Best Travel Cards

The welcome bonuses on the following three cards are enough to secure a round-trip ticket to any location in continental North America.

Top 3 of 2022

RankCredit CardBonusRatingApply
1 AMEX Gold Rewards review 25,000 Points Welcome Points Apply NowReview
2 Westjet RBC World Elite Mastercard RBC Up to $450 Cash Voucher for Flights Apply NowReview
3 TD Aeroplan Visa $150 Bonus Miles Up to 15,000 Sign-up Bonus Apply NowReview
Before we begin dissecting 2021’s best travel credit cards in Canada, let us cut to the chase and say: yes, you can get a free flight for next to nothing. Whilst all three cards have their own particular advantages, for us it is a toss up between the AMEX Gold, with it’s superior flexibility, and the RBC WestJet which offers the highest immediate value.

Why Are These The Best Travel Cards of 2021?

If you are a WestJet flyer, or are ok with becoming one, this card provides excellent immediate value. The welcome bonus of $250 WestJet dollars can be used as cash on any flight, and the first checked bag is reduced from $25-$30 to FREE! for you and any travel companions. (Never mind it is a disgrace that Canadian airlines charge for your first checked bag in the first place, this is the world we live in). WestJet dollars function the same as good old cash money, and can be used on any flight you fancy, no silly tricks hidden in the Ts and Cs. To top it off, you get an annual companion voucher which can be used for your husband/wife/lover anywhere WestJet flies! If you feel suffocated by the WestJet cards insistence on exclusivity, The American Express Gold Card is happy to have an open relationship. The annual fee of $150 is waived for year one, which makes the 25,000 point welcome bonus – worth ~$250 – an incredible freebie. You can use that $250 as cash for any purchase you make on the card whether it be towards a flight, hotel booking or rental car (all of which can earn 2% money back in points it should be noted). And the points are used just as cash, meaning you can book travel whenever, wherever, and however you would like and simply redeem points for credit on your statement. Or transfer points 1 to 1 to most any frequent flyer program including Aeroplan, which makes the AMEX the undercover best Aeroplan card in the market! [aeroplan-visa-infinite-header]The TD Aeroplan offers points worth $150 just for opening the account, and has halved the annual fee of $120 to just $60, which makes this offer an absolute no brainer. You can use that $150 to get a free return short haul flight with a free bag check worth $25-$30 thrown in.

The TD Aeroplan also provides additional perks which will help make your airport journey much more comfortable. You’ll get VIP check in (a separate line, not online check in) priority boarding as long as you are a cardholder, and one free pass to the maple leaf lounge each year. You also get 1-1.5% back on all spend and double points from select retailers – which ranges from average to good.

Are you a Business or a Family Traveler?

Have you thought of the little ones? There are excellent cards out there that not only provide reduced companion vouchers and free baggage check for your entire party, but provide insurance for unplanned complications, otherwise known as life.

Best Family Traveler Credit Card

WestJet MasterCard World Elite
Cancelation insurance is no jokeApply Now

The business traveler spends a lot of time in airports, in line, and in planes, and will most likely be more concerned with maximizing airport and flight convenience. You travel a lot, best to make it as comfortable as possible.

Best Business Traveler Credit Card

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
Comfort is keyApply Now

Check out our article on business versus family travel to find the best cards for each type of traveler.

The Question of Insurance

Do you dream of winters in Miami or San Diego? Then you really need to find a card offering the best medical insurance – most consecutive days of coverage and perhaps age 65+ – check out our travel insurance comparison page.

Best Travel Insurance Credit Card for Snowbirds

Scotia Gold American Express
4% Cash Back on ForeignApply Now

Point Partisans

Along with choosing the right partner, the choice of points program is widely thought to be the most important decision a Canadian can make. Aeroplan? Airmiles? Should you just go with WestJet dollars? Check out which cards you should be using depending on your preference of program, as well as sneaky little hacks to power up your point collection.

Best Aeroplan Credit Card

AMEX Gold Rewards review
25,000 Points Welcome PointsApply Now

Best AirMiles Credit Card

BMO Cashback World Elite
Huge Savings in Insurance CostsApply Now

The Question of Foreign Exchange

It is a shame how many Canadians are paying inflated currency exchange rates when simple lowest-rate alternatives exist. Check out our article on foreign exchange rate cards to pick out your go-to card when traveling abroad.

Best Foreign Exchange Credit Card

Rogers Platinum MasterCard
4% Cash Back on ForeignApply Now

Closing Balance

Whilst there are three cards that sort of differentiate themselves in terms of immediate bonus value, depending on particular circumstances you might want to dig a bit deeper in particular travel categories. Yes, a $250 bonus is great, but there are more valuable cards out there if you also require 65+ insurance, or if you are a frequent business traveler after free lounge access. What should be quite clear for any Canadian traveler is there is tons of value to be had courtesy of credit card companies – you are going to have to spend money regardless, so why not spend it with a credit card that gives something useful back!

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