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Credit cards for single parents

Explore credit cards that work as hard for your money as you do.

If you’re a single parent, a credit card can be a convenient way to free up cash flow between paydays or to help manage financial emergencies. With a wide range of credit cards on the market, it’s possible to find one that offers low annual fees, up to 55 interest-free days and has rewards you can benefit from. Compare your options below.

Comparison of credit cards best suited to single parents

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
20,000 Points
2x points per $1 spent
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 630
Get 20,000 Points (up to $100 in value), plus get a 1st year annual fee waiver. Apply by October 3, 2021.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
3.99% rate on balance transfers for 9 months
N/A
12.99%
$20
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
0.99% rate on balance transfers for 6 months
N/A
12.99%
$29
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by November 21, 2021.
BMO Rewards Business Mastercard
50,000 points
Up to 3 points per $1 spent
14.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get 50,000 points and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
Business Platinum Card from American Express
75,000 points
1.25 points per $1 spent
N/A
$499
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points in your first three months of Cardmembership.
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
50,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
N/A
$250
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
National Bank Syncro Mastercard
N/A
N/A
8.90% or prime + 4.00%
$35
Min. recommended credit score: 740
Enjoy low purchase interest, cash advance and balance transfer rates.
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Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
19.99%
$0
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 $2,000). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 680
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 on everyday purchases within the first 2 months. Until October 4, 2021. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
Brim Mastercard
Up to $200 worth of bonuses
1 point per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to $200 worth of bonus points when you shop with Brim retailers for the first time through the Brim mobile app.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 680
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 on everyday purchases within the first 2 months. Until October 4, 2021. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
SimplyCash Card from American Express
4% cash back
Up to 1.25% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn 4% cash back on purchases (up to $200 cash back) for the first 6 months of Cardmembership.
American Express Green Card
10,000 points
1 point per $1 spent
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your card in the first 3 months as a new Cardmember.
BMO Rewards Mastercard
10,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 725
Get a bonus of 10,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Apply by October 31, 2021 . Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to transferred balances.
Home Trust Secured Visa (No Annual Fee)
N/A
N/A
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: Any score
The no annual fee Home Trust Secured card comes with a standard 19.99% purchase and cash advance rate. Apply with any credit score and start rebuilding your credit.
Shell AIR MILES Mastercard from BMO
800 Miles
Up to 3x Air Miles for every $25 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
Shell CashBack Mastercard from BMO
$50 in cash back + 1% cash back
Up to 1.5% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get $50 in cash back bonuses once you charge your first eligible purchase to your card. Plus, earn 1% cash back for the first 6 months on all eligible purchases.
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Name Product Interest Free Period Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Reward
American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
up to 55 days
N/A
N/A
$180
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent at eligible AIR MILES Sponsors and 1 AIR MILE for every $15 spent elsewhere
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
Business Platinum Card from American Express
up to 55 days
N/A
N/A
$499
Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points in your first three months of Cardmembership.
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
up to 55 days
N/A
N/A
$250
Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at select American Express merchant suppliers in Canada (choose 3 suppliers), and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
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Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
20,000 Points
2x points per $1 spent
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 630
Get 20,000 Points (up to $100 in value), plus get a 1st year annual fee waiver. Apply by October 3, 2021.
American Express Cobalt Card
50,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
20.99%
$155.88
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 50,000 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). Plus, earn a Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
BMO World Elite Mastercard
30,000 points
Up to 3 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 30,000 points and the $150 annual fee waived in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2021
American Express Aeroplan Card
40,000 points
Up to 2x points
30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full each month
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to a total of 40,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass. New Cardmembers can earn up to $1,200 in value within the first year.
American Express Business Edge Card
57,000 points
Up to 3 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$99
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 57,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
2,000 Miles
Up to 1 Air Mile per $5 - $10 spent
20.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES within the first three months. That’s enough to redeem for $200 towards your purchases with AIR MILES Cash.
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
90,000 points
Up to 3x points
19.99%
$599
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to a total of 90,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass. New Cardmembers can earn up to $2,900 in value within your first year. Plus, spend at least $10,000 in qualifying net purchases by November 30, 2021 and you’ll earn, step up, or jump start your Aeroplan Elite Status. Apply by October 1, 2021.
Shell AIR MILES Mastercard from BMO
800 Miles
Up to 3x Air Miles for every $25 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege
50,000 points
5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$499
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 50,000 welcome points in your first year.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
70,000 Points
Up to 6 points per $1 spent
19.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get a Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Points ($100 travel rewards). Plus, earn an additional 50,000 Points and get a 1st year annual fee waiver. Apply by October 3, 2021.
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It is always important to consider your own personal financial situation and needs before applying for a credit card. For example:
  • If you’re looking for a card to use in case of emergencies, you might want to consider one with low or no annual fees. This means you won’t have to pay any unnecessary fees for a card you barely use.
  • If you plan on using your card to make regular repayments while carrying an outstanding balance from month-to-month, one with a low interest rate could be more suitable.
  • If you have debt to pay off, a low or 0% balance transfer offer could be a useful way to pay down your balance without incurring additional interest.

How to increase my chances of credit card approval if I’m a single parent

1. Compare your options

There are many types of credit cards on the market that could be suitable and useful for a single parent. It’s important to compare the features, costs, terms and conditions in relation to your spending habits and financial situation in order to find the best card for your needs.

2. Check the eligibility requirements before applying

Make sure that you meet the card’s eligibility requirements, which usually include:

  • Be at least 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory.
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address.
  • Meet any minimum income requirements. This may sit around $12,000, depending on the card and provider.
  • Meet any credit score requirements. You will usually need a score of 650 or higher.

3. Collect the necessary documents

To apply for a credit card, you will usually need the following documents:

  • Proof of identity and address
  • Proof of employment and income
  • Current financial details

4. Understand common reasons for rejection

  • Bad credit history. It’s good practice to request a copy of your credit score to ensure it has no errors on it that may affect the outcome of your application. Bad credit history is one of the major reasons why applications are rejected.
  • Too many applications. Making too many credit card applications can backfire on you, because each application leaves a mark on your credit report, which can raise red flags for providers.
  • Insufficient income. Credit providers will consider your personal situation in its entirety. They’ll determine if you have sufficient income to be able to pay the credit card balance and take into account any current debts you’re paying off.


Your credit card application will always be assessed as a whole, and lenders will take all pertinent factors into consideration when deciding if you’re a low-risk and suitable borrower. Having a good credit score and proven history of paying your bills on time will help greatly, along with proof of consistent income, whether it be from employment or government assistance.

Don’t want a credit card? Consider a loan for single parents

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