NextAdvisor Releases 2017 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis

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New research determines the value of your credit card’s travel rewards.

Most people look for cards that suit their travel needs, so we created 4 different categories to help guide their search.

Travel rewards can be particularly hard to value, as they are issued in many different types of currency. To this end, NextAdvisor, a leading consumer and small business information website, has announced the results of its 2017 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis, which puts a value to the rewards each card offers. The independent, comprehensive analysis extensively researched the cards and frequent travel programs associated with them to determine the dollar value of earnings for every type of program, making it simple for consumers to compare the best cards.

NextAdvisor evaluated the rewards value of 19 major travel rewards credit cards to determine which ones offer the greatest worth. The winners in each category are:

"Most people look for cards that suit their travel needs, so we created 4 different categories to help guide their search," said Tasha Lockyer, Vice President of Product Management at NextAdvisor. “That way if a user wants to earn free flights and airlines perks, they can use the Flight Value to guide their card choice. Or, if they’re interested in free hotel stays, they can base their decision on the Hotel Value. Those who want a card for all types of travel should use the Flight & Hotel category. And anyone who is interested in how much each card’s introductory bonus is worth should check the Intro Bonus Value category."

The rewards values of each card’s travel program were determined 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 rewards value was based on the actual dollar value a user would receive in rewards after a $100 credit card spend. Separate rewards values were given for hotel stays, flights and any introductory bonus a card might offer.

"This year brought some changes, with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard winning both the Combined Flight & Hotel Rewards category and the Hotel Rewards category. Its versatility makes it a terrific choice for travelers, as they can book their travel however they’d like and then redeem their rewards for a statement credit against that travel cost,” said Lockyer. “The Flights winner went to the JetBlue Plus Card for the first time, and the Intro Bonus Value winner was the Hyatt Credit Card from Chase due to its generous 2 free hotel nights bonus.”

The Flight Rewards category only included cards that offered flight redemptions. Just the flight value of each card offered was taken into consideration, and the cards were ranked by this value.

  • Flight Winner: The JetBlue Plus Card topped this list with a high $2.18 flight point value for every $100 spent on the card.
  • Flight Second Place: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
  • Flight Third Place: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

The Hotel Rewards category only included cards that featured hotel redemption values. The cards were ranked by their hotel point value.

  • Hotel Winner: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard was the winner with a $2.10 hotel value for every $100 spent on the card.
  • Hotel Second Place: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Hotel Third Place: Hyatt Credit Card from Chase.

The Introductory Bonus category featured cards that offered an intro bonus. If a card didn’t do so, it wasn’t ranked. This is the category that changes the most over the course of a year, as cards frequently update their bonuses so values can vary over time.

All major travel rewards credit cards on the market were included, regardless of whether or not NextAdvisor would benefit. This inclusionary approach differs from the one many other personal finance sites take in that they generally only include cards that advertise to be on their site.

See all of NextAdvisor’s 2017 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis rankings here:

Check out NextAdvisor’s reviews of the best credit cards at:

About NextAdvisor:

NextAdvisor 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 free and useful comparisons, reviews of service providers and a clear explanation of each service and how it works. The company currently reviews, compares and explains personal finance topics like credit cards, credit report monitoring, savings accounts and personal loans, as well as other topics related to technology, small business services and more.

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Kirstin Robison
Pitch Public Relations
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