The following credit cards feature fabulous perks and premium benefits. Cardholders can access the absolute best credit card perks in Canada, ranging from free companion flights to complimentary valet services and annual travel credits. Our top pick even has no pre-set spending limit.

But these privileges come with a price, as you can see by the pretty hefty annual fees, and it may be hard to justify the expense. Additionally, cardholders may not qualify for these cards unless they have a pristine credit score and top tier salary. However, we can dare to dream.

We compared the most prestigious credit cards in Canada using our Best of Finance methodology and ranked the cards that provided the highest first-year value.

These are the best credit cards with premium perks for 2020.

Our top pick
Credit card Great features Annual fee
1. The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Flexible Membership Rewards®points redeemable for travel or statement credits
  • Travel insurance, Pearson Airport perks, $200 annual travel credit, no pre-set spending limit

$699

Runner-up
Credit card Great features Annual fee
2. American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Card
  • Aeroplan® Miles
  • Travel insurance, annual Partner Ticket, Air Canada Priority Check-in, Pearson Airport perks
$499

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply for The Platinum Card® and earn 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points when you spend at least $2,000 in the first three months. This card features top travel insurance coverage, exclusive airport benefits, hotel and fine-dining collections, and everyday luxuries like concierge services and experiences unlocked by the engraved metal card.

The $699 annual fee grants access to privileges like no spending limit on purchases. However, The Platinum Card® is a charge card. Therefore, the balance must be paid in full each month, or a 30% annual interest rate applies.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will see $305 in Membership Rewards® points in the first year.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least 10 years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$699

Annual fee for additional cards:

  • $175 Platinum Cards
  • $50 Gold Cards

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn 25,000 bonus points when they spend at least $2,000 in the first three months.

Offer expiry date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn two points per dollar spent on travel.
  • Earn three points per dollar on eligible dining in Canada.
  • Earn one point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Earn one additional point per dollar spent at eligible hotel or car rental bookings through American Express Travel.

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 = 57,400 Membership Rewards® points
Monetary value= $1,004
Annual fee = $699
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $305

You can redeem your points for:

  • Fixed Points Travel Program
  • Transfer points to frequent flyer and other programs
  • Premium gift cards
  • Statement credits

Insurance:

  • Out of province/country emergency medical
  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption
  • $500,000 travel accident insurance
  • Rental car theft/damage
  • Flight delay
  • Baggage delay
  • Lost or stolen baggage
  • Hotel burglary
  • Fraud Protection Guarantee
  • Purchase Protection® Plan
  • Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan

Other perks:

  • Enjoy complimentary access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world.
  • Get access to the Global Dining Collection for exclusive culinary experiences.
  • Receive a $200 Annual Travel Credit for booking through American Express Travel Online.
  • Access late check-out, complimentary breakfast, and more benefits through with Fine Hotels & Resorts.
  • Take advantage of the numerous travel benefits at Toronto Pearson Airport including, Pearson Priority Security Lane, complimentary valet, 15% discount on parking at the Express Park and Daily Park.
  • Get curated experiences through American Express Invites® just for Platinum Card members.
  • Enjoy the Platinum Concierge services for reservations and bookings.
  • There is no pre-set spending limit on purchases.
credit card mascot.png

Compare the best credit cards on RATESDOTCA.

Find the best credit card for your lifestyle today!

2. American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Card

Apply for the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Card and earn 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend at least $3,000 within the first three months. Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles per dollar you spend up to $25,000 annually and get an accelerated rate of 1.5 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar you spent over that. This card features loads of Air Canada perks and Pearson benefits as well as extended travel insurance.

The American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Card is a charge card. Therefore, the balance must be paid in full each month, or a 30% annual interest rate applies.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will see $1,251 in Aeroplan® Miles in the first year.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least 10 years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$499

Annual fee for additional cards:

  • $199 AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Cards
  • $50 AeroplanPlus®* Gold Cards

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when they spend at least $3,000 in the first three months.

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

Rewards:

  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles per dollar you spend, up to $25,000 annually.
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan Miles per dollar you spend over $25,000 annually.

Double-dip on rewards when you provide your Aeroplan Number at Partner brands.

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 = 70,000 Aeroplan Miles
Monetary value= $1,750
Annual fee = $499
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,251

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel
  • Aeroplan’s Market Fare Flight Rewards®
  • Aeroplan’s Fixed Mileage Flight Rewards®*
  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • Vacation packages
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Experiences

Insurance:

  • Out of province/country emergency medical
  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption
  • $500,000 travel accident insurance
  • Flight delay
  • Baggage delay
  • Lost or stolen baggage
  • Hotel burglary
  • Car rental theft and damage
  • Purchase Protection® Plan
  • Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan

Other perks:

  • Receive a Partner Ticket annually when you redeem 15,000 Aeroplan Miles for a short-haul roundtrip Fixed Mileage Flight Reward.
  • Enjoy a complimentary Priority Pass Membership and access over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, including unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges.
  • At Pearson Airport, cardholders can access Air Canada Priority Check-in, complimentary valet services, and the Pearson Priority Security Lane.

Best of Finance 2020 Methodology Infographic

Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is a creative, resourceful, and knowledgeable content producer who is passionate about financial literacy, storytelling, and generating ideas. She writes about credit cards, savings, debt management, and personal finance. In her spare time, Hayley can be found wandering in the woods, hunting for second-hand treasures, or curled up with a steeped tea and a good podcast.

Recent News Articles
How to Prepare Your Home for Autumn
Fall is here, but is your home (and your home insurance) ready for it? There are many things you should be doing right now to make sure your house is prepared to weather the pending winter storms and keep you safe, comfortable, and flood-free until spring.
Exploding Home Prices Making Mortgages Harder to Qualify For
Existing homeowners may be rejoicing at the fact average home prices are headed for the stars. Would-be purchasers, on the other hand, are curling up in the fetal position as their homeownership dreams turn nightmarish.
What Is an Auto Insurance Endorsement Form?
Auto insurance endorsement forms can increase or reduce your coverage. Learn about the most common endorsements in Ontario and Alberta.