Best Credit Cards

Best Travel Credit Cards In Canada For 2019

Last updated on August 5, 2019 | Written by
travel credit cards

The best travel credit card is the one that gives you the most rewards for where you spend the most money. There are many travel cards to choose from in Canada. We’ve compiled the best ones and selected winners in each category depending on welcome bonus, what kind of points and benefits you’re looking for, and where you make most of your purchases.

Summary:
Best overall: TD® First Class Travel® Visa Infinite
Best for food & entertainment spending: American Express® Cobalt
Best for Aeroplan: American Express® Gold Rewards
Best for Air Miles: BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard®
Best airline credit card: TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite
Best for no foreign transaction fees: Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite
Best no fee credit card: TD Rewards Visa

Best overall travel points credit card

TD® First Class Travel® Visa Infinite

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite

Apply Now

on TD’s website

Annual Fees
$120 (first year free)

Interest Rate
19.99% (Cash advance 22.99%)

Min. Income Required
$60,000 annual personal income or $100,000 annual household income.

For people who want to accumulate points year-round and don’t want to be tied to a single loyalty program (like Air Miles or Aeroplan) or airline, the TD® First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Card is the best all around travel credit card for Canadians. It comes with one of the largest welcome bonuses and offers the most flexibility in usage while still earning big travel points. You also get access to travel bookings through Expedia for TD, which many people prefer for the larger variety of travel options, and less restrictions on flight and seat availability.

Welcome bonus: Up to 80,000 TD Rewards points (value of $400 on Expedia for TD), and a full rebate on your first year’s annual fee. You get 20,000 TD Points when you make your first purchase + 40,000 TD Points when you spend $2000 within 90 days of opening your account + 20,000 TD Points when you spend a total of $10,000 in the first 12 months.

Rewards/Points: You get 3 TD Points for every $1 you spend with your card on all purchases. For purchases made with the card to book travel on Expedia for TD, you earn 9 TD Points for every $1 you spend. You can later redeem these points on Expedia for TD. The best part is, your points will never expire as long as you’re a cardholder, you’ll have no seat restrictions, and no travel blackouts.

Other benefits: Travel insurance, coverage up to $1 million for the first 21 days, emergency cash advances, car rental insurance, and savings with Avis and Budget car rentals.

Click here for more details about the TD® First Class Travel® Visa Infinite Card

Best credit card for food & entertainment spending

American Express® Cobalt

american-express-cobalt-cardcard

Apply Now

on American Express’ website

Annual Fees
$120

Interest Rate
19.99% (Cash advance 22.99%)

Min. Income Required
$0.

If food and groceries is your highest spending category, then no other card gives you more points than the American Express Cobalt Card. It’s built specifically tailored to food and entertainment spenders. Not only do you receive the most points for this category of purchases, you can also redeem your points for it as well. While most travellers will prefer to redeem their points for travel, you can also use them for things like streaming services, movie tickets, restaurants & bars, and even retail stores.

American Express cards have no minimum income requirements, making it more attainable for people with average credit.

Welcome bonus: Up to 30,000 points. You’ll earn 2,500 Rewards Points per month, for 12 months. You must spend a minimum of $500 per month to receive your points payout.

Points/Rewards: You’ll earn 5 points per every $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, bars, and even when ordering food delivery. You’ll get 2 points for gas, travel, and transit. Normally, with other cards “travel” is limited to hotels, flights, and travel packages. But with the Cobalt Card, it also includes things like taxis, Uber, and public transportation. For all other puchases you’ll get 1 point for every $1 spent. You can redeem your points for travel within the Fixed Points Travel Program, or through American Express Travel Online.

Other benefits: American Express Invites (get invited to special offers by AMEX), travel insurance with up to $5 million coverage for the first 15 days, car rental insurance, The Hotel Collection from American Express.

Click here for more details about the American Express® Cobalt Card

Best credit card for Aeroplan

American Express® Gold Rewards

American Express Gold Rewards Card

Apply Now

on American Express’ website

Annual Fees
$150

Interest Rate
30% (This is a charge card, not a credit card. They expect balances to be paid in full monthly. If not paid, then they will apply a 30% annual interest rate.)

Min. Income Required
$0.

If you use the Aeroplan Loyalty Program, the American Express® Gold Rewards Card gives you the most Aeroplan Miles than any of the designated Aeroplan cards out there. The card doesn’t give you Aeroplan Miles directly, but you’re able to convert your Membership Rewards® at a 1:1 ratio for Aeroplan. With the giant welcome bonus and your ability to earn 2 points for every $1 spent on most of your everyday purchases, you’ll rack up Aeroplan Miles at a rapid pace with the American Express® Gold Rewards Card.

Like the Cobalt card, this card comes with no minimum income requirements.

Welcome bonus: 25,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend your first $1,500 within the first 3 months of membership.

Points/Rewards: You earn 2 points for every $1 spent on groceries, gas, drugstores, and travel. You earn 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else. You can redeem your points through American Express’ Fixed Points Travel Program or convert them to Aeroplan Miles at a 1:1 ratio.

Other benefits: American Express Invites (get invited to special offers by AMEX), travel insurance coverage up to $5 million for the first 15 days, car rental insurance, The Hotel Collection from American Express.

Click here for more details about the American Express® Gold Rewards Card

Best credit card for Air Miles

BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard®

BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard®

Apply Now

on BMO’s website

Annual Fees
$120 (first year free)

Interest Rate
19.99% (Cash advance 22.99%)

Min. Income Required
$80,000 or $150,000 annual household income.

While it does have one of the highest minimum income requirements of the cards recommended on this page, the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard® offers one of the largest welcome bonuses of any travel rewards cards in Canada. You’ll get 3,000 Air Miles Bonus Miles (equivalent to two short-haul flights) and your first year’s fee waived. It also comes with the highest earn rate of any Air Miles credit card on the market right now. It’s one of the most versatile, well-rounded cards out there and is one of the top picks for people who want to just use one card for all purchases year-round.

Welcome bonus: Get up to 3,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles and your $120 annual fee waived for the first year. You get 1,000 miles after you make your first purchase with the card. You get 2,000 miles after spending a total of $3,000 within your first 3 months of membership.

Points/Rewards: The points system is straightforward. Earn 1 reward mile for ever $10 in credit card purchases. You’ll also get 15 % flight discounts on all Air Miles flights in North America with no blackout periods.

Other benefits: Travel insurance, car rental insurance, complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey (with exclusive VIP access) + two annual complimentary passes.

Click here for more details about the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard®

Best airline credit card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite

TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa Card

Apply Now

on TD’s website

Annual Fees
$120 (first year free)

Interest Rate
19.99% (Cash advance 22.99%)

Min. Income Required
$60,000 annual personal income or $100,000 annual household income.

For frequent flyers of Air Canada, the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite is the perfect travel credit card. It offers the highest number of bonus miles (25,000 Aeroplan Miles, estimated to be equivalent to a roundtrip long haul trip). When you fly Air Canada, you also get free checked bags, priority check-in and boarding, and even free access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge once per year.

No deadlines to use up your points either, use them whenever you like. As long as you remain a cardholder, your Aeroplan Miles will never expire. Plus, get your annual fee rebated to you in your first year.

Welcome bonus: Get up to 25,000 Aeroplan Miles as your welcome bonus, and your first year’s annual fee rebated in full. You get an immediate welcome bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles when you make your first purchase, and an additional 10,000 miles when you make your first $2,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening your account.

Points/Rewards: You’ll earn 1.5 Miles for every $1 you charge to your card on eligible grocery, gas, drugstore and purchases made on aircanada.com. Earn 1 Mile for every $1 you charge to your card on all other purchases made. You can even earn twice the Miles for each purchase when you use your TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite card and also present your Aeroplan membership card at Aeroplan partner brands and online retailers via the Aeroplan eStore.

Other benefits: Travel insurance coverage up to $1 million for the first 21 days, complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge, emergency cash advances, car rental insurance, and savings with Avis and Budget car rental.

Click here for more details about the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card

Best no foreign transaction fees credit card

Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite

scotiabank passport visa infinite

Apply Now

on Scotia Bank’s website

Annual Fees
$139

Interest Rate
19.99% (Cash advance 22.99%)

Min. Income Required
$60,000 annual personal income or $100,000 annual household income.

If you’re a frequent traveller overseas, or make a lot of foreign currency purchases online, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is the ultimate travel points card. No foreign currency fees means you’ll save money each time you make a purchase.

With 6 complimentary airport lounge passes per year, a large welcome bonus, and generous points on each purchase made, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is truly built for the frequent traveller.

Welcome bonus: Up to 35,000 Scotia Rewards points (equivalent to $350 in travel dollars). You get 25,000 points when you charge $1,000 to your card in the first 3 months. Get another 10,000 points when you spend a total of $40,000 within the first 12 months.

Points/Rewards: The card comes with a generous rewards system. You’ll earn 2 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 spent on grocery, dining, entertainment, and daily transit. You’ll earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on everything else. You can redeem your points anytime, with no restrictions, through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service. You can also book travel outside of Scotia’s platform and redeem your points towards the purchase.

Other benefits: Travel insurance coverage up to $1 million for the first 25 days, car rental insurance, complimentary Avis® Preferred Plus membership, Visa Infinite Concierge and the Luxury Hotel Collection.

Click here for more details about the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite Card

Best no fee travel credit card

TD Rewards Visa

Apply Now

on TD’s website

Annual Fees
$0 (no annual fees)

Interest Rate
19.99% (Cash advance 22.99%)

Min. Income Required
$0

No fee credit cards usually come with next to no rewards or benefits, and low points earnings, but the TD Rewards Visa Card is an exception. While the welcome bonus may be smaller at 5,000 TD Rewards Points, you’ll still be able to rack up plenty points for daily spending while having comfort knowing that it’s free to use.

Welcome bonus: 5,000 TD Rewards Points (valued at $25) as your welcome bonus. To receive the welcome offer, your account must be open, active, and in good standing after 90 days of opening the account.

Points/Rewards: Earn 2 TD Rewards Points for every $1 spent on groceries, restaurant, and fast food purchases. Any recurring payments you set up will also earn 2 points. You’ll earn 3 TD Rewards Points for ever $1 spent when you book travel through Expedia For TD, and 1 TD Rewards Point for all other purchases. You can redeem your points for travel through Expedia for TD, or for merchandise on TD Rewards.

Other benefits: Priority Pass Membership discount, savings with Avis and Budget car rental, emergency cash advances.

Click here for more details about the TD Rewards Visa Card

Summary of Best Travel Credit Cards In Canada For July 2019

Credit CardBest ForAnnual FeeWelcome BonusLearn More
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite
TD® First Class Travel® Visa Infinite
Earning max overall travel points.$0 first year, then $120 80,000 TD Rewards pointsApply Now
american-express-cobalt-cardcard
American Express® Cobalt
Food & entertainment spending$12030,000 Membership Rewards® pointsApply Now
American Express Gold Rewards Card
American Express® Gold Rewards
Aeroplan$15025,000 Membership Rewards® pointsApply Now
BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard®
BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard®
Air Miles$0 first year, then $1203,000 AIR MILES Bonus MilesApply Now
TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa Card
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite
Airline (Air Canada)$0 first year, then $12025,000 Aeroplan MilesApply Now
scotiabank passport visa infinite
Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite
No foreign transaction fee$13935,000 Scotia Rewards pointsApply Now

TD Rewards Visa
No fee$05,000 TD Rewards PointsApply Now

How to choose a travel credit card

The reason there is never just one clear winner is that everyone has different needs/wants. Everyone travels differently and has different spending habits. Some people may want as large a welcome offer as possible, others may look for benefits such as travel and car rental insurance. The most important factor when selecting a card is how closely it aligns with the category you spend the most money in.

For example, if 90% of your monthly purchases are made on groceries and dining out, you may want to consider the American Express® Cobalt since it offers the most rewards for that category of spending.

If you fly Air Canada frequently, TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite would suit you better.

If you mostly travel overseas, a no foreign transaction fee card like the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite could be your best match.

You need to carefully consider what is most important to you (in terms of rewards, benefits, and redemption options), where you make the majority of your monthly purchases, and how often you travel.

What is the best travel rewards credit card in Canada right now?

Like we mentioned, it’s tough to state a clear winner for all types of travellers. But if you don’t have any specific needs and are just looking to earn the maximum points, and have the most options to redeem them for travel, the TD® First Class Travel® Visa Infinite is the best travel credit card in Canada at the moment.


Methodology: How we choose the cards in this list

Simple Rate chooses the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada based on evaluating annual fees, welcome bonuses, points earnings rates, redemption options, and other perks and benefits such as travel insurance and airport lounge access.