Determining the best airline credit card in Canada is a bit subjective since it really depends on which airline you fly the most. Canada only has three major airlines and the credit cards that can help you build points with them are quite limited which is why many prefer to use one of the best travel credit cards instead since it gives them more flexibility.

That being said, the best airline credit cards are an easy way to earn points with your favourite airline and many of them come with additional benefits that can help you save money on your travels. You also need to factor in that some airline loyalty programs allow you to use your points with their partner airlines. Here are the best credit cards for airline miles in Canada.

The best airline credit cards in Canada

Credit cardAnnual feeAirline partners
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard$139WestJet
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Credit Card$120 - FYFAir Canada + Star Alliance
American Express Gold Rewards card$150Aeroplan, Avios, Delta SkyMiles, Asia Miles
Marriott Bonvoy American Express$12040+ airlines
MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard$99Alaska Airlines + 15 partners

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

  • $119 annual fee
  • $250 WestJet Dollars signup bonus after your first purchase
  • Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
  • Earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on everyday purchases
  • Receive an annual round-trip companion voucher starting at $99
  • Free first checked bags for the primary cardholder (up to 8 bags on the same reservation)
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included

There is no doubt in my mind that the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is the best airline credit card in Canada. WestJet Rewards is one of the best airline loyalty programs out there and the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard comes packed with benefits. You get $250 in WestJet dollars as a signup bonus after you make your first purchase which obviously makes up for the $119 annual fee. You also get an annual round-trip companion voucher starting at $99 CAD which is an incredible value since you can easily save a few hundred dollars when you redeem it.

As for your earn rate, you’ll get 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages and 1.5% back on all other purchases. The first checked bag is free for the primary cardholder and so are up to 8 bags on the same reservation. There’s also the great travel insurance package that you get included. If you fly WestJet on a regular basis or even once a year, this credit card is a must! Read my review of the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard now.

Apply now for the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard Card


TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Credit Card

  • $120 annual fee – first year free (Until Dec. 1, 2019)
  • 15,000 Aeroplan Miles upon first purchase
  • 2X Aeroplan Miles on eligible purchases in the first three months up to a total of 20,000 Aeroplan Miles
  • 5,000 Aeroplan Miles when you add an authorized user to your account
  • Earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on grocery, gas, drugstores, and aircanada.com
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card is the best airline credit card when it comes to Air Canada since you earn Aeroplan points. You get 15,000 Aeroplan Miles after your first purchase and 5,000 additional miles if you add an authorized user. There’s another bonus where you’ll earn 2X the Aeroplan points in the first three months up to 20,000 miles which means the welcome bonus is worth up to 40,000 Aeroplan Miles. The earn rate of 1.5 miles per $1 spent on grocery, gas, drugstores, and aircanada.com, plus 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases is respectable, but I wish it was better. 

Air Canada promotes the fact that you can use your Aeroplan points for any flight which is technically true, but that’s only if you use the market fare option which usually requires many more points to make a redemption. Most people prefer to use the fixed mileage option but there are often limited seats available.

American Express Gold Rewards card

  • $150 Annual fee
  • 25,000 Signup points after charging $1,500 in purchases
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included

Although the American Express Gold Rewards card isn’t co-branded with any airline, you earn American Express Membership Rewards points which can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. You get a slightly higher earn rate of 2 points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel compared to the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Credit Card although the annual fee is a bit higher at $150. To offset that fee, you get 25,000 signup points after charging $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of cardmemberhip.

25,000 points are enough for a round-trip ticket to anywhere within Canada and the continental U.S. so there’s some really good value here. In addition, with your Amex Membership Rewards points, you can transfer them to Marriott Rewards at a 1:1.2 ratio which gives you even more options. It’s no wonder the American Express Gold Rewards card is one of the best American Express credit cards in Canada.

Apply now for the Amex Gold Rewards card

 

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

  • $120 annual fee
  • 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points welcome bonus or 51,000 with a referral link
  • Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 on eligible card purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Earn 2 Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 on all other purchases
  • Free annual night award that can be redeemed at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide, with a redemption value up to 35,000 points

You’re probably wondering why a hotel credit card is on my list of the best airline credit cards in Canada? In case you didn’t know, you can transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to more than 40 airline loyalty programs. Yeah, now you get it. To be honest, the transfer ratio isn’t the best at 3:1 for most airlines, but it’s ideal if you’re looking to top up your airline miles or if you’re trying to get points for an airline that doesn’t have a credit card in Canada. On a positive note, for every 60,000 Marriott Bonyoy points you transfer to an airline, you get an additional 5,000 miles for free so it’s not that bad of a deal. The sign up bonus that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy American Express is worth up 51,000 points, so this card could be an easy way to earn additional airline miles.

Apply Now for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express


MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard

  • $99 annual fee
  • 30,000 Signup miles after charging $1,000 in purchases
  • Earn 3 Alaska miles per $1 spent on airfare and vacation packages from Alaska Airlines and Virgin America
  • Earn 1 Alaska mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive an annual round-trip companion voucher for $121 USD

Alaska Airlines doesn’t get much attention in Canada, but if you live in British Columbia they can be an appealing airline since they serve the western part of the U.S. The MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard gives you 30,000 signup miles after charging $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of cardmembership. Your earn rate is 3 Alaska miles per $1 spent on airfare and vacation packages from Alaska Airlines and Virgin America which is great if you fly those airlines often, but you only get 1 Alaska mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. The annual round-trip companion voucher for $121 USD is also a decent benefit.

What makes Alaska Airlines appealing is the fact that they have quite a few airline partners. One partner in particular of interest is Cathay Pacific. You can’t book directly with Cathay, but you can call Alaska to book your flights on Cathay at a 1:1 points ratio. For example, a one-way flight on premium economy to Hong Kong will cost you 35,000 miles or 70,000 return so you can see why the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard is one of the best airline credit cards.

Apply now for the MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard