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Earn AIR MILES Rewards Fast: Top Credit Card Welcome Bonuses

Air Miles RewardsWe’ve put together the best AIR MILES rewards credit card sign-up bonus offers currently available in Canada. If you’re looking to add to your collection of AIR MILES rewards, or simply accelerate your AIR MILES earnings, getting a new AIR MILES credit card with a hefty sign-up bonus is the best and quickest way to earn a boatload of miles without having to spend an additional dime. 

Even if you already have an AIR MILES rewards credit card, why spend $10,000 to get 500 Air Miles Rewards, when you can sign-up for a new card from a different issuer and get 500 miles with no annual fee!

AIR MILES Rewards Credit Card Bonuses

Credit Cards          Sign-Up  Bonus                          Minimum Spend            Annual Fee           Min Income   

BMO Air Miles World Elite3,000 Air Miles Rewards                    First Purchase*          $120  1st Yr FREE           $80K  Get This Offer

American Express Air Miles Reserve credit card 2,400 Air Miles Rewards                  $3,000 in 3 Months             $299                       $20K  Get This Offer

American Express Air Miles Platinum Credit Card2,000 Air Miles Rewards                 $1,500 in 3 Months               $65                           $15K    Get This Offer                                

bmo air miles mastercard credit card500 Air Miles Rewards                      First Purchase                      $0                            $0     Get This Offer              

Miles Student MasterCard500 Air Miles Rewards                       First Purchase                         $0                           $0    Get This Offer

Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard500 Air Miles Rewards                       First Purchase                         $0                            $0    Get This Offer

american express air miles gold500 Air Miles Rewards                       $500 in 3 Months                  $0                             $15   Get This Offer                                  

In our opinion, the best AIR MILES rewards credit card welcome bonus offers right now are the no-fee-BMO Air Miles MasterCard and the Amex Air Miles Platinum card.

We love the BMO no-fee Air Miles MasterCard which comes with a welcome bonus of 500 Air Miles. The nice thing about this offer is you received 500 Air Miles after you’ve made your first purchase on the credit card. There are no minimum spend requirements. With no annual fee, it’s an easy 500 Air Miles to get completely free (limited time offer expires August 31, 2017).

We also love the American Express Air Miles Platinum card offer, which offers a whopping, 2,000 AIR MILES reward sign-up bonus offer! All you’ll have to do is spend $1,500 in the first 3 months to be eligible, spend you can shift from one card to this card. The annual fee is only $65 a year very reasonable.

BMO’s newest offer for its no fee Sobeys / IGA AIR MILES card is pretty unique as well, offering a 500 Air Miles reward welcome bonus and 3X the miles for the first 3 months, plus 2 miles per $20 spent at Sobeys/IGA and 1 miles per $20 spent everywhere else. If you have a lot of spend coming up in the next 3 months, it’s a quick and easy way to accumulate some miles. You can even combine the BMO no fee Sobeys / IGA AIR MILES card with the Amex Platinum card to get a hefty welcome bonus and miles accumulation on spend, with no annual fee!

Strategies To Get The Best AIR MILES Bonus

1. Size of sign-up bonus: There are plenty of AIR MILES rewards sign-up bonus offers available, but we recommend one of two strategies:

First strategy: Take advantage of some of the no annual fee offers, which are risk free. Whether its 800 or 2,000 AIR MILES rewards, there are quite a few sign-up bonus offers available. Don’t be afraid to get one from Amex and another from BMO. In fact, you can even get multiple cards from either BMO or American Express in the majority of cases.

Second Strategy: Wait until you get at least 2,000 AIR MILES Rewards for a fee based card. You’ll likely have to wait for a special offer, but both Amex and BMO typically have a 2,000 mile offer at least once a year – all the better if you can find a deal that also waives the first year annual fee – but that’s becoming difficult! As a benchmark, remember that 1,000 AIR MILES gets you a short haul airfare.

2. Minimum spend requirements: Some bonus offers give 500 AIR MILES rewards with no minimum spend required. Others offer 2,000 miles with a minimum spend of $1,500 within the first 3 months. Whatever it is, we recommend you just shift spend from one card to another, as opposed to spending more than you otherwise would, just to get the bonus. The nice thing about the BMO Air Miles World Elite offer is that there is no min spend to get the bonus, you just have to make at least one purchase on your card, and you’ll receive your sign-up bonus – a pack of gum is all it takes!

3. Annual fee waiver: Many of the best credit card bonus offers also have a first year annual fee waiver. With no fee in the first year, the issuer is dangling a big carrot to have you try out their card for free – take advantage. With no annual fee in the first year, the sign-up bonus really is absolutely free – at the end of the year you can decide to cancel your card or not, but the AIR MILES rewards will remain yours.

4. Diversity: One of the advantages of a coalition loyalty program like Air Miles, is that they have multiple credit card issuing partners. This allows you to earn multiple sign-up bonus offers from one rewards program, while all the miles go into your AIR MILES collector account. It is the most efficient strategy to quickly ramp up your miles. With so many no annual fee cards available, with nice sign-up bonuses, you can easily get enough points for a short haul flight (1,000 AIR MILES rewards), just by signing-up for a few credit cards risk free. With no annual fee, and nice sign-up bonus it’s a great strategy to really jump start your AIR MILES collector account.

Regardless of your choice, milk as many AIR MILES rewards from the system as you can. You can see how AIR MILES credit cards stack-up against the competition in more detail with our travel rewards comparison tool. Just remember that our tool does not take into account the AIR MILES rewards you earn when you double dip and collect miles on your loyalty card from AIR MILES partners.



  1. Hi, I had recently been rejected for another BMO air miles credit card. I wanted to take advantage of the 600 bonus air miles promotion that is currently taking place. I was planning on signing up for another card under my spouse’s name (with his consent lol) which would technically save me $12,000. I would then transfer the points into my account a few months later on. This would cost me $90 (0.15 x 600 miles). Is this a sound method? Or, am I able to link two credit cards to the same air miles collectors number? Thank you in advance

    • Hey Es, thanks for your comments!

      Concerning your question about how to take advantage of the BMO air miles bonus going on right now, we have a great solution for you. The complicated process you describe in your comment is not necessary, as multiple cards can be opened that contribute to the same BMO air miles account.
      During the application process, simply write in the number of your current account, and all bonuses stemming from the new card will be added to your existing BMO account. In this way, BMO makes it easy for families and couples like you and your boyfriend to get the most from your purchases! Good luck.

      GreedyRates Staff

  2. Hi,

    When redeeming a flight with Air Miles, is there better value in terms of # of Air miles or $ of taxes by booking a round trip as opposed to two one-way trips? I know one of my dates but haven’t figured out my return flight date yet, so I just don’t know whether it’s better to wait to book a round trip or just to book two separate one-way segments.


  3. Can you get the signup bonus twice off the same card if you cancel and wait a few months before reapplying? I’m thinking specifically of the Amex platinum 2,000 mile bonus.

    • Hi Natalie,

      Unfortunately, for current or former American Express Air Miles Platinum credit card members, you can only receive the welcome bonus once (relatively new rule). That said, you can apply for different American Express cards and receive each of their welcome bonus offers – as long as it’s not the same card twice.

      BMO does not have the same restriction.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  4. I used my American Express card at Costco to get miles for Delta. Now that Costco is eliminating American Express, I need to get a visa card. What’s the best Visa air miles card? God, I don’t want to fly United.

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