Best Credit Cards in Canada 2019

The Best Credit Cards In Canada 2019

Why settle for anything less than the best?

There are a lot of Canadian credit cards to choose from – but only a handful can come out on top. It's important you know which will give you the most rewards, get you the best sign-up bonuses, and pad you with the most comprehensive insurance packages.

And it's also important to know what will work best for you.

So whether you're a globetrotter, a money saver, or a rewards program loyalist, we've got a card for you – and it's the best you can get.

2019 credit card rankings

We tracked 189 credit cards in Canada, compared over 50 features of each card, calculated the dollar value of each card reward ‒ and let the numbers speak for themselves.

Best overall credit card

Not all of us have time to worry about the little things.

Sometimes it's better to just go with the best of the best, the jack of all trades…

This way you know you have a great card no matter your spending habits or reward redemption preferences. Even if these things change over time, your card won't stop being perfect for you – because it's the best overall.

And for the second year in a row, that's exactly what the American Express Cobalt Card can be for you.

Highest permanent earn rate

With the highest permanent earn rate available for food purchases, you'll be earning Amex Membership Rewards faster than ever. Get 5x the points on eligible food, including groceries, cafes, restaurants, and bars.

And when you're not satisfying your hunger, you'll get 2x the points on all eligible travel purchases, which also includes things like gas and public transit. For everything else, earn 1 point per $1 spent – so you're always earning no matter what.

Related: Which Grocery Store Has The Lowest Prices?

Generous welcome bonus

As if that wasn't enough, you'll also get a hugely generous welcome bonus. Every month during the first year that you spend $500, you get an extra 2,500 points. That means you can earn up to 30,000 points in your first year – worth about $525 when redeemed for flights.

...and amazing perks

Plus you get solid insurance coverage, including travel accident and emergency medical ‒ and other Amex perks like:

  • Front of the Line,
  • American Express Invites,
  • The Hotel collection, and the
  • Cobalt Perks Program.

Why Amex Cobalt ranks #1

With no income requirements and an annual fee that's divided into bite-sized $10 monthly charges, this card is a good choice for almost anyone.

With top overall return on spending, flexible monthly fee, generous sign-up bonus, solid perks, good insurance, and no minimum income required ‒ Amex Cobalt sits at the top of 189 credit cards in Canada right now.

Best cash back credit card

If you're looking for a card that will give you valuable cash rewards on every purchase you make, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite deserves a closer look.

This card will give you some impressive cash back rewards:

  • 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 spent),
  • 4% cash back on all gas and grocery purchases (up to $25,000 annual spend per category),
  • 2% cash back on all drugstore purchases and recurring bills (up to $25,000 annual spend per category), and…
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

For an average person spending $25K a year, you'll get over $400 right back in your pocket.

On top of that, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite will give you a solid insurance package that includes 6 different types of travel and purchase insurance, concierge service, and some pretty fun Visa Infinite perks.

See ALL top cash back credit cards >>

Best travel credit card

Travel rewards are the most valuable credit card rewards you can get – so it's no surprise that our #1 overall card is also the best travel credit card in Canada.

That's right, the American Express Cobalt Card comes out on top once again.

The best way to get the most out of your Cobalt is to use it as a travel credit card and redeeming for flights. Of course, you can also redeem for statement credits and any other type of travel you want, but these options won't give you the same incredible value as flights can.

Related: Comparing The Top 12 Travel Sites – Who Does Vacation Packages Best?

The travel rewards that come with this card are very valuable when redeemed using the Amex Fixed Points Travel Program. This lets you redeem 40,000 points for the base airfare of a long haul flight to Canada or the US worth up to $700.

That means each point is worth up to 1.75 cents:

$700 flight / 40,000 points = 0.0175 = 1.75 cents

Earning up to 1.75 cents for every dollar you spend is one thing, but also remember that you get 5x that for ALL food purchases and 2x for ALL travel and transit purchases.

So when earning 5x rewards on food, you can get an eye-popping 8.75% return on spending.

On top of that, you’ll be protected by 9 types of purchase and travel insurance, which includes travel accident, emergency medical, flight delay, rental car theft and damage, and more.

Pro tip: Worried about acceptance? Pairing your Amex with a no fee cash back Mastercard like the Tangerine Money-Back is a great backup.

You can even get up to 7 bonus spending categories by combining the 4 from the Amex Cobalt (groceries, restaurants, gas, and travel) with up to 3 more YOU get to choose from Tangerine.

See ALL top travel credit cards >>

Best Aeroplan credit card

If you're an Aeroplan collector, the American Express Gold Rewards Card is hard to beat.

Despite all the drama Aeroplan has been facing as they become Air Canada's loyalty program, they continue on as one of the most valuable rewards programs in Canada.

For now, you can still get a 2.5 cent value for each of your Aeroplan miles, whereas most other rewards programs offer a 1 cent value.

Related: Air Miles vs. Aeroplan: Compare Canada's Top Two Rewards Programs

Sure, the Amex Gold Rewards Card isn't an Aeroplan-branded credit card, but it allows you to convert Membership Rewards points 1:1 to Aeroplan. Plus you get double rewards for gas, grocery, drugstore, and travel purchases, all for a reasonable $150 annual fee.

Also because this isn't an Aeroplan-branded card, you'll get rewards that should remain valuable no matter what happens to Aeroplan.

The generous welcome bonus worth $625, plus 10 types of insurance coverage, and those fun Amex perks seal the deal.

See ALL top Aeroplan credit cards >>

Best Air Miles credit card

If you're an Air Miles fanatic, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard is the card you want. It’s so far ahead of its competitors there's hardly any real competition.

You get the best Air Mile earn rate of any card – 1 Mile per $10 spent on ALL purchases.

You’ll also get an exclusive 15% discount on the cost of reward flights in North America, giving all the miles you collect even more value when it comes time to redeem them. Keep in mind you need to choose Dream over Cash rewards if you want to take advantage of this.

Related: 5 Best Ways To Redeem Your Air Miles

And this card has more types of insurance than ANY other credit card on the Canadian market right now. 14 out of 16 possible types, including:

  • 15 days travel medical,
  • $2,500 trip cancellation,
  • $750 personal effects (very rare insurance that covers you for lost or stolen items for the entire duration of your trip),
  • and much more.

This card has some other solid benefits, including credit card concierge, a 3,000 mile sign up bonus, and lounge access with 2 free annual passes.

In addition to the sign-up bonus, you can enjoy this card for free for the first year.

See ALL top Air Miles credit cards >>

Best credit card for travel insurance

Did you know your credit card likely comes with insurance built right in?

It's a much-overlooked aspect of credit cards, but if you love having some peace of mind, their insurance packages could be a huge perk for you.

Related: Do You Really Need Car Rental Insurance?

Want the best? Check out the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, which will get you some fantastic travel and purchase insurance – 12 in total.

Sleep easy while on trips with 25 days of emergency medical coverage and up to $500,000 in travel accident coverage.

And that's not all – the card also gets you flexible rewards with every purchase you make, plus a welcome bonus worth $150 when redeemed for travel.

See ALL top travel insurance credit cards >>

Best credit cards for gas discounts

If you drive yourself to work everyday, chances are a big part of your monthly spending is dedicated to gas. It's no secret that Canada has some expensive gas prices, so how can you get ahead?

Why not use a credit card that gives you amazing rewards on all your gas purchases?

That's exactly what you get with the American Express Gold Rewards Card.

For every $1 you spend on eligible gas purchases, you'll get 2 Amex Membership Rewards Points. The best part? You can transfer these points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio...and because we value an Aeroplan mile at 2.5 cents each, that means you get a whopping 5% return on all gas purchases.

With a 25,000 welcome bonus and no minimum income requirements, this card is a pretty great choice for your gas-guzzling needs.

See ALL top gas credit cards >>

Best low interest credit card

If you tend to carry a balance on your credit card, you'll know how fast the interest can build up on you.

But with the American Express Essential, you'll get a permanently low rate on all purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. That's much lower than the 19.99% you often see on cards.

Plus you can get a special 1.99% balance transfer rate for the first 6 months you own the card.

These kinds of cards can be great for saving you money while you get a handle on your finances, so check out all your great options here:

See ALL top low interest credit cards >>

Best no annual fee credit card

If you don't spend enough on your credit card to justify an annual fee, you have plenty of great options that can earn you either travel or cash rewards.

One of the best right now is the Rogers World Elite Mastercard which will get 1.75% cash back on all purchases.

Plus you'll get 2% on Rogers services and products and an impressive 4% back on purchases made in a foreign currency – just keep in mind this card doesn't waive the foreign transaction fee, so you really only get 1.5% back. It also has a steep income requirement of $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.

There are many great no fee cards on the market, so check out which one works best for you:

See ALL top no annual fee credit cards >>


Have some questions about our rankings or credit cards in general? Let us help you out with some of the biggest ones:

Do I need to get a credit card exclusively from my bank?

No, the only real benefit of doing this is to make paying your bill a little bit easier. But it'll be easy no matter where you go.

The truth is sticking to your bank closes you off from so many credit cards options – most of which may be better for you than anything your bank can offer.

So look around and don't limit your options. There's plenty to discover.

How do you calculate your score?

We review over 50 features of every card in our database – all 189 of them. Then we crunch the numbers through our algorithm, convert the reward values into real dollar amounts, and calculate a rating out of 5.

All this is done with no regard to affiliate relationships or personal preference. Everything is exclusively math-based and objective, so you know you're really getting the best of the best every single time.

Why do Amex cards do so well in your rankings?

Simply put, they just have some of the best earn rates on the market.

The main complaint against them is that they're less accepted than Visa and Mastercards. While this is true (and getting better every day), it's also kinda the reason they're so good...

Every time you use a credit card, the merchant is charged a small transaction fee. This fee is higher for Amex cards than they are for Visa and Mastercard. This costs the merchant more, making it harder for small businesses to accept Amex cards.

But the good news is this improves your experience – it ends up coming back to you in the form of lower annual fees, great rewards, and even better perks.

But don't worry – our algorithm and rankings account for acceptance rates. Some Amex cards are just so good that it offsets this punishment.

What should I keep in mind when choosing a credit card?

Even with our rankings, choosing the perfect card for you can be overwhelming. Here are some basic things to consider:

  • Keep your spending habits in mind: How much you spend and where you spend it does matter. The key is to never overspend for the sake of rewards, while also maximizing your bonus reward areas.
  • Travel or cash rewards: Most cards can be broken down into one of these two camps. Travel cards usually give higher value rewards but lack the complete flexibility of cash.
  • Point value matters: If you go with a travel or points card, it’s pretty easy to see which cards earn more points. But, keep in mind that not all points have the same value. That’s why we show you an estimated real dollar value for the rewards you will earn.
  • More than just rewards: Credit cards have a lot of features, perks, and insurance coverage outside of rewards. Our top cards aren’t just there for the rewards. Don’t miss out on all their other great features too.

My card doesn't show up on your list. Should I change?

If your card isn't working out for you anymore, it may be time to upgrade.

That being said, just because a card doesn't make the #1 spot, doesn't mean it's not a great card.

A lot of credit cards offer unique features that can be invaluable to the right person.

Check out our 3-minute credit card matchmaking quiz and see how well your card is working out for you and your spending – and if other cards could do better.

Want a quick summary?

Here are all of the best credit cards in Canada one last time, including the reasons they took top place.

Best Credit Card Winner Why you want it Apply
Overall best credit card American Express Cobalt Card With the best return on spending, a generous welcome bonus, flexible monthly fees, and great insurance – the Cobalt card checks all the boxes. Apply
Best cash back credit card Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Get 4% cash back on all your grocery and gas purchases, plus 2% on drugstore and recurring bill payments. Apply
Best travel credit card American Express Cobalt Card Each point you earn is worth up to 1.75 cents when used towards travel – giving your money spent on food an amazing 8.75% return. Apply
Best Aeroplan credit card American Express® Gold Rewards Card Convert your points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio – giving you the incredible value of Aeroplan combined with the flexibility of Amex Membership Rewards to avoid any future devaluations. Apply
Best Air Miles credit card BMO® Air Miles®† World Elite®* Mastercard®* Get 1 mile per $10 spent – the best Air Miles earn rate of any card by far, plus a 15% discount on Air Miles flights within North America. Apply
Best credit card for travel insurance Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Get 12 types of insurance, including up to $500,000 in travel accident coverage. Apply
Best gas credit card American Express® Gold Rewards Card Get a whopping 5% return on gas purchases when you convert your points to Aeroplan. Apply
Best low interest credit card American Express Essential Credit Card Get a permanent low interest rate of 8.99% for no annual fee.  
Best no fee credit card Rogers World Elite Mastercard Skip out on foreign transaction fees and earn 1.75% cash back on all of your purchases. Apply

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links. We're letting you know because it's the right thing to do. Here’s a more detailed disclosure on how HTS makes money.

Editorial Disclaimer: The content here reflects the author's opinion alone, and is not endorsed or sponsored by a bank, credit card issuer, rewards program or other entity.


Robyn Mac Lean
Robyn Mac Lean 's picture

Hello Stephen,
First let me say how much I enjoy your newsletters. I've learned so much and am a huge fan. Just reading today's post and wanted to ask since I already have an AMEX gold would it make any sense to cancel and then rejoin to get all the sign up bonuses you've mentioned.
I read your blog about loyalty not paying off anymore so now take a good look at incentives and rewards.
Thanks so much. Robyn

June 21, 2016 @ 12:01 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for being a regular reader Robyn - much appreciated.

The answer to your question used to be a simple "yes", but Amex recently instituted new rules recently that state that anyone who has already had a particular credit card is only eligible for the sign up bonus ONCE.

That said, I've seen several reports online of people signing up for the same card they've had in the past and still receiving the bonus points. I myself had the Amex gold before I switched to the Amex Platinum. I just applied for the gold again a few months ago and got my sign up bonus and annual fee waived a second time. To be fair, I cancelled the card before the new rules came into effect which might be a factor.

Right now it looks case by case - so you could give it a shot to see what happens but there is no guarantee.

June 21, 2016 @ 1:44 pm
Aaron's picture

I really enjoy your analysis of reward cards.

Im thinking of getting one of amex cards.

Right now I purchase around 1m on cards through persona and business purchases.

I used the rbc avian platinum, the mbna world elite rewards card and bmo world elite.
I like that i get 2% on non air lines with bmo and mana cards. RBC gives me like 2.3% but no taxes.

I had aeroplan long time ago, but didn't like it because if I wanted flight in march for vacation with kids in florida the miles would be crazy horrible.
I travel mostly through air canada and do mostly north america, not short flights. Do around 20-25,000 miles a year. Thats for me, i also bring family and friends for around 12ish trips mostly north america.

The perks for priority boarding etc with amex is interesting, lounge access.but not sure about redemption. Flying business class etc is of interest to me also.

Any thoughts ?

September 10, 2016 @ 10:33 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It sounds like you want flexibility, so in that case either the BMO or MBNA cards you already have are perfect.

If you want to get into Aeroplan, then you just have to plan on using your miles at realistic times and plan a little in advance. March break is obviously going to be the worst possible time because everyone is looking to book then. You did mention that you fly family around North America a lot at various times through the year. Aeroplan would be great for that.

The only downside is that sometimes you have to be more flexible with schedule when using Aeroplan. You won't always get the best flights at the perfect times. If you and your family are willing to deal with that, then you will get a lot more value with Aeroplan.

September 12, 2016 @ 11:44 am
sarah's picture


I recently received my amex gold card, and was wondering if you get the 25,000 bonus points just by signing up or do you have to make a certain amount of purchase to acquire the points?

Thanks so much!

February 13, 2017 @ 10:37 pm
Tech Guy in BC
Tech Guy in BC's picture

A very interesting exercise, and you certainly came up with some great cards to consider as the top choice fro most Canadians.

Just a couple of points.

1) Some card require a reasonably substantial income, like $100,000 per family so those card are out of reach for a number of people. It would be interesting to see what cards are better where a lower income threshhold is required.

2) You state, "There is no one size fits all when it comes to credit cards, but there is a one size fits most." I may be splitting hairs here, but I tend to think there are very few people where it makes sense to use only one card for everything.

Let me use a hypothetical example. Let's say you want maximum cash back for your purchases. There may be a card that offers 4% cash back gas and groceries and 1% on everything else. Another card offers 2% on all purchases. It makes sense to use the 4% card for the purchases where 4% back is realized, and the other card for everything else.

I realize that there are more factor to consider, but at the root of the matter, does it not make sense to have two cards to apportion your spending for maximum cash back?

Tech guy in BC

June 21, 2016 @ 12:09 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for your insights - to address your points:

1) High income requirements lowers the score these cards receive but obviously the increased rewards and perks outweighs that allowing them still to rise to the top if they are significantly better. I do track minimum income requirements of all cards so this is a great idea for a future article.

2) What you're saying is definitely true. The thing I've come to realize is that most people aren't like me and don't want the extra hassle of managing multiple cards and rewards systems. I'm trying to appeal to the average Canadian with these rankings producing cards that give the best overall value.

The thing is that the Amex Gold Rewards gives you an average reward return across all purchases of 4.05% using my typical spending profile not taking into accounts annual fees (which you also aren't accounting for in your hypothetical percentages). No cash back card is going to match that.

I do suggest in the article combining a top no fee cash back credit card like the Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard with the Amex Gold Rewards to both combat the Amex acceptance issue and so you have a grand total of 7 bonus spending categories between them. I think this is the best solution for people who are trying to maximize rewards. You also get some high value travel rewards and some flexible cash back in the process.

June 21, 2016 @ 1:52 pm
KC's picture

Keep in mind folks that many places do NOT accept AMEX so this is a bit of a moot point.

The other non-amex cards are pretty good.

Nice write-up Steve.

June 21, 2016 @ 12:36 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Or, combine the Amex with a nice no fee cash back credit card like I mentioned in my reply to Tech Guy in BC above. Thanks for your input KC!

June 21, 2016 @ 1:54 pm
Jen's picture

Thanks for article, I am glad you mentioned the Tangerine credit card with no annual fees, and 2% cash back in 3 categories of your choice, and 1% bak on all other categories..actually right now they have a promotion at tangerine which gives you 4% cash back on 3 categories, and no limit on the cash back amount. Some cash back cards have a maximum of 500$ or so for the year.I really don't like paying annual fees, but got the American exprss gold for the points to convert to aeroplan and will cancel the card before the year is up.
I find it hard to use American express as it's hard to find places that except it, as their fees are so high for stores. Also tangerine is a mastercard type, and I heard Walmart will soon no longer be accepting visa..which I think is nuts.
Anyhow..totally nothing to do with money..but Stephen, do you know you look like the actor Benedict Cumberbatch?

June 21, 2016 @ 2:27 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, the 4% promotion on the Tangerine card is ending in a few days actually so now is a good time to get in on that before it is gone. The no limits on the cash back, even on the 4% promo cash, definitely are a big boon to the card.

I also think it is crazy that Walmart won't accept Visa anymore - but I've always been a MasterCard guy so it doesn't really bother me. I also rarely shop at Walmart. I like to keep a top travel rewards card with an annual fee and the best no fee cash back card I can find to work together as a pair. I'm grandfathered into the MBNA Rewards World Elite at a $0 annual from when that card was first launched (I was converted from a much older card I got in 2006). That's a sweet deal that's hard to beat!

I don't usually get comments about looking like anyone else, let alone actors - so I'd have to say that's a first :)

June 22, 2016 @ 8:01 pm
Francois's picture

Hi Stephen

Curious is there any travel card that is actually good while travelling? Both the ones you mention would probably be worse than Rogers based on $10,000 annual spend.

June 21, 2016 @ 2:44 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

There are currently only 4 credit cards with reduced currency exchange fees that I am aware of. These lower fees were incorporated into the overall rankings as a perk.

The higher rewards offered by the best cards would usually outweigh the 2.5% savings on currency exchange even when travelling.

  • Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa - 0% fee
  • Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard - 1.5% fee
  • Chase Rewards Visa - 0% fee
  • Rogers Platinum MasterCard - 0% fee

None of these came close to the top overall spot though.

June 21, 2016 @ 3:19 pm
Francois's picture

Interesting. I guess i am missing something, and i did my modelling wrong. Rogers is like a 4.25% cash back in first year, Amazon 3.50% continual.... I'll look at my stuff again

June 21, 2016 @ 7:18 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Actually Francois, you are correct that the Rogers card would net you a slightly higher return on foreign soil if you can't benefit from the bonus spending categories of the American Express Gold Rewards. With bonus spending categories you should get about a 4.05% return on spending on average. Without, you'd get about 3%. That's if you convert your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan. You also get a lot more insurance and perks that way too.

However straight return, the 1.75% from the Rogers card + the 2.5% saved on foreign exchange does add up to 4.25% like you said. Not considering the extra features you're missing out on, you would be slightly ahead with Rogers.

June 21, 2016 @ 8:23 pm
Sal's picture

Amazon card deal with chase expires March 15, 2018 and hence card will expire and account closed.

March 06, 2018 @ 3:29 pm
Robert Spiegel
Robert Spiegel's picture

Hey Stephen,

Do you know any good Canadian card with no foreign exchange fee attached?



June 21, 2016 @ 2:52 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hi Robert - see the 3 cards with 0% foreign exchange fees I listed in response to the comment above yours.

June 21, 2016 @ 3:22 pm
Julia Thompson
Julia Thompson's picture

Hi Stephen,
This is very timely for my husband and I. I have been researching which card to switch to for rewards for the past week and was leaning towards the Scotiabank American Express Gold. Now I am not sure if I should do that or the American Express Gold rewards card. I am curious what you make of the Scotiabank version versus the regular American Express Gold card. I notice a few differences, for example the Scotia card is $99 plus $29 for additional card, the Scotia card includes trip cancellation coverage, and the Scotia card only offers 20,000 points as a signing bonus. Any other major differences I should be aware of when deciding which one to go with? I'd love your advice on this, and any reasons you'd have for choosing one over the other. I am trying to take a very considered approach but there are so many details involved! Thanks.

June 21, 2016 @ 10:00 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It really comes down to if you are willing to convert your points to Aeroplan or Avois airline miles and use them for reward flights or not. If you are willing to do that, then the Amex Gold wins easily because reward value skyrockets. You can expect an average return of about a 4.05% on your spending. Wheres with the Scotia Gold Amex you'd get about 1.90%.

Now, if you want to use your points to book any travel without restrictions. The Scotia card becomes a lot more interesting. The reward return on the Amex Gold drops to an average of about 1.35% then. You also get generally better insurance coverage with the Scotia card too picking up Price Protection and Trip Cancellation insurance as well as slightly higher dollar amounts of coverage in some other insurance categories.

So, answer that one question, and you should be able to make your decision. I think with the first year being free on the Amex Gold, you could try them both and see which one you like more.

June 21, 2016 @ 10:47 pm
Julia Thompson
Julia Thompson's picture

Thank you! That is very helpful.

June 22, 2016 @ 7:58 am
Ron's picture

Hi Stephen,

Ranking all these cards must be a lot of work. Thank you very much for all you do. It is very much appreciated!

Some suggestions that I think would make this even more useful:

I think your posting would be even more useful if you were to provide a list of the top cards in each category. In some categories (such as All top Aeroplan cards, Top no fee Travel Cards, etc.) you do provide a list, while for others (Best insurance coverage, best perks, etc.) you only provide the name of the top card and not others.

A list of all cards considered would also be useful. If one comes across a card not listed anywhere on your site, one has no way of knowing whether or not the card was evaluated and didn't make the cut or if it simply was not evaluated for whatever reason (perhaps only available in one region?).

As one ages ( I am now 60), medical insurance becomes more and more important, thus rankings based on this feature alone would be very helpful (I know, this goes against the idea of an overall best card, but would still be very useful, at least for some of us). Perhaps it could be worked in the best insurance card list?

As an example, one of the Desjardins cards, at least at first glance, appears to have very good medical insurance coverage and came out on top when ranked at this site:, but one has no idea whether it was included and did not make the cut, or if it simply was not considered for whatever reason.

Thanks again!

June 22, 2016 @ 1:03 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for the suggestions Ron. I have the data to produce a list for cards with the top insurance but stopped short of doing that before launching these best credit card rankings because I didn't want to inundate readers with way too much credit card coverage.

Yes, the Desjardins card was included in the rankings. It didn't do that well in the overall rankings (rank 31). It does have really good insurance coverage. It wouldn't top my insurance list either because my ratings look more for breadth of coverage not the absolute highest amounts in every category. The Desjardins card has 60 days travel medical. The only other cards I found that can match that are the National Bank World and World Elite cards. It is missing some rental car and personal effects coverage though. I'd say you've chosen the best card for your needs.

It has taken a lot of hours of research to track down all of these cards. I'm not planning to share the full list at this time - most people are only interested in the top cards anyway.

June 22, 2016 @ 11:31 pm
Jim's picture


I have noticed in many blogs that the Aeroplan status qualifying miles discount is never mentioned. For example if you achieve Diamond status you receive 35% off market fare mileage when booking a reward flight. (20% for Silver and 25% for Black). If this is taken into account would you consider the flight rewards when using TD Aeroplan card are much more significant? I have the AMEX gold and the TD Aeroplan, however use the TD card mostly to achieve the Diamond status, which reduces my flight rewards by 35% in most cases.
I realize many people will not achieve the Diamond status level as it is 100,000 combined points in flights or credit card spend.


June 24, 2016 @ 12:17 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The reason for this Jim is because Market Fare flight rewards where that discount is applicable is typically a much worse value than saving your miles to use for Classic flight rewards.

That is a very good point though if you want to use your miles for Market Fare flights. I think if I was doing that though, I'd probably go with a good cash back or travel points card so I could just book any sort of travel. I should do a comparison of Aeroplan Market Fare with Classic and other travel points sometimes. Haven't bothered so far because I know the value is quite bad.

June 24, 2016 @ 4:43 pm
Martin Reid
Martin Reid's picture

For my money the TD Emerald is hard to beat. No fee and balances carry a 6% interest rate (all the time - not a 6 month special)

June 24, 2016 @ 6:44 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

That's a good rate for carrying a balance for sure - but I never recommend carrying a balance on a credit card. There are other cheaper ways to borrow money. 6% is reasonable though.

June 25, 2016 @ 1:58 pm
Ash's picture

One of the best things about the bmo elite cards is that the annual fee is rebated (up to $150) if you have a Premier account (monthly fees waived for having a min $5k balance)

June 25, 2016 @ 2:04 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, that's a fantastic feature if you are a BMO client.

I wrote an article a little while back that talked about the value you can get out of the Premier account if you hold the minimum balance. The opportunity cost on the $5K isn't that much. It's a really sweet deal.

June 25, 2016 @ 1:59 pm
Pan's picture

Thank you for a great article. I could not find the premier account comparison that you mention in the comment. Could you please provide a link for that? Thank you.

July 29, 2016 @ 10:52 am
Mary's picture

Enjoyed your article. I noticed you did not mention the Capital One Aspire credit card. I have found it a great card, collecting two points for every dollar spent. I book flights and hotels and then go on the Capital One secure site for my account and just use my points to pay for flights and the hotels. I save additional money as I try to get the best deal on my purchases and will then use less points to pay for them (no fees and tax is also covered). In United States and in Britain the foreign exchange is waved on the Capital One Aspire but sadly it is not waved in Canada yet. Most credit cards do not offer travel medical insurance once the person is 65. The Aspire card offers 8 days which is fine for a short trip. Was there a reason the Capital One Aspire was not included in the review?

July 01, 2016 @ 10:27 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hi Mary, it was definitely included in the analysis, it just isn't good enough to make it as a top card. It is a good card for flexible travel points, but the simple truth is that it is basically a 2% back card. For every dollar you spend, you get 2 cents back you can use on travel. The top cards get closer to a 4% return. Even though the rewards might not be as flexible (you have to redeem for flights to get the 4% value), it is still double the value.

It does have pretty good insurance coverage as well, but it isn't the best of the best. So, if you evaluate your card against other cards factoring in rewards, insurance coverage, and perks - it just doesn't make the cut. Good card, but not the best.

July 03, 2016 @ 4:08 pm
Lynda's picture

Just researched here at your website, and then checked out MBNA. They require a personal income of $70,000 or a household income of $120,000 to be accepted for that credit card.

July 14, 2016 @ 7:49 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

If you click through to the full Cash Back and No Fee Cash Back rankings there are more details on cards that have lower minimum income requirements.

July 15, 2016 @ 10:13 am
Lynda's picture

Just checked out BMO card and it also has an income the same requirement of $70,000 personal or $120,000 family and says it offers1% only.

July 14, 2016 @ 7:56 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

They put 2 cards side by side on the same page Lynda. One is the regular BMO cash back card with no annual fee. The other one is the BMO CashBack World Elite that is 1.75% cash back and has all the great insurance and perks.

You don't need $70,000/$120,000 for the regular 1% card, just the World Elite. Those income requirements are standard for ALL World Elite MasterCards.

July 28, 2016 @ 10:55 pm
Tom's picture

You don't mention the Costco Capital One Mastercard, some benefits of which are:

3% on restaurant purchases
2% on gas purchases
0.5% on the first $3,000 you spend annually on all other purchases, and 1% after that
There's no limit on how much you can earn
Get your cash back in January as a rebate coupon you can use to shop at Costco3

July 27, 2016 @ 2:17 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I don't mention it because it isn't a top card. The 3% on restaurants is nice, but other than that it isn't very strong especially since you have the 0.5% tier on the first $3,000. You must have a Costo membership to get the card, you can only redeem your "cash" at Costco, you can only redeem once per year (not whenever you want), and the other perks and insurance coverage are very limited.

The card has also received the most negative comments out of any product or service I've ever discussed on my site. Lots of unhappy people. You can see those comments here:

User complaints about the card aren't factored into my rankings though - just card features. It came in ranked #7 in my top no fee cash back credit card rankings. If user complaints were factored in, it wouldn't do nearly so well.

July 28, 2016 @ 11:01 pm
Rick's picture

Just looking for the best card for travel insurance. I am going to be 65 and my wife is going to be 59.

August 16, 2016 @ 12:35 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

For general travel insurance, the World Elite cards from BMO are very good. If you are concerned mostly with travel medical insurance specifically, then I'd look at the Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold or the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege if you can qualify.

August 29, 2016 @ 2:29 pm
Rick Gava
Rick Gava's picture

Hi Stephen,

Has your research indicated if cash back or an air miles card is the best value? Cash is King but it air miles gives a you enough miles to purchase items then perhaps that is a better value.

August 18, 2016 @ 10:48 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Air Miles typically has pretty terrible value - I would definitely choose cash back. Aeroplan on the other hand can give you much higher return on spending than cash back if you redeem them smartly.

August 29, 2016 @ 2:30 pm
Andre 's picture

Hi Stephen,

My question has to do the different programs out there. I'm sure a lot of people are asking themselves that question. Should I get a card that gives Air Miles, Aeroplan miles or AMEX Rewards ? Should I get all of them or just concentrate on one plan ? I've travelled using Aeroplan points before and had a good experience and understanding of how it works. I just got in Amex with a 2000 Air Miles bonus but I'm note sure I truly understand how it works as their flight chart only shows me limited destinations to fly to. Again, is it me or some programs are easier to understand than others ? Same thing with points conversion. I was using both a Visa TD Aeroplan Infinite and Amex Gold to maximize the number of miles I could get. Amex rewards points gives you the ability to convert them 1:1 for Aeroplan or Avios. Which one is better or gives you most value ? What do you recommend ? I traded for Avios last year and haven't used the miles yet. Avios/One World seems more confusing to use than Aeroplan/Star Alliance when it comes to redeem miles for a trip. I've even heard it's better to have Avios with Iberia than B.A. which is where mine are. I'm really confused. Can you help ?

August 23, 2016 @ 2:32 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I might not be able to help you understand everything in one comment - but I'll try simplify it for you.

AMEX Rewards > Aeroplan > Avios > Cash Back > Air Miles

The only reason AMEX is ahead of Aeroplan is because they are more flexible AND you can convert them to Aeroplan or Avios. Aeroplan gives the highest value in most cases and their reward chart is the easiest to understand.

Avios are valuable but their strength is to use them for expensive short haul flights on British Airways or other One World partners. The reason is that the number of miles is directly linked to the distance flown with Avios. With Aeroplan is divided by region so you get better value looking for longer flights within a region.

You are going to have more trouble using anything other than Aeroplan in Canada because there are only limited other airlines that only fly out of major airports. Smaller airports often only have Canadian airlines like Air Canada or WestJet. I believe there are laws that prevent non-Canadian airlines from operating flights that both originate and terminate inside Canada as well so they are only really good for flying internationally.

August 29, 2016 @ 2:36 pm
Subhankar's picture

Hi Stephen

Great article. Thank you. I need your suggestion as I am struggling to choose the right card for me.
I have been using First Class TD visa infinite (no annual fee)for the last few years as my only card. Now me and fiancee want to shift our common expenses to a particular card while we both maintain our own card for personal expenses.
As a solution I applied for Amex simply cash for our common expenses. Got the card last week but found that half of the places do not even accept Amex.
Now I am considering the below scenarios
1. Use Amex simply cash as my personal and use the visa for common expenses. Looks like I will get less valur.
2. Apply for Tangarine MC and use both Amex and MC in tandem to maximise the reward.
3. Apply MBNA world elite MC and get rid of Amex.
4 open to your suggestion

Please note that insurance coverage are importing me specially while travelling.


August 26, 2016 @ 6:14 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Since this is only for joint expenses your spending levels might not be high enough to support an annual fee card. Only you can answer that question. If you are spending more than $1500 per month, the MBNA Rewards World Elite might be a good choice.

It sounds like you want to keep the TD First Class Visa Infinite because you already have no fee on that card. It isn't the best card, but not bad if you aren't paying a fee for it.

In that case, I would suggest going with option 2 that you gave to maximize your cash back and deal with the Amex acceptance issue. Later, if you get tired of the hassle of juggling 3 cards just ditch the SimplyCash and keep the Tangerine card.

August 29, 2016 @ 8:52 pm
Peter's picture

Hi Stephen, thanks for your information. I'm wondering if you know about the best Visa cards. Have you done an analysis of the m? What is the best Visa card to have?



August 30, 2016 @ 10:22 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

If you click through to the top travel credit cards above you will see that there are several visa cards listed there. They are all good.

If you click the best cash back link, you will find more there.

September 05, 2016 @ 12:59 pm
Adam's picture

Is the Amex Gold better than the RBC Avion Infinite Visa? My friend is a Doctor and has the Avion with the $120 annual fee waived. Should they still go for the Amex Gold?

September 06, 2016 @ 5:38 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Amex Gold is better if you use your points for Aeroplan. Your friend may or may not be willing to do that.

However, if your friend is already transferring their Avion points for British Airways Avios instead of redeeming them directly through RBC for flights - then sticking with the Avion is probably the way to go since the annual fee is being waived for them and you get better acceptance at merchants with Visa.

September 08, 2016 @ 9:08 pm
Wilf Attwood
Wilf Attwood's picture

I am surprised that you haven't reviewed the RBC Westjet Elite Master Card. There annual fee of $100 can be recouped with the first checked baggage on 2 flights if two people are travelling. The $99 annual companion voucher for a flight in anywhere in Canada or the USA. You also earn Westjet dollars that can be applied for an earned dollar as a dollar on any flight. In addition there are other benefits including rental insurance, trip interruption amongst others. From my experience it is clearly the best travel card out there.


September 25, 2016 @ 3:38 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It was considered in the rankings - it came in at #41 in my travel rankings. The companion fare is the only thing that makes the card even remotely good when compared to other travel cards. Doesn't have particularly strong rewards or insurance.

September 29, 2016 @ 9:56 pm
John's picture

The west jet card is not that good. I canceled mine for two reasons. No travel cancelation insurance which can cost you about $120 a trip. I found the exact same westjet flight on Expedia for $50 to $100 cheaper than the westjet website and you can't use your westjet points on Expedia, so for a family of three, you ended up paying $150 to $300 more using your westjet dollars. Flights to Florida or the Caribbean can cost $200 or $300 more with westjet than Air Canada.
On the companion fare you have to pay taxes. The $299 companion fare to Hawaii with taxes would be about $450 and regular airfare is about $500 in non peak times so you only save $50.
Got the scotia bank gold. Cheaper annual fee for two cards, trip cancelation insurance and 4 points on gas and food, and you can book on any airline at any time.

October 19, 2016 @ 1:44 am
Jill's picture

I recently received the AlaskaAir card because of the 25 000 points bonus offered when you apply. Is there any reason to keep using this card as I am currently collecting British Airways Avios points which give more good value for short hauls? Thanks Stephen.

October 11, 2016 @ 7:48 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

No, not really Jill. Keeping 2 cards with an annual fee rarely makes sense.

October 14, 2016 @ 1:19 pm
Darlene's picture

Stephen, my spouse and I are retired andspend 5 months in Florida. We live completely on our credit card and pay off each month. We currently use an american RBC visa while in the states that gives us cash back. When paying we transfer funds from Cdn bank to US bank thru knightsbridge money excahange. We are considering changing to the Rogers MasterCard that gives 4% cash back on US purchases as well as CDN and eliminating the US exchange when paying the US credit card. Does this make sense?

October 12, 2016 @ 2:05 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I think it will make the whole process much simpler for you, so yes I think it makes sense.

The only thing to consider is that Rogers Bank is a much smaller company and therefore their service or features might not be as good. You could get into a situation where your card will get declined while traveling or you don't get as high of a credit limit as you need. I would certainly keep 1 or 2 backup cards you can use if that happens.

October 14, 2016 @ 1:20 pm
Ray's picture

Stephen, thanks for the site. A couple of comments:
AmEx Gold: is not a true credit card, it's a charge card the balance must be paid in full each statement. The 25000 bonus is once-per-lifetime as you've noted. I've been opening & closing my card for the last few years to get the bonus but not this year-I called a few times & the answer was 'once per lifetime'. The points can't be used for cash only for travel. However if you travel & you don't own a card then it's a great deal, free for the first year & worth $250 off your airfare & a good travel website-book there & you get extra benefits-travel, medical & car rental insurance for free. The great downside is lack of acceptance, even my local McDonald's won't accept it so you need a second card.
MNBA: the $70,000 earning requirement - not true, I'm a low income senior but own my own house so instant acceptance. Same applies to other companies, the test is for net income after accommodation expenses.
BMO: have the best insurance options. I have a zero fee card & add roadside assist for $98 (don't belong to AMA) & add travel insurance for $80 when I'm close to booking a flight. Their travel insurance includes before departure especially delay in getting from home to the airport (with conditions), most insurance starts when you're at the airport.
SO: I have an MBNA with 2% true cashback-they pay you $100 for the first year-and a BMO zero fee with 1% cashback for travel.
Cheers, Ray.

October 19, 2016 @ 12:30 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for the comments Ray.

You're right that the Amex Gold is a charge card. To me, it's basically the same thing because I don't feel like anyone should be using a credit card to carry a debt balance. There are so many other ways to loan money at lower interest rates after all. You still can carry a balance with Amex charge cards too, they just charge 30% interest - but it will probably get you in trouble with your credit rating faster.

I wouldn't use the 25K Amex points for travel purchases or cash purchases. They actually just introduced a new feature to allow you to redeem your points as a statement credit against ANY purchase you make to the card. The rate of return you get is worse though. You can get around $750+ value for 25K points with Aeroplan if to transfer to Aeroplan and then redeem for flights.

I have been able to get MBNA cards without meeting the minimum income requirements. Many card companies publish the 70K rule because it applies to all World Elite cards - but they will often take you on a case by case basis if you don't have a high enough income.

I'd consider getting the BMO Cash Back World Elite card if you can. Since you're already paying $98 for roadside assistance - that one comes with Roadside Assistance for free. It also has travel insurance for free and the rewards are better. You'd probably come out ahead. I have a link for it + a $150 cash bonus in my Hot Credit Cards Deals This Month section below.

October 20, 2016 @ 2:22 pm
Ray's picture

Thanks Stephen. Re Roadside Assistance-the BMO card you mentioned has the basic assist but that limits you to 10km towing so I asked can you upgrade to the 150km version & pay the difference but they said no, you have to pay the full $98 - bit unreasonable.

October 21, 2016 @ 1:54 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes - that's unfortunate. If you need the 50KM, then what you are doing makes sense.

October 24, 2016 @ 1:10 pm
Mike's picture


Nice read. I was wondering which card would be best for me. I spend about $30,000 per month on my credit cards (through work). I would like a travel card that also has options for Apple products. I currently use the Airmiles gold and find the travel a big pain to book. 1 of my suppliers do not take Amex so it would cut my purchases to $20,000.


October 26, 2016 @ 12:09 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

With that kind of spending and wanting to avoid Amex, I would go with the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege or the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege. Those are the #2-3 ranked cards on my best travel cards rankings.

That is assuming you do actually want to travel quite frequently. The Apple requirement is hard to meet - I would suggest just buying your Apple products and expensing them to the business if you can and then just use all your points for travel. Aeroplan does have some Apple products in its reward catalog - very bad value for your miles though.

If you want flexible air travel, I'd consider the RBC Avion Visa Infinite or Privilege. You can transfer Avion to British Airways Avois miles which can be redeemed on any One World Alliance airline - so if you are in a big city like Toronto that might also be a good option.

November 01, 2016 @ 9:48 am
Bob's picture

Lots of good info. I was looking for cards that do not charge the usual 2.5 % transaction fee on $US purchases.

October 30, 2016 @ 11:49 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Chase Rewards Visa is your best bet now that the Rogers card charges the fee again now (you do get more rewards on foreign transactions with Rogers now though).

November 01, 2016 @ 9:49 am
alan's picture


Thank you for putting this website together and offering the readers some very good and valuable money saving ideas.

I already have an Amex gold card and I am thinking of applying for a platinum - mainly because I travel a lot overseas. There are benefits to this including the $ 200 credit per calendar year and the lounge access.

I am not entirely sure why you conclude that the 25,000 sign up points (Gold card ) amount to $ 750 and therefore why the Platinum sign up of 50,000 amounts to $ 1500.

If I recall correctly, the Amex rewards are worth about $ 100 per 10,000 which can be applied against travel etc. That means the bonus would be worth $ 500.

I do not know about the Avios but as far as Aeroplan points are concerned, in my experience 25,000 or 50,000 do not amount to a great saving.

I can give you an example. I was looking at booking a return flight to Europe in January and the Aeroplan points required was 59,500. You are therefore required to pay the $ $ 500 to $ 600 remaining in fees, taxes fuel etc. But if you purchase that same flight through Expedia or Air Canada or any other agency, you will pay about $ 830. This means that the Aeroplan points are worth about $ 250.

Have I missed something?

October 30, 2016 @ 10:56 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The main thing you are missing is that you have to be somewhat flexible with how you redeem your Aeroplan miles. By following a few basic rules (no Europe or fly on an airline partner that doesn't have high taxes and fees) you can easily achieve a 3 cent per mile value with Aeroplan. That's where the higher value comes from - if you redeem Amex points directly, you are correct that the value is less.

See a more complete explanation of Aeroplan reward value here:

November 01, 2016 @ 9:53 am
Mike J
Mike J's picture

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the hard work and for sharing it. I am confused and hope you can help.

My wife spend avg. $5,000/mo and have CIBC Aerogold cards which offer;

> Earn: [1.5 AeroPPs / $ Spent @ Gas, grocery, drug & Air Cda] or [1 APP / $ Spent Everywhere else]
> Redeem: We are a family of 5 and it takes 375,000 APPs to fly to Warsaw and back (Cost around $10.5k)

This amounts to between 0.78-1.17% back on my original spend in gift cards or 2.77-4.16% if redeemed on flights to WAW.

I can see thanks to your analysis, I can increase this to between 0.78-1.56% back on my original spend in gift cards or 2.77-5.55% if redeemed on flights to WAW by using the AMEX Gold and transferring to Aeroplan. (Plus greater flexibility.)

Thanks for your help!

November 10, 2016 @ 8:30 pm
Mike J
Mike J's picture


A further look revealed my existing card actually might be best for us.

Institution Card Spent Reg: Spent Groc/Gas/Trvl: Est Bonus Est Bonus % Difference
CIBC AeroGold $40,000.00 $15,000.00 $1,733.33 3.15% $278.00
PC WorldElite $40,000.00 $15,000.00 $1,065.00 1.94% $946.33
AMEX Gold Rwds $40,000.00 $15,000.00 $2,011.33 3.66%
$10k Grocery/Gas, $5k travel

I also accounted for the fact the CIBC AG costs us I $170/yr and an AMEX would be $150 yr 2+.

> We buy Groceries & Gas at the Superstore. (Extensive Price Matching)
> Bonus assumes redeeming for travel to/from Poland and all figures are annual.
> Bonus % is the % back on our original $ spend.

As the AMEX is not accepted at the Superstore, the $278 probably is not worth it.

Do you see it similarly? We have never traveled together aside from 2 Poland Trips 11 and 8 years ago, but would like to travel annually to some place warm one year and Europe the other.

Thank you,

November 10, 2016 @ 9:38 pm
Mike J
Mike J's picture

Sorry about the formatting of the table, looked good in the editing window - tabs and spaces were removed when posting. Possibly paste into a spreadsheet.


November 10, 2016 @ 9:39 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I think you've figured it out on your own Mike. It really comes down to if you can get value out of the gas, grocery, drugstore, and travel 2x bonuses with Amex or not. I like to combine the Amex with a top no-fee cash back card like the Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard so I can still get decent rewards at those places where Amex isn't accepted.

November 14, 2016 @ 9:39 pm
Rainey's picture

Hello I am looking for some advice. I spend between 10k-12K a year and don't travel much (maybe once a year)
I currently have the Amex Gold Card which I got this year for the great sign up bonus and the fact that I can transfer 1-1 to aeroplan points. However, it is not widely accepted in most places I frequent in Montreal. I pair it with the TD Gold Elite Cash Back card which I do not pay the annual fee as it is free as part of the TD account I have. It is only 1% cash back but I also have free membership in the TD Auto club. And I use the PC World Elite MasterCard at its stores to get their rewards.

My question is based on my small spend does it really make sense to continue with the Amex which costs $150 year or is there something better. CashBack to me seems the best.

Your thoughts and I love this site.

November 11, 2016 @ 3:07 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

With that small of a spend and the fact that you are experiencing acceptance problems at many of your stores, I wouldn't continue with it. If you want auto coverage, I might consider switching to the BMO Cash Back World Elite MasterCard if you can qualify.

Otherwise, I might consider dropping the TD card and going with the Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard with no fee. Just use the $99 saved to buy CAA membership. You'll get more cash back too. The PC World Elite MasterCard is fine to use at those stores where you get 30 points per dollar. You can then choose categories with the Tangerine card to get a higher bonus in other spending categories.

November 14, 2016 @ 9:43 pm
Rainey's picture

Me again. I just contacted TD yesterday to realize that I have an option of 5 cards that come free with my type of financial account.
The three that I would be interested in are: TD Aeroplan Infinite (I currently have 40,000 aeroplan points plus another 30,000 AMEX points which I could switch over to aeroplan), TD First Class Travel or the Gold Elite Cash back (which I currently have that pays 1%).
I don't travel much and I only spend about 10k a year on my cards.

The plus for the travel cards is the medical insurance which the Gold Card does not come with. And I could use travel points for hotels, car rentals and merchandise.

Just trying to figure what is the best value of the three for my type of spending.


November 13, 2016 @ 10:02 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Just read this after writing my previous comment. If you are getting the annual fee waived then you are still going to get a great return from the TD Aeroplan card. I would probably suggest that if you plan to fly at all.

November 14, 2016 @ 9:44 pm
Fred's picture

The problem with Amex cards is that many places will not accept them. That removes it from the list for me.

November 19, 2016 @ 6:03 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Simply combine with a no-fee backup card and you're good to go.

November 27, 2016 @ 3:26 pm
Moti's picture

Hi Stephen. Could you advise on the best credit card for a permanent residence who's been in canada 18months and just started working 2 months ago with an annual salary of $13k and no credit history? I applied for PC Financials for my very first ever credit card and was declined because i didn't meet requirements for criteria mentioned above. Looking to travel very long haul flight next year summer, money goes to groceries a lot (at superstore) as a family of 3, and would like a card i could earn travel and shop points with.


November 23, 2016 @ 11:16 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I would suggest getting your free credit score to monitor your credit history and then getting a secured credit card first to help build your history. You aren't going to be able to get rack up miles from a premium card right away until your history gets a little stronger.

November 27, 2016 @ 3:27 pm
JS's picture

Hi Stephen,

Great article about credit cards. Here's a piece of up-to-date information in regards to the MBNA World Elite card : the 89$ annuel fee is not waived for the first year anymore. That offer expired on October 31st.

The card is still worth it though.



November 30, 2016 @ 10:37 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks JS - I caught this as well a little while after you did. Just read your comment now though. I've updated the article to reflect the change.

December 08, 2016 @ 9:32 pm
RP's picture

Hey Stephen,

I have recently graduated university and have been thinking about getting a different credit card. I have been leaning towards the AMEX gold card because of your article and because I travel frequently. However, I have seen the Scotiabank has their own gold card that is also AMEX and some websites say it is better than the gold AMEX. Have you looked at the Scotiabank gold card and what are your thoughts on this?


December 08, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

If you are looking just for flexible travel redemption, it is possible that the Scotiabank Gold Amex is better. However, if you plan to use your points for mostly air travel and airline miles, then your return on spending will be much higher with Amex if you make sure you are getting half-decent value for your airline miles when you redeem them.

December 08, 2016 @ 9:33 pm
marc-andre's picture


I have a question about president choice
mastercard. It is not listed there. What is its value?
With my spending I collect between 400$ and 450$
(per year) that I can use on gorceries. There are no fees.
Is it any good?

thanks for infos.

December 13, 2016 @ 12:35 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It is essentially a 1% cash back card with limited reward options (groceries and few other things). Your return on spending jumps to 3% when you shop at the right grocery stores.

It's a good card if you buy a lot of groceries and shop exclusively at stores that give you bonus points. If you have high spending ($2000/mth or more), then a fee-based 2% cash back card will net you more rewards annually. You can always combine cards too - use the PC card at the grocery store and another better card elsewhere.

December 13, 2016 @ 12:15 pm
marc-andre's picture

thanks for infos. Will do that.

December 14, 2016 @ 11:48 pm
Colton Gutfriend
Colton Gutfriend's picture

Hey Stephen,

I am just climbing out of the credit score limbo, I started off with a TD Green Visa, with a safety deposit of $1,000 locked into a savings account, to build my credit.

2 Years later, I have a TD Classic Travel with $1,000 on it, a Costco Platinum Card with $5,000, and a AMEX Gold (With your recommendation) with a "No-limit" (I tested it, it's around $9,000) for its banking.

Now am I doing this wrong? I set my bills like Netflix and my phone bill, to go off of the classic travel, to maintain my credit use, alongside a couple of bills going off of the Costco Platinum card, and getting my gas from Costco gas pumps, which are relatively cheaper in prices (by at least nine cents) and all my charges that I can't use the AMEX, go on the platinum card as well. With my AMEX, I do all the charges where I can, and put all my bills on it.

What I want: The best credit cards, and the best plan of action to get amazing credit score for my future, if I want a house, a better vehicle, etc. The travel points will be a bonus for all my work annually, to get my mind off work and reset the motor.

My annual income is around 35K. What are your suggestions?


December 15, 2016 @ 11:53 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It sounds like you are on the right path and have good cards for your income level. I would get the Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard as your backup to the Amex Gold instead of the Capital One Platinum. Pretty sure you don't need that card to fill up at Costco gas stations and get the discount on gas - you just need a membership.

As for keeping your credit score solid I would suggest checking your score regularly and following the below tips for keeping it elevated:

December 17, 2016 @ 11:40 pm
Rob's picture

Hi, great info site.
I am hunting for a business only card that my suppliers will accept (no am/ex) to accumulate travel points for a yearly trip to somewhere warm.
Vancouver to Mexico or Hawaii. Nothing short haul or exotic.
For tax purposes my accountant likes a totally separate card for personal spending.
I spend 8-10 K per month on business related purchases and want to start paying my business utilities by CC.
I don't mind paying a fee and I always pay my bills in full.
I'm 60 years old so medical coverage could be important.
Can you recommend a CC that is suited for this scenario?
PS Do you know of a card I can use to pay my Vancouver property taxes?

January 23, 2017 @ 3:13 am
François's picture

I just tried to order a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and my application was denied even if my
credit score is 852! I don't get it.. They probably don't want people that can pay!

January 23, 2017 @ 10:09 pm
Darren's picture

I had a company issued AMEX card for 3 years and was constantly frustrated by the number of places that did not accept it - especially restaurants. No matter how good their offers are I would never consider another one since it's always a crap-shoot where you'll be able to use it.

February 15, 2017 @ 11:58 pm
Ed's picture

Scotia Gold Amex has out of country medical insurance to age 75, up to 2 weeks for those of us over age 70, and a reduced annual fee of $79.00. Because we live quite close to the U.S. border, and take many day trips over the course of a year, the annual fee is "cheap insurance" in case we need emergency medical assistance. Agree it's not always welcome at all merchants.

February 21, 2017 @ 1:48 pm
Jim's picture

Hi, great article. I currently have the Capital One Aspire MasterCard, Many of my colleagues use the Amex Gold Travel card. I have been trying to find a sight that would compare this card and the Amex Gold Travel Card in efforts to find out which card is best for me(?) Both cards have same $150 fee and offer similar points, Capital One Aspire offer 2 points on all purchases and is a breeze to use the points when bill payment comes along and a 10l point bonus on anniversary date, whereas Amex offers 2 point on most purchases (travel related and groceries. I travel a bit for work (across Canada) and do about 3 - 4 personal trips/year. Most of the charges are for Gas/Groceries/Restaurants. Can you do a break down of which card would be most beneficial to my spending habits?

March 30, 2017 @ 12:02 pm
Liviu's picture

I received my Tagerine Mastercard today and activate it. I am now aware of the changes starting soon concerning mainly the taxes percentage when using the credit card overseas. Another surprise came today. I have a savings account with them and a tax free saving account. When intending to deposit your money in a saving account only regular saving account appear to qualify, the tax free saving account is not allowed. This means all you cash back money will add to other deposits in your saving account and at the end of the year, if the interest gain on your saving account is over 50$, then you will have a tax receipt ! Is not much but....

April 03, 2017 @ 9:21 pm
Ron's picture

Hi Stephen;

Love your site!! I am not sure if you know about this or not, but rewardscanada has a promotion going on for the WestJet World Elite MC. They will give you 4 lounge passes,4 seat upgrades and Silver Tier Status if you sign up via their site during the month of May (Passes and Upgrades good for a year and do not renew). This is in addition to the $250.00 sign up bonus and $99.00 companion fare that WJ already offers.

I already have a WJ MC (World Elite) and only use it mostly for the companion fare (we fly to ON and save $$$ at Christmas).

Question: Should I sign up for another WJ MC to enjoy the extra perks for a year? I know you recommend the Amex Gold but would you earn enough points per year to offset the annual fee? In the past I have found it not that easy to book flights with Aeroplan (Blackouts, added Fees).

Will either of these affect my credit rating if I apply?

Other cards I have are National Bank World Elite (what do you think of this one) and Amazon (no foreign transaction fees)


May 04, 2017 @ 11:29 am
Chris's picture

Hi Stephen,

First of all, thanks for the valuable info you provide.

I used to have a Scotia Visa Gold Passport and RBC westjet but I cancelled them recently.

I still have a Scotia visa momentum that I use only for gas and groceries at 4% but it is not worth to collect $200 a year and pay $100 annual fees. Instead I can use only BMO world elite MC for all my expenses and keep a TD No fee visa with a low limit of $500 for any other purchases like on unsecured sites or where MC is not accepted.

I shop a lot at Cosco and I get 2% back plus 2% usual from BMO. I spend more than $4000 a month and I collected lots of travel rewards with BMO with flexibility to book anywhere. I also like their competitive rates on travel and insurance for 21 days.

I do not like the TD visa with no rewards, can I use another visa with no annual fees but some rewards?

The American Express is not an option because it is not accepted at Cosco and I would miss on rewards.

Do you suggest another combination?

May 22, 2017 @ 10:05 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

You made a smart move cutting down on your annual fee cards Chris. It usually only makes sense to have one credit card with an annual fee that you funnel almost all your purchases through and then have no annual fee cards as backups like you are now doing.

I would get the MBNA Rewards MasterCard listed here.

Flat 1% cash back on all purchases with no fee and decent insurance coverage for a no fee card as well. Also the most flexible in how you can redeem your rewards/cash out of any card.


June 21, 2017 @ 9:26 am
Ken's picture

Its a shame Tangerine switched its 1% to .5% on all your other purchases that arent in your 3 groups. I bet they would be on this list for best cash back credit card with no spending limit, and cash back deposited automatically each month. According to the website, we have almost made $1000 in cash back since last July. We havent made the switch to a new one yet since their change, just due to time.

June 20, 2017 @ 1:06 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Indeed they were the #1 ranked no fee cash back card in 2016. That change was really disappointing, but as you can see the card still has its uses especially when combined with another good card.

June 21, 2017 @ 9:27 am
Pat's picture

Hi Stephen

I am a loyal follower of your newsletter. Since I do not have any insurance (i.e. self-employed) and I like to travel can you please recommend the best credit cards that have the most days for out of province medical insurance? My CIBC Aerogold card (black) provides only 15 days and I sometyime travel longer than that. The card you recommended from BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard as the best insurance coverage offers only 8 days.

Any recommendations?

Thank you so much. Your help is very much appreciated!


June 20, 2017 @ 1:33 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The tops cards from both National Bank and Desjardins tend to have 60 days worth of travel medical. I would check those cards out and see if one of them suits your needs.

June 21, 2017 @ 9:29 am
Sarah @ Smile & Conquer's picture

I didn't actually realize how great the travel rewards and insurance package were for the Amex card. I've been considering getting an Amex just for the concert pre-sales but now it looks even better!

June 20, 2017 @ 3:34 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It's definitely a great combination of value. It doesn't have the top insurance package, but it is quite respectable and great value when you consider the great rewards and perks the card also offers.

June 21, 2017 @ 9:30 am
Donard's picture

There is one missing which is the best for a limited number of people.
You are probably aware that the normal credit cards dd on 1-3% to the Mastercard/Visa exchange rates for non Canadian dollars. All the big Canadian banks do this. But the Amazon card does not. Although branded with Amazon, it is administered by Chase Canada.

For people who have major non-Canadian dollar expenditure, this is great for paying hotels or making purchases. I suspect many people who do trans-border shopping would find it useful. The only problem I have found is that it does not allow you to set up automatic payment of the card bill from a Canadian bank account, as most others do. This is useful while travelling. They do, though, have the option so that you can request emails at the end of the billing cycle - but they send the emails, even when nothing is due.

Previously Sears used Chase for their card, and had the same deal. Their card operation (a Mastercard, I think) was taken over by Scotia bank, and renamed Momentum. They retained the 0% foreign add-on, but I do not know if that will last, or is available to new customers.

As I have many non-Canadian dollar transactions, the Amazon card is really good for me.

June 21, 2017 @ 10:07 am
Matthew's picture

The Sears card is not available and is getting the No-Fx-Fee feature removed. Amazon Visa similarly has not been accepting new applications for a couple months now, with expectations that it'll be sold off to another bank or disappear.

The options in this category are still the Chase Marriott Visa (though only first year is free) and the Rogers/Fido cards which just give you enough foreign earnings to negate the fees.

June 21, 2017 @ 4:27 pm
Constance's picture

What is the comparison between the Amex Gold Rewards Card vs. the Scotiabank Gold Amex Card?

They sound like identical cards, but have differences. The Amex Gold earns 2 points per dollar spent in certain categories, while Scotiabank Gold Amex earns 4 points per dollar spent in certain categories. Right now, the Scotiabank has a $300 travel credit upon sign up and the Amex Gold has $250. The annual fee is lower for the Scotiabank Gold Amex as well, sitting at $99/yr vs. $150/yr for the Amex Gold (both cards have first year waived). So I guess I'm wondering why the Scotiabank Gold Amex Card isn't the best? Is it because it doesn't offer the transfer to all other airline rewards? But can't we redeem points for all travel and have the same flexibility with the Scotiabank Gold Amex as well?

Thanks in advance.

June 22, 2017 @ 1:50 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

That's exactly right. The Amex Gold offers transfers to airline miles which triples the value of its rewards. With triple the reward value, it's easy for it to beat out all the "flexible travel" rewards cards that allow you to redeem for any sort of travel you want.

In short, if you want flexible travel then the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is the better choice. I'm planning to include a flexible travel category in the 2018 rankings.

June 22, 2017 @ 10:36 am
John's picture

always been a fan of your website. I learned numerous tip regarding save money and how to budget myself. I appreciate all the hard work and efforts you put into making this website. :)

June 23, 2017 @ 1:27 pm
Andrew's picture

Hi there,

I have recently got the Amex Gold Rewards card on your recommendation. I also have a BMO World Elite MC (the non Air Miles version), an Amex Platinum Air Miles card and a few others, notably a TD First Class Travel Visa. I've had the latter card fee-free due to the TD bank plan i am in. However, I'm thinking of cancelling that bank plan as I'm not getting enough value out of it. But, I am hesitating before giving up the First Class card. It's a grandfathered card and so won't be available again if I cancel. I assume that is also why you don't mention it. But perhaps you previously rated it? What are your views on it?


July 06, 2017 @ 7:44 pm
John Zinger
John Zinger's picture

did have a question about what do you think about the WestJet card especially if you fly two or three times a year on WestJet. Is the card a good value because you get free luggage plus the companion fare for $99.

July 12, 2017 @ 3:21 am
Nex's picture

Hi Stephen,

You ever think about doing a "Best Low Interest Rate Credit Card" section?


July 29, 2017 @ 11:06 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

It's on my radar for later this year Nex!

July 31, 2017 @ 3:30 pm
Nancy's picture

Hi Stephen - can you confirm that the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard is accepted at Canadian Costco locations.....I was under the impression that Costco only accepted its own Costco MasterCard. Thanks

August 13, 2017 @ 9:22 pm
Vishu's picture

Costco Canada doesn't accept any credit card except their branded Costco CapitalOne MasterCard.

October 21, 2017 @ 11:08 am
Nancy's picture

Hi Stephen
Could you please confirm that the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard is accepted at Canadian Costco stores. I thought that the only credit card accepted was their own Costco MasterCard. Thanks

August 13, 2017 @ 10:42 pm
Leanne Williston
Leanne Williston's picture

Hello Nancy.   
Costco and MasterCard have an agreement, so you can use ANY MasterCard at Costco stores and gas stations.  And while I'm sure they would prefer it if you get one of theirs, it isn't necessary.
Thanks for writing in! :) 

August 14, 2017 @ 11:14 am
Mike's picture

Hello Stephen,

Two months ago I got accepted for the American express gold card from Scotia bank. I also have the cash back mastercard from RBC. I am a full time student and I also work. I have an income of 23000$. I want to keep the american express for now but it is not accepted everywhere and it only has the 4% on certain categories, so I was wondering with what credit card do you recommend me to pair it? I usually like the travel credit cards but considering my spendings I am not sure if a high fee credit card would be the best choice right now so I am looking for something with a lower fee or no fee at all. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you!

Ps: you are doing a very good job with the website.

August 17, 2017 @ 11:45 pm
Leanne Williston
Leanne Williston's picture

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the kind words and writing in with your question.

You're right, having a credit card with a high annual fee probably wouldn't be the best decision for you right now, and thankfully there are lots of No Fee credit cards to choose from. The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card could be worth looking into. Although the earn rate isn't as high as your Amex, you get to choose which categories you earn your rewards in, so you could use that card for anything your Scotiabank Gold Amex doesn't cover.

I would also suggest you go check out our other website ( creditcardGenius ) to fill in your preferences and spending breakdowns to see what card would best suit you and your needs!

Hope that helped! and Happy Monday!

August 21, 2017 @ 1:32 pm
Maria's picture

Hi Stephen,

Love the site and the great reviews on the cards! I was wondering, how does the AMEX gold compare to the Scotiabank AMEX gold? They both seem to be pretty good but between the 2, which one would be considered better overall?
Thanks for your help!


September 13, 2017 @ 7:35 pm
Ken's picture

Hi Stephen,

I just came across this site. I am so impressed with your knowledge, but also at your ability to see the big picture, such as knowing there is really no size fits all in Credit Cards

I have had Royal Bank Avion Infinite and I pay a lot of bucks for services I no longer use. I transfer my rewards points to British Airways each year. I plan a big trip and want enough to fly first class to Nanaimo....another few years of collecting and "Voila"!.

You did not say anywhere I looked, what your opinion is of the Royal Bank British Airways Visa? Should I cancel my Avion and apply for that BA Visa, as I do plan to fly soon, perhaps Sydney, Aus.?

I am 76 and outside Canada insurance is expensive; even with exclusions and pre-existing conditions and/or deductibles, three months absence is over $3,000 No free lunches anywhere but your thoughts would help...Insurance for out of country and insurance for travel as well as best deals on travel points.

Or should I cancel every card I have and transfer all my points to one big beautiful card....and that would be?

Thx Stephen.

October 04, 2017 @ 7:04 pm
Cecillia 's picture

Hi, I currently have the Scotiabank momentum Visa card (with $39 annual fee). I spend around $1200 a month. I think i usually get about $150 cash back? I dont feel like I'm getting enough from it. Mind you, I travel abroad 2 to 3 times a year. My big purchases are usually on travel expenses and materialistic goods. I spend about $250 on gas a month and not much grocery.

I'm thinking about getting the gold amex card (probably scotia one) and a no fee card (mbna or tangerine) for places that dont take amex. Is that a wise plan? Would it make sense to get ONLY the MBNA world elite card or BMO world elite card if i spent more money. Any thoughts? Thanks!

October 19, 2017 @ 12:58 am
Leanne Williston
Leanne Williston's picture

Hello Cecillia. :)   $150 cash back with a monthly spend of about $1200 a month is pretty standard for a no fee cash back card.  Usually our rule of thumb is if you spend less than $1500 a month, an annual fee isn't really worth it.  But if you're going to increase your spending, MBNA Rewards World Elite is a great card (The best Cash Back card in our opinion). Feel free to check out our other site and fill in your estimated monthly spending to see if it would be worth it for you. 

October 25, 2017 @ 9:48 am
Andrew's picture

Stephen -

I have been enjoying looking at your comparisons and replies to comments - thanks for making this resource available to everyone. Since ~ May 2017 it seems like how Aeroplan 'interacts' with a number of credit card rewards programs has changed with regards to qualifying for AQM (Aeroplan Qualifying Miles) and AQD (Aeroplan Qualifying Dollars). In the past, if you booked a flight using the points that you had accumulated with your Avion, then you would received both AQM and AQD for the redeemed segments (assuming they were booked in a class of travel that was eligible). That seems to have changed recently, and there is a thread on Flyertalk ( where people are discussing this. I myself have experienced this: a flight booked in 2016 with Avion qualified; and the same flight booked this month on Avion did not qualify (in spite of being in the correct class of travel).

One of the big benefits that I see for credit card travel redemption is that I can use those flight segments to qualify for Aeroplan status. It is now unclear which credit cards will actually 'work'. So my decision on which credit card to get is heavily influenced by this one particular wrinkle.

Nowhere on the Air Canada, Aeroplan, or RBC (Avion) site is there any language that addresses this specifically. I am not sure if you can dig this up on your end, but having a matrix of which cards do indeed allow your to qualify for status would be tremendously helpful.



October 22, 2017 @ 12:57 pm
Holly's picture

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for all the info. I'm trying to understand the difference between business and personal credit cards, as I have a growing small business (we have gross revenues of about $1.5M annually and typically spend between $3,000 and $4,000 on credit per month) and have recently incorporated so need to get a new card for the business. Do you have any posts on business cards or any place you can direct me to get good info? I am looking at the American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card and wondering if it is comparable to the card in this post, though I notice it has no annual fee.



December 01, 2017 @ 2:18 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Not currently Holly. I do know you can use a personal card for business purposes no problem and just have the company pay it.

Business cards are more useful if you want to issue them to employees other than yourself. They also help for building up the credit worthiness of the business itself if you ever want the business to take out a loan.

January 07, 2018 @ 11:32 pm
Mahim Chowdhury
Mahim Chowdhury's picture

Hi Stephen, first off I would like to thank you for all the info you provide. I have a question regarding what kind of credit card/loyalty program I should use as my family travels internationally annually and was wondering what your thoughts are on what credit card I should use.


December 29, 2017 @ 1:46 am
Leanne Williston
Leanne Williston's picture

Hi there. :) 

Finding the right credit card depends on a lot of things. Do you mind paying an annual fee? How much do to spend on your card? Do you want insurance? Do you meet certain income requirements.  I would suggest starting with our best travel cards page  and if nothing there seems like a good fit, you could try out our other site - Our credit card comparison website. Put in what is important to you, and hopefully you will be able to find the card that is right for you.

January 05, 2018 @ 10:00 am
Aman U.
Aman U.'s picture

Hi Stephen,

First off, thank you for these amazing reviews. I love reading your website.
Currently, I use Amex Preferred Cashback and MBN World Elite MasterCard for my everyday shopping. I have an Amex Gold Rewards card with $99 annual fee. However, it seems I do not get the most out of it as I get only one point for my shopping through Amazon.
I shop online a lot, and Amazon is my first choice for online shopping, where I currently use Amex Preferred Cash Back exclusively. Could suggest a credit card that can maximize my return on purchases on Amazon Canada, please?

Thank you.

January 08, 2018 @ 9:59 pm
Leanne Williston
Leanne Williston's picture

Hello Aman U, 

Thanks for the kind words. The Gold Amex is definitely a great card, but you're right 1% on Amazon purchases isn't really cutting it. Have you thought about the Rogers Platinum Mastercard? It has a $29 annual fee (which is waived for the first year - and even longer if you're a Rogers customer) and it will give you 1.75% on your Amazon purchases, as well as 4% back on anything you're buying in foreign currencies (which would be great if you're also purchasing from websites outside of Canada). The only downside is that you will need to call in every year (before December) to request your rewards as a balance credit - otherwise you will need to use them on Rogers products. But it could be worth it for that extra .75%! 

January 11, 2018 @ 1:03 pm
Andrew's picture

Hi Stephen,
Would you still recommend the American Express Gold Rewards card as the best overall credit card for 2018? How does it stack up against the new American Express Cobalt Card?


January 23, 2018 @ 1:57 pm
Tom's picture

Hi Stephen,
Been a while. Looking at your advice, it's time to change credit cards. Might you let us know the best way to do this to keep our credit score in good shape? Should we cancel the one we no longer will be using, and best way? Or just stop using it, if there is no annual fee, etc. Might even make a good subject for a future article.

February 26, 2018 @ 11:15 am
Leanne Williston
Leanne Williston's picture

Hey Tom. There are a few things we would suggest to try and help keep your credit score in good shape while applying for new credit cards. Firstly, if you are looking to apply for more than one card, you should either cluster or space out those applications over the year. Secondly, your credit "age" matters, so it's often best to keep your oldest credit card accounts open (especially if you are not paying an annual fee). One good tip is to put a small recurring charge on that card, like Netflix, so that it won't be closed due to inactivity. Then, just be sure to pay off those balances every month, maybe even with automated payments. Thirdly, avoid 100% utilization because your credit utilization ratio is also important. 

If you want some more info, you could check out this blog article
Hope that helps. :) 

February 27, 2018 @ 12:02 pm
Jean-Claude's picture

Hi Stephen,
Great info! I always enjoy it but I’m a bit confused here. Your article is dated May 1, 2018 but there are comments from 2016 with references to cards that no longer exist.
Also I’m a bit disappointed that there are so many recommendations on AMEX cards since it’s so rarely accepted in our everyday life.
As for me, I pay just about everything with a card, I travel to foreign countries 4-5 months of the year, I usually pay for plane tickets with Aeroplan points so far, I pay my balance every month and I have a few recurring payments on cards. What would be my best options?

Thanks again for all your valuable information.

May 01, 2018 @ 12:41 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Hi JC,

The reason for the comments dating back to 2016, is that we update and completely revamp the same physical article every year so we have one address on the internet that is home to these rankings. I'll look into putting the most recent comments first or removing older comments as I am aware that it is an issue.

American Express cards are plentiful because they offer the best rewards and features for the fees that they charge. You're right that acceptance is an issue. We're going to be factoring that in more next year.

For now, you could try out the credit card comparison tool on our other site (creditcardGenius). There, you can use our sliders to indicate exactly what is important to you and acceptance is one you can select. The ratings will instantly adjust based on your preferences. You'll see far fewer Amex cards when you do that. There's also a Visa, Mastercard, Amex filter under "More Options" in the sidebar.

May 01, 2018 @ 2:09 pm
Andrew's picture

Thanks for the helpful breakdown, Stephen. Does your analysis consider costs passed onto the vendors? I’ve heard anecdotally that some of the rewards cash back cards pass that back to the vendors through higher transaction costs. I would be interested to know which card is a nice balance of rewards for us, but not overall punishing to vendors. Less worries about big brands and more thinking about when I use my credit card with small or local businesses. Cheers

May 01, 2018 @ 1:13 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

In general if you're concerned about a lower percentage cost to merchants, you should avoid anything with World, Elite, Infinite, Privilege, and American Express in the name.

The difference between lower end cards and top tier cards in fees to vendors is (very roughly) 1% of the transaction. If you want to completely minimize that cost though, I'd stick with cash or debit.

May 01, 2018 @ 2:12 pm
Andrew's picture


May 02, 2018 @ 3:42 pm
Scott's picture

As always, an interesting read sir.
However, I am quite chagrined that nothing in my wallet made the grade.
Time to re-examine my life's purpose I suppose......

May 01, 2018 @ 3:01 pm
Leanne Williston
Leanne Williston's picture

No need to re-examine your WHOLE life, Scott.....  maybe just your wallet. ;) 
Thanks for visiting our site and if you are looking to update your credit cards, you could also check out our credit card comparison site creditcardGenius!

May 04, 2018 @ 11:57 am
Paul's picture

Hi Stephen,
Great information and research. I have been searching to find the best flight rewards card. My wife and I travel approximately three-four times per year. Within Canada, US and resort type places. I find Aeroplan rewards ok, but you have to fly with AC and seat selection limited. Amex cards are restricted with a lot vendors.

You mentioned in one of your responses you prefer MC vs Visa. We currently have MC with CIBC. Which card would you recommend for flight flexibility with good point rewards?

Thank you.

May 04, 2018 @ 1:44 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The problem right now Paul is that there are absolutely no Mastercards on the market where you get an increase in point value when redeeming for truly flexible flights across multiple airlines. I guess the AIR MILES cards are the exception, but the problem is their return on spending is already so low that when it gets boosted for flights, it still isn't great.

The MBNA Rewards World Elite is really the best Mastercard out there both for cash and flexible travel rewards. It would be nice if they had a fixed points option of like 35,000 points for $700 off a flight in Canada and Mainland USA like Aventura or Avion do, but unfortunately they do not.

So, I'd either go with MBNA if you want Mastercard, or Aventura if you're ok with Visa. If you can live with lower acceptance and have a backup no fee Mastercard or Visa, then I'd go with American Express Cobalt hands down.

May 05, 2018 @ 1:07 pm
Bonnie Friesen
Bonnie Friesen's picture

I just read your blog on the best credit card for 2018. Sadly, my credit card was not on your list. As a conservative senior, I have stuck with my credit card for 45 years now and do not plan to change. Back then, I chose a card for which I did not need to pay any monthly dues. Through the years, the card company promoted me up the scale, and which their latest promotion, after 45 years, to their rewards programme, free of monthly dues as well.

May 05, 2018 @ 10:50 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

No need to switch if you're completely happy with what you have. I try to encourage people to get the best bang for their buck, but ultimately its down to personal choice.

May 05, 2018 @ 1:08 pm
John Doe
John Doe's picture

One of the issues I may have missed here is thew best credit card to obtain after having recently claimed personal bankruptcy.

Not interested in running up problems again and we are managing our expenses within our means.

We have two credit cards - one with a $1000 limit and another with a $300 limit. We keep under these limits obviously and pay them off in full every month.

We do have a problem thought. We live in the Arctic. (Nunavut). Travel costs are atrocious.

However to book a hotel or a car we must have a credit card. When we do go down the car agencies require a credit card and they require a substantial deposit that ties are cards up or based on the limit is not accepted.

HELP!! I at one time put a advance payment on our card in the amount of $3000 believing that it would cover the time in Ottawa. WRONG! We still couldn't commit more than our limit on the card. It took two hours of fighting with the CC company while I stood in front of the car agency. Because I was in travel status they did a one time increase to the limit until I returned. I had to fight to access my credit balance.

What are my options?

May 21, 2018 @ 5:55 pm
Leanne Williston
Leanne Williston's picture

Thanks for writing in with your question.  

A secured credit card would probably be your best bet. Secured credit cards require you to put down a "security payment". Many of these cards will give you a credit limit based on how much you put down as a deposit. If you want a $5,000 limit, then you will have to put down a $5,000 deposit. 

Feel free to check out this blog post to get more information.
And we really hope you can find a card that suits your needs. 

May 25, 2018 @ 1:22 pm
Happy123's picture

Its quite helpful post for me because having a plan to g for Canada in next few months. Now I have little bit idea about best cards there. Thanks for sharing such informative post and guide me on this note. Will be there after west coast tours from san francisco .

June 06, 2018 @ 5:03 am
Dave Q
Dave Q's picture

Hello Stephen, I am a regular reader of your material and have followed your suggestions for credit cards. I have just received a letter from MBNA regarding my Rewards World Elite MasterCard outlining some upcoming changes. One of these is the interest rate which I understand withe changes to the BOC rate and the Fed Reserve rate. The other two that jump out at me are 1) an increased Annual Fee from $89 to $120 and 2) an increase in the number of points needed to claim a Cash Reward from 100 pts/$1.00 to 120 pts/$1.00. I guess I am wondering what impact these changes will have on your rating of this card which is currently your #1 Cash Back card.

Thanks in advance for your response, Dave Q

July 24, 2018 @ 1:16 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Thanks for writing in Dave. 

These changes are definitely frustrating and we are in the process of getting our algorithm updated but the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite would probably be our next pick for best Cash Back card in Canada. Annual fee of $99, 4% return on gas and groceries, 2% on drugstore purchases and recurring bills, 1% back on everything else. Plus, you can try it for the first year for free and it comes with pretty decent insurance. 

July 25, 2018 @ 9:55 am
Jerry's picture

Hi Stephen, I just turned 18, and I was wondering what kind of cards are worth it for college students.

I was thinking about Tangerine’s Money-Back credit card (for groceries and bills), SimplyCash(maybe for cash back from tuition payment? I'm not sure if it applies), and a BMO student air miles card since I fly like once in a year to asia.

What are your thoughts on that?


August 05, 2018 @ 1:35 am
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Thanks for writing in, Jerry!

Your credit card combination sounds pretty great, but I will say, the Tangerine is randomly picky about who they approve for a card and sadly, not every University or College will accept a credit card as payment (but it's definitely something to look into).

Perhaps you could look into the BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard – it gives you a free SPC membership (yay for discounts on almost everything), and earns you 1% cashback on all your purchases for no annual fee. There is also the BMO SPC AIR MILES Mastercard that will earn you 1 AIR MILE for every $20 you spend, if you're looking to earn AIR MILES instead of cash back.

If you're still unsure, you could head to (our credit card comparison site) to find the best credit card for you, based on your wants and needs.

November 20, 2018 @ 11:23 am
Doris's picture

This is an interesting article that I will share with my mates after coming back from my yellowstone tours from los angeles

March 22, 2019 @ 6:01 am
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Glad to hear it, Doris :)

March 22, 2019 @ 11:04 am
Allan's picture

Your providing a great service. Couple of points - my prime card is the TD First Class Travel card. When I went for this card the interest on accounts is virtually none. I am a TD customer and by keeping $5K in my checking account, no annual fee, no safety deposit box fee, plus the travel credits it provides. This is a way more then I would make on the $5K. The travel insurance plus purchase insurance has come through a couple times. Problem I see you have is how to lay these options out to your readers. For out of country travel I use the Home Trust Visa and the Rogers Mastercard. My experience with Amex is that this card is not popular with merchants in many locations. Was in Malta in March and cards in general were not widely accepted and AMEX a total non starter, usually wanted cash with ATM's available in the area (usage not cheap). Anyway keep up the good work.

April 24, 2019 @ 10:14 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hey Allan,

You're right, the ability to waive the TD First Class Travel's annual fee is great and definitely brings an already great card up to a fantastic one. We'll be sure to include this perk in future articles – though it is hard to represent in our algorithm.

Our best "Travel" card is Amex Cobalt because it's the best to get you there – the earn rates and value when spent on travel is unmatched. 

Then when you're out of the country, a card that offers no foreign transaction fees make the most sense. We wrote about it here:

Thank you for your great comment!

April 30, 2019 @ 5:50 pm

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