Best Air Miles Credit Cards

The Air Miles Frequent Flyer program is the largest loyalty program in Canada with over 9 million members, which makes it a bit surprising that the only two issuers competing for a foothold in the market are AMEX and BMO. And though collectors could benefit from a few more credit cards with airmiles partnerships jumping into the fray, there are still exceptionally valuable offers on…offer.

RankCardPointsRateFeeApply
1
BMO Air Miles World Elite
2,0001=$10$120Apply NowReview
2
AMEX Air Miles
5001=$20$0Apply Now
3
AMEX Air Miles Platinum
2,0001=$15$65Apply NowReview
4
AMEX Air Miles Reserve
2,4001=$15$299Apply Now
5
BMO Air Miles Mastercard
5001=$20$0Apply Now
6
BMO SPC Air Miles Student Card
5001=$20$0Apply Now
7
BMO Sobeys Air Miles
5001=$20$0Apply Now

Free Miles, Free Points oh my!

On the fee-free side, we recommend getting started with any of the BMO credit cards, which give you 500 free miles (or the equivalent of $10,000 spend on your credit card) just for signing up, no spend required. If you want to really work the system, you can grab a few of the fee free cards and wrack up a ton of free points.

However, if you are willing to shell out an annual fee,you can get 2000 points – which is good for a free flight – on both the AMEX platinum or the BMO world elite.

Yes, this is a bit more expensive than we would like. For slightly more than half the price, one might argue, you can get the AMEX Platinum which offers the same 2000 points. Well, allow us to retort – indeed you pay twice the annual fee, but those 2000 points are immediately yours whereas the AMEX requires $1,500 in spend within three months.

Moreover, the earning potential on the BMO dwarfs all comers – 1 point per $10 is excellent Air Miles value – one-third better than the AMEX as a matter of fact. However, what really separates this guy from the pack is the exclusive 25% discount on flight redemptions anywhere in North America for BMO World Elite card holders. For collectors, this is a dream.

Additionally, you get a priority pass membership and two free passes per year, which is worth over $150 a year in and of itself.

An AirMiles Giant Amongst Airmiles Men

Add to this a comprehensive insurance package including medical, trip cancellation and rental collision damage waiver and you have got a firecracker of an Air Miles card, easily the best Air Miles credit card in Canada.

The AMEX is no slouch either, and it is 50% cheaper. The earn rate is 1 point for $15 as a standard, but it improves to 1 point for every $10 for Air Miles sponsors as well as grocers, gas stations and drug stores. The insurance offering does, however, fall short of the BMO card.

No-fee AirMiles Credit Cards

If you are a student then the BMO SPC card is a no brainer. You get 10-15% off purchases at many popular stores – think the Gap, Banana Republic, tons of restaurants, etc. – and you get it as part and parcel of the card, no need to pay the standard annual SPC card fee. The BMO Sobeys AirMiles card is pretty rad, you get twice the points when shopping at Sobeys. If you double dip with your Sobeys loyalty card you will actually get 3 miles per $20 spent which is unparalleled value. For the first three months you get 3X the miles as well, which is a great intro offering on top of the 500 free points. Just like the BMO No-Fee Air Miles card the Sobeys boasts no-fee and no-spend requirements – which leads to the question: why would anybody go for the BMO no-fee card over the Sobeys? You do get a slightly better earn rate at Shell gas, but aside from that the most likely answer would be: they want to rotate cards to take advantage of the introductory free Air Miles.

The last fee-free card is the AMEX Air Miles, which gives 500 points on a $500 spend requirement within three months. The card does offer a better earn rate at Air Miles partners – 1 point per $15 – but aside from that there is not much that would recommend this one against the others. Of course, if you are looking to cycle through cards for the points, this AMEX is a great cog in the wheel.

Closing Balance

Anyhoo, we know the BMO has a higher annual fee, but man, it sure does separate itself from the pack. It is the go-to card for spending based on its earn rate, and that 25% discount on flights has us screaming hallelujah. Aside from that you have got a bunch of no fee cards that offer 500 points on sign up – I guess the question is, why would you not take the points they are giving you?

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