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The 8 Best Credit Cards for Road Trip Fanatics and Lovers of the Great Outdoors

    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

    Annual Fee: $99

    Interest Rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents)

    The CIBC Dividend Platinum Visa card is one of the best Visa credit cards in Canada! 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.

    BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite

    Annual Fee: $120

    Interest Rate: 20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents)

    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!

    TD Cash Back Visa* Infinite

    Annual Fee: $139

    Interest Rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances. Quebec residents may be subject to different rates.

    TD Bank also offers a cash back card that will cost you $139 per year. If you’re not a fan of points systems, this one will be of more interest to you. You can earn 10% Cash Back for the first 3 months on a maximum spend amount of $3,500 combined on groceries, gas, and recurring bill payments. After your first $3,500 spent on eligible purchases, gas transactions, grocery spend, and pre-authorized payments will continue to earn 3% cash back.

    Plus, the annual fee is waived for the first year if you make a first purchase on the card within the first 3 months of opening the account. This applies to the primary cardholder as well as additional cardholders.

    To get this welcome offer, you must apply and be approved by March 4, 2024. See offer details below. †Conditions apply.

    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.

    †Terms and conditions apply.

    The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please click the Apply Now button.

    No-fee credit cards for your road trips

    MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard

    Annual Fee: None

    Interest Rate: 19.99% on purchases, 24.99% on cash advances

    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.

    MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

    Annual Fee: None

    Interest Rate: 19.99% on purchases, 24.99% on cash advances

    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.

    CIBC Aeroplan Visa

    Annual Fee: None

    Interest Rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents)

    The CIBC Aeroplan Visa card is intended for travellers. 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.

    TD Cash Back Visa* Card

    Annual Fee: $0

    Interest Rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances. Quebec residents may be subject to different rates.

    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. As soon as you have $25 in Cash Back Dollars, you can apply it toward your credit card balance. You also earn 50% more points when you shop at Starbucks®. Like many other credit cards, it has an agreement with Avis and Budget to provide discounts of 5% to 10% on vehicle rentals.

    †Terms and conditions apply.

    The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please click the Apply Now button.

    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 travelling for free? How much could you save on fuel?

    Some credit cards seem optimal for travellers, 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!

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    Maude Gauthier is a journalist for Hardbacon. Since completing her Ph.D. in communications at University of Montreal, she has been writing about finance, insurance and credit cards for companies like Fonds FMOQ and Code F. As a responsible user of credit cards, she can spend hours reading the fine print to fully understand their benefits. Because of their simplicity, she developed a preference for cash back cards. After suffering steep increases with her former insurer, she can now proudly say that she saved hundreds of dollars by shopping around for her auto and home insurance. In her free time, she reads novels and enjoys streaming popular shows (and possibly less popular shows, like animal documentaries).