The Best Air Miles Credit Cards in Canada

Bassel Abdel-Qader
by Bassel Abdel-Qader February 11, 2016 / No Comments

The Air Miles Reward Program is perhaps the most recognized loyalty program in Canada. It has partnerships with more than 100 different stores (called sponsors), so you can use your Air Miles MasterCard or American Express Card at thousands of locations across the country to earn more miles even faster.

The only two card providers affiliated with Air Miles reward miles are BMO and American Express. Compare how many miles you can earn with each of their cards with our Air Miles Calculator. Below are snapshots of what we think are the best Air Miles cards from each of these two issuers:

BMO Air Miles MasterCard

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  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1 Air Miles reward mile for every $20 that you spend
  • Get 500 bonus Air Miles after you make your first purchase and if you apply before April 30
  • Get up to a 25% discount at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car

The BMO Air Miles MasterCard is a great card that makes it easy for you to earn reward miles at no annual cost. With this card, you earn 1 reward mile for every $20 you charge to the card with no limitations on the number of miles you can earn or on the places where you can earn them. You also get 1.25x as many miles when you use your card at any Shell location, and 1.5x the miles when you rent a vehicle from National Car Rental or Alamo Rent A Car anywhere in the world. For a limited time, applying on our site will get you 500 bonus Air Miles after you make your first purchase. You can use both your Air Miles MasterCard and your Air Miles Collector Card at any Air Miles sponsor to collect miles twice for each purchase. Enjoy perks like extended warranty and purchase protection coverage, as well as the ability to add additional cardholders at no extra cost.

BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard

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  • $120 annual fee
  • Earn 1 Air Miles reward mile for every $10 in credit card purchases
  • Get 1,000 bonus Air Miles after you make your first purchase

If you like the perks of the BMO Air Miles MasterCard, you’ll love what the BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard has to offer. As its name suggests, this card is the elite version of the card above and it offers BMO’s best Air Miles earn rate. For $120 a year, you’ll earn 1 reward mile for every $10 you charge to the card anywhere you are. For a limited time, if you sign up on our website you’ll receive a welcome bonus of 1,000 Air Miles after you make your first purchase. Two things that make this card so elite are that: 1) it gives you exclusive access to VIP airport lounges with the included annual Priority Pass membership and 2) it allows you to redeem 25% fewer Air Miles for flights anywhere in North America. So if you want to take a 1,000-mile trip to somewhere in the United States, it’ll only cost you 750 Air Miles. On top of free additional cards, and the ability to earn twice when you make purchases at Air Miles sponsors, this card also comes with a full suite of travel and medical insurance coverage.

American Express AIR MILES Credit Card

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  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $15 in card purchases at Air Miles sponsors
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $20 in card purchases everywhere else
  • Receive a welcome bonus of 500 Air Miles the first time you use the card

With the no annual fee Air Miles Credit Card by American Express, you’ll get a welcome bonus of 500 Air Miles reward miles after you make your first purchase. You’ll earn 1 reward mile for every $15 in card purchases at Air Miles sponsors and 1 reward mile for every $20 you charge to the card everywhere else. Similar to the BMO cards, you can add supplementary cardholders for free and earn miles twice by using both your credit card and your Air Miles Collector Card at sponsors. If you happen to carry debt on other cards, you’ll have the option to accept a balance transfer offer of 0% interest in the first six months when applying for the card. And if you refer a friend to apply for this card, you’ll earn you a bonus of 200 reward miles upon their approval.

American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card

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  • $65 annual fee (waived the first year)
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $10 in card purchases at Air Miles sponsors as well as grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores in Canada
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $15 in card purchases everywhere else
  • Receive a welcome bonus of 2,000 Air Miles when you charge $500 in the first three months

As was the case with the BMO Air Miles cards, the American Express Air Miles Platinum Credit Card is a step up from the Amex non-platinum version. It has a $65 annual fee, which is waived in the first year so it’s free to try. With this card, your welcome bonus is a staggering 2,000 Air Miles, which you’ll get if you charge at least $500 to it within the first three months of receiving it. For every $10 you spend at Air Miles sponsors, gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, you’ll earn 1 reward mile. You’ll also earn 1 reward mile for every $15 spent everywhere else. You also have the option of a 0% balance transfer interest rate for the first six months of having the card, but you must accept this option when you’re applying or you won’t be able to take advantage of the offer later. If you refer a friend to apply for this card, you’ll earn 500(!) reward miles once they’re approved.

 What’s your favourite Air Miles credit card? Did we miss any? Let us know!