5 Best Store Credit Cards in Canada 2021

A store credit card can help you earn worthwhile and easy-to-redeem rewards at your favourite retailers.

Retail stores use these branded credit cards to shore up their loyalty programs by offering bonus points when you sign up and promotional offers at various points in time when you shop.

From a user perspective, a store credit card may be easier to qualify for regardless of whether you have good or bad credit, and you could even receive instant approval while shopping in-store.

What are the best store and retail cards in Canada and are they worth applying for?

What is a Store Credit Card?

A store credit card is a credit card that carries the brand name of a particular store or group of stores.

When you make a purchase at the retailer, you earn cash back or points you can later redeem for free purchases, merchandise, or as a statement credit.

A store card may be limited to only a specific store. That said, the popular ones we have listed below are co-branded with either Visa or Mastercard and you can use them to pay for purchases wherever these payment processors are accepted.

They also work like traditional credit cards and your transactions are reported to the credit bureaus.

Store credit cards have specific benefits and downsides you should be aware of.

Benefits of Store Credit Cards

If you are looking for a no-fee credit card that offers rewards and perks, a store card may be for you.

For example, the Triangle World Elite Mastercard and PC Financial World Elite Mastercard both offer “non-standard” perks and have no annual fees.

You earn rewards every time you shop at the retailer. If the store is your main go-to for purchases (e.g. groceries or household items), you could enjoy significant levels of discounts and cash back every year. Theis means more money in your pockets.

Store cards are generally easy to qualify for. If your credit history is limited or you have a poor credit score, a store may still approve your credit card application.

Co-branded retail credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express) report to the credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion) and can be used to build your credit score.

Downsides of a Store Credit Card

A store credit card may only offer a low credit limit. For example, your credit limit may be capped at $2,500.

In cases where you get a higher limit, it may be reduced without prior notice if you only use the card occasionally.

These cards may have a high-interest rate. If you routinely carry a balance, a 29.99% purchase or cash advance APR becomes unsuitable after a while.

Also, the rewards options may be limited. When you make purchases elsewhere, you earn rewards at a lower rate and there may be no options to redeem your earnings outside of the store.

Best Store Credit Cards

Here are some of the top credit cards for shopping online and in-store in Canada.

1. PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

The PC Financial World Elite is one of three credit cards offered by President’s Choice Bank and a gateway to earning PC Optimum Points.

If you do a lot of shopping at Loblaw stores, this card makes it easy to earn free groceries all year long.

You earn 30 points per $1 when you spend at affiliated stores including the Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Wholesale Club, and Independent.

The earn rate is 45 points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart, 30 points per litre when you buy gas at Mobil and Esso stations, and 30 points per $1 when you purchase travel through PC Travel.

On all other purchases, you earn 10 points per $1.

You can easily redeem your PC Optimum points at a rate of 1,000 points = $10 to pay for purchases at participating stores.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income required: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household
  • Purchase interest rate: 20.97%
  • Cash advance interest rate: 20.97%

Extra Perks: The PC World Elite offers travel emergency medical car rental, purchase assurance, and extended warranty insurance. You can also access a promotional balance transfer rate of 0.97% for the first 6 months.

Cons: You need a personal income of a least $80,000 to apply for this card. If you don’t meet the minimum income requirement, you may qualify for the PC Financial Mastercard instead.

For more details about the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, read my review.

2. Triangle World Elite Mastercard

This Canadian Tire Credit card is my go-to for earning Canadian Tire Money. It allows you to collect 4% in CT Money at Canadian Tire, Spork Chek, Mark’s, Atmosphere, Party City, Hockey Experts, and a few other stores.

On grocery purchases (excluding Costco and Walmart), you earn 3% in CT Money, and gas purchases at Gas+ and some Husky stations earn at $0.05 to $0.07 per litre.

You can easily redeem your CT Money to pay for purchases at Canadian Tire and participating stores.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income required: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
  • Cash advance interest rate: 22.99% (21.99% in Quebec)

Extra Perks: This card offers a free roadside assistance plan, rental car insurance, and extended warranty. You can also finance purchases of $150 or more with no fees or interest financing for up to 24 months.

Cons: This card has a high-income requirement. Alternatively, you can opt for the Triangle Mastercard which has no specified income requirement. Also, you can only redeem your CT Money for purchases at participating stores.

Learn more in this Triangle World Elite Mastercard review.

3. Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard

If you are a big Amazon shopper who normally pay for a Prime membership, this card may be worth your while. It has no annual fee and offers 2.50% back when you shop at Amazon.ca and Whole Foods Market stores.

If you are not a Prime member, your purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods is 1.50%. All other purchases earn at a 1.00% rate.

When your account balance reaches 2,000 points, you automatically receive $20 Amazon gift card.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income required: N/A
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
  • Cash advance interest rate: 22.99%

Extra Perks: Prime members get 2.50% back on eligible foreign currency purchases. If you are not a Prime member, you get 1% back on FX purchases to offset part of the foreign transaction fees.

The Amazon Rewards Mastercard offers purchase assurance and extended warranty.

4. Walmart Rewards World Mastercard

Walmart shopping, deals, and discounts get even better when you pay using the Walmart Rewards World Mastercard.

This card offers 3% Walmart Reward Dollars when you shop online at Walmart.ca and 1.25% when you shop in-store. You also earn 1.25% at gas stations and 1% on all other purchases.

You can redeem your rewards at a rate of 1 Walmart Reward Dollar = $1 when you spend at Walmart.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income required: $100,000 household
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.89%
  • Cash advance interest rate: 21.49%

You can apply for the entry-level Walmart Rewards Mastercard if you don’t meet the income requirement for the World Mastercard version.

Cons: This card has a household income requirement of $100,000. If you want extended warranty and purchase protection insurance, a fee applies. Lastly, you can only redeem your rewards at Walmart.

5. Hudson’s Bay Mastercard – Powered by Neo

Hudson’s Bay recently partnered with Neo Financial to offer a new branded credit card after Capital One announced it was ending its relationship with the retailer last year.

The newly minted Hudson’s Bay Mastercard offers up to 4 points per $1 spent in-store and up to 2 points per $1 spent elsewhere.

You can redeem your points at a rate of 1,000 points = $5 when you shop online at thebay.com or in the store.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income required: N/A
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99% to 24.99%
  • Cash advance interest rate: 21.99% to 26.99%

Extra Perks: Cardholders enjoy free shipping on orders of $45 or more (or $29+ for beauty orders) when they use the NEO2021 promo code.

You also earn up to 2% cash back Neo partners.

Best No-Fee Cash Back Cards for Shopping

For no-fee credit cards that offers competitive cash back and rewards, the two cards below are worth checking out.

Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard

This Tangerine Credit Card offers up to 2% unlimited cash back in three categories of spending, and 0.50% on everything else.

Purchase categories that qualify for 2% rewards include grocery, gas, recurring bill payments, restaurants, public transportation, parking, and entertainment.

Cash back earned is paid out monthly and you can either apply it to your statement balance or redeem it to your free Tangerine Savings account.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income required: $12,000
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.95%
  • Cash advance interest rate: 19.95%

Extra Perks: The card offers a promotional 1.95% balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. You also enjoy purchase protection and extended warranty.

Note that a third 2% purchase category only applies when your cash back is paid into a Tangerine Savings account.

SimplyCash Card From American Express

This card offers a 1.25% cash back rate on all purchases. There is no limit on how much cash back you can earn and you won’t need to worry about purchase categories.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income required: N/A
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
  • Cash advance interest rate: 21.99%

Extra Perks: The SimplyCash Card from AMEX offers travel accident insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty.

Cons: American Express cards are not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard. Also, you can only redeem your cash back once a year.

Learn more in this review.

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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 and monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell.

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