Travel is a very broad category that covers many subcategories such as airfare, hotels, car rentals, transit, and much more. The best travel credit card should not only offer you the highest return on your spend, but also benefits and perks that fit the way you travel.
Review the best credit cards in Canada for travel and calculate which cards can earn you the most rewards based on your spend and offer the best travel benefits.
This page details our top picks for the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada. You can use the Rewards Calculator at the bottom of this page to estimate which travel rewards credit cards can earn you the best return on your spend.
The cards on this page are updated periodically. New cards are introduced from time to time and the benefits of current cards could change at any time.
You can also use our Credit Card Finder Tool to search by spend across all credit cards in our database.
Best For Flexible Travel Rewards
The American Express Cobalt Card is one of the best credit cards in Canada and is at the top of the list when it comes to earning flexible rewards points.
The card earns 5X Membership Rewards Points on restaurant and grocery store purchases, 2X on gas, travel, and transit, and 1X on everything else.
Points can be redeemed for high value towards airfare purchase through the AMEX Fixed Points Travel program. Points can also be transferred to a handful of partners for a chance at great value including Air Canada Aeroplan, Delta Airlines SkyMiles, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.
If you want to use your points towards other travel redemptions made through the American Express Travel Service or use your points to cover charges made to the card, that will also get you some solid value.
Benefits of the Cobalt Card include $100 USD in hotel credit on 2+ night booking for hotels that fall under The Hotel Collection and great travel and purchase insurance.
Best For No Annual Fee
If you want a card that earns great rewards without the annual fee, the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is a fantastic option.
The card earns 2X points on restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership, and household utility purchases on up to $10,000 in spend annually in the applicable category. You'll also earn 10% bonus points based on points earned 12 months before your birthday month.
Points earned with the card can be redeemed for travel at a value of 1 cent each. The card also offers mobile device insurance as well as extended warranty benefits and purchase assurance.
Best For No Foreign Transaction Fee
Want to avoid foreign transaction fees on international spending while still earning a superb return on your spend? Then you'll want to check out the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.
It has no foreign transaction fees meaning you will not have to pay the 2.5% fee on any foreign currency purchases including online shopping and traveling abroad. You'll only have to worry about the exchange rate which is great.
In terms of rewards, the card earns 5X points on grocery, restaurants, and entertainment purchases, 3X points on gas, daily transit, and select streaming service purchases, and 1X on all other purchases. Scotia Rewards Points can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent each towards travel purchases.
The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card also comes with a good list of benefits including Priority Pass membership, access to AMEX Offers which can earn you bonus points and save you money at your favorite retailers, and 8 types of insurance coverage including trip cancellation insurance, trip interruption insurance, flight delay insurance, and rental car collision loss/damage insurance.
Overall, if you want a card that does it all no matter if you're spending domestically or internationally, you'll want to sweep up the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.
Best For Heavy Spenders
If you're a big spender that want travel benefits but don't want to worry about bonus categories, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card is a solid option.
The card earns 1X points on all purchases and a bonus 25% points on travel purchases. Points earned with the card can be redeemed for airfare using the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule at a minimum of 2 cents per point. They can also be transferred to partners such as American Airlines and British Airways.
You'll also receive a bunch of benefits including access to Visa Infinite benefits, discounts and bonus points with Petro-Canada, and great purchase and travel insurance coverage which includes mobile device insurance, trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, and emergency medical travel insurance.
Best For Air Canada Benefits
The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is the best option if you frequently fly Air Canada and you're looking for top-notch benefits when doing so.
The card offers access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges, priority airport services such as Air Canada priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling, free checked bags, the ability to roll over Aeroplan Elite Status Qualifying Miles and unused eUpgrade Credits, and much more.
When you spend $25,000 in net purchases across the card prior to the anniversary date, you'll be given a Worldwide Companion Pass which allows you to buy an accompanying Air Canada economy class ticket for a companion at a fixed base fare from $99 to $599 CAD (plus taxes/fees) depending on the destination.
In terms of points, you'll earn 3X Aeroplan Points on purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, 2X on dining and food delivery purchases in Canada, and 1.25X on everything else.
Best For Luxury Travel & Lounge Access
Want access to lounges around the world as well as a slew of elite travel benefits? Turn your attention to The Platinum Card® by American Express.
The card comes with a long list of benefits including $200 CAD in annual travel credit, complimentary hotel elite status with several hotel brands including Marriott and Hilton, special benefits at Toronto Airport, and great travel and purchase insurance coverage.
The most known benefit of The Platinum Card is the American Express Global Lounge Collection. This grants access to Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClub Lounges (when flying Delta), Plaza Premium Lounges, Airspace Lounges, Escape Lounges, Priority Pass Lounges, Executive Lounges by Swissport, and Québec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport VIP Lounge.
With the Platinum Card, you're effectively getting lounge access, a bunch of travel benefits, and great insurance for $499 CAD (after the $200 annual credit) which is an excellent deal. Pair this card with the American Express Cobalt Card and you'll have yourself a nice 2-card combination that works great for travel.
Best Credit Cards For Travel Summary
|Credit Card||Annual Fee||Best For|
|American Express Cobalt™ Card||$12.99 per month||Flexible Travel Rewards|
|MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®||$0||No Annual Fee|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card||$120||No Foreign Transaction Fee|
|RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card||$120||Heavy Spenders|
|American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card||$599||Air Canada Benefits|
|The Platinum Card®||$699||Luxury Travel & Lounge Access|
Best Credit Cards By Spend Calculator
Use this calculator to find out which Canada travel rewards credit cards will earn you the most rewards and best return based on your spend.
Results will be sorted by net return. This is calculated by taking the average value of the rewards earned adding the average value of card benefits and subtracting any annual fees the card has.
Results will consist of top-rated credit cards in the market.
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These estimates are to help guide you towards making the best decision when it comes to picking up a rewards credit card. They should be used for illustrative purposes only.
All spend entered in the fields above will carry over to every credit card rewards calculator on the site so there's no need to re-enter spend.