By using the right credit card responsibly and effectively, you can make the most of your summer without breaking the bank!

Although you can visit the mountains all year round, the summer season usually brings increased traffic into the country’s provincial and national parks. Experienced hikers and beginners alike await the warmer weather’s return before taking to the roads and mountains!

Hiking is the most popular outdoor activity in Canada and the United States. The number of nature lovers increases from year to year. Many parks recorded historic levels of visitors last year.


Rewards for your fuel and a few snacks on the road trip

When you’re on the road a lot, upgrading your outdoor gear regularly, and grabbing a bite to eat on the go, these getaways can quickly become expensive. Some credit cards offer great rewards for outdoor enthusiasts, so here are eight of our favourites.

Using the credit card comparison tool, you can choose the best one for you. We did a comparison with monthly expenses of about $1,450 to provide an idea of the magnitude of possible savings. Your personal experience will therefore vary based on your own expenses.

Credit cards with annual fees for outdoor enthusiasts

CIBC Dividend Platinum Visa

You can get the card from CIBC free of charge for the first year, and you’ll be charged $99 per year thereafter. This card will save you approximately $480 per year as CIBC gives you 3% on fuel and groceries, 2% on transportation, dining and living expenses, and 1% on your other purchases.

With a 10¢ per-litre rebate at Chevron, Pioneer and Ultramar locations in addition to a rental vehicle collision and damage insurance, it seems ideal for those planning to be on the roads a lot.

Get the CIBC Dividend Platinum Visa card


National Bank ECHO Cashback Mastercard

The National Bank ECHO Cashback Mastercard has a small annual fee of $30, which makes it very affordable. It could save you $225 a year with its 1.5% rebates on fuel, groceries and online purchases, and 1% on all other purchases.

Beyond these rebates, this card boasts unique travel experiences through room upgrades and special menus.

Get the National Bank ECHO Cashback Mastercard


BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite

At a cost of $120 annually, this BMO credit card is attractive because it gives you about $475 in savings. Most importantly, this fee is waived in the first year and you can get up to 40,000 rewards points to begin. The points-based rewards system is as follows: 5 points per $1 of groceries, fuel, restaurant and takeout meals, transportation, and 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else.

You can use your points to buy a coffee or pay for a trip, for example, for which it offers insurance. With 122, 209 points, you can make it all the way to Rio de Janeiro!

Get the BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite card


TD Cash Back Visa Infinite

TD Bank also offers a cash back card that will cost you $120 per year. If you’re not a fan of points systems, this one will be of more interest to you. TD rebates 6% of your purchases for the first three months and 3% thereafter on fuel, groceries and recurring bills (pre-authorized payments). It also offers you 1% on other purchases.

The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card comes with auto rental collision and damage insurance, travel medical insurance and lost or stolen baggage coverage. It also has an agreement with Avis and Budget for a 5% to 10% discount on vehicle rentals.

Get the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card


No fee credit cards for your road trips


MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard

Who doesn’t like no-fee cards? Nobody! Especially since some of them are quite comparable to more expensive cards. The MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard offers you rewards estimated at $400 per year. MBNA rebates 2% on fuel and groceries and 0.5% on other purchases.

You can take advantage of a 5% discount promotion for the first 6 months and get discounts on vehicle rentals from Avis and Budget.

Get the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard


MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

With potential savings of $290 per year, the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard’s big sister, and it will make you just as happy! You can earn 2 points for every $1 spent on fuel, groceries and restaurants, and 1 point for every $1 spend on any other purchases. Your points can then be redeemed for travel, donations or for cash back.

MBNA’s welcome offer is 10,000 bonus points. You can also save on vehicle rentals with Avis and Budget.

Get the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard


CIBC Aeroplan Visa

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa card is intended for travelers. With 1 point for every $1 spent with Air Canada, fuel and groceries, 1 point for every $1.50 spent on any other purchases and the chance to double your points with its partners, you could save approximately $180 per year.

This card also gives you a discount of 3¢ per-liter of fuel at Chevron, Pioneer and Ultramar, a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points, and collision and damage insurance for rental vehicles. As an example, you could quickly earn enough points for a one-way, economy class ticket for a flight from Toronto to New York.

Get the CIBC Aeroplan Visa card


TD Cash Back Visa

With this card’s 1% discount on fuel, groceries and recurring bills, such as pre-authorized payments like insurance premiums and your subscription to an outdoor magazine, as well as 0.5% on any other purchase, you could save $160 per year.
Like many other credit cards, it has an agreement with Avis and Budget to provide discounts of 5% to 10% on vehicle rentals.

Get the TD Cash Back Visa card


Which credit card is right for you is up to you!

Yearly fee or no-fee? Cash back or points rewards? Insurance or not? The ideal credit card, of course, depends on your needs and what you enjoy most in a getaway. One thing’s for certain – road trippers and outdoor enthusiasts won’t snub a discount on fuel!

Some banks offer very attractive welcome promotions. However, these should not overshadow their longer-term benefits. So consider your lifestyle: How often do you rent a car? Are you interested in traveling for free? How much could you save on fuel?

Some credit cards seem optimal for travelers, while others are more suitable for small budgets and those who like to calculate their return on investment, even while camping! Maybe one of them is the perfect option for embarking on a getaway into the United States or catching a flight to British Columbia and travelling down the West Coast into California.

You’re allowed to dream!


This article was compiled by Hardbacon, which has designed a credit card comparator listing hundreds of Canadian credit cards. Hardbacon also helps you save on savings accounts, chequing accounts, online brokers, robo-advisors, life insurance, mortgages and personal loans. If you want to go one step further and take control of your finances, you should download Hardbacon’s mobile app, which links to your bank and investing accounts, helps you plan for your financial goals, create a budget and invest better.

How would you like to earn hundreds of dollars in rewards?

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