RBC offers advice for a healthy travel rewards relationship

Do you feel restricted, confused or neglected in your travel rewards relationship? The good news is you are not alone. When it comes to booking travel, more than half (56 per cent) of Canadians say their current travel rewards program does not allow them to travel on any airline they choose, according to a recent RBC poll.

“Like any relationship, Canadians want to get the most out of their loyalty program, particularly when it comes to travel rewards,” said Linda Mantia, executive vice-president, Cards and Payment Solutions, RBC. “Booking travel with rewards points doesn’t have to be complicated. If your current rewards program isn’t working for you, maybe it’s time to consider moving on.”

In their current travel rewards relationship, Canadians have also indicated their rewards program is confusing (39 per cent), the rules of the program seem to keep changing (38 per cent), and they have had difficulty redeeming points (31 per cent). For any Canadian that may suffer from any of these relationship blues, it may be time to find a new travel rewards card to have and to hold.

Mantia suggests considering the following when determining if you are in a healthy travel rewards relationship:

  • Check for travel restrictions – When booking travel, do you have the freedom to redeem your points for any airline? Many programs don’t provide airline choice, which can make it hard to get where you want on the airline, the flight, or the day you want.
  • Look for freedom, flexibility and choice – Are there restrictions on flying during peak season? You should have the flexibility to travel when and where you want without having to use more points or change dates.
  • Not all points are created equal – Does the value of your points fluctuate? Look for a program that has an easy-to-understand points system, points that are easy to redeem through a simple and intuitive redemption experience.
  • Maximize rewards points access and utility – Does your rewards program let you redeem your points when and how you want? Ease of redeeming, together with more options to redeem for travel or retail rewards, will lead to greater flexibility in customizing your travel and retail experiences.

“To have a fulfilling travel rewards relationship, it comes down to being with a program that is easy and clear to understand, knows your needs and gives you the freedom and choice you deserve,” added Mantia.

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