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Published February 1, 2023

25 Best Travel Credit Cards in Canada for 2023

The best travel credit cards in Canada have strong earn rates, great bonus offers, and useful perks and benefits, like travel insurance.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Canadians took to the roads, seas and skies to embark on over 27 million trips in the first quarter of 2021 alone, according to a National Travel Survey conducted by Statistics Canada. And that figure is likely to continue increasing into 2023 as more Canadians gear up for their next adventure.

Our picks for the best travel credit cards in Canada include top cards across numerous categories to help you earn discounts, perks and rewards before your next trip.

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

Our pick for the best airline credit card in Canada, with a strong intro offer of up to 55,000 Aeroplan points. Plus, your first year has no annual fee. T&Cs apply, must apply by May 28, 2023.

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Best overall

Best travel credit cards in Canada

Best travel card for daily spending + our pick for 1:1 point transfers and fair credit

American Express Cobalt® Card

American Express Cobalt® Card
  • Annual Fee
    $155.88
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 21.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-5x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 30,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The American Express Cobalt Card boasts high rewards rates on everyday spending, a generous welcome bonus, comprehensive travel insurance coverage, flexible point redemption and plenty of specialty perks to keep things interesting all year long.

Pros
  • Earn 150,000 points in the first year by spending up to $30,000 on eats, drinks and groceries. Combined with the 30,000 point intro offer, you could earn 180,000 points in your first year, which you could redeem for travel and more.
  • Easily transfer the points you earn to popular airline and hotel loyalty programs, such as Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy.


Cons
  • Airport lounge access isn’t provided, which may disappoint some frequent travellers.
  • No travel medical coverage for cardmembers over the age of 65.
Product Details
  • In your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year. That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets.
  • Earn 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks in Canada, including groceries and food delivery.
  • Earn 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases. That’s 2X the points on purchases that get you from point A to B.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else. We won’t tell you where to spend, we’ll just reward you on your Card purchases.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.
  • Cobalt Cardmembers receive regular Perks such as bonus reward offers and access to great events.
  • Access Front Of The Line® Presale & Reserved Tickets to some of your favourite concerts and theatre performances and special offers and events curated for Cardmembers with American Express® Experiences.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information and Terms and Conditions, click the Apply now link. Conditions Apply.

Best for booking travel on Expedia

TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Card

TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $139
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    2x-8x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 145,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

With a large welcome bonus and accelerated earn rate on travel booked through ExpediaForTD.com, the TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Card is perfect for travellers aiming to score free flights and hotel visits.

Pros
  • A generous welcome bonus worth up to $1,000 in value.
  • Travel expenses eligible for redemption include more than just hotel stays and flights – baggage fees, airport parking, car rentals, cruises, travel attractions, entertainment and more are all fair game.


Cons
  • This card doesn’t have as many travel perks as others on the list, but you can quickly earn free flights and hotel stays.
  • No free airport lounge access — you only receive an annual discount on a Priority Pass lounge membership.
Product Details
  • Earn up to 145,000 TD Rewards Points† plus, first year no Annual Fee for the Primary and Additional Cardholders†. Conditions Apply. Must apply by May 28, 2023.
  • Earn 8 TD Rewards Points† for every $1 you spend when you book travel through Expedia® For TD†.
  • Earn 6 TD Rewards Points† for every $1 you spend on Groceries and Restaurants†.
  • Earn 4 TD Rewards Points† for every $1 you spend on regularly recurring bill payments set up on your Account†.
  • Earn 2 TD Rewards Points For every $1 you spend on other Purchases made using your Card† plus earn an annual Birthday Bonus† of up to 10,000 TD Rewards Points.
  • No travel blackouts†, no seat restrictions† and no expiry† for your TD Rewards Points as long as your account is open and in good standing.
  • Each year, you will receive one $100.00 TD Travel Credit on your first Eligible Travel Credit Purchase of $500.00 or more made with Expedia For TD and posted to the Account in a calendar year.
  • Interest Rates: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.
  • Go Places on Points: Your Points are worth more when you redeem through Expedia® For TD: Search over a million flights, hotels, packages and more! When you’re ready to book, you can redeem† your TD Rewards Points towards your travel purchase right away.
  • Redeem your TD Rewards Points towards making purchases at Amazon.ca with Amazon Shop with Points. Conditions apply.
  • Shop online through TDRewards.com Redeem your TD Rewards Points for great deals on a wide selection of merchandise and gift cards.
  • Option to purchase TD Auto Club Membership†: and be covered 24 hours a day for emergency roadside assistance services in case something goes wrong when you are out on the road.
  • Travel Medical Insurance†: Up to $2 million of coverage for the first 21 days. If you or your spouse is aged 65 or older, you are covered for the first 4 days of your trip. Additional top-up coverage is available.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance†: For Trip Cancellation, up to $1,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $5,000 for all insured persons, and for Trip Interruption, up to $5,000 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $25,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
  • To be eligible, $60,000 (individual) or $100,000 (household) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • †Terms and conditions apply.
  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please click the Apply Now button.

Best airline card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $139
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-1.5x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 55,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The TD Bank Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card provides access to exclusive food, golf and drink experiences, making it an excellent choice for shoppers with a taste for the finer things. The $7,500 spending target in the first year should put the introductory point offers within reach for many cardholders.

Pros
  • A low annual fee and unique perks, including 10% off car rentals at Avis and Budget.
  • Earn points twice when you provide your Aeroplan number.


Cons
  • Opportunities for earning more than 1.5x the points are rather limited.
  • Some perks, like a once-every-four-years NEXUS rebate, might not blow your hair back.
Product Details
  • Intro offer details: Earn up to 55,000 Aeroplan points†. Plus, first year no Annual Fee†. Conditions Apply. Must apply by May 28, 2023.
  • To receive the first-year annual fee rebate, you must activate your Card and make your first Purchase on the Account within the first 3 months after Account opening and you must add your Additional Cardholders by May 29, 2023.
  • Earn 1.5 points† for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card.
  • Earn 1 point† for every $1 spent on all other Purchases made with your Card.
  • Earn points twice when you pay with your Card and provide your Aeroplan number at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands and at 170+ online retailers via the Aeroplan eStore (www.aeroplan.com/estore).
  • Interest Rates: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.
  • Earn big rewards on the little things: Earn 50% more Aeroplan Points and 50% more Stars at participating Starbucks® stores. Simply link your TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card to your Starbucks® Rewards account. Conditions apply.
  • Your Aeroplan Points do not expire as long as you are a TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Cardholder in good standing.
  • Travel lightly through the airport and save on baggage fees†: Primary Cardholders, Additional Cardholders, and travel companions (up to eight) travelling on the same reservation will all enjoy their first checked bag free (up to 23kg/50lbs) when your travel originates on an Air Canada flight.
  • Complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge†: On-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Visa Infinite Concierge can help with any Cardholder request — big or small, to help you get the most out of life whenever you travel, shop and use your Card.
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection†: Receive seven exclusive benefits when you book your stay through the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection featuring over 900 of the world’s most intriguing properties.
  • Travel Medical Insurance†: Up to $2 million of coverage for the first 21 days. If you or your spouse is aged 65 or older, you are covered for the first 4 days of your trip. Additional top-up coverage is available.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance†: For Trip Cancellation coverage of up to $1,500 per insured person, with a maximum of $5,000 for all insured persons, and for Trip Interruption coverage of up to $5,000 per insured person, with a maximum of $25,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
  • To be eligible, a $60,000 annual personal income or $100,000 household annual income is required. You must also be a Canadian resident and be the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • †Terms and conditions apply.
  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please click the Apply Now button.

Best premium travel card + our pick for airport lounge access

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Annual Fee
    $699
  • Interest Rates
    Varies
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-3x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 80,000 Points
Our take
Why we like it

This precision-cut and engraved metal Platinum Card boasts a generous intro offer, strong earn rates on rewards, and an impressive array of premium benefits and perks.

Pros
  • From special reservations to insider tips, you can enhance your travel experiences with complimentary, personalized service from Platinum Concierge — available 24/7.
  • Benefit from a full suite of Platinum-level travel perks, such as worldwide airport lounge access, the Global Dining Collection, and more.


Cons
  • Unless you plan to travel a lot, it may be difficult to offset the high $699 annual fee.
  • No travel medical coverage for cardmembers over the age of 65.
Product details
  • Unlock special experiences with the Platinum Card®.
  • Earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards® points – that’s up to $800 towards a weekend away.
  • New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn 60,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $6,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • Plus, earn 20,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
  • Earn 3 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada, 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel, and 1 point for every $1 in all other Card purchases.
  • You will have access to a $200 CAD Annual Travel Credit to use towards any single travel booking of $200 or more charged to your Platinum Card and made on www.americanexpress.ca/travel or through Platinum Card® Travel Service.
  • Take full advantage of The American Express Global Lounge Collection™ which unlocks access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. This includes The Centurion® Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges, and hundreds of other domestic and international lounges designed to enhance your travel experience.
  • Enjoy flexible ways to use your points such as statement credits for any eligible purchase charged to your Card, new travel purchases booked on American Express Travel Online through the Flexible Points Travel Program, and eligible flights through the Fixed Points Travel Program.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.
  • Enjoy complimentary benefits that offer an average value of $550 USD at over 1,000 extraordinary properties worldwide when you book Fine Hotels + Resorts.
  • Platinum Cardmembers can enjoy access to special events and unique opportunities.
  • Enjoy premium benefits at the Toronto Pearson Airport such as discount on parking.
  • You will also have access to many leading hotel and car rental companies’ loyalty programs. Our partners include Marriott International, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Hotel Group Americas, Hertz and Avis.
  • Interest applies in accordance with your Cardmember Agreement, Information Box, and Disclosure statement if the total New Balance is not paid by the Payment Due Date each month. All payments must be received by the Payment Due Date shown on the monthly statement.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Best for rewards on travel bookings

American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card

American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card
  • Annual Fee
    $599
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 21.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1.25x-3x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 85,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Comprehensive travel insurance, Air Canada benefits, impressive earn rates and unlimited rewards make the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card a strong choice for frequent travellers.

Pros
  • Strong earn rates with unlimited rewards.
  • Air Canada airport benefits, like Maple Leaf Lounge access, a free checked bag, Priority Airport Check-In, Priority Boarding for you and up to eight travel companions.


Cons
  • A high $599 annual fee.
  • The highest earn rate only applies to Air Canada travel purchases, so this card might not be a good fit if you prefer another airline.
Product Details
  • New American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Cardmembers can earn up to 85,000 Aeroplan points:
  • Earn 55,000 Aeroplan points after spending $6,000 in net purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Cardmembership.
  • Plus, you can also earn 5,000 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $1,000 in purchases on your Card for the first 6 months of Cardmembership. That could add up to 30,000 Aeroplan points.
  • New Cardmembers: Earn up to $2,700 in value within your first year. Spend applies to bonus point offers valued at up to $1,700.
  • New Cardmembers: Receive up to $100 CAD in statement credits every four years when a NEXUS application or renewal fee is charged to your American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.
  • Standard Earn Rate: Earn 3X the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada®* and Air Canada Vacations®*.
  • Standard Earn Rate: Earn 2X the points on eligible Dining and Food Delivery purchases in Canada.
  • Earn 2X the points on eligible purchases with Rocky Mountaineer®**. Plus, you could receive a Complimentary Hotel Room Category Upgrade, on the first and last night, and a Complimentary Upgrade from SilverLeaf to GoldLeaf class of service when you book directly with Rocky Mountaineer using your Aeroplan Reserve Card.
  • Standard Earn Rate: Earn 1.25X the points on everything else.
  • Get through the airport quicker with Air Canada Priority Check-In, Air Canada Priority Boarding and Air Canada Priority Baggage Handling.
  • Receive one Annual Worldwide Companion Pass when you spend $25,000 in net purchases prior to your Card anniversary date; your Pass entitles you to buy an accompanying Air Canada economy class ticket for a companion at a fixed base fare from $99 to a maximum of $599 CAD (plus taxes, fees, charges, and surcharges).
  • Enjoy access to select Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges™* and Air Canada Café™ in North America for you and a guest, with a same day ticket on a departing Air Canada or Star Alliance flight.
  • Enjoy your eligible first checked bag free for up to 9 people travelling on the same reservation on Air Canada flights.
  • Roll over any unallocated Aeroplan Elite™* Status Qualifying Miles and unused eUpgrade Credits to the following year to enjoy during your travels.
  • American Express® Experiences opens doors for you to access a number of special events, including special dining experiences, VIP parties, advance film screenings and more.
  • Get more from your travel experience at Toronto Pearson International Airport with:
  • Access to Pearson Priority Security Lane.
  • Complimentary valet service at the Express Park and Daily Park.
  • 15% discount on parking rates at the Express Park and Daily Park.
  • 15% discount on Car Care Services.
  • Get access to more than 1,200 Priority Pass™ airport lounges and enjoy an oasis of comfort before your flight, regardless of your airline or cabin class.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Our pick for Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge access

TD® Aeroplan® Visa* Infinite Privilege* Card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa* Infinite Privilege* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $599
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1.25x-2x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 115,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa* Infinite Privilege* Card comes with strong travel insurance and perks, plus healthy earn rates on everyday purchases.

Pros
  • Complimentary Visa Airport Companion membership with six airport lounge visits included each year.
  • Tons of airport perks, including priority check-ins, boarding, baggage handling, airport upgrades, and airport standby.


Cons
  • Substantial annual fee.
Product Details
  • Intro offer: Earn up to 115,000 Aeroplan points†. Conditions Apply. Must apply online by May 28, 2023.
  • Earn a welcome bonus of 20,000 Aeroplan points when you make. your first purchase with your new card†.
  • Earn an additional 60,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 within 180 days of Account opening†.
  • Plus, earn an anniversary bonus of 35,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $12,000 within 12 months of Account opening†.
  • Earn 2 points† for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®).
  • Earn 1.5 points† for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery, travel and dining purchases.
  • Earn 1.25 points† for every $1 spent on all other purchases made with your Card.
  • Earn points twice when you pay with your Card and provide your Aeroplan number at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands and at 170+ online retailers via the Aeroplan eStore.
  • Global Airport Lounge Access†: Receive a complimentary membership to the Visa Airport Companion† Program hosted by Dragonpass International Ltd. and take advantage of six lounge visits included for each Cardholder per membership year at over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide. Enroll through the Visa Airport Companion App or through visaairportcompanion.ca
  • Complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge† : On-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Visa Infinite Concierge can help with any Cardholder request — big or small, to help you get the most out of life whenever you travel, shop and use your Card.
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection†: Receive seven exclusive benefits when you book your stay through the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection featuring over 900 of the world’s most intriguing properties. Enjoy an additional 8th benefit at over 200 properties, exclusively for Visa Infinite Privilege cardholders.
  • Travel Medical Insurance†: Up to $5 million of coverage for the first 31 days. If you or your spouse is aged 65 or older, you are covered for the first 4 days of your trip. Additional top-up coverage is available.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance†: For Trip Cancellation coverage of up to $2,500 per insured person, with a maximum of $5,000 for all insured persons, and for Trip Interruption coverage of up to $5,000 per insured person, with a maximum of $25,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
  • Flight/Trip Delay Insurance†: Up to $1,000 in coverage per insured person if your flight/trip is delayed for over 4 hours.
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance†: For delayed baggage over 4 hours, up to $1,000 of coverage per insured person for the purchase of essentials, such as clothing and toiletries. For lost baggage, up to $2,500 of coverage per insured person.
  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance†: Up to $500,000 of coverage for covered losses while travelling on a common carrier (for example, a bus, ferry, plane, train or auto rental).
  • Save time at the border with NEXUS: Enroll for a NEXUS and once every 48 months get an application fee rebate (up to $100 CAD)†. Additional Cardholders can also take advantage of this NEXUS rebate.
  • To be eligible, $150,000 annual personal income or $200,000 household annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • †Terms and conditions apply.
  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please click the Apply Now button.

Best AIR MILES card

BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*

BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*
  • Annual Fee
    $120
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 23.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    0.08x-0.25x Miles
  • Intro Offer
    2,000 Miles
Our Take
Why we like it

With airport perks, travel benefits, 24/7 concierge access, and an impressive standard earn rate — 1 AIR MILE for every $12 spent — the BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®* offers frequent flyers a luxury travel experience at a great value.

Pros
  • Airport lounge access with a complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey.
  • Strong insurance policy, including up to $2 million in out-of-province/out-of-country emergency medical insurance.


Cons
  • This card doesn’t offer accelerated earn rates on certain spending categories.
Product Details
  • Welcome offer: Get 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles and we’ll waive the $120 annual fee for the first year.*
  • Get 3x the Miles for every $12 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners and 2x the Miles for every $12 spent at any eligible grocery store*.
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $12 in credit card purchases, everywhere you spend.*
  • Get valuable benefits and offers for digital everyday services from a variety of on-demand apps and subscription services.
  • Use your card at Costco.*
  • Extended Warranty.
  • Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges.*
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass.*
  • Use less Miles with our exclusive 25% discount on one worldwide AIR MILES flight redemption during the calendar year.*
  • BMO AIR MILES World Elite Travel and Medical Protection.*
  • BMO Concierge Service.*
  • Unlock Mastercard Travel Rewards cashback offers when you travel and shop outside of Canada.
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

Best low interest travel card

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
  • Annual Fee
    $25
    Annual fee rebate for the first year*
  • Interest Rates
    11.90%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-2x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 35,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

This low-interest and low-annual fee rewards card offers bonus points on dining and entertainment purchases, as well as several types of insurance.

Pros
  • At 11.9%, you’ll benefit from a lower interest rate on purchases and cash advances than many other rewards cards.
  • Redeem points for travel, as gift cards or as financial rewards.


Cons
  • Despite the low interest rate, there’s no balance transfer promotional period.
  • Travel and medical insurance coverage costs an additional $69 per year.
Product Details
  • Get up to $200 in total value* for the first year! Must apply by February 28, 2023. Conditions apply.
  • Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
  • HSBC’s lowest interest rate for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
  • Price Protection Service – find a lower price within 60 days of your purchase, the difference will be refunded, up to $500 per eligible item.
  • Primary Cardholder Annual Fee: $25.
  • Annual Interest on Purchases: 11.9%.
  • Authorized User Annual Fee: $10 Per Card.
  • *Terms and Conditions apply.
  • ®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.

Our pick for airport lounge access through Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass

BMO Ascend™ World Elite® Mastercard®

BMO Ascend™ World Elite® Mastercard®
  • Annual Fee
    $150
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 23.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    2x-5x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 60,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* comes with a high base rate on rewards, a healthy return on travel spending, premium travel perks and an extensive travel insurance package.

Pros
  • Free membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, plus four free passes a year.
  • Earn 2x bonus points and save up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations.


Cons
  • You can’t transfer your BMO Reward points to frequent flyer or loyalty programs, but you can earn frequent flyer miles on your flight.
  • No travel medical coverage for cardmembers over the age of 65.
Product Details
  • Welcome offer: Get up to 60,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.*
  • 5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.*
  • Now get the highest rewards points for travel of any premium flexible travel card in Canada!†
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes.
  • Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges.*
  • Get valuable benefits and offers for digital everyday services from a variety of on-demand apps and subscription services.
  • Points you can use to cover all flight charges & taxes.*
  • Fly on any airline, with no blackout dates.*
  • Best-in-class travel and medical insurance (unlimited trips per year).*
  • BMO Concierge Service.*
  • Unlock Mastercard Travel Rewards cashback offers when you travel and shop outside of Canada.
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • †Statement based on a comparison of the redeemable value of the non-promotional travel rewards points earned on premium flexible Canadian credit cards as of May 3, 2022. “Flexible” is defined as points earned when you purchase travel anywhere and “premium” refers to cards with an annual fee of ≤ $150 or has an income requirement of ≤ $150,000 annual individual income.
  • BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

Best travel card for students

RBC ION+ Visa Credit Card

RBC ION+ Visa Credit Card
  • Annual Fee
    $48
  • Interest Rates
    19.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-3x Points
  • Intro Offer
    12,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

One of RBC’s newest offerings, the RBC ION+ Visa is a solid, low-fee rewards card with generous earning rates on daily spending.

Pros
  • Earn unlimited 3x on a variety of common spending categories, like groceries, gas, food delivery, and even digital gaming.
  • Get a monthly fee rebate every month when you have an RBC Signature No Limit Banking or RBC Advantage Banking for students account.


Cons
  • Limited insurance offerings, but mobile device insurance is included.
Product Details
  • Enjoy 12,000 Avion points upon approval. Apply by April 3, 2023.^
  • Earn 3X Avion points for every $1 spent¹ on:
  • Grocery, Dining & Food Delivery – Satisfy your taste buds by earning points on groceries, dining out, food delivery.ⁱ
  • Rides, Gas & EV Charging – Enjoy earning points on gas, rideshare, daily public transit, electric vehicle charging.ⁱⁱ
  • Streaming, Digital Gaming & Subscriptions– Stay entertained while earning points on streaming, gaming, eligible digital subscriptions, eligible digital downloads, and in-game purchases.ⁱⁱⁱ
  • Earn 1 Avion point for every $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases.¹
  • Annual Fee $48² ($4 charged monthly).
  • Pay With Points – Redeem your Avion points to pay bills, your credit card balance or even send money to friends with Interac e-Transfer⁴. Minimum redemption is only $10, so you can use your points where you need them most.
  • Save at Petro-Canada – Save 3¢/L on fuel and earn 20% more points when you pay with a linked RBC card.⁶
  • Earn more Be Well points at Rexall – Earn 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at Rexall when you pay with your linked RBC card and scan your Be Well card.⁷
  • Save Big on Delivery with DoorDash – Get a 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription – a value of almost $308. Enjoy unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees on qualifying orders of $15 or more when you pay with your eligible RBC credit card⁹. See how to save with DoorDash.
  • Enjoy a Monthly Fee Rebate – Get a $4 rebate¹⁰ each month ($48/year) on the monthly fee of your credit card when you have an RBC Signature No Limit Banking or RBC Advantage Banking for students account.
  • Mobile Device Insurance⁵ Included – Get 2 years of coverage up to $1,000 in the event your mobile device such as your cell phone is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged or experiences mechanical failure when you purchase your mobile device with this credit card.
  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance⁵ – Automatically protects eligible card purchases against loss, theft or damage within 90 days of purchase, and doubles the manufacturer’s original Canadian warranty by up to one additional year, to a maximum of five years.
  • Corresponding legal references and product terms are available on the RBC website, which will be available and agreed upon in the customer onboarding process.

Best no foreign transaction fee card + our pick for Scene+ pooints

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card
  • Annual Fee
    $120
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-6x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 45,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Not only does the Scotiabank Gold American Express card reward you with impressive rates in six popular spending categories, but it also comes with no foreign exchange fees.

Pros
  • No foreign exchange fee on any foreign currency purchases while travelling abroad or shopping online — you just have to pay the exchange rate.


Cons
  • The bonus rewards rates drop down to the 1x flat rate after a $50,000 annual spend. This sounds like a lot, but much of your daily spending is probably included in the six bonus categories, so you might hit the limit faster than you’d think.
  • Your points will expire if you don’t use them within 12 months of the purchase date.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $850* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived¹ . Offer ends April 30, 2023.
  • You will not pay 2.5% foreign transaction fees on any foreign currency purchases, including online shopping and when travelling abroad. Only the exchange rate applies.
  • Earn 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments. Includes popular food delivery and food subscriptions.
  • Earn 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible entertainment purchases. Includes movies, theatre, and ticket agencies.
  • Earn 3X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible gas and daily transit. Includes rideshare, buses, taxis, subway, and more.
  • Earn 1X Scene+ point for every $1 spent on every other purchase.
  • You’ll earn 6X Scene+ points for each $1 CAD charged to your account on all eligible purchases¹ at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.
  • You must redeem a minimum of 5,000 points per travel-related rewards redemption, equivalent to $50 in travel savings. Points must be redeemed within 12 months of the purchase date.
  • Discounted Priority Pass™ membership, which grants you access to over 1200 VIP lounges around the world.
  • Score deals on shopping, dining, travel and more with Amex Offers®, and experience special events and discounts with American Express Invites®.
  • Access to Amex Front Of The Line® presale and reserved tickets.
  • To be eligible, $12,000 (individual) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.

Best for cash back on travel

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rates
    19.95%
  • Rewards Rate
    0.5%-15%
  • Intro Offer
    Up to $150
Our Take
Why we like it

You can earn unlimited cash back at a 2% rate in up to three categories of your choice — all while earning 0.50% back on everything else.

Pros
  • You can tailor the 2% rewards to your spending by choosing up to three categories from Tangerine’s list of 10, which includes basics like gas and groceries as well as unusual picks like furniture and home improvement.
  • Transfer balances within your first 30 days and pay only 1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first six months (19.95% after that).


Cons
  • 2% cash back is a competitive rate, but many cards offer double the rewards on specific categories.
  • Tangerine is a virtual bank with no physical bank branches.
Product Details
  • 2% on two categories of your choice: grocery, furniture, restaurants, hotel-motel, gas, recurring bill payments, drug store, home improvement, entertainment, or public transportation and parking.
  • Get a third cash-back category by choosing to have your rewards deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account.
  • 0.50% on everything else.
  • Redeem cash back monthly as a statement credit or deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account.
  • No annual fee.
  • Transfer balances within your first 30 days and pay only 1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first six months (19.95% after that). 1% balance transfer fee applies to the amount transferred.
  • Get free cards for any authorized users on your account.
  • It only includes purchase assurance and extended protection insurance. For more insurance, consider the Tangerine World Mastercard which requires a minimum personal income of $60,000. If you meet this requirement, you will automatically be considered for the World card if you apply for the Money-Back card.
  • Preferred rates: 19.95% for purchases and cash advances.
  • To be eligible, a $12,000 (individual) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Best hotel card

Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card

Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $120
  • Interest Rates
    19.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    2x-5x Points
  • Intro Offer
    50,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card helps travellers earn free stays and experiences at some of the world’s ritziest hotels, restaurants and spas, while also providing helpful insurance options and flexibility in how Marriott Bonvoy® points can be used.

Pros
  • Solid earn rates should help members of the Marriott Bonvoy® program score free hotel stays.
  • Marriott Bonvoy® points can be transferred to frequent flyer miles with some airlines, including Air Canada’s Aeroplan.
  • Access to American Express® Experiences and several varieties of insurance.


Cons
  • You’ll need to be a Marriott Bonvoy® member to take advantage of the card’s most valuable benefits.
  • American Express isn’t always as widely accepted as some other credit cards, so using the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* — and collecting points — everywhere you go might not always be possible.
Product Details
  • New Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Cardmembers earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points after you charge $1,500 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership. Subject to change at any time
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent in eligible Card purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent in all other Card purchases.
  • Receive an Annual Free Night Award for up to 35,000 points at eligible hotels and resorts worldwide every year after your first anniversary.
  • No annual fee on Additional Cards.
  • Redeem points for free nights with no blackout dates at over 7,000 of the world’s most desired hotels.
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status membership.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card. These can be used towards attaining the next level of Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • Enjoy an automatic upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status when you reach $30,000 in purchases on the Card each year or when you combine 10 qualifying paid nights within one calendar year with the 15 Elite Night Credits from your card.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Best WestJet card

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
  • Annual Fee
    $119
  • Interest Rates
    19.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1.5%-2%
  • Intro Offer
    Up to $450
Our Take
Why we like it

The WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard provides frequent WestJet flyers with free checked bags, Status Lift benefits, an annual companion voucher, and the ability to earn rewards on travel and everyday purchases.

Pros
  • Enjoy an annual World Elite round-trip companion voucher that can be used anywhere WestJet flies.
  • Free checked bags for the cardholder and up to eight guests when flying WestJet.
  • Status Lift benefits make it easier to get closer to tier status with WestJet.


Cons
  • No free airport lounge access, but cardholders will receive a complimentary membership to DragonPass Airport Lounges Program and can access select lounges for US$32 per person, per visit.
  • Partner airlines are limited to Delta, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Qantas Airways.
Product Details
  • Intro offer: Get up to 450 welcome WestJet dollars¹ (a value of up to $450 CAD) when you spend a minimum of $5,000 in the first 3 months on your card¹.
  • Buy One, Bring One! Get an annual round-trip companion voucher starting from $119 CAD³ (plus taxes, fees and charges) with the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard.
  • Reach higher with WestJet Rewards Status Lift. Now everyday purchases on the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard can bring you closer to achieving status with WestJet5.
  • First free checked bags for the primary cardholder on WestJet flights4 and up to 8 guests on the same reservation.
  • Earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars for everyday purchases you make on your card⁸.
  • Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages using your card⁸.
  • Redeem your WestJet dollars toward all or part of a WestJet flight or WestJet Vacations packages⁹ — no blackout periods and your WestJet dollars don’t expire¹⁰ — to destinations across North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe.
  • Travel coverage including emergency medical insurance²⁰ as well as trip interruption insurance²¹, hotel burglary¹⁸ and rental car insurance¹⁸. Even eligible purchases you make on the card are protected.
  • Link your RBC card with a Petro-Points membership to and instantly save 3₵ per litre on fuel¹² and always earn 20% more Petro-Points¹³ at Petro-Canada.
  • Free Boingo Wifi for Mastercard holders¹¹ at over 1 million hot spots.
  • Get $0 delivery fees for 12 months from DoorDash^. Add your eligible RBC credit card to your DoorDash account to: Get a 12-month complimentary DashPass subscription± – a value of almost $120. Enjoy unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees on orders of $15 or more when you pay with your eligible RBC credit card.
  • Eligibility: This card requires a minimum personal income of $80,000 or a minimum household income of $150,000. Must also be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory of residence.
  • Corresponding legal references and product terms are available on the RBC website, which will be available and agreed upon in the customer onboarding process.

Our pick for Priority Pass™ and Plaza Premium airport lounge access

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card
  • Annual Fee
    $399
  • Interest Rates
    9.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    2x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 60,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

With low rates and a generous rewards program, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card is a unicorn for frequent travellers seeking luxury perks, premier travel benefits and exceptional interest rates on purchases and cash advances.

Pros
  • Low interest rates, no foreign transaction fees, and an impressive insurance package that includes comprehensive travel insurance coverage and newly-added mobile device insurance.
  • Luxury travel privileges include 10 free VIP airport lounge visits per year with a complimentary Priority Pass membership.


Cons
  • The $399 annual fee is quite a bit higher than other rewards cards, but frequent travellers seeking a low rate on purchases and cash advances can easily make the yearly cost worthwhile.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $2,100* in value in your first 14 months, including up to 60,000* bonus Scene+ points. Offer ends April 30, 2023.
  • You will not pay 2.5% foreign transaction fees on any foreign currency purchases, including online shopping and when travelling abroad. Only the exchange rate applies.
  • Earn 2X Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD you spend on all your eligible purchases.
  • Scene+ points can be redeemed for travel purchase, merchandise and other non-travel rewards such as gift cards and prepaid cards.
  • You must redeem a minimum of 5,000 points per travel-related rewards redemption, equivalent to $50 in travel savings. Points must be redeemed within 12 months of the purchase date.
  • $399 annual fee.
  • Redeem points for any flight, any time through Scene+ Travel, a full-service travel agency. Plus, take advantage of a best price guarantee on airfare.
  • Get a Hertz #1 Club Gold membership for special privileges and rental car benefits at over 8,500 locations in 147 countries.
  • Enjoy culinary events and experiences, entertainment, luxury fashion, tours, and more through American Express benefits, including American Express Invites, Platinum VIP offers and access to 24/7 premium concierge services for restaurant reservations, show tickets, and gift purchases.
  • Lounge access at over 600 VIP airport lounges around the world with a complimentary Priority Pass membership, which includes 10 free visits per year.
  • 12 types of insurance provided, including 31-day travel medical benefits — up to $2 million in coverage — for you, your spouse and any dependent children under the age of 65. 10-day coverage available for those over the age of 65.
  • Preferred rates: 9.99% for purchases, 9.99% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.

Best British Airways card

RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite‡

RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite‡
  • Annual Fee
    $165
  • Interest Rates
    20.50% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-2x Miles
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 60,000 Miles
Our Take
Why we like it

As Canada’s only co-branded British Airways card, the RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite‡ is a smart choice for frequent flyers of the airline.

Pros
  • Receive a Companion Award eVoucher by spending $30,000 or more in any calendar year.
  • There’s no spending cap on accelerated reward rates.


Cons
  • Avios doesn’t transfer to other loyalty programs, so this card is only useful to travellers loyal to British Airways.
  • Airport lounge access is not included.
Product Details
  • Intro offer: Get Up to 60,000 Aviosˆ: Receive 15,000 Avios as welcome bonus upon approval. 35,000 bonus Avios when you spend $6,000 CAD in the first 3 months. Another 10,000 bonus Avios after your first yearˆ.
  • Collect 1 Avios for every $1 CAD spent on qualifying net purchases*.
  • Collect double Avios when you shop with British Airways and BA Holidays*
  • Earn a Companion Award eVoucher when you spend $30,000 CAD annually˜.
  • 10% off British Airways flights when you book and pay with your card∞.
  • Redeem for flights and more – you can spend your Avios on all of the travel things you love, including cabin upgrades with British Airways or reward flights with British Airways and any of the oneworld partner airlines to almost 1,000 destinations worldwide**.
  • Comprehensive Insurances including 31–day out of country/province emergency medical insurance¹, flight delay insurance², hotel burglary³ and rental car⁴ insurance. Even eligible purchases you make with the card are protected³.
  • Luxury Visa Infinite benefits⁵ such as first in line service for exclusive events and hotel and dining exclusives via www.visainfinite.ca.
  • Complimentary 24/7 Concierge Service⁵.
  • Link your RBC card with a Petro-Points membership to instantly save 3₵ per litre on fuel at Petro-Canada stations and earn 20% more Petro-Points and 20% more RBC rewards points.
  • Get $0 delivery fees for 12 months from DoorDash.
  • Link your RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card with a Rexall Be Well account and get 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible products at Rexall. Redeem Be Well points faster for savings in store on eligible purchases where 25,000 Be Well points = $10
  • Eligibility: This card requires a minimum personal income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000. Must also be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory of residence.
  • Corresponding legal references and product terms are available on the RBC website, which will be available and agreed upon in the customer onboarding process.

Best Cathay Pacific card

RBC® Cathay Pacific Visa‡ Platinum

RBC® Cathay Pacific Visa‡ Platinum
  • Annual Fee
    $120
  • Interest Rates
    20.50% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-2.5x Miles
  • Intro Offer
    15,000 Miles
Our Take
Why we like it

As Canada’s only co-branded British Airways card, the RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite‡ is a smart choice for frequent flyers of the airline.

Pros
  • Receive a Companion Award eVoucher by spending $30,000 or more in any calendar year.
  • There’s no spending cap on accelerated reward rates.


Cons
  • Avios doesn’t transfer to other loyalty programs, so this card is only useful to travellers loyal to British Airways.
  • Airport lounge access is not included.
Product Details
  • Intro offer: Get Up to 60,000 Aviosˆ: Receive 15,000 Avios as welcome bonus upon approval. 35,000 bonus Avios when you spend $6,000 CAD in the first 3 months. Another 10,000 bonus Avios after your first yearˆ.
  • Collect 1 Avios for every $1 CAD spent on qualifying net purchases*.
  • Collect double Avios when you shop with British Airways and BA Holidays*
  • Earn a Companion Award eVoucher when you spend $30,000 CAD annually˜.
  • 10% off British Airways flights when you book and pay with your card∞.
  • Redeem for flights and more – you can spend your Avios on all of the travel things you love, including cabin upgrades with British Airways or reward flights with British Airways and any of the oneworld partner airlines to almost 1,000 destinations worldwide**.
  • Comprehensive Insurances including 31–day out of country/province emergency medical insurance¹, flight delay insurance², hotel burglary³ and rental car⁴ insurance. Even eligible purchases you make with the card are protected³.
  • Luxury Visa Infinite benefits⁵ such as first in line service for exclusive events and hotel and dining exclusives via www.visainfinite.ca.
  • Complimentary 24/7 Concierge Service⁵.
  • Link your RBC card with a Petro-Points membership to instantly save 3₵ per litre on fuel at Petro-Canada stations and earn 20% more Petro-Points and 20% more RBC rewards points.
  • Get $0 delivery fees for 12 months from DoorDash.
  • Link your RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card with a Rexall Be Well account and get 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible products at Rexall. Redeem Be Well points faster for savings in store on eligible purchases where 25,000 Be Well points = $10
  • Eligibility: This card requires a minimum personal income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000. Must also be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory of residence.
  • Corresponding legal references and product terms are available on the RBC website, which will be available and agreed upon in the customer onboarding process.

Best prepaid travel card

KOHO Travel Mastercard®

KOHO Travel Mastercard®
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Rewards Rate
    0.5%-6%
  • Min. Deposit
    $0
  • Maximum Deposit
    $200,000
  • Intro Offer
    N/A
Our Take
Why we like it

This prepaid card is a practical fit for those seeking a no-frills prepaid card that earns cold, hard cash back rewards — no credit check required. Earn up to 6% cash back on eligible purchases through KOHO’s brand partners, including Altitude Sports, Baskin Robins, Indigo, Reebok and more.

Pros
  • Straightforward cash back rewards.
  • 24/7 KOHO customer support.


Cons
  • Not a traditional credit card, so you can’t borrow money — you can only use funds already in your account.
Product Details
  • Earn up to 2% cash back, with KOHO Premium on dining and eating out — even when travelling abroad.
  • Earn even more cash back with KOHO’s brand partners, including 4% with Altitude Sports, 5% with Contiki and 6% with Booking.com.
  • No annual fee.
  • 1.5% foreign transaction fee (or no foreign transaction fees with KOHO Premium).
  • Mastercard’s Zero Liability Policy.
  • A 24/7 support team at your fingertips.
  • Low to zero FX fees.
  • Use the KOHO app to earn interest on your savings.
  • Start building your credit history with KOHO Credit Building for $10 per month.
  • To be eligible, you must be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Best business travel card

TD Business Travel Visa* Card

TD Business Travel Visa* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $149
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    19.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    2x-9x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 150,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

With its huge welcome offer, high earn rates on travel and foreign currency, and hearty selection of perks and benefits, the TD Business Travel Card is a strong option for businesses of any size.

Pros
  • Large intro offer that many established businesses will be able to earn.
  • Wide range of travel perks, including a broad selection of insurance, rewards on foreign currency and travel booking, and more.
  • Very strong earn rates in certain purchase categories.


Cons
  • Smaller businesses may not spend enough to score the full welcome bonus of 150,000 TD Rewards points.
  • Lack of flexibility with travel booking, which must be done through ExpediaForTD.com to earn rewards.
Product Details
  • Intro offer: 150,000 TD Rewards points. Earn 30,000 points when the first purchase is made. Earn 60,000 points by spending $2,500 or more during the first three months of account opening. Earn 60,000 points (5,000 per month) by spending $5,000 each of the first 12 months of account opening. Plus, an annual fee rebate for the first year for the primary cardholder and 2 additional cardholders. Offer expires May 28, 2023.
  • Earn 9 TD Rewards Points when you book travel online through ExpediaForTD.com using your Card.
  • Earn 6 points for every dollar spent on foreign currency purchases, restaurant purchases and regularly recurring bill payments up to a maximum annual spend of $80,000. Earn rate becomes 2 TD Rewards Points per dollar spent after that.
  • Earn 2 TD Rewards Points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Points can be redeemed for flights, hotels, retail business merchandise, gift cards, while making business purchases at Amazon.ca with Amazon Shop, and more. They can also be used to pay down the card’s balance.
  • No travel blackouts, no seat restrictions and no expiry for TD Rewards Points.
  • Annual fee: $149 — rebated in the first year.
  • Annual fee on additional cards: $49 — rebated for up to three cards in the first year.
  • Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances.
  • Access online reporting, review business expenses, managing existing credit limits and apply spend controls through the TD Card Management Tool.
  • Visa SavingsEdge program: save up to 25% on eligible business purchases.
  • Travel benefits: travel medical insurance (up to $2 million in coverage for the first 15 days for those under 65; coverage lasts for 4 days for those 65 and older); common carrier travel accident insurance (up to $500,000 for covered losses), trip cancellation insurance (up to $1,500 per insured person; maximum of $5,000), trip interruption insurance (up to $5,000 per insured person; maximum of $25,000), flight/trip delay insurance (up to $500 if a flight or trip is delayed for longer than 4 hours), delayed and lost baggage insurance (up to $1,000 of overall coverage per insured person), auto rental collision/loss damage insurance (covers the full cost of a car rental).
  • Toll-free emergency travel assistance services.
  • Save a minimum of 10% on the lowest available base rates in Canada and the U.S., and a minimum of 5% on the lowest base rates internationally on qualifying car rentals at participating Avis and Budget locations.
  • Visa Zero Liability protection, Verified by Visa and instant alerts to prevent fraudulent card use.
  • Access to $5,000 emergency cash advances.
  • Linked cards can earn 50% more TD Rewards Points and 50% more Stars at participating Starbucks stores.
  • Minimum credit limit of $1,000.

Best Aeroplan card

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card
  • Annual Fee
    $139
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-1.5x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 45,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

While it’s a little light on exclusive perks, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite card offers an interesting collection of benefits that should be more than enough to keep many users satisfied.

Pros
  • An admirable amount of insurance coverage considering the card’s relatively low annual fee.
  • Families can combine their Aeroplan points.


Cons
  • Few opportunities to earn double points on purchases, even during the introductory period.
  • Beyond the free first checked bag allowance and access to Visa Infinite’s lineup of food, beverage and luxury hotel offers, juicier travel perks are in short supply.
Product Details
  • Intro offer details: Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase. Spend $1,000 or more during your first four monthly statement periods and earn another 35,000 points. Offer applies to new cardmembers only.
  • 1.5x Aeroplan points for every dollar spent on gas, groceries and direct Air Canada purchases, including Air Canada Vacations, up to a maximum annual spend of $80,000.
  • 1x Aeroplan point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases.
  • Earn points twice by providing your Aeroplan number at over 150 Aeroplan partners and more than 170 online retailers through the Aeroplan eStore.
  • Points can be redeemed for flights, car rentals and hotel bookings, as well as merchandise and gift cards available in the Aeroplan eStore.
  • $139 annual fee, which can be reduced each year if you have a CIBC Smart Plus account.
  • Access to Visa Infinite offers, including exclusive benefits at luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants and wineries in British Columbia, Ontario and Sonoma Valley.
  • Car rental discounts of up to 25% at participating Avis and Budget locations worldwide.
  • The Aeroplan Family Sharing plan allows Aeroplan members in the same household to combine their points and speed up the delivery of their next flight reward.
  • Primary cardholders hoping to reach Aeroplan Elite Status can receive 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 1 Status Qualifying Segment for every $10,000 in eligible purchases.
  • Access to CIBC Pace It, an installment plan designed to help you pay off large or unexpected purchases over time at a lower interest rate.
  • 13 types of insurance provided, including 15-day travel medical benefits (three days if you’re 65 or older on your departure date) — worth up to $5 million in coverage per insured person.
  • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, $60,000 (individual) or $100,000 (household) annual income is required. You must also be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live who has not declared bankruptcy in the last seven years.

Best no-fee travel card

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    0.67x-1x Points
  • Intro Offer
    10,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Most cards make you choose between low fees or valuable travel rewards, but the CIBC Aeroplan Visa offers both.

Pros
  • An attractive intro offer that could be enough for a one-way economy class flight in North America.
  • Your Aeroplan membership will help you earn points twice as fast at Aeroplan partners and retailers in the Aeroplan eStore when you pay with your Aeroplan credit card.


Cons
  • To get the best value, you’ll have to be loyal to Air Canada and the Aeroplan rewards program.
  • Earn rate on included categories is lower than some other no-fee cards.
Product Details
  • 1x Aeroplan points per dollar on gas, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases, up to $40,000 annual spend.
  • 1x Aeroplan points per $1.50 spent on all other purchases, including gas, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases that exceed the $40,000 threshold.
  • Earn points twice at over 150 Aeroplan partners and 170+ online retailers through the Aeroplan eStore.
  • Aeroplan Points never expire and can be redeemed for a variety of travel, merchandise, gift card, and other rewards offered by Aeroplan’s participating partners and suppliers.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • Primary Aeroplan credit cardholders may get access to preferred pricing, which means you can book flight rewards for even fewer points.
  • Get three free months of Uber Pass for discounts on rides, meals and more.
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan point for every $6 spent on CIBC Global Money Transfer, with no transaction fees or interest as long as you pay your balance on time.
  • Use the CIBC Pace It feature to make installment payments on large purchases.
  • Four types of insurance are provided: car rental collision and loss damage insurance, purchase security and extended protection insurance, and common carrier travel accident insurance.
  • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, $15,000 (household) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Best for USD purchases

CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura® Gold Visa* Card

CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura® Gold Visa* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $35 USD
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    20.99 / 22.99
  • Rewards Rate
    0.5x-1x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 10,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Skip foreign currency conversion fees on USD purchases and earn flexbile rewards when shopping U.S. retailers in-store or online.

Pros
  • Make payments in USD with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Flexible rewards redemption options.
  • Car rental, purchase security and common carrier accident insurance included.


Cons
  • Foreign currency conversion fees still apply to purchases made in other international countries, so this card only benefits Canadians who frequently make USD purchases.
Product Details
  • Welcome offer: Get up to 10,000 Aventura Points (up to $100 in travel value). Get 500 Aventura Points for completing each of the following activities within 60 days of CIBC Aventura® Visa* card account approval: share your email address with CIBC, sign up for Aventura Visa card eStatements, add an authorized user on the Aventura Visa card, hold any eligible CIBC Chequing Account, and add the Aventura Visa card with Apple Pay® or Samsung Pay® or Google Pay™. 7,500 Aventura Points after you make your first purchase. Plus, get a one-time annual fee rebate ($35 US) for you (the primary cardholder) if your account is in good standing and you hold an eligible CIBC premium personal credit card and either the CIBC US$ Personal Account or the CIBC Bank USA Smart Account (offered by CIBC Bank USA), in good standing.
  • Earn 1 Aventura travel point for every $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre.
  • Earn 1 Aventura travel point for every $2 spent on all other purchases.
  • Redeem Aventura Points for airfare, hotel stays, merchandise, gift cards and more.
  • Use your Aventura Points to help pay down your credit card balance or contribute them to select financial products.
  • $35 USD annual fee. One-time annual fee rebate available in your first year as a cardholder.
  • No currency conversion fees for USD purchases.
  • If your new purchase is lost, stolen or damaged within the first 90-days, your purchase may be protected by Purchase Security Insurance.
  • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents).
  • Get Avis® and Budget® auto discounts.
  • Travel insurance and purchase protection are included with your card.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • To be eligible, $15,000 household annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Best travel card for newcomers to Canada

CIBC Aventura® Gold Visa* Card

CIBC Aventura® Gold Visa* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $139
    Waived first year
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-2x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 35,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Access flexible rewards, travel insurance and a generous welcome offer worth a flight from any location in Canada or U.S. to any location in Canada or U.S. (except Hawaii and Alaska) — no established Canadian credit history required.

Pros
  • Annual fee waived for the first year.
  • Flexible rewards program.
  • Airport lounge access and additional travel perks.


Cons
  • $139 annual fee.
Product Details
  • Intro offer: Earn up to 35,000 Aventura Points (up to $800 in value) during your first year. Receive 20,000 Aventura Points when you make your first purchase, and an additional 15,000 Aventura Points when you spend $1,000 each monthly statement or more during the first year.
  • Get a one-time annual fee rebate ($139) for you (the primary cardholder) and up to three authorized users ($50 each): over $189 value.
  • Enjoy a Priority Pass Membership and 4 complimentary visits per year at 1,300+ airport lounges: over $200 value.
  • Plus, get a NEXUS Application Fee rebate: a $50 value.
  • Offer applies to newly approved card accounts only.
  • 2x for every $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre.
  • 1.5x on for every $1 spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores, up to $80,000 annual spend.
  • 1x for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 1x for every $4.00 spent on a CIBC Global Money Transfer, through June 30, 2022.
  • Redeem points for airline tickets, merchandise, gift cards and more.
  • Apply points to your CIBC Aventura card balance or select CIBC financial products.
  • $139 annual fee.
  • Access to more than 1,300 airport lounges across the globe. Priority Pass membership with 4 complimentary lounge visits a year. Zip in and out of the country with a rebate on one NEXUS™ application fee every 4 years.
  • Fly any airline with points that don’t expire.
  • Use Aventura Points to cover full airfare including taxes and fees.
  • Link your Journie Rewards card to save on every fill-up at participating Pioneer, Fas Gas, Ultramar and Chevron gas stationsabout the features of this card.
  • Visa’s Zero Liability Policy and Fraud Alerts.
  • Valuable insurance included: Out-of-Province Emergency Travel Medical Insurance, Flight Delay and Baggage Insurance, Auto Rental Collision and Loss Damage Insurance, $500,000 Common Carrier Accident Insurance, Purchase Security and Extended Protection Insurance, Hotel Burglary Insurance and Mobile Device Insurance.
  • Access to installment plans through CIBC Pace It.
  • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, and 22.99% for cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents).
  • To be eligible, a $15,000 individual annual income is required and you must be a Canadian resident that has reached the age of majority in your province.

Best Aventura card + our pick for airport lounge access through the Visa Airport Companion Program

CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $499
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 22.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    1.25x-3x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 80,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

A metal credit card equipped with all the bells and whistles of a high-end travel card: accelerated points on travel spending, air fare redemption options, airport lounge access and more.

Pros
  • Six complimentary airport lounge visits, two NEXUS application fee rebates every four years, and a $200 annual travel credit.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance includes $5 million of out-of-province emergency travel medical coverage — 31-days for ages 65 and younger, and up to 10-days for ages 65 or older. You don’t even have to charge your trip to the card.
  • Flexible redemption options with points that never expire.


Cons
  • Steep $499 annual fee.
  • High annual income requirement of $150,000 per individual or $200,000 per household.
Product Details
  • Welcome offer: Get a total of up to 80,000 Aventura Points (up to $1,600 in travel value1) during your first year: 50,000 Aventura Points when you spend $3,000 or more in the first 4 monthly statement periods; 30,000 Aventura Points as an additional anniversary bonus.
  • Effective July 1, 2022: Receive 6 complimentary visits at 1,200+ lounges globally through Visa Airport Companion Program: over $250 value. Get a $200 annual Travel Credit. Plus, get a NEXUS™ Application Fee rebate: a $100 value.
  • Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, entertainment, transportation, gas and groceries.
  • Earn 1.25 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 1.25 Aventura Points for every $4.00 spent on a CIBC Global Money Transfer™. There are no transaction fees and no interest charged as long as the balance is paid by the payment due date.
  • Redeem points for airline tickets, merchandise, gift cards and more.
  • Apply points toward a CIBC Aventura credit card balance or select CIBC financial products.
  • $499 annual fee.
  • Unwind at the airport in a relaxing lounge with 6 complimentary visits at 1,200+ lounges globally through Visa Airport Companion Program. Speed up border crossings with 2 NEXUS application fee rebates every 4 years.
  • Access business class bookings exclusive to this card for a future getaway.
  • Enjoy dedicated taxi and limo services, exclusive dining and wine experiences, VIP benefits at luxury hotels and more with Visa Infinite Privilege.
  • Get up to 25% off auto rentals at participating Avis® and Budget® locations worldwide when you pay with your Aventura card.
  • Link a Journie Rewards card to save on every fill-up at participating Pioneer, Fas Gas, Ultramar and Chevron gas stations.
  • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances (21.99% for cash advances if you live in Quebec).
  • To be eligible, $150,000 (individual) or $200,000 (household) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Best prepaid travel card

AC™ Conversion Visa* Prepaid Card

AC™ Conversion Visa* Prepaid Card
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Rewards Rate
    1%
  • Min. Deposit
    $0
  • Maximum Deposit
    $20,000
  • Intro Offer
    1% cash back
Our Take
Why we like it

The AC® Conversion Prepaid Visa Card can carry and spend up to 10 foreign currencies at a time, allowing international students, frequent travellers, and newcomers to Canada to bypass exchange rate fluctuations and skip the extra conversion fee. As a bonus, cardholders can earn 1% cash back in the foreign currencies they use.

Pros
  • Load up to 10 foreign currencies from 45 countries and skip conversion fees when you make a purchase. Currencies include CAD Canadian dollars, USD U.S. dollars, EUR Euros, GBP British pounds, AUD Australian dollars, JPY Japanese yen, HKD Hong Kong dollars, TRY Turkish lira, CHF Swiss francs, and MXN Mexican pesos.
  • You won’t be charged foreign transaction fees, which are typically around 2.5%-3.5%. This means you can save as much as $35 CAD in fees for every $1,000 CAD spent in a preloaded foreign currency.


Cons
  • You can’t withdraw more than $2,000 CAD per day at an ATM and only get one free ATM withdrawal per month outside of Canada.
  • You can’t use this card to transfer money to friends or family.
Product Details
  • General fees and features: There’s no fee to order the card, no fee to load it, and no annual fee.
  • Purchases: No fees for CAD purchases and no conversion fees when you make a purchase in one of 10 supported foreign currencies. There’s a 2.5% foreign conversion fee for transactions made in a currency other than the 10 supported currencies. The daily (24-hour) maximum point-of-sale purchase limit is $2,999.99 CAD equivalent.
  • ATM withdrawals: Free CIBC ATM withdrawals within Canada and one free ATM withdrawal outside of Canada per month. The daily (24-hour) maximum ATM withdrawal limit is $2,000 CAD equivalent.
  • Reload methods: To load funds onto your card, use your mobile app or sign onto your account at acconversion.cibc.com. The website also works on your phone or tablet on the go. The maximum load amount for a single transaction is $2,999.99 CAD equivalent.
  • Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on all of your purchases, less returns and credits in the currency in which the purchase was made, through October 31, 2023.
  • Lock in a great exchange rate each time you load. That means you don’t have to worry about exchange rate fluctuations. Plus, there’s no extra conversion fee.
  • Shop with foreign currency on global e-commerce sites.
  • Manage your funds from the palm of your hand with the AC conversion App. Reload as you go so you never run out of currency on your trip. Check your balance, keep track of your spending, transfer money from one currency to another, and retrieve your PIN.
  • Protected by advanced chip and PIN technology to minimize fraud and theft. It also comes with Emergency Card Replacement Service, Emergency Cash Service and Protection from unauthorized use of cards or account information.
  • Sign up for your card online or at a CIBC Banking Centre in Pearson Airport. You don’t need to be a CIBC client to order a card. No credit check is required.

Best for flexible reward redemptions

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
  • Annual Fee
    $149
    Annual fee rebate for the first year*
  • Interest Rates
    19.90% / 22.90%
  • Rewards Rate
    3x-6x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 80,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Not only does this World Elite card offer a high rewards rate on travel purchases, but it also comes with premium travel perks, like a $100 travel enhancement credit and 31-day worldwide emergency travel medical insurance.

Pros
  • A $100 annual travel enhancement credit covers seat upgrades, baggage fees, lounge passes, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees.


Cons
  • Select types of travel insurance won’t apply unless you charge 75% of your travel expenses to the card.
  • No travel medical coverage for cardmembers over the age of 65.
Product Details
  • Get up to $649 in total value* for the first year! Must apply by February 28, 2023. Conditions apply.
  • Primary Cardholder Annual Fee: $149.
  • Annual Interest on Purchases: 19.9%.
  • Annual Interest on Cash Advances and Balance Transfers: 22.9%.
  • Authorized User Annual Fee: $50 Per Card.
  • *Terms and Conditions apply.
  • ®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to licence.
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Methodology to choose the best travel credit cards

NerdWallet Canada selects the best travel rewards credit cards based on overall consumer value as well as their suitability for specific kinds of travellers. Factors in our evaluation methodology include each card’s annual fee, foreign transaction fees, rewards earning rates, ease of use, redemption options, domestic and international acceptance, promotional APR period, bonus offers, insurance offers, and cardholder perks such as automatic statement credits and airport lounge access.


    Summary of the best travel credit cards

    CARD NAMEWhy we picked itAnnual FeeIntro offer
    American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve CardPrestigious charge card for Air Canada travellers$599Up to 85,000 Points
    American Express Cobalt® CardImpressive everyday rewards suitable for most$155.88Up to 30,000 Points
    The Platinum Card® from American Express Luxurious perks and comprehensive benefits$699Up to 80,000 Points
    Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* CardEasily score free hotel stays$12050,000 Points
    TD Business Travel Visa* CardExcellent value when booking travel online through Expedia For TD$149Up to 150,000 Points
    TD® Aeroplan® Visa* Infinite Privilege* CardLucrative rewards, prestiguous perks and priority airport benefits$599Up to 115,000 Points
    BMO Ascend™ World Elite® Mastercard®Premium card with comprehensive travel insurance coverage$150Up to 60,000 Points
    TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* CardLuxurious travel perks and comprehensive benefits$139Up to 55,000 Points
    CIBC Aeroplan® Visa CardNo-fee travel card with high-value Air Canada rewards$010,000 Points
    TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* CardStrong rewards on travel bookings$139Up to 145,000 Points
    CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite Privilege* CardPrestiguous card with Aventura rewards$499Up to 80,000 Points
    RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite‡Earn Avios points and enjoy premium benefits$165Up to 60,000 Miles
    RBC® Cathay Pacific Visa‡ PlatinumThe only Canadian card that earns Asia Miles$12015,000 Miles
    RBC ION+ VisaLow fee and cool rewards for students and gamers$4812,000 Points
    Scotiabank Gold American Express® CardNo FX-fees and rewards on daily spending$120Up to 45,000 Points
    Scotiabank Platinum American Express® CardPay low interest without skimping on benefits$399Up to 60,000 Points
    BMO AIR MILES® World Elite® Mastercard®Outstanding earn rates for Air Miles loyalists$1202,000 Miles
    KOHO Travel Mastercard®Prepaid card with travel perks$0N/A
    Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardFlexible reward categories$0Up to $150
    WestJet RBC World Elite MastercardA smart chocie for frequent WestJet travellers$119Up to $450
    Air Canada AC® Conversion Prepaid Visa CardEarn cash back and carry up to 10 currencies$01% cash back
    CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura® Gold Visa* CardSave on U.S. currency conversion fees$35 USDUp to 10,000 Points
    HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®Save on interest and redeem points for travel$25Up to 35,000 Points
    HSBC World Elite MastercardFlexible reward redemptions$149Up to 80,000 Points

    How travel credit cards work in Canada

    By Barry Choi and Shannon Terrell

    Travel rewards credit cards earn points or miles as a reward for making eligible purchases. The type and rate of rewards you earn depends on the travel credit card you have. Additionally, how you can use those rewards may depend on the loyalty program associated with your card.

    Why get a travel credit card?

    Travel rewards credit cards account for 22% of credit cards in Canada, according to a 2021 report by Payments Canada. Outside reduced travel costs, travel cards can offer travel insurance, lounge access, baggage fee discounts, no foreign transaction fees and more. The right travel credit card can help you plan trips and access upgraded services that may have once been out of reach.

    Types of travel credit cards in Canada

    Generally speaking, there are three different categories of travel rewards credit cards. Knowing how they differ will help you determine what card is best for you.

    General travel rewards credit cards

    If you’re not loyal to one specific airline or hotel chain, then a general travel rewards program is something that will interest you. The points you earn can typically be used for any type of travel redemption, such as airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and even vacation packages. Since your points don’t belong to one specific program, you have more options.

    Some general travel rewards credit cards only allow you to use your points when booking travel through their online portal, while others let you use your points for any travel purchases you charge to your card.

    Airline rewards credit cards

    Airline credit cards allow you to earn points or miles for a specific airline. What’s interesting about airline credit cards is that the points you earn can usually be used on any airline that’s part of their network.

    For example, Aeroplan is the loyalty program for Air Canada. Even if you don’t have one of the best Aeroplan credit cards, you can use your points for a flight on any carrier that’s part of the Star Alliance network. There are also some general travel rewards programs, such as Air Miles, that also earn miles and can offer some additional value.

    Depending on the tier of your airline rewards credit card, you may get additional perks such as free checked bags, priority boarding and increased status. Having an airline credit card is highly lucrative if you frequently fly with one airline or network.

    Hotel rewards credit cards

    While some people love the idea of free flights, getting a luxury stay at a nice hotel appeals to other people. Some would argue that hotel rewards are better than airline rewards since some hotel chains have a greater reach. For example, Marriott has over 7,000 properties in 130+ countries, so no matter where you’re travelling, it won’t be hard to find a room where you can use your points.

    Hotel rewards credit cards will also typically include benefits that will make your stay more comfortable. For instance, you could get early check-in and late check-out. You could also get free high speed WiFi or enhanced status.

    Additional rewards to look for in a travel card

    Besides the main rewards categories that come with travel credit cards, consider the additional perks that are included. These extra perks can often be the thing that helps you choose one card over another.

    Consider the following benefits that often come with travel rewards credit cards:

    • Free checked bags. Airlines charge anywhere from $30-$60 per checked bag, each way, so getting free checked bags can save you a fair amount of money.
    • Airport lounge access. Some credit cards include airport lounge access, plus free annual lounge passes. These benefits could easily have a value of over $300, so it can offset any annual fee you might pay.
    • Travel insurance. Depending on the credit card, an extensive travel insurance package could be included. This could cover things such as medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, and more.
    • No foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards charge a 2.5% fee when you make a purchase in any currency that’s not Canadian dollars. If your card has no foreign transaction fees, then you’re just paying the straight exchange rate.
    • Extended warranty. Many credit cards will lengthen your warranty up to one additional year as long as you charge the full cost of the purchase to your card.
    • Price protection. If you find a lower price after making a purchase, some credit cards will give you back the difference as long as it falls within a specific time period.
    • Concierge service. A credit card concierge can help you with basic tasks such as booking travel, ordering fits and securing event tickets.

    As you can see, the list of additional benefits you can get with your travel rewards credit cards can be pretty extensive. Some of the best travel credit cards in Canada will have many of the above benefits, but not all of them. Always prioritize the perks that are important to you when applying for a credit card.

    Travel credit card pros and cons

    Pros

    • Earn points or miles to reduce travel costs, like discounted flights and hotel stays.
    • Get additional perks, like travel insurance, discounted baggage fees, airport lounge access and more.
    • Earn introductory bonus points when you sign up for certain travel credit cards.
    • Some cards let you transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programs.

    Cons

    • Many travel credit cards carry annual fees.
    • Blackout periods may restrict when you can redeem your points.
    • Introductory bonus offers may require you to spend a large sum of money in a short period of time.
    • Some travel rewards points expire if you don’t use them quickly enough.

    Using travel rewards

    Understanding travel credit card earn rates

    The earn rate on a travel credit card is the number of rewards points or miles you earn on each dollar spent.

    Some cards offer a flat rate, which means you earn the same amount of rewards on every purchase. For example, you may earn 2 points for every $1 you spend with your card.

    Most rewards credit cards have a tiered rewards structure when making purchases. The type of structure can vary quite a bit between cards. For example, you may have an accelerated earn rate on purchases made in certain categories, such as travel, groceries, gas and drugstores. All other purchases will use the lower base earn rate.

    Ideally, you want to choose a credit card with an accelerated earn rate that is aligned with your spending habits.

    Additionally, travel credit cards may deliver additional points or miles when you make purchases with their main partner, if they have one. For example, an Aeroplan credit card gives you an accelerated earn rate on Air Canada purchases, and Amazon Rewards gives you a bonus when making purchases on Amazon. Some loyalty programs even have a network of partners where you can earn additional points or miles.

    How to calculate the value of travel credit card points

    Knowing how to calculate the value of your points or miles is essential since not every redemption value is the same. By establishing a baseline value for your points, you can decide if specific redemptions are worth it — even if you’re not getting the maximum value.

    The formula used to determine the value of one point is as follows:

    Cash value of the redemption x 100 / number of points required = Cost per point

    Let’s say you want to fly from Vancouver to Toronto, and it’s going to cost $585 in cash, or 25,000 Aeroplan points, plus $75 in taxes. You would use the following formula. Note that since you have to pay $75 in taxes, you’d have to subtract that amount from the cash value for an accurate assessment.

    $510 x 100 / 25,000 = 2.04 cents per point

    This formula can be applied to any redemption regardless of the loyalty program. For example, let’s say you want to redeem 13,400 points for a $100 gift card. Your formula would be the following:

    $100 x 100 / 13,400 = .75 cents per point

    Assuming these redemption options are available with the same program, the flight is a better bang for your points.

    Do travel rewards points ever expire?

    It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a member of a loyalty program or how many points you’ve accumulated; you can lose everything if you’re not paying attention.

    Generally speaking, most loyalty programs that belong to an airline or hotel have a defined expiry date of 12 – 18 months. However, that only applies if there’s been no account activity in your account during that time. If you earn or redeem just one point during that time, your clock would reset. Even if you’re not travelling anytime soon, you could make a small redemption or donate some points to ensure you don’t lose the rest of your points.

    When it comes to bank credit card rewards programs, it’s unlikely your points will expire as long as your credit card account is in good standing. Your account would only fall out of good standing if it becomes delinquent or your credit card is used for fraudulent activity.

    How to redeem travel credit card rewards

    Some credit card rewards programs only let you redeem points or miles through their rewards portals. Others allow point redemption for any eligible purchase you make with your credit card.

    Rewards programs offered through banks typically have their own website where you can make redemptions. They often have separate tabs where you can choose from travel, gift cards, merchandise, and financial rewards. While this can be handy, you’re typically limited to their offerings — what you see is what you get.

    Airline and hotel loyalty programs will almost always allow you to redeem your points or miles directly on their website or mobile app. When searching for flights or hotels, you’ll likely see a box that says “use points.” The prices displayed will be in points, so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll need to make a redemption.

    Knowing where to go to redeem your points is important, but you may also want to familiarize yourself with the different point redemption systems.

    Travel reward point redemption options

    Not all rewards programs are created equal, and this is especially true when it comes time to cash in your travel points. These three redemption models tend to be the most popular among travel credit cards:

    Consistent points

    Consistent points hold a constant value, regardless of season or travel destination. This point redemption model is the most transparent and user-friendly of the three.

    Fluctuating points

    The value of fluctuating points can be impacted by several factors, including travel destination and time of year. A point may carry less value when used to travel during peak season instead of travelling in the off-season. This model can make it challenging to determine the value of your points when trip planning. Look for any provider-issued charts or tables that outline what factors impact the value of your points.

    Point transfers

    Point transfers let you transfer points to affiliated rewards programs. This model may be useful for those trying to take advantage of multiple rewards programs. The catch? The value of your points may be different once they’ve been transferred, which means you’ll need to figure out the transfer ratio before you make a decision.

    What to know about credit card travel insurance

    For many, travel insurance is essential — especially when venturing outside Canada. While it’s likely the last thing you want to worry about when on vacation, medical emergencies happen. And your federal, provincial and territorial health plans may not cover the medical expenses you incur while travelling. That’s where travel insurance comes in.

    Not only does travel insurance help cover medical expenses, it can also offer trip cancellation coverage, vehicle damage insurance, flight delay insurance and more.

    You can get travel insurance from a third party, like a travel agent or insurance provider, but many travel credit cards offer it, too — and at no added cost to the cardholder.

    Out-of-province travel emergency medical insurance

    Travel medical insurance isn’t only for those travelling outside Canada; it can also provide coverage for those exploring another province or territory. Your provincial plan may not extend to emergency medical expenses incurred out of province. Out-of-province medical insurance can provide coverage for a range of medical needs and services, from prescription medication to emergency evacuations and hospital stays.

    If your travel card offers out-of-province medical insurance, ask your provider about coverage limitations. Your medical expenses may not be covered if they’re the result of a pre-existing medical condition or high-risk activity, like bungee jumping or motorized racing.

    Travel accident insurance

    This type of insurance can be useful in the event of accidental injury or death while travelling on public or ticketed transportation, sometimes referred to as a common carrier. Some policies only cover accidents that happen on airplanes, while others encompass a wider range of common transports, like trains, ships and buses.

    Travel interruption/cancellation insurance

    Trip cancellation coverage reimburses non-refundable travel expenses if your trip gets cancelled. Eligible cancellation circumstances may include dangerous weather conditions, pregnancy complications or the death of an immediate family member.

    Trip interruption coverage activates once you’ve departed and reimburses non-refundable travel expenses if your trip is cut short. Again, not every circumstance will qualify for trip interruption coverage. Covered reasons for heading home ahead of schedule are often similar to those that qualify for cancellation coverage.

    Flight delay insurance

    Flight delays are frustrating, but they happen. If your flight is postponed and you need to book a place to stay or grab a bite to eat while you wait, flight delay insurance may reimburse those costs.

    Lost/delayed baggage insurance

    If your bags are delayed, this type of insurance will cover the cost of essential items you may need to purchase — like clothes or toiletries — while you wait for your bags to arrive. And if your bags are lost outright, you may be covered up to a predetermined amount for your lost property.

    Rental car collision/loss damage insurance

    If you plan to rent a car on your next trip, collision and damage insurance may come in handy. This insurance covers costs associated with theft or damage to your rental car. But it doesn’t replace liability insurance — the insurance that provides coverage if you injure someone or damage another vehicle on the road.

    Your personal auto insurance policy may come with liability insurance that extends to rental vehicles, but contact your insurance provider to confirm you’re covered before you hit the road.

    To take advantage of your credit card’s collision and damage insurance, you’ll need to decline coverage offered by your car rental company.

    Hotel/motel burglary insurance

    If your hotel or motel room is broken into while on the road, this coverage will reimburse you for the loss of stolen goods up to a set amount. Not all stolen items may be eligible for reimbursement.

    How to choose the right travel credit card

    Every credit card is good for at least one thing, so deciding on which card is best for you can be difficult. Here are some important criteria you can use to compare different travel credit card options.

    Welcome bonus

    If you’re trying to decide between several travel cards with similar rewards, the tiebreaker can often be the sign up bonus. Some credit cards offer a generous welcome offer that covers the annual fee or jumpstarts your rewards collection with thousands of free points or miles.

    Earn rate

    Every credit card has a base earn rate, but many of the best travel credit cards in Canada have an increased earn rate for specific bonus categories — like the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card, which offers up to 9x the points per dollar spent on travel through its online Expedia portal.

    If you have a general travel credit card, you could earn extra points on categories such as groceries, gas, pharmacies and more, like the American Express Cobalt Card, which offers 5x the points on food, drink and groceries. The earn rate is essential since choosing a card that lines up with your spending habits can quickly increase the number of points or miles you earn.

    Annual fee

    If you’re firmly against paying an annual fee for your credit card, you’ll instantly narrow down your choices. That said, there are some instances where an annual fee is worth the cost. Travel credit cards that have a yearly fee typically come with more benefits than their fee-free counterparts.

    None of the cards on our list are fee-free, but a few cards have $0 introductory offers, like the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card and Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card. These $0 introductory offers mean you won’t pay an annual fee for the first 12 months you have the card.

    Reward flexibility

    Having a lot of points is meaningless if it’s hard to redeem them. Look for a loyalty or rewards program where you know you’ll be able to use your points without much trouble. What you’re looking for are programs where there are no blackout dates and multiple redemptions options, like the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. This card lets you redeem points across various spending categories, including airline tickets, hotel stays and electronic gift cards. You can even convert rewards points to savings account funds if you hold an HSBC personal savings account.

    You’ll also want to consider whether the program has any transfer partners, as that’s another way to use your points. Additionally, knowing if and when your points expire is key to ensuring you don’t lose your hard-earned rewards.

    Perks and benefits

    Besides the type of rewards, welcome bonus and earn rate, additional perks may sweeten the deal and sway your decision. Take the Brim World Elite Mastercard, for instance: no foreign transaction fees, free global WiFi and VIP airport lounge access in over 120 countries.

    Here are a few travel card perks to scout for:

    • Seat upgrades.
    • Room upgrades.
    • Premium lounge passes.
    • Entertainment ticket presale access.
    • Car rental discounts.
    • Priority check-in and boarding.
    • Various types of credit card insurance.

    How to apply for a travel rewards credit card in Canada

    Different travel credit cards have different eligibility criteria, so check whether you meet a card’s requirements before you begin the sign-up process. Here are some general eligibility criteria you may encounter when applying for a travel credit card:

    • Canadian resident with a Canadian credit file.
    • Age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
    • Minimum annual income thresholds.

    Many cards offer an online application process that can be completed from the card issuer’s website. Here’s a general rundown of the application process:

    1. Review the card’s details, terms and conditions.
    2. Enter your personal information, including your full name, date of birth, residential address and mobile phone number.
    3. Enter your Social Insurance Number.
    4. Enter your financial information, including your annual income and monthly expenses.
    5. Verify your identity by submitting photos of your original government-issued ID, like your passport or Driver’s Licence.
    6. Review the information you’ve supplied and submit your application.

    Keep in mind that applying for a credit card may impact your credit score.

    Tips to maximize your travel credit card rewards

    If you’ve decided that a travel credit card is for you, there are a few tips you can follow to ensure you get the most out of your credit card rewards.

    • Pay your bills in full and on time, so you don’t pay any interest.
    • Make sure you meet the minimum spend requirement to get your welcome bonus.
    • Pay attention to your earn rate and use your rewards card on purchases that earn extra points.
    • Research your rewards program so you know what you can do with your points or miles.
    • Calculate the value of your points before making a redemption.
    • See if your loyalty program has a partner network where you can earn additional points.

    Although choosing a travel credit card may require you to do some research, the value you get is often worth it. Getting free stuff on points feels great, especially if it’s something you’ve been saving a long time for.
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    FAQs for Canada’s Travel Reward Credit Cards

    Do travel credit card rewards expire?

    Yes, travel credit card rewards can expire. Most loyalty programs that belong to an airline or hotel have a defined expiry date of 12 – 18 months. However, that only applies if there’s been no account activity in your account during that time. If you earn or redeem just one point during that time, your clock would reset.

    When it comes to bank rewards programs, your points may never expire as long as your credit card account is in good standing. Of course, your account would only fall out of good standing if it becomes delinquent or you use your credit card for fraudulent activity.

    What credit score do I need to get a travel credit card?

    In most cases, a good credit score — generally 660 to 724 — is required to get the best travel credit cards. However, some secured credit cards and prepaid options offer rewards, and are more suitable for people with lower credit scores.

    About the Authors

    Barry Choi

    Barry Choi is a personal finance and travel expert. His website moneywehave.com is one of Canada's most trusted sites when it comes to all things related to money and travel.

    Shannon Terrell

    Shannon Terrell is a lead writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet, where she writes about a variety of personal finance topics. Previously, she was a writer, editor and video host for financial comparison company, Finder. Shannon has appeared as a financial expert on CP24 and has been quoted in numerous publications, including Yahoo! Finance and Black Enterprise. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and English literature from the University of Toronto Mississauga. She’s also a published author whose work has been featured in academic journals from the University of Toronto. Shannon is based in Brampton, Ontario.

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