Planning your next adventure around the world is always exciting! Of course, going on a trip involves a lot of expenses. Whether it’s organizing luggage, travel insurance, foreign currency, finding a flight or booking hotel rooms, the list of things to think about is long. Don’t throw out those plans in frustration! There are credit cards that can make your life easier. In fact, many rewards programs allow you to travel with your points while some cards include comprehensive travel insurance. Our team has put together the top 10 bet travel credit cards available in Canada to make your search easier. If you want to make sure you choose the card that best suits your needs, use Hardbacon’s credit card comparison tool. It’s a completely free tool that allows you to get suggestions based on your financial reality.
The best travel credit cards
The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Credit Card
Annual fee : $120
Reward rate: 2.4%
Welcome offer: up to 60,000 BMO points and annual fee is waived in the first year
The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Credit Card is one of BMO’s most popular options. As part of the BMO Rewards program, cardholders receive a wide range of benefits without paying a high annual fee. The best way to use your BMO points is to redeem them for travel because the value of your points is the highest.
With the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Credit Card, you earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on transportation, groceries and gas. For all other card expenses, you earn one point for every dollar spent. However, you have the opportunity to earn 10% more points if you add a second cardholder to the account.
The card costs $120 per year, but there is currently a promotion that waives the fee in the first year. To qualify, the minimum income is $60,000 per person or $100,000 per household. The interest rate is 19.99% for purchases and 23.99% for cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents).
Cardholders are entitled to six complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge passes per year, valued at $99 US. You can use these passes for yourself or for a companion. Once used, there is a $32 US fee per visit per person.
American Express Cobalt Credit Card
Annual fee : $ 155.88 or $12.99 per month
Welcome offer : up to 30,000 Membership Rewards Points
The American Express Cobalt Credit Card is probably the card that most often appears in the various lists of the best credit cards! In fact, there are so many advantages that everyone can find something to their liking! It costs $12.99 per month, but additional cards are free. Interest rates are 20.99% for purchases and 21.99% for cash advances.
Of course, the reason we’re bringing this card to your attention is because it’s a great deal for some consumers. In fact, the rewards program is really generous. We’re still talking about American Express Membership Rewards. In fact, when you get this card, there is currently a welcome offer that allows you to get up to 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points! Otherwise, for spending at restaurants and meal delivery services, you earn three points per dollar spent. For all travel purchases, you earn two points per dollar spent. Finally, you get one point per dollar on all other purchases charged to the card. Again, you need 1,000 points to earn $10 in rewards.
Many benefits come with the Cobalt Card, starting with a $100 US hotel credit you can use for dining, treatments, or an upgrade at participating The Hotel Collection property. You are also entitled to comprehensive travel insurance, but be aware that some insurance is not available due to the pandemic. Always consult the terms and conditions and to use our travel insurance comparison tool if you are not fully covered. Finally, this card gives you access to the American Express Experiences program, which entitles you to all sorts of exclusive offers and events.
American Express The Platinum Credit Card
Annual fee: $699
Reward rate: 1.7%
Welcome offer : up to 80,000 Membership Rewards points
American Express’s The Platinum Card is different from the other cards presented here because it is not really a credit card. In fact, it’s more like a charge card. For this reason, at the end of each month, the full balance of the card must be paid. If you don’t, you’ll be charged 30% interest. So, if you’re not in the habit of always paying your balance in full, this is not the right option for you. Not to mention that it costs $699 per year.
Of course, the reason we’re bringing this card to your attention is because it’s a great deal for some consumers. In fact, its rewards program is really generous. We’re still talking about American Express Membership Rewards. In fact, when you get this card, there is currently a welcome offer that allows you to get up to 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards points! Otherwise, you earn three points per dollar spent at restaurants and meal delivery services. For all travel purchases, you earn two points per dollar spent. Finally, you get one point per dollar on all other purchases charged to the card. Again, you need 1,000 points to earn $10 in rewards.
Not only do you earn rewards quickly due to the very high point value, but by holding this card you also get a lot of benefits. Have you ever had the Platinum Travel experience? You won’t be able to live without it once you’ve tried it. It includes travel insurance, access to several airport lounges, exclusive offers, personalized concierge service and much more.
The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard
Annual fee : $120
Reward rate: 1.2%
Welcome offer : 2,000 Air Miles waiving of the $120 annual fee in the first year
The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard is a popular credit card among frequent travellers! In fact, it is very popular with fans of the Air Miles Reward Program. The card costs $120 per year. Thanks to the current welcome offer, this fee is waived in the first year after joining. The interest rate is 20.99% for purchases. For cash advances, the interest rate is 22.99%, but 21.99% for Quebec residents. To be eligible for this card, the primary cardholder must have a minimum salary of $80,000 per year or $150,000 per household.
The Air Miles program is known for its generosity! With this card, you earn three miles for every $12 in purchases made at participating Air Miles partners. For all other purchases you make with your card, you earn one mile for every $12 in purchases. At the time of writing, there is a welcome offer that allows you to earn up to 2,000 bonus Air Miles! With the Air Miles program, you can choose to earn Silver Miles or Dream Miles. If travel is the goal, you’ll benefit more from Dream Miles.
Travelers are especially spoiled with this card as it offers 15% off all Air Miles flights in North America! It also includes free membership to the Airport Experiences program provided by Loungekey. With this card, you are also entitled to one of the best travel insurance packages, including 15 days of out-of-province emergency medical coverage.
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
Annual fee : $599
Rewards rate: 1.25%
Welcome offer : 85,000 points
The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Credit Card offers a very high reward rate, which is what earned it a spot on this list. However, the annual fee is quite high at $599. Interest rates are 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances. The cost to get an additional card is $199 per year, but allows for some additional benefits. There is no minimum income requirement to qualify.
With this card, you earn three Aeroplan points for every dollar you spend with Air Canada. For all food and beverage expenses, you earn two points for every dollar spent. Finally, for all other expenses, you earn 1.25 points for every dollar spent. The Aeroplan Rewards Program offers many airport benefits and the ability to use your points for travel!
In addition, Air Canada offers several benefits to cardholders. For starters, an annual Boni Pass valid for flights around the world after $25,000 in net purchases. Also, you and your travel companions are entitled to a free first bag at check-in, not to mention priority boarding and baggage handling. You also have access to several airport lounges. Since it’s an American Express card, you’ll also receive a variety of benefits reserved for AMEX members.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
Annual fee : $139
Rewards rate: 1.5%
Welcome offer: up to 30,000 SCENE+ points and the annual feel is waived for the first year
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Credit Card offers several exclusive benefits to its members. These include no currency conversion fees, free access to several airport lounges, and the convenience of purchasing travel through the Scotia Travel Service. There is also a concierge service available at all times to assist you. With this card, you also have access to automatic upgrades at many hotels. This card includes several protections such as trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, travel medical insurance, insurance in case of flight delay, baggage delay or loss, public transportation accident, collision or loss and damage to rental vehicles.
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Credit Card is very popular with Scotiabank customers. It costs $139 per year, but this is waived in the first year due to the current welcome offer. This same bonus also allows you to earn up to 30,000 SCENE+ points. Interest rates are 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances. You earn two SCENE+ points for every dollar spent on groceries, entertainment, dining and transportation and one point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Annual fee : $120
Rewards rate: 3.4%
Welcome offer: up to 45,000 SCENE+ points
For starters, the Scotiabank American Express Gold Credit Card is a classic known to many globetrotters. It is the only major bank that does not charge a 2.5% currency conversion fee. The interest rate offered is 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.
With the SCENE+ Rewards program, you earn points. You can then redeem them for travel, dining, merchandise and more. With the Scotiabank American Express Gold Credit Card, you earn 5 points for every $1 in purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, fast food outlets, liquor stores, ready-to-eat meal subscriptions, meal delivery services and entertainment venues such as movie theatres. You earn three points per dollar of purchase for your Uber ride and for certain streaming services. Finally, you earn one point per dollar of purchase for all other expenses charged to your card.
In addition to not having a 2.5% currency transaction fee, there are several other benefits for travel enthusiasts. Among other things, cardholders can use their points to redeem flight tickets and have access to an exclusive discount for membership in the Priority Pass program, which provides access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world. Finally, there are several travel insurances included which include lost luggage, travel accidents, hotel theft, etc.
CIBC Aventura Infinite Visa Credit Card
Annual fee : $139
Rewards rate: 1.5%
Welcome offer: up to 35,000 Aventura points and the annual fee is waived for the first year
The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Credit Card costs $139 per year and offers an interest rate of 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances or 21.99% for Quebec residents. To qualify, the minimum income requirement is $60,000 for an individual or $100,000 for a household. Currently, there is a welcome offer that provides a refund of the annual fee in the first year plus up to 35,000 bonus Aventura Points.
The Aventura Points program is well liked by travelers who want to save money without breaking the bank. In fact, with the CIBC Aventura Points program, it’s easy to redeem your points for flights! With the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Credit Card, you earn two points per dollar spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre, 1.5 points for every dollar spent at eligible gas stations, grocery and drug stores, and one point for all other purchases charged to the card.
Other benefits include free airport lounge admissions, numerous travel insurance benefits and various travel perks. Among these, there are several bonuses offered on hotel stays, the purchase of vacation packages, etc.
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard Credit Card
Annual fee : $25
Rewards : up to two points per dollar in purchases
Welcome offer : Earn up to 35,000 points* ($175 travel value) PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the primary cardholder for the first year ($25 value). Must apply by October 31, 2022. Conditions apply.
The main advantage of the HSBC Mastercard +Rewards Credit Card is its outstanding interest rate of only 11.90%. This is the lowest interest rate of any card featured in this list! The card costs only $25 per year. So by choosing this credit card, you’re not adding a big expense to your budget. There’s also a welcome bonus that waives the annual fee for the first year and gives you up to 35,000 bonus points, worth $175 in travel rewards. Quebec residents are even entitled to up to 40,000 points but the fee is not waived. The offer ends October 31, 2022.
You read that right, in addition to the low interest rate and low cost, your card earns you points. The HSBC +Rewards program allows you to earn points and redeem them for travel, merchandise, gift certificates and financial rewards. You earn two points for every dollar spent on dining or entertainment purchases, and one point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. The value of points is higher when redeeming for travel.
You should know that travel and medical insurance is not included with the card, but you still have access to it. In fact, it is optional. If you wish to take it, there is an annual fee of $69. If you’ve ever experienced flight delays or lost luggage, you already know that this is a great low-cost investment!