The Best Credit Cards for Travel Hacking in Canada

Here is where your Travel Hacking adventure will really start. Credit card signup bonuses are the key to traveling for free, so here is what you need to know about credit cards.

Our ranking of the best credit cards has moved to a new location, you can bookmark the best credit cards in Canada and check back every month for a new ranking.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR RANKING OF THE BEST CREDIT CARDS

By the way, we’ll share even more Travel Hacking tips in addition to this ranking very soon on our blog. You’ll always be able to do it yourself for free. But if you don’t have the time to read all about it, join our all-new $1,000 Free Travel Club to get $1,000 in free travel thanks to credit cards this year, easily and without all the hassles of having to do it on your own.

Why Credit Cards?

Flytrippers’ main goal is to find great limited-time flight deals, often at over 50% off. However, we think that if you like travel deals, you’ll love free travel too. So that is why we have launched a Travel Hacking section on our blog.

It’s important to understand that every single traveler’s situation and objectives are different, which means the best card for you is not necessarily the best card for another Travel Hacker. But either way, it will most likely be one of these, whether you are a big spender or less of a big spender, whether you travel to Europe or to the US… as these are really the best offers in Canada for the month of November.

Even more importantly, no matter which type of Travel Hacking strategies and credit cards you will use, the basic rules for Travel Hacking credit cards always apply to all and you definitely need to read the 10 basic rules before starting (and it won’t hurt to read our introduction to Travel Hacking too, if you haven’t already).

And no matter what your specific travel goals are, by default if you are contemplating Travel Hacking, it means you are financially responsible (if not, do not undertake Travel Hacking). And since you are financially responsible (and have a lengthy credit history, as explained in the basic rules article), you should apply for two credit cards at a time to maximize your free travel rewards, and then two more every 6-8 months if you can reach the required minimum spend (our article about how to do that will follow soon). If you can only reach the minimum spend for one, order just one at a time every 3-4 months.

This is the best way to get about $1,000 worth of free travel every single year. And I think we can all agree that traveling for free is even better than traveling cheap with our flight deals right?

We have listed the total approximate value of the signup bonus alone, and yes, the cost of the annual fee has been deducted if any, so it is really the net value. More details to come, but in the meantime you can check out our Canadian points valuations. Just know that this does not even include the points you will accrue with your regular spend throughout the year, it is really just the signup bonus.

Many other credit card rankings exist, but ours is really targeted for people who don’t necessarily want to travel in luxury but rather want to travel more often and for free. Everyday travelers. his article will be updated monthly, as credit card offers change frequently!

So here are the best credit cards currently available in Canada for Travel Hacking as of September 4th, for a variety of different categories. Some cards have detailed articles, as indicated. And don’t miss our many more travel hacking articles to come soon.

Come back soon for more on credit card rewards and free travel, our Travel Hacking section is just getting started.

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You’ll probably enjoy this article:
How Ultra Low-Cost Carriers Work

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Travel Hacking Disclaimer: Flytrippers does not give financial advice. You should ensure travel hacking fits your personal situation and obtain professional advice if you so desire. Flytrippers may receive a commission for referrals, however our policy is to only recommend products or services we really believe in (and have ourselves). To read more on our disclaimer, click here.

Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about travelling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself, he aims to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveller, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to Travel Hacking... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 41/193 Countries, 46/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Hi Andrew!

    Great website with lots of useful tips!

    I was just wondering what your preferred card was for accumulating points to fly business class internationally for Canadian residents? I was looking at the Alaskan Airlines Credit Card as they have many partners such as Cathay Pacific etc. I was comparing to the American Express Platinum Card

    Also is there a minimum time frame you should keep a credit card open to accumulate points but then cancel at membership renewal to avoid affecting your credit score?

    Thanks,
    VR

    1. Hi! For business class travel the Platinum card has a great signup bonus that can be transferred to many partners, it opens up a lot of good redemptions yes! The Alaska card is also very good thanks to the variety of partners, you are right on!
      For most cards, there’s no benefit to cancelling before the first year comes to an end so that is usually what we do 🙂

  2. Do you have to pay the annual fee as soon as you sign up with your own money to get the card if it’s not waived ?

    1. Yes, it’s billed on your first statement (and doesn’t count towards your minimum spend required to unlock the signup bonus). But it’s well worth paying annual fees when you pick the right cards. All the numbers given in the article are net of the annual fee (as in, if it says you get $250 in free travel and there’s a $120 annual fee to pay, you actually get $370 less $120… that’s why you get “only” $250 of free travel not $370).

  3. hi, do u suggest a card which gives hotel rooms i have SPG card but after the merger the points dont look as good as before, seem be degraded somehow.
    thanks,
    Des Sag

    1. SPG and Marriott have merged, so Point values have changed a bit, but more hotels went down in price than up, so it’s still the best program in Canada for free hotel nights 🙂 We’ll have a complete guide about the program soon 🙂

  4. Can we ever re-order a card for which we have received a signup bonus in the past (and canceled the card)?

    1. It’s really hit-and-miss, but most card issuers will allow it if it has been some time since the first signup bonus 🙂

  5. RBC Visa Infinite Avion has a $120 annual fee and the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card has a $139 annual fee. Why does it say first year free?

    1. Using our referral link, the RBC Avion is free for the first year, it’s a special offer.

  6. Since I’m just starting this I’m excited for the May article of best card deals.

  7. What about the HomeTrust Preferred Visa? No FX fees there either.

    1. Yes, it’s another good one! I linked to it in the paragraph about the Rogers card, it’s a good alternative indeed:) Thanks for following us:)

  8. I’M TAKING A YEAR OFF TO TRAVEL IN 2019. I CURRENTLY HAVE A CAPITAL ONE ASPIRE TRAVEL MASTER CARD.
    WHAT’S THE BEST OTION OUT THERE FOR REWARDS AND LONG TERM TRAVEL ?
    I EARN 90000$ A YEAR.

    1. Hi, it really depends on what kind of traveler you are, there’s no magic answer. The best travel hacking cards are the ones with th highest signup bonuses, which are all detailed on the page. If you want flexibility, cards like the BMO World Elite are good but if you want more value, the SPG Card is hard to beat. What kind of free travel to you want? Credits that can be used for any travel expense? Miles for flights? Hotel points?

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