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Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard Review

The Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard offers arguably the best value for everyday travellers. The flagship credit card from Capital One has beenВ one of the top travel rewards cards in Canada for many years, and a recent facelift made it even better.

I’ve been using the Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard for several years now and this latest update – which removed the tiered redemption structure and made it incredibly simple to redeem miles – further cemented its claim as the go-to rewards credit card for all of my spending, includingВ when I travel.

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What’s so special about the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard? For starters, new sign-up’s get a 40,000 reward mile bonus when they spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. That’s worth $400 in travel rewards! Cardholders also get 2 reward miles for every $1 spent – regardless of spending category. That means yourВ points will continue to add up quicklyВ even after the early-spend bonus becomes a distant memory.

What about redeeming your reward miles? Most travel rewards programs are inflexible when it comes to redemptions; forcing members to book through a specific travel provider, putting up restrictions onВ when and where you can book, and then adding fuel surcharges and taxes onto your bill.

With Capital One’s Aspire Travel program you can use your card to book with any airline or hotel and then simply redeem your miles online afterwards. There are no tiers – for example if you redeem a charge for $149 it will cost you 14,900, and if you redeem a charge for $550 it will cost you 55,000.

Don’t have enough reward miles to erase that $550 travel charge? No problem! Just make a partial redemption against that charge with the miles that you have. In this case, you might only have 39,500 miles, which means you can make a partial redemption of $395 and apply against the $550 charge.

That’s why I’ve declaredВ the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard to be the best value for everyday travellers today and why I now funnel all of my spending onto this card to reap the juicy rewards.

Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard benefits

Here’s what this best in class travel rewards credit card has to offer:

• Early-spend bonus: 40,000 points = $400 in travel rewards once you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months

• Earn rate: 2 reward miles for every $1 spent = 2% back in travel rewards

• Booking travel: Book your own trip – including the hotel, airline or rental car of your choice

• Points redemption: Redeem your miles to cover any travel expenses with no minimum requirements. 100 points = $1 in travel.

• Partial redemption: Redeem on a portion of a transaction – for example, redeem half of an overseas flight.

• Annual fee: $150

• Interest rate: 19.8% interest on card purchases

• Additional card fee: $0 additional card fee

• Insurance: 22-day travel emergency medical coverage, trip cancellation, trip Interruption, flight delay, baggage loss, baggage delay, purchase assurance, extended warranty, and car rental

• Eligibility: $70,000 personal annual income OR $120,000 annual household income

How much can you earn with the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard?

• Spend $2,000 on your card each month

• Earn $480 in travel rewards each year

• Add $400 travel rewards early-spend bonus in the first year

• = $880 travel rewards this year

Many of the top travel rewards credit cards offer a generous sign-up bonus but the everyday value of the program, combined with the hassle and difficulty of redeeming points, fails to live up toВ the early hype.

With the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard, you get the best of both worlds. A generous early-spend bonus, plus a healthy 2% earn rate on everyday spending that keeps points accruing quickly. The best part is how easy it is to redeem points. After all, there’s not much point to earning reward miles if you can’t use them when, where, and how you want to.

elite travel reviews

Elite travel reviewsEarlier this year the Capital OneВ® Aspire Travelв„ў World Elite MastercardВ® went through some changes that made the card lose its title as Rewards Canada's Top Travel Points Credit Card with an annual fee. The good news is those changes weren't long lived and the card has gone through a rebirth that once again makes it one the very best cards in Canada! The new version of the card has a much larger sign up bonus, does away with the tiered redemption rate but does also see an increased annual fee.

The latest iteration of the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ Elite World Mastercard® is flat out a great travel rewards credit card. The card features a great earning ratio and provides the ability to book reward travel when, where and with whomever you like. Not to mention the insurance and benefit package that comes at a cost equal to or lower then other high end credit cards in Canada is a big selling point. Add to that, features like no fees for adding authorized users, and you can see why card is going to challenge for top spot in the Travel Points Credit Card with Annual Fee category. For those who do not need all the features and benefits of this card, Capital One® also offers the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ Platinum Mastercard®, which is a no fee travel card and has the same interest rate as the World Elite Mastercard.

The Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite Mastercard® comes with a slightly higher than industry standard $150 primary card annual fee but it also includes supplementary cards for free which actually makes it cheaper to own than some of its competitiors. The card offers a 40,000 point welcome bonus when you spend $1,000 on net purchases in the first 3 months after account opening – a value of $400 in travel. The interest rate on the card is 19.8% placing it slightly lower than its competitors.

The Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite Mastercard® earns 2 reward miles for every $1 – on all purchases. This earning ratio puts the card ahead of most and on par to several other leading travel point credit cards.

On the redemption side, the miles earned with the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite Mastercard® can be redeemed for any travel that is booked with any provider. Simply put, you book the travel where you want and charge it to your Aspire Travel™ World Elite Mastercard®, then call up Capital One® or go online to redeem your miles against that travel charge. This is the same feature found on several other cards in Canada like the TD Visas, Diners Club Mastercard and American Express Membership Rewards. And with the elimination of the tiered redemption schedule the card provides a straight 2% return on your spending when you redeem for travel. The newest changes also see the card lose the requirement of having all the points needed to pay for a charge. What this means now is that if you have $150 of points you can redeem them for a $150 credit towards a travel charge that can be even higher than that. The card is taking note of some of its best competitors on the redemption side and has now matched or bettered them.

Features and Benefits

As stated above the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite Mastercard® comes with an insurance package that competes with all the other high end cards. The card features your standard travel accident, baggage and car rental insurance that are found on almost all fee based rewards cards but it also includes some that are only found on a few select cards. These include, Trip cancellation which is only offered as a standard feature on four other travel rewards cards and Travel Medical insurance which only comes standard on about 50% of the cards in the market.

What is good about this card

This card has many great attributes, the sign up bonus of 40,000 miles when you spend $1,000 on net purchases in the first 3 months after account opening – a value of $400 in travel, the earning ratio of 2 Miles per dollar, no fee to add an authorized user and the whole host of insurance including trip cancellation.

What is not so good about this card

I can only think of one potential downfall to this card, both of which may not even come into play for many people. The first is that this card offers no business class lounge access or at least a free membership into the Priority Pass lounge access program like some of the other high end cards.

The Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite Mastercard® is ready to set the standard once again in Canada for travel point credit cards. With its big bonus, relative low cost, good earning ratio, benefit package and ability to book travel anywhere, we would have to rate this card as above average in the high end credit card market. Overall Rewards Canada is super excited to see this card return to its status as a leader rather than a follower.

Other cards to consider if you are looking at this card:

“The interest rates, fees, rewards details, benefits and other details of the Capital One product(s) described in the article may have changed since the time of publication. Please consult the product information pages on the Capital One website for accurate product details. In the event of any conflict between the product details in this article and the Capital One website, the details on the Capital One website shall prevail.”

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