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End of an Era: Capital One World Elite Aspire Travel MasterCard

I’ve held off writing this post for a while now because I am still a little shocked and sadden by the changes.

You may have read about the Capital One World Elite Aspire Travel MasterCard that was discontinued almost 3 years ago to new applicants. However, existing cardholders were allowed to keep their cards with the same features and benefits. At the time, I found that to be a very generous move by Capital One. I am proud to say that I kept the card all this time.

Letter from Capital One

But the honeymoon period was probably not going to last forever for grandfathered cardholders. Sure enough, I received the dreaded letter below in the mail about a month ago.

*You’ll notice that they use the word “mile” in the letter, I’m going to be using points instead, as points is more suitable for the reward program that they are offering since it is a fixed reward system

The changes kick in on August 5, 2020. The main changes are:

  • No more 10,000 anniversary reward points (explained further below)
  • Earn 1.5 point (instead of 2 points) per $1 spent

Grandfathered Cardholders

There are two groups of grandfathered cardholders. Group 1 are the more recent cardholders:

  • $150 annual fee
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • Each point is worth 1 cent

I suspect that most of these cardholders eventually cancelled their cards as it is difficult to justify the $150 annual fee year after year.

The second group are the older cardholders who still benefited from to original terms and conditions:

  • $120 annual fee
  • Receive 10,000 anniversary bonus pints
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • Each point is worth 1 cent

I suspect that most of these cardholders kept their cards, including myself. I think the benefits mention above speak for itself!

Going Forward

My annual fee is up for renewal in the winter of 2021, so I still have some time think about what I am going to do.

I am expecting most cardholders are going to fight hard to get the annual fee waived another year or a fee rebate. Capital One may do so for the first waived of cardholders coming up for renewal in the fall to soften the blow. But who knows what they will do thereafter. Waiving and rebating annual fees is probably not sustainable.

Even though I was expecting to see this happen at some point, it is still disappointing to receive such a letter.

For those of you who do have the card, please let us know in the comment section below what are you planning to do? 

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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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