Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada for 2022

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Last updated on July 26, 2022 Comments: 30

Credit cards don’t exist solely to help you spend money. If you choose the right one for your lifestyle, you can earn just by doing your regular shopping. The key is to choose a credit card with a solid and worthwhile rewards program that suits you.

Best Canadian Credit Cards for Rewards

Credit CardBest For
BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*Travel Rewards
American Express Cobalt® CardWelcome Bonus
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®No Annual Fee Rewards
PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard® Store Rewards
Scotiabank Gold American Express® CardEveryday Spending
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* CardDining Rewards

Best Travel Rewards Card

BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*

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Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Minimum Income: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian

 

The BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* combines high rewards earn rates with stellar travel insurance and airport lounge access*, making it a major travel asset for upper-income Canadians who frequently find themselves outside their home province.

Key Features

  • Sign-up bonus: Get up to 60,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.*
  • Earn rates: 5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.*
  • Airport lounge access: Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes.
  • Travel insurance: Includes emergency medical, trip cancellation, flight delay, lost luggage, car rental, etc.*
  • Global Wi-Fi: Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges*

The huge 60,000-point bonus rewards work as follows: New cardholders get 30,000 BMO Rewards points if you make at least $3,000 worth of purchases with the card in the first three months of cardmembership*, plus get an additional 2,500 bonus points in each subsequent month that you spend at least $2,000, beginning 4 months from the account open date and ending 15 months from the account open date*. BMO Rewards points can be used to travel, shop, invest, or swap for cash to pay down your credit card balance, but you’ll maximize the points’ value by using them to purchase travel at bmorewards.com, where points are worth about $0.0067 each. Regular spending is most remunerative for purchases you make on travel where the card’s earn rate is the equivalent of an approximate 3.3% return.

The rewards points you can earn are complemented with one of the best lounge access packages in Canada and some of the most comprehensive travel insurance offered by Canadian credit cards*. The card’s $150 annual fee is on the high side, but those interested in bundling the card with a BMO Performance Plan bank account can shave off $40 from the annual fee each year* (same goes for the BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®*).

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*.

*Terms and conditions apply

Best Welcome Bonus

American Express Cobalt® Card

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: N/A
– Age: Age of majority in province/territory
– Residency: Canadian resident

The American Express Cobalt® Card currently features a nice welcome offer: New cardholders can earn 2,500 Amex Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period where they make at least $500 in purchases with their card, through the first 12 months of Cardmembership (12 months * 2,500 points = 30,000 points). Terms and conditions apply.

Key Features

  • Annual Fee: $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
  • Accelerated Earn Rates: 5 points per $1 spent at stand-alone grocery stores, on food delivery services, and at restaurants, coffee shops and bars (up to $30K in annual spending); 3 points per $1 spent on eligible streaming services; 2 points per $1 spent at stand-alone gas stations, on travel (flights, rail transit, hotels, etc.), and on local commuter transit (subway, taxis, ridesharing services, etc.)
  • Base Earn Rate: 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Welcome Bonus: Up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in your first year (conditions apply)
  • Travel Insurance: Includes emergency medical, lost/stolen baggage, flight delay, car rental, etc.

The one Achilles heal of the Cobalt Card (or any Amex credit card) is that it is not as widely accepted by merchants as, say, a Visa or Mastercard. Before signing up for the Cobalt it’s recommended that you review our article about where Amex cards are accepted and double-check to make sure they’ll take it where you do the bulk of your shopping. If your favourite grocers, restaurants, gas stations, etc., are not on the Amex merchant acceptance list, it might be wise to go with a Visa or Mastercard featured on this page instead.

That said, keep in mind that unlike most credit cards the Cobalt charges a monthly fee rather than a lump-sum that adds up to a total of $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee). So, if you’re on the fence you can simply give the card a low-cost trial period of a month or two, allowing you to test out how often you’re really able to use the card based on where you shop.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete American Express Cobalt® Card review

Best No Annual Fee Rewards Card

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: N/A
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian

 

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® is an overlooked gem among rewards cards in Canada and could be an ideal fit for anyone who is averse to paying an annual fee and whose biggest spending categories are groceries, restaurants, subscriptions, and utilities.

Key Features

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Welcome offer: Up to 10,000 points ($100 travel value or $50 “Cash” Bonus Points value) + 4 points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, digital media, membership, and household utility purchases in the first 90 days
  • Regular earn rates: 2 points per $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, digital media, memberships, and household utilities after the first 90 days ($10,000 annual spending cap in each category); 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Birthday Bonus Points: In your annual birthday month you’ll receive an extra 10% of the total points you earned in the previous year (max 10K Birthday Bonus Points annually)
  • Interest rates: 19.99% Purchase APR; 22.99% Balance Transfer APR; 24.99% Cash Advance APR

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard’s welcome offer is very generous for a no annual fee card. New cardholders can earn the maximum 10,000 points by making at least $500 in purchases with the card (5K points) and enrolling in paperless e-statements (another 5K points) within 90 days of opening the account. Cardholders are also treated to an accelerated earn rate within the first 90 days, where they’ll earn 4 points per $1 spent on eligible groceries, restaurant bills, digital media, memberships, and household utilities. After 90 days the rate drops to a still-high 2 points per $1 spent in those categories. These enhanced earn rates are applicable for up to $10,000 in purchases annually in each of those individual spending categories, after which all purchases will earn 1 point per $1 spent until the beginning of a new year.

MBNA Rewards points earned from this card never expire and can be redeemed for a value of $0.01 per point via the MBNA Travel Portal, or for cash back against the card balance at $0.005 per point. Points can also be redeemed for merchandise and gift cards as well, though redemption rates vary from one item to the next.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard review.

Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.

Best for Store Rewards

PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard®

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Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $80,000
– Annual fees: $0

When you compare rewards credit cards in Canada — particularly those with no annual fee — you’ll find that few cards offer a meaningful points rate outside of the promo period. With the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, you earn 45 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, and 30 points per $1 spent at Loblaw Banner Grocery Stores. For families and shoppers who regularly shop in these stores, this might be worthwhile, particularly because the card comes with a $0 annual fee.

Redeeming your points is refreshingly simple. Once you’ve earned 10,000 points or more, all you need to do is present your credit card to the cashier when you go to pay and ask him/her to take $10 (or more) off your bill. Since you get the money directly off your bill, we consider it to be a ‘cash equivalent’ credit card.

It should be noted that a PC Optimum point is worth relatively little compared to, say, offerings from a cash back credit card with an accelerated earn rate for groceries. Because 1 PC Optimum Point = $0.001 redeemable at one of the aforementioned stores, this might end up being less valuable than, say, a cash back credit card that earns 3% on all grocery spend. That said, the PC Financial card does come with an impressive array of insurance and extended warranty perks, so it might be more beneficial for some than a cash back card.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete PC Financial World Elite Mastercard review.

Best for Everyday Spending

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

Apply Now

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score recommended: 
Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $12,000
– Annual fees: $120

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card is one of the few rewards cards that really pays you back for the everyday spending you make at home, as well as cutting you a break on what you spend while travelling overseas.

Why We Like the Card

It offers very high earn rates on what are likely your biggest daily spending categories, nabbing 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible groceries (as well as dining and entertainment) and 3X points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible gas, daily transit, and select streaming services. It’s also one of the few cards in Canada that waives foreign transaction fees, saving you money every time you make a purchase in a foreign currency.

The card offers a lot of flexibility when the time comes to redeem your points, allowing you to book a trip through their Travel Service, or make a travel purchase independently and then redeem accumulated points *after* the charges show up on the card. Plus, it comes with other travel goodies, like a comprehensive suite of travel insurance and a discount on Priority Pass lounge membership.

Key Features

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scene+™ points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel) and first year annual fee waived. Must apply by October 31, 2022. Terms and conditions apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Most rewards cards charge 2.5% every time you make a purchase in a foreign currency
  • High Earn Rates: 5X the Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on groceries, dining and entertainment; 3X the Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on gas, daily transit, and streaming services; 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance: Includes standout coverage like up to $1,000 for lost or delayed luggage

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card review.

Best for Dining Rewards

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Good-Excellent
– Minimum Income: $60,000 individual or $100,000 household
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian

 

If you’re a fan of saving big on restaurants and groceries, look no farther than the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card. This new card is making a big splash on Canada’s credit card scene thanks to its incredibly high accelerated earn rate categories for groceries and dining. The card gives you 5 BMO Rewards for every $1 spent on items that fall within the card’s grocery and dining categories*.

The dining and grocery categories include things like specialty food stores, fast-food restaurants, bars and even subscription food services like Hello Fresh — which pretty much covers all the food bases imaginable and is enough to satisfy even the most fervent foodie. The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card also features two more high-earn categories of gas and transit that will get you 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent*. Cardholders earn 1 BMO Reward point per $1 for all other purchases*. The points can then be redeemed for a variety of things like merchandise, travel, gift cards, and statement credit.

Key Features

  • Annual fee: $120 (rebated in the first year)*
  • Sign-up bonus: Get up to 60,000 points worth $400 in travel rewards, a $50 lifestyle credit and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year — a $570 value in your first year.*
  • Earn rate: 5 BMO Reward points per $1 for groceries, dining, transit and gas*. 1 BMO Rewards point per $1 for all other purchases*
  • Other Perks: Bonus of 10% in earnings for supplementary cards*, an annual lifestyle credit of $50* and mobile phone insurance*.

Another standout feature of the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card is its welcome bonus — one of the most generous on offer in Canada presently. Cardholders can get up to 60,000 BMO Rewards points* and get the $120 annual fee rebated in the first year. Cardholders get 30,000 BMO Rewards welcome bonus points after spending a minimum of $3,000 in the first three months of having the card. Cardholders also get an additional 2,500 bonus points in each subsequent month that you spend at least $2,000, beginning 4 months from the account open date and ending 15 months from the account open date (as long as your account is in good standing). You can redeem all those points for gift certificates to some great restaurants, or better yet, redeem your points for a flight to a foodie capital like Paris and dine at some of the world’s best restaurants. Oh, la, la!

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card review.

*Terms and conditions apply

Summary of Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada

We’ve put together the below list to allow you to compare the different options available in Canada with greater ease.

Credit CardReward Points StructureBonusAnnual Fees
BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.*
Up to 60,000 pts*$150
American Express Cobalt® Card5 pts/$1 on groceries, dining, and food delivery
3 pts/$1 on eligible streaming services
2 pts/$1 on gas, transit, and travel
1 pt/$1 on the rest
Up to 50,000 pts (Conditions Apply)$155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®2 points per $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, digital media, memberships, and household utilities; 1 point per $1 spent on everything elseUp to 10,000 pts$0
PC® Financial World Elite Mastercard® 45 pts p/$1 at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix; 30 pts p/$1 on Loblaw banner groceries and PC travel; 30 pts p/litre at Esso™ or Mobil™ stations; 10 pts per $1 on everything elseN/A$0
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card5X pts p/$1 CAD on eligible grocery stores, restaurants and entertainment; 3X pts p/$1 CAD on gas and eligible daily transit; 1 pt p/$1 on everything elseEarn up to 40,000 bonus Scene+™ points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel) and first year annual fee waived. Must apply by October 31, 2022. Terms and conditions apply.$120
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card5 BMO pts/$1 spent on eligible groceries, dining, transit and gas*
1 BMP pt/$1 on all other purchases*
Up to 60,000 pts* + First Year Annual Fee Rebate*$120

How to Choose the Best Rewards Credit Card

When trying to determine the best rewards card for you, consider your spending patterns. Your card should allow you to earn points when buying the items you would be purchasing anyway. For example, if you are a frequent traveller, then a hotel rewards card that earns extra points on hotel stays would be a smart choice. A large family would do best with a rewards card that earns points at the grocery store they shop at most frequently, while anyone who covers a lot of miles would benefit from a card that gives good rewards on gas.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Get a Rewards Card?

In most cases, your credit score will need to range from fair to excellent in order to get approved for a rewards credit card. The exact range this needs to fall into will highly depend on the card issuer. In Canada, a fair credit score begins at a base rating of 575 and extends to 650, while a credit score of 760 and above is generally considered to be excellent.

It’s important to remember that applying for a credit card can hurt your credit score initially — but only temporarily. Every time you apply for a new credit card, your credit score drops by 5 points or less. While this may seem like a lot, a newly opened credit card won’t hurt your score as much as a missed or defaulted payment, and its effect on your credit score will wear off after one year. As long as you have not applied for several new credit cards in a short period of time, a credit card application should have minimal negative impact on your ability to receive additional credit in the future.

Should You Own More than One Rewards Credit Card?

While this is entirely up to your own preference and how many credit cards you are comfortable with, owning more than one rewards credit card is not a bad thing — but only if they offer different types of rewards. Ideally, you should own two different rewards credit cards from different providers (i.e., Visa, Mastercard, American Express) that offer the best rewards rates on travel, shopping, cashback, etc. While many credit cards are now allowing customers to redeem their points towards a range of benefits, there will always be rewards credit cards that offer a better return on particular types of rewards. Therefore, the best credit card combination for you might come in the form of a travel reward card and a cash reward card.

Rewards Credit Cards: The Gifts that Keep on Giving

Canadians have some of the world’s best rewards credit cards to choose from, whether they want the immediate gratification of a big intro cash bonus, the chance to earn valuable rewards over time, or to make their travels more comfortable. While any of the highly reviewed credit cards here would likely serve you well, it’s vital to find a rewards model that’s in sync with how you live your life.

* This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

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BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

Author Bio

GreedyRates is Canada’s go-to resource for all things personal finance. Our expert articles and videos cover every topic under the financial sun, including credit cards, credit scores, loans, bank accounts, budgeting, investing, RSPs, TFSAs, GICs, taxes, and more. Want our advice on a personal finance issue? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll gladly give you some free tips.

Article comments

30 comments
Card_churner1 says:

I currently have Amex Cobalt Card, WestJet World Elite, Bmo Infinite Eclipse, and TD Infinite (will be converting to TD Platinum for no annual fee). Which card should I utilize the most if I intend to use the points for travel?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Card,
The best card on that list with the most benefits (including travel) is the Amex Cobalt. However, Amex is still not accepted at very many retailers (though it is increasing) so you may not be able to make enough purchases to make the benefits worthwhile. As an alternative, you should pick the card based on the frequent flyer program you belong to, For Air Miles, choose the BMO Eclipse and if you have aeroplan choose the TD infinite/platinum.

Warpdad says:

Hello Greedyrates,
We’ve been searching for a good rewards card for a while now because we haven’t been using a credit card for a while. While the cash-back percentage is easy to understand because the comparable value is dollars, when you start talking redeemable points, it then becomes useless unless you also state the value of a point (although you do for the Best Travel Rewards Card, which is 1 point = 0.007, or 142 points – $1). It would be good if you could give a point to dollar number (an index?) per card to easily see which card has the better points value. As mentioned earlier, $1 = ??? points for each card.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hello Warpdad, (good name, by the way)

A Reward Point value index already exists in the form of Greedyrates’ Loyalty Bible article, which gives a general cash value for a single point for all the Loyalty Programs listed. Look it up on the site and let me know if it’s helpful.

Jeremy Bartel says:

What about the Envision World Elite mastercard? It is a full 2% cash back card on evening without any limits and better than the mbna I think. Thoughts? It’s just $5 to be a member.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Jeremy,
The earn rate of 2% on eligible purchases is the same for both cards. According to the MBNA World Elite Rewards conditions, this is capped at the first $5,000 and then it switches to 1 point per dollar. Check the terms and conditions of the Envision card, there could be a hidden cap, just as there is for the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard.

Ezequiel says:

@The GreedyRates Team
Hello there ! First time writing you after a long time. So to keep it short, arrived Canada last year, I have a short credit history, 8 months, 705 credit score in TU. Last year due to impatience and ignoring how things work I applied two times in June and then again two times in September just to be denied.
Right now I’m waiting for some time to pass and I was thinking about applying on April for either Rogers Platinum or AMEX Cobalt / SimplyCash.
What are your thoughts about this? Should I keep waiting or is it possible for me to get one of those. I’d be more than happy if I could for the Rogers, but well, would prefer to hear you.

Thanks a lot.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Ezequiel,
705 is a very good credit score after only eight months and being new to the country — congratulations! However, though you may be able to get the credit cards you are thinking of based on that score, there are other factors that may go into the decision, such as your short credit history. If I was you, I would take a more conservative approach: wait until you’ve built a credit history with the card you have for at least a year (only a few months to go) before applying for a new credit card. Each time you apply and get denied, this slightly impacts your credit. Too many inquiries on your credit in too short a time and that can also have a negative impact on your score.

S says:

I have too many cards and want to consolidate. I currently hold a PC WE MC, a PREFERRED V, a TRIANGLE . I have had the Visa forever and the rewards options just don’t add up plus there is an annual fee. I am now covered under the PC WE MC for travel and I think I prefer no fee cards. I am thinking of doing the cash back option. What cards do you think I should eliminate and any recommendations on a good no fee cash back option

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey S,

It’s important for your credit to keep your oldest accounts and cards active, so in your situation we’d start by closing cards you’ve gotten more recently first. If you’re trying to consolidate because of your mix of balances and interest rates, then we’d try to get ahold of a True Line Mastercard by MBNA, transfer as many balances as you can, and then cancel the “younger” cards you don’t want around anymore. If your credit and debt situation is healthy, and you simply want to reduce the number of cards you have irrespective of their balances, then we’d probably close the Triangle and the PC World Elite card.

The Visa can be kept as a solid, inexpensive low-interest option, just in case. You can then pick up a Rogers World Elite Mastercard, which offers 1.75% cash back on all purchases for no annual fee. Its flat rate makes it a great all-purpose tool, but if you travel and want to avoid foreign currency transaction fees, then the card also earns 4.00% on these purchases to offset the 2.50% fee. With these two cards your wallet is still fully equipped but significantly less complex. Let us know what you think.

GreedyRates

Lucinda says:

I currently use cash back credit cards. I cruise a few times a year so I was thinking of switching to an air miles card to pay for my airfare but I’m not sure if there will be much savings. Is there a way to determine dollar value for air miles. My current cards earns 1-3% back depending on where purchases are made. The BMO air miles card earns 1 mile per $10, if I were to get that card how much would I need to spend to cover a round trip to Florida.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Lucinda,

There’s no doubt that in terms of direct benefits, cash back is the most efficient way to get the most from your daily spending. While this doesn’t cast a negative light on other types of cards, namely airline rewards cards, it’s pretty obvious that cash back is more universally applicable to one’s finances than saving money on travel. If you travel frequently and can make use of the some of the best and most common airfare card perks such as VIP airport lounge access, free checked bags, and companion travel vouchers, then earning miles can manage to be as lucrative as a cash back card.

But how lucrative? For this question, and for comparisons like the one you’ve mentioned in your comment between BMO’s cash back and Air Miles cards, it helps to use the Loyalty Program Bible. This resource illustrates the exact dollar value of rewards points from each credit card issuer and includes Air Miles, Aeroplan miles, WestJet Dollars, and other travel points as well. Here’s what the LPB says about Air Miles:

Air Miles have an average value of $0.105 per mile and can be redeemed on a variety of things including hotels, flights, rental cars, events, attractions, and even merchandise. For each of these redemption categories, the miles are worth slightly more or less. For example, if you use redeem them for hotel stays they’re worth $0.194 per mile and if you use them for airfare (as you mentioned you would) they’re worth $0.168 per mile. This means that if you collect 1 mile for every $10 spent, and plan to use them for airfare, your effective earnings rate is 1.68%.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you how many miles you’ll need to collect before being able to pay for a round-trip ticket to Florida, because we don’t know where you’re flying from or which partner airline you’ll be using. With the numbers we’ve already provided you, look up flights with an airline that you usually fly with and extrapolate from there. If you want to provide us with exact numbers via email ([email protected]) or with another comment, feel very free to do so. Thanks!

GreedyRates

Rick Ellerbeck says:

We have the BMO world elite card and I just found out that they charge a 2.5% fee on any foreign transaction. I did not realize this and I see that Scotia Bank has a no fee foreign transaction card. Is the Scotia card just as good for reward points as BMO plus the no fees?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Rick!

Awesome comment! It’s unfortunate that you only now realized that the BMO World Elite card doesn’t exempt cardholders from foreign transaction fees, but not a big loss. If you’ve been travelling recently, this may have meant a few extra fees paid, but you’re right that you can end this headache forever by switching to the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card. Right now, it’s the best card for avoiding foreign transaction fees, but it comes at a steep price of $139 per year. You’ll need to decide if its other perks make that worthwhile. Here’s a little summary:

In addition to full exemption from foreign transaction fees, you’ll also earn 2 points per dollar spent on grocery, dining, entertainment, and transit. All other purchases earn points at a rate of 1 per dollar spent, and both these categories are relatively parallel to what BMO also offers. An introductory bonus of 25,000 points is another page taken from BMO’s book, but what sets it apart most significantly (aside from foreign fee exemption) is the 6 VIP airport lounge passes you are entitled to every year.

Honestly, for most travellers (frequent or even just once yearly) the more expensive annual fee is immediately justified by the absence of foreign fees. Though it’s around $19 more than similar cards, one needs to spend just over $700 per year in foreign purchases to break even. That’s not much and doesn’t include the value of 6 annual lounge passes. Ultimately, it’s up to you though, so let us know what you’re thinking. Good luck.

GreedyRates

Michael says:

We have booked a trip to Asia for a month. Booking direct flights on business class with Aeroplan points was impossible. As we will be spending quite a bit on hotels, shopping and restaurants,
we are seriously considering getting a new credit card to use on this extended trip. What would you recommend?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Michael,

Great questions. We were disappointed to hear you weren’t able to land business class tickets by paying with Aeroplan, but before you cancel your card, you should consider that you’ll be able to transfer your Aeroplan points to an impressive variety of other rewards programs. Many of them, like American Express’ Membership Rewards program, also offer credit cards that can provide you with the increased flexibility you desire.

If you’re looking outside Amex for a travel card, then can we suggest the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite card?

It’s superior in terms of value in the current market, with high average earnings on common purchases like groceries, but also exemption from foreign transaction fees, 6 free passes to VIP airport lounges worldwide, and a slew of nice insurance perks. Booking with Scotia points is also supposedly easier than it is with Aeroplan, as you can do it through the Scotia portal or choose a different agency or website and still use your points. Check it out and let us know if you have any further criteria for us to evaluate. Thanks!

GreedyRates Staff

Mzfitz says:

Thanks for this article. I currently have a TD Infinite Travel Visa but I’m wondering if this is the best travel or points card. I want to know which card has the best option for entrance into airport lounges in Toronto. How can I find out which airport lounges accept which cards?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Mzfitz,

We highly appreciate your request for additional information about airport lounges, and can surely help you find a way to take advantage of them from Toronto. Most of the best travel cards offer membership to the Priority Pass program, which operates hundreds of these VIP lounges internationally. They publish a list on their website, which we’ll link below, but we can also summarize what your options are.

In Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson airport, there are multiple lounges operated by Priority Pass in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, called the “Plaza Premium Lounge”. You’ll have access from all terminals and regardless of whether you’re flying domestic or international. Here, you’ll find a variety of awesome amenities such as showers, free Wi-Fi, phones, alcoholic beverages, A/C, television, more comfortable seating (reclined seating!), and all the tools and equipment you need to do business remotely.

https://www.prioritypass.com/en/Lounges/North-America/Canada/Toronto/Toronto-Lester-B-Pearson-Intl

The cards that offer Priority Pass are many, but we prefer Scotiabank’s because they also have nice travel perks of their own. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, for example, gives free Priority Pass membership (a $99 value) plus 6 free entrance passes every year, each of which are worth the $27 you’d otherwise pay to get in. That’s a total of $261 in value up front, for a $139 annual fee that also gives you great travel insurance and the ability to earn rewards from your purchases. Its main highlight is exemption from foreign transaction fees (commonly 2.50%), which can save you a bundle.

The Scotiabank Gold Amex will also get you into the full network of Priority Pass clubs, but at a discount ($65 membership versus $99) instead of for free. However, it’s a more accessible card with less eligibility restrictions. Either would work well.

Hope that helps,
The GreedyRates Team

Julia says:

Hi
Thanks for the article. We’re just stating a plumbing company and looking for a business cards with high rewards program. It seems the rewards are mostly travel. Is that the best way to go? We were initially thinking cash back?

Thanks

Julia

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Julia!

Thanks for the excellent comment, and best of luck with your plumbing business. It’s not all luck when it comes to business credit cards, however, so if you make an informed choice then it will have a bigger positive impact. We’ve got a couple suggestions for you, and will help you choose the card that is most suitable.

First, check out the BMO Business Rewards Mastercard, which will be nice for a plumbing business especially. The card offers 3 BMO Rewards Points for each $1 you spend on gas, office supplies, and internet or cell phone payments. Plumbers are always on call, so earning a ton of flexible Rewards Points on your gas bills will be a huge benefit, allowing you to save up for vacations, merchandise, and even cash against your monthly statement. Even on purchases other than gas, supplies, and bills, you’ll earn 1.5 Points per $1 spent. For spending $5,000 in the first three months, you’ll already have 35,000 Points anyway, courtesy of BMO’s generous bonus.

If you want cash back, BMO offers another excellent credit card that is ultimately just as suitable for you. The BMO Cashback Business Mastercard has one of the most impressive introductory bonuses around, with 6.00% cash back for 4 months on gas, internet and phone bills, and office supplies. Then, its default cash back earnings rate is 1.50% on on these categories, 1.75% at Shell, and 0.75% cash back on all other purchases.

If you’d like to take a look at all our highest recommended credit cards for business, then delve into the page linked below, where you’ll be able to compare them all one-on-one. As always, let us know if you’d like to provide more exacting criteria, or get another recommendation. We’re reachable by email as well.

GreedyRates Team

Michelle says:

Great article! We currently have the BMO World Elite credit card and spend anywhere from 6000-10000/month, which means we earn 600-1000 air miles/month. We try and charge everything!

You provide an example of a flight to Cancun only costing 5000 airmiles, but it’s not that simple. I tried booking a flight to Rome this spring using my airmiles. No only was it 6000 airmiles (low season) but there were additional taxes, approx $600 per ticket, which is close to the amount of a regular priced ticket to Rome – not always beneficial to use for flights. We use our air miles for restaurant vouchers or hotel stays.

That being said, any suggestions for a credit card that has a cash back option? We would like to use the cash back to book flights, hotel stays, etc or use towards our credit card balance. Any suggestions?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Michelle! Thanks for singing our praises! We’re glad to hear that you’re putting your BMO World Elite card to work, and that you’re satisfied with it. You’re right, however, that using points for airfare isn’t the simplest way to redeem them. There are often some extra fees and charges to consider, but it’s good that you’ve found another use for your points. Cash back is also broadly useful for travel, as you mentioned, because you can either use it directly or offset the cost of the arrangements you’ve booked with the card itself.

If you need some cash back card suggestions, we’d be happy to comply. First, check out the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card. We chose this one to recommend simply because of its high earnings rate and flexible point redemption model. You’re able to redeem your cash back against your statement whenever you like (after airfare purchases, for example). As an introductory bonus, you’ll earn 9.00% cash back on gas, grocery, and recurring expenses, and then 3.00% when the promotion ends. You get 1.00% cash back on all purchases, as well as travel medical insurance and other nice perks. You can learn more about the card by reading our full TD Cash Back Visa Infinite review.

Another purposeful cash back card for travelling is the BMO CashBack World Elite card, which is similar to the one you have now, but earns cash back instead of miles. You’ll earn 1.50% on all your purchases, and 4.00% for the first 4 months. You can learn more about the card by reading the full BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard review.

GreedyRates Staff

Malcolm says:

Hi there! This is awesome info – I am keen on the Amex, but – I have a single one time large purchase to make in the states (about 45k Canadian) so I don’t think I can max out the Amex points, what card would you suggest for this? Thanks!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Malcolm! The credit card you get will also depend on your ability to pay back the $45,000 balance you intend to accrue. For example, if you think you’ll be carrying some part of it month to month, then getting a low interest credit card is a great idea. Even if you must pay the foreign transaction fee, you’ll save much more than 2.50% of the total purchase price, just by negating some interest.

The Amex isn’t a bad option either, but have you considered paying for the purchase with a balance, loan, or line of credit and then transferring it to a promotional balance transfer card like the MBNA Platinum Plus? If you’re commonly approved for large credit limits and have excellent credit, it could be an option. Essentially, you’d be taking out a loan at another Canadian bank, like RBC for example, buying your $45,000 item, incurring the 2.50% foreign fee and then a 1.00% transfer fee to the Platinum Plus (3.50% is an extra $1,575 which totals $46,575). This assumes that your approved credit limit is enough to handle the entire transfer, but even with the added 3.50%, 0.00% interest for 12 months means that you’ll save literally thousands in interest.

Let us know what strategy you go with. We’re always here to help!

GreedyRates Staff

Sanja Brestovac says:

Hi, great website guys! Looking for a new everyday, all-use card and hesitating between the Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite and the BMO World Elite Mastercard (since Amex is not accepted everywhere). No issue with the credit requirements and not worries about the difference in the annual fee. Want the best overall card for points, perks and insurance. Thanks for helping me out!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Sanja! We really appreciate the compliments, and are happy you’ve found GreedyRates helpful. If you’re comparing the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card and the BMO World Elite Mastercard, we can help you narrow down which is best. When looking for a great everyday card, both are a solid choice, so you can’t really go wrong, but there are certain nuances to grasp. For example, it would help to understand where your biggest expenses are. The Scotia Momentum card offers 4.00% cash back on gas and groceries for its primary rewards, while the BMO card helps cardholders earn 3 points per $1 on their travel, dining, and entertainment costs. It’s also useful to compare how the real-world value of these rewards stacks up against cash back.

Using our Loyalty Program Bible (linked below), we can see that BMO rewards are worth around $0.007 each, so a $100 purchase in the primary earnings category would be 300 points, or a value of about $2.10. The same $100 purchase would earn $4.00 cash back in an accelerated category with the Scotia card. The lesser earnings category closes the gap somewhat, with BMO’s 2 points per $1 translating to around $1.40–whereas Scotia’s 1.00% cash back default would earn $1.00 on a $100 purchase. Cash back is relatively direct (statement credit) while BMO points can be used on merchandise, travel rewards, and statement credits.

Another subjective notion is the perks that come with the two cards. The two have comparable travel medical insurance, but BMO has the extra inclusion of four free VIP airport lounge passes each year. That’s a $200 value. Both cards nullify the annual fee during the first year as well, making it a close race. In our opinion, if you’re a regular traveller, the BMO card is more beneficial, while the Scotia card makes a larger financial impact from everyday purchases. The choice is yours!

You can learn more about the two cards by reading our full Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card review and our BMO World Elite Mastercard review.

GreedyRates Staff

Richard Tench says:

To make this article useful you would have needed to identify rebate percentages by calculating the value of points.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Richard! Thanks for your suggestion. You’re right: comparing different rewards programs is pretty difficult, because rewards points denominate value differently and are collected at varying rates. To help contrast one card with another, or multiple cards, we’ve built our Loyalty Program Bible, which gives a specific CAD value for each type of reward point, depending on what it’s redeemed for. You can check it out in the link below. Thanks!

https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/greedyrates-loyalty-program-bible/

GreedyRates Staff

Sue Madigan says:

Hi there ! I have a small business and spend about $30000 monthly on my TD VISA
aeroplan card at the moment. I like to redeem the points on flights with Air Canada
or visa cards or gas cards. What should I switch to ?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Sue, thanks for your question! If you want a Visa card that’s great for travelling with Air Canada and can offset gas purchases, you’ll like the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card. It grants an impressive 25,000 Aeroplan miles right out of the gate, and then another 25,000 for spending $1,000 during the first three months. With $30,000 monthly spending, you’ll easily eclipse that amount, and including the bonuses, will easily cover the cost of several flights during your first year.

This is because gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and Air Canada bills earn miles at a rate of 1.5 per $1, with 1.25 points per $1 spent everywhere else. The cherries on the cake are priority check-in and boarding, complimentary checked bags, four annual Maple Leaf Lounge passes, and a once-yearly 50% companion flight discount. If this card doesn’t satisfy all of your requirements, feel free to point out where we went wrong and we’ll supply another recommendation. Thanks again!

GreedyRates Staff