best credit cards IN CANADA

Cheap travel is great... but free travel is even better. All financially-responsible Canadians can easily get free travel thanks to credit cards and travel rewards.

Travel rewards are a great way to get hundred of dollars in free travel each year by getting new credit cards regularly, which is also positive for your credit score if you do it the right way. Our upcoming free video course will help you learn a lot more.

But the key to travel rewards is choosing the right credit cards.

Here are the best offers in Canada* 

Be careful! There are obviously some details you need to know: make sure you read the important info about credit cards. 

Best Credit Cards (January 2021)

American Express Cobalt™ Card

The best offer ever seen on the best card for those who spend a lot

≈ $706*

in free travel after $500/month for 12 months & $3k in first 3 months

American Express Cobalt

The Cobalt Card has an increased welcome bonus offer for the first time and now is the best time to get it.

This offer and this card is completely different than the others. To get the welcome bonus, instead of having to spend an amount during the first 3 months, you have to spend $500 a month for 12 months.

So only those who spend a lot each month can maximize it. That said, with the 5X earn rate on some purchases, this is by far the most lucrative card for everyday purchases, as the points can even transfer to Marriott for an effective earn rate of 6 points per dollar.

The additional bonus is 15,000 points if yiuo spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. If that extra $1,500 spend is too much, the regular bonus is still worth a very good ≈$528 based on our Flytrippers Valuation.

Offer ends May 5th. *Conditions apply

Welcome bonus of 30,000 Amex Select points
≈ $324 (estimated value of 1.08¢/pt)

Earning of 30,000 points on the $500/month minimum spend
≈ $324 (at multiplier earn rate of 5X)

Welcome bonus of 30,000 Amex Select points
≈ $162 (estimated value of 1.08¢/pt)

Earning of 1,500 points on the extra $1,500 minimum spend
≈ $16 (at basic earn rate of 1X)

Card fee
= $120 (deducted from the total mouont of free travel earned)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
$706 in free travel
(or $645 minimum as fixed-value travel credit)

+ all the points earned with your regular purchases in excess of the amount included*

Here is the Points earn rate:
1 pt (≈ 1.08%) per $ everywhere
or
2 pts (≈ 2.16%) per $ for travel and transportation
or
5 pts (≈ 5.4%) per $ at restaurant, convenience stores that code as food stores and grocery stores (and all stores that sell gift cards at in these locations)

American Express Points are hybrid (fixed-value or variable-value) and transferable.

Variable value: The Cobalt’s Select Points are different than the AMEX Points earned on the Gold and Platinum cards. They can not be transferred to Aeroplan, Avios, Delta and other airlines. They can only be transferred to Marriott (recommended) and Hilton (not recommended). They can also be used via American Express’s fixed-price award chart directly.

Fixed value: Points can also be applied to travel expenses via the AMEX portal, which gives you more flexibility but can not give you more for your money.

More details coming soon in the Travel Hacking section.

Medical travel insurance 15 days (64 years old and under)
Flight delay insurance ($500, 4h minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage & personal effects insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection (90 days)
Extended warranty on purchases

American Express Cobalt™ Card

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $706 in free travel
  • Only card with monthly signup bonus
  • For those who spend a lot each month
  • Hybrid Points (Fixed-Value or Variable-Value)
  • Excellent earn rate (5X on food, 2X on travel & transit)
  • Excellent insurance coverage and AMEX benefits
  • Access to Cobalt cardmember perks, bonus rewards & events
  • No minimum income required
  • Minimum spend of $500 per month & $3k in 3 months
  • Certain conditions apply*

American Express® Aeroplan®* Card

An excellent card for almost all types of travelers, especially if you're planning a North American trip

$433

in free travel after $1,500 in 3 months

The AMEX Aeroplan Card is a great card to earn the new and improved Aeroplan points and get very valuable reward flights on over 30 airlines.

The Welcome Bonus is very interesting, with bonus points and a very valuable 2-for-1 Buddy Pass. As a cardholder, you get access to preferred pricing for Aeroplan reward flights (on Air Canada only) and the first checked bag is free for you and up to 8 other passengers traveling with you (itineraries originating on an Air Canada flight only).

You can share those benefits with family members with a $50 additional card or even add free additional cards to earn faster (without the travel benefits).

Finally, the card also has a good earn rate on dining and food delivery and you’ll get some insurance coverage (flight delay, car rental, etc.) and the standard retail protections.

Offer subject to change without notice.

Air Canada Buddy Pass welcome bonus
≈ $350 (estimated value)

Welcome bonus of 9,000 Aeroplan points
≈ $135 (estimated value 1.5¢/pt)

Additional spend bonus of 3,000 points if the $1,500 minimum spend is split $500/month*
≈ $45 (at basic earn rate)

Earning of 1,500 points on the $1,500 minimum spend
≈ $23 (at basic earn rate)

Card fee
= $120 (annual fee)

Flytrippers Valuation Welcome Bonus
$433 in free travel

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

*also available for 3 extra months: 1,000 bonus points per month if you spend $500 per month the first 6 months (only the first 3 months are included in our Flytrippers Valuation of the Welcome Bonus)

After the ≈$433 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at Flytrippers valuation (≈ 1.5¢ per Aeroplan point):

  • 1 pt (≈ 1.5%) per $ everywhere
  • 1.5 pts (≈ 2.25%) per $ on dining and food delivery
  • 2 pts (≈ 3.0%) per $ on Air Canada purchases

First, the Buddy Pass is simple: it’s essentially a 2-for-1 deal. You buy one economy-class ticket on Air Canada with cash, and you get a 2nd ticket with a $0 fare. This is available anywhere in North America (Hawaii and Mexico included). You’ll only have the taxes to pay (no surcharges), which are only ≈ $100 on many roundtrips (or more for domestic Canadian flights).

That pass is easily worth $350, as many North American flights are worth $450 or more.

Aeroplan points are variable-value points, which means you have to use them wisely to get the most value.

Points can be redeemed for flights on over 30 airline partners (best use to maximize value most of the time) or flights on Air Canada (much simpler, more flexible, more options).

Based on our Flytrippers valuation, your 13,500 Aeroplan points are worth $203 in savings on certain flights. It can be alot more, but it can also be less.

For example, your 13,500 points are the equivalent of 2 short-haul roundtrips or 1 one-way to almost anywhere in North America, including from Eastern Canada to Costa Rica.

Flights on partner airlines and flights on Air Canada work differently.

On partner airlines, flight prices are fixed: this is where you can get outsized value by using points for flights that are expensive in cash.

On Air Canada, pricing is dynamic meaning the amount of points required will mirror the cash price. You’re likely to save over $135 on Air Canada flights with your 13,500 points.

In short, Aeroplan points can save you a lot on most flights or save you massively on certain flights.

More details about the Aeroplan program coming soon.

Flight delay insurance (4hrs; $500)
Baggage delay/loss insurance
Car rental insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection (90 days, $1,000)
Extended warranty (1 year)

No medical travel insurance
No trip cancelation insurance
No trip interruption/delay insurance

American Express® Aeroplan®* Card

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $433 in free travel
  • Variable-value points
  • Free checked bag on Air Canada
  • Preferred pricing for Aeroplan flights on Air Canada
  • Free additional cards
  • Some insurance coverage
  • No minimum income requirement
  • Minimum spend of $1,500 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

An excellent card to get free hotel stays, one of the best deals in Canada

 $357

in free travel after $1,500 in 3 months

Our favorite card in Canada is a must-have for pretty much all travelers! The Welcome Bonus is so good, and it’s one of the few cards that is valuable every subsequent year too.

You could get up to 8 free nights with the Welcome Bonus alone if you maximize it and use the Marriott points well. The earn rate is also great and an additional card is also offered free of charge.

Every year, you’ll get a certificate for a free night in luxury hotels, a very lucrative benefit that can very easily be worth hundreds of dollars.

Welcome bonus of 50,000 Marriott Points
≈ $450 (estimated value 0.9¢/pt)
Points earned on the $1,500 minimum spend
= $27 (minimum value)
Card fee
= $120 (deducted from the total free travel)

Total of ≈ $357 of free travel
(no minimum value)
+ all Points earned with your regular purchases

After the $357 Welcome Bonus…

Here is the Points earn rate:
2 pts (≈ 1.8%) per $ everywhere
or
5 pts (≈ 4.5%) per $ at Marriott hotels

Marriott Points are Variable-Value Points, which means you have to use them wisely to get the most value.

Points can be redeemed for Marriott hotel stays (best use most of the time) or transferred to 40 airline programs.

More details in how to maximize your Marriott Points.

Flight delay insurance ($500, 4h minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage & personal effects insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection & extended warranty

No medical travel insurance
No trip cancelation insurance

or

Marriott BonvoyTM American Express®

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $357 in free travel
  • Variable-Value Points (and transferable)
  • Silver Elite Status & benefits at Marriott
  • Good earn rate and free additional card
  • Excellent insurance coverage (except medical)
  • Many AMEX benefits
  • No minimum income required
  • Minimum spend of $1,500 to reach
  • Certain conditions apply*

or

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card

An excellent card for an easy-to-use travel credit and a great earn rate

$342

in free travel after $3,000 in 3 months

BMO-eclipse

This is a brand-new card and the offer is excellent, especially for those who prefer more flexible and easy-to-use points that can be applied to almost any travel expense.

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* also has one of the best earn rates in Canada on certain categories (but not as lucrative outside those categories).

The welcome bonus of 25,000 points and the ≈ 9,000 you’ll earn to unlock it are a $242 travel value booked on bmorewards.com.

You also get an annual $50 lifestyle credit that is even more flxible, as it applies automatically to any purchase over $50. The credit applies once every calendar year, so you would get 2 the first year of having the card if you get it soon.

You’ll get all that for free as the $120 card fee is waived the first year.

If you keep it for a 2nd year, you’ll get another 15,000 BMO points ($107), which makes the card profitable with the $50 credit (as usual, our Flytrippers Valuation only includes Year 1).

Finally, you also get some limited insurance coverage, like medical travel insurance, car rental insurance, and mobile device protection.

Card offer ends October 31st, 2021.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Get this card link for the most up to date information.

Welcome Bonus of 25,000 BMO Rewards points
= $178 (fixed-value of 0.71¢/pt)

Earning of 9,000 points on the $3,000 minimum spend
= $64 (50/50 split of basic earn rate and category multiplier ean rate)

Lifestyle credit
= $50 (2020 calendar year)

Lifestyle credit
= $50 (2021 calendar year)

Card fee
= $0 (1st year free promo)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
= $342 in free travel
(fixed value)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the $342 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at fixed value (= 0.71¢ per BMO Rewards point):

  • 1 pt (0.71%) per $ everywhere
  • 5 pts (3.55%) per $ in groceries, dining, gas, and transit

This card has a unique feature: by adding an authorized user (supplementary card) for $50, you’ll earn 10% more points. You need to earn 7,043 extra BMO points with that extra 10% to offset the $50, so it is not necessarily profitable: do the math.

BMO Rewards points are fixed-value points, so they give you great flexibility but can not give you outsized value (or give you a good deal or “rebate” compared to the cash price).

They are almost 100% flexible, as they can be applied to many types of travel expenses as a travel credit. But you have to book via the BMO Rewards website, so you have to make sure they have the best price (they do have a price match feature though).

The $50 annual lifestyle credit that you get twice in the first year of having the card is even more flexible. It’s simply a statement credit that will be triggered as soon as you charge a purchase that is over $50 in the calendar year.

More details about BMO Rewards points coming soon.

Medical travel insurance (15 days; under age 65)
Car rental insurance
Purchase protection (90 days)
Extended warranty (1 year)
Mobile device insurance ($1,000)

No trip cancelation insurance
No trip interruption/delay insurance
No flight delay insurance
No baggage delay/loss insurance
No hotel burglary insurance

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card

Offer Summary
  • $342 in free travel
  • Easy-to-use fixed-value points
  • Great earn rate on bonus categories
  • Optional 10% earn rate boost at a cost of $50
  • Some insurance coverage (medical, car rental)
  • Retail protections & mobile device insurance
  • Minimum income of $60,000 required
  • Minimum spend of $3,000 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

American Express® AIR MILES ®* Platinum Credit Card

An excellent card for those who know how to maximize the AIR MILES program (i.e. by using it for travel)

$276

in free travel after $1,500 in 3 months

The AMEX AIR MILES Platinum Card is a great card to earn AIR MILES, and despite the Platinum name, it’s not a premium card and is accessible to all travelers.

AIR MILES is a pretty well-known, but quite misused. Like ALL rewards programs, avoid any use other than for travel to maximize their value, this is the most basic rule. But even when used as simple Cash Rewards (fixed-value points), AIR MILES can still be worthwhile.

The new Welcome Bonus offer launched October 21st is very interesting (50% higher than the previous one) and in terms of travel benefits, you get what amounts to a 25% discount on an AIR MILES flight reward every calendar year (short-haul roundtrips within North America are often the best sweet spot of the AIR MILES award chart).

The card also has a good earn rate on the groceries, restaurants, drinks, transit, and gas categories.

Finally, you can add free additional cards to earn faster and you’ll get car rental insurance and the standard retail protections.

Offer subject to change without notice.

Welcome bonus of 3,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles
≈ $360 (estimated value 12¢/pt)

Earning of 300 points on the $1,500 minimum spend
≈ $36 (at multiplier earn rate)

Card fee
= $120 (annual fee)

Flytrippers Valuation Welcome Bonus
$276 in free travel
(or $227 minimum as fixed-value Cash Rewards)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the ≈$276 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at Flytrippers valuation (≈ 12¢ per AIR MILES mile):

  • 0.1 pts (≈ 1.2%) per $ everywhere
  • 0.2 pts (≈ 2.4%) per $ on groceries, restaurants, drinks, gas, and transit*

or

Earn rate as fixed-value points (= 10.5¢ per AIR MILES mile):

  • 0.1 pts (= 1.05%) per $ everywhere
  • 0.2 pts (= 2.1%) per $ on groceries, restaurants, drinks, gas, and transit*

* category multiplier capped at $30,000 in annual spend

AIR MILES are hybrid points: they can be used as variable-value points or as fixed-value points.

Variable-value uses offer more potential value, while fixed-value uses are a lot simpler.

As fixed-value Cash Rewards, your 3,300 AIR MILES are worth $347.

As variable-value Dream Rewards, your 3,300 AIR MILES is the equivalent of almost 2 and a half short-haul roundtrips, which often represents value of a lot more than $347 (especially with the annual 25% discount). Alternatively, the 3,300 AIR MILES can be worth more than $347 on certain car rentals.

In short, the best sweet spot of the AIR MILES Award Chart is often for short-haul off-peak flights, but car rentals can also offer 12¢-15¢ in value per point.

That can be over 40% more value than the fixed-value redemptions that give you a guaranteed return of just 10.5¢ per point as AIR MILES Cash Rewards.

More details about the AIR MILES program coming soon.

Car rental insurance
Purchase protection
Extended warranty

No medical travel insurance
No trip cancelation insurance
No trip interruption/delay insurance
No flight delay insurance
No baggage delay/loss insurance
No hotel burglary insurance

AMEX AIR MILES Platinum

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $276 in free travel
  • Hybrid points (fixed-value or variable-value)
  • Annual 25% discount on an AIR MILES reward flight
  • Free additional cards
  • Good earn rate on bonus categories
  • Car rental insurance & retail insurance
  • No minimum income requirement
  • Minimum spend of $1,500 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

BMO World Elite™* MasterCard®*

An excellent card for an easy-to-use travel credit and airport lounge passes

$327

in free travel after $3,000 in 3 months

This is an excellent offer, especially for those who prefer more flexible and easy-to-use points that can be applied to almost any travel expense.

The BMO World Elite MasterCard also offers free VIP access with 4 airport lounge passes, thanks to the complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences (also known as LoungeKey).

The card has a good earn rate and is accepted at Costco. The welcome bonus of 40,000 points and the 6,000 you’ll earn to unlock it are a $327 travel value booked on bmowrewards.com and you get that for free as the $150 card fee is waived the first year.

You also get great insurance coverage (including for flights booked with points from other programs).

Finally, you get free access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world.

Not to be confused with BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard below, which has a similar look.

Card offer ends October 31st, 2021.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Get this card link for the most up to date information.

Welcome Bonus of 40,000 BMO Rewards points
= $284 (fixed-value of 0.71¢/pt)

Earning of 6,000 points on the $3,000 minimum spend
= $43 (at base earn rate)

Card fee
= $0 (1st year free promo)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
= $327 in free travel
(fixed value)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the $327 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at fixed value (= 0.71¢ per BMO Rewards point):

  • 2 pts (1.42%) per $ everywhere
  • 3 pts (2.13%) per $ in travel, restaurants, and entertainment

BMO Rewards points are fixed-value points, so they give you great flexibility but can not give you outsized value (or give you a good deal or “rebate” compared to the cash price).

They are almost 100% flexible, as they can be applied to many types of travel expenses as a travel credit. But you have to book via the BMO Rewards website, so you have to make sure they have the best price (they do have a price match feature though).

More details about BMO Rewards points coming soon.

Medical travel insurance (21 days; under age 65)
Trip cancelation insurance
Trip interruption/delay insurance
Flight delay insurance ($500; 6hr minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage delay/loss insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Travel accident insurance
Purchase protection (90 days)
Extended warranty (1 year)

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

BMO World Elite™* MasterCard®*

Offer Summary
  • $327 in free travel
  • 4 free airport lounges passes
  • Easy-to-use fixed-value points
  • Great insurance coverage
  • Good earn rate on everyday purchases
  • 24/7 travel concierge + Boingo Wi-Fi
  • Minimum income of $80,000 required
  • Minimum spend of $3,000 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

A card with a good welcome bonus for those who can spend a little bit more

$301

in free travel after $4,000 in 4 months (or less)

The SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express is mostly recommended for its welcome bonus, as cashback cards have a lot less potential value for travelers.

But if you need cash immediately and therefore don’t mind sacrificing some total value or if you already have the other good cards, it can be an interesting option. Just keep in mind the minimum spend required to maximize the welcome bonus is higher.

Offer subject to change without notice.

Welcome bonus of 10% back on $4,000 in 4 months
= $400 (fixed value of cashback)

Card Fee
= $99 (deducted from total)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
=
$301 in free travel
(fixed value)

+ all cashback earned with your regular purchases

After the $301 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at fixed value:

  • 2% everywhere

The SimplyCash Card’s name is very appropriate: it’s simple cashback with a fixed value.

So you cannot get outsized unlimited value like you could with variable-value points, but it’s a lot simpler.

Medical travel insurance (15 days for under age 65; $5M)
Car rental insurance
Flight delay insurance ($500; 4hr minimum)
Baggage loss/delay insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection (90 days; $1k)
Extended warranty (1 year)

No trip cancelation insurance
No trip interruption/delay insurance

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

SimplyCash Preferred Card from Amex

Offer Summary
  • $301 in free travel
  • Simple fixed-value cashback
  • Travel & retail insurance coverage
  • Recommended for pros only
  • Good 2% earn rate everywhere
  • Free additional cards
  • No minimum income required
  • Minimum spend to reach is optional
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®*

An excellent card for those who know how to maximize the AIR MILES program (i.e. by using it for travel)

≈ $276

in free travel after $3,000 in 3 months

The BMO AIR MILES World Elite is a great card to earn AIR MILES.

AIR MILES is a pretty well-known, but quite misused. Like ALL rewards programs, avoid any use other than for travel to maximize their value, this is the most basic rule. But even when used as simple Cash Rewards (fixed-value points), AIR MILES can still be worthwhile.

The Welcome Bonus is very interesting and you get a 15% discount on AIR MILES flight rewards in North America (which are often the best sweet spot of the AIR MILES award chart).

The card also offers free VIP access with 2 airport lounge passes, thanks to the complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences (also known as LoungeKey).

The BMO AIR MILES World Elite is accepted at Costco, and has great insurance coverage (including for flights booked with points from other programs).

The earn rate is a flat 1 reward mile for every $10 in purchases, with no category bonuses or multipliers.

Finally, you get free access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world.

Card offer ends October 31st, 2021.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Get this card link for the most up to date information.

Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES
≈ $240 (estimated value of 12 ¢/pt)

Earning of 300 points on the $3,000 minimum spend
≈ $36 (at base earn rate)

Card Fee
= $0 (1st year free promo)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
$276 in free travel
(or $242 minimum as fixed-value Cash Rewards)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the ≈$276 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at Flytrippers valuation (≈ 12¢ per AIR MILES mile):

  • 0.1 pts (≈ 1.2%) per $ everywhere

or

Earn rate at fixed value (= 10.5¢ per AIR MILES mile):

  • 0.1 pts (1.05%) per $ everywhere

AIR MILES are hybrid points: they can be used as variable-value points or as fixed-value points.

Variable-value uses offer more potential value, while fixed-value uses are a lot simpler.

As fixed-value Cash Rewards, your 2,300 AIR MILES are worth $242.

As variable-value Dream Rewards, your 2,300 AIR MILES is the equivalent of 1 and a half short-haul roundtrips, which often represents value of a lot more than $242 (especially with the 15% discount). Alternatively, the 2,300 AIR MILES can be worth more than $242 on certain car rentals.

In short, the best sweet spot of the AIR MILES Award Chart is often for short-haul off-peak flights, but car rentals can also offer 12¢-15¢ in value per point.

That can be over 40% more value than the fixed-value redemptions that give you a guaranteed return of just 10.5¢ per point as AIR MILES Cash Rewards.

More details about AIR MILES coming soon.

Medical travel insurance (15 days; under age 65)
Trip cancelation insurance
Trip interruption/delay insurance
Car rental insurance
Flight delay insurance ($500; 6hr minimum)
Baggage loss/delay insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection (90 days)
Extended warranty (1 year)

The card is one of the rare ones to cover flights booked with any rewards program (Aeroplan, Avios, etc.) as long as you charge the taxes to the card.

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®*

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $276 in free travel
  • 2 free airport lounge passes
  • Hybrid points (variable or fixed value)
  • 15% discount on some AIR MILES flight rewards
  • Excellent insurance coverage
  • 24/7 travel concierge + Boingo Wi-Fi
  • Minimum income of $80,000 required
  • Minimum spend of $3,000 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® (excl. QC)

This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).

A good offer with no minimum income requirement (and a good card for those who don't always pay on-time)

$160

in free travel after $2,000 in 180 days (6 months)

The HSBC +Rewards Mastercard has a very decent welcome bonus for a card in this category. There is a low minimum spend amount to unlock it and the card has no minimum income requirement.

The welcome bonus is worth $160 based on our Flytrippers Valuation and HSBC points are extremely easy to use: they can be applied to any travel expense (but they can’t be transferred to airline programs unlike the HSBC World Elite Mastercard’s points).

The card has a lower earn rate, and limited insurance coverage and benefits, as most cards with very low annual fees do.

However, the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard has a retail benefit that very few cards have: the Price Protection Service. If you find a lower price within 60 days of your purchase, the difference will be refunded ($500 maximum). The card is also accepted at Costco.

Finally, Flytrippers strongly recommends never carrying a balance on any credit card. But if you do, this card has a very low interest rate (for purchases and even balance transfers).

Offer ends March 29th. *Conditions apply

Welcome bonus of 30,000 HSBC Points
= $150 (fixed value of 0.5¢/pt)

Earning of 2,000 points on the $2,000 minimum spend
= $10 (at base earn rate of 1X)

Card fee
= $0 (First Year Annual Fee Rebate)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
= $160 in free travel
(fixed value)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

In addition to the $160 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate as fixed-value points (= 0.5¢ per HSBC Rewards point):

  • 1 pt (0.5%) per $ on eligible purchases
  • 2 pts (1.0%) per $ on eligible dining and entertainment

The HSBC +Rewards card’s points are fixed-value points, so they give you great flexibility but can not give you outsized unlimited value (they can’t give you a good deal or a “rebate” compared to the cash price).

HSBC points are among the most flexible points: they are “eraser” points. They can be applied to any travel expense as a travel credit that simply “erases” the expense.

Unlike the points from the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, you do not have the option to transfer your points to airline partners to use them as potentially more valuable variable-value points.

More details about HSBC Points coming soon.

Price Protection Service (60 days; $500)
Purchase protection (90 days)
Extended warranty (1 year)

No medical travel insurance
No trip cancelation insurance
No trip interruption/delay insurance
No car rental insurance
No flight delay insurance
No baggage delay/loss insurance
No hotel burglary insurance

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

HSBC +Rewards Mastercard

Offer Summary
  • $160 in free travel
  • Easy-to-use fixed-value points
  • Unique Price Protection Service
  • No travel insurance coverage (retail ins. only)
  • Accepted at Costco
  • Low interest rate for those who don't pay on-time
  • No minimum income required
  • Minimum spend of $2,000 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

A great card for travel insurance for those with income under $60K

$140

in free travel after $1,000 in 3 months

There’s no valid excuse for not having great insurance coverage for free, because almost all are eligible for this card that does not require a high income (only $12,000).

Paying for a flight with a card that does not have insurance is a big mistake than can be costly. This card offers doesn’t offer a huge signup bonus but it has an excellent earn rate on your purchases in certain categories, especially food that now earns 5X the points!

The card has a new benefit: no foreign transaction fee, which is an amazing deal.

Singup Bonus of 25,000 Scotia Points Rewards
= $250 (fixed value of 1.0¢/pt)

Points earned on the $1,000 minimum spend
= $10 (minimum amount)

Card fee 
= $120 (deducted from free travel total)

Total of $140 of free travel
(fixed value)
+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the $140 Signup Bonus…

Here is the Points earn rate:
1 pt (1.0%) per $ everywhere
or
3 pts (3.0%) per $ in gas stations, transit, and streaming services
or
5 pts (5.0%) per $ in grocery stores, restaurants, and in entertainment

Scotia Points are fixed-value Points and can be applied to travel expenses as a credit, so they are extremely flexible but can not give you more for your money.

More details coming soon in the Travel Hacking section.

25-day Medical travel insurance (64 years and under)
Flight delay insurance ($500, 4hr minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage & personal effects insurance
Trip cancellation insurance
Trip interruption insurance
Travel accident insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection and extended warranty 

or

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

Scotiabank Gold American Express®

Offer Summary
  • $140 in free travel
  • Perfect for lower incomes
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Excellent insurance coverage
  • Good earn rate on everyday purchases
  • Easy-to-use Fixed-Value Points
  • Minimum income of $12,000 required
  • Minimum spend of $1,000 to reach
  • Certain conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

Choice Card from American Express

A no-annual-fee card to get to earn more Marriott points for free

≈ $119

in free travel after $1,000 in 3 months

The Coice Card from American Express is a new card launched in December 2020 (well… relaunched).

It’s an excellent way to get an extra welcome bonus or even to build credit history for beginners who already have the Marriott Bonvoy Card, as this one has no annual fee.

The welcome bonus will give you 13,200 Marriott points (can be 2 free nights) or 11,000 Amex Select points (simple $110 travel credit for any travel expense).

It’s the only no-annual-fee card that earns Amex Select points, which are very flexible points.

Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Amex Select points
≈ $108 (estimated value of 1.08 ¢/pt)

Earning of 1,000 points on the $1,000 minimum spend
≈ $11 (at base earn rate)

Card Fee
= $0 (Card has no annual fee)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
$119 in free travel
(or $110 minimum as fixed-value travel credit)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the ≈$119 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at Flytrippers valuation (≈ 1.08¢ per Amex Select point):

  • 1 pt (≈ 1.08%) per $ everywhere

or

Earn rate at fixed value (= 1¢ per Amex Select point):

  • 1 pt (1%) per $ everywhere

Amex Select points are hybrid points: they can be used as variable-value points or as fixed-value points.

Variable-value uses offer more potential value, while fixed-value uses are a lot simpler.

As fixed-value travel credit, your 11,000 points give you a simple $110 credit applicable to any travel expense. It “erases” the expense. It’s the simplest type of point that exists.

As variable-value points, you have 2 options:

  • the Amex fixed-point flight chart
  • transfer to Marriott or Hilton

The best use is often to transfer to Marriott, especially if you know how to maximize Marriott points.

The Amex fixed-point flight chart can also be valuable if you normally book expensive plane tickets.

More details about Amex Select points coming soon.

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

Choice Card from American Express

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $119 in free travel
  • Hybrid points (variable or fixed value)
  • 2 hotel transfer partners
  • Simple travel credit option
  • No annual fee
  • Free additional card
  • No minimum income required
  • Minimum spend of $1,000 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

Scotia Passport™ Visa Infinite*

An excellent card to use abroad with no foreign transaction fees (and with 6 lounge passes)

$171

in free travel after $1,000 in 3 months

Scotia Passport Visa

Almost all credit cards in Canada charge you a 2.5% transaction fee over the exchange rate for all purchases made in foreign currency.

All travelers should consider this card to save 2.5% on every dollar spent abroad: this is by far the best card to use outside Canada. You also get 6 free passes to access airport lounges.

The welcome bonus is really not the highest, but if you travel a lot, it’s a great addition to any Travel Hacking strategy. Not to be confused with the Scotia Passport Visa, it’s only the Visa Infinite that is interesting.

Welcome bonus of 30,000 Scotia Points
= $300 (fixed value of 1.0 ¢/pt)
Points accumulated on the $1,000 minimum spend
= $10 (minimum value)
Card Fee
= $139 (deducted from the total of free travel)

Total of $171 in free travel
(fixed-value)
+ all points accumulated with your regular purchases

After the $171 Welcome Bonus …

Here is the Points earn rate:
1 pt (1.0%) per $ everywhere
or
2 pts (2.0%) per $ in grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment and public transportation

Scotia Points are Fixed-Value Points and can be applied to travel expenses as a credit, so they are extremely flexible but can not give you more for your money.

More details coming soon in the Travel Hacking section.

Medical travel insurance 25 days (64 years and under)
Flight delay insurance ($500, 4h minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage & personal effects insurance
Trip cancellation insurance
Trip interruption insurance
Travel accident insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection and extended warranty 

Scotia Passport Visa Infinite

Offer Summary
  • $171 in free travel
  • 6 free airport lounge passes
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Easy-to-use Fixed-Value Points
  • Excellent insurance coverage
  • Good earn rate on everyday purchases
  • Minimum income of $60,000 required
  • Minimum spend of $1,000 to reach
  • Certain conditions apply*

American Express® Gold Rewards Card

An excellent card to earn Aeroplan Miles or Avios Points

≈ $240

in free travel after $1,500 in 3 months

A great option for those under $60k of income.

This card remains a great way to earn Aeroplan Miles or Avios Points.

25,000 American Express MR Points – Welcome Bonus
≈ $375 (estimated value of 1.5 ¢/pt)
Points earned by reaching the $1,500 minimum spend
= $15 (minimum value)
Card Fee
= $150 (deducted from the total amount of free travel)

Total of $240 in free travel by getting the card
(minimum value of $115)
+ all Points earned with your regular purchases

After the $240 Signup Bonus…

Here is the Points earn rate:
1 pt (≈ 1.5%) per $ everywhere
or
2 pts (≈ 3.0%) per $ in grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations and in travel

American Express Membership Rewards Points are hybrid (fixed-value or variable-value) and transferable.

Variable value: Points can be transferred to Aeroplan, Avios, Delta and others (and potentially give you more for your money, but this requires more flexibility). They can also be used via American Express’s fixed-price award chart directly.

Fixed value: Points can also be applied to other travel expenses via the AMEX portal, which gives you more flexibility but can not give you more for your money.

More details coming soon in the Travel Hacking section.

Medical travel insurance 15 days (64 years and under)
Flight delay insurance ($500, 4h minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage & personal effects insurance
Trip interruption insurance
Travel accident insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection and extended warranty 

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

American Express® Gold Rewards Card

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $240 in free travel (25,000 Points Welcome Bonus)
  • Points transferable 1:1 to Aeroplan & Avios
  • Good earn rate (2 pts / $1 for travel and certain categories)
  • Hybrid Points (Fixed-Value or Variable-Value)
  • Excellent insurance coverage
  • Many AMEX benefits (and free supplementary card)
  • No minimum income required
  • Minimum spend of $1,500 to reach
  • Certain conditions apply*

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite

An excellent card to get airport lounge access (for new CIBC clients)

≈ $220

in free travel after $1,000 in 3 months

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite

This is an excellent offer, but especially if you have never had a CIBC card (since the promo is only for new CIBC customers).

It’s rare that the value of free travel you get with the CIBC Aventura card is so high, and the card now offers 4 free airport lounge passes (a little less than the Scotia Visa Passport that offers 6) and also the free membership to NEXUS to speed up your airport experience.

Welcome Bonus of 20,000 CIBC Aventura Points
≈ $220 (estimated value of 1.1 ¢/pt)
Travel credit
= $120 (fixed value)
Card Fee
= $120 (deducted from amount of free travel)

Total of $220 in free travel*
(minimum value of $200)
+ all points earned with your regular purchase

After the $220 Welcome Bonus …

Here is the Points earn rate:
1 pt (≈ 1.1%) per $ everywhere
or
1.5 pts (≈ 1.7%) per $ in grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores

CIBC Aventura Points are hybrid (fixed or variable).

Variable value: Points can be used via the fixed-price award chart and potentially give you more for your money, but this requires more flexibility.

Fixed Value: Points can also be applied to other travel expenses via the CIBC portal, which gives you more flexibility but can not give you more for your money.

More details coming soon in the Travel Hacking section.

Medical travel insurance 15 days (64 years old and under)
Flight delay insurance ($500, 4h minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage & personal effects insurance
Trip cancellation insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Travel accident insurance
Damaged cellphone insurance
Extended warranty on purchases

Detailed report on the credit card coming soon

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $220 in free travel
  • 4 free airport lounge passes
  • Free NEXUS membership
  • Hybrid Points (Fixed-Value or Variable-Value)
  • Excellent insurance coverage
  • Free supplementary card
  • Minimum income of $60,000 required
  • $1,000 minimum spend to reach
  • Certain conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card

A good card to earn more AMEX/Aeroplan Points if you can reach the high minimum spend

≈ $275

in free travel after $5,000 in 3 months

American Express Or PME

If you have a small business of any kind, you have access to additional cards that are especially useful if you have already others.

This card comes with a nice welcome bonus but requires a higher minimum amount than personal cards but it remains very interesting to complement its card wallet.

Welcome bonus of 30,000 American Express Points
≈ $450 (estimated value of 1.5 ¢/pt)

Points accumulated on the $5,000 minimum amount
= $75 (minimum value)

Card fees (tax deductible for SMEs)
= $250 (to be deducted from the total)

Total of $ 275 free trips
(minimum value of $ 100)
+ all points accumulated with your regular purchases

After the $275 Singup Bonus …

Here is the Points earn rate:
1 pt (≈ 1.5%) per $ everywhere
or
2 pts (≈ 3.0%) by $ at three suppliers among the AMEX list

American Express Points are hybrid (fixed-value or variable-value) and transferable.

Variable value: Points can be transferred to Aeroplan, Avios, Delta and others (and potentially give you more for your money, but this requires more flexibility). They can also be used via American Express’s fixed-price award chart directly.

Fixed value: Points can also be applied to travel expenses via the AMEX portal, which gives you more flexibility but can not give you more for your money.

More details coming soon in the Travel Hacking section.

No medical travel insurance (SME card)
Flight delay insurance ($500, 4h minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage & personnal effects insurance
Trip cancellation insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase insurance (90 days)
Extended warranty on purchases

Detailed report on the credit card coming soon

American Express® Business Gold

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $275 in free travel
  • Points transferable to Aeroplan & others
  • Hybrid Points (Fixed-Value or Variable-Value)
  • Excellent insurance coverage
  • Many AMEX benefits
  • Excellent earn rate with 3 suppliers
  • No minimum income required
  • Minimum spend of $5,000 to reach
  • Certain conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®*

A no-annual-fee card that can be good to earn another AIR MILES welcome bonus

≈ $110

in free travel after $1,000 in 3 months

The BMO AIR MILES MasterCard has a lower welcome bonus and earn rate, and limited insurance coverage and benefits, as most no-annual-fee cards do.

But it has a low minimum income requirement and is a great way for pros to earn another AIR MILES welcome bonus. And you can earn AIR MILES that can be very valuable at Costco since it’s a Mastercard.

The card earn rate at AIR MILES Partners is pretty good, actually the best for a no-annual-fee AIR MILES card, at 3x the miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES partners* (0.12 pts/$). You’ll earn 1 Mile for every $25 spent everywhere else* (0.04 pts/$), which is not as appealing.

AIR MILES is a pretty well-known, but quite misused. Like ALL rewards programs, avoid any use other than for travel to maximize their value, this is the most basic rule. But even when used as simple Cash Rewards (fixed-value points), AIR MILES can still be worthwhile.

It also has a special 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months, but Flytrippers strongly recommends never carrying a balance on any credit card.

Card offer ends October 31st, 2021.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Get this card link for the most up to date information.

Welcome Bonus of 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles
≈ $96 (estimated value of 12 ¢/pt)

Earning of 120 points on the $1,000 minimum spend
≈ $14 (at bonus category earn rate)

Card Fee
= $0 (Card has no annual fee)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
$110 in free travel
(or $97 minimum as fixed-value Cash Rewards)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the ≈$110 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at Flytrippers valuation (≈ 12¢ per AIR MILES mile):

  • 0.04 pts (≈ 0.48%) per $ everywhere
  • 0.12 pts (≈ 1.44%) per $ at participating AIR MILES Partners

or

Earn rate at fixed value (= 10.5¢ per AIR MILES mile):

  • 0.04 pts (0.42%) per $ everywhere
  • 0.12 pts (1.26%) per $ at participating AIR MILES Partners

AIR MILES are hybrid points: they can be used as variable-value points or as fixed-value points.

Variable-value uses offer more potential value, while fixed-value uses are a lot simpler.

As fixed-value Cash Rewards, your 920 AIR MILES are worth $97.

As variable-value Dream Rewards, your 920 AIR MILES is almost two-thirds of the amount needed for a short-haul roundtrip, which often represents value of a lot more than $97. Alternatively, the 920 AIR MILES can be worth more than $97 on certain car rentals.

In short, the best sweet spot of the AIR MILES Award Chart is often for short-haul off-peak flights, but car rentals can also offer 12¢-15¢ in value per point.

That can be over 40% more value than the fixed-value redemptions that give you a guaranteed return of just 10.5¢ per point as AIR MILES Cash Rewards.

More details about AIR MILES coming soon.

Purchase protection (90 days)
Extended warranty (1 year)

No medical travel insurance
No trip cancelation insurance
No trip interruption/delay insurance
No car rental insurance
No flight delay insurance
No baggage delay/loss insurance
No hotel burglary insurance

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®*

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $110 in free travel
  • Hybrid points (variable or fixed value)
  • Recommended for pros only
  • No annual fee; can build up length of credit history
  • No travel insurance coverage (retail ins. only)
  • Accepted at Costco
  • Minimum income of $15,000 required
  • Minimum spend of $1,000 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

BMO Rewards® MasterCard

A no-annual-fee card that can be good to build up the length of your credit history

$114

in free travel after $1,000 in 3 months

The BMO Rewards MasterCard has a lower welcome bonus and earn rate, and limited insurance coverage and benefits, as most no-annual-fee cards do.

But it has a low minimum income requirement of $15k, is accepted at Costco, and you can add additional cardholders to earn more.

Also, BMO Rewards points are very easy to use.

It also has a special 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months (1% fee applies to balance amounts transferred), but Flytrippers strongly recommends never carrying a balance on any credit card.

Finally, as a cardholder you can get up to 25% off car rentals at National®#† Car Rental and Alamo®*‡ Rent A Car locations worldwide.

Card offer ends October 31st, 2021.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Get this card link for the most up to date information.

Welcome bonus of 15,000 BMO Rewards points
= $107 (fixed value of 0.71 ¢/pt)

Earning of 1,000 points on the $1,000 minimum spend
= $7 (at base earn rate)

Card Fee
= $0 (Card has no annual fee)

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
=
$114 in free travel
(fixed value)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the $114 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at fixed value (= 0.71¢ per BMO Rewards point):

  • 1 pt (0.71%) per $ everywhere
  • 2 pts (1.42%) per $ at Alamo & National car rental locations

BMO Rewards points are fixed-value points, so they give you great flexibility but can not give you outsized value (or give you a good deal or “rebate” compared to the cash price).

They are almost 100% flexible, as they can be applied to many types of travel expenses as a travel credit. But you have to book via the BMO Rewards website, so you have to make sure they have the best price (they do have a price match feature though).

More details about BMO Rewards points coming soon.

Purchase protection (90 days)
Extended warranty (1 year)

No medical travel insurance
No trip cancelation insurance
No trip interruption/delay insurance
No car rental insurance
No flight delay insurance
No baggage delay/loss insurance
No hotel burglary insurance

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

BMO Rewards® MasterCard

Offer Summary
  • $114 in free travel
  • Easy-to-use fixed-value points
  • Recommended for beginners only
  • No-annual-fee card; to build up length of credit history
  • No travel insurance coverage (retail ins. only)
  • Accepted at Costco
  • Minimum income of $15,000 required
  • Minimum spend of $1,000 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® (excl. QC)

This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).

A good no-foreign-transaction-fee card with good insurance coverage

$430

in free travel after $5,000 in 180 days (6 months)

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is a great card for travelers, however the current welcome bonus, while good compared to many other cards, is not as high as it can sometimes be.

The welcome bonus is worth ≈ $430 based on our Flytrippers valuation and the minimum spend required to unlock it is a bit higher (but you have 6 months to reach it).

The card also is one of the very few cards with no foreign transaction fee, saving you 2.5% on all purchases in other currencies compared to most cards (only the exchange rate applies).

Finally, the card’s base earn rate is one of the best in Canada… and the points you earn are extremely flexible, as you can use them as an easy-to-use travel credit or transfer them to 3 airline partners.

Offer ends March 29th. *Conditions apply

Welcome bonus of 40,000 HSBC Points
≈ $240 (estimated value 0.6¢/pt)

Earning of 15,000 points on the $5,000 minimum spend
$90 (at base earn rate of 3X)

Annual travel enhancement credit
≈ $100 (considered at full value)

Card fee
= $0 (First Year Annual Fee Rebate)

Flytrippers Valuation Welcome Bonus
$430 in free travel
(or $375 minimum as fixed-value travel credit)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the ≈$430 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at Flytrippers valuation (≈ 0.6¢ per HSBC Rewards point):

  • 3 pts (≈ 1.8%) per $ on eligible purchases
  • 6 pts (≈ 3.6%) per $ on eligible travel purchases

or

Earn rate as fixed-value points (= 0.5¢ per HSBC Rewards point):

  • 3 pts (1.5%) per $ on eligible purchases
  • 6 pts (3.0%) per $ on eligible travel purchases

HSBC Points are hybrid points that can be used as fixed-value points or as variable-value points by transferring them to airline partners.

Their fixed value as a simple travel credit is 0.5¢/pt, while our Flytrippers valuation is 0.6¢/pt, or 20% more by transferring.

Transfer partners are:

  • British Airways Avios
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Singapore KrisFlyer

For example, the welcome bonus is enough for a roundtrip Toronto-Miami one-way flights or almost enough for a  Toronto-Dublin one-way flight AND a Toronto-Miami one-way flight.

But with variable-value points you need to be flexible to get the most value.

More details about HSBC Points coming soon.

Medical travel insurance (31 days; under age 65)
Trip cancelation insurance
Trip interruption/delay insurance
Car rental insurance
Baggage delay/loss insurance
Purchase protection
Extended warranty

No flight delay insurance
No hotel burglary insurance

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $430 in free travel
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Excellent earn rate
  • Hybrid points (fixed-value or variable-value)
  • 3 airline transfer partners
  • Excellent insurance coverage (31-day medical)
  • Minimum income of $80,000 required
  • Minimum spend of $5,000 to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

American Express Platinum Card®

The most premium card there is, with unlimited airport lounge access (recommended for those who travel a lot)

≈ –$94

in free travel after $2,000 in 3 months

We’re keeping it here in case you’ve started traveling and want the unlimited lounge access now…

But if not, we strongly recommend waiting for the Welcome Bonus to return to normal.

We both have this card and it is amazing. But since its fee is high and the welcome bonus that normally makes the first year profitable is now halved (and is “once-in-a-lifetime”), we recommend it only when it is a profitable offer.

Unlimited access to airport lounges (for 2 people) and Gold Elite Status at Marriott and Hilton are some of the perks that make your travel experience more luxurious.

And these are just some of the benefits of this card, the most prestigious in Canada (and now a sleek shiny metal card).

25,000 American Express MR Points Welcome Bonus
≈ $375 (≈ 1.5 ¢ / pt)
Points earned on the $2,000 minimum spend
≈ $30
Annual travel credit
= $200
Card Fee
= $699 (deducted from total free travel)

Total of –$94 in free travel
(or an even worse value of –$229 as fixed-value points)
+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the –$94 Welcome Bonus…

Here is Points earn rate:
3 pts (≈4.5%) per $ on dining
2 pts (≈2%) per $ on travel
1 pt (≈1.5%) per $ everywhere

 

American Express Points are hybrid (fixed-value or variable-value) and transferable.

Variable value: Points can be transferred to Aeroplan, Avios, Delta and others (and potentially give you more for your money, but this requires more flexibility). They can also be used via American Express’s fixed-price award chart directly.

Fixed value: Points can also be applied to travel expenses via the AMEX portal, which gives you more flexibility but can not give you more for your money.

More details coming soon in the Travel Hacking section.

Medical travel insurance 15 days (64 years and under)
Flight delay insurance ($1,000, 4h minimum)
Car rental insurance
Baggage & personal effects insurance
Trip cancellation insurance
Trip interruption insurance
Travel accident insurance
Hotel burglary insurance
Purchase protection and extended warranty

or

American Express Platinum Card®

Offer Summary
  • ≈ –$94 in free travel
  • Unlimited access to airport lounges (for 2 people)
  • Gold Elite Status at Marriott and Hilton
  • Points transferable 1:1 to Aeroplan and Avios
  • Hybrid Points (Fixed-Value or Variable-Value)
  • Excellent earn rate on dining and travel
  • Exceptional insurance coverage
  • No minimum income required
  • Minimum spend of $2,000 to reach
  • Certain conditions apply*

or

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® (QC only)

This offer is only available to residents of Quebec (Canadian residents outside of Quebec eligible for separate offer).

A good offer with no minimum spend and no minimum income (and a good card for those who don't always pay on-time)

$150

in free travel after 6 months & 1 purchase (no minimum spend)

The HSBC +Rewards Mastercard has a very decent welcome bonus for a card in this category. There is no minimum spend amount to unlock it and the card has no minimum income requirement either.

The welcome bonus is worth $150 based on our Flytrippers Valuation and HSBC points are extremely easy to use: they can be applied to any travel expense (but they can’t be transferred to airline programs unlike the HSBC World Elite Mastercard’s points).

The card has a lower earn rate, and limited insurance coverage and benefits, as most cards with very low annual fees do.

However, the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard has a retail benefit that very few cards have: the Price Protection Service. If you find a lower price within 60 days of your purchase, the difference will be refunded ($500 maximum). The card is also accepted at Costco.

Finally, Flytrippers strongly recommends never carrying a balance on any credit card. But if you do, this card has a very low interest rate (for purchases and even balance transfers).

Offer ends March 29th. *Conditions apply

Welcome bonus of 20,000 HSBC Points
= $100 (fixed value of 0.5¢/pt)

Additional bonus of 15,000 points after 180 days
= $75 (fixed value of 0.5¢/pt)

Card fee
= $25

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
= $150 in free travel
(fixed value)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

In addition to the $150 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate as fixed-value points (= 0.5¢ per HSBC Rewards point):

  • 1 pt (0.5%) per $ on eligible purchases
  • 2 pts (1.0%) per $ on eligible dining and entertainment

The HSBC +Rewards card’s points are fixed-value points, so they give you great flexibility but can not give you outsized unlimited value (they can’t give you a good deal or a “rebate” compared to the cash price).

HSBC points are among the most flexible points: they are “eraser” points. They can be applied to any travel expense as a travel credit that simply “erases” the expense.

Unlike the points from the HSBC Worl Elite Mastercard, you do not have the option to transfer your points to airline partners to use them as potentially more valuable variable-value points.

More details about HSBC Points coming soon.

Price Protection Service (60 days; $500)
Purchase protection (90 days)
Extended warranty (1 year)

No medical travel insurance
No trip cancelation insurance
No trip interruption/delay insurance
No car rental insurance
No flight delay insurance
No baggage delay/loss insurance
No hotel burglary insurance

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

HSBC +Rewards Mastercard

Offer Summary
  • $150 in free travel
  • Easy-to-use fixed-value points
  • Unique Price Protection Service
  • No travel insurance coverage (retail ins. only)
  • Accepted at Costco
  • Low interest rate for those who don't pay on-time
  • No minimum income required
  • No minimum spend to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® (QC only)

This offer is only available to residents of Quebec (Canadian residents outside of Quebec eligible for separate offer).

A good no-foreign-transaction-fee card with no minimum spend requirement

$371

in free travel after  6 months & 1 purchase (no minimum spend)

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is a great card for travelers, however the current welcome bonus, while good compared to many other cards, is not as high as it can sometimes be.

The welcome bonus is worth ≈ $371 based on our Flytrippers valuation and there is no minimum spend requirement to unlock it.

The card also is one of the very few cards with no foreign transaction fee, saving you 2.5% on all purchases in other currencies compared to most cards (only the exchange rate applies).

Finally, the card’s base earn rate is one of the best in Canada… and the points you earn are extremely flexible, as you can use them as an easy-to-use travel credit or transfer them to 3 airline partners.

Offer ends March 29th. *Conditions apply

Welcome bonus of 20,000 HSBC Points
≈ $120 (estimated value 0.6¢/pt)

Additional bonus of 50,000 points after 180 days
≈ $300 (estimated value 0.6¢/pt)

Annual travel enhancement credit
≈ $100 (considered at full value)

Card fee
= $149

Flytrippers Valuation of Welcome Bonus
$371 in free travel
(or $301 minimum as fixed-value travel credit)

+ all points earned with your regular purchases

After the ≈ $371 Welcome Bonus…

Earn rate at Flytrippers valuation (≈ 0.6¢ per HSBC Rewards point):

  • 3 pts (≈ 1.8%) per $ on eligible purchases
  • 6 pts (≈ 3.6%) per $ on eligible travel purchases

or

Earn rate as fixed-value points (= 0.5¢ per HSBC Rewards point):

  • 3 pts (1.5%) per $ on eligible purchases
  • 6 pts (3.0%) per $ on eligible travel purchases

HSBC Points are hybrid points that can be used as fixed-value points or as variable-value points by transferring them to airline partners.

Their fixed value as a simple travel credit is 0.5¢/pt, while our Flytrippers valuation is 0.6¢/pt, or 20% more by transferring.

Transfer partners are:

  • British Airways Avios
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Singapore KrisFlyer

For example, the welcome bonus is more than enough for a Montreal-Miami roundtrip flight.

But with variable-value points you need to be flexible to get the most value.

More details about HSBC Points coming soon.

Medical travel insurance (31 days; under age 65)
Trip cancelation insurance
Trip interruption/delay insurance
Car rental insurance
Baggage delay/loss insurance
Purchase protection
Extended warranty

No flight delay insurance
No hotel burglary insurance

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

Offer Summary
  • ≈ $371 in free travel
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Excellent earn rate
  • Hybrid points (fixed-value or variable-value)
  • 3 airline transfer partners
  • Excellent insurance coverage (31-day medical)
  • Minimum income of $80,000 required
  • No minimum spend to reach
  • Terms and conditions apply*

Detailed article on the credit card coming soon

This content was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed on this page are purely our own.

All offers described on the Flytrippers website are subject to the financial institutions’ latest terms and conditions that can be found on their website.

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