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By Credit Card Company Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2013

I don't need to read all this just show me the rankings!

Posted June 11, 2013 - Updated May 1, 2014


Share the 2013 results!


Welcome to Rewards Canada's fifth annual Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards feature. I am proud to say that this feature is one of Canada's most anticipated and highly regarded credit card rankings that is not only used by our readers but also by the media, loyalty programs and even the credit card issuers themselves who make use of the rankings in their marketing materials and annual reports.

2012 was a busier year in the travel rewards credit card market with more new cards being released then in 2011. Add to this several cards getting revamped and no cards leaving the market all means that the market is even more saturated and confusing than ever for the Canadian consumer.

What is the best card? Well it is practically impossible to give that question a perfect answer, however we do breakdown the market of Canadian Travel Rewards credit cards into five major categories and pick the best in each one. What category is right for me? Check out Rewards Canada's Guide to choosing a travel rewards credit card to steer you in the right direction.

How do we come up with our picks for the best cards? We look at various factors including cost of ownership, rate of return, the associated loyalty program (co-brand), ease of redemption, card acceptance, partnerships, issuing bank and benefits. Couple this with nearly 12 years of research, answers to hundreds of email questions from readers, comments from our readers plus the charts and articles that we have written provides us the insight into the pros and cons of each card. As always this has allowed Rewards Canada to form an opinion as to which ones are the best. That's right, it all boils down to opinion. The top cards listed here, are in our opinion, after looking at all of their details, the best cards for travel rewards in Canada. Will people agree? Some yes, some no. Do we make some credit card issuers mad? Yes. Happy? You bet. However, like we stated above it is nearly impossible to pick a single best card due to the vast majority of factors that can be considered when choosing one.

As we have stressed in the past, choosing a card is a difficult decision based on many factors including but not limited to rewards offered, benefits offered, cost and the issuing bank. We hope that with this fourth annual ranking, we will help guide consumers to finding the right credit card for them .

What makes Rewards Canada's rankings different from the rest? At Rewards Canada, we are deeply entrenched in the loyalty industry, not just credit cards, so we take this into account for the rankings where it is applicable. Most other rankings on the Internet only look at the credit card itself and not the associated loyalty program or partners. For example, in the Airline Cards category we take into account what cities the airlines and/or their partners serve in Canada, whether you can redeem for premium class travel, what the redemption availability is like with their frequent flyer program and much more. For Hotel Cards we look at the elite benefits from the programs, how many properties they have, where they have those properties and much more. For Travel Points and Hybrid cards we look at the flexibility of redemption, where you can redeem, partnerships and many other factors of course. This is why the Rewards Canada rankings are some of the most highly regarded in Canada with the media, loyalty programs and the credit card issuers.

With all of the latest card additions there are now over 75 travel reward credit cards available to Canadians! Some are airline only cards that put miles directly into your airline frequent flyer accounts. Some are hybrid cards where you collect points that can be used to book travel through the credit card or put the points into a frequent flyer/guest account. Some are travel points cards, where the points are redeemed for travel through the credit card company while a small number are hotel only cards that put the points directly into your frequent guest program accounts.

It is from these variations of cards that we have created the five main categories of cards in Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2013.
1. Top Travel Points Credit Card (with annual fee)
2. Top Travel Points Credit Card (with no annual fee)
3. Top Hybrid Travel Credit Card (with annual fee)
4. Top Airline Credit Card
5. Top Hotel Points Credit Card

To see some the factors behind the placements or movements of cards please see here.
To see all of the travel rewards credit cards that were considered for this years rankings please see here.

Care to comment on this year's rankings? You can do so on the Rewards Canada blog
Details on the Top Travel Points Credit Cards (with annual fee)
Details on the Top Travel Points Credit Cards (with no annual fee)
Details on the Top Hybrid Credit / Charge Cards (with annual fee)
Details on the Top Airline Credit / Charge Cards
Details on the Top Hotel Credit Cards
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