Shopping credit cards

Many department and online stores offer loyalty programs and rewards programs tied to a credit card offer.

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A number of retailers offer credit cards to patrons to reward customer loyalty. These store credit allow you to pay for purchases and earn rewards points you can use for in-store discounts or travel rewards. However, store credit cards can sometimes come with high-interest rates and have proven to be an expensive way to shop if used improperly. Here we compare some of the store credit cards available to help you pick the one for you.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

19.99 % APR

Purchase interest rate

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Apply today and earn up to 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months.

  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
  • Cash advance rate: 22.99%
  • Balance transfer rate: 22.99%
  • Annual fee: $120
  • Credit rating: 650+
  • Minimum age: Age of majority in province/territory of residence
  • Minimum income: $12,000
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Store credit card comparison

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
American Express Cobalt Card
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, and earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent elsewhere. Terms apply
Earn up to 40,000 Membership Rewards points. In the first year, earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each billing period when you charge at least $500 in eligible purchases to your card (for a total earn of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards). Plus, earn up to 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases in your first three months
Scotiabank Passport  Visa Infinite Card
19.99%
22.99%
$139
$60,000
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery store, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases, and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to a total bonus of 40,000 Scotia Rewards points (up to a $400 travel value) in your first year. Earn 30,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend at least $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months. Apply by July 1, 2020. Plus, earn 10,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards points each year when you spend at least $40,000 annually on eligible purchases (and earn 2,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards points for every additional $10,000 in purchases thereafter).
The Platinum Card from American Express
N/A
N/A
$699
N/A
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible dining in Canada, 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases as well as hotel and car rental bookings made with American Express Travel, and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
As a new Platinum Cardmember, earn up to 60,000 Membership Rewards points in the fist six months. Earn a Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months. Receive an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points after six months of cardmembership
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
20.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $5 spent on eligible food, drink, gas and transit purchases (up to an annual spend of $30,000), and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on all other eligible purchases (and after the $30,000 annual spend)
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $1,500 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
Earn 5 SCENE points per $1 spent at participating Cineplex theatres or cineplex.com, and earn 1 SCENE point per $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere.
Earn 2,500 bonus SCENE points when you spend a minimum of $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months. Apply by July 1, 2020.
BMO IGA AIR MILES Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
Get 2 AIR MILES for every $20 spent on eligible purchases at IGA stores and at participating AIR MILES partners, and get 1 AIR MILE for every $20 spent elsewhere.
Get up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles.
Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card
19.99%
22.99%
$399
$12,000
Earn 4 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, and on dining and entertainment purchases, and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent elsewhere.
Receive a bonus of 30,000 Scotia Rewards points upon first eligible purchase made within the first two months. Apply by July 1, 2020.
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 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
Receive 5 Marriott Bonvoy™ points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties and 2 points on all other spend. Terms apply
Receive 50,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you charge $1,500 in the first three months of card membership. Terms apply
Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
$60,000
Earn 5% in GM Earnings on the first $10,000 annual spend, and earn 2% in GM Earnings thereafter.
Get the annual fee waived in the first year on the primary card as well as any supplementary cards. Apply by July 1, 2020.
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Compare up to 4 providers

*The products compared on this page are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.

What are the features of a store credit card?

Store credit cards work like regular credit cards. Common features among store credit cards include:

    • Rewards. You typically get rewarded with points for every dollar you spend at specific retailers. Rewards points can typically be redeemed for discounts on merchandise, experiences or travel rewards.
    • Interest-free. Some store credit cards offer interest-free terms when you sign up. These offers allow you to buy now and pay later; however, a high interest rate can be charged when the promotional offer expires. Some store credit cards offer up to 55 days interest-free on purchases if you pay your balance in full each month.
    • Interest charges. Interest rates can be much higher than what is offered on other types of credit cards. Be sure to compare all credit card types before you apply so you can find the right card for your needs.
    • Annual fee. Depending on the card, you may be charged an annual fee.
    • Balance transfers. Although not common, some store credit cards come with promotional balance transfer offers. If you need to consolidate debt, an offer like this could be of interest.

Pros and cons of using a store credit card

Pros

  • Rewards. Store credit cards typically reward you with points you can use to receive discounts or free items.
  • Freebies. As an incentive to signup for a store credit card, you can often receive free gifts, gift vouchers, bonus points or discounts on merchandise.
  • Shopping benefits. You may be eligible for exclusive extras like interest-free financing and free shipping or gift wrapping when you use your store credit card to make a purchase at participating retailers.
  • Lenient eligibility criteria. Store credit cards usually have stringent eligibility criteria when compared to other credit cards and they tend to be a good choice for people who have little to no credit.

Cons

  • Higher interest rates. Your store credit card may come with much higher interest rates than a regular credit card would. This is often due to the lenient eligibility criteria which makes lending riskier for the provider.
  • Less points per dollar. You may earn less points per dollar spent when you shop at a retailer not affiliated with the store card provider.
  • Limitations. When it comes to gifts and bonuses, you are limited only to the items that are available in the store. The rewards don’t often extend to other retailers.

How to apply for a store credit card

If you want a credit card that is issued by a particular store, you can likely apply at the store directly or apply online. While eligibility requirements vary between different cards, you will usually need to:

  • 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.
  • Meet any minimum income or credit score requirements.

You may also be asked to provide the following information:

  • A valid piece of identification (such as a driver’s licence).
  • Details of your income, assets, expenses and liabilities.

How do credit providers make money out of store credit cards?

When you use your credit card, the store is paid a certain amount by the credit card provider – but first, the credit card provider takes a commission before paying the money to the store. Interest charges are also collected by the bank for any unpaid balances, as well as any fines and penalties imposed on the credit card such as late payment fees.

Bottom line

A credit card from your favourite retailer can seem like a good way to cash in on your purchases. However, interest rates can be excruciatingly high and rewards can be minimal. If you don’t shop a lot at the store or any of its partner retailers very often, it may not be worth your while.

Before applying for a store credit card, determine what kind of shopper you are and decide if the rewards program and benefits will be enough incentive for you to join. Compare a variety of different types of credit cards and consider your own spending habits and financial needs before you apply for one.

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