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What is the most prestigious credit card in Canada?

While some of the most exclusive credit cards may be invitation-only, you can still stand out from the crowd with other premium Canadian credit cards.

The most prestigious credit cards in Canada offer the most exclusive of opportunities from concierge services to flight upgrades and companion flights and more. While the variety of elite credit cards in Canada isn’t as vast as those offered in other countries, there are still several prestigious cards on the market that can provide you with the elite status, exclusivity and metal feel you’re looking for.

The most prestigious credit card in Canada: The Amex Black Card

The Centurion® Card from American Express, also known as the Amex Black Card, is generally considered the most prestigious credit card in Canada. It is issued by invitation only to the wealthiest Amex cardholders. It’s been estimated that the average Centurion® Card from American Express cardholder has an annual household income of approximately $1.3 million and net worth of around $16 million.

Features of the Centurion® Card from American ExpressCenturion® Card from American Express

    • Invitation only.
      You have a higher chance of being invited if you’ve been an Amex cardholder for at least a year and spend and payoff at least $350,000 USD a year.
    • Initiation fee.
      There’s a one-time initiation fee of $10,000 USD.
    • Annual fee.
      You’ll pay $5,000 USD a year to keep the card. You can add up to two additional cardholders, but you’ll have to pay that same annual fee for each card you add.
    • Titanium card.
      Crafted from anodized titanium, the card is laser-etched with your account information.
    • Charge card.
      This means you’re required to repay your full balance by the due date on each statement. If you don’t, you could be charged a late fee or face account suspension. Amex’s Pay Over Time feature allows you to pay for certain charges of $100 or more over an extended period at a variable interest rate.
    • No spending limit.
      Since it’s a charge card, the Centurion® Card from American Express doesn’t have a set credit limit. Internally, Amex will set a spend ceiling on your account based on factors like your credit history, income and spending habits.
    • Travel benefits.
      The card gives you an annual airline fee credit, status upgrades in hotel and airline programs, access to premium airport lounges and clubs worldwide, hotel upgrades and more.
    • Rental cars and other driving perks.
      Limousines, luxury-car rentals and driving experiences are all accessible to Centurion® Card from American Express members.
    • Shopping benefits.
      The Centurion® Card from American Express entitles you to personal shoppers at Net-a-Porter.com and Mr Porter, exclusive luxury-brand sales and access to exclusive events.
    • 24/7 concierge.
      Get reservations at the world’s top restaurants, arrange your last-minute travel itinerary or find the perfect gift for a loved one.

Alternative prestigious credit cards you can apply for in Canada

The alternative prestigious Canadian credit cards below offer a variety of premium features including concierge services, travel insurance coverage, complimentary companion flights, access to upgrades, experiences, discounts and tickets, shopping protection and much more – and they’re easier to get than the invitation-only Amex Black Card.

Best signup bonus:
RBC Avion Visa Infinite

RBC Avion Visa Infinite logo
Credit recommended (650-)
Apply now
on RBC's secure site
650
Min. credit score
$120
Annual fee
Up to 1x
Points
55000
Points welcome offer
The RBC Avion Visa Infinite is a solid travel card, offering perks and travel rewards for any frequent flyer. Earn 1 RBC Rewards point for every $1 you spend and an extra 25% on eligible travel purchases. Every 100 points you earn with this card equals CAD$1 that you can use for flights and other perks. You'll also get a suite of travel insurance coverage.
  • Earn rewards. Earn 1 RBC Rewards point for every $1 you spend and an extra 25% on eligible travel purchases.
  • Special offer. Get Get up to 55,000 Welcome Points. Get 35,000 points on approval and 20,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 in your first 6 months. Apply by September 16, 2022..
  • Travel coverage. Travel with ease with trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, and emergency medical. Plus, get Mobile Device Insurance worth up to $1,500 of coverage and purchase protection on eligible purchases made with your card.
  • Travel perks. Earn an extra 25% on eligible travel related purchases, and get no blackout periods or seat restrictions. Eligible RBC Rewards members can also convert your points to other loyalty programs like WestJet dollars and Hudson’s Bay Rewards points.
  • Car rental coverage. Earn 3x the points and get 20% off at Hertz.
  • Annual fee. This card has an annual fee of $120.
  • Currency conversion. This card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.
  • Minimum income requirement. You'll need to earn a personal income of at least $60,000, or a combined household income of at least $100,000 annually to apply.
Annual Fee $120
Purchase APR 19.99% fixed
Balance transfer APR 22.99% fixed
Welcome offer Get up to 55,000 Welcome Points. Get 35,000 points on approval and 20,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 in your first 6 months. Apply by September 16, 2022.
Rewards Earn 1 RBC Rewards point for every $1 you spend and an extra 25% on eligible travel purchases.
Please note: All information about RBC Avion Visa Infinite has been collected independently by Finder and this card is not available through this site.

Best premium credit card for travel
American Express Cobalt Card

American Express Cobalt Card logo
Credit recommended (700-)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
700
Min. credit score
$155.88
Annual fee
Up to 5x
Membership Rewards
30,000
Welcome offer
The American Express Cobalt Card offers a generous return on points for everyday purchases. You can collect points for every dollar you spend on dining out plus 2 points for gas and transit purchases and 1 point for everything else. This card also comes with up to a 30,000 points welcome bonus if you spend a certain amount of money each month. You'll also get a full suite of travel insurance and purchase protection when you sign up.
  • Welcome offer Earn up to 30,000 points in your first few months when you spend a certain amount of money.
  • Accelerated rewards Collect a higher return on rewards when you make dining, gas and transit purchases.
  • Comprehensive benefits Take advantage of benefits such as travel medical, flight and baggage delay insurance, car rental coverage and purchase protection.
  • Annual fee You'll have to pay $155.88 per year to maintain this card.
Annual Fee $155.88
Purchase APR 20.99% fixed
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your card (up to 30,000 points).
Rewards Earn 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks in Canada, including groceries and food delivery, 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada, 2x points for every $1 spent on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases, and earn 1 point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else.

Best premium lifestyle credit card
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege logo
Credit recommended (760-)
Apply now
on BMO's secure site
760
Min. credit score
$499
Annual fee
Up to 5x
Points
90,000
Points welcome offer
From everyday purchases to travel plans, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege benefits every area of your lifestyle. To begin, you'll get a $200 lifestyle credit annually, which you can spend however you like. Earn 5x the BMO Points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining in and out, drugstore purchases, gas and travel. You'll earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. The card also comes with and impressive sign up bonus: Get up to 90,000 welcome points in your first year. You'll also have access to a a host of travel insurance coverage and benefits like airport lounge access and Visa Infinite Privilege Concierge services.
  • Earn accelerated rewards. Earn 5x the BMO Points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining in and out, drugstore purchases, gas and travel. You'll earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
  • Annual lifestyle credit. You'll receive a get a $200 lifestyle credit annually to spend however you like.
  • Sign up bonus. Get up to 90,000 welcome points in your first year.
  • Additional cardholder benefits. Primary cardholders that add a supplementary card to their account will receive a 25% bonus earn rate.
  • Travel and entertainment benefits. You'll get Priority Pass membership with 6 annual airport lounge visits, Priority Security Lane/airport parking/valet service discounts at select Canadian airports, use of the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection including exclusive benefits like free breakfast and access to the Visa Infinite Privilege Concierge. You can also take advantage of special dining and wine events with Visa Infinite Dining Series and Visa Infinite Wine Country, and get Troon Rewards Golf benefits including discounts at over 95 resorts and courses worldwide and access to some private clubs.
  • Purchase coverage. Get up to 120 days of coverage from the date of purchase for eligible items against theft or damage. Plus, your Extended Warranty Insurance will triple the manufacturer’s warranty of items purchased on the card up to a maximum of 2 additional years.
  • Travel insurance. Get a comprehensive suite of travel coverage including Out-of-Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance, Common Carrier Insurance, Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Flight Delay coverage, Baggage Delay/Theft/Damage Insurance and even more.
  • Annual fee. You'll have to pay an annual fee of $499 to maintain this card.
  • Additional cardholder fee. Each additional cardholder will cost a $99 fee.
  • Currency conversion fee. You'll be charged a currency conversion rate of 2.5%.
  • Purchase interest rate. The purchase interest rate for this card is relatively high at 20.99%.
  • Minimum income requirement. In order to be eligible for this card, you'll need a personal income of $150,000 or a household income of $200,000.
Annual Fee $499
Purchase APR 20.99% fixed
Balance transfer APR 23.99% fixed
Welcome offer Get up to 90,000 welcome points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend a minimum of $6,000 within the first 3 months after the account open date, and get 40,000 points on your first anniversary after you spend a minimum of $100,000.
Rewards Earn 5x the BMO Points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining in and out, drugstore purchases, gas and travel. You'll earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

Best premium credit card for airport lounge access
The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express logo
Credit recommended (700-)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
700
Min. credit score
$699
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Membership Rewards
80,000
Welcome offer
The Platinum Card from American Express is an engraved metal card with a hefty annual fee of $699– but the benefits can far outweigh the costs. Earn 2 points for every $1 in card purchases on eligible travel. Plus, enjoy complimentary access to airport lounges worldwide.
  • Signup bonus. Earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards points. Earn 60,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $6,000 to your card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 20,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
  • Rewards points. Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada, 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel, and 1 point for every $1 spent elsewhere..
  • Travel insurance. Get Travel Accident Insurance, Travel Emergency Assistance and Emergency Medical Insurance, Trip Cancellation and Interruption coverage, Lost and Stolen Baggage Insurance, Flight and Baggage Delay Insurance, Car Rental Theft and Damage coverage and Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance. You also get access to complimentary concierge services.
  • Travel perks. You'll get complimentary lounge access worldwide, benefits with Fine Hotels + Resorts, personalized concierge service and Hotel Status Benefit to help fast-track points earned towards hotel loyalty programs. You'll also get access to benefits at Toronto Pearson International Airport including valet service, discounts on parking and access to Pearson Priority Security Lane.
  • No late payment fee. A $0 fee applies to late payments (however, a penalty interest rate may apply).
  • Metal Card. This premium credit card comes in precision-cut, engraved metal, which makes it incredibly durable.
  • Annual fee. The annual fee for this card is $699.
  • Supplementary card fees. Additional Platinum Cards cost $175 annually.
  • Foreign transaction fees. When you spend overseas, you'll face a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.
Annual Fee $699
Purchase APR
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer Earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards points. Earn 60,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $6,000 to your card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 20,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
Rewards Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada, 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel, and 1 point for every $1 spent elsewhere.

Best premium credit card for no foreign transaction fees:
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card logo
Credit recommended (750-)
Apply now
on Scotiabank's secure site
750
Min. credit score
$139
Annual fee
Up to 2x
Points
35,000
Points welcome offer
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card offers a sizeable welcome bonus along with a high rewards point earn rate. Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that’s up to $350 towards travel). Apply by July 4, 2022. This card also comes with a full suite of travel insurance, and other travel related perks including a complimentary Priority Pass membership plus 6 free visits per year to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world.
  • Rewards points. Earn 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery store, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases, and earn 1 Scene+ point for every $1 spent elsewhere.
  • Bonus. Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that’s up to $350 towards travel). Apply by July 4, 2022.
  • Travel insurance. Get up to $1,000,000 in Emergency Medical Insurance. Plus, get trip cancellation, trip interruption and travel accident insurance for free when you charge at least 75% of your trip costs to your card. Benefits also include coverage for flight delays, rental car collision loss/damage, hotel/motel burglaries and delayed or lost baggage.
  • Car rental perks. Get up to 25% car rental discount + complimentary upgrades for Avis Preferred Plus members at participating Avis locations in Canada and the US. Plus get Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance coverage (up to $65,000).
  • Travel perks. Receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership plus 6 free visits per year to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world.
  • Annual fee. This card has an annual fee of $139.
  • Minimum income requirement. You'll need a minimum income of at least $60,000, or combined household income of $100,000, to qualify for this card.
Annual Fee $139
Purchase APR 19.99% fixed
Balance transfer APR 22.99% fixed
Welcome offer Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that’s up to $350 towards travel). Apply by July 4, 2022.
Rewards Earn 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery store, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases, and earn 1 Scene+ point for every $1 spent elsewhere.

Best premium credit card for cash back:
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card logo
Credit recommended (750-)
Apply now
on Scotiabank's secure site
750
Min. credit score
$120 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to 10%
Cash back
Fee rebate
Welcome offer
Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by August 31, 2022. The card also offers a great suite of travel insurance benefits, an introductory balance transfer rate and exclusive offers on dining and entertainment – just watch out for the annual fee of $120.
  • Rewards points. Earn 4% cash back for every $1 spent on eligible grocery purchases & recurring bill payments, 2% per $1 spent on eligible gas purchases & public transit, and 1% per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Earn more. Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by August 31, 2022.
  • Trip coverage. Pay for your flight with your card and get complimentary insurance for emergency medical situations up to $1,000,000, trip interruptions and cancellations, flight delays, lost and delayed baggage.
  • Purchase coverage. You won't be held liable for fraudulent charges on your account with Zero Liability coverage.
  • Annual fee. This card has an annual fee of $120.
  • Currency conversion. When you spend overseas, you'll face a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.
  • Minimum income requirement. In order to qualify for this card you must have a personal income of at least $60,000 or a household income of $100,000 or higher.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Purchase APR 20.99% fixed
Balance transfer APR 22.99% fixed
Welcome offer Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by August 31, 2022.
Rewards Earn 4% cash back for every $1 spent on eligible grocery purchases & recurring bill payments, 2% per $1 spent on eligible gas purchases & public transit, and 1% per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

What’s the most prestigious credit card in the world?

Centurion® Card from American Express is not only the most prestigious credit card in Canada – it also tops Finder Canada’s list of the most exclusive credit cards in the world.

The Amex Black Card is generally considered to be the first, and most elite, invitation-only card in the world. It has been available in Canada since 2009, and is named for the Manhattan credit card brand’s iconic centurion head logo. This card is traditionally made of titanium and issued by invitation-only to the wealthiest American Express Platinum cardholders.

The AMEX Black Card is so exclusive that none of this information is actually published on the company’s website. Rumour has it you have to spend $350,000 USD a year (or likely the Canadian equivalent) on your Platinum Amex card before you’ll be eligible to receive an elusive invitation.

Check out our list of the top 10 most exclusive credit cards in the world to learn more.

Features of the most prestigious credit cards in Canada

Depending on the credit card, the perks of premium credit cards in Canada may include the following:

  • Metal design. One of the most well-known features of the Centurion® Card is that it’s made of titanium. Titanium or metal cards have become a status symbol in recent years and many of the most elite cards in the world offer metal versions. If you’re looking for a metal card but don’t want to wait for an invitation to apply for one of these exclusive cards, the metal Platinum Card from American Express has less stringent eligibility criteria and can be customized and engraved. To check out more metal cards, read our Metal Credit Cards guide here.
  • High spending limit. Since these cards are targeted toward high earners and big spenders, there’s likely going to be an extremely high credit limit. We’re talking $20,000 or higher.
  • Travel benefits. These elite credit cards are usually excellent travel companions, giving you access to premium airport lounges and clubs worldwide, complimentary companion airline tickets on select airlines, flight upgrades and extensive travel insurance coverage.
  • Hotel benefits. Some prestigious credit cards also offer hotel upgrades and free additional nights at participating hotel chains globally.
  • Rental cars and other driving perks. Limousines and luxury cars may be available for rental with your prestigious card. You can also expect extensive rental car insurance coverage.
  • Shopping benefits. You may have access to advance ticket sales to concerts and exclusive events, as well as VIP access to a range of experiences worldwide.
  • Concierge and valet services. Many prestigious cards offer concierge services, which includes getting you a table at the chicest booked-out restaurants, arranging your last-minute travel itinerary or arranging to have your car parked at a busy downtown restaurant.

Downsides of the most prestigious credit cards

  • Invitation-only. Some of the most premium and prestigious credit cards are available by invitation only – which usually means you’ll have to spend a large amount of money each year on your current credit card to even be considered.
  • Annual fee. This fee will vary depending on the specific credit card. Expect to pay anywhere from $350 to $800 or more annually.
  • Strict eligibility criteria. While the eligibility criteria for prestigious credit cards can be ambiguous, the average household income for Centurion® Card from American Express cardholders must be in the millions with an even higher net worth including assets. It’s also been rumoured that cardholders required a five-figure monthly spending bill to get the black card.

Eligibility requirements for prestigious credit cards in Canada

While it varies between different credit card providers, you can usually expect the following requirements:

  • Age. You will need to be at least 18 years of age or the age of majority in your province or territory.
  • Residency. You’ll need to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address.
  • Credit score. Meet any minimum credit score requirements, which will likely mean having a good to excellent credit score of 650 or higher.
  • Income. These types of credit cards usually have minimum income requirements which may mean you’ll need to have an annual salary of $80,000 or higher.
  • Spend requirements. Prestige generally means you’re a big spender, so you may have to meet an annual spend requirement.

How to choose the best credit card for high-income earners in Canada

When searching for the best premium credit card, you should ask yourself the following 4 questions:

  1. Would you rather earn cash back, points or miles? Compare the value of cash back, points and miles to determine which will give you more bang for your buck. Also, consider what you will use more of. If you’re not a big traveller, avoid earning miles and instead consider cash back.
  2. Do you want to earn accelerated points? Accelerated points usually come with more expensive credit cards and may limit you to specific spend categories. If you spend a lot on travel, gas or groceries, try to find a card that offers accelerated rewards in the categories you spend most in.
  3. Do you want to do a balance transfer? Balance transfer offers vary greatly, from 0% offers to low interest rates, offers lasting for six months and offers lasting up to ten months. Consider how much debt you have and how much you’re looking to transfer.
  4. Do you want the ultimate credit card? If you’re willing to pay for it, one of the top credit cards on the market is the The Platinum Card from American Express. For an annual fee of $699, this card gives you the ultimate in luxury travel benefits.

Are premium credit cards worth the cost?

Whether a premium credit card is worth its yearly price tag or not will depend on how you plan to use the card. The high costs associated with owning a premium credit card can be a tough pill to swallow, especially since annual fees can be hundreds of dollars. However, these fees can pay for themselves only if you take full advantage of the premium perks the card offers.

How to make a premium credit card pay off

Like any credit card, you need to make sure the terms behind the rewards and perks of a premium credit card are a good fit for your lifestyle and spending habits before you apply. In fact, it’s even more important for premium cardholders when you account for the often high annual fee.

One of the easiest ways you can make your premium credit card worth it is to make sure you use any annual credits, miles, points or cash back rewards. Other ways to make use of the benefits include taking advantage of any travel insurance, concierge services, car rental insurance, airport lounge access, experiences, financial tools and all other perks your card offers.

Compare some of the most prestigious credit cards in Canada

The cards in this table are based on the providers available through Finder. These cards are not representative of the entire market. No single premium card will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before picking your new card.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite
60,000 points
Up to 5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 60,000 points, a $50 lifestyle credit and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
35,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$139
Min. recommended credit score: 750
Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that’s up to $350 towards travel). Apply by July 4, 2022.
BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard
60,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 60,000 points and get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
The Platinum Card from American Express
80,000 points
Up to 3x points per $1 spent
N/A
$699
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards points. Earn 60,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $6,000 to your card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 20,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
45,000 points
Up to 5 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that's up to $450 towards travel). Apply by July 4, 2022.
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
85,000 points
Up to 3x points
19.99%
$599
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 85,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points. New Cardmembers can earn up to $2,700 in value within the first year.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line on elite credit cards

Credit cards can represent much more than just a payment option or a line of credit – your credit card can also be a visible symbol of status and distinction. However, for this type of prestige, there is often a hefty price tag in the form of a high annual fee. Learn more about your credit card options in our comprehensive guide.

Frequently asked questions about premium cards

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