How to choose the best credit cards for drivers

Get accelerated rewards points or cash back on gas purchases, roadside assistance, fuel discounts and car rental insurance with these credit cards.

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Credit cards designed for drivers usually offer accelerated rewards points, miles or cash back on gas purchases, as well as fuel discounts, roadside assistance, and added benefits like comprehensive car rental insurance and discounts on your rental. While the most powerful credit cards for drivers come with an annual fee, there are a few no annual fee options out there that might suit your needs.

We’ll help you compare credit cards for drivers and learn how to choose the best card for your needs.

How we chose the best credit cards for drivers

We’ve chosen the cards on this page based on the providers available through Finder. These cards are not representative of the entire market. Our top credit cards for drivers offer specific benefits for drivers including a high value of rewards or cash back on gas, exclusive perks such as discounted gas and car rental insurance, and a signup bonus. We’ve also considered annual fees and balance transfer fees.

No single credit card will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before picking your new card.

Best credit card for drivers: American Express Gold Rewards Card

With the American Express Gold Rewards Card, you’ll be covered for 48 consecutive days on a rental vehicle valued up to $85,000 – which covers both damage and theft. Plus, you’ll earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on gas – likewise with purchases on travel, grocery and drug store purchases.

Although this earn rate might seem low compared to, say a 4% cash back card, Amex Membership Rewards points are much more valuable and can be used toward flights, car rentals, hotels, merchandise and more.

Best for driving overseas: Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

With a fresh new look, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is a powerful everyday credit card as well as a strong travel companion. For car rentals, you can look forward to 48 days consecutive coverage on a vehicle priced up to $65,000. When it comes to other travel perks, enjoy no foreign transaction fees, complimentary airport lounge access, access to a 24/7 concierge service and a comprehensive suite of travel insurance – which all make it a very handy travel sidekick.

With a signup bonus of 30,000 points, earn 5x the points on your everyday eating and drinking expenses, and 3x the points on gas and daily transit costs.

Best for earning cash back: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card

With the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card, you’ll earn 3% cash back on all eligible gas purchases, grocery store purchases and regularly recurring bill payments. Plus, you’ll earn 1% on all other purchases.

If you’re a frequent traveller, the Visa Infinite perks can come in handy. Enjoy travel insurance coverage, a complimentary concierge service, roadside assistance and access to exclusive experiences and discounts.

Best for earning rewards points: American Express Cobalt Card

The American Express Cobalt Card earns you Membership Rewards points which can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards and statement credit.

Get 2 points per $1 spent on all gas and transit purchases in Canada, as well as bonus points and standard Amex perks like comprehensive insurance coverage, entertainment access and more.

Best for no annual fee: Scotiabank American Express Card

The Scotiabank American Express Card provides coverage up to 48 consecutive days on a rental vehicle valued up to $65,000. That said, you must file a claim within 90 days of renting the vehicle and pay for it in full with your credit card – or with your Scotia Rewards points. This card also allows you to earn 1 Scotia Reward point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases – which means you can rack up those points on gas purchases and more.

Redeem your points for travel, car rentals, gift cards, statement credit and more. Although it has no annual fee, you’ll need to earn at least $12,000 a year to be eligible for this card.

Best for using at Shell gas stations: BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard

With the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard, you’ll save 3 cents per litre at participating Shell stations across Canada when you pay using your card.

Plus, you’ll earn 1 Mile per $10 spent, which can be redeemed for flights, cash, merchandise and statement credit, with little to no restrictions. To sweeten the deal, the card comes with an enticing signup bonus, the annual fee waived in the first year and plenty of travel related perks including airport lounge access, comprehensive travel insurance coverage, big gas savings at Shell stations across Canada and more.

What types of credit cards should drivers consider?

Look for credit cards that offer the following features:

  • Roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is a common credit card feature that offers benefits like free towing, battery boosts, door unlocks, tire changes, gas deliveries and more. Some also cover emergency transportation and rental car costs.
  • Rental car insurance. Many premium, travel and business cards offer rental car insurance as an added feature. This will typically cover you for damage and theft to your rental vehicle as well as loss of use if it needs to be repaired.
  • Accelerated rewards on gas. Some credit cards offer accelerated rewards points, cash back or miles on gas purchases. If you spend frequently on gas, you can rack up points, miles or cash back much faster.
  • Gas discounts. Some credit cards offer gas discounts at the pump, which can save you up to 5 cents a litre on the spot.
  • Customer loyalty programs. Many credit card roadside assistance providers offer customer loyalty programs that let you earn extra rewards for servicing your vehicle, buying parts or renewing your membership with them.

How to choose the best credit card for your needs

  • Decide if you want to pay a fee. Fee-free cards can save you money upfront, but usually offer less in terms of rewards and benefits. Weigh up your options before applying for a card.
  • Search for a welcome bonus. Try to find a card that gives you bonus points for signing up. While you’ll likely need to meet a spend requirement to receive your bonus points, you can often earn a large sum within just a few months.
  • Look at the conversion rate on rewards. Look at how many rewards you’ll earn per dollar spent, and find out how many dollars you’ll get back when you cash in your rewards.
  • Compare benefits on offer. Aim to lock in a card that offers additional benefits like travel insurance and car rental insurance.
  • Find out if you’re eligible. Be sure to check that you meet income, residency and age requirements for the card you want before lodging your application.

What to watch out for

  • Avoid rewards caps. Make sure your provider won’t limit the number of points, miles or cash back you can earn on purchases.
  • Watch out for expiration dates. Your points or miles may expire if you don’t use them within a certain time period, so make sure you know when you need to redeem them by.
  • Read the fine print. Look at your contract before you commit to a provider to make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for.
  • Ask about excluded purchases. Some providers will exclude certain purchases (like cash advance transactions) from rewards, so it pays to find out in advance what you might lose points on.
  • Check eligibility requirements. Find out whether you’re eligible for the card you want before you do a ton of research.

Compare credit cards for drivers

Compare the features and earn rates of credit cards for drivers below.

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period. Up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.
Earn 5x points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Earn 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
Get up to 40,000 Aeroplan Miles and pay no Annual Fee for the first year. Conditions apply. Ends 1 December 2019.
Earn 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas, drugstore and aircanada.com purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent elsewhere. T&C's apply.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Apply by December 1, 2019 to get an Annual Fee Rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year and earn up to 40,000 Aeroplan Miles (equivalent to 2 premium economy short-haul roundtrip flight rewards).
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and 1 mile per $20 spent for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
N/A
Earn 1.25 AIR MILES reward miles at Shell stations in Canada.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Earn 1.25x Miles on card purchases at participating Shell stations in Canada.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 October 2019.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get $50 limited bonus cash back upon first spend. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 1.5% cash back per $1 spent at Shell stations in Canada
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get $50 limited bonus cash back upon first spend. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months.
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and IGA stores and 1 miles for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months.
First year annual fee waived for new cardholders. Ends 31 October 2019.

Earn 4% cash back per $1 spent on groceries & recurring bill payments, 2% per $1 spent on gas & public transit and 1% per $1 spent on all other spend.
20.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Save with no annual fee for the first year. Ends 31 October 2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Car Rental Perks
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Complimentary Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance (MSRP of up to $85,000)
Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year of card approval.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Complimentary Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance (MSRP of up to $85,000)
Earn 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Get discounted rates at Avis and Budget car rental services with Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance.
Apply by December 1, 2019 to get an Annual Fee Rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year and earn up to 40,000 Aeroplan Miles (equivalent to 2 premium economy short-haul roundtrip flight rewards).
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Complimentary Collision Damage Waiver benefits (MSRP of up to $65,000).
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points upon minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 31 October 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Up to 25% car rental discount + complimentary upgrades for Avis® Preferred Plus members at participating Avis locations in Canada and the US, Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance coverage (up to $65,000)
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Up to 10% rental discount at participating Avis and Budget locations in Canada and the US, 5% discount overseas. Plus, complimentary Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance (MSRP of up to $65,000).
Apply by December 1, 2019 to get an Annual Fee Rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year and earn up to 90,000 TD Points (a travel value of $450 when you book travel purchases through ExpediaForTD.com).
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Complimentary Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance (MSRP of up to $85,000)
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Up to 25% discount at National Car Rental® and Alamo Rent A Car® locations with complimentary Collision Damage Waiver benefits (MSRP of up to $65,000).
Get 5% cash back in the first three months of card membership with a first year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 November 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Up to 25% discount at participating Budget and AVIS car rental locations in Canada and the US
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Complimentary Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance (MSRP of up to $85,000)
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

If you want to save money on fuel or car rentals and earn accelerated rewards points, miles or cash back on gas, consider a credit card designed for drivers. These cards usually offer a good return on rewards, with added benefits like roadside assistance, car rental insurance, travel insurance and more.

Frequently asked questions

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