Editors note: Advertisers are not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any advertiser product, please visit their Web site.
From Aeroplan points to luxury hotel rewards, an expert looks for the best travel credit cards in Canada across a broad range of categories.

Here’s a shocker: Canadians love to travel! So it’s no surprise that there are numerous travel credit cards in Canada offering sweet rewards—so many, in fact, that it can be hard to decide on the best one for your needs. Some offer the opportunity to rack up some major points, while others include travel insurance and passes to posh airport lounges as part of the package.

In this article, we look for the best travel credit card in Canada across several major categories: including the best credit card for travel points, sign-up bonus, hotel rewards, airport lounges and the overall winner. Use this handy guide to pick the best travel rewards credit card and let it work towards the perks and points most valuable to you.

Canada’s Best Travel Credit Cards for 2021

Best Travel Card ForCredit CardMore Info
Best Travel Credit Card - OverallTD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* CardRead On
Best Credit Card for Travel PointsScotiabank®* Gold American Express® cardRead On
Best Air Miles Credit CardBMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*Read On
Best Aeroplan Credit CardTD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* CardRead On
Best Travel Card with Sign-Up BonusScotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* CardRead On
Best for Lifestyle RewardsBMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* CardRead On
Best for Luxury Hotel RewardsMarriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card Read On
Best for Hotel RewardsBest Western Rewards® Mastercard® credit cardRead On
Frequent TravellersHSBC World Elite® Mastercard®Read On
Best for Airport LoungesScotiabank®* Platinum American Express® cardRead On
Best for Travel PerksThe American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve CardRead On

In developing this list of the best travel credit cards in Canada, we evaluated all the travel credit cards currently on the market against the following criteria:

  • Annual fees
  • Welcome bonus
  • Cardholder perks & special features (travel insurance, lounge passes, no foreign transaction fees, etc.)
  • Rewards earn rates
  • Reward redemption flexibility and ease
  • Eligibility criteria

Truly, these seven cards won out above the rest.

Overall Best Travel Credit Card in Canada

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

Apply Now

There are many fantastic deals out there in the travel rewards credit card category. But if we have to pick one, the best overall travel rewards credit card in the Canadian market is the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card. For all the nitty-gritty details about what makes this card wonderful, you can read our full TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card review here.

But here’s the short version: it stands out above the others because of its winning welcome offer* (hello, 10,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase!), premium perks (like check-in on Air Canada flights and travel insurance) and great potential to rack up points on card purchases – all for a modest annual fee of $139. Plus, because it’s an Aeroplan card, purchases at partner sites are worth 1.5 points per dollar spent when you pay with your Aeroplan credit card and present your Aeroplan membership card.

Apply by May 30, 2021, to get an annual fee rebate for the first year and the welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make the first purchase with your card.  After spending $1,000 in the first 90 days from account opening, you’ll also earn a bonus Buddy Pass, which you can use to bring anyone along to anywhere Air Canada flies in North America, including Hawaii and Mexico AND another 10,000 Aeroplan points.  That means 20,000 bonus Aeroplan points in total.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $139 (first year annual fee rebate if you apply by May 30, 2021)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points after first purchase, then another 10,000 Aeroplan points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Must apply by May 30, 2021
  • Other Perks: Travel insurance, $100 Nexus fee rebate, check-in and free first checked bag on Air Canada flights, Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here. 


Best Credit Card for Travel Points

With all the points programs out there, it can be difficult to decide on the very best points credit card. Some programs have restrictions for what you might spend your points on but bear in mind that many cards allow points transfers between programs.

After those considerations, a card’s points-to-dollar ratio—that is, the amount in dollars your points are worth—is one of the most important features for your card.

Winner: Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® card

Apply Now

The Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® card offers three tiers for their Scotia Rewards points program. For every dollar you spend on eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments, you’ll earn a whopping 5X Scotia Rewards points; 3x the points per $1 on eligible gas, daily transit, and select streaming services; and any other purchases come in at 1x Scotia Rewards point per dollar spent in any currency.

Plus, new cardholders can earn 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when they spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of getting their card.

What’s also exceptional is the flexibility in rewards redemption. All you have to do is login to the system and select the “Apply Points to Travel” option. Then just use your accumulated Scotia Rewards points to offset any travel cost (flights, rental cars, hotels, etc.) charged on your credit card. It’s that easy – no black-out periods or annoying restrictions.

You also get some amazing extra benefits, such as no foreign transaction fees, comprehensive travel insurance, and Amex Front Of the Line® access. It’s no wonder the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® card is often ranked as the best travel credit card in Canada.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum of $12,000 annual income
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 25,000 Scotia Rewards points when you spend $1000 in the first 3 months
  • Other Perks: No foreign transaction fees, comprehensive travel insurance, Amex Front of the Line® access
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® card.

Best Air Miles Credit Card

The Air Miles program is one of the best ways to earn rewards in Canada. With an Air Miles Collector Card, you can turn everyday purchases – like gas and groceries – into free flights, car rentals, event tickets, hotel stays, electronics, and so much more.

If you’re an avid collector, you can maximize your miles by using an Air Miles credit card to pay for your purchases.

Winner: BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®

Apply Now

What’s truly great about the BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard® is that it comes with a generous welcome bonus and a high earn rate.

You’ll get 2,000 AIR MILES when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership.

The earn rate of 1 AIR MILE for every $10 in purchases is the highest AIR MILES rate of return out there for an AIR MILES credit card. Additional benefits include Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey with two free annual passes, 15% off AIR MILES flights within North America booked with AIR MILES, and a comprehensive travel insurance package which includes travel medical for up to 15 days per trip.

Although there is an annual fee of $120, it’s waived for the first year.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120 (waived for the first year)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household annual income
  • Credit Score Required: Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Welcome bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES
  • Other Perks: 15% off AIR MILES flights within North America booked with AIR MILES, comprehensive travel insurance, Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey with two free annual passes
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®

Best Aeroplan Credit Card

As Canada’s most popular travel rewards program, many Canadians are looking to rack up Aeroplan points any way they can. Here’s a tip: simply by using an Aeroplan credit card, you can earn points redeemable towards flights, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, event tickets, and merchandise.

Best of all, earn double the points by making purchases at Aeroplan-affiliated partners with your Aeroplan credit card. If you’re one of the 5 million Aeroplan members, it’s worth your while to get an Aeroplan credit card.

Winner:  TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

Apply Now

As already outlined, there are plenty of perks that make the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card our pick for the best travel rewards credit card. But it also wins our top spot as the best Aeroplan credit card because of its decent welcome bonus* and excellent earn rate on eligible card purchases. With this card, you’ll earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas and AirCanada.com purchases. All other purchases will get you 1 point per $1 spent. Purchases made at Aeroplan partners earn double the rewards when you pay with your Aeroplan credit card and present your Aeroplan membership card, so cardholders can rack up their Aeroplan points quickly and easily.

Plus, apply by May 30, 2021 to get an annual fee rebate for the first year and the welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points after you make the first purchase with your card.  You’ll also earn a bonus Buddy Pass after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days from account opening and another 10,000 Aeroplan points. It’s a limited-time offer, so don’t wait!

Cardholders are also treated to other travel-related perks including travel and car rental insurance, and exclusive benefits like a free first checked bag for you and up to 8 travel companions on the same reservation for Air Canada flights, priority check-in with Air Canada flights, a $100 Nexus fee rebate, and more. The annual fee of $139 is affordable, and even more so when applicants take advantage of the limited-time first-year rebate for both the primary and all additional cardholders.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $139 (first year annual fee rebate if you apply by May 30, 2021)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points after first purchase and another 10,000 Aeroplan points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Must apply by May 30, 2021
  • Other Perks: Travel insurance, $100 Nexus fee rebate, check-in and free first checked bag on Air Canada flights, Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% |Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here. 


Best Travel Credit Card for Sign-Up Bonus

One way credit card companies entice you into their travel rewards program is with a fat sign-up bonus. Take advantage of this strategy and give your travel reward goals a big boost.

Winner: Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

Apply Now

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card wins big points in our books because it’s got a crazy-good welcome bonus. Upon sign-up, you can earn up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $300 towards travel)‡!

How it works: earn 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with your first $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months. As a cardholder, you are always eligible to earn an annual 10,000 Scotia Rewards point bonus when you spend at least $40,000 in everyday eligible purchases annually on your Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card credit card.

Aside from the generous sign-up bonus, with this credit card, you’ll also earn:

  •  Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit purchases (including taxis, buses, and subway tokens).
  • Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on everything else.

Another perk of this credit card is free Priority Pass membership that includes six free visits per year to airport lounges worldwide. Of course, the no foreign exchange fee markup on purchases made in foreign currency at home or abroad is also alluring.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $139
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 or a minimum assets under management of $250,000
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year
  • Other Perks: Priority Pass membership and no foreign exchange fee markup
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

Best Travel Credit Card for Lifestyle Rewards

Sometimes it’s the little extras that go a long way to making your credit card pay off. If you’re looking for a card that offers great travel perks along with other premium bonuses and access to luxury experiences, you’re looking for lifestyle rewards.

Winner: BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

Apply Now

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card is great for travel, but it’s also turning heads with some of its exciting extras. Aimed at cardholders who enjoy luxury experiences and exclusive events, this card includes access to Visa Infinite privileges like the Visa Dining Series, golf by Troon, and Visa Infinite Wine Country, plus help planning from the 24/7 Visa Infinite Concierge. You can document your experiences worry-free with up to $1,000 in new mobile device coverage, and splash out on some little extras with the annual $200 “lifestyle credit”.

With the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card, you can earn up to 50,000 BMO Rewards points right off the bat as a welcome bonus. Since you can redeem for travel at a rate of 140 points per dollar (200 per dollar for all other redemptions), the welcome bonus will get you up to approximately $355 CAD in BMO Rewards. After that, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on all groceries, dining, drugstore, gas, and travel purchases, and 1 BMO point per dollar on everything else. Plus, when you add an additional cardholder your earnings are boosted by a whopping 25%.

You can travel worry-free with this card’s robust portfolio of travel insurance, which includes up to $5M in out of province/country emergency medical. Plus, you get Priority Pass membership plus 12 free annual passes (6 for you and 6 for supplementary cardholders)—a value of approximately $630 CAD—and access to the priority security lane.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $499
  • Minimum Income Eligibility Requirement: $150,000 personal income or $200,000 household annual income
  • Credit Score Required: Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 50,000 bonus BMO Rewards points
  • Other Perks: Travel insurance, mobile device coverage, complimentary Priority Pass membership and free passes, $200 annual “lifestyle credit”, Visa Infinite privileges
  • Purchase APR: 20.99%| Cash Advance APR: 23.99%

Learn more about the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card


Best Travel Credit Card for Luxury Hotel Rewards

While there are many hotel rewards credit cards on the market, few offer luxury experiences at high-end hotels. Some hotel rewards credit cards have restrictions or blackout dates that you cannot book, while others afford you access to only lower-end or mid-range accommodations. An exception to this rule is the credit card we’ve chosen for the best luxury hotel credit card.

Winner: Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

Apply Now

When it comes to luxury hotel credit cards, you can’t go wrong with the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card. This credit card has an annual fee of $120 and no minimum income requirement, which makes it uniquely accessible. Cardholders earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy™ points for every $1 in eligible card purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties, and 2 points for every $1 in all other card purchases everywhere else.

When you sign up for this credit card, you’ll become a Marriott Bonvoy™ member, which entitles you to redeem your points for free hotel stays at over 7,000+ properties worldwide with no blackout dates. You can also choose to transfer your points to frequent flyer miles if you’d prefer free flights over free hotel stays.

When signing up for this credit card, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ points after you charge $1,500 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, receive an automatic upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status when you reach $30,000 in purchases charged to the Card each year.

The Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card also comes with a wide range of insurance coverage including travel emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, car rental theft and damage insurance, flight delay insurance, baggage loss and delay insurance, and hotel theft insurance.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in 3 months
  • Other Perks: Automatic upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy™ Silver Elite Status, annual free night, travel insurance coverage
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 21.99%
Learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

Best Travel Credit Card for Budget Hotel Rewards

Travellers are not one size fits all, and there is nowhere in the travel sector where this is more evident than in accommodations. Where you choose to spend the night is going to depend on your taste and budget. However, when it comes down to budget hotel rewards, there’s one card that shines above the rest.

Winner: Best Western Mastercard® credit card

Apply Now

Whether you’re travelling in Canada or abroad, the Best Western Mastercard® credit card makes a lot of sense. The sign-up bonus of 20,000 Best Western Rewards® points (after your first eligible purchase) is enough for a free one-night stay, and further points are easy to collect.

The flexibility of Best Western Rewards® points allows you to redeem for hotel stays, dining, gift cards, and more, and best of all, there is no annual fee. Plus, there are more than 100 Best Western hotels located around the world, making it easy to cash in your points for free hotel stays when you’re traveling.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Requirement: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Welcome Offer: 20,000 Best Western Rewards® (after first eligible purchase)
  • Other Perks: Redeem rewards for hotels, dining, gift certificates, and more
  • Other Card Details: Annual Interest Rate on Purchases (“AIR”): 19.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 22.99%
Learn more about the Best Western Mastercard® credit card.

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.


Best for Frequent Travellers

If you’re travelling a lot for business or leisure, you may benefit from a travel rewards credit card geared to frequent travellers.

Winner: HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®

Apply Now

If you want a credit card with excellent travel rewards, the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is for you.

With this card, you’ll earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases (6 points per $1) and 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases (3 points per $1). You can easily redeem points for whatever your heart desires: from travel to gift cards and merchandise to financial rewards (yes, you can put points towards your HSBC mortgage, credit card or savings account!). As a new cardholder, you’ll get a Welcome Bonus of up to 40,000 Points ($200 travel value) PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year. Must apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply.* This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees (only the exchange rate applies), comprehensive travel insurance, and an annual $100 travel enhancement bonus redeemable towards baggage fees, flight upgrades, and other travel expenses. Plus, you’ll get a complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey, giving you access to over 850 airport lounges worldwide.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $149
  • Minimum Income Requirement: Annual individual income of $80,000 or $150,000 household income, or a minimum of $400,000 in assets under management
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 40,000 Points ($200 travel value) PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year. Must apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply.*
  • Other Perks: Comprehensive travel insurance; redeem points for travel, financial rewards, gift cards, merchandise, and more; shopping protection
  • Interest Rate on Purchases: 19.9% | Interest on Cash Advances: 22.9% | Interest on Balance Transfers: 22.9%

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here

Learn more about the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.

Best for Airport Lounges

Finally, credit card companies seem to have figured out that nobody likes hanging around at the airport. An increasingly popular travel perk is access to worldwide airport lounges. Bought individually, these passes can run upwards of $60 a pop, so there’s definite value here. But, as with all rewards, not all programs are created equally. Here are our favourites.

Winner: Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card 

Apply Now

Here’s something we love: the Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card includes a complimentary Priority Pass membership and a whopping 10 free lounge visits per year.

At just shy of one per month, this is going to be sufficient for most travellers. Additionally, other valuable perks like 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first purchase and travel insurance make this a card to consider.

Plus, you earn 4 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 you spend at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment. The Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card carries a $399 annual fee.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $399
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $12,000
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first purchase
  • Other Perks: Travel insurance
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card

Best for Travel Perks

Travelling can be exhausting—especially if you’re often on the go because of work. Why not make your journey more comfortable by using a card that offers a bevy of wonderful travel perks?

Winner: The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card

Apply Now

Frequent travellers should take note of the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card: it racks up the rewards and provides some serious kickbacks. While the fee is $599 per year, it’s easy to see how using your card can more than justify the cost—and vastly improve your travel experience.

There’s an extensive list of attractive benefits with this card, such as access to Air Canada Maple Leaf LoungesTM so that you can unwind and relax before flights; Air Canada Priority Airport Services (such as priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling) to make your airport experience hassle-free; and Pearson International Airport perks such as free valet parking, and 15% off parking and car care services.

Each year you can rollover your Aeroplan Elite Status Qualifying Miles and eUpgrade credits and (if you spend $25,000 per year), you get an Annual Worldwide Companion Pass which lets you buy an accompanying Air Canada economy class ticket for a companion for $99-$599 CAD (plus taxes and fees). Plus, you’re covered with a comprehensive suite of travel insurance: from emergency medical to baggage delay.

The welcome offer is also alluring: earn 35,000 Aeroplan points and $100 Statement Credit after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. Plus, for the first six months, you can earn an extra 5,000 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period that you make $1,000 in card purchases. That totals 65,000 Aeroplan points, which is enough for a round-trip flight to Europe.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $599
  • Minimum Income Eligibility Requirement: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 65,000 Aeroplan points and a $100 Statement Credit
  • Additional Benefits: Comprehensive insurance, access to select Air Canada lounges and Priority Airport services, Annual Worldwide Companion Pass, access to exclusive American Express benefits
  • Interest on Purchases: 19.99%| Interest on Cash Advances: 21.99%

Learn more about the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card

Comparison of The Best Travel Credit Cards in Canada

Travel Rewards Credit CardWelcome BonusAnnual Fee 
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points after first purchase + 10,000 more after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Must be approved by May 30, 2021.$139 (Annual fee rebate for the first year. Conditions apply. Must be approved by May 30, 2021.)Visit Site
Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® cardEarn 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with your first $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months‡$120Visit Site
BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®Up to 3,000 AIR MILES$120 (waived first year)Visit Site
Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card Earn up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $300 towards travel )‡$139Visit Site
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* CardEarn up to 50,000 bonus BMO Rewards points$499Visit Site
Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ bonus points when you spend $1,500 in the first three months$120Visit Site
Best Western Mastercard® credit card20,000 bonus points$0Visit Site
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®Up to 40,000 Points ($200 travel value)*$149 (full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year*)Visit Site
Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first purchase$399Visit Site
The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve CardUp to 65,000 Aeroplan points plus a $100 statement credit$599Visit Site

Disclaimer: MBNA Best Western Mastercard® credit card – This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.

*This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec. (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer)

How to Redeem Travel Rewards

It really depends on the rewards program attached to your credit card. Some exchange dollars spent into points or miles (e.g. $1 spent = 1.5 miles earned), while others allow you to directly cash in points to make a purchase.

The process of redeeming points varies too. For instance, with the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® card and the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card, you login to their website and apply any number of accumulated points to offset any travel cost charged onto your credit card. Other credit cards have a travel portal for redemptions. With Aeroplan or AIR MILES, you login to their website and redeem your points directly for a specific travel reward. Either way is fine – the key is to choose a travel credit card that has a redemption process that isn’t overly complicated.

Why Get a Travel Credit Card?

Whether you’re a frequent traveller or planning a big trip for the future, a travel rewards credit card can offer big benefits to you. It’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to save money on travel-related expenses.

Here’s how it works: when purchasing everyday expenses on your travel credit card, you earn points for every dollar spent on the card. Once you accumulate a certain amount of points, you can redeem your points for travel-related rewards. Depending on the card, these points or rewards can be cashed in for travel-related expenses, such as flights, hotels, car rentals, parking, baggage fees, cruises, vacation packages, excursions – whatever you want!

Another big bonus is that travel rewards credit cards often come with comprehensive travel insurance,

which may include coverage for travel medical, trip/cancellation, baggage theft/loss, flight delay, collision/damage for car rental, and so forth. That means that if you use your travel credit card to pay for your trip, you may not need to purchase a separate travel insurance policy. However, make sure to read the fine print to understand everything that’s included (or not included) in the policy.

How to Choose a Best Travel Credit Card

There is no one travel credit card that’s designed for all travellers. You need to carefully compare the rewards structure of each program and choose something that best suits your lifestyle.

Are you saving up for one-time round-the-world flight purchase? Or do you prefer to put your points towards ongoing travel expenses, like baggage costs or hotel stays? The choice is yours, but there are a few key features to look for in a travel rewards credit card:

  • A generous welcome bonus
  • How easily and quickly you can earn points based on your personal spending habits
  • Ease of points redemption
  • A reasonable annual fee

When looking at all the products on the market, consider your lifestyle and compare these key features. It will make choosing a travel credit card much easier. No matter which you choose, don’t forget to pack the plastic in your wallet before leaving for your trip. Bon voyage!

The Best Credit Cards by Category:

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

Article comments

6 comments
michelle says:

Curious as to why the RBC Westjet Rewards card is not mentioned here at all?

Lisa Jackson says:

We’ll take a look at it for our next update!

Akina says:

Rogers has changed how you can apply their cashback. It’s now any transaction over $20.

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Akina,

Thanks for letting us know!

Amer says:

The best I found is the HSBC world elite credit card.
Sign up bonus 75000 points, waived first year fees. (The bonus is 105000 points if you live in Quebec).
100$ travel enhancement credit.
10% off your Expedia hotel booking.
No foreign transaction fee.
Unlike the amex, it’s accepted everywhere. I have the cobalt and I have a hard time finding restaurants/groceries/pharmacies that accept it! Even Costco don’t accept it!
My ultimate goal is to get the chase sapphire reserve Visa card… not sure how though!

Winner for me would probably be the best points to dollars ratio. Although, another contention would be what I could spend those points on