The Top 5 Best Travel Credit Cards for 2017

When it’s travel credit cards, I prefer researching and comparing all credit cards available in the market, before I settle on one. I only recommend cards that I use and carry in my wallet. Here’s the best rated and most popular travel credit cards for 2017:

1. American Express Gold Rewards Card

American Express® Gold Rewards Card
This card is often voted the #1 Best & Most Flexible Travel Credit Card because it offers a 30,000 points sign-up bonus with no fee for the first year. It is also the first card most travel hackers will sign-up for to start travel hacking.

Benefits:

  • Great sign-up bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your card within first three months of card membership.
  • Additional 5,000 Membership Rewards points for one approved supplementary card (no fee first year – $50 value).
  • Enough points to redeem for one round-trip flight rewards to anywhere in North America.
  • No annual fee for the first year. A value of $150.
  • Flexible program. Can transfer your points one-to-one to Aeroplan and Avios.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, drugstores, travel purchases – including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises.
  • Earn one point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else.
  • Low annual income requirement of $20,000.
  • As a card member, refer a friend and earn a bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards for each approved referral, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points.

Negatives:

  • American Express is not accepted everywhere. You’ll need to have a Visa or MasterCard as a backup for purchases.
  • It’s a charge card so the balance must be paid for in full or they’ll charge a higher than normal (30%) annual interest rate.
Click here for more details or to sign up for the American Express Gold Rewards Card.

2. Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest®* Credit Card from American Express
This is the best card to earn Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints, considered in some circles as the most valuable loyalty currency.

Benefits:

  • Nice sign-up bonus of 20,000 Bonus Starpoints when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your card within first three months of card membership.
  • $120 annual fee.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases charged to the Card at participating SPG & Marriott Rewards hotels.
  • Earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 in purchases charged to the Card.
  • Receive a Free Weekend Night Award at hotels and resorts worldwide when you reach $40,000 in purchases on the Card each year.
  • Experience once-in-a-lifetime events with SPG Moments (biggest music, sports and cultural events in the world).
  • Low annual income requirement of $15,000.
  • As a card member, refer a friend and earn a bonus of 10,000 Starpoints for each approved referral, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 150,000 Starpoints.

Negatives:

  • American Express is not accepted everywhere. You’ll need to have a Visa or MasterCard as a backup for purchases.
  • It’s a charge card so the balance must be paid for in full or they’ll charge a higher than normal (19.99%) annual interest rate.
Click here for more details or to sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Credit Card from American Express

3. The American Express Platinum Card

The Platinum Card®
This is the ultimate premium credit card to own. Although it comes with a hefty $699 annual fee, it’s well worth it if you spend a lot and travel often. The card is made for the discerning traveller who loves their perks and is one of the most prestigious cards to own.

Benefits:

  • Incredible sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your card within first three months of card membership.
  • Enough points to redeem for two round-trip flight rewards to anywhere in North America.
  • Access to over 600 airport lounges world-wide including the Platinum Lounge Benefit, the Airport Club Program and Priority Pass.
  • Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every dollar in purchases charged to your Platinum Card.
  • Extensive travel benefits, including a $200 Annual Travel Credit.
  • As a card member, refer a friend and earn a bonus of 15,000 Membership Points for each approved referral, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 225,000 Membership Rewards points.

Negatives:

  • $699 annual fee
  • American Express is not accepted everywhere. You’ll need to have a Visa or MasterCard as a backup for purchases.
  • It’s a charge card so the balance must be paid for in full or they’ll charge a higher than normal (30%) annual interest rate.
Click here for more details or to sign up for The American Express Platinum Card.

4. American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card

American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Card
This premium credit card is for heavy travellers and spenders in Canada, and one of the best credit cards to have to if you’re looking to earn Aeroplan miles.

Benefits:

  • Great sign-up bonus of 51,000 Bonus Starpoints when you charge $3,000 in purchases to your card within first three months of card membership.
  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 of Card purchases up to $25,000 annually.
  • Accelerate your earn rate to 1.5 miles for every dollar in purchases over $25,000 annually.
  • Enjoy a 2-for-1 short-haul flight reward when you redeem 15,000 Aeroplan Miles, with the Partner Ticket benefit.
  • Breeze through airport lines with Air Canada Priority Check-in.
  • Access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge.
  • As a card member, refer a friend and earn a bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles for each approved referral, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 225,000 Aeroplan Miles.

Negatives:

  • $499 annual fee
  • American Express is not accepted everywhere. You’ll need to have a Visa or MasterCard as a backup for purchases.
  • It’s a charge card so the balance must be paid for in full or they’ll charge a higher than normal (19.99%) annual interest rate.
Click here for more details or to sign up for the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card.

5. RBC Visa Infinite Avion

Credit Card Image
With its universal acceptability, the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card is one of the most popular travel cards in Canada. RBC Rewards points can be converted to the following frequent flyer programs on a 1:1 ratio: British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and American Airlines AAdvantage Miles.

Benefits:

  • Great sign-up bonus of 15,000 RBC Rewards – enough points to redeem for one round-trip short-haul flight.
  • $120 annual fee.
  • VISA is accepted everywhere.
  • Earn 1 RBC Rewards point for every dollar you spend.
  • No blackout periods or seat restrictions – ever.
  • This is the backup card I use when a merchant doesn’t accept American Express.

Negatives:

  • No referral program
  • Requires a minimum personal income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000.
  • You must book at least 14 days in-advance when using points.
  • Can only book economy class tickets with rewards points.
Click here for more details or to sign up for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card.

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