The Best Credit Cards In Canada

It used to be that our wallets were full of coins and bills, ready to be spent when needed. Now they’re full of plastic.

In Canada, there are roughly 31,000,000 active credit cards, meaning cards that they are in active use, not just sitting in a wallet taking up space. There are just over 37,000,000 in Canada, and 8,000,000 of those people are under the age of 19. It doesn’t take a math genius to realize that’s a lot of credit cards in use, given our population. 

Not all credit cards are created equal and given that the average Canadian has a balance of $4,500, knowing what you are getting reward-wise, or what hit you’re taking interest-wise is key to money management.

Best Credit Cards Canada 2020

How do credit cards work?

Essentially, they’re little plastic cards that give you access to money for you to spend and pay back, ideally on a monthly basis.

 The credit provided via the card allows you to either make purchases, transfer balances from other cards, or give cash advances. Different cards have different interest rates and rewards (if any) for use, but all require a minimum monthly payment towards whatever balance you have on the card. The amount of credit you have access to will also vary, based on the card company, card use and the applicant’s personal credit.

What is the best credit card for me?

Though not all, most credit cards offer incentives or rewards for use. For some, the reward is simply a low interest rate, and others provide points or cashback. Some of the cards will charge an annual fee while others have none. Typically speaking, it’s the cards with the greatest rewards that carry the largest annual fee. Annual fees can range but it’s not abnormal for a card to charge $100 to $150 annually for the privilege of use.

Deciding which card makes the most sense for you, depends on many factors including your discipline to pay off balances and the types of rewards you think you’d benefit from the most. If you typically carry a balance, it’s likely wise to stay away from travel rewards cards and instead stick to cashback or low-interest cards.

Credit cards are a great way to get and grow your personal credit score, as long as they are used wisely.

Something important to keep in mind as you review our list: while the type of benefits and costs don’t typically change drastically, they do change often and sign-up bonuses change all the time! Credit card companies are always looking for new and great ways to entice you to apply. 

Points vs. cashback credit cards

Rewards cards offer a variety of benefits and come in a variety of forms but they all fall under the same two umbrellas: points or cashback.

Points card

These types of rewards cards allow you to earn points, based on whatever formula the card company offers, that can be traded in for a reward. Points can be in the form of miles earned (for some travel cards) or dollar value (for supermarkets, for example). How quickly you earn points and the value of the rewards vary widely, so it’s best to shop around for a card that makes sense for your particular spending habits and reward preferences.

Cashback card

Unlike rewards cards, where you get a certain number of points for a certain amount of money spent, cashback cards typically come in the form of a percentage of cashback for every dollar you spend. So, they’re exactly what they sound like — use your card and get cash in return! Your earned cashback is typically paid out as a credit on your card once per year. 

Best cards at a glance:

Best rewards credit card in Canada
Scotiabank Gold American Express

Best credit card in Canada for travel rewards
TD First Class Travel®Visa Infinite* Card

Best credit card in Canada for travel rewards (no-fee)
Scotiabank Rewards Visa Card

Best cashback credit card in Canada
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

Best cashback card (no fee)
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Best travel credit card for dining and transit
American Express Cobalt Card

Best student credit card in Canada
BMO SPC CashBack MasterCard

Best low-interest credit card
American Express Essential Credit Card

Best balance transfer credit card
MBNA True Line® Mastercard®

Best business credit card in Canada
BMO Rewards Business Mastercard

Best prepaid credit card Canada
KOHO

Best secured credit card in Canada
Home Trust Secured Visa Card

Best credit card with a sign-up/welcome bonus in Canada
American Express Cobalt Card

Best credit card for car rental insurance Canada
Scotiabank American Express

Best no-annual-fee credit card in Canada
MBNA True Line® Mastercard® Credit Card

Best US dollar credit card in Canada
RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold

Best rewards credit card in Canada

It really depends on what your goals are when deciding what type of reward you think will benefit you the most. There are so many different types of rewards — from travel to grocery — that what is best for one might not be best for another.

That said, of all of the rewards cards on the market, when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck for your average, everyday spender, the Scotiabank Gold American Express is likely going to be your best bet.

What you get:

  • Four reward points on every $1 you spend at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, and on dining and entertainment
  • One point for every $1 you spend on everything else
  • Access to their full-service travel agency
  • No travel restrictions
  • Access to concierge services and airport lounges
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  •  Beginner bonus of $150 in bonus points when $1,000 is spent on the card in the first three months

What you pay:

  • $120 annual fee
  • $29 for a supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest on purchases
  •  22.99% on cash advances

Best credit card in Canada for travel rewards

If travelling is your goal and getting the most points with the least restrictions is going to help you get there, the best card on the market is the TD First Class Travel®Visa Infinite* Card. There are cards out there that will get you more bonuses, but they come with massive annual fees (we’re talking up to $700 per year!). For the average consumer, the TD First Class will do the job. 

What you get:

  • Three points for every $1 you spend
  • Nine points when you book travel through Expedia for TD
  • Redeem for travel and travel-related purchases
  • Redeem for retail merchandise and gift cards, or for a cash credit to your account
  • No blackouts on travel or seat restrictions
  • Extensive suite of travel insurance
  • Beginner bonus of up to 90,000 points and an annual fee rebate for the primary card holder for the first year

What you pay:

  • $120 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest on purchases
  • 22.99% on cash advances

Best credit card in Canada for travel rewards (no-fee)

Given that rewards often come at a cost, there aren’t many travel reward cards in Canada that come with no fee. Those that do obviously have fewer perks than a fee-based card. However, if no fee is what you need, then the Scotiabank Rewards Visa Card is a good bet.

What you get:

  • One point for every $2 you spend on eligible purchases
  • Book and redeem for travel anytime with no restrictions
  • Access to their full-service travel agency
  • Savings on car rentals
  • Scotia rewards & SCENE points conversion option
  • Special offers and rewards
  • No annual fee

What you pay:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary cards
  • 19.99% interest on purchases
  • 22.99% interest on cash advances

Best cashback credit card in Canada

Cashback cards are a really great option for those of us who either aren’t keen on earning for travel, or who want to make some money off of the money we spend. Makes sense! There are a growing number of cashback cards on the market, but our favourite is the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card for its value and rewards.

What you get:

  • 4% cashback on gas and groceries
  • 2% cashback on drugstore purchases and recurring bill payments
  • 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • 24/7 concierge service
  • Access to the VISA Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection and the VISA Infinite Dining Series
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage
  • Waived membership fee the first year

What you pay:

  • $120 annual fee (as of August 1, 2019)
  • $50 supplementary card
  • 20.99% on purchases
  • 22.99% on cash advances

Best cashback card (no fee)

Luckily, unlike travel reward cards, there are quite a number of no-fee cashback cards on the market that you can choose from. Of all of them, we like the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card for its flexibility and bonuses.

What you get:

  • 4% cashback on purchases from three of 10 categories (e.g., grocery, furniture, etc.) of your choosing.
  • 0.5% money back on all other everyday purchases
  • Cash paid back monthly
  • No limit on how much cashback you can earn on a purchase
  • Ninety-day purchase protection
  • One-year extended warranty
  • Zero annual fee

What you pay:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 19.95% interest on purchases or cash advances

Best travel credit card for dining and transit

If you’re big into travel and want a card that will help you get around and enjoy your trip, we are fans of the American Express Cobalt Card. It’s an extremely versatile card that allows you to earn points and use points in a variety of ways.

What you get:

  • Two points per dollar on gas, taxis, public transportation and travel (air, water, rail, or road transport, plus hotels)
  • Five points per dollar on restaurants, coffee shops, bars, grocery stores, and food delivery
  • One point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Additional cards at no extra cost

What you pay:

  • $120 annual fee (paid in $10 monthly instalments)
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest on purchases
  • 22.99% interest on cash advances

Best student credit card in Canada

Anyone who has been on a university or college campus the first weeks of school have surely seen tables of credit companies wanting to sign up students for their first cards. The fact is, it’s important to responsibly build credit as early as possible so that you have a healthy credit score when you really need it. Of all of the cards out there, the best value is BMO SPC CashBack MasterCard. We love it because it gives cashback as a reward instead of points. Though you may want the points, it’s probably not the best use of rewards as you start trying to build credit.

What you get:

  • Welcome bonus of 5% cash back on everything for the first three months, up to $2,000 in purchases
  • 1% cash back on all purchases after the welcome bonus ends
  • Free membership to SPC (Student Price Card) which gives students additional discounts
  • No annual fee

What you pay:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest on purchases
  • 22.99% interest on cash advances

Best low-interest credit card

We know that the best way to manage a credit card is to pay it off in full every month. We also know that many of us fail to do that (see above about the average $8,000+ balance we all carry). If the greatest reward you can think of having is not having to get hit with massive interest on your balances, the American Express Essential Credit Card is a fantastic, super-low interest credit card that will make you feel a little bit less guilty about that balance you can’t seem to kick.

What you get:

  • The lowest interest rate on a card we could find!
  • Priority access to concert tickets with American Express Invites
  • No annual fee

What you pay:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 8.99% interest rate on purchases
  • 8.99% interest rate on cash advances
  • 1.99% interest in the first six months on balance transfers increasing to 8.99% after that

Best balance transfer credit card

Because of credit cards’ many great introductory offers, it’s often worthwhile to transfer credit debt from a card with high interest to a card with no or low interest. Many credit card companies offer low interest rates for balance transfers in perpetuity while others will only allow it once, and early.

For the best deal on a balance transfer, we like the MBNA True Line® Mastercard®.

What you get:

  • Welcome offer of a 0% promotional balance transfer rate for the first 10 months
  • Up to nine authorized users
  • Trip assistance which provides support for lost document and ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance, pre-trip information and legal assistance.
  • Low annual interest rate
  • No annual fee

What you pay:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 12.99% interest on purchases
  • 24.99% interest on cash advances
  • 12.99% on balance transfers

Best business credit card in Canada

If you’re in business, your credit needs are quite a bit different than what you require for personal use. There are a plethora of business credit cards on the market and it can be tedious to wade through them all to figure out which one is best suited to your particular needs. When it comes to the most well-rounded, accessible card, we recommend the BMO Rewards Business Mastercard.

What you get:

  • Welcome offer of no annual fee the first year
  • 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months
  • Three BMO Rewards points for every $1 spent on gas, office supplies and cell phone/internet
  • 1.5 BMO Rewards points for every $1 you spend
  • Travel protection
  • Liability Waiver Program protects your business against employee card abuse

What you pay:

  • $120 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary cards
  • 14.99% interest on purchases
  • 22.99% on cash advances

Best prepaid credit card Canada

Pre-paid cards are a really great way to both manage money in and money out, and to build credit. By preloading a card, you will never get yourself into a situation where you become one of the many who get into the habit of carrying large balances. We really like KOHO, which is more of a bank card, even though it acts as a credit card because it uses the VISA network. 

What you get:

  • The use of the VISA services when paying without credit reporting or impact
  • Free $20 when you use the code CASHMONEY20 when you sign up
  • Real-time spending insights
  • Automated savings goals
  • Instant 0.5% cashback on purchases
  • Referral bonuses

What you pay:

  • Only the money you load onto the card

Best secured credit card in Canada

A secured credit card is like a secured loan. You provide collateral of some sort to ensure that you have the funds to pay back what is owed. With a credit card, you give money to the lender upfront so they know the money is there to pay. The benefit of a secured credit card is that it gives you access to purchases that can only be made by credit, and also to build a good credit score. There are many out there on the market but we really like the Home Trust Secured Visa Card.

What you get:

  • No annual fee
  • Ability to make purchases online
  • Book trips
  • Good credit building

What you pay:

Option 1

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest on purchases

Option 2

  • $59 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • $14.99 interest on purchases

Best credit card with a sign-up/welcome bonus in Canada

Sign-up bonuses and incentives change constantly so it’s a good idea to do some research when picking a card. For right now, in the Fall/Winter of 2019, the best one we’ve seen is the above-mentioned American Express Cobalt Card.

Sign-up bonus

  • Five times the points on eligible restaurants up to $30,000 annually

What you get:

  • Two points per dollar on gas, taxis, public transportation and travel (air, water, rail, or road transport, plus hotels)
  • Five points per dollar on restaurants, coffee shops, bars, grocery stores, and food delivery
  • One point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Additional cards at no extra cost

What you pay:

  • $120 annual fee (paid in $10 monthly instalments)
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest on purchases
  • 22.99% interest on cash advances

Best credit card for car rental insurance Canada

If you travel a lot or don’t own your own vehicle and often rely on rentals, a card that makes renting a car easier and covers insurance would be a definite plus. We think the Scotiabank American Express is probably the best value with the best coverage.

What you get:

  • Car rental insurance that protects against theft and damage for up to 48 consecutive days and $65,000
  • 5,000 points when you spend up to $500 in the first three months
  • One point for every $1 you spend on everyday purchases
  • Save up to 25% on car rentals at participating AVIS and Budget locations
  • Travel emergency medical insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Trip interruption insurance
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • No annual fee

What you pay:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest on purchases
  • 22.99% interest on cash advances

Best no-annual-fee credit card in Canada

There is a wide variety of no-annual-fee credit cards out there on the market, and the benefits they offer are broad. So, the best card for one might not be the best for another. That said, as far as well-rounded benefits and rewards, we think the earlier mentioned MBNA True Line® Mastercard® Credit Card is going to be your best bet.

What you get:

  • Welcome offer of a 0% promotional balance transfer rate for the first 10 months
  • Up to nine authorized users
  • Trip Assistance which provides support for Lost Document and Ticket Replacement, Lost Luggage Assistance, Pre-trip Information and Legal Assistance.
  •  Low annual interest rate
  • No annual fee

What you pay:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 supplementary card
  • 12.99% interest on purchases
  • 24.99% interest on cash advances
  • 12.99% on balance transfers

Best US dollar credit card in Canada 

If you require a credit card that keeps money in American funds and charges you in American funds so that you don’t get hit with painful exchange fees, then a USD credit card is the best option for you. They’re useful if you make a lot of purchases or are paid in American dollars, travel regularly in the U.S., or have a bank account in the U.S. We like the RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold.

What you get:

  • One point for every $1 spent
  • Ability to spend in U.S. currency without dealing with exchange rates
  • Comprehensive suite of travel and purchase insurance
  • Low annual fee

What you pay:

  • $65 USD annual fee
  • $30 USD supplementary card
  • 19.99% interest on purchases
  • 22.99% interest on cash advances

 

Join The List

Read more: https://html.com/tags/comment-tag/#ixzz5iZ7GbenH