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The Best Credit Cards in Canada for 2024: 23 Categories Compared

Updated:

Fact Checked

We have carefully analyzed the numerous credit cards on the market and provided you with the best credit card options for travel, cash back, no annual fees, newcomers, balance transfers, bad credit, low interest rates, and more.

The winner of the overall best credit card is the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.

However, it is not alone. Credit cards from Neo Financial, Tangerine, Simplii Financial, BMO, and American Express won best-in-class for different categories.

To arrive at this list of the best credit cards, we considered multiple features, including rewards, fees, insurance, perks, interest rates, and more.

Table of Contents Show

Here are the Best Credit Cards in Canada

CategoryCredit CardFeaturesAnnual Fee
Overall Best Credit Card in CanadaScotiabank Gold American Express40,000 bonus points ($400 value), 5 pts/$1 grocery, dining & ent., 3pts/$1 gas, Insurance x 12 types, $0 FX fees, discounted Priority Pass$120
Best Cash Back Credit CardNeo CreditAverage 5% cash back at 10,000+ locations, 15% welcome cash back on first purchases$0
Best No-Annual Fee Credit CardTangerine World Mastercard2% cashback on 3 categories, 1.95% balance transfer; 10% promo cash back offer ($100 value)$0
Best Credit Card for NewcomersSimplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card0.5%-4% cash back, Low income eligibility, easy access to free chequing account with unlimited transactions$0
Best Prepaid Credit CardNeo Money Prepaid CardUp to 5% cash back, free budgeting app, $20 welcome bonus, access to optional credit building$0
Best Grocery Credit CardScotiabank Gold American ExpressUp to 6pts/$1 on groceries, Insurance x 12 types, $0 FX fees, discounted Priority Pass$120
Best Secured Credit CardNeo Secured CreditGuaranteed approval, Average 5% cash back, low security deposit, $25 welcome bonus$0
Best Low-Interest Rate Credit CardScotiabank Value Visa Card12.99% APR on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers; 0% balance transfer for 10 months$29; waived in 1st year
Best Premium Credit CardThe Platinum CardComprehensive insurance coverage, $200 annual travel credit, $200 annual dining credit, airport lounge access, earn 2pts/$1$799
Best No-FX Fee Credit CardScotiabank Passport Visa Infinite35,000 bonus points ($350 value), 2pts/$1 grocery, dining, transport & entertainment, $0 FX markup, airport lounge access$150
Best Student Credit CardBMO CashBack Mastercard – StudentsUp to 3% cash back (monthly limits apply)$0
Best No-Fee Travel Credit CardAmerican Express Green CardEarn 1 pt/$1, easily redeem points or transfer to frequent flyer programs$0
Best Travel Credit CardScotiabank Gold American ExpressNo FX fees, 3 pts/$1 spent on daily transit and gas, comprehensive insurance benefits (12 types), discounted Priority Pass$120
Best Balance Transfer Credit CardMBNA True Line Mastercard12.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers, 0% balance transfer for 12 months$0
Best Prepaid Card for Credit BuildingKOHO Credit BuildingBoost your credit score with a monthly subscription, earn cash back on purchases$5-$10 monthly
Best Credit Card for Travel InsuranceScotiabank Gold American ExpressOne of the most comprehensive trave insurance coverage in Canada$120
Best Credit Card for Roadside AssistanceTriangle World Elite MastercardFree roadside assistance (Gold Plan), 4% cash back at Canadian Tire, 3% groceries$0
Best Aeroplan Credit CardAmerican Express Cobalt CardEasily transfer points to Aeroplan 1:1, 5pts/$1 grocery & dining, 3pts streaming; 2pts/$1 gas & transport$155.88
Best Business Credit CardLoop Corporate Credit CardMulti-currency credit card, earn cash back points, Up to $1 million credit limit$0
Best Credit Card for GasScotiabank Gold American Express3 pts/$1 spent on daily transit and gas, rental car insurance & 11 other types$120
Best Credit Card for Lounge AccessScotiabank Platinum American Express Card10 complimentary airport lounge access yearly at Priority Pass and Plaza Premium lounges$399
Best Credit Union Credit CardDesjardins Cash Back World Elite MastercardOne of the most comprehensive travel insurance coverage in Canada$100
Best USD Credit CardBMO U.S. Dollar MastercardAvoid FX fees on US purchases$35

1. Scotiabank Gold American Express Card: Best Credit Card in Canada

Best Overall Credit Card - Scotiabank Gold American Express Card - SNC Awards.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card has many things going for it. It is a top rewards credit card that pays you up to 6 Scene+ points per $1 spent. These cash back points are also easy to redeem for travel, dining, grocery, or to pay off your statement balance.

The 5-6 points you earn per dollar spent on food and drink is one of the highest cash back rates for these categories in Canada. That said, the Scotiabank Gold Amex goes even further.

It is one of a few cards to waive the 2.50% foreign transaction fee you pay each time you spend in a foreign currency abroad. And while on the subject of travel, this card offers an impressive array of insurance benefits with 12 types of coverage.

Add on the discounted Priority Pass membership and 40,000 welcome bonus ($400 value), and you have a winner.

Lastly, this card has a low minimum income eligibility threshold of only $12,000, and its annual fee is $120. For comparative premium credit cards, you’d need a $60,000 to $80,000 minimum income to qualify.

This Scotiabank card wins three other awards that are discussed below.

Summary:

  • 5 points (5% reward 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
  • 20,000 bonus points ($200 travel value) when you spend up to $1,000 in the first 3 months, and an additional 20,000 bonus points when you spend $7,500 or more in the first year
  • 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 the full details.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Best travel credit card in Canada

Annual fee: $120

Rewards: Earn up to 6x Scene+ points on groceries, 5x pts. on dining, food delivery, & entertainment, 3x pts. on gas, and 1x pts. on everything else.

Welcome offer: Get up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points in the first 12 months.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $12,000

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

On Scotiabank’s website

  • Zero foreign transaction fees when travelling overseas or shopping abroad.
  • Earn 6x Scene+ points at select grocery stores, including Sobeys and Safeway.
  • Earn 5x points on dining or food delivery at select stores and restaurants as well as select movies, theatres and ticket agencies.
  • Earn 3x points on eligible gas and transit purchases.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 CAD spent on eligible purchases.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits and extended warranty protection are included.
  • Priority Pass™ membership discount to access VIP lounges.
  • Amex Offers® including deals on shopping, travel and dining.
  • Access to Front Of The Line® presale tickets to concerts, restaurants and events.
  • Minimum annual income of $12,000 required.

Earn up to 6x Scene+ point

Lots of premium perks included

No foreign transaction fees

Low income eligibility at $12,000

Expensive annual fee

$29 fee for each additional card

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card provides a great opportunity to earn Scene+ points on all purchases and extra points on select purchases. Its zero foreign transaction fees and travel insurance coverage make it a good choice for travellers.

2. Neo Credit: Best Cash Back Credit Card

Best Cash Back Credit Card 2024 - Neo Credit Card - SNC Awards

There are cash back credit cards, and there is Neo Credit, the top no-annual-fee cash back credit card in Canada by far.

Neo Credit offers new cardholders up to a whopping 15% cashback rate at participating retailers.

For everyday purchases at thousands of locations, you earn an average of 5% cash back, which is easily one of the best rates offered by any of the 180+ credit cards we analyzed.

Using the Neo app, you can easily browse real-time offers in your area, from food and drink to grocery, transportation, travel, hotels, online shopping, and more.

And these perks all come with the no-annual-fee plan. For even more rewards, you can sign up for a Premium account at $4.99 monthly.

Learn about Neo Credit.

Neo Credit

Excellent credit card for cash back

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 15% cash back for first purchases at eligible partners, 5% average cash back at partner stores for subsequent purchases, and 0.5% cash back on average on all purchases.

Welcome offer: $25 bonus on approval.

Interest rates: 19.99% – 22.99% for purchases.

Minimum income requirement: None

Recommended credit score:
600
900

Fair

neocreditwithbanner

On Neo Financial’s website

  • Earn up to 15% cashback on first purchases at eligible partners.
  • Earn 5% cashback at over 10,000 merchants.
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Unlimited cashback on purchases.
  • Use Subscription Bundles to get extra cashback by choosing from selected categories, or get other rewards on insurance or subscriptions.
  • App Insights provides a clear picture of spending habits.

Earn unlimited cashback

Earn up to 15% cashback on first purchases

No annual fee

Useful app

High-interest rate

No extra perks besides cashback

The Neo Financial Mastercard is a great way to earn up to 15% cashback without paying an annual fee. Subscription Bundles give you more control over where you make the most cash back, and the easy-to-use app provides insights into your spending habits.

3. Tangerine World Mastercard: Best No-Annual Fee Credit Card

Best No-Annual Fee Credit Card 2024 - Tangerine World Mastercard - SNC Awards 2024

When you weigh the premium perks and no-annual fee status of the Tangerine World Mastercard, it is undoubtedly the best credit card in its category.

Cardholders earn an unlimited 2% cash back in two spending categories and get a third category if they deposit their cash back in a free Tangerine Savings Account.

Unlike most no-fee cards, this Tangerine credit card includes rental car collision and mobile device insurance. It also includes a complimentary Mastercard® Travel Pass Provided by DragonPass membership, with access to 1,300 airport lounges at $32 USD per visit.

Not to be left out is its introductory 1.95% balance transfer rate for 6 months and a 10% promotional cash back in the first two months valued at $100.

To qualify, you only need a 600 credit score and a personal annual income of $60,000 (or $100,000 for a household).

Learn about no-fee credit cards.

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.

4. Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card: Best Credit Card for Newcomers

Best Newcomers Credit Card 2024 - Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card - SNC Awards

Newcomers to Canada can access a full suite of banking services through Simplii Financial.

From its no-fee chequing account that includes unlimited transactions and a $400 cash offer, to a cash back credit card, and international money transfers, Simplii has all the basics covered.

The Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card has no annual fees. It pays up to 4% cash back at restaurants, 1.5% cash back on gas, groceries, drugstore purchases, and pre-authorized payments, and 0.5% on everything else.

While there are spending caps for the 4% and 1.5% earning rates, this card stands out in the newcomer category.

Apply through the New to Canada Banking Program, and you could get up to a $10,000 credit limit with no Canadian credit history required.

The ease of application, no-transfer fee international money transfers, access to unlimited chequing transactions, and no monthly/annual fees make Simplii Financial a top banking choice for newcomers.

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card

Excellent credit card for students and newcomers

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 4% cash back on high-spend categories.

Welcome offer: For your first 3 months, enjoy 20% cash back on eligible gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and pre-authorized payments (up to $500 spend).

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

Minimum income requirement: Minimum annual household income is $15,000.

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Credit Card

On Simplii’s website

  • Earn 4% cash back on eligible restaurant, bar, and coffee shop purchases (capped at $5,000 per year).
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on eligible gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases, as well as recurring payments (capped at $15,000 spent per year).
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases without any cap.
  • The minimum annual household income is $15,000.

No annual fee

Competitive purchase APR at 19.99%

0.5% cash back is unlimited

Limited insurance benefits

Limited travel benefits

4% cash back categories are capped at $5,000 annually

The Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card offers competitive cash back on everyday purchases with no annual fee. It’s a great starter card to build your credit score while earning cash back on your most common purchases.

5. Neo Money Card: Best Prepaid Credit Card

Best Prepaid Credit Card 2024 - Neo Money Card - SNC Awards

Want to avoid paying interest while earning cashback? The free Neo Money card offers the best of both worlds: convenient payments worldwide and cash back rates of up to 5%.

The free version works well and comes with a spending account with unlimited transactions and e-Transfers.

Another highlight of the Neo Money card is that it has no credit or income requirements.

Power users can upgrade their account to Premium for a monthly fee and enjoy higher cashback rates, plus access to insurance benefits, credit score monitoring, and priority support.

In a world of prepaid cards that are limited in function and more like gift cards, the reloadable Neo Money Mastercard is ahead of the competition.

Learn about prepaid credit cards.

Neo Money Account

Monthly fee: $0

Free transactions: Unlimited debits, Interac e-Transfers, bill payments, and deposits.

Sign-up bonus: Up to 15% cash back on your first purchases at partner stores.

Interest earned on deposit: 1.00% for spending account. Earn average of 5% cash back on purchases using the Neo Money card.

neologotransparent-img

On Neo Financial’s website

  • Earn 1.00% interest on your balance.
  • Earn an average of 5% cash back at thousands of Neo partners and up to 15% cash back on your first purchases.
  • Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.
  • Transactions, including purchases, bill payments, transfers, and direct deposits, are free and unlimited.
  • No minimum deposit or balance is required.
  • Easily set up automatic bill payments.
  • Fund your account in 3 ways: Interac e-Transfer, link your existing accounts, or set up direct deposit.
  • Neo Money now comes with a Mastercard that gives you access to your balance for POS and online purchases.
  • Available throughout Canada, except Quebec.

Earn 1.00% interest on your balance

Up to 5% cash back on purchases

Easily fund your account in one of 3 ways

No minimum deposit or balance required

No free ATM withdrawals

A hybrid spending and savings account, Neo Money pays 1.00% interest on your balance with no monthly fees or balance requirements. It includes unlimited, free transactions, bill payments, payroll deposits, transfers, and more. You can easily request a Neo Money card to earn cash back.

6. Scotiabank Gold American Express Card: Best Grocery Credit Card

Best Grocery Credit Card 2024 - Scotiabank Gold American Express Card - SNC Awards.

The overall best credit card in Canada also ranks as the best credit card for grocery purchases. If you shop at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, or Foodland, you’ll get the best bang for your buck using the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.

It offers 6 points for every $1 you spend at these stores and 5 points per $1 at other eligible grocery stores (over 1,100 stores). The 5x rate also extends to restaurants, food delivery, and food subscriptions.

7. Neo Secured Credit Card: Best Secured Credit Card

Best Secured Credit Card 2024 - Neo Secured Credit - SNC Awards.

Neo Secured Credit is the top secured credit card in Canada.

It doubles as a cashback credit card, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the best cash back credit cards that have no annual fee.

The features that set this card apart from the others in its category include:

  • No annual fees: While secured credit cards can set back up to $120 annually, Neo Secured Credit has no annual fee.
  • Cashback rewards: Cardholders earn up to 5% cashback at partner stores.
  • Guaranteed approval: There is no hard credit check, and approval is guaranteed if you are the age of the majority, are a Canadian resident, and can provide security funds (starting at only $50).

Neo Financial reports to a credit bureau to help you build your credit history.

Learn about secured credit cards.

Neo Secured Credit

Best secured credit card for bad credit

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 15% cashback on first purchases at eligible partners, 5% cash back at partner stores, and 0.5% unlimited cashback on everything else.

Welcome offer: $25 bonus

Interest rates: 19.99%-22.99% for purchases, 22.99%-28.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: None

Recommended credit score:
N/A

None

neosecuredwithbanner

On Neo Financial’s website

  • Earn up to 15% cashback on first purchase at eligible partners.
  • Earn 5% unlimited cashback at partner stores.
  • Earn 0.5% unlimited cashback on everything else.
  • Create Subscription Bundles to get extra cashback, insurance, or subscriptions.
  • Choose your own credit limit.
  • Minimum security fund requirement of $50.
  • No overlimit fees.
  • Use auto-pay to avoid missing payments.
  • Guaranteed approval and no hard credit checks.

Earn up to 15% cashback

Good rewards for a secured card

No annual fee or overlimit fees

Guaranteed approval

High-interest rate

Few additional perks

If you have a bad credit score or no credit history, the Neo Secured Mastercard gives you a way to start improving your score while earning up to 15% cashback. We also like that it has no annual or monthly fees and offers guaranteed approval.

8. Scotiabank Value Visa: Best Low-Interest Credit Card

Best Low-Interest Credit Card 2024 - Scotiabank Value Visa - SNC Awards.

If you seek a low-interest credit card that saves you money when you carry a balance, consider the Scotiabank Value Visa Card. It has a low 12.99% regular interest rate for purchases and cash advances, and offers a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers for the first 10 months.

The Scotiabank Value Visa costs $29 annually, but this is currently waived in the first year.

This card isn’t designed for earning cash back. However, if what you need is a low-rate card that significantly lowers the interest you pay on your credit card balance, consider adding it to your wallet.

Learn about low interest credit cards.

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.

9. The Platinum Card: Best Premium Credit Card

Best Premium Credit Card 2024 - The Platinum Card - SNC Awards

The