A Credit Card that I am Willing to Pay the Annual Fee Every Year

If you have been reading our Blog, you probably already know that one of my favourite credit cards is the  Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. Today, I will share with you my analysis on why I decided to keep paying the annual fee year after year to retain this credit card.


Let’s just quickly review the highlights of this credit card:

  • $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

You probably also know that I detest paying annual fees, but this is one of the rare credit cards that I am more than happy to keep paying the annual fee year after year. I had this credit card since 2012. Luckily for me, I am grandfathered to the old version of this credit card, which has the following features:

  • $120 annual fee
  • Earn 10,000 anniversary bonus points
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases

Because I continued to be grandfathered, I am more than happy to keep this credit card for the long run.


There is no question that the $150 annual fee is steep for some, but the sign up bonus is very generous at 40,000 sign up bonus points, which is worth $400. So it is more than worth it to give this credit card a try at least for 1 year. Even if you retained it the second year, that’s $150 x 2 = $300 annual fees, which is still covered by the $400 sign up bonus. Keep in mind that you will be earning a 2% return on all purchases while using this credit card, which is pretty decent relative to the rest of the market.

Even though you may not qualify for the anniversary bonus, if you applied for this credit card after the changes, there is extensive benefits and insurance coverage that help justify the annual fee:

  • Baggage Delay
  • Baggage Loss
  • Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Waiver
  • Extended Warranty
  • Flight Delay
  • Price Protection Service
  • Purchase Assurance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Travel Assistance
  • Travel Emergency Medical
  • Trip Cancellation
  • Trip Interruption
  • World Elite MasterCard Concierge Services

Reward Redemption

With the recent positive changes, this credit card eliminated of the dreadful reward redemption tiers. Now you can get a straight up 2% return on travel expenses, including partial redemptions.

I will be honest, as great as it is to be grandfathered to the older version, this really sealed the deal to encourage me to retain this credit card long term.

Going Forward

I cannot believe that I am going to say this. This is one of the rare credit cards that I feel that it is solid just the way it is for grandfathered cardholders. I do not even want to recommend any changes as I am scared that any change will only make this credit card worse off.

For new cardholders, at the very least, I believe that it is worth it to give it a try for 1-2 years, especially if you have an upcoming trip. What I would like to see is that they offer an annual spending bonus. For example, if the credit card holder spends $12,000 per calendar year (average of $1,000 per month), they can receive a 10,000 bonus points.

Referral ID

You will notice that when you submit your application, there is an option for a “Referral ID”. If you would like a Referral ID (expires May 26, 2016) so that both of us can have an added bonus, please feel free to send me a private email. Thanks!


  1. Hey Matthew,

    could you please send me the info too? I’m too dumb to find how to send you a private email… 😉

  2. Hello Matthew;

    I have the capital one IHG card which I really appreciate and use. I am interested in the positive comments you made about the Aspire card and would appreciate it if you could send me the info also. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.