Best Credit Cards in Canada - 2021's Best Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards in Canada by Category

There are different types of credit cards in Canada. Finding the right one depends on your credit history, lifestyle, and income. Unsecured credit cards give rewards, secured cards help you build your credit history, and business credit cards have features that are helpful for entrepreneurs. Below are the common credit card types available in Canada:

Best Credit Cards in Canada 2021 by Category



1 - Best Cash Back Credit Card:
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
2 - Best Low Interest Credit Card:
HSBC Rewards Mastercard
3 - Best Balance Transfer Credit Card:
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
4 - Best No Annual Fee Credit Card:
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
5 - Best Credit Card for rebuilding credit:
No Fee Home Trust Secured Visa Card
6 - Best Travel Credit Card:
American Express Cobalt Card
7 - Best Travel Insurance Credit Card:
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
8 - Best No Foreign Exchange Fees:
HSBC World Elite Mastercard
9 - Best Rewards Credit Card:
American Express Cobalt Card
10 - Best Aeroplan Credit Card:
TD Aeroplan visa Infinite Card
11 - Best AIR MILES Credit Card:
American Express AIR MILESPlatinum Credit Card
12 - Best Grocery Credit Card:
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
13 - Best Gas Credit Card:
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card
14 - Best Premium Credit card:
American Express Platinum Card
15 - Best Business Credit Card:
American Express Business Edge

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1 - Best Cash Back Credit Card
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
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Annual Fee: $120
Purchases Interest Rate: 20.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Min Income Requirement: $60000
Why Apply:
  • Great welcome bonus
  • Cash back Rewards
  • Enhanced insurance package
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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  • Welcome bonus  The whooping 10% cashback bonus on the first three months is a very delicious offer to refuse.
  • No-nonsense rewards Rewards are clear, transparent, easy to earn and easy to redeem. Cash back rewards are paid out annually either as a deposit to eligible chequing or savings account or credited to your credit card statement.
  • Enhanced insurance package The improved insurance package is comparable with other more premium cards. It provides comprehensive coverage on travel, including rental car collision loss or damage as well as purchase security and extended warranty protection.
  • Additional Perks. Obtain exclusive offers from Scotiabank including concierge service, competitive hotel rates and upgrades, and access to dining and wine country programs.
  • Annual Fee. Gain access to all of the above perks at the cost of $120 per year.

Excellent credit card with outstanding benefits and full insurance coverage.

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card was the winner of the MoneySense best cashback card with a fee in 2019 - and for good reasons! Card holders earn cash back on all purchases at varying rates. There are also other perks of card ownership including access to exclusive Scotiabank events and offers, plus ample insurance coverage.

  • Special Welcome Offer. During the first three months of card ownership, earn a whopping 10% cash back on all purchases. This rate is only applicable for the first $2,000 of purchases.
  • Tiered Cash Back Rates. Earn 4% cash back for every dollar spent on groceries and recurring bill payments. Earn 2% cash back for every dollar spent on gas and daily transit. Finally, earn 1% cash back for every dollar spent elsewhere.
  • Additional Perks. Obtain exclusive offers from Scotiabank including concierge service, competitive hotel rates and upgrades, and access to dining and wine country programs.
  • Insurance Coverage. Ample coverage comes with this credit card, such as new mobile device, trip cancellation, trip interruption, purchase protection insurance and much more.
  • Annual Fee. Gain access to all of the above perks at the cost of $120 per year.
2 - Best Low Interest Credit Card
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard
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Annual Fee: $25
Purchases Interest Rate: 11.9%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 11.9%
Min Income Requirement: NA
Why Apply:
  • Low No Annual Fee
  • Rewards
  • Low interest rate
  • Insurance coverage
  • Price Protection
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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This card is perfect for any Canadian resident who wants a low-interest rate and coverage. With it, you can gain access to comprehensive travel insurance, price protection, zero liability protection, enhanced security, tap & pay, and worldwide acceptance.

Low Interest Rate :Reduce your interest on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.

Insurance Coverage: Shop confidently knowing that your eligible purchases are well-protected when you make them using your card.

Price Protection Service: If you find a lower price within 60 days of your purchase the difference will be refunded – up to $500.


The HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® stands out from the crowd not only because of the white logo and exquisite design but also because of the advantageous interest. With HSBC +Rewards® Mastercard®, you can enjoy a low 11.9% interest rate on everything, from purchases to balance transfer and cash advances.



With just an annual fee of $25, this card gives you a multitude of benefits that you can start reaping right away. You can earn 2 points for each $1 spent on eligible entertainment or dining. The current welcome bonus is 20,000 Points (up to $100 in value) when you spend $2,000 within 6 months of account opening*, as well as 1st Year annual fee waiver for Primary Cardholder*($25 value). Apply by September 27th


This card is perfect for any Canadian resident who wants a low-interest rate and coverage. With it, you can gain access to comprehensive travel insurance, price protection, zero liability protection, enhanced security, tap & pay, and worldwide acceptance.


How to redeem HSBC rewards points

You can track your rewards and make a redemption by logging into HSBC’s website or by calling 1-866-611-4722. HSBC rewards points can be redeemed for travel, experiences, merchandise or personal finances. A breakdown of each category can be found below.

Travel and experiences. Use your points to purchase airline tickets, vacation packages, car rentals, hotels, cruises, train tickets or tours. There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions. If you prefer to book through a travel agent other than HSBC, you can complete the purchase and have the amount refunded via HSBC points. However, you must make the claim within 60 days of the purchase date and you must secure the booking using your HSBC credit card.
From products to charitable donations to gift cards, the HSBC rewards catalogue has something for everyone.
Personal finances. Put your points towards your finances to reduce the burden. Rewards can be used to pay down your mortgage, add to your savings account or pay down your credit card balance.
Getting the most out of your HSBC rewards

The value of a HSBC point varies immensely depending on what you choose to make a redemption for. The value of each point is estimated below based on rewards type.

57 cents per point for experiences
5 cents per point for travel
47 cents per point for gift cards
42 cents per point for merchandise
3 cents per point for statement credits
As you can see, members obtain the most financial value when redeeming on travel and experiences. The least financial value is obtained when using points for personal finance purposes.

Keep in mind that qualitative aspects of the loyalty program should be considered when making a redemption too. If you receive the greatest intrinsic value when redeeming for merchandise, then you should use your points for that. After all, the program is for your personal benefit, use it for that purpose!




3 - Best Balance Transfer Credit Card
Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card
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Annual Fee: $29
Purchases Interest Rate: 12.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 12.99%
Min Income Requirement: NA
Why Apply:
  • Low No Annual Fee
  • Save on car rentals
  • Optional insurance coverage
  • Faster checkout
  • Free supplementary card
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months 

The Scotia Value Visa is aimed at individuals looking for a good balance transfer credit that offers decent privileges and a lower interest rate beyond the introductory promo period. Although it comes with a minimal fee, customers who cannot pay their balance in full can take advantage of the low post-promotional rate of 12.99%. Plus, if you regularly rent cars from Avis, then you might get the best value out of this card.

 

Why We Like It:

  • Save on car rentals -Save up to 25% when you use the Scotia Value Visa to book your rental cars with AVIS and other budget rental car locations in Canada.
  • Optional insurance coverage - For a small fee, depending on the remaining balance on your credit card, you can receive financial protection from a range of life events such as job loss, disability, critical illness, and loss of life.
  • Faster checkout -The payWave feature helps you save time by allowing you to simply wave the card or use the app on your mobile phone to pay for small purchases.
  • Free supplementary card - Get an additional supplementary cardholder at no extra charge.

Coming with an annual fee of $29 and a very good interest rate of 12.99% for both purchases and cash advances, the Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card is one of the best credit cards you can find on the market if you're keen on paying a low interest.

 

This card from Scotiabank comes with an amazing introductory offer of 0.99% for balance transfers. Basically, during the first 6 months, you can consolidate your debt and save hundreds of dollars on interest.

 

The only requirement to access this card is a minimum income of $12,000 a year, which is quite low. Most Canadians can get this card with ease. Once you get it, you'll be able to capitalize on certain perks.

 

First, you can pay an interest rate on balance transfers and cash advances of just 0.99% for the first 6 months. This means the rest of the year. This is one of the most attractive offers you can get in 2021. Second, you can get a free supplementary card for one of your family members or close friends.

 

Lastly, this card allows you to save 25% on car rentals, get optional protection and pay quickly at the checkout using the Visa app.



The Scotia Value Visa is aimed at individuals looking for a good balance transfer credit that offers decent privileges and a lower interest rate beyond the introductory promo period. Although it comes with a minimal fee, customers who cannot pay their balance in full can take advantage of the low post-promotional rate of 12.99%. Plus, if you regularly rent cars from Avis, then you might get the best value out of this card.

4 - Best No Annual Fee Credit Card
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
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Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.95%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 19.95%
Min Income Requirement: Any
Why Apply:
  • No Annual Fee
  • Unlimited Rewards
  • Automatic Monthly Cash back redemption
  • Flexibility
  • Get more rewards
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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Earn an extra 10% back* for a limited time with a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.

1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first 6 months


Regarded as one of the best credit card in Canada, Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card provides no annual fee, a lucrative 2% cash back in up to 3 merchant categories, and 0.5% on all other purchases with no caps, tiers or limits. It provides choice, value and convenience to beginner credit card users and even works great as a secondary credit card.

  • No annual fee -The no annual fee for both primary and secondary holders means that you are not paying for your cash back.
  • Unlimited rewards -Earn as much cash back rewards regardless of the category.
  • Automatic monthly cash back redemption -Every month, Tangerine will either apply your cashback dollars against your credit card balance or deposit it directly into your Tangerine Savings Account.
  • Flexibility - You can choose 2-3 categories for the 2% cash back and change categories once every 90 days to match your spending pattern.
  • Get more cash back rewards -Maximize your credit card rewards by choosing another cash back credit card that has bonus categories and using your Tangerine card to expand and get more bonus categories.

Great credit card for those who would like to maximize the cashback they earn by choosing their spend categories to earn more cashback.

Viewed as one of the best credit cards in Canada, Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card provides no annual fee, a lucrative 2% cash back in up to 3 merchant categories, and 0.5% on all other purchases with no caps, tiers or limits. It provides choice, value and convenience to beginner credit card users and even works great as a secondary credit card. Earn an extra 10% back* for a limited time with a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. Apply for a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card by August 16, 2021 and earn an extra 10% back (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.*


 The most notable feature is the cash back rewards. Who wouldn't want to earn money while they spend! In order to determine an estimate of how much you'll earn using this card, take your total credit card spending per month and multiply it by 1%. Typically, these card users average out to 1% cash back on purchases between the special 2% categories and 0.5% on all other purchases. If you spend $1,000 a month, you'll earn $10 ($1,000 x 0.01)!


Tangerine's Money Back Credit Card has lower than average fees as well. In addition, they are an excellent bank to work with since they're owned by Scotiabank. More often than not, Tangerine's clients benefit indirectly from Scotiabank's services without paying the big bank fees. That being said, Tangerine's services are so affordable because they don't offer in person services the way traditional banks do. If that's something you value, this card might not be right for you.

Pros of Tangerine Money back Mastercard

 

  • No annual fee -The no annual fee for both primary and secondary holders means that you are not paying for your cash back.You can carry this card at no cost
  • Unlimited Cash Back: -Earn as much cash back rewards regardless of the category.
  • There is no limit on how much cash back you can earn.
  • Insurance coverage: Extended warranty and purchase protection.
  • Promotional balance transfer rate: 1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first 6 months.
  • Automatic monthly cash back redemption -Every month, Tangerine will either apply your cashback dollars against your credit card balance or deposit it directly into your Tangerine Savings Account.
  • Flexibility - You can choose 2-3 categories for the 2% cash back and change categories once every 90 days to match your spending pattern.

 

Cons of Tangerine Money back Mastercard

 

  • The only drawback is that you will earn 0.5% for all purchases outside your top 2 or 3 money back categories.



The Tangerine Money Back Credit Card is one of the best credit cards on the market right now. Getting cash back as a reward is essentially the most optimal reward you can get since it can be put towards other expenses. In addition, this card is affordable to use and accessible to nearly every Canadian. 

5 - Best Credit Card for rebuilding credit
No Fee Home Trust Secured Visa Card
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Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 19.99%
Min Income Requirement: NA
Why Apply:
  • No Annual Fee
  • Flexible credit limit
  • Monthly reporting
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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The Home Trust Secured Visa is designed for individuals who need to rebuild or reestablish their credit. It offers easy approval for anyone and gives you a flexible credit limit, ranging from $500 to $10,000, depending on your security deposit. Of course, it also comes with other benefits such as a 21-day no-interest grace period and no annual fee.

Why We Like It:

  • Easy application – Start rebuilding your credit score immediately. Almost everyone is approved for this secured credit card.
  • No annual fee – You pay absolutely nothing to get and use this credit card.
  • Flexible credit limit – From a minimum deposit of $500, you can get a credit limit scaling at 1:1 all the way up to $10,000. The security deposit will also be reimbursed in full (minus the outstanding balance) should the credit card be cancelled in the future.
  • Low minimum payments – If you want to pay the minimum, you can pay whichever is higher: $10 or 3% of the monthly balance.
  • Monthly reporting – Home Trust reports your progress to major credit agencies each month – jumpstarting your credit repair.

The Home Trust secured credit card is an excellent credit card that enables those who do not have a good credit score to rebuild and reestablish it.

Almost everyone is approved(No credit, poor credit, bankruptcy and  consumer proposal).

To be approved for this secured credit card, the applicants need to provide a security deposit of $500 minimum and be of the age of majority in the province of residence.

This credit card does not offer any rewards but provides a 90 purchase protection to insure eligible items against theft or damage for 90 days from the date of purchase.

Each month Home Trust reports to Equifax and Transunion. This will ensure that your payment and credit history related to your Home Trust Secured credit card is updated with the major Canadians credit bureaus accordingly. You will need to make your payments on time each month to rebuild your credit.

Home Trust will give you back your deposit when you close your account.

The Home Trust secured credit card is one of the best cards in the market that can help you build your credit.

6 - Best Travel Credit Card
American Express Cobalt Card
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Annual Fee: $156
Purchases Interest Rate: 20.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 21.99%
Min Income Requirement: NA
Why Apply:
  • Generous first-year rewards
  • Redeem anything you want
  • Transferability of points
  • Flexibility
  • Free supplementary card
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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While geared towards young people, the American Express Cobalt® Card  has plenty features and benefits that make it appealing to a wide range of people. It offers 5x more points on eats and drinks from grocery shopping to dining out, and 2x points on travel and transit. Additionally, the ability to transfer points to hotel partners or to the Fixed Points Travel Program makes this the best travel credit card in Canada with a fee. If you spend a lot on food and travel, then this credit card deserves a place in your wallet.

  • Generous first-year rewards - You have the ability to earn up to 30,000 bonus points in the first year.
  • Redeem anything you want -Reward points can be redeemed for travel, restaurant, movies, and merchandise. Unlike other rewards card, you can use your points for almost anything you want.
  • Transferability of points -You can transfer points into the Marriott Bonvoy rewards system which unlocks access to amazing rewards programs like British Airways, Aeroplan, and more than 30 other airline partners. You can also transfer to the Hilton Honors rewards program at 1:1 ratio.
  • Monthly fee - Instead of paying for a one-time annual fee, you are charged every month, giving you time to test out the card and cancel it if it's not the right fit for your spending habits.
  • Free supplementary card - This usually costs an additional $50 on most rewards card. Get one for an immediate family member and boost your earning potential.

The American Express Cobalt® Card started out as a credit card designed for millennials and young professionals. Today, it’s one of the most flexible and versatile credit cards out there. In fact, it’s now commonly used by people from all walks of life because of the lucrative benefits.

 

One reason the American Express Cobalt® Card is so popular is because of the quick rewards that come with it. Points can be earned on everyday purchases which is what makes the earnings accumulate so rapidly. On food and drinks, such as grocery, restaurant, food delivery, bar and cafe purchases, cardholders earn five points per dollar spent.

 

On transit and travel, cardholders earn two points per dollar spent. These rewards are not limited to vacation only, cardholders will earn points when they spend on public transit, taxis and Ubers too. All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent. As you can see, no matter what your lifestyle is, you’ll quickly rack up points!

 

Points can be redeemed to cover the cost of flights and accommodation with 1,000 points being equivalent to $10. Flights don’t have any blackout dates and you can choose any airline you’d like. In addition, the points can be used to cover fees and taxes. If you don’t have an upcoming trip, you can also spend your points on events through Ticketmaster at a rate of 2,000 points to $20. As you probably noticed, the rate of return is the same when you spend on travel and events which is fantastic! For less bang for your buck, you can also use your points for gift cards or merchandise purchases.

 

Cardholders benefit from travel insurance as well. The insurance covers things like travel accidents, car rental insurance, medical emergencies, flight interruption or delay among others. Last but not least, cardholders gain access to American Express Invites which are limited offer, exclusive events.

 

All of these benefits sound amazing but there’s a cost for all the wonderful benefits. There’s a monthly fee of $12.99, which works out to be $155.88 per year. The monthly payment makes it easy for most to manage. Also, you need to make between $60,000 and $80,000 per year and have decent credit. The only disadvantage is the cap rate on the bonus points is 30,000. Another downside to this bonus is the points can’t be redeemed in a lump sum. This means there is a delay between when you earn the points and when you can redeem them.

 

That being said, the American Express Cobalt® Card is still an excellent option for those who travel a lot and make lots of eligible purchases.

If everything about this card sounds good to you, sign up today and receive an extra 2,500 points each month you spend $500 or more, an achievable spending rate for most! You can earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points.

7 - Best Travel Insurance Credit Card
Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card
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Annual Fee: $139
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Min Income Requirement: $60000
Why Apply:
  • Amazing welcome offer
  • Bonus earning offers
  • Scotia rewards earnings
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Airport lounge access
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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For an annual fee of $139, card holders obtain an array of travel benefits including point travel redemption, travel insurance and airport lounge access. Scotiabank boasts about this credit card because it is the only major bank in Canada that offers a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and airport lounge access.

 

  • Amazing Welcome Offer. When you spend $1,000 on the credit card within the first three months of ownership, you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points (worth about $300).
  • Bonus Earning Offers. If you spend $40,000 in a year with this credit card, you’ll earn an additional 10,000 points (worth about $100).
  • Scotia Rewards Earnings. Earn 2 Scotia points for every dollar you spend on groceries, dining, entertainment and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia point for every dollar spent on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. While the exchange rate of your foreign purchases will still apply, you’ll save money on foreign transaction fees which would typically be 2.5%.
  • Airport Lounge Access. A complimentary Priority Pass membership is provided with this credit card along with six free lounge visits per year.

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite*Card offers 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store, dining, entertainment, and transit purchases, and 1 point per $1 on everything else. That’s hardly best-in-class, so why does the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card tie for best Scotiabank travel credit card?

Two reasons: a very lucrative bonus point offer and no foreign transaction fees.

Let’s start with the bonus points. You earn 30,000 welcome points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. That’s worth up to $300, is easy to obtain, and is a solid reason to try this card for a year.

But wait, there’s more. Every year you charge $40,000 to your Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card, you’ll get 10,000 bonus points. If you can hit the $40,000 minimum each year, the 10,000 bonus points will nearly cancel out the $139 annual fee.

If that wasn’t enough, the Scotiabank Passport® Visa*doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees. It comes with a suite of travel insurance benefits, Visa Infinite benefits, and includes six free airport lounge passes.

8 - Best No Foreign Exchange Fees
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
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Annual Fee: $149
Purchases Interest Rate: 12.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 12.99%
Min Income Requirement: $60000
Why Apply:
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $100 annual travel enhancement credit
  • 31-day insurance coverage
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences 
  • Get unlimited Wi-Fi through Boingo 
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases(6 Points per $1) and 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases(3 Points per $1).

This card comes with no foreign transaction fees, 31-day emergency travel medical insurance coveragea 10% discount on hotel bookings, unlimited Wifi through Boingo, extended warranty, purchase assurance, and $100 travel enhancement credit.

The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is a modern rewards card that is quite useful for any clients who are using their credit cards for any type of purchase. With this card, you can get 6 points for every $1 you spend on eligible travel purchases, 3 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

 

This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, 31-day emergency travel medical insurance coverage, a 10% discount on hotel bookings, unlimited Wifi through Boingo, extended warranty, purchase assurance, and $100 travel enhancement credit.

 

The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® costs $149 a year and comes with a standard interest on purchases of 19.9% and interest on balance transfers and cash advances of 22.9%.The current Welcome Bonus is 20,000 Points (up to $100 value) PLUS apply by September 27th and get an additional 20,000 Points (up to $100 value) when you spend $5,000 within 6 months of account opening*, and get a 1st Year annual fee waiver for Primary Cardholder*($149 value/$99 value).

You can also earn 10,000 Points (up to $50 value) for adding your 1st Authorized User*, and receive an additional 20,000 Points (up to $100 value) as an Anniversary Bonus*

 

You can use all points accumulated on this card to purchase airplane tickets to the airline partners of HSBC, which are British Airways, Singapore Miles and Asia Miles. As for medical travel insurance, this card is one of the absolute best, coming with $1 million in medical insurance, $500,000 in common carrier travel insurance, $750 for lost or delayed baggage, $5,000 trip cancellation in total, and another $65,000 in auto rental collision insurance.

9 - Best Rewards Credit Card
American Express Cobalt™ Card
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Annual Fee: $156
Purchases Interest Rate: 20.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 21.99%
Min Income Requirement: NA
Why Apply:
  • Generous first-year-rewards
  • Redeem anything you want
  • Transferability of pointts
  • Flexibility
  • Free supplementary card
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
Apply Nowlock On American Express Secure Website

While geared towards young people, the American Express Cobalt® Card  has plenty features and benefits that make it appealing to a wide range of people. It offers 5x more points on eats and drinks from grocery shopping to dining out, and 2x points on travel and transit. Additionally, the ability to transfer points to hotel partners or to the Fixed Points Travel Program makes this the best travel credit card in Canada with a fee. If you spend a lot on food and travel, then this credit card deserves a place in your wallet.

  • Generous first-year rewards - You have the ability to earn up to 30,000 bonus points in the first year.
  • Redeem anything you want -Reward points can be redeemed for travel, restaurant, movies, and merchandise. Unlike other rewards card, you can use your points for almost anything you want.
  • Transferability of points -You can transfer points into the Marriott Bonvoy rewards system which unlocks access to amazing rewards programs like British Airways, Aeroplan, and more than 30 other airline partners. You can also transfer to the Hilton Honors rewards program at 1:1 ratio.
  • Monthly fee - Instead of paying for a one-time annual fee, you are charged every month, giving you time to test out the card and cancel it if it's not the right fit for your spending habits.
  • Free supplementary card - This usually costs an additional $50 on most rewards card. Get one for an immediate family member and boost your earning potential.

The American Express Cobalt® Card started out as a credit card designed for millennials and young professionals. Today, it’s one of the most flexible and versatile credit cards out there. In fact, it’s now commonly used by people from all walks of life because of the lucrative benefits.

 

One reason the American Express Cobalt® Card is so popular is because of the quick rewards that come with it. Points can be earned on everyday purchases which is what makes the earnings accumulate so rapidly. On food and drinks, such as grocery, restaurant, food delivery, bar and cafe purchases, cardholders earn five points per dollar spent.

 

On transit and travel, cardholders earn two points per dollar spent. These rewards are not limited to vacation only, cardholders will earn points when they spend on public transit, taxis and Ubers too. All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent. As you can see, no matter what your lifestyle is, you’ll quickly rack up points!

 

Points can be redeemed to cover the cost of flights and accommodation with 1,000 points being equivalent to $10. Flights don’t have any blackout dates and you can choose any airline you’d like. In addition, the points can be used to cover fees and taxes. If you don’t have an upcoming trip, you can also spend your points on events through Ticketmaster at a rate of 2,000 points to $20. As you probably noticed, the rate of return is the same when you spend on travel and events which is fantastic! For less bang for your buck, you can also use your points for gift cards or merchandise purchases.

 

Cardholders benefit from travel insurance as well. The insurance covers things like travel accidents, car rental insurance, medical emergencies, flight interruption or delay among others. Last but not least, cardholders gain access to American Express Invites which are limited offer, exclusive events.

 

All of these benefits sound amazing but there’s a cost for all the wonderful benefits. There’s a monthly fee of $12.99, which works out to be $155.88 per year. The monthly payment makes it easy for most to manage. Also, you need to make between $60,000 and $80,000 per year and have decent credit. The only disadvantage is the cap rate on the bonus points is 30,000. Another downside to this bonus is the points can’t be redeemed in a lump sum. This means there is a delay between when you earn the points and when you can redeem them.

 

That being said, the American Express Cobalt® Card is still an excellent option for those who travel a lot and make lots of eligible purchases.

If everything about this card sounds good to you, sign up today and receive an extra 2,500 points each month you spend $500 or more, an achievable spending rate for most! You can earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points.

10 - Best Aeroplan Credit Card
td aeroplan visa
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Annual Fee: $139
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Min Income Requirement: $60000
Why Apply:
  • Earn Aeroplan points on every purchase 
  • Extensive insurance coverage
  • Air Canada Travel Benefits
  • Flexibility
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is a versatile credit card that allows you to earn Aeroplan miles, get a comprehensive travel insurance package, and earn rewards at a decent rate. With TD being the official partner of Aeroplan, we consider this one of the best Aeroplan credit card in Canada. It targets members and gives double miles when used together with the Aeroplan membership card.

  • Earn Aeroplan points on your everyday Purchases. Whether you use your TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card for gas, bills or groceries, you’re rewarded with Aeroplan points that can take you across the globe
  • Redeem your rewards any time – Every seat, every flight, no restrictions
    Every Air Canada seat available to buy for cash is also available for points – no restrictions, no blackout periods.
  • Use Aeroplan points for more than just flights - Redeem your points across your trip, from hotel rooms to car rentals.
  • Peace of mind when travelling – With a medical coverage that includes standard protection and up to $2 million coverage during the first 10 days of a trip, this card lets you travel in peace. In addition, it also offers access to emergency travel assistance as well as delayed and lost baggage insurance.
  • Assistance on the road – This credit card gives you complimentary membership to the company’s TD Auto Club and makes you eligible for free emergency roadside assistance anytime.

The most obvious feature of this credit card is in the name, it has a connection to Aeroplan. Aeroplan is Canada’s frequent flyer program and the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite allows card holders to earn Aeroplan points on daily expenditures. In addition, there is a welcoming bonus of 10,000 bonus Aeroplan points with your first purchase. It doesn’t take much to start earning!

 

Card holders earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on groceries, pharmacies, gas and Air Canada purchases. One point per dollar spent is earned on all other purchases. A notable benefit of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card is you can earn points on everyday expenditures which means it’s not challenging to earn at all.

 

In addition to the ease of earning points, cardholders gain access to travel insurance. The insurance covers car rental insurance, delayed or lost baggage, trip cancellation or interruption, flight delay, travel accident and medical emergency expenses. However, insurance only applies when you charge the full cost to your TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite which can be inconvenient when you’re abroad. Finally, cardholders have special Air Canada benefits when you redeem your points for Air Canada flights. These include priority check-in, priority boarding, an annual visit to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge and a complimentary first checked bag.

 

A pitfall of this credit card is the $139 annual fee. TD will waive the fee for the first year if you have an All-Inclusive Account and have $5,000 or more sitting in that account. Another disadvantage is that it's hard to peg the actual value of the points you earn. The amount of points you need for a flight depends on your desired travel class and destination. TD allows card holders to redeem their points on any Air Canada flight or any other Star Alliance partner airline which gives you ample choice. While the travel points aren’t the best on the market, it can be an extremely favourable card for those who like to travel with Air Canada.

 

All in all, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card has a lot of advantages, but they’re not the best on the market. Also, the disadvantages can off put the advantages making it subpar. However, it is more attainable than other travel based credit cards on the market and is an excellent choice if you already bank with TD and work with Aeroplan.

11 - Best AIR MILES Credit Card
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
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Annual Fee: $120
Purchases Interest Rate: 20.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 21.99%
Min Income Requirement:NA
Why Apply:
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Wide variety of rewards
  • Travel and shopping insurance
  • Flexibility
  • No income requirements
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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If you pay all your credit card balance monthly and is good at managing money, it makes perfect sense to get a credit card that rewards you – especially if it means free flights. Delivering the right mix of rewards and a low annual fee, the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card is a sensible credit card for people with mid to high spending. It gives you a lucrative welcome bonus, a generous rewards and referral program, and a good earn rate for an affordable annual fee.

Good value – For a $120 annual fee, this credit card provides more than enough travel benefits, rewards and insurance coverage.

  • Generous welcome bonus – This credit card comes with a 2,000 MILES sign-up bonus that is worth $200 as cash AIR MILES. This is already enough for a short-haul flight.
  • Wide variety of rewards – With more than 1000 rewards to choose from, you can redeem everything from travel to movie tickets, electronics, and more.
  • Sufficient travel and shopping insurance – You get car rental theft and damage insurance, $100,000 travel accident insurance, purchase protection plan, and buyer’s assurance protection plan.

Owners of the American Express Air Miles Platinum credit card earn one Air Mile for every $5 spent on eligible expenses. These expenses include food, drinks, groceries, gas, ride share and transit purchases in Canada, to name a few. Card holders also earn 1 Mile for every $10 spent on non-eligible purchases. Card holders also have the opportunity to earn 2,000 bonus Air Miles.

New American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card Cardmembers, earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES®* Bonus Miles when you charge a total of $1,500 in purchases to your Card within your first three months of Cardmembership. That’s enough to redeem for $200 towards your purchases with AIR MILES®* Cash When it comes to points redemption, card holders can use them to purchase flights, merchandise, electronics, hotels, car rentals, among many other things.

In addition, card holders will get 25% bonus Miles, based on how many you’re spending, on their first single flight or vacation package purchased through Air Miles once per calendar year. This once a year offer caps at 750 Air Miles, but still will contribute to one of your annual trips! Card holders also benefit from Front of the Line, Insider Access, travel insurance and shopping insurance from American Express. There are also no income requirements, aside from paying the annual fee of $120.

In conclusion, the American Express Air Miles Platinum credit card is an excellent choice, particularly if you’re already invested in Air Miles’ loyalty program. You’ll also reap the benefits of low commitment balance transfers and other American Express benefits. Keep in mind that if you’re not keen on the annual fee of this credit card, American Express offers a basic Air Miles credit card with no annual fees.

12 - Best Grocery Credit Card
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
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Annual Fee: $120
Purchases Interest Rate: 20.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Min Income Requirement: $60000
Why Apply:
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Great rewards
  • Enhanced insurance package
  • Additional perks
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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For people who love to eat and drive, the Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite Card is the best rewards credit card with a fee. It provides an unrivaled 4% cash back on food and gas along with 2% on recurring payments and drugstore purchases, and 1% on the rest. On top of that, this card also comes with comprehensive insurance benefits and concierge benefits.

  • Welcome bonus  The whooping 10% cashback bonus on the first three months is a very delicious offer to refuse.
  • No-nonsense rewards Rewards are clear, transparent, easy to earn and easy to redeem. Cash back rewards are paid out annually either as a deposit to eligible chequing or savings account or credited to your credit card statement.
  • Enhanced insurance package The improved insurance package is comparable with other more premium cards. It provides comprehensive coverage on travel, including rental car collision loss or damage as well as purchase security and extended warranty protection.
  • Additional Perks. Obtain exclusive offers from Scotiabank including concierge service, competitive hotel rates and upgrades, and access to dining and wine country programs.
  • Annual Fee. Gain access to all of the above perks at the cost of $120 per year.

Excellent credit card with outstanding benefits and full insurance coverage. The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card was the winner of the MoneySense best cashback card with a fee in 2019 - and for good reasons! Card holders earn cash back on all purchases at varying rates. There are also other perks of card ownership including access to exclusive Scotiabank events and offers, plus ample insurance coverage.

Special Welcome Offer. During the first three months of card ownership, earn a whopping 10% cash back on all purchases. This rate is only applicable for the first $2,000 of purchases. Tiered Cash Back Rates. Earn 4% cash back for every dollar spent on groceries and recurring bill payments. Earn 2% cash back for every dollar spent on gas and daily transit. Finally, earn 1% cash back for every dollar spent elsewhere.

Additional Perks. Obtain exclusive offers from Scotiabank including concierge service, competitive hotel rates and upgrades, and access to dining and wine country programs. Insurance Coverage. Ample coverage comes with this credit card, such as new mobile device, trip cancellation, trip interruption, purchase protection insurance and much more. Annual Fee. Gain access to all of the above perks at the cost of $120 per year.

13 - Best Gas Credit Card
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card
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Annual Fee: $129
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Min Income Requirement: $60000
Why Apply:
  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Travel convenience
  • Additional protection
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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Generous sign-up bonus
Flexible redemption options
Travel convenience
Additional protection

With a generous rewards rate of 5 points per dollar on gas, groceries, restaurants and entertainment, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card will help make your travel plans a reality. Plus, with a flexible points program, you can book you flights on your own schedule.Excellent credit card with 7 types of travel coverage and great reward earn rates. Generous sign-up bonus -The Scotiabank Gold American Express offers a way for new cardholders to quickly stockpile points.

It lets you earn 50,000 bonus points in your first year. Flexible redemption options - With the Scotia Rewards Program, you can book your travel with any airline or hotel through its full-service travel agency. You can use your points to cover the whole cost of the trip, including taxes and fees, or combine your points and a charge to your card. Points can also be used to book hotels and rental cars. Travel convenience - Added features such as rental car discounts and hotel room upgrades are designed to make travel as convenient and comfortable as possible. Additional protection - This Amex credit card provides has one of the most comprehensive travel protection benefits with insurance against flight delays and lost baggage even insurance against burglaries.

14 - Best Premium Credit card
American Express Platinum Card
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Annual Fee: $699
Purchases Interest Rate: NA
Cash Advance Interest Rate: NA
Min Income Requirement: NA
Why Apply:
  • No Annual Fee
  • Unlimited Rewards
  • Automatic Monthly Cash back redemption
  • Flexibility
  • Get more rewards
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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Up to 80,000-Membership Rewards® points bonus
No credit limit
Premium airport lounge access
Premium insurance

This card is the most exclusive credit card in the market however it comes with a $699 annual fee which is one the highest for a Canadian credit cards. The Platinum Card® is perfect for those who are looking for a luxury credit card with outstanding benefits, rewards, insurances, and platinum experiences.

The annual fee is high however a frequent traveler will enjoy every single benefit on this card.
Platinum Card's rewards earn rate: Earn 3 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining in Canada Earn 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel Earn 1 point for every $1 in all other Card purchases
Pros Up to 80,000-Membership Rewards® points bonus: As a New Platinum® Card Cardmember, you could earn 65,000 Welcome Bonus points when you charge $6,000 in purchases to your Card in the first 3 months of Cardmembership

credit limit: There is no preset credit limit with this credit card

Premium airport lounge access: Complimentary access to over 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries.

Premium insurance: The Platinum Card® offers different types of insurance like below: $500,000 Travel Accident Travel Emergency Assistance Trip Cancellation /Trip Interruption Car Rental Theft/Damage Lost or Stolen Baggage Flight Delay Baggage Delay Cons High annual fees: The Platinum Card has an annual fee of $699. Each additional card is $175.

15 - Best Business Credit Card
American Express Business Edge™
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Annual Fee: $99
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 21.99%
Min Income Requirement: $60000
Why Apply:
  • Purchase Protection Plan
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
  • Employee Card Misuse Protection
  • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
Recommended Credit Score:
670 900
 
 
 
 
 
Average to Excellent
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Purchase Protection Plan
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
Employee Card Misuse Protection
Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan

As the name of this credit card implies, this card is designed for the unique, modern needs of business owners. Card holders earn three times the points for purchases made on essential business expenditures, such as office supplies, electronics, food, drinks, transportation and gas. For all other purchases, regular points are earned. As you can see, this card ensures that business owners easily earn points where ever it is they spend.

When you get this credit card, AMEX will greet you with 57,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 or more on the credit card within the first three months of card membership. All of these perks are fantastic and the cost is a reasonable $99 per year. Additional cards come with no annual fee which means that your coworkers can obtain a card free of charge while contributing to your points balance and paying for necessary business expenses. Card holders also benefit from being able to pay off their balance at any time, insurance, Front of the Line access and custom business tools. After you've earned a healthy points balance, you can redeem them for travel, dining, entertainment, retail and merchandise purchases, among many others.

The only disadvantage to this credit card is that it is not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard. However, this usually is not a huge disadvantage to most businesses since they typically have more than one credit card available for use on top of other payment methods.? All in all, the American Express Business Edge credit card is an excellent choice for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Points can be earned and redeemed on a wide array of things which gives you the best of both worlds.

Finally, this credit card is an optimal choice if your business is new to credit cards and you don?t want to make a big commitment just yet!

*Learn more about our credit card rating methodology and editorial guidelines.
Best Credit Cards in Canada by Category
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Credit Card FAQ'S

What is a Credit Card?

When a business such as a bank lends you money it is called credit. A credit card essentially allows you to spend the bank’s money and pay them back later, all through the use of a small plastic card.

Credit cards are convenient, secure, and help build your credit rating if you use them responsibly. Paying for goods with a credit card also gives you the backing of the credit card company’s fraud handling measures. If your card is used fraudulently without your knowledge, the credit card company will almost certainly pay you back.

However, it’s important to remember that credit cards have annual fees and/or interest to pay. If you don’t pay off the entire balance each month, then you will pay interest on the balance. If you use a credit card at an ATM you will likely be charged a cash advance fee.

Your credit card will also have a credit limit – the maximum amount you are allowed to borrow on the credit card at one time. Once you’ve paid off some or all of the credit used, you’ve essentially reset it and the amount paid becomes available again minus interest and charges (as opposed to bank loans where the credit is non-revolving.)


How Do Credit Cards Work?

Your bank will typically give you a monthly billing cycle. This doesn’t necessarily run from the first of each month to the last but is based on your account open date.

At the end of each billing cycle, your bank will send you a credit card statement that shows how much you owe them. You can choose to pay the entire amount – this means you won’t have to pay any interest – or you can choose to pay the minimum amount or some amount in the middle. There is an interest-free grace period where you are not charged interest on your balance.

If you pay less than the full amount, interest is charged. which is a percentage of the amount you owe them. Credit card interest is usually calculated daily and charged monthly. Typically, a bank will charge 19.99% interest per month.

Credit card providers typically charge other fees including:

  • An annual fee
  • A fee when you make a payment in a foreign country or in a foreign currency
  • A fee for paying your bill late
  • A fee for using your card to advance cash, such as taking money out at an ATM.

A charge card is a special type of credit card that requires you to repay the entire balance in full each month. American Express is well known for its charge cards.



Issuers vs. Networks

You get a credit card either from a bank or other financial institution – the issuer. They are the ones who physically issue you the card, extend you a credit limit, set the terms and conditions of use, and deal with customer inquiries.

However, each bank doesn’t run their own credit card network – they all use one or more credit card networks. Some of the major credit card networks in use in Canada are MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. These companies handle the immense infrastructure required to support a worldwide credit card system.

 

Types of Credit Card

 

Unsecured Credit Cards

These credit cards are acquired through banks and financial groups. Because they are “unsecured,” you don’t have to put a security deposit or collateral And the application is easy if you have a favorable credit rating.

Unsecured credit cards vary in annual fees, interest rates, and rewards. Let’s look at the different types of unsecured credit cards:

 

Low-Interest Credit Cards

Also known as Low APR credit cards, these credit cards are great if you carry a balance each month. Their zero interest and low installment payment terms are also very useful when you need to make a large purchase.

Low-interest credit cards can have a single fixed rate annual percentage rate (APR) or a low APR that increases after a specific period. Because these credit cards have different terms, it’s best to read the terms and conditions of the introductory rate to avoid surprises such as accumulated interest.

 

No Fee Credit Cards

Getting a credit card with no annual fee will help you maximize earnings while minimizing costs. Just like any other unsecured credit card, a no-fee credit card helps you earn rewards such as hotel stays, merchandise, miles, and cashbacks.

Here’s the caveat: annual fees on credit cards can also mean higher rewards. However, if you’d rather save money than earn rewards, then you may want to check out credit cards with no annual fees.

 

Rewards Credit Cards

This type of credit card gives more rewards on credit purchases. There are three general types of rewards: travel, cashback, and points. Cashback credit cards are popular because they give cash rewards for each purchase. You can redeem these rewards for cash to buy goods.

On the other hand, general rewards credit cards give you points that you can use for plane tickets, gift cards, and merchandise. Some rewards cards are partnered with certain companies and brands. If you want to accumulate rewards for certain brands, then you might want to get a rewards credit card. Some examples are hotel rewards cards, gas cards with points or rebates, and retail rewards cards. If you are a frequent traveler, then you might want to apply for airline mile / frequent flier credit cards.

Rewards credit cards are recommended for individuals who regularly pay off their balances. This way, you can maximize the rewards by minimizing finance charges.

 

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Ideal for people with already existing credit card debt, balance transfer credit cards have a low-interest rate and a lower introductory rate on balance transfers for a period of time. Apply for a balance transfer credit card if you want to save money from your high-interest-rate balance.

When comparing credit cards, look at the duration of the payment term and the interest rate. Ask yourself: How long can I pay my debt without interest? The longer the zero-interest payment period and the lower the rate, the better.

You may also want to compare the balance transfer fee of these credit cards. Most balance transfer cards have a “teaser” interest rate of 0% that can last for several months to a year. Always make sure to review the terms and conditions of each card before you apply.

 

Secured Credit Cards

A secured credit card is a good option for people who want to build their credit score or repair damaged credit. Unlike unsecured cards, this type of credit card requires a security deposit. The credit limit of each card depends on the amount of your deposit.

Secured credit cards have different annual fees and interest rates. If you want to rebuild your credit, go for secured cards from financial institutions that also offer unsecured credit cards. A consistent track record of on-time payments may earn you an upgrade to an unsecured card.

 

Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards help entrepreneurs separate their business and personal expenses while providing additional features and rewards ideal for business owners. For example, these cards give the flexibility on payments, rewards on typical office purchases, and airport lounge access. Some business credit cards also include free supplementary credit cards for employees. Other “business perks” include higher credit limits, expense management reports, and purchase protection policies.

 

U.S. Dollar Credit Cards

These credit cards are for Canadians who love to shop across the border - whether it’s buying online from US retailers or booking hotels out of the country. With a U.S. dollar credit card, you can spend money and pay bills in U.S. currency which eliminates discrepancies in exchange rates and conversion fees.

Tip: Consider applying for U.S. dollar credit cards if you regularly travel across the border, buy items from U.S. retailers and vendors, or have a U.S. dollar bank account.

 

Student Credit Cards

Getting a student credit card is your first step to building your credit history. The key is to look for a card with low-interest rates, no annual fees, and generous rewards. By faithfully paying off your balance each month, you can establish a good credit rating that will help you in your future application for a house or car loan.

However, remember that being in college does not automatically qualify you for a student credit card. You may need to show proof of income and good credit history to get approved. In this case, the best option is to get a secured credit card.

 



Comparing Credit Cards

 

There are literally hundreds of different credit cards on the market, all with different interest rates, terms, fees, and benefits. There’s no perfect card and choosing the best one for your needs comes down to your financial situation, credit history, needs, and requirements.

Your credit history will be a big factor in the type and number of credit cards banks will offer you. If you have good credit, then you’ll be offered cards with low-interest rates, high credit limits and additional perks such as the ability to collect air miles or discounts on hotels. If you have a poor credit rating, you will be considered more of a risk and, therefore, only get cards with higher interest rates and a lower credit limit.

Your age can factor into this too – if you are young, you won’t have built up much credit history. Consider a student credit card or a charge card to build up your credit rating. Only by using credit responsibly will your credit rating improve.

Your income will also play a big part in which credit cards are open to you – banks want to know that you’ll be able to repay the credit they are extending you. With a steady income flow coming into your bank account they can see that you have the means to repay your debts.

Apart from choosing the credit card with the lowest interest rate and fees for your situation, you might also want to consider the extra perks that come with some credit cards. Some offer cash-back when you spend in certain shops; others offer a points system that you can use to for example pay for travel with your credit card.



How to Apply for a Credit Card

 

Applying for a credit card is quite easy, whether you do it in person, at a bank, or online. The card issuer will need some documents from you to gauge whether you are a good fit for their credit card offers.

They will typically ask for pay stubs that show your income, bank statements, or an alternative proof of income. They will also ask for documents that prove your identity and residence, such as a government-issued ID and a utility bill in your name.

Every credit card will have different eligibility requirements. Some will require that you have a minimum annual income. Most require that you are 18 years old, while others 21.

After you have given the credit card issuer these details and documents, they will typically look over your application and approve/decline it. If approved, your credit card will be sent to your home address in 7 to 10 business days and you can begin spending once you activate it.



Which credit card is for me?

 

There are different types of credit cards in Canada. Finding the right one depends on your credit history, lifestyle, and income. Unsecured credit cards give rewards, secured cards help you build your credit history, and business credit cards have features that are helpful for entrepreneurs. We recommend comparing interest rates, payment terms, annual fees, and rewards to find the right credit card for you.



What are the different types of credit card rewards?

 

There are different rewards for different cards. The most common are cash back, travel points, store points, and free gas. Let’s have a look at each of them:

  • Cashback rewardsCash back rewards are rebates and typically range from 0.75% - 4.00% of your purchase. These rebates can be used as cash, and can be mailed to you as a cheque, transferred to your bank account, or applied to your statement.
  • Travel points – These credit card rewards usually come in the form of air miles and can be used to purchase airplane tickets and free flights. Travel points are also used to redeem perks such as hotel stays and car rentals. Best for travelers, some credit cards also offer more points for travel purchases.
  • Store points – Store credit cards are provided by select retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot, Ikea, and HBC, to name a few. Points are earned from purchases, not necessarily from the same store, and can be used to redeem merchandise from their store.
  • Free gas – Gas rewards credit cards allow you to earn points for purchases (up to 2x for gas purchases) that can be used at specific gas stations. These cards also give additional discounts on select gas and tire
  • Other rewards – Some credit cards also include other rewards such as insurance products. They come at no added cost and bring value during unforeseen events.



How to choose the best credit cards rewards program

 

Before deciding to apply for your next credit card, consider your monthly spending and rewards preference.

  • Think about your spending habits. Where do most of your credit card purchases go? Some credit cards offer 2x – 3x points for specific purchases like groceries, restaurants, gas, and travel.
  • Consider the sign-bonus and terms. Some cards offer more bonus points, cash back and travel mileage as a sign-up bonus. Look into these terms and see how they fit in the long-term picture.
  • Decide how you want to claim your reward. If want additional spending money each month, then a cash back rewards program would be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you frequent grocery stores or gas stations, then credit cards linked to your favorite stores may give you better rewards.



Determine Your Eligibility for Credit Cards

 

Credit card lenders perform a credit check every time you submit an application. Credit checks from lenders and other third parties negatively impacts your credit score. For this reason, you should only apply for credit cards that you genuinely have a chance at getting approved for.

Some lending institutions provide minimum requirements for their borrowers that can be assessed before you apply. By considering minimum requirements, you will ensure that you don’t apply for a credit card that you will automatically get denied for. Below are some additional criteria to consider.

 

Sources of Income

Rewards and cash back cards tend to have minimum income requirements. Most banks consider the income of the applicant only, while others will consider the combined income of a household.

 

Credit Score

Your credit score plays a major role in all your personal finances and borrowing, including credit cards. Knowing your credit score can give you an idea of what types of credit cards you will be eligible for. If your credit score isn’t the greatest, you probably won’t get approved for the highest valued credit cards out there. Also, you can work on giving your credit score a boost before you apply to put your best foot forward with credit card issuers.

 

Residential Status and Age

In Canada, you must be a Canadian resident and the age of majority in your province to obtain a credit card. Usually this age is either 18 or 19, check your province’s age of majority if you’re unsure which age is applicable to you.

 

 

Complete Your Application

Now you have your sights set on a credit card that will work for you, it’s time to apply, finally! The quickest and easiest way to apply for a credit card is online, but you can also mail or fax your application, apply over the phone or visit the financial institution in person to complete your application. Keep in mind that applying using any method other than online will be much more time consuming.

Each application requires different information from the borrower, however, below is some basic information you can expect to submit with your application.

  • Personal information, such as your name, address, email address and phone number
  • Rent or mortgage payment amounts
  • Occupation and current employer
  • Annual income
  • Spouse’s or total household income
  • Social insurance number

 

Wait for Approval

You submitted your application, now it’s time to wait for approval. Approval can take a couple minutes if done online, unless the credit card provider needs more information from you. If additional information is needed, it can hold up the process for several days. If you applied using another method other than the internet, the process can take several days or weeks.

 

What to Do When You’re Declined

If you weren’t approved for a credit card, figure out why so you don’t make the same mistake again. Below are some common reasons for credit card non-approval. If none of the below are the reason you got declined, reach out to the lender to find out why.

  • Do not meet the credit card’s minimum income requirements
  • Information on your credit card application does not match your credit report
  • You aren’t a Canadian resident or the age of majority
  • Your credit score is too low to qualify for the credit card

 

Being declined for a credit card, or anything for that matter, is never fun, but it also isn’t the end of the world. Perhaps you applied for a credit card that was slightly out of your reach for your current financial position, and that’s okay! The important thing is that you learn from your financial mistakes. When you apply for another credit card, consider the reason you got declined and work on your personal finances to get approved the next time around.




Tips to Avoid Credit Card Debt

 

Have an emergency fund

Most people use their credit cards when an emergency arises (e.g. for paying medical bills or after a car breaks down). Setting aside a fund for emergencies which is typically 3 months’ worth of your overall expenses will help you not rely on your credit card during unforeseen circumstances.

 

Buy only things you can afford

Treat your credit card as cash and only swipe it on stuff you can afford.

 

Pay your balance in full and on time every time

Once you miss a payment, not only will you have to make up for the missed payment, but you will also have to pay the late fee and interest rate. This not only puts a strain on your budget, but it also puts you at risk of using your credit card again to make ends meet.

 

Understand your credit card terms

It is recommended that you read through your credit card agreement. Make sure you understand the interest rates, fees, billing dates.

 

Keep away from unnecessary balance transfers

Balance transfers can increase your balance because providers charge a balance transfer fee. As much as possible

Author Bio

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Mohamed Konate
Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where he managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook.