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What is Canada's Best Luxury Card?

Credit Cards May 07, 2020

What is Canada's Best Luxury Card?


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In Canada, we don't nearly have as many credit cards to choose from when compared to our southern neighbours.

One area where that becomes painfully obvious is the "ultra-premium" personal card market. I consider this market to consist of credit cards that have an annual fee of over $199 and are focused on "luxurious" travel and experiences. Airport lounges, access to unique experiences, metal cards, hotel and airline status, personal concierge and much more are often provided in these cards.

In the United States, they have a whole list of these cards to choose from: The Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, Delta Reserve, American Express Platinum, and I could go on. In Canada, we seem to have one well-known luxury credit card - the The Platinum Card by American Express.

But The Platinum Card by American Express is not the only option for Canadians. Nearly every major bank in Canada and a few international banks offer what could be considered competitors to the American Express Platinum. Are they worth your time?


Check out our summary of the competitors below, or click below for my pick as a winner for each category!

Best Travel Insurance

Best Rewards

Best Perks

Best Overall Luxury Card


Click Here to See a Summary of All Luxury Cards


Best Travel Insurance

All of the credit cards in our list offer comprehensive travel insurance, including trip cancellation/insurance policies, and out-of-province medical insurance. However, some insurance offerings are more complete than others. Based on our analysis, the luxury cards with the best travel insurance are the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card, CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege Card, and the Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card. All three of these cards feature 31-days of medical insurance coverage for long trips (10-day coverage for those over 65) and feature comprehensive coverage on all other fronts (The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card even features mobile device insurance!)


CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card
Annual Fee: $499 (Requires $200,000 Household Income)
Sign-up Bonus 50,000 Aventura Points upon Spending $3,000 in your first 4 monthly statements
This sign-up bonus is worth a $875 value
Rewards - 3 points for every $1 on travel through CIBC Rewards Center
- 2 points for every $1 on dining, entertainment, transportation, gas and groceries
- 1.25 points for every $1 on everything else
Travel Insurance See all travel insurance
Other Perks - Annual $200 travel credit
- Six priority pass lounge visits
- Two NEXUS fees rebated every four years
- Other Visa Infinite Privilege Perks
CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege Card
Annual Fee: $399 (Requires $200,000 Household Income)
Sign-up Bonus 25,000 Aeroplan Miles upon Spending $3,000 in your first 4 monthly statements.
This sign-up bonus is worth a $500 value
Rewards - 1.5 Miles for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, drugstore and aircanada.com purchases
- 1.25 Miles for every $1 spent on everything else
Travel Insurance See all travel insurance
Other Perks - Four annual passes to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges
- Six priority pass lounge visits
- Once a year 50% off companion business class ticket
- Priority check-in and boarding, and complimentary first checked bag on Air Canada flights
- Other Visa Infinite Privilege Perks
Sign-up Bonus 30,000 Scotia Rewards points upon first purchase
This sign-up bonus is worth a $300 value
Rewards - 4 points on every $1 you spend at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment.
- 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else
Travel Insurance See all travel insurance
Other Perks - Ten priority pass lounge visits
- Hertz Gold Club Membership

Want to see more Aeroplan Cards?

Check out the Best Aeroplan Cards in Canada


Best Rewards

Based on our average spending amounts for high-income earners, we found the earning rate of each card in the table below. The 1st year net rewards includes the sign-up bonus, and the 2nd+ year net rewards does not. The net annual rewards have the annual fee already subtracted. (Note: If a card had an annual travel credit it was also added to the reward value).


Annual Net Reward Value of Luxury Cards
Card Annual Fee 1st Year Net Annual Reward Value 2nd Year Net Annual Reward Value
CIBC Aventura Infinite Privilege $499 $1650 $775
CIBC Aerogold Infinite Privilege $399 $1007 $507
Scotiabank Platinum American Express $399 $633 $333
TD Aeroplan Infinite Privilege $399 $1205 $405
RBC Avion Infinite Privilege $399 $773 $336
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum $399 $1278 $478
American Express Air Miles Reserve $299 $387 $51
American Express Platinum $699 $1781 $581

As is clear from the table above the The Platinum Card by American Express has the best 1st year earn rate (due to it's $1200 sign up bonus). Editors Note: This sign-up bonus has since been reduced to 25,000 points, or a $500 value. When you exclude sign-up bonuses though, the CIBC Aventura Infinite Privilege has by far the best rewards earning rate of luxury cards in Canada. The American Express Platinum still comes in second for annual earn rate without the sign-up bonus.


CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card
Annual Fee: $499 (Requires $200,000 Household Income)
Sign-up Bonus 50,000 Aventura Points upon Spending $3,000 in your first 4 monthly statements
This sign-up bonus is worth a $875 value
Rewards - 3 points for every $1 on travel through CIBC Rewards Center
- 2 points for every $1 on dining, entertainment, transportation, gas and groceries
- 1.25 points for every $1 on everything else
Travel Insurance See all travel insurance
Other Perks - Annual $200 travel credit
- Six priority pass lounge visits
- Two NEXUS fees rebated every four years
- Other Visa Infinite Privilege Perks
Sign-up Bonus 25,000 Amex Membership Rewards upon Spending $2,000 in your first 3 months of card membership
This sign-up bonus is worth a $500 value
Rewards - Earn 3 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining in Canada and on travel bookings made with American Express Travel
- Earn 2 points for every $1 in card purchases on eligible travel
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else
Travel Insurance See all travel insurance
Other Perks - Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade membership
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- Radisson Rewards Gold Status
- Pearson Priority Security Lane
- Complimentary valet service at Pearson Airport
- $200 Annual Travel Credit
- Unlimited Airport Lounge Access
- Rental Car Status with Avis and Hertz


If you are loyal to the Aeroplan program, there are several cards here great for earning Aeroplan Miles. All 3 Aeroplan cards in the list are great picks, although the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card has the highest earning potential once your annual spending exceeds $25,000 (and you begin to earn 1.5 Aeroplan Miles per dollar spent). Check out our Aeroplan guide for a complete overview of the Aeroplan program.


Sign-up Bonus 40,000 Aeroplan Miles upon Spending $3,000 in your first 3 months of card membership
This sign-up bonus is worth a $800 value
Rewards - Earn 1.25 Miles for every $1 spent on everything up to $25,000 annually
- Earn 1.5 Miles for every $1 spent after spending $25,000 annually
Travel Insurance See all travel insurance
Other Perks - Unlimited access to Priority Pass Lounges
- Unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges
- Receive an annual Partner Ticket Benefit (free second short-haul ticket for same itinerary)
- Pearson Priority Security Lane
- Priority check-in on Air Canada flights
- Complimentary valet service at Pearson Airport

Best Luxury Perks

This result should be no surprise. Even though many other cards involve competitive perks such as lounge visits, priority boarding, and even Air Miles Onyx status, none come close to the scale of perks that The Platinum Card by American Express offers. We consider this to be definitively the best card in Canada for perks and it should be clear why. Featuring a Metal Card, The Platinum Card gives elite status at four major hotel chains (which may include room upgrades, late check-in/check-out and even free breakfast), elite rental car status at two national chains, and unlimited lounge access at the widest variety of airport lounges. If you care about travelling in luxury, The Platinum Card is made for you.


Sign-up Bonus 25,000 Amex Membership Rewards upon Spending $2,000 in your first 3 months of card membership
This sign-up bonus is worth a $500 value
Rewards - Earn 3 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining in Canada and on travel bookings made with American Express Travel
- Earn 2 points for every $1 in card purchases on eligible travel
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else
Travel Insurance See all travel insurance
Other Perks - Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade membership
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- Radisson Rewards Gold Status
- Pearson Priority Security Lane
- Complimentary valet service at Pearson Airport
- $200 Annual Travel Credit
- Unlimited Airport Lounge Access
- Rental Car Status with Avis and Hertz

Canada's Overall Best Luxury Card

It was a close competition, but overall The Platinum Card by American Express continues to hold the crown of Canada's best luxury card. Although other cards beat it in terms of insurance coverage and even beat it to a degree in reward earn rate, none come even close to its wide array of luxurious perks. The Platinum Card is one of few metal credit cards, and it comes with simply unmatched hotel status and lounge access. On top of that it still does feature a reasonably complete insurance package and over a $1200 value sign-up bonus! Editors Note: This sign-up bonus has since been reduced to 25,000 points, or a $500 value.


Sign-up Bonus 25,000 Amex Membership Rewards upon Spending $2,000 in your first 3 months of card membership
This sign-up bonus is worth a $500 value
Rewards - Earn 3 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining in Canada and on travel bookings made with American Express Travel
- Earn 2 points for every $1 in card purchases on eligible travel
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else
Travel Insurance See all travel insurance
Other Perks - Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade membership
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- Radisson Rewards Gold Status
- Pearson Priority Security Lane
- Complimentary valet service at Pearson Airport
- $200 Annual Travel Credit
- Unlimited Airport Lounge Access
- Rental Car Status with Avis and Hertz
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