Best Premium Credit Cards in Canada for 2022

American Express Cobalt® Card
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Details
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
Apply Nowlock On American Express's Secure Website

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 30,000 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.

If everything about this card sounds good to you, sign up today and receive an extra 2,500 points each month you spend $500 or more, an achievable spending rate for most! You can earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points.

Scotiabank Passport®  Visa Infinite* Card
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Details
Annual Fee: $139
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
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:
670 900
Average to Excellent
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 $1,000 on the credit card within the first three months of ownership, you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points (worth about $300).
  • 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
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Annual Fee: $699
Purchases Interest Rate: -%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: -%
Min Income Requirement: Not Available
Why Apply:
Recommended Credit Score:
740 900
Excellent
Apply Nowlock On American Express's Secure Website

This card is the most exclusive credit card in the market however it comes with a $699 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 3 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

 
Pros

Earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards® points - that’s up to $800 in statement credits that can be used towards extra leg room on your next flight, or a weekend away at the spa charged to your Card. 

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


Cons

High annual fees: The Platinum Card has an annual fee of $699. Each additional card is $175.

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
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Details
Annual Fee: $149
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.9%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.9%
Min Income Requirement: Not Available
Why Apply:

No foreign transaction fees

$100 annual travel enhancement credit

31-day insurance coverage

Mastercard Airport Experiences 

Get unlimited Wi-Fi through Boingo 

Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
Average to Excellent
Apply Nowlock On HSBC's Secure Website

Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases(6 Points per $1) and 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases(3 Points per $1).

This card comes with no foreign transaction fees, 31-day emergency travel medical insurance coverage, a 10% discount on hotel bookings, unlimited Wifi through Boingo, extended warranty, purchase assurance, and $100 travel enhancement credit.

The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is a modern rewards card that is quite useful for any clients who are using their credit cards for any type of purchase. With this card, you can get 6 points for every $1 you spend on eligible travel purchases, 3 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. 

This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, 31-day emergency travel medical insurance coverage, a 10% discount on hotel bookings, unlimited Wifi through Boingo, extended warranty, purchase assurance, and $100 travel enhancement credit. 

The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® costs $149 a year and comes with a standard interest on purchases of 19.9% and interest on balance transfers and cash advances of 22.9%.The current Welcome Bonus is 20,000 Points ($100 travel value) PLUS apply by October 31, 2022 and get an additional 40,000 Points ($200 travel value) when you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months of account opening*, and get a 1st Year annual fee rebate for Primary Cardholder*($149 value), and receive an additional 20,000 Points ($100 travel value) as an Anniversary Bonus* 

You can use all points accumulated on this card to purchase airplane tickets to the airline partners of HSBC, which are British Airways, Singapore Miles and Asia Miles. As for medical travel insurance, this card is one of the absolute best, coming with $1 million in medical insurance, $500,000 in common carrier travel insurance, $750 for lost or delayed baggage, $5,000 trip cancellation in total, and another $65,000 in auto rental collision insurance.



Author Bio

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Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where 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 in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook.