If you love to travel, then you need to get a travel credit card since it’ll help you see the world for a whole lot cheaper. If you’re new to travel credit cards, it’s a type of card that allows you to earn points or miles towards free flights, hotels and even car rentals through various rewards programs.
When using a credit card that fits the way you like to travel, you can get some exceptional value. Many of these credit cards offer a huge welcome bonus and great perks such as access to VIP lounges. If you’re looking to plan a trip, signing up for a travel card is a great way to help you offset your costs since you’ll be earning rewards on all of your purchases. With so many different travel credit cards out there, it can be difficult to figure out which one is the best for you. The folks at Borrowell have a shared love of travelling, exploring, and saving money – and I do, too! Here are the best travel credit cards in Canada of 2019.
Many people love the BMO World Elite Mastercard because it gives you a welcome bonus of 35,000 BMO Rewards points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. Those points have a value of $250 and when you combine that with the fact that the annual fee of $150 is waived for the first year, you’re getting $400 in value right away. The earn rate is quite impressive too. Whenever you spend on dining, entertainment, and travel, you’ll earn 3 BMO Rewards points for every dollar spent. All other purchases get you 2 points for every dollar spent so you can quickly rack up those points.
To use your BMO Rewards points, you need to reserve your travel through the BMO Rewards travel portal but it’s similar to other major travel websites so you shouldn’t have any issues claiming your points. Speaking of points, it takes 140 BMO Rewards points to get $1 in travel so with the BMO World Elite Mastercard, you’re earning a 2.14% return on dining, entertainment, and travel purchases; and 1.43% on everything else.
The additional travel benefits are impressive too as you get a free membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey and four annual passes. That has a value of almost $300 and you get it every year! In addition, you get a comprehensive travel insurance policy so you can rest easy while abroad.
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The American Express Gold Rewards Card is extremely popular due to the fact that American Express Membership Rewards points are flexible as you can transfer them to airline and hotel partners or use them on any travel purchase.
For example, you can transfer your points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. If you were to take the welcome bonus of 25,000 points when you charge $1,500 to your card in the first three months of card membership and transfer it to Aeroplan, you would have enough points for a round-trip flight to anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada. Alternatively, you can transfer your points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio which would give you 30,000 points. That’s enough for two free nights at a category 2 hotel. The earn rate on the card is also impressive as you get 2 points for every dollar spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel purchases while all other purchases get you 1 point for every dollar spent. If you want to turbocharge your earnings, you can apply for an additional card for an authorized user which is free but normally costs $50.
The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card recently saw some changes and most people agree that it’s for the better. The signup bonus of 30,000 points has a value of $300 but it’s broken up into two parts. 25,000 points are awarded after you charge $1,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership and another 5,000 points are given to you after you spend $10,000 on your card in the first twelve months. That may seem like an insane amount, but that works out to just $833 a month. Depending on your income spending habits, $833/month may or may not be reasonable. You can check your free credit score with Borrowell to see the credit cards that you're most likely to be approved for.
What’s also interesting about this card is that it has no foreign transaction fees. Every other credit card on this list charges the standard 2.5% so if you’re using this card abroad, you can save a fair amount of money over time. The no forex fees apply to any currency so it’s also a great card if you do shopping online with merchants that charge in U.S. dollars.
You probably noticed that the earn rate is pretty high on this card. 5 points for every dollar spent on grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases is pretty generous and 3 points for $1 spent on gas, public transportation, rideshares and streaming service purchases isn’t too bad either. Those points can easily be used on any type of travel as Scotiabank allows you to redeem your points booked via the Scotia Rewards travel portal or on any travel purchase you’ve charged to your Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.
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