Monday, July 13, 2009

Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2009

Today on we posted our first annual picks for Canada's top travel rewards credit cards for 2009. We have combed over 35 different credit cards offering travel rewards for Canadians and of those there are a few that really stand out. While it is practically impossible to give this question a perfect one card answer, we can breakdown the market of Canadian Travel Rewards credit cards into five major categories that these cards fall into. Without further ado, here are the top travel rewards credit cards for 2009 as picked by

Top Airline Credit Card
CIBC AeroGold Visa / AeroGold Visa Infinite

Top Hybrid Travel Credit Card
Diners Club Club Rewards MasterCard

Top Travel Points Credit Card (with annual fee)
Capital One Miles Plus Platinum MasterCard with No Hassle Rewards

Top Travel Points Credit Card (with no annual fee)
American Express Blue Sky Credit Card

Top Hotel Points Credit Card
MBNA Starwood Preferred Guest MasterCard

For the complete article, details on each card plus runners up in each category please visit the full Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Card for 2009 page on the Rewards Canada website

Care to comment on our choices? Want to voice your opinion on the good and the bad of all the Travel Rewards Credit Cards in Canada. Share you views and experiences by leaving a comment below.


  1. I'm of two minds when it comes to travel reward credit cards. If you consider that a minimum of $125.00 per year must be paid up-front for the privilege of using the card -- and it often takes more than a year to collect enough points, so that amount could easily double -- then add the taxes and administration fees, it often makes more sense to simply wait for a seat sale and ditch the cards altogether.

  2. If you don't make use of the benefits for fee based cards this is true however for others that $125 fee is quickly made up when making use of the benefits offered, ie CDW waiver on Car rentals, all it takes is a 3 day car rental and that $125 had paid for itself. Of course there are a nice batch of no-fee cards that earn travel points as well if you don't want to pay a yearly fee.

  3. I have been a long time user (9 years) of the CIBC Aerogold card as I used the accumulated points frequently to pay for flight from Toronto to Vancouver or Calgary.
    I am currently looking for a new travel card because now everytime I go to book travel (even 8-10 months in advance) there is no seating unless I use an upgraded points seat. Now for a five hundred flight to calgary I need to use over 100,000 aeroplan points where before I could have booked it for 30,000 points.
    I think it is time the Aerogold comes off as the best travel card due to the changes at Aeroplan. I no longer get value for this card.

  4. You can not say one is the best Canadian travel credit card unless you look at them all. You did not look at the best one which is the Desjardin Odyssey gold that gives travel money none of those funny air miles thinks. Real dollars to pay any travel expense. They automatically withdraw from your bank account when on the road. Check it out

  5. The Desjardin Odyssey Gold will be in our 2010 comparison, but it is certainly not one of the best, it only gives you 1% back on your purchases towards travel (2% for foreign transacations) compare this to the Capital One Miles Plus MasterCard, it basically gives 2% back on all purhcass to be put towards any travel (no funny air miles as you put it), the Diners Club Club Rewards card gives 1.7% back on all purchases, the TD Travel Rewards cards give 1.5% back on all purchases. The Desjardins card also has a higher annual fee then the Capital One or Diners Club cards. I can already tell that the Desjardins card will probably not come in the top two or three when we begin our next comparison in the coming months.

  6. Any comments about the MBNA Travel Rewards Platnum Plus card? I currently have the aeroplan Gold and I don't think it is providing value when like a comment above even 6+ months a head of time you can't get a flight unless you use additional points.

  7. I cannot comment yet on the MBNA Travel Rewards Platinum Plus card as I have not had a chance to review it. I will be doing that shortly as we are preparing for the 2010 edition of the top travel credit cards.

  8. Thanks for the great site and blog! Just wondering if you have had a chance to look at the MBNA Travel Rewards Elite card. I transitioned to this from its SPG predecessor, and have also taken out the Starwood Amex Canada during its fee-free initial year. Haven't tried to redeem TRE points yet as too early/no need.

    Not so much a benefits issue, but one of my issues with the MBNA TRE card is that (so far) it does not have a totally separate (from the bank) tracking system like SPG or Aeroplan does - points having to be tracked on the card statement, the travel side going via the card information rather than a separate account. Comments? My only other cards of regular use are the Visa Infinite and the Starwood Amex, but the MBNA has been my main card for some time and will probably continue to be (Will have to decide which of the with-fee cards to either cancel or transition to one of their no fee/low fee cards when the fees come due.)