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Canada’s 32 Best Credit Card Offers for May 2023


If you’re in the market for a new credit card, it’s important to consider the welcome bonus that the credit card is offering. This is a one-time incentive to encourage you to apply for the card, only available in your first year with the card.

The signup bonus is a big part of the value you’ll get from a new credit card, above and beyond its core features, at least in the first year. Often the signup bonus will influence your decision to apply, perhaps even more strongly than the card’s other qualities.

Here are the best credit card offers in Canada for May 2023.

What’s Happening This Month?

Spring has sprung, and the banks are coming out of their winter hibernation. May has already been a spicy month of ups and downs: signup offers on many popular credit cards have changed, with many more yet to change before the next turn of the calendar.

Here’s a summary of some of this month’s highlights, including elevated bonuses and key deadlines to be aware of:

Methodology

This list is an opinionated ranking of the best credit card offers in Canada, based on a few key factors that we use to evaluate the appeal of a signup bonus.

First and foremost, we look at the net value you can expect to earn when you apply for the card. This is the value of any first-year bonuses, rebates, and deals, minus annual fees. Rewards points are adjusted to a cash value based on our Points Valuations.

Next, we consider how easy it is to earn the welcome bonus. Cards may get a boost for a low spending requirement, or a long timeline to meet the spending threshold to qualify for the bonus. Meanwhile, they may get dinged for a high spending requirement, merchant category spending requirements, or drawn-out recurring monthly requirements.

All else being equal, we prefer cards with low annual fees. Any card with a first-year annual fee waiver, offering a bonus above a certain value, is a candidate for this list. However, the total first-year value of the offer is a bigger factor, as you can earn points faster and still come out ahead by paying high annual fees for cards with larger signup bonuses.

Finally, we may give a card a slight boost if its offer is significantly better than usual, or if we like the long-term features of the card. However, this list is mostly determined by what you can gain in the first year with a new credit card, compared to other deals available now.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card (Ending Soon)

TD’s premium Aeroplan card is offering the strongest overall bonus in Canada right now.

As a plus, there’s no monthly requirement to keep track of. Instead, the total required spending is quite high, at $12,000, but this is mitigated by the fact that you have a full year to meet this threshold. Furthermore, because of the way the spending requirement is structured, you’ll receive a big batch of points before you’ve hit the full $12,000.

Between an all-time high points total and a relatively straightforward spending requirement, now would be an excellent time to apply for this card, especially since the offer is set to expire on May 28, 2023.

Business Platinum Card from American Express

Not surprisingly, the Business Platinum Card from American Express is among the cream of the crop.

While this premium Amex card comes with a high annual fee, it’s well worth it, as it will easily be offset by the value of the large signup bonus. Plus, you may even find long-term value in keeping the card thanks to its best-in-class perks, including extensive lounge access, comprehensive travel insurance, and generous refer-a-friend bonuses.

The offer is less than the all-time high we saw in Summer 2022, but is better than what we’ve seen since. If you’re looking to rack up points quickly, it’s without a doubt a great place to start.

American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card (New Offer)

The business variant of Amex’s premium Aeroplan card has a slightly lower first-year value than the Business Platinum Card.

However, the up-front chunk of points is smaller, and the total spending requirement is higher. You’ll also have to sustain monthly spending for six months and pay the annual fee for the second year to unlock the full value of the welcome bonus.

If that suits your needs, this card would be an excellent choice, especially if you use Aeroplan as your main currency and plan to keep the card around. If not, though, a premium personal card might be a better fit.

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card (New Offer)

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card offers a slightly lower total bonus than the Business variant above.

However, the spending requirements are lower, which you may find more appealing. Still, with a monthly spending requirement, you do have to make sure you hit the threshold in each of the first six months to achieve the full bonus.

With the welcome bonuses separated by a hair, the choice between a premium Aeroplan card or a Platinum card will likely come down to your preference for all-around travel benefits or staunch Air Canada loyalty.

American Express Platinum Card

The personal Platinum Card is offering a solid welcome bonus of 90,000 Membership Rewards points in one fell swoop.

However, there is a fairly hefty spending requirement of $7,500 in the first three months. If that doesn’t pose a barrier, then now could be a good time to add a chunk of metal to your wallet.

The offer isn’t the highest we’ve ever seen, but a the range of ongoing benefits on this card, you may also find value in keeping it around for a while.

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card is also offering a very strong bonus, and it comes with a smaller $199 annual fee. At 75,000 Membership Rewards points, this offer is the standard high-water mark for this card.

It’s simple to earn the bonus, with a spending requirement of $5,000 in three months on any category of purchases. With the offers on other Amex cards coming down while the Business Gold stays high, now would be a good time to add this one to your collection.

American Express Gold Rewards Card

Similar to the earning structure on the Cobalt card, earning the full welcome bonus on the Gold Card now requires you to spend $1,000 each month, for the first 12 months. The 10,000 points upon spending $4,000 in the first three months isn’t great, but the total welcome bonus over the course of the year is attractive.

As you’ll have to spend at least $13,000 spread out over the first year, you’d probably be better off looking elsewhere. If you’re somebody who tends to max out the 5x earning rate on your Cobalt every year, then this could serve as a decent backup.

American Express Business Edge Card

With a low annual fee of $99, this card is a good option if you’re looking to rack up points at a low cost.

Still, you’ll face the same $5,000 spending requirement as the Business Gold Rewards Card, but with a smaller welcome bonus.

Note that you’ll need to sustain spending of $3,000 per month to earn the final 12,000 MR points, a prospect which I’d recommend forgoing in favour of better ways to earn points on other cards.

American Express Aeroplan Card

The American Express Aeroplan Card is yet another mid-tier Amex with a respectable welcome bonus.

Despite its lower annual fee, there is a modest monthly spending requirement, which may be a minor hassle to track for limited gain. While the value of the offer is quite strong, I’d sooner choose an MR card to earn points in a more straightforward manner, or a premium Aeroplan card for better benefits.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card has rejoined the ranks as one of our favourite mid-tier Aeroplan cards.

It’s currently offering an elevated welcome bonus of 50,000 Aeroplan points, with a very low $1,000 spending requirement.

Also, the card is offering a first-year annual fee waiver, a common and popular feature of its welcome bonus.

There’s no published expiry date for this offer, so if you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to add this to your wallet, now is as good of a time as ever.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card (Ending Soon)

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is routinely one of our favourite mid-tier Aeroplan cards.

Like its premium counterpart, it’s currently offering a high points bonus. While the spending requirement is high, it’s also spread out over a full year, so you should have no trouble reaching it.

Be sure to apply for the card before May 28, 2023, which is when the current offer is set to expire.

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card (Ending Soon)

TD’s in-house rewards cards make for a great stat-padder when you’re looking for general travel value, outside of airline or hotel loyalty programs.

After a recent refresh, the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card is flaunting an all-time-high welcome bonus, worth 135,000 TD Rewards points in the first year. That’s worth a fixed value of up to $675 towards any travel booking via Expedia for TD. Bear in mind that the spending requirement is quite a bit higher than before, at $5,000 spent in the first six months.

Plus, you’ll now get a $100 annual travel credit, which goes a long way to improving the value proposition on the card, whether in the first year or long-term.

The current offer expires on May 28, 2023, so consider applying for the card before then to secure the all-time-high welcome bonus.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card

CIBC’s top-tier Aeroplan card is offering an appealing bonus, with 60,000 points achievable for spending a reasonable $3,000 in the first four months.

This alone is quite good value for the annual fee, and a high one at that. If you do decide to keep the card long-term for its premium benefits, there’s a second-year points bonus which is enough to offset your second annual fee.

American Express Cobalt Card

The American Express Cobalt Card is a favourite for everyday earning, with an unbeatable 5x rate on groceries and restaurants. The card is arguably more attractive for its keeper appeal than it is for its signup bonus.

Still, the value of the welcome offer is worth applying for, even with a baseline welcome bonus. There’s never a bad time to add a Cobalt Card to your rotation.

RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card

RBC has extended the boosted offer on its British Airways co-branded card. While the value is quite strong, the spending requirement is higher and on a shorter timeframe than the Avion cards.

Also, Avios are harder to use and more restrictive than Avion points. As Avion can be transferred 1:1 to Avios, I’d always opt for flexibility first, and only apply for the more limited card after exhausting other options.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard (Ending Soon)

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is always a good option, even when its welcome bonus is lower.

Currently you can earn up to 80,000 points, and in an improvement to the previous offer, all are awarded in the first year. Toss in no annual fee for year one, the $100 annual travel credit, and earning 6 HSBC Rewards points per dollar spent on travel, and the overall value proposition from this card becomes quite strong.

Indeed, it’s one of our favourite keeper cards. It’s one of the few credit cards in Canada with no foreign transaction fees, features the aforementioned annual travel credit, and HSBC Rewards are the only Canadian bank program to transfer to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles.

The current offer expires on May 31, 2023.

Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card (Ending Soon)

Laurentian Bank debuted its refreshed lineup of credit cards in February 2023, having partnered with Brim Financial this time around. 

The most interesting offer available is for its Visa Infinite product, which offers up to $770 cash back without an annual fee in the first year. 

To earn the full bonus, you’d have to spend $5,000 on staples such as gas, groceries, travel, transportation, and recurring bills in the first three months, which isn’t entirely unreasonable for many households. This makes up $600 of the welcome bonus.

You’ll also have to set up a pre-authorized payment, opt in to an installment plan on a purchase, and refer a family member or friend to earn up to $170, bringing the total possible amount to $770.

You can choose to redeem points as a general statement credit, or have them used to offset a specific purchase. If you can hustle to meet the threshold and max out the spend, you’ll come out with $770 to use as you wish.

The current welcome bonus is set to expire on May 15, 2023.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card

CIBC’s Aeroplan business card is a tale of two offers: an achievable portion up-front for good value, followed by an excessive spending requirement for a meagre prize.

For the first part alone, the card has a first-year annual fee waiver and a reasonable spending requirement. Even without considering the long-term spending threshold, you could do a lot worse for a new business credit card.

TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card (Ending Soon)

Similarly, TD’s offer on its Aeroplan business card is high on paper, but with an inconvenient monthly spending requirement.

You can earn the first 30,000 points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months. For the remaining 30,000 points, you’d have to sustain $2,500 spent each month for a full year.

For a situational spender seeking to optimize signup bonuses, there are other easier ways to earn Aeroplan points. If this card meets your needs, be sure to sign up before May 28, 2023, which is when the offer is set to expire.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite (New Offer)

After a long period of all-time-high welcome bonuses, the offers on the suite of RBC Avion cards have dropped down to 35,000 points across the board. Fortunately, the points are awarded upon approval, which means that you won’t have to meet any minimum spending requirements to unlock the full bonus.

While you’ll earn more points more quickly with Amex cards and Aeroplan points, RBC Avion cards are a great way to expand into the Oneworld airline alliance. You can use your Avion points to supplement your Amex MR transfer to British Airways Avios or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, or for the unique ability to convert to American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

RBC Avion Visa Platinum (New Offer)

If your income doesn’t qualify for the RBC Avion Visa Infinite, you can also apply for the RBC Avion Visa Platinum, with the same offer and perks.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card (New Offer)

The Marriott Bonvoy personal card is currently offering an elevated welcome bonus of up to 75,000 Bonvoy points. This is a fairly significant jump from the bonus of up to 55,000 points which we’ve become accustomed to in the recent past, even if you’ll have to wait until the second year to maximize the offer.

Even with a high welcome bonus, the card struggles to rank higher due to the middling value of the Bonvoy program. It’s getting harder to extract the full value of the points unless you have a specific redemption in mind.

Your best bet is to maximize the welcome bonus and then burn the points on a valuable redemption as quickly as possible. Then, keep it in the sock drawer for the 35,000-point Free Night Award each year.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card (New Offer)

The business variant of Amex’s Bonvoy cards takes a bit of a hit compared to the personal card. Even with a higher signup bonus, its annual fee and minimum spending requirement are higher than those of the personal card.

At the same time, it’s worth having two of these cards as keeper cards, due to the Free Night Award you can earn with both.

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card is offering a high bonus right now, with 40,000 points available upon spending $1,000.

While Aventura points aren’t the most tantalizing currency, there’s currently a promotion to redeem against any travel expense at an elevated valuation of 1.25 cents per point.

Get this card and redeem the bonus against travel expenses that are otherwise difficult to use points for, such as independent hotels, cruises, and car rentals.

CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card

The Gold version is identical to the above, with a lower income requirement. You should have no trouble capitalizing on either offer, if not both.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card (New Offer)

Like the Cobalt Card, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is known more for its keeper prowess than for its signup offers. You’ll earn 5x points on groceries and restaurants, or 6x points at Empire grocery stores.

The welcome bonus is solid, currently offering 20,000 Scene+ points with a low spending threshold, or a total of 40,000 points with higher spending. The first year annual fee waiver is also a nice perk, and the offer only dropped by 5,000 points from its previous iteration.

As these points are not transferable to loyalty programs and are only good for general travel expenses at fixed value, the Cobalt Card is a much better first choice. Likewise, though, there’s never a bad time to get this card.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business

The RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business card has an elevated bonus right now, good for 35,000 Avion points.

As a big plus, the card has no spending requirement. With a reasonable annual fee for a high-end business credit card, it’s a valuable way to boost your Avion balance.

You’ll likely need to have a registered business with documentation to be approved for an RBC business credit card.

RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum

A secondary priority, the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum offers good value on paper. However, it’s more of a niche card, with a higher spending requirement than the RBC Avion cards, which would be a more efficient way to earn towards your Asia Miles goals.

TD Business Travel Visa Card

As you continue to amass TD Rewards points, the TD Business Travel Visa Card is a good choice when the offer is relatively strong.

Right now, the offer is broken down into two parts: the first bonus upon spending $5,000, and a second component upon spending $5,000 each month.

Assuming you ignore the second part, the initial points are worth $450, a worthwhile endeavour for the spend if you’re out of better options.

This offer is set to expire on May 28, 2023.

TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card (Ending Soon)

With a signup bonus of 20,000 Aeroplan points, no first-year annual fee, and a low income requirement, this card is one of the better ways for beginners early in their credit journey to begin collecting meaningful sums of Aeroplan points.

If you’re just getting your feet wet with high annual fees, and can’t be approved for higher-income cards, this card is as good a starting point as they come.

The current offer is set to expire on May 28, 2023.

National Bank World Elite Mastercard

National Bank is offering an elevated signup bonus on its flagship Mastercard, up to 70,000 points.

While almost half of the bonus requires high spending over the first year, the card’s new 5x earn rate on groceries and restaurants should make it more appealing as a daily driver.

Plus, you may find value in keeping the card long-term, with flexible annual travel credit that offsets the annual fee and some of the best insurance available in Canada.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege (New Offer)

Like its junior counterparts, RBC’s top-tier Avion card is offering 35,000 Avion points upon approval.

This card is knocked down the list for offering the same number of points at a higher annual fee. It’s still an okay value proposition in spite of the increased costs, but it wouldn’t be my first choice for an Avion card at this time.

Conclusion

We hope that this list will help guide you as you select your next card application, with an emphasis on the value of the signup bonus.

Feel free to view all credit cards to sort and filter by your own criteria as you compare other options. You can also book a Points Consulting call with the Prince of Travel team if you’d like some personalized advice.




This story originally appeared on princeoftravel

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