For our most up-to-date ranking of travel credit cards, go here.
If you love to travel, a good travel credit card makes roaming the globe all the more affordable. The key is not to focus so much on points. Instead, look at the value of perks like companion flights, solid insurance coverage and flexibility when redeeming points.
Winner: American Express Cobalt*
Year-long welcome bonus: 2,500 extra points for every month that you spend $500 on your card in the first year, up to a $300 value for the first year.
Earn travel points faster: Five points for every $1 spent on food delivery, groceries, and restaurants and two points per $1 spent on travel and transit buys—including taxis, public transit and eligible flight tickets. Earn one point on all other purchases.
Get tickets before anyone else: Access to Front of the Line by American Express Invites as well as advance screenings to movies. At ticketmaster.ca, 2,000 points is equal to $20.
Flexible: Points can be redeemed for flights on any airline anytime—with no blackout periods. Plus, points can be used to cover taxes and fees.
Tons of travel-related benefits: Unique flight delay insurance, lost or stolen baggage insurance, hotel/motel burglary insurance and emergency travel insurance, and more.
Second place: Scotiabank Gold American Express*
Big rewards: Offers one of Canada’s richest reward rates of 4x the points on gas, grocery, dining and entertainment, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
Sign-up bonus: Get 15,000 points ($150 value) if you’re a new account holder if you sign up by February 28, 2019 and spend at least $1,000 in the first three months.
Lounge access: 35% discount for VIP access to airport lounges.
Insurance perks: Numerous travel insurance benefits, including travel medical coverage, trip cancellation, and more.
More travel perks: Discounts and other special offers on hotels, airfare, care rentals, cruises and vacation packages.
Third place: BMO World Elite MasterCard*
Plenty of points: Three points for every $1 spent on travel, dining and entertainment and two points per $1 on all other card purchases.
Big welcome: Sign up for a new account by March 2019 and get 35,000 points ($250 value) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Extensive travel insurance perks: Car rental collision and travel insurance for up to 21 days per trip.
Very important perks: Four free passes to select VIP airport lounges.
Zero blackout: Book flights on any airline, with no blackout dates.
What rewards can you expect?
|Card||Net reward (excluding 1st year sign-up bonus)|
|American Express Cobalt||$501|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express||$546|
|BMO World Elite MasterCard||$244|
*Based on $2,000 monthly spending in the second year
Honourary Mention: Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card*
-Two points per dollar on eligible purchases on groceries, restaurants, entertainment and travel—including taxis and public transit
-No foreign transaction fees
– 25,000 bonus points ($250 value) when you sign up by January 31, 2019 and spend at least $1,000 on the card in the first 3 months.
-$139 annual fee
For more on the best travel credit cards in Canada, check out our partner Ratehub.ca.
Ratehub.ca may be partnered with some financial institutions. This does not influence the “Canada’s Best Credit Card” rankings.