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My Top Fixed Rewards Credit Card Pick

As we explained in our page called “Understanding Credit Cards“, credit cards that offered a fixed reward is when you know exactly how much you are going to earn and you know exactly what you are getting in return when you redeem your points.

Today, I am going to do an analysis on which fixed valued credit card is the best. Below is a list of what I consider to be currently the top 5 to choose from. Let’s go with an analysis considering $2,000 in spending per month or $24,000 per year. For all the credit cards below, 1 point is worth 1 cent.

Note that for the purposes of this analysis, I am going to assume that you are signing up whenever the is a bonus points and first year fee waived promotion. Be sure to watch for this offers before signing up for any of these credit cards.

1) Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

  • $99 annual fee
  • $29 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder
  • Earn 20,000 sign up bonus
  • Earn 4 points for every $1 you spent on gas, grocery, dining and entertainment purchases
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Let’s be generous and assume that half ($1,000) the monthly bills fall under gas, grocery, dining and entertainment purchases. Assuming that you sign up when the first year fee is waived and that the sign up bonus is still available, that means that in the first year, you would earn:

  • 20,000 sign up bonus + (4 x 12,000) on the multiplier categories + (1 x 12,000) in all other purchases
  • = 80,000 points or $800

Granted the $800 is only for the first year, but you are still earning $501 ($800 – $200 sign up bonus – $99 annual fee) in the subsequent years if you retain this credit card year after year and continue to pay the annual fee.

2) MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard

  • $89 annual fee (waived for the first year)
  • Earn 10,000 points sign up bonus on the first purchase
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 in eligible purchases
  • 1 point = 1 cent in value during redemption

In the first year of signing up for this credit card, after spending $24,000 the first year, you would have net:

  • 10,000 sign up bonus + (24,000 x 2) in spending
  • = 58,000 points or $580

Having the first year fee waived means you earn 100% of the rewards, which equals to $580 in the first year. Without the sign up bonus and factoring in the annual fee the following year, it means that you would subsequently earn $391 ($580 – $89 annual – $100 sign up bonus) in rewards per year.

3) BMO World Elite MasterCard

  • $150 annual fee
  • $50 annual fee for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 30,000 sign up bonus points
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • 4 complementary airport lounge passes (Priority Pass)
  • Concierge Service, with 24-hour access to travel, dining, leisure and entertainment recommendations

Generally you should be able to find enough promotions where the first year fee is waived. So if the fee is not currently waived, I would wait for the offer to come around. So with the first year annual fee waived in consideration:

  • 30,000 sign up bonus + (24,000 x 2) in spending
  • = 78,000 points or $780

The $780 is a pretty sweet return for the first year. But subsequently, you will only earn $330 ($300 sign up bonus – $150 annual fee), which is just under the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard.

Keep in mind that the 4 lounges passes also offer additional value to this credit card, but only if you manage to use it.

4) National Bank World Elite MasterCard

  • $150 annual fee
  • $50 for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 30,000 (or $300) sign up bonus
  • Earn $250 in travel fee reimbursements
  • Earn 1.5 point for every $1 spent on purchases between $0 to $40,000
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on purchases between $40,001 to $80,000
  • Earn 1.5 point for every $1 spent on purchases of $80,001 and more
  • Earn a bonus 0.5 point on purchase volumes in foreign currencies
  • Access to the National Bank World MasterCard lounge

For the first year, you will earn:

  • 30,000 sign up bonus + (1.5 x 24,000) in spending
  • 66,000 points or $660

So you will earn $660 in the first year but only $210 ($660 – $300 sign up bonus – $150 annual fee) per year.

This may seem like a dismal return, but the $250 travel fee reimbursements and the access to the National Bank lounge at the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YOW). I did not factor these two perks into consideration because you will need to purposely take advantage of it to get the value back. But if you do take advantage of both perks, then this credit card would rank higher in your personal calculations.

5) Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite

  • $150 annual fee
  • Earn 40,000 sign up bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases

Unfortunately this credit card has never waived its annual fee, so for the purposes of this calculation, I will not be factoring that in. Therefore, in the first year you will earn:

  • 40,000 sign up bonus + (2 x 24,000) in spending – 15,000 annual fee
  • = 73,000 points or $630

That would be $730 in the first year, but only $330 ($730 – $400 sign up bonus) in the subsequent years. I ranked this credit card below the National Bank World Elite MasterCard because it does not offer any additional perks.

Conclusion

So there you have it, my top 5 list. The rankings can be interchangeable depending on how you leverage the perks and how much spending you have per month. At least now you have the formulas, all you have to do is plug in your personal situation to determine which one makes the most sense.

Do you agree with the list? Which one is your favourite?

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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