5 Tips For Choosing The Best Travel Rewards Card in Canada for 2019
Choosing the best travel rewards credit card in Canada can be an exciting, but overwhelming decision to make. The lure of (almost) free travel, and laying on the beach in Hawaii can finally be a real possibility with the right card.
You’ve heard it done. But how? Your path to the beach starts with choosing the right travel rewards card.
As fun as it is to daydream about flying to Hawaii on points, there are some real life decisions that need to be made.
Annual fees, minimum spends, interest rates, loyalty programs, signup bonuses…the list goes on. It can be overwhelming. I get it.
But travel reward credit cards are a great opportunity to earn points that you can redeem for your dream vacation, so don’t get discouraged.
Here are some things you should be looking for in a great travel rewards card:
1. The Best Travel Rewards
Shocking, right? Defining your travel goals will allow you to figure out what travel rewards you value most. Do you prefer nice hotels, do you have flexible travel dates? What airline and/or hotel are you most loyal to? This should be the biggest factor in determining what travel rewards card you’ll be earning points for. You need to figure out what’s important to you, because it won’t be the same as the next person!
2. The Biggest Welcome Bonus
This is the easiest and fastest way to earn free points towards travel. A huge welcome bonus can come at the cost of a higher minimum spend requirement and higher annual fees. But generally the value of the points can more than offset the fees with some basic travel hacking knowledge. A generous welcome bonus can easily help pay for your first roundtrip flight.
3. First Year Free
Consider a card where the first year annual fee is waived. These offers come and go, but it’s important to keep an eye out for them. This is a great opportunity to earn some free points on purchases you’d be making anyway. Plus you can take advantage of other free card perks like travel insurance, presale access to buy concert tickets, bonus points, and other special cardholder offers.
4. Category Spending Bonuses
What shopping categories will earn you the most points? This isn’t about spending money on things you normally wouldn’t. If you like to eat out, look for a card that gives you bonus points at restaurants. Like driving? Look for one with extra rewards at gas stations. Just make sure these category bonuses align with your current shopping habits and travel goals.
5. Easy Ways To Redeem Points
Don’t get stuck redeeming your points for overpriced household appliances in the membership rewards catalogue. Yuck. There’s a better way. For example, American Express allows you to transfer your points to your favourite airline loyalty program and Marriott hotels so you can get more mileage out of your points and be PointsWise.
Our Top Pick: The American Express Platinum Card Canada
The American Express Platinum Card Canada is easily our top pick for the best travel rewards card in Canada for 2019.
Although the card doesn’t come cheap at $699 per year, don’t let that turn you off. If you’re a frequent traveller, you’ll be able to extract way more value out of the card.
You’ll receive an annual $200 travel credit, airport lounge access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, and receive a welcome bonus of 50,000 points which you can transfer to popular airline and hotel loyalty programs.
You’ll also receive accelerated status with a number of hotel chains, entitling you to room upgrades and late checkout.
This card has a ton of benefits, so continue doing your homework with these articles that go in-depth about its benefits, and downsides:
- Are American Express Cards Worth It For Canadians?
- American Express Platinum Card Canada Review
- The Complete Guide to the Platinum Card Canada Travel Benefits
- Unboxing the New American Express Metal Platinum Card
- How To Get a 4 Night Complimentary Stay in the Bahamas with your American Express Platinum Card
Compare The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards in Canada for 2019
Use the tool below to filter the best travel reward cards based on your travel preferences, income, credit score, and monthly spending habits.