Best Credit Cards in Canada 2018
If you’re looking to bathe yourself in points, miles, cash or simply bask in the glory of 0% interest rates, our latest picks for Canada’s Best Credit Cards for 2018 should get you lathered-up into a frenzy!
You can stick with the card you have in your wallet, but do so at your own risk. Click the navigation links below to get to your preferable credit category quicker:
GreedyRates’ Best Credit Cards in Canada
- Best Credit Card For People Looking For Cash Back: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
- Best Credit Card for Going Out: American Express Cobalt™ Credit Card
- Best Credit Card For People Looking For Free Travel: American Express Gold Rewards Card
- Best Credit Card For People With Credit Card Debt: MBNA Platinum Plus Mastercard
- Best Promotional Offer: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite
- Best Credit Card For Insurance Coverage: The BMO® World Elite™ Mastercard®
- Best Credit Card If You’re A Student: BMO SPC Mastercard
- Best Credit Card For Family Travel: WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
Best Credit Card for People Looking for Cash Back
If you are seeking cash back rewards, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite offers some of the most comprehensive cash back accrual rates in Canada.
To start off, new customers receive 5% cash back in the first three months on up to $3,000 of total spend ($150 cash back). More importantly, the cash back benefits don’t have a steep drop-off after the initial promotional period ends.
Cardholders are eligible to receive 4% cash back on select grocery and gas purchases—one of the highest regular rates in Canada for these purchase categories. This is capped at a very high annual spend limit of $25,000 ($1,000 cash back). The card also returns 2% cash back at pharmacies and automated recurring bills. All other purchases generate 1% cash back.
This may seem like enough, but Scotia’s Visa Infinite card also offers entry to fine dining experiences and music performances, and provides perks at luxury hotels. To add even more value, cardholders gain access to an around-the-clock concierge service for all their planning and reservation needs. Finally, the Scotia Momentum card offers excellent travel benefits including several kinds of travel insurance like medical, trip interruption, flight delay, and more.
All of this is sweetened by the fact that the card waives its annual fee for the first 12 months.
Best Credit Card for Going Out
A night out on the town in Canada is rarely cheap. But with the new Cobalt card from American Express, cardholders can earn accelerated reward points on all their restaurant spend, and then redeem these points on travel and entertainment.
The card’s standout feature is its massive earning rate on food: 5 points per $1 spent on dining out (and in!). This includes restaurants, bars, takeout, and even groceries. Points are also earned on travel in all its forms, with 2 points accrued per $1 spent on taxis, ridesharing, rail, gas, and airfare.
A great system for earning rewards on what you spend is complemented by Amex’s generous bonus offer. The introductory promotion allows new cardholders to get up to 40,000 points in their first year – just for signing up before January 30th, 2018 and meeting some easy spending milestones. 1 rewards point is equal to $0.01, giving the first-year bonus a potential value of $400. Cardholders can redeem their rewards by treating themselves to concerts, sport events, theatre, or any other Ticketmaster event they like. Or, if they prefer to get out of town, they cash in the rewards for a long-haul flight to virtually anywhere in Canada or the continental United States.
Best Credit Card For People Looking For Free Travel
This card is phenomenal if you’re looking for a rich sign-up bonus, redemption flexibility, insurance and a great rewards rate.
The card comes with a great welcome bonus. First, it comes with a 25,000 point welcome bonus. The great thing about the welcome bonus is that you can either use it as a $250 credit against any travel expense on your credit card statement. Or, you can convert it to Aeroplan miles 1:1 at no extra cost, meaning it effectively becomes a 25,000 bonus Aeroplan miles!
The Amex Gold Rewrds card also happens to be a great rewards earner, but more than that, the highest earning Aeroplan credit card in the country. You get 2 points per dollar spent in grocery, gas, pharmacy and all travel purchases and 1 point everywhere else. Remember, if you convert your points to Aeroplan that’s 2 Aeroplan miles in gas, grocery, pharmacy and all travel! The best any other Aeroplan credit card does is offer 1.5 miles per dollar spent!
With 25,000 points that can be converted into a $250 travel credit or 25,000 Aeroplan miles, you can redeem for a return flight to anywhere in North America from any Canadian city!
Best Credit Card For People With Credit Card Debt
If you have credit card debt and you’re paying interest, there’s hope. The truth is, if your credit is fine, you can avoid paying any interest. That’s right, you can pay 0% interest for an entire year. It’s cheaper than a home equity line of credit or a personal loan.
The MBNA Platinum Plus Mastercard comes with no annual fee and offers a 0% interest rate for 12 months. The only cost is a 1% balance transfer fee.
The potential savings with this card are huge. If you owe $5,500 in credit card debt at an interest rate of 19.9% you’d save over $965 in interest costs in one year alone!!! All your monthly payments will go towards paying down your debt, not interest. It’s also a great way to consolidate all of your credit card and store card debts, so that you end-up with one simple payment per month.
Best Promotional Offer
The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card is a relatively new offering that has managed to fly under the radar until now. But its new introductory bonus might make it very popular: customers who sign up by March 1st, 2018 accrue an industry-leading 6% cash back on all purchases (on up to $3,500 of total spend). Another big bonus that new cardholders receive is a rebate for the first year’s annual fee.
After the promotional period ends, 1% is earned on all purchases made with the card. That figure jumps to 3% on eligible gas, groceries, and recurring payments set up with your account (like bills). TD offers a flexible way to redeem the cash back. Instead of waiting a full year to access the cash back they collected, cardholders can redeem their rewards at any time to pay down existing balances.
TD’s Cash Back Visa Infinite card also includes free around-the-clock concierge and roadside assistance services, access to Food and Wine Experiences, as well as perks at over 900 top hotels around the world.
*Minimal income requirement: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income.
Best Credit Card For Insurance Coverage
The benefits of credit card membership are not limited to merchandise rewards or airfare; another advantage offered by select cards is protection during life’s unexpected and unfortunate incidents. The BMO World Elite Mastercard is ideal for those who value these perks, as the card comes with a broad variety of travel insurance features that keep cardholders safe while they are away from home.
The BMO World Elite card includes one of the most sought after travel features for Canadians: out-of-province emergency medical insurance. Those who experience a medical emergency during their travels have $2 million-worth of coverage at their disposal designed to defray hospital and other care costs.
But medical emergencies are just one of many complications that may arise during travel, and this Mastercard extends its protective advantages to other areas of necessity. Members will enjoy insurance for rental cars, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight delay, and baggage. The card also comes with a wealth of additional trip assistance services including emergency cash advance, lost document replacement and more. Coverage is unlimited, meaning that each of these features applies to every trip, no matter how frequent.
For an extra fee, cardholders can access balance protection as well, an insurance feature which guarantees that their balance is paid in the event of disability, job loss, loss of life or limb, and critical or terminal illness. Considering that cardmembers are also exempt from the first year’s annual fee (limited time offer), receive a welcome bonus of 20,000 points, earn rewards at a lucrative 2% rate, and gain VIP access to airport lounges, the BMO World Elite has set the bar very high for travel cards.
Best Credit Card If You’re A Student
Getting you’re first credit card when you’re a student should be a simple task. You want a card that offers easy approval, does not require income or proof of income and offers great rewards!
Unfortunately, not all Canadian student credit cards fit the bill. In fact, some require that you hold a part-time job and show proof of income. Not exactly friendly to the full-time student. Others require you pay an annual fee, which makes no sense.
That’s why we love the BMO SPC Student Mastercard. It comes with no annual fee, no income required, and has 2 amazing rewards programs built into one card. First, you get automatic membership into the SPC Card student program – a savings of $10 on the membership fee each and every year you’re in school. Second, you get 10-15% discounts at hundreds of retailers across Canada through SPC.
Lastly, you can either get the cash back or Air Miles no fee student credit card. The BMO SPC Cash back card offers a welcome bonus of $60 and 1% cash back on all purchases, and the no fee Air Miles card comes with a 500 Air Miles welcome bonus!
Best Credit Card For Family Travel
WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard
If you’re looking for a credit card that can help lighten the cost of travelling with your spouse and kids, there’s no better card than the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard.
To start, the WestJet World Elite MasterCard comes with a $250 WestJet Dollar sign-up bonus travel credit, in addition to an annual companion voucher. Both the bonus and voucher can be used on the same itinerary. For example, you can use the $250 on your ticket, and for the same trip buy your spouses ticket (plus taxes and fees) for $99 to any destination in North America.
But what also makes this card really stand-out, is that it offers first checked bag free for the primary cardholder and up to 8 travelling companions! With checked baggage now costing up to $30 each way, for a family of 4 that could be equal to a savings of $240 return per trip! Not only that, you get your first checked bag free whether it’s a rewards flight or not.
Lastly, the WestJet World Elite MasterCard offers solid protection, with Travel Medical Insurance for you and the entire family while your out of country or out of province. In fact, you don’t even have to fly to get covered, you can drive down to the U.S. and your families still protected.
For more travel categories, visit our Best Travel Credit Card Rankings in Canada page.