SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- NextAdvisor.com, a leading consumer information web site, has announced the results of its 2014 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis. The independent, comprehensive analysis evaluated 19 major travel reward credit cards to determine the real dollar value of the rewards users earn for both flight and hotel redemption. 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.
"We divided this year's analysis into three categories to help users find the best 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".
NextAdvisor.com researched the reward values of each card's travel program by looking at the cost of booking free hotels and flights at different times of year. The same dates and locations were used for all the cards, and bookings were made during both the "high" summer season and "low" fall season. When possible, the identical hotels and flights were booked to further even the playing field. 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.
The Flight & Hotel Rewards category used the average of both the flight and hotel value for a card. For example, if the card's hotel value was $1.75 and the flight value was $1.50 then the average value for the card's Flight and Hotel came to $1.63. Cards in this category are recommended for those in need of a flexible travel card that can help them earn 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 Starwood Preferred Guest® Card from American Express came in a close second, and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card 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 $2.49 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 $2.82 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 number one ranking card for both flights and hotels, just like it was last year. While we didn't include flexibility and ease of redemption in our analysis, Arrival Plus also stands out in those areas, making it a very appealing card", said Lockyer. "In fact several people at our company signed up for the card based on how well it has performed in our study".
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 2014 Travel Rewards Card Analysis here:
See the overall NextAdvisor.com credit card reviews at: http://www.nextadvisor.com/credit_cards/index.php
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.