Best Credit Cards in Canada: A Thorough Guide for 2022

Choosing the best credit card in Canada can be a daunting task. With so many different providers and options available, it can be hard to know where to start.

In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about credit cards. We’ll explain how they work and what you need to qualify for one. We will also discuss our methodology for evaluating different solutions and provide a list of the best credit cards in Canada for 2022!

Best Canadian Credit Cards: Top Five Picks

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Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite Card

Best for Frequent Travellers

  • No annual fee for the first year
  • New mobile device insurance
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Great cashback opportunities

American Express Cobalt® Card

Best Cashback Policy

  • ​​High earn rates
  • Access to exclusive American Express Invites®
  • Flexible fee structure
  • Great travel coverage

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card

Great Cashback Program

  • Great cashback program
  • 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases
  • Emergency travel medical insurance
  • Access to exclusive benefits

Brim Mastercard

Best Insurance Coverage

  • No interest fees
  • 0% foreign transaction fees
  • Free Boingo Wi-Fi when travelling
  • Full-scale insurance coverage

Triangle™ Mastercard®

Best purchase protection

  • Personalized bonus rewards through the mobile app
  • 4% earn rate
  • Exclusive CT Money earning opportunities
  • Purchase security and extended warranty

Canada’s Best Credit Cards Reviews

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite Card

star 10

Best for Frequent Travellers

  • Interest rates: Purchases 20.99%, cash advances 22.99%
  • Earn rate: 4% on groceries and recurring bills; 2% on gas and daily transit; 1% on everything else
  • Income requirement: Minimum $60,000 individual / $100,000 household income
  • Annual fee: $120

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card is a great choice for anyone looking to earn cash back on their everyday purchases. This card offers plenty of value with no annual fee for the first year and a competitive interest rate.

Plus, cardholders can earn up to 4% cash back on groceries and recurring payments. This includes subscription purchases for popular video or music streaming platforms, making this a great choice for anyone who wants to save money on their monthly bills. There’s also 2% cash back on gas and daily transit and 1% cash back on all other purchases you make with this card.

As one of the best credit cards in Canada, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card also comes with excellent insurance coverage. This includes your new mobile devices, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, travel emergency medical insurance, flight delay insurance, and more.

Some of its advanced benefits also include Visa Infinite* Concierge Service, Visa Infinite* Hotel Collection, and Visa Infinite* Dining and Wine Country program, ideal for those who love to travel and dine in style.

When it comes to fees, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card has it all sorted out. Its annual fee is $120, with the first-year fee waived. You’ll be charged 20.99% interest on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances and balance transfers.

There’s currently a special offer that provides all new cardholders with 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months, going up to $2,000 in total purchases. This makes it one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada and an excellent choice for anyone looking to save money on their everyday expenses.


Pros

  • + No annual fee for the first year
  • + New mobile device insurance
  • + Comprehensive travel insurance
  • + Great cashback opportunities

Cons

  • Rewards are only redeemable once a year
  • Annual fee after the first year

American Express Cobalt® Card

star 9.8

Best Cashback Policy

  • Interest rates: Purchases 20.99%, cash advances 21.99%
  • Earn rate: 5 points per $1 spent on dining out and groceries; 2 points per $1 spent on travel; 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Income requirement: No minimum income is required
  • Annual fee: $12.99/monthly

Next on our Canada’s best credit cards list is the American Express Cobalt® Card, which offers great value for everyday spenders and has several membership rewards. With this card, users can earn points on food and drinks, travel, streaming subscriptions, and more.

Cardholders can earn five points per dollar on eligible dining and groceries, up to $30,000 annually, three points for every dollar spent on eligible streaming subscriptions, and two points for every dollar spent on eligible transit, gas purchases, and travel purchases. Finally, one point for every dollar spent on everything else.

By using this card, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each month in which you spend $500. This can add up to 30,000 points in a year, which can be redeemed for a wide variety of travel options, merchandise, and gift cards, making the American Express Cobalt® Card one of the best reward credit cards in Canada.

This card comes with a monthly fee of $12.99, but there are no annual fees involved. It has an annual interest rate of 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on funds advances.

Some of its other perks include American Express Invites® and Front Of The Line®, which gives you access to presale tickets for concerts, shows, and events. You also get car rental loss and damage insurance as well as travel accident insurance.

The American Express Cobalt® Card is one of Canada’s top credit cards and a great choice for everyday spenders in Canada looking to earn rewards on their everyday purchases. And if they wish to manage your card on the go, all you have to do is download the Amex App.


Pros

  • + ​​High earn rates
  • + Access to exclusive American Express Invites®
  • + Flexible fee structure
  • + Great travel coverage

Cons

  • Amex is not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard
  • Lacks trip cancellation

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card

star 9.9

Great Cashback Program

  • Interest rates: Purchases 20.99%, cash advances 22.99%
  • Earn rate: 4% cash back on gas and groceries, 2% cash back on transportation, dining and recurring payments, and 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Income requirement: Minimum $60,000 individual / $100,000 household income
  • Annual fee: $120 (first year rebated†)

If you’re interested in finding one of the top Canadian rewards credit cards, look no further than the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card. The CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card is a great choice for Canadians looking for a versatile cashback credit card. It offers a wide range of features and benefits, designed for those looking for a card that offers more than just cash back on their everyday purchases.

This card provides users with comprehensive coverage while allowing them to save on everyday purchases and redeem their cash back points anytime. You can earn up to 4% cash back on gas and groceries, 2% on transportation, dining and recurring payments, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

In terms of insurance coverage, this card includes mobile device and emergency travel medical insurance. So, if you have a new phone, you’re protected if it gets lost, stolen, or damaged. And if you’re abroad and need medical attention, you’re also covered.

If you’re looking for one of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada, the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card might not be the best option as it has a high annual fee after the first year. This card has an annual fee of $120 (waived for the first year), a 20.99% interest rate on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances. Quebec residents are the exception and have a 21.99% interest rate for cash purchases.

If you’re interested in applying for this card, there are some eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet. You must have a personal annual income of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000. Additionally, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and be the age of majority in your province.

To sum it up, the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card is a great choice for Canadians looking for comprehensive coverage and cash back on their everyday purchases. It’s also one of the best travel credit cards in Canada, making it a good option for those who frequently travel, as it comes with emergency travel medical insurance, which is always a valuable perk.


Pros

  • + Great cashback program
  • + 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases
  • + Emergency travel medical insurance
  • + Access to exclusive benefits

Cons

  • Additional cards are $30 per year after the first year
  • Annual fee after the first year

Brim Mastercard

star 9.8

Best Insurance Coverage

  • Interest rates: N/A
  • Earn rate: 1% back in points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases
  • Income requirement: Minimum $60,000 individual/$100,000 household income
  • Annual fee: $0

The Brim Mastercard is a credit card that offers many great features and benefits to cardholders.

One of the most appealing features is that it doesn’t charge any annual fees or interest fees. There is, however, a fixed installment fee of 7%, which is charged on your first monthly statement. The instalment fee doesn’t apply to those living in the Province of Quebec.

Some of the best credit cards in Canada have no fees, but as you can see, that isn’t the case with the Brim Mastercard. In addition to the installment fee, there’s a monthly processing fee of 0.475% of your total monthly purchase amount. That makes it an excellent choice for consumers looking to save money on interest charges.

In addition, the Brim Mastercard comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. It’s a great option for travellers who want to avoid paying extra fees when they use their cards abroad.

It’s also worth noting that the Brim Mastercard offers a rewards program. Cardholders can earn points for every dollar they spend, which can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, and merchandise. By using their Brim Mastercard for daily purchases, cardholders can quickly gain up to 30% back in points.

As one of the best credit cards in Canada, the Brim Mastercard offers a few different options to help cardholders financially protect themselves. They can take advantage of mobile device insurance, event ticket reimbursement, and common carrier accident insurance as a part of their benefits package.

There’s also a referral program where cardholders can earn up to $2,000 points ($20 value) for each friend or family member they refer to the Brim Mastercard.

The Brim Mastercard is an excellent credit card for consumers looking for a low-interest rate, no annual fee, and an all-inclusive rewards program. It’s also one of Canada’s best cash back credit cards and a great choice for frequent travellers.


Pros

  • + No interest fees
  • + 0% foreign transaction fees
  • + Free Boingo Wi-Fi when travelling
  • + Full-scale insurance coverage

Cons

  • 7% installment fee
  • Monthly processing fee

Triangle™ Mastercard®

star 9.9

Best purchase protection

  • Interest rates: Purchases 19.99%, cash advances 21.99-22.99%
  • Earn rate: 4% in Canadian Tire Money® on eligible purchases
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Annual fee: $0

The Triangle™ Mastercard® is a credit card that offers cash back on every purchase, as well as exclusive perks and rewards.

This card is one of the best Mastercard credit cards in Canada, and there’s a good reason behind that. For example, cardholders can enjoy free shipping on all online purchases and discounts at select retailers. This can be extremely beneficial because many Canadians like to shop online. According to some statistics on consumerism, 82% of Canadians shopped online in 2020.

Triangle™ Mastercard® has no annual fee and offers a 4% in Canadian Tire Money® on eligible purchases at Canadian Tire, Atmosphere, Sport Chek, Party City, and other stores. Cardholders can also collect 5¢ per litre in CT Money at Gas+ gas stations every time you fill up and 1.5% in CT Money® when buying groceries.

In addition, the Triangle™ Mastercard® comes with a few different insurance options that can help cardholders protect themselves financially. As one of the best insurance credit cards in Canada, the Triangle™ Mastercard® offers purchase protection, extended warranties, and car rental insurance as a part of their benefits package.

In addition to the cash back rewards, Triangle™ Mastercard® also offers a few other perks, such as a free extended warranty on eligible items and purchase protection against theft or damage.

Cardholders can also check all their rewards and manage their Triangle cards in one place with the Triangle app. The app is free to download and has several exciting features. You can use it to track your goals, review your personalised offers, or scan your card in stores to collect CT money you can later use to get gas or groceries.

The Triangle™ Mastercard®  is a great choice for anyone looking for a credit card with excellent rewards and benefits. It’s one of Canada’s best credit cards that can be used for everyday purchases as well as larger items like vacations or new electronics.


Pros

  • + Personalized bonus rewards through the mobile app
  • + 4% earn rate
  • + Exclusive CT Money earning opportunities
  • + Purchase security and extended warranty

Cons

  • Limited rewards program
  • 4% earn rate is based on pre-tax prices

Our Methodology: Choose the Best Credit Card in Canada

Credit cards are an integral part of everyday life for people in Canada. In fact, according to a survey from 2017, 82.58% of all Canadians aged fifteen or older owned a credit card.

Credit cards allow you to make purchases and build credit, which can be helpful when you need money for a large purchase or to make an emergency purchase.

However, with so many different credit cards available, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you. To help narrow the search, we used the following criteria:

Interest Rate

The interest rate is the amount of money you will be charged for borrowing money from the credit card company. It’s essential to choose a low-interest rate credit card to save money on your purchases.

If you carry a balance on your credit card, you will be charged interest on that balance. The interest rate is usually expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR). For example, if your APR is 19.99%, you will be charged 19.99% interest on any outstanding balances on your credit card.

And if you’re only making the minimum payments, it will take you a long time to pay off your debt, and you will end up paying a lot of interest.

Annual Fee

The annual fee is another essential factor we looked into to answer the question, “What are the best credit cards in Canada?” The fee can range from $0 to a few hundred dollars, and it’s important to find a card that fits your budget.

Some cards offer rewards or cashback programs that can offset the cost of the annual fee, so be sure to factor that in when making a decision.

We compared several different cards to find the best ones available in Canada. Cards with low or no annual fee and those with rewards or cashback programs were preferred.

Rewards Program

Another thing that can make or break a credit card for you is the rewards program. Do you want cashback? Airline miles? Hotel points? Choosing a card whose rewards align with your spending habits is best.

For example, if you often travel, finding one of the best air miles credit cards in Canada will help you rack up free flights faster. But a cashback credit card might be a better fit if you prefer to stay closer to home.

Apply for a Credit Card in Canada

Applying for a credit card in Canada is a relatively simple process, but there are a few things you need to know before getting started.

If you wish to apply for a credit card with some of the leading credit card providers in Canada, you’ll need to have a good credit score. This will give you the best chance of being approved for a credit card with favourable terms. Second, you’ll need to compare different credit cards to find one that best suits your needs.

There are many factors to consider, such as annual fees, interest rates, and rewards programs. Once you’ve found the right credit card, you can apply online or over the phone.

The application process will vary depending on the issuer, but you’ll generally need to provide your personal information and financial details. If approved, you’ll receive your new credit card in the mail and can start using it right away. With a bit of research and planning, anyone can easily apply for a credit card.

Bottom Line

The best credit cards in Canada offer a range of perks, including cash back, travel rewards, and low-interest rates. To choose the right card, consider your spending habits and financial goals. Be sure to compare different cards before applying to find the best fit.

With so many great options available, there’s no reason not to use a credit card in Canada and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.


FAQ

Is it better to close a credit card or leave it open with a zero balance?

It’s usually recommended to leave the credit card open with a zero balance. This is because closing the credit card will cause your credit score to drop. And a lower credit score can make it harder for you to get approved for new loans and lines of credit in the future.

Additionally, if you qualify for one of the best low-interest credit cards in Canada, keeping the credit card open can help improve your credit utilization ratio, which is another important factor that determines your credit score.

What does credit card churning mean?

Credit card churning is the practice of opening and closing credit cards to take advantage of sign-up bonuses. This can be a lucrative way to earn rewards, but approach the process carefully; if you open and close too many credit cards in a short period, it will hurt your credit score.

What is the average credit score in Canada?

Credit scores in Canada range from 300 to 900. According to TransUnion, the average credit score in Canada falls between 650 and 725. However, the credit score you need to get approved for a loan or line of credit will vary depending on the lender.

Some of the best credit cards in Canada have higher standards and require a score of 700 or above. Others are more lenient and may approve you with a score as low as 600.

Milica Milenkovic
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