Canada's Highest Credit Card Fee? Obnoxious or Worth it?

The Platinum CardSo what is the highest annual fee for a Canadian credit card? It’s a $699 annual fee for the American Express Canada Platinum Card. Here’s how the comparison breaks out with some of the other leading Canadian credit card programs offered by the big banks:

IssuerCredit CardAnnual Fee
AmexAeroplan Platinum$0
ScotiaAmex Platinum$
RBCBritish Airways$165
BMOWorld Elite Rewards$150
CIBCAeroplan Infinite$120
TDFirst Class$

So what do you get for $699 that you likely won’t get on any other card? A sign-up bonus worth the equivalent of two flights, an annual $200 travel credit, lounge access, complimentary valet service and expedited security at Pearson, 1.25 points earned instead of 1 per dollar spent, and an insurance package that will put your broker out of business (out-of province/country medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight delay, travel accident, baggage loss, medical concierge, etc…)

From our perspective, the card is a dud – and by a long shot. You can get just as much and more value from the American Express Canada Gold Rewards Card where you earn 2 points per dollar spent on most categories (airline, hotel, grocery, gas and drugstore) which can then be exchanged for Aeroplan points 1:1, giving you 2 Aeroplan points for every dollar spent, instead of 1.25 with the Amex Platinum card. Moreover, the Amex Gold Rewards Card waives the first year annual fee and comes with all the insurance coverages of the Platinum card.

There will be some, who spend significant amounts in categories other than the 2X categories of the Gold card. But they will have to spend over $139,600 in those categories alone to make up for the $349 difference in annual fee between each card (and that already takes into account the $200 annual travel credit). For the top .01% who are even contemplating this card, we think there are likely better cards out there for you that the rest of us shleppers use –if you don’t mind carrying a credit card the rest of us shleppers use of course.