Best Premium Credit Cards in Canada for 2024

What Are Premium Credit Cards?

Premium Credit Cards are exclusive credit cards, offering luxurious benefits typically reserved for those with excellent credit scores and high annual income.

If you’re new to the world of Credit Cards and want to learn more about how this powerful financial tool can maximize your finances, this article examines the features and fees of Premium Credit Cards and takes a closer look at the best options available in Canada today.

Quick article guide:

  •       A Look At The Benefits And Costs Of Premium Credit Cards
  •       Strategies And Best Practices For Maximising Premium Credit Card Benefits
  •       Eligibility And Application Guidelines for Premium Credit Cards.
  •       The Best Premium Credit Cards In Canada

In the following section, we unpack the appeal, benefits and costs of Premium Credit Cards

The Pros and Cons of Premium Credit Cards

Premium Credit Cards are appealing for multiple reasons, including excellent reward programs, personalized services, and insurance coverage. However, to access these benefits there are typically also higher costs associated with Premium Credit Cards. The following section compares the costs and benefits of the average Premium Credit Card in Canada.

The Benefits of Premium Credit Cards

Higher Credit Limits: Premium Credit Cards offer significantly higher credit limits than the average credit card. In Canada, Premium Credit Card limits can go up to $500,000 (but more commonly $100,000). This increased spending power is ideal for individuals who frequently make large, high-value purchases and don’t want to worry about maxing out their card limit.

Excellent rewards programs: Most Premium Credit Cards offer higher than average point returns, where you gain upwards of X5 points back per dollar spent, and the points offered have a higher value than standard Credit Cards. Many Premium Cards allow family members to benefit from your points as well.

Exclusive Benefits: All Premium Credit Cards offer exclusive benefits, such as access to airport lounges, and concierge services. The following is an overview of the most common Premium Card Benefits offered in Canada:

  •       Airport lounge access packages. Includes unlimited or very high access to airport lounges worldwide. In many cases, you are also allowed to extend this benefit to a travelling companion.
  •       Priority boarding. Alongside lounge access, Premium Credit Cards make travelling easier by offering premium boarding passes when you travel.
  •       Concierge Services. These assist with hotel and restaurant reservations and offer luxury cars and driver services when necessary.
  •       Event access. Premium Cards offer a first pick for ticket sales, VIP viewings, or VIP tours.

Insurance coverage and security: Premium Credit Cards offer various types of insurance and safety features such as the following.

  •       Travel insurance: This includes trip cancellation insurance, car rental theft, hotel theft, and damage insurance. In most cases, medical emergencies abroad are also covered.
  •       Mobile Device Insurance: A few Premium Credit Cards offer insurance for your mobile phone, such as theft protection or break protection.
  •       Security features: This involves quick card locking and unlocking actions, fraud monitoring, and fraud protection.

The Costs of Premium Credit Cards

All the perks that come with Premium Credit cards come at a cost. Annual fees, interest rates, and additional fees are all steeper to allow for the multiple benefits of Premium Credit Cards.

Annual Fees: Depending on the Card you choose, the fees you pay vary from $400 to $5000 a year. If this seems steep, there are also certain Premium Credit Cards with no annual fees available.

Interest rates: The Average Interest rate for Premium Credit Cards is surprisingly low at 18% per year. Most Premium Credit Cards offer yearly interest rates ranging from 9.99% to 21%. While this is lower or average for Canadian Credit Card interest rates, Premium Credit Cards typically allow higher spending meaning that any interest paid on outstanding balance typically comes to much more than what standard card users would be paying.

When deciding whether a premium credit card is worth it, consider the pros and cons as well as the reasons you are considering a premium credit card. For example, do higher credit limits appeal to you, or are you looking to earn more benefits? Whatever card you end up choosing, it’s important to manage your Premium Credit Card well to ensure you get the most out of it. The following section covers tips on how to do this.

Best Premium Credit Cards In Canada

American Express Cobalt® Card
Apply Now
Annual Fee: $155.88
Purchases Interest Rate: 20.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 21.99%
Min Income Requirement: Not Available
Why Apply:
  • Generous first-year rewards
  • Redeem anything you want
  • Transferability of points
  • Monthly fee
  • Free supplementary card
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
Average to Excellent

While geared towards young people, the American Express Cobalt® Card  has plenty features and benefits that make it appealing to a wide range of people. It offers 5x more points on eats and drinks from grocery shopping to dining out, and 2x points on travel and transit. Additionally, the ability to transfer points to hotel partners or to the Fixed Points Travel Program makes this the best travel credit card in Canada with a fee. If you spend a lot on food and travel, then this credit card deserves a place in your wallet.

  • Generous first-year rewards - You have the ability to earn up to 15,000 bonus points in the first year.
  • Redeem anything you want -Reward points can be redeemed for travel, restaurant, movies, and merchandise. Unlike other rewards card, you can use your points for almost anything you want.
  • Transferability of points -You can transfer points into the Marriott Bonvoy rewards system which unlocks access to amazing rewards programs like British Airways, Aeroplan, and more than 30 other airline partners. You can also transfer to the Hilton Honors rewards program at 1:1 ratio.
  • Monthly fee - Instead of paying for a one-time annual fee, you are charged every month, giving you time to test out the card and cancel it if it's not the right fit for your spending habits.
  • Free supplementary card - This usually costs an additional $50 on most rewards card. Get one for an immediate family member and boost your earning potential.

The American Express Cobalt® Card started out as a credit card designed for millennials and young professionals. Today, it’s one of the most flexible and versatile credit cards out there. In fact, it’s now commonly used by people from all walks of life because of the lucrative benefits. 

One reason the American Express Cobalt® Card is so popular is because of the quick rewards that come with it. Points can be earned on everyday purchases which is what makes the earnings accumulate so rapidly. On food and drinks, such as grocery, restaurant, food delivery, bar and cafe purchases, cardholders earn five points per dollar spent. 

On transit and travel, cardholders earn two points per dollar spent. These rewards are not limited to vacation only, cardholders will earn points when they spend on public transit, taxis and Ubers too. All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent. As you can see, no matter what your lifestyle is, you’ll quickly rack up points! 

Points can be redeemed to cover the cost of flights and accommodation with 1,000 points being equivalent to $10. Flights don’t have any blackout dates and you can choose any airline you’d like. In addition, the points can be used to cover fees and taxes. If you don’t have an upcoming trip, you can also spend your points on events through Ticketmaster at a rate of 2,000 points to $20. As you probably noticed, the rate of return is the same when you spend on travel and events which is fantastic! For less bang for your buck, you can also use your points for gift cards or merchandise purchases. 

Cardholders benefit from travel insurance as well. The insurance covers things like travel accidents, car rental insurance, medical emergencies, flight interruption or delay among others. Last but not least, cardholders gain access to American Express Invites which are limited offer, exclusive events. 

All of these benefits sound amazing but there’s a cost for all the wonderful benefits. There’s a monthly fee of $12.99, which works out to be $155.88 per year. The monthly payment makes it easy for most to manage. Also, you need to make between $60,000 and $80,000 per year and have decent credit. The only disadvantage is the cap rate on the bonus points is 30,000. Another downside to this bonus is the points can’t be redeemed in a lump sum. This means there is a delay between when you earn the points and when you can redeem them. 

That being said, the American Express Cobalt® Card is still an excellent option for those who travel a lot and make lots of eligible purchases.


Scotiabank Passport®  Visa Infinite* Card
Apply Now
Annual Fee: $150
Purchases Interest Rate: 20.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Min Income Requirement: $60000
Why Apply:
  • Amazing Welcome Offer
  • Bonus Earning Offers
  • Scotia Rewards Earnings
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Airport Lounge Access
Recommended Credit Score:
740 900
Apply Nowlock On Scotiabank's Secure Website


For an annual fee of $139, card holders obtain an array of travel benefits including point travel redemption, travel insurance and airport lounge access. Scotiabank boasts about this credit card because it is the only major bank in Canada that offers a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and airport lounge access.


  • Amazing Welcome Offer. When you spend $1,100 on the credit card within the first 12 months of ownership, you’ll earn 40,000 bonus points
  • Bonus Earning Offers. If you spend $40,000 in a year with this credit card, you’ll earn an additional 10,000 points (worth about $100).
  • Scotia Rewards Earnings. Earn 2 Scotia points for every dollar you spend on groceries, dining, entertainment and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia point for every dollar spent on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. While the exchange rate of your foreign purchases will still apply, you’ll save money on foreign transaction fees which would typically be 2.5%.
  • Airport Lounge Access. A complimentary Priority Pass membership is provided with this credit card along with six free lounge visits per year.

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite*Card offers 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store, dining, entertainment, and transit purchases, and 1 point per $1 on everything else. That’s hardly best-in-class, so why does the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card tie for best Scotiabank travel credit card?

Two reasons: a very lucrative bonus point offer and no foreign transaction fees.

Let’s start with the bonus points. You earn 30,000 welcome points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. That’s worth up to $300, is easy to obtain, and is a solid reason to try this card for a year.

But wait, there’s more. Every year you charge $40,000 to your Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card, you’ll get 10,000 bonus points. If you can hit the $40,000 minimum each year, the 10,000 bonus points will nearly cancel out the $139 annual fee.

If that wasn’t enough, the Scotiabank Passport® Visa*doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees. It comes with a suite of travel insurance benefits, Visa Infinite benefits, and includes six free airport lounge passes.

Platinum Card® American Express
Apply Now
Annual Fee: $799
Purchases Interest Rate: -%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: N/A%
Min Income Requirement: Not Available
Why Apply:
Recommended Credit Score:
740 900

This card is the most exclusive credit card in the market however it comes with a $799 annual fee which is one the highest for a Canadian credit cards. The Platinum Card® is perfect for those who are looking for a luxury credit card with outstanding benefits, rewards, insurances, and platinum experiences. The annual fee is high however a frequent traveler will enjoy every single benefit on this card.

Platinum Card's rewards earn rate:

  • Earn 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 in all other Card purchases


  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points - that’s $1,000 towards a weekend away

No credit limit:
There is no preset credit limit with this credit card

Premium airport lounge access: Complimentary access to over 1,300 airport lounges across 130 countries.

Premium insurance: The Platinum Card® offers different types of insurance like below:

  • $500,000 Travel Accident
  • Travel Emergency Assistance
  • Trip Cancellation /Trip Interruption
  • Car Rental Theft/Damage
  • Lost or Stolen Baggage
  • Flight Delay
  • Baggage Delay


High annual fees: The Platinum Card has an annual fee of $799. Each additional card is $175.

How To Maximize The Benefits Of Premium Credit Cards

To ensure you get the most out of your Premium Credit Card privileges, you need to ensure you manage your card effectively and avoid falling into common pitfalls. Some tips to achieve this are outlined below.

How to Maximize Your Premium Credit Card Benefits

  •       Pay your balance in full each month: This ensures that you never have to pay unnecessary interest charges, as well as ensuring that your credit balance doesn’t accumulate over time and become unmanageable. You can set up automatic payments to do this.
  •       Use your insurance coverage: Were you travelling abroad and accidentally damaged the rental car? Use your Premium Credit Card travel insurance so you don’t pay for the damage out of pocket. Insurance coverage differs based on the card, so be aware of what sort of insurance coverage your Premium Credit Card offers.
  •       Use your exclusive perks: While you may not need reminding, remember to use your exclusive hotel or airport perks while you have your Premium Credit Card on hand.

Pitfalls to avoid:

  •       Living outside your means: While it can be tempting to use the higher credit limits the card offers, don’t overdo it. Keep an eye on your expenses and ensure you are sticking within your pre-determined budget so your finances remain healthy.
  •       Letting your reward points expire: Some reward points tend to expire after a certain time, so remember to use them whenever possible.
  •       Overutilizing your card: Be mindful of maintaining optimal credit utilization. Try to use less than 30% of your available credit limit. Any more and your credit score may suffer in the long run.
  •       Not preparing for the annual fee: You may be excited to use the multiple benefits this card has to offer, but be sure you’re okay paying the high annual fee and if it’s worth the benefits you’d gain from having the card.

To truly maximize the benefits of your premium credit card, you need to use it strategically. By being careful to follow the tips above, you’re well on your way to getting the most out of your Premium Credit Card.

How To Apply For A Premium Credit Card

Premium credit cards, with their generous perks and rewards, have stringent eligibility criteria. The most exclusive Premium Credit Cards require a bank invitation to have access.

The eligibility criteria for a typical Premium Credit Card is as follows:

  •       A high credit score, typically 670 and above.
  •       Substantial annual income, anywhere from $80,000 personal income to $1,000,000. With $80,000 being the most typical income requirement.
  •       A good credit history.
  •       Being a member of the issuing bank. In some cases, if you apply for a Premium Credit Card from another bank you will have to become a member to qualify.

To apply for a Premium Credit Card, you can typically apply online, over the phone, or in person at a bank branch. This process typically involves supplying the bank with personal and financial information, such as your income, employment, and social insurance number.

Conclusion: Is A Premium Credit Card Right For You?

So, is a premium credit card right for you? Depending on your lifestyle and financial situation, a Premium Credit Card might be ideal to help you achieve your goals and improve your quality of life. If you travel frequently or spend more than your average consumer, you can fully take advantage of the perks and rewards a Premium Credit Card offers.

Premium Credit Cards can be a powerful financial tool if you use them correctly, and offer a range of lifestyle-enhancing features. So do your research, weigh the pros and cons, and enjoy the benefits of the most exclusive Credit Card on the market today

Author Bio

Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based in Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked at major Canadian financial institutions for many years. He managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master's in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec). He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook.