Credit cards you can get approved for more easily

Learn how to compare credit cards with more lenient eligibility requirements and increase your chances of being approved.

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When applying for a credit card online, you’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria in order to be considered for approval. Some cards have stricter eligibility requirements than others, so it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re eligible for a card before you apply for it.

If you’re looking for credit cards that offer quick approval and cater to lower incomes, read our guide below to learn what you can do to improve your chances of being approved.

Which types of credit cards are easier to apply for?

Credit card eligibility requirements generally increase in demand with premium cards, like gold, black and platinum cards, that typically include more perks and benefits. That said, the following types of credit cards may have lower requirements for a successful application:

  • Low income credit cards. Your annual income plays an important role in the credit card you can apply for. Low-income credit cards, as their name implies, have low minimum income requirements, which usually sit around $12,000 a year. Keep in mind, even these card providers will delve into your credit history.
  • Low rate cards. If you plan to carry a balance on your credit card, getting a card with a low-interest rate could help keep costs down when compared to other options. A typical low interest rate card would not offer extras like concierge access and complimentary insurances, but it would offer all basic features you can expect from a credit card like fraud protection.
  • Low credit limit credit cards. Cards with stricter eligibility criteria usually offer more features and higher credit limits, but if you have a low income, lower credit limits that normally start around $500 generally apply.
  • Joint account cards. If you don’t earn enough to apply for a credit card, you can consider applying for one as a joint applicant, by combining your income with your partner’s income. If your partner has an existing credit card, you can even think about getting an additional card linked to their account.
  • Low annual fee cards. Annual fees on credit cards vary, but cards with low fees are likely to have fewer extra features and usually have lower income requirements and more lenient eligibility criteria.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Suitable for low-income earners. Since people with low incomes don’t have too many options, this is one of the biggest advantages of credit cards with easy eligibility criteria. If you earn $12,000 a year or more, you can think about applying for a low-income credit card.
  • Keep expenses in check. One risk of getting a credit card is overspending. A typical low-income credit card comes with a low credit limit, ensuring that you don’t end up making excessive purchases.
  • Promotional interest rates. Certain low-income credit cards come with promotional interest rates that last for a specified period of time, usually between six to 12 months. These promotional rates normally apply only to balance transfers and prior debt, but some cards offer these rates on new purchases as well.

Cons

  • Paying high interest. Credit cards charge interest on purchases and cash advances, and these two interest rates sometimes differ. With a card that charges high interest, if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you could end up paying a significant amount in interest.
  • Fees and charges. Depending on the credit card you choose, you might have to pay application fees and an annual fee for the card. Additionally, if you don’t make timely repayments, you will incur interest charges.
  • Temptation to spend. A credit card can free up your cash flow and help build your credit history. However, make sure you stick to a budget and avoid the temptation to use the card for purchases that you can’t afford to pay off. It can be exceptionally easy to spend money on plastic.

man on couch with grey credit card

How to apply for a credit card with easier approval

Once you’ve compared different credit card options, you can apply for a credit card online. Before you apply, be sure you meet the eligibility requirements and have the relevant documents on hand.

Eligibility criteria

Although it can vary between different credit card providers, to apply, you would usually have to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be 18 years old or the age of majority in your province or territory
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
  • Have a regular source of income
  • Have a good credit history, which is usually a score of 650 or higher

Necessary documents and information

You also need to provide different types of information, which could include the following:

  • Your full name, date of birth and details from your Canadian driver’s license or government-issued ID
  • Your Canadian address, email address and phone number
  • Your employer’s name, phone number and address
  • Details of your income and expenses including a recent paycheque or bank statement

Bottom line

While you don’t have to earn a lot of money to get a credit card, you will have to repay any money you spend on it. If you don’t pay on time, you can rack up additional interest charges which can add to the cost. If you still wish to apply for a credit card, make sure you compare your options before applying for a specific card. The goal is to find a credit card that suits your own unique financial situation and spending habits.

Compare Canadian credit cards

The right credit card for you depends on your income, credit history, spending habits and individual needs. You can compare the eligibility requirements for a range of credit cards below to find a card that matches your financial situation.

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Min. Credit Limit
American Express Cobalt Card
Earn 5x points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
N/A
Earn up to 40,000 bonus points. Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year, plus earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
Earn 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas, drugstore and aircanada.com purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent elsewhere. T&C's apply.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
$60,000
$5,000
Earn up to 30,000 Aeroplan Miles (equivalent to 2 economy short-haul roundtrip flight rewards) and first year no Annual Fee for the Primary Cardholder. Apply online by March 2, 2020.
BMO World Elite MasterCard
Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, travel and entertainment purchases and 2 points for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
N/A
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points with a minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends March 3, 2020.
Scotiabank Passport  Visa Infinite Card
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
$60,000
$5,000
Earn up to 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year of card membership. Plus, earn an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card
Earn 9 TD Points per $1 in travel booked online through Expedia for TD, and 3 points/$1 spent elsewhere.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
$60,000
$5,000
Earn up to 80,000 TD Rewards Points, including a 20,000 welcome bonus when you make your first purchase with your card. Earn 5X the TD Rewards Points on all purchases up to a maximum of 20,000 TD Rewards Points per month, for each of the first three months. Plus, first year no annual fee for the primary cardholder. Apply online by March 2, 2020.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
Get 2% cashback after the Welcome Rate on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
N/A
N/A
Receive 5% cash back (up to $300 cash back) and a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Tangerine World Mastercard
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to 3 categories of your choice. Offer ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
$60,000
N/A
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 World Elite MasterCard
Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
N/A
Get 5% cash back in the first three months of card membership with a first year annual fee waiver. Ends March 31, 2020.
Scotia Momentum  No-Fee Visa Card
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$500
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
American Express Business Edge Card
Earn 3x the points on daily business spend including office supplies & electronics, rides & gas, and eats & drinks and 1x the points on all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
N/A
N/A
Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year of card approval. Offers 30,000 Welcome Bonus points when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of membership.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Balance Transfer Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Credit Rating
Tangerine World Mastercard
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to 3 categories of your choice. Offer ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
$60,000
650+ recommended credit score
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
12.99%
0.99% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
$29
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
Get 2% cashback after the Welcome Rate on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$99
N/A
Good, Excellent
Receive 5% cash back (up to $300 cash back) and a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
SimplyCash Card from American Express
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$0
N/A
Good, Excellent
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months and no balance transfer fee upon application.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
Low interest rates of 12.99% on purchases and cash advances.
12.99%
3.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
$20
$15,000
Good
Offers a 3.99% balance transfer intro rate for nine months to new cardmembers.
No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee
16.99%
3.99% for the first 6 months (then 16.99%)
$0
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $5 you spend at eligible sponsors, stores, drugstores and gas stations (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 Mile for every $10 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$120
N/A
Good, Excellent
Receive up to 3,500 bonus AIR MILES®. Conditions apply (Ends January 20, 2020). Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
BMO AIR MILES Mastercard For Students
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spend at eligible AIR MILES partners and and 1 miles per $20 spend in credit card purchases.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Good
Enjoy AIR MILES on your every dollar spent and build a healthy credit history. Earn up to 800 AIR MILES bonus miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends March 3, 2020.
BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students
Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. No caps, no limit.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Good
Enjoy cash back on your every dollar spent and build a healthy credit history. Get up to 5% cash back with minimum spend of $2,000 in the first three months of card membership (Ends April 30, 2020).

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Min. Credit Limit
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Earn 5 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on groceries, dining and entertainment, 3 points on gas, transportation and streaming services, and 1 point on every other purchase.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
$12,000
$5,000
Get up to 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with your first $1,000 in everyday spend in first 3 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
American Express Cobalt Card
Earn 5x points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
N/A
Earn up to 40,000 bonus points. Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year, plus earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Scotiabank Passport  Visa Infinite Card
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
$60,000
$5,000
Earn up to 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year of card membership. Plus, earn an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
Earn 1 mile per $10 spend in purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
N/A
Get up to 3,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles with minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months, plus a first year annual fee waiver. Ends March 3, 2020.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $5 you spend at eligible sponsors, stores, drugstores and gas stations (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 Mile for every $10 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
N/A
Receive up to 3,500 bonus AIR MILES®. Conditions apply (Ends January 20, 2020). Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in.
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
N/A
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in. Receive 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.
BMO World Elite MasterCard
Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, travel and entertainment purchases and 2 points for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
N/A
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points with a minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends March 3, 2020.
Scotiabank American Express Card
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$1,000
Get 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon min. spend of $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas and drugstore purchases and 1 mile for every $1.50 spent on other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$89
N/A
$1,500
Earn up to 25,000 TD Rewards Points, including a 10,000 welcome bonus when you make your first purchase with your card. Earn 5 additional Aeroplan Miles on all purchases, for the first 3 months up to a total spend of $1000 per month, up to a total of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles. Plus, first year no annual fee for the primary cardholder. Apply online by March 2, 2020.
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
Get 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas, drugstore and Air Canada purchases and 1.25 miles for every $1 spent elsewhere.
19.99%
22.99%
$399
N/A
$10,000
Earn up to 40,000 Aeroplan Miles (equivalent to 2 premium economy class short-haul roundtrip flight rewards), including a 25,000 Welcome Bonus when you make your first purchase with your card. Earn 5 additional Aeroplan Miles on all purchases for the first 3 months up to a total of $1,000 spent per month, up to a total of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles. Apply online by March 2, 2020.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Cash Back Rate Annual Fee
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
Get 2% cashback after the Welcome Rate on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
2%
$99
Receive 5% cash back (up to $300 cash back) and a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
SimplyCash Card from American Express
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap.
19.99%
22.99%
1.25%
$0
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months and no balance transfer fee upon application.
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
Earn 4% cash back per $1 spent on groceries & recurring bill payments, 2% per $1 spent on gas & public transit and 1% per $1 spent on all other spend.
20.99%
22.99%
4%
$120
Get 10% cash back on all spend for the first 3 months up to $2,000 in total purchases. Plus, no annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards (total value of $350). Ends April 30, 2020.
Scotia Momentum  Mastercard Credit Card
Get 1% cash back on purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores, and on recurring bill payments, plus an additional 0.5% cash back on all other spend.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
1%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments. Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months (Ends March 1, 2020).
Scotia Momentum  No-Fee Visa Card
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
1%
$0
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
Scotia Momentum Visa Card
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.
19.99%
22.99%
2%
$39
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
19.95%
2%
$0
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card
Get 3% cash back on eligible groceries, gas and bill payments and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
20.99%
22.99%
3%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to a total spend of $2,000). Apply online by March 2, 2020. .
TD Cash Back Visa Card
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
1%
$0
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
Shell CashBack Mastercard from BMO
Earn 1.5% cash back per $1 spent at Shell stations in Canada and 0.5% on everything else.
19.99%
22.99%
1.5%
$0
Get $50 limited bonus cash back upon first spend and receive 1% cash back for the first 6 months. Ends March 31, 2020.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Min. Credit Limit
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card
Earn 1 SCENE point per $1 spent on all eligible purchases, plus 5 SCENE points for every $1 spent at Cineplex Entertainment theatres or cineplex.com.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$500
Save with no annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases. Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with minimum spend of $500 in the first three months (Ends March 1, 2020).
Scotia Momentum  No-Fee Visa Card
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$500
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
TD Cash Back Visa Card
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
$500
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
TD Rewards Visa Card
Earn 3 TD Rewards Points per $1 spent on travel booking via ExpediaForTD.com, 2 points when you book via phone, 2 points on grocery dining and bill payments and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
$500
Earn up to 10,000 TD Rewards Points (equivalent to a $25 gift card). This includes up to 5,000 TD Reward Points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months, another 2,500 TD Rewards Points when you add an authorized user, and 2,500 TD Reward Points when you sign up for paperless statements by March 2, 2020. Apply online by March 2, 2020.
BMO Rewards Mastercard
Earn 1 BMO Rewards point for every $1 spent.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
N/A
Offers a 1.99% balance transfer intro rate for the first nine months to new cardmembers and up to 20,000 BMO Rewards welcome points upon minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months (Ends May 3, 2020).
Shell AIR MILES Mastercard from BMO
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and 1 mile per $20 spent for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
N/A
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends March 3, 2020.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
$12,000
N/A
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
BMO IGA AIR MILES Mastercard
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and IGA stores and 1 mile per $20 spent for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
N/A
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends March 3, 2020.
Tangerine World Mastercard
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to 3 categories of your choice. Offer ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
$60,000
N/A
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
Scotiabank GM Visa Card
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year, and 2% thereafter.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$500
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year, and 2% thereafter.

Compare up to 4 providers