Best AIR MILES credit card in Canada for 2020 award seal

The best AIR MILES credit card in Canada allows you to earn up to 1 mile for every $10 spent on ALL your purchases – everywhere, not just at AIR MILES partners. Because if you're a loyal AIR MILES collector, why not carry the best AIR MILES card you can?

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

Or maybe you just want an AIR MILES card that allows you to earn even more miles on your purchases, like the , which comes with its own unique perks.

No matter what you're looking for, there’s an AIR MILES credit card designed to suit you.

Best AIR MILES credit cards for 2020

Here are some of the best AIR MILES credit cards, as rated by our unbiased, math-based algorithm.

Category Credit Card Current Welcome Bonus Offer
Best AIR MILES credit card BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®* 2,000 miles, first year free (terms)
Best American Express AIR MILES credit card American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card 2,000 miles (terms)
Best no fee AIR MILES credit card BMO® AIR MILES®† Mastercard®* 950 miles (terms)

Review all top 10 AIR MILES credit cards here.

How AIR MILES Canada rewards work – Cash Rewards vs. Dream Rewards

AIR MILES Canada is a loyalty program founded in 1992 that gives cardholders "miles" for purchases they make at participating locations, or for using AIR MILES credit cards.

The miles you earn can be redeemed for a number of different things, including:

  • flights,
  • car rentals,
  • hotels,
  • vacation packages,
  • attractions,
  • concerts, or
  • merchandise.

Plus, AIR MILES can even be redeemed like cash at participating stores.

In fact, there are 2 main categories for earning and 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 it’s important to note that these different reward types are not interchangeable. Once you have earned an AIR MILES Cash mile it can only be redeemed as a Cash mile. Same goes for Dream miles.

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

These options are great, but one downside is not all shops are AIR MILES partners. AIR MILES does 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.

Be sure to check out our full review of the AIR MILES program to learn how to best earn and redeem your miles.

And, if you want to earn bonus miles? AIR MILES runs frequent promotions throughout the year to boost your miles bank. You can find out more about them here.

But if you want to fast track? Here are our top rated AIR MILES credit cards in detail.

Best AIR MILES credit card overall

The is the best AIR MILES credit card in Canada.

What makes this card the best?

Well, for starters, this AIR MILES card will give you 1 mile for every $10 you spend on absolutely anything. Then, BMO gives you a 15% discount on AIR MILES flights within North America, helping you stretch your miles even further.

As an added bonus, you’ll also get a welcome bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

For a card with a reasonable $120 annual fee, it also comes with premium perks like:

  • free access to Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey,
  • 2 complimentary lounge passes annually,
  • access to 24/7 credit card concierge service,
  • one of the most comprehensive credit card insurance packages you can get, and
  • you'll pay no annual fee for the first year.

You will need either a personal income of $80,000 or a household income of $150,000 to qualify, but if you do, it's the best AIR MILES credit card you can get in Canada.

Best AIR MILES card from Amex

If you just want to earn the most AIR MILES possible on your normal spending, the is the best AIR MILES credit card you can get.

And here's why:

  • 1 mile per $5 spent on gas, groceries, restaurants, and transit purchases (up to $30,000 annually), and
  • 1 mile per $10 spent on all other purchases.

No other AIR MILES credit card offers an earn rate better than 1 mile per $5 spent on essentials like gas and groceries.

It also has a great welcome bonus that's enough for a free flight on its own – get 2,000 bonus AIR MILES when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months.

And you get all of this for an annual fee of $120, which is pretty standard for travel cards.

If you’re absolutely dedicated to earning the most AIR MILES, this is the credit card for you.

Best AIR MILES credit card with no annual fee

Coming in as the best AIR MILES credit card with no annual fee is the .

This credit card will give you:

You'll also get a nice sign-up bonus of 950 AIR MILES, which is rare for a no fee card.

Plus, for some added peace of mind, all of your purchases made with the card will be covered with 90 days of purchase protection (that means you’re safe if your new purchase gets lost, stolen, or damaged) and it will double your manufacturer's warranty for up to an extra year.

If that wasn’t enough, for a limited time, this AIR MILES credit card will give you an introductory balance transfer interest rate of only 1.99% for 9 months. For a no fee card, this card has a lot going for it.

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

Compare AIR MILES Credit Cards

How we get our rankings

How do we decide what the best AIR MILES credit cards are? We take into account over 126 features of each card, broken down into 7 main categories:

Air Miles page genius rating scoring

We then take those features and put them through our algorithm, which calculates a score out of 5. And since we're talking about AIR MILES credit cards, we give extra weight to the rewards category, as it's the primary feature we're after for cards on this page.

Learn more about our Genius Rating methodology.


Which AIR MILES credit card has the highest earn rate?

The credit card that has the highest AIR MILES earn rate is the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card. With it you can earn 1 mile for every $5 in credit card purchases (up to $30,000 annually) on food and drinks, as well as gas and transit.

Is there a best no fee AIR MILES credit card?

There is! The BMO® AIR MILES®† Mastercard®* is our top rated no fee AIR MILES credit card. In addition to being able to use it to earn AIR MILES rewards anywhere you shop, you’ll get a sign-up bonus of 950 miles.

What’s the overall best AIR MILES credit card in Canada?

We use an unbiased math-based algorithm to analyze over 126 features of all the credit cards in our database, and that currently rates the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®* as the top AIR MILES credit card in Canada. This credit card offers an AIR MILES earn rate of 1 mile for every $10 you spend, with no restrictions. It’s really hard to beat.

Where can I learn more about maximizing AIR MILES rewards?

If you would like to learn more about how to earn, maximize, and redeem AIR MILES Canada rewards, you should head over to our How To Maximize The AIR MILES Rewards Program article. We cover everything you need to know about the AIR MILES program, including how to redeem your miles for maximum possible value.

Featured In:

The Globe and Mail
Toronto Star
Financial Post
New York Times