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Best Credit Card Balance Transfer Promotions in Canada of 2024

Updated:

Fact Checked

Balance transfer credit card promotions lower your interest rate from the typical 20% or higher to as low as 0%.

This helps you save on interest fees for 6 to 12 months if you use this time to pay off or lower your credit card debt.

While promotional interest rates on balance transfer cards are usually for a limited time, the cost savings can be worthwhile.

And when used appropriately, balance transfer credit cards in Canada can also help you get your finances and credit score back on track.

Scotiabank Momentum No-Fee Visa Card

Rewards: Earn 1% cashback on gas, groceries & drugstore purchases; 0.50% cashback on everything else.

Welcome offer: Earn 5% cashback in the first 3 months on up to $2,000 spent ($100 value); introductory 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 6 months.

Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

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 10 months; the annual fee is waived in the first year.

Interest rates: 12.99% on purchases and cash advances.

Annual fee: $29

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

Best No Fee Balance Transfer Credit Card Promotions

Our top picks for the best no-fee balance transfer credit cards in July 2024 are:

Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card

  • Balance transfer promotion: 0% for 6 months
  • Minimum credit score: Good
  • Balance transfer fee: 2%
  • Bonus reward: 5% cash back for 3 months ($100 value)

The Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card offers 1% cash back on gas, grocery, and drug store purchases and 0.5% cash back on everything else.

It serves as a 0% balance transfer credit card during the first 6 months of card ownership. It also has no annual fees; however, a 2% balance transfer fee is applied to each transfer.

You can learn more about the card in this review.

Scotiabank Momentum No-Fee Visa Card

Rewards: Earn 1% cashback on gas, groceries & drugstore purchases; 0.50% cashback on everything else.

Welcome offer: Earn 5% cashback in the first 3 months on up to $2,000 spent ($100 value); introductory 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 6 months.

Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • Balance transfer promotion: 1.95% for 6 months
  • Minimum credit score: Fair or Good
  •  Balance transfer fee: 1%
  • Bonus reward: Up to $150

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card tops our list of balance transfer promotions you should consider if looking to save on credit card fees.

In addition to its low 1.95% rate for 6 months and no annual fee, you only need a 600 credit score to qualify and a $12,000 annual income.

This card is also an excellent cash back credit card, offering up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 categories of purchases.

You can get more details below.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Best no-fee cash back credit card

Annual fee: $0

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).

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

Minimum income requirement: $12,000

Recommended credit score:
600
900

Fair to Good

Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card

On Tangerine’s website

  • No annual fee.
  • Unlimited 2% cash back in two spending categories. Get an extra 2% cash back spending category when you deposit your rewards in a free Tangerine savings account.
  • Unlimited 0.50% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cash back earned is paid out monthly.
  • 1.95% promotional balance transfer for first 6 months; 3% balance transfer fee applies ($5 minimum).
  • Purchase assurance to cover loss, theft or damage of new items purchased using the card for up to 90 days.
  • Works with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
  • Extended warranty for up to one extra year.

No annual fee

High cash back rates

Low-income requirement

Cash back paid monthly

Low-interest balance transfer

No travel insurance coverage

3% balance transfer fee

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada. It’s great for students and those who have a limited credit history. Cardholders can also enjoy no-fee chequing and a high interest savings account.

Tangerine World Mastercard

  • Balance transfer promotion: 1.95% for six (6) months
  • Minimum credit score: Fair or Good
  • Balance transfer fee: 1%
  • Bonus reward: 15% cash back in first 2 months ($150 value)

If you have a personal annual income of at least $60,000, the Tangerine World Mastercard offers more value.

It includes a 1.95% balance transfer rate for 6 months and several premium perks, including airport lounge access, mobile device, and car rental insurance. You also earn cash back on all purchases.

Lastly, there is no annual fee to own this card.

Tangerine World Mastercard

Excellent no-fee cash back card with travel perks

Annual fee: $0

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

Welcome offer: Get an additional 10% cash back valued at $100 in the first 2 months.

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

Minimum income requirement: $12,000

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Fair to Good

Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card

On Tangerine’s website

  • No annual fee.
  • Unlimited 2% cash back in two spending categories. Get an extra 2% cash back category when you deposit cash back earned in a free Tangerine savings account.
  • Unlimited 0.50% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cash back earned is paid out monthly.
  • Complimentary Mastercard® Travel Pass Provided By DragonPass membership with access to over 1,300 airport lounges at $32 USD per visit.
  • Rental car and mobile device insurance are included.
  • Access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide through Boingo Wi-Fi
  • 1.95% promotional balance transfer for first 6 months; 3% balance transfer fee applies ($5 minimum).
  • Purchase assurance to cover loss, theft or damage of new items purchased using the card for up to 90 days.
  • Compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
  • Extended warranty for up to one extra year.

No annual fee

Easy access to airport VIP lounges

Car rental and mobile device coverage

High cash back rates with unlimited earning potential

Lacks comprehensive travel benefits

The Tangerine World Mastercard offers premium perks without charging an annual fee. Its competitive cash back earn rate makes it worthwhile for any wallet, and the mobile device and car rental coverage are solid benefits to have up your sleeve.

MBNA True Line Mastercard

  • Balance transfer promotion: 0% for 12 months
  • Minimum credit score: Good to Excellent
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • Bonus rewards: None

The MBNA True Line Mastercard offers a 0% balance transfer rate for 12 months.

While it does not have an annual fee, a 3% transfer fee applies, and it lacks rewards or cash back.

This is the top TD balance transfer offer in Canada.

MBNA True Line Mastercard

Great for low-interest purchase rates

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Low-interest rate of 12.99%.

Welcome offer: 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 12 months.

Interest rates: 12.99% for purchases, 24.99% for cash advance.

Minimum income requirement: N/A

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

MBNA True Line Mastercard

On MBNA’s website

  • Low 12.99% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
  • No annual fee for additional cardholders.
  • Save on car rentals at Budget and Avis.
  • MBNA Payment Plan allows you to break up large purchases into monthly payments.
  • Emergency Card Replacement included.

Low-interest rate

No annual fee

No rewards

Few perks included

The MBNA True Line Mastercard is a no-frills credit card with a low-interest rate. Whether you use it for general spending or to transfer your balance, its low-interest rate and no annual fee could help you to save money and pay off your balance sooner.

Top Credit Card Balance Transfer Promotions

Our top picks for balance transfer credit cards with low annual fees are:

  • Scotiabank Value Visa
  • CIBC Select Visa Card
  • MBNA True Line Gold
  • Scotia Momentum Visa Card
  • BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

  • Annual fees: $29 (waived in the first year)
  • Balance transfer promotion: 0% for 10 months
  • Minimum credit score: Good
  • Balance transfer fee: 1%

The Scotiabank Value Visa Card doubles as a balance transfer and low-interest rate credit card.

Its $29 annual fee is waived in the first year, and you pay an introductory 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 10 months.

After the promotional period ends, the interest rate for balance transfers and cash advances is 12.99%, which is almost 50% lower than the average rate.

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

Best for low-interest rates

Annual fee: $29

Welcome offer: No annual fee for the first year and 0% interest rate for cash advances for the first 10 months.

Interest rates: 12.99% for purchases and cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: N/A

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

On Scotiabank’s website

  • The annual fee is waived in the first year.
  • Low-interest rate of just 12.99%.
  • 0% promotional balance transfer rate for 6 months; 1% balance transfer fee.
  • Save up to 25% on car rentals at AVIS and Budget in Canada and the United States.
  • Minimum gross income requirement of $1,000 per month.

Low-interest rate on purchases

Low-interest rate on cash advances

Low minimum income requirement

No rewards

Few premium perks

The Scotiabank Value Visa Card is a no-frills credit card that offers a very low-interest rate on purchases and cash advances. While it does not offer many other perks, it is a good option for anyone who carries a balance.

CIBC Select Visa Card

  • Annual fee: $29
  • Balance transfer promo: 0% for 10 months
  • Minimum credit score: Good
  • Balance transfer fee: 1%

If you need a CIBC balance transfer card, the CIBC Select Visa is an option.

Following the introductory period, this card has a 13.99% rate for cash advances and balance transfers.

You need a minimum annual income of $15,000 to qualify.

CIBC Select Visa Card

CIBC low-interest credit card

Annual fee: $29

Rewards: Access insurance benefits plus savings on gas and transaction fees.

Interest rates: 13.99% on purchases and cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: A minimum annual household income of $15,000.

Recommended credit score:
720
900

Good

cibc select visa

On CIBC’s website

  • Access some insurance benefits, including Common Carrier Accident Insurance.
  • Get up 10 cents off per litre on gas at participating locations when you link your card with Journie Rewards.
  • Save with no transaction fees on sending money abroad.
  • A minimum annual household income of $15,000 is required to apply.

Low annual fee

Very low purchase APR at 13.99%

Very low cash advance APR at 13.99%

No cash back or rewards system

Limited travel benefits

Limited insurance benefits

The CIBC Select Visa Card is a great card for consolidating debt. Although it offers limited rewards, its small annual fee and competitive rates make it a very attractive option for those who are looking for a low-interest rate option.

Scotia Momentum Visa Card

  • Annual fee: $39
  • Balance transfer promotion: 0% for six (6) months
  • Minimum credit score: Good
  • Balance transfer fee: 2%

The Scotia Momentum Visa Card offers up to 2% cash back on purchases.

In addition, cardholders get a zero balance transfer rate for the first 6 months.

Here’s a card overview with more details.

Scotia Momentum Visa Card

Good entry-level cash back credit card

Annual fee: $39

Rewards: Earn up to 2% cash back on high-spend categories.

Welcome offer: Receive a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first six months.

Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: N/A

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

Scotia Momentum Visa Card

On Scotiabank’s website

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, and drug stores, as well as on recurring bill payments.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Save up to 25% on car rentals at participating AVIS and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S.
  • Purchased items are insured against theft, loss, or damage for 90 days from the purchase date. 
  • The minimum credit limit is $500.

Low annual fee of $39

2% cash back applies to a variety of high-spend categories

Competitive purchase APR at 19.99%

Limited insurance benefits

Limited additional travel benefits

The Scotia Momentum Visa Card has a low annual fee and a straightforward cash back program. It’s a good starter credit card with various purchase types included in its 2% cash back category.

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $39
  • Balance transfer offer: 8.99%
  • Minimum credit score: Good
  • Balance transfer fee: 1%

The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard has a standard 8.99% interest rate for purchases, balance transfers, and access cheques.

It also levies a 1% fee per transfer or a minimum of $7.50.

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

Best for low purchase interest

Annual fee: $39

Rewards: N/A

Welcome offer: N/A

Interest rates: 8.99% on purchases, 24.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: No minimum income requirements.

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

On MBNA’s website

  • No minimum income requirements.
  • Extended warranty of up to one additional year.
  • Various types of trip insurance, such as lost baggage and rental car insurance.
  • Purchase assurance that covers the first 90 days after purchase.
  • 1% balance transfer fee or $7.50 minimum fee.

Very low-interest rates

No minimum income requirements

Decent insurance coverage for a basic card

No reward points for purchases

Not many notable perks

Annual fee pay offset some of the savings from lower interest rates

The True Line Gold Mastercard is a great option for those struggling with credit card debt. Users of this card can benefit from the ultra low-interest rates. While the card does not offer many perks, it remains a solid option for those looking to consolidate their debt.

Here’s an explainer for TD secured cards.

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $20
  • Balance transfer promo: 0.99% for nine (9) months
  • Minimum credit score: Good
  • Balance transfer fee: 2%

This BMO balance transfer credit card offers a 0.99% rate for 9 months and a 2% fee.

When the introductory rate ends, you pay 15.99% for balance transfers.

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

Best BMO credit card for low-interest

Annual fee: $20

Rewards: Low-interest credit card.

Interest rates: 12.99% for purchases and 15.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $15,000

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

On BMO’s website

  • Low-interest rate of 12.99% for purchases.
  • The $20 annual fee is returned if you have a BMO Performance checking account.
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty included.
  • No fee to add an additional cardholder.
  • Minimum income requirements apply.

Low-interest rate

Low annual fee

Extended warranty included

No other perks included

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is a no-frills credit card that does not come with any additional perks other than extended warranty and purchase protection. However, it offers a very low-interest rate and has a low annual fee of $20, making it tempting for cardholders who carry a balance and want to reduce interest payments or pay off their balances sooner.

Learn about BMO Secured credit cards.

Methodology:

Savvy New Canadians ranks the best balance transfer credit cards based on their interest rates for balance transfers, annual fees, welcome bonuses, rewards, top features, categories, insurance coverage, and other perks. We carefully evaluate each credit card and place more weight on the value of the long-term rewards it offers. Visit the credit card issuer’s website using the links to confirm each product’s terms and conditions before applying.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If you have credit card debt, you can move this debt to a balance transfer card with lower interest.

Balance transfer cards are similar to regular credit cards. The main difference is that they allow you to transfer your balances from other cards at lower interest rates for a limited time.

These cards are useful for consolidating debt.

How to Save Using a Balance Transfer Credit Card

For example, say you have a balance of $5,000 on a credit card with a 22% APR. If you make monthly payments of $500, it will take you 12 months to pay off the credit card, and you will incur $574 in interest.

Assuming you use a balance transfer credit card with 0% interest and repay $500 monthly, you become debt-free in 10 months and only pay the $50 balance transfer fee (1-3%).

 Standard Credit CardBalance Transfer Card
Starting balance$5,000$5,000
Interest rate22%0%
Monthly payment$500$500
Time to pay off balance12 months10 months
Interest paid$574$0
1% balance transfer fee$0$50
Total fees$574$50

A balance transfer credit card can save you hundreds of dollars (or thousands) if you carry a large balance.

Credit Cards Offering Balance Transfers

Many banks and financial institutions offer balance transfer credit cards in Canada.

The most popular issuers include:

  • Scotiabank
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • MBNA (TD)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Tangerine
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

What to Consider for a Balance Transfer Credit Card

When applying for a balance transfer credit card, you should consider the following:

Annual fee: There are many balance transfer credit cards with no annual fees. If these are not your preference, look out for cards that waive the annual fee in the first year.

Interest Rate: Check the interest rates and read the terms and conditions. While the balance transfer rates for the cards on this list start at 0%, some cards hike the interest if you miss a payment.

Length of promotional period: Promotional balance transfer offers generally last for 6 to 12 months.  When the introductory rate ends, you start paying the standard interest rate, which is higher.

Balance transfer fee: Often, you will pay a balance transfer fee on any amounts transferred. This ranges from 1% to 3% of the amount transferred. For example, if you transfer $5,000 at a 1% fee, you pay $50.

Welcome offers and rewards: Many balance transfer cards offer no rewards or welcome bonuses. With the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card or Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa, you earn cash back on all purchases. Both cards also offer a cash back sign-up bonus.

Benefits of Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The pros of balance transfer cards include:

  • You pay lower interest on debt and save money in the process.
  • They can help you pay off debt faster and improve your credit.

Downsides of Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The cons of balance transfer credit cards include the following:

  • They usually do not offer rewards or cash back, and perks are limited.
  • Promotional low-interest rates are for a limited time, usually no more than 12 months. So, you should plan to pay off your debt quickly.
  • New spending on the card does not enjoy the low rates

How To Do a Balance Transfer in Canada

After applying and getting approved for a balance transfer promotional credit card, let them know you plan to complete a transfer.

You will need to provide details of the transfer, including amounts, credit card company, and other account details.

When the transfer is completed, aim to pay off the debt while the introductory rate is valid, or at least pay off as much as possible to save on interest fees.

After the promotional rate ends, the standard balance transfer rate applies to the unpaid balance you transferred.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a balance transfer hurt your credit score?

Your credit score may drop by a few points after you apply for a new credit card. If you pay off your balance quickly, getting a balance transfer credit card may help increase your credit score long term.

How much is the balance transfer fee in Canada?

The balance transfer fee charged by credit cards in Canada ranges from 1% to 3%.

Who should not do a balance transfer?

A balance transfer may not be worth it if you will be piling on more debt instead of paying off the existing balance.

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Author

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

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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