NextAdvisor.com Announces 2015 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis

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New study reveals an in-depth overview of the best travel rewards credit cards for consumers

At NextAdvisor.com, we evaluate the leading cards independent of any advertiser relationships and we rank them according to our editors’ independent evaluations.

NextAdvisor.com, a leading consumer information website, has announced the results of its 2015 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis. The independent, comprehensive analysis evaluated 17 major travel rewards credit cards. Travel rewards come in all different types of currency, making it difficult for consumers to value the rewards they earn. NextAdvisor.com’s analysis used extensive research to determine an apples-to-apples dollar value of earnings from every type of program, making it simple for consumers to compare the best cards. The overall winner was the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®, boasting the highest average rewards value. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Card from American Express came in with the highest hotel-only value and the Virgin America Visa Signature Card won the highest flight-only reward value.

Unlike other personal finance sites that claim to show consumers the best credit card offers, NextAdvisor.com’s analyses include all leading credit card offers, not just those that advertise with the site. “Other sites claim to show consumers the best credit card offers, yet they only recommend cards they are being paid to promote,” said Erik Larson, President and Founder of NextAdvisor.com. “At NextAdvisor.com, we evaluate the leading cards independent of any advertiser relationships and we rank them according to our editors’ independent evaluations.”

NextAdvisor.com researched the reward values of each card’s travel program by comparing the cost in reward currency to the actual dollar cost of booking hotels and flights at different times of year and in different locations. The final reward value was based on the actual dollar value a user would receive in rewards after a $100 credit card spend. Separate reward values were given for both hotel stays and flights.

"Our analysis is divided into three categories to help users find the best travel rewards card for their needs." said Tasha Lockyer, Director of Product Management at NextAdvisor.com. "If they primarily use their card for hotel stays, it made sense to let them know which card had the best hotel value. Similarly, if they prefer to use their reward card for flights, they can use the Flight category to determine the ideal card for their travel needs. Or if they need a card for all types of travel, they should take a look at the Flight & Hotel category.”

The Flight & Hotel Rewards category used the average of both the flight and hotel value for a card. Cards in this category are recommended for those in need of a flexible travel card that can help them earn free flight, hotels, car rentals and other travel-related items. First place in Flight & Hotel Rewards went to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® with a $2.20 flight and hotel redemption value for every $100 spent. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card came in a close second, and Chase Sapphire Preferred ranked third.

The Flight Rewards category only included cards that offered flight redemptions. Just the flight value each card offered was taken into consideration, and the cards were ranked by this value. The Virgin America Visa Signature Card topped the list with a lofty $2.51 flight point value for every $100 spent on the card. Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® was second and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card from Chase was third.

The Hotel Rewards category just included cards that featured hotel redemption values – if they didn’t offer this, they weren’t included in the category. The cards were ranked by their hotel point value. Starwood Preferred Guest® Card from American Express topped the list with a very generous $2.30 hotel value. Coming in second was the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®, and third place went to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card.

"The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® continues to be our No. 1 ranking card for both flights and hotels, just like it was last year. While we didn’t include other factors such as introductory bonuses or ease of redemption, this card also leads the way in those categories, with an intro bonus worth $440 in travel and flexible online or phone redemption for any type of travel expense”, said Lockyer. “Several NextAdvisor.com employees have signed up for this card based on its consistently strong performance in our analysis. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card came in a close second. It shares most of the benefits of the Barclay Arrival Plus card and people with good but not perfect credit have a better chance to be approved.”

In addition to the travel reward value, NextAdvisor.com provides independent reviews of each travel credit card included in the survey. NextAdvisor.com also reviews many other types of credit cards, like Balance Transfer cards, Cash Back cards and cards for those with Average Credit or who need to Rebuild Credit.

You can read the complete NextAdvisor.com 2015 Travel Rewards Card Analysis here:
http://www.nextadvisor.com/credit_cards/articles/19/best-travel-reward-credit-cards-analysis

See the overall NextAdvisor.com credit card reviews at:
http://www.nextadvisor.com/credit_cards/index.php

About NextAdvisor.com:
NextAdvisor.com provides independent reviews of online services for consumers and small businesses. The company's mission is to help its visitors save money and make optimal buying decisions by presenting them with useful comparisons and reviews of service providers and a clear explanation of each service and how it works. The company currently reviews, compares and explains many different types of services including credit cards, credit report monitoring, identity theft protection, savings accounts, diet plans, voice over IP, online dating, online backup, Internet security software, internet fax and web hosting.

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Stephanie Lough
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