Best credit cards in Canada

Beta version — April 2021

Getting new credit cards is one of the best ways for Canadians to travel more for less.

It’s how we easily get over a thousand dollars in travel rewards every year ourselves, all the while improving our credit score and getting plenty of other awesome travel benefits.

The key is to choose cards among the best credit cards in Canada (offers change constantly) and to always pay balances on-time and in full.

Here’s our monthly ranking, which focuses mainly on our Flytrippers Valuation of the credit cards’ welcome bonuses alone, since that’s what will be the same for any type of traveler—and because that is what is most important to maximize travel rewards.

(More details about how the ranking works or our Flytrippers Valuation.)

Flytrippers ranking of the best credit card offers in Canada (April 2021)

These are the best of the best, the credit cards with the highest welcome bonus offers in Canada right now. You can’t go wrong with any of these credit cards that all offer at least $276 in travel rewards with their welcome bonuses alone, but we help you choose below too.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit card offers in Canada for April 2021 (coming soon).

Best credit card offers
(April 2021)
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
American Express Cobalt Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $500/mo for 12 mos.*
Big
spenders
or beginners
ends May 5th
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $3k in 3 mos.
All
travelers
a must-have card
limited time
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Easy
credits
simple rewards
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
spend $4k in 4 mos.
Cashback
fans
who spend more
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Frequent Air Canada
travel
for VIP benefits
BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
spend $3k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES
Rewards
collectors
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Lower spend
or lower income
5x & insurance
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $0
spend $2k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Lower credit
scores
and balances
ends April 19th
HSBC World Elite Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $80k
spend $5k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Welcome
bonus
sometimes higher though
ends April 19th
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit card offers
(April 2021)
American Express Cobalt Card American Express Cobalt Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
ends May 5th
spend $500/mo for 12 mos.*
Best for: Big spenders
or beginners
Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Best for: All travelers
a must-have card
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Best for: Easy credits
simple rewards
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express® SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $4k in 4 mos.
Best for: Cashback fans
who spend more
American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Best for: Frequent Air Canada travel
for VIP benefits
BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®* BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Best for: AIR MILES Rewards
collectors
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Best for: Lower spend or lower income
5x & insurance
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard® HSBC +Rewards Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
ends April 19th
spend $2k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Best for: Lower credit scores
and balances
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® HSBC World Elite Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
ends April 19th
spend $5k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Best for: Welcome bonus
sometimes higher though
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada by category

Since there is no such thing as one  “best card”, this beta version of our ranking of the best credit cards is now also split into various different sections based on your own preferences, profile, and strategy.

You can read a teaser about how to choose the best credit cards for you below the ranking, with more to come.

We’ll soon have even more categories, detailed credit card pages, comparison features, and more: sign up for free to be the first to get the full version.

Beginners: our upcoming free course (written & video) will explain how travel rewards & credit cards work in greater detail, but if you are new to this world, it’s important to read some basic knowledge (like not canceling old cards) also below the ranking.

Best credit cards in Canada for groceries

A lot of travel rewards beginners have a hard time understanding that earn rates aren’t as important as welcome bonuses, so we figured adding this section would be a great opportunity to remind you. But with groceries being such a big expense, these cards are great for those getting started out.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for groceries (coming soon).

 

Best credit cards
for groceries
WELCOME
BONUS
Earn rate
on groceries
American Express Cobalt Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $500/mo for 12 mos.*
≈ 5.4%
or 5% at fixed-value
ends May 5th
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
5%
fixed-value
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
spend $2k in 3 mos.
4%
fixed-value
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
spend $3k in 3 mos.
3.55%
fixed-value
Tangerine World Mastercard
minimum income required: $60k
no welcome bonus
2%
incl. Walmart Supercentres
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards
for groceries
American Express Cobalt Card American Express Cobalt Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
ends May 5th
spend $500/mo for 12 mos.*
Earn rate on groceries: ≈ 5.4%
or 5% at fixed-value
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Earn rate on groceries: 5%
fixed-value
Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $2k in 3 mos.
Earn rate on groceries: 4%
fixed-value
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Earn rate on groceries: 3.55%
fixed-value
Tangerine World Mastercard® Tangerine World Mastercard
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Earn rate on groceries: 2%
incl. Walmart Supercentres
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada for easy fixed-value travel credits

While variable-value rewards are the best to maximize the value you get, some prefer easy fixed-value travel credits that can be applied to any travel expense for a lot more flexibility (and are okay with sacrificing value for that). These are the best current offers for easy “eraser”-type points.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for easy fixed-value travel credits (coming soon).

Best credit cards
for easy travel credits
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
American Express Cobalt Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $500/mo for 12 mos.*
Big
spenders
or beginners
ends May 5th
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Very good
travel insurance
and earn rate
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Airport lounge
access
and no FX fees
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $0
spend $2k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Non-Amex
option
no travel insurance
ends April 19th
American Express Gold Rewards Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $1.5k in 3 mos.
Those who
already have
the Cobalt Card
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards
for easy travel credits
American Express Cobalt Card American Express Cobalt Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
ends May 5th
spend $500/mo for 12 mos.*
Best for: Big spenders
or beginners
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Best for: Very good travel insurance
and earn rate
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite* Card Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Best for: Airport lounge access
and no FX fees
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard® HSBC +Rewards Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
ends April 19th
spend $2k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Best for: Non-Amex option
no travel insurance
American Express® Gold Rewards Card American Express Gold Rewards Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1.5k in 3 mos.
Best for: Those who already have
the Cobalt Card
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada for AIR MILES Rewards

The AIR MILES program is widely-known but quite misused: like any rewards program, you can get the highest potential value by using it for travel. And AIR MILES Miles are easy to earn with many credit cards available.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for AIR MILES Rewards (coming soon).

Best credit cards for
AIR MILES Rewards
WELCOME
BONUS
AIR MILES
Miles
BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
spend $3k in 3 mos.
2,300 Miles
after welcome bonus
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $1.5k in 3 mos.
2,300 Miles
after welcome bonus
BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
920 Miles
after welcome bonus
American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
2,300 Miles
after welcome bonus
BMO AIR MILES Business Mastercard
business required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
3,500 Miles
after welcome bonus
BMO AIR MILES No-Fee Business Mastercard
business required
spend $3k in 3 mos.
1,150 Miles
after welcome bonus
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards for
AIR MILES Rewards
BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®* BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES Miles: 2,300 Miles
after welcome bonus
American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Card American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1.5k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES Miles: 2,300 Miles
after welcome bonus
BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES Miles: 920 Miles
after welcome bonus
American Express® AIR MILES®* for Business Card American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES Miles: 2,300 Miles
after welcome bonus
BMO® AIR MILES®† Business® Mastercard®* BMO AIR MILES Business Mastercard
business required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES Miles: 3,500 Miles
after welcome bonus
BMO® AIR MILES®† No-Fee Business® Mastercard®* BMO AIR MILES No-Fee Business Mastercard
business required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES Miles: 1,150 Miles
after welcome bonus
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada for Marriott Bonvoy points

Marriott has by far the best hotel rewards program for Canadians, and it is so easy to get many many free hotel nights. This is especially great for those who are like us and are able to find cheap flights anyways (and want to maximize the value they get from rewards).

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for Marriott Bonvoy points (coming soon).

Best credit cards for
Marriott points
WELCOME
BONUS
Marriott
points
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $3k in 3 mos.
66,000 pts
after welcome bonus
limited time
American Express Cobalt Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $500/mo for 12 mos.*
91,800 pts
after welcome bonus
ends May 5th
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
70,000 pts
after welcome bonus
limited time
American Express Business Edge Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
48,000 pts
after welcome bonus
Choice Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
spend $1.25k in 3 mos.
16,500 pts
after welcome bonus
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards for
Marriott points
Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Marriott points: 66,000 pts
after welcome bonus
American Express Cobalt Card American Express Cobalt Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
ends May 5th
spend $500/mo for 12 mos.*
Marriott points: 91,800 pts
after welcome bonus
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Marriott points: 70,000 pts
after welcome bonus
American Express Business Edge Card American Express Business Edge Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Marriott points: 48,000 pts
after welcome bonus
Choice Card from American Express Choice Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1.25k in 3 mos.
Marriott points: 16,500 pts
after welcome bonus
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada for cashback

Travel rewards are a lot better than cashback if you want to get more value. And some types of travel rewards are just as simple and flexible as cashback. But some still prefer cashback, so here are the few cashback cards that at least have good welcome bonuses.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for cashback (coming soon).

Best credit cards
for cashback
WELCOME
BONUS
Earn
rate
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
spend $2k in 3 mos.
4%
on groceries (1-2% elsewhere)
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
spend $4k in 4 mos.
2%
on everything
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $1.5k in 3 mos.
2.1%
on food & gas (1.05% elsewhere)
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
minimum income required: $80k
spend $2k in 3 mos.
1.5%
on everything
BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
1.26%
at AM partners (0.42% elsewhere)
BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
spend $3k in 3 mos.
1.05%
(2.63% at AM partners in May)
SimplyCash Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
spend $6k in 3 mos.
1.25%
on everything
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards
for cashback
Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $2k in 3 mos.
Earn rate: 4%
on groceries (1-2% elsewhere)
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express® SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $4k in 4 mos.
Earn rate: 2%
on everything
American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Card American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1.5k in 3 mos.
Earn rate: 2.1%
on food & gas (1.05% elsewhere)
BMO CashBack® World Elite®* MasterCard®* BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $2k in 3 mos.
Earn rate: 1.5%
on everything
BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Earn rate: 1.26%
at AM partners (0.42% elsewhere)
BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®* BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Earn rate: 1.05%
(2.63% at AM partners in May)
SimplyCash Card from American Express® SimplyCash Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $6k in 3 mos.
Earn rate: 1.25%
on everything
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada for balance transfers

You should never carry a balance on a credit card. If you do, fixing that should be your #1 financial priority (the yearly thousand dollars in travel rewards you can get with credit cards should be good motivation). But if you are carrying a balance, in the meantime these cards will at least help you save on interest by doing a transfer.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for balance transfers (coming soon).

Best credit cards
for balance transfers
WELCOME
BONUS
Interest
rate
BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
1.99%
for 9 mos
1% transfer fee
BMO Rewards MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
1.99%
for 9 mos
1% transfer fee
BMO CashBack Mastercard
minimum income required: $15k
spend $500 in 3 mos.
1.99%
for 9 mos
1% transfer fee
President's Choice Financial Mastercard
minimum income required: $0
spend $0 (1 purchase)
0.97%
for 6 mos
0% transfer fee
Tangerine Money-Back Card
minimum income required: $0
no welcome bonus
1.95%
for 6 mos
3% transfer fee
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
minimum income required: $12k
no welcome bonus
0.99%
for 6 mos
0% transfer fee
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards
for balance transfers
BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Interest rate: 1.99% for 9 mos
1% transfer fee
BMO Rewards® MasterCard®* BMO Rewards MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Interest rate: 1.99% for 9 mos
1% transfer fee
BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* BMO CashBack Mastercard
minimum income required: $15k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $500 in 3 mos.
Interest rate: 1.99% for 9 mos
1% transfer fee
President's Choice Financial® Mastercard® President's Choice Financial Mastercard
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $0 (1 purchase)
Interest rate: 0.97% for 6 mos
0% transfer fee
Tangerine Money-Back Card Tangerine Money-Back Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Interest rate: 1.95% for 6 mos
3% transfer fee
Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card Scotiabank Value Visa Card
minimum income required: $12k
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Interest rate: 0.99% for 6 mos
0% transfer fee
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada with no foreign transaction fees

Almost every Canadian credit card charges a 2.5% fee on all transactions in foreign currencies, which might still be worth paying overall, depending on your card strategy. But these are the best credit cards to avoid that fee altogether.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada with no foreign transaction fees (coming soon).

Best credit cards with
no foreign transaction fees
WELCOME
BONUS
Other
benefit
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Very good
travel insurance
and earn rate
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Airport
lounge access
6 passes
Brim Mastercard
minimum income required: $0
no welcome bonus
No-fee
card
add-on w/ other card
Brim World Elite Mastercard
minimum income required: $80k
no welcome bonus
No minimum
spend
add-on w/ other card
ends March 31st
HSBC World Elite Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $80k
spend $5k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Welcome
bonus
sometimes higher though
ends April 19th
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards with
no foreign transaction fees
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Other benefit: Very good travel insurance
and earn rate
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite* Card Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Other benefit: Airport lounge access
6 passes
Brim Mastercard Brim Mastercard
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Other benefit: No-fee card
add-on w/ other card
Brim World Elite Mastercard Brim World Elite Mastercard
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
ends March 31st
no welcome bonus
Other benefit: No minimum spend
add-on w/ other card
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® HSBC World Elite Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
ends April 19th
spend $5k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Other benefit: Welcome bonus
sometimes higher though
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada for airport lounge access

The only thing better than airport lounge access is free airport lounge access. We love airport lounges. And it’s easy for any Canadian to get free airport lounge access with these cards, no matter how often you travel.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for airport lounge access (coming soon).

Best credit cards for
airport lounge access
WELCOME
BONUS
Lounge
passes
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
6 passes
worldwide
Priority Pass
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
minimum income required: $0
spend $3k in 3 mos.
∞ (unlimited, no guest)
in North America
Air Canada Lounges
Platinum Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
spend $3k in 3 mos.
∞ (unlimited + 1 guest)
worldwide
Priority Pass
BMO World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
spend $3k in 3 mos.
4 passes
worldwide
LoungeKey
BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
spend $3k in 3 mos.
2 passes
worldwide (2021 only)
LoungeKey
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege Card
minimum income required: $150k
spend $5k in 3 mos.
6 passes
worldwide
Priority Pass
Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
spend $0 (1 purchase)
10 passes
worldwide
Priority Pass
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
∞ (unlimited, no guest)
in North America
Air Canada Lounges
Business Platinum Card from American Express
non-employment income required
spend $7k in 3 mos.
∞ (unlimited + 1 guest)
worldwide
Priority Pass
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards for
airport lounge access
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite* Card Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Lounge passes: 6 passes worldwide
Priority Pass
American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Lounge passes: ∞ (unlimited, no guest) in North America
Air Canada Lounges
Platinum Card® from American Express Platinum Card from American Express
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Lounge passes: ∞ (unlimited + 1 guest) worldwide
Priority Pass
BMO World Elite™* MasterCard®* BMO World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Lounge passes: 4 passes worldwide
LoungeKey
BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®* BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
minimum income required: $80k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Lounge passes: 2 passes worldwide (2021 only)
LoungeKey
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege Card
minimum income required: $150k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Lounge passes: 6 passes worldwide
Priority Pass
Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $0 (1 purchase)
Lounge passes: 10 passes worldwide
Priority Pass
American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Lounge passes: ∞ (unlimited, no guest) in North America
Air Canada Lounges
Business Platinum Card® from American Express Business Platinum Card from American Express
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $7k in 3 mos.
Lounge passes: ∞ (unlimited + 1 guest) worldwide
Priority Pass
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada with low minimum spends

Pros know that adding a 2nd card the same day as a card application is a great way to double your welcome bonuses, and that’s easier when the 2nd has a low minimum spend (also for those who spend less, despite our tips to reach minimum spend requirements).

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada with low minimum spends (coming soon).

Best credit cards
with low minimum spends
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Lower spend
or lower income
5x & insurance
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $0
spend $2k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Non-Amex
option
no travel insurance
ends April 19th
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Airport lounge
access
and no FX fees
BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
spend $1k in 3 mos.
More
AIR MILES
Rewards
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards
with low minimum spends
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
minimum income required: $12k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Best for: Lower spend or lower income
5x & insurance
HSBC +Rewards Mastercard® HSBC +Rewards Mastercard (excl. QC)
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
ends April 19th
spend $2k in 6 mos. (see QC offer)
Best for: Non-Amex option
no travel insurance
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite* Card Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card
minimum income required: $60k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Best for: Airport lounge access
and no FX fees
BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
minimum income required: $15k
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1k in 3 mos.
Best for: More AIR MILES
Rewards
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada for those with non-employment income

Many people don’t know that they simply do not require having an actual business for certain small business cards: any type of non-employment income qualifies you for some amazing offers (reselling, side gig, etc.) so here are the best ones.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for those with non-employment income (coming soon).

Best credit cards
for non-employment income
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Frequent Air Canada
travel
& maximizing Aeroplan
Business Platinum Card from American Express
non-employment income required
spend $7k in 3 mos.
Big spenders
& luxury
travelers
American Express Business Edge Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
More Marriott
points
and good earn rate
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Valuable Marriott
certificate
another must-have
limited time
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
More valuable
Amex points
for Aeroplan or Avios
American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Another
AIR MILES
bonus
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best credit cards
for non-employment income
American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: Frequent Air Canada travel
& maximizing Aeroplan
Business Platinum Card® from American Express Business Platinum Card from American Express
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $7k in 3 mos.
Best for: Big spenders & luxury
travelers
American Express Business Edge Card American Express Business Edge Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: More Marriott points
and good earn rate
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: Valuable Marriott certificate
another must-have
American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: More valuable Amex points
for Aeroplan or Avios
American Express® AIR MILES®* for Business Card American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: Another AIR MILES
bonus
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best credit cards in Canada for businesses

If you have an incorporated business, you have even more options in terms of small business cards, so here are the best ones.

You can read our detailed page about the best credit cards in Canada for businesses (coming soon).

Best business
credit cards
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Valuable Marriott
certificate
another must-have
limited time
BMO AIR MILES Business Mastercard
business required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES
Rewards
collectors
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Frequent Air Canada
travel
& maximizing Aeroplan
Business Platinum Card from American Express
non-employment income required
spend $7k in 3 mos.
Big spenders
& luxury
travelers
American Express Business Edge Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
More Marriott
points
and good earn rate
BMO Rewards Business Mastercard
business required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Easy-to-use
fixed-value
rewards
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
More valuable
Amex points
for Aeroplan or Avios
BMO CashBack Business Mastercard
business required
spend $1.5k in 3 mos.*
Simple
cashback
rewards
BMO AIR MILES No-Fee Business Mastercard
business required
spend $3k in 3 mos.
AIR MILES
collectors
who spend less
American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
non-employment income required
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Another
AIR MILES
bonus
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best business
credit cards
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
limited time
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: Valuable Marriott certificate
another must-have
BMO® AIR MILES®† Business® Mastercard®* BMO AIR MILES Business Mastercard
business required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: AIR MILES Rewards
collectors
American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: Frequent Air Canada travel
& maximizing Aeroplan
Business Platinum Card® from American Express Business Platinum Card from American Express
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $7k in 3 mos.
Best for: Big spenders & luxury
travelers
American Express Business Edge Card American Express Business Edge Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: More Marriott points
and good earn rate
BMO Rewards Business Mastercard®* BMO Rewards Business Mastercard
business required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: Easy-to-use fixed-value
rewards
American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: More valuable Amex points
for Aeroplan or Avios
BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®* BMO CashBack Business Mastercard
business required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $1.5k in 3 mos.*
Best for: Simple cashback
rewards
BMO® AIR MILES®† No-Fee Business® Mastercard®* BMO AIR MILES No-Fee Business Mastercard
business required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $3k in 3 mos.
Best for: AIR MILES collectors
who spend less
American Express® AIR MILES®* for Business Card American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
non-employment income required
WELCOME BONUS
spend $5k in 3 mos.
Best for: Another AIR MILES
bonus
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best prepaid credit cards in Canada

While you won’t get a high amount of travel rewards by getting a prepaid credit card, if you are building your credit and still want some of the benefits of credit cards in a free chequing account, these prepaid cards do not require a credit check (we have & recommend both).

You can read our detailed page about the best prepaid credit cards in Canada (coming soon).

Best prepaid
credit cards
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
KOHO Prepaid Visa
minimum income required: $0
no welcome bonus
0.5%
cashback
on everything
STACK Prepaid Mastercard
minimum income required: $0
spend $0 (at sign-up)
No FX
fees
worldwide
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best prepaid
credit cards
KOHO Prepaid Visa KOHO Prepaid Visa
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: 0.5% cashback
on everything
STACK Prepaid Mastercard® STACK Prepaid Mastercard
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $0 (at sign-up)
Best for: No FX fees
worldwide
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best free credit score monitoring in Canada

As part of your travel rewards strategy, you should monitor your credit score. Your bank might offer this for free, but if not, you can still get it at no cost. By following the rules, you’ll maintain or improve your credit score in addition to getting great welcome bonuses.

You can read our detailed page about the best free credit score monitoring in Canada (coming soon).

Best free credit score
monitoring service
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
Mogo
not available in Québec
no welcome bonus
Free credit
score
monitoring
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best free credit score
monitoring service
Mogo Mogo
not available in Québec
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Free credit score
monitoring
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Other upcoming credit card categories

Subscribe to our free travel rewards newsletter to get all our content to earn a lot more travel rewards.

  • Best credit cards for Aeroplan points
  • Best credit cards for other airline points
  • Best credit cards for luxury travel benefits
  • Best credit cards for travel insurance
  • Best credit cards for insurance coverage for reward flights
  • Best credit cards for luxury travel benefits
  • Best credit cards for mobile device insurance
  • Best credit cards for low interest rates
  • More to be announced later

Best online shopping portals in Canada

Credit cards are how you’ll earn rewards a lot faster, but it’s also a good practice to double-dip and to always use online shopping portals to get 100% more rewards for everything you buy. You can get valuable variable-value rewards or simpler cashback.

You can read our detailed page about the best online shopping portals for Canadians.

Best online
shopping portals
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
Aeroplan eStore
earn Aeroplan points online
no welcome bonus
Most valuable
rewards
for purchases
AIR MILES Shops
earn AIR MILES Miles online
no welcome bonus
Other valuable
rewards
for purchases
Rakuten
earn cashback online
spend $25 (anywhere)
Easy cashback
rewards
for purchases
ampli
earn cashback online & in-store
spend $0 (at sign-up)
Other cashback
app
for purchases
Paymi
earn cashback online & in-store
no welcome bonus
Other cashback
app
for purchases
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best online
shopping portals
Aeroplan eStore Aeroplan eStore
earn Aeroplan points online
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Most valuable rewards
for purchases
AIR MILES Shops AIR MILES Shops
earn AIR MILES Miles online
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Other valuable rewards
for purchases
Rakuten Rakuten
earn cashback online
WELCOME BONUS
spend $25 (anywhere)
Best for: Easy cashback rewards
for purchases
ampli ampli
earn cashback online & in-store
WELCOME BONUS
spend $0 (at sign-up)
Best for: Other cashback app
for purchases
Paymi Paymi
earn cashback online & in-store
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Other cashback app
for purchases
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best services to earn more rewards in Canada

Bill payment services are another way to earn more rewards. One allows you to at least earn some rewards for some bills that can’t be paid by credit card (for free), while the other allows you to pay virtually any bill by credit card (for a fee).

You can read our detailed page about the best services to earn more rewards in Canada (coming soon).

Best services
to earn more rewards
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
Plastiq
bill-payment website
make $500 in payments
Pay any bill
with a card
for a fee
Paytm
bill-payment app
complete email verification
Rewards
on bill payments
for free
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best services
to earn more rewards
Plastiq Plastiq
bill-payment website
WELCOME BONUS
make $500 in payments
Best for: Pay any bill with a card
for a fee
Paytm Paytm
bill-payment app
WELCOME BONUS
complete email verification
Best for: Rewards on bill payments
for free
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best travel insurance providers for COVID-19

While getting travel insurance coverage for free is one of the best benefits of credit cards, most of it has been temporarily voided due to COVID-19. It is now necessary to purchase a stand-alone travel insurance plan if you are traveling internationally.

You can read our detailed page about the best travel insurance providers for Canadians (coming soon).

Best travel insurance
providers for COVID-19
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
Goose
app-first insurer
spend $0 (at sign-up)
All-digital
experience
& welcome bonus
SafetyWing
made for nomads
no welcome bonus
Lower-cost
& lower coverage
option
Manulife
leading Canadian insurer
no welcome bonus
Customer
service
& full-service insurer
TuGo
another Canadian option
no welcome bonus
Comprehensive &
customizable options
simple process
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best travel insurance
providers for COVID-19
Goose Goose
app-first insurer
WELCOME BONUS
spend $0 (at sign-up)
Best for: All-digital experience
& welcome bonus
SafetyWing SafetyWing
made for nomads
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Lower-cost & lower coverage
option
Manulife Manulife
leading Canadian insurer
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Customer service
& full-service insurer
TuGo TuGo
another Canadian option
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Comprehensive & customizable options
simple process
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Best cryptocurrency services

Some also invest time into cryptocurrencies in addition to credit cards. Since we are as passionate about innovation as we are are about the financial industry, here are our favorite services for Canadians interested in cryptocurrencies (also called digital currencies).

You can read our detailed page about the best cryptocurrency services in Canada (coming soon).

Best cryptocurrency
apps & platforms
WELCOME
BONUS
Best
for
Coinbase
minimum income required: $0
take free courses
Highest
bonus
for a portfolio
Crypto.com
minimum income required: $0
signup for card
Crypto
as rewards
on a credit card
Bitbuy
minimum income required: $0
deposit $250
Easy-to-use
Canadian
platform
BlockFi
minimum income required: $0
deposit US$25
Earning
interest
on your crypto
CoinField
minimum income required: $0
deposit $100
Leading
global
platform
NDAX
minimum income required: $0
spend $0 (at sign-up)
Easy-to-use
Canadian
platform
Kraken
minimum income required: $0
no welcome bonus
Most secure
crypto
exchange
Coinsmart
minimum income required: $0
no welcome bonus
Trade
in CAD
100% Canadian
Coinsquare
minimum income required: $0
no welcome bonus
Another
app-first
exchange
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.
Best cryptocurrency
apps & platforms
Coinbase Coinbase
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
take free courses
Best for: Highest bonus
for a portfolio
Crypto.com Crypto.com
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
signup for card
Best for: Crypto as rewards
on a credit card
Bitbuy Bitbuy
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
deposit $250
Best for: Easy-to-use Canadian
platform
BlockFi BlockFi
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
deposit US$25
Best for: Earning interest
on your crypto
CoinField CoinField
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
deposit $100
Best for: Leading global
platform
NDAX NDAX
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
spend $0 (at sign-up)
Best for: Easy-to-use Canadian
platform
Kraken Kraken
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Most secure crypto
exchange
Coinsmart Coinsmart
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Trade in CAD
100% Canadian
Coinsquare Coinsquare
minimum income required: $0
WELCOME BONUS
no welcome bonus
Best for: Another app-first
exchange
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

Other upcoming financial categories

Subscribe to our free travel rewards newsletter to get all our content to save money and travel more.

  • Best banking accounts for travelers
  • Best international ATM withdrawal options
  • Best international money transfer options
  • Best online investing services
  • More to be announced later

Get all our pro tips on how to earn more travel rewards with our newsletter

free. forever.

How our ranking of the best credit cards works

Here’s how we’ve designed the tables for each card ranking category, with more to come about each card in the non-beta version.

1. The card ranking category
So you can easily see which ranking this is.

2. The card image and card name
So you can easily see what card we’re talking about.

3. The minimum income required
So you can easily see if you are eligible for the card.

4. The Flytrippers Valuation
So you can easily see how much value you’ll get from the welcome bonus alone (clickable to see detailed calculations).

5. The minimum spend requirement
So you can easily see how much spend is required to unlock the welcome bonus.

6. The custom data column
So you can easily see why this card is included in that specific category ranking.

7. The link to the card’s page
So you can easily read more details about the card (that page will soon be revamped too).

How we calculate our Flytrippers Valuation

The key element in our ranking of the best credit cards in Canada is our Flytrippers Valuation. It’s there to help you understand how much a credit card’s welcome bonus is worth. We always include only the value you get from the welcome bonus, not from any additional spending whatsoever. Why?

First, not all point currencies are worth the same amount, so “20,000 points” means nothing: that can be worth $100 or that can be worth $300. The Flytrippers Valuation shows you the dollar value at a glance so you can compare credit cards more easily, apples to apples.

Second, we want to show you what you’ll get with just the welcome bonus since that’s the amount that will be the same for everyone regardless of what you decide to do after. The Flytrippers Valuation shows you the best-case maximization scenario to get the most points for the least spend.

For the beta version, the detailed Flytrippers Valuation and welcome bonus components is briefly broken down by clicking on the number. It will be even more detailed on each card page very soon.

For fixed-value rewards, the Flytrippers Valuation is obviously simply the guaranteed value of those points (those without the “≈” symbol).

For variable-value rewards, the Flytrippers Valuation is a very conservative and fair value for an average traveler—but you can easily get a lot more value with the same points if you use them well (or less if you use them badly). That’s the beauty of points with outsized value and unlimited value.

The relaunched card pages will show you concrete examples of how to get even more than the Flytrippers Valuation for each card that earns variable-value points (those with the “≈” symbol).

Reminder of credit card basics

If you are a beginner in the fascinating world of travel rewards and credit cards, there are very important rules to know about. Some are very counterintuitive, like for example how you should never cancel your old cards. That’s a common mistake that is very bad for your credit score.

For more great pro tips that are simply vital, please download our free checklist for when you get a new card.

Of course, you also need to understand why having more credit cards is better for your credit score (if paid on-time and in full—obviously), why welcome bonuses are the key to earning more travel rewards, why banks offer such generous welcome bonuses, and all the other credit card basics.

And stay tuned for our upcoming text and video content for beginners.

How to choose the best credit cards for you

There is simply no “best card” because that would be saying that having just one card is good (it’s not), that welcome bonuses never change (they do), or that every traveler is the same (you are not).

This topic will be a major one in our free travel rewards beginners course, but here is a brief overview of 7 things to consider when choosing.

1. Your level of ambition for travel rewards overall

If you aren’t interested in putting in any effort to earn travel rewards correctly by getting multiple credit card welcome bonuses every year, then your strategy will be a lot different than travelers who want to take travel rewards very seriously.

If your level of ambition is lower, card earn rates will be a bigger deciding factor since you’ll be doing this the (very) slow way with just the few points you earn on your regular purchases.

If your level of ambition is higher and you want to maximize your rewards, you’ll focus on the welcome bonuses.

2. Your desire to maximize the value you get and be flexible

Similarly, many travelers do not want to learn anything about how rewards work. There are 2 types of travel rewards: fixed-value rewards and variable-value rewards. Fixed-value rewards are very simple but will be a lot less valuable than variable-value rewards.

If you don’t want to invest any time, don’t want to be flexible, and don’t want to learn how to maximize the rewards, you should stick to easy fixed-value rewards as these are extremely simple and flexible.

If you want to invest a bit of time, be flexible, and maximize your rewards, you’ll focus on variable-value points that can offer outsized value and unlimited value. We’ll show you how you can easily maximize these.

3. Your income level

Sadly, most card issuers still discriminate based on income level and restrict some of their best cards to those who earn more money. You obviously need to take that into account when choosing cards.

If you earn under $60,000 per year (or $100,000 in combined income with your spouse), there are simply fewer options. It’s even more important to focus on welcome bonuses and variable-value rewards to get a thousand dollars per year in travel rewards in that situation (and to start generating non-employment income of any kind; see below).

If you earn over between $60,000 and $80,000 per year, you have access to almost all offers. Over $80,000 per year (or $150,000 in combined income with your spouse) will give you access to all offers except some very premium cards.

If you have non-employment income (reselling online, side gig of any kind, etc.) you’ll have access to many small business cards that are very worthwhile.

4. Your spending habits

No, we’re not talking about earn rates (welcome bonuses are the key). Most welcome bonuses come with a minimum spend requirement in the first 3 months, so if you don’t spend as much (which is a good thing!) you need to take that into account.

Never spend more to earn rewards, never. We do have tips to reach these minimum spend requirements (including prepaying future expenses) but make sure you look at the credit cards’ specific requirements.

If you can spend $1,500 in 3 months ($115/week), you’ll have access to most welcome bonuses. If you can spend $1,000 in 3 months ($231/week), you’ll have access to almost all welcome bonuses.

5. Your other cards

If you are a beginner, you probably only have a few cards so you need to make sure at least one covers you for travel insurance. If not, that’s a more important benefit than for someone who is sure to be covered by one of their many other cards anyway.

The cards already in your wallet are important in your card strategy, because if you already have a stash of hotel points and want points that can be used for flights, you need to take that into account. As for any financial strategy, diversification is a lot safer. You don’t want to have just one type of rewards in your portfolio.

6. Your desire for travel benefits

As we just saw, our Flytrippers Valuation only takes into account concrete value and we never assign value to subjective benefits like airport lounge access or any other things that you might value at more than $0 yourself.

So if you do value airport lounge access or other travel benefits, it might be worth sacrificing a bit of total value in terms of travel rewards to get them.

7. Your travel preferences

Finally, how you travel will be the major factor in deciding between a few cards that fit your profile.

The exact use you’ll make of your rewards is what will determine the value you’ll get from them, so by understanding what you can get with each card’s rewards (which we’ll make a lot easier in our new credit card pages), you’ll be able to make the best decision.

Get all our travel rewards tips

Subscribe to receive our free travel rewards newsletter with strategies, guides, and more.

This content is not sponsored. Some links on this page may allow Flytrippers to earn a commission at absolutely no cost to you. Thank you for using our links and helping us keep all our content free for everyone and therefore helping us to fulfill our mission of helping Canadians travel more for less.

The views and opinions expressed on this page are purely our own. They have not been provided, approved, endorsed, or ratified by any third party mentioned on the site.

Financial institutions are not responsible for updating or ensuring the accuracy of the information on Flytrippers’ website. All the information was independently collected by Flytrippers and not provided by financial institutions.

All offers described on the Flytrippers website are subject to the financial institutions’ latest terms and conditions that can be found on their website. No efforts are spared to ensure this page is up to date, but offers from financial institutions change quickly. It is your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of these offers on their website. Flytrippers will not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the offers or the result of your actions.

Flytrippers’ website does not contain all available credit card offers or all available credit card products on the market. Flytrippers never shares an offer if it is not considered advantageous for certain travelers, at its sole discretion.

No author on Flytrippers’ website is a financial advisor, a financial planner, a legal professional, or a tax professional. No author on Flytrippers’ website can in any way be considered as such.

All articles and pages on Flytrippers’ website are merely personal opinions of a general nature and are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as advice for specific situations. It is your responsibility to perform your own personal research to make sure that travel rewards are appropriate for your own situation.

You can learn more about our terms of use here.