Did you know that on average, Canadians make over 3 billion transactions on their credit cards annually? Credit cards are becoming increasingly popular, with many people having multiple credit cards. There are many benefits to using a credit card. Many people choose to use credit cards because they are more convenient. They can also help provide a record of your monthly expenditure, making it easier to track your finances.
Credit cards can help you build a good credit history. This is especially true if you pay your balances off on time and in full. They also provide purchase protection for any faulty or fraudulent items you buy. Many credit cards come with a rewards system that offers discounts, points, and even cash-back. There are rewards cards that focus on specific items that you shop for frequently. These can include travel, groceries, and gas.
Finding the best credit card for your lifestyle takes a little research. There are many credit card options available. You should look at the advantages and disadvantages of each. You may value a credit card that offers lower fees. You could be looking for one that offers travel points. You may be looking for the best cash-back credit card. So how do you know which are the best Canadian credit cards? In this article, we will look in detail at the best Canada credit cards and help you make an informed and sensible decision.
Table of Contents
- Best Credit Cards
- How Do Credit Cards Work?
- The Different Types of Credit Cards
- What is the Difference Between a Network and an Issuer?
- Choosing the Right Credit Card for You
- What Credit Score Do I Need For A Credit Card In Canada?
- The Bottom Line
Best Credit Cards
Canadian laws and regulations protect consumers from fraudulent credit practices. When someone signs up for a new credit card, it is important to follow the processes correctly. First, a formal agreement will be in your new credit card package when it arrives in the mail.
A Terms of Reference information box outlines fees, charges, and interest rates. You will find this at the top of your card agreement. Any changes to your credit card contract are sent to you in writing, at least 30 days prior. Before your credit limit increases, the issuer requires your permission and written confirmation.
High-interest rates can quickly become problematic to your cash flow, especially if your balance is not paid in full each month. This is because interest charges will continue to build up, and your debt can begin to spiral. In Canada, rates of interest cannot be above 60% APR. You should try and choose a provider that has a low-interest rate, even if this is only in the first year. Also, note how much cash comes out each year for your annual fee.
Every month, your provider must issue an electronic or paper statement. You will see the following information enclosed:
- Outstanding balance.
- Terms of repayment (how long it will take to pay off your balance in full if you only pay the minimum).
- Purchase information with transaction dates.
- Total amount (charges for the month).
As mentioned above, there are many options available. The real challenge is finding the best credit card that suits your spending habits. Below is a list of the best credit cards in Canada. This is an overview of the features and highlights. Ensure you consider your final decision carefully.
American Express Cobalt
The American Express Cobalt is one of the best credit cards in Canada. Especially when it comes to everyday spending and travel, it offers a good welcome bonus for customers. The points system is easy to use and has a high earning rate.
- Welcome Bonus – American Express Cobalt users can earn up to 30,000 points in their first year. If you spend a minimum of $500 monthly, you will earn up to 2,500 Membership Rewards Points each month.
- Rewards Rates – Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on groceries or dining. You can also earn two points for each dollar used towards travel. Meanwhile, 1 point is collected for every $1 spent on any other purchases. If you are able to use this card for all of your purchases, you can earn a lot of rewards! Just remember to pay off those balances monthly.
- Travel – You can redeem points for travel. American Express clients are given a rate of 1,000 points for $10 with any airline on any flights (no blackout dates). American Express also has a Fixed Points Travel Program. This allows customers to unlock enhanced value on round-trip flights. You can also use your credit card points towards accommodation with the American Express Hotel partner.
- Cobalt Perks – Being a member has its advantages! You get bonus rewards, plus access to some incredible events with this program.
- Travel Insurance- If you have a medical emergency while travelling, this card covers your expenses. Coverage includes up to $5,000,000 for emergency medical expenses for an individual under 65. The insurance also covers you for flight delay, lost baggage, theft and accidents.
- The annual income requirement for this credit card is relatively low at $12,000.
- Redeeming Points – The best thing about accumulating points is being able to use them. With the American Express Cobalt, you have freedom. You can use your points for just about anything you charge to the credit card. This includes:
- Flights through their Fixed Points Travel Program.
- Travel on their American Express Travel Online tool.
- Merchandise and gift cards through membershiprewards.ca.
- You can shop with your points on Amazon.ca.
- Annual fee – Not every rewards card has an annual fee, but this one does. Gaining access to all the perks will cost $120 cash each year.
- Interest Rate – The annual interest rate on this card is 19.99% for purchases and 21.99% for fund advances. This could make it harder to pay the balance of your card each month. If you begin to struggle with your cash flow and monthly repayments, you may find your credit score is negatively impacted.
Tangerine Money Mastercard-Back
Collecting points can feel overwhelming. This is why cash-back credit cards are popular. Finding the best cash-back credit card can seem daunting. The Tangerine Money-Back is one of the best credit cards in Canada under this category. Especially with its endless limits, bonus option for rewards, and no annual fee.
- Cash Back – Earn 2% cash-back by choosing two bonus purchases categories. These include dining, groceries, furniture, motel/hotel, gas, and more. There are ten bonus spending categories in total. Users earn 0.5% on any other purchases.
- Automatic Earning – This card helps users reap their rewards right away. Clients can choose how to gain access to their cash rebates automatically. They can either do it through their Tangerine savings account or have the rebates applied to their balance.
- Earn More – Placing your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account earns you more. Doing so gets you an additional 2% cash-back bonus.
- There are no limits when it comes to the cash rewards you can earn daily. With that said, conditions may apply.
- There are no annual fees attached to this credit card. Save your cash!
- Added Benefits – The rewards card is compatible with ApplyPay, GooglePay, and SamsungPay. You never have to bring your credit card anywhere, ever again!
- Balance transfer credit card – The balance transfer rate within the first six months of card ownership is 1.95%. You are also subject to a 1% fee of the value of the balance transfer. After the six months are up, the normal rate for a balance transfer on this card is 3%. If you are struggling with high-interest on another credit card, a balance transfer can help you to pay off your debt faster for a minimal fee.
- The annual income requirement for this credit card is only $12,000.
- Interest Rate: Both purchases and fund advances come with an interest rate of 19.95%.
- The welcome offer does not offer many perks. This may not affect you if you are looking to balance transfer credit from another card.
Scotiabank Gold American Express
If you love to travel and earn points for shopping, then the Scotiabank Gold American Express may be the best way to go. Based on a points system, you can earn rewards on dining, groceries, and other things you would normally have to use your cash for. The rewards credit card also has a popular welcome offer. This may be a viable option for those who love to earn points while shopping.
- Welcome offer -They offer 25,000 points over the first three months when you spend $1,000.
- Travel – Five thousand Scotia Rewards Points equals $50 worth of travel. The welcome offer earns credit card users up to $200, which is a nice start for your next holiday.
- Healthy Earnings – A big question for many customers is how to earn points. You earn 5 points for every dollar spent on dining, entertainment, and groceries. You earn three points for ever dollar spent on public transit, some streaming services, and gas. Meanwhile, all other items purchased gets you a point per dollar spent.
- Foreign Transaction Fee – Most Canadian credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee. The fact that the Gold American Express card doesn’t is a major advantage. This should be thought of as a 2.5% bonus, as that is the amount generally charged. This includes all foreign currency transactions, as well as online purchases.
- Added Benefits – Travel insurance is offered with the credit card. Users also get a 35% discount for a Priority Pass membership.
- The annual income requirement for this credit card is only $12,000.
- Annual Fee – Scotiabank Gold American Express credit card will cost you an annual fee of $120.
- Interest Rate – On purchases, the interest rate is set at 19.99%. The cash advance interest rate is higher than standard, at 22.99%.
- Minimum Credit Limit – There is a minimum credit limit of $5,000. To some, this may not be a big deal. To others who like having a rewards credit card with a lower limit, this could cause an issue.
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
What gets the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card on this best credit card list? They offer a strong cash-back percentage across a vast number of categories. They also have a good incentive in the welcome offer. Other added perks to the Visa Infinite card include the “Dining and Wine Country” program, travel insurance, and concierge services.
- Welcome Offer – Generally, having an annual fee can be a negative. With the Visa Infinite card, the first year’s annual fee is waived. After that, you pay an annual fee of $120. Additionally, for the first three months, credit cardholders get a 10% cash-back reward for all purchases made up to $2,000.
- Earning Rate – After the three months, the rewards still continue on the Visa Infinite card. You can earn 4% cash-back on recurring bills, subscription services, and groceries. The next tier offers a 2% return for daily transit and gas charges. Earn one percent on all other purchases. The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite provides one of the best credit cards in Canada. This is all thanks to their cash-back rewards system.
- Added Benefits – Visa Infinite card users can also access mobile device insurance. Additionally, travel insurance is also offered.
- Interest Rate – The interest rate is higher than average on this card, with purchases at 20.99%. The interest rate for cash advancements is 22.99%.
- Minimum Credit Limit of $5,000. This can be a major con for those who like having a lower limit. It is easier to get into debt when the limit is higher.
- Supplementary Card Fee – While the fee is waived for the first year, each added cardholder costs $50.
- Requirements – A minimum annual income of $60,000 is required for approval. A minimum annual household income of $100,00 is also acceptable. Another option is offering up proof of at least $250,000 in personal assets.
What makes American Express (AMEX) SimplyCash one of the best credit cards in Canada? Its bonus rates are seen as greatly advantageous. There is no confusion around purchases and bonus tiers. Simply put, clients get a 2% cash-back return on every dollar spent. AMEX’s Front of the Line program is also a major perk.
- Best-of-the-Best Flat Rate – The flat-rate cash-back makes this one of the best credit cards in Canada. Bonus categories can be fun, but sometimes overwhelming. Receiving 2% on every dollar spent on purchases makes the cash-back concept simpler. Plus, there is no limit to how much you can earn.
- Refer A Friend – When you refer a friend, you are eligible to earn an extra $100 cash-back (for each approval). Through this program, there is the potential to earn up to $1,500.
- Entertainment Perks – AMEX’s Front of the Line program opens up a world of entertainment possibilities. From music to fashion, film, and dining experiences, and more. The initiative helps with reserved seating and tickets. You will also receive e-updates on events.
- Insurance – AMEX offers plenty of insurance options. These include car rental theft and damage and travel insurance.
- No additional cost for supplementary cards.
- American Express is known for having excellent customer service 24/7.
- They offer additional features, such as fraud protection and emergency card replacement.
- Annual Fees- Although they have lower annual fees compared to some of the other credit cards on this list, it will still cost $99 each year to gain all the benefits listed above.
- Requirements – You need to be a resident of Canada to apply for this credit card. You also need a Canadian credit file. You need to be within the age of majority in the territory or province you live in.
- Interest Rate – There is a 19.99% interest rate on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances.
TD First Class Visa Infinite
If you are looking solely for travel rewards, then the TD First Class Visa Infinite card is the best. They also have a strong relationship with Expedia, which enables you to receive more perks and save cash. The insurance coverage, sign-up bonus, plus solid earning rates are terrific. This one stands above the rest when it comes to travel rewards and benefits. It is one of the best credit cards to choose from in this category.
- Earning Potential – Visa Infinite clients gain 3 TD points for every dollar spent on everyday purchases. This reflects a 1.5% rate and includes groceries and gas. You can gain three-times the rewards by spending travel points through the ExpediaForTD.com website! This reflects a 4.5% earning rate. Your travel rewards points can be redeemed with any airline.
- Redeeming Points – Visa Infinite card clients can choose from two spending options to redeem points. The best way is through the ExpediaForTD.com website, as your points have a higher value. You can also use your travel rewards points at the TD Rewards site to shop for gift cards and products.
- Sign Up bonus – After you have activated your Visa Infinite card, you receive 60,000 TD Points! This is worth $300 cash.
- Added Perks – Various travel insurance options are linked to the Visa Infinite.
- Requirements – A minimum personal annual income of $60,000 is required. Alternatively, a $100,000 household annual income will be accepted.
- Annual Fee – The annual fee is waived for the first year of this travel rewards card. After the first year, there is a cash cost of $120.
- Added Cardholders – The fee for this is also waived for the first year. After that, the fee for each added cardholder costs $50 annually.
- Foreign Transaction Fee – Although it is aimed at travellers, they charge foreign transaction fees.
- Interest Rate: The purchase interest rate is not the best at 19.99%. The cash advance interest rate is even higher, at 22.99%. Credit card users should ensure to pay their balances every month.
BMO World Elite Mastercard
The rewards card that started it all offers its program in a credit form. The Bank of Montreal (BMO) partners up with AirMiles to provide the BMO World Elite Mastercard. Air Miles continues to hold its own in the world of points and spending. Plus, the card provides some great earning potential, as well as travel benefits. They also have a great welcome offer. If you travel often and would find AirMiles advantageous, you’ll be a fan of the BMO World Elite Mastercard.
- Earning Rewards – clients gain three BMO Rewards Points for each dollar spent on dining, entertainment, and travel purchases. Two points are earned for any other spending. The BMO World Elite Mastercard allows up to $575 to be collected within the first year.
- Welcome Offer – The first-year bonus is an incredible 10,000 points.
- Wi-Fi – The BMO World Elite Mastercard provides over 1 million hotspots worldwide. No added fees, roaming charges, or costs are associated with this. You can stream without worry on your devices and smartphones while travelling.
- Airport Lounges – Clients get a “Mastercard Airport Experiences” membership for free. This gives you VIP access, as well as four annual passes valued at $140 in cash each year.
- Protection – Gain access to extended warranty insurance on purchases. You also get purchase protection against theft or damage on items for 90 days. Cardholders are also covered by “Total Travel” and “Medical Protection.” This helps with car rental collision, as well as out-of-country medical costs.
- Discounts – Enjoy 20% off Las Vegas shows and other cash savings and perks. You can find offers for digital apps and subscription services. Visit mastercard.ca/world for more information. You may also get cash-back discounts while travelling outside of Canada. Shop and dine to your heart’s content while enjoying a little travel! Added perks like these on a credit card can make all the difference to your cash flow.
- Requirements – You must have an individual annual income of $80,000, or a household income of $150,000 to be eligible for this card.
- Annual Fee – The BMO World Elite card has an annual fee of $150. There’s also a cost of $50 each year for additional cardholders.
- Interest Rate – While the purchase interest rate is standard at 19.99%, the cash advance rate is at 22.99%.
PC Financial World Mastercard Elite
If you love shopping at Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart stores, this could be the best credit card for you. Credit card users gain access to earning PC Points in many ways. Your credit card will also be linked to the PC Optimum program. With some added perks, plus PC Travel incentives, this could be the best credit card for you, depending on your lifestyle.
- Annual Fee – There is no annual fee with this credit card. Collect rewards and spend them knowing there is no extra fee or any hidden costs.
- Earning Potential – You earn 45 points for every dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart. Meanwhile, clients earn 30 points per litre when buying gas from Esso. Shopping at Loblaws brand stores earns users 30 points per dollar charged. You earn 10 points for each dollar anywhere else you use your card.
- Added Perks – The PC Financial World Elite credit card offers up some great perks. This includes Emergency Medical Insurance when travelling. Additionally, their Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage insurance can be seen as great card offers to some users. They also provide a 24/7 concierge service and identity theft assistance.
- Welcome Offer – A welcome bonus gives clients 20,000 points, which is equal to the value of $20 cash. This is lower than the welcome rewards offered by other card providers.
- Earning Potential – While this has been listed as a benefit, it can also be a disadvantage. The rewards points are offered in four tiers. Differing points are allotted to each category. If you are not a customer of the Loblaws brand, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Esso, this card may not be the best option for you.
- Redeeming Points – It is easy to collect points, but you need a minimum of 10,000 points to redeem anything. Also, you can only redeem items at participating stores.
- Requirements – A personal annual income of $80,000 is required. An annual household income of $150,000 is also accepted.
- Interest Rate – Purchase and cash advance rates may be higher on this card. For purchases, it is 20.97%, while funds advances are 22.97%. In Quebec, the cash advance rate is 21.97%. With that said, for the first six months, promo balance transfers are at 0.97%. New purchases on a new account get a grace period of 21 days.
Rogers World Elite Mastercard
The Rogers World Elite Mastercard may be one of the best credit cards in Canada when it comes to shopping. Shopping and travelling to the United States, too! There is not only a good rate when it comes to paying a foreign transaction fee, but there are also cash-back rewards. Additionally, there is a good rate on regular purchases and no annual fees. If these things are important to you, this may be the best credit card for you.
- Earning Rates – Clients earn 3% (unlimited) cash-back rewards when making purchases in U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, 1.5% (unlimited) cash-back is earned on other items charged.
- Annual Fee – The good news is that there is no annual fee linked to the credit card. The even better news is that there is no annual fee or any fee to add other cardholders to the account.
- Redemption – You can redeem your cash-back rewards right away. Rewards are eligible on purchases made in the last 90 days. Clients should download the Mastercard Pay with Rewards app. This can be accessed via Google Play or the App Store.
- Insurance – Enjoy Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection insurance on this card.
- For those that love to travel, some great travel rewards are included. The credit card has a rental car and medical emergency insurance. Rogers World Elite also provides emergency medical insurance during travel, as well as Trip Interruption and Cancellation.
- Additional Perks – Clients can access LoungeKey airports. There are over 1000+ location options in over 100 countries. You can also get cash rebate offers through Mastercard’s Travel Rewards” program.
- You can access free Wi-Fi in over one million hotspots worldwide when you own this card.
- Requirement – The annual individual income requirement for the credit card is $80,000. They will also accept an income of $150,000 per household.
- World Travelers – The 3% cash-back is great for U.S. shopping, but not for worldwide travel. Purchases made outside of the US have a 1.5% cash-back rate. There is a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on purchases made in other countries.
- Travel Insurance Loophole – The travel medical insurance only covers you for up to 10 days. Also, a minimum of $15,000-a-year needs to be spent on the card in order to qualify.
- Welcome Bonus – This is relatively low compared to what other credit cards offer. They offer a $25 cash-back rebate when you purchase something within the first three months of activation.
How Do Credit Cards Work?
It is important to understand how credit cards work in order to use them effectively. There are benefits to having a credit card, but some people find themselves falling into financial difficulty. A credit card is like a short-term loan that is due monthly. It is best to pay your credit card balance in full each month. You also need to ensure you make your monthly payment on time to prevent an additional fee being applied to your account.
Some people choose to only pay the minimum balance on their card. This can be problematic and potentially cause you to fall into debt. The unpaid balance begins to accrue interest every month. As your balance rises, you may find it difficult to make your monthly payment and be charged an additional fee. If you continue spending on your credit card, your debt will only increase further.
Sometimes a fee is added to your balance if you go over your credit limit. Trying to manage all this added debt can be challenging. It can also feel overwhelming. If these things happen, you might find that your credit score begins to drop. In this situation, many people turn to balance transfer credit cards to help them get out of debt. This is because a credit card specialized in balance transfers will have a lower rate of interest and a lower annual fee.
If you use your credit card responsibly, you should see your credit score increase. This is because one of the main things that lenders look at in relation to your credit score is your ability to borrow money and pay it back on time. Having a rewards credit card can also be beneficial as you are able to earn cash-back and other perks that may save you money elsewhere.
There are plenty of advantages to owning a credit card. However, you need to ensure you are making good financial decisions. Failing to do so can result in debt. This affects your credit score when applying for other credit. It also affects other financial areas in your life. Increased credit card debt can prevent you from saving money. It can also enhance financial stress and create anxiety for some people.
The Different Types of Credit Cards
There is a huge variety of credit cards available to suit different requirements. The one you choose may depend on your credit score, the annual fee attached and the rewards system. Some credit cards are also designed for balance transfers to help individuals pay off their debt. Choosing the best option for you can be confusing. Below we will look at some of the different types of credit cards.
Rewards Credit Cards
A rewards credit card is very popular because they give the customer something in return for spending. This is often cash or reward points to spend at a specific store. You may also get additional benefits, such as travel rewards. Often, a rewards credit card comes with extra benefits in the first year. In order to earn the maximum rewards, you will often have to pay an annual fee. This varies among different card providers. You must ensure that you pay off the balance of your card monthly in order to access your rewards. This will also prevent you from being charged an additional fee.
Cash-Back Credit Cards
Like the rewards credit cards, cash-back provides a rebate off the balance of your credit card. Some cards offer to place this cash-back reward directly into your bank account. A percentage is calculated from items charged. Some cards offer bonus categories or tiers for certain purchases (i.e., gas or groceries). This means you can earn more when you use your credit card for specific things. Some cash-back credit cards offer flat rate percentages. This may be the best card for you if you frequently spend on participating purchases.
Travel Credit Cards
Points or air miles are collected. They can be redeemed towards flights, accommodations, vacation packages, cruises, and more. Those who love to travel often find these types of credit cards are the best for them. They are also perfect for business owners who travel a lot.
Store Credit Cards
Store credit card holders provide points when you charge purchases at their stores. These points can be redeemed for items within their stores. This helps to reward customers for brand loyalty. Discounts, promotions, and exclusive sales are also offered with these credit cards. This is the best option for people who visit the same stores often.
Standard interest credit rates fall between 19.99 to 22.99%. Rewards credit cards are enticing but are not good for those who consistently have a high balance. This is where low-interest credit cards can be advantageous. Interest rates for these credit cards vary, usually between 8.99% to 12.99%. It is possible to have a card with a lower than 5% interest rate! Generally, these types of cards do not come with rewards or perks. However, they do make it much easier to pay off existing debt balances. They usually do not have an annual fee attached.
Student Credit Cards
Think of this as a starter pack for credit cards. Student credit cards are offered to younger individuals with no credit history. This aims to help them establish a credit score. As they are entry-level credit cards, there are few requirements needed to apply. They also do not have an annual fee and offer little in extras or perks. Some do have decent rewards when it comes to spending. This may be the best option if your age or credit score would prevent you from obtaining another credit card.
Secured Credit Cards
For some, it can be hard to get approval for a credit card. This is especially difficult for those with a poor credit history and credit score. A secured credit card involves the applicant providing a deposit. Almost anyone can be approved for this credit card, regardless of their credit score. When used responsibly, a secured credit card can help rebuild someone’s credit.
What is the Difference Between a Network and an Issuer?
Credit Card Network
A credit card network facilitates transactions between credit card users and merchants. They also control where credit cards are accepted. There are three major credit card networks in Canada:
- American Express
A network sets the fee a retailer pays when someone makes a credit card purchase in their store or business. A retailer usually pays between 1.5%-2% of the purchase cost as a network fee. A credit card network is also responsible for processing all transactions. However, they do not control the fee a cardholder pays. They do not determine the interest credit rate, foreign transaction fee, or the over-limit fee. This is all controlled by the card issuer.
Credit Card Issuer
Credit card issuers are the financial institutions that issue credit cards to clients. Banks or credit unions work with credit card networks to provide people with credit cards. The credit card issuer takes care of:
- Approval or rejection of credit card applications.
- Controlling the terms of the credit card account.
- Setting up any rewards or perks on the credit card.
- Paying for transactions on behalf of the credit cardholder.
- Offering customer service to the credit cardholder.
- Collection of payments from the cardholder.
Credit card issuers and networks offer different services. With that said, a company can act as both a credit card issuer and a network provider. An example of this is American Express. AMEX acts as a credit card network and issuer. Visa and Mastercard are networks that collaborate with banks in Canada.
Choosing the Right Credit Card for You
How do you decide which is the best credit card for you? The first thing to do is to look at your priorities. Analyze your spending and credit card habits. The best credit card for you will be dependent on a number of factors, some of which will be out of your control. We will look at some of the recommendations to suit your personal and financial situation. Remember that multiple credit applications will have a negative impact on your credit score. Research your options thoroughly before applying for any type of credit.
If you know you are not likely to pay your balance in full each month, choose a low-interest credit option. This is to prevent your interest rate, adding more debt to your balance that you are able to pay. If you are looking to reduce your credit card debt, a low-interest card may also be a wise option for you. If you are a young adult with no credit history, you may have no other choice but to apply for a student credit card.
Those who pay their balance off in full each month may have multiple options. Travel credit cards provide some appealing rewards. However, if you do not travel much, this may not be the best option for you. Cash-back credit cards can be advantageous if they suit your lifestyle. Look at the annual fee attached before committing to this option.
Once you decide on the type of rewards card, think about earning potential. How much cash-back or how many points are you earning with each credit card option? Look at your spending habits, too. Do you tend to spend a lot on groceries? A credit card with an increased rate around this category may be the best choice. If you drive around a lot for your job, choose a credit card with a high cash-back rate for gas.
You also have the option of choosing a store-specific card. These are great for customers who tend to do all their shopping at one establishment. Often, you can gain access to discounts and special sales. Plus, there are opportunities to double-up your points.
Thoroughly research the added perks for each credit card. Reward points and cash-back may be important to you. Look for the card that suits your family and lifestyle best. Think carefully about whether the annual fees justify the benefits you will receive. You could also consider a card that has additional benefits for the first year. Think carefully about the best option for you before committing to the application process.
What Credit Score Do I Need For A Credit Card In Canada?
Canadian credit scores range from 300 to 900 points. The higher the credit score you have, the better. Below is a breakdown.
- Credit Score – 760 to 900. This is the best score and is considered an excellent rating. An applicant will have few issues when getting any type of credit (even a loan or mortgage).
- Credit Score – 725 to 759 rating. This is considered a very good score. This score will result in a successful application for most types of credit.
- Credit Score – 660 to 724. This is considered a good score. An applicant has good credit but might not get the best interest rates.
- Credit Score – 560 to 659. This is rated as fair. You may need to build up your score before qualifying for some forms of credit.
- Credit Score – 300 to 559 Rating. This is rated as poor. An applicant’s credit needs work. You will be unable to obtain credit from any reputable lender.
Most credit bureaus state that a score above 650 is acceptable for most types of credit. You are unlikely to encounter any problems when applying for credit.
However, each credit card or credit application comes with unique requirements. Before applying for a credit card, ensure you look at eligibility requirements. Some factors that credit cards issuers will consider before accepting an application is:
- Credit History – A good credit history is a must. This includes debt repayments made in full and on time. Avoid carrying a credit card balance for too long. Ensure to use all credit products responsibly.
- Credit Card Utilization – How you use the credit limit on your credit card. The best scenario is to keep your debt below 30% of the overall amount you are allowed to borrow.
- Status of Employment – Unemployment can affect your credit card application. This may be true even if you have a great credit score. Full-time employment is preferred. With that said, many people that work part-time or are self-employed are approved.
- Expenses – Your income should be higher than your outgoings. Issuers will look at your income versus your expenses to determine approval.
If your credit score is below 650, there are things you can do to help build your credit rating. However, you may still be eligible for other credit cards. You may find that a secured credit card is the best option. This requires you to provide a deposit. This will become your credit limit and secured balance of the credit card. If you cannot make a payment, you can use that sum to pay the balance. If used well, this option can help build your credit rating.
The Bottom Line
Navigating the confusing land of credit cards can be overwhelming. Finding the best credit card for you can be a challenge. You have to think about the card that suits your spending. Research all your potential options thoroughly before making a final decision. Having a credit card can be beneficial to your credit rating. If you choose the card that best suits your spending habits, you may be able to earn rewards, points or cash-back.
Ensure you use your credit cards wisely. Always try and pay off balances in full. If you cannot do that, at least make sure you pay your minimum balance on time. If you use your cards responsibly, you may find them to benefit your lifestyle and finances.