Best Travel Credit Card Rankings in Canada For 2016

February 12, 2016 6110 137

For years, Canada’s savvy travelers have exploited credit cards to travel in comfort and style well beyond their means. Whether you’re a bargain hunter, bag-checker, loyalty flyer or bonus surfer, we’ve evaluated the best travel credit card deals to help you take-off.

To help us derive our rankings for the best travel credit card, we first measured the value per point of each rewards program. We checked how many points were required to fly on 15 different flights for each credit card and compared it to the lowest price of each flight, giving us the true cost per point of each rewards program. We did a similar exercise for hotels.

We then evaluated earn rates, credit card bonuses, annual fees, perks, insurance coverage, foreign transaction fees, ease of redemption, and travel opportunities to determine the best travel credit card in Canada for each travel card category.

Here’s the summary of the top ranked Canadian travel credit cards:

Best Travel Credit Card Rankings for Canada 2016

  1. Best Airline Travel Credit Card Winner:
    Winner: TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card
    Runner-Up: WestJet World Elite MasterCard
  2. Best Flexible Travel Credit Card Winner:
    Winner: The American Express® Gold Rewards Card
    Runner-Up: ScotiaBank Gold American Express Card
  3. Best Proprietary Travel Credit Card Winner:
    Winner: BMO® World Elite™ MasterCard
    Runner-Up: MBNA Rewards World Elite® MasterCard®
  4. Best Hotel Travel Credit Card Winner:
    Winner: Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card
    Runner-Up: Starwood Preferred Guest Card
  5. Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Card Winner:
    Winner: The American Express Blue Sky® Credit Card
    Runner-Up: BMO AirMiles MasterCard

    A description of each travel card category and a full review of each of the top ranked Canadian travel credit cards are as follows:

Best Airline Travel Credit Card In Canada:

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card

Carte Visa Infinite TD Aéroplan

An airline travel card puts miles directly into your airline frequent flyer account. Airline credit cards have their perks – waived bag fees, lounge access, priority boarding & check-in, and so on – while a more general travel credit card might offer higher earning potential and greater flexibility.

Why It’s a Winner: If you’re looking to top-up, or start-off your Aeroplan mile bank, this is a great opportunity. There’s currently a welcome bonus of 25,000 miles – earn 15,000 Aeroplan miles with your first purchase and an additional 10,000 miles when you keep your account open and in good standing for 90 days after Account approval (exclusive online offer available until February 29th, 2016). 25,000 points will allow you to fly return to any city in North America from any Canadian city. To top it off, TD is offering a 50% first year annual fee rebate, a value of $60, making the card easy to try and the welcome bonus a hefty bargain.

Our study found each Aeroplan mile to be valued between 1.28 cents per mile when redeeming for economy fare to 2.2 cents for business class – a strong rewards rate that especially shines when redeeming for business and first class fares. We like the point acceleration opportunities offered by the card, including 1.5 points per dollar spent at gas, grocery & drug stores and the additional opportunities to double dip at Aeroplan partners to further accelerate point accumulation.

TD has done a good job enhancing the perks on the card. It has a robust set of insurance protection, including travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage and auto rental. Other perks we like include priority check-in and boarding, free lounge access, and one-free checked bag on Aeroplan redemption flights, which can save you $52.50 per return ticket.

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card beats the West Jet World Elite MasterCard for three reasons. First, you can redeem your points to fly to more destinations with Air Canada and Star Alliance than with West Jet. Second, there are more opportunities to earn points and to double dip at Aeroplan partners. Third, you can use your points to upgrade to business and first class.

Runner Up: WestJet World Elite MasterCard

Best Flexible Travel Credit Card In Canada:

The American Express® Gold Rewards Card

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

A flexible travel credit card allows you to make any travel related purchase on your card, then call or go online to pay for it with your points, allowing you to benefit from the best deals or options you can find. Some even allow you to convert your points into an alternative frequent flyer program.

Why It’s a Winner: The American Express Gold Rewards card is special because of its phenomenal rewards value and its unparalleled flexibility.  Earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points (value up to $550) when you charge $500 in purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. Plus, the first year annual fee is waived – a value of $150 – making the card virtually free to try for a year.

Ongoing value is strong. Earn double points on gas, grocery, drugstore & all travel related expenses (air, water, rail and road transport, lodging and tour operator sales). Each Amex point is worth 1 cent. As a result, the base rewards rate is worth 1% and the bonus rewards rate is worth 2%. If you transfer your points to Aeroplan, the base rewards rate is worth 1.28% and 2.56% on bonus categories, which is stellar. The insurance package is phenomenal.

What makes this card the gold standard of flexibility in Canada however, is that you can book any travel related purchase (flight, cruise, train, hotel, or rental car) on the card, and then use your points to pay ANY of the travel expenses that show up on your statement, including taxes & fees. You can ALSO choose to transfer your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan or British Airways AVIOS points 1:1 with no additional charges – secretly making this the most valuable Aeroplan card on the market. Pair this card with the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card above and you’ll have 50,000 bonus points to start.

The Amex Gold Rewards card beat the Scotiabank Gold American Express card for three reasons. First, it has a higher sign-up bonus. Second, you can earn double points on travel expenses (in addition to gas & groceries). Third, we like the option the Amex Gold card has to transfer points to Aeroplan and AVIOS. In the end, it gives the cardholder additional flexibility to take advantage of promotions and cost saving opportunities in both of those programs.

Runner Up: Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Best Proprietary Travel Credit Card In Canada:

BMO® World Elite™ MasterCard®

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

A proprietary travel credit card allows you to redeem points for travel through the credit card company.  While you can typically book any airline, any time, you’re still bound to the credit card issuer’s pricing, grid and booking system.

Why It’s a Winner: This card is stacked with value. To start, it has a travel credit sign-up bonus of 35,000 points. All you have to do to earn them is make one purchase on the card, and charge at least $3,000 to the card in the first 3 months after opening the account (offer ends April 30th, 2018). The ongoing earn rate of 2 points per dollar spent is very rich. The card also has solid insurance coverage that more than makes-up for the annual fee. The flip side is that there is an annual fee of $150, which is not cheap – however, the benefits make up for it over the long term, and BMO is currently offering an annual fee waiver for the first year (conditions apply, offer ends April 30th, 2018).

Although not quite as convenient as a Flexible travel card, you can still earn unlimited rewards points and redeem them whenever, on whatever travel is available through the BMO Rewards Centre. If you don’t have enough points for the full cost of your trip, you can pay the difference with your BMO MasterCard – with no mark-ups. There are no blackout periods or seat restrictions. Your points will never expire, so long as your credit card is open. Plus, BMO Rewards points cover ALL flight charges including taxes and fees. Finally, you get 4 free lounge passes per year from Priority Access, worth $108 annually.

The BMO World Elite MasterCard beats out the MBNA Rewards World Elite card because of a higher sign-up bonus, 4 free lounge passes, and much stronger insurance protection.

Runner Up: MBNA Rewards World Elite® MasterCard®

Best Hotel Travel Credit Card In Canada:

Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card

Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card

Hotel travel cards put your points directly into your frequent guest program accounts. Cardholders will discover benefits that both cut your travel costs and add another dimension of luxury and convenience to your hotel experience.

Why It’s a Winner: Earn 30,000 bonus points with your first purchase, plus a free nights stay valid for 6 months at any category 1-4 hotel! That’s up to 5 free nights, with no minimum spend requirements – and it comes with no annual fee in the first year. Plus, get an additional free nights stay on your account anniversary date EVERY year at a category 1-5 hotel! To top it off, it’s the only Canadian travel credit card where you pay no foreign transactions fees on purchases outside of Canada. That’s a savings of 2.5% on non-Canadian purchases alone.

Not to be overlooked, Marriott Rewards ranks highest among hotel loyalty/rewards programs as ranked by J.D. Powers – with weighting given to account maintenance/management, ease of redeeming points/miles and recommendation of friends and family. Also Marriott Hotel’s can be found worldwide with a brand for every price point – AC Hotels by Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Courtyard, Edition, Fairfield Inn, Gaylord Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, The Ritz-Carlton and TownePlace Suites.

The Marriott Rewards Premier Visa card beat out the Starwood Preferred Guest Card for two reasons. First, because of its higher ongoing sign-up bonus offer and anniversary bonus. Second, because the Marriott card does not charge a foreign transaction fee – a savings of 2.5% on non-Canadian spend (out of country or online).

Runner Up: Starwood Preferred Guest Card From American Express

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Card In Canada:

The American Express Blue Sky® Credit Card

Blue Sky American Express Air Miles Credit Card

There aren’t a ton of travel credit cards with no annual fees. In fact, some issuers don’t offer any at all. However, for those that don’t spend a ton on their credit cards, an annual fee doesn’t always make sense. Here’s our hidden no-fee gem.

Why It’s a Winner: Obviously this card does not have an annual fee. But what makes this credit card stand-out is its sign-up bonus, rewards rate and point flexibility. Earn 10,000 Blue Sky Points after you charge $500 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership . Each point is worth 1 cent, so that gives you a signing bonus of $100 with no annual fee. Get an additional 5,000 points when you refer a friend. That’s exceptional for a no-fee credit card. Also, you’ll be earning 1.25% in rewards for every dollar you spend, which is huge value when compared to other Canadian no fee credit cards.

Not to be forgotten, The American Express Blue Sky card is a flexible travel card, allowing you to apply your points to any travel related purchases on your credit card statement – book any flight, cruise, train or rental car – including taxes and fees – through any website, airline or travel company you want.

The Amex Blue Sky credit card beats the BMO AirMiles MasterCard because of its higher rewards earn rate of 1.25% and its flexibility to redeem points for any travel purchase on your credit card statement.

Runner Up: BMO AirMiles MasterCard

Last Leg of The Journey

The best travel credit card for you will depend on your travel needs and spending habits. You’ll get the most from your card if you start-off with a great bonus offer, like the rewards program offered by the card, pay your balance in full each month, and consider which fees can best be balanced with bonuses, perks, and rewards.

Canadians are in a great position to try new travel cards that earn them more points, provide more benefits and better flexibility than the card in their wallet today. Take advantage and get more bang for your buck starting now.

Article comments

137 comments
Marco says:

Hi. I currently use a air miles Amex and hate it. Been using it for years. Iwant to cancel and get into the travel points game. I also have a tad visa that gets me nothing and a PC MasterCard. My wife and I travel to Bahamas from Toronto every year and would like to get the best card possibly for points. We currently spend approx $1500 to $2500 monthly between all cards. We also have 4 children and would like the flexibility with all travel sites. We would be ready to cancel or change any card. What do you suggest?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Marco,

Because you’re looking for the flexibility to book through all travel sites, you’ll need one of the cards that allows you to redeem your points for any travel expense that appears on your credit card statement. That effectively limits you to the Amex Gold Rewards, Scotia Amex Gold, MBNA Rewards World Elite and the CapOne Aspire World Elite.

The MBNA Rewards WE (first year free, $100 signing bonus) and the CapOne Aspire WE ($150 fee, $400 signing bonus), both earn you 2% rewards on all spend (very strong). So if you spend $2,500 per month, you’ll earn $600 in annual rewards, which you’ll be able to apply against any of your travel expenses. The Amex Gold (first year free, (25,000 point sign-up bonus = $250 cash credit and 25,000 aeroplan or avios miles) will earn you 2% on gas, grocery, drugstore & travel expenses, 1% on everything else. Scotia Amex Gold (current promo first year free, $200 sign-up bonus) will give you 4% on gas, grocery, dining & entertainment, 1% everywhere else.

As a strategy, you might want to sign-up for multiple cards (over time), between you and your wife, so that you can benefit from the strong welcome bonuses.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

lilly says:

Hello!

Are you able to explain further about the west jet Mastercard in regards to the companion flight for 99$? Does that mean that if I book any flight and I take a companion with me, their flight would be only 99$? What would the fine print restrictions be in regards to being classified as a companion? For example, does it only apply to spouse? Or it could be anyone like frienda or family.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Lilly, Here’s some of the relevant fine print for you:

Purchase one ticket to anywhere in Canada and the U.S. (excluding Hawaii and Puerto Rico) on WestJet-marketed and operated flights and pay $99 plus the taxes, fees and charges for the second person on the same itinerary.

Must book and purchase primary cardholder and companion’s travel at the same time.

Valid for new bookings only made through WestJet’s Sales Super Centre prior to the voucher expiry date. Not valid on existing reservations or for new reservations made online at westjet.com.

Valid for round-trip travel anywhere in Canada and the U.S. (excluding Hawaii and Puerto Rico) on WestJet-marketed and operated flights.

Valid for one (1) round-trip for the primary cardholder and a companion of their choice travelling on the same itinerary; these vouchers are non-transferable. Maximum one companion flight voucher may be used per booking.

Hope that helps!

GreedyRates Staff

David Thompson says:

My wife and I currently have the MasterCard World elite for every day use. In the next year we will be travelling to Europe several times on vacation and wanted to get a VISA card (with no annual fee) to use a a back up should anything go wrong with our MasterCards while we are travelling.

Which one would you recommend?

Thank You,

GreedyRates says:

Hi David,

In your case, we would actually recommend the Chase Marriott Rewards Visa card. THe first year annual fee is waived, and the sign-up bonus alone can get you a fe nights free at a Marriott hotel. But what we especially like about it for you as a back-up card, is that it doesn’t come with any foreign transaction fees. So you can use it while on vacation, and you won’t be charged the 2.5% foreign transaction fee, on top of the exchange rate. The exchange rate itself is almost at par – making it the cheapest way to spend money while abroad.

While there is an annual fee after the first year, you’ll also get one free room night per year as well, to offset the annual fee cost. Just don’t book your flight with the Marriott card, it does not come with trip cancellation, interruption or delay insurance.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Fernando says:

Hello,
excellent website and article.

I have around 1300$ of monthly expenses. I also travel at least once a year to Europe and a couple times to USA from Calgary. From what I know, Marriott Rewards Credit Card looks like the best for my profile.
What would you recommend me?
Greetings,
Fernando

GreedyRates says:

Hi Fernando,

The Marriott Rewards Card is a solid card. Most of its value is in the hefty sign-up bonus (no min spend required), annual fee waiver, and no foreign transaction fees. You can get a lot of the Marriott Rewards Visa card’s value without every allocating your monthly spend to the card. You might also want to consider a travel card that will give you the highest ongoing rewards for your actual spend, or consider getting another card with a high-sign-up bonus and annual fee waiver, like the Amex Gold Rewards card above – nice high 25,000 point bonus, no fee first year, 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, pharmacy and travel. You can use your points against any travel expense, or transfer your points to Aeroplan 1:1 for free.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Fernando says:

Thanks for your reply.
If I get the Marriott Rewards Card, can I cancel it anytime during the first year even after using the free night?
I don’t like the Amex because it’s not accepted everywhere. I’m looking for either VISA or Mastercard.

Thanks,

GreedyRates says:

Hi Fernando,

Yes you can cancel the card any time during the first year, even after you redeem for the free nights. You will not be charged the annual fee, nor any other fee for cancelling the card.

GreedyRates Staff

Paul says:

My fiance and I are looking to get a credit card for less than one year and trying to maximize our potential opportunities. We have lots of spending to do for our upcoming wedding (approx. 25k-30k) and I am wondering if you have any ideas of that card may be best for us. I have been trying to get a grasp on many cards you have described on your website but can’t narrow it down to the best choice for us. We would also be willing to add our everyday spending to the card as well to increase potential points for the card.

I have my eye on the Am. Express Gold reward card as of right now, do you think this is the best option for us?

Thanks for all of your up-to-date information your website provides and I look forward to hearing back from you

-Paul

GreedyRates says:

Hi Paul,

Three things to consider here. First, the value of the sign-up bonus offer (welcome bonus points minus annual fee). Second, the potential for points earned. Lastly, there is the question of what you want to redeem for, your redemption preference and of course perks. Since you didn’t state a redemption preference we’ll assume your open.

You should use the engine on our travel card page to help you decide. You can punch in your expected spend by category, and the engine will tell you how much each card has the potential to earn you, taking into account sign-up bonus, annual fees and spend by category.

That said, the Amex Gold Rewards card comes out pretty high, given it’s annual fee waiver, and 25,000 sign-up bonus. Just make sure the vendors you use for your wedding accept Amex. If they don’t, you also might want to look at the BMO Rewards World Elite and MBNA Rewards World Elite cards, which both give 2% rewards on ALL spend (good for your wedding vendors).

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

David says:

A wealth of information on site and through the comments. I am curious if you can use any of these cards for business purposes or if you specifically need a business credit card?

I am looking for a card to provide travel mainly in North America, but also the odd trip overseas (Europe/Asia). There would be a significant amount moving through each month (20k average?). Obviously I am hoping for a higher limit which a business card could more easily provide, however on heavier months we do pre-pay our purchases. I don’t see a 20-30k limit being an issue even for a personal card.

I would lean more heavily towards a Visa/MC in preference as these tend to be more readily accepted but am open to suggestions.

Thanks again for your time and info!

GreedyRates says:

Hi David,

Canadian credit card issuers are generally not overly stringent in ensuring you’re using the card for personal reasons only. We know of multiple examples of entrepreneurs using personal cards in their businesses.

David, let us know what/where most of your $20K in monthly expenses is spent, so we can find the card that maximizes your rewards. Is it on travel (flights/hotels), gas (trucks), pharmacy (dental office), restaurants? Also do you insurance coverages or are you already covered through alternative plans?

Best,

GreedyRates Staff

David says:

Thanks for the quick response.

The vast majority of the spending would be on vendor invoicing that is classed by my current card as “transportation” and some “professional”. A smaller amount on travel and some restaurant.

Insurance coverage is not a requirement, but wouldn’t hurt to have for those times when I forget to purchase it.

Regards!

GreedyRates says:

David,

Because the vast majority of your spending would be on vendors, we would recommend you go with a card that gives you 2% rewards on all spend. This might include the MBNA Rewards World Elite, BMO Rewards World Elite, or the CapOne Aspire World Elite – all earn 2% per dollar spent.

The nice thing about the MBNA Rewards World Elite is that you can redeem for cash back, or apply your $ rewards credits to any expense on your credit card statement – including travel. With the BMO Rewards World Elite card, you will have to redeem through BMO’s travel rewards center. With CapOne’s Aspire, you’ll be able to redeem for any travel expense on your credit card statement.

Both the BMO and CapOne cards have comprehensive travel insurance (travel medical, trip can, etc…), MBNA not so much.

The SPG card has also been good for high spenders when redeeming at SPG properties, but given the acquisition of SPG by Marriott we’re not sure where the program is going. Too much insecurity to put that much value at risk of devaluation.

Hope that helps.

GreedyRates Staff

David says:

That helps a ton! Your time & knowledge is very much appreciated!

David

GreedyRates says:

Pleasure David. The only other option you might want to look at (in addition to any other card you get) is the Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard. We don’t recommend you put significant spend on it, but we mention it because Alaska Air flies out of Calgary and since you’re looking to travel with your wife, the card comes with an annual companion ticket, for only $121 USD – but, you get to fly to Hawaii or any other destination on an Alaska Airlines flight. Food for thought.

Best,

GreedyRates Staff

Peter says:

I like the idea of collecting points for travel and then redeem after the transactions show up on the statement. Between Aspire travel and MBNA elite cards, apart from the welcome bonus point and the annual fees, what are the other differences between these two?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Peter,

Aside from welcome bonus and annual fees, there are two big differences between the MBNA World Elite and the CapOne Aspire card in our opinion.

First, with the MBNA Rewards World Elite not only can you redeem for any travel expense on your statement, you can also redeem for cash back at the full 2%. With the CapOne Aspire, you can only redeem for travel.

Second, the CapOne Aspire World Elite has travel medical and trip cancellation insurance, the MBNA Rewards World Elite does not.

You also might want to take a look at the Scotia Amex Gold (4% on gas, groceries and restaurants, 1% everywhere else) and you can redeem for any travel expense on your statement. Or at the Amex Gold Rewards, (2% -2pts per $1- on gas, groceries, pharmacy and travel, 1% everwhere else) and you can redeem for any travel expense on your statement, or transfer to Aeroplan 1:1, without any fees.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Antonio says:

Hello, my wife and I are considering a new travel card. Currently we use the Amex Aeroplan card, but are not happy with Aeroplans fees, redemption rates, limitations on booking. We have also found that most places we shop at do not accept Amex, so we are looking at a Visa or Mastercard so that we can maximize our point accumulation. We have lots of friends who have the RBC Infinite Avion and tell us how much they enjoy it and understand that this card ranks high in user satisfaction. However, after researching, I have found that BMO world elite Master Card might offer more benefits, but have concerns about having to redeem through the BMO travel system. For context, we are hoping to do a long haul flight (Europe or Asia) in the coming years, and would like to use our points to do so. Which card do you recommend in terms of ease of redemption? Also which of these cards would allow us to cover all costs of the flight? The difference in annual fees is not a large concern for us.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Antonio,

Some of this will depend on how much you spend and where (information we don’t have) – so we’d encourage you to use our comparison tool.

That said, if you’re flying coach to Europe or Asia (some of it my depend on where you’re flying to within Europe or Asia), you’re best bet if you’re looking for a flight redemption chart program is likely Alaska Air. The reason why is because they have great partner airlines that include Air France/KLM, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Delta. Flying American up until May 31st, will only take 40K miles for a return flight to Europe. Afterwards it will take 45K. The card itself also has a nice 25K sign-up bonus, and annually offers a free companion fare on Air Alaska flights anywhere within North America, including Hawaii and Alaska!

However, you’re likely to still get around 2%+- in value per point. If that’s the case, you might want to consider one of the newer Canadian cards that also gives you 2%, but allows you to apply the dollar value of your points against any travel that appears on your credit card. So you have total felxibility. Those cards include the MBNA Rewards World Elite, Capital One Aspire World Elite – both offer 2% on all spend and the ability to redeem for any travel expense. CapOne comes with a bigger sign-up bonus of $400 versus $100 for MBNA, but MBNA waives the first year annual fee and CapOne’s is $150, also MBNA’s is $89 thereafter, while CapOne’s remains $150.

Rachel says:

Hi there, are there cards that allow you to use them in other countries and don’t have an additional fee or percentage added to currency conversions?

Thanks

GreedyRates says:

Hi Rachel,

Yes the Chase Marriott card above, Amazon Visa and Rogers MasterCard all have no foreign transaction fees.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Carolyn says:

Speaking of travel credit cards, what are your recommendations for best travel medical insurance in a credit card? I am 60 and my husbsnd is 66 years old. I am having trouble finding coverage for 65 plus, other than the Cuets Choices World Elite Mastercard which provides coverage to 74 years, however only for 15 days.

GreedyRates says:

H Carolyn,

Unfortunately, besides the CUETS World Elite MasterCard, the only other three credit cards to offer free travel medical for 65+ are from National Bank and Desjardins. Both only cover 65+ for 15 consectuvie days as well, but their coverage is up to $5M versus $2M for CUETS. Scotia Amex Gold offers it for 10 days for 65+ but it’s only for $1M.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Stephen says:

Hi Great website Looking at 2 cards Amex Gold vrs BMO World Elite Travel only 3x a year but put all monthly expenses on card. (>$6000 per month) Suggestions?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Stephen,

We used our calculator at http://www.greedyrates.ca/cards/Travel-Credit-Cards . It suggested that the BMO World Elite MasterCard would give you $1,590 in annual rewards, based on $6,000 of monthly spend, the welcome bonus and the cost of the annual fee. The Amex Gold Rewards would give you $1,381. The value of the Amex Gold Rewards card will be slightly less than $1,381 if you’re not transferring to Aeroplan miles.

The other advantage of the BMO World Elite MasterCard if you’re travelling 3 times per year, is that it does come with a more robust travel insurance package (trip cancellation, not just trip interruption), and with 4 VIP lounge passes per year.

The BMO World Elite card requires you to redeem through BMO’s travel centre, but you can redeem for any flight, hotel, tour, cruise without any blackout dates or restrictions. They also have a low price matching guarantee.

Amex Gold Rewards allows you to redeem for any travel expense booked with your credit card, or you can exchange your points 1:1 to Aeroplan or Avios for free. You get more value from your points through Aeroplan and Avios than if redeemed against your general travel expenses.

If you like the idea of getting 2% from the BMO Rewards World Elite, but the insurance and lounge passes don’t mean much to you, you might want to try MBNA World Elite MasterCard. It also gives 2%, allows you to redeem for any travel booked through your card, or get cash back, has no annual fee in the first year, and is only $89, thereafter.

Hope that helps. Let us know if you have more questions regarding your choice.

GreedyRates Staff

Mary Ann says:

I don’t see any reference on your site to the Choice Rewards World Elite Master Card (offered through Credit Unions). Do you have any information or comparisons on this particular card?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Mary Ann,

The Choice Rewards World Elite MasterCard is an excellent credit card. It is almost the same card as the MBNA Rewards World Elite card (MBNA/TD owns CUETS who issues the card on behald of the credit unions), offering 2% per dollar spent on everything, and you can redeem for any travel or cash back. There are 3 big differences:
1. Choice Rewards World Elite has a $150 annual fee, while the MBNA Rewards World Elite has a $89 annual fee which is waived in the first year.
2. Choice comes with superb travel insurance coverage, including trip cancellation and travel medical with $2 million coverage per family member up to 75 years old! MBNA does not – explaining the higher annual fee.
3. Choice comes with the equivalent of a $50 welcome bonus, and MBNA comes with a $100 welcome bonus.

The attractiveness of either card will depend on what your looking to get out of the card.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Michele says:

Hi, just found your site and it’s awesome. We are fed up with the recent changes at TD visa infinite first class with respect to the slashing of points since Nov 15. We are big users of the card, travel a number of times in the year mostly North America but also a trip abroad at least once a year. VISA also cancels our card often and we need to go through the process of new cards because a ” vendor has been compromised” although they won’t tell us who the vendor is so this can be avoided(if it’s true). Never had this happen with other cards. Moreover their customer service has been extremely weak. So we need a new card but we enjoy the ability to apply our points to whatever we want without having to go thru Expedia and of coarse we want the max value. Aeroplan cards are a no go as with their points we feel you have to plan way in advance and we are not those people 🙂 Maybe it’s asking too much…… We don’t want Amex as it is not as widely accepted and our two kids are on this one joint card as well. Can you help? Thanks in advance

GreedyRates says:

Hi Michele,

So your options for a non-Amex credit card that allows you to redeem rewards for any travel charged to your card are really the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard (2% rewards on everything), the CapOne Aspire World Elite (2% rewards on everything) and the TD First Class Infinite (4.5% on travel when earning and redeeming through Expedia, 1.2%-1.5% elsewhere. You might also want to consider cashback – like the Scotia Momentum Infinite, which offers up to 4% cash back in gas and groceries, 2% in pharmacy and recurring spend and 1% everywhere else, as a statement credit – which you can then apply against your travel spend.

The nice thing about the MBNA Rewards World Elite card (check it out in our travel comparison section), is that you get 2% ($2 for every $100 of spend) on all spend, and can apply your rewards to any travel expense on your card, or you can just ask for cash back, they’ll even mail you a check or do direct deposit. There is no annual fee in the first year, and it’s only $89 thereafter, and it comes with a $100 welcome bonus. With no annual fee, it might be worth a try for a year and see how it works out for you.

We will say this, if a big portion of your credit card spend is on travel, and you’re willing to book and redeem through Expedia, the TD First Class Infinite still offers significant value. You’ll get 4.5% on your travel spend, which is the best rewards rate in Canada. Where TD First Class was devalued was when redeeming outside of Expedia.

Hope that gives you some options,

GreedyRates Staff

Teresa Jarabek says:

I am wondering if I should switch my TD Infinite Visa to a TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa. My account at the TD will pay for the annual fee as part of my plan. It seems that we may not be receiving as much value now that they have changed the redemption rate on TD Infinite Visa although I really like being able to apply the redemptions to any travel. But TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa offers lounge access and it would seem other travel related perks. I travel about 3 international trips a year, whether to a hot spot with an all inclusive or to Europe. Which card do you think would work best given that my annual fee will already be paid. Thanks so much.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Teresa,

It’s hard for us to say, without knowing how much you spend on your credit card and where. The TD Visa Infinite offers triple rewards on travel spend – getting you the highest earn rate on travel spend of any card. That said, The TD Aeroplan card will get you more rewards per dollar spent on gas and groceries. You will also get a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Aeroplan miles.

If you go for an Aeroplan card, just make sure you’re comfortable with the fact that you may have to be flexible with your travel dates to get the best deals and availabilities. Also, to avoid taxes and fees, try booking on non air Caanda flights – it will be FAR cheaper. Lastly, we would recommend you get the Amex Gold card above, which comes with a 25,000 point sign-up bonus, with a minimum spend of $500 in 90 days – you can then transfer your Amex points to Aeroplan 1:1, free. Combining the TD Aeroplan and Amex Gold card welcome bonuses will start you off with 45,000 Aeroplan miles – all with no annual fee.

If you’re willing to look beyond TD, and you don’t want to pay an annual fee, you might also want to consider the Scotia Amex Gold, which currently has a no annual fee in the first year promotion, and a $200 welcome bonus. You can find it in our travel section here.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

John says:

Help
I am wondering what is the best credit card for my wife and me.
I applied for BMO air miles no fee card and will be charging about $ 1500 – $ 2000 per month. We mainly want to save points for flights, hotels and consumer products. I would go with a card for annual fee if it was better. I want to stay away from AMEX cause it is not accepted everywhere.
Would air miles be better than say TD points ?
note : i would not use TD expedia cause they charge more than redtag for trips.

Thanks for advice

GreedyRates says:

Hi John,

Without knowing exactly where you spend your money, you still spend a healthy amount every month. Moreover, it seems you want the flexibility to book anywhere, such as RedTag, at your convenience, and you want to avoid Amex (which typically gives out the highest percentage of rewards per dollar spent). One card we would recommend you consider is the MBNA Rewards World Elite card. It gives you 2% earnings ($2 per $100 spent) on ALL your spend, regardless of category. You can apply your points against any travel you book through your credit card, or you can even choose cash back, and MBNA will mail or transfer the money into your checking account – so you have tremendous flexibility. There’s no annual fee in the first year, and it’s only $89 thereafter, and you get a $100 sign-up bonus. You can compare it to other travel cards in market here or apply for it here.

2% should be worth more than you’d get from AIR MILES. That said, AIR MILES is overlooked as a travel program in many regards – it gives tremendous value when booking at the last minute, more than 2.5%, especially for short-haul flights. Also, when shopping at AIR MILES partner stores, and you double dip with your collector and credit card, it can help you accumualte Miles pretty quickly. That said, it doesn’t seem to offer you the flexibility to book anywhere, without restriction, that you’re looking for.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Anny says:

Hi,

I currently have the AeroGold CIBC (been using this for the last few years) and my BF is using the TD aeroplan. We have decided that we want to open a join acc where we can both use it to pay for gas/bills/travel/groceries/entertainment together and keep our personal cards for our own extraneous purchases that have nothing to do with living as a couple.

We have tried the AMEX Gold. We ran into major problems due to the fact that most places in Canada don’t accept AMEX, or at least places we go to… like Asian supermarkets (T and T, P.A.T.) and even places like No Frills doesn’t take Amex and a lot of restuarants we frequent. It got really frustrating.

We don’t really want to pay an annual fee/charge for an extra card either.

We want a travel card. We mostly either fly to Vancouver back to Toronto and vice versa, or we travel back to Asian, either Korea or Taiwan…. so Cathey Pacific of Korean Air.

What would our best options be?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Anny,

If you’re looking for a non-Amex travel card, for travel between Toronto and Vancouver (and some travel to Asia), with no annual fee, and your primary expenses will be gas, bills, travel, groceries and entertainment we’d first recommend the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card at this time. We recommend the card because the current offer (on GreedyRates) has no annual fee in the first year and gives 20,000 Aeroplan Miles (with no minimum spend requirement). We really think that you should focus heavily on the sign-up bonus, as 20,000 miles is roughly equivalent to $20,000 of credit card spend – significant value. With an extra 5,000 miles you’ll have enough miles (25,000) to fly to Vancouver and back to Toronto return.

There are other travel cards that have no annual fee, but they are either Amex cards, or hotel cards at the moment, or don’t offer the same size sign-up bonus as the TD Aeroplan Infinite card.

Best,

GreedyRates

David says:

Great website. I learned about it while doing some research as part of my efforts to sign up for new credit card(s) to earn travel rewards. My fiancée and I expect to do annual/biannual international travel to visit family. I was hoping to pick your brain, as you are obviously an expert and the travel rewards cards are a bit of a mind field! My fiancée and I are looking at each getting individual travel credit cards and then getting a third travel reward card for joint expenses (food and bills).

I am thinking about getting one card for personal purchases and another joint card with my fiancée for joint purchases/bills. My fiance is also looking into getting get her own card – her first card in Canada (she immigrated in 2013). She earns about $65K/yr.

We bank with Scotiabank/Tangerine. I currently have a crappy RBC VISA classic card that doesn’t earn any points ($0 balance, $2,500 limit). I’ve had it for years. I also have a $10,000 VISA line of credit with Scotia with $0 balance. I expect to apply for my first mortgage in the next year so want to maintain my current high credit score. I understand that this is helped by showing continuity with one card. I earn $100K/yr.

We spend a fair amount on gas every month as we are currently living apart during the week. Unfortunately our rent needs to be paid by personal cheque, so not opportunity to get points there.

EXPENSES GAS DRUGS GROCERIES ONLINE PAYMENT BILLS SPENDS
Me 300 0 0 0 300
fiancée 250 75 0 0 300
Joint 50 0 500 750 200

Total 2725 600 75 500 750 800

I’m considering the following cards:
1. Two individual Scotiabank AMEX Gold cards – one for me one for my girl (Four Scotia Rewards points for $1 on eligible gas station, grocery store, dining and entertainment purchases. One Scotia Rewards point for every $1 you spend on all other eligible purchases).

and one of the following non-AMEX cards to earn points on for joint bills, purchases at non-AMEX points of sale.

2. MBNA Rewards World Elite® MasterCard®
3. BMO® World EliteTM* MasterCard®
4. TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card – welcome bonus of 20,000 aerpolan miles
5. Upgrade my RBC Classic Visa to RBC® Visa Infinite‡ Avion (not sure if I would get the 15,000 welcome points)

How would you advise to maximum points for our spending habits, avoid complicated accounting and maintain high credit score for our mortgage application within the year? We are open to your ideas.

Many thanks for taking the time

GreedyRates says:

Hi David,

Your plan is sound. We would just add the following considerations:

1. Now is a good time to get the Scotia Amex Gold card, because there is a no-annual fee offer, with a $200 credit sign-up bonus.
2. Why get two separate accounts, which after the first year annual fee waiver, will cost you each a $99 annual fee? Why not get a supplementary card, which only costs $29.00 for the Scotia Gold, but still allows you to have distinct record keeping, and allows your wife to get a completely separate card.
3. We like the Scotia Amex Gold pick for you, because so much of your spend is in gas, and groceries (although the formatting made it hard to see which of your expenses belonged to which categories). A 4% return will be great for you – especially with no fee in the first year.
4. We also like the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard for you now, at a 2% earn rate on all spend (in your case your non-gas/grocery/restaurant spend) with a $100 sign-up bonus and no annual fee in the first year.
5. In general, if you’re looking for the fastest way to fly free, we’d recommend also focusing heavily on cards that offer significant sign-up bonuses, with annual fee waivers. If you space your application out for 3 or 4 months, it shouldn’t impact your credit score. In that regard, look at the Amex Gold card which offer 25,000 miles (good for a $250 travel credit or can be converted to 25,000 aeroplan miles free – which is good enough for a return flight anywhere in north america) and no fee in the first year. In that regard, we also like the current TD Aeroplan offer, which is for 20,000 Aeroplan miles, and no fee in the first year. Avion’s low 15,000 bonus points would keep it off our list for now. Since it seems you’re staying with family, we wouldn’t recommend a hotel card either (you can transfer SPG points to Aeroplan, but it comes with an annual fee right now), at this time.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

David says:

Thank you for your valuable advice.

Andrea says:

I am looking for the best credit card to use for world travel. Something that doesn’t just get me free flights but I can also book my hotel and all-inclusive packages through. I don’t like the airmiles set up because it seems inevitably you get your pick of awful flight times with long layovers. We are building a home and plan to purchase all of the materials on our credit card so a good person back in points is obviously a bonus. As good as the American Express card sounds, I don’t want that one because it isn’t widely accepted in my area. Please help!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Andrea,

Given your preferences, and the fact that you’re about to spend a significant amount on purchases for your home, we’d recommend getting the MBNA Rewards Wrold Elite MasterCard. It comes with a first year annual fee waiver (a low $89 thereafter), and a $100 sign-up bonus. But more importantly for you, it comes with a flat 2% earn rate on all spend (2 points per dollar spent, with each point being worth 1%) – which is great for your home purchases, where a lot of the bonus categories (gas, grocery, pharmacy, restaurants) won’t apply.

You can book any travel to your card (or use their travel center), and then apply your points as a cash credit to your statement. It’s truly as simple as it gets. You can even have MBNA mail you your cash rewards via check or have them transfer the cash to your checking account.

You might want to apply for another card, to book your flight with, that gives you a nice sign-up bonus, with an annual fee waiver as well. Those would be completely free travel credits – the Amex Gold Rewards gives you a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points ($250, or 25,000 Aeroplan miles – enough for a return ticket to anywhere in North America), with no annual fee in teh first year. Get the sign-up bonus from Amex Gold, but use your MBNA rewards to collect your 2% rewards, and then redeem your MBNA points for cash! You can do the same with the TD Aeroplan infinite offer for 20,000 miles and no-fee in the first year. Just space your applications out ever 2 months or so, and you’ll be flying free in no time!

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Alan says:

Great site keep up the good work!

Here is my question/situation.
We are long time visa infinite customers and have been advise that the redemption rate is changing as of nov 15. Currently you can redeem in blocks 10,000 points and receive $50 beer block of 10,000. This is changing to $40 per 10,000. We are very disappointed with this change. We travel 2-3 times a year mostly with vacation packages and like the flexibility of using any wholesaler (Sunwing/Transat//Westjet etc). We use our visa for virtually every purchase possible. I am concerned changing to a Amerx card may limit how often we use the card. What do you suggest.

Thanks
Alan

GreedyRates says:

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the kind words! It’s a shame TD devalued non-Expedia redemptions on the First Class Infinite card. That’s said, if you still earn and redeem through Expeida it offers a virtually unparalleled earn rate of 4.5%. It’s hard for us to recommend an alternative without knowing where you spend on your credit card. But let’s start with taking a look at all the travel cards that allow you to apply your reward dollars to any travel charge on your credit card statement – Amex Gold Rewards, Scotia Amex Gold, TD First Class Infinite, RBC Avion, CapOne Aspire.

Of the four, the Amex Gold Rewards card probably has the highest earn rate of 4% in gas, grocery, restaurant & entertainment (it also has a $200 sign-up bonus, and no fee first year starting November 1st). CapOne Aspire offers the highest earn rate of the bunch on all spend, regardless of category of 2%, comes with a $400 sign-up bonus, but there’s an annual fee of $150 and no waiver.

One thing to also note is that for cards like the BMO Rewards World Elite, they have a price match gurantee which “applies to vacation packages and airfare booked with specific travel providers based on advertised prices. Eligible vacation packages must be booked with Sunquest Vacations, ALBATours, Transat Holidays, Nolitours, Signature Vacations, Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing Vacations, and WestJet Vacations.” The BMO Rewards card offers a 2% earn rate and a $300 welcome bonus, but also has a $150 annual fee right now.

We’d recommend the Scotia Amex Gold right now for its $200 sign-up bonus, no fee first year offer (check back soon) and high earn rate of 4% on gas, groceries, restaurants & entertainment. We obviously love the Amex Gold rewards card, because it allows you to pay for any travel, or exchange points to Aeroplan 1:1, and Avios. If Amex scares you off, then turn towards the BMO Rewards World Elite or the CapOne Aspire World Elite – but be wary as both have annual fees starting day one right now.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Kyle says:

I’m looking to get a new Amex card and also a new Visa/Mastercard since Amex isn’t accepted everywhere. I feel like focusing one card to maximize points is best or is best to use multiple cards for what they offer the best earn rates for? I really like the flexible travel concept and am keen to get away from the idea of using a “miles” card as they never seem to have the same flight options as what I see on travel websites. My spouse and I use our cards for everything so I want to maximize our day-to-day point collecting but I will be starting to travel a lot too (Van-Cgy twice a month) so am interested in the TD First Class Visa Infinite but am a little put off by the 1.5% regular earn rate. Also I’m not sure if the TDforExpedia is any good which is the only way I get that 4.5%. The other option is BMO World Elite M/C which has the flat 2% earn but doesn’t give me a bonus for all the travel I’ll be doing. But I do like that BMO gives free second card and the Priority Pass Lounge tickets.

In addition, the Scotiabank Gold is inviting with that 4% on Gas/Groc/Ent/Dining but overall you seem to recommend regular Amex Gold. What is the % earn rates for Amex Gold – I know it’s double points for a lot of categories but wasn’t sure if that was 2%.

PS – love the website and will definitely be sharing with friends
PPS – There a bunch of Oct 30th promotions so trying to decide in a day or less what to do

GreedyRates says:

Hi Kyle,

Thanks for the kind words and for sharing GreedyRates with your friends! So let’s get started:

1. The Amex Gold is the equivalent to a 2% earn rate on eligible gas station, grocery store, drugstore and travel purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more. You’ll get 2 points per dollar spent in those categories, and each point is worth the equivalen of 1 cent, providing you with a 2% earn rate per dollar spent. It also has a nice 25,000 mile sign-up bonus with no annual fee.

That said, if you convert those points to Aeroplan, each point is worth more like 1.27 cents, giving you a 2.56% earn rate on average, depending on the flight redeemed for.

2. The Scotiabank Gold should have a no annual fee promo, with the 20,000 points sign-up bonus coming out very soon. With a 4% earn rate on gas, grocery, dining and entertainment it provides fantastic value on every day spend.

3. As you mentioned, the TD First Class Infinite card is great for travel spend, given the 4.5% earn rate if you book and redeem through Expedia. Expedia is pretty solid in terms of pricing. There should not be that big a drop-off, if any, from what you’d be able to get elsewhere. But the card loses a lot of its value when you book outside of Expedia. It currently has a $200 welcome bonus with no fee in the first year. This could be a great option for you to book your Van-Cgy flights twice a month.

We love the idea of stacking yoour rewards cards based on their bonus spend categories. We also love the idea of jump starting your rewards with a nice welcome bonus and no annual fee offer. All that said, with each of the cards either having or about to have no annual fee offers, there’s no risk in trying a few out. The Amex Gold 25,000 mile bonus and no fee first year is more or less available all the time.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Jack says:

Is there any word if Chase has completely pulled out of Canada? I am most interested in knowing the fate of the Marriott card it has offered.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Jack,

There is no word yet. Although, our suspicion is that because Chase has sold its operations and scale, to Scotia, that at some point in the near to mid term, Chase will divest itself of the Marriott and Amazon Canadian programs. In the interim we suspect Chase has entered into some type of interim servicing agreement with Scotia, such that their Amazon and Marriott portfolios continue to get serviced by the call center and operations they sold.

That said, I don’t think there is any way Chase just walks away from Marriott without ensuring Marriott has an alternative in Canada. Given the size of their relationship in the U.S. Chase will be keen to play nice with Marriott.

GreedyRates Staff

jesse s says:

I have many avios points with BA but am never able to redeem them for travel upgrades or travel in higher class. Am I able to transfer them to some other card or able to redeem them with some other plans. After using all my points I will certainly cancel this card.
Thanks

GreedyRates says:

Hi Jesse,

You can use your Avios points to book travel on other airlines, such as Alaska Air and American Airlines. American Airlines offers even better value than redeeming Avios on British Airways, because you won’t be chargeed fuel surcharges! Or for travel to Europe, you could book on Aer Lingus or Air Berlin, once again, with lower fuel surcharges than on British Airways.

Best,

GreedyRates Staff

Rosanna says:

I applied for the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card and get the exclusive greedyrates.ca offer to waive the first year of the annual fee. I followed the link to the card on the greedyrates website, but I didn’t an option to select the offer when signing up. How can I redeem the offer? Thanks!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Rosanna,

You don’t have to do anything if you applied for the card through a GreedyRates.ca link. The annual fee will be automatically rebated within 2 statements, and your 25,000 Aeroplan miles will be automatically attributed to your account when you meet the min requirements.

Thanks for using GreedyRates.ca!

GreedyRates Staff

Richard Ribicki says:

Just an FYI to those of you purchasing airfare and expecting to be covered by the lost/delayed baggage coverage. NBC’s World Elite MasterCard is unique in that it requires the entire cost of both airfare AND accommodations for the entire duration of the trip to be paid with the card. If you are redeeming a hotel award, staying with relatives or following a travel itinerary that includes overnight stays not paid with the card, your claim will be denied. This happened to me when I redeemed hotel points for one night of my stay and used the NBC World Elite MasterCard to pay for the remaining 7 nights as well as the entire airfare. It is a very disingenuous way of touting a benefit without actually having to provide it as it will not really benefit many travelers. All other credit cards offering lost/delayed baggage coverage require payment using their respective card for the airfare only. This includes the Capital One aspire World Elite MasterCard, TD First Class Visa Infinite Card, the American Express Platinum Card, as well as others.

GreedyRates says:

Richard,

You bring up a great point. The National Bank World Elite card writes the following in its insurance certificate “This benefit shall cover loss of or damage to the baggage owned by a covered person during a trip in or outside the province of residence, when the cardholder charges all of the cost of accommodation and principal transportation to his account.” Not only do you have to charge your entire cost of travel, it seems that even if you charged your entire flight, but didn’t charge your hotel to the card, you wouldn’t be eligible for reimbursement – a raw deal. A lesson that in insurance the devil really is in the details.

By comparison, the BMO World Elite MasterCard only requires partial payment of your trip and reads as follows: “Coverage applies only when You charge the full or partial cost of Your Trip to the Primary or Family Cardholder’s MasterCard prior to departure.”

The TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa card also provides a pretty fair redemption hurdle in our view. They require you pay the full cost of the ticket with your card, but you can do so with your credit card, your miles or a combination of the two “TICKET means evidence of the fare paid for travel on a Common Carrier and paid in full (1) by charge to Your Account, (2) by redemption of Aeroplan Miles or (3) by a combination of (1) and (2).”

We’ve never seen claim hurdles for baggage insurance as onerous as that of National Bank’s.

Thanks for the heads up Richard,

GreedyRates Staff

Sunny says:

Hi, I used to use the sears as it gave me enough points for me to buy clothes all year long. Now as you know they have ended the Chase agreement so i’m looking for a new card. I don’t fly much so i just need a basic card that would give me the maximum benefit. What would you suggest?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Sunny,

Without knowing your income, credit, where you shop, or how much you spend in different merchant categories, or what type of rewards your looking for on your credit card it’s really hard to pick the right card for you. We’d suggest you use our credit card comparison tool to find the best card for you. You can go to our home page to start from step 1.

Sorry we couldn’t be of more help, but we’d just be making an uninformed arbitrary decision otherwise.

GreedyRates Staff

Carlos says:

Thanks for the info. I am torn between the Aeroplan Infinite and the Westjet Elite (##1 & 2 in your ranking for that class). As I will be primarily flying to Baja California from Vancouver, I suspect Westjet is the better option because of more flights. Any flaws in my reasoning? Thank.
Carlos

GreedyRates says:

Hi Carlos,

If you’re flying Vancouver to Los Cabos, you’re best bet might be the Alaska Air World Elite MasterCard (find it at http://www.greedyrates.ca/cards/Travel-Credit-Cards). Not only is there currently a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus for the card, but every year you get a companion fare for $121 US which you can use on any Alaska Air operated flight. The low annual fee of $75 also makes the card very attractive.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Carlos says:

Thanks for the tip! I’m glad I checked in and will have look at Alaska.

kris says:

Hey there

Just wanted to let you know i searched high and low this year for a canadian credit card with no foreign currency transaction fees and i found one!! The Amazon rewards Visa offered through Chase bank. No annual fee either and you get perks through amazon as well 🙂

Ok now i have a question, i have been racking up points with my Scotia Gold amex. Im curious if I am able to transfer the points to aeroplan similar to the gold amex. I would hate to have to cancel my scotia gold amex but im a big traveller and points mean alot to me. thanks!

thanks!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Kris,

Congrats on finding a Canadian credit card that does not charge FX fees. You could also look at the Marriott Visa above, the Sears MasterCard and now the Rogers MasterCard. You might want to stay away from the Sears card, as that relationship with Chase is coming to an end soon.

With respect to your question, unfortunately you cannot transfer Scotia Amex Gold points to Aeroplan. However, the Scotia Amex Gold is still a great travel card, as you can earn the equivalent of 4% on grocery, gas, restaurant & entertainment spend. You can then redeem those points for ANY travel – it’s a very flexible travel card with a very high earn rate for those categories.

That said, if you’re looking to rack up Aeroplan points, you really should take advantage of the current TD Aeroplan Infinite offer, which is only available until Oct 30th. The first year annual fee is rebated and you get 25,000 Aeroplan miles (10,000 on activation and another 15,000 if you keep your account open and in good standing for 90 days – no minimum spend requirement!).

Best,

GreedyRates Staff

kris says:

Thanks im applying now !!

Jan says:

After my last travel booking experience with aeroplan , I now want the flexibility to book whatever travel I want. I actually already have the TD visa infinite aeroplan card. My credit card spend is not so much on travel especially for the next year or so. I was thinking of moving to TD first class but it seems like you recommend the BMO Elite card? I just wonder, though, since you have to book through their centre, are you less likely to be able to take advantage of general travel promotions? (ie the cost of the travel will be higher than on the open market?)

With aeroplan I found I paid about 60% of the value of a flight on the open market with another carrier for my “free” flight (taxes, fuel surcharges, etc) And I couldn’t fly direct.

I haven’t had a mastercard for a long time. Is it generally accepted everywhere Visa is? I found amex wasn’t and actually don’t prefer to have multiple cards.

Thanks for all the advice offered here – its great to have someone decode here.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Jan,

Glad you’re enjoying our site!

1. MasterCard is generally accepted everywhere Visa is.
2. The flight costs at BMO’s travel centre tend to be on par with what you can receive elsewhere. That said, if you see a last minute websaver somewhere, you won’t be able to take advantage of it if it’s not available at BMO travel centre.
3. The TD First Class Visa Infinite card is best for those who use it for travel, where you’ll get 3X points a 4.5% rewards rate, versus 1X points, a 1.5% rewards rate when spending everywhere else. By comparison, the BMO World Elite Travel card will give a flat 2% rewards rate on all spend. Another flexible option you might want to consider is the MBNA Rewards World Elite card, which has a lower annual fee ($89) than the BMO World Elite card, also offers a 2% rewards rate, comes with a $100 welcome bonus, and you can redeem for travel or convert your points to cash at the 2% value – MBNA will mail a check to you, or deposit the funds right into your checking account. Then you can use that money on whatever best travel option you find.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Shi says:

Hi there. Lots of information, a definite plus =)
I’m curious to know if Delta will be partnering with another company seeing their partnership with Capital One will be ending next month.
Thank you.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Shi,

CapOne has in fact terminated it’s partnership with Delta Airlines in Canada. Our understanding is Delta has not selected a replacement partner for its co-brand credit card program yet, but that it is looking to do so. Wouldn’t be surprised if there was a period where there was no Delta card offered, before a new one gets announced.

Best,

GreedyRates Staff

Jordon says:

Hi love your site!

I’m curious about the American Express Gold Rewards Card, I can’t seem to find participating retailers for the 2x points. If i want to see what retailers offer what bonuses where can I go?

Thanks, Jordon

GreedyRates says:

Hi Jordon,

Thanks for the love Jordon – spread the word! The American Express Gold Rewards card offers 2X points for ALL merchants in the specified merchant category (gas, grocery, pharmacy and travel related expenses), as follows:

“You can earn 2 Membership Rewards points (“points”) for every $1 in eligible consumer purchases at American Express retail merchants as follows: (i) at stand-alone automobile gasoline stations in Canada, (ii) at stand-alone drugstores in Canada, (iii) at stand-alone grocery stores in Canada, and (iv) for travel services or travel bookings including air, water, rail and road transport, lodging and tour operator sales but not including local and commuter transportation. Purchases at merchants where gas, grocery, pharmacy and travel sales are not their primary business (including superstores, wholesale clubs, alcohol retailers and general merchandise retailers) do not qualify for the earn rate in this category. Merchants are typically assigned codes and categorized based on what they sell. Earn rate of 1 point for every $1 applies if the merchant code is not in an eligible category, the purchase is made using an electronic wallet or is not made directly from the provider of the good or service, e.g. through a third party or by using a mobile device (e.g. smart phone) with an attached card reader. Provided your account is in good standing, points can be earned on eligible purchases less returns and other credits. Interest, fees, and charges for travellers cheques and foreign currencies are not purchases and do not qualify for Membership Rewards points.”

So if you fill up for gas at Petro, Shell, Esso, Husky, Ultramar, Irving, you should be covered. Fill up at Costco or Canadian Tire, you’re probably not covered. Shop for food at Loblaw, IGA, Metro or your local grocery store you’re covered, but if you shop for food at a general retail or wholesaler like Wal-Mart or Costco, it’s not covered.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

susan says:

Hi, New to your website, but not new to the points/travel world. So, are you into Credit card churning, if so, how often do you recommend signing up/canceling/getting new ones ? Also, is it not necessary to sign up all in one day anymore, as credit reports are almost instant ? Or what do you recommend on this issue ? Any manufacturing spend in canada ? thanks ! Susan

GreedyRates says:

Hi Susan,

Our view is churning is not a sin! You bring up a couple of different churning strategies. The first is churning through the same credit card. The second is churning through different credit cards.

With respect to the first strategy, churning through the same card (signing-up for a card, qualifying for the sign-up bonus, then cancelling the card, and applying for the same card again), Canadian credit card issuers are addressing the issue in different ways, as more of them begin using welcome bonuses and annual fee waivers more agressively, in addition to flat out eliminating the opportunity.

First, Canadian issuers are introducing higher minimum spend thresholds as opposed to qualifying based on activation alone i.e. min $500 spend in three months. Second, multiple issuers are using the following language, which makes it harder to predict a surefire apply, qualify, cancel, repeat cycle. The language is as follows: “We reserve the right to limit the number of accounts opened by, and the number of additional miles awarded to, any one person.” For some Canadian issuers, a wait time of 12 months should suffice. For others (Amex), you can apply for different card products, but no longer the same product twice.

The second strategy of applying for multiple different credit cards, from different issuers, to take advantage of first year free offers with hefty sign-up bonuses, can be done within shorter time periods. While you can’t apply for 5 credit cards at a time, because the credit bureau’s will flag your account, there is no reason you can’t apply every 90 days. If your credit is strong, you can test into applying every 60 days, and check how it impacts your credit score.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

susan says:

Hi, Thanks for the reply ! Yes, my husband and I both have excellent credit scores. You say dont apply for 5 cards at once, but how many do you recommend at once, then every 6mths or so? Also, need to get some hotel bonus points for a upcoming trip to NYC. Which card should we go for, and do you get a benefit from me clicking your links ? thanks again ! susan

GreedyRates says:

Hi Susan,

Our pleasure. It used to be that the credit bureau’s didn’t report applications back to the issuers until 24 hours after you applied. Now it can be instantaneous. If you want to be aggressive, you can use the following method. Both Amex and TD have instant approval, so they would be a good first try. If you get instantly approved by one, apply to the next, if you get instantly approved by the second, you could try again. But don’t go past 3. If you don’t get instantly approved by TD or Amex, stop. I’d recommend starting with TD, then Amex. Then you can try Scotia, BMO, RBC, Chase or the others, but only one of them, for a max of 3 applications.

Please be mindful of one VERY important thing, if you use this aggressive strategy. Most cards with welcome bonuses require a minimum spend within 90 days or so. Make sure you can achieve the minimum spend threshold for all cards in the designated period.

One thing to note along those lines, is that until October 30, the TD Aeroplan Infinite offer does not have a minimum spend requirement, you just need to keep the account open, active and in good standing for 90 days, to get the second tier of 10,000 miles, and all you have to do is use the card once, to get the first 15,000 miles. Also note that the Chase Marriott card, gives you 30,000 points just for activating the card with one purchase.

With respect to the best hotel card, both Marriott and Starwood have solid Canadian credit cards. Marriott comes with the first year annual fee free, plus up to 5 free nights for its welcome bonus, which is solid. Starwood, which includes brands like Sheraton and the W Hotel, has a limited time bonus right now of 20,000 points, which can also get you up to 5 free nights, but the annual fee is not waived. Both will get you less than 5 nights in NYC.

Yes we do get a benefit when you apply through our links – it helps keep the lights on – any help will be greatly appreciated!

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Sue says:

which travel card would be best for flights to Indonesia? I`m looking at the Visa Aventura but it seems from what I`m reading, that many cards require flights originating from Canada. Are there cards that would allow me to use points with the point of departure in Indonesia?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Sue,

While Aventura may not allow you to book from Indonesia to Canada you have plenty of other options.

We verified with Aeroplan, and you can originate your flight from any destination, not just a Canadian city. So in your case, you could fly from Indonesia to Canada. You can also book through BMO’s travel centre on the BMO World Elite Rewards card, or through Expedia on TD’s First Class Visa Infinite card, or you can redeem for any airfare on your credit card bill on your Amex Gold Rewards card, or Scotia Amex Gold card.

Hope those options provide you with workable a solution.

GreedyRates Staff

marie says:

I wish I had found your site sooner; thank for all you do!
I fly short-hauls 2-3 times annually to US from Canada and an annual trip to Europe. I have an RBC British Airways Visa and, up until their recent changes, flew short haul for 9000 points return with their partner airlines to the US.
This is becoming more difficult now…fewer non-business options requiring round trip upgrades equalling 18000 points return. I will be abroad this fall and next spring….I am contemplating a second card…also reading about the foreign transaction fees….
Would you have a comment about travel health insurance for me.

Any immediate guidance would be greatly appreciated as I leave for one trip in 9 days. TY! Marie

GreedyRates says:

Hi Marie,

Thanks for the kind words, share the word! Travel insurance offers significant value. However, there are really four things most people need to look out for: 1. Maximum age. Some cards will not offer health coverage beyond 65 2. Consecutive day caps. Some cards will offer up to 15 to 54 consecutive day coverage – make sure your card fits your travel pattern. 3. Exclusions. If you have any pre-existing conditions, or have added or changed medications recently, review your policy, to make sure you’re covered or to top up areas where you may need some extra coverage. To read some more go to this post of our on credit card travel insurance.

Also, people should know that both the primary cardholder, their spouse and dependent children are covered. The ther thing to know, is that with travel health insurance, your covered whether you book your trip on your card or not. So even if you drive into the U.S. or out of province your covered.

Let us know if you have any other questions. We’d love to help!

GreedyRates Staff

H K says:

Hi there… I have used Scotia Amex Gold for the last one year and enjoyed the benefits (points and luggage delay reimbursement during one of our international trips). I would love to keep this card but Costco has stopped accepting it and that was one of the primary reasons for getting this card. Looking at your comparisons, I am tempted to get a BMO Air miles World Elite card. Overall, how does BMW card stack up against the Scotia Gold AmEx?

Thank you for any additional insights above and beyond the comparison on this website.

Cheers!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Harish,

There are two main differences between the Amex Gold and the BMO World Elite Mastercard.

1. The Amex Gold gave you a 4% earn rate on gas, groceries (did not include Costco which was considered a wholesaler), restaurants and entertainment spend (4% is exceptional), 1% everywhere else. With the BMO World Elite, you’ll get a flat 2% earn rate on all spend (including Costco) – which is also exceptional – the highest flat earn rate in Canada.

2. With the Amex Gold, you can apply your points to any travel expense that appears on your credit card statement. With the BMO World Elite, you can redeem your points for any flight, with no restrictions or balck out dates, but it has to be done through the BMO travel center.

Both cards have exceptional insurance packages and include travel medical, trip cancellation/interruption, and car rental insurance.

You’ll be far better off shopping with the BMO World Elite MasterCard at Costco, earning 2%, than you were with the Amex Gold, where you earned 1%. Also the BMo World Elite MasterCard earns you more shopping in Costco than the Costco MasterCard itself! You could also consider the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard, which also offers a 2% earn rate – which can be redeemed for travel or cash – and has a lower annual fee. But it comes with a MUCH smaller sign-up bonus and the insurance package is not as robust.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

H K says:

Thanks a lot for the comparison and making it simpler for me to decide.

Michelle says:

HI,
Great article and advice for those of us looking at various cards. I’m a long time carrier of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card and have loaded up on points over the years, and had great experiences traveling to Europe, Asia, etc. I also have a AMEX Platinum Aeroplan due to the travel perks and the enrollment bonus points.
Recently, I’ve noticed that booking a flight on Aeroplan is becoming more and more difficult – available flights are just not what they were and I find myself frustrated most of the time.
I wondered what you thought about the TD Infinite Visa that is tied to Expedia? I’m considering dropping one of my current cards (TD Aeroplan) and going with this card. I’d love any input you may have.
Thanks,
M.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Michelle,

Glad you enjoyed the review! With respect to getting a new travel card, if you’re looking for something that offers flexibility and value, the TD First Class Visa Infinite card has both. From an earn perspective, it earns 4.5% when you use your card for purchases at Expedia.ca, so if you travel, there’s tons of value, for all other spend you’ll get 1.4% when redeeming on Expedia. Value did go down a bit recently, if you apply your points to travel on your statement, as opposed to Expedia. It also currently offers a nice sign-up bonus and annual fee waiver for the first year, so it’s free to try.

If most of your spend is non-travel related, you might want to try the BMO World Elite card, which offers 2% earnings on all spend, and you can book travel anywhere, with no restrictions, you just have to do it through BMO’s travel center. BMO also offers a nice $300 sign-up bonus, but no fee waiver right now.

Similarly, the Scotia Amex Gold card also offers great value right now, and offers a 4% earn rate on every day purchases such as gas, grocery, and dining. You can then apply those points to any travel on your statement. It currently offers a $200 sign-up bonus, but there’s no fee waiver.

For no other reason than getting a few free hotel nights, why not take a look at the Marriott Visa card. With a no fee waiver for the first year, it’s free to try, and you’ll get up to 5 free nights on approval – no reason to limit yourself to one new card, if there’s an annual fee waiver.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Jeffrey says:

Hi, were looking to get a travel card but not sure what’s best. We like the idea of using the accumulated points to pay for any travel booked on the card. We have a trip coming up and would like to cover part of the cost as we won’t have enough for the entire vacation. I know the Amex has the best score but it’s limited where it’s accepted. Is there a visa and or MasterCard with the same feature and anywhere near the welcome bonus this card offers?

Sarah Swant says:

Hello,

Curious on your thoughts on the visa Avion in compare to these. Perhaps I should be looking to change, I have had this one for years.
Thanks!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Sarah,

While the RBC Avion card remains popular, we believe the new breed of travel cards in Canada offer more flexibility and more value for most. Specifically, Canada’s travel cards like the Amex Gold Rewards, Scotia Amex Gold, and TD First Class Visa, all allow you to reddem your points for any travel related purchase that appears on your credit card statement. You can find your best travel deal (flight, cruise, train) whether it be through Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, Priceline, direct or a tour operator and redeem your points for it once the charge appears on your statement. We like that a whole lot more than having to be limited to RBC’s flight redemption chart and Orbitz.

If you’re inclined to try something new, we’d give one of those cards a shot. Of the bunch, we really like the Amex Gold Rewards because it offers a nice 25,000 point sign-up bonus and no annual fee in the first year (the most valuable offer of the bunch right now). While you can apply those points to any travel expense on your credit card statement, you can also transfer them to Aeroplan or Avios 1:1 with no fee, making it both a rich offer and super flexible. A big sign-up bonus is the fastest way to get ahead – because your getting what would otherwise require $25,000 of credit card spend, in points for free. Also, the Amex Gold Rewards card, because you can transfer the points to Aeroplan for free, gives you the opporunity to get other Aeroplan cards with 25,000 mile sign-up bonuses and first year annual fee waivers, like the TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa card – stacking your points, and flying free faster and farther, which is the name of the game.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Claude says:

Good day,

Are there other plans or credit cards besides Aeroplan that permits upgrades to business class?

Claude

GreedyRates says:

Hi Claude,

If you’re looking for an alternative to Aeroplan to travel from Canada to the United States in Business or First Class, you can take a look at the Alaska Air MasterCard from MBNA (Mileage Plan) or the Amex Starwood card. The Alaska Air card allows you to use its Mileage Plan miles to book business and/or First Class on its partner airlines, which include Delta and American Airlines. You can also use Starpoints from the American Express Starwood card and transfer them 1:1 to American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta Sky Miles or United Mileage Plus.

For intenrational travel, you can get a British Airways card or Cathay Pacific card, directly with RBC. Or again, you can get the Alaska Air card which would allow you transfer points to one of its Elite Qualifying Partner Airlines which include (Air France, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, KLM, Delta, American). Likewise, you can transfer your Starwood points 1:1 to British Airways Executive Club, Alitalia Mile Miglia, and 28 other airlines. Nice thing is when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to a partner airline, you get an additional 5,000 point bonus, so you’re really getting 25,000 partner airline points for the price of 20,000 most often.

Those a re probably your best bets, as an alternative to Aeroplan / Air Canada. Unfortunately, Canada doesn’t have a host of easy alternatives. CapitalOne Canada just terminated its partnership with Delta in Canada and Westjet doesn’t really have Business or First Class.

Hope that helps Claude,

GreedyRates Staff

Jonathan Matthews says:

I was given to understand that the RBC British Airway Visa has no foreign currency charge.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Jonathan,

We just checked the terms and conditions of the RBC British Airways VISA Infinite card in response to your inquiry. RBC charges a 2.5% foreign transaction fee over the “benchmark rate Royal Bank of Canada pays on the date of conversion.” The Chase Marriott Rewards card is still Canada’s only travel card not to charge a foreign transaction fee, as far as we can tell. Hope that helps.

GreedyRates Staff

Arlene says:

Sears Mastercard with Chase Morgan also offers no transaction fees for exchange rates at this time. Also, their monthly rate is 19.5%.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Arlene,

You’re correct, but Chase & Sears have agreed to end their relationship (which was announced earlier this year). As a result, we don’t expect that feature to be available on the Sears card for long.

Kindest,

GreedyRates Staff

Ppng88 says:

I was wondering you have anything similar to the or equivalent to Barclays Arrival+ with no foreign transaction fees. (The Barclays Arrival+ is a Mastercard with a great reward system (2x points per $1) and has a Chip and PIN feature. It also gives you a complimentary subscription to Tripit Pro ) Because I will be traveling more and I hope not to have any foreign exchange fees.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Joyce,

The only Canadian travel credit card without foreign transaction fees in Canada is the Marriott Rewards card, which you will find in the rankings above. It has a great sign-up bonus with free hotel nights, and no annual fee in the first year, and of course no foreign transaction fees. Hope that helps.

GreedyRates Staff

Trent says:

This article doesn’t consider companion flight benefits, which can be quite beneficial for those with a partner. I’m not sure if those might change the rankings? Getting a cheap companion flight each year (Alaska and WestJet cards come to mind) is a fairly large ongoing $ benefit.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Trent,

We actually did consider companion flights and we like both the cards you suggested. However, we found the number of routes flown by Alaska Air, despite its partner airlines, to be too limited for most Canadians, especially on the east coast. That said, if you want a companion ticket to Hawaii for $121, the Alaska Air MasterCard is a great option. We also like the WestJet World Elite card, and actually have it as our runner-up.

Again, the challenge with WestJet is that it simply does not have the number of destinations as Air Canada, especially outside of North America, nor does it have business class. So while its value per dollar spent, and its perks such as a companion ticket for $99 are great, it lags in its appeal to a wide audience. We took that into account because we think it limits its flexibility and appeal for many Canadians. That said, if you know where you’re going, and WestJet can take you there, by all means, don’t hold back, it’s a good card, same with Alaska Air (especially for Hawaii!)

GreedyStaff

Peter says:

I have to decide between “TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card” and “TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card”. I have already enjoyed few times the Aeroplan upgrade to business class. Not sure How First Class points will compare. OR which is better . And another point is TD First Class annual fee is waived in “All inclusive” account whereas Aeroplan card fee is $120/Yr

GreedyRates says:

Hi Peter,

Without knowing your routes, and in which merchant categories you make your credit card spend it’s hard for us to make a recommendation. Suffice to say, the more you spend on Expedia, the higher your earn rate on the TD First Class Visa card (goes from 1.5% to 4.5%). The more you redeem for business class, versus coach, the higher the value of your Aeroplan points (can go from 1.27% to north of 4%).

One thing we would suggest though, is that we think you have the option at TD to have your annual fee waived on the Infinite level card of your choosing, whether it be the First Class Visa card or the Aeroplan Infinite card. Regardless, note that the offer currently on GreedyRates waives the first year annual fee on the TD Aeroplan Infinite card in the first year. That offer is not available in branches.

Best,

GreedyRates Staff

Tracey says:

What about Capital 1 Elite? It used to be number one and now it doesn’t even rank? I still have mine from the days when they offered 30,000 points to join and I still receive the 10,000 bonus points annually. I’m generally happy with the card, but should I switch? For the TD Infinite (and others), is there a penalty for trying it for free and cancelling before the year is up? (i.e., can they claw back the points?)

GreedyRates says:

Hi Tracey, if you already have the CapitalOne Aspire World Elite card, and are eligible for the 10,000 a year anniversary point bonus, it’s still a good card. We just wouldn’t recommend it as a new card in your wallet, given its recent devaluation (elimination of anniversary bonus and decrease of sign-up bonus to only 10,000 points $100) by CapitalOne, and the fact that it doesn’t have a first year annual fee waiver.

If you try the TD Infinite and others, to take advatange of the sign-up bonuses, so long as you spend the minimum required (usually between $500 to $1,000) you will receive the welcome bonus. If you cancel the card before the year end, presumably to avoid the annual fee in the second year, there is no penalty. Hope that helps.

GreedyStaff

Dorota says:

Hello
I am looking for a card that my husband and I can use every day for groceries, gas, on line purchases etc. in return earn points for flights to Europe, hotels.
For many years I’ve been using Rbc visa, but it does not give me many points.
Should I go for American Express gold card or Td Aeroplan infinite card or both?
Can I use the points for any airline? Lufthansa, Condor air, Air France?
Thanks

GreedyRates says:

Hi Dorota, some of the travel cards offering the best value for gas and groceries include the Scotia Amex Gold card, the American Express Gold card and the TD Aeroplan Infinite card. The advantage of going Aeroplan now is that you’ll be able to get higher sign-up bonuses and you’ll be able to stack the sign-up bonuses from multiple issuers (i.e. Amex Gold transfers to Aeroplan 1:1 with no fee & TD).

With both the Scotia Amex Gold and the American Express Gold, you’ll be able to use your points for any airline, in fact you’ll be able to apply your points to just about any travel charge that shows up on your credit card statement. With the Aeroplan card you will be limited to Air Canada and its fairly wide array of Star Alliance partners (27 member airlines).

Use our travel credit card calculator to help you find the best card for your spending habits.

Nick Frlan says:

Hi
I see a lot of mention of the TD Aeroplan Card. How does the CIBC Infinite Aerogold card compare?
Secondly, do all cards charge a 2.5% transaction fee on foreign currency transactions and do they all first convert the transaction to US dollars and then Canadian dollars (punishing Canadians twice)? And thirdly, are cards such as the PC Finanical MasterCard and Walmart MasterCard really only useful for the store specific rewards they offer?
Thanks I am really glad I found your website.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Nick, the CIBC Infinite Aerogold does not compare favourably against the TD Aeroplan Infinite card right now because it offers 10,000 less sign-up bonus miles and does not have a first year annual fee waiver – that’s around $250 less value.

Not all Canadian credit cards charge a 2.5% foreign transaction fee, the only Canadian travel card not to charge one is the Chase Mariott card. That said, every other one does, and 2.5% seems to be the going rate. You are charged the 2.5% on the converted amount. So you’re correct, first they convert the transactions to CDN dollars, then they apply the 2.5% fee.

In general the PC Financial MasterCard and WalMart MasterCard are only useful if you enjoy shopping at those stores, because you can only redeem your points for merchandise at those stores.

Glad you’re enjoying our site! Awesome to have folks like you asking great questions.

GreedyStaff

Geoff says:

If you did take advantage of all these offers, it is very unlikely you would keep all these cards past the first year, as the annual fees kick in. Having then spread your spending thinly across a number of cards, wouldn’t you then have a number of points stuck in various proprietary systems that could not be easily converted?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Geoff,

You bring-up a great point, which needs to be addressed. When choosing to take advantage of multiple no fee first year offers, you should ensure a few things first. 1) See if you can stack cards with healthy sign-up bonuses and no annual fee offers in the first year that are from the same rewards program, or can be transferred to the same rewards programs (Amex Gold transfer to Aeroplan 1:1 for free, TD Aeroplan Infinite, Amex Aeroplan Gold, Starwood transfer to Aeroplan etc…), (BMO Air Miles, Amex Air Miles). 2) Select sign-up bonus offers that allow you to apply your points to ANY travel charges on your credit card statement, they essentially behave like cash (Amex Gold Rewards, TD First Class Visa, Scotia Amex Gold). 3) Select cards with sign-up bonuses than in and of themselves can fund a flight or hotel night (The BMO Rewards sign-up bonus of 30,000 points is worth $300, the TD Aeroplan offer if 25,000 miles is good enough for a return flight anywhere within North America, no additional spending required).

Hope that helps Geoff. Thanks for a great question.

GreedyStaff

Ashley says:

Hi, I was wondering if you have any info on good travel reward cards for post secondary students who don’t have a high income? I do have a good credit score, I already own a Westjest MasterCard but not satisfied with the way the point system works. Thanks in Advance.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Ashley, probably the highest earning travel card, with a low income threshold and no annual fee is the American Express Blue Sky card, which has a minimum income requirement of $15K. It has a nice $100 welcome bonus and a very strong 1.25% earn rate. If you’re willing to go outside the travel sector for the time being until you start earning more money after school, there are some other high earn, no fee cards such as the Scene Visa card from Scotia which you might want to explore as well. Bottom line, you’ll have to spend around $15,000 to $25,000 to get your self a trip on a travel card. Chances are if you’re a student you’re not spending that type of money, which means you might want a card that allows you to redeem for lower cost items like the movies. Hope that helps.

GreedyStaff

Garrett says:

Excellent information. Thanks for sharing.

Just curious. I’m planning a major home reno this summer ($50k+). The contractor will accept payments by credit card although with a 2.8% processing fee. Which, if any, credit card reward program would make sense (and cents!) The balance would be paid every month.

Thanks in advance.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Garrett,

First of all you should know that according to MasterCard and Visa merchant rules, merchants cannot charge a fee (surcharge) when you use your credit card. According to the FCAC “under the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada, merchants may choose to offer some discounts for payment methods that cost less, but they are not required to do so.” Visa and MasterCard take surcharging very seriously and may suspend merchants that use the practice.

That said, 2.8% is a whopping surcharge. It will be hard to recover that cost in a merchant category that doesn’t offer category bonuses like gas, groceries, restaurants, drugstores and travel. That said, here are a few ideas:

1. If you’re up for redeeming for an international flight on business class, you can get a 4.5%+- earn rate on Aeroplan.
2. Starwood probably has the best value for credit card spend that does not qualify for a category bonus. If you like redeeming for hotels, you can get upwards of a 4% earn rate, and average around a 2.8% earn rate from Starwood (Westin, Sheraton, W, St. Regis, etc…). Values will vary depending on the hotel location, category and season. You’ll also get a free weekend night (category 1-4 hotel) at $40,000 in spend, and Gold status at $30,000 in spend.

Anyone else have some ideas? We’ll add as we come across additional options.

GreedyStaff

Garrett says:

Hi GreedyStaff.

Many thanks for responding so quickly and the excellent information.

I hate to impose, but I have a few follow up questions …

. which specific card would allow me to get a 4.5% earn rate on Aeroplan for an international flight on business class?

. ditto for a 4% earn rate on Starwood for redeeming hotels?

. is it legal/ethical/advisable to sign up for multiple new credit cards to max out the earn rate for a major purchase? Example: let’s say my home reno costs $50,000 and I have to pay in five installments ($10,000 x 5). Could I sign up for card A to pay the first $10,000 installment (and receive, say, 25,000 Aeroplan points)? Then sign up for card B to pay the second $10,000 installment (and receive a completely different offer of 30,000 Aeroplan points)? Then repeat for every $10,000 (or maybe even $5,000) with different credit cards — and max out the Aeroplan miles along with way? Is that a sound strategy?

Again, many thanks for the excellent info and quick information. GreedyRates is the most authoritative, trustworthy and credible source of info on Canadian credit cards — bar none.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Garrett,

Thanks for the endorsement! here are your answers:

1. Yes you absolutely can apply for multiple cards to take advatange of sign-up bonuses, and then use your spend to satisfy minimum spend requirements. We’d recommend trying to find cards with large sign-up bonuses at the time, and first year annual fee waivers, spend the minimum, rinse, wash, repeat. You can do this with the same bank (Amex allows you to have multiple cards and get the bonus for each), and/or with different banks. Secondly, we would recommend applying for a card about once every 60-90 days or so, and only if you have stellar credit.
2. The Starwood card is the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express (right now offering a 20,000 point sign-up bonus, double its usual)
3. The Aeroplan card is the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card (right now offering the 25,000 mile sign-up bonus, with no annual fee in the first year AND the American Express Gold card (right now offering a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus and no annual fee in the first year also). You can also look at the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite privilege card, which will give you 1.25 Aeroplan Miles per dollar spent, versus 1 mile on the TD Aeroplan Infinite card. However, there is a $399 annual fee. That said, it comes with some solid perks.

Hope that helps Garrett,

GreedyStaff

Garrett says:

Again, many thanks for the credit card information. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Sheldon says:

If my primary objective is to accumulate Aeroplan points, is the American Express Gold Rewards as good as the TD Aerioplan Infinite and also has the flexibility of using the points for other, non-Aeroplan travel?
Thank you.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Sheldon,

Yes, if your primary objective is to accumulate Aeroplan miles the American Express Gold card is as good, and in some cases will earn you more Aeroplan miles per dollar spent than the TD Aeroplan Infinite card, while still giving you the flexibility of using the Amex points for non-Aeroplan redemptions. For example, if you convert your Amex points to Aeroplan 1:1 for free, you will effectively earn 2 Aeroplan miles per dollar spent on gas, grocery, drugstore and travel spend with the Amex card, compared to 1.5 Aeroplan miles for gas, grocery, drugstore and Air Canada purchases on the TD Aeroplan card.

Hope that helps,

GreedyStaff

Herve says:

Hi, is the (No annual fee for the first year TD Aeroplan Infinite) still good?

Thanks

Herve

GreedyRates says:

Hi Herve,

Yes, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite first year free offer is good until May 8th. But it’s a limited time exclusive offer only available through affiliate channels. You won’t find in TD branches.

Hope that helps,

Greedy Staff

Herve says:

It is OK if I apply through your website on the (Click here to apply)?

Herve says:

One more question. When apply for the card and going through the steps, is there somewhere that you will tell you aee that TD has waived the 1st annual fee?

Thabk you!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Herve,

Yes, when you apply for the card through GreedyRates you will be taken to TD’s secure application page for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card, for the first year free offer, and 25,000 mile sign-up bonus,as described above. You will see the offer description at the top of TD’s secure landing page that the link will take you to.

Good luck and congratulations.

GreedyRates staff

Michelle says:

Thanks for the research!

I was keen about the TD Visa card’s potential to “double dip” on points for groceries and drugstore items as those represent the bulk of my credit card purchases. Unfortunately, if you check the card site, there are no current partners listed under the “Grocery, Food & Drink” tab. For drugstores, only Uniprix is listed (no stores where I live, unfortunately). But the signing bonus could still make this card worth it.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Michelle,

If you’re looking to maximize Aeroplan earnings at the grocery & drugstore, you might want to consider the American Express Gold card. It gives you 2 Aeroplan miles per dollar spent at eligible grocery and drugstores, versus 1.5 points with the TD Visa Infinite card. You can then transfer your Amex Gold points to Aeroplan 1;1, for free. The Gold card also has a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus and no annual fee in the first year.

Regardless, you’re right, the 25,000 Aeroplan mile signing bonus is worth it in its own right – a free roundtrip ticket fare to anywhere in North America. If you really want to maximize points, stack credit cards and get the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card for 25,000 miles and then the Amex Gold card for another 25,000 miles (convert points to Aeroplan 1:1). You’ll end up with 50,000 Aeroplan miles, without having to pay an annual fee with the first year free offers!

Geoff says:

If one spouse is the primary cardholder on, say, the TD Aeroplan card, and the other spouse is the primary on the AMEX Gold Card, can the points be combined for one trip that both are taking?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Geoff, you have 2 options. 1) Each use your Miles independently to book on the same flight or 2) Transfer points from one account to the other, but that will cost you. Technically, you can only attach an Aeroplan account to your credit card if the name on the Aeroplan account matches the name on the credit card. Some have gotten away when spouses have the same last name and address and have a common first initial and only use the initial – you can try it, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Ang says:

Hi,
I am new to this travel points game and am a bit overwhelmed! I like the sound of the TD Aeroplan Infinite card and its current sign up bonus but am concerned about not being able to book the flights we want at the time we want through aeroplan points for my family of four. We are planning an overseas trip next winter and would love to be able to offset the flight costs by using points.
Is a flexible travel rewards program/card better for my needs or is aeroplan worth the trouble? I have heard aeroplan flights are not that easy to book for 4 tickets at a time. We are flexible on dates though. Thanks so much for any advice.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Ang,

If you’re planning on travelling during the high season, you might be hard pressed to book through Aeroplan, at least without having to pay extra to get the date during the high season. Aeroplan really can be worth the trouble, but I think given your circumstance, and the fact that there is more than one person travelling, you might consider a flexible travel card. You can get the Amex Gold rewards card, which also has a 25,000 point sign-up bonus and waives the first year annual fee, and leaves you the option to transfer points to Aeroplan should you choose, at 1:1 with no extra fee.

The BMO rewards card is also great with a $300 welcome bonus and a high 2% earn rate on spend (you’ll earn $2 in travel rewards for every $100 spent), but you’ll have to book through the BMO rewards center, where you can book any airline with no seat restrictions.

Hope that helps,

GreedyStaff

Jun says:

What credit card should I have if I want the flexibility of transferring points not only to Aeroplan but to other airlines as well. Ex. Cathay Pacific?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Jun,

If you want the flexibility to book any airline, any time you might want to consider a card like the American Express Gold, Scotia Gold or TD First Class Infinite cards that allow you to redeem your points for any travel expense on your credit card bill. We also like BMO’s World Elite MasterCard that allows you to book any flight, anytime, but you’ll have to do so through their travel center.

When we’re talking flexibility to transfer points to alternative airlines, you should really take into account which airlines you want to target, and the redemption rates offered. In general, we like 2 cards. The Amex Gold card allows you to transfer points to Aeroplan or Avios 1:1, and we like its earn rate. You can then transfer points from Avios to Cathay Pacific. You can also use your points from Aeroplan to book on any Star Alliance flight and your Avios points to book on any oneworld flight. And of course, if you can’t find a partner flight, you can use your Amex points on their own to redeem for any flight you book – giving you good opportunity to get value through partner programs and flexibilty.

We also like the Alaska Airlines Mileage plan. The AA Mileage plan allows you to transfer points to Cathay Pacific, but also to 11 other international airlines at very good redemption rates. You can also earn AA Mileage flying on those partner flights.

Good luck!

George Nielsen says:

I wonder if you folks have looked at the Alaska Airlines MasterCard that is available to Canadians. For those who fly south once or twice a year, it works well. It seems like you can earn enough points each year for a free flight if you are dedicated to buying everything with the credit card. Plus, you get a $99 companion fare once a year.

Modern Shopper says:

The Alaska Airlines Master Card is good, just be cautious that there is now a 2nd, cheaper version available in Canada that does not offer the companion fare. If you want the companion fare, read the fine print carefully.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Modern Shopper,

We just called to verify with MBNA. If you apply online, there are only two options for the Alaska card, the World Elite and the Platinum card. We were told both card options provide the companion fare ticket, which is consistent with our reading of the disclosures. That said, there is a Gold card, which is sometimes made available by Alaska Airlines directly. The Gold card does not come with comapnion fare.

As a result, if you apply online, you should not have any problem getting the companion fare, even if you’re downgraded from the World Elite to the Platinum card. Hope that clears an unclear situation!

GreadyRates Staff

York says:

If I sign up with TD and/or Amex Aeroplan card, are all the points transferrable to an Aeroplan membership number account, or do they remain with the specific credit card? ie if I want to cancel the cards after 1 year are my earned and bonus points safe? Do reoccurring bills charged to the card gain aeroplan points as well?

GreedyRates says:

Hi York,

When you sign-up for either the TD or Amex Aeroplan credit cards, the points accrue in your Aeroplan loyalty account. As a result, even if you cancel the credit card before or after the first year, you maintain your points in your Aeroplan loyalty program account.

This gives you the opportunity to get an Aeroplan credit card with a first year annual fee waiver, spend the minimum to get the 25K Aeroplan point bonus, then cancel your card before the end of the first year to avoid the annual fee in the second year. You can then do the same with the another Aeroplan credit card with a no annual fee offer and a large sign-up bonus (TD Aeroplan Infinite and Amex Gold Rewards where you can transfer your points to Aeroplan 1:1).

Recurring bill charges do accrue Aeroplan points as well – 1 point per dollar spent.

Hope that helps.

Val says:

The Marriott card can only be used to get free hotel nghts etc and not guft certificates etc?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Val,

Actually you can use your Marriott Rewards points to book hotels, flights, buy merchandise, donate to charity or to buy gift cards. The best value per point will be for booking nights with Marriott.

Kindest,

GreedyRates staff

Val says:

How exactly does the Amex gold effect your credit score since it’s a charge card?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Val,
Since the Amex Gold card is a charge card and has no credit limit, your charge card won’t figure into your credit utilization rate. Any unpaid outstandings will, however, affect your credit score in other ways. Anthony Sprauve, a myFICO.com spokesman, says the balances on charge cards are used in adding up the total debt you owe across all of your accounts, just like the balances on credit cards.

The payment history on a charge card is also included in a FICO credit score, Sprauve says. That means if you pay off your charge card balance every month on time, your credit score will get improved. If you miss payments your credit score will be lowered.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff