Best Credit Cards for December 2016

Canadian credit cards have great signup bonuses. Want to pick up a new credit card this month? Here are my rankings for the best cards to sign up for this month.

These aren’t necessarily the best cards for everyday spend, but cards that have an improved signup offer relative to what’s available normally. These are the cards I would recommend when people ask me “What Credit Card should I sign up for?”

Best Credit Cards Offers in Canada (as of December 2016)

1. TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite is offering up to 30,000 Aeroplan miles as a welcome bonus, which is the highest it’s ever been publicly. Best of all, there isn’t a high minimum spend required. You earn 15,000 points for your first purchase, another 10,000 for keeping the account active for 90 days, and 5,000 for adding an authorized user.

Aeroplan miles are one of the easiest to get as a Canadian, so these miles are definitely useful towards accumulating enough miles for your next redemption. This limited time offer ends December 2, so today is one of the last few days you’re able to pick up the bonus.

If you’re looking for a card with an even higher signup bonus, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege is offering a even higher signup bonus of up to 65,000 Aeroplan miles, although the criteria to apply are more stringent.  To see whether this card is right for you, take a look at my analysis in this post.

I value Aeroplan miles at 1.6 cents, so this signup bonus is worth ~$480 for those who have a TD-All Inclusive Account.

Additional Reading: Last Week Days for the Improved TD Aeroplan Visa Offers!

2. American Express Platinum Card

The American Express Platinum card is one of the best cards to get if you’re a frequent traveller.

It is the only card in Canada to offer a Priority Pass with Membership with unlimited complimentary visits. I’ve used my Priority Pass at least 20 times this year. Even if you value lounge access at a very low price of $25, I’ve gotten $500 of value just from lounge access.

This is on top of other valuable travel benefits like access to Fine Hotels and Resorts rates, great travel insurance benefits, and elite status program benefits.

FHR Benefits

FHR Benefits

Furthermore, you get a $200 travel credit per calendar year to use on any bookings through AMEX Travel, so I value this as good as cash. If you get this card now, you’ll have two travel credits to use in your first twelve months of card membership. You’ll have one $200 credit to use this year, and one in 2017, which is why this card is so high up on my list to get this month.

I value American Express Point at 2.1 cents, so the 60,000 points signup bonus is worth ~$1260The two travel credits are worth $400, so the total offer is valued at $960, subtracting the annual fee.

Additional Reading: Is the American Express Platinum Card Worth It?

3. American Express Business Platinum Card

The American Express Business Platinum Card has the highest signup bonus in Canada, currently at 75,000 miles after spending $5,000 in three months.

American Express points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios. 75,000 miles is enough for Lufthansa First Class to Europe, which is an amazing experience. If that minimum spend is high, consider utilizing mint.ca to help you.

This is the cheapest card that gets you access to the Centurion Lounges in the United States, which are ranked as one of the best lounges experiences in North America.

American Express Centurion Lounge SFO

American Express Centurion Lounge SFO

AMEX in their signup page states that the offer is “subject to change at any time”, so I’d hop on this now rather than later.

I value American Express Point at 2.1 cents, so the 75,000 points signup bonus is worth ~$1575 The total offer is valued at $1175, subtracting the annual fee.

Additional Reading: Incredible Offer for the American Express Business Platinum Card!

4. MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard

Alaska MileagePlan miles are among the most valuable airline miles out there, because of the variety of unique airline partners Alaska partners with. Furthermore, there are no fuel surcharges levied on any Alaska Airline redemptions other than British Airways.

MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard

MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard

The signup bonus is currently 25,000 miles after your first purchase. Alaska is also a transfer partner of Starwood, so if you got this card and the Starwood American Express Card, you’d have enough miles for a one-way business class ticket to Asia with Cathay Pacific. Earn another 20,000 miles and that’s enough for their luxurious First Class product.

Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay Pacific First Class

If you live on the west coast, the $121 CAD companion is also a great value, as using on a $400+ fare to Mexico or Hawaii will save you over 60% on the second passenger.

5. Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

The Scotiabank Gold American Express is the only one of few cards to offer up to 4% back on gas, groceries, entertainment, and dining purchases. This can be up to $50,000 annually, so if you do hit that cap, you’re earning 200,000 points worth up to $2000. These points can be used as a credit for travel you book on your own, so it’s as good as cash in my opinion.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

It’s worth noting for more advanced miles and points collectors that with this card you can essentially get up to 4% back on all spend through leveraging the promotion categories, so if you do pick up this card, send me an email and I’ll tell you more. 😉

The only other card that offer this kind of return is the Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard, although that’s a promotional rate for the first few months.

Will you be getting any new credit cards this month?

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  1. Hi,
    You wrote that ‘With this card[ScotiaAmex gold] you can essentially get up to 4% back on all spend through leveraging the promotion categories.” I have been using this card for over a year at restos,for gas + other clearly identified locations where I earn 4% in points.
    l am confused by your phrase saying that you also can get the 4% by ‘leveraging the promotion categories’. What are these categories?

    Thanks

      • ‘buy prepaid card products through gas/groceries/etc’ : Are you implying that one buys these pre-paid cards at a discount, to arrive at your conclusion or……. some other means ?

        Thanks

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