With credit card points, you can save a lot of money on flights for your travels!
How to save money on flights with points?
We have written a very detailed post on the best travel hacking techniques to find cheap flights. Here, as part of this strategy, we are only interested in programs that offer travel points that can be applied directly to your airline ticket purchases.
1 / Your goal: Save money on flights
So you want more freedom than the one you could have with Aeroplan or AIR MILES. You should always hold a credit card with travel points: it will offer you some flexibility!
2 / Loyalty Programs to save on flights
Some will offer you the possibility:
- to book with any travel agency or airline
- while others will have their own online agency, often offering the same prices
Of course, we will prefer programs that offer more flexibility, but we should not disregard the others!
Here are the top 4 travel reward programs to save money on flights:
American Express Membership Rewards Points (flexible option)
With the Membership Rewards program, you can apply points to any flight purchase charged to one of the six Membership Rewards Cards.
You can apply 1,000 points for a $10 credit or 10,000 points = $100. Below, an Air Transat flight booked with an American Express Card:
American Express Membership Rewards Points (fixed option)
For some flights, American Express has assigned a fixed chart: you will be able to use a predetermined number of points based on the cost of your flight.
Scotia Rewards Points can be applied directly to the purchase of your airfare on one of the cards in the program.
You will be able to use 5,000 points for a credit of $50 or 10,000 points = $100.
BMO Rewards program works differently: you must use BMO’s travel booking portal to redeem points earned with one of the three credit cards that are part of the program.
The exchange rate will always be the same when using points for travel, in this case here to save on airfares: 10,000 points = $71
3 / Credit cards to save money on flights
With the goal and programs set, we can now look at credit cards that earn points to save money on airfares.
American Express Membership Rewards Cards
Here are the 7 Cards of the American Express Membership Rewards Program and whose points can save you money on your flights.
The American Express Cobalt™ Card is the best American Express Credit Card.
With the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you earn between 1 and 5 points per dollar:
|Category||Points per dollar|
|Restaurants and bars||5|
|Gas & Transit||2|
For a limited time, new American Express Cobalt™ Cardmembers can earn up to 45,000 welcome bonus points. This is the largest welcome offer ever offered by American Express for this Card. And it’s the most generous welcome offer for a credit card with no minimum income requirement!
This is a $450 value when you use your points for travel purchases made with the Card (flights, hotels, Airbnb rentals, etc.). And up to $900 when using the American Express Fixed Point Travel Program to book flights!
Scotia Rewards Credit Cards
Here are the 3 best credit cards in the Scotia Rewards program.
The most interesting in our opinion are:
- The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite* Card: one of the only cards in Canada with no foreign currency conversion fees AND to offer six free access to airport lounges. Check its presentation here.
- Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card: This card does not charge any foreign currency conversion fees. This credit card is particularly interesting thanks to its accelerated points earning and its excellent insurance package. See its presentation here.
BMO Rewards Credit Cards
There are 2 cards that are part of the BMO Rewards program:
To apply this strategy to save on airline tickets with Reward Points, you could only focus on one program. Or you can get into multiple programs, which is ideal for a couple: each of you applying for a different card.
The three best cards in our eyes are:
- American Express Cobalt™ Card
- Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card
- BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®*
Also, as you can see, these cards sometimes require a high income ($60,000 – $80,000/year), while others require lower income ($12,000 with the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card) or even no minimum income (American Express Cobalt™ Card).
So everyone can benefit from travel points to save on flights!