Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

For us to determine the best travel rewards credit cards for 2018, we need to take a look at what happened in 2017. The credit card market in Canada witnessed some significant changes last year.

Banks and other institutions stopped issuing some of the more sought-after cards, they made changes to rewards programs, and one new card, hailed as a game-changer, entered the market.

Most people like the idea of globetrotting at a discount, and so Canadians continue to seek the best travel rewards credit cards in 2018. With so many different programs and cards, however, it’s a challenge trying to work out which is the most suitable one for you.

To make your search easier, we’re pointing out Canada’s best travel rewards credit cards for 2018.

How far do you want to go this year with your Canadian travel rewards credit card? We’ve forecast what we believe will be the best travel rewards credit cards for 2018 to help you soar, whether you’re a snowbird, a bargain hunter, a bonus surfer, or a frequent flyer.

How We Picked The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

First, we calculated the value per point for each program to come up with our rankings for the best travel rewards credit cards 2018. We computed the exact cost per point of each of the rewards programs by checking the number of points needed to fly on fifteen different flights for each credit card. We then compared the cost per point to the lowest price of each flight. We did a similar computation for hotels.

To find out which were the deals for each category of travel card in Canada, we then assessed bonuses; earn rates, perks, annual and foreign transaction fees, insurance coverage, travel opportunities, and ease of redemption.

Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2018 - Our Top 3 Picks

Here’s the synopsis of the highest rated travel rewards credit cards in Canada (complete credit card reviews are below). For more categories besides travel, please see our Best Credit Cards in Canada page.

Scotiabank Gold American Express

The Scotiabank Gold American Express again ranks as one of the best travel rewards credit cards in 2018 in Canada due to benefits such as a 4% earn on groceries, gas, entertainment, and restaurants. If you spend $1,000 on everyday purchases during the first three months, you get a 25,000 bonus valued at $250. You can use this bonus towards any travel (hotels, flights, cruises, car rentals, or vacation packages), in addition to merchandise and gift cards from vendors such as Best Buy and Apple.

You can opt to use Scotia Rewards’ full-service travel agency when booking your flights and hotel, or use your card to cover your expenses and redeem your points afterward. You can book anywhere, anytime, and use points to pay for all fees and taxes – there are no limits when using your points towards travel. Scotiabank Gold American Express offers numerous other benefits including concierge service, comprehensive travel insurance, price protection, Priority Pass membership (renewed yearly), and much more.

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

First Year Free

Balance Transfer: 22.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Earn 30,000 bonus points worth $300 in travel. Plus, first year annual fee waiver†.

Scotiabank American Express Card

The Scotiabank American Express Card does not have annual fees for extras or privileges. It works as both a standalone or as a secondary card for current Scotia Rewards collectors. You receive one Scotia Rewards point for each dollar you spend on the card, valid for travel (hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages), gift cards, merchandise (including Best Buy and Apple catalogues), or as a credit towards your monthly payment.

The insurance coverage is robust for a no-fee card. You get travel accident and travel interruption insurance (if you use your card to pay for at least 75 percent of the cost of your trip). You also get travel emergency medical (with a coverage ceiling of $1 million for a maximum of eight successive days of travel), and collision/loss damage for car rentals (up to forty-eight consecutive days of coverage for vehicles that cost less than $65,000).

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

First Year Free

Balance Transfer: 22.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Pay no annual fee for the first year†.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

These cards are still an excellent choice, in spite of the fact that Rewards Canada dropped the hotel category from the rankings because only two cards are currently available. In fact, the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express is pretty impressive. It offers excellent value for hotel stays within the Marriott and Starwood brands and lets you convert to more than thirty airline frequent flyer programs.

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer: n/a

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2018 - Conclusion

Your spending habits and travel needs will determine which are the best travel rewards credit cards for 2018 for you. To get the most out of your card, you should start with a good bonus offer. This offer can be your card's rewards program. Also, you should pay your balance in full every month, and think about which fees you can best balance with perks, bonuses, and rewards.

As a Canadian, you’re in the best position to try new travel cards that provide more benefits, earn you more points, and offer better flexibility than the cards in your wallet right now. Explore the possibilities on CompareMyRates.ca, and get more bang for your buck starting today.




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Interest Rate

Charge Card

Annual Fee

$150

Balance Transfer: n/a

Cash Advance: n/a

Sign-up Bonus

Welcome Bonus 25,000 Membership Rewards*

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

First Year Free

Balance Transfer: 22.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Earn 30,000 bonus points worth $300 in travel. Plus, first year annual fee waiver†.


Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

First Year Free

Balance Transfer: 22.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Pay no annual fee for the first year†.

Interest Rate

Charge Card

Annual Fee

$699

Balance Transfer: n/a

Cash Advance: n/a

Sign-up Bonus

Welcome Bonus 50,000 Membership Rewards*

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer: n/a

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$65

Balance Transfer: 1.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Welcome Bonus 2,000 Air Miles & 1.99% Balance Transfer for first 6 months

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

No Annual Fee

Balance Transfer: 1.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Welcome Bonus 500 Air Miles & 1.99% Balance Transfer for first 6 months

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

No Annual Fee

Balance Transfer: 22.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

10,000 Blue Sky Points

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$399

Balance Transfer: 22.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Earn 30,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points, worth $300 in travel, with your first card purchase within first two months*

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$89

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 24.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Receive 10,000 Bonus Points††

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

No Annual Fee

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 24.99%

Sign-up Bonus

5,000 bonus MBNA Rewards points

Interest Rate

19.9%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

500 Air Miles Reward

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$110

Balance Transfer: 22.99%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

5,000 bonus points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in first three months†

Interest Rate

0%

Annual Fee

$6.95

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance:

Sign-up Bonus

N/A

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

15,000 points

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$399

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

25,000 points

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$39

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

N/A

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$39.00

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

$50 WestJet dollars with first purchase

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

15,000 points

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

15,000 Aventura Point after first purchase

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$65 USD

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

N/A

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

15,000 Aventura Point on first purchase

Interest Rate

20.50%

Annual Fee

$165

Balance Transfer: 22.50%

Cash Advance: 22.50%

Sign-up Bonus

N/A

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$39

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

5,000 Aventura Point on first purchase

Interest Rate

20.50%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer: 22.50%

Cash Advance: 22.50%

Sign-up Bonus

15,000 bonus Asia Miles

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$399

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

50,000 Aeroplan Miles

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$99

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

$250 WestJet dollars with your first purchase

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

15,000 Aeroplan Mile

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$110

Balance Transfer: 21.99%

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

2,500 bonus RBC Rewards points

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$39

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

5,000 Aeroplan Miles

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$99

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

N/A

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$39

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

5,000 Aventura Points after first purchase

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

No Annual Fee

Balance Transfer: 17.50%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Get up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles – our best offer!

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$39

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

5,000 Aeroplan Miles

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$150

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Get $200 in travel rewards.

Interest Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 21.99%

Sign-up Bonus

25,000 Aventura Points

Interest Rate

19.9%

Annual Fee

$35

Balance Transfer: 19.9%

Cash Advance: 22.99%

Sign-up Bonus

Earn 1% toward travel on all credit card purchases

Interest Rate

12.99%

Annual Fee

$180

Balance Transfer:

Cash Advance: 14.50%

Sign-up Bonus

20,000 Aeroplan Miles

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