Credit Cards

Best cards for frequent US traveler?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 3rd, 2018 7:42 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 21, 2002
149 posts
7 upvotes
Calgary, ab

Best cards for frequent US traveler?

I'm hoping the kind people here can give me some advice about a set of 2-3 CC cards I should be getting for both daily use, and my monthly business trips.

I make a business trip to the US every month, and while the company picks up the flight, I use a CC for the hotel, meals, taxi, etc while I'm down there. This is usually a bit over $1,000 US each month.

It makes my book-keeping easier if I can pay this off in USD as well (I have US bank accounts I pay from), and I probably can get US-based cards.

Obviously back in Canada I have the usual expenses as well, though higher than average restaurant expenses, I expect (mostly via DoorDash, if that's relevant).

I believe my income is sufficient to qualify for most things, so please don't rule out any options, nor do I mind annual fees if it's a net benefit.

Things I'm looking for in a set of cards:
  • Minimal hassle. I don't want to churn cards or jump through excessive hoops after receiving the card.
  • No fees / extra costs for US purchase (as above, I believe this means ideally a US currency card)
  • Cash Back
  • The ability to download transactions into my finance app without waiting for monthly statements.
  • Good travel insurance for when I go on vacation and get my own flights
  • Minimal fees / extra costs for worldwide purchases during vacations
  • Perks for my monthly trip, like airline status, lounge access, etc
  • Perks for vacation trips

Thank you for your suggestions!
Last edited by Smite on Feb 2nd, 2018 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
6 replies
Sr. Member
Apr 23, 2017
998 posts
1730 upvotes
For USD cards available to Canadians, imo the best one currently is the new TD Bank (USA) Visa Cash card.

https://www.tdbank.com/personalcreditca ... scard.html

(note the above is not the USD card issued in Canada by TD Canada Trust)

The problem with most Canadian-issued USD cards is the lack of any rewards. In Canada you can get a USD card from the big five banks for use in the USA, but the ones from Scotia, CIBC, BMO and TDCT don't give you any rewards. The RBC gold Visa gives 1 RBC Rewards point per $1 in pending (better than nothing, but it has a US$65 AF which is higher than the AF of the other Canadian-issued USD cards that average USD $35).

Of the USD cards issued in the US by Canadian-owned banks (that Canadians without a SSN or ITIN can get) we have the RBC USA black Visa, which has no fee and gives the most minimal of rewards points (that can be transferred to your Canadian RBC card at a devalued rate), and the TD Bank USA card I mentioned above. The TD card is nice as it is no-AF, has no FX markup fees, and gives 2% on grocery stores and 3% on restaurants, in addition to the 1% on everything else. BMO Harris has cash back USD cards in the US but not as good as this new TD card and harder to get I hear, and National Bank's US Florida branch issues a USD card to Canadians but not with a nice rewards program, and with an AF.

I mention the above as you said you wanted a USD card, as a Canadian living in Canada.

What Canadian card you would pair with this for use in Canada is another question with many variables. If you value lounge passes the BMO World Elite gives you 4 per year, with AF possible to waive. In higher priced AF cards, the Visa Infinite Privilege cards from RBC, CIBC and TD give one several lounge visit passes (AF $399) and the Amex Platinum Card (AF $699) gives unlimited lounge access. For those with large assets at HSBC, their Jade World Elite MC gives unlimited lounge access as well (AF $299 waived for Jade clients, but this requires $1MM in assets with HSBC to apply for).
Member
Oct 31, 2009
387 posts
139 upvotes
Vancouver
HermanH wrote: For USD cards available to Canadians, imo the best one currently is the new TD Bank (USA) Visa Cash card.

https://www.tdbank.com/personalcreditca ... scard.html

(note the above is not the USD card issued in Canada by TD Canada Trust)

The problem with most Canadian-issued USD cards is the lack of any rewards. In Canada you can get a USD card from the big five banks for use in the USA, but the ones from Scotia, CIBC, BMO and TDCT don't give you any rewards. The RBC gold Visa gives 1 RBC Rewards point per $1 in pending (better than nothing, but it has a US$65 AF which is higher than the AF of the other Canadian-issued USD cards that average USD $35).

Of the USD cards issued in the US by Canadian-owned banks (that Canadians without a SSN or ITIN can get) we have the RBC USA black Visa, which has no fee and gives the most minimal of rewards points (that can be transferred to your Canadian RBC card at a devalued rate), and the TD Bank USA card I mentioned above. The TD card is nice as it is no-AF, has no FX markup fees, and gives 2% on grocery stores and 3% on restaurants, in addition to the 1% on everything else. BMO Harris has cash back USD cards in the US but not as good as this new TD card and harder to get I hear, and National Bank's US Florida branch issues a USD card to Canadians but not with a nice rewards program, and with an AF.

I mention the above as you said you wanted a USD card, as a Canadian living in Canada.

What Canadian card you would pair with this for use in Canada is another question with many variables. If you value lounge passes the BMO World Elite gives you 4 per year, with AF possible to waive. In higher priced AF cards, the Visa Infinite Privilege cards from RBC, CIBC and TD give one several lounge visit passes (AF $399) and the Amex Platinum Card (AF $699) gives unlimited lounge access. For those with large assets at HSBC, their Jade World Elite MC gives unlimited lounge access as well (AF $299 waived for Jade clients, but this requires $1MM in assets with HSBC to apply for).
How do I get this card? The TD Canada website on has this: https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banki ... visa-card/ and it's not great at all.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 21, 2002
149 posts
7 upvotes
Calgary, ab
Actually, I can probably get US based cards as well, since I still have a green card. I appreciate the Canada-based suggestions in case those don't work out though. Thank you!
Deal Addict
Dec 16, 2017
2541 posts
1037 upvotes
CND Brain & Hear…
Take AMEX USA (if you have AMEX in Canada) and TD Bank Cash VISA (if you happen to know an address in the East Coast). This route is for a no SSN/ITIN person. If you do have one (I suppose you do), why not Costco VISA or Uber VISA LOL.
Give me a J. I'm a maniac and an African expert.
Sr. Member
Apr 23, 2017
998 posts
1730 upvotes
migx wrote: How do I get this card? The TD Canada website on has this: https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banki ... visa-card/ and it's not great at all.
The link I provided at the top of my post is to the TD Bank USA site that has the USD TD Cash Visa card, issued in the US by TD Bank. It is not the same USD card that TD Canada has on its website.
Member
Oct 31, 2009
387 posts
139 upvotes
Vancouver
HermanH wrote: The link I provided at the top of my post is to the TD Bank USA site that has the USD TD Cash Visa card, issued in the US by TD Bank. It is not the same USD card that TD Canada has on its website.
Not familiar with how to get it. Can I do it at a TD branch in Canada or do I need to call someone specific that knows what they are doing? It would be a great no-fee no-forex fees cash back card.

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