Programs: AC SE100K, Bonvoy Plat/Lifetime Gold, HH Gold, National EE, Sixt Plat
Posts: 1,631
Really depends on your circumstances, and how you want to use the points... Do you want business or first class tickets? Do you want economy class tickets during peak season? Do you have any airline status? What is your spend comprised of, do you qualify for the points accelerators (Standard Infinite Avion is 1.25 points per dollar spent on travel)?

Amex gold is my primary card. With 2 points per dollar on travel, gas and groceries it has earned me about 750k miles since I got the card back in late 2013. 1:1 transfer to aeroplan plus my SE100K status with Air Canada renders those points incredibly valuable.

I have the Infinite Avion also, which I've also done quite well with thanks to the BA transfer which used to be 1.5:1. I've redeemed one trip with the Avios. A first class one way ticket on Cathay Pacific from Vancouver to Bangkok for 150,000 Avios. That was a nice experience, but boy is that a lot of points compared to a similar redemption on Aeroplan.
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Old Jan 5, 17, 4:48 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Toronto (YYZ)
Posts: 6,118
Welcome to FT

You might want to use this tool to assist:

https://www.ratehub.ca/credit-cards
imverge is offline  
Old Jan 5, 17, 6:34 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: YYZ/YTZ
Programs: AC 35k, LH FTL, Hilton Gold
Posts: 10
I personally am a fan of the Amex Platinum. 60k miles sign-up bonus, 1.25 points per dollar, 200$ travel credit per year, free priority pass, free hilton and spg status, cant beat it.
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Old Jan 5, 17, 10:51 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 822
Note:The last Avion to BA Avios transfer offer was back to 50%(expired sometime last month)
jubberly is offline  
Old Jan 6, 17, 6:42 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 193
I did a similar calculation as you did and came to the conclusion that $50K spend was the break even point for me (the 25% more miles = half a 25K miles business class ticket or a value of 0.5 * $800 = $400 or more).

Add in some of the the other status-like perks (I stopped going for status 5 years ago) and the CIBC version of the card works for me.

If you havnt seen it, look at this discussion:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...privilege.html
DrPete is offline  
Old Feb 1, 17, 9:35 pm
  #13  
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 8
Wow, thanks for all the replies! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, got caught up in a hectic month at work and haven't had time to check back. Really appreciate all the feedback.

Taking into consideration all the great feedback above, I've decided I'd like to use the card to get long haul business class flights so I can get in a pod for 5+hr flights. That being the case, it looks like converting my existing points (just over 300k Avion) to AA could be the best route, as BA does their points calcs on distance and seems more expensive for long haul flights.

Does anyone know if there's ever a Avion to AAdvantage bonus (like the 50% bonus for Avios that sometimes pops up), or will I be stuck converting 1:1?

I have to attend a wedding in Cape Town later this year (flying out of YYC)... ideally would like to us the points to get there in business class on points!

Thanks again everyone!
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Old Feb 1, 17, 10:05 pm
  #14  
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: YVR
Programs: AC SE*2MM. SPG Plat life
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Originally Posted by blotto View Post
Hey guys,

I was about to upgrade from an RBC Avion Infinite to Infinite Privilege ($120/yr to $399/yr), and saw a link to flyertalk as one of the top hits so here I am

I just calculated my 2016 CC spend, and it was just shy of $70k. I would guess my annual spend will vary between 50-100k CDN.

I have one additional card in my spouse's name ($50 on Inifinite, $100 on Privilege), so the additional cost will be $329/year, which would imply a breakeven on $65,800 spent per year given the extra 25% points.

On paper, seems like a no-brainer to upgrade, especially given the 25,000 bonus points, but thought I'd check in with you guys first to see if there is a better card for this range of annual spend?

Muchas gracias!
I find SPG AMEX the best card for the money. Flight are always the cheapest part of a trip.
Wpgjetse is offline  
Old Feb 1, 17, 10:31 pm
  #15  
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: yyz/ord
Programs: AC E50 UA1k 2MM AA EXP Royal Ambassador SPG Platinum
Posts: 1,516
buy your flights there are so many cheap business class fares if you are flying outside of Canada. ( avoid the aeroplan/Air Canada nightmare of status)

get a SPG amex for hotels i think its the best value for CC points.
flybit is offline  

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