Credit Card Comparison

Compare rewards, low-interest, balance transfer, secured cards and more

Finder’s free service makes comparing credit cards simple. Someone new to the world of credit cards may find the varieties offered in the market mind-boggling. Here’s a comprehensive guide from Finder to help you navigate your choices and understand the features and fees that come with this convenient source of credit.

Compare Canadian credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Get 15,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Earn 4 Scotia Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 annual spend on eligible purchases.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
12.99%
12.99%
$29
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and enjoy a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
Offers 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$499
Receive access to Air Canada priority check-in and over 700 lounges in airports around the world.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
16.99%
16.99%
$0
Save on low interest rate and no annual fee.
Earn up to 2,500 points when you spend $500 within each billing period. Up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Earn up to 5 points for every dollar you spend at eligible restaurants, cafés, bars and food delivery.
Get 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 in the first 3 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
Earn up to 2.5% or $150 cashback in your first 3 months.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Save on $0 annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Offers 150 AIR MILES Reward Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn one mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and one mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$699
Get up to $200 bonus travel credit every year.
Get 10% cash back on purchases with min. spend of $2,000 in the first three months. Ends 30 June 2019.

19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
N/A
$12.95
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with guaranteed approval and no credit check.
Offers 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$180
Earn 1 mile for every $10 spent at eligible sponsors and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else.
Receive 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first 2 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$399
Earn 4x Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, dining and entertainment purchases.
Receive 2,400 Air Miles Reward Miles when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$299
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$150
Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on eligible travel and purchases and 1 point for every dollar you spend elsewhere.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Balance Transfer Rate Annual Fee
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
12.99%
12.99%
0.99% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
$29
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and enjoy a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
16.99%
16.99%
3.99% for the first 6 months (then 16.99%)
$0
Save on low interest rate and no annual fee.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
22.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn up to 2.5% or $150 cashback in your first 3 months.
19.99%
22.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 2,400 Air Miles Reward Miles when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$299
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
2.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$39
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Get 15,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Earn 4 Scotia Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 annual spend on eligible purchases.
Earn up to 2,500 points when you spend $500 within each billing period. Up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Earn up to 5 points for every dollar you spend at eligible restaurants, cafés, bars and food delivery.
Get 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $1,000 in the first 3 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
Offers 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$499
Receive access to Air Canada priority check-in and over 700 lounges in airports around the world.
Offers 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $500 in the first three months of membership. For new cardmembers only.
N/A
N/A
$60
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent. Double your miles on purchases at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands.
Get 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 to $0
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 10% cash back on purchases with min. spend of $2,000 in the first three months. Ends 30 June 2019.

19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 60,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $1,500 in the first 3 months (valid for new cardmembers only).
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Receive 5 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties/stores, plus 2 points per dollar spent on other card purchases.
Offers 2,000 bonus AIR MILES Reward miles when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$180
Earn 1 mile for every $10 spent at eligible sponsors and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else.
Receive 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $1,500 in the first 3 months.
19.99%
22.99%
$150
Receive 5 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties/stores, plus 3 points for every dollar spent on eligible gas, dining and travel.
Receive 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$150
Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on eligible travel and purchases and 1 point for every dollar you spend elsewhere.
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$699
Get up to $200 bonus travel credit every year.
Receive 2,400 Air Miles Reward Miles when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$299
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 within first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$499
Earn 1.25 points for dollar you spend with no limit to the number of points you can accumulate.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Earn up to 2.5% or $150 cashback in your first 3 months.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Waived annual fee for the first year of membership. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings upon initial spend of $10,000 in the first year and 2% subsequently.
Offers 150 AIR MILES Reward Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn one mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and one mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Save on $0 annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Receive 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first 2 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$399
Earn 4x Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, dining and entertainment purchases.
Receive 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase within the first 2 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$110
Get 5% cash back on travel purchases via Scotia Rewards Travel Service and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on daily purchases.
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$39
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.
7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
Offers 15,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $1,500 within your first 3 months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$120
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar you spend up to $10,000 and 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar spent over $10,000 per year.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
17.99%
$0
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
Offers 50,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$899
Receive a bonus $200 in annual travel credit to use towards flights, car rentals, hotels and more.
Offers 30,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 within the first three months of membership.
N/A
N/A
$250
Earn one point for every dollar spent and one additional point for every dollar spent at three eligible merchants of your choosing.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn up to 2.5% or $150 cashback in your first 3 months.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 10% cash back on purchases with min. spend of $2,000 in the first three months. Ends 30 June 2019.

19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$39
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.
Waived annual fee for the first year of membership. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings upon initial spend of $10,000 in the first year and 2% subsequently.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
17.99%
$0
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Save on $0 annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends June 30, 2019.
16.99%
16.99%
$0
Save on low interest rate and no annual fee.
Get 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with min. spend of $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Ends 30 June 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 to $0
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Earn up to 2.5% or $150 cashback in your first 3 months.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers 150 AIR MILES Reward Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn one mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and one mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 30 June 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.
No available introductory offer.
17.99%
17.99%
$0
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 July 2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Required Deposit Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
$200 - $10,000
17.99%
N/A
$12.95
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with guaranteed approval and no credit check.

Compare up to 4 providers

How credit cards work

A credit card is a form of unsecured credit issued by banks in Canada that allow users to make purchases without having to use cash. You can also use them to withdraw money from ATM machines at a fee.

All credit cards come with a credit limit which is assigned depending on the bank’s assessment of your perceived ability to make repayments. This is usually tied to your annual income.

Credit cards are different from debit cards which are tied to actual money in a savings account. When you use a credit card, you are essentially borrowing money from the lender to pay the retailer first, before you repay the bank at the end of your billing cycle. You will receive a statement at the end of each billing cycle that tells you the total amount you owe the bank. By making the repayments promptly, you will not be charged any interest fees.

There are many types of credit cards available that enable users to earn various types of rewards, air miles and rebates. This gives great incentive to sign-up for a card and earn rewards/save money simply by charging their purchases to the card.

What type of card are you looking for?

Comparing credit card features

Popular Credit Card Features

Rewards cards

A rewards card can be a worthwhile way to get something back from your spending. Whether you’re a frequent flyer, loyal customer or big grocery spender, you can find a rewards credit card to suit almost any lifestyle.

  • The major draw of this type of card is earning points that can be redeemed for rewards. Depending on the card you use and the promotions in place, you may be able to earn bonus points when making certain types of purchases or shopping with a particular retailer.
  • What you can redeem your points for will vary from card to card. Some allow you to redeem points for flight rewards as well as shopping or travel vouchers. Others can be used for cash back, to redeem merchandise or even to donate to charity.

Cashback

Like a rewards card, a cashback card gets you something back on your spending. Cashback cards pay back a percentage of your credit card spend, usually as a statement credit. You could receive, for example, 1.5% back on every dollar of spending.

  • Cashback cards have the benefit of being straightforward: you don’t need to worry about the best way to maximize your credit card rewards, you simply get paid a fixed percentage.
  • Your cashback is credited to your account automatically, so you don’t need to worry about points expiring, or the loss of accumulated rewards due to account closure.
  • With the right card, cashback is effectively a permanent discount on all your spending – as long as you repay your balance before interest charges start.

Air Miles

There are a lot of ways to get a return on your credit card spend and for the savvy traveller air miles can be a very attractive alternative to broader rewards cards or cashback cards.

  • Used for the right flights or flight upgrades, redeeming air miles can offer some of the highest percentage returns on every dollar you spend compared to other types of credit card rewards.
  • You can often transfer your air miles into other points programs, including car hire or hotel loyalty programs.
  • Air miles are usually awarded on all of your credit card spend, no matter where you pay your air miles card will earn you something back.
  • Look out for accelerated earnings when you use your card while you travel.

Shopping Rewards

Many credit cards offer discounts at selected stores when you pay with your card, or offer an accelerated reward earning rate at specific stores. If you regularly shop at certain retailers getting the matching card can save you a lot of money.

  • Expect to see significant discounts in the order of 10% to 15% with some cards and retailers, or money saving offers.
  • Accelerated rewards earnings rates are essentially the equivalent of a discount: earning 10X the rewards when you shop can work out to be a significant return in percentage terms.

Dining Rewards

If you like dining out think about a card that offers discounts on dining, or a higher cashback or rewards earning rate on your restaurant spend.

  • The savings on eating in a restaurant when you pay with a credit card that offers solid dining benefits can be very attractive, including two for one dining offers and discounts of up to 50%.
  • You could qualify for other benefits including special events at sought-after venues.
  • Credit card dining benefits cover a range of tastes and preferences so there’s likely to be a card that offers discounts and benefits at your style of restaurant.

Petrol Rewards

The savings you can get on a credit card with petrol discounts can be excellent, including savings rates of over 10% on some cards, so it is really worth paying for filling up your car using a suitable credit card.

  • Get a mix of on the spot discounts, cashback on your statement and rewards points when you pay for petrol with your credit card.
  • Petrol discounts cover a wide range of service stations around the country.
  • Your petrol discount is usually uncapped, you can save money every time you stop to fill up.

How credit card interest works

Understanding APR

As you spend on your credit card, your debts will also begin to collect interest if you’re unable to pay the whole balance back by the end of the statement or interest-free period. If you’ve used your card for purchases, it will start collecting interest charge. This is called an APR, or annual percentage rate, and it usually hovers between 9.99% and 20%. If you’ve used your card for an ATM withdrawal or any other transaction that’s considered a cash advance, you’ll accrue the cash advance rate of around 22%.

If you decide to transfer your debt from one card to another — maybe another card offers a better APR — you’ll also accrue a balance transfer interest rate, which is usually the same as either the interest rate or cash advance rate. Some cards do offer 0% promotional periods on purchases and balance transfers, so this is something to keep in mind during your comparison.

Each month, you’ll receive a statement that will detail the transactions you’ve made, the total outstanding balance you have and any interest you’re accruing. While you’re only required to pay a minimum repayment each month (2-3% of your total balance), it’s best to pay as much as you can. If you pay your entire balance in full, you can usually take advantage of up to 55 interest-free days in the next statement period. This may only be the case with some credit cards. If you don’t pay your entire balance in full, the remainder will start to collect interest. If you miss the minimum repayment, you could be charged late payment fees.

What other features I should look out for?

For those who are new to credit cards, there are some key features worth mentioning so that you can optimize the use of your credit cards and learn about the related fees and charges involved.

  • Credit limit. The credit limit is the amount you can use on your credit card.For student credit cards available in Canada, the credit limit is usually set between $500-$1000 for those who are not drawing an income. Regular credit cards usually require an annual income of at least $15,000 and the maximum unsecured credit limit may be set at 4 times the amount of your monthly salary. This does not mean that you will get the maximum credit limit for your credit card, as the rule applies to all the combination of all credit cards and unsecured facilities you with the bank.
  • Grace Period. The grace period is an interest-free period where you can use your credit cards without incurring any finance charges. This is usually between a period of 20-25 days.
  • Rewards. One perk of using a credit card is that it allows you to earn various types of rewards when you use them for payments. Reward types include cash rebates, discounts on partner merchants, earning air miles which can then be used for redemption of free flights or upgrades, as well as reward points which you can exchange for vouchers.
  • Security. There are a number of security features that come with credit cards that help to make your transactions safe and prevent fraud. All banks require customers to activate their new credit cards before they can use it so as to prevent any intercepted cards to be used. Features include transaction alerts when your pre-defined limit has been made and One-Time passwords on merchant websites.
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What are the costs of a credit card?

  • Repayments. You’re free to repay as much as you like as often as you like. You’re required to make the minimum repayment when your statement is issued. The minimum repayment is usually 10% of your outstanding balance. You will pay a late payment fee if you don’t make the minimum repayment by the statement due date.
  • Annual fee. This is the cost to own a credit card. The annual fee ranges from $0 to $400 or more depending on the credit card type. The credit card annual fee is deducted from your available credit and accrues interest at the purchase rate if it isn’t paid in the first statement period.
  • Interest rates. There are no interest charges levied on your purchases if you pay off the card balance within the grace period. Beyond that, credit cards here typically charge an interest of 20-25% per annum on your card balances. As the interest is compounded and charged on a daily basis, they can easily accumulate if you keep rolling over your balances month-on-month.
  • Other fees. Other fees you may run into include late payment fees, overlimit fees (a fee for spending past your credit limit), rewards program membership fees and cash advance fees.

Credit card application tips

While applying for a credit card doesn’t have to be complicated, it can come with certain risks.

  1. Assess your needs. Before you begin your search, spend some time considering what you want, need and can afford with your next credit card.
  2. Compare your options. Once you’ve decided what type of card you want, it’s time to begin comparing your options.
  3. Are you eligible? Know the requirements for the card application – do you need a minimum income and do you meet the age limit?
  4. Know your credit score. You should request a copy of your credit history before applying, so you can correct any possible errors on it and see exactly what the bank will be seeing when they assess your application.
  5. Lower your credit utilzation ratio. If you already have a credit card balance, it’s wise to pay off your existing balances before submitting a new credit card application.
  6. Don’t apply for multiple cards at once or within a short period. You may be tempted to apply for a second card just in case your first one doesn’t get approved, but don’t. Each credit enquiry that a lender makes about your credit history leaves a new mark on your credit file for five years.

Who is eligible for a credit card in Canada?

Make sure you confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria before you submit your application, as rejected credit card applications can have a negative impact on your credit score. Eligibility requirements usually include:

  • Age. Cardholders generally must be at least 18 years of age for student cards and 21 years old for regular credit cards. This may vary by a couple of years depending on your annual income and your credit score for any previous cards. Your parents may also be able to secure you a credit card at a younger age if needed.
  • Residential status. Most credit cards are open to application for Canadians, Permanent Residents and foreigners alike, subject to varying income requirements and additional documents.
  • Minimum income. The minimum income requirement will vary between cards, but they usually start at $15,000 a year for most basic credit cards and $60,000 and above for higher-tier products.
  • Credit history. All credit card issuers require applicants to have a good credit history.

Understanding your credit score

In Canada, there are two different national credit score bureaus which include Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. Banks can check your credit score online and discover your record of past repayments of loans and credit card debts.

Credit scores are arranged in three digit numbers in Canada. The score ranges from 300 to 900, where the higher the credit score, the better. For example, 900 is an excellent credit score, indicating the lowest risk of default.

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