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What Credit Cards Offer the Best Sign-Up Bonuses and Limited-Time Promotions in December 2019?

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Last updated on November 29, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 4



Getting a new credit card is a much sweeter experience when it comes bundled with a limited-time offer for bulk bonus points, sky-high cashback levels, or accelerated rewards earning rates.

Missing one of these promotions means letting a lot of extra value slip by, so before applying for a new credit card check to make sure there isn’t a more lucrative opportunity on the list below.

Canada’s Best Credit Card Sign-Up Promotions December 2019

 Sign-Up OfferOffer Expiry DateAnnual FeeRead More
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card30000 points (conditions apply) for a value of $420
March 2, 2020$120
First year free
Read More
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card4.00% cash back in up to 3 purchase categories for 3 months + 1.95% for 6mo. on balance transfers October 31, 2019$0Read More
TD® First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card80000 points (conditions apply) + first year annual fee rebateMarch 2, 2020$120
First year free
Read More
BMO® World Elite™* MasterCard®Up to $245 value in your 1st year$150
First year free
Read More
BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard5% cash back on all purchases for 3 monthsNov. 30, 2019$120 
First year free
Read More

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

Limited Time Offer: March 2, 2020

TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $60000
– Annual fees: $120  (first year free)

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card currently offers the most lucrative Aeroplan sign-up bonus on the market: 30000 Aeroplan Miles (worth approx. $420 per our valuation of an average Aeroplan Mile) plus an annual fee rebate for cardholders during the first year (worth $120). Note that new cardholders get 15,000 miles after a first purchase and an additional 5 points per $1 spent for the first three months; up to an extra 5,000 miles per month.  30,000 potential bonus points total. When redeemed at Air Canada those 30000 Miles are enough for two premium economy short-haul flights anywhere in Canada or the continental US.

This sign-up bonus is complemented by the Aeroplan Visa Infinite card’s fast earnings rate at 1.5 Miles per $1 spent on gas, groceries, drugstore and purchases. You’ll earn 1 Mile per $1 spent everywhere else and will be able to earn Miles twice at participating Aeroplan retailers. Other perks for travellers include great emergency medical coverage and additional insurance, a free yearly entry into the Maple Leaf Lounge (for flights redeemed with Miles), discounts at Avis and Budget Rent a Car locations, along with purchase security and extended warranties.

Click here to apply for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Limited Time Offer Ends October 31, 2019

Tangerine MasterCard Money-Back Credit Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0  

Tangerine is offering a lucrative promotion on its excellent Money-Back credit card for new applicants who apply and activate their card between April 22 and October 31, 2019. The Money-Back card normally offers cardholders 2.00% cash back in two purchase categories of their choice (pick from those like gas, groceries, drug store, home improvement, and more) and a third category if they set up automatic cash back contributions to a Tangerine Savings Account. Cardholders eligible for the promotion will instead receive 4.00% cash back in their two or three purchase categories instead of 2.00%, and then the regular 0.50% cash back elsewhere. This promotional rate applies for 92 days and then returns to 2.00% afterwards, and if you switch purchase categories mid-promotion the 4.00% will conveniently swap to the new category.

As part of this promotion, new cardholders who transfer a balance to the Tangerine Money-Back card within 30 days of receiving it will pay just 1.95% interest on this balance for 6 months. There’s a 3.00% transfer fee (or minimum of $5), which can be easily recovered by the interest you’ll save over those 6 months—especially if your transferred balance was previously exposed to high interest. Those interested in Tangerine’s card will be further enticed by its $0 annual fee, and if they want to take advantage of its limited-time promotions, prospective cardholders should apply and activate before October 31, 2019.

Click here to apply for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

TD® First Class Travel® Visa Infinite

Limited Time Offer: March 2, 2020

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite* Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $60000
– Annual fees: $120  (first year free)

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

Another hefty introductory bonus from TD comes courtesy of its First Class Travel Visa Infinite card, which offers up to 80,000 TD Points (that’s $400 in travel value) plus an annual fee rebate worth $120. The limited-time offer awards 20,000 points for making an initial purchase and 5x TD points for every $1 spent on all purchases in the first three months (earn up to 20,000 bonus points per month) up to a total of 60,000. Those interested should be aware of the card’s $60,000 minimum annual income requirement.

Sign-up bonus aside, cardholders will regularly earn TD Points and are free to redeem them for travel and travel-related purchases, as well as gift cards, merchandise, or a cash credit to their account. Cardholders collect 3 points for every $1 spent on purchases made with the First Class Travel card, but booking travel through amplifies that earn rate to 9 points per $1. The card’s $120 annual fee is quite reasonable when you consider that TD also provides travel medical insurance for 21 days, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, lost baggage insurance, and discounted Priority Pass airport lounge membership.

BMO® World Elite™* MasterCard®

Limited Time Offer:

BMO Rewards World Elite Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $150  (first year free)

Promotion aside, the BMO World Elite Mastercard is already one of Canada’s top-tier travel credit cards, with a high rate of rewards for spending on travel, free VIP airport lounge access, and excellent medical insurance. Its current sign-up promotion is also top notch, awarding the equivalent of $540 of total value during your first year.

BMO’s calculation works like this: If you spend $3,000 in the first three months with the card, you’ll get 50000 BMO Rewards points (worth $250 in travel), and then the first year’s fee waiver for $150 brings it to $400 in total savings. Finally, the 4 airport lounge passes and LoungeKey membership are worth $140. Voila! $540.

Click here to apply for the BMO World Elite Mastercard

BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard

Limited Time Offer: Nov. 30, 2019

BMO World Elite Cash Back Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $120  (first year free)

One of the best cards for flat-rate cash back on all purchases is spicing up its already strong introductory bonus. The BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard is offering cardholders who apply between May 17 and November 30, 2019 an annual fee waiver for their first year, worth $120 on top of the card’s other bonus: 5% cash back for your first 3 months, with a maximum of $200 in cash back for this promo period. That’s a significant amount of value, but the Cashback World Elite card’s primary feature is its 1.50% regular rate of cash back on all purchases, which is still a fairly strong earn rate after the promotion ends.

The card also comes with complimentary membership to LoungeKey, for those interested in relaxing in airport lounges, as well as purchase protection and extended warranties, free roadside assistance, and travel insurance protections including medical.

Click here to apply for the BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard

What Are Credit Card Promotions, and How Do They Work?

Credit card promotions are essentially bonuses that temporarily magnify one aspect of the type of credit card you’re applying for and may offer extra valuable perks as well. For example, if a cash back card has an introductory promotion, it will often increase the rate of cash back you’ll earn for a short time. Card promotions might also award cash back or rewards points in bulk, free vouchers for airport lounge entry or companion flights, or exempt the cardholder from the card’s first year’s annual fee.

Many promotions provide these bonuses with no questions asked, but the most lucrative ones might require the cardholder to fulfill specific criteria (like spending a certain amount or making an initial purchase) before receiving the bonus. Others may cap their rewards once a milestone has been reached. Finally, some card issuers make a bonus part of their offering permanently, but the best package deals are limited-time offers, with the clock ticking before the extra perks are off the table for new applicants.

How Much Is Your Sign-Up Bonus Really Worth?

Read the card’s conditions and fine print to understand if you first need to meet a spending goal before earning the bonus, if the bonus rate only applies to a certain type of spending, or if there’s a maximum amount you can earn at the accelerated rate. Chances are that multiple conditions apply at once, and these will all factor into how worthwhile the bonuses really are.

Let’s take a look at an example: A promotional credit card deal in Canada requires new cardholders to spend $3,000 in 3 months to get 35,000 points and a $150 annual fee waiver, together worth $400. This is a 13.33% extra return on your money assuming you spend that much (~$1,000 per month) normally.

The type of spending that the bonus rate applies to is relevant as well. If you’re comparing two hypothetical cards, the first of which offers 10% cash back on spending but only in its primary category (e.g. groceries) and the second at a 6% cashback rate, but on all spending, you might actually collect more cash back with the latter card despite its seemingly-low cashback rate. It depends on the size of your monthly grocery shopping bill.

The final component to consider is the maximum cash back you can earn at the bonus rate, if applicable. If you earn 10% until you’ve spent $2,500, for instance, the maximum cash back you’ll get during the bonus period is $250.

Different Types of Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Cashback Bonuses: Cashback bonuses often provide a boosted earning rate on the card’s primary eligible spending category, but to a maximum amount of spending (and therefore accruable cash back) before the card’s regular cashback rate resumes. The annual fee may also be waived in the first year.

Travel Bonuses: Travel card bonuses commonly offer bulk travel or rewards points for reaching a spending milestone within a certain number of months and might have an annual fee waiver attached to the goal as well.

Balance Transfer Bonuses: These types of promotions will, for a set amount of time, reduce the interest rate charged to balances transferred. Sign up before the promotion expires and you’ll consolidate your balances to save a bundle on interest fees.

Credit Card Bonus Conditions

Spending Goal: Many bonuses will require the cardholder to spend a certain amount before they receive their bulk points or annual fee waiver.

Account in Good Standing: Bonuses may only apply to accounts that maintain their good standing with the bank (i.e. accounts that don’t have delinquent balances).

Spending Caps: Accelerated cash back or rewards earning rates typically have a maximum amount that cardholders can spend to earn rewards at the bonus rate.

Bonus Time Windows: Credit card promotions in Canada are only available for a limited time, and new applicants will no longer be able to obtain them after the deadline has passed. Cash back at an elevated rate or balance transfers at a low rate are also usually featured for only the first handful of months after an account is set up.

Purchase Categories: Keep an eye on which purchases are eligible for the increased bonus rate, as the rate may only be applicable to gas or groceries, for example.

Should You Really Trust the Limited-Time Offer Date?

Banks certainly have reason to offer these promotions on a limited-time basis, because looming deadlines motivate potential cardholders to act fast and apply. Plus, the longer the card issuer keeps the promotion going, the more they’ll need to pay out to new cardholders. For these reasons, a card often loses a good amount of value after a promotion’s expiry date comes and goes.

Sometimes a limited-time offer will be extended, but prospective cardholders shouldn’t always bank on it. In the past, some promotions have ended due to relationship instabilities between rewards programs and card issuers, which was the case in 2017 when TD opted not to extend its amazing Aeroplan promotions.

Basically, you can never tell if a card issuer will decide to extend the apply-by date for its promotion. So if you see an amazing deal, jump on it!

Article comments

Terry says:

I spend $50K plus per year on my credit cards and am looking for the best
Income tests should not be a problem
Any suggestions

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Terry!

With great credit and income, you’ll be eligible for the best introductory bonuses that Canadian credit card issuers can muster. The market’s most lucrative deal is currently the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card, for which we also have an exclusive promotion. Until June 2, 2019 new cardholders applying through a GreedyRates link will receive up to 35,000 Aeroplan Miles ($490 on travel) plus a first-year annual fee rebate worth $120, for a total value of $610 at base level. Consider that you’ll also earn a ton of Miles on your daily purchases with the card, and it’s easy to imagine that in your first year you’ll be travelling in style and at a steep discount.
Another option if you don’t want a Mileage bonus is the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite, with up to 80,000 TD points plus the same annual fee rebate. TD Rewards can be spent on things that don’t include travel, so it’s a good way to get similar value but not be pigeonholed into flights, for instance. Depending on your feeling about Amex, we’d also suggest the Platinum card considering that your income is high enough to handle the fee—just ask yourself if the upper-tier perks on the Platinum card are likely to come in handy for your lifestyle or not.

Ken says:

I am looking to consolidate my cards into the one with the best travel points options. I would also like to consolidate my present cards into the new one so a rate transfer special will need to be part of this. What card would you recommend?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Ken,

If you’re looking for a travel-rewards-focused credit card that also has a great balance transfer promotion, your best bet is to look at BMO’s Air Miles Mastercard. New transferred balances will incur interest of just 1.99% for 10 months, while you simultaneously collect air miles on your everyday purchases! Just beware that keeping a balance from everyday purchases and also from an old transferred debt may be difficult to juggle. When you carry two balances, one at a higher rate than the balance transfer rate (purchases, ATM withdrawals etc.) the former is often prioritized for payments, making it harder to chip away at your consolidated debt in turn. If you need any other help let us know.