10 Insane Facts About Canadian Credit Cards That Will Blow Your Mind!

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Last updated on February 10, 2021 Comments: 5

Canadians sure love their plastic. Here are just ten interesting facts about Canadian credit cards that you probably didn’t know:

  1. In 2019, the overall credit card balances in Canada reached a record high of over $100 billion for the first time in history.
  2. The average credit card debt in 2019 in Canada was about $4,240. If you’re stuck in debt yourself, don’t worry. There are ways to pay off credit card debt quickly.
  3. In 2018 (the latest year stats were available) there were approximately 79.6 million credit cards issued in just one year in Canada.
  4. A total of 70% of Canadians pay their credit card balance in full each month. Paying off your full balance every month is the most important rule of owning a credit card, so hopefully, we’ll see this number increase next year!
  5. The average charge on a credit card in Canada is $94.76.
  6. The average credit score in Canada (a major factor in determining your eligibility for a credit card, along with income) is 650. If you’re not sure whether that score is good or bad, we’ve got a full guide to credit scores you can check out.
  7. Nearly three-quarters of Canadians (72%) carry at least one credit card that has a rewards program. In fact, 82% of Canadians surveyed, rewards are a priority when selecting a credit card. If you haven’t already, it’s never too late to learn how to take advantage of credit card rewards.
  8. A total of 96.8 million Visa and MasterCard cards are in circulation in Canada. That’s more than 2.5 credit cards for every citizen!
  9. 15% of Canadians have a credit card spending limit under $2,000, while approximately 41% have a credit card spending limit over $10,000.
  10. Credit card fraud amounts to $800 million a year in Canada. Ouch! Make sure you’re shopping safely to prevent falling victim to credit card fraud.

* Information was compiled using data from the CBCTransUnionStatista, LoansCanada, SimpleRate, and data publicly available through company annual reports, and disclosures.

Author Bio

Sandra MacGregor
Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, Forbes.com and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town. You can follow her on Twitter at @MacgregorWrites.

Article comments

Tom says:

While you make good points you seem a little off on some of your assumptions. First let’s be clear that you are talking about “bank issued” credit cards, that does not include credit unions and other issuers. Given that a significant percentage of our population is too young, or otherwise unqualified, to obtain a bank issued credit card, the distribution is more like 6 cards for every qualified adult. In 2018, the CBA reported over $547 billion of charges on bank issued credit cards. Very few people are ever able to pay off their balances – if the balance as at the 14th of the month (statement date) is paid in full on the 27th (due date) there remains half a month’s worth of charges still on the card. In 2018 (the last year stats were available) there were 75.8 million cards in “circulation” (not actually “issued” that year). Noteworthy of the average charge point, is that since the records have been kept, 1977, after adjusting for inflation the quantum has decreased significantly – indicative of the use of credit cards for general purchases such as a coffee or a loaf of bread. But well done, nonetheless, on bringing this important issue to people’s attention.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Tom,
Appreciate you sharing your insights here.

Paul says:

Hey Guys,
What is the sample size of the statistics?
The average spend per active credit card account of $9,700 — is this annual?
Thank you!

Alison Setton says:

Great stats!

Aaron Broverman says:

Thanks Alison,
I’m glad we can provide you with new information and am glad you learned something. This is ultimately what we try to do with every article.