The 14 Best Travel Credit Cards in Canada for 2023

plane standing on top of a travel credit card

    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, finding travel insurance, getting foreign currency, finding a flight or booking hotel rooms, the list of things to think about is never-ending.

    Don’t throw out those plans in frustration! There are credit cards that can make your life easier. In fact, many travel credit cards offer rewards programs that help you travel with your points while others include comprehensive travel insurance. Our team has rounded up the best credit cards in Canada to make your search easier. If you want to make sure you choose the card that best suits your needs, use a credit card comparison tool. It’s a completely free tool that allows you to get suggestions based on your financial reality.

    BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard – Best Travel Credit Card Overall

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    The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard is by far the best travel credit card on the market. It has a generous earning rate, with up to 5x the points for travel-related purchases and 3x the points for eligible dining and entertainment purchases and reoccurring bill payments. For all other purchases, points are awarded at a rate of 1 per $1 spent.

    With an annual fee of $150, the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard is an investment, but a worthy one. Cardholders get automatic comprehensive travel and medical insurance and access to the Mastercard Travel Rewards Program, which rewards you with rebates just for dining and shopping all around the world. Best of all, this card comes with an annual free membership to Mastercard Travel Pass by DragonPass and 4 free lounge passes.

    Eligibility Requirements BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    760
    Annual Income$80,000 (individual); or
    $150,000 (household)
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite – Best Travel Credit Card for Travel Insurance

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    With the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite, you’ll travel in style! This card is incredibly efficient at earning reward points. You earn 8 TD Rewards points per dollar spent when you book with Expedia for TD, 6 points at grocery stores and restaurants, 4 points on recurring bill payments set up in your account and 2 points on all other purchases you make with your card. You’ll also receive an annual birthday bonus of up to 10,000 TD Rewards points!

    Let’s talk about travel insurance since it’s one of the great advantages of this credit card:

    • Medical Insurance: Up to $2,000,000 for the first 21 days (or 4 days for seniors age 65 or over).
    • Flight/Travel Delay Insurance: Up to $500 per insured person if your flight/travel is delayed more than four hours.
    • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: Up to $1,500 of coverage per insured person, for a total maximum of $5,000 for all insureds. In the case of trip interruption, the total maximum is $25,000 for all insured people taking part in the trip.
    • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance: Up to $500,000 of covered losses while travelling on a common carrier (for example, bus, ferry, plane, train or rental car).
    • Emergency Travel Assistance Services: Toll-free telephone assistance in the event of a personal emergency.
    • Delayed or lost baggage insurance: Up to $1,000 aggregate coverage per insured person for essential purchases.

    With coverage provided by the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite card, you probably won’t need to purchase additional insurance to protect yourself while on vacation.

    Eligibility Requirements TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$60,000 (individual); or
    $100,000 (household
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    RBC Avion Visa Infinite – Best for Travel Within Canada/North America

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    The RBC Avion Visa Infinite credit card is ideal if you travel frequently within North America. It’s particularly great for saving you money on flights across Canada. This credit card also comes with generous travel cancellation, interruption and medical insurance.

    You earn 1.25 Avion points per dollar spent on travel, then 1 Avion point per dollar on everything else. In addition to airline tickets, these points can be redeemed for merchandise, for points in other loyalty programs, or used to pay off your credit card balance.

    The RBC Avion Visa Infinite card also gives you exclusive access and discounts on its collection of experiences. These will be particularly appealing to golfers and skiers.

    Eligibility Requirements RBC Avion Visa Infinite
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$ 60,000 (individual); or
    $ 100,000 (household)
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    BMO AIR MILES Mastercard – Best Travel Credit Card for Earning AIR MILES

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    The BMO AIR MILES Mastercard is a popular credit card among fans of the AIR MILES Reward Program. The card has no annual fee and no minimum income requirements, and AIR MILES rewards can be used for travel purchases or cash rewards.

    With the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard, you will earn 3 miles for every $25 in purchases made at participating AIR MILES partners and 2x the miles at eligible grocery stores. For all other purchases you make with your card, you earn one mile for every $25 in purchases. 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.

    Eligibility Requirements BMO AIR MILES Mastercard
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual IncomeN/A
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    BMO eclipse Visa Infinite – Best Premium Travel Credit Card

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    The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite 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. To qualify, the minimum income is $60,000 per person or $100,000 per household.

    With the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite credit card, you earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on transportation, groceries, restaurants, and gas. For all other card expenses, you earn 1 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 best way to use your BMO points is to redeem them for travel because the value of your points is the highest. Use the calculator on their website to estimate how many points you would need to make the trip of your dreams!

    Eligibility Requirements BMO eclipse Visa Infinite
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$60,000 (individual); or
    $100,000 (household)
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    Scotiabank Gold American Express – Best Travel Credit Card for Foreign Spending

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    For starters, the Scotiabank Gold American Express credit card is a classic known to many globetrotters because it is a major bank that does not charge a 2.5% currency conversion fee.

    In addition to not having a 2.5% currency transaction fee, there are several other benefits for travel enthusiasts. Among other things, Scotiabank Gold American Express 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 insurance plans included which cover lost luggage, travel accidents, hotel theft, and more, so you never have to worry about unfortunate circumstances ruining your trip.

    Eligibility Requirements Scotiabank Gold American Express
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$12,000
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card – Best Travel Credit Card for Everyday Spending

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    The Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card is a free credit card that has good earning potential. Scene points are awarded at a rate of 2x for every $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, home improvement stores, and Cineplex cinemas. All other eligible purchases earn 1 Scene point for every $1 spent. Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card

    With the Scene+ Rewards program, points earned are incredibly flexible and can be used to redeem travel rewards, plus dining, merchandise and more. Movie lovers can use their points to pay for movie tickets, snacks or seat upgrades at Cineplex theatres in Canada and the US.

    While it doesn’t come with any travel insurance packages, it’s a free card that continues to earn points abroad and can end up saving you a bundle in foreign currency conversion fees.

    Eligibility Requirements Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$12,000
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    Rogers World Elite Mastercard – Best Travel Credit Card for USD purchases

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    Another no-fee travel credit card, the Rogers World Elite Mastercard offers 3% cashback on all eligible purchases in U.S. dollars. It will quickly wipe out the fees associated with currency conversion! You’ll also earn a significant 1.5% cashback on all other purchases, no matter the currency.

    This Rogers card offers an attractive range of insurances for travellers. For instance, you’ll be covered for out-of-province and out-of-country emergency medical care, trip interruption and trip cancellation. You’ll also receive a free subscription to Mastercard Travel Pass, giving you access to 1,300 airport lounges worldwide for $32 USD per visit.

    Eligibility Requirements Rogers World Elite Mastercard
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    725
    Annual Income$80,000 (individual) or
    $150,000 (household)
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    KOHO Travel Mastercard – Best Prepaid Travel Credit Card

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    If you want to travel but don’t want to open a new credit card for whatever reason, the KOHO Travel Mastercard is perfect for travelling. With the free Easy plan and the $48 per year Essential account, you have a currency conversion fee of only 1.5%, which is lower than most credit cards. Even better, with the $9/month (or $84/year) Extra account or the $19/month Everything plan, the currency conversion fee is completely waived! Plus, with these accounts, you get one free international withdrawal.

    You also get these travel perks:

    • 6% cash back when you book through Booking.com and pay with your KOHO card
    • 5% cash back when you book through Contiki.com and pay with your KOHO card
    • Up to 2% cash back when you dine out or buy groceries abroad (and at home!)
    • Lower or no foreign transaction fees, depending on the KOHO plan you choose
    • Stress-free spending with Mastercard’s Zero Liability Policy

    The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard offers many other benefits. Among other things, you are entitled to cash back on purchases and interest on your savings of up to 4.5%, depending on the plan you choose. You also have access to a credit-building feature. If you chose the KOHO Travel Mastercard because you had bad credit, this feature may allow you to access other cards on this list.

    Eligibility Requirements KOHO Travel Mastercard
    Credit Score
    No credit check required
    Annual IncomeN/A
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard – Best Cashback Travel Credit Card

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    Earn cashback while you travel with the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard. Thanks to Mastercard’s globally accepted network, cardholders can earn cashback rewards on purchases like groceries, gas and other everyday expenses while they travel.

    Cashback is awarded at a rate of 5% on groceries, 4% on transit, 3% on gas, 2% on recurring bill payments, and 1% on everything else. Best of all, unlike some cashback cards that require you to meet minimum cashback rewards or wait til the end of the month to claim your rewards, you can redeem your cash rewards for as little as $1, whenever you want.

    Finally, with the CashBack World Elite Mastercard, you’ll get BMO Concierge services, the benefits of the Mastercard Travel Rewards Program, complimentary roadside assistance and excellent insurance protection on everything from purchases to trip interruption.

    Eligibility Requirements BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    760
    Annual Income$80,000 (individual); or
    $150,000 (household)
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite – Best Aeroplan Card

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    If you’re a loyal Air Canada customer, the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* card is for you. It allows you to quickly earn Aeroplan points that can be redeemed on Air Canada flights, for hotel reservations, car rentals and merchandise or gift cards. With this card, you earn 1.5 Aeroplan points for every eligible dollar spent on gas, groceries and with Air Canada, and 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

    There are several benefits that come with the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card. That includes complimentary concierge service and access to exclusive events. You’re also entitled to savings on checked baggage fees. Plus, there’s a range of travel insurance included, including travel medical insurance, trip cancellation or interruption insurance and flight delay insurance.

    Eligibility Requirements TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    760
    Annual Income$60,000 (individual); or
    $100,000 (household income)
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card – Best Travel Credit Card for Lounge Access

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    With the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite credit card, not only do you travel better, but you also go to the movies, out to eat and have fun, thanks to your Scene+ points. You earn 3 Scene+ points for every $1 you spend at participating grocery stores, 2 points at restaurants, movie theatres, ticket offices, on public transit (bus, metro, cab, carpool, etc.) and on all purchases at other grocery stores.

    When it’s time for a vacation, you can book with any supplier and redeem Scene+ points to cover the cost of your trip. Best of all, you’ll be travelling in comfort thanks to a complimentary Visa Airport Companion Program membership and 6 free lounge passes to use yourself and your travel companions.

    Also, when you use your Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, either abroad or online, you pay no currency conversion fees. Only the exchange rate applies.

    Eligibility Requirements Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$60,000 (individual); or
    $100,000 (household)
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card – Best Business Travel Card

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    Business owners can earn points that can cover the cost of a yearly getaway with the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card. New members are incentivized to sign up with a bonus reward of 70,000 points just for spending $5000 within the first 3 months. Not only that but if you spend at least $20,000 in net purchases per quarter, you can earn an additional 40,000 points per calendar year.

    With a yearly cost of $200, the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card packs a pretty powerful punch. You’ll get comprehensive travel insurance, purchase protection, mobile device protection, and employee card misuse protection. You’ll also have access to tools that benefit your business, like 55 interest-free days on select purchases, expense management reports and flexible payment options for large purchases.

    And if you want options when you travel, American Express Membership Reward points can easily be transferred to other frequent flyer and loyalty programs, including Aeroplan, which is a huge bonus for Canadian business owners.

    Eligibility Requirements American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    725
    Annual IncomeN/A
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for Students – Best Travel Card for Students

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    Students can sign up for the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for students with no minimum income requirements and start collecting Aeroplan points that can be used for an awesome vacation once exams are done. Primary cardholders can add up to 3 additional users at no extra cost and earn points faster by pooling them in an Aeroplan Family Sharing account.

    With the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for students, you’ll earn 1 Aeroplan point for every $1 spent on gas and electric vehicle charging stations, grocery stores, and purchases made directly from Air Canada. You’ll also earn 1 point for every $1.50 spent on everything else. Start building your credit history while earning your way toward an unforgettable Spring Break vacation with the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for students.

    Eligibility Requirements CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for Students
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    600
    Annual IncomeN/A
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    FAQs About Travel Credit Cards in Canada

    What is the best travel credit card in Canada?

    The best travel credit card in Canada can vary according to individual needs, which is why it’s important to read blog posts on the topic and compare credit cards.

    What are the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada?

    Among the best rewards credit cards in Canada are the American Express Cobalt and the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite, both of which have been named among the best travel credit cards on several occasions.

    How to find out if my credit card has travel insurance?

    To find out if your credit card comes with travel insurance, you can read the card’s informative documents (on the company’s website or received by mail). If in doubt, contact your credit card issuer for details of your card. Their telephone number is usually on the card itself.

    How does credit card travel insurance work?

    Credit card travel insurance generally works by providing coverage for certain types of incidents such as trip cancellations, flight delays, lost baggage and medical emergencies, subject to the card’s specific terms and conditions. For example, there might be a limit to the number of people insured and a maximum amount you can claim. Compare travel insurance policies and don’t stop at those offered by credit cards.

    Can you combine travel points from different credit cards?

    You are not usually allowed to combine travel points from different credit cards, as the points are linked to rewards programs specific to each card. A good strategy is to use a single card as much as possible, but some people prefer churning credit cards.

    Do American Express credit cards have travel insurance?

    Yes, American Express credit cards often offer travel insurance, but details and coverage may vary depending on the type of card. Always refer to the information specific to your card.

    Do TD credit cards have travel insurance?

    TD credit cards often offer travel insurance, but details and coverage may vary depending on the type of card. The two cards mentioned in this article do have travel insurance: TD Visa Infinite Ultimate Travel Class and Aeroplan.

    Are travel credit cards worth it?

    If you travel frequently and enjoy benefits such as reward points, airport lounge access or travel insurance, they may be worth it. Always take the time to simulate the rewards you could earn, and factor in annual fees.

    Do I have travel insurance with my Visa credit card?

    It’s the card issuer (rather than Visa) that can specify whether travel insurance is included. To find out if your Visa credit card comes with travel insurance, consult your card’s information documents or contact the issuer directly (e.g. your bank).

    Do I need a credit card to travel?

    You don’t necessarily need a credit card to travel, but it can be useful to facilitate payments and enjoy additional benefits such as travel insurance and rewards. If you don’t have a traditional credit card, you can opt for a prepaid card.

    Do BMO credit cards have travel insurance?

    Some BMO credit cards offer travel insurance, but details and coverage may vary depending on the type of card.

    Do Capital One credit cards have travel insurance?

    You may have coverage for travel accidents on common carriers and baggage delays, but since Capital One credit cards aren’t designed for travelers, coverage remains limited.

    Does my credit card travel insurance cover my family?

    Yes, in general, your credit card’s travel insurance coverage extends to your immediate family (partner and children) if you are traveling together. However, it’s important to check your card’s specific terms and conditions to confirm the exact coverage.

    Meagen Seatter is a freelance journalist for Hardbacon. She's been using credit cards to travel-hack her way around the world since 2019. In addition to freelance work, she writes for Investing News Network, a global publication reporting on the latest investment news, developments, and trends. She studies online at Athabasca University and currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.