Canadian Travellers stretch their dollars with travel deals and points programs

- TD Canada Trust Credit Cards Travel Poll reveals that for 99% of
    Canadian travellers, the deal's the thing -

TORONTO, Sept. 18 /CNW/ - Ski or surf? January or June? It's really all about getting a good deal. The majority of Canadians will consider changing their destination and/or travel dates based on getting the deal they want. In fact, according to the TD Canada Trust Credit Cards Travel Poll, 99% of Canadians look for a deal when they are booking their travel.

Canadians love their travel reward points:

One way that Canadians save up to get the deal they want is to consciously collect extra travel rewards in advance of booking a trip. Sixty-seven per cent of travelling cardholders follow this money-saving strategy before travelling. Forty per cent have used or redeemed rewards when travelling over the past year and 23% feel that their travel rewards have helped them afford their trip and nearly one in five (19%) say that the main reason they have used their rewards over the past year is because of the economy.

The importance of a deal:

Almost a quarter (23%) of Canadians say that they would not travel if they could not get the deal they want, or they would prefer to stay home rather than pay full price. More than 60% of travellers are willing to consider changing the dates of their next vacation if it meant that they could get a better deal on travel and 42% will consider changing their vacation destination to get a better deal.

Canadians will bend over backward to get the travel deals they want including: planning far ahead to reap early booking discounts (62%); avoiding peak travel seasons (55%); searching for package deals (54%); using travel reward points (53%); and waiting to book at the last minute to get sell-offs (35%).

"Our research suggests that Canadians love to travel but being able to get the deal they want is an extremely important part of their travel planning, to the point where they are willing to be flexible on things like dates, mode of travel and even destinations," says Stacie Pearson, Associate Vice President, TD Canada Trust Credit Cards. "At TD Canada Trust, Canadian travellers get the best of both worlds; great travel deals and they can use points to pay for it. It's about fewer restrictions and the ability to get more for less. We think a rewards program should be as flexible as the traveller."

Canadians are flexible but don't compromise on peace of mind:

Canadians may be flexible about many aspects of their trip, but not about protection. Respondents consider trip cancellation insurance (58%) to be the most important credit card feature when travelling. This was followed by travel medical insurance (51%) and car rental insurance (48%).

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card customers are provided with added peace of mind when travelling. With automatic Travel Medical Insurance, plus Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance included when their Card is used to purchase travel, travellers are covered from the unexpected.

"At TD Canada Trust, we've designed our travel rewards credit cards program to be flexible and comprehensive. Cardholders can use their points to pay for all or part of their trip - even taxes. This means more travel savings and, in many cases, more opportunity to travel more often. Now, who wouldn't want that?" adds Pearson.

About the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card:

The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card gives cardholders the flexibility to get the travel deal they want and to use their TD Points earned to pay for it - whether through their favourite travel agent, online website, tour package provider, a last-minute deal or promotion, or directly through the hotel or airline. With no blackout periods or restrictions on airlines, collecting and redeeming points on your TD First Class Travel Card is even more rewarding. And, while many competitor programs require their cardholders to reach point tiers to travel to specified destinations or limit the number of seats available, with the TD First Class Travel Card, redeeming points is simple and easy to understand. For every $1.00 in purchases made using the card, cardholders earn three (3) TD Points that can be redeemed towards any type of travel.

Specifically for Canadians who love to travel, the TD First Class Travel Card offers additional premium features such as:

-   Travel Medical Insurance
    -   Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance
    -   VIP treatment at the world's finest select boutique and luxury hotels
        and resorts through exclusive hotel privileges
    -   Access to ratings and reviews of the world's most outstanding
        restaurants
    -   TD Traveller alert email sent by the TD Travel Rewards Centre once or
        twice monthly (subject to travel deal availability) that directs
        cardholders to great exclusive travel deals!
    -   Exclusive VIP airport lounge access with the new Priority Pass Lounge
        Feature. Membership with Priority Pass provides TD First Class Travel
        cardholders access to over 600 VIP airport lounges (11 in Canadian
        Airports) in over 300 cities world wide.

For more information about the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card visit: http://www.tdfirstclasstravel.com

About the TD Canada Trust Credit Cards Travel Poll:

A total of 1004 online interviews with English and French speaking Canadians who have a credit card and have travelled in the past 12 months age 18 plus were conducted with Angus Reid Forum panelists between August 10 and 18, 2009. The poll reveals Canadians' travel planning behaviour.

About TD Bank Financial Group:

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth and TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$545 billion in assets on July 31, 2009. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

For further information: Carolyn Abbass, Anne Locke, Paradigm Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, cabbass@paradigmpr.ca, alocke@paradigmpr.ca; Tashlin Hirani, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 982-3375, Tashlin.hirani@td.com