Tiers / Levels of Credit Cards (updated December 2, 2019)

We last wrote a post about this topic back in 2015, so no doubt this was due for an update.

The topic today is to discuss the different types of credit cards in Canada. The three primary credit card companies are: American Express, MasterCard and Visa. However, each company have different tiers of cards. Each level offers different benefits.

Tiers of Credit Card

Below is a list of the different levels of each credit card company in Canada. I placed them to be as equivalent as possible between each company, but it is not exactly the same benefits. I will provide more details below.

*Note that I will not be discussion or listing the no annual fee basic cards with minimal benefits.

American Express

MasterCard Visa



Platinum World Elite

Infinite Privilege

Gold World


Gold / Platinum

American Express

Already with the Gold card, you will receive a host of benefits:

  • Buyer’s assurance protection plan
  • Front Of The Line (advance access, reserved tickets, E-Updates)
  • No pre-set spending limit on purchases
  • Purchase protection plan
  • Special access, experiences & offers
  • Travel insurance (out of province or country emergency medical, trip interruption, car rental theft and damage, lost or stolen baggage, hotel or motel burglary, flight delay, baggage delay, $500,000 travel accident)

The gap from Gold to Platinum is basically all the Gold benefits with enhancements:

  • Companion fare
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts (early check-in, room upgrade at time of booking, daily breakfast for two people, late checkout)
  • Hotel status benefit (Hilton Honors Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite, Radisson Rewards Gold)
  • Statement credits
  • Unlimited lounge access

For the Reserve card, you can add the following benefits:

  • Concierge service
  • Free checked bag
  • Special/priority travel access

The Centurion card is the most secret card that is by invitation only, which means it offers the highest level of perks.

  • Airline elite status
  • Airport travel perks
  • Car rental elite status
  • Centurion hotel program (all of the Platinum benefits and more, special amenity, hotel spending credits)
  • Hotel elite status (slightly more than Platinum)
  • More statement credits at different retailers


MasterCard really only has two significant tiers, the World and World Elite cards. Their “standard” cards are the most basic version.

For the World card, you can expect to see things like:

  • Concierge services (personal assistance with dinner reservations, event tickets, locating hard-to-find items, buying and delivering gifts, and coordinating business-related arrangements)
  • Extended warranty (usually double the original manufacturer’s or store brand warranty for up to one year)
  • Price protection (reimbursed the price difference for finding a lower price within 60 days of the purchase date)
  • Purchase protection (coverage for damaged or stolen items within 90 days of the date of purchase)
  • Travel insurance (e.g. car rental collision damage waiver, travel medical, trip cancellation, baggage delay, lost or damaged luggage, hotel/motel burglary)

For World Elite, in addition to the World benefits, you can also add the following:

  • Airport Lounge Access (Priority Pass)
  • Experiences and offers
  • Identity theft protection

*Unfortunately, I have yet to hear about Black cards in Canada (which are currently available in China, Japan and the United States). They may be available, but that would be even more secretive than the American Express Centurion card. The extra benefits you may find are:

  • Lounge Access
  • Travel credits


Visa is split into many more tiers than MasterCard. Visa’s “Classic” cards are the most basic version. But they also have higher tier cards with additional benefits.

In terms of Gold and Platinum cards there is very little difference between the two, but the Platinum is slightly higher than Gold cards. You will usually see:

  • Emergency cash service
  • Guaranteed hotel reservation service
  • Zero liability program

For the Infinite cards, you can look forward to:

  • Access to Visa Infinite experiences
  • Access to Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection (e.g. received room upgrades, complimentary WiFi and breakfast, late checkout)
  • Concierge service
  • Extended warranty
  • Free checked bags
  • Limited lounge access
  • Purchase protection
  • Travel insurance (e.g. emergency medical, accident, car rental, trip interruption, flight interruption, and delayed and lost baggage insurance)

There is not a lot that separates infinite and Infinite Privilege cards. The most obvious one is increased:

  • Lounge access


The previous post we wrote about the different Levels of Credit Cards has been one of our most popular posts in the last 4 years, so if we missed anything, please let us know in the comment section below! Especially if you heard anything about the Black MasterCard in Canada.


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