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Looking for the best credit cards to maximize your rewards this year? We have carefully sifted through the numerous cards on the market and provided you with the best credit card options for travel rewards, cash back, zero annual fees, students, low-interest rates, balance transfers, bad credit and more.

The Best Credit Cards in Canada

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Best No-Fee Credit Card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • Promo: 4% cash back and 1.95% balance transfer
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income eligibility: N/A

Not ready to pay an annual fee for a card? You can still earn significant cash back rewards with the Tangerine Money-Back Credit card. This card allows you to choose up to 3 specific categories of spending and earn an unlimited 2% cash back when you make purchases.

Some of the available money-back categories include grocery, gas, entertainment, home improvement, public transportation, hotel/motel, restaurants, and recurring bill payments. For all other purchases outside of your favourite categories, you get 0.50% in cash back.

For a card that has no annual fees, the unlimited 2% cash back is awesome. In addition, you also get:

  • 4% cash back (for a limited time) in up to 3 categories of spending for 3 months
  • 1.95% interest rate (for 6 months) on balance transfers
  • Free additional cards
  • Purchase protection (90 days from when you purchase) and extended warranty (up to an additional 1 year)
  • Cashback is paid out monthly so you don’t have to wait till the end of the year to use your rewards

Note that the 2% (or 4% promo) cash back is generally available on two spending categories. However, if you open a free Tangerine Savings Account and deposit your cash back inside it, you automatically qualify for an additional money-back category, for a total of three 2% (4%) categories.

Worthy mention: The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard gives you 2% cash back on gas, grocery and entertainment, and 1% on all other purchases. The three 2% cash back categories each have a $5,000 spending cap.

Apply for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.

Best Cash Back Credit Card

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

  • 4% cash back per $1 spent in three categories
  • Annual fee: $120, waived in 1st year
  • Minimum income eligibility: $60,000

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite qualifies as a solid cash back card and comes with juicy premium benefits at a reasonable fee. The biggest attraction is its 4% cash back on groceries and recurring bill and subscription payments, 2% cash back on gas and daily transit; and 1% cash back on everything else.

Other benefits of the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite:

  • The $120 annual fee is waived in the first year
  • Travel benefits including travel emergency medical insurance of up to 15 consecutive days if you are under 65 years, trip interruption, flight delay, travel accident, delayed and lost baggage insurance
  • Mobile device insurance for up to $1,000
  • Purchase security and extended warranty
  • Rental car collision loss/damage insurance

The cash back rewards you can earn using this card is significant. Note that if you need supplementary cards, a $30 fee applies.

Apply for the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card.

Scotia momentum visa infinite

Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards #1

Scotiabank Gold American Express

  • Promo: 25,000 bonus points ($250 value)
  • Annual fee: $120
  • Minimum income eligibility: $12,000

The Scotiabank Gold American Express is one of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada. In addition to its high reward rate on popular spending categories (i.e. groceries and entertainment), this card offers an extraordinary level of travel insurance benefits. Here’s what you get:

  • 5 points (5% rewards rate) on every $1 spent on groceries, dining, and entertainment
  • 3 points for every $1 you spend on gas, daily transit and streaming services
  • No foreign transaction fees (a savings of 2.5%)
  • 1 point on every $1 spent on everything else
  • 25,000 bonus points ($250 value) when you spend up to $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Comprehensive travel insurance including travel emergency medical up to $1 million for up to 25 consecutive days (under 65 years) and up to 3 consecutive days (over 65 years), trip cancellation/interruption, delayed and lost baggage, travel accident (up to $1 million per incident), and hotel/motel burglary insurance
  • Rental car collision loss and damage waiver (up to 48 consecutive days and $65,000 MSRP)
  • Purchase security and extended warranty
  • 35% discount on Priority Pass membership
  • Easy to redeem travel rewards at 100 points = $1

For a card with an average annual fee, the Scotiabank Gold American Express does offer well-above-average benefits. You can read my full review here.

Apply for the Scotiabank Gold American Express.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Best Travel Credit Card #2

American Express Cobalt Card

  • Promo: 30,000 bonus points
  • Annual fee: $120
  • Minimum income eligibility: N/A

The American Express Cobalt card is one of a kind, and if you are looking to earn significant travel rewards from your everyday spending, this card delivers that!

To start, you earn 5 points for every $1 spent on groceries and dining out. This covers purchases at restaurants, bars, cafes, and even food delivery. You get 2 points per $1 spent on transportation and gas; and 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else.

The regular 5% cash back earning on groceries and dining is a top-of-the-line reward rate for this category of spending in Canada. Additionally, for every month you spend at least $500, you get an extra 2,500 points for up to 30,000 bonus points in the first year. This bonus alone is worth more than $500 in travel rewards!

Other benefits of the American Express Cobalt card are:

  • Travel insurance benefits including emergency medical (up to a maximum of $5 million per insured person for 15 consecutive days), flight delay, baggage delay, hotel/motel burglary, lost or stolen baggage, and travel accident insurance (up to $250,000).
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance with coverage for up to $85,000
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Front of The Line Access through AMEX Invites
  • Ability to redeem your points for just about anything, including cash to pay for your purchases (statement credit).

Redeeming your points for travel rewards is your best option since 1,000 points are equivalent to $10 as opposed to a $7 statement credit when you redeem for other purchases.

Apply for the American Express Cobalt card.

American Express Cobalt Card

Best Prepaid Credit Card

STACK Mastercard

  • Promo: $5 sign up bonus
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income eligibility: $0

The STACK Mastercard is a reloadable prepaid card that functions like a debit card and is usable worldwide wherever Mastercard is accepted. While it has no annual fee, this card does come with benefits and can save you a lot of money, especially if you frequently travel abroad.

  • No foreign currency exchange fees (a savings of 2.5% upfront)
  • No ATM withdrawal fees
  • $5 registration bonus when you sign up here
  • Free budgeting app, replacement cards and STACK-to-STACK transfers
  • Automated savings plan
  • Instant cash back on everyday purchases

The STACK Mastercard waives the 2.5% to 3% fee charged by your bank when you make a purchase in a foreign currency. Add this to the multiple cash back offers available on entertainment, gas, food, transport etc., and this card stands out.

Worthy mention: The KOHO Visa card is another prepaid card in Canada that is free and comes with worthwhile benefits including 0.50% cash back on all purchases. Read my complete KOHO review here to find out how you can claim up to 12% in cash back rewards!

The KOHO premium card waives the 2.5% foreign transaction fee.

Apply for the STACK Mastercard.

Best Credit Card for No Foreign Transaction Fees

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

  • Promo: 35,000 bonus points ($350 value) 
  • Annual fee: $120
  • Minimum income eligibility: $60,000

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card offers up to $350 in bonus points in your first year! This card is popular among travellers for many good reasons that include:

  • 2 points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining, entertainment and daily transit
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Zero (0$) foreign currency conversion markup
  • 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months and an additional 10,000 points if you spend at least $40,000 annually, for a total of $350 in travel rewards
  • Complimentary Priority Pass membership ($99 value) plus 6 free airport lounge access per year ($162 value)
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits (very similar to the Scotiabank Gold AMEX)
  • Rental car collision loss/damage waiver
  • Purchase security, price protection, and extended warranty

While the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite costs about $20 per year more than its sibling (Scotiabank Gold American Express), the higher introductory offers and free lounge access more than cover the higher fee.

Worthy mention: The Home Trust Preferred Visa card also offers $0 foreign exchange fees, has no annual fee, 1% cash back on all your purchases and free roadside assistance.

Apply for the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

Best Credit Card for Roadside Assistance

Triangle World Elite Mastercard

  • Highlight: Free roadside assistance membership
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income eligibility: $80,000

If you shop regularly at Canadian Tire, the Triangle World Elite Mastercard is an absolute must-have with 4% cash back (Canadian Tire Money) on your purchases at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Mark’s and Atmosphere stores, 3% on groceries and 1% on everything else.

Other benefits that come with the card:

  • Free Gold Plan roadside assistance
  • Get up to 7 cents per litre when you purchase fuel at Gas+ locations
  • Car rental collision/loss damage waiver insurance
  • Purchase security and extended warranty
  • No-fee, no-interest financing for up to 24 months when you make purchases of $200 or more

The main reason why I obtained the Triangle World Elite card was for the free roadside assistance. This saves me at least $100 in CAA membership annually and covers Canada and the United States with 5 service calls of up to 250 km and unlimited tows to any Canadian Tire auto shop.

If you are looking to get this card, note that the 3% cash back on groceries excludes purchases at Walmart and Costco.

Apply for the Triangle World Elite Mastercard.

Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

  • Promo: 0% balance transfer 6 months
  • Annual fee: $39
  • Minimum income eligibility: N/A

The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard offers a 0% balance transfer rate for 6 months and a regular annual interest rate of 8.99% on purchases and balance transfers. Note that cash advances come with a 24.99% interest rate and for the promotional 0% balance transfer, a 3% transfer fee applies.

If you are looking to consolidate your credit card debt, this card offers some of the best balance transfer rates available in Canada.

Worthy mention: The Tangerine Money-Back Card offers a 1.95% balance transfer rate for 6 months and has no annual fees!

Apply for the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard.

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

Best Credit Card for Low-Interest Rates

American Express Essential Credit Card

  • Promo: 1.99% balance transfer
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income eligibility: N/A

The American Express Essential card is a no-fee credit card that offers one of the lowest rates you will find for cash advance and purchase balances in Canada at 8.99%. New cardholders can also take advantage of the 1.99% balance transfer rate for the first 6 months.

Other benefits are the purchase protection/extended warranty and travel accident insurance up to $100,000

This card is noteworthy when you consider that many other paid credit cards charge an annual interest rate of 19.99% or higher on purchases and cash advances. However, note that to take advantage of these rock-bottom rates, you must be making your minimum payments on time.

Worthy mention: The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard also offers an 8.99% rate on purchases and balance transfers and 24.99% on cash advances. It also comes with a 0% promo rate on balance transfers for 6 months. The card has a $39 annual fee.

Apply for the American Express Essential card.

American Express Essential Credit Card

Best Student Credit Card

BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard

  • Promo: 5% cash back 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Income requirement: None

The BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard affords students an opportunity to establish a credit history while earning some rewards. Even better, it is a no-fee credit card.

Benefits of this card include:

  • Limited time 5% cash back on purchases up to $2,000 in your first 3 months
  • 1% regular cash back on all purchases
  • 10-15% SPC discounts at hundreds of popular stores
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Free access to BMO Extra Deals

You can apply for this card even if you have no income or credit history which makes it a top-rated credit card in the student category. And, the cash back rewards are not bad either.

Worthy mention: Another great student credit card is the SCENE Visa card. It has no annual fees and you earn SCENE rewards you can redeem for free movies and food at participating restaurants.

Apply for the BMO SPC CashBack Credit Card.

bmo-spc-mastercard

Best Credit Card for Bad Credit

Refresh Financial Secured Visa Card

  • Annual fee: $48.95
  • Income eligibility: $0

The Refresh Financial Secured Visa is your go-to card if your credit score has tanked and you need a credit card to help you build back your credit profile. Approval for this card is pretty much guaranteed as long as you have the security deposit of at least $200 and do not have an existing Refresh credit card.

The Refresh Financial Visa is secured which means that your credit line is equivalent to your security deposit. You pay a $12.95 annual fee and $3 every month, for a total of $48.95 per year.

To get the most out of this card, you should pay off your card balance in full within the grace period so you can get your credit score back into positive territory as soon as possible.

Worthy mention: An alternative to the Refresh Financial Secured Visa is the Home Trust Secured Visa. Depending on the version of this card you qualify for, you may get 19.99% APR on purchases and $0 annual fee, or 14.90% APR on purchases and a $59 annual fee.

Apply for the Refresh Financial Secured Visa.

Refresh Financial Secured Visa Card

Best Aeroplan Credit Card

TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum

  • Promo: 25,000 Aeroplan Miles
  • Annual fee: $89, waived in 1st year
  • Minimum income eligibility: N/A

The TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum is a top-notch credit card for earning Aeroplan Miles. You get:

  • Up to 25,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles
  • Annual fee of $89 is waived in the first year
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas and drug store purchases
  • 1 mile for every $1.50 spent on all other purchases
  • 2 x miles when you use your card with the Aeroplan membership card at participating retailers
  • Travel insurance including delayed and lost baggage, flight delay, and travel accident insurance
  • Auto rental collision/loss damage with coverage up to 48 consecutive days
  • Purchase security and extended warranty

The 25,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles is easy to get, with 10,000 miles awarded when you make your first purchase; 2x Aeroplan miles awarded on spending in your first three months up to 10,000 miles, and an additional 5,000 Aeroplan miles when you add an authorized user.

This 15,000 Aeroplan Miles is equivalent to a long-haul round-trip flight.

Lastly, this card gets you a 5-10% discount when you rent a car at participating Avis and Budget locations.

Apply for theTD Aeroplan Visa Platinum card.

TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum

Best Air Miles Credit Card

BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

  • Promo: 3,000 bonus AIR MILES
  • Annual fee: $120, waived in 1st year
  • Minimum income eligibility: $80,000

The BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard is the best Air Miles credit card in Canada. To start, you get up to 3,000 bonus miles when you sign up – 1,000 points after first purchase and 2,000 points when you spend at least $3,000 in the first 3 months. The annual $120 fee is waived in year one.

You also get:

  • 1 Air Mile for every $10 spent on all purchases
  • 15% discount on all Air Miles flights in North America
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by Loungekey, plus two free annual passes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits
  • Rental car collision/damage insurance
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • 25% discount on car rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations, plus 2x the reward miles

The BMO Air Miles World Elite is a well-rounded credit card for the savvy traveller and best-in-class if Air Miles collection is part of your travel hacking strategies. 

Apply for the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard.

Best Credit Card for Car Rental Insurance

American Express Gold Rewards Card

  • Promo: 25,000 bonus points
  • Annual fee: $150
  • Minimum income eligibility: N/A

The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a hidden gem and one of the best travel rewards cards out there. When you spend $1,500 in your first 3 months, you earn 25,000 welcome bonus points. This 25,000 Membership Rewards points can be transferred on a 1:1 basis to Aeroplan for 25,000 Aeroplan points! 

Other travel rewards programs you can exchange your points for are Alitalia, Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles, Etihad Guest, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. You also get:

  • Car rental theft and damage insurance of up to $85,000 MSRP on rentals up to 48 days (one of the best available)
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • 2 points per $1 spent on gas, grocery, pharmacy purchases and travel
  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Front of The Line Access
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty

The American Express Gold Rewards card offers lots of benefits for the $150 annual fee. 

Apply for the American Express Gold Rewards card.

American Express Gold Rewards Card

 

The Best Credit Cards in Canada for 2019
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Summary

Here are the best credit cards in Canada for travel and cash back rewards, no fee, balance transfer, student, no-FX fee, bad credit, AIR MILES, Aeroplan Miles, low-interest rates, and other popular categories.

Here are the absolute best credit cards in Canada right now! #creditcard #savemoney #creditcardtips #creditscore #creditcardhacks #creditcardreview #Canada