How Good Are Hybrid Cards?
A common question everyone asks is how the American Express Gold Rewards Card holds up when compared to other hybrid credit cards. Today, I will look at a few points you should consider before pledging your allegiance to any hybrid credit cards.
Because of many big rewards sites and TV ads promoting the Amex Gold Rewards Card (I wrote more on this here: What Rewards Canada Is Not Telling You About Its Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards), many of us think that it’s the best hybrid credit card out there because it offers 2 points on maximum categories, such as gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores, flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more. However, the problem with this is that you should not purchase big-ticket travel items such as flights, hotels, cruises, etc. with your Amex Gold Rewards Card because it does not offer Trip Cancellation Insurance. Keep in mind it charges a hefty $150 annual fee.
Also, Amex rewards transfer partners are very limited. For example, 6 frequent flyer programs (British Airways Executive Club, Aeroplan, Asia Miles, Delta SkyMiles, Alitalia, Etihad Airways) and 2 hotel programs (Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest).
A better option can be the Amex Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, which lets you transfer Starpoints to frequent flyer miles with more than 30 airlines or redeem Starpoints for free nights at over 1200 Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 100 countries. However, keep in mind that this card does not offer Trip Cancellation Insurance either.
Another hybrid card, the RBC Visa Infinite Avion ($120 annual fee), offers full suite insurance coverage and offers transfer partners such as WestJet, Asia Miles, Avios points, AMERICAN AIRLINES AADVANTAGE miles, Esso Extra points or Shoppers Optimum points, etc. So for many, the appeal of this card may be higher due to its insurance coverage.
So picking the best hybrid card depends on what you are looking for from your credit cards, whether it’s the most points, the most transfer partners, or the most insurance coverage.