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Compare credit cards in Canada

Compare more than 50 credit cards in Canada, and get expert guides and news from Finder's credit card journalists.

Use our credit card comparison tool to narrow down a selection of cards that meet your needs, the benefits that you want and the cards you're most likely to qualify for.
1 - 5 of 42
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until October 31, 2023. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until October 31, 2023. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
RBC Avion Visa Infinite
55,000 points
Up to 1 point per $1 spent
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get up to 55,000 Welcome Points (value of up to $1,100). Apply by November 27, 2023.
American Express Cobalt Card
30,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your card (up to 30,000 points). That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets.
Finder’s credit card team spends hundreds of hours researching 200+ credit cards to find the ones with exceptional value. When choosing a credit card, look for the benefits and features that best fit your financial needs, whether that’s a low interest, no annual fee, generous rewards, a strong signup bonus or a lengthy balance transfer offer. Our unbiased reviews and guides can help you choose a card that’s right for you.

How do credit cards work?

A credit card allows you to charge purchases to your card which you’ll then pay for later. Each month you’ll get a statement showing what you spent over the previous month, and you can either pay off your balance in full or just pay the minimum monthly payment (typically 2-3% of your outstanding balance).

Unlike a loan with a rigid repayment schedule and a fixed end date, credit cards give you some flexibility and are open-ended. The credit’s there when you need it, and you can pay off your debt as fast or as slowly (within reason) as you like.

Credit card jargon explained

  • APR. The annual percentage rate is designed to be a benchmark for consumers, providing an annual summary of the cost of your card.
  • Annual fee. Some credit cards in Canada come with an annual fee, however, these cards typically come with a higher range of perks such as purchase protection, travel insurance and lounge access.
  • Eligibility criteria. A list of conditions that a borrower must meet in order to be considered for credit. These vary from lender to lender.
  • Fixed rate. A fixed rate won’t change for an agreed amount of time, even if market conditions mean that bank interest rates generally are increasing or decreasing. A fixed rate can be a popular option for some borrowers, and it allows them to budget with more certainty.
  • Credit card balance. This refers to the amount of credit you have currently used, and need to repay. Most credit cards have a monthly balance cycle, which means you’ll be charged interest if you don’t pay off your balance each month.
  • Variable rate. A variable rate is the opposite of a fixed rate and can increase or decrease over time at the lender’s discretion. Typically, variations occur as market conditions generally shift – for example, an increase or decrease in the Bank of England base rate.
  • Assumed credit limit. Lenders use an example credit limit of £1,200 in their representative examples to help you compare credit products more easily. All financial products providing credit have to clearly show a representative example in promotional material.
  • Charge card. Charge cards, like some of those issued by American Express are similar to standard credit cards, but with one or two significant exceptions. For example, charge cards usually have a larger spending limit and require you to pay your full balance off by the statement due date, which is usually the end of the month. With credit cards, you only have to repay a small portion of the balance each month.

Why should I get a credit card?

There are plenty of situations when a credit card could be a smart choice. For starters, used carefully, they can be a cheap – or even free – way to borrow. But even if you don’t need to borrow money, there are other benefits you may want to consider.

Some credit cards come with purchase protection, theft insurance and extended warranties so if something happens to great new TV you just bought you may be able to get a refund through your card issuer or their insurance provider.

If you’re young or new to credit, then you probably won’t have much of a credit record. If you’re planning to get a mortgage or perhaps car finance sometime in the future, then to get a decent rate, you’ll need to show that you’re capable of borrowing money and repaying it on time. A credit card is one way to demonstrate help build credit.

But even if you have excellent credit and you don’t need to borrow, a credit card could still work for you. Plenty of cards come with perks or rewards – from loyalty points or cashback through to airport lounge access or travel insurance.

Best ways to use a credit card

Some of the best ways to use a credit card are outlined below:

  • Build up your credit score. If you don’t have much of a credit history because you’ve never borrowed before or your credit score is low, a credit card can be a good first step to improving it. Credit building cards are designed specifically for those with a poor credit history in mind. Be aware that many of these credit cards come with higher interest rates compared to standard cards, so it’s important to pay off your balance in full each month.
  • Get cashback and rewards. Many credit cards offer competitive cashback rates or rewards, helping you to earn something back as you spend. However, the downside is that many of these cards come with high interest rates and those cards that offer exclusive rewards (e.g. lounge access) might charge an account fee.
  • Save interest on existing debt. If you’re currently paying interest on existing credit card or store card debt, it’s worth shifting that debt to a lower interest balance transfer credit card. Doing so will mean you’ll avoid paying a higher interest rate for a number of months (depending on the provider), giving you time to tackle your debt head on without worrying about interest building up. Be aware you might have to pay a transfer fee.
  • Spread the cost of a purchase. If you’re planning a large purchase, such as a holiday or new car, a low interest credit card lets you spread the cost of your spending interest-free over several months. This can be much cheaper than other methods of borrowing, but only if you’re confident you can pay off your balance in full before the 0% deal ends.
  • Insurance. Some credit cards, especially travel credit cards, come with car rental insurance and/or travel health insurance.
  • Protection on your spending. Another great benefit of using some credit cards is that you’ll get purchase protection and even extended warranties.

How to choose the right credit card

  1. Work out what you want to get out of your credit card. Do you want rewards, cashback, interest-free periods on purchases or to transfer an existing balance?
  2. Find the providers that offer that type of credit card. Some credit card providers specialize in certain type of cards, and may not offer other types.
  3. Compare credit cards to find the one that best meets your needs. You should consider things like rate, fees and features.
  4. Check your eligibility to make sure you qualify for the card.

What type of credit card should I get?

To find the right credit card to suit your wants and needs, it’s good learn the types of credit cards on the market. Here are some of the main type of credit cards available in the Canada, along with the key benefits they offer.

Who can get a credit card?

There are credit cards to suit almost anybody, but you’ll need to be 18 or older and a Canadian resident in most cases, unless you meet the criteria for credit cards for foreign workers with work permits.

Credit cards are offered at the issuer’s discretion – in other words, when you apply for one, the card issuer will weigh up your application, and if it thinks you’re a safe bet, it’ll offer you a card. Card issuers normally state their minimum criteria (which could include a minimum income or being an existing customer) but meeting these criteria isn’t a guarantee of approval.

For really premium cards, you’re likely to need a decent income and a good track record of borrowing responsibly (a high credit score), but credit builder credit cards and student credit cards are much easier to get approved for. If you’re not sure what your credit score is and what’s in your credit report, you can find out free with Finder.

How much will I be able to spend on a credit card?

If your credit card application is approved, your specific circumstances will determine what credit limit (that’s the maximum debt you can build up on the card) the issuer will offer you. Your personalized limit will depend on factors like your credit score, and your income and outgoings.

Once you’ve held a credit card for a few months or years, you might want to raise a request to increase your credit limit. Any increase will be at the card issuer’s discretion, but if you’ve been using your card sensibly (making repayments on time) and your circumstances haven’t changed for the worse, there’s a reasonable chance your request will be approved. Some card issuers will even pro-actively suggest a credit limit increase after a while.

What will a credit card cost me?

One of the downsides of credit cards is that the fee structure can be a bit complicated. But do your homework and use them correctly, and credit cards can be a cheap form of borrowing (if you pay off your balance each month), or can even earn you benefits.

  • Monthly repayments. You’re free to repay as much as you like as often as you like, subject to a small monthly minimum that’ll be outlined when your statement is issued – usually about 2% of your outstanding balance. You’ll pay a late payment fee (and damage your credit score) if you don’t make the minimum repayment by the statement due date. If you clear your full balance each month, your purchases generally won’t incur any interest – it’s when you carry a balance from month to month that the interest kicks in.
  • Annual/monthly account fee. You can get credit cards with no annual fee, but more premium options (generally high-paying rewards cards) can do. 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. Interest is the price you pay to borrow money, but confusingly with credit cards, different parts of your balance can incur different interest rates. Most commonly, cash advances (withdrawing cash using the card from an ATM) may have a designated interest rate that’s higher than your card’s standard purchases rate.
  • Cash advance fees. Withdrawing cash on a credit card is usually a bad idea. There’s normally a one-off fee and a higher rate of interest. These extra fees can also apply to “cash-like” transactions – for example any spending at a casino, or buying foreign currency.
  • Other fees. There are a few other fees that issuers can charge – for example, additional card fees (when you request an additional card for a partner or family member), balance transfer fees (when you move existing debt across to your new card), balance transfer credit cards fees (when you transfer money from your card to your current account) or fees for misuse, like going over your credit limit or failing to make a repayment by the scheduled date.

Find a credit card company: An A-to-Z list of credit card companies in Canada

Looking for a new credit card? Choose from this complete list of credit card companies in Canada from banks and financial providers like Scotiabank or Tangerine, networks like American Express and more. Below is a running list of credit card issuers in Canada with links to their card offerings and reviews.

Note that while we try to keep this credit card list up to date, it may not be a comprehensive listing of all Canadian credit card providers at the time of reading, and that it may become out of date as brands merge, new brands are introduced or other changes take place.

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