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Best 0% APR Credit Cards in Canada For 2023

0% APR credit cards are a rare specimen in Canada. Also known as balance transfer credit cards, a zero-interest credit card does not charge interest rates on balance transfers for a limited time, saving you on fees.

In some cases, a 0% interest rate may extend to new purchases and cash advances as well, but again, these offers are few and far between, and they are strictly promotional.

Read on to learn about the best 0% APR credit cards in Canada, like the MBNA True Line Mastercard and Scotiabank Value Visa Card.

What is a 0% APR Credit Card?

A 0% APR credit card has no interest fees for a fixed period, usually 6 to 12 months.

This interest-free period often only applies to balance transfers, which means new purchases or cash advances will incur interest at the card issuer’s regular rate.

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, and this is equivalent to the interest rate noted in your cardholder’s agreement.

After the introductory 0% APR period ends, all outstanding balances (from balance transfers, purchases, or cash advances) may be charged interest which can easily exceed 20% in Canada.

Although some 0% APR cards also offer low-interest regular rates, this class of credit cards should not be confused with low-interest credit cards.

Best 0% APR Credit Cards in Canada

The top 0% APR credit cards in Canada are the Scotiabank Value Visa Card, MBNA True Line Mastercard, and the CIBC Select Visa Card.

Apart from these three cards, Canadians can check other ‘close to zero interest’ credit cards like:

  • Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
  • BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
Intro APRRegular APRBalance Transfer FeeAnnual Fee
Scotiabank Value Visa Card0% for 6 months12.99%1%$29
MBNA True Line Mastercard0% for 12 months12.99%3%$0
CIBC Select Visa Card0% for 10 months13.99%1%$29
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card1.95% for 6 months19.95%1%$0
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard0.99% for 9 months15.99%2%$20

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

  • Balance transfer promotion: 0% interest for 6 months
  • Annual fee: $29 (waived in the first year)
  • Rewards: N/A

The Scotiabank Value Visa Card has a 0% introductory rate for cash advances and balance transfers for up to 6 months, with a 1% transfer balance fee.

After the promotional period ends, a 12.99% interest applies, which is also much lower than the average credit card APR.

Cardholders can save up to 25% off car rental rates at participating AVIS and Budget locations, but don’t expect to earn cash back rewards with this card.

Get more details in this review or apply below.

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

Rewards: Save up to 25% off car rental rates at AVIS and Budget car rental locations.

Welcome offer: 0% balance transfer for 6 months; the annual fee is waived in the first year.

Interest rates: 12.99% on purchases and cash advances.

Annual fee: $29

MBNA True Line Mastercard

  • Balance transfer promotion: 0% interest for 12 months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards: N/A

The MBNA True Line Mastercard offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for up to 12 months (3% balance transfer fee). And after the promotional period ends, a lower-than-average 12.99% rate applies to balance transfers.

Compared to the average 20% APR for Canadian credit cards, this MBNA card also has a 12.99% rate for purchases which can help with interest fees if you carry a balance from month to month.

You should note that this card does not offer cash back rewards or perks. Learn more about the MBNA Ture Line Mastercard in this review article.

CIBC Select Visa Card

  • Balance transfer promotion: 0% for up to 10 months
  • Annual fee: $29
  • Rewards: N/A

The CIBC Select Visa card has a 0% intro APR of up to 10 months and a 1% transfer fee.

The amount you can transfer is limited to 50% of your credit limit.

After the promo ends, a 13.99% interest rate applies.

Unlike the two other cards above, the CIBC Select Visa Card includes common carrier accident insurance, which is a good bonus.

Cardholders can also get 10 cents off per litre when they link this card to their Journie Rewards card and buy fuel at participating Pioneer, Ultramar, FasGas, and Chevron gas stations. It does not offer cash back rewards on all purchases.

Learn about the CIBC Select Visa.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • Balance transfer promotion: 1.95% for 6 months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards: Up to 2% unlimited cash back

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card doubles as a top-rated cash back credit card and balance transfer card.

Cardholders can transfer their balance and pay only 1.95% interest for the first 6 months and a 3% transfer fee.

After the promotional period ends, a 19.99% interest applies.

This Tangerine credit card offers unlimited 2% real cash back on purchases in 2-3 categories and 0.50% cash back on everything else.

It also includes purchase security and extended warranty insurance coverage. For a limited time, new cardholders also get an extra 15% cash back in the first 2 months, that’s worth up to $150.

Get more details in our review or apply below.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 10% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($100 value); 1.95% balance transfer rate for 6 months.

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

  • Balance transfer promotion: 0.99%
  • Annual fee: $20
  • Rewards: N/A

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard has a 0.99% introductory APR for balance transfers for up to 9 months and a 2% transfer fee.

After the promotional period ends, you pay 15.99% interest.

While this card includes an extended warranty and purchase protection insurance coverage, it does not offer cash back rewards.

If you have a BMO Chequing account, the annual fee may be rebated. Learn more about its features in our review article.

What Are The Fees For 0% Interest Credit Cards?

Credit cards offering a promotional 0% APR may come with fees as follows:

Annual fee: This is the fee you pay annually to keep your credit card account open. Some credit cards have no annual fees.

Balance transfer fee: This fee is charged when you transfer a balance from one credit card to another and can cost 1% to 5% of the amount you transferred. Credit card companies often set a minimum balance transfer fee.

What To Consider For a 0% APR Credit Card

A zero-interest credit card does not necessarily mean you are paying no fees. Balance transfer fees may apply, and standard interest is incurred when the introductory rate ends.

There are other factors to note when considering 0% APR credit cards:

  1. Most only offer balance transfers, and new purchases or cash withdrawals may not qualify for the 0% rate.
  2. The interest-free period is for a limited time. Looking at the list above for Canadian options, you only pay 0% for 6-12 months at the maximum.
  3. Your balance transfer amount is impacted by your credit limit. For example, if you have a $10,000 credit limit, your balance transfer cannot exceed this amount. And some credit card companies limit this even further to a percentage of your credit limit, e.g. you can only transfer up to 50% of your assigned credit limit for the CIBC Select Visa Card.
  4. The introductory 0% ARP can be cancelled if you are not making your minimum payments on time.
  5. You may be required to take advantage of the 0% offer within a specific period of time or lose the privilege. For example, Tangerine’s 1.95% promotional balance transfer rate only applies to balance transfers during your first 30 days of opening an account.
  6. You won’t be able to transfer a balance to a credit card from the same bank. For example, if you carry a balance on a Scotiabank credit card, you can’t transfer it to a Tangerine credit card as it is a Scotiabank subsidiary.

How To Avoid Paying Interest on a Credit Card

One way to avoid paying interest on your credit card is to ensure that you pay off the balance in full within the “grace period.”

This grace period is usually 21 days, and during this time, no interest is charged on credit card purchases.

Let’s say you make a $500 purchase on September 10 and your credit card’s billing cycle is on September 16; you must pay the full balance by October 6 to avoid interest charges (i.e. within – or grace period – 21 days of your last monthly billing cycle).

Are 0% APR Credit Cards Worth It?

Yes, a 0% APR credit card can help you pay off debt faster at a much lower interest rate.

For example, let’s say you have a $5,000 balance on a credit card that charges a 20% APR. If you pay $500 each month towards the balance, it will take you 12 months to pay it off, and you will incur an extra $515.21 in interest fees.

On the other hand, you could transfer the $5,000 to a credit card offering 0% APR for 12 months and a 3% transfer fee.

While the new card comes with a $150 transfer fee (i.e. $5,000 X 3%), you can now pay off your credit card debt in 10 months by making $500 monthly payments and save $365.21 in interest (compared to the 20% APR credit card).


Is a 0% APR credit card good for your credit?

Credit bureaus do not consider the interest rate on your credit card when calculating your credit score. If you can use a 0% APR credit card to pay off your debt faster, then it may help improve your score. Applying for any type of credit card will likely lower your score initially.

Are there zero interest credit cards in Canada?

There are limited 0% interest credit cards in Canada, and the few available include the MBNA True Line Mastercard.

What is the average credit card interest rate in Canada?

The average credit card interest rate in Canada is 19.99%.

Is 0% APR the same as no interest?

Yes, 0% APR means you don’t pay interest on some transactions during the introductory period. Balance transfer fees and annual fees may still apply.


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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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