Best Travel Credit Card in Canada for 2018 award seal

Some of the best overall credit cards in Canada are travel credit cards…and with good reason. Not only are travel rewards the most lucrative type of rewards out there, but travel credit cards often come with large sign up bonuses, the best perks and great insurance as well.

However, to say that travel reward point systems can be complex is an understatement…so, that is where we come in.

Our comparison engine removes the tedious guesswork and reading of the fine print, and takes 50+ features of each credit card into account to give them a Genius Rating out of 5. This way, you can find the best travel credit card for you, with the least hassle possible.

Compare Travel Credit Cards

The Perks of Having a Travel Rewards Credit Card

If you want the best travel credit cards in Canada, paying an annual fee is pretty much a given. The top 10 range from $75 to $399 annually – which covers the valuable rewards, best in class insurance coverage and drool-worthy perks like:

  • lounge visits,
  • concierge service,
  • hotel upgrades, and
  • special companion fare rates on flights.

And we’re just scratching the surface.

Plus a $150 travel bonus.
Offer ends December 21, 2018.

The Best Card for Socialites

If you are someone who loves to eat out, go to the bar, or host fancy dinner parties, a card like the American Express Cobalt Card could be the right card for you. Why? Because this card gives cardholders the highest earn rate in Canada on groceries, restaurants and bars – a whopping 5 points for every $1 spent.

Plus, you will earn 2 points on all of your travels with this card. So whether you’re jet setting across the country, taking transit to save money (and the planet) or catching a taxi cab after a night out with friends, this card will have you raking in the rewards in no time.

It doesn’t stop there though. The Cobalt comes out on top in a whopping 4 of our best credit card categories:

Read our detailed review to find out why:

The Best Credit Card for Aeroplan Lovers

Although the American Express Gold Rewards Card doesn’t reward you with Aeroplan miles directly, if you’re willing to convert your American Express Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan miles (which is a pretty simple process) at a 1:1 ratio – then this card comes out on top as the best Aeroplan credit card in Canada.

With the ability to earn 2 points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, at drugstores and on travel purchases, this card will have you earning miles fast. Plus, the major sign up bonus of 25,000 points will definitely start you off on the right foot. That’s a free flight anywhere in Canada and Mainland USA right there.

Add to that the fact that this card has no minimum income requirement and there are 10 types of purchase and travel insurance. It’s easy to see why it winds up in our #2 spot.

The Best Card for the Frequent Flyer

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card seems to be a favorite among Canadian credit card holders and at a quick glance it is pretty easy to see why.

It starts you off with a solid 15,000 Aeroplan mile welcome bonus – and then allows you to earn 1.5 miles on every dollar spent on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases and 1 mile on every other dollar spent.

But where this card really shines is with those “extras”:

  • a yearly Maple Leaf Lounge pass (when travelling on an Aeroplan rewards ticket),
  • 10 types of travel and purchase insurance,
  • 1 free checked bag, and priority check-in and boarding on all flights redeemed through Aeroplan, plus...
  • 24/7 concierge and other Visa Infinite perks.

Find out more here:

Travel credit cards often come with a higher price tag because of all the amazing perks you get with them, but that doesn’t mean that no fee travel cards don’t exist. However, our rule of thumb is if you spend more than $1,500 a month on your credit card, you should be able to reap a net positive rewards return using a card with an annual fee.

So, why not make it the best one?

Best Credit Cards in Canada for People Who Like To Travel

And now for a quick recap. We included the average return on spending in rewards you can expect to get (assuming a reasonably optimal redemption), as well as some notable features. Here are the Top 5 travel credit cards in Canada, head to head:

Credit Card Avg. Reward Return Notable Features Get Details
American Express Cobalt 3.76% Overall best credit card in Canada Details
American Express Gold Rewards Card 3.43% Best Aeroplan credit card in Canada Details
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card 2.90% 1 free checked back on Aeroplan reward flights and 1 free visit to the Maple Leaf Lounge annually Details
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card 2.77% Flexible rewards that can be used to book flights with many airlines. Details
CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card 2.77% Flexible travel rewards. Details

The creditcardGenius algorithm calculates an estimated dollar value for all rewards and bonuses by using a typical point value a person can realistically achieve by redeeming their rewards in a reasonably optimized way. The "Welcome Bonus" is the dollar value obtained by combining of all one-time bonuses available to new cardholders within the first year. To qualify for the full bonus you may need to make purchases, meet minimum spending requirements, or complete special actions. Terms and conditions apply.

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