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Instead of Air Canada and Alaska Airlines credit cards you can apply for any credit card with miles rewards that is issued by a major bank. Such cards allow earning bonus miles on every purchase. The earned miles can be redeemed towards free flights with any airline of your choice. The miles rewards credit cards often come with a sing up bonus that may be enough for a round-trip economy flight ticket. To get this bonus, you usually need to spend a specific amount of money within a specific period of time.
Cards with miles rewards do not usually have foreign transaction fees and may come without an annual fee. They come with chip technology which gives additional security. As an everyday card I would choose Discover it® Miles, which gives you 1.5 miles on all purchases. You'll be able to use it for travel and, in addition, Discover matches first-year miles at the end of the year (provided you are a new cardmember) - solid reward by itself.