The Best Air Miles Credit Cards in Canada 

To help you choose an Air Miles credit card, we’ve put together a list of the best Air Miles credit cards in Canada. 

Below, you’ll find our list of top-rated credit cards along with details on how we determined the best Air Miles credit card.

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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees - no additional fees are charged on foreign transactions.
  • Free WiFi - receive free internet around the world.
  • Rewards - earn points and redeem them for cash back or rewards.

With an Air Miles credit card, you can earn up to 1 Mile for every $10 you spend. Plus, Air Miles credit cards in Canada offer more than just Air Miles rewards. Many also provide:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Flight upgrades
  • Airport lounge access, and more

About Air Miles Canada

Air Miles Canada is a loyalty program that allows members to earn and redeem “Miles”. Air Miles was established in 1992 and is well known across the country. 

Miles can be collected in two ways:

  1. By making purchases at participating stores
  2. By using an Air Miles credit card

Air Miles began as a travel loyalty program but has since expanded. Cardholders can now redeem Miles for any of the following:

  • Flights
  • Hotels 
  • Merchandise 
  • Excursions 
  • Car rentals 
  • Vacation packages, and more

Air Miles are divided into two main categories:

  1. Cash Rewards (Cash rewards can be redeemed for:)
    In-store and online cash rewards
    Gift cards
  2. Dream Rewards (Dream rewards can be redeemed for:)
    Merchandise
    Concerts
    Travel
    Vacation packages

When earning Miles, you can choose to collect only Cash Rewards, only Dream Rewards, or both. 

Rewards of one kind cannot be exchanged for rewards of another kind. In other words, a Dream Reward can only be redeemed for a Dream Reward and a Cash Reward for a Cash Reward. 

Only select stores participate in the Air Miles loyalty program. Therefore, be sure to choose shopping locations carefully to get the most out of your Air Miles rewards.

There are over 100 merchants that participate in the Air Miles program. Popular service providers and stores that accept Air Miles in Canada include:

  • Safeway
  • Sobeys
  • Thrifty Foods
  • Rona
  • Lowe’s
  • Shell 
  • WestJet

Determining the Best Air Miles Credit Card in Canada

When choosing an Air Miles credit card, there is much to consider. To find the best Air Miles credit cards, we’ve taken a closer look at the following:

  • Welcome Bonuses
  • Earn Rates
  • Perks
  • Interest
  • Annual Fees
  • Income Requirements
  • Insurance 

These elements differ between Air Miles credit cards. So, be sure to determine which aspects are most important to you. Then, choose a card that offers those features.

Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses can get you started on the right foot when it comes to Air Miles credit cards. For example, receiving welcome Miles can help you get one step closer to your dream vacation.

Some of the most common welcome bonuses offered by Air Miles credit card issuers include:

  • Bonus Air Miles 
  • Balance transfer incentives
  • Low introductory interest rates, and more

Earn Rates

One of the most important things to consider when choosing an Air Miles credit card is the card’s earn rate. Finding an Air Miles credit card with the greatest earn rate will help you reap the most benefits and realize rewards sooner. 

Air Miles credit cards vary in their earn rates. The earn rates most frequently offered are:

  • At partner locations:

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  • Everywhere else:

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Perks

In addition to helping you earn more Miles, Air Miles credit cards are often accompanied by other benefits. To get the most out of an Air Miles credit card, review these added benefits before applying. Then, select the card that offers the most attractive perks.

Some added benefits you may come across with Air Miles credit cards include:

  • Travel perks - airport lounge access, concierge service, discounted rental cars, etc.
  • Free supplementary cards
  • Additional insurance, and more

Interest

If you plan to carry a balance, it’s important to note the interest rate of each Air Miles credit card. The best Air Miles credit card, in this case, will be the one with the lowest interest rate. 

Remember, there may be a low introductory interest rate. However, this low rate will increase after the promotional period ends (e.g. 9 months). For this reason, make sure you look at both the introductory APR and the regular APR.

Air Miles credit card interest rates can range from 1.99% to 20.99%. Typically, lower rates will only be promotional.

Annual Fees

There’s nothing wrong with paying an annual fee on a credit card. Often paying an annual fee will get you added perks and benefits. 

However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. If a credit card charges an annual fee and doesn’t offer much more than a $0 annual fee card, then it’s probably not worth it. 

Look for an Air Miles credit card that offers the best balance for you. If there’s an annual fee, (and you can afford it) and the card offers great perks - go for it! If the fee is high and the perks don’t pique your interest then choose a $0 annual fee card.

Income Requirements

In Canada, there are some Air Miles credit cards with income requirements. 

Most often, these credit cards offer bonuses and perks. These benefits are a cost to the credit card issuer. Therefore, the issuer requires a certain annual income. The idea is that the more you make the more you spend. So, by creating an income requirement, the card issuer can ensure the cardholder uses the credit card regularly. This frequent use helps the card issuer regain their costs.

If an Air Miles credit card has an income requirement, it will likely be one of the following:

  • Individual annual income of $15,000
  • Individual annual income of $80,000 
  • Household annual income of $150,000

Before applying for an Air Miles credit card, make sure that you meet any minimum income requirements. 

Insurance 

Insurance benefits are a great credit card feature to have. 

There are a few common types of insurance that come with credit cards in Canada including:

  • 90-day purchase protection
      
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  • Extra warranty

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  • Travel insurance

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Ensure you read the fine print and choose an Air Miles credit card that offers the best insurance possible. You never know when insurance might get you out of a sticky situation and save you money.

Air Miles Credit Card Tips

Here are some tips for earning the most Miles possible:

  • Look for days that stores offer extra Air Miles on purchases (e.g. 20x the Air Miles event).
  • Double dip - use your Air Miles collector card and your Air Miles credit card to get double the Miles on a single purchase. 
  • Use the airmilesshops.ca portal when shopping online. This will help you earn more Miles at popular retailers (e.g. Dyson Canada, Amazon.ca, etc.).

FAQ

What is the best Air Miles credit card in Canada?

There are several great Air Miles credit cards in Canada. The best Air Miles credit card is the one that suits your lifestyle. Consider card features like welcome bonuses, earn rates, added benefits, interest rates, etc. Read reviews, like this one, and use others’ experiences to help you choose the Air Miles credit card that is best for you. 

Which is the best travel rewards credit card in Canada?

Air Miles credit cards are one of the best travel rewards credit card options in Canada. Air Miles credit cards allow you to earn Air Miles. These Miles can be redeemed for travel and experiences. So, if you love travelling and earning rewards, an Air Miles credit card may be for you.

What are Air Miles worth?

Each Air Mile is worth about $0.12 to $0.19. You’ll earn an Air Mile each time you spend approximately $10 - $20 at a retailer that participates in the Air Miles loyalty program. Earn Air Miles faster by using your collector card and Air Miles credit card simultaneously.

Emma Tremblay

Emma is responsible for all content on Creditcards360.ca. She has a college degree in economics and a keen interest in personal finance. Get in touch with her by email.

Last updated Mar 17, 2021