Best AIR MILES Credit Cards for 2018

The best AIR MILES credit card in Canada allows you to earn up to 1 mile for every $10 spent on ALL your purchases – not just at AIR MILES partners. Because if you're a loyal AIR MILES collector, there's no need to settle for just any old credit card…

Compare AIR MILES Credit Cards

Our comparison engine considers 50+ features of each card, and ranks them from best to worst using our Genius Rating. So choosing the best AIR MILES credit card is as simple as looking at one single number.

Perhaps you’re looking for a premium credit card like the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard, which comes with a big sign up bonuses, one of the best insurance packages on the market, and valuable perks like flight discounts and lounge access.

Or maybe you’re looking for a card that allows you to earn rewards everywhere you shop, gives you some basic insurance, and doesn’t make you pay an annual fee….

Whatever it is you’re looking for, there is something for everyone on this top 10 list.

But first, a little recap...

How AIR MILES Rewards Works

AIR MILES is a loyalty program that was founded in 1992, that gives cardholders “miles” for purchases that they make at participating locations.

The miles that you earn can be used for a number of different things from flights and hotels, to merchandise and gift cards, plus, AIR MILES can even be redeemed as cash at participating stores.

In fact, there are two main categories for redeeming your AIR MILES – Cash Rewards and Dream Rewards. You can collect all Cash, all Dream, or a percentage mix of both when you earn miles but they are not interchangeable. Once you have a Cash mile it can only be used for that. Same goes for Dream miles.

Cash Rewards Dream Rewards
  • In-store cash rewards
  • Merchandise
  • Online cash rewards
  • Events and attractions
  • Stage Pass
  • Travel
  • Dream Sweepstakes

These options are great, but one downside is not everyone is an AIR MILES partner. They do have the most partners of any rewards program in Canada but unless you’re willing to do some major planning around where you shop – it can still take years to build up your miles for a big ticket reward like a free flight.

But if you want to fast track? Here are the top three best cards in detail…

Best AIR MILES Mastercard

The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard is the best AIR MILES credit card in Canada, hands-down.

What makes this card the best?

Well, for starters this card will give you 1 mile for every $10 you spend on absolutely anything – one of the highest AIR MILES earn rates on the Canadian market right now. Then, BMO gives you a 15% discount on AIR MILES flights within North America, helping you stretch your miles even further.

For a card with a reasonable $120 annual fee, it also comes with premium perks like free Priority Pass membership, two complimentary lounge passes annually, and one of the best credit card insurance packages you can get.

Best Low Fee AIR MILES Credit Card

With an annual fee of only $65 and absolutely no minimum income requirements, the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card is great for people who:

  1. don’t want to spend $100 on an annual fee for a credit card and
  2. don’t qualify for the big minimum income requirements that the other “premium” AIR MILES credit cards come with.

But don’t worry, just because this card has a lower annual fee, that doesn’t mean it has no benefits…

In fact, it gives you a whopping 1 mile for every $10 spent on groceries, gas, travel and at AIR MILES Sponsors, a pretty solid sign up bonus, travel accident and car rental insurance, and a few AMEX extras like Front of the Line and friend referral bonuses.

Best AIR MILES Credit Card for Travellers

The number three card on our list will give you a solid 1 mile for every $15 spent (up to $7,000 spent annually), plus 1.25 miles spent at Shell gas stations and 1.5 miles for every dollar spent at National and Alamo car rental locations.

You’ll also get some serious peace of mind with this card, thanks to the 12 different types of travel and purchase insurance and the 24/7 concierge service that is included at no extra cost. Plus, it’s a great alternative for anyone who doesn’t quite meet the qualifications of the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard – however, if you DO qualify, the World Elite version is a far better card, and in our opinion, completely worth the extra $20 annually.

Top 5 AIR MILES Credit Card Summary

Here’s a quick summary of the Top 5 AIR MILES credit cards in Canada including the rough rate of return you can expect if you redeem your miles for flights that give you decent value. The AIR MILES flight calculator can show you how many miles exactly you need to fly.

Featured In

The Globe and Mail