Compare the 6 Best Low Interest Credit Cards for 2021 | Finder Canada

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Low interest credit cards

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

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

8.99%
Purchase Interest Rate
$39
Annual Fee

Min. Recommended Credit Score
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.
Annual Fee $39
Purchase Interest Rate 8.99%
Cash Advance Rate 24.99%
Balance Transfer Rate 8.99%
Pros
  • 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.
What to watch out for
  • 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.

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

11.9%
Purchase Interest Rate
$25
Annual Fee
680
Min. Recommended Credit Score
The HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® comes with a low annual fee of $25, a low interest rate of 11.9% and rewards for recreational spending. Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
Annual Fee $25
Additional Cardholder Fee $10
Min. Credit Score 680
Purchase Interest Rate 11.9%
Cash Advance Rate 11.9%
Interest Free Period 21 days
Balance Transfer Rate 11.9%
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Pros
  • Low interest rate of 11.9%.
  • No balance transfer fee.
  • Protection on your purchases.
  • Zero Liability protection.
What to watch out for
  • This card has an annual fee of $25.
  • Any additional cards will cost $10.
  • No complimentary travel insurance.

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

12.99%
Purchase Interest Rate
$29
Annual Fee
650
Min. Recommended Credit Score
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. Save on interest for 6 months by consolidating your higher-rate balances with the balance transfer offer, and get an on-going 12.99% interest rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
Annual Fee $29
Additional Cardholder Fee $0
Min. Credit Score 650
Purchase Interest Rate 12.99%
Cash Advance Rate 12.99%
Interest Free Period Up to 21 days
Balance Transfer Rate 12.99%
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Pros
  • Low purchase and cash advance interest rates of 12.99%.
  • Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by July 1, 2021.
  • Once the promotional balance transfer period ends, any unpaid balance will incur the low rate of 12.99%.
What to watch out for
  • This card has an annual fee of $29.
  • No cash back or rewards.
  • This card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

12.99%
Purchase Interest Rate
$20
Annual Fee
660
Min. Recommended Credit Score
The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is a simple, no-frills credit card with a low interest rate of 12.99% for purchases and 12.99% 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 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
Annual Fee $20
Min. Credit Score 660
Purchase Interest Rate 12.99%
Cash Advance Rate 12.99%
Interest Free Period Up to 21 days
Balance Transfer Rate 12.99%
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Pros
  • Low APR of 12.99% for purchases and 12.99% for cash advances.
  • 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.
  • Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty coverage and Zero Liability protection.
What to watch out for
  • This card has an annual fee of $20.
  • 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 1%.
  • This card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.

MBNA True Line Mastercard

12.99%
Purchase Interest Rate
$0
Annual Fee
around 670
Min. Recommended Credit Score
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).
Annual Fee $0
Min. Credit Score around 670
Purchase Interest Rate 12.99%
Cash Advance Rate 24.99%
Balance Transfer Rate 12.99%
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Pros
  • 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.
What to watch out for
  • You'll be charged a 24.99% rate on cash advances.
  • You'll have to pay a 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.

Please note: All information about TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa Card has been collected independently by Finder and this card is not available through this site.

TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa Card

4.5%
Purchase Interest Rate
$25
Annual Fee
N/A
Min. Recommended Credit Score
The TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa Card is a unique credit card that offers a flexible and low APR that based on your own personal credit profile. With a higher credit score, you'll likely be offered a lower APR, while a lower credit score will result in a higher APR. Interest rates are calculated by using the TD Prime¹ + 4.5% up to TD Prime + 12.75%. Although this card can help you save money if you don't pay off your balance in full each month, you won't earn any rewards points or cash back.
Annual Fee $25
Min. Credit Score N/A
Purchase Interest Rate 4.5%
Cash Advance Rate 4.5%
Interest Free Period 21 days on all new purchases
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.5%
Pros
  • Flexible interest rates based on a few factors including your credit score.
What to watch out for
  • This card has an annual fee of $25.
  • No cash back or rewards.
  • This card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%.

What is a low interest credit card?

A low interest rate credit card is a card that charge 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 in comparison to the 19.99% norm. Some card issuers determine the low interest rate you’re eligible for based on your financial credit history. These 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?

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 breakdown 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.

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 credit score, which is indicated by a higher 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 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 offer no rewards or cash back.
  • 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 below, 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 (and 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. While 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.

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

11.9 % APR

Purchase interest rate

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

Apply today and get a low purchase interest rate of 11.9%.

  • Purchase interest rate: 11.9%
  • Cash advance rate: 11.9%
  • Annual fee: $25
  • Credit rating: 680
Apply now
Promoted

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.

  • 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 6 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 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 when narrowing down the best low interest credit card for your needs:

  • Purchases 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 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 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 credit cards.

    Compare more low interest credit cards

    Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Reward
    BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
    12.99%
    12.99%
    $20
    $15,000
    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 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
    12.99%
    12.99%
    $29
    $12,000
    Save on interest for 6 months by consolidating your higher-rate balances with the balance transfer offer, and get an on-going 12.99% interest rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
    Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by July 1, 2021.
    HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
    11.9%
    11.9%
    $25
    N/A
    Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
    Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
    BMO Rewards Business Mastercard
    14.99%
    22.99%
    $0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
    N/A
    Earn 3 BMO Rewards points for every $1 you spend on gas, office supplies, cell phone bills and internet bills, and earn 1.5 BMO Rewards points for every $1 you spend elsewhere.
    Get 35,000 points and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year (a total value of $295).
    Business Platinum Card from American Express
    N/A
    N/A
    $499
    N/A
    Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases
    Earn a Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points in your first three months of Cardmembership.
    American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
    N/A
    N/A
    $250
    N/A
    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 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months
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    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 chances you have 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 favor 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.

    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 the interest rate to approve you for. 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 recent, repeated late repayments.
    • High credit card balances. Credit card issuers look unfavorably on applicants with lots of outstanding debt. If your existing credit card balances are too high, especially compared to your credit limits, you 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 9 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 $3,00, 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

    Name Product Balance Transfer Rate Balance Transfer Fee Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee 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: 680
    Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
    BMO CashBack Mastercard
    1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
    1%
    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.
    BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
    3.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
    1%
    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% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
    N/A
    12.99%
    $29
    Min. recommended credit score: 650
    Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by July 1, 2021.
    Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
    1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
    3%
    19.95%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 680
    Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
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    Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
    Tangerine World Mastercard
    Balance transfer offer
    Up to 2% cash back
    19.95%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 680
    Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
    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.
    SimplyCash Card from American Express
    1.25% cash back
    Up to 2.5% cash back
    19.99%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 700
    Earn 2.5% cash back on all eligible purchases in your first three months (up to a maximum spend of $6,000, or $150 in cash back).
    Choice Card from American Express
    12,500 points
    1 point per $1 spent
    19.99%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 700
    Earn 12,500 Bonus Membership Rewards points within the first 3 months as a new Cardmember. Apply by May 5, 2021.
    Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
    Balance transfer offer
    Up to 2% cash back
    19.95%
    $0
    Min. recommended credit score: 680
    Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
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    Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
    Brim World Mastercard
    Up to $300 worth of bonuses
    1.5 points for every $1 spent
    19.99%
    $99
    Min. recommended credit score: 700
    Earn up to $300 worth of bonus points when you shop with Brim retailers for the first time through the Brim mobile app. 
    HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
    20,000 points
    Up to 6 points per $1 spent
    19.9%
    $149
    Min. recommended credit score: 680
    Get a Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Points ($100 in travel rewards).
    BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard
    N/A
    N/A
    19.99%
    $35 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$35) is rebated to your card.
    Brim World Elite Mastercard
    Brim World Elite Mastercard
    Up to $500 worth of bonuses
    2 points per $1 spent
    19.99%
    $0 annual fee for the first year ($199 thereafter)
    Min. recommended credit score: 700
    Collect up to $500 worth of bonus points when you shop with Brim retailers for the first time using your Brim World Elite Mastercard.
    Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
    40,000 points
    Up to 5 points per $1 spent
    19.99%
    $120
    Min. recommended credit score: 700
    Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel) Apply by August 31, 2021.
    Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
    40,000 points
    Up to 2 points per $1 spent
    19.99%
    $139
    Min. recommended credit score: 750
    Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel). Apply by July 1, 2021.
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    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 principle balance to pay off your card faster. The down side 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.

    Frequently asked questions

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