Canadians took to the roads, seas and skies to embark on over 27 million trips in the first quarter of 2021 alone, according to a National Travel Survey conducted by Statistics Canada. And that figure is likely to continue increasing into 2023 as more Canadians gear up for their next adventure.

Our picks for Canada’s best travel credit cards include top cards across numerous categories to help you earn discounts, perks and rewards before your next trip.

By Barry Choi and Shannon Terrell

Travel rewards credit cards earn points or miles as a reward for making eligible purchases. The type and rate of rewards you earn depends on the travel credit card you have. Additionally, how you can use those rewards may depend on the loyalty program associated with your card.

Why get a travel credit card?

Travel rewards credit cards account for 22% of credit cards in Canada, according to a 2021 report by Payments Canada. Outside reduced travel costs, travel cards can offer travel insurance, lounge access, baggage fee discounts, no foreign transaction fees and more. The right travel credit card can help you plan trips and access upgraded services that may have once been out of reach.

Types of travel credit cards in Canada

Generally speaking, there are three different categories of travel rewards credit cards. Knowing how they differ will help you determine what card is best for you.

General travel rewards credit cards

If you’re not loyal to one specific airline or hotel chain, then a general travel rewards program is something that will interest you. The points you earn can typically be used for any type of travel redemption, such as airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and even vacation packages. Since your points don’t belong to one specific program, you have more options.


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