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.
Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2018 – Our Top 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.
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).
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.
The American Express® Gold Rewards Card
This card is perhaps one of the best travel credit cards you can ever find. There’s a big sign-up bonus. Yes, you can get 25,000 points to jump start your mileage account if you meet the minimum spending threshold of $1,500 in the first three months. This is wonderful as you can get an instant balance of 25,000 points by doing very little work.
The American Express Gold Rewards card is also great card when it comes to flexibility. You can easily make any travel related plans with the help of your credit card. It is simple to earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel and everyday purchases. That’s right. You don’t just get 1 point, rather 2 points for every dollar spent on grocery, gas and other car rentals, cruises, rail, and air-related travel expenses.
The AMEX Credit Card points you earn can be transferred to:
- Frequent flyer program
- Aeroplan (1:1 with no additional charges)
- British Airways Avios (1:1 with no additional charges)
Here’s some friendly advice – you can pair this travel credit card with TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card mentioned below and enjoy 50,000 bonus points to jumpstart your travel plans. What’s even better is that you don’t have to pay any annual fee.
Most AMEX Gold rewards credit card users say that it is way better than Visa Infinite AVION card by RBC for a number of reasons.
First, AMEX waives your annual fee for the first year. Second, it offers an exciting sign-up bonus. Third, you can earn double points on travel spending. Lastly, but most importantly, AMEX gold card allows you to redeem Travel expenses at full value, unlike RBC which gives you half a penny per point.
Remember that AMEX Gold Rewards card allows you to take advantage of promotions in both the Aeroplan and Avios programs without losing any value.
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card
If you’re looking to start your Aeroplan mile bank, there’s nothing better than this credit card. With this Visa, you receive a welcome bonus of up to 30,000 miles and there’s no annual fee for the first year.
The good news is that you can earn 15,000 points with your first purchase and if you keep your account in good standing for at least three months, you are eligible to receive an additional 10,000 points.
If you are able to collect 25,000 Points, you will be able to fly to any location in North America from Canada. Here’s some more exciting news. If you are able to collect 15,000 points, you can easily fly to any short-haul location in the North America.
TD Credit Cards Aeroplan mile offers a strong rewards rate even for economy fares. When it comes to other credit card details, you can earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on gas, grocery & drug stores. If you use your cards at Aeroplan partner locations, you can further boost your collection of travel points.
In addition to great travel rewards, this credit card offers other perks such as:
- Insurance protection
- Medical insurance
- Trip cancellation and interruption
- Car rental
- Baggage protection
- Free lounge access
- Priority check-ins and boarding
- One free checked bag
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card is certainly a smarter choice than West Jet World Elite MasterCard according to card users.
Customers prefer to use Aeroplan card because it offers an amazing welcome bonus. Second, you can redeem your accumulated points to travel to more destinations. Not to forget, there are dozens of more opportunities to earn points with Aeroplan and you can use the points to upgrade your travel ticket to business and first class.
Why Should I Consider Travel Credit Cards?
It’s not surprising that credit cards have become an important part of modern society. Travel credit cards offer you a great opportunity to earn free points that can be redeemed for air tickets, hotel booking, and even cash! And if you haven’t thought about travel credit cards until now, here’s what you need to know about the top 3 Canadian travel credit cards.
Yes, whether you are a frequent flyer or a travel bargain hunter, our evaluation of the best travel credit cards in Canada can help you make the most of your vacation. Remember that we measured the value of each reward program in terms of flight cost and hotel deals. We also considered a number of points you require to redeem each reward along with other credit card details such as annual fee, transaction fee, ease of redemption and insurance coverage.
Which cards managed to make it to our list? Well first, you need to know that there is no perfect travel card; however, there is only one perfect credit card for you. Each card offers different benefits that fit different people. So what card should you consider? Continue reading to find out more.