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Posted January 28, 2020

Welcome to Rewards Canada's 12th annual Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards feature.

Canada's original travel rewards credit card rankings!

2020 will be a big year for travel rewards credit and charge cards. With the anticipated update to Aeroplan from Air Canada this summer we are seeing card issuers up their game with better limited time sign up offers to acquire customers and trying to hold their own against whatever Air Canada may reveal. Ever since the whole Aeroplan saga began in 2017 we've been saying it will be good for the consumer as the competition will heat up and that is really appears to be the case in the world of credit card rewards. There aren't any huge changes to the list for 2020 as it is the calm before the storm. We highly anticipate the 2021 rankings looking quite different!

This year we've updated the format of the rankings page - we're pretty much getting straight into them without our whole classification and reasoning process listed here. It's a short story in it's own right and we still have it, just on another page. You can read the factors behind the ranking details right here. If your not interested in that, great!

Want to learn more? Listen to the Rewards Canada Podcast Episode 64 where we go into details for the 2020 rankings!

Without further ado here are the rankings:

Top 5 Cards Overall

American Express Cobalt Card

Apply by May 5, 2021

Taking the top spot for the third year in a row the American Express Cobalt card has competitors clawing at it but its unmatched value and flexibility keeps this card on top. The card provides up to a 5% return towards any travel bookings, up to a 10% return if you utilize Amex's Fixed Points for Travel program and you can convert the points to hotel programs like Marriott Bonvoy which can then in turn be transferred to over 40 airline loyalty programs. Like we said - it is unmatched in providing value and flexibility to such a wide range of Canadian travellers!


American Express Gold Rewards Card
American Express Gold Rewards Card

Now running in the shadows of the Cobalt Card, this long time front running card still provides the utmost in travel rewards flexibility with a nice sign up bonus of 25,000 points, strong insurance and more. You may ask why get the Gold Rewards Card over the Cobalt Card? The direct conversion to Aeroplan or British Airways and if you spend lots on travel or at drug stores are the main reasons why.


WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

WestJet's continued expansion sees more and more destinations that you can use your WestJet dollars to fly to. Plus you can redeem your dollars for flights on Air France, Delta, KLM, and Qantas to almost all corners of the globe. Add in benefits like the annual companion flight, first checked bag free and lots more and you can see why this card is one of the best in Canada.


Marriott Bonvoy
Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

This is the card the Rewards Canada family pulls out of our wallets for purchases where we don't earn bonuses with other cards. The two Bonvoy points per dollar are worth at least 2 cents but in many cases can be worth much more than that. Add in the free night stay on the card anniversary and the ability to convert to 40+ airline frequent flyer programs at favourable rates makes this card a travellers dream.


RBC Infinite Avion
RBC Visa Infinite Avion

Still one of the most popular cards in Canada, the Avion card provides a high level of flexibility but you do have to know how to work this card to pull the maximum value out of it. Lots of its competitors are easier to use but by having the option to book any travel or convert points to airlines like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, American and WestJet make this a top 5 card overall.

Feature continues below


Top Cards by Category

  Top Travel Points
Credit Cards
Top No Fee Travel Rewards Credit Cards Top Hybrid Credit / Charge Cards
Top Airline Credit / Charge Cards Top Coalition Program Credit Cards

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

mbna Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

American Express Cobalt Card

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card


Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

mbna Best Western Mastercard

American Express Gold Rewards Card

mbna Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard

CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite


CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card

CIBC Aventura Visa Card

RBC Visa Infinite Avion

RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card

American Express AIR MILES Platinum


BMO World Elite Mastercard

Scotiabank American Express Card

The Platinum Card from American Express

WestJet RBC Mastercard

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard


TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card

CAA Rewards Mastercard

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum Card

American Express AIR MILES Reserve Card
A Travel Points Credit Card earns points that can be used to book travel via that credit cards travel agency, associated reward program or select cards give you the ability to book travel how you want and use those points towards the charge on your account
A no fee travel rewards credit card can have any type of travel rewards attached to it (travel points, airline miles, coalition program etc.) and has no annual fees attached to it as a standard feature. This category does not include cards that may waive annual fees in the first year of ownership or if you hold specific bank accounts that provide fee waivers.
A Hybrid card is a combination of an airline and/or hotel card and a travel points card. You can convert your points to airline and/or hotel frequent travel programs or use the points to book travel via the credit card's travel agency or with some cards to book travel how you want and then redeem the points against the charge on your account
An airline credit card earns miles directly into that airline's frequent flyer program
A coalition program credit card earns points or miles directly into a single program that has lots of earning and redemption options. In Canada these are programs like Aeroplan, AIR MILES, More Rewards, and Scene.

Expanded details for the top 5 cards in each category

Click on 'Show All' to the right to see the five cards in each category

Details on the Top Travel Points Credit Cards (with annual fee)
Details on the Top No Fee Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Details on the Top Hybrid Credit / Charge Cards (with annual fee)
Details on the Top Airline Credit / Charge Cards
Details on the Top Coalition Program Credit Cards

Recommended reading and related articles:




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