MoneySense


Best credit cards for airport lounge access 2019: MoneySense

As a frequent traveller, lounge access can help ease a long plane journey, especially if I’m stuck with multiple connections. Last summer, I was travelling to Toronto from Hong Kong, and after a 10-hour flight to Vancouver, it was nice to have access to food and drink, a quiet place to rest, entertainment options, a business centre and—my favourite part—a shower, before continuing my journey. 

Generally speaking, you can purchase one-time access to a lounge for a bit less than half the price of a yearly unlimited access subscription through a provider such as Priority Pass. A variety of Canadian credit cards also offer appealing lounge privileges included with the annual fee, but there are differences around how access is granted and which spaces you can enter. Some cards offer unlimited access to select airport lounges, while others offer limited visits per year, so the estimated number of passes you’ll need each year may dictate which card you choose.

In Canada, the three ways you’ll typically access airport lounges through your credit card are Priority Pass, American Express Centurion and traditional airline-specific lounges, such as Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge and the Mastercard Experience Lounges. Browse the picks below to learn about some of your top options as you consider the annual fee alongside the value of lounge benefits.

READ: Best credit cards for airport lounge access 2019


Canada’s Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards – MoneySense

Currency exchange board showing cross rates between various countries.


Millions of Canadians travel abroad with their domestic credit cards—and not realizing they’re racking up foreign transaction (also called “forex”) fees with every purchase. The 2.5% charged for every purchase you make in a foreign currency might not seem much, but can add up very quickly. For perspective, that’s $25 in forex fees for every $1,000 you spend on your card, and you have to pay the exchange rate as well.

If you like to explore other countries on vacation or your work frequently takes you abroad, it’s worth considering a card that travels with you. 

The good news is there are a few credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees (or their fees are returned to you as cash back), ultimately helping frequent travellers put the 2.5% back into their pockets. These picks are based on our analysis of each card’s benefits and annual fees; foreign transaction fees and how they’re handled (if rebated); and whether there are additional rewards incentives for using the card domestically and/or abroad. 

READ: The best no foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada