Here are the Rewards Canada Top 5 Travel Credit Card Sign Up offers
for the month of January 2021! This is not a ‘best’ credit card
list like our Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings but instead a look at cards that have very good acquisition (welcome/sign up) offers. As always when choosing a card
you should always take other factors into account other than the
up bonus, but when some of these cards are first year free, they
do pay off even when you grab them strictly for the sign up rewards.
This month we see three first year free cards on the list
A couple of changes in our list this month as the HSBC 100K offer and the MBNA Alaska’s $100 statement credit offer end. With those two changes the Aeroplan cards with Buddy Passes jump to take the top spots in the list. Again this month’s Top 5 sign up offers are bit more on the
subjective side thanks to Aeroplan’s new buddy pass that are being
offered on many of the new Aeroplan cards. The value of this welcome
bonus pass can vary greatly from as little as $100 to well beyond
$2,000. This makes it somewhat more difficult to value the welcome bonus
on those Aeroplan cards so I arbitrarily set the value of the pass at
$300. This is most likely a lower value than what many people would get
but I try to make my valuations based on the minimum amount you can get
but felt that most people would not be redeeming it for less than $300. Also since the HSBC card dropped off the list the American Express Aeroplan Card moves into the Top 5.
As travel is curtailed right now these offers are more
forward looking and can and should be used towards your long term
travel plans – whether that’s later this year, next year or even beyond.
Getting the cards now allows you to achieve the sign up bonuses as you
wish and then continue to spend to build up those points and miles
balances to make those future vacations that much better. – Or in the
case of all the cards except the Alaska Airlines Mastercard you can also
look at cash back or cash back equivalents like gift cards from each
program if you are looking at short term financial help. If you are
going for the latter focus on the cards that have no fee in the first
year so that you can maximize your value.
Remember as well that you will find this list smack dab in the middle of the Rewards Canada homepage for
Here are our top 5 credit card sign up offers for January (in order of
welcome bonus value, calculated as minimum mile/points value minus
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card – 10,000 points + Buddy Pass (Apply here)
Minimum value: $420
new Aeroplan cards are here and the bonus offer on the mainstay cards
provide 10,000 Aeroplan points, a Buddy Pass and an annual fee rebate
for the primary and first additional cardholder. All told the points and
buddy pass are worth no less than $420 in our minds and in reality
should be worth much more than that. To get in on this bonus you have to
apply by January 17, 2021. Learn more about the Buddy Pass here and the New Aeroplan program here.
Personal or $100,000 Household
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card – 10,000 points + Buddy Pass (Apply here)
Minimum value: $420
offer on this card is virtually the same as the TD version but offers
fee rebates on more additional cards than the TD version. The welcome
bonus provides 10,000 Aeroplan points, a Buddy Pass and an annual fee
rebate for the primary and three additional cardholders. All told the
points and buddy pass are worth no less than $420 in our minds and in
reality should be worth much more than that. To get in on this bonus you
have to apply by January 31, 2021. Learn more about the Buddy Pass here and the New Aeroplan program here.
Personal or $100,000 Household
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card – 50,000 Points (Apply here)
Minimum value: $380
The 50,000 points, awarded after
spending $1,500 on the card in three months are worth at least $500 in
our minds which means after subtracting the annual fee you are coming
out ahead by $380. In reality you can pull even more value out of the card (into four figures) as we outlined in our post A look at how The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card provides huge value!
Don’t forget you get an annual free night with the card as well on the
card anniversary date, automatic Silver Elite status, 15 night credit
towards the next elite status and more.
Minimum Income: N/A
American Express® Aeroplan®* Card – 15,000 points + Buddy Pass (Apply here)
Minimum value: $360
Amex’s new mainstay Aeroplan card
provides a bigger 15,000 Aeroplan points welcome and a Buddy Pass but you do have to pay the annual fee hence the slightly lower value here than its TD and CIBC compatriots. All told the points and
buddy pass less the annual fee are worth no less than $360 in our minds and in reality
should be worth much more than that. Learn more about the Buddy Pass here and the New Aeroplan program here.
Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard – 30,000 Miles (Apply here)
Minimum value: $351
This card offers a welcome bonus of 30,000 miles
plus a $100 statement credit when you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months of having it. This is one of the
easiest bonuses to achieve and this card is one of the most churnable in
Canada. There are really no problems in getting it 2-4 times in one
year alone! Those 30,000 miles and the statement credit are worth no less than $451 when
redeeming for economy class flights and just go up from there.
Personal or $150,000 Household
If you went for all these cards you ultimately could end up with over $1,900 in travel value to well beyond that!. However even if you only
one or two you are helping your travel budget significantly at no cost
other than regular credit card spend. We don’t really recommend getting
all five in one month unless you know you can meet the minimum spend for
them all at once, rather you’d want to pick one or two right now,
perhaps another next month and so on.
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