Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada for 2021

If you routinely carry a credit card balance that accrues interest charges, a low interest credit card can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in interest costs.

The standard purchase rate on most credit cards is around 19.99%. On some credit cards, the rates can be even higher at up to 25%!

Check out this list of the best low interest rate credit cards in Canada for cards that charge interest rates ranging from 8.90% to around 12.99%.

Lowest Interest Credit Cards in Canada

When you are struggling to pay off your credit card debt, a low-interest rate balance transfer credit card can be useful for taking off the pressure for 6-12 months.

During this time, try paying for purchases with cash and work at paying off your balance quickly. If you must make a credit card purchase, use a low-interest rate credit card that cuts your purchase APR by up to 50% or more.

Some low-interest credit cards also offer a promotional balance transfer which makes for a perfect combination. However, note that some of these credit cards quickly jack up your rates if you miss any payments.

National Bank Syncro Mastercard

  • Purchase APR: 4% + Prime (currently 8.90%)
  • Annual fee: $35
  • Income requirement: N/A

National Bank’s Syncro Mastercard is one of Canada’s lowest interest credit cards.

Cardholders pay a variable purchase interest rate that is 4% plus the Prime rate. When you transfer balances for debt consolidation purposes or withdraw cash, you pay 8% plus the Prime interest rate.

This card also offers purchase protection and extended warranty coverage. You can take a look at other National Bank credit cards here.

National Bank Syncro
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MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

  • Purchase APR: 8.99%
  • Annual fee: $39
  • Income requirement: N/A

The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard offers an 8.99% regular interest rate on purchases and balance transfers. Its low purchase and balance transfer APR mean you save on interest fees even if you carry a balance.

Note that a 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $7.50 fee) applies and if you withdraw cash, the rate for cash advances is 24.99%.

This card also provides cardholders with basic insurance coverage including purchase protection and extended warranty.

Learn more about the card in this MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard review.

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard
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HSBC +Rewards Mastercard

  • Purchase APR: 11.9%
  • Annual fee: $25
  • Income requirement: N/A

For a card that has low interest rates for everything, the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard ticks all the boxes.

Cardholders pay 11.90% interest on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers which is significantly lower than the regular 19.99% you get with most cards.

It also offers cash back rewards on everyday purchases at 2 points per $1 for dining and entertainment purchases and 1 point per $1 on everything else.

This Mastercard also provides price protection, extended warranty, and purchase assurance coverage. It has a $25 annual fee.

Read my HSBC +Rewards Mastercard review for more details.

hsbc-plus-rewards-mastercard
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Scotiabank Value Visa Card

  • Purchase APR: 12.99%
  • Balance transfer offer: 0.99% for 6 months
  • Annual fee: $29
  • Income requirement: $12,000

The Scotiabank Value Visa is a top contender in the line-up of low-interest credit cards in Canada.

It offers a regular 12.99% APR on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers. New cardholders also get a 6-month introductory low balance transfer rate of 0.99% and there are no balance transfer fees.

Read this Scotiabank Value Visa Card review for more details about the card.

No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card
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MBNA True Line Mastercard

  • Purchase APR: 12.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Income requirement: N/A

With the MBNA True Line Mastercard, you pay 12.99% on purchases and balance transfers. Note that a 3% fee applies to balance transfers ($7.50 minimum fee).

On cash advances, there’s a hefty 24.99% interest rate. Read this MBNA True Line Mastercard review for more information.

MBNA True Line Mastercard
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BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

  • Purchase APR: 12.99%
  • Balance transfer offer: 3.99% for 9 months
  • Annual fee: $20
  • Income requirement: $15,000

If you are struggling with high-interest rates on your current credit card, the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard can save you a tonne in interest fees.

You enjoy a standard 12.99% APR on purchases and cash advances, as well as a 3.99% promotional balance transfer rate for 9 months. Note that a 1% transfer fee applies.

Other perks offered by this card are:

  • Purchase protection for up to 90 days
  • Extended warranty for up to a maximum of one extra year
  • Discount on admission tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada

Read this BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard review.

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
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5. TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa

  • Purchase APR: 4.50% to 12.75% + TD Prime
  • Balance transfer offer: N/A
  • Annual fee: $25
  • Income requirement: None

If you have a very good credit score, you could score a competitively low interest rate with the TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa card. Based on TD’s current prime rate of 2.45%, the purchase and cash advance APR on this card range from 6.95% to 15.20%.

The 6.95% APR rate is the lowest purchase/cash advance rate available on this list. However, note that since the TD Prime Rate can vary, the interest rate you pay over time can go up or down.

Additional benefits of the card are:

  • Purchase security and extended warranty
  • Get up to a 10% discount when you rent a vehicle at participating Avis Rent a Car and Budget Rent A Car locations
TD emerald flex rate visa
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Is a Low Interest Credit Card Worth It?

A low interest credit card can save you money over time. See an example below.

Assuming you owe $1,000 on your credit card, if your card has a 19.99% purchase interest rate and you are making $500 in monthly payments, it will take you 25 months to pay off the debt and cost $2,289 in interest fees.

However, if your credit card’s purchase APR is 8.90%, you pay off the loan 3 months earlier (in 22 months) and only pay $868 in interest fees. A savings of over $1,421!

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Conclusion

A low-interest credit card can help you shave off unnecessary fees while you pay off your credit card balance. 

Read the fine prints that accompany these cards on the issuer’s website by clicking on the “Apply” links above. Some of the cards jack up their interest rates when you miss a number of payments within a 12-month period.

Overall, aim to pay off your balance within the grace period, so you can avoid interest charges altogether.

FAQs

What is considered low interest rate for a credit card?

The average credit card interest rate in Canada is 19.99%. Credit cards with rates below 14.99% are considered to have lower interest rates.

What credit card in Canada has the lowest interest rate?

Two credit cards with the lowest interest rates are the National Bank Syncro Mastercard and MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard.

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

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 has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

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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