For years Capital One led the conversation when it comes to the top travel rewards credit cards in Canada. Today, Capital One further cemented its status as the best value rewards card for everyday travellers by announcing a game-changing facelift for the way cardholders redeem points on its flagship Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard.

No more tiers!

Gone is the tiered redemption program that drove customers like me to have to split up bills in $150, $350, and $600+ increments in order to get maximum redemption value. In its place is a structure designed to make it easy to redeem your points, no matter how big or small your transaction.

100 reward miles = $1 in travel so you’ll always receive full value for your reward miles for travel.

  • No more minimum redemption requirements. You can literally redeem for cents.
  • Introducing partial redemptions! Redeem on a portion of a transaction – for example, redeem half of an overseas flight.

Redeeming your miles remains just as easy – just deduct the cost of travel purchases you’ve already made on your card by redeeming your reward miles for an account credit.

These changes have been implemented immediately. In fact, I had purchased airfare for $825 last month and because my rewards balance was only at 77,000 miles I would have had to wait another few months to erase that purchase with points under the old tiered rewards system.

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But this morning I was able to log onto my Capital One Rewards and redeem all 77,000 miles as a partial payment towards that airfare.

That doesn’t just apply to big ticket items. No more tiers means there’s no dilution of point value when redeeming for smaller transactions. A $180 purchase will no longer cost 35,000 miles – it’ll cost 18,000 miles.

There are a lot of rewards programs on the market that seem designed to be complex. These changes from Capital One simplify the rewards experience so that customers can always get the most value from their points.

What’s next for Capital One Aspire?

The rewards community was understandably upset when Capital One changed its popular Aspire Travel World MasterCard to the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. That’s because, most notably, it reduced its best-in-class 35,000 mile welcome bonus to 10,000 miles while at the same time eliminating the 10,000 mile anniversary bonus.

But all of that is about to change. Coming soon is a new 40,000 mile early spend bonus, worth up to $400 in travel rewards, with $1,000 spending in the first three months.

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A new $150 annual fee will be implemented, which is an increase of $30/year but in-line with other World Elite products.

The good news is that the earn rate of 2 points per $1 spent will remain intact, which, when combined with the new no-more-tiers redemption structure, puts the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard back into the conversation as the best travel rewards credit card on the market, and arguably the best value for everyday travellers when it comes to getting maximum redemption value on their points.

Watch for these changes to take effect in the coming weeks as the company updates its Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard offering. We’ll post the details once the new card is available to the public.

Update: Apply for the revamped Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard here and get 40,000 bonus reward miles!

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