Skip to Content

Air Miles Credit Cards Comparison

Air Miles is probably the most popular rewards program in Canada with over 10 million collectors representing two thirds of Canadian households. Strictly speaking it is very different than airline rewards programs like Air Canada's Aeroplan or WestJet Dollars because it isn't tied to any one airline and it actually isn't that strongly linked to air travel at all. It's more of a shopping or retail rewards program actually because you typically earn miles for shopping, not flying.

However, just like any rewards program, if you are a serious collector you will want to have a credit card that will earn you more points or miles for your everyday spending and figuring out which one is best can be challenging. To help you make a better choice, I've done all the comparing for you across all available Air Miles credit cards analyzing such things as: miles earned per dollar spent, bonus miles you get for signing up, cost of annual fees as well as fees for secondary cardholders, free insurance benefits, and other specialized perks each card has to offer.

Using that data, I produced the table below that lists the cards from best to worst by combining the scores given in 5 categories mentioned above. I gave double weight to the "Reward Rating" and "Annual Fee Rating" categories because those are the things I consider to be of utmost importance to the average person.

The Best Air Miles Credit Cards

The cards in the table are ordered from best to worst. Also please note that the table scrolls horizontally by using the slider at the bottom.

  Credit Card
Apply American Express Air Miles Platinum Credit Card
Apply American Express Air Miles Reserve Credit Card
Apply BMO Air Miles World MasterCard
Apply American Express Air Miles Credit Card
Apply BMO Sobeys Air Miles MasterCard
Apply RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege
Apply BMO Air Miles MasterCard
Apply Hudson's Bay MasterCard
Apply Signature RBC Rewards Visa
Apply RBC Visa Infinite Avion
Apply RBC Visa Platinum Avion
Apply RBC Esso Visa
Apply RBC Rewards Visa Gold
Miles Per $100 Spent 1 Bonus Miles 2 Annual Fee First Year Free? Extra Cardholders Overall Rating 3 Rewards Rating Bonus Rating Annual Fee Rating Insurance Rating Perks Rating
7.84 1,000 $65 Yes Free 5.0 5.0 4.0 4.0 2.5 3.0
7.84 2,500 $299 No $50 4.6 5.0 5.0 1.0 3.5 5.0
7.04 2,000 $99 No $15 4.5 4.0 4.5 2.5 4.5 3.0
5.25 500 $0 Yes Free 4.1 3.0 2.5 5.0 1.0 3.0
5.75 400 $0 Yes Free 4.0 3.5 2.0 5.0 2.0 1.0
5.83 1166 $399 No $99 3.7 3.5 4.0 0.0 5.0 4.5
5.28 400 $0 Yes Free 3.6 3.0 2.0 5.0 2.0 0.0
5.21 0 $0 Yes Free 3.2 3.0 0.0 5.0 0.0 1.5
4.66 0 $39 No Free 3.0 2.0 0.0 4.0 3.0 1.5
4.72 700 $120 No $50 3.0 2.0 3.0 1.5 4.5 2.0
4.66 700 $120 No $50 2.7 2.0 3.0 1.5 4.0 1.0
3.08 126 $0 Yes Free 2.7 1.0 1.0 5.0 2.0 0.0
2.33 0 $0 Yes Free 2.4 0.0 0.0 5.0 3.0 0.0

1 Miles Per $100 Spent was arrived at by combining the accrual rate for normal spending with the accrual rate for spending in bonus categories, typically gas, grocery, drug store purchases, and Air Miles partners. For the purposes of this calculation, roughly 70% percent was allocated towards normal spending and 30% was allocated towards bonus category spending.
2 In the cases where the credit card in question earns points of another kind than Air Miles, points are assumed to be converted to Air Miles in the most favorable way possible.
3 The Overall Rating is an average of all the other ratings with the top ranked credit card automatically receiving a ranking of 5.

What Features Do You Value Most?

Giveaway & Review: Travel Hacking For Canadians

Travel Hacking For CanadiansI've been travel hacking and churning credit cards for big rewards myself since about 2006. As a result, I've taken several very nice trips paid for primarily with miles and points including Paris, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Chicago, Los Angeles, the Philippines, Vancouver multiple times, and more.

In 2012, Steve Zussino, the founder of Grocery Alerts approached me about a joint venture related to travel hacking specifically for Canadians. I was intrigued by the idea and initially accepted, but it was soon apparent that I didn't have the necessary time to devote to the project so he had to continue the endeavour alone.

Now, 2 years later, Steve has successfully launched the website Canadian Travel Hacking and his new book Travel Hacking For Canadians has just been published.

5 Copies To Give Away

Just before the book was set to launch, Steve contacted me about doing a review and I readily agreed with the simple condition that he provide me with some free copies to give away to my readers. At the time, I thought he was publishing an eBook and it wouldn't cost him much to give away a few copies. However, when my own copy arrived in the mail shortly thereafter, I discovered that it is a beautiful 200 page soft cover book - thanks for being so generous to my readers Steve!

How To Win Your Copy

For a chance to win one of the five copies, all you have to do is leave a comment below sharing with Steve and I what your dream vacation is that you haven't yet been able to realize or afford. I guarantee you can use the information found in this book to help make it happen for a lot less money than you thought.

When you leave your comment, be sure to use your primary email address, because that is how I will be contacting the winners. I will randomly select 3 winners from the list of comments using Random.org and 2 additional winners that I think shared a really compelling dream vacation or travel story.

The giveaway will close in one week on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 and I will contact the winners shortly thereafter.

Buy The Book

My Review Of The Book

The Best Cash Back Websites For Canadians

Cash For Shopping OnlineDid you know you can get cash back for almost everything you purchase online? It's true and I've been doing it for years earning a cash discount for buying things I need anyway that are often already deeply discounted by comparing prices, price matching, taking advantage of sales, using a coupon, and getting rewards on my credit card. Add cash back to that and you usually have a real sweetheart of a deal.

Jump to the list of cash back sites

How Much Can You Earn?

It all depends on what you buy but rebates can range from 1 or 2 percent of your total purchase amount all the way up to 30% or even 50% for higher margin products. There are often cash back boost promotions as well that can double or even triple the normal cash back rate a store offers.

$1203.45 - My Lifetime Earnings

I've been using cash back websites for quite a few years now and I've really been able to rack up the cash. Whenever I book a trip through Priceline, Hotwire, or an online travel agent I use cash back. When I made purchases on Ebay - cash back. New tires purchased out of the USA - you guessed it, cash back!

It all adds up over time to a significant chunk of change. There were a few purchases in there that were related to my business along with a small amount of money for referring a few people, but over 90% of that grand total is just from regular purchases I've made online over the years.

How It Works

Canadian Price Match Policy Comparison

Getting competitors to match prices is a convenient way for consumers to save time and money. It saves time as several trips to different stores can be consolidated into a single visit. It also saves money through capitalizing on increased competition among retailers which can often amount to additional, sometimes significant, savings.

Knowing which stores have the best and most flexible policies is essential to saving the most money when price matching. To make the comparison easier, I've put together a big table comparing them to one another so you can quickly determine which stores to shop at.

The Price Matching Table

Store Policy Name Beat Or Match Price Protection Matches Prices Found Online Matches Prices Found
In-Store
Does Price Matching Matches Competitors Nationwide
Best Buy Lowest Price Guarantee 10%1 30 days In-Store In-Store & Online
Black's Price Match Guarantee 30 days In-Store  
Canada Computers Price Match Policy 14 days In-Store & Online Online
Canadian Tire Price Match Guarantee 10%2   In-Store  
FreshCo Cheaper Guarantee $0.013 7 days   In-Store  
Future Shop Price Beat Promise 10%1 30 days In-Store In-Store & Online
Giant Tiger Ad Match Guarantee $0.013     In-Store  
Home Depot Low Price Guarantee 10%2 30 days   In-Store  
Home Hardware Price Match Promise     In-Store  
Kitchen Stuff Plus Price Match Policy 10%1 14 days   In-Store  
Leon's Integrity Pricing 60 days In-Store  
London Drugs Our Guarantee 30 days   In-Store  
Lowe's Everday Low Price Guarantee 10%1 90 days In-Store  
Memory Express Uber Price Beat Guarantee 25%1 7 days In-Store & Online Online
NCIX Advanced Store Price Match   In-Store & Online Online
No Frills Won't Be Beat® promise 7 days   In-Store  
Real Canadian Superstore Price Matching Program     In-Store  
Rona In-Store Price Guarantee 10%1     In-Store  
Sears Price Protection Plus 30 days In-Store & Online In-Store
Sleep Country Canada Unbeatable Price Guarantee 5%1     In-Store  
SportChek Price Matching 30 days   In-Store In-Store
Staples Price Match Guarantee 14 days In-Store In-Store
Target Price Match Guarantee   In-Store  
The Brick Price Guarantee 10%1 30 days In-Store In-Store
The Source Best Price Guarantee 30 days In-Store In-Store
Tiger Direct Best Price Promise 14/30 days In-Store & Online Online
Toys R Us Price Match Policy 14 days In-Store  
Walmart Ad-Match Guarantee     In-Store In-Store

Getting Off The Credit Card Mouse Wheel

Mouse On WheelCredit cards are a handy tool for making purchases quickly and easily. They're also nice to have so we don't have to carry large amounts of cash around with us. The downside to this convenience is when it gets to be too easy to use the card and the balance grows to an amount that can't be paid off every month.

In order to avoid paying the outrageous interest charges on credit cards, it's widely accepted that we should pay off the balance every month. That's where the convenience of credit cards becomes a burden, and in some cases, a nightmare.

The Wheel Starts Turning

When we get to a point where the balance on the credit card gets to be too high to pay off each month, that's when the trouble starts. In our minds, we still know that we have to pay off the card each month to avoid paying interest, so we try. We throw every available dollar at the credit card, and at first we feel good that we have put as much money as possible on the card, telling ourselves that next month we'll pay off the rest.

But then reality hits.

While the intention was good, there's an old expression that the road to the land of fire and brimstone is paved with good intentions. Sometime before the end of the month we find that there's not enough money left to make it to the end of the month, and that's when we find ourselves on the credit card mouse wheel. That cycle of dipping back into the credit card and taking back some or all of what we paid to begin with.

Here are three ways that can be used to regain control of your finances and get off that wheel:

Syndicate content


Get money saving tips delivered straight to your inbox!