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2022's Best Travel Credit Cards for Canadians

Love to travel? Make travelling more affordable by earning travel rewards with a travel credit card.

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The Best of Finance Winners for 2022: Best Travel Credit Cards

  First-year value* Credit score required Winner
$1,536 Excellent CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite™ Card
$1,524 Fair American Express Cobalt® Credit Card
$1,194 Excellent Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card
$510 Good MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

*The RATESDOTCA Best of Finance methodology assumes the cardholder spends an average of $2,000 a month on their card to determine the first-year value. The calculation includes all welcome bonuses and promotional offers at the time of publishing.

Best Overall Travel Credit Card

With travel resuming all around the globe, having the best travel rewards credit card can help you earn rewards for everyday purchases and redeem them for flights, hotel stays and vacation packages.

Many travel credit cards also feature great additional perks, like shopping coverage, mobile device insurance and exclusive offers.

We compared the top travel credit cards using our Best of Finance methodology and ranked the cards that provided the highest first-year value.

  First-year value Credit score required Top features
$1,536 Excellent Get a Priority Pass membership and four lounge passes annually + NEXUS application fee rebate + travel insurance.
$1,412 Good Take advantage of the most flexible travel rewards programs. Enjoy mobile insurance coverage, a Door Dash subscription and fuel savings.
$1,570 Good Share travel perks with your travel companions + access Air Canada benefits + travel insurance.

Winner: CIBC Aventura® Visa InfiniteTM Card

Cardholders of the CIBC Aventura® Visa InfiniteTM Card can access loads of travel perks, from four free annual airport lounge passes to a NEXUS application fee rebate every four years. This card also features travel insurance and Visa Infinite benefits, such as complimentary breakfast at over 900 properties worldwide and exclusive tours of Wine Country.

Pay no booking fees through the Aventura Travel Assistant and use points to cover airfare costs, including taxes and fees.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn around $1,536 in rewards in the first year.

Annual fee

$139 (First year rebated)

Interest rate

Purchase – 20.99%

Cash advance – 22.99% (21.99% for QC residents)

Balance transfer – 22.99%

Welcome bonus

  • Get a total of up to 40,000 Aventura points (up to $800 in travel value) during your first year
  • 20,000 Aventura points when you make your first purchase 
  • 15,000 Aventura points when you spend $1,000 monthly 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
  • 5,000 Aventura points as an additional anniversary bonus
  • Enjoy a Priority Pass Membership and 4 complimentary visits per year at 1,300+ airport lounges: over $200 value
  • Plus, get a NEXUSApplication Fee rebate: a $50 value

Offer expiry date: Ongoing offer

Rewards

  • Earn two points for every $1 spent on travel through the CIBC Rewards Centre.
  • Earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores.
  • Earn one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Earning potential

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period. 

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = $1,536
Annual fee = $139 (First year rebated)

Interest rate = Purchase – 20.99%, Cash advance – 22.99% (21.99% for QC residents), Balance transfer – 22.99%


Total earned over a 12-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,536

Benefits

  • Access to the Aventura Travel Assistant
  • Access to the Visa Infinite Travel program and the Visa Infinite Concierge services
  • NEXUS application fee rebate once every 4 years.

Insurance 

  • Travel insurance with out-of-province emergency travel medical coverage
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Car rental collision/loss damage insurance
  • Flight delay and baggage insurance
  • Hotel burglary insurance charge
  • Mobile device insurance

Runners-up: Best Overall Travel Credit Card

RBC Avion® Visa Infinite

With the RBC Avion® Visa Infinite, you can earn reward points and redeem them for a variety of great rewards such as travel tickets, gift cards, merchandise or cash back. With this travel credit card, you have no blackouts or seat restrictions. If you find an open seat, you can use your rewards to book it – even during peak seasons. Best of all, flights start as low as 15,000 RBC rewards points.

Annual fee

$120

Limited time offer/bonus: Receive up to 55,000 welcome RBC Rewards points upon approval (up to a $1,100 value).

Offer Expiry Date: September 16, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn one RBC Rewards point for every $1 spent on the card.
  • Earn an extra 25% on eligible travel-related purchases.
  • Earn an extra 20% at Petro-Canada.

TD®  Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

Get Air Canada benefits with the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, including some shared perks for travelling companions. Access travel insurance and exclusive Visa Infinite benefits like the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection and Visa Infinite Wine Country Program for savings and upgrades.

Plus, get a NEXUS application fee rebate every 48 months when you enroll. This benefit also applies to additional cardholders.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could earn around $1,570 in rewards in the first year.

Annual fee

$139 †

Limited time offer/bonus

  • Earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points. Get 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase. Get 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $1,500 within 90 days of opening your account. Plus, earn 20,000 when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of opening the account, and pay no annual fee for the first year.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions apply. This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

Offer expiry date: September 5, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada® purchases.
  • Earn one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Best Credit Card for Earning Travel Points

Travel programs typically offer the best redemption value of all rewards credit cards. Whether they offer rewards, points or miles, these cards will always provide more value than cashback cards (even if the flexibility the latter provides is nice to have).

Most programs allow members to redeem rewards for flights, vacation packages, upgrades and other travel savings. Some programs also allow point conversions to other popular travel programs. Additionally, many of our top picks feature insurance coverage and exclusive offers like lounge access or benefits at hotels and resorts.

We compared Canada’s leading travel credit cards and ranked them according to first-year value. 

  First-year value Credit score required Top features
$1,874 Fair Flexible rewards points + travel insurance.
$1,194 Excellent High rewards rates and great travel perks such as no FX fees and travel insurance.
$1,570 Good Generous welcome offers, NEXUS rebate and travel insurance.

Winner: American Express Cobalt® Credit Card

The American Express Cobalt® Credit Card is one of the best cards for amassing rewards, offering cardholders five points for every $1 spent on restaurants and food deliveries, three points for every $1 spent on eligible streaming subscriptions, two points for every $1 spent on eligible travel and transit and one point for every $1 spent anywhere else.

Not only that, but the Membership Rewards® program is incredibly flexible, allowing members to redeem points for almost anything — travel, merchandise and more. Eligible cards, including the American Express Cobalt® Credit Card, can access the Fixed Points Travel Program and American Express Travel Online for travel offers and special rates. Cardholders can even use Membership Rewards® to pay for taxes, fees and carrier surcharges.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could earn around $1,874 in rewards in the first year.

The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$525
+ Annual rewards
$1155
- Annual fee
$156
Total first year value
$1524
American Express Cobalt® Credit Card

card image
Welcome bonus
$525
AMEX Rewards points
Annual rewards
$1155
AMEX Rewards points
Annual fees:
$156
Interest rates:
20.99% on purchases • 21.99% on cash advances
2022 Winner – Best Overall Rewards Credit Card, Best Credit Card for Young Professionals, and Best Credit Card for Earning Travel Points.
Particularly great for individuals who live in the city, eat out often or order in.
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$525
Annual rewards
$1155
The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$525
+ Annual rewards
$1155
- Annual fee
$156
Total first year value
$1524
Annual fees:
$156
Interest rates:
20.99% on purchases
21.99% on cash advances
2022 Winner – Best Overall Rewards Credit Card, Best Credit Card for Young Professionals, and Best Credit Card for Earning Travel Points.
Particularly great for individuals who live in the city, eat out often or order in.
Details at a glance Collapse details

Annual fee

$155.88 ($12.99 per month)

Annual fee for additional cardholders: $0

Limited time offer/bonus

  • Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points. Earn 2,500 points each monthly billing period in which you spend at least $500 on your card for 12 months. This could add up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year.

Offer expiry date: N/A subject to change without notice

Rewards

  • Earn five points for every $1 spent at grocery stores, restaurants, cafés, bars and food delivery purchases.
  • Earn three points for every $1 spent on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada.
  • Earn two points for every $1 spent on transit, gas, and other eligible travel purchases.
  • Earn one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Earning potential

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = 96,000 Membership Rewards® points

Monetary value= $1,680
Annual fee = $156*
Total earned over a 12-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $ 1, 524

Annual fee = $156*
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,822

* The American Express Cobalt® Credit Card has a $12.99 monthly fee ($155.88 per year).

You can redeem your points for:

  • Flights through the Fixed Points Travel Program
  • Travel
  • Streaming services
  • Movie tickets
  • Retail purchases
  • Events
  • Amazon.ca purchases
  • Statement credits

Insurance

  • Out of province/country emergency medical insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost and stolen baggage insurance
  • Hotel burglary insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty

Other perks

  • Cardholders can access exclusive benefits at over 600 hotels and resorts. These benefits include credits for hotel amenities and complimentary room upgrades when available.
  • Members can access the American Express Invites® program, featuring advanced and reserved ticket access, special offers, and exclusive experiences.

Want to learn more about how the American Express Cobalt® Credit Card stands up against the competition? Read more from our "In the Ring" series:

In the Ring: American Express Cobalt® Credit Card vs. Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Runners-up: Best Credit Card for Earning Travel Points

Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

The Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card is great for travellers looking to use rewards to book their next vacation or make purchases abroad. This card is one of the few that offers no foreign transaction fees, meaning you’ll only pay the exchange rate and Amex won’t charge you for having to make the conversion.

Earn five Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible groceries, dining in or out and entertainment purchases. Collect three Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on gas, public transit or streaming services. Earn one Scotia Scene+ point per dollar spent on everything else.

Based on our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian can earn $1,194 in Scotia Scene+ points within the first year.

Annual fee

$120

Annual fee for additional cardholders: $29

Limited time offer/bonus

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Scotia Scene+ points when you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months.
  • Get an additional 20,000 Scotia Scene+ points when you spend at least $7,500 in everyday purchases in the first year.
  • Plus, Scotiabank will waive the annual fee for the primary and additional cardholders for the first year.

Offer expiry date: July 4, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn five Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, fast food, food delivery and entertainment purchases.
  • Earn three Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, daily transit and select streaming purchases, including Netflix.
  • Earn one Scotia Scene+ point for every $1 spent elsewhere.

Want to learn more about how the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card stands-up against the competition? Read more from our "In the Ring" series:

In the Ring: American Express Cobalt Credit Card vs. Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

Get Air Canada benefits with the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, including some shared perks for travelling companions. Access travel insurance and exclusive Visa Infinite benefits like the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection and Visa Infinite Wine Country Program for savings and upgrades.

Plus, get a NEXUS application fee rebate every 48 months when you enroll. This benefit also applies to additional cardholders.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could earn around $1,570 in rewards in the first year.

Annual fee:

$139

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points. Get 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase. Get 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $1,500 within 90 days of opening your account†. Plus, earn 20,000 when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of opening the account, and pay no annual fee for the first year.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions apply. This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

Offer expiry date: September 5, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada® purchases.
  • Earn one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Best Credit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fees

Travellers can forgo the foreign currency exchange line and pack a much smaller wallet for their next trip. These credit cards offer no foreign transaction fees on purchases, sparing cardholders the extra 1.5% to 3% providers typically charge. Only the exchange rate applies.

Cardholders also get the added convenience of tracking all their transactions from little trips to the grocery store, tours and excursions all in one place. Plus, travellers won’t get stuck with extra foreign coins and bills at the end of their trip.

These credit cards also feature various benefits and travel insurance to help make trips more comfortable and carefree. Spend points on flights, rental cars, hotel stays or merchandise and get the most out of your next adventure.

We compared the top credit cards with no foreign transaction fees using our Best of Finance methodology and ranked the cards that provided the highest first-year value.

  First-year value Credit score required Top features
$1,194 Good Flexible Scotia rewards program + no foreign transaction fees.
$647 Good A $100 annual travel enhancement credit + no foreign transaction fees.
$604 Excellent Flexible Scotia rewards program + no foreign transaction fees.

Winner: Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

The Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card offers a great return on spending. Earn five Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on groceries, restaurant, food delivery and entertainment purchases. Get three Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on gas, daily transit purchases and select streaming services and earn one Scotia Scene+ point for every $1 spent everywhere else.

Cardholders pay no foreign transaction fees on foreign currency purchases, typically around 2.5%. Only the exchange rate applies. Plus, access discounts through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service and get a wide range of travel insurance through the card.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn around $1,194 in rewards in the first year.

The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$450
+ Annual rewards
$744
- Annual fee (First Year Waived)
$0
Total first year value
$1194
Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

card image
Welcome bonus
$450
Scotia Scene+ Points
Annual rewards
$744
Scotia Scene+ Points
Annual fees:
$120 (First Year Waived)
Interest rates:
19.99% on purchases • 22.99% on cash advances
2022 Winner – Best No Foreign Transaction Fees Credit Card for Long Stay Travellers and Best Credit Card for Staying Home and Ordering In
Strong travel perks and 0% foreign transaction fees compliment great reward value
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$450
Annual rewards
$744
The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$450
+ Annual rewards
$744
- Annual fee (First Year Waived)
$0
Total first year value
$1194
Annual fees:
$120 (First Year Waived)
Interest rates:
19.99% on purchases
22.99% on cash advances
2022 Winner – Best No Foreign Transaction Fees Credit Card for Long Stay Travellers and Best Credit Card for Staying Home and Ordering In
Strong travel perks and 0% foreign transaction fees compliment great reward value
Details at a glance Collapse details

Annual fee

$120

Annual fee for additional cardholders: $29

Limited time offer/bonus

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Scotia Scene+ points when you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months.
  • Get an additional 20,000 Scotia Scene+ points when you spend at least $7,500 in everyday purchases in the first year.
  • Plus, Scotiabank will waive the annual fee for the primary and additional cardholders for the first year.

Offer expiry date: July 4, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn five Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, fast food, food delivery and entertainment purchases.
  • Earn three Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, daily transit and select streaming purchases, including Netflix.
  • Earn one Scotia Scene+ point for every $1 spent elsewhere.

Earning potential

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = 114,400 Scotia Scene+ points
Monetary value = $1,144
Annual fee = $0*
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,144

*The $120 annual fee is waived for the first year.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel
  • Experiences
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Statement credits
  • Convert to SCENE points

Insurance

  • Travel emergency medical insurance
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Delayed and lost baggage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Rental car collision loss/damage insurance
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty
  • Scotia Credit Card Protection (optional)

Other perks

  • Access all that American Express Invites offers, including special access to events, tickets and deals.
  • Use the Scotia Rewards Travel Service for the Best Price Guarantee on airfare.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees abroad and online.
  • Take advantage of the 24/7 complimentary concierge service.
  • Receive a preferred discount on the Priority Pass membership and access 1200 VIP airport lounges worldwide.

Want to learn more about how the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card stands up against the competition? Read more from our "In the Ring" series:

In the Ring: American Express Cobalt® Credit Card vs. Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Runners-up: Best Credit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fees

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®

The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® offers six points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases and three points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Cardholders can redeem points for travel, merchandise and financial rewards or convert rewards into miles.

This card also features excellent perks and benefits. Cardholders get a $100 annual travel enhancement credit for seat upgrades, baggage fees, lounge passes and other travel luxuries. Get complimentary membership of Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey, unlimited Wi-Fi through Boingo at over one million hotspots worldwide and discounts on hotel bookings through Expedia and Agoda. Plus, pay no foreign exchange fees on purchases made abroad or online. Only the exchange rate applies.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could earn around $647 in rewards in the first year.

Annual fee

$149

Limited time offer/bonus

  • Earn up to 100,000 Points* ($500 travel value) PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($149 value). Must apply by April 4, 2022. Conditions Apply.
  • Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Points ($100 travel value)
  • Spend $6,000 in the first 180 days to earn an additional 50,000 Points ($250 travel value)
  • Earn 10,000 Points ($50 travel value) for adding your 1st Authorized User.
  • Receive an additional 20,000 Points ($100 travel value) as an Anniversary Bonus
  • Annual Fee Rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($149 value)

Offer expiry date: April 4, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn six points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases.
  • Earn three points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

Apply for the Scotiabank PassportTM Visa Infinite* Card to earn up to 35,000 bonus Scotia Scene+ points in the first year. Regularly earn two Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases. Get one Scotia Scene+ point for every $1 spent everywhere else.

Cardholders can access an array of Visa Infinite exclusive offers and collections, as well as a full suite of travel services. Not only that, but this card also offers no foreign transaction fees and several complimentary memberships to help make travel more convenient and comfortable.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would see around $604 in Scotia Scene+ points within the first year.

Annual fee

$139

Annual fee for additional cardholders:

  • First supplementary card: $0
  • Each additional card: $50

Limited time offer/bonus

  • Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scotia Scene+ points in the first year.
  • Pay no annual fee for the first year, including on supplementary cards.

Offer expiry date: July 4, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn two Scotia Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment, and daily transit purchases, up to $50,000 spent annually. After, earn one Scotia Scene+ point per dollar.
  • Earn one Scotia Scene+ point for every $1 spent everywhere else you shop.
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points when you spend at least $40,000 on the card annually.

Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card

Access the top travel rewards programs with these no-fee cards. While this batch of cards have slightly lower earn rates than their counterparts with a fee, they still provide excellent value and great perks.

Plus, these cards can slide into your wallet as a primary or secondary credit card, and you don’t have to worry about another annual expense. You can use the card as often or sparingly as you like without having to justify its worth.

We compared the top no-fee travel credit cards using our Best of Finance methodology and ranked the cards that provided the highest value while also considering additional complimentary travel perks and benefits.

  First year value* Credit score required Top features
$503 Good Enjoy the flexible MBNA Rewards program and a generous welcome bonus. Enjoy basic travel insurance.
$290 Good Earn Scotia Scene+ points and redeem them for travel, gift cards and much more. Enjoy exclusive Amex perks.
$343 Good Earn more points with AIR MILES Partners.

Winner: MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® offers cardholders four points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, digital media, membership, and household utility purchases for the first 90 days, up to $10,000 in each category. After, earn two points for every $1 spent in these categories ($10,000 annual cap in each category) and one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

This card also features $1,000,000 travel accident insurance, unexpected return home insurance and car rental accident insurance.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn around $503 in rewards in the first year.

The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$205
+ Annual rewards
$340
- Annual fee
$0
Total first year value
$545
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

card image
Welcome bonus
$205
MBNA Rewards points
Annual rewards
$340
MBNA Rewards points
Annual fees:
$0
Interest rates:
19.99% on purchases • 24.99% on cash advances
2022 Winner - Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card
Flexible rewards redeemable for travel or cash back
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$205
Annual rewards
$340
The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$205
+ Annual rewards
$340
- Annual fee
$0
Total first year value
$545
Annual fees:
$0
Interest rates:
19.99% on purchases
24.99% on cash advances
2022 Winner - Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card
Flexible rewards redeemable for travel or cash back
Details at a glance Collapse details

Annual fee

$0

Welcome bonus

  • 5,000 bonus points†† after you make $500 or more in eligible purchases within the first 90 days (about 3 months) of your account opening. Plus, 5,000 bonus points†† once enrolled for paperless e-statements within the first 90 days (about 3 months) of account opening.
  • And 4 points†† for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days (until $10,000 is spent annually in the applicable category.)

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.

Rewards

2x points for every $1 spent on:

  • Groceries
  • Restaurants
  • Memberships and digital media
  • Household utilities

1x point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Earning potential

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period + Welcome bonus = $340 + $163 = $503
Annual fee= $0
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $503

Benefits

  • Annual Birthday Bonus Points‡ equal to 10% of the total number of Points earned in the 12 months before the month of your birthday (maximum 10,000 Points)
  • Discounts at Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car locations

Insurance coverage

  • Mobile device insurance - $1,000
  • Travel accident - $1,000,000
  • Unexpected return home - $2,000
  • Purchase protection - 90 days (about 3 months)
  • Extended warranty - 1 Year
  • Rental car accident - 2,000,000
  • Rental car personal effects - $1,000

Runners-up: Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card

Scotiabank®* American Express® Card

The Scotiabank®* American Express® Card is a no annual fee travel credit card that allows you to rack up Scotia Scene+ points for flexible redemption offers and enjoy exclusive Amex perks such as, Amex Invites and reserved tickets access. Not to mention you’ll also get access to Scotia’s exclusive travel agency.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn around $290 in rewards in the first year.

Annual fee

$0

Limited time offer/bonus

Earn 5,000 bonus Scotia Scene+ points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in first 3 months.

Offer expiry date: Rates, fees and other information are effective as of July 4, 2022. Subject to change.

Rewards

  • 1x points per $1 spent on all purchases.

BMO AIR MILES Mastercard*

New cardholders of the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard* can earn up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles when they spend at least $1,000 in the first three months. That is $80 in AIR MILES Cash. Regularly earn one Mile for every $25 in purchases on the card and get three Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners, like Metro, Foodland and Shell.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could earn around $343 in Miles in the first year.

Annual fee

$0

Limited time offer/bonus

  • Earn 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles when you spend at least $1,000 on your card in the first three months.
  • Get a 1.99% promotional interest rate on balance transfers for nine months. A 1% balance transfer fee does apply.

Offer expiry date: December 6, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn one Mile for every $25 you spend on your credit card.
  • Earn three Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners.

Travel credit cards come with a lot of great features. Here’s what you need to know before choosing a travel credit card.

Am I be eligible for a travel credit card?

To be eligible for most travel credit cards, you need to have a credit score of 650 or higher. If you have poor or fair credit, you may want to improve your credit score before applying for a travel credit card. You can rebuild your credit before you start looking for a rewards credit card, with a balance transfer credit card, which makes it easier to pay off your bill faster if interest is piling up on you or another option is a secured credit card. Some travel credit cards also require a minimum income; either individual or household income. Be sure to check this required qualification before applying.

Do travel credit cards come with an annual fee?

Most travel credit cards come with an annual fee ranging from $100-$150. This is because travel credit cards yield high value rewards. Often the rewards value make up for the fee you pay annually given your spend or how cleverly you spend in the categories that earns you multipliers. Therefore, the annual fee is a small price to pay for the exclusive rewards and perks. Some banks and financial institutions may waive the first-year annual fee as part of a sign-up bonus.

Pros and cons of travel credits cards

If you’re a frequent flyer, using a travel credit card can help you access a variety of travel rewards and benefits, such as travel rewards points, hotel upgrades, complimentary lounge access and much more. There are also a few thing to consider before you apply for one.

Here are the main pros and cons of using a travel credit card.

Pros of using a travel credit card

  1. Higher earn rates: Popular travel credit cards offer high earning rates for points on every dollar spent, allowing you to earn points faster than other rewards cards.
  2. Welcome bonus offers: Travel credit cards usually come with great bonus offers such as introductory bonus points or gift cards. Such big bonus offers can quickly catapult you in your path towards redeeming big rewards and offset the annual fee
  3. Travel rewards: Most travel credit cards offer points or travel miles each time you make payments through your travel credit card, allowing you to rack up travel rewards that can make your trips more enjoyable. Some points programs also offer non-travel rewards such as gift cards, consumer goods, or statement credits, allowing you to choose what you like to redeem your points for.
  4. Insurance coverage: Many travel credit cards come with a variety of travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, accident coverage, lost baggage coverage and car rental insurance. If you tend to travel frequently, such travel insurance coverages will reduce, or even eliminate, the costs associated with such trip disruptions.
  5. Perks: Your travel credit card can also come with attractive perks such as complimentary airport lounge access, hotel room upgrades and discounts on fine dining and entertainment. Such credit card perks can elevate your travel experience to a whole new level.
  6. Brand partnerships: Several credit card providers team up with brands to offer you brand loyalty rewards such as Air Mile bonus points, Air Canada discounts, Marriott hotel upgrades, and Visa fine dining events. So, if you’re interested in a particular brand or are already earning perks through them, a travel credit card partnered with them can boost your rewards redemption rate.

Cons of using a travel credit card

  1. Fluctuating rewards programs: One thing to keep in mind is that travel credit cards aren’t always consistent, and their offers and points values can change suddenly. Such changes can potentially decrease the value of the points you’ve already earned and make the rewards redemption rate slower than before.
  2. Blackout dates: Also, some travel credit card rewards programs may include blackout dates, meaning you cannot take advantage of some of the perks during that period. These blackout dates usually occur during peak travel seasons like the holidays. Ask the credit card provider for more information about blackout dates.
  3. High annual credit card fee: Many travel credit cards come with a high annual fee, which can sometimes seem to outweigh the overall pros of the card if you’re not earning rewards points. If you’re planning on using a travel card as your main credit card and you think you’ll be able to offput the fees with points earned, then it may be worth getting the card.
  4. High interest charges: If you carry a balance month-to-month on a travel credit card — or on any rewards card — interest will compound, making it harder to pay off your card. Not only that, but the interest also you rack up will cancel out any points you’ve earned.
  5. Foreign transaction fees: Some travel credit cards may come with a foreign transaction fee, which will be applied to all non-CAD purchases, whether in-store or online. This fee can be as high as 3% for some travel credit cards. If you want to use your credit card for frequent foreign currency purchases, look for a travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
  6. Mainly travel related rewards: Most travel credit cards mainly offer travel related rewards and benefits such as travel miles and travel insurance. If you’re looking for rewards such as cash back, you might want to reconsider getting a travel rewards card.

RATESDOTCA may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services. however, our content and calculations are objective and free from bias. The opinions expressed are purely those of RATESDOTCA; thus, partners are not responsible for any editorials or reviews that may appear. For current term and conditions on any advertiser or partner’s product, please visit their website.

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