The Best Credit Card Deals in Canada

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Determining what the best credit card deals in Canada are purely subjective. I personally look mainly at the welcome offer or the ongoing benefits. While it’s true that the sign up bonus is a one time deal, sometimes it can be incredible. Even if you have no intention of keeping the card long-term, it can be worth signing up for since the deals are that good.

Besides value, I also often look at how easy it is to obtain the deal. If a credit card has a low minimum spend or the annual fee is waived for the first year, then it could be a good deal. Not everyone is comfortable with signing up for new cards, but it’s always worth looking around to see what’s available. Sometimes a deal can line up with your future plans. E.g. a new major purchase or an upcoming vacation. Here are the best credit card deals in Canada.

Unlike the best travel credit cards in Canada where you can actually measure things based on the sign up bonus and earn rates, the best deals can be open to interpretation. With this in mind, my selections are based on actual promotions as well as benefits that you get right away without much work. Since credit card offers often change, I’ll update this article on a regular basis. Here are the best credit card deals in Canada right now.

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

  • $119 annual fee
  • $350 WestJet Dollars sign up bonus after your first purchase (Until June 30, 2021)
  • Earn 2x the WestJet dollars on groceries, restaurants and food delivery in the first 3 months of cardmembership with no cap
  • Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
  • Earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on everyday purchases
  • Receive a $0 companion voucher for Economy bookings within Canada, US, Mexico and the Caribbean (until May 31, 2021)
  • Save 3¢/L on fuel and always earn 20% more Petro-Points when you link your WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard
  • Free first checked bags for the primary cardholder (up to 8 bags on the same reservation)
  • Some travel insurance included
  • Purchase security and extended warranty insurance
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey

Not everyone loves the WestJet Rewards program, but I think casual travellers should pay attention to the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard. In the last year, it’s had multiple welcome bonuses as they try to compete with Air Canada. The sign up bonus is worth at least $250 (it’s been as high as $450), and you only need to make a single purchase. On top of that, the companion voucher is an annual benefit, so keeping the card long-term is often worth it.

If you fly WestJet on a regular basis or even just once, the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is one of the best credit card deals for you. The companion voucher allows a secondary passenger to pay just $119 plus taxes, fees and charges. If you’re flying across Canada or to Europe ($399). this could save you a lot of money. Plus, the card gives you and your travelling companions their first checked bag free. This is one of the best airline credit cards available.

Marriott Bonvoy Amex card

  • $120 annual fee – Must apply by Aug. 3, 2021
  • 65,000 Bonvoy points when spending $3,000 in the first six months
  • 15,000 Bonvoy points when making any purchase between months 14 and 17 of cardmembership
  • 5x Bonvoy points on eats and drinks (including groceries) in Canada in the first six months, up to a maximum of 25,000 Bonvoy points 
  • $120 statement credit after spending $10,000 in net purchases in the first 12 months of cardmembership
  • 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 of up to 35,000 points
  • 15 Elite Night credits each calendar year
  • Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status when you spend $30,000 on your card each year
  • Complimentary in-room, premium internet access while staying at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Some travel insurance

As travel slowly starts to become normal again, a lot of the best travel credit cards have new offers to entice people back. The Marriott Bonvoy Amex has an offer right now that’s worth 65,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. You have to use a referral link, but it’s worth it since you’re getting an additional 5,000 points.

Those points are enough for five nights at any category 2 hotel (or category 3 off-peak) when you factor in the book 4 nights, get the 5th-night free promotion. Admittedly, finding value with Marriott Bonvoy can be tough at times. Many of the category 4-6 hotels don’t have the best redemption values, so aim for the low and high category hotels. That said, this card also gives you a free annual night reward worth up to 35,000 points, so that’s a good deal.

American Express Business Platinum

  • $499 Annual fee
  • 100,000 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus when using a referral link
  • Earn 1.25 points for every $1 spent
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • 55 interest free days
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package
  • Buyer’s assurance
  • Purchase protection

Of my list of the best credit card deals, the American Express Business Platinum card is the only business card. Although $499 may seem like a steep price to pay, it is a business expense that can be written off. The welcome bonus makes it worth it when you use a referral link. The “catch” is, you need to spend $7,000 in the first three months of card membership to get the bonus. For reference, the regular welcome bonus is 60,000 points.

Keep in mind that even regular consumers can apply for this card. You don’t have to own a business. If you have some major purchases coming up, this is the card to get. Once you have those Membership Rewards points, you use them on any travel you book through the Amex travel portal or you can get even more value by using the American Express Fixed Points Travel Program. In addition, you can transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy which can also give you a lot of value for your points.

American Express Platinum Card

Understandably, many people won’t feel comfortable applying for a business credit card if they don’t own a business. Fortunately, the American Express Platinum Card is still one of the best credit card deals in Canada. When you sign up with a referral link, you’ll get 60,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months of cardmembership. For reference, the regular offer is 50,000 points on a $3,000 spend.

The annual fee is quite high at $699, but you do get an annual travel credit of $200, so you’re only really paying $499 a year. As far as travel benefits are concerned, there’s no card that’s better since you get things such as lounge access, hotel status upgrades, priority security lines at select Canadian airports, and more.

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

The Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card is one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada and it consistently has a great offer. Right now you’ll get 10% cash back up to $2,000 in the first three months of cardmembership. That means you can earn up to $200 in cash back. Plus, the annual fee of $120 is waived for the first year.

If that wasn’t a good enough credit card deal for you, the regular earn rate is incredible. You’ll get 4% cash back on groceries and recurring bills. 2% on gas and transit. And, 1% on everything else.

Tangerine Money-Back card

  • No annual fee
  • 2% money-back on up to 3 categories
  • 0.5% money-back on all other categories 
  • Automatic monthly redemption with no minimum balance required

With the Tangerine Money-Back credit card, the regular earn rate is 2% on up to three categories. You get to choose two 2% categories right away and a third one is given to you if you have your cash-back deposited into a Tangerine savings account. All other purchases earn you 0.5% cash-back. It’s worth noting that this is a no-fee card so this is a great card since it comes with good cash back multipliers. Although there’s no welcome bonus, I consider this card a deal because there’s no annual fee and you get to choose your categories for extra cash back.

What is a credit card deal?

As mentioned, a credit card deal is completely subjective. That said, you should be looking at a few specific things to see if getting a new credit card is beneficial to you.

  • Welcome bonus – See if there’s a generous sign up bonus. You want one that’s worth at least $200
  • Annual fee – If the annual fee is waived for the first year, you could instantly save $100+
  • Low minimum spend – While rare, some card have a low minimum spend requirement to get the bonus
  • Ongoing benefits – Any credit card that gives you benefits that you can use regularly should be considered a deal

In the end, you want something that means your goals. If you want to travel later in luxury, getting a few travel credit cards could be worth it. For those who are making a major purchase soon, you could give yourself a 10% discount by applying for a cash back credit card with a good welcome offer.

Does signing up for a credit card affect my credit score?

Every time you apply for a new credit card, your credit score decreases by 10 points. Some people will be very concerned about this, but if you have a good credit score, you shouldn’t worry too much. As long as you pay your bills on time and in full, your credit score will go back up in a few months.

I apply for more credit cards than the average person, and my credit score hasn’t taken a huge hit. That’s because I spread out my applications which gives my credit score time to improve. That said, I’m also not applying for 3-6 cards at a time. I usually do 3-4 applications a year at max.

Don’t get me wrong, if I see two good credit card deals in Canada, there’s a good chance I’ll sign up for both. I just try not to go too crazy. That said, if you plan on getting a mortgage soon, you may want to hold off on applying for new credit as lenders might question why you’re trying to access new credit.

The Best Credit Card Deals in Canada

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

16 Comments

  1. phyllis miller on January 1, 2019 at 6:53 PM

    Wondering how the Costco Master Card measures up I am retired and do not incur alot of credit expense.

    • Barry Choi on January 1, 2019 at 7:09 PM

      Hi Phyllis,

      It’s an okay card since it doubles as your Costco membership but compared to other cards out there, it’s not the best offer. That being said, if you don’t use your credit card much and like to shop at Costco, then this card isn’t bad.

  2. phyllis miller on January 1, 2019 at 7:24 PM

    Thanks for the quick reply using President Chice M Card now like the no fee feature.

    • Barry Choi on January 1, 2019 at 7:28 PM

      Phyllis,

      The PCF World Elite Mastercard is actually one of my favourite cards since it has no fee and I shop often at Loblaw’s owned stores. It’s so easy to earn points since they constantly have promotions.

  3. phyllis miller on January 1, 2019 at 7:31 PM

    OK I will keep on with the PC card appreciate your insight Happy New Year

  4. Liza Ma on January 29, 2019 at 9:24 AM

    Hi Barry. What do you think of the TD Visa First Class Travel card? I don’t pay an annual fee as I have a TD all-inclusive banking plan. Thanks for the great tips!

    • Barry Choi on January 29, 2019 at 9:29 AM

      Hi Liza,

      As a no-fee card (via all-inclusive), it’s not bad. You get the most value when you book through Expedia for TD which is not a bad thing since Expedia sells just about everything. It also comes with decent travel insurance.

      You don’t get lounge access, but that may not matter to you. I personally think other loyalty programs are better, but for casual travellers, the TD card is good.

      It might be worth keeping an eye on the TD Aeroplan card as there might be some big changes later when Air Canada starts announcing their loyalty program.

  5. Liza on January 29, 2019 at 9:47 AM

    Thanks for the info, Barry!

  6. Carmi on January 29, 2019 at 3:23 PM

    Hi Barry
    I’m thinking of signing up with Fido MasterCard (I’m a Fido customer). They have 3% cash back on foreign purchases less 2.5% card transaction fee. I’m a moderate traveller, thought of considering the cards you mentioned above but I don’t like stressing myself to spend that much for the first 3months. Thanks!

    • Barry Choi on January 29, 2019 at 4:46 PM

      Hey Carmi,

      The Fido card is great for travellers. This article focused just on sign up bonuses. If you have a higher income ($80K), the Rogers World Elite Mastercard gives you 4% back on foreign transactions.

      • Carmi on January 29, 2019 at 7:12 PM

        Thank you Barry for your info

      • Nancy Tan on February 9, 2019 at 9:18 AM

        I love my Rogers World Elite Mastercard! 1.75% cash back for all purchases and 4% (less 2.5% transaction fee) on foreign transactions. I do not have $80K income but they bumped me up to the world elite because I qualified for the minimum monthly transactions of $2K.

        • Barry Choi on February 9, 2019 at 9:24 AM

          Nancy,

          That card is indeed good and will become even better in March when you an redeem your cash back on more purchases.

          • Nancy Tan on February 9, 2019 at 3:49 PM

            Thank you for the update!



  7. sammie on June 11, 2019 at 11:10 AM

    Hi Barry! i know this is weird but what is the best card to get if you don’t do online banking or payments

    • Barry Choi on June 11, 2019 at 11:12 AM

      Sammie,

      You’d have to use something from your own bank where you can pay you bills at the counter.

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