The 15 best credit cards in Canada for 2021

Ratehub.ca
by Ratehub.ca February 1, 2021 / 10 Comments

Every year, Ratehub.ca rounds up the best credit cards in the country to help Canadians wade through the financial weeds to find the card most suited to their spending habits and lifestyle.

Like clothing, credit cards aren’t one-size-fits-all. We’ve said this before — the best one for you depends on your financial situation and maybe one that saves you money via a low interest rate, balance transfer offer or cash back, or provides value through rewards points that can be redeemed for travel and merchandise.

Alongside a few standout new mentions, several of the best credit cards in Canada for 2020 have also made it on our list for 2021 because they continue to offer great value.

Summary (+/-)

The best Canadian credit cards for 2021

Not sure which card to choose?

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I want my new card to:

Earn rewards
Earn travel rewards, cash back, or store credit rewards
Pay low interest
Pay less interest on my revolving or existing credit card balance
Build credit
Build or establish credit

Best rewards card for everyday spending

American Express Cobalt


  • Annual fee: $120 (charged at $10 monthly)
  • Earn 5 points per $1 on groceries and dining
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on travel, gas, and daily transit
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all purchases
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 45,000 bonus points
  • Income required: None specified

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

The American Express Cobalt retains its spot as one of the best credit cards in Canada for four years running for its wide variety of rewards categories. You’ll earn five Membership Rewards points per dollar on groceries, restaurants, bars, cafés, and food deliveries, two points per dollar on flights, hotel stays, public transportation, taxis and Ubers, and one point per dollar on everything else.

The card’s $120 annual fee is charged at a more manageable $10 a month. As a new cardholder, you can also get 2,500 bonus points each month you spend at least $500 for your entire first year – up to a total of 30,000 points. Plus, score an additional 15,000 bonus points when you sign-up by May 5, 2021 and spend at least $3,000 on the card within your first three months.

Why we like it:

Along with the card’s strong every day earn rate and 45,000 point welcome bonus, the American Express Cobalt stands out for its flexible travel redemption options.

You can either: redeem points for hotel stays or flights on virtually any airline at a flat rate of 1,000 points for $10 (1 cent per point); leverage the rewards chart of AMEX’s Fixed Points Travel Program to get special redemption rates and potentially earn up to 50%-75% more value out of your points on round trip flights out of Canada; or transfer your points to select hotel partners like Marriott Bonvoy. You can also redeem points for prepaid cards to use for any purchase at a rate of roughly 0.8 cents per point.

Another great feature: it doesn’t cost extra to add authorized users, so you won’t have to shell out an additional $30 to $50 in annual fees just to share the account with a loved one.

Travel insurance benefits:

The card provides a suite of insurance benefits including travel emergency medical ($5 million for 15 days) and travel accident ($500,000), $500 for flight interruption and baggage loss/delay, as well as car rental collision/loss damage waiver for vehicles up to $85,000.

Additional perks:

Through American Express Invites, cardholders get access to ticket presales and reserved seats for concerts, movie screenings and culinary events, along with other special offers.


Best flat-rate cash back credit card

American Express SimplyCash Card Preferred


  • Annual fee: $99
  • Earn 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 4 months (up to $400 cash back)
  • Income required: None specified

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

The SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express offers a lucrative 2% cash back on every purchase – from groceries and online shopping to clothes, bill payments, electronics, and everything in between. For the first four months, new cardholders can even earn a welcome rate of 10% cash back (up to $400) on all their spending. Cash back is refunded once a year in September as an account credit.

Why we like it:

At 2%, the SimplyCash Preferred earns the highest flat cash back rate on the market. Since it offers the same cash back on everything, its rewards are easy to understand and you won’t have to think about bonus categories, merchant codes, or strategically shopping based on earning multipliers. Adding authorized is free too, so you won’t have to pay a higher annual fee to share the credit card account with a loved one.

This card also comes with a special welcome rate (10%), which while not unique, does last for up to the first four months of card membership or up to a maximum of $400 in bonus cash back. In comparison, most welcome offers on competing cash back cards only last for up to three months and max out at $200.

Additional perks:

The SimplyCash Preferred Card includes 24/7 customer service, comprehensive travel insurance with up to $5,000,000 in travel medical emergency insurance and up to $85,000 in rental car/damage/loss waiver insurance, as well as access to American Express Invites.


Best cash back card for groceries and gas

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite*

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  • Annual fee: $120 (rebated for the first year)
  • Welcome offer: Get 10% cash back on all purchases for the first four statement periods (up to $200 cash back)
  • 4% cash back on gas and groceries
  • 2% on dining, daily transit, and recurring bill payments
  • 1% on everything else
  • Annual income required: $60,000 (personal) or $100,000 (household)

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

The biggest selling point of the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* is its impressive rewards on everyday essentials. The card earns an industry-leading quadruple the cash back on both grocery and gas purchases – two of the most common spending categories for Canadian households.

But bonus rewards on food and transit aren’t restricted to the supermarket checkout and at the pump. The card also earns an accelerated 2% cash back on dining (yes, that includes food deliveries) and public transit (from Uber rides to transit passes). Plus, you’ll earn 2% on recurring bills (think monthly, pre-authorized payments for your smartphone, internet, and streaming services). All other purchases net a 1% return.

Thanks to CIBC’s new Cash back on demand feature, cardholders can choose to redeem rewards at any time as a statement credit starting in increments of $25. Otherwise, cash back will be credited to your account automatically as part of your January statement. Like all Visa Infinite Cards, you’ll need to earn a personal income of at least $60,000 to get approved (or $100,000 as a household).

Why we like it:

The card earns between 4% and 2% in straight-up cash back across five bonus categories encompassing food, transit, and recurring bill payments – easily making it one of the highest-earning rewards cards in Canada for all spending personalities. For a limited time, cardholders can also get the card’s annual fee rebated for the first year and earn a boosted 10% cash back rate on all purchases for the first four monthly statement periods (up to $200).

Additional perks:

The CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* offers access to the Visa Infinite Program, entitling you to attend special dining events and hotel perks at participating hotels and restaurants. Cardholders will receive access to a roster of insurance benefits from emergency travel medical insurance to new mobile device coverage, and rental auto theft/loss/collision insurance. Additionally, as a CIBC cardholder, you can leverage the bank’s Pace It installment program, which lets you pay off eligible purchases in smaller chunks over time at a reduced interest rate (though, if you do regularly carry a balance month-to-month, we do recommend a full-fledged low interest credit card instead).

 

 

Best no fee cash back credit card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases in up to three spending categories of your choice
  • Get 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • Income required: $12,000

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

The Tangerine Money-Back Card earns you 2% cash back in two chosen spending categories (or three categories when you also open a Tangerine Savings Account) and 0.5% on everything else. There’s a total of 10 bonus categories to choose from – including everything from groceries and gas, to restaurants, public transit, hotel stays, and more.

Why we like it:

Two percent on bonus categories is one of the richest return rates for a no fee credit card. The freedom to choose your bonus categories is also great, as is the fact your cash back is refunded on a monthly basis (instead of the standard annual reimbursement).

Additional perks:

This card offers a 1.95% promotional interest rate on balance transfers for new cardholders for the first six months. If you state that you earn at least $60,000 during the application process, you’ll get bumped up to the higher-tier Tangerine World Mastercard and get additional benefits like mobile device insurance and rental car coverage.


Best store/retail credit card

PC Financial World Elite

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn 45 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Earn 30 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent at Loblaws banner grocery stores and Esso/Mobil gas stations
  • Earn 10 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent on all other everyday purchases
  • Income required: $80,000 (or $150,000 as a household)

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

If you regularly cross off your shopping list at Shoppers Drug Mart or Loblaws banner grocery stores (think Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Fortinos, among several others), and refill your gas tank at Esso/Mobil stations, the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard is a no brainer.

The premium, no-fee retail credit card earns between 45 to 30 PC Optimum points per dollar spent at affiliate retailers (the equivalent of 4.5% and 3% in store credit respectively), and 10 PC points per dollar everywhere else you swipe the card (the equivalent of 1% in store credit). With over 4,500 retail and gas locations affiliated with the PC Optimum program, there’s no shortage of opportunities to rack up bonus points.

PC Optimum points can be redeemed for purchases from Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws banner grocery stores in increments of 10,000 points for $10.

To qualify for the PC Financial World Elite, you’ll need to earn an annual income of $80,000 (or $150,000 as a household). If you don’t hit those minimum income requirements, the good news is you can still qualify for PC Financial’s other great (but slightly less lucrative) no fee retail credit cards.

Why we like it:

Thanks to its impressive earn rates of between 4.5% to 3% and its partnership with some of Canada’s largest grocery, pharmacy, and gas station brands, the PC Financial World Elite stands out for being one of the best no fee credit cards for purchasing household essentials.

It also doesn’t hurt that the PC Optimum Points program is extremely easy-to-understand (with 10,000 points being redeemable for $10; or 10 points worth 1% in-store credit) and flexible (can be redeemed for purchases at the counter or online from over 2,500 Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws banner store locations).

Additional perks:

The PC Financial World Elite includes out-of-province/country travel emergency medical insurance for trips up to ten days (for those under the age of 65) and car rental collision/loss/damage waiver insurance – both impressive perks for a no fee store credit card.


Best low interest credit card

MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®


  • Annual fee: $39
  • Standard annual interest rate of 8.99% on purchases and balance transfers
  • Interest rate of 24.99% on cash advances
  • Around the clock protection against fraudulent charges
  • Note: This offer is not available for residents of Quebec
  • Income required: None specified

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

If you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month, you shouldn’t be chasing rewards — you also shouldn’t be paying a high interest rate. The True Line Gold Mastercard from MBNA currently offers the lowest fixed interest rate for purchases in Canada at 8.99%, which is half the interest rate of the typical rewards credit card. This card does have a $39 annual fee.

Why we like it:

This card stands out for the fact it offers the lowest fixed interest rate on purchases and balance transfers in the country. So, whether you anticipate you’ll carry a balance or are looking to consolidate and pay off high-interest debt from other cards, the True Line Gold Mastercard can help you save a considerable amount of money on interest long term.

Additional perks:

Fraud protection and access to 24/7 customer service.


Best credit card for bad/rebuilding credit

Home Trust Secured Visa

  • Annual fee: $0
  • 19.99% interest rate on purchases
  • Virtually guaranteed approval (even if you have been discharged from bankruptcy or are in a consumer proposal)
  • Credit limit is set by the amount of security deposit put down, between $500-$10,000
  • Not available to residents of Quebec

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Do you have a less than stellar credit score that’s making it difficult for you to get approved for new credit or loans? Maybe it’s because you were irresponsible with credit in the past, you’re new to Canada, or you hit a financial rough patch and had to go through a bankruptcy or consumer proposal. Whatever the reason, the Home Trust Secured Visa can help rebuild your credit.

The card has virtually no application requirements and you’re basically guaranteed to be approved. All your payment activity is reported to the credit bureaus, so when you use the card responsibly and make payments on time, you can gradually rebuild your credit score and get lenders to trust you with credit and borrowed money.

Like all secured credit cards, you must provide a deposit as collateral that will be equal to the size of your credit limit. You can provide a deposit of as little as $500 all the way up to $10,000. Your deposit will be reimbursed in full when you close your account, provided you don’t owe any balance of course. The card doesn’t have an annual fee and carries a standard interest rate of 19.99% (which can be completely avoided as long as you pay off your balance owing in full each and every month). If you don’t use the card at least once for a consecutive 365 day period, you will have to pay a $10 inactivity fee.

Why we like it:

At its core, the Home Trust Secured Visa works the same as any secured credit card. What really sets it apart is the fact it doesn’t charge an annual fee or monthly maintenance fee, which is virtually unheard of for a secured card. Just be sure to use the card at least once every year, even if it’s for a tiny purchase, to avoid the $10 inactivity fee.


Best no foreign transaction fee credit cards

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite


  • Annual fee: $139
  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and transit purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Welcome offer: Get up to 30,000 bonus points
  • Includes Priority Pass airport lounge membership with 6 free visits per year
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Income required: $60,000

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

One of just two credit cards from Canada’s big banks to waive its foreign transaction fees (the other in question being the Scotiabank Gold AMEX), the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite also offers impressive lounge access benefits and is issued by Visa so it’s more widely accepted when travelling outside of North America.

In terms of everyday rewards, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite will earn you two Scotia Rewards points for every dollar you spend on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment (including movie theatres, musicals/plays, orchestras, concert tickets) and daily transit purchases (including buses, subways, taxis, trains, and ferries). For all your other purchases, you’ll get one point per dollar. As new Scotiabank cardholder, you can also earn up to 30,000 bonus points: 20,000 points when you make at least $1,000 in everyday purchases within the first three months and another 10,000 points when you spend at least $40,000 on the card annually. 1 Scotia Rewards point is worth $0.01 when redeemed for flights on any airline.

Why we like it:

The card’s lack of foreign transaction fees (which will save you 2.5% on all your purchases made in a non-Canadian currency) is the cherry on top of a number of perks including a $300 point bonus and Priority Pass membership with six free visits per year to over 1,200 lounges worldwide. As with other Visa Infinite cards, cardholders have access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection and Visa Infinite Dining Series.

Additional perks:

The card includes travel emergency medical and travel accident insurance, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight delay, baggage delay and loss insurance, and car rental collision/loss damage waiver. You can also pick up one free supplementary card.

Also consider:

Home Trust Preferred Visa


  • Annual fee: $0
  • No foreign transaction fee charged on purchases in a non-Canadian currency
  • Earn 1% cash back on all Canadian purchases, with no limit on the amount you can earn
  • Not available to residents of Quebec
  • Income required: None specified

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Besides the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, the Home Trust Preferred Visa is among the select few credit cards in Canada with no foreign transaction fees. This card also doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers 1% cash back on all your purchases in Canada. This card isn’t available to residents of Quebec and has a limit of 10 authorized transactions per day. There is a $12 inactivity fee if you don’t charge at least one purchase on the card for a consecutive 365 days.

Why we like it:

With its lack of foreign transaction fees and annual fees, the Home Trust Preferred Visa is a good card to keep on hand as a backup just for when you’re travelling abroad or need to make a purchase in a foreign currency. Just be sure to use your credit card at least every year, even if it’s a small purchase. If you don’t, you’ll get hit with a $12 inactivity fee.

Additional perks:

Car rental collision insurance at no extra cost.


Best travel credit cards for frequent flyers

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite

  • Annual fee: $120 (rebated for the first year)
  • Earn 9 TD Points per $1 on travel booked online through the ExpediaforTD website
  • Earn 3 TD Points per $1 on your everyday purchases
  • Welcome offer: Get up to 60,000 TD Points ($300 value). Offer ends May 30, 2021
  • Income required: $60,000
  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please clickhere

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

As its name clearly suggests, the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite is made with frequent flyers in mind. For every dollar spent on travel booked via ExpediaforTD.com (which includes the same wide array of airline and hotel options as Expedia.ca), this card will earn you 9 TD points. For all your other everyday purchases, you’ll get 3 TD points per dollar. For reference, 1 TD point = $0.005 when redeemed on the ExpediaforTD website, so that adds up to 4.5% in rewards on travel and 1.5% on everything else.

New applicants who meet the card’s income requirements will also have the $120 annual fee rebated for the first year and up to 60,000 bonus points: 20,000 TD bonus points after making their first purchase and an additional 40,000 points when at least $1,500 is spent on the card within the first 90 days.

Why we like it:

Few travel credit cards in comparison offer as many rewards (4.5%) on airfare, hotels, and vacation packages. If you’re a frequent flyer who spends big on travel every year, the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite can help you rack up a ton of points faster. Through the ExpediaforTD website, cardholders also have the choice to pick flights from hundreds of airlines as opposed to only a handful of partner carriers.

The card’s welcome offer is also undeniably enticing and delivers up to a total of $420 in additional value when factoring for the annual fee waiver and points bonuses.

Travel insurance:

This card includes an extensive suite of travel insurance benefits including $1 million in emergency medical out of province coverage, up to $1,500 in trip cancellation coverage per person, $500,000 in common carrier travel accident insurance, and more.

Additional perks:

This card offers between 5% and 10% off car rentals from Avis and Budget locations, concierge services, as well as a 20% discount on annual Priority Pass airport lounge memberships.

Also consider:

BMO World Elite Mastercard


  • Annual fee: $150 (waived for the first year)
  • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 on travel, dining and entertainment
  • 2 points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Earn up to 40,000 bonus points (value: $280) within your first year
  • VIP lounge access with the included Mastercard Airport Experiences membership, plus 4 complimentary passes per year ($140 value)
  • Income required: $80,000

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

With the BMO World Elite Mastercard, you’ll earn three BMO Rewards points for every dollar you spend on travel, dining and entertainment and two points per dollar on everything else. When redeemed for travel rewards like flights or vacation packages, 1 BMO point = $0.007 (or 0.7%).

The premium card also comes with four free annual passes to over 1,000 airport lounges and one of the most generous welcome offers on the market. You’ll get 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 within your first three months, another 10,000 bonus points after your first year anniversary, and the card’s $150 annual fee waived for the first year.

Why we like it:

From perks to flexibility, the BMO World Elite Mastercard delivers on multiple fronts. BMO Rewards points can be used to cover travel taxes and fees as well as book seats on virtually any airline with no blackout dates (BMO Rewards even offers a price match guarantee on eligible flights). The card’s welcome offer also delivers up to a combined $400 in bonuses. Plus, thanks to the card’s global lounge access benefits (which on its own carries an annual value of $140), you can always travel in style.

Travel insurance benefits:

This card has you covered with World Elite travel insurance, which includes $2.5 million in travel medical (up to 21 days, under age 65) and $5 million in travel accident coverage, up to a maximum of $5,000 in trip cancellation coverage, and more.

Additional perks:

While the built-in lounge access is easily the BMO World Elite Mastercard’s most stand-out perk, it also comes with concierge services, purchase protection, and extended warranty on most purchases.


Best credit card for points optimizers

American Express Gold Rewards Card


  • Annual fee: $150
  • Get 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, travel, and pharmacy purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: Get up to 25,000 Membership Rewards points
  • Convert your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan, Marriott Bonvoy, and more.
  • Income required: No specific amount

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

Are you a savvy points optimizer and frequent flyer? Then, the American Express Gold Rewards Card should be on your radar. The card earns a solid 2 American Express Membership Rewards (MR) points per dollar on travel, gas, groceries and drugstores, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

But what really sets this card apart as one of our favourites is its flexible travel redemption options. You can use points to book flights in one of three ways:

  • Using the Flexible Points Travel Program: 1,000 points is worth $10 in travel rewards (or 1 point is always worth 1 cent)
  • Using the Fixed Points Travel Program: a rewards chart that breaks up the world into six travel zones, and can potentially net you higher returns of 1.50 – 1.75 cents per point on roundtrip flights
  • Using point transfer options: where you can convert your American Express MR points to over half a dozen other airline and hotel loyalty programs.

By strategically redeeming your points using the Fixed Points Travel Program‘s redemption chart or points transfers to your advantage, you can stretch the value of your rewards beyond the conventional 1 cent per point. If you’re not overwhelmed by rewards charts and are willing to invest some time into creating a well-optimized travel itinerary, you can fly further for less.

The card has an annual fee of $150 and a welcome offer of 25,000 bonus points provided you spend at least $1,500 on the card within your first three months. The American Express Gold Rewards Card is also what’s known as a charge card, which means it functions virtually the same as a conventional credit card with two notable exceptions: the balance must be paid off in full every month and you don’t have a fixed credit limit (your credit limit can fluctuate and even increase based on your financial situation or if you need to make a particularly large purchase).

Why we like it:

It’s obvious: the Fixed Points Travel Program and point transfer options make the American Express Gold Rewards Card one of the most flexible and lucrative travel points credit cards in Canada. The transfer options are particularly valuable, as you can boost the value of your points and leverage the benefits of airline and hotel loyalty programs like Aeroplan, British Airways Avios, and Marriott Bonvoy.

The right transfers can also make travelling in business class far more achievable. For instance, while booking a business class flight from Toronto to Vancouver on Air Canada may cost around 230,000 American Express MR points, in comparison, it may only cost 150,000 Aeroplan points. When considering you can transfer American Express MR points to Aeroplan points on a 1 to 1 basis, you could save roughly 80,000 points on the same booking by using the card’s transfer options to your advantage. No other personal credit card, with the exception of the American Express Platinum (which has a $699 annual fee), offers as many point transfer options.

Additional perks:

The American Express Gold Rewards Card offers a full suite of travel insurance benefits with up to $5 million in out-of-province/country travel emergency medical insurance for trips up to 15 days (for those under 65 years old), trip interruption insurance, flight delay insurance, and lost/baggage delay insurance. Cardholders can also get up to $100 USD in hotel benefits at eligible properties that are part of The Hotel Collection from American Express (like late check-outs and discounted amenities).


Best credit card for hotel stays

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Earn 5 points in eligible Card purchases at participating Marriott Rewards hotels and 2 points on all other purchases
  • Welcome Bonus: 50,000 points when you make $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite Status
  • Income required: None specified

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card is specifically made for hotel rewards, making it an excellent card for frequent travellers. With this card, you’ll earn five points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at all Marriott properties and two points per dollar on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for free nights at more than over two dozen hotel brands including Marriott, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, W Hotels, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton and Delta. The card’s strong welcome points bonus also helps to cement the card’s place on this list as new cardholders will earn 50,000 bonus points after making $1,500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Why we like it:

The recent merger between SPG and Marriott’s rewards programs means there are more than 7,000 hotels worldwide under this loyalty program, so you’ll always find somewhere to stay.

Additional perks:

On the anniversary of opening your account, you’ll receive one free night at eligible hotels and resorts worldwide. If you make $30,000 in purchases on the card annually, you’ll also be upgraded to Marriott Bonvoy Gold status.


Best Air Miles credit card

Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $120 (waived for the first year)
  • Earn 1 Air Mile for every $10 in credit card purchases
  • Welcome Offer: Get up to 3,000 bonus Air Miles
  • VIP Airport Lounge Access – 2 free annual passes to Mastercard Airport Experiences from LoungeKey
  • Income requirement: $80,000

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

If you’re an avid Air Miles collector, you can rack up significantly more rewards with the BMO Air Miles World Elite in your wallet and get some premium travel perks to boot. The card offers a lucrative 0.1 Miles per dollar, over a dozen types of insurance, and airport lounge access with two free passes every year.

The Air Miles World Elite also includes a sign up bonus for new cardholders that includes a first year annual fee waiver and up to 3,000 bonus miles after you hit a minimum spend of $3,000 within your first three months of activating your account.

Why we like it:

When shopping at Air Miles Partners (like Metro, Sobeys, Shell, Staple, and more), you can rack up Miles twice by paying with this credit card and showing your Air Miles Collector Card at the same time. The Air Miles World Elite also offers arguably the best insurance of any other Air Miles credit card period, with up to $2 million in out of province medical insurance along with personal effects coverage (the latter of which is rarely offered by credit cards). The built-in membership to Mastercard Experiences will also open up the door to over 1,000 airport lounges for free twice a year, and last but not least, the sign up bonus is enough to let you book up to two short-haul flights within North America.

Additional perks:

Cardholders get a 15% discount on flights booked using Miles within North America.


Best credit card for Costco

MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Earn 2 MBNA points on all purchases
  • Receive up to 30,000 bonus points as a new cardholder
  • Income requirement: $80,000 (or $150,000 as a household)

Read in-depth card description (+/-)

If you’re a firm believer in the advantages of buying in bulk, odds are, you do a fair share of shopping at Costco and are already well aware the warehouse retailer only accepts Mastercard.

Enter the MBNA Rewards World Elite.

This Mastercard will earn you a flat 2 points per dollar on all your purchases, including at Costco. When redeemed for travel on any airline, 2 MBNA points equals $0.02 – some of the best rewards you’ll get for shopping at Costco. In fact, it’s double what you’d earn at Costco compared to if you were using the retailer’s own co-branded card with Capital One. You can also redeem points for e-gift cards from retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Wayfair for around 0.85-0.95 cents per point.

As a new MBNA cardholder, you can earn up to 30,000 bonus points provided you do the following within your first 90 days: enrol for online e-statements and make at least $2,000 in card purchases.

Why we like it:

Simple. At 2 points per dollar, the MBNA Rewards World Elite will earn you more rewards at Costco than virtually any other card in the market – easily taking the top spot on our list of the best credit card for shopping at Costco. The card’s $300 welcome bonus isn’t too shabby either.

It’s worth calling out that Costco isn’t recognized as a grocery store, so if you have another Mastercard credit card with groceries as a bonus category, you won’t earn any bonus rewards when swiping your card at Costco (which isn’t a concern with the MBNA Rewards World Elite since it offers the same 2 points on everything).

Additional perks:

Unlike most premium rewards cards, the MBNA Rewards World Elite doesn’t charge an additional fee for adding authorized users, so you can get a supplementary card for your partner or family member and rack up points faster together at no extra cost. The card also comes with rental car insurance, trip interruption insurance, and price protection.

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