The Best Travel Credit Cards in Canada 2022: Top Ranked List

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

I recently decided to overhaul my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada. In the past, I focused on the welcome bonus, but I believe that going the category route makes more sense since every person has different travel goals. The cards I’ve chosen are a bit subjective, but I do think they’re the top picks for the average person.

I do NOT recommend applying for all of the below cards. You should only apply for the travel credit cards that make sense for you or meet your specific needs. That said, signing up for a couple of these cards over a few months can be valuable as you’ll be able to gain a lot of points/miles quickly. Using this strategy is how I was able to fly From Dubai to Toronto on Emirates first class and on EVA Air from Toronto to Taipei in business class for less than $140 CAD each.

It’s also worth noting the ranking of these cards can sometimes change based on the current welcome bonus available. I’ll update this list regularly so you’ll know what the latest offers are. Here are the best travel credit cards in Canada for 2021.

Credit cardBest travel card for
American Express Business Platinum CardWelcome bonus
American Express Platinum CardFrequent travellers
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite CardAll in one travel
American Express Aeroplan Reserve CardAeroplan rewards
American Express Cobalt CardEveryday spending
Marriott Bonvoy American Express CardHotel stays
Wealthsimple Cash CardNo foreign transaction fees
WestJet RBC World Elite MastercardFamily travel
CIBC Aeroplan Visa CardNo annual fee
CIBC AC Conversion CardMulti-currency

Best travel card for welcome bonus

For some people, earning points fast is their goal. If that’s you, then you should focus strictly on the welcome bonus as that will be the quickest way to reach your goal. The key thing to understand is that the sign up offer will always have specific conditions, so only apply for the following card if you know you can meet the minimum spend requirement.

American Express Business Platinum Card

  • $499 annual fee
  • Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $10,000 in the first 3 months. Must use a referral link
  • Earn 1.25 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status

The American Express Business Platinum Card has consistently had one of the highest welcome bonuses when you sign up with a referral link. How many points are we talking about? Getting 100,000+ American Express Membership Rewards points as a welcome offer is not uncommon.

For many people, the minimum spend requirement will be the biggest turn-off. Quite often you need to spend $6,000 $10,000+ in the first three months to get your full bonus. For people who operate a business, this spending requirement may not be an issue, but what about regular consumers without a business, can they apply? Reports indicate that people without a business have been approved for this card, but there’s always a chance that American Express will ask you to verify your income that you put on your application.

Besides the welcome bonus, you still get some good benefits with this card. There’s unlimited airport lounge access for you and a guest. Plus, you get Gold Elite Status with Marriott Bonvoy. You also get 55 interest-free days, which is great if you’re a small business trying to manage your finances.

If your goal is to earn as many points as quickly as possible, then the American Express Business Platinum Card should be a top priority. For example, if you signed up for this card and another top-tier Aeroplan card, you could easily have 200,000+ Aeroplan points after meeting the minimum spend requirement. That’s enough points for a round-trip flight to Asia in business class.

Best travel card for frequent travellers

Anyone who travels frequently should get a credit card that comes packed with travel benefits. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in airports, on airplanes, and in hotels, you’ll want extra perks. While some of these benefits may not seem that important, you’ll quickly fall in love with them. Best of all, there’s one card that will give you almost everything you want.

American Express Platinum Card

  • $699 annual fee
  • Up to 115,000 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus when using a referral link
  • Earn 95,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $6,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 10X the points on eats & drinks for the first 3 months of Cardmembership (up to 20,000 points)
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining, 2 points on travel, and 1 point on all other purchases
  • $200 annual travel credit
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • Hotel status upgrades

The American Express Platinum Card is one of the best travel credit cards in Canada when looking strictly at the benefits. You’ll get sweet perks such as unlimited airport lounge access, hotel status upgrades, great travel insurance, and more.

The sign up bonus is currently worth up to 85,000 points if you use a referral link, but it’s often worth 100,000+ points. That said, the point bonus is usually broken up into two parts. You typically get most of the point bonus when you meet the minimum spend requirement. The additional points are rewarded when you meet the secondary requirement which changes frequently.

Many people will balk at the annual fee, but it’s just $499 a year when you factor in the annual $200 travel credit. Note that the American Express travel credit is provided right away and on your car anniversary. It does not apply to every calendar year.

In addition, the American Express Platinum Card allows you to transfer your points to Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy. You also get some of the best travel insurance coverage, such as travel emergency, rental collision, trip interruption insurance, and more.

Best travel card for all-in-one-travel

Even though it makes more sense to sign up for multiple credit cards to take advantage of all the different benefits, not everyone wants to do that. Having various cards means you need to manage more things, which may not appeal to a lot of people. If you prefer a single travel credit card that gives you good benefits and rewards, then this one is for you.

Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

  • $139 annual fee
  • 25,000 Scene+ points welcome bonus
  • Earn 2 Scene+ points for every $1 you spend on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment, and daily transit purchases
  • Earn 1 Scene+ point on every $1 you spend on all other eligible purchases
  • Priority Pass / DragonPass Membership + 6 passes per year
  • No foreign transaction fees

As you can see, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card comes packed with benefits. It has a good welcome bonus, no foreign transaction fees, excellent travel insurance and lounge access. You can redeem your Scotia Scene+ points on any type of travel purchase, so you’re getting maximum flexibility.

For everyday purchases, the earn rate is respectable. You’ll earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment, and transit purchases. All other purchases get you 1 point per $1 spent. Additionally, you get purchase security and extended warranty.

Scotia Scene+ points are appealing since you can use them for any travel expenses charged to your credit card. That said, you can’t transfer your points to any frequent flyer programs. The overall flexibility of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is clear, but you do give up some travel perks if you stick to this card.

Best travel card for Aeroplan rewards

Air Canada is Canada’s number one airline and its loyalty program is Aeroplan. The program went through some massive changes in late 2020 and is now easier to use for more travellers. If you’re a frequent flyer, or you just want to earn a lot of Aeroplan points, then there’s a great card you need to get.

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

  • $599 annual fee
  • Up to 115,000 Aeroplan points welcome offer
  • Earn 65,000 points when spending $6,000 within 3 months
  • Earn 5,000 points per month when spending $1,000 for 12 months
  • Earn 10X the points on eats & drinks for the first 3 months of Cardmembership (up to 20,000 points)
  • Earn 3 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on Air Canada, 2 points on dining and food delivery, and 1.25 points on all other purchases
  • Unlimited free access to Maple Leaf Lounges in North America for you and a guest
  • Free first checked bag, priority check-in and boarding on Air Canada

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve is one of the best travel credit cards in Canada when it comes to earning Aeroplan Rewards. It typically has one of the highest welcome offers for any Aeroplan Card, so it’s a natural pick if you’re looking to earn a lot of Aeroplan points quickly. Additionally, the sign up bonus sometimes comes with a Buddy Pass. While that pass is great if you’re travelling with a friend, a straight points sign up offer is usually the better deal.

Even though the terms and conditions say you can’t bring in a guest to Maple Leaf Lounges, live reports suggest otherwise. Cardholders have not had a problem bringing in someone for free. As one of Air Canada’s premium co-branded credit cards, you also get priority check-in, boarding, and free checked bags on Air Canada Flights. Putting most of your spending on this card can also be lucrative since you’ll earn an annual worldwide companion pass when you spend $25,000 each year.

Generally speaking, if you regularly take Air Canada flights, you’ll want this card since you get so many perks. Plus, since Aeroplan is one of the best frequent flyer programs, you can easily leverage all the points that you earn.

Best travel card for everyday purchases

Instead of focusing on a specific bonus or benefit, it sometimes makes more sense to look at your everyday purchases. If you typically charge a lot to your credit card, it can be quite lucrative. You just need to have the right card in your wallet.

American Express Cobalt Card

  • $12.99 Monthly fee ($155.88 yearly)
  • 2,500 monthly Membership Rewards points after charging $500 in purchases each month for a year (30,000 points total)
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on eats and drinks
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on streaming services
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

The Amex Cobalt card is easily the best choice for people looking to earn rewards on their everyday spending. You’ll earn 5 points for every $1 spent on eats and drinks (which includes grocery stores); 3 points per $1 spent on streaming services; 2 points per $1 spent on travel and transit; and 1 point per $1 spent on every other purchase. There is a spending cap of $30,000 for each category, but if you maxed out just the eats and drinks category, you’d earn more than 150,000 points.

The Amex Cobalt Card recently changed so the points you earn are now regular American Express Membership Rewards points. That means your points can be transferred to many frequent flyer programs including Aeroplan. You also now get mobile device insurance which is handy considering the fact that cellphones seem to have a short shelf life (well, at least mine do).

It’s also worth mentioning that any credit card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points has multiple redemption options. Besides travel expenses, you can use your points for gift cards, merchandise, and more.

Best travel card for hotel stays

In an ideal world, whenever you travel, you’ll stay with one hotel chain. The reason this is beneficial is that every hotel chain has a loyalty program. The more nights you stay, the higher status you get. Of course, with higher status, you get more benefits. There’s one hotel card that stands out over the others.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

  • $120 annual fee
  • 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 5X the points on eats & drinks for the first 3 months of Cardmembership (up to 10,000 points)
  • Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent at participating Marriott properties
  • Earn 2 Marriott Bonvoy points for per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points

Marriott International has more than 7,000 properties in over 120 countries. That means regardless of where you are in the world, there’s a good chance there’s a Marriott property nearby. If you’re loyal to the chain, you should get the Marriot Bonvoy American Express Card. It gives you instant Silver Elite status, an increased earn rate at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties, and a free annual night certificate that’s good for a room worth up to 35,000 points.

The welcome bonus is usually worth 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That said, there have been occasional promotions where the offer is even higher. Marriott also gives you the 5th night free when you book 4-nights on points, so there could be some good value depending on where you’re staying.

Although free hotel stays aren’t as popular as using your points for travel expenses, there’s no denying the value. The free annual night certificate is one of the best credit card rewards and it’s easily worth more than the annual fee of $120.

Best travel card for no foreign transaction fees

In case you didn’t know, most credit cards charge a fee of 2.5% whenever you make a purchase in any currency that’s not in Canadian dollars. When using a foreign ATM, most banks charge a 3.5% fee. As you can imagine, that fee can add up quickly. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution that will save you big.

Wealthsimple Cash Card

  • No annual fee
  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees on ATM Withdrawals
  • CDIC insurance protection

Although the Wealthsimple Cash Card is pretty basic, it fulfills one specific need that travellers need. It gives you no foreign transaction fees on purchases and ATM withdrawals. This is obviously great since it’s the cheapest way to get physical cash when you’re abroad. That said, the ATM operators will typically charge a one-time fee of $3 whenever you make a withdrawal. To avoid multiple fees, just withdraw the maximum of $500 CAD when you need cash.

One thing to note is that the Wealthsumple Cash Card is a prepaid credit card. That means you can only spend the funds that you load on your card. While some people may find this an inconvenience, I think it’s beneficial since it limits your exposure to fraud. That’s why I consider it one of the best credit cards.

Since this card has no monthly or annual fees, it’s the perfect card to get just for travel. When you use my referral link or code EYITMP, you’ll get $10 for free.

Best travel card for families

Earning a lot of points for luxury travel is great, but when you have kids, it’s a lot harder to get seats. Instead of focusing on business class seats for the entire family, it can be more advantageous to look at what benefits your family immediately. You’d be surprised how easy it is to save on family travel with his card.

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

  • $119 annual fee
  • $250 WestJet Dollars sign up bonus after your first purchase
  • $200 Additional WestJet Dollars when you charge $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
  • Earn 1.5% back on all other purchases
  • Annual companion voucher and free checked bags

Some people find it odd that the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is on my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada, but when you look at the benefits, you’ll realize this is an excellent card. The primary cardholder and companions on the same reservation get their first checked bag free (up to 8 bags total). You also get an annual companion voucher that can save you a fair amount depending on where you’re headed.

There’s a trick to really save families big with this card. Let’s say you’re a family of four. Two parents and two children. If both parents applied for the card, they would each get a companion voucher every year. When you’re ready to travel, you would each book a flight and use the companion voucher on one of the kids. By doing this, you’re using two companion vouchers during a single trip. Plus, you get a generous amount of WestJet dollars when you apply, so the savings on your first trip could be massive.

Best travel card with no annual fee

Unfortunately, most of the best travel credit cards in Canada come with an annual fee. Not everyone likes the idea of paying a yearly fee to have a credit card. The good news is that there’s a great no fee travel credit card and it comes with a surprising amount of benefits.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card

  • No annual fee
  • 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase
  • Earn 1 Aeorplan point per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and Air Canada
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan point per $1.50 spent on all other purchases

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card is one of the better no fee rewards credit cards. The biggest benefit is obviously the 10,000 Aeroplan points after your purchase. I personally value 1 Aeroplan point at 2 cents, so that means your welcome bonus is worth at least $200.

The earn rate is 1 Aeroplan per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases. For every other eligible purchase, you’ll get 1 Aeroplan point per $1.50 spent. You also get purchase security and extended warranty, which are nice extra insurance policies.

Best travel card for multi-currencies

Whenever you travel to different countries, you may have to deal with various currencies. Instead of exchanging a bunch of cash in advance, you can get a multi-currency prepaid credit card. This will allow you to load up funds whenever you want to. Plus, you get to lock in the rates in advance.

CIBC AC Conversion Card

  • No annual fee
  • $20 for free when using my exclusive referral link
  • No load or conversion fees
  • Load up to 10 currencies with no fees
  • 2% cash back on up to 3 categories
  • 1% cash back on all eligible purchases

The CIBC AC Conversion Card is the perfect solution for people who want to manage multiple currencies on a single credit card. Since this is a prepaid credit card, you’ll always know exactly what you’re paying when you convert your funds. The card allows you to hold 10 different currencies that will cover you in 45 countries. There’s no annual fee and you even get $20 for free when you sign up with my exclusive referral link.

Are there other travel credit cards worth considering?

The best credit cards for travel that I’ve listed above are for each specific category. That said, there are still other credit cards worth considering such as the following:

Admittedly, a few of these cards would be ideal for many travellers. Each one comes with different perks and benefits, so you would need to read each review individually and then compare it to my best travel credit cards in Canada list to see what’s best for you.

What are the best travel credit card programs in Canada?

Every bank in Canada has its own travel rewards program, but none of them are the same. They all offer different ways to redeem your points, but some just give you more options than others. I’ve ranked and detailed them all in this article, but here’s a quick ranking from best to worst. Each link goes to my detailed reviews so you can learn more about the programs.

Again, every program has its pros and cons. Even though I ran BMO Rewards and TD Rewards at the bottom, they both have a few really good features. Plus, depending on which rewards credit cards you use, the value of the program may increase.

What are the best frequent flyer programs in Canada?

The best frequent flyer programs in Canada are a bit subjective as it comes down to who you fly the most with. That said, there are three main frequent flyer programs to be aware of. Keep in mind that enrollment into these programs is automatic if you’re applying for a co-branded credit card. Alternatively, you can input your membership number if you’re already enrolled when signing up.

Aeroplan

I personally think Aeroplan is the best frequent flyer program in Canada since it’s the easiest one to earn and redeem your points. As you’ve quickly learned above, there are multiple credit cards that allow you to earn Aeroplan points. In addition, many of the co-branded credit cards come with perks such as insurance coverage, no baggage fees, and an annual fee rebate.

When it comes to redeeming your points, Aeroplan allows you to use your points on any available seat on Air Canada flights. That said, they use dynamic pricing so the number of points required for a flight can change quite a bit. On a positive note, Aeroplan also has partners where the cost of a free flight has a fixed price. Read my Aeroplan Rewards guide for a comprehensive breakdown.

Westjet Rewards

As you’ve likely guessed, WestJet Rewards is the loyalty program for WestJet, Canada’s second-largest airline. Unlike Aeroplan, WestJet Rewards uses a cash back rewards system instead of points. You’ll literally earn WestJet dollars as the loyalty program.

While I like the simplicity of WestJet Rewards, it has its limitations. The earn rate and welcome bonuses that come with the co-branded credit cards aren’t that attractive. In addition, you can only use your WestJet dollars on the base fare. As in, you can’t use your hard-earned WestJet dollars on additional charges, seat selection, or even baggage fees.

Air Miles

Air Miles is one of Canada’s most popular loyalty programs, but it doesn’t have as much punch as the other programs available. Even though Air Miles now has more redemption options, it can be difficult to get good value out of the program compared to Aeroplan. That said, Air Miles does have a few sweet spots.

The other major issue with Air Miles is that it can be hard to earn points. Sure, you could get a co-branded Air Miles credit card, but the spend requirement to earn points is a bit high. If you want to earn points that you can use to offset your travel expenses, you’re better off getting a different travel credit card.

How does travel insurance work?

Many of the best travel credit cards in Canada come with comprehensive travel insurance coverage. However, you need to read the terms and conditions of each policy so you know exactly when you’re covered and what you’re covered for. Your travel insurance coverage can be broken down into two parts: travel medical and extended travel insurance.

Travel medical

With travel medical, your insurance coverage applies regardless if you charge your travel expenses to your credit card or not. Travel medical is essential whenever you leave the country as it’ll cover you for trips to the doctor or hospital. It also usually covers travel emergency events such as ambulance rides or a helicopter evacuation.

Basically, you should never travel without travel medical insurance. To be clear, you need travel medical insurance even if you’re travelling outside of your province of residence or taking a short road trip across the border. That’s because your provincial healthcare may not cover you.

Extended travel insurance

Although extended travel insurance is technically optional, it would be wise to get it since it’ll province insurance coverage for multiple scenarios. Some of the most common extended travel insurance policies include:

  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption insurance
  • Flight delay
  • Lost/delayed baggage
  • Rental collision
  • Hotel/motel burglary
  • Travel accident

As you can imagine, certain conditions apply to each policy. For example, you might only be able to claim delayed baggage insurance after 4 to 6 hours.

In addition, there tend to be very specific rules for your extended travel insurance coverage to apply. For example, you might have to charge 100% of your travel expenses to your credit card with travel insurance for your policies to apply.

How do I choose the best credit card?

With so many travel credit cards to choose from, there are a lot of factors to consider before you click apply. It’s not as simple as just picking the card that gives you the most points or credit card rewards. You need to think about what your goals are, how you’re going to use the card and what benefits you want. Here are some things to consider.

Your goals

  • If you want to redeem a business class flight via Aeroplan or you want to stay for free at a luxury Marriott property, then you should be applying for cards that earn you Aeroplan Miles or Marriott Bonvoy points. Remember, American Express credit cards allow you to transfer your points to both programs.
  • Do your travel plans include your partner? If so, you should both be accumulating mile and points together. If you use the American Express Refer A Friend program, you can earn additional points. Use my links above to get started, then start referring your friends.

Sign up bonus

  • The quickest way to earn travel rewards points is through the welcome bonus.
  • Be sure to read the conditions of the sign up bonus. Some cards require only one purchase while others may require you to spend $3,000 – $5,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. Try to time your credit card applications around when you have a major purchase coming up.

Annual fee

  • Annual fees can add up, so cards that offer the first year free are definitely worthwhile.
  • If the card does have an annual fee, look at the sign up bonus and included benefits. Quite often what you get every year is worth more than the annual fee.

Earn rate

  • Take a look at how many points you’ll earn for specific categories. Some of the best travel credit cards in Canada will give you more points when you spend on travel, groceries, gas, etc.
  • The flat earn rate is also important if you typically do a lot of spending on all other categories. It may be more beneficial to get a card with higher flat earn rate as opposed to a travel credit card that has bonus earn rates for specific categories.

Flexibility of points

  • The ability to use your points for different travel redemptions is incredibly valuable. The ability to transfer your points or to use them on a fixed travel program can sometimes double the value of your points.
  • If you’re going to use a co-branded credit card with a specific program, make sure it still gives you some flexibility. For example, don’t collect miles if finding a flight that benefits you is difficult. Research blackout dates, seat availability and taxes.

Additional benefits

  • Any additional benefits that come with the best travel credit cards in Canada should be seriously considered. Unlimited lounge access will appeal to frequent travellers while a card without foreign transaction fees will benefit everyone. 
  • Travel medical insurance is also an important benefit, but be sure to read the certificate of insurance so you know exactly what you’re covered for.
  • Estimate the value of all the benefits that you’ll actually use. If it’s more than the annual fee that the card charges, then you’ll come out ahead.

It’s also worth mentioning that you should pay attention to the interest rates of each card. Most rewards credit cards have purchase interest rates of 19.99% to 22.99%. For cash advances, you’ll likely pay interest rates of 21.99% to 24.99%. Those are obviously insanely high interest rates. In other words, the card’s rewards aren’t worth it if you can’t pay off the full balance each month.

How do travel credit cards affect your credit score?

Every time you apply for a travel credit card, your credit score will take a hit of 5 to 10 points. This is normal as the credit card provider will do a hard check on your credit score to see if you’re creditworthy. After a few months, it’ll return to normal.

Getting additional credit can actually benefit you at times since it increases your credit utilization ratio. Your ratio is the amount of credit you’re using relative to how much you have access to. That means someone who normally carries a balance of $1,000 but has access to $10,000 in credit has a credit utilization ratio of 10%.

Finally, paying your bills on time will also help with your credit score. Always pay your bills on time and in full. You can check your credit score for free with Borrowell

Final thoughts

It doesn’t matter if you travel once a year or if you can’t stay at home for too long, having one of the best travel credit cards can save you a lot of money on your trips. Look for the sign up bonuses that give you the most value and apply for different cards that allow you to accumulate the same points/miles so you can travel for less.

**Credit card providers are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up-to-date information.

The Best Travel Credit Cards in Canada 2022: Top Ranked List

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

82 Comments

  1. Jaymee on October 8, 2015 at 4:02 AM

    I vouch for the Scotiabank Infinite Visa card. I use it for everything!

    And it’s great to know about that No Foreign Exchange fee credit card! I couldn’t find one back when I was looking for one. I’m surprised Amazon offers a credit card…

    • Barry Choi on October 8, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      Jaymee,

      4% back on certain categories can make the fee tolerable, it’s definitely one of the best card.

    • John Mikkelsen on February 28, 2020 at 10:43 AM

      If you live in Alberta for instance Westjet is a prominent carrier. And with a special bonus on now of $350 westjet dollars after first spend its hard to beat. And a companion ticket once a year, free luggage checkin which quickly covers your annual fee. No blackouts, a buck is a buck, the simplicity is my highlight.

  2. pastorash1 on October 8, 2015 at 12:27 PM

    As a thought, the Capital One Aspire Travel MasterCard just took away all their annoying tiers for rewards redemption, just received an e-mail on it today. I was considering other credit cards, and still will for the future, but it makes my large rewards balance on the card much more usable for 2016 when I hope to have a nice 25th Anniversary vacation away. What used to be a great card is still a decent card, and now with the tiers gone it goes back to being a good card. Time will tell if it become a top level card again.

    • Barry Choi on October 8, 2015 at 1:19 PM

      Pastorash1,

      Good eye! The Capital One Aspire Travel MasterCard will soon be offering a 40K bonus miles when you signup instantly making it arguably the best travel card available. I’ve updated my list to include it.

  3. Our Big Fat Wallet on October 8, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    I’m a big fan of the capital one aspire travel card and how they eliminated the tiers for the rewards. I actually just redeemed some earlier this morning. It was very easy to do. I’m glad I got it when they still had an annual fee of $120 (with 10,000 bonus rewards annually, essentially making the annual fee $20)

    • Barry Choi on October 8, 2015 at 3:33 PM

      Our Big Fat Wallet,

      I missed out since I was too cheap to pay the yearly fee. I should have done the math, at $20 a year, that’s totally worth it.

  4. Jerry Hung on October 8, 2015 at 11:34 PM

    Typo – “when you spend $1,00 in the first 90 days”, should say “$1000” 🙂
    and I’d wait for the BMO World Elite First Year Free + 30K offer when it comes back

    • Barry Choi on October 9, 2015 at 12:47 AM

      Jerry,

      Thanks for the catch. FYF + 30K signup offer is pretty good. The flexibility of the BMO card is one of the best.

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  9. Dante Fabiello on July 2, 2018 at 10:49 AM

    if you travel more than one time a year then the best is Scotia AMEX Gold. For $99, it gives the best coverage for all travel (inc cancellation insurance), good cash back and much more. Just the travel insurance coverage for you and your partner will cost more than $99 per year.

    • Barry Choi on July 2, 2018 at 7:24 PM

      Dante,

      Yes, the Scotia AMEX GOld is indeed an excellent card.

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  14. […] is important for some people, but it’s not the only thing you look for when deciding on the best travel credit cards in Canada. Read my National Bank World Elite Mastercard review now to find out if this credit card is a good […]

  15. […] and they make improvements, but I’m okay not having this card in my wallet. Check out my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada or the best credit cards without foreign transaction fees for ideas […]

  16. […] signup bonus of 35,000 points is worth $250 which is a touch higher than many of the other best travel credit cards in Canada. That being said, there is an annual fee of […]

  17. […] If you think about it, the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard has cash-back features while having many travel benefits which is a huge win for cardholders. If you want a travel specific card, then take a look at my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada. […]

  18. ScotiaGold Passport VISA review - Money We Have on October 9, 2018 at 10:40 AM

    […] The earn rate of 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on all purchases is not terrible, but it’s also not great when you compare it to some of the best travel credit cards in Canada. […]

  19. […] cuts out the abuse. Even with this change, the American Express Platinum card is still one of the best travel credit cards in Canada and one of the best American Express cards in Canada. Check out my review now for my full thoughts […]

  20. October Travel Deals - Money We Have on October 24, 2018 at 8:30 PM

    […] and enhanced travel insurance. The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card was already on my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada, so these extra benefits are […]

  21. Tom on December 25, 2018 at 3:45 PM

    Hi Barry…I have both the HSBC world elite and the President’s Choice world elite MasterCard’s. Do you know if both the travel insurances are in effect or just one policy when I travel?

    • Barry Choi on December 25, 2018 at 3:51 PM

      Hi Tom,

      Both would be in effect but you can only make claims through one of your insurance providers.

      The HSBC card has much better insurance overall but note that besides travel medical, all other travel insurance only applies if you purchased your flights and hotels with your HSBC card.

  22. Janet MacDonald on January 9, 2019 at 9:59 AM

    I am curious about the Van City Visa Card where I get a dollar value returned to me when requested.
    Do you have any comments about it?

  23. How to Save Money at Disney World - Money We Have on January 20, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    […] people know that using one of the best travel credit cards in Canada can save you big, but let me show you how. Let’s say you’re a family of four: two […]

  24. Lisa on February 6, 2019 at 1:33 PM

    What are your noughts on he Avion Visa Infinite for travel rewards.? Does it rank anywhere in the top

    • Barry Choi on February 6, 2019 at 2:13 PM

      Hi Lisa,

      Avion is a decent program, but the card is nothing special and WestJet is their only transfer partner. That being said, every so often there’s a special promotion where you can get 25K bonus points when you sign up and the first year is free which is a good deal.

  25. Mike on February 14, 2019 at 10:24 AM

    Not sure why the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite is flagged with a “This card is no longer offered by the provider” message when I click on the link for it above. I still have one and the CIBC website still advertises the card at the front of their list of credit cards. I was going to share my experience with this card, in particular the CIBC Rewards program where you would redeem the Aventura points you earn with the card. Not sure where/if I should leave my comments now.

  26. Mat on March 6, 2019 at 6:06 AM

    Hey Barry, my main card is the Scotia Infinite Momentum. With my spending partners this card earns me approx $900/yr. If I were to add one travel card to the mix just to get the sign-up bonus, which would you suggest and why? I typically travel once or twice a year. Are you able to cancel a card prior to uaing the points you’ve earned. Thank you

    • Barry Choi on March 6, 2019 at 7:43 AM

      Hey Mat,

      Since your main goal is the sign up bonus, you should just pick a card that works for you. American Express cards have the most flexibility since you can transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott and then cancel your account without losing any points. I also like the Scotiabank PAssport Visa Infinite card since you get 6 lounge passes, a $300 sign up bonus, and no forex fees. However, if you cancel your card before using your points, you lose them. You could transfer those points to SCENE or as a statement credit, but the value is lower compared to using them for travel.

  27. Jenna on March 7, 2019 at 5:08 PM

    Is there any way to get the fees reduced on the Amex Platinum? $700 is a lot of money just to buy yourself some perks

    • Barry Choi on March 7, 2019 at 5:43 PM

      Jenna,

      Unfortunately not. You do get an annual travel credit of $200 so it brings the fee down to $499

  28. David on March 10, 2019 at 3:23 PM

    Interesting reading. I guess you don’t think much of RBC’s AVION cards, seeing as you have no mention of them. What is it about them that caused them not to make your list?

    • Barry Choi on March 10, 2019 at 8:12 PM

      The card has a few decent promos now and then, but right now it doesn’t which is why it’s not on the list.

  29. Harley on March 13, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    What are your thoughts on the following? Good information on here!

    RBC® Avion® Visa Infinite Privilege‡ or RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege for Private Banking

    • Barry Choi on March 13, 2019 at 2:51 PM

      Hi Harley,

      It’s okay, but I sort of prefer the Amex Personal Platinum card more. The Amex card has a higher annual fee of $699 but you also get an annual travel credit of $200 and additional travel benefits such as hotel status upgrades. Amex points also allow you to book any type of travel and you can also transfer your points.

      • Harley Good on March 13, 2019 at 3:34 PM

        Thanks!
        Do you have any feedback on the VIP security fast track lane at select Canadian Airports?

        • Barry Choi on March 13, 2019 at 3:36 PM

          It just puts you in the priority line at select airports which is definitely a nice feature. The AMex Platinum card has that benefit but only at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

  30. Sean on April 22, 2019 at 2:03 PM

    looked at a sample of return flights from Vancouver and or Bellingham to Phoenix as an example on WestJet, Allegiant and Alaska….WestJet is the most expensive at about $465 (6 hours travel time from Van) followed by Alaska at $260 USD (4 hour travel time from Bellingham) then Allegiant $140 USD (2 hour travel time from Bellingham). Reward points and fees are only part of what should be considered.

  31. BMO Rewards - Money We Have on April 22, 2019 at 2:04 PM

    […] BMO World Elite Mastercard has long been known as one of the best travel credit cards in Canada due to its generous signup bonus of 35,000 BMO Rewards points. That may seem high, but 35,000 BMO […]

  32. Maria on April 25, 2019 at 11:27 AM

    What are your thoughts on the Scotiabank Gold Amex card?

    • Barry Choi on April 25, 2019 at 11:38 AM

      Maria,

      The Scotiabank Gold AMex is a fantastic card, it just doesn’t have a generous signup bonus compared to the ones on my list here. It also lacks lounge access compared to the Scotiabank Passport credit card but it does have higher multipliers for some categories.

  33. Kyle on May 2, 2019 at 3:18 PM

    Any idea if you get the bonus sign up on the Amex platinum card if you had one in the past and then downgraded to the gold amex.

    • Barry Choi on May 2, 2019 at 4:35 PM

      Hi Kyle,

      Technically speaking, all Amex bonuses are once per lifetime. That being said, if you had the Platinum years ago, you’d likely get the signup bonus again. Of course, Amex is perfectly within their rights to deny you the bonus. Calling in advance to see if you would get the bonus would only ensure you don’t since you’d essentially be flagging yourself.

  34. Dancing D on May 15, 2019 at 9:18 AM

    What about the TD Travel First Class Card?

    • Barry Choi on May 15, 2019 at 10:25 AM

      Dancing D,

      That card currently has a great sign up bonus as a good rate of return when booking on Expedia for TD. It’s got no lounge access though.

  35. Jimmy on June 13, 2019 at 4:20 PM

    Hi Barry,
    Just from perks perspective, Amex Platinum has everything that I want the most:
    1. Trip cancellation (which usually comes with trip interruption, but not the other way around)
    2. Rewards that can be converted into different program, aeroplan/avios in this case
    3. Hotel status benefit

    But, I still can’t justified paying the annual fee, plus, in order to maximized points, I want my wife to use the same card and it will cost me another $175, which bring the total annual fee of $874. Granted, there is cheaper additional card alternative with Gold card, but, I still have to pay $50 for that, which bring total annual fee of $749. Granted, there is $200 travel credit, but, that still make me paying $674 for platinum additional card or $549 for gold card. Not to mention the fact that the $200 travel credit only useful if we travel. What if I don’t travel every year?

    Any recommendation of what credit card should I be getting which provide perks as close as Amex Platinum?

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, Amex Platinum is the only card providing hotel status benefit, correct?

    • Jimmy on June 13, 2019 at 4:34 PM

      One thing that I want to the most but missing from Amex Platinum, no foreign transaction fee.

      That said, assuming that Amex Platinum is the only card with hotel status benefit and I’m willing to not have this benefit, any card you can recommend which provide:
      1. Trip cancellation
      2. Rewards that can be converted into different programs
      3. No foreign transaction fee

      • Barry Choi on June 13, 2019 at 6:07 PM

        Jimmy,

        The Amex Platinum card has a high annual fee because it comes with all those perks, it’s really aimed at people who love to travel. Unfortunately, there’s no card that comes anywhere close to the Platinum card. RBC has WestJet and Avios as transfer partners but no lounge access. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card gives you 6 lounge passes trip cancellation, has no forex fees but it has no transfer partners. The Scotiabank card is probably the closest to what you want.

        • Jimmy on June 14, 2019 at 10:14 AM

          Hi Barry,
          What if my requirements for credit card just the following 2 benefits:
          1. Trip Cancellation
          2. Rewards that can be converted into different programs

          I would think, this is the core benefits that I really needed. What’s the best card?

  36. […] and shop at Whole Foods a lot, but compared to the best cash back credit cards in Canada and the best travel credit cards in Canada, you may be a little disappointed. Read my Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard review now for the full […]

  37. Bill on June 27, 2019 at 3:13 PM

    “To get your RSVP code, all you need to do is launch the app, you don’t actually have to be a member.”

    What app?

  38. Matt on July 6, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    Hi Barry,

    Thanks for all the insight. This is very helpful. I currently just upgraded to the TD Travel Visa but it’s looking like it may not be the best option. More importantly, I’m looking for an affordable way to withdraw cash in countries throughout both Europe and SE Asia. It looks like STACK might be the best option for that? Can you (or anyone on this board) offer any additional insights on that one? Any additional info would be great!

    -Matt

  39. […] you can lower your costs by taking advantage of the huge signup bonuses that some of the best travel credit cards in Canada offer. The welcome points you get could easily be worth $250 – $1,000 so it’s worth […]

  40. Renee Stacey on September 13, 2019 at 11:32 PM

    Hi Barry,
    What would you suggest as the best option for my daughter to take with her to Hawaii next month? From what I have read Stacks looks like it might fit best for her?
    Also, mu husband and I are taking our first trip to the US in Feb. Since we already bought cancellation insurance would it be pointless to apply for the Scotia Passport Infinite? We havent done any travelling and not sure if we will be doing any anytime soon after this trip.
    I would appreciate any advice I can get:) Thank you

    • Barry Choi on September 14, 2019 at 8:26 AM

      Renee,

      STACK is great due to low fees using it as a credit card and withdrawing funds from ATM as long as you’ve loaded funds in advance. The card had delivery issues in the past, so I would check with them to ensure you would get the card before then.

      From an insurance standpoint, the Scotiabank card would indeed be useless, but you do get 6 lounge passes and a nice sign up bonus which is worth more than the $139 fee so that’s wort considering. Scotiabank delivers their cards quite fast so you wouldn’t have any issues getting it before your daughter departs.

  41. Renée on September 14, 2019 at 12:53 PM

    Thanks Barry for responding so quickly:)

  42. Winn on November 28, 2019 at 5:06 PM

    I looked into getting the meridian cash back card with $99 annual fee. The application alarmed me tho as they are asking for every single bit of security information I possess.
    If their system was breached I would be SOL
    Any comments. Do all credit unions ask for this much security info?

  43. […] incredible to think that I was able to fly first class on Emirates because I used some of the best travel credit cards in Canada. Travel hacking takes time, but the rewards clearly […]

  44. […] system so I had to base things on a few different categories. Although some banks have some of the best travel credit cards in Canada, redeeming those points might be difficult which would lower their ranking. In my write up of each […]

  45. Brian M. on July 4, 2020 at 8:24 AM

    I have had the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard for the past few years, but they have just cut rewards from 2% on all purchases down to 1.5%. So, now I am looking for a better replacement. It seems the HSBC World Elite Mastercard may be a slightly better option.

    • Barry.Choi on July 4, 2020 at 8:38 AM

      Brian,

      The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is indeed a great card, but I believe there’s a minimum points requirement if you’re going to redeem for travel.

  46. Fergus on July 9, 2020 at 7:14 PM

    When I click on your referral link for Amex gold, I get

    Sorry, there was an error in accessing the application. Please try again using the link provided in your original offer.

    Is link working or I have to do something?

    • Fergus on July 9, 2020 at 7:31 PM

      Same with Cobalt

      • Barry.Choi on July 9, 2020 at 7:35 PM

        Fergus,

        I’m looking at this now and it seems lie Amex has removed all of their referral links for users. It’s not showing up in my account or app anymore.

      • Barry.Choi on July 9, 2020 at 7:47 PM

        Fergus,

        I found the updated links online. Gold and Cobalt links should be working now. I still need to fix the Platinum links. Thanks for flagging!

  47. Fergus on July 9, 2020 at 10:55 PM

    if you would choose between Amex Gold and Cobalt, which one would you choose ?

    • Barry.Choi on July 10, 2020 at 5:58 AM

      Fergus,

      If you spend a lot on food, the Cobalt has a better earn rate but note that your points can’t be transferred to Aeroplan.

      The Gold Rewards Card is a quick way to earn up to 30,000 points with minimal spending and you can transfer your points to Aeroplan.

  48. Annie on December 26, 2020 at 12:12 AM

    You forgot Revolut. Which is now available in Canada. It is amazing for travel. No fees.

  49. LauraH on December 19, 2021 at 11:32 AM

    Hi Barry,

    Thanks again for all this great info. I used it to do a spreadsheet comparison between my HSBC Travel Elite MC and the Scotiabank Gold Amex/Amex Cobalt. Really interesting. Based on my actual spending for 2021 and factoring in that not all the retailers I use take Amex, the higher earn rate on food and dining added enough points to cover the cost of the Amex card but that was about it. It finally dawned on me that these point levels are really designed to pay off if you are buying for two or more, in other words, these rates aren’t that effective for single users unless you’re a really big spender. Has this ever been a factor in your analysis? Just wondering:-) Stay safe and have a peaceful holiday season.

    • Barry Choi on December 19, 2021 at 12:49 PM

      Hey Laura,

      You also have a great analysis. Here are my two cents. I personally think the best credit card / points are the ones that naturally line up with your spending. So yeah, if most of the merchants where you shop accept Amex, then Amex is the way to go. I also personally value one Amex point at 2 cents each since I can transfer them to Aeroplan. That’s double the value of Scotiabank and even HSBC. SO even though Amex may not be accepted in as many places, the points are still worth more even if I’m earning less. It’s also worth noting that the Amex welcome bonuses are usually more valuable compared to others.

      • LauraH on December 19, 2021 at 12:53 PM

        Hi Barry,
        I get what you’re saying about the Aeroplan points. I like the point value I get on the HSBC card for travel expenses and for everyday expenses it’s not bad either. Think I will aim for Aeroplan points on my second, one year cards.
        Laura

        • Barry Choi on December 19, 2021 at 1:20 PM

          LauraH,

          If you’re happy with the HSBC as your main card, then stick with it. You’re definitely on the right track about using Aeroplan cards as your secondary/one year cards. Get the bonus, and then cancel at the end of the year / repeat.

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