Credit Cards

The Best AIR MILES Credit Cards in Canada 2022

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Are you looking for an AIR MILES credit card but you don’t know which one to choose? In this guide, we’re comparing the best AIR MILES credit cards to help you decide which one is the best fit for you. From the welcome bonus to earn rates, we’ve got you covered.

AIR MILES is one of the oldest and most recognized loyalty programs in Canada, so it should be no surprise that there are millions of Canadians who are members. But did you know you can easily increase your earn rate with an AIR MILES credit card? This should be obvious, but many people are leaving their AIR MILES behind when they decide to pay with cash or a different credit card at participating AIR MILES merchants.

The good thing is, that earning more AIR MILES is easy with one of the best AIR MILES credit cards. Here’s why you should start collecting AIR MILES and what the best AIR MILES credit cards are.

Why Choose AIR MILES Credit Card?

The real advantage of using an AIR MILES credit card is that you can double dip your points at participating AIR MILES Sponsors. That means if you’re making a purchase at a merchant that allows you to earn AIR MILES, you can earn double the points by scanning your AIR MILES card or app and then paying with your AIR MILES credit card. There’s no quicker way to earn AIR MILES.

Editor’s Choice for the Best AIR MILES Credit Card on the Market

BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*

BMO Credit Cards logo

Sign up for the BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard® and get 2,000 AIR MILES as a welcome bonus when you charge a minimum of $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership*. Plus, the annual fee of $120 is waived for the first year*.

    There’s no doubt about it, the best AIR MILES credit card on the market is the BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*. It currently has a welcome bonus that should appeal to potential cardmembers-- Get 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles and the $120 annual fee waived for the first year*. This sign-up bonus and earn rate are considerably better than the other AIR MILES credit cards on the market, plus the annual fee of $120 is waived for the first year*. To give you some perspective of the value you’re getting, the welcome offer of 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles* when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership is worth approximately $210 at participating stores in cash rewards, so you’re essentially getting a total value of $330. Another lesser-known benefit about the card is that you get an exclusive 25% discount on one worldwide AIR MILES flight redemption during the calendar year*, which is a great way to help you stretch out all those AIR MILES you’ll be earning.

    You’ll also get an excellent earn rate. Get 3x the Miles for every $12 spent at participating AIR MILES Reward Partners* and 2x the Miles for every $12 spent at any eligible grocery store*. Earn 1 reward mile for every $12 in credit card purchases, everywhere you spend*. Plus, get additional benefits including a complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass* and a comprehensive travel insurance package which includes travel medical for up to 15 days per trip*. The card does come with an annual fee of $120, but it’s waived for the first year*.

    The Details:

    • Annual Fee: $120 (first year free)*
    • Income Eligibility: Minimum $80,000 (individual) or $150,000 (household)
    • Credit Score Required: Excellent
    • Welcome Offer: Get 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles and the $120 annual fee waived for the first year*.
    • Additional Perks: Travel insurance*, Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass*
    • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash Advance APR: 23.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents)

    *Terms and conditions apply.


    Summary: Best AIR MILES Credit Cards in Canada in 2022

    Credit CardAnnual FeeWelcome Bonus/Points RatioReward Miles
    BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*$120 (first year free)*Get 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles and the $120 annual fee waived for the first year*.Get 3x the Miles for every $12 spent at participating AIR MILES Reward Partners* and 2x the Miles for every $12 spent at any eligible grocery store*. Earn 1 reward mile for every $12 in credit card purchases, everywhere you spend*.Visit Site
    BMO AIR MILES®† Mastercard®*$0Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles!* That’s enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash*.Get 3x the Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners and 2x the Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store*. Get 1 Mile for every $25 spent everywhere else*.Visit Site
    American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card$120Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES®* Bonus Miles. Conditions apply.Earn 1 Mile per $5 in card purchases (up to $30,000 annually) on eligible food, drinks, gas and transit in Canada, and 1 Mile for every $10 in card purchases for everything else.Visit Site

    BMO AIR MILES®† Mastercard®*

    BMO Credit Cards logo

    Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles* (when you spend $1,000 in net card purchases within the first three months of card membership). That’s enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash*. Plus, for the first 9 months, enjoy a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers (2% fee applies)*.

      A no annual fee credit card option is the BMO AIR MILES®† Mastercard®*. Many people will be attracted to the sign-up bonus: Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles!* That’s enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash*. That’s more than what other credit cards offer, but your earn rate may be a bit lower. Get 3x the Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners and 2x the Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store*. Get 1 Mile for every $25 spent everywhere else*. However, the elevated grocery earn rate can be a great way to rack up extra miles. You’ll also get extended warranty and purchase protection*, as an added benefit.

      The Details:

      • Annual Fee: $0
      • Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum $15,000 (individual)
      • Credit Score Required: Good
      • Welcome Offer: Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles!* That’s enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash*.
      • Additional Perks: Extended warranty and purchase protection*
      • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents)

      *Terms and conditions apply.


      American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card

      American Express Canada Credit Cards logo

      New American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card Cardmembers, earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES®* Bonus Miles when you charge a total of $1,500 in purchases to your Card within your first 3 months of Cardmembership. That’s enough to redeem for $200 towards your purchases with AIR MILES Cash. Terms and conditions apply.

        Now is a great time to sign up for the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card. For a limited time, new cardholders will receive a generous welcome bonus : Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES®* Bonus Miles. Conditions apply. That’s enough to redeem for $200 towards your purchases with AIR MILES®* Cash. Not too shabby!

        Aside from a great welcome bonus, you’ll also enjoy an impressive earn rate. Earn 1 Mile per $5 in card purchases (up to $30,000 annually) on eligible food, drinks, gas and transit in Canada, and 1 Mile for every $10 in card purchases for everything else. You can also earn 500 miles for each successful referral, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 7,500 Miles.

        The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card offers insurance coverage to accompany their generous rewards program, including car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, purchase protection, and buyer’s assurance protection.

        The Details:

        • Annual Fee: $120
        • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
        • Credit Score Required: Good;Excellent
        • Welcome Bonus: Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES®* Bonus Miles. Conditions apply.
        • Additional Perks: Travel accident insurance, car rental insurance, purchase protection, and buyer’s assurance protection
        • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash Advance APR: 21.99%

        AIR MILES Dream Miles vs. Cash Miles

        With AIR MILES, you have the option to earn AIR MILES Dream Rewards or AIR MILES Cash Rewards. With Dream Rewards, you can use your AIR MILES to redeem travel, tickets, and merchandise. The redemption rate varies, but it tends to give you a better bang for your buck, allowing you to cash in for some bigger ticket items. For example, you could cash in your Dream Miles for a flight, but the number of AIR MILES needed will depend on a bunch of factors, such as the destination, time of year, fare class, and so forth.

        AIR MILES Cash Rewards are more straightforward. Basically, you can redeem your AIR MILES instantly at participating stores or online for AIR MILES eVouchers. The cash value works out to 95 Miles for every $10, which can be put towards everyday shopping for things like groceries or gas at participating partners. So if you’re at the grocery checkout, you’d need 950 AIR MILES to pay for a $100 bill.

        You can split how you want to earn your points per category (e.g. 50/50, 80/20, etc.), but once you’ve earned miles in a specific category, they can’t be transferred. That said, you can change your ratio allocation at any time.

        How to Earn AIR MILES Faster

        There are a few easy ways you can supercharge your AIR MILES earnings:

        • Shop at AIR MILES partners: AIR MILES has hundreds of partners – retailers and service providers that offer AIR MILES when you purchase from them. It’s pretty easy to rack up miles through these partners with everyday spending, as they include popular retailers such as Metro, Safeway, Sobeys, Shell Canada, the LCBO, Staples, Rona, and others. Focus your spending at these partners and you’ll quickly see a difference in your rewards statements.

        • Get an AIR MILES credit card: The fastest way to accumulate AIR MILES is by using an AIR MILES credit card for everyday purchases. How it works: you earn AIR MILES on every $1 that you charge to your AIR MILES credit card, plus twice the AIR MILES if it’s a purchase from a participating AIR MILES partner. All you have to do is scan or enter your AIR MILES membership card at check out, and then use your AIR MILES credit card to pay.

        • Shop online at AirMilesShops.ca: A great way to earn AIR MILES is to shop online with AirMilesShops.ca – an online shopping portal of 200+ retailers where you can earn AIR MILES for every dollar you spend. Just by doing everyday shopping through this site, you’ll earn 1 AIR MILE per $20 spent at most participating retailers. In addition, there are often bonus offers that allow you to multiply your AIR MILES and get double (or even triple!) the points.

        Final Words: Is An AIR MILES Credit Card the Right Card for You?

        Is an AIR MILES credit card the right card for you? If you enjoy collecting AIR MILES, then applying for an AIR MILES credit card is the smart thing to do since you can earn double the miles (just don’t forget to show your loyalty card or app). Choosing the right card can be a bit trickier since you need to look at the sign-up bonus, earn rate and income requirements before settling on a card that fits your lifestyle. Once you do pick a card, make sure you allocate your points to the rewards category you prefer so you can make the most out of your AIR MILES. Debating whether to collect AIR MILES or Aeroplan (or both)? Take a look at our article on Aeroplan vs. AIR MILES.

        This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

        American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

        BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

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        Lisa Jackson

        Lisa Jackson

        Lisa Jackson is a freelance journalist, editor, and blogger who contributes to various online and print media outlets in Canada and abroad, including The Globe & Mail, Al Jazeera News, The Independent UK, CAA Magazine, The Toronto Star, West Jet Magazine, Huffington Post Canada, and many others.



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