The best Canadian credit cards for every financial situation


Canadians have seemingly endless options when it comes to credit cards.

RateSupermarket did a deep dive and came up with a list of its best in breed across 12 categories.

There’s no one size fits all solution because the right choice boils down to your personal situation. Maybe you’ve been struck with wanderlust, or perhaps you’re trying to dig yourself out of a hole when it comes to your credit.

“Depending on your lifestyle and your goals – whether it’s access to travel perks, rewards for gas you purchase, you’re a student - it really pays to understand which credit card or personal banking product will benefit you the most,” Jacob Black, managing editor at RateSupermarket, told Yahoo Finance Canada.

Best rewards

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card lets you earn 10 per cent cash-back on all purchases for the first three months, up to $2,000. After that you’ll earn 4 per cent cash-back on every dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations. You’ll get 2 per cent at the pharmacy and on recurring bill payments. Everything else gets you one per cent. There’s no annual fee for the first year, after that it’s $99 dollars a year.

Best rewards without a fee

If you want rewards without a fee, look no further than the RBC Cash Back MasterCard. You can earn 2 per cent on every dollar up to $6,000 a year. After that, it drops to one per cent. It’s 0.5 per cent every where else up to $6,000, and 1 per cent thereafter.

Best for carrying a balance

The National Bank Syncro Mastercard doesn’t have a fixed interest rate. Instead, it has a variable rate which depends on the prime rate + 4 per cent. Although the rate fluctuates, chances are you’ll pay less interest. The annual fee is $35.

Best balance transfer card

These types of cards are for ideal for people who need extra time to pay down a big chunk of credit card debt. The MBNA True Line Mastercard lets you transfer your balances over for 3 per cent. For the first 10 months, you pay no interest. There is no annual fee.

Best for building credit

The Home Trust Secured Visa Card is ideal for anyone with bruised credit. It is a secured card, so you’ll have to deposit $500 to activate it. Once you do, you can start rebuilding your credit by using it anywhere that accepts Visa. Approval won’t be a problem because there is no credit check. The annual fee is $59 but can be paid in monthly instalments.

Best for students

The BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard gives students 5 per cent cash-back in the first three months, up to $2,000. After that, it’s 1 per cent on everything else. The added bonus is Student Price Card membership, which gets you discounts at more than 450 participating stores like Adidas and Old Navy. There is no annual fee.

Best for travel perks

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite points can be used to book trips and redeem merchandise, gift cards, and charitable donations. Trips to the grocery store, gas station, and pharmacy get you 1.5 points for every dollar spent. You get 2 points for every dollar when you book a trip though the CIBC rewards centre. For everything else you get 1 point. Points earned never expire. There are other perks like access to airport lounges and a rebate on NEXUS fees. The annual fee is $120.

Best card for groceries

The American Express Cobalt Credit Card gets you 5 points per dollar spent at eligible restaurants and bars, grocery stores, and food delivery services. You get 2 points per dollar at gas stations, or on travel and transit. You get one point on all other purchase Those points can be used to buy merchandise from other retailers. The annual $120 dollar fee can be split up into $10 monthly payments.

Best store card

The President’s Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard is for anyone that shops at affiliated retailers like Loblaws, Fortinos, Joe Fresh, and Shoppers Drug Mart. The card will let you rack up PC Optimum points, which are automatically applied to your account. You can use those points to buy more merchandise. For a limited time, If you apply through RateSupermarket you’ll get a $100 e-Gift card.

Best prepaid card

The KOHO Prepaid Visa Card is the winner here. It works likes a debit card, but is accepted everywhere Visa is. It helps you save by rounding up purchases to the nearest $1, $2, $5, or $10. It also gives you 0.5 per cash-back on purchases.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains

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