Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Best low-interest credit cards

Low interest credit cards offer long-lasting low interest rates on your purchases. Here’s how you can choose the right card.

The best low-interest credit cards help you save by allowing you put more money directly towards your principal balance and less towards interest. If you’re a credit card user with good credit who carries a balance from month to month rather than paying off your debt in full, a low-interest rate credit card may be the best credit card for you. Read more in our guide below.

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard logo
Credit recommended (660-)
Read review
660
Min. credit score
$39
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard has one of the most competitive interest rates on the Canadian market. You'll only be charged a 8.99% purchase interest rate, and a 8.99% on balance transfers (in addition to a 3% fee). This card is ideal for people who value having a lower interest rate over having credit card rewards or perks.
  • You'll only have to pay an interest rate of 8.99% on purchases.
  • You can get a 8.99% interest rate on balance transfers (though you'll have to pay a 3% transfer fee).
  • You'll be able to order up to 9 additional cards at no extra fee.
  • Most items you buy on your card are protected against loss and damage for up to 90 days
    days.
  • You'll get support when you travel with lost tickets and luggage assistance, pre-trip information and legal assistance where necessary.
  • You'll get double your manufacturer's warranty on consumer goods (up to 1 year) when you purchase them with your card.
  • You'll have to pay a $39 annual fee to maintain this card.
  • You'll have to pay a 3% fee on any balance transfers.
  • You'll be charged 24.99% on cash advances.
  • This card doesn't come with any rewards or cashback programs.
  • This card doesn't come with any additional benefits like travel insurance, mobile device protection or roadside assistance.
Annual Fee $39
Purchase APR 8.99%
Cash Advance Rate 24.99%
Balance transfer APR 8.99%
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A
Please note: All information about MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard has been collected independently by Finder and this card is not available through this site.

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

Scotiabank Value Visa Card logo
Credit recommended (670-)
Apply now
on Scotiabank's secure site
670
Min. credit score
$29 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to x
N/A

Welcome offer
With no cash back or rewards points, the Scotiabank Value Visa Card doesn't come with a lot of extra perks – but it can be a great tool for saving money. Get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2024.
  • Low purchase and cash advance interest rates of 12.99%.
  • Once the promotional balance transfer period ends, any unpaid balance will incur the low rate of 12.99%.
  • This card has an annual fee of $29.
  • No cash back or rewards.
  • This card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Purchase APR 12.99%
Cash Advance Rate 12.99%
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% )
Welcome offer Get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2024.
Rewards Get an on-going low interest rate of 12.99% on eligible purchases.

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard logo
Credit recommended (660-)
Apply now
on BMO's secure site
660
Min. credit score
$29 ongoing
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards

Welcome offer
The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is a simple, no-frills credit card with a low-interest rate of 13.99% for purchases and 15.99% for cash advances. You won't earn any rewards points or cash back, but this card's low rate can help you save money and pay down your balance faster. Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived by your first anniversary.
  • Low APR of 13.99% for purchases and 15.99% for cash advances.
  • Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived by your first anniversary.
  • Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty coverage and Zero Liability protection.
  • This card has an annual fee of $29.
  • No cash back or rewards and no extra perks like complimentary travel insurance or car rental benefits.
  • This card comes with a balance transfer fee of 2%.
  • This card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Purchase APR 13.99%
Cash Advance Rate 15.99%
Balance transfer APR 0.99% intro for the first 9 months (then 15.99% )
Welcome offer Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived by your first anniversary.
Rewards N/A

MBNA True Line Mastercard

MBNA True Line Mastercard logo
Credit recommended (around 670-)
Read review
around 670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards

Welcome offer
The main draw to the MBNA True Line Mastercard is its low purchase interest rate of 12.99% and $0 annual fee. While this card doesn't come with many special perks or a rewards program, you could benefit from a balance transfer rate of 12.99% (with a 3% fee).
  • The annual fee for this card is $0.
  • The purchase interest rate is 12.99%.
  • You'll be charged the relatively low rate of 12.99% on balance transfers.
  • You can get up to 9 additional cards at no extra fee.
  • You won't be held responsible for fraudulent charges on your account with Zero Liability insurance.
  • You'll get support when you travel with lost tickets and luggage assistance, pre-trip information and legal assistance where necessary.
  • You'll be charged a 24.99% rate on cash advances.
  • You'll have to pay a 3% fee on balance transfers.
  • The low-interest rate on this card replaces rewards or cash back as the main incentive.
  • You won't get additional benefits like travel insurance, mobile device protection or roadside assistance.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 12.99%
Cash Advance Rate 24.99%
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 12.99% )
Welcome offer Get a 0% promotional annual interest rate for 12 months on balance transfers completed within 90 days of account opening.
Rewards N/A
Please note: All information about MBNA True Line Mastercard has been collected independently by Finder and this product is not available through this site.

What is a low-interest credit card?

A low-interest rate credit card is a card that charges a much lower annual percentage rate (APR) than other credit cards. Interest rates usually fall between 8% and 15% on a low-interest card, which is lower than the interest rate of about 20% you get on most credit cards. Some card issuers determine the low-interest rate you’re eligible for based on your credit history.

Low interest credit cards tend to benefit people who are carrying an outstanding balance on their credit card by helping them save on paying interest.

Example: How much can you save with a low-interest credit card?

Why is it better to have a low-interest rate on a credit card? Let’s take a look at an example. Say you have a credit card with an outstanding balance of $1,000. If you’ve committed to making a monthly payment of $20, your payments would break down like this:

Normal credit cardLow interest credit card
Interest rate20%9%
Amount paid towards interest$17$7.50
Amount paid towards principal balance$3$12.50
Number of months to fully pay off balance10963

Using a low-interest credit card would save you around $114 per year on interest payments, and allow you to pay off your debt in a little more than 5 years as opposed to over 9 years.

Will I get rewards with a low-interest credit card?

Most low-interest credit cards don’t come with rewards programs, but some do. That is usually because these cards have no or low annual fees and cater to people who typically carry a balance from month to month (and are looking for some relief from expensive monthly interest payments).

The best reward programs will generally be included with credit cards that have high interest rates and annual fees. If you find a low rate card that does offer rewards, take note that you will most likely only be able to earn rewards or cash back at a slower rate than on a specific rewards credit card.

With this in mind, you should shop around to find a credit card that offers the right balance of rewards, benefits and interest rates for your needs.

[/faq_question]

How to qualify for a low-interest credit card in Canada

To qualify for a low-interest credit card, you need to have a good to excellent credit score. Without good credit, you’ll likely only qualify for a higher interest rate. You also need to meet the credit card issuer’s minimum income qualifications.

If you don’t qualify for a low-interest rate credit card, you can still save money on interest by paying your credit card balance in full each month. This allows you to completely avoid finance charges and paying interest on your balance.

Compare low-interest rate credit cards

Pros and cons of low-interest credit cards

Pros

  • No or low annual fee. Most low-interest credit cards come with no annual fee or one that is less than $30 per year.
  • Low APR. You’ll be able to pay your credit card balance off much faster with low-interest payments.
  • Fraud protection. You’ll typically qualify for fraud protection on all of your purchases.

Cons

  • No rewards. Most low rate cards don’t offer rewards or allow you to earn cash back on your purchases.
  • Limited perks. Many low rate cards don’t offer additional “nice-to-haves” such as travel insurance and roadside assistance.
  • Intro offers expire. Certain cards can be attractive with their 0% or low balance transfer offers – but these promo rates only last for a few months.

How to apply for a low-interest credit card

If you want to apply for one of the low-interest credit cards in the table here, you can submit an online application by clicking the “Go to site” button. During the application, you’ll need to submit some personal details, including your full name, address, contact details, social insurance number (SIN) and birth date.

Before you apply, you should make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the specific card. Typically, the bare minimum requires that you be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18 (or 19 in some provinces).

Many online credit card applications will give a decision to you within a minute or two after you submit your application. At other times, it may take a few days to learn if you’ve been approved if the credit card issuer needs to collect additional information from you or if information on your application is found to be false.

Mistakes to avoid with low-interest credit cards

A low-interest rate credit card lowers the amount of interest you pay on outstanding credit card balances. But if you’re not careful, you can still make mistakes that hurt your credit rating or get you into debt. Steer clear of these common low-interest credit card mistakes:

  • Making only the minimum payment. It’s better to pay more than the minimum payment each month. You’ll pay off your balance faster, save money on interest and free up available credit.
  • Confusing introductory rate and low-interest rate. While an introductory rate is technically a low-interest rate, credit cards with an introductory rate aren’t considered “low-interest rate credit cards”. A credit card with an introductory rate will only have a low-interest rate for a limited amount of time, like six months. After that, the interest rate increases. On a low-interest rate credit card, the low-interest rate is permanent.
  • Taking out a cash advance. A cash advance is one of the most expensive types of credit card transactions. You could pay a combination of an ATM fee, a cash advance fee and a higher interest rate. Plus, the interest on cash advances starts accruing right away.
  • Missing two payments in six months. If you miss two consecutive monthly payments, your credit card issuer will likely raise your interest rate to the penalty rate. The penalty rate is the highest interest rate on your credit card. Your minimum payment and finance charges will increase as a result. Your credit card issuer is required to lower your interest rate if you make six consecutive timely payments, but only for your existing balance. Depending on your credit card terms, any purchases you make after the penalty rate became effective may still receive the penalty rate.

How to compare the best low-interest credit cards

There are many low-interest credit cards available in Canada, so choosing the right one is important to get the most out of your card. Here are some of the most important factors to consider to help you find the best low-interest credit card for your needs:

  • Purchase APR. The lower the APR, the better. If the credit card advertises multiple interest rates, keep in mind that you’ll need to have excellent credit to be approved for the lowest interest rate.
  • Annual fee. While some low-interest credit cards charge an annual fee, a credit card with no annual fee is a better deal because you can minimize the cost of having the card over the long run. If a credit card has an annual fee, look for other perks that justify paying that fee.
  • Other fees. Your low-interest credit card may charge fees for certain transactions, like a balance transfer fee or a cash advance fee. You could also pay a foreign transaction fee if you make purchases in a currency other than Canadian dollars. Choose a card that doesn’t impose fees for the transactions you commonly make.
  • Other perks. A low-interest rate credit card may come with other perks like the ability to earn rewards on purchases, purchase or price protection, extended warranty, car rental insurance and free access to your credit score. Pay close attention to extra credit card benefits, especially if you’re trying to decide between two similar cards.

Compare more low-interest credit cards

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income call to action Reward
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
13.99%
15.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
N/A
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived by your first anniversary.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
12.99%
12.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
$12,000
Get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2024.
Get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2024.
loading

How to lower the interest rate on your credit card

Do you know that many credit card issuers will lower the interest rate on your credit card if you ask? It’s true. Negotiating with your card provider for a lower APR can result in a big financial win for you. Plus, there isn’t really a downside to making the request, as the worst that can happen is you’ll get a “No”.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate your negotiation smoothly.

  • Know your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better your chances of getting your APR lowered. If your credit score is below 670, you may want to work on it before asking for a rate decrease. The two main ways to increase your score are making on-time debt payments over a long period and keeping your credit utilization low. Learn more about how to check your credit score here.
  • Find credit card offers from other providers. You can get prequalified for credit cards from certain providers without affecting your credit score. If you’re getting credit card offers in the mail, save them. Simply mention to your provider that you’ve received these offers so you can use them as leverage to negotiate a rate decrease.
  • Prepare for your call. Before you call your provider, prepare a few talking points. Tell them how long you’ve been a customer for, details on your strong history of repayments and any updates on your income.
  • Be respectful when speaking to your provider. When you call your provider, it helps to be kind to the representative — they may be more willing to do you a favour simply because you’re polite. If the representative says no, consider asking to speak with a manager who may have more authority to help you. Alternatively, call back and try your luck with another representative who might be more lenient.

Ultimately, getting your APR lowered is often as simple as calling your provider, saying you’re seeking a rate decrease and explaining why you should get one.

Can you get 0% interest on credit cards?

Yes — but only with introductory balance transfer offers. These cards allow you to transfer your balance from an existing card over to a new credit card, with 0% interest applying for a limited period, usually 6 to 12 months. Once this intro period ends, the card’s standard APR will apply to your balance.

Credit cards with 0% interest on purchases are available in the United States and other countries, but there are no such cards in Canada.

Why might my credit card application be denied?

When you apply for a low-interest credit card, the credit card issuer will look at your credit history and information on your application to decide whether to approve your application and determine what interest rate you will get. Here are a few reasons that your credit card application might be denied.

  • Less than excellent credit. Typically, only applicants with good to excellent credit — generally with credit scores of around 675 and above — are approved for low-interest rate credit cards. If your credit score is too low, you could either be approved at a higher interest rate or denied altogether.
  • A recent late payment. A single late payment may not cause your credit score to drop out of the excellent range. However, your credit card application could be denied if you’ve had multiple recent late repayments.
  • High credit card balances. Credit card issuers look unfavourably on applicants with lots of outstanding debt. If your existing credit card balances are too high, especially compared to your credit limits, your application could be denied.
  • Too many recent applications. Even if the applications don’t hurt your credit score, you could be turned down for a low-interest rate credit card if you’ve applied for too many credit cards or loans recently. Keep your credit card applications to a minimum so credit card issuers won’t get the impression that you’re desperate for money.
  • Low income. Credit card issuers have income standards for each credit card. If the income on your application doesn’t meet the issuer’s requirements, your application could be denied.

What other cheap credit card options are available?

Besides low-interest credit cards, you can also look into some other money saving credit cards based on your different needs including balance transfer, no-annual-fee and 0% foreign transaction fees credit cards.

Balance transfer credit cards

Low intro balance transfer cards offer a promotional interest rate when you move existing debt to a new card or when you make a large purchase and carry the balance. The intro period can generally last from 6 to 12 months, depending on the card. At the end of the intro APR period, a standard interest rate will apply to any remaining debt.

  • Good if: You want to consolidate your debt and pay off your balance without the burden of interest.
  • Bad if: You want to earn rewards or you travel often and want to save money on foreign transaction fees.

No-annual-fee credit cards

No-annual-fee credit cards do not charge a yearly fee. These credit cards are usually the cheapest option for people who pay back their card balance by the statement due date or who rarely use their cards.

  • Good if: You rarely use your credit card or want to cut down on extra costs.
  • Bad if: You want to earn higher rewards or get premium perks and benefits.

Credit cards with 0% foreign transaction fees

You can use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to spend abroad or online with international retailers without paying the extra 1% to 3% foreign transaction fee that a lot of credit cards charge. To put this in perspective, if a card charged you 3% for a foreign transaction worth $3,000, it would cost you an extra $90. These fees can quickly add up, so 0% foreign fee cards offer a cheaper alternative.

  • Good if: You regularly shop online with international merchants or have an overseas trip coming up.
  • Bad if: You want to earn cash back on everyday purchases.

Compare other cheap credit cards

1 - 5 of 11
Name Product Balance Transfer Rate Balance Transfer Fee Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee call to action Min. Credit Score Description
Tangerine World Mastercard
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
3%
19.95%
$0
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, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
2%
20.99%
$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 $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
1%
19.95%
$0
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, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 15.99%)
2%
13.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived by your first anniversary.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
0% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
N/A
12.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 670
Get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2024.
loading
1 - 5 of 17
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
N/A
Up to 2% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
RBC ION Visa
6,000 points
1.5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 6,000 Avion points when you get approved for the card.
Neo Credit Mastercard
Get $25.00 + up to 15% cash back
Up to 5% cash back
19.99% - 29.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Get $25 when you sign up for the Neo Financial Mastercard. Plus, earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at partner stores and at least 1% cashback guaranteed.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
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, 2024. 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
20.99%
$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 $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
loading
1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
40,000 points
Up to 3 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points and get the first year annual fee waived (that’s up to $1,300 in value in the first 12 months). Apply by July 1, 2024.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
40,000 points
Up to 6 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that's up to $650 towards travel). Apply by July 1, 2024.
BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard
N/A
N/A
20.99%
$49 USD
Min. recommended credit score: 725
When your purchases total US$1,000 or more in a year, the next year's annual fee (US$49) is rebated to your card.
loading

Bottom line

Low interest credit cards are ideal for people who carry forward their credit card balance from month to month. You’ll save money on interest and be able to put more money towards the principal balance to pay off your card faster. The downside is that these types of cards don’t typically come with any extra perks or rewards programs. Learn more about how credit cards work and find the right card for your needs in our comprehensive guide.

Best low-interest credit cards FAQs

Avatar

Written by

Jeremy Cabral

Jeremy is finder's Global Head of Publishing & Editorial. Jeremy has been with finder since the very beginning and is part of the founding team working closely with Fred and Frank to build finder.com into the comparison network it is today. See full profile

More guides on Finder

Go to site