The Well

Rachel Surman | Blog

The Best Travel Credit Cards of 2017 In Canada

November 8, 2017

Travel credit cards can make your plans to see the world a lot easier. If you’re new to travel credit cards, it’s a type of card that allows you to earn points towards flights and free hotel stays through various rewards programs.

The right travel card can offer cardholders exceptional value, such as access to VIP lounges, upgrades, and special bonuses. If you’re looking to plan a trip, signing up for a travel card is a great way to start because of the huge sign-up bonuses.

In order to plan that dream vacation, you’ll need a great travel card and a strategy to help you maximize your rewards. At Borrowell, we have a shared love of travelling, exploring, and saving money. With that said, here are our top four picks for travel credit cards.

1. Capital One Aspire Travel Platinum Mastercard

Capital one Aspire Credit Card

  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • Get 10,000 bonus reward miles when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • No annual fee

If you’re looking for a simple and easy-to-understand travel rewards program, Capital One’s program is right for you. When you sign up for the Capital One Aspire Travel Platinum Mastercard, you will earn one reward mile for every $1 you spend on everything you buy.

This card also offers 10,000 bonus reward miles (equal to $100 in travel) when you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of having the card.  So, if you decide to use this card in the months leading up to your trip,  you’ll easily be able to earn $100 in rewards.

The Capital One Aspire Travel Platinum Mastercard also offers no annual fee. The interest rate is competitive among travel cards, at 19.8% – and the cash advance is the same rate.

A few perks to share: you can add an authorized user to your card for $0 and earn even more miles with their purchases. You’ll also receive Platinum Mastercard benefits, including Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance and Baggage Delay coverage.

2. American Express AIR MILES Credit Card

American Express Travel Card

  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $15 in card purchases at AIR MILES sponsors
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $20 in purchases you charge to the card everywhere else
  • No annual fee

Welcome bonuses are what you should look for when comparing travel cards – and the American Express AIR MILES Credit Card’s offering is quite competitive! It offers new cardmembers 500 AIR MILES Reward Miles when you charge a total of $500 in purchases to your card within the first three months as a card owner.

Now for the everyday rewards. You’ll earn one reward mile for every $15 in card purchases at AIR MILES sponsors and one reward mile for every $20 in purchases you charge to the card everywhere else. You can also shop at participating AIR MILES sponsors across Canada with your card and your collector card and earn 2x the rewards miles.

The American Express AIR MILES Credit Card also doesn’t have an annual fee – unlike many travel cards. Another perk that sets this card apart is the balance transfer offer. If you decide to move an existing credit card balance to this card, you’ll receive a 1.99% introductory interest rate for the first six months. After the introductory period, the interest rate increases to 19.99%.

3. CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card

CIBC Adventura Credit Card

  • Get a welcome bonus of 15,000 Aventura Points
  • Fly for as little as 10,000 Aventura Points
  • $120 annual fee (first-year rebate)

For those who don’t collect AIR MILES, there’s the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card. You can use your Aventura Points to book with any airline, any seat, and enjoy zero blackout periods.

When you sign up for the card, you will earn 15,000 Aventura Points as a welcome bonus. You can also fly for as little as 10,000 Aventura Points but it’s important to note that flying to different regions will cost you more or fewer points, so it really just depends on your trip. For example, 10,000 points would cover what’s considered a “short haul” flight within Canada or the U.S. “Long haul flights,” however, require more like 30,000-40,000 points.  

With the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card, you’ll  earn one Aventura Point for every $1 spent using your card and one and a half Aventura Points for every$1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, and drug stores. Also, Aventura Points don’t expire.

This card’s interest rate is 19.99% and 22.99% on cash advances. The annual fee is $120, which is rebated the first year. 

4. BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

BMO Air Miles Card

  • Get 500 AIR MILES Bonus Miles for signing up
  • Get 3x the miles for the first 6 months, then enjoy 1 reward mile for every $20 in purchases
  • No annual fee

If you collect AIR MILES Reward Miles, the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard is a good pick. As a welcome bonus, you’ll get 500 AIR MILES for signing up.

Then, you’ll earn 3x the miles for the first six months of owning your card. After the six months is up, you’ll then enjoy one reward mile for every $20 in purchases. You will also get 2x the points at AIR MILES sponsored companies, such as Metro, The Holiday Inn, Goodyear, and many more.

There’s no annual fee – which is another bonus. As for interest rates, this card offers a 19.99% rate on all purchases and 22.99% interest rate on cash advances. Other perks of the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard include the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Travel and Medical Protection, flight discounts, and VIP airport lounge access.

So many places to travel, so little time! At least a travel credit card, like one of the four options above, can help you get there for less. Stay tuned for more of our “Best Of” lists, coming soon. 

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