Canada’s 31 Best Credit Card Offers for January 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 January 2023.

What’s Happening This Month?

The winter season is the doldrums of the credit card market, but there are always some interesting options that stand out. Here’s a summary of some of this month’s highlights, including elevated bonuses and key deadlines to be aware of:

  • TD’s Aeroplan credit cards have increased the number of points offered as well as the amount of spending required, with these new offers available until May 28.
  • The elevated offers on RBC’s Avion cards are due to end on January 31. However, this deadline has been extended before, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it extended again, given the strength of their competitors’ offers from TD and CIBC.

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

TD’s premium Aeroplan card is offering the strongest 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.

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 still excellent in spite of coming down from its recent all-time high. 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

The business variant of Amex’s premium Aeroplan card is actually offering a higher first-year value than the Business Platinum Card.

However, the up-front chunk of points is lower. You’ll have to sustain monthly spending for a full year to unlock the full value of the welcome bonus.

If that suits your needs, this card would be an excellent choice. If not, though, the total points you’d earn might be lower, and a premium personal card would be a better fit.

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card is also offering a very strong bonus. 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 Aeroplan Reserve Card

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card offers a similar total bonus as the Business Platinum Card. However, 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 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 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, now with an elevated welcome bonus. There’s never a bad time to add a Cobalt Card to your rotation.

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.

American Express Platinum Card

The personal Platinum Card is offering a decent welcome bonus, at a total of 85,000 Membership Rewards points.

However, a big chunk of those points are earned in the second year. With a premium annual fee (which you’d have to pay twice) and a high spending requirement, there are other premium cards that will get you more mileage for your efforts.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

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.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite (Ending Soon!)

Departing now from the Aeroplan ecosystem, the RBC Avion cards are all offering elevated bonuses right now.

You can earn 55,000 Avion points upon spending $5,000 in the first six months. That’s by far the highest bonus we’ve ever seen on the card. While the spending requirement is high, you’ll have a long timeframe to meet it.

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 AAdvantage miles.

Apply before January 31, 2023 to be eligible for this offer.

RBC Avion Visa Platinum (Ending Soon!)

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.

Apply before January 31, 2023 to be eligible for this offer.

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 a high points bonus, with a very low spending requirement.

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

American Express Gold Rewards Card

Like the Platinum Card, the Gold Card’s bonus offer is spread across the first two years with the card.

As you’ll have to wait to get the full amount of points advertised, and you’ll have to pay a second annual fee for the privilege, the value of this offer isn’t so clear.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege (Ending Soon!)

Like its junior counterparts, RBC’s top-tier Avion card is offering 55,000 Avion points upon spending $5,000 in the first six months.

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

Apply before January 31, 2023 to be eligible for this offer.

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card

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.

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.

RBC British Airways Visa Infinite

RBC has also boosted the 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

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is a good option, even when its signup offer is lower.

Currently it’s offering 80,000 points, but only 60,000 are awarded in the first year. Unfortunately this seems to be becoming the norm, and thankfully the $100 annual travel credit and some new banking rebates make it worth it to keep the card until you’ve earned the full bonus.

Instead, 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 KrisFlyer.

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

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.

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card is offering a high bonus right now, with 45,000 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 before July 16, and you’ll be able to attain a lot of flexible travel value.

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.

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.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

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 25,000 Scene+ points with low spending, or a total of 45,000 points with higher spending. The first year annual fee waiver is also a nice perk.

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.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

The Marriott Bonvoy cards are currently offering standard welcome bonuses compared to usual, objectively good offers in a crowded marketplace.

However, the cards struggle 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.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

The business variant of Amex’s Bonvoy cards takes a minor hit compared to the personal card, as it lacks a signup bonus component on groceries, and has a slightly higher annual fee.

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 higher spending requirements and a lower signup bonus 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.

TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card

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.

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 is a recurring article, regularly updated with the latest promotion. Some comments may refer to past promotions that are no longer available.
6 Comments
  1. Bernard

    Hi Josh, any updates/ better offer on the Brim KLM card that was ending on Dec. 15 ?

  2. Michael

    Hi Josh,
    Great article, but I wanted to point out an error under TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card.
    You noted that you “…earn an additional 30,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 MONTHLY in the first 90 days.”, but it should actually say, “…earn an additional 30,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 WITHIN the first 90 days.” Big difference!

  3. Andrew

    Thanks for this article Josh! Was wondering if you had already had any of these cards before in the last year or last 2 years, and you no longer have it anymore, are you able to re-apply for these bonuses/cards? Or is there any specific hard and fast policy/rule you have to follow?

  4. Shawn YEG

    Great article Josh! One question- for the personal Amex Gold Rewards Card, the Amex site indicates 50,000 bonus MR points upon spending $3000 in first 3 months. In your article above, you indicate it is 55,000 points. Am I missing something? Thanks

    1. Josh YVR

      The offer for 55,000 points is only available via a referral link. You can find these offers from any of the links on our website.

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