Best Travel Credit Cards in Canada for 2023
Just how far can your Canadian travel credit card take you? Whether you’re a bargain hunter, snowbirder, frequent flyer or bonus surfer, we’ve handpicked the best travel credit card deals in Canada to help you fly and lodge for less (or for free!).
In This Article:
Canada’s Best Travel Credit Cards
|Credit Card||Best For||Annual Fee||Apply for Card|
|TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card||Aeroplan||$139|
First Year Annual Fee Rebate†
|BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*||Lounge Access||$150|
First Year Free*
|Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard®||Cash Back on Purchases in U.S. Dollars||$0||Apply Now|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express® card||Accelerated Rewards||$120||Apply Now|
|Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card||Big Sign-Up Bonus||$150||Apply Now|
|American Express® Green Card||No-Fee Travel Rewards||$0||Apply Now|
†Terms and conditions apply.
Best Travel Credit Card for Aeroplan Members
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card
– Minimum Credit Score: Good-Excellent
– Minimum Income: $60,000
– Standard Purchase APR: 20.99%
– Balance Transfer APR: 22.99%
– Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
– Current Promotion Ends: May 28, 2023
– Annual Fee: $139 (Annual Fee Rebate the first year)†
Aeroplan is the most popular travel reward program among our readers, and the Aeroplan card that currently brings the most value for its annual fee is the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card.
Why We Like the Card
- Earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card†
- Earn 30,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $5,000 within 180 days of Account opening†
- Plus, earn an anniversary bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of Account opening†
- Enroll for NEXUS and once every 48 months get an application fee rebate†
- Plus, share free first checked bags with up to 8 travel companions†
- Get an annual fee rebate for the first year†.
You get travel† and car rental insurance† included with the card as well as additional VIP perks such as a free first checked bag for the cardholder and travel companions (up to eight) on the same reservation for Air Canada originated flights†, and more.
- Welcome Bonus: Special Offer: Earn up to 55,000 Aeroplan points†. Plus, first year no Annual Fee†. Conditions Apply. Must apply by May 28, 2023.
- Earn Rates: 1.5 Aeroplan points† for every $1 spent on eligible everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card. Every other purchase earns 1 point† per $1 spent.
- Travel Insurance: Up to $2M travel medical coverage for 21 days for those under the age of 65 (first 4 days if you or your spouse is aged 65 or older) with additional top-up coverage available†. Trip cancellation and interruption†, delayed and lost baggage†, and flight/trip delay insurance† also included.
- Extra Travel Features: Free checked bag when flying Air Canada (share free first checked bags with up to 8 travel companions).†
Apply here for the card or learn more about it by reading our complete TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card review.
This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.
†Terms and conditions apply.
Best Travel Credit Card for Lounge Access
BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Minimum Income: $80,000
Those who appreciate comfy furnishings, free Wi-Fi and good food and drink during a long flight layover might be inclined to drift into an airport lounge—but lounging gets pricey if you don’t have free access privileges. First, there’s the per-entry fee, usually around $30 or so. And many airport lounges require you to pay an annual membership fee as well. Frequent travellers/loungers can avoid these ballooning costs by using the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*, which grants complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes. That feature alone is worth as much as the card’s $150 annual fee.
Why We Like the Card
The lounge access feature has high real-world value: entrance with DragonPass will normally cost $32 USD each, and the BMO card’s four annual passes can be used either for the cardholder or a guest. And DragonPass isn’t some obscure program with a few random hole-in-the-wall lounges at airports you’ll never stop in. It’s one of the largest lounge networks in the world, with about 1,300 lounges worldwide.
Lounge access aside, the card also offers a number of other features that are a godsend to travellers, like a thorough set of travel insurance* and very respectable sign-up BMO reward bonus points*.
- Welcome Bonus: Get up to 60,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.*
- Earn Rates: 5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.*
- Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance*
- Airport Lounge Access: Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes.
- Additional Benefits: Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges*; special cash back opportunities with participating global merchants*
Apply here or learn more by reading our complete BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*.
*Terms and conditions apply
Best USD Cash Back Card
Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard®
– Minimum Credit Score: Good-Excellent
– Minimum Income: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household
– Age: Age of majority in the province of residence
– Residency: Canadian
– Other: No bankruptcies in the past seven years
Foreign transaction fees—the 2.5% penalty that credit cards charge every time you make a purchase in a non-Canadian currency—are a huge waste of money for Canadian travellers. Unfortunately, most Canadian credit cards still charge this fee, and technically the Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard® does as well. But the Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard® more than makes up for that by giving cardholders 3% in cash back rewards on all U.S. dollar purchases. This not only makes up for the 2.5% fee, but it also results in a 0.5% cashback surplus on your U.S. travels.
Why We Like the Card
The Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard® is a more appealing option for frequent U.S. travellers than other no foreign transaction fee cards in Canada because most cards in that category merely waive the foreign transaction fees without giving the extra cash back on top. And aside from giving cash back on U.S. dollar transactions, the Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard® also yields 1.5% in cash back rewards on purchases in C$.
It’s unusual for any credit card to offer this much cash back on all purchases, both foreign and domestic, but this is all the more impressive given that the card has no annual fee. Plus, it offers some travel insurance protections, as well as complimentary membership to Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass granting access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide at $32 USD per person per visit.
- U.S. Currency Cash Back: 3% cash back rewards on all U.S. dollar purchases
- Local Cash Back: 1.5% cash back rewards on all purchases in C$ (unlimited)
- Sign-Up Bonus: $25 in cash back rewards when you make an eligible purchase within 3 months of receiving the card. Conditions apply
- Paid access to airport lounges
- Some travel insurance
Apply here or learn more by reading our complete Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard® review.
Best Travel Rewards Credit Card for Accelerated Earning
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Annual Fee: $120
The luster of a huge sign-up bonus tends to dim down after the first year ends, and it’s not worth holding onto a card if it doesn’t have long-term value. That’s what makes the Scotiabank Gold American Express® card stand out: Its regular, daily earn rates are so high that it gives permanent value far and above its annual fee.
Why We Like the Card
The Scotiabank Gold American Express® card rewards spending in the categories that the average person drops most of their money on, like 6X Scene+™ points on every $1 CAD you spend in Canada at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland, and more eligible grocers.¹ Plus, earn accelerated rates at restaurants, other eligible grocery stores, bars and food delivery in Canada (5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent); and eligible gas, select streaming services, and transportation (3X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD) in Canada. There are two fine-print details that really make the card’s earn rates stand out:
- Unlike many American Express cards, these high earn rates are valid for both stand-alone stores *and* chain stores
- There is a maximum annual spending amount for earning in the accelerated point categories, but it’s a very high $50,000. Once you spend more than that in the categories listed, you’ll earn 1X Scene+ point for $1 on all eligible purchases, until the new year starts and you can resume earning at the accelerated rates.
Aside from earning huge rewards domestically, the Scotiabank Gold American Express® card is also a big asset for spending overseas, because it waives foreign transaction fees while still earning 1X Scene+ point for every $1 on purchases made in a foreign currency.
- Welcome Bonus: Earn up to $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points¹. Offer ends October 31, 2023.
- Earn Rates: Earn 6X Scene+™ points on every $1 CAD you spend in Canada at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland, and more eligible grocers.¹ Earn 5X the Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD spent on other eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments (including food delivery and food subscription services), as well as on eligible entertainment purchases (movies, theatre, and ticket agencies). Plus, you’ll get 3X the Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible gas, daily transit, and eligible select streaming purchases, and 1X point per $1 spent on every other purchase.
- Travel Insurance: The card includes a range of travel insurance coverage, earning it a place on our list of the best credit cards for travel insurance.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: The usual 2.5% fee on foreign currency purchases is waived
- Flexible Point Redemption Policy: Book flights, hotels and a wide variety of other travel services through Scotiabank, or order through another travel platform and then apply the points you’ve earned after the charge shows up on your card statement. Points can also be redeemed to cover travel taxes and booking fees, which is a rarity among Canadian travel credit cards.
Apply here or learn more by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express® card review.¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card to learn more.
Best Travel Credit Card for a Big Sign-Up Bonus
Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Minimum Income: Meet a minimum annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 or minimum assets under management of $250,000
The shortcut to getting major value from any credit card is to get a card with a huge sign-up bonus, preferably one that doesn’t come with high spending requirements. The Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card delivers on that front for new cardholders. Earn up to $1,100* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived on your first supplementary card.¹ Earn 25,000 bonus Scene+ points by making at least $1,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first 3 months. Plus, as a Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite cardholder, you are eligible to earn an annual 10,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $40,000 in everyday net eligible purchases annually. Offer ends October 31, 2023.
Why We Like the Card
1 Scene+ point is worth about $0.01 when redeemed for travel, so the maximum value in the points in the card’s sign-up bonus is equal to about two and a half years worth of annual fees.
But the big sign-up bonus is also backed up by other value-added travel features, like complimentary Visa Airport Companion Program membership plus six complimentary lounge visits per year, no foreign transaction fees, and a well-rounded travel insurance package.
- Welcome Bonus: Earn up to $1,100* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived on your first supplementary card.¹ Offer ends October 31, 2023.
- Regular Earn Rates: Earn 3X Scene+™ points on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland & Participating Co-ops, and more eligible grocers.¹ Earn 2 Scene+™ points on every $1 you spend on other eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit purchases (including buses, subways, taxis and more), and earn 1 Scene+™ point on every $1 you spend on all other eligible purchases.
- Travel Insurance: Full suite of travel insurance, including rare coverage for senior citizens
- Extra Travel Features: Visa Airport Companion Program membership + 6 free lounge entries annually
- No foreign transaction fees
Apply here or learn more by reading our complete Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card review.¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card to learn more.
Best for No-Fee Travel Rewards
American Express® Green Card
– Minimum Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: N/A
If you’re looking to earn travel rewards but aren’t ready to commit to a credit card with an annual fee, the American Express® Green Card is an excellent place to start. As we mentioned, this credit card has no annual fee, and you can request up to 9 supplementary cards for additional cardholders to supercharge your earnings rate. When you use this credit card, you’ll earn one point per dollar spent on everything. There are no complicated rewards schedules or earnings categories, making it easy to calculate your expected rewards within a year.
You can redeem your membership points in a variety of ways, not just travel. You can use your membership points to pay for purchases on your credit card statement, book travel with American Express Travel Online through the Flexible Points Travel Program, buy merchandise, gift cards or make purchases directly through Amazon.ca.
Why We Like the Card
As a new American Express® Green Cardmember, you can earn a Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your Card in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. That’s $100 towards groceries or concert tickets. Conditions apply. These bonus points will jumpstart your travel plans and get you that much closer to booking your first trip. On top of this feature, cardholders have access to American Express invites, allowing exclusive access to a wide variety of exclusive opportunities, including early and reserve ticket sales, early access cinema screenings, and priority lines and bar access at major Canadian theatres.
- Welcome Bonus: 10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your Card in the first 3 months of Cardmembership (conditions apply)
- Earn Rates: 1 point earned per dollar spent with no maximum earning limit.
- Point Transfers: Change points to other popular travel reward programs, like Aeroplan and Avios, at a 1:1 transfer rate.
- Extra Features: Zero liability, 24/7 customer service, American Express presale ticket access, reserved ticket access, Front of Line E-Updates, American Express Experiences – Cardmember Offers and Events, additional special access for all members
- Annual fees: $0
Comparison of the Best Travel Credit Cards in Canada
|Credit Card||Bonus||Annual Fee||Min personal income required|
|TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card||Special Offer: Earn up to 55,000 Aeroplan points†. Plus, first year no Annual Fee†. Conditions Apply. Must apply by May 28, 2023.||$139|
First Year Annual Fee Rebate†
|BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*||Get up to 60,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.*||$150|
First Year Free
|Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard®||$25 in cash back rewards when you make an eligible purchase within 3 months of receiving the card||$0||$80,000|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express® card||Earn up to $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points¹. Offer ends October 31, 2023.||$120||No minimum income requirements presented; please see Scotiabank.|
|Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card||Earn up to $1,100* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived on your first supplementary card.¹ Offer ends October 31, 2023.||$150||$60,000|
|American Express® Green Card||10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your Card in the first 3 months of Cardmembership (conditions apply)||$0||N/A|
†Terms and conditions apply.
This offer for TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card is not available for residents of Quebec. Please see Quebec residents, please click here.
How to Choose the Best Travel Card for You
When comparing one travel credit card to the next, be mindful of the card features that are most relevant for your particular lifestyle and spending habits. Do you regularly fly to all corners of the globe? It might be worthwhile to get a card with free airport lounge access, so you can relax during long layovers. Do you prefer to travel with your partner? You might single out cards that offer a free annual companion fare.
There are credit card features purpose-built for all lifestyles. The benefits listed below are common for many of the most competitive travel cards in Canada, and it’s a good idea to review them before applying for a new card.
A large, lump-sum bonus of miles or rewards points is a great reason to apply for a new credit rewards card.
Just keep in mind that many sign-up bonuses are contingent upon the cardholder spending a certain amount in the first few months of cardmembership. But it’s usually worthwhile to try to meet this minimum spending requirement, as a big sign-up bonus might be enough for a short or long-haul flight.
Some sign-up bonuses might also waive the card’s first year annual fee, so those looking for value upfront should prioritize this feature.
Read: Best Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses
One of the most important features of any travel credit card, and the feature with the most longevity, is the card’s earn rate. Look for a card that earns miles or rewards points rapidly, and in the categories where you most frequently spend (e.g. groceries, gas, etc.).
You might also want to keep your eye out for a card with a high ‘flat’ earn rate, meaning it earns rapidly on all spending you do, not just in specific categories.
Read: Best Rewards Credit Cards
Some cards earn miles and membership reward points quickly, but the process of redeeming those miles and rewards might be a headache.
For instance, what if you can only redeem within one rewards program, which has a limited flight selection? Or what if you can redeem rewards for the core price of a flight, but not for additional flight taxes and fees?
When selecting a credit rewards card, it’s important to pay attention to the rewards program’s flexibility when redeeming. It’s equally important to understand the real-world value of points or miles depending on what you’re redeeming them for.
Read: The Canadian Loyalty Program Bible
Paying an annual fee for the privilege of using a credit card can be annoying, so depending on your perspective you may want to prioritize travel credit cards with no fee, or those with perks that you know deliver equivalent or greater value to the card’s annual fee.
There’s a range of great travel cards in both camps, from cards with a $0 fee that still earn some miles or rewards, to those with fees reaching $900, but that come with an enormous amount of built-in value, justifying the high annual fee.
We don’t feature cards that can’t justify their annual fee, and when issuers increase a card’s annual fee without a commensurate increase of a value package, we call them out on it.
Read: Best No Fee Credit Cards
Foreign Transaction Fees
This feature is appreciated most by travellers who often fly abroad or shop online at sites that don’t process CA$.
Foreign transaction fees are typically 2.50% of any purchase not in CA$, and they are charged by the vast majority of Canadian credit cards. Paying with one of the rare credit cards that waive these fees can save quite a bundle throughout a trip.
Read: Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees
It’s no fun to suffer through uncomfortable airport benches, spotty Wi-Fi and expensive food for hours on end. Access to an airport lounge, of which most airports have at least one, will save these pains and more—and are worthwhile even for a short time.
Membership programs like Priority Pass and LoungeKey offer access to worldwide lounges, over 1,000 each, and they come for free with a number of travel cards. Some cards even grant a set number of free lounge entry passes each year.
Those who spend a lot of time in airports, or who simply detest the crowds, should look for this perk.
Read: Best Credit Cards with Lounge Access
Your Canadian health insurance is useless once you travel overseas—and much of it won’t be applicable if you even travel outside your home province. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you have special insurance to cover you in the event of illness or injury while travelling.
You can buy a policy individually from an insurer (see our guide to the Best Travel Insurance in Canada if you opt for that route), or you can look for a credit card that comes with a fleet of travel insurance covering overseas medical emergencies, flight cancellations, interruptions, delays, baggage, rental cars and more.
Read: Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance
Travellers who like to fly with a spouse, friend or relative on trips can use a companion fare or voucher to discount the price of that companion’s second ticket. This might be an annual perk, giving a credit card substantial value over time.
Companion fares are usually secondary perks on upper-tier travel cards with other appealing features as well, like a good earn rate, a large introductory bonus, or insurance.
Read: Best Credit Cards for Companion Tickets
A card’s payment processor—Visa, Mastercard, or Amex—can influence where and how the credit card can be used.
For instance, Amex cards often feature superior travel rewards and privileges, but some merchants might accept only Visa or Mastercard. The best Amex cards are often designated as ‘charge cards’ rather than credit cards, meaning that a cardholder must pay off the card’s balance in full every month, lest they be charged a very high penalty.
We recommend readers get an Amex card for its superb earn rates and features, but to always carry a Visa or Mastercard as well to pay at merchants that don’t accept Amex.
Travel Credit Card vs. Hotel Credit Card: What’s the Difference?
A hotel credit card is a credit card that focuses on maximizing your rewards for your favourite hotel chain. This means that you’ll be earning points towards free hotel stays, meals offered through on-site restaurants, and complimentary late checkouts.
However, some hotel credit cards give similar perks to travel credit cards, in the way that you can transfer your points to several participating airline rewards programs. So, while travel credit cards will likely offer a better conversion rate for points to travel rewards, you still have the potential to earn many of the same travel perks with a hotel card.
Our favourite hotel credit card is The Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card. Not only can Marriott Bonvoy® reward points be redeemed at more than 7,000 hotels worldwide with no blackout dates within the Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Delta families, but you can also transfer your points to more than 40 participating airline rewards programs.
What Happens to Your Points if You Cancel a Travel Credit Card?
Say you’ve spent a good amount of time accumulating your travel points over the past several years, and are now ready to cancel your travel credit card—where do your rewards points go? Will you lose them or are they yours to keep and store for future use?
While the answer to this question can vary depending on the terms of your credit card and the credit card provider, your airline rewards are usually safe. Usually, your rewards are deposited in a frequent flier account, which is separate from your credit card, should it close for whatever reason.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you can lose access to your points if you don’t use them fast enough. Some frequent-flier programs will expire your points if there isn’t activity in your account for a long period of time, so check the fine print that came along with your account.
FAQs about Travel Credit Cards
Which Cards are Accepted Worldwide?
The generalization that Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted than Amex is not necessarily the case abroad like it is in Canada. American Express carries a lot of prestige and has a large network in foreign countries, and before travelling it’s best to check on a country-by-country basis about which card processors are most widely accepted. Merchants in some areas may inexplicably tend to support Mastercard over Visa, for example.
Which Cards Offer the Best Travel Insurance?
Out-of-province medical coverage is what most refer to when they say they want the best insurance that their credit card can provide. Medical coverage is measured by the amount of time it covers you while you’re travelling and the maximum age limit that it covers. Aside from out-of-province medical coverage, it’s also good to have insurance for delays and interruptions, your baggage, rental car and other potential liabilities. The best cards combine all into one, like the Desjardins Odyssey® World Elite® Mastercard or the Scotiabank Gold American Express®.
Can I Get a Travel Card with Low/Bad/Fair Credit?
There are travel cards in Canada accessible to applicants with credit scores in the mid-600 range or higher. These travel cards designated for those with average/fair credit scores likely won’t feature the most sought-after travel perks, like lounge access or extensive travel insurance, but they should at least earn some travel rewards or miles for regular spending. Keep in mind that your credit score will also affect your credit limit.
Will Applying for Multiple Cards Ruin My Credit Score?
It’s best to minimize the number of credit card applications you make within a period of a few months. Each credit card application review will typically require a hard credit check, and many hard credit checks in a short period could damage your credit score and suggest to a potential lender that you aren’t creditworthy.
American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.
BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.
Rogers Bank World Elite Mastercarx now includes a LoungeKey membership. No free visits included so have to pay $32/visit/person and allows one guest. Best feature is that there is NO annual fee.
Also added Boingo membership fro free wifi access around the world.
BUT they are decreasing the 4% cash back on foreign currencies to 3% on ONLY US$ and 0% for all other currencies and reducing the cash back on ALL other expenses to 1.5% (down from 2% for Rogers products and 1.75% for all others).
I currently have the BMO Mastercard World Elite, which I’ve enjoyed for collecting points that I can use to book directly onto any airline. But I’ll soon be taking a year off to travel and think it would be smarter to switch to a card with no foreign transaction fees. From this article, it looks like my best bet would be the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, but I wanted your opinion. What’s the best card to use for long term travel that will also offer decent rewards? Thank you!
Thanks for the question. You can’t go wrong with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite if you’re interested in rewards.It does have a $139 annual fee though. If you’re looking for a card without foreign transaction fees with no annual fee, check out the Home Trust Preferred Visa or the Rogers Bank Platinum Mastercard. Rogers Bank gives you a bit of cash back with no annual fee.
Hi, Great article. I have just received the RBC World Elite MC. My wife and I travel about twice a year and are still on the lower WestJet tier. I am wondering if this is the right card for us as I don’t think we get all the benefits listed in the advertisements? Also, to use ‘free lounge access’ with the Scotia Visa Infinite card for example, would we need to pay for the flights with that card or does the fact we just have that card allow us access?
What you get as far as lounge access for the Scotiabank Visa Infinite card is the priority pass membership, but each lounge costs $32 USD per visit. (It’s on the fine print of the website under legal footnote 14) I would talk to Westjet’s card services and explain your frustration and see what they can do for you. It’s difficult for me to assess why you’re still on their lower tier without more information. It looks like you have to spend the amount for each tier annually, so how much do you put on the card in a year? I don’t think it’s a cumulative spend. It’s more based on what you spend in a year.
Hi there! I currently have the BMO World Elite card, which I’ve enjoyed a lot because of the option of booking travel rewards on any airline with BMO points. However, I’ll be taking a year off to travel and think it would be smarter to get a credit card with 0% foreign transaction fees. Based on what I’ve read here so far, it sounds like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card would be my best bet, but I was hoping to get your opinion. I’d still like a card that has good reward options, but also won’t break the bank in fees while travelling for a year. Thanks!
You’ve definitely honed in on one of the best credit card options, if you’ll be travelling a lot this upcoming year. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite will earn points as you spend, and better yet offers six free passes to worldwide airport lounges annually. That means whether you’re roughing it or travelling in luxury, the lounge at major airport awaits you with free food, places to relax and sleep, showers (in some cases) and more. Perfect for the weary traveller. You’ll also get to skip those 2.5% foreign transaction fees as well, making the card’s higher annual fee a trifle.
Another option you could consider is the Rogers World Elite Mastercard. Instead of needing to wonder if a purchase will earn points or not, this card simply collects a flat 1.75% rate of cash back on all spending in Canadian Dollars and then 4.00% flat on all spending in foreign currencies. It would be a great way to escape fees and earn on top of them during your travels, but you wouldn’t get free access to airport lounges (though you do have access via Mastercard Airport Experiences). You also wouldn’t have to pay an annual fee, which is nice. Tough decision! Let us know what you think.
It looks like Rogers World Elite Mastercard is relatively premium credit card with min income of 80k/year. How it has poor__fair credit score requirement?
Great question. The Rogers World Elite card is indeed an upper tier card in some regards, namely its insurance benefits and its high rates of cash back. However, these perks are justified by the income requirement, whereas higher credit might be required for cards with perks that deliver direct value, such as lounge access, cash bonuses, higher credit limits, and other things of this nature. We’re confident in our assessment that someone of Fair credit rating can get the Rogers World Elite card, as long as they pass muster regarding annual income. Hope that helps!
Hi! what is the best credit card for free hotel nights and free airport lounge access. i have Amex bonvoy and Capital one Costco card. thanks
Thanks for coming to GreedyRates. If you’re looking for the best card for hotels, then you’re already holding it: the Marriott Bonvoy card. Its privileges are unmatched for those who appreciate free hotel stays, upgrades, late checkouts and other suck perks, but if you want to add airport lounge access to the mix then you could use indeed stand to add another card to the mix! We’d recommend dropping the Capital One Costco card, as it doesn’t exactly offer much value for the money, when you could instead use a card that collects more, can still be used in Costco, and also gets you into the lounge.
We’re talking specifically about the BMO World Elite Mastercard, offering complimentary LoungeKey membership and four free annual passes into over 1,000 lounges worldwide, plus excellent travel insurance perks and more. You’ll earn BMO Rewards points at a high rate as well, but need to pass a minimum personal income requirement of $80,000 ($150,000 household). If you keep the Capital One card to use at Costco and get a new Visa alongside the Bonvoy, then picking up a Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite lowers the income requirement to $60,000 and still gets you into the lounge for free.
Hi – I have a TD First Class Travel Visa. Is there a better card out there for me? I travel about 3 times a year and will be on an Alaska cruise in about 2.5 weeks. From what you have outlined, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite would be a good addition for me because of no foreign exchange. Plus I am over 65 so the travel insurance looks good there as well… but will I collect points at the same rate as the TD First Class Travel when I purchase in Canada?
Thanks for the comment. It’s worth your time to determine which of the features you like about your TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite card, and which you don’t. Then, with that information handy, you can narrow down which alternative cards have all the features you like, but also others including those you don’t have but truly want. For those who spend money on everyday purchases and travel, the First Class Travel Visa Infinite is hard to best, however.
You won’t need to pay an annual fee to avoid foreign transaction fees either. Pick up a Home Trust Preferred Visa for example, and you’ll pay 0.00% foreign transaction fees when using the card, plus 1.00% cash back, and a $0 annual fee. The Scotia Passport Infinite card is also a great pickup if you don’t mind the annual fee, and like the idea of having advanced insurance and lounge access as well. Its earn rate is similar to the TD First Class Travel Visa’s in Canada, but it depends more on what you spend—with defined purchase categories for the accelerated rate (groceries, dining etc.) and no extra rewards on travel.
I have been looking for a credit card this year to continue to build my credit and I have looked at the CIBC Aventura and the American Express Cobalt card. What cards would you recommend if I travel for work and also will use the credit card for gas, groceries and paying some bills? I would like to get travel points so I can use them toward my family travel.
Thanks for the request for a card comparison and recommendation. If you’re looking to continue building credit and want a card that helps you earn flexible rewards (redeemable on travel and other things) while you’re on work trips, then the Cobalt Amex is a great choice. It’s purpose-built for an on-the-go lifestyle and will let you charge a lot of work-related costs and earn at the most accelerated rate: 5 points per $1 spent on most food spots (restaurants, bars, cafés, and even delivery), 2 points per $1 on hotels and transportation (gas, ridesharing apps, taxis, subways etc.), and 1 point per $1 elsewhere. Many of these are expenses that you’ll incur on business trips, since you won’t be home to prepare food, will (maybe) be taking clients out to eat and drink, and will surely be filling up or using public transit.
The points you earn on the Cobalt card are flexible as well, and can be transferred like with any Amex card to any of the issuer’s connected travel rewards programs. We like the CIBC Aventura Visa card as well, but it’s for pure travel and little else. It’s highest rate of rewards comes from booking travel with CIBC (2 points per $1), with the 1.5 points per $1 rate on gas, groceries, and drug stores. While you will earn a generous bonus and have more travel-centric perks like excellent insurance, airport lounge access, and more, it’s not as broadly useful as the Amex card. We’d therefore recommend the Cobalt card unless you’re looking for a primary credit card, in which case the Aventura is better only because it’s a Visa.
Hello! Thank you for all this advice!
I am currently a student, and have been for a couple of years and I travel every summer for a few months. What would you recommend a student living in Canada?
I have been doing a lot of research and it’s a bit overwhelming. I also don’t think I would meet the requirement for the income for most of them.
Ideally would want something I could earn points on everyday spending and get points to travel internationally…
Thank you for the kind words of appreciation! If you’re looking for a solid card that suits the student lifestyle and credit profile, then an SPC (Student Price Card) is your best option. These card don’t scrutinize too heavily on your credit or your income, since they’re purpose-built for students who by definition aren’t in the workforce and generally don’t deal need loans until they’re gainfully employed and have non-school expenses.
As a student living in Canada who wants to travel, there are definitely options to explore. First, check out the BMO SPC Cashback Mastercard, which is a card especially for students like you, and allows you to earn 5.00% cash back on all your purchases in your first 3 months. Afterwards, you’ll earn 1.00% flat rate everywhere, and you don’t need to pay an annual fee for the privilege either. Like any other SPC card, you can expect to get 10 – 15% discounts on items from hundreds of participating stores in Canada, with the full list available online.
Another SPC card to look at is the BMO SPC Air Miles Mastercard, if you’d rather put Air Miles directly towards Air Canada flights, instead of saving up cash back for the same (or some other redeemable reward). We have a full page about student cards for Canadians that you can use for reference, and if you have any questions or want a comparison, just let us know.
how do I get the bonus aeroplan points for applying on greedyrates site
Great question. Sorry we didn’t address your comment in time, as the window for this promotion ended on July 2nd, 2019. If you applied in time, then you can expect to receive up to 35,000 Miles by fulfilling the conditions of the original promotion (the initial purchase, spending goal, and keeping the card past its first anniversary). Now, instead of a bonus of up to 35,000 Aeroplan Miles, you’ll only get 25,000 and the annual fee rebate. This applies to all cardholders.
If you used our link and filled out the application on the same day you posted the comment, you have a chance. When you’re approved let us know, and we can try to help you determine which bonus structure you were approved for. Either way, this is still one of the best travel card bonuses on the market, as 25,000 Aeroplan miles and the annual fee rebate are together worth almost $500.
My husband and I currently share a Scotiabank Gold American Express and a Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa . In your opinion, how do these stack up against the CIBC Advenura Infinite Visa Card?
The Scotiabank Gold American Express card is essentially an Amex that helps you earn Scotia points on your everyday purchases and also offers some nice travel-centric perks for a $99 fee. You’ll earn 4 Scotia Rewards points for each $1 spent on gas, groceries, dining, and entertainment (1 point per $1 spent elsewhere), which can be redeemed on travel and other things like merchandise as well. The travel-related perks include Priority Pass lounge membership and comprehensive travel insurance including very good emergency medical (25 days coverage under 65 and 10 days for over age 65). Upsides are that it’s flexible for both travel and everyday use, with a downside being that it’s an Amex card that won’t be accepted in as many places.
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is a Visa, which is favorable, but it’s more travel-focused. How so? Well, you’ll earn less on your everyday purchases (only 2 points per $1 spent at the most accelerated rate on gas, groceries etc.) but enjoy perks that travellers appreciate more. Chief among these is the 0.00% foreign transaction fee that you’ll pay when spending in a foreign currency (instead of 2.50%), which has the ability to save a bundle if you’re out-of-country. Another great travel perk is the six free passes you’ll get to worldwide airport lounges each year. Its annual fee is higher than the other Scotia card at $139.99, but as your primary card it’s superior and more than worthwhile.
As for the Aventura Visa Infinite by CIBC, the annual fee is right in the middle between the two Scotia cards at $120. It represents the middle ground in more ways than one, however, given that you’ll collect Aventura points on both travel (2 points per $1 spent on CIBC’s Rewards Centre), but also 1.5 points per $1 spent on your everyday purchases (gas, groceries, drug stores. Like the other two cards, you’re a Priority Pass member but have four annual passes instead of six, with comparable travel insurance to the other cards as well. In our expert opinion, you and your husband already carry the superior pair of cards. If you’re finding that it’s difficult to take advantage of the Gold Amex card’s accelerated rate due to its sparse support among merchants, however, then it may be worth considering replacing it with the Aventura card (you’ll sacrifice a pure Scotia Rewards environment for the ability to get TEN free annual lounge passes each year, which could be awesome if you two travel frequently.) Hope that helps!
Hello, what would be the best (in your opinion) card to complement the WestJet World Elite M/C, ie: small to zero foreign transaction fees, etc…
Thanks in advance
Thanks for your comment. There are a couple cards that would work well with the WestJet World Elite Mastercard. It won’t be difficult to find any card that complements it, because its main perks are so specific to WestJet. Therefore, a card like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite (when paired with the WestJet card) offers an even greater and more varied array of travel features. Our readers love the card for its lack of foreign transaction fees, which saves at least 2.50% when you’re making purchases abroad or from foreign online stores. This is a thing your current WestJet card doesn’t have, but it’s one of the most useful.
This alone makes it a great companion card, but also because it offers lounge access, which is something luxurious and much-appreciated on long layovers. We’re happy to provide other suggestions if you like, but it’ll be hard to beat the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite. We didn’t even mention the card’s generous introductory bonus, its insurance, or other great features. Check it out and let us know if you’re still looking for an alternative.
We are a young family who mostly buys groceries, gas, medications and pay a few bills with our credit card. We are currently using the momentum cash back Visa card from Scotiabank as we do all our banking there. Would like to switch to travel rewards and are very tempted to go with the new passport visa as it’s convenient to see all your balances in one banking app. However the td infinite card and bmo Mastercard are also tempting. TD for obvious reasons (seems like a great card!) Bmo mostly because we get 7x airmiles at our pharmacy for quite expensive medications but I always find airmiles more limited in booking options for international travel. I’d really appreciate your opinion on which card would be best for us!
Great to hear from you. We’ll try to suggest a card that is useful for your whole family. A travel card is perfect if you all go on trips together, and you’ll just need to determine which benefits are most…beneficial! For example, with a card like the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard, you’ll enjoy nice insurance coverage for everyone and collect Air Miles faster, which you can use to discount flights occasionally. Air Miles won’t be as universally useful for everyone in your family, however, as you’ll be hard-pressed to earn enough for everyone to fly free, and will need to stay in the Air Miles (admittedly sizeable) network.
A hotel rewards card might be up your alley, as you’ll be able to cover multiple hotel stays for the whole family every year. With a card like the new Marriott Bonvoy card, you’ll get special privileges in thousands of hotels worldwide from Marriott, Starwood, and Ritz-Carlton. People often find that as opposed to the individual-specific redemption via airline rewards cards, putting a roof over the whole family is more valuable.
In our professional opinion, with the expenses you stand to incur when travelling alongside your whole family, it would be smart to get a card that helps you avoid foreign transaction fees. That Scotia Passport Visa Infinite card is useful for that reason, as you’ll save 2.50% off the top of trips abroad, and also enjoy nice insurance coverage, and the ability to earn more flexible rewards from a variety of purchases (everyday stuff rather than travel only). It’s more suited to a family lifestyle, so we’d pick that one nine times out of ten. Let us know if you have any questions, and thanks for reading!
Hi quick question. I have the WestJet elite mastercard. While I use it for gas/groceries etc I find it very slow for point wise. I shop at Walmart Supercenter etc. So I’m wondering if maybe the amex cobalt would be better? But if I get the amex cobalt can I pay for my flights and still get the free baggage with WestJet if it’s a WestJet flight? Just trying to get more bang with a rewards card that adds up quick.
Thanks for the inquiry. All credit cards work at Walmart, so you don’t need to stick with one issuer when looking for a replacement for your WestJet card. That said, if 1.50% WestJet Dollars isn’t fast enough for you then there are only a couple other options to look at. The Cobalt card isn’t one of them, because its purchase categories are more complementary to other cards’ (transportation, delivery food, app subscriptions come to mind) and not major definitions like ‘gas’ or ‘groceries’. While cards like the Rogers World Elite Mastercard provide a high, flat-rate of cash back on all purchases, this cash back can’t be redeemed for travel, or provide any travel benefits at all really.
For this reason, your first reaction to keep the WestJet card is correct, as you’ll need a way for your spending to collect points that can be spent on travel. If you’re going to replace this card, then you’ll also need to replace it with one for which you can say the same. That card is not the Cobalt card. We’d suggest the Cobalt as a supplementary card for when you spend in its more unique accelerated earnings categories. You can either explore this option or grab a card that saves you the 2.50% foreign transaction fees (we’ve wrote a lot about ones like the Passport Visa Infinite and the Home Trust Preferred Visa) for when you do travel. Finally, for whatever card you choose, know that you’ll be able to use your WestJet membership ID to get those free checked bags—even if you didn’t use the card to pay for your trip.
I have a question about which credit card I should use for an upcoming business trip. I will be away for a couple weeks and have to stay at a Wyndham property. Of course, I want to ensure I get the most rewards possible while I am away!
In my wallet I have:
BMO airmiles WE
And any suggestions as to how to maximize my spending during this trip with these cards would be most appreciated. 🙂
And feel free to give me feedback at my current selection of cards I would love to know if I have any gaps or need to make any changes.
Thanks in advance! You guys rock!
We appreciate your comment’s comprehensiveness and will gladly give our guidance on the strong array of credit cards you’ve managed to collect. It’s immediately obvious to us that you like to travel, given that you have two World Elite cards, the Avion Infinite, and the Amex Bonvoy card (a new pickup which we hope that you’re enjoying!). The only outlier is the Amex Cobalt card, which is more of a lifestyle tool, so if you’re looking to cull your wallet by one or two cards, that one isn’t a likely target. In our opinion, there’s some redundancy you can stomach in multiple credit cards (many that have similar insurance protections, for example) but also redundancies that are counterproductive—where you’re paying an annual fee for almost no additional benefit.
For travellers, the goal is to get good insurance, a way to collect points on their most common expenses, and a way to spend the points on the things they need most (multiple airlines, hotels, rental cars etc.). This is all achievable with a single World Elite card, so it would help us to understand why you applied for and received so many. Were you churning introductory bonuses, testing these cards out, or did you just need additional credit? Regardless, here’s what we would do: Try narrowing it down to just 3 cards by figuring out which are best for your most common purchases and redemptions.
One relevant question will be: which airline network is best for you: Air Canada or WestJet? Both have strong selections of destinations, but you definitely don’t need both. Either airline can likely get you to where you need to go, and splitting spending between the two cards means that it’ll be longer before either one collects enough points to be useful (not to mention that you’re paying 2 annual fees on the BMO Air Miles World Elite and the RBC WestJet World Elite). Finally, we noticed that you’re missing a card that can save foreign transaction fees, which is infinitely useful if you’re frequently abroad. If you pick up the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, for instance, you’ll add some nice perks like VIP airport lounge access and 0.00% foreign transaction fees (regularly 2.50% on all purchases made in a foreign currency). Think on it and feel free to get back to us with additional questions.
Hi again GreedyRates!
Just an update to our last messages!!
Yes I know some of the cards may seem redundant but I have them for different reasons and please let me know if this is a good plan.
Avion Infinite – Is my oldest CC and I keep it for length of credit history and I get a rebate with RBC
BMO Airmiles WE – I got this with a sign up promotion and have thoroughly enjoyed the Airmiles I have been earning. Many of the retailers I frequent (Safeway, Shell) allow me to quickly earn points and I like the insurances/lounge pass. Plus, I love using this card at Safeway during promotions where I get Airmiles and 15 cents off a litre for gas at Shell. Huge savings for me! Plus, annual fee rebate with BMO banking plan.
WestJet WE – I primarily fly with WJ and by having this card allows me to get free bags even if I don’t use this card to book my flight (see Airmiles WE for when I redeem my points and then by being a WJ cardholder qualify for free bags!)
Cobalt – I use this card for all dining/bar purchases and I must say this card is AWESOME!!! I am enjoying the earn rates on my dining. Plus, Cobalt is constantly sending additional promos for retailers I frequent to qualify for bonus points.
Amex Bonvoy – Free annual night and perks with this card make the annual fee worth it for me since I like to stay at the hotels covered under Bonvoy umbrella.
I know it seems like my spending is spread out but I pay attention to promotions and have been taking advantage of all the different earn rates each card gives me. So far I have been very successful at earning lot of points!
Let me know your thoughts and again love the site!! Always something new to learn about on here.
Hi we are 66 years old and go to Coata Rica for 2 months a year as well as other out of country trips during the year.
I understand that most credit cards do not provide coverage for over 65 or limited ( 15 days)
Can you tells us which card would be best? We also like to collect points of course.
I have a question TD Aeroplan VISA or Westjet MC which one stands out better?
Appreciate you coming to GreedyRates with your request for a short card comparison. We can already tell you that between the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card and the RBC WestJet World Elite card, the winner will largely be determined by your preference for either WestJet or Air Canada. With a larger network, Air Canada wins in most scenarios, and the TD Aeroplan card’s especially-generous introductory bonus clinches the win, in our opinion.
Let’s look at the cards side-by-side. They both have similar annual fees, with only a $1 difference between the two cards. However, the immediate value delivered by the TD card is 30,000 points plus the first year’s annual fee rebate. For RBC, you’ll just receive $250 WestJet Dollars (which must be used on WestJet flights only). Additionally, the way that rewards are earned favors the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card over WestJet’s World Elite, with miles coming from gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases with double the earn rate possible at Aeroplan partner brands. RBC’s card earns on all eligible purchases, but its accelerated earnings category is travel: an infrequent expense for most.
In the end, the choice is your own. Consider where you’ll be spending most of your money and which perks you prefer before letting us know what you decide! Good luck.
Hi, how would you rate the HSBC World Elite Mastercard which doesn’t charge the FX fee? Do you think this is a better choice than Scotia Passport Visa Infinite?
Good question. We haven’t done a comparison between these two cards yet, but we’d be glad to do so here, just for you! It looks like the card you mention has a $149 annual fee, 30,000-point bonus, annual fee waiver in the first year, 0.00% foreign transaction fees, 3.00% on travel and 1.50% elsewhere, medical insurance, LoungeKey membership, free Boingo Wi-Fi, and an $80,000/$150,000 annual income requirement.
This is compared with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, which has a $139 annual fee ($10 cheaper) 30,000-point bonus, no annual fee waiver, 0.00% foreign transaction fees, 2 points per $1 on grocery, dining, entertainment, and transit, 1 point per $1 elsewhere, PriorityPass membership plus 6 free lounge passes yearly, good insurance, and a $60,000/$100,000 annual income requirement.
Just from these shallow stats, it’s clear to us that those who appreciate free access to luxurious airport lounges, a lower annual fee, and earning points from everyday purchases will appreciate the Scotia card more. Those who would rather enjoy free Wi-Fi, points from travel, and an annual fee waiver must meet the higher income requirement for the other card if they prefer its features. Our vote goes with Scotia, however. Hope you agree!
I am canadian , i am in Australia at the moment and i am going to Japan for two weeks and coming back to Québec in Canada. One month later i will be going to Whistler British Colombia. Wich card would be the best for me .
If you’re currently in Australia and are going from there to Japan, your most useful credit card is probably one that saves the foreign transaction fees you’ll incur on all your purchases in these places. Especially if you’re using a Canadian credit card to buy things and withdraw money from ATMs, it’s important to avoid these 2.50%+ fees whenever possible, so a card like the Home Trust Preferred Visa works well. It charges 0.00% foreign transaction fees on purchases made in a foreign currency and also provides 1.00% cash back, and with no annual fee it’s one of the most broadly useful cost savings tools for travellers around.
We also like to recommend the Rogers Platinum Mastercard along with the Home Trust card, because it’s another no-fee option that helps cardholders lessen the blow from foreign transaction fees as well. Instead of exempting you from the fees, however, it offers a greater amount of cash back so you’re actually earning from them. With 3.00% on foreign purchases, and 4.00% offered by the Rogers World Elite Mastercard (also no annual fee), you’ll net 0.50% – 1.50% from foreign purchases even after paying the transaction fee. In Japan (a notoriously expensive country) that means your trip will be that much cheaper. Enjoy!
Wow, a lot to absorb. Thank you. We were surprised not to see RBC’s Avion or British Airways travel credit card mentioned anywhere. Are neither of them beneficial when compared to others these days? They used to be recommended I believe?
Great to receive your comments on the RBC Avion card. We like the card for those who do a lot of traveling, but if possible, the card focuses too heavily on travel-related perks and requirements to be broadly useful. For example, while it earns 1.25 points per $1 spent on travel, it doesn’t earn any points on regular everyday purchases like gas or groceries. Additionally, points are generally redeemed on travel and hotels exclusively (though merchandise is an option), and the 25% more RBC points earned also only applies to travel-related purchases. While it’s nice to be able to transfer points to other travel rewards programs, you need to be buying travel to get these points in the first place.
There are other travel credit cards that are more comprehensively purposeful. For example, the Scotia Amex Gold card earns on all daily purchases, and then allows cardholders to redeem points on any travel-related purchases that end up on the statement. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is another better choice, with no foreign transaction fees, VIP airport lounge access, fast Scotiabank points on everyday purchases, and great insurance benefits. If you’re still on the fence, perhaps send us more details about your financial picture and what you most value to [email protected], and we’ll go from there. Thanks!
Actually, you earn 1 RBC Reward point for every $1 you spend on any purchase, plus an extra 25% on eligible travel related purchases, therefore the points add up quite quickly.
Great to hear from you—we appreciate your comment. If you’re referring to the RBC Avion Visa Infinite card, then you’re 100% correct that you can accelerate your RBC Rewards earnings by ensuring that your travel expenses are eligible. Not only that, but new cardholders will also get 15,000 points for signing up, which is worth up to $350 when redeemed on travel. With extra points and savings at Petro-Canada and excellent travel insurance added in, the Avion card continues to prove why it’s consistently near the top of the travel rewards market. Besides these features, however, the flexibility and fast collection of your RBC Rewards points is the card’s main benefit to travellers.
You can redeem those RBC Rewards points on a huge number of different airlines, but also on expensive electronics from Apple and other brands, hotels and rental cars, and even as a cash credit on your statement. We always appreciate people coming to boast of the Avion ecosystem, and we’re sure readers are paying attention to comments like yours! Thanks again.
We have a Capital One Aspire Travel Master Card and find good value in terms of points earned versus our annual fee cost. We also have an American Express Gold Card. Points awarded are not as generous. Several businesses do not take American Express. We are questioning the value of that credit card for us. The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card appears to offer some benefits over the American Express Gold Card. Is that a fair observation? We are wondering if there is a VISA Card offering similar benefits to the Capital One Aspire Travel Master Card. Can you offer any comments in that regard?
At this time, we are exclusively using our Capital One Master Card simply because the points earned are much better than with American Express and the card is much easier to use.
Please offer any comments that you feel may be applicable to help us decide to keep our Gold American Express or get an alternative.
Best regards, …
If you’re looking for a credit card similar to the Aspire card, it seems as though your priorities are a way to earn miles with all your purchases and spend them flexibly on a bevy of travel rewards. First, you’re correct that with an Amex this idea is limited by the rate of acceptance among merchants, but in terms of redemption it’s still hard to match the Gold card because points can be applied to any travel-related purchase. However, this is only one side of the equation, and if you’re finding that you can’t earn points in the first place, we agree you should look for a replacement.
Visas that match your requirements certainly exist. One of the primary examples we found is the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card—among the market’s most upper-tier travel cards. It offers a bonus of 25,000 miles for an initial purchase only, exclusive Air Canada and Visa Privilege benefits, extensive travel insurance, and of course, a constant stream of miles. Everyday spending on groceries, gas, and drugstores earn miles at a rate of 1.5 per $1 spent, and then 1.25 per $1 spent on everything else. Similar to the Aspire card, your miles don’t expire.
If you need a card with more forgiving eligibility requirements, check out the Privilege card’s “little brother”: the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card. It’s almost exactly the same, but with a lower introductory bonus (15,000 points), and lower “everything” mileage earning rate (1 mile per $1 spent). The accelerated rate for earning miles on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases is the same at 1.5 miles per $1 spent among these categories. Check these out and let us know if you’re moving in a different direction—we’d be happy to tweak our suggestions to suit your needs. Thanks!
For your #1 card: TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite it states “Travellers on any Air Canada flight will enjoy free checked bags, priority check-in and boarding, and can relax in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge once per year for free.” Please verify this as it seems this is only for Air Canada Reward flights, not ANY Air Canada flight.
Thanks for coming to GreedyRates with your question. After digging into the fine print, we can confirm that the perks you obtain via the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card only apply to flights that meet certain criteria—an idea that is also shared by other travel rewards programs such as WestJet, Air Miles, and more. First, only when the primary cardholder has his or her name on the travel itinerary will the party be eligible for the priority check-ins and priority boarding, while only the primary cardholder can avail of complimentary checked bags. Second, as long as the above is true, the perks apply to any flight operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, or Air Canada Express that is purchased using miles. It’s unclear whether you need to purchase the flight with your miles exclusively, or if it can be partially paid in miles and still benefit.
Redeeming the voucher for one free entry into the Maple Leaf Lounge is similar. The primary cardholder must present their card at the lounge along with a valid, same-day boarding pass for an Air Canada flight that was purchased using miles. It might seem restrictive but remember that these types of cards are capable of frontloading a significant amount of value for those who fly Air Canada frequently, so you’ll need to determine how aligned your travel habits are with the card’s benefits before applying. Cash back is generally a more accessible benefit, but we’d also be happy to suggest some more flexible travel cards if you like.
Any credit cards that offers free luggage check-in(at least 1 per guest) and/or free seat reservations? We are family of 4 and travel YUL-FLL on a yearly basis, usually 3 luggages + seat reservations which adds up +$300 in additional fees.
Great question—and we have a great answer to match. One of the best perks offered by the RBC WestJet World Elite card is its free checked bags for you and up to 8 other travellers on the same itinerary. For those with large families like yours, this has the potential to save a ton of money over the course of the year, but WestJet sweetens the deal further by providing a yearly companion flight voucher (applicable for a spouse, relative, or friend travelling with you) which significantly discounts the price of their flight. The $250 WestJet Dollar bonus is also pretty great, as is the ability to earn more Dollars for everyday purchases. This is definitely the credit card most applicable to your situation, so check it out and let us know what you think. Thanks again for stopping by!
Wow there’s a lot of information to take in when trying to find the right travel rewards credit card! Thanks for helping to break it down and hoping you can help me further…
I recently took a new job with work and will be traveling (and expensing) almost exclusively in the US. I live near a US city that I use more often to travel from and to and then drive across the border. I want to make the most of all the travel and entertainment spending I’ll be doing to allow my husband and I more personal travel (flights mostly). I usually fly with Delta (although not exclusively). Lounge access would be nice but not a huge deal for me although perks of upgrades and frequent flyer perks would be nice. But I’d rather more personal travel gains than improving work trips.
Any suggestions for cards that will get me the most travel rewards when most purchases are not within Canada?
If you’ve got a job across the border in the US and want to earn rewards that contribute to your own personal vacations, we can absolutely help. It’s even nicer that your travel and entertainment costs in the US are expensed to your company, because then you don’t need to worry about foreign transaction fees (because you’re not the one paying them). We assume from the wording of your comment that you live in Canada and commute across the border daily via your own car. If this is the case, then you aren’t doing much spending on travel in the relevant sense (planes, trains, rental cars etc.) so you’re looking more for a card that earns points when you take your American clients out on the town.
If we were you, we’d check out the Cobalt card, which offers a high rate of rewards on dining and travel specifically. You’ll earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year, which can be transferred to certain airfare rewards programs partnered with Amex—all you need to do is spend $500 per month, and you’ll get 2,500 points for every month you meet this easy goal (especially if you’re on the company dime!). Additionally, you’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on restaurants, bars, food delivery, groceries, and pretty much any food. Also 2 points per $1 spent on travel including airfare, taxis, ride-sharing apps, hotels, gas and other related expenses.
Another suggestion is to pick up the BMO World Elite Air Miles card, which is best if you’re a fan of Air Canada. It has a high, flat rate for earning miles on all your spending, so you don’t need to hesitate between destinations when taking a client out. You’ll also get a 15% discount on Air Miles flights in North America, which is suitable for your job and also for trips—and 2 free VIP lounge passes yearly (as well as a membership to LoungeKey—the network of lounges worldwide lounges across global airports). If you’d like more suggestions or to sharpen your criteria a bit, just comment back to us or shoot an email to [email protected]. Best of luck!
Wow, thanks for all the information on this site.
I am planning a trip to Greece in March 2019 and am looking for a credit card that I can use while I am away. I would prefer a card that has ‘no foreign transaction fees’, however, I at this time do not have a credit card that collects travel points or rewards. I would appreciate some insight on which card would be my best choice.
Great questions all. A trip to Greece sounds super fun, and we’re excited to help you plan for it! Know that it’s crucial to get a no-foreign-transaction-fee card to reduce your everyday expenses, but also that Greece is famous for pickpockets, so getting an AC (automatic conversion) card is also a good idea. Both will allow you to avoid foreign transaction fees. First, there are many travel cards that offer this perk, but which is right for you depends on your income and credit level. Home Trust’s Preferred Visa offers 0.00% foreign transaction fees and also no annual fee, and a 1.00% flat rate of cash back. There’s also no worrying over a minimum income requirement or credit score, and you should be able to get it before March 2019.
Rogers has two cards that offer a higher rate of cash back on foreign currency purchases, which is meant to reward you with extra cash back in excess of the fee. For instance, the Platinum Mastercard offers 3.00% for purchase made in a foreign currency, netting 0.50% at the end of the day. The World Elite Mastercard boosts this rate to 4.00%, and both cards earn a respective cash back rate of 1.25% and 1.75% in Canadian dollars. Finally, the best travel card providing exemption from foreign transaction fees is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, which also comes with 6 VIP airport lounge passes, total insurance coverage for travellers, a fast rate for earning rewards, but also a higher annual fee ($139) and income requirement ($60,000).
You might also look towards the CIBC AC Conversion card, which is great if you want to avoid carrying around cash and also paying for foreign fees. The card can hold up to 10 different currencies and automatically uses the one that’s relevant (Euros, in your case). Good luck with your choice, and if you have further questions about the cards listed here just ask.
I am currently with Capital One Aspire Travel World Mastercard. Im very pleased with the rewards system as I get 2 reward points for every $1 spent. I found this better than most other credit card rewards such as the HSBC World Elite card or Scotiabank Visa Infinite. Capital One gives you $1 back for every 100 reward points earned, whereas Scotiabank $1 back requires 150 reward points. I pay $120 for yearly fee. The only thing I am hoping for are airport lounge passes. To note my specific card is no longer offered to new Capital One members. I spend about $1000 per month on my credit card. Is there a credit card you recommend with similar perks to Capital One Aspire Travel World Mastercard however also offers airport lounge passes?
Great questions. It sounds like you’re looking for a card with similar perks, but also the same redemption and earnings value as your current card. There are a couple alternatives to explore, but how much better they are over your Capital One Aspire card depends on how useful airport lounge passes are to you personally. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card you mentioned is our strongest candidate, because it offers six of them. Typically, it costs the average Joe around $25 to gain access to the lounge with no special status, so six passes would be worth $150 (not including the other perks). Though its total value requires you to use all the passes, it already almost pays for the annual fee. It also has excellent insurance, the ability to earn Scotia Rewards points quickly, and a nice introductory bonus.
The only other card to offer airport lounge passes is the BMO World Elite Mastercard, which just had its points-to-cash redemption rate downgraded. For this reason alone, and also for its fewer lounge passes (4 instead of 6), you should opt for the Scotia card instead. Remember that with a monthly average balance of $1,000, you won’t feel the slight difference in redemption value as much as someone who spends more would. Look into it and let us know if you have any further questions. Thanks!
Hi, does the scotia passport card charge you a foreign exchange charge on overseas cash advances at a ABM thanks you have been very helpful
Great to hear from you. Foreign currency transaction fees won’t be charged on your cash withdrawals nor any purchases you make with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, so you can be confident that you’re always saving money with the card wherever you go or however you use it. With a high annual fee and high annual income requirement, it’s no surprise that you aren’t restricted in this way, so feel free to enjoy without preoccupations!
I haven’t travelled in years but plan to do so soon. I’ve never used an sort of points, air miles, etc so I don’t know how it all work what benefits just having certain cards does for you. I have a BMO World Elite Air Miles Mastercard. I don’t really have any air miles tho as I dont really use that card and have my miles set to cash . My girlfriend has an RBC Visa (I’m not sure exactly what kind) and has almost 300,000 points. She wants us to go somewhere with her points. Does my World Elite card do anything for us if travel is booked using her RBC points? I’m hoping we can sort of double dip on card benefits for the same trip. Thanks
Thanks for coming to GreedyRates for a bit of credit card wisdom regarding your upcoming trip. If your girlfriend has an RBC Visa card with a multitude of rewards points, then you can absolutely use these to purchase a trip for you two and still avail of some benefits inherent on your BMO World Elite card. For example, your card has two annual passes to VIP airport lounges worldwide, so you can get access for both yourself and your girlfriend for free, regardless of how you paid for the trip. She’ll love the free Wi-Fi, food, and more relaxing, spacious environment of the lounge.
Your card also has some nice insurance benefits that remain active, even if you haven’t used the card on the trip. Check out the insurance pamphlet sent with the card or consult with a BMO representative over the phone to determine exactly what you can cover. On an unrelated note—have you ever considered a different card? If you aren’t a frequent traveler, then the BMO Air Miles card you currently have is highly irrelevant to your needs. With a 15% discount on flights purchased with Air Miles and other travel-centric perks, most of the card’s value proposition is wasted on you.
Try a cash back card instead. We’re quite fond of the ones listed in our expansive article on the best cash back cards in Canada this year. With a card that earns cash back as a primary focus (and not merely an alternative to Air Miles) you’ll really start to feel the savings every month. Let us know what you’re thinking and have a great trip!
Thank you very much for the detailed information and the time and effort put into responding to each comment in a thoughtful way. It’s truly appreciated.
I’m looking for a travel credit card with points redeemable with the best value for international flights, specifically Toronto – Tel Aviv and returning. It’s not necessary to be flying in business class, whatever option gets be the best value and ease of redeemability. I’m having a hard time figuring out which rewards program would be most beneficial to this situation.
I already have the Rogers Cashback for foreign currencies.
Thank you for your help,
First, thanks for your profuse appreciation for our efforts—we definitely work hard to help our group of loyal readers. We hope we’ve helped you as well! Now, if you’re looking for a great international travel card that makes it easy to get from Toronto to Tel Aviv, we can make some suggestions.
One important thing to consider is that there are only two airlines that fly direct between Tel Aviv and Toronto—these are Air Canada and Israel’s own El Al. For this reason, we recommend you pick up a credit card that offers membership and benefits as part of the Aeroplan travel rewards program. Thankfully, you don’t need to restrict yourself in any regard when searching for an Aeroplan card and will be able to earn Air Miles regardless of the card’s annual fee or issuer.
Take a look at the cards listed on our article entitled ‘Best Aeroplan Credit Cards in Canada for 2018’. Here, you’ll find all the most relevant cards. Whichever Aeroplan card you choose will help you collect Air Miles, which are redeemable on any Air Canada flight, domestic or international. We’d probably suggest picking a Visa instead of an Amex Aeroplan card as it’ll be accepted at more places, earn miles faster, and obtain faster discounts on your next flight to Tel Aviv. Good luck!
Glad I fell onto this site! I currently have a Vancity Visa which gives me a point per dollar rewards return rate on all purchases. It’s very easy to redeem for travel or to pay off the card with points or to use points to invest or to donate. Like some of the other posts I’ve read, it seems that the travel costs are higher using rewards and my guess is this is consistent. My husband recently acquired an RBC Westjet MC and while the point to dollar ratio is a bit higher it looks like I can only use the points for travel related spending with Westjet and not much else. The companion voucher is nice if we get to use it. What I’m looking for is the best card for accumulating travel points with flexibility to do what I want with the points when I decide. As I use credit for all spending where credit is accepted and I want the best bang for my buck. I spend between 3K and 4K per month averaged over a calendar year and don’t carry a balance.
Thanks for coming to GreedyRates for some advice on which credit cards to consider. If you’re a fan of your Visa card for its ability to earn on all your purchases and redeem for travel, cash credits, investments, or donations, then why not get the same card for your husband? While we aren’t familiar with Vancity exactly, it’s likely that you can get two for one household. Otherwise, if you’re looking for travel rewards then the RBC WestJet World Elite card is already one of the best around. WestJet has a fantastic selection of flights and destinations and if you redeem your WestJet Dollars for travel, they have competitive value. The companion voucher is usable for whenever you two travel together, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find an opportunity.
Otherwise, we can try to suggest an alternative to the WestJet card—one with more flexibility in terms of where it earns rewards and what they’re redeemable for. You could check out an Aeroplan Visa card (there are a few on our site), which puts you in the Aeroplan program instead of WestJet, which might be more suitable. These cards also earn on common purchases like gas and groceries, plus drugstore purchases and at the Air Canada website at a very competitive and accelerated rate . Then, you’ll earn a flat rate of miles on everything else, and redeem them with over 150 partner brands, like hotels, retailers and more. If you’d like to give us more exacting criteria for what you want in a card, we’ll be happy to narrow it down further! Thanks again.
The stuff is rather useful.
Great to hear that we’re providing some useful guidance for you about credit cards! Keep on reading and let us know if you need any personal assistance. Have a great day.
I don’t have a strong understanding about the Priority Pass Lounge. Can I bring my family when travelling? With the Scotiabank Passport they have 6 annual visits included. Are they transferable to my kids if we travel?
Thanks for your great questions about the Priority Pass perk to airport lounges, offered via your credit card. You can absolutely bring your family into the lounge with you when you’re travelling. It’s not that exclusive, and in actuality anyone can get in, they just need to come at a time when it’s not busy and pay the entrance fee. The same applies to you: for every family member you bring in, you’ll pay the entrance fee (usually around $20), and so for every one of them you’ll also be able to apply a voucher to skip that charge.
If you have the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite card, for example, that means you could get a 6-person family into the lounge for free once, but they’ll have to be with you to use the voucher. You can also mix and match, for example using 2 vouchers for you and your spouse and then paying for the kids separately. Hope we’ve answered your questions thoroughly! Have a great day.
Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa – Quick word of caution
For those looking to take advantage of thr 0% foreign exchange fee from a card from a major bank, know that Scotiabank’s fine print says that the bonus points will only be credited after 3 months from date of application + upto 10 additional business days thereafter. Really a deal breaker if you are looking to travel in the next 3 months and/or would like to take advantage in an upcoming holiday. The minimum spend is low but comes with a major limitation in my opinion. Unfortunately for me, I missed out reading this bit.
Thanks for the awesome comment. Yes—it’s always crucial to determine when the points or rewards from your welcome bonus will hit your account. In many cases it takes upwards of a couple months, meaning exactly what you said: If you plan to use the points to discount an immediately upcoming trip, you better be sure that you’ll actually have them to spend. At least you’ll still have the points for your next trip—and more besides—so no damage done. Thanks again for reading.
The GreedyRates Team
We have the HSBC world elite card that we use to make all of our purchases. We were attracted to because 1. We have been with Hsbc for many years and the mastercards previously provided good reward points that we used to offset our flight costs or vacations. 2. The no transaction fee for foreign exchange and the airport lounge credit. Well, yesterday we found out that they have changed the way they equate points to dollars and it is half what it was years previous. For example 200,000points before would give us approximate $2000 but today it is $1025. We are now looking for an alternative card that will give us a good return for points. We average $5000 a month on purchases if not more. Can you help us out
We’re sorry to hear that HSBC changed the value of your rewards! That’s unfortunate, but you’re in luck, because with your comment we’ll be able to make some great recommendations. It sounds like you appreciate a high rewards earn rate and airport lounge access. If so, check out the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, which earns points at a rate of 2 per $1 spent on grocery, dining, entertainment, and daily transit (taxis, buses, trains etc.) You’ll also earn 1 point per $1 on everything else.
According to our Loyalty Program Bible, Scotia Rewards Points are worth about $0.01 each, so that’s 2.00% and 1.00%, respectively. The 25,000 introductory bonus is worth $250, and you can get another 10,000 for spending $40,000 during the year. The card does not charge you any foreign transaction fees (which is perfect for spending money abroad) and gives you Priority Pass membership to worldwide airport lounges, plus six free passes yearly. You also get tons of extra perks and benefits, including strong insurance.
Redeeming points with the card is also easy, and they can be spent on any kind of travel-related purchase anytime, anywhere. Check it out and let us know if you need any more suggestions. We’re here to help.
This sounds really good. Im surprised it isn’t higher on the list…
What about the Meridian Visa Infinite Travel Rewards Card?
Thanks for coming to GreedyRates. We checked out the card you mentioned, and it seems decent, but very similar to the Rogers Platinum Mastercard. Rogers is better though, because it offers cash back instead of points, and has no annual fee. Get this: instead of offering 1.5 points for every $1 spent, the Rogers card gives you 1.25% cash back on all purchases, and then 3.00% cash back on foreign transactions. This covers the cost of your foreign transaction fee more effectively than “points” do. Its annual fee is also much less–$0 rather than $99. With the cash back you collect, you can apply it dynamically to individual purchases on your statement, using the Mastercard program and smartphone application: Pay with Rewards.
Can you let us know why you think the Meridian card is more suitable to you, over something like what we just described? It will help us recommend better alternatives. We await your response—thanks!
Thanks for so much information!
We currently have a WestJet World Elite MC but have accrued so many westJet dollars that we are finding them difficult to spend. We travel often but many of the places we stay are not on WestJet vacations so we basically only use the WestJet dollars for flights. I’m looking for something where I can pay for all travel related expenses (VRBO etc) using points. Hoping to find something with a similar earn rate and the WJ card.
Have you ever considered an Amex card? The Scotiabank Gold Amex is a great travel card and has remained in our top tier for what seems like forever. This is because the points you earn with it can be used on any travel-related expense, after you book it. You’re allowed to book airfare, reserve a hotel room, or purchase literally anything travel-related, and when the charge shows up on your statement you can pay for it entirely with the points you’ve collected.The RBC Visa Infinite Avion card is another equally flexible travel tool, as you’ll earn points faster than an Amex (given that more merchants accept Visa than Amex), and can use them on flights, hotel stays, cruises, vacation packages, car rentals and more—all through the Orbitz platform. You can also transfer your points to other travel loyalty programs very easily, or simply use them against your statement as a credit. With up to 25,000 bonus points for new members and a first year annual fee waiver, it’s an especially relevant (and lucrative) option.
We now have Rbc avion but as we are retired airline employees and get a discount on all flights we are unable to apply this to our flights. We used to be able to do this but with no warning RBC has cut this out and we have to book through their site. The american Express Scotia card sounds great but what do you do when a merchant won’t accept american Express? I s there any other card you can suggest, that one can book their own travel , like american Express gold reward card and just use points to pay for that travel?
Thanks for getting back to us again about the RBC Avion card. Unfortunately, we’re unaware of how employee and former-employee airline discounts stack with the benefits offered by major credit cards, but we imagine that you’ll have better luck calling the bank and asking someone who is familiar with this issue. Otherwise, the Scotia Gold card you mentioned is by far the market’s most superior product for travel flexibility. If you skim our review, you’ll see that you can simply purchase whatever travel arrangements you like (any airline, hotel, vacation package, rental car, etc.) and expect to pay them off with points.
If you’re worried about the acceptance rate for this card, we assure you that travel-related merchants are aware of Amex’s dominance in their field and are prepared to accept these cards at a higher rate than say, department stores (in our experience). Thanks again and let us know if you need anything further.
Why are some Master Card credit cards accepted at places and WestJet elite not?
Wow, so so thankful that I found your site!!! I need a card to replace the amazon.ca card, because we actually live overseas but all of our income comes from Canadian sources so we need Canadian credit cards. Soooo a card with no foreign transaction fees is a must! I am SO pumped about the Scotia passport visa and am very thankful for your thorough review and explanation of the card. It actually has so many more great rewards for frequent travelers, like my family, than the amazon card anyways! I applied via your link and was approved on the spot. Thanks again for such a great review and website overall!
You’re very welcome. Thanks for the great feedback! We enjoy hearing that we’ve helped people and are happy you’ve found the Scotia Passport Visa card. It’s surely perfect for someone who lives overseas with a Canadian income, like yourself. Who wants to be subjected to 2.50% higher prices universally in their new place of residence? No one. We hope you’re enjoying those free airport lounge passes too.
Thanks again for stopping by,
The GreedyRates Team
Good day and good job as always, thank you for your tremendous efforts in keeping us informed in order to make the best choices. Now, I’m wondering for this year: between the World Elite MC from BMO and the Passport Visa from Scotia which one pays the most points for every dollar? Which point is worth more: BMO Rewards or Scotia Rewards ? And should I go instead for the VISA TD Aeroplan if my goal is basically to fly for less as much as possible ? Basically if you love to travel and do it a lot and you had to pick one card, which one would you pick between these 3 if you were me ? Bare in mind I already have the Rogers World Elite to cover foreign fees.
Thanks for the shout out! We’re always happy to help our readers stay informed and make the best credit choices possible. But now that we’ve patted ourselves on the back, let’s get to your request. If you’re looking for a comprehensive place where you can compare the rewards of different cards, you should check out our Loyalty Program Bible. We’ll show you how to use it with the example below.
We’ve pegged the value of one Scotia point at around $0.01. The value of one BMO point is about $0.007. At its highest earnings rate, the Scotia card collects 2 points per $1 on groceries, dining, entertainment, and daily transit purchases, so that’s around 2 cents per $1 or 2.00% back. The BMO card earns 3 points per $1 spent on travel, dining, and entertainment, which is about $0.021 per $1 or a little above 2.00%.
Accordingly, if you manage to spend a lot more on travel than you do on groceries, you’ll see the BMO card earning more in comparison, but if groceries are a common expense then the Scotiabank card is likely better. In the end, the difference between these two is negligible, so check out the perks on each to determine which is best. In our opinion, the Scotia Passport Visa is one of the best travel deals in recent memory, with great insurance coverage and 6 free passes to VIP airport lounges worldwide.
The TD Aeroplan Visa is another option, especially if you’re a fan of booking with Expedia. It’s also got a nice introductory bonus of 15,000 TD Rewards. It seems to us like you’re a veteran cardholder, and if you frequently cycle through credit cards to take advantage of these promotions then you should also be factoring in initial bonuses during your consideration. Bottom line is, there’s no way to go wrong with any of these alternatives, so choose whatever speaks loudest to you—and enjoy!
The GreedyRates Team
Hi, my current card, RBC’s Signature Visa (I bank with them as well), is expiring shortly and I’m deciding which card to move to. I have 90,000 RBC Reward points accrued, so I’m considering the Avion. However, my income falls under the $60,000 minimum to be eligible for the Infinite Avion; I’d have to get the Platinum. Is there a significant difference in point value between these or is it just service perks?
I’ve read that the Avion’s point values aren’t always great unless you are flying from/to specific destinations through the linked AA or BA programs. I know you can exchange for WestJet (which I fly more often) dollars – is this a good value? Overall, I’m thinking the Scotiabank Gold Amex looks like a great option but I’m wondering if I should still get the Platinum Avion in order to maximize my current RBC Rewards points. Thank you!
Thanks for coming to GreedyRates with your inquiry. We’re big fans of your current card, the RBC Signature Visa, but we understand that you’re looking for an upgrade due to its upcoming expiration. You know, you might be able to call RBC and ask about the card you really want–the Infinite Avion–and get them to give you an upgrade without going through the official application process. For banking agents, they benefit from getting a customer to upgrade, and won’t scrutinize your income too closely once you’ve demonstrated your intentions.
Otherwise, the Platinum Avion card really isn’t that much worse than the Infinite Avion. They have the same annual fee, same introductory bonus points and accrual rate, but the Infinite card has the advantage of emergency medical insurance–that’s it. If this isn’t a big deal-breaker for you, then there’s little advantage to having the Infinite card over the Platinum. You’ll also be able to continue earning RBC Rewards to your account, if you don’t want to spend them all anytime soon. RBC Rewards points expire after three years if they aren’t spent.
The Scotiabank Gold Amex is another excellent card, but only if you’re planning on losing the RBC. It’s a flexible addition to any traveller’s wallet, though if combined with another travel card, it loses some efficiency. If there’s another card paying for things, this leaves less for the Amex, which is already accepted at a more limited selection of merchants. Good luck with your choice!
The GreedyRates Team
Hello, we currently have the BMO Airmiles World Elite card and have had it for the past 10 years or so, but now I’m wondering if we should be considering other options. We used to book flights frequently with our Airmiles, but now we live closest to a major US airport, so we fly from there most often, especially if we’re flying to another US city. This means we can’t use Airmiles to book those flights. Also, I’ve been finding better deals with budget airlines and even great seat sales with Westjet, that it doesn’t make sense to use a ton of Airmiles for those flights when I can pay out of pocket for not much more than the taxes I’m still required to pay when using Airmiles. I’m wondering if a more flexible credit card would be better for us. Maybe something that we can book our own travel and then redeem it afterwards? Or maybe just a cashback card? We also spend a fair amount of money in the US each year, so maybe something with no foreign transaction fees would be the best option for us. What’s your opinion? Thank you!
Great of you to come to us with your questions and request for a card recommendation! This is our specialty. If you’re frequently flying through American airports and to US destinations, then an Air Miles card might be fine sometimes, but not all the time. There are more suitable options, and you’ve mentioned most of them already. A travel-focused card with greater flexibility in booking and redemption would be best, and one of our favorites is the Gold Amex Rewards card. With this handy card, you’ll earn points on your everyday purchases, and redeem them flexibly for any travel-related expense on your monthly statement.
For traveling abroad, you’re right that a no foreign transaction fee card might also be useful. It will help save a lot of money during your trips to the US, and fortunately there are a lot of these cards to choose from. We think you’d appreciate the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, which grants you exemption from these fees entirely, and gives luxurious travel perks like 6 annual passes to airport lounges worldwide, total travel insurance protection, and the ability to earn points on your everyday purchases. You’ll also be used to the annual fee already, as it’s like what you’ve already been paying with the World Elite.
Finally, cash back could come in handy but it might not be your best option. While you’re traveling, the foreign transaction fees negate a lot of the cash back you earn. You could check out cards like the Rogers World Elite Mastercard, however, which offers 4.00% cash back on foreign purchases (to defray the transaction fee) and then 1.75% while you’re back in Canada. We’ve gone ahead and linked all three cards mentioned below, so you can do a little research. Hope that helps!
Gold Amex Rewards card
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite
Rogers World Elite
Great article. My husband is 57 and I’m turning 65 this year. We currently have the BMO World Elite Mastercard with me as the principal card holder and my husband as the secondary card holder. My concern is for travel coverage. Would it be better to change our BMO World Elite to have my husband as the principal card holder as he is younger, or do you have another card that you think may be better for travel coverage and perks. We probably spend around $3,000 a month on our card.
Great questions! We’ll be happy to help you sort this situation out. First, you’re right to be concerned about your medical coverage now that you’ve turned 65. The BMO World Elite Mastercard only helps cardholders aged 65 and below to get 21 days of consecutive emergency medical coverage, and per the fine print, the age restriction applies to the primary cardholder, their spouse and dependent traveling children. This means that switching primary cardholder status over to your husband won’t do you any good.
If you like the World Elite card, then you might be better served by keeping it and paying extra for medical coverage. The bank states that, “Persons aged sixty-five [and over] are eligible for the optional BMO World Elite Mastercard 31 Day Medical Protection providing You request this feature be added… and pay the additional applicable premium.”
If you don’t feel like paying extra for travel medical insurance and other protective perks, you could also try some alternate credit cards that extend coverage to those who are older than 65. Here’s a few cards that offer this. The Scotiabank Gold Amex card (also one of our most flexible travel cards) offers 10 consecutive days of coverage for cardholders over 65. Scotia’s Passport Visa Infinite (if you like relaxing in the airport lounge) has the same length of coverage. The National Bank World Elite is another option, which has an impressive 15 days of coverage for cardholders age 65 to 74 as well. Feel free to check out the comparison and article we’ve put together on this subject below. Safe travels!
The GreedyRates Team
Thanks for the great info.
I inquired about the Scotiabank Gold Americana express and spoke to one of their representative. They said 1st year annual fee is not waived.
Do you believe this offer is still valid? or there is an error somewhere.
Thanks for helping us out! We always appreciate when our readers are vigilant enough to point out flaws or outdated content on our site, which happens occasionally. With card issuers constantly vying for market share, they’re also making ad hoc changes to their promotions and deals to draw in new customers, but we can never be sure why they do what they do. We’ll update the outdated banner that we think you noticed on the side of this article.
hi – i have no credit will i qualify for this card?
Which card are you referring to?
Lots of great info here. I currently have the RBC Visa Infinite Avion Privilege and MBNA World Elite cards. I’ve loved my Avion card for years and manage a trip (for one) every year off points with it.
Haven’t really given the MBNA Card a true test yet because I’ve been really happy with my Avion points. Do you think I’d be better off using up all my Avion points and starting to collect on the World Elite?
Also thinking of adding an AMEX Cobalt Card to my wallet. I know of all the benefits of the AMEX on its own, but from a strictly points perspective, dollar for dollar how does it hold up against my other two cards?
Really appreciate what you’re doing here! Keep it up!
Hey John, thanks for the great feedback and for your questions as well. We’ll do our best to touch on all the points you’ve asked about. It seems like the Avion card is working its magic for you, so we’re hesitant to encourage you to replace it. The truth is, the Avion card’s reward points are more flexible because you can transfer them to other travel rewards programs, and redeem them on RBC’s Orbitz-powered booking site. The World Elite card requires you to spend your points in their own travel center, which restricts your choices somewhat. In short, if you’re happy with RBC, don’t fix what isn’t broken.
It might be worthwhile to cancel your World Elite and replace it with the Amex Cobalt card if you think it’ll suit your lifestyle better. If you find yourself eating out often and taking lots of taxis, you’ll be able to earn points quickly. However, the best part about the card is its generous introductory bonus, which will likely require you to ignore your other card for a little while. With Amex points, you can redeem them for travel, direct cash back, or merchandise. Dollar for dollar, it probably is just as effective as the Avion card for travel, while adding some extra points for its other perks. However, remember that it’s an Amex, so it’ll be difficult to make it your primary card–it’s better as a complement to your Avion in our opinion. You can learn more about the Amex card by reading our full American Express Cobalt Card review.
Hello, I’m currently using the TD travel card, and pretty happy with it. However, I only just found that the card offers insurance from reading your article. Could you please explain how the card’s insurance coverage work. Let’s say I booked a flight on Expediafortd, want to cancel it but the flight doesn’t allow cancel, does TD cover the cost of my cancellation? I’m asking this question because I usually buy cancellation insurance on top of paying for the flight just in case.
Also, could you recommend a great Mastercard that I could earn point on grocery? Thank you!
Hey Jennifer, thanks for your question. With the insurance package offered by TD, you’ll only be able to benefit from insurance payouts under special circumstances. For example, cancelling your own flight will not entitle you to a payout from trip cancellation insurance. This is only for when the trip is cancelled because of unforseen circumstances like weather or issues with the airline itself. This is how most insurance perks work.
We’ve actually just written a very thorough guide about the various types of travel insurance you can get with a good rewards credit card. It’ll teach you exactly when you’re eligible to use travel emergency medical insurance along with other key tips. Check it out here.
Great site and lots of good info. I could use your opinion: I am looking for a new travel card. I have the British Airways Visa from RBC but when they changed their reimbursement schedule a few years back it became less appealing, and often I cannot find rewards flights. I travel to the UK a few times a year and other places too. My girlfriend has the TD visa that works through Expedia and she really likes it. Doing some research I found a lot of sites that say the BMO world elite is superior to the TD visa and it sounded like it was similar with buying any flight any time and applying points, just with a dedicated travel centre instead of expedia. So I signed up. But now, doing more digging, it seems their points requirements for reward flights are quite high and when I went to their travel rewards centers to do a sample booking on a flight YYZ to LON it turns out all they had available was Air Transat and the points values seemed really excessive. If this is an “any flight any time” kind of card, why is Air transat all I see (don’t get me wrong I have nothing against Air Transat but I want choice). Did I make a mistake? Should I have gotten the TD Card instead? For more info, my income is enough for a premium card, I’m willing to pay up to $150 per year in fees, and being tall I prefer going premium economy, if i can’t afford business.
Hey Dan! Thanks for showing us some appreciation! If you need a solid card for international travel, we’d be happy to make a couple great suggestions. It sounds like you’re not satisfied with the choice of travel options that the BMO World Elite offers, and so you’d likely enjoy a more flexible card such as the Amex Gold Rewards. Amex has the best rewards cards for those who want to redeem their points on virtually any travel arrangement, because you can simply book from whatever airline or travel aggregator you like. Then, once the expense shows up on your balance, you can pay it off with points. You can learn more about the card by reading our full American Express Gold Rewards card review.
You’ll also likely have more travel alternatives if you pick up another copy of your girlfriend’s card–the TD Visa you mentioned. Expedia has a great variety of flights, and you can even use her card to test for availability before you apply. Otherwise, another suitable card is the RBC Visa Infinite Avion, which allows you to transfer your rewards points to a number of other flight rewards programs.
Finally, we’re not sure why Air Transat is the only operating flight from YYZ to LON. Our advice? It’s hard to find the perfect travel card, but it seems like you’re opposed to your current card. Cancel it and try one of the others listed here (not before doing your own research though). Let us know how it goes and if we can provide further guidance moving forward. Thanks again.
Great site. I have a cibc aventura credit card and am thinking of switching. I am looking for a card that requires me to use the least amount of points to travel in Canada. I don’t care about hotel points and would not rent a car. What would you recommend. Thank you.
Hey Judy, thanks for leaving your comment with us. If you want a travel card that makes it easy and inexpensive to travel within Canada, we recommend the Scotia Gold Amex, which lets you earn rewards on a wide variety of your expenses and then use the points you earn on whatever travel arrangements you want. Within Canada, abroad, or anywhere at all–simply wait for the expense to hit your statement and then cover it with points. You can learn more about the card by reading our full Scotiabank Gold American Express card review.
Another pertinent recommendation is the RBC WestJet World Elite card. You’ll be able to travel the country on a budget, as you’ll receive a companion voucher entitling you to a $99 flight anywhere within Canada each year. Use it to take a friend or significant other with you inexpensively. Additionally, the primary cardholder’s first checked bag is free, along with up to 8 additional guests on the same reservation. You’ll earn WestJet Dollars at a rate of 2.00% when purchasing travel arrangements through WestJet (a great Canada-based airline), and 1.50% elsewhere. A WestJet dollar is worth one Canadian dollar, and you’ll get 250 of them for free just for signing up.
Best of luck!
Our big purchases come from pharmacies, spending as much as $27,000.00 per year on medications. We use the credit card for EVERYTHING, groceries and any other bills that we can assign automatically to be charged ona monthly basis. We currently have the BMO World Elite Mastercard (with BMO points as a reward, not AIR MILES) and loved the program until January 1st when they lowered the value of each point by 40% (it used to be that 10,000 BMO points gave $100.00 in purchasing power, but as of January 1st you now need to redeem 14,000 BMO points to have that same $100.00 in purchasing power). We like the Priority Passes for airport lounges, the fact that you can use points to cover taxes and fees, and the fact that Mastercard is accepted everywhere (Amex is not.) Mu credit score is good and income is 6 figures. Any suggestions ~ or is it still worth it to stick with this horrible 40% drop in value associated with BMO points? If it turns out that Cashback or other rewards options would make better financial sense, I’d consider switching to one of those too. Keep up the great work and I look forward to your feedback.
Hi Ian, thanks for the descriptive comment. If your biggest cost is medication, and you’ve successfully applied most of these expenses as automatic debits on your statement, you’ll likely need a card that makes ‘recurring bills’ a cash back eligible category. Note that the recent upgrade (or downgrade, depending on your opinion) to 3 points per $1 on the BMO World Elite card means that you’ll earn around 7.00% more for spending on travel, dining, and entertainment. While they increased the number of points you’ll need to redeem for rewards, you also accrue points on certain things faster. However, by not upgrading the ‘any purchase category’ earn rate as well, you’re basically losing 30.00%. This is where your medication bills would fall, so you should likely switch to a different card. Check out our math in the article below:
It seems like you like travel-focused cards, so our first suggestion for a replacement is the TD First Class Travel Infinite Visa. Though it isn’t a Mastercard, you won’t have to decide whether you want to redeem on travel or on cash back, because it can do both. Additionally, there’s a relatively competitive earn rate of 3 points per $1 on all purchases, and then 9 points per $1 when booking travel through Expedia. Finally, you’ll get up to 50,000 points when signing up. You can learn more about the card by reading our full TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite card review.
For a Mastercard with these kinds of benefits, check out the straightforward earning power of the BMO Cashback World Elite. You will get a simple 1.50% cash back on every purchase, with no restrictions or limits. In your first 4 months, you’ll get 4.00% cash back. It’s worthwhile to not worry about which purchases earn cash back, and at a competitive rate of 1.50%, the card is well worth its $120 annual fee. You can learn more about the card by reading our full BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard review.
Let us know if the suggestions we’ve made are solid and if not we’d be happy to tweak them. Thanks!
Hi GreedyRates! What a great site!! Thank you for all your info. I currently have a basic RBC WestJet MasterCard but am looking to change/upgrade to something that has more options to fly with other airlines, better travel deals/rewards, and basically has more perks and point accumulations. I travel quite often throughout the year around Canada and to the States, and usually overseas at least once or sometimes twice a year. I am single, make a decent living, and do not shop at Costco, but spend a lot of money dining out, at wine shops, clothes shopping, groceries, gas, etc. Which card would you recommend for me to switch to? Are there any others that you don’t talk about above that would be good for me? Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!
Hi Jill. Thanks for showing us your appreciation! If you want the freedom to travel flexibly on multiple airlines in Canada and the US, you’ll love the American Express Gold Rewards card. With this credit card you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on your eligible everyday purchases (gas, groceries and more), and then 1 point per $1 everywhere else. This accelerated rewards structure combines with the impressive introductory bonus, which grants 25,000 points just for spending $1,500 in the first three months. Already, that’s enough for your next round trip flight to most North American destinations.
In terms of the airlines you can choose from, they’re literally all eligible for use with the Amex Gold card. This is how it works: simply book travel arrangements with any airline or hotel, and then once they hit your statement, you can credit your points and offset the total cost. Just remember that it’s a charge card, so you’ll need to make full payments each month. Totally worth it in our opinion, and very relevant to you. You can learn more about the card by reading our full American Express Gold Rewards card review.
Best of luck!
We are a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 young children) and currently use the costco MC as our main credit card and get approx $700 a year cash back. We use this card for all purchases including about $1500/month on food (including costco) and $300/month in gas. We fly once or twice a year as a family and would like a card that gets us the most points per dollar spent for flights primarily. Ability to rent a car on points would be nice but not necessary. I would like to know if it’s worth it to switch cards to start getting airline points or if our currently card provides us with the best bang for our buck. We generally spend about $55,000/year on the credit card.
Hi Jennifer, thanks for the great comments and questions. It looks like you’re getting a lot out of the Costco Mastercard currently in your possession, but that you’d like to start earning travel rewards. One of the travel rewards cards that gives you the most bang for your buck is the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard. With it, you can still shop at Costco and earn on all your other purchases as well, at 1 Air Mile for every $10 spent. Air Miles can be spent on any travel related purchases you like, including airfare and even rental cars, as you mentioned. You’ll get 3,000 miles just by making a single initial purchase (offer expires April 30th, 2018). Additionally, when you rent cars at Alamo or National, you can get up to 25% off. The card also comes with VIP airport lounge access for you and the kids, and a nice suite of travel insurance as well. It really checks all the boxes for you.
You can learn more about the card by reading our full BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard.
Hey Greedyrates Staff!
What about the Tangerine MC -with a 1.5% foreign fee – in comparison with the Rogers Platinum MC?
Thanks for the feedback. You guys rock!
Hi Danika! Thanks for your kind words. In regards to your inquiry about the Tangerine Mastercard, we’re sorry to say that Tangerine increased the foreign transaction fee they charge from 1.50% to 2.50% last year, putting it parallel with most other Canadian cards. It seems as though many banks are backing down from the foreign transaction fee reduction bonus, as Rogers will also reduce its benefits in May of 2018. However, even with ‘only’ 3.00% cash back for each foreign transaction, the Rogers card still earns you 0.50% cash back after factoring in the foreign transaction fee. Therefore, the Rogers Platinum Mastercard remains the better way to save on purchases made abroad (or online), when compared with both the Tangerine card. The choice is yours, of course. You can learn more about the Rogers card by reading our full Rogers Platinum Mastercard review.
Hi there thank you for the info, very usefull. I currently have the RBC VISA Infinite AVION card and I’m looking at changing. I use my card for everyday purchases and I only use my points for flights, usually outside North America. I have a great credit and my income is no issue for the criterias, +100,000. Wondering which card you would suggest for me. I already have a CF One card for free bagages with Air Canada and Westjet. I have a timeshare with Hilton so when I travel my hotels are taken care of also. I dont’ collect airmiles for now. Thank you so much!
Hey Julie, thanks for your questions. With the criteria you’ve given us, we’d be happy to suggest a couple of excellent credit card options. Since you already have great travel perks, and don’t want to collect Air Miles specifically, might we suggest the Scotia Gold American Express card? You’ll collect points quickly and can use them on whatever travel expenses you want: just book travel via any platform you like and then redeem it with your points later. We’re aware that an Amex isn’t ideal for everyone as it isn’t accepted everywhere, so another alternative is the BMO World Elite Mastercard. This one earns 3 points per $1 spent on travel, dining and entertainment, then 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else. You’re also not limited to certain airlines, and there are no blackout dates or seat restrictions. With VIP airport lounge access, it’s both luxurious and flexible.
You can learn more about either card by reading our Scotiabank Gold American Express card review and/or our BMO World Elite Mastercard review.
Thank-you for organizing a bewildering array of information! We are retired and have low income. We don’t shop at Costco. We’re interested in finding a card that carries insurance coverage for short forays into the States because we’re close to the border. We currently have a no fee BMO CashBack MC and a no fee Fido cash back MC which we use for US$ purchases. I’m embarrassed to say we didn’t do much research before signing up for these cards and I’m now wondering if there’s a better product for our current needs. I realize we may have to pay annual fees for such a card. Thank-you.
If you travel frequently into the States, then you should probably keep the Fido card if it saves you from foreign transactions fees. Otherwise, the two we’d recommend are the Home Trust Preferred Visa card (0.00% foreign transaction fees) and the Rogers Platinum Mastercard (1.25% cash back in Canada and 3.00% abroad). You can learn more about either card by reading our full Home Trust Visa Preferred card review and our Rogers Platinum Mastercard review.
The BMO Cash Back Mastercard you have could be replaced with a better credit card, or complemented with something that covers you better during your trips. Of the credit cards we’re familiar with that have the best medical coverage for retirement-age people, we’d recommend the Scotiabank Gold American Express. It has 10 consecutive days of travel medical coverage for people age 65 and over, or 25 consecutive days for people under 65. It also comes with great coverage for trip cancellations and interruptions, your rental car, and travel accidents. Its annual fee is relatively low at $99 and during the first year the 15,000-point bonus more than makes up for this fee. You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express card review.
We also have this handy chart to compare the best travel insurance benefits (below). Check it out and let us know if you want a more detailed explanation. We’re here and happy to help!
Hi Greedy Rates,
We are a family of 5 (three little ones) and would like to get a VISA that has flexible travel benefits. We would like to have a VISA that we can easily redeem points towards any type of travel, flights, hotels, rental cars. What type of Travel Visa do you recommend? We are looking at the ScotiaGold Passport as well as the TD First Class Travel Infinite Visa.
Hi Nicole! We appreciate that you’ve come to us for card recommendations for you and your family. From what we can tell, you’ve already narrowed it down to two suitable cards, especially the TD First Class Travel Infinite Visa. This card has one of the best earn rates in the market, and allows you to earn even more when booking through Expedia–one of the world’s biggest booking sites. The points are redeemable on a range of travel expenses, as you prefer, like rental cars, hotels, and of course airfare. Plus, you and your family will appreciate the card’s comprehensive travel insurance benefits. You can learn more about that card by reading our complete TD First Class Visa Infinite card review.
The ScotiaGold Passport Visa is pretty similar, with the main difference being that you’ll have to book travel through the Scotia Rewards Travel service. In the end, it’s a subjective decision, but we recommend you make your choice based on the difference in selection between the two booking services, and the introductory bonuses (50,000 TD points vs. 5,000 Scotia points).
To help you out a bit, know that when redeeming for travel, 250 TD points is worth around $1.00 and 1 Scotia point is worth about $0.01 (taken from our Loyalty Program Bible). Accordingly, if you can meet the spending requirements, you’re looking at the equivalent of $200 vs. $50, putting the TD card ahead of Scotiabank’s. Best of luck and safe travels!
Hi Greedy Rates!
I don’t currently have a points card and am really interested in getting one. I’m looking for something that would be flexible to use with any airline. I’m from a smaller city in Ontario and tend to use air Canada, westjet, and porter. I’m currently looking at doing over sea travel as well hopefully once a year. I would love a card I could get points on every day purchases (groceries, gas, etc)- I don’t usully use my visa but would start using it to get points! Any recommendations or help would be greatly appreciated ! Thanks!
Hi Kaitlyn! Thanks for thinking of us. We’re happy to help you find a great Visa card that earns flexible travel points. If you’re spending a lot on gas and groceries, you might appreciate the TD First Class Visa Infinite Privilege card, which gives an impressive 3 TD points per dollar for all purchases. You can redeem your points on all travel-related expenses, but will earn triple for booking on TD’s partnership site with Expedia. If you don’t feel like travelling, you can also redeem the points for cash back against your balance. If you want to learn more in-depth details about the card you can check out our full TD First Class Visa Infinite Privilege card review.
Another credit card option, though it isn’t a Visa, is the Scotia Gold Amex. It’s even more flexible than the TD card, in that you can literally book any travel arrangements, from whatever site or service you wish, and pay for it retroactively with points. However, as it’s an Amex, it likely won’t collect the points as fast. Both cards have reasonable travel insurance benefits, but ultimately, it’s up to you. You can learn more about the Scotia card by reading our full Scotiabank Gold American Express card review.
Best of luck!
Hi there thank you for the great Info! I have never had a travel rewards credit card and have a few questions. I have a family of 4 (2 small kids) don’t travel much but would like to start. We are planning a Disney trip for next fall and I’d like to accumulate as many points as possible. I spend approx. $1400-1500/ month on groceries and gas and shop at Costco every couple months($200-$300) ….my daughter’s school ($10,000/yr) is now accepting credit card (with a 1% charge) what would be the best card for my family?
Hey Patricia! We appreciate you being so thorough with your requirements–this will help us find the card that’s best for you! First off, if you shop at Costco, we already know that a Mastercard will suit you best. Second, you want a card that earns you travel points on a variety of expenses, including but not limited to gas and groceries but also your daughter’s school tuition. In this case, we have a recommendation: the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard.
You can use it at Costco, and it doesn’t restrict your rewards-eligible purchases to any single category. After the 3,000-mile welcome bonus, you get 1 Air Mile for every $10.00 you spend anywhere. Also–and this is perfect for your dream Disney vacation–you’ll get 15.00% off Air Miles flights within North America when using the card. You can protect your family with great travel medical insurance, and even get access to VIP airport lounges!
You can learn more about that card by reading our complete BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard review. Check it out and let us know what you think. We can make other suggestions as well. Thanks!
Hi Greedy Rates
I am in Canada and our household make about 120,000. We currently have a MBNA Alaska airlines card and am not finding as flexible as we would like…..ie car rentals, hotels and perks all around. I really like the AMEX that you have listed however not may place accept it due to its fees so not much use having something you cant use or is it?
I would like something that is flexible, gets the most points/rewards and has great perks for our family so we can get the best bang for our buck!
Hey Robyn! Thanks for being a loyal reader! If you don’t like the Alaska Airlines card and have a healthy annual income, you’ll be eligible for the best rewards cards that Canadian banks have to offer. It just depends on whether you want cash back or travel perks, like air miles or free checked bags. With a large family comes large expenses in a variety of categories, and if this applies to you then we highly suggest the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card. This’ll get you an initial cash back rate of 6.00% on your purchases (up to a limit of $3,500 spent) in the first three months, and then an impressive 3.00% on gas and groceries after, a full annual fee rebate, 1.00% on everything else, and useful travel perks like roadside assistance and medical insurance. It’s a good card to carry alongside a more robust travel card like the Scotia Gold Amex (which you mentioned in your comment).
Scotia’s Amex isn’t usable everywhere, as most Amex cards encounter a bit of trouble in this respect, but what it lacks in fungibility it makes up for in flexibility. You can literally charge any travel expense to the card and pay for it with the points you’ve collected. These two cards are very powerful when combined in the same wallet and used purposefully. This is likely the greatest “bang for your buck”.
You can learn more about these two cards by reading our complete TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card review and our Scotiabank Gold American Express card review.
The best way to figure out the best value received for your money spent is by indicating the percentage that would go towards travel…not points! Every card’s points are different values! The TD First Class Travel Visa gains 1.5% in travel cash on every dollar spent And 4.5% on travel purchases. Points mean nothing to me if I don’t know what their value is!
Hi Wanda! Thanks for your comment. You’re correct: the value of many rewards programs’ points differ slightly, meaning that it’s more accurate to compare them according to their real-world value in CAD. If you want an easier way to contrast the most popular loyalty/rewards programs’ points with one another, check out our handy Loyalty Program Bible in the link below:
between the visa infinite rbc and odisssey desjardin which one offers the best travel insurance ? I do 3 to 4 travels a year. 2 of them with my family.
Is rbc infinite Avion insurance free or do we have to pay extra for it ? Thanks
Hi Mike, thanks for the interesting question. Travel insurance is largely subjective when it comes to which perks are best. For a family like yours, we imagine that no one in your group is over age 65, so the RBC card is likely better. We generally recommend the Desjardins card for its coverage of older travelers, while the RBC card only covers those 65 and older for 3 days, though there is no maximum payout (like with the Desjardins’ $5 million maximum). There are other slight differences, mostly in the insurance payout for individuals or groups that are trying to use their trip cancellation and interruption benefits
You can compare and contrast the two cards (and many other travel cards) via our page about credit cards with travel insurance.
You can also read our complete RBC Visa Infinite Avion card review for further details.
Hello Greedy Rates, I,m a owner of the soon defunct Marriott Premier rewards card, I also own the TD first class travel Visa infinite, Home Trust preferred Visa . The Marriott was my primary card and now i’m looking at filling this void. Since I collect air miles I’m contemplating the BMO air miles world elite. The Starwood American express preferred guest has a great offer for Marriott users and the American express platinum card is appealing for their unlimited lounge access pass. Which card would you recommend from the above mentioned or another not listed ?
Hi Dan, thanks for the great question! We’re also disappointed about the upcoming cancellation of all Chase Marriott cards, but thankfully you’ve already identified the best replacement for it: the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex. The card, as you mention, delivers excellent value for those who enjoyed the Marriott card, and grants lots of luxury hotel perks. It also allows you to transfer your rewards points to other programs and even airlines. Of the three cards you mention, this is likeliest to fill the void left by Chase Canada. You can read more details via our full Starwood Preferred Guest Card review.
Hi GreedyRates, I see that there are a lot of AMEX cards on this post. While they may give good rewards, have you considered that many places do not accept AMEX? Canada is a country with a lot of small businesses, and many of those businesses refuse to accept AMEX due to its high merchant fees. There’s no point of holding a card with an amazing reward system when you can’t use it at half of the places you go. I believe that should be a factor you should consider when compiling your list. If AMEX is indeed the best in class, a non-AMEX alternative should always be presented for those who often spend at businesses that do not accept them.
Hi Kooritsuki! Thanks for stopping by with your comment. We totally understand your frustration, and agree that Amex isn’t the most supported method of payment in Canada. However, it has more than enough support to make any of the cards on this list worthwhile. Additionally, there are some great options on the list that aren’t Amex, such as the BMO World Elite Mastercard and the Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold card.
Keep in mind that while Amex isn’t universally accepted everywhere, most people tend to carry one because of what you mentioned–the amazing rewards and perks. The pros and cons tend to balance themselves out in this regard, however, you should always pick the card that’s best for you. Good luck!
which Visa based credit cards don’t charge foreign currency fees?
Hi Ralph, thanks for coming to us with your question. If you’re looking for a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and is also a Visa, there’s only one option in Canada: the Home Trust Preferred Visa. To learn more about the card you can check out our full Home Trust Preferred Visa review.
Can you provide comments between RBC Visa Infinite Avion vs RBC Westjet World Elite MasterCard? We are thinking about replacing our CIBC AeroGold Visa, and would like to move to an RBC card. We have a family of four, if that helps with the consideration.
How do the welcome points/miles/dollars compare, and how do they accumulate? Other considerations are ease of booking, blackouts, availability of flights, etc. For example, do you have to use RBC’s booking service or book directly through Westjet?
Thank you for the great questions Kevin! Both cards are excellent options for your family, but let’s break them down a little further and see how they help you and your family. One nice perk the RBC World Elite MasterCard offers is a free first checked bag for you and up to 8 travelling companions, which can give you excellent savings. Both cards offer no blackouts or seat restrictions when booking, even during seasonal peaks. The RBC WestJet World Elite card gives you 1.5% in WestJet dollars for everyday purchases, and 2.0% WestJet dollars when you purchase flights or packages through WestJet. The Infite Avion card gives you 1 RBC Rewards point for every $1 you spend, plus an extra 25.0% on eligible travel-related expenses. One benefit the Infinite Avion Card holds over the WestJet World Elite card is a welcome bonus of 15,000 points, while the latter gives you 250 WestJet dollars as a welcome bonus. You can book travel with both through their portals, which offer a great variety of flights and no restrictions on any travle plans. The WestJet World Elite can be used to book travel through WestJet’s portal, while the Infinite Avion offers its own travel site, powered by Orbitz. At the end of the day, they are both great cards, although the welcome bonuses may better for Infinite. Let us know which card you choose!
Dear greedy rates team, you are the best!
Just a quick question – you recommend world elite credit cards at a drop of a hat, I wonder how many people have that high income of 80,000$ annually in Canada? I love those cards but will take a long time to make that much money a year.
Hey Kevin! Thanks for your shoutout – we love to help! And good observation, we certainly do recommend the World Elite line of credit cards for the serious traveler. The websites indeed display an annual income requirement of $80,000, which is high for sure, but within the realm of possibility for many Canadians. Please note that many banks use the “minimum” income requirement as more of a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. We’ve seen people turned down for being short of the $80,000, but also those who were accepted despite. It really boils down to the fact that banks look at every applicant on a case-by-case basis. If you’re close and have good credit, you may have a shot.
Just know that banks have these standards for a reason – the cards with high minimum income requirements generally have the best rewards, and will help someone of that income level to save thousands each year. But they also require cardholders to be financially responsible: another reason to raise the bar a bit. Thanks for your great question! Let us know if we can help in another way.
Meridian Visa infinite cash back, i believe, covers best is a clone of Scotia momentum visa Infinite and Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold. One can get excellent insurance coverage plus cash back for Gas , Groceries(4%), Pharmacy & utility bills(2%) and 1% on other categories. Plus as of now, first year annual fee is waived. Not sure whetehr it is offered outside of Ontario. However, Ontario residents can benefit out of it
Hey R, thanks for your comment! We’re glad that you’re doing thorough research on which card is best for your needs, and agree that the Meridian card you’re looking at is a good one. That’s about all we can say at the moment, however. We’re currently in the process of reviewing the card in greater depth, and are in talks with Meridian in order to determine if their products are right for our readers. We should have our conclusions published as soon as we can! Never be afraid to ask about cards that don’t appear on GreedyRates! Thanks again.
Not sure why the Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold wins Best Insurance Travel Credit Card In Canada. Have a look at the Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard. Not only will you double all of your bonusdollars earnings after 20k in spending (2%), also the insurance coverage seems slightly better than the Visa. Also, Desjardins members get an additional 0.25% in bonusdollars at the end of the year if they kept their account in good standing. Can’t resist 2.25%. I’ve done the math to compare it to other cards and nothing beats this bonus program. Earlier this summer I put over 900$ to a plane ticket.
Also, I can use this card at Costco.
This is my full-time card in Canada.
Next to it, I have the Marriott Chase Visa for all Marriott-related expenses (bouncing between Gold and Platinum Elite) and for any foreign transaction (because low points, but no foreign transaction fees is still a whole lot more gain than a 2.5% transaction fee (which is always more expensive than any points you’re getting).
These two form the dream team in my wallet.
Whoops, I meant 2.4% instead of 2.25% for Desjardins members. (“20% more BONUSDOLLARS on BONUSDOLLARS accumulated annually”)
Hey again Yogi! Thanks for clearing that up!
Hey Yogi! Thanks for commenting. We love hearing savvy card-user feedback on our website, and think you definitely have the right idea. We can’t argue with you about the benefits of the cards you mentioned, and it’s true: as a pair, there are few stronger than the Desjardins World Elite and the Marriott Rewards cards. Remember to take our “best of” picks with a grain of salt, because the “best” card for any person is a completely subjective matter. For most people, the other Desjardins card is better/more accessible due to its lower requirements on income and credit. We’re really glad to see loyal readers like you participate in the discussion – keep it coming! Thanks again.
I’m sure that for a good number of Canadians the eligibility requirements for the Desjardins World Elite MasterCard look steep (let’s face it: it’s the income requirements), but if you already have an impeccable credit history with Desjardins, you can simply negociate to get it anyway. I don’t make the income required, but simply convinced the rep to give me the benefit of the doubt based on my long history as a member and client of their institution with multiple credit products.
I was wondering, I currently have the RBC Infinite Avion and was looking to change my credit card to a master card provider.
I shop at Costco and would like to take advantage of my purchases there, which master card credit card for travel would you recommend?
I was looking into the BMO World Elite Mastercard and the Capital One Aspire Master Card, which one of the two would you recommend. I spend well over 20k a year on my credit card purchases
Hey Yimin, thanks for your question. If you shop at Costco, there are a couple great travel rewards cards that we can suggest. The first is the BMO World Elite Mastercard, which offers a great rate of rewards accrual on this type of spending. You’ll get 2 BMO rewards points for every dollar spent at Costco, plus 4 free passes to airport lounges around the world and a slew of other useful travel features like medical insurance.
Another recommendation is the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard, which has a long list of benefits to match its long name. Another World Elite card, this one brings great value to your travels with a unique perk that gives free Boingo Wi-Fi in locations all around the world. More relevant to your needs, however, is the cash back. Shoppers like you will receive a generous 1.75% cash back for the first 6 months, 1.50% after that, and then 1.00% once you’ve spent more than $25,000. This resets annually, allowing fast accrual of cash each year. Thanks for leaving your comment and good luck!
I was wondering, I currently have the RBC Infinite Avion and was looking to change my credit card to a master card provider.
I shop at Costco and would like to take advantage of my purchases there, which master card credit card for travel would you recommend?
I was looking into the BMO World Elite Mastercard and the Capital One Aspire Master Card, which one of the two would you recommend. I spend well over 20k a year on my credit card purchases
Hey Yimin, thanks for your great inquiry.
If you want a Mastercard and shop often at Costco, you had the right idea with the BMO World Elite card. Primarily, the card earns a whopping 2% points for all Costco purchases – which is double the rate of Costco’s own rewards card. Its signup bonus is also 20,000 points, a generous amount that should contribute much to your next vacation or business trip. At the rate you spend, you’re looking at hundreds of dollars in savings over the year. There are some auxiliary perks as well, such as exemption from the first year’s annual fee, 4 free VIP airport lounge vouchers and thorough travel insurance benefits. Try it out and let us know what you think!
The Capital One card might be good, but we’ve never done a thorough review. Until that day arrives, we can only recommend the former card. If you determine during the course of your own research that it is more suitable, please let us know. Ultimately, we want cardholders to go with what’s best for their unique situation.
I currently have a cibc gold card which is no longer offered. It has a $99 yearly fee. I’m thinking of getting a amex gold rewards instead. How does the 2 cards compare? do you think the Amex is the better way to go? any benefit of keeping the Gold visa card?
Thanks for showing your appreciation for GreedyRates! We’re happy to serve. Regarding your question about these two cards, here are some details – and you can come to your own conclusion.
First, the highlights of the CIBC Gold card that you have are: the ability to earn points on everyday purchases, purchase protection, travel insurance, and access to a catalogue where you can redeem your rewards.
On the other hand, the Amex Gold Rewards card also allows users to earn on their daily expenses, enjoy travel insurance, and protect their purchases. The differences are subtle but important: while you would otherwise redeem your points in a catalogue, Amex allows you to incur any travel-related expense and then use your points to pay for it proactively. This lessens any restrictions that the catalogue might have when it comes to airlines, destinations, hotels, etc. Additionally, for those with Aeroplan or other flight rewards programs, it’s important to note that points can be transferred to these plans at a 1:1 ratio.
In our humble opinion, the Amex (and its impressive introductory bonus) makes a strong case for getting rid of the old CIBC card.
We hope that helps,
The Rogers Platinum mastercard now has an annual fee of 29$ with first year waived.
love this website.
what would be the best card for someone who does not have a car and car insurance but likes to rent cars and want to avoid getting the car rental insurance?
Thanks for your appreciation, we’re always glad when good feedback comes our way from loyal readers like yourself.
In regards to your question about a card suitable for someone without a car, but who wants rental car insurance – we have a great solution. While many cards these days provide protection for one’s rental car, especially those that primarily grant travel rewards, the Scotiabank GM VISA Infinite has the same perk but will also allow you to save up for a car of your own.
It quickly accrues GM Earnings at a rate of 5% up to $10,000 annually, and 2% after, and these points each represent $1 off the sticker price or down payment on a new GM car, such as a Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet or Buick. The points can be saved for years and will never expire, so you can eventually accrue enough for a significant discount when the time comes that you need transportation. If this is something you’re absolutely not interested in, check out the Scotiabank Gold American Express card – which has a plethora of great travel rewards, plus the rental protection you seek.
We hope that helps,
Just to update you and anyone who’s click on your site and considers the facts and evaluation you present as “gospel”
As far as travel rewards cards the information is misleading and misinformed. You have rated BMO Elite as the top “Book Anything, Anytime, Anywhere” Travel Credit Card Winner. At the very least this is ill informed, and worst
misrepresenting this product.
If you are a bargain traveller like many, who see a great air fare and want to book it before it vanishes then BMO Elite is an impediment. Or you might see that an airline is offering a deal online, that is only available “online” not to travel agents, which is ostensibly what BMO rewards is trying to be. In these situations a true “book anything, anywhere” card allows you to purchase the ticket directly and apply your points, without going to a third party.
I have been a BMO Elite card holder for at least five years and my recent experience with them was hardly book anything, anywhere!
For consumers evaluating this product you should be “buyer beware” that you must book your travel through BMO Rewards Online. What that means is that if you are surfing the net and find that great deal to Paris, let’s say… you then have to log on the BMO rewards and hope their search engine has the same offer. If it doesn’t then you have to talk to one of their agents, who may or may not be able to match it. If they are able to match it they will then charge you a approx $29 booking fee more per ticket? This is hardly “book anything, anywhere!”
I recently found a business fare from YVR to Mumbai that was at least $500 lower than what BMO Rewards could offer. I had to complain to customer service (which is at arm’s length from BMO Rewards.) They allowed me to book the fare with the online supplier with the understanding that this was a “one time” courtesy, and I could never do this again. Thank you very much BMO Rewards. They still charged me the $29 booking fee BTW.
I have also just recently been made aware that BMO, in addition to charging the $150 annual card fee has now slipped in $50 fee for a secondary card holder. Just the kind of thing you expect a greedy bank to do. With no justification or apology, I might add.
So what are the best travel cards? The MBNA card is a good choice, but they only have consumer protection, and nothing for trip cancellation and medical. The only insurance coverage they provide is for rental cars. Also you may find their credit limit impractically low $9000 (unless you prepared to pay down your balance, in advance of charging that big home reno or vacation)
In my opinion, if you look beyond the somewhat uninspiring sign up bonuses, Capital One actually delivers on the “book anytime, anywhere” concept. My wife signed up for this card at the same time I signed up for BMO World Elite. You can guess which card we will be cancelling before the annual fee date.
Thanks for your thorough feedback. We truly appreciate that you took the time to inform other readers of your perspective, and highly value those who challenge our credit card ratings. We never see our advice or recommendations as gospel – which is why the comments section exists.
We’ve rated the BMO World Elite card as one of the best travel credit cards because of its impressive array of travel insurance, above all other considerations, as this is usually what potential cardholders desire most. It also has a strong rewards system and other benefits as well, like the annual fee waiver they introduced last week.
To us, the phrase “book anytime, anywhere” simply means that no matter the cardholder’s location or when they book travel, they get access to a wide array of options that will fit whatever plans they have in mind. It does not mean that one can use their rewards points on any travel agency site or booking tool. Unfortunately, it’s just not feasible to be able to spend BMO rewards points across the entire internet’s array of travel booking websites, but be assured that the BMO travel center is quite robust in its selection. The advantage of paying for a trip with points usually means people are more flexible in their travel plans.
We appreciate your recommendation of the Capital One line of cards, and we are looking forward to being able to review these cards but cannot do so just yet. Check back with us soon however, and please feel free to leave more feedback at Greedyrates. We love it!
Hi guys – love the site!
Two questions about the BMO World Elite Mastercard. I previously had this card and had to make travel purchases through their online travel site, but I see you’ve classified it as “book anytime, anywhere”. Can you now purchase directly from travel providers and apply points to these purchases?
Secondly, you have mentioned it as providing 4 companion lounge passes – reading on their site, the card provides you with a membership and 4 visits. I think its important to note that the cardholder has to use these coupons – visits are not free with this membership level in Priority Pass.
(Your 2nd paragraph also starts talking about the MBNA card – not sure if that’s supposed to read “BMO” instead??)
Anyways sorry if I’m being a nag, just looking for some clarification. Love your site and keep up the good work!
Hey Sean, thanks for being a loyal reader!
We always appreciate when we hear praise for GreedyRates, and will try to answer your questions as best we can. First off, to address the language “anytime, anywhere” – this just means that no matter when the cardholder books their travel or where they are, it is always easy to make the exact reservations they desire. This does not mean that travel can be booked from any website or agency, but instead refers to the cardholder’s location. This is because the useful BMO online travel center is effortlessly accessible on mobile devices and PCs, so those with urgent needs can set concrete plans without restrictions. It’s similar to booking through Expedia or Travelocity.
Also, about the specific rules regarding cardholders’ Priority Pass to the airport lounge – you are correct. The Priority Pass itself simply grants membership into the program, which in turn grants access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world. Without this priority status, many airport lounges would otherwise turn you away or require you to pay above normal price for entry. This is why the Priority Pass has a value of around $100, and the four free VIP passes just sweeten the deal. They provide free access and VIP status at any of the same lounges, and considering that four are provided each year, only the most frequent travelers will end up paying for lounge entry.
Thanks for your feedback – we always love when readers come back and discuss their favourite cards with us!
I do alot of international travel, including to the US. I currently have a BMO World Elite mastercard, and there are some nice perks with the card. I was looking at the Rogers Mastercard for making purchases while I travel, instead of using the BMO (with the 2.5% fee) or withdrawing cash from a local atm. Would you recommend this? Would I see a larger benefit in making foreign purchases with this card? Can I apply my cashback rewards to the balance on the bill?
I was also looking at getting an AMEX card for the travel perks like lounge access and priority boarding/screening. Any recommendations or other cards that outperfom AMEX?
Thanks for asking us about the Rogers Mastercard. It seems like you’ve done your research, and we agree with the conclusion you’ve drawn. The Rogers card is ideal for saving money on foreign transaction fees, most of which are charges of 2.5% or more from the issuer. We can wholeheartedly recommend this card for that purpose, as well as for the other benefits it imparts like the extra 1.5% cash back you will earn on these purchases.
You should know that it does not cancel the extra fees, it just rewards 4% for each of them (designed to offset the 2.5% and add extra on top). It also offers a reasonable 1.75% cash back on all purchases and a generous welcome bonus.
To address whether or not you can use the cash back to pay a statement, we assure you that you can absolutely redeem it against your bill. We see that you’re also considering an Amex for its premium travel perks. Concerning this, we say that the Amex is suitable, but the best rewards (like lounge access) come with the Platinum versions of the card.
For travel, there are few cards that outperform Amex, but one you might want to look into is the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa. This one is similar to the Rogers card in that it erases the impact of foreign transaction fees, but instead of offering cash back bonuses, it gives hotel-related rewards and free nights at Marriott.
We hope that helps,
Love your website!
With the Air Canada dropping aeroplan in 2020, where does that put the Aeroplan-based credit cards? Would it be worth getting one still, or one closely associated with aeroplan?
Hey Lindsey, what an educated inquiry. You clearly have done your research, and are asking the pertinent questions that any concerned cardholder needs to know – so we thank you.
Indeed, Aeroplan and Air Canada are parting ways, and in anticipation of this the promotions provided by these cards (such as the TD Aeroplan and American Express Aeroplan series) are becoming less and less valuable. You can read a more detailed article on this unfortunate breakup here for alternatives
It may still be worth getting one, but if it’s a card that you plan on keeping past 2020, it is worthwhile to explore other options. We recommend the BMO World Elite card for an immediate signup bonus of 20,000 travel points and an annual fee waiver for your 1st year with them (that’s $350 in travel reward!), if you’d prefer using Canadian airlines.
Thanks again for reading!
EXCELLENT information. Thank you. Wondering what would be the best card for me. I would like to travel either USA, Canada or Europe (that’s in a few years to Europe). I currently have a CIBC visa select. 19.9% interest and about $40 annual fee with no perks at all.
I’m single so my monthly expenses aren’t a lot compared to a family of say 4 so which card would earn me travel points quicker than someone who purchases a lot?? Annual fees? Best coverage on luggage, delayed flights seeing as I would be traveling alone??
Thanks for these great questions, and for your appreciation of GreedyRates 🙂 It’s always good to get feedback on our services.
Please excuse our delayed reply, as we were doing a lot of research in the past few weeks for new summer offers, and looking for the best deals to try out and write about (with a long Canada Day weekend to top).
To address your need for a great travel companion card, we will first recommend (given your circumstances) that you check out the American Express Gold Rewards card. This one is full of bonuses and works very well abroad, in that travel-related purchases can be paid with Rewards points and also accrue them at an advanced rate. It also awards an enormous bonus of 25,000 points for spending $1,500 in the first three months, which represents a significant reduction of the cost of your next flight.
Speaking of flights, all rewards earned with the AmEx gold (2 points per $1 on everyday expenses) can be transferred to Aeroplan Points 1:1 and used to fly anywhere.
Another suggestion that we have for you is the Scotiabank Amex gold card. This one fulfills the travel protection requirements you have, including travel medical, flight delay and baggage insurance (among others), plus it offers a 30,000-point initial bonus. It’s also unique in that one can purchase travel-related expenses and then pay for them with the very same points accrued.
Lastly, check out the Rogers Mastercard, which offers a plethora of bonuses and the crucial ability to save money on foreign transaction fees. These fees will add up while you make purchases during your travels, and it’s so useful to avoid them. Overall, the choice is up to you, but these three offer you the best benefits.
We hope you have a pleasant journey!
Do you have any information on the new More Rewards visa card offered at Petro Canada?
Thanks for coming to us with your inquiries about this card. We have not done enough research on the card to recommend it with confidence, but from first glance it looks alright.
Just from what we know about it via the MoreRewards.ca website, the card earns Petro Points (which can be spent on gas) at convenience stores, and More Rewards points when filling up your tank (which are used in the store).
It seems like a unique combination for those who like to shop and fill up at the pump when they go to their favourite gas station. Other than that, only you can decide if the card is right for you.
Remember to keep in mind that GreedyRates has many comparable cards that you can check out which we already thoroughly researched. Good luck!
I currently have a Rogers MasterCard that I don’t pay the annual fee for because I pay my Rogers bill with it. I use this card when I am making online purchases in USD and when I travel. I was thinking of applying for an additional card for when I am traveling. Points cards that I currently have (not connected to a credit card) are Marriott Rewards (and I think SPG too), Aeroplan, and Air Miles. I only fly and/or rent a car once or twice a year. I make an annual trip to Toronto with my family and we always stay at the Marriott at the Rogers Centre. I have emergency travel insurance coverage through work benefits, but no trip interruption coverage.
I am planning a trip to Costa Rica and was wondering what you recommend for an additional card. I am trying to get as much “bang for my buck” as I am on a tight budget.
Hey Linda, thanks for your great questions.
We understand that you want another card to use abroad, and that you currently have the Rogers MasterCard as well as membership to a few great rewards programs. We’d like to recommend you a card that fits in well with these programs, specifically, Aeroplan or Air Miles. There are some cards out there with big introductory bonuses, and these may be able to save you some of the cost of your trip.
You also mentioned that you have no trip interruption insurance, so the first card we recommend checking out is the TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa, which grants up to 30,000 Aeroplan miles to new members. You can also pay a small fee for the privilege of trip interription coverage with this card. However, there are few benefits for using it abroad, as all purchases will still incur a foreign transaction fee. You already have the Rogers Mastercard, so for expenses in Costa Rica, use this one instead.
Our other suggestion is the Chase Marriott Rewards Visa, since you already have a Marriott Rewards account, and most likely some points as well. You can earn more points with this card, and it also rewards a free one-night stay each year (even to five star hotels). You can use it alongside the Rogers Mastercard while in Costa Rica and enjoy freedom from foreign transaction fees as well.
We hope that helps,
First off, thanks for all the info on your site. Secondly, I currently have a CIBC Aventura World Mastercard (which is not offered anymore) and I have a Marriott Rewards Visa for the no conversion fee when I travel. My question is, should I keep my CIBC MC or would it be better to switch to the Amex rewards card. I want the option to use my points for business class seats/upgrades and not just free economy flights. I like that the CIBC MC has all of these insurances where other cards don’t : trip interruption and cancellation, flight delay, baggage insurance, car rental and medical. Which card would you suggest?
Hey M, thanks for the comments and your inquiry.
You had the right idea when you chose those two cards! Together, they are a powerful pair for any traveler, however, your notion that the Amex rewards card may be better was correct. While you earn 1.5 Aventura points per dollar spent with your current card, there are a more limited number of things you can do with these points. The American Express Gold Rewards card offers an immediate bonus of 25,000 points, which are transferable 1:1 with Aeroplan miles. The difference is that these points accrue and are redeemable on all travel expenses (including the business class seats you said you’d like).
You also have emergency travel medical insurance, trip interruption insurance, car rental and damage insurance, and lost or stolen baggage insurance with the Amex. While the card is definitely more flexible and useful for your purposes than the CIBC card, note that cancelling and applying for a new card has a chance to affect your credit score slightly. Good luck!
I currently have an SPG Amex. Thinking of getting a second card to keep work and personal expenses separate (my company doesn’t have a corp card). Surprised to see Marriott beat out Starwood. Why is that?
Also, would I be able to receive new card bonuses if i’m already an existing cutomer (i.e. is it one and done?)? Am i better off getting the Marriott card. I am a platinum starwood member.
We ranked the Marriott Rewards Premier Card so highly for a few reasons.
First, your 30,000 initial points can be activated with any purchase, even one for a few dollars, and requires no minimum spend to activate.
Additionally, your Marriott Rewards card gives you a free night at a category 1-5 hotel once a year for the anniversary of your sign up, and does not charge any foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside of Canada. We also liked the variety of hotels Marriott works with.
The best part is that if you already have a Starwood Preferred Guest account, you can now transfer points between that and a Marriott account by linking your memberships.
If you already have a Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Card, complementing that with a Marriott Rewards Credit Card can give you an EXTRA 30,000 points, which is the equivalent of 5 free nights at a category 1-5 hotel. For now, you do not have to worry about receiving bonuses, as Marriott has announced they plan to keep their rewards and the Starwood Preferred Guest rewards separate for a few more years.
Hope that helps!
Thank you for your in depth research on this topic. I have a Amex Gold and TD Aeroplan Visa. I am coming up to a one year on both of them. I also have a MBNA Cash Back Card that I have not used since acquiring the Travel cards.
I was thinking of ditching either the AMEX or Visa. I would hate to annual fees on both. Most of my spending is gas, groceries and entertainment. Which card(s) do you recommend cancelling? Perhaps adding the Amex Scotia Gold?
Any help is appreciated
In your case, since the majority of your spend is in gas, groceries and entertainment, we’d recommend the following:
1. Cancel the Amex Gold and TD Aeroplan cards to avoid the annual fees
2. Get the Scotia Gold Amex card, because it currently has a great welcome bonus ($250 welcome bonus and no fee first year – free money) and it gives you a 4% earn rate on gas, groceries and entertainment (your sweetspot) – the highest in Canada in those categories.
3. You can also consider getting another TD Aeroplan Infinite card, for its welcome bonus of up to 30K miles and no fee in the first year – as long as you applied for your previous TD Aeroplan card more than 6 months ago.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for all the great information. So hard to make a decision!
We bank with Scotia and have the AMEX gold card but would like to replace it with something that isn’t american express as we find not as many places accept this card anymore.
I am debating between the MBNA World Elite and the TD Aeroplane Visa Infinite. Thoughts? We usually just travel once a year (we will be traveling to the U.S. this summer and I’m worried that you can only book with Air Canada flights with the TD points. I’m looking to get the best startup points that will be useful as well as good points value once we begin using the card. We do already have a Visa with Scotia with no yearly fees so part of me felt like a master card would be nice? I’d like the card to cover travel insurance.
Thanks so much!
That’s a good question! Both MBNA and TD offer great benefits to travelers searching for rebates and rewards on their next holiday, but at the end of the day it all comes down to which card saves you the most money.
Let’s have a look at what they offer and, hopefully, make your decision a little easier:
The TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa offers a welcome bonus of up to 30,000 Aeroplan travel miles – that’s the equivalent of $420 – and in addition, your first year with them is free of annual fee, which saves you another $120. That’s a total of $540 you get to use on traveling to the U.S. just by applying for a credit card!
The MBNA World Elite Mastercard, on the other hand, offers a greater range of rewards on top of travel expenses with a 2% Cash Back reward on all spend. You get 10,000 bonus points upon signing up (the equivalent of $100), and earn 2 MBNA reward points for every $1 in eligible purchases which you can then redeem for cashback, travel, brand-name merchandise and gift cards from top retailers.
Bottom line, although the MBNA World Elite card will grant you a wider range of rewards, the TD Aeroplan credit card can reward you with up to $540 in travel expenses, which sounds like the perfect fit for your holiday plans. Both cards cover travel insurance, by the way.
Hope that helps!
How can you get $420 with the Aeroplan rewards?
I am exactly on this level now – have 30,000 aeroplan miles (not linked to any credit card, but the aeroplan card itself), and the best of reward I can get is a gift card of $250.
I’ve looked at all options and that’s the maximum I can get from my points.
I am also searching for a good credit card now but the aeroplan rewards are the last thing I would consider given the circumstances mentioned above.
Do you have any other observations?
Great comments and questions – keep them coming!
Regarding your observation about the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card: we’re sorry for the confusion, and it likely came from how we described the total value that one can receive as a TD cardholder. When calculating the net value delivered by this card, we included the money saved from the annual fee. Cardholders are exempt from paying this in the first year, putting an extra $120 in their pockets.
Additionally, we calculated the dollar value of 30,000 Aeroplan points as the equivalent of $300. These together make $420, but we were disappointed to hear that the rewards available to you only reach a value of $250. We apologize and will fully incorporate your feedback and experience in our future reviews of the card.
Your other inquiry about a second credit card is easily answerable! We’re happy to report that there are a wide selection of rewards cards available, but which one suits you best depends on the type of rewards you’d like to receive. If you’re not a fan of mileage cards, we suggest you go for the NEW SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express, which offers you a powerful cash back bonus of 5% on ALL purchases in the first 6 months (up to $300 cashback)! With this card you can choose exactly how you want to spend your cash returned from purchases.
We hope that helps,
First of all, thank you for breaking it down so that I don’t have to!
But I’m a bit confused about the MBNA Rewards Elite vs the CapitalOne Aspire. The information that I’ve seen on the Aspire card says that it gets 2 points per net dollar spent. The MBNA card states that it’s 2 points per dollar on eligible purchases, which I assumed was the weaker language. When I asked their customer service about this they said it didn’t include lottery, casino chips and cash advances.
Even with the high yearly fee, if I followed your motto of going where the points are, wouldn’t you think a 40000 points bonus would make the most sense? Or is that only because I easily spend the $1000 minimum?
I do like your breakdown of being able to put the points onto any purchase for the MBNA card. Does the aspire offer this or just shopping rewards?
First, we’re going to assume you’re referring to the CapOne Aspire Travel card, as opposed to the CapOne Aspire cash back card. If you’re strictly looking at the welcome bonus, the 40,000 sign-up bonus points are great, but you have to deduct the $150 welcome bonus – so the net is $250 – which then becomes similar to the many of the other promos with first year annual fee waivers on the market like the Scotia Amex Gold, Amex Gold Rewards, TD Aeroplan Infinite offers.
Second, MBNA and CapOne have all but them eligible purchases, so I would pay too much attention to the language in the marketing copy. CapOne’s language in its fine print reads “Reward miles are applied to total net purchases. That means any purchase that’s charged to your Capital One credit card minus credits or returns. Cash advances, balance transfers and access cheque transactions aren’t eligible for rewards.” We’d bet they’d exclude pretty similar purchases as well, because the credit card companies don’t earn interchange revenues on those same as cash transactions – so they can’t afford to pat rewards out on them.
Third, you do have to factor in the minimums, but if it’s not an issue, it’s not worth sweating over. That said, if you typically don;t spend $1,000 in a month, we wouldn’t suggest spending more than you usually do. That said, some people do “manufacture” spend to make their minimums. For example, they’ll buy a $500 gift card to their regular grocery store – then use it in the following months.
Fourth, with the MBNA card you can use your cash back against any purchase, or have it direct deposited into the checking of your choice at any Canadian bank. With the CapOne card, you can only apply your cash rewards against travel expenses.
Hope that helps!
The TD infinite Aeroplan promo is unfortunately no longer available since today. Just missed it. Any news if it will come back, or another Aeroplan similar promo in the works? I already have the Amex gold
The new TD Aeroplan Infinite offer is live and it’s better than the one that just expired! It’s now no fee first year, up to 30,000 miles (15K on activation, 10K open, active and in good standing first 90 days – no minimum spend required – plus another 5K if you add an authorized user).
You got lucky!
Any Aeroplan plan card is almost useless to redeem. I redeemed 50,000 points for flights to Toronto and had my choice of 2 departures, both with layovers and both a 12 hour trip from Vancouver. I switched to a TD Infinite Visa that you can use on Expedia just like redeeming for cash.
Can you let me know which card is better? TD First Class Visa Infinite card or Scotia Gold American Express Card? I currently have the CIBC aeroplan card but I find it very difficult to book flights with aeroplan points. If I want to fly business, I usually get business class for shorter flight but economy for longer flight and still get charged business class points. The direct flights are never available or they cost way too many points.
If you’re looking for complete flexibility and value, and the only two cards you’re willing to choose from are the TD First Class Visa Infinite card and the Scotia Gold Amex card, we’d say the following:
1. If the vast majority of your spend is in every day items like gas, groceries, restaurants and entertainment, then you’ll be happy with the Scotia Amex Gold card. At 4% rewards in those bonus categories (1% everywhere else) and the ability to redeem same as cash for any travel expense on your statement, it offers tremendous rewards earning power and rewards redemption flexibility. Scotia also has a great promo right now of a $250 welcome bonus with no annual fee in the first year – it’s virtually risk free to try.
2. However, if yht evast majority of your credit card spend is on travel, and you’re willing to book and redeem your travel through Expedia, TD First Class Visa is the card for you. It offers a 4.5% earn rate on travel – but only if you book your travel and redeem it through Expedia for TD. If you use your points for cash like redemptions as a statement credit, you’ll earn less than 1.5% per dollar spent, which is not good for a premium card.
Hope that helps,
I am a TD Visa Infinite Aeroplan holder and I subscribe to the opinion that you can do almost nothing with the aeroplan miles when it comes to buy plane tickets. You may redeem the aeroplan miles to gift cards (the best rate is 12000 points for 100$ Air Canada gift card, then you mai get 100$ gift card for Winners, Costco or Best buy for up to 14000 or 14500 points). We call this a TRAVEL credit card but when you try to buy Air Canada tickets with your miles, flights are not available or are to expensive. I found out that Visa Infinite TD First Class is better. You get 100$ for travel expenses for 20000 points. The lowest reward you may get is 3 points for a dollar, spent on everything (but you get 9 points when you pay plane tickets with Expedia TD). So you need to spend less than 7000$ to get 20000 points that gives you 100$ back for travel. This is 1.5% !! If is not use for travel expenses it goes like about 0.75%. But also you are not forced to buy tickets only from Expedia TD, you may use your points to buy elsewhere so it is better than…Air Canada. I would like to know why you consider Visa TD Infinite Aeroplan better than Visa Infinite TD First Class ?
Hi Liviu, thanks for your comment.
We were sorry to hear about your sour experience with the TD Visa Infinite Aeroplan card, but as far as we know and have experienced ourselves – you should be able to redeem your Aeroplan miles as long as you book your travel and redeem it through Expedia for TD.
Furthermore, we consider the TD Infinite Aeroplan card a favorable choice to the TD First Class Travel Visa because of the net annual reward factor: TD Aeroplan’s 30,000 signup bonus points and $120 waiver of 1st annual fee saves you up to $680 a year, whereas the 20,000 signup bonus points non-waived $120 annual fee with the TD First Class card saves you up to $178 a year. There are, of course, the perks that come along with a premium card like the TD First Class Visa (some of which you mentioned above), we just like rating cards based on savings (being GreedyRates and all :)).
Hope that helps,
Sorry to inform you but i just called Expedia and you can`t use Aeroplan points to pay for a travel tickets through any body including Air Canada.also I was going to use points to rent a car and because TD doesn`t recognize Aeoplan as a payment you still pay all taxes ( which is ok) and all INSURANCE which makes it cheaper in the long run to pay for the rental with your TD infinite with BCD and get more useless points. I have had Aeroplan through CIBC Then TD since 1988 and this card and points have become completely useless in the last couple of years. The fee no longer justifies this card. I can see that MBNA WILL BE MY CHOICE FROM NOW ON
I am having a tough time trying to decide on a new card.
I would like to save on travel expenses like medical, travel and auto insurance. On my trip to Ireland last year, the insurance on a car rental was more than the rental itself!!
Everyday spending to use towards travel or cash back with a no or low annual would be a plus.
Hi Kelly, sorry for the late reply.
We hear ya, nothing ruins a good vacation like having to pay extra for something you’re not even going to enjoy!
As a general rule, travel credit cards come with free car rental insurance (and others like medical, luggage lose etc.) included as a key benefit. Even if you don’t have a travel card, if you’re paying an annual fee, the credit card likely comes with car rental insurance.
Our advice here is to sign-up for the Amex Gold Rewards which allows you to redeem (use) your points against any travel expense on your credit card. So 10,000 points equals $100, which can be used as a travel credit. It gives both rewards flexibility and cash-like transparency. You’ll also get 25,000 bonus points on signing up + an annual fee waiver for the 1st year.
Furthermore, your bonus points can be converted 1-for-1 to Aeorplan miles FREE of charge!
Next you should sign-up for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card for $0 annual fee on your 1st year, and get ANOTHER 25,000 Aeroplan miles welcome bonus (and covers for travel insurances like auto rental collision & loss ) – so now you have 50,000 Aeroplan miles because the 25,000 bonus points from the Amex Gold Rewards card can be converted to Aeroplan miles and be combined with the 25,000 bonus miles from the TD Aeroplan card. Now you’ve earned two round trip tickets to anywhere in North America just by signing up for two credit cards!
Hope we made your choice easier,
Hi, good info on thi site. Thank you.
I was using TD infinite visa reward visa (not aeroplan) for 3 years, accumulating 500-600$ in rewards. Did not really like the expedia booking, since it did not have cancellations on Hotels. TD bank was waving annual fee for me and wife ($170 a year total).
Now we are moving to RBC and we are happy we are making the move. Now RBC is giving me their Avion infinite visa, annual fees waved again of value $170. I really couldn’t care less about initial bonus as I hate moving cards nd don,’t feel chasing free first year or bonus is worth the hassle.
Now reading all your comments and reviews from others, thinking I am moving to a worse Visa card than my TD was? Is going to a different banks Card worth it? Considering the annual fee?
If you think I should stay, what are the tips for RBC Avion infinite visa you could give? Best value for your points?
We would probably use it on family vacation or part of it… thank you
If you’re not a fan of switching to maximize welcome bonus opportunities, the TD First Class card, with the annual fee waiver you currently have, is pretty good. Certainly comparable to the Avion. However, if you aren’t a fan of redeeming through Expedia, why not give Avion a tr? See if you like it. After a year or so you can decide if it’s worth keeping. Since you have no annual fee on the TD First Class card, you don’t even have to cancel it.
Give it a try and enjoy!
My experience with RBC Infinite has been good. We convert everything to British Airways Avios points and then use these for One World Travel. We try to avoid flying with BA planes and will use Cathay, Alaska, Iberian, Aer Lingus, and it’s great value. Last trip to Hawaii for 2 return was under $25 in fees and 25,000 pts total, for 2 with Alaska. Great perks with insurance coverage too.
I have the TD First Class Visa.
I spend about 12K a year in gas. and basically use the card for all my purchases. For example I have 362,000.00 points on my card. That was acclimated from April to now. ( We installed our pool on the card to bump up our points). So this past years spending was higher then normal.
I had hoped to have more travel points acclimated by now with this spending.
Is there a better card for us given we spent 12k a year in gas and essentially all of our spending is put on the card for points?
I like how easy the TD Frist Class card is to use when redeeming. (We go down south one a year or so)
However I would like to maximise my travel points.
Any help would be great 🙂
Because you’re spending $1,000 a month on gas, you might want to take a look at some of the credit cards that offer a 4% rewards rate in gas, such as the Scotia Amex Gold card. It currently comes with a 1st year annual fee waiver and a 20,000 point bonus (worth a $200 statement credit). It’s a flexible rewards system that allows you to redeem your points (20,000 points = $200) as a statement credit – giving you more value than the TD First Class card which recently devalued statement credit redemptions.
Alternatively, we also like the Amex Gold Rewards card for you, which has an annual fee waiver and comes with a 25,000 point welcome bonus worth a $250 statement credit or can be converted to 25,000 aeroplan miles. You get 2 points per dollar spent on gas, which when converted to 2 Aeroplan miles, is the highest amount of points given in the gas category of any Aeroplan credit card on the market – a nice arbitrage opportunity, since Aeroplan miles are worth somewhere between 1.27 and 2 cents each, giving you 2.54% to 4% of value per dollar spent.
Hope that helps,
Just though that one key aspect that maybe isn’t covered in the above article (which is great btw) is that for the Am Ex card in Canada, there aren’t that many eligible store. For groceries and gas etc they have some alrge names like sobeys, safeway, petro can, shell etc., but that is all. Other key large players such as superstore and Save-on aren’t included so then you’re really earning 1% return. Also, if you redeem using RBC Avion’s redemption schedule you can get up to 2% return on normal purchases for some flights (just quite a hassle to do so).
Thanks for the kind words John.
Amex acceptance will either be an issue for you or not, depending on where you shop. The nice thing with the Amex Gold Rewards card, is that with the first year annual fee waiver, at least you can give it a try for a year, for free, and see if the glove fits.
Moreover, getting the free 25,000 point bonus ($250 if you use it as a statement credit, or convert it to 25,000 Aeroplan miles and get a free return ticket to anywhere in North America from any Canadian city) is worth it on its own – especially with no annual fee – it’s found money.
TBC’s welcome offer does not waive the first ear annual fee and only comes with 15,000 Avion points. You’d have to spend $15,000 – $20,000 on your credit card just o make up for the difference in value on the welcome bonus offer alone. Aside from that, RBC Avion can deliver value, but our research indicates that the average value of a point is far less than 2%. Moreover, the points are far less flexible than Amex Gold Rewards, especially because lose their value when redeemed as a statement credit.
Great site w/ really useful info thank you! Just wondering how the TD Visa Aero Plan compares to the TD First Class Visa Infinite card?