The Air Miles loyalty program, which rewards collectors when they shop at any of its dozens of partner merchants across Canada, is one of the most established and popular in the nation. Known originally for offering travel rewards, over the years the program has expanded and these days collectors can redeem for merchandise, events and even cash. Whether you’re looking for a basic no-fee option, for a huge welcome bonus to get you instant rewards, or for a solid all-around travel Air Miles option, there’s a card that’s right for you.
The best Air Miles credit cards in Canada
- BMO Air Miles Mastercard — Best no-fee Air Miles credit card
- American Express Air Miles Platinum — Best welcome bonus Air Miles credit card
- BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard — Best Air Miles credit card for travellers
Best no-fee Air Miles credit card
If you’re looking for a no-fee credit card, why not choose one that rewards you with every spend? The BMO Air Miles Mastercard is a fairly standard everyday card with one serious frill: Cardholders earn 2 Miles per $20 spent at Air Miles partners, and 1 Mile per $20 spent everywhere else—an earn rate you can double when you also show your Air Miles card at checkout. When your time comes to redeem, you’ll have the added satisfaction of knowing your reward—whether a toaster oven, cash for groceries, or a flight—was free.
- Annual fee: $0
- Welcome bonus: Up to 1,000 bonus Air Miles and 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 6 months
- Earn rate: 2 Miles per $20 spent at Air Miles partners and 1 Mile per $20 spent elsewhere
- Additional benefits: Free additional cards, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and a discount on car rentals at Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental
Best Air Miles credit card welcome bonus
When you sign up for an American Express Air Miles Platinum card, you’re getting the best welcome bonus in the program: 2,000 bonus Miles with $1,500 in charges in the first three months of membership. (The BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard, which snags a best-of review below, offers a 3,000 Mile bonus, but at double the spend and nearly double the annual fee.) The bonus alone is enough for a select short-haul flight, and beefing up your account is easy with this card’s earn rate of 1 Mile per $10 spent at partner merchants and 1 Mile per $15 spent everywhere else.
- Annual fee: $65
- Welcome bonus: 2,000 Air Miles with $1,500 in credit card purchases over the first three months, plus a 1.99% introductory interest rate for the first six months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee
- Earn rate: 1 Mile per $10 spent at partner merchants and 1 Mile per $15 spent everywhere else
- Additional benefits: Free supplementary cards, travel accident insurance, car rentals damage and theft protection and purchase protection
Best Air Miles credit card for travellers
If you’re looking to use the Air Miles program primarily for travel, this card offers outstanding perks and bonuses. The BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard has the best earn rate in the field, with 1 Mile awarded for every $10 spent; plus, new members are welcomed with a whopping 3,000 Miles bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Additionally, cardholders get discounts on flights and car rentals, and can journey easy with travel and medical protection.
- Annual fee: $120
- Welcome bonus: 3,000 bonus Air Miles with a spend of $3,000 or more in the first three months, and the annual fee is waived for the first year
- Earn rate: 1 Mile for every $10 spent
- Additional benefits: Travel and medical discounts on car rentals, 15% flight discount on Air Miles flights in North America
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