There aren’t many things Canadians envy about America, but there are three that come to mind that my Canadian family and friends complain about. Canadian winters, expensive phone plans, and lousy travel credit cards.
As an expat, I can’t disagree with any of those. I signed up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card when it came out (unavailable to Canadians), and it is the best travel credit card I have ever had. But it’s expensive. It costs $4500 per year. But the benefits are incredible. There are a lot, so I’ll just list the ones I love. All prices listed in USD.
- A $300 travel credit each year. Your account is bonused once per year, and anything travel related that you purchase with the card is first paid down with the travel credit. So, that effectively reduces your yearly cost to $200.
- You get points, not miles, that you can use on any of the card’s participating airlines. Most points translate to 1:1. So, you’re not limited to flying on just one airline. When I signed on, I received 100,000 points after spending $3000 in the first three months. Each dollar you spend using the card gives you 1.25 points.
- Excellent travel insurance. You have to read the fine print, but essentially you and all members of your immediate family are covered, whether they travel on any trip with you or not. If you’ve purchased travel insurance (and you absolutely should), then you know it’s probably going to cost you about $100 per trip.
- Free Priority Pass Lounge access. I also have a United Mileage Plus card, and one of its perks is the two United Club Lounge passes you get each year. But United has recently limited the use of those passes so you can only use them on the day that you are travelling on United flights only. In my opinion, the Priority Pass Lounges are not as nice as the airline lounges, but still, you can get a comfortable, relaxed place to hang out, charge your devices, and enjoy free beverage and food. Priority Pass charges $99 for a one year basic membership.
I have just discovered a card that is very similar, and it’s only available to Canadians. This is the only Canadian credit card I can find that even comes close to my Chase card. It’s the American Express Platinum Card. This link to the card is from the Canadian Kilometers web site. They receive an affiliate benefit that costs you nothing, but gives you 60,000 bonus membership points instead of 50,000 through the regular American Express site.
Have you found a similar or better Canadian credit card? Let us know in the comments. And please share with you Canadian family and friends. Thank you.