What is the ideal credit card for me?

Let us help you find the ideal credit card for your spending habits and financial needs.

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The ideal credit card for you is going to be one that meets all of your financial and spending needs and wants, all packed into one card. Once you’ve determined the features and type of credit card you’re looking for, you can start comparing a variety of cards in order to find the best one for your needs.

If you spend some time doing a credit card comparison, you’re sure to find the ideal credit card for you. It may take a little bit of digging, but the time is well spent since you’ll likely have this card for many years.

What to consider when looking for the ideal credit card

Finding the ideal credit card for you involves being honest about whether you’re usually able to pay your bills in full each month or if you tend to struggle to meet your monthly payment obligations.

It’s easy to say that you will before you get your credit card, but if you have had a problem paying bills on time in the past, it is ideal to address this at the beginning and be completely honest about it, as it can save you a lot of time and money.

Will you pay your balance in full each month?

If you think you’ll be able to pay off your balance in full each month, using a credit card can be a great way to reap special benefits and rewards, such as collecting cash back or rewards points, and taking advantage of perks like complimentary travel insurance, shopping coverage and airport lounge access.

Ideal credit cards for those who pay off their balance in full each month include cash back credit cards, rewards credit cards and travel credit cards.

Compare cash back credit cards

Do you think you’ll carry a balance from month to month?

If you think you’ll struggle to pay off your credit card balance in full each month, look for a credit card with a low interest rate on purchases. If rewards are not of great importance to you, you can find a good no frills low rate credit card between 8.99-15.99%.

With a low rate card, you should still do your best to make your payments in full each month, but if you can’t, you won’t be stuck paying a high interest rate.
Compare low interest rate credit cards

Are you already in some credit card debt?

If you already have some credit card debt, you may be interested in a low or 0% interest balance transfer credit card. These credit cards allow you to consolidate some – or all – of your credit card debt onto one card.

For a select period of time (usually six to 10 months), you’ll also get a low or 0% interest rate on your transferred balance. While this can save you a substantial amount of money that you’d pay towards high interest, you’ll need to attempt to pay off your entire balance, or as much as possible, before the promotional period ends.

Once the promo period ends, your debt will incur interest at the higher revert rate. You’ll also want to watch out for any balance transfer fees, which usually sit between 1-3% of your transferred balance amount, however some cards come with no transfer fees.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Don’t think you’ll use your card much?

If you don’t think you’ll use your credit card very often, it might be in your best interests to apply for a no annual fee credit card. While premium credit cards with the best perks usually charge an annual fee, there are some no annual fee cards on the market that offer rewards and other perks.

If you intend to use your card a lot though, paying an annual fee usually pays for itself when you take advantage of any rewards or benefits.

Compare no annual fee credit cards

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Understanding the fees and benefits

You need to make sure that you understand everything that is being offered with the card. Read all the small print in the terms and conditions and go over it a few times.

If you don’t know what all the terms – such as APR and grace period – sometimes they are explained in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). If you can’t find them there, contact the credit card provider. You should also clear up your understanding of the following terms when you are searching for the ideal card.

  • Cash advance interest rates
  • Annual fee
  • Penalties
  • Fees for going over your credit limit
  • Charges for late payments
  • How interest rates can be changed
  • Signup bonus requirements
  • Any rewards program requirements

Cash advance interest rate

Cash advance transactions can be very draining on a credit card since the fees and interest rates are very high and are typically charged from the day you withdraw the funds – there is usually no grace period with cash advance transactions.

Don’t count on using your credit card to get money out of the ATM every time you need it. Have a debit card at your disposal to withdraw cash during these times. In addition, you’ll want to find out what other types of transactions are considered cash advances.

Purchase interest rate

Purchase rates for regular cards typically sit around 19.99%, while low rate cards might have purchase rates as low as 8.99%.

If you struggle to pay off your balance in full or want to purchase something big on plastic and will need a few months to pay it off, a low purchase rate might be high on your list.

Annual fees

The ideal card for you may not be one without an annual fee. If you’re going to be carrying over a balance for a month or two, you may want to get a card with an annual fee since the interest rate on these cards is usually lower than cards without an annual fee.

On the flip side, if you don’t think you’ll use your card much, opting for one with no annual fee might be a good choice.

Other fees

Watch out for other fees including late payment fees, overlimit fees, foreign transaction fees, currency conversion fees and more.

It’s possible to avoid all of these fees by paying your bill on time, staying well under your credit limit, opting for a card with no foreign transaction fees and always paying in the local currency when purchasing goods or services overseas.

Rewards

You may have to pay more for a rewards credit card, whether it’s with a bigger annual fee or higher interest rates – or both. It may seem like a good deal at first, but it may not be the ideal card for you.

If you’re looking for a rewards card, make sure that you check out the available features and benefits in relation to the annual fee to decide whether it will cost you more to own the card than the benefits you get out of it.

Compare rewards credit cards

Restrictions

When it comes to rewards programs and signup bonuses, there are often restrictions. You’ll want to inquire into rewards points expiry dates, any blackout dates, rewards program fees and any spending requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to receive your bonus points or miles.

In addition, balance transfer offers usually have restrictions such as limits on how much you can transfer and deadlines as to when you can apply for the introductory balance transfer offer.

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Factors to compare when choosing the ideal credit card

Once you’ve chosen what type of credit card you’d like to apply for based on your spending needs and financial situation, you’ll need to compare a range of credit cards within that category in order to find the best card for you.

Consider these factors when comparing cards:

  • Eligibility requirements. This should be the first thing you check when comparing credit cards, because if you don’t meet the eligibility requirements, then you won’t be able to get approved for the card in question. There are usually age and residency requirements, while some premium cards may have income and credit score requirements too.
  • APR. Interest rates on regular credit cards tend to sit around 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advance transactions, while low rate cards usually offer rates as low as 8.99%. Comparing interest rates is incredibly important, especially if you foresee carrying a balance from month to month on your card.
  • Annual fee. There are many credit cards that offer no annual fees, and just as many cards that come with annual fees. If your card does have an annual fee, you can expect to pay anywhere between $39 and upwards of $800. Cards with the highest annual fees usually come with the best benefits, while no annual fee cards tend to have basic benefits and rewards.
  • Interest-free days. Find out how many interest-free days you get before interest starts accruing on your balance. By law, all credit card providers must offer at least 21 interest-free days, while others will offer up to 55 days interest-free.
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Compare credit cards for 2019

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period. Up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.
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
Earn 5x the 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.
Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year of card membership.
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
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 31 October 2019.
Earn 1 mile per $10 spend in purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Get a 3¢ discount per litre at participating Shell stations. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points with minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, travel and entertainment purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points upon minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
Get 2% cashback on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Get 5% cash back in the first three months of card membership with first year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 November 2019.
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)
Get 5% cash back in the first three months of card membership with a first year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 November 2019.
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
12.99%
12.99%
$29
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and 1 mile for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get 3¢ discount per litre at participating Shell stations. Ends 31 October 2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Balance Transfer Rate Annual Fee Credit Rating
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
12.99%
0.99% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
$29
650+ recommended credit score
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$99
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$0
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 October 2019.
Offers a 3.99% balance transfer intro rate in the first nine months to new cardmembers.
12.99%
3.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
$20
Good
Offers a 3.99% balance transfer intro rate for nine months to new cardmembers.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
16.99%
3.99% for the first 6 months (then 16.99%)
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$65
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 2,400 AIR MILES® when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$299
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn up to 800 AIR MILES bonus miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
Good
Get 3¢ discount per litre at participating Shell stations. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get 5% cash back with minimum spend of $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 30 November 2019.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
Good
Offers a 1.99% balance transfer intro rate for nine months to new cardmembers.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Get up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year of card membership (up to $300 in rewards). Ends 30 December 2019.
Earn 5 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on groceries, dining and entertainment, 3 points on gas, transportation and streaming services.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
Earn 5 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on groceries, dining and entertainment, 3 points on gas, transportation and streaming services.
Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period. Up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.
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
Earn 5x the 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.
Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year of card membership.
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Plus, an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
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 31 October 2019.
Earn 1 mile per $10 spend in purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Get a 3¢ discount per litre at participating Shell stations. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
19.99%
22.99%
$65
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Offers 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months.
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
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada®** Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada®** priority check-in.
Offers 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $500 in the first three months of membership. For new cardmembers only.
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent. Double your miles on purchases at over 170 Aeroplan partner brands.
N/A
N/A
$60
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent. Double your miles on purchases at over 170 Aeroplan partner brands.
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points with minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, travel and entertainment purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points upon minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
Get 2% cashback on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon min. spend of $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Cash Back Rate Annual Fee
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
22.99%
2%
$99
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
19.99%
22.99%
1.25%
$0
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
First year annual fee waived for new cardholders. Ends 31 October 2019.

20.99%
22.99%
4%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Save with no annual fee for the first year. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 31 October 2019.
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.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
1%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
2%
$39
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
19.95%
2%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to a total spend of $2,000). Ends 20 September 2019.
20.99%
22.99%
3%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Get 3% cash back on eligible groceries, gas and bill payments and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Earn $25 cash back if your account is active and in good standing within 90 days of account opening. Ends 20 September 2019.
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.
Get $50 limited bonus cash back upon first spend. Ends 31 October 2019.
19.99%
22.99%
1.5%
$0
Get 3¢ discount per litre at participating Shell stations. Ends 31 October 2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with min. spend of $500 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 1 SCENE point per $1 spent on all purchases, plus 5 SCENE points for every $1 spent at Cineplex Entertainment theatres or cineplex.com.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Save with no annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all purchases.
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at petrol stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
Earn $25 cash back if your account is active and in good standing within 90 days of account opening. Ends 20 September 2019.
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
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
Get 5,000 TD Rewards Points when your account is active and in good standing for 90 days after account opening (excluding Quebec residents). Ends 3 September 2019.
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
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.
Offers up to 20,000 BMO Rewards welcome points upon minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 1 BMO Rewards point for every $1 spent.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Offers a 1.99% balance transfer intro rate for the first nine months to new cardmembers.
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and 1 mile for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get 3¢ discount per litre at participating Shell stations. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 October 2019.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months.
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and IGA stores and 1 miles for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get a 3¢ discount per litre at participating Shell stations. Ends 31 October 2019.
No available introductory offer.
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year.
Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring 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%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Required Deposit Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
$200 - $10,000
17.99%
N/A
$12.95
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with guaranteed approval and no credit check.

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