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Shop Canada's Best Travel Credit Cards

Travel Credit Cards

If you like to travel for business or leisure, investing in a travel credit card might be worth it. You can save money, get rewards and relief from those annoying foreign transactions fees that come whenever you try to use your card overseas. Once you are making a decent income and not a fan of carrying much cash when on your travels, this is the right alternative for you. Here's the breakdown on travel credit cards.

What Are Travel Credit Cards and Their Benefits?

Travel credit cards are becoming commonplace because credit card issuers offer attractive rewards to increase their market share… which benefits consumers like you and me.

These cards offer you rewards that you can redeem to pay for airline tickets, car rentals, or hotels. They even get you free airline lounge access, discounts, and countless insurance packages among other perks to boost your all-around travel experience. Many travel rewards credit cards come with no annual fee and some come with no purchase interest rate.

The insurance benefits are some of the more attractive pros you will find with these cards.

Many cards provide complimentary medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance, collision and damage insurance for rental cars, among many other types. Whenever anything unusual happens during your trip, you are covered. Plus, you receive strong purchase protection and warranties that cover you against unauthorized transactions.

There are many travel rewards programs you will find associated with these cards as well as loyalty programs to get membership rewards points. You can redeem your points using several methods, such as by transferring points to the loyalty programs you're connected with, statement credits, or a travel shopping portal you can access online.

Using these cards can get you hotel upgrades to get better rooms and faster service. You can also fly in business class without spending too many points. You need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the best travel rewards cards and can use it for everyday purchases. It's essential that you pay off your credit card balance on time given that travel cards have a higher annual percentage rate (APR).  

How Do Travel Credit Cards Work?

You collect rewards or AIR MILES on travel credit cards to maximize every dollar spent. Most travel cards allow you to get twice the points or miles with every $20 card purchase you make at participating outlets. For each subsequent purchase everywhere else, you get one point for every $20 you spend. You should apply for your card months in advance so you can accumulate as many points or miles as possible and redeem them in advance of your trip. Doing so means you will pay lower prices and there is more availability. There may be booking restrictions as some airline or hotel cards will only give travel-specific rewards when booking through the issuer. Be sure to read the terms too as some travel credit cards will charge you booking fees, taxes, or fuel surcharges when you redeem your points.  

If you're loyal to a certain hotel or airline, you can earn travel points and rewards faster. You can choose an airline or hotel co-branded credit card and go from there. Many providers like to offer a welcome bonus where you get AIR MILES after signing up. In most cases, you get 500 reward miles once you've made your first card purchase.

Other cards offer a low introductory rate on balance transfers for several months. You'll also find that travel cards will spare you foreign transaction fees when using your card overseas or online with foreign merchants. Specific cards that allow you to use U.S. dollars or other foreign currencies give you introductory offers such as spending $1,000 USD in one year. Such a card will come with a high annual fee in the first year, but that fee will be waived in the second year.

How Do You Decide What Type of Travel Credit Card to Get?

When looking for the best travel credit card to use, keep a keen eye on how you can earn and redeem your points. While some may tease greater rewards or rates upfront, you have to weigh whether it will cost you more or less over time to use the card. Comparing rewards programs is recommended as is using rewards calculators to determine how much spending you have to do to garner the points or miles you want.

Understand that there is no ideal card out there. Despite the coverage and high-end benefits many travel cards promise, they each have their catches. The best card type depends on your personal goal system. Are you getting a travel card for its rewards? Do you use it for the simple desire to avoid high fees? Make up your mind before getting a card you have no real eagerness to use.

Look for the cards with the most lucrative sign-up bonuses as well as any added category spending bonuses. After all, you want to get more points per dollar so you will get more rewards. If you buy your gas at stations such as Shell or groceries supermarkets such as Sobeys, travel cards affiliated with both would be tailor-made for you. From a world MasterCard to a platinum card, travel cards come in all sorts, look flashy, and feel enriching once you know what they bring you.

If you're using a travel rewards credit card for the first time, avoid high-minimum spending cards for the time being. Start small with a balance you can readily pay off as some cards may require you to spend thousands in re-payments if you're not careful. If you're not always the punctual type, a card with a grace payment period would be helpful, allowing you a few weeks to clear your debts.

Travelling for free takes hard work and much spending, but with travel credit cards, you can relieve the burden and get top treatment and security for your efforts.


From BMO to CIBC and everything in between, allows you to explore each top travel credit card in Canada and decide the best one to help you save for your next trip. Start comparing now!