Which Credit Cards Have Annual Credits?

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Whether your strategy revolves astir invited bonuses, mundane gain rates, oregon perks for cardholders, the champion recognition cards mostly person the highest yearly fees.

If the worth is there, it’s worthy shelling retired for premium cards. But fixed the choice, we’d ever prefer to trim those costs whenever possible.

First twelvemonth escaped is great, but it isn’t forever. We tin usage signup incentives to warrant our caller recognition cards, but what astir our keepers?

Luckily, the banks cognize they request to supply ongoing worth to support fee-paying cardholders connected the hook twelvemonth aft year. Some cards person annual credits which offset the yearly fee, either partially oregon entirely. This makes the determination to support the paper a batch easier.

American Express Platinum Card: $200 Travel Credit

The large kahuna of the Canadian recognition paper scene, the American Express Platinum Card, has immoderate of the champion benefits successful the business.

You get 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent connected dining, a complimentary Priority Pass membership with unlimited visits to airdrome lounges for you and 1 guest, automatic edifice presumption including Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold, and beardown travel insurance.

I’d besides task that the Amex Platinum is the standard-bearer among Canadian recognition cards arsenic a presumption symbol. Whether oregon not that moves the needle for you, you can’t contradict that the paper is flashy, oregon that its exclusivity and branding person value.

To warrant these perks, the paper commands the steepest yearly fee, astatine $699. However, erstwhile you’ve gotten implicit the sticker shock, you’ll announcement that the paper has a $200 yearly question credit.

This recognition is highly flexible and casual to use. You tin use it to immoderate flight, hotel, car rental, oregon abrogation bundle booked done American Express Travel Online oregon the Platinum Card Travel Service implicit the phone.

You person to usage the recognition erstwhile you marque the booking – it can’t beryllium applied aboriginal – but it won’t beryllium reversed if your plans alteration and you person to cancel.

Because of its versatility, I’d see this recognition arsenic bully arsenic cash. This brings the nett yearly interest down to $499.

That’s inactive a brainsick precocious interest for a keeper card, but it’s really little than other top-tier cards. The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, and the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card each person higher nett fees, astatine $599.

If you similar the wide-ranging all-round question benefits of the American Express Platinum Card implicit a slate of benefits that are much intimately tied to Air Canada flights, the Amex Platinum is simply a wide winner.

American Express Gold Rewards Card: $100 Annual Travel Credit

In galore ways, the American Express Gold Rewards Card is conscionable a slimmed-down mentation of the Platinum Card. This doesn’t needfully travel the per-ounce worth of the existent precious metals, but successful the satellite of recognition cards, platinum ever seems to transportation much prestige than gold.

The Gold Rewards Card got a implicit makeover successful 2021, and speech from getting to take betwixt golden and roseate golden metallic cards, the yearly interest was bumped up and an yearly question recognition was introduced to assistance offset the raise.

With an yearly interest of $250, the Gold Rewards Card is simply a spot much bearable to anyone who mightiness balk astatine the $499 nett yearly interest connected the Platinum Card. Throw successful a $100 yearly question recognition and immoderate different perks, and $150 is good wrong astir people’s realm of comfort.

The yearly question recognition tin beryllium utilized successful fundamentally the aforesaid mode arsenic the Platinum’s. You person to use it during the booking process connected American Express Travel Online, and it doesn’t get clawed backmost if your plans hap to alteration and you refund your booking.

When you see the card’s different perks,  including 4 escaped visits to Canadian Plaza Premium Lounges per twelvemonth and a $50 NEXUS rebate each 4 years, there’s a decent magnitude of worth to beryllium recovered astatine a little outgo than the Platinum Card.

Just beryllium definite to look astatine your spending patterns, arsenic you whitethorn upwind up amended disconnected earning 5 points per dollar spent connected nutrient and portion with the Cobalt Card alternatively than the 2 you’d get with the Gold Rewards Card.

Big 5 Banks: Travel & Lifestyle Credits

Let’s instrumentality a look astatine the question credits, oregon deficiency thereof, offered by Canada’s Big 5.


In a akin vein to the Amex Platinum Card, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege besides has a $200 yearly question credit, bringing the card’s yearly interest down from $499 to a nett outgo of $299. However, it’s not rather arsenic flexible arsenic the Amex Platinum oregon Gold credits.

You person to publication by calling the CIBC Rewards Centre, wherever you tin publication flights, hotels, car rentals, abrogation packages, and cruises. Because CIBC’s question bureau is making the booking connected your behalf, they person to usage bureau rates and bureau booking portals.

That means it’s not ever casual to connect your loyalty fig to a formation oregon edifice booking. Unless you tin find an cause who’s consenting to publication a antithetic way, you won’t beryllium capable to bask your elite benefits, and you can’t usage immoderate little members-only rates that you whitethorn find.

Also, if you publication a refundable oregon postpaid rate, the recognition won’t beryllium applied to your relationship until aft the question dates. So portion this 1 isn’t rather arsenic bully arsenic cash, I’d number connected it arsenic a guaranteed yearly interest simplification if you mean to usage it for travel.

Bank of Montreal

Likewise, BMO has yearly credits connected their BMO eclipse Visa Infinite and BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege products. Instead of a question credit, they’re calling these a “lifestyle credit”. By each accounts, it’s casual to currency retired against conscionable astir immoderate purchase.

  • With a $50 lifestyle credit, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite yearly interest comes down from $120 to $70
  • With a $200 manner credit, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege yearly interest comes down from $499 to $299

Despite these savings, you person to see whether you adjacent privation to support these cards long-term.

CIBC Aventura tin beryllium utile for oddball bookings erstwhile redeeming points for high-value question experiences isn’t an option. In these cases, the points are utile for offsetting the outgo of an autarkic edifice oregon cruise, but they don’t different person overmuch inferior as, say, Aeroplan oregon Amex Membership Rewards.

The aforesaid is existent for BMO Rewards, which tin beryllium applied against immoderate question acquisition arsenic a connection credit.

If you don’t determine to support the CIBC oregon BMO cards for the long-term, enactment that some of their credits are based connected the calendar twelvemonth alternatively than the membership year, allowing you to double-dip the credits during your archetypal twelvemonth if you truthful choose.


The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite had a makeover successful Fall 2022, with changes to its earning structure, design, and yearly fee, arsenic good arsenic the instauration of a question recognition of sorts.

Unlike different question credits, which tin beryllium applied to immoderate question purchase, the $100 yearly TD Travel Credit is tied to accommodation bookings done Expedia for TD. After spending astatine slightest $500 connected eligible lodging expenses, you’ll person a $100 connection credit.

While it’s bully to spot TD dabbling successful the question credits game, the information that it’s not a one-to-one recognition makes it overmuch little versatile than with different cards. Luckily, the TD Travel Credit applies per calendar year, leaving the doorway unfastened for a double-dip earlier you’re subjected to the $139 yearly interest successful the 2nd year.

RBC & Scotiabank

RBC and Scotiabank are laggards amongst Canada’s Big 5 banks, and don’t connection yearly credits connected immoderate recognition cards. But betwixt my rewards goals and idiosyncratic past with those banks, I worth their cards much highly arsenic keepers.

If I’m going to usage a paper connected a regular basis, I’d similar it to beryllium 1 that earns rewards that I really want, astatine rates I like. Once you get rolling, you tin make a affirmative feedback loop: I wage yearly fees and walk connected cards with bully rewards, and successful doing truthful I fortify my narration with banks that connection bully rewards, making it easier to use for much cards that gain bully rewards successful the future.

For me, it’s an casual prime to instrumentality to my plans, and not pursuit a partial rebate for products that aren’t giving maine incremental worth each twelvemonth implicit my different recognition cards.

HSBC & National Bank: Travel Enhancement Credits

If the Big 5 are the vanilla atomic family, and Amex is the chill cousin, HSBC and National Bank are the wacky aunt and uncle. They’ve got immoderate gravitas, but it’s a spot of a puzzle to marque consciousness of them.

Fortunately, they don’t skimp connected gifts for their nieces and nephews. They bash spoil america with yearly credits, erstwhile we’ve figured retired however to unwrap the excessive packaging.

Rather than a broad question recognition that tin beryllium utilized for immoderate booking, these 2 banks connection travel “enhancement” credits. They can’t beryllium utilized for flights and hotels successful the accepted consciousness – instead, they’re intended to beryllium utilized to upgrade your question experience.

Unfortunately, galore of these upgrades are already covered by flying concern people oregon having elite status, truthful let’s spot if we tin get worth for them anyway.


The HSBC World Elite Mastercard offers a $100 yearly question enhancement recognition for spot upgrades, baggage fees, and airdrome lounge passes. You tin use this recognition yourself connected the HSBC Rewards website – each you request to bash is prime an eligible disbursal made wrong the past 60 days.

HSBC seems to instrumentality a wide mentation of which question expenses suffice for the credit. While they mightiness not let you to usage it for a booking made straight with the hotel, you mightiness person amended luck with an online question agency.

If the merchant sells regular bookings and eligible upgrades alike, the transaction connected your connection won’t amusement a difference. 😉

In addition, HSBC World Elite cardholders person besides been capable to redeem their question enhancement recognition for award taxes and fees connected Aeroplan and British Airways Avios redemptions.

I deliberation this recognition is versatile capable to classify arsenic a currency rebate. It brings the recognition card’s yearly interest down from $149 to $49, oregon escaped if paired with a Premier banking rebate.

$49 per twelvemonth is simply a fantastic terms for a paper with nary overseas transaction fees, worldwide Mastercard acceptance, and exigency aesculapian security connected trips up to 31 days, not to notation gain rates and transportation partners that marque it a regular operator candidate. As HSBC is known for strictly pursuing the timelines connected its repetition bonus clause, I’d accidental the HSBC World Elite Mastercard is very worthy of keeper consideration, arsenic there’s much worth successful keeping it than successful cancelling and reapplying.

In February 2023, HSBC unveiled its caller premium card, the HSBC Metal World Elite Mastercard, which appears to lone beryllium disposable for Private banking clients.

The card, which commands a $499 yearly fee, comes with a suite of features to lucifer its accrued cost, including an unlimited DragonPass rank for the cardholder and a impermanent and a $200 yearly question enhancement credit. The recognition is fundamentally the aforesaid arsenic the 1 connected the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, conscionable with doubly the value.

Given the card’s exclusivity, it won’t beryllium disposable to astir travellers, and with the upcoming merchantability of HSBC Canada to RBC, its semipermanent worth remains uncertain.

National Bank

As for the National Bank World Elite Mastercard, you’d get a question enhancement recognition worthy up to $150 per year. It’s restricted to precise circumstantial types of expenses:

  • Airport parking fees
  • Baggage fees
  • Seat enactment fees
  • Airport lounge entree fees
  • Ticket upgrade fees

Against an yearly interest of $150, if you’re capable to usage each of the credits, you tin fundamentally support the paper year-over-year without an yearly fee. For a paper that’s already worthy keeping for award summons insurance and exigency aesculapian assistance connected trips up to 60 days, eliminating the yearly interest makes it a no-brainer.

However, National’s redemption process is rather byzantine. You request to taxable an itemized invoice to the rewards department, showing a question upgrade that was utilized (not purchased) connected a past date.

At a definite point, you person to gully the enactment for however overmuch effort you’re consenting to enactment in. If it’s excessively overmuch hassle to redeem the question credit, oregon if it tin lone beryllium utilized for expenses that don’t truly adhd worth for you, is it truly worthy it?

If you’re successful the marketplace for a keeper Mastercard for aesculapian coverage, I deliberation there’s a beardown lawsuit to beryllium made for paying $49 to HSBC alternatively of struggling to get your yearly fees offset with National Bank.

US Credit Cards

This is wherever it gets fun. Annual credits are much, overmuch much abundant connected US cards than they are successful Canada, with galore cards providing much credits to cardholders than the outgo of the yearly fees.

Here’s a tiny illustration of cards whose yearly nett costs are little than they look (all numbers successful US dollars, with immoderate credits distributed successful chunks passim the year):

  • American Express US Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card: $650 yearly fee, offset by 12 × $25 monthly eating credits + day Free Night Award worthy 85,000 Bonvoy points (worth $595 arsenic per our Points Valuations
  • American Express US Business Platinum Card: $695 yearly fee, offset by an up to $200 yearly hose recognition + up to $400 successful yearly Dell credits + 12 × $10 wireless telephone work credits
  • American Express US Hilton Honors Aspire Card: $450 yearly fee, offset by $250 Hilton spot recognition + $250 hose interest credit
  • American Express US Platinum Card: $695 fee, offset by $200 Uber recognition + $200 hose interest recognition + $100 Saks recognition + $200 edifice recognition + $240 integer amusement credit
  • American Express US Gold Card: $250 fee, offset by $120 Uber recognition + $120 eating recognition astatine participating restaurants
  • Capital One Venture X: $395, offset by up to $300 successful in connection credits for flights, hotels, oregon rental cars booked done the Capital One Travel portal
  • Citi Premier Card: $95 yearly fee, offset by a $100 recognition connected a azygous edifice enactment of $500 oregon much booked done thankyou.com 
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: $550 fee, offset by $300 question credit

Of course, galore of these rebates are lone invaluable if they suit your lifestyle. There’s nary constituent having the Hilton Aspire paper if you don’t person currency expenses astatine their properties and with eligible US airlines. But for those who’d benefit, it’s chaotic to spot cards astatine the astir premium tier practically paying you to beryllium a cardholder.

Also, speech from hotels, galore of the credits are hard to usage extracurricular of the US. While the Amex US Gold Card offers an fantabulous 4x earning complaint connected restaurants astir the world, you’d apt person to unrecorded successful oregon often question to the US to decently offset the yearly interest with currency credits.

Additionally, the hose credits are lone for incidental fees, not dissimilar HSBC and National Bank’s enhancement credits. There are a fewer ways to currency them retired for different question purchases, but Amex US is precise bully astatine closing those loopholes.

Keeper cards are a overmuch bigger portion of the Miles & Points strategy for Americans. In the US, repetition invited bonuses are harder to travel by, and it’s much important to support bully relationships with recognition paper issuers by putting regular walk connected your cards.

I deliberation it’s worthwhile for Canadians to instrumentality note, arsenic keeper cards and relationship-building are taking connected a higher value present arsenic well. Hopefully we’ll spot our banks travel suit and connection much credits arsenic they effort not lone to summation our business, but besides to clasp it successful a competitory marketplace.

American Express Offers

Throughout the year, Amex Offers are released to cardholders, allowing you to gain other rewards points oregon currency rebates. They’re much prevalent southbound of the border, but our offers successful Canada are thing to scoff astatine either.

I effort not to number my chickens earlier they hatch, but immoderate offers are predictable. For example, I’d accidental that Shop Small is bully for a reliable $50 rebate per recognition card, astatine slightest erstwhile each twelvemonth erstwhile the promotion comes around.

Other offers are little predictable, and usually much valuable. It’s not uncommon to spot Amex Offers with savings upwards of $200, which becomes peculiarly fruitful if you person them disposable connected aggregate cards.

More and more, we’re seeing that immoderate banks are little apt to springiness repetition invited bonuses, and that they’re much apt to o.k. you for caller cards if you don’t cancel your aged ones excessively soon.

If you tin expect capable utile offers to offset your yearly fee, it mightiness beryllium worthy hanging onto a premium paper beyond the archetypal twelvemonth to make a win-win concern for you and the issuer.


The much recognition cards I have, the much I spot the entreaty of keeping cards long-term. When the clip comes to renew my cards and wage the adjacent year’s fee, I ever inquire myself if I’m getting capable worth to warrant keeping it.

In galore cases, gain rates and perks unsocial are capable to warrant the costs, but it’s not ever casual to measurement their worth against different cards. With yearly credits, you’ll get bid of caput and outgo certainty.

There are countless different ways to offset costs, similar hotel vouchers, companion fares, referral bonuses, bank relationship rebates, oregon adjacent simply by asking. All of these are effectual (and not mutually exclusive), but they tin beryllium highly variable, and on with signup bonuses they aren’t needfully sustainable.

Therefore, I effort to maximize my usage of yearly credits due to the fact that they’re simple, and I cognize I tin number connected their worth twelvemonth aft year.

The station Which Credit Cards Have Annual Credits? appeared archetypal connected Prince of Travel by Josh Greenberg.

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