When it comes to buying the best credit cards in Canada, you might find it confusing with the sheer number of options you see. In this article, we list our top selections of the best credit cards after considering them according to specific needs. Some of these needs include the types of credit cards which dictate how much a person is willing to pay annually, special perks or benefits for cardholders, travel needs or a cool welcome bonus and rewards programs.
These needs will help you make your decision faster because if what you want is rewards, then we have the best picks for you and the same goes for cash back cards to travel rewards cards to low interest cards to the best card for everyday spending. Most importantly keep in mind that, there is no such thing as one best credit card. You should pick a credit card that fulfils your lifestyle. Here are the best credit cards in Canada:
Best Credit Cards Canada Listed According To Different Needs
Best Credit Cards Canada For Cash Back
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card:
The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card offers you 2% cash back in two spending categories of your choice (from a list of 10 options), in addition to 0.5% on all other purchases. If you choose to put your cash back rewards in a Tangerine savings account, you’ll get a third bonus category earning 2% cash back once again.
Your bonus category options can be used for: groceries, restaurants,gas, home improvement, drugstores, entertainment, furniture, motel-hotel, recurring bills, and public transportation such as parking, taxis and rideshares like Uber. The world is your expenses/bills oyster.
This highly customizable card makes it easy to earn cash back in the areas where you spend the most, and at 2%, it gives among the highest return on bonus categories of any no fee credit card. Interestingly, there’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards are refunded monthly (for most cards, it’s annually) as either a credit on your account statement or a deposit in your Tangerine savings account. You can also decide to change your 2% bonus categories any time of the year, though it’ll take at least one statement period for the updates to come into effect.
- Even though this card is lacking in terms of insurance coverage, free supplementary cards are available for authorized users and new cardholders can receive a promotional balance transfer rate of 1.95% for the first six months.
- If you have an annual income of $60,000, as a process within the application, you’ll gain access to the higher-tier Tangerine World Mastercard which does offer rental car and mobile device coverage.
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite:
The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is a wonderful cash back credit card that gives competitive perks and rewards and comes with a superb welcome offer. Cardholders can earn an impressive 4% cash back on groceries, recurring bills and subscription services—a structure that may well suit large families or households. Transportation expenses—gas and public transit—earn at 2%, and everything else comes in at 1%. Note that there’s a $25,000 cap on qualifying spends in each category; any purchase exceeding that quantity will earn the bottom 1%. There’s also $1,000 in mobile device insurance and $1,500 per person in trip cancellation protection.
Since this is a Visa Infinite card, there is a minimum annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 required to get the approval for this card. The annual fee—now $120—will be waived for new applicants for the first year.
Annual fee: $120 (first year free)
Welcome bonus: 10% cash back on all of your purchases for 3 months, upto $2,000.
- Groceries, recurring bills and subscription services – 4% cash back
- Transportation system and gas – 2% cash back
- Everything else – 1% cash back
Income requirement: $60,000 (personal) or $100,000 (household)
- Mobile device insurance
- Travel insurance
- Concierge service
- Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country Series
Here’s an example with numbers to illustrate this further: Let’s assume you spend $1,000 on groceries per month. With this card, you will be pocketing a neat little $40 cash back from that. Let’s say your monthly expenditure on recurring bills is $300, you will get an additional $12 for that. So that’s $52 from just the first category in a month. What’s more, you can enjoy the welcome bonus earn rate of 10% on all categories of expenditure for the first three months.
SimplyCashTM American Express:
The SimplyCash American Express Card is another fantastic option to earn cash rewards and goes with supplementary cards, no annual fee, and entertainment and travel benefits. Customers earn 5 percent fast cash back during the 6-month promotional period and 1.25 percent back afterwards. Additional benefits include car rental theft and damage coverage, promotional balance transfer rate, shopping discounts, weekend getaway deals, and access to exclusive events such as theater performances and concerts.
- Funds advance rate: 22.99 percent
- Purchase rate: 19.99 percent
- Annual Fee: No
Best Credit Cards Canada For Low Interest
MBNA True Line Mastercard Credit Card:
If you are carrying a balance on another credit card and you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card with a low-interest rate, the MBNA True Line Mastercard credit card is an excellent choice.
This low interest rate credit card comes with a very competitive annual interest rate (AIR) of 12.99% on all purchases. Plus, if you’re carrying a balance on another credit card with higher interest, this card comes with an exceptional balance transfer offer: get a 0% promotional annual interest rate for 10 months on balance transfers completed within 90 days of account opening, with a fee of 3% (minimum fee of $7.50 CAD). The interest rate on transferred balances reverts to 12.99% after that. On top of that, this card has no annual fee.
One thing to note: the cash advance interest rate on this credit card is 24.99% — so watch out if you take cash advances on your credit card regularly.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
- Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
- Welcome Offer: 0% for 10 months on balance transfers completed within 90 days of account opening, with a 3% transfer fee (minimum fee of $7.50 CAD).
- Additional Perks: Low annual interest rate
- Interest on Purchases: 12.99%
- Interest on Cash Advances: 24.99%
- Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 12.99%
MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard Credit Card:
The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard credit card is the upgraded relative of the MBNA True Line Mastercard credit card, but it may be more appealing for a few different reasons.
This credit card is an excellent choice for people who are unsure about their ability to pay off the entire balance during the first six months of the promotional period. If you have a remaining balance at the end of the period, it will be subject to an annual interest rate of 8.99% on balance transfers, which is still a low rate.
Take note: be careful with cash advances with this credit card because the interest rate on those is a whopping 24.99%.
- Low-interest rate: This card has a $39 annual fee, but with that comes a low annual interest rate on purchases of 8.99%. That’s one of the lowest rates on the market.
- Excellent balance transfer promo: If you are transferring a balance, you can get a 0% promotional annual interest rate for the first six months on balance transfers completed within 90 days of account opening. A 3% fee applies (minimum fee of $7.50).
- Since interest charges can easily be hundreds of dollars per month on a regular credit card, this promotional rate could be a huge help if you’re paying off debt.
- Annual Fee: $39
- Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
- Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
- Welcome Offer: 0% promotional annual interest rate for 6 months on balance transfers* completed within 90 days of account opening, with a 3% transfer fee (minimum fee of $7.50 CAD).
- Additional Perks: Low annual interest rate
- Interest on Purchases: 8.99%
- Interest on Cash Advances: 24.99%
- Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 8.99%
Home Trust Preferred Visa:
Home Trust Preferred Visa, which has no fee, offers 1% cashback on all spending, rental car collision/loss insurance and best of all no foreign exchange fees thus saving you 2.5% on all out of country spending. This is one way to improve cross-currency shopping, and avoid the foreign exchange fees altogether. The no fee HomeTrust Preferred Visa is one of the few cards that Canadians have access to when they desire no foreign transaction fees. Like many no fee credit cards, the HomeTrust Preferred doesn’t give much in the way of insurance beyond purchase security, but it does provide one big bonus perk: membership in Roadside Assistance, which includes up to four service calls annually across North America. Also, if you were to use this card then most payments for an automobile rental, collision and loss coverage are included. The HomeTrust Preferred Visa has a very accessible minimum annual income requirement of $15,000 making this the best for when you are getting a new card.
- Earn rate: 1% cash back on purchases
- Income requirement: $15,000
- Additional benefits: No foreign transaction fees on purchases in other currencies; Roadside Assistance gives cardholders up to 4 annual service calls across North America; rental car loss and collision coverage is included
Rogers World Elite Mastercard:
With its regular 1.75% cash back, 2% back on Rogers products and no annual fee, this card offers most Canadian card users something special—but for travellers and online shoppers, it’s a bona fide cause for celebration. This is because the things you buy in a foreign currency earn a whopping 4% cash back, which covers the foreign transaction fee credit cards typically charged—between 2.5% and 3%—with a bit extra on top. Cash rewards can then be redeemed after any eligible purchases are made on your card, for the ultimate in flexibility. Cross-country shoppers, regular travellers, those who buy online will be very interested in the Rogers World Elite Mastercard.
There is one drawback, which is that applicants must show an annual income of $80,000; that’s going to exclude many Canadians. For those who can meet this income requirement, though, it’s a great option.
- Welcome offer: Get $25 in cash back rewards when you make your first card expenditure within 3 months of receiving your card
- Earn rate: Get 4% cash back on purchases in a foreign currency, 2% on Rogers products and services charged to your card and 1.75% on all other purchases
- Income requirement: $80,000
- Additional benefits: Travel insurance including emergency air-transportation or evacuation; additional hotel and meal expenses (up to $200 a day for a maximum of 10 days) if incurred after the planned return to Canada; emergency dental care; and more
American Express Cobalt:
With a fantastic earn rate of 5 points per dollar spent on food and drinks, the American Express Cobalt card may be a winner for those that eat out—and the dining category is sort of generous because it includes grocery stores, restaurants, bars and even food delivery services.
Getting two points per dollar spent on travel is not any joke, either. Travel typically refers to just flights, hotels and vacation packages, but with this card, it also covers gas, public transportation, taxis and Ubers. For frequent flyers always on the move, this reward is twice as much as what you’d earn from the Scotiabank Gold American Express (below) on flights and hotel stays.
Other benefits include access to the Fixed Points Travel Program (which lets you maximize your Points on round-trip flights), hotel transfer partners, American Express Invites and a good travel insurance package—but note that it doesn’t include trip cancellation insurance. Plus, you’ll add additional authorized cardholders, free of charge.
Annual fee: $120 ($10 monthly)
Welcome bonus: 30,000 Points (2,500 per month, for 12 months when you charge a minimum of $500 to your card each month)
- Food and drinks expenditure – 5 points per dollar
- Travel expenditure – 2 Points per dollar
- All other purchases – 1 point per dollar
- Amex Fixed Points program access
- Big Points bonuses on dining and groceries
- Complimentary secondary cardholders
Additional benefits: American Express Invites and special offers
Scotiabank Gold American Express:
This card makes it easy to earn a ton of points on your everyday purchases. If you are a top tier member, you can earn 5 Scotia Rewards points per dollar spent on groceries, entertainment and dining. You also earn 3 Scotia Rewards points for every dollar you spend on streaming services, fuel and transportation. You also earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every dollar spent on everything else. This card works within the Scotia Rewards environment, a versatile program that permits cardholders to gather points towards travel, merchandise or maybe a cash credit on their account. While all these choices are terrific, this card is best known for how it helps Canadians travel. Cardholders can book their travel on any airline either through the Scotia Rewards Travel portal or on a special site where applied Points will end in a press release credit. In both scenarios,100 points translate to $1 in travel. And there are no foreign currency conversion fee—this will automatically save you the 2.5% to 3% that most cards automatically charge on purchases abroad.
The Scotiabank Gold American Express offers travel insurance that covers you for up to 25 days per trip (3 days for seniors), and therefore the card entitles you to access presale concert tickets with American Express Front Of the road.
Annual fee: $120
Welcome bonus: 20,000 Scotia Rewards Points once you charge $1,000 to your card within the first 3 months
Earn rate: 5 Points per dollar on dining, groceries and entertainment; 3 Points on transportation system , gas and selected streaming services; and 1 Point on all other purchases
Income requirement: $12,000
Top features: Big points bonuses on dining and groceries; no foreign transaction fees; a versatile points program
- Free American Express Invites
- Zero fees on foreign transactions
- Priority Pass Lounge Access discount
Travel insurance: Coverage includes travel emergency medical trip cancellation/trip interruption; flight delay; delayed and lost baggage; travel accident and more
Best Credit Cards Canada For Students
BMO CashBack Card:
Canadian students have their own needs, including a way to cover the financial burden of tuition and school expenses, the need to establish a healthy credit history and an unending quest for cash on hand. With no annual fee, a welcome bonus of 5% cash back for three months (up to $100) and a low $15,000 annual income requirement, the BMO CashBack card is designed with students in mind.
The 5% cash back welcome offer is top-notch (and applicants who plan ahead might do well by timing their first three months with the beginning of a semester—those grocery lists tend to add up!), but 1% back on everything else is nothing to sneeze at. As a student card, there are no specific income requirements (which is so helpful) and you can get approved even if you’ve never had a credit card before. Enjoy the benefits of standard insurance coverage like extended warranty and purchase protection. Overall, this is an attractive entry-level card.
- Welcome offer: New cardholders get 5% cash back for the first 3 months
- Earn rate: 1% cash back on eligible purchases
- Additional benefits: Members receive 25% off at National and Alamo car rentals
Scotiabank L’earn Visa Card:
Scotiabank offers a student Visa that allows customers to build credit with responsible use and timely payments. Students who have little credit exposure and no credit history qualify and so do newcomers to Canada. The card has some great advantages such as no annual fee, money back, car rental discounts, and other benefits. Optional protection for unexpected events including death, critical illness, loss of employment, and others are extremely helpful. Applicants who are students also earn cash back at a rate of 1 percent. The minimum credit limit is $500, and the grace or interest-free period is 21 days or longer. Applicants are asked to provide personal and school information such as expected graduation date, start date, and name of college, university, or another institution.
- Cash advance rate: 22.99 percent
- Purchase rate: 19.99 percent
Scotiabank Scene Visa Card:
Another fantastic credit card in Canada is from the Bank of Nova Scotia. The Scotiabank Scene Visa Card allows customers to earn rewards points on select and regular purchases. Users earn 5 points per dollar at Cineplex, both online and at Cineplex theatres, and 1 point on regular purchases such as clothing, transportation, groceries, meals, and so on. Thus, customers who spend $200 on movies a month will earn a total of 1,000 points. During the first 3 months, the first $500 spent on regular purchases earn a bonus of 2,500 points. Points can be redeemed in different ways – for meals, movies, and more. There is a minimum annual income requirement – $12,000.
- Annual fee: none
- Cash advances: 22.99 percent
- Purchase rate: 19.99 percent
Best Credit Cards Canada For Aeroplan Card
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card:
For an outstanding Aeroplan credit card, add the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card to your list of must-buys. Why?
Number one, it offers a lucrative welcome bonus of up to 30,000 Aeroplan Miles where you get a welcome bonus of 15,000 after you make your first purchase with your card. Then get another 5,000 miles in each of the first three months when you spend a minimum of $1,000 per month – earning up to a total of 15,000 Miles. Plus, take advantage of the potential to earn Aeroplan miles with every dollar spent (1.5 Aeroplan miles: for every $1 spent on groceries, gas, drugstore, and AirCanada.com; 1 Aeroplan Mile: for every $1 spent on everything else). To sweeten the pot even further, purchases made at Aeroplan partners earn double the rewards when you pay with your Aeroplan credit card and present your Aeroplan membership card – meaning you can accumulate your miles rapidly. Other travel-related benefits include travel and auto insurance, and exclusive rewards like 24-hour concierge services. The annual fee of $120 is affordable, but new cardholders get the added bonus of a first-year annual fee rebate for both the primary and first additional cardholder.
Annual Fee: $120 (first-year annual fee rebate if you apply by May 31, 2020)
Minimum Income Eligibility: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income
Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
Welcome Offer: Welcome bonus of up to 30,000 Aeroplan Miles (Conditions apply. Must apply by May 31, 2020.)
Other Rewards: Travel insurance and priority boarding/check-in on Air Canada flights
Purchase APR: 19.99%
Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Best Credit Cards Canada For Rewards From Everyday Spending
American Express Cobalt Credit Card:
Recreations like bars and restaurants, delivery and takeout, and using ride-sharing apps often have the stigma of costly weekend expenditures. We hardly think of them as the most lucrative in terms of rewards points earned, but there is an insightful part of Canadian rewards credit cards which consumers with high spending habits need to take advantage. One card to meet their needs is the American Express Cobalt™ Credit Card.
- Credit score required: Fair-Good
- Min personal income required: N/A
- Annual fees: $120
Cardholders will earn 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food deliveries, 2 points per $1 spent on travel and transit (hotels, buses, cabs, ride-sharing, trains, etc.), and then 1 point per $1 on everything else (clothes, events, you name it). Moreover, new members will earn 2,500 points each month they spend at least $500, and this lasts for the entire first year, making it possible to collect up to 30,000 bonus points in the first year. These points can be redeemed on streaming services, movie and event tickets, merchandise, food and drink, travel (including flights via the Fixed Points Travel Program), and Amazon.ca purchases.
Instead of charging an annual fee, Amex charges $10 monthly to members, which should be more convenient for younger cardholders who already pay for things like Netflix or Spotify on a monthly basis. Finally, American Express Cobalt Credit Card cardholders can look forward to quality Amex services like access to exclusive events, hotel credits for amenities and room upgrades where available, plus great insurance: emergency medical, coverage for flight delay, baggage delay, hotel and motel burglaries, lost or stolen baggage, car rental theft and damage, travel accidents and more.
Best Credit Cards Canada For Air Miles
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard:
Avid AIR MILES collectors will appreciate the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®. It consists of a high points-earning rate and an amazing welcome bonus of up to 3,000 AIR MILES, which means that you’ll get 1,000 AIR MILES after your first purchase and another 2,000 AIR MILES when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. The earn rate of 1 AIR MILE for every $10 in purchases is the highest AIR MILES rate of return out there for an AIR MILES credit card.
Other rewards offered are Mastercard Airport Experiences courtesy of LoungeKey with two free annual passes, 15% off AIR MILES flights within North America booked with AIR MILES, and a comprehensive travel insurance package which consists of travel medical for up to 15 days per trip. There is an annual fee of $120, but it’s waived for the first year.
- Annual Fee: $120 (waived for the first year)
- Income Eligibility: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household annual income is needed at minimum.
- Credit Score Required: Excellent
- Welcome Offer: Get up to 3,000 AIR Miles
- Other Perks: 15% off AIR MILES flights within North America booked with AIR MILES, comprehensive travel insurance, Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by
- LoungeKey with two free annual passes
- Purchase APR: 19.99%
- Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Best Credit Cards Canada For Insurance Coverage
Scotiabank Platinum American Express:
Insurance credit cards feature comprehensive coverage, including medical, emergency travel, baggage loss, trip cancellation, and other types of coverage. The card offers a host of added benefits such as free travel, money back, exclusive shopping and travel offers, and no or low annual fees. Customers gain access to tickets for music and theatre performances, fine dining experiences, perks at resorts and luxury hotels, concierge, and more.
This credit card in Canada by the Bank of Nova Scotia enables its users to accumulate rewards points for select and everyday purchases. They get 1 point for each dollar on regular purchases and 4 points per dollar on entertainment and dining, grocery purchases, and gas. There are no travel restrictions, and points can be redeemed at any time and anywhere. The card also goes with a large minimum credit limit of $10,000. Users are offered 7 types of insurance coverage, including trip interruption and cancellation, emergency medical, lost and delayed baggage, flight delay, etc. Added benefits consist of VIP pass for exclusive events, premium concierge, complimentary lounge, and a lot more. Customers also enjoy access to special fine dining, theatre shows, films, music, and shopping.
- Purchase rate: 19.99 percent
- Balance transfers/cash advances: 22.99 percent
- Annual fee: $399.00
The sheer range of credit cards available in Canada seems to overwhelm customers. Hopefully, we have helped narrow down your choices so that you pick the best credit cards in Canada according to what YOU want. By giving Canadians more choice in how we make our purchases and earn back from them, we are less afraid of spending and credit. Whether you want fast rewards, best insurance coverage, best aeroplan, or something else entirely, you can rely on the ‘best of the best’ of these credit cards in Canada.