Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers In Canada

Last updated on October 14, 2018 Views: 547 Comments: 0
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Why Do Canadians Want a Balance Transfer Credit Card?

For people with credit card debt, perhaps there’s no better bank-beating strategy than having a bank lend you its own money for free! That’s exactly what a 0% balance transfer credit card does, by allowing you to transfer your higher interest credit card & store card debt to a balance transfer credit card with a lower interest rate, typically 0%-2.99%, for 6-12 months.

Many Canadian households have credit card balances in excess of $8,000, paying 19.99% interest or more, incurring interest charges of at least $1,600 per year on their credit cards! Enter the 0% balance transfer credit card, and you can see why so many Canadians are attracted to a 0% interest rate to save big, reduce their monthly payment and get rid of debt faster.

What to Look for When Choosing a Balance Transfer Card

When looking for a low balance transfer credit card, you should always evaluate three features:

  • The promotional interest rate
  • The length of time of the promotion
  • The balance transfer fee

It’s easy to be seduced by a really low interest rate, but beware: the rate is promotional, and doesn’t last forever. What happens once the promotion ends? The interest rate suddenly skyrockets up 20% higher, and you’re back to drowning in debt.

Low AIR or Long Promotional Period?

Consider this before you choose a card that offers a low promotional interest rate for a short period of time: among all the balance transfer-related comments we get on GreedyRates, about 40% of them are people asking how they should go about either extending the promotional period on their card or re-transferring their balance to another card with another promotion. 10 months might sound like plenty of time to pay off a balance, but as many of our readers tell us time and time again, it can fly by faster than you expect.

Not sure if you should go for a card with a low interest rate for a short length of time or a card with a higher interest rate for a longer period of time? We recommend you do the following:

  • If you haven’t already, create a budget of your monthly income vs. expenses.
  • Figure out about how much you’ll have left over each month to dedicate toward paying off your transferred credit card balance.
  • Divide the amount of credit card debt you have by the amount you can pay each month.

If the number you get is between 6-10, we recommend that you go with a balance transfer card that offers between 6-10 months at a low interest rate. If the number is higher than 10, we recommend taking a little bit of pressure off your shoulders and choosing a card that offers a longer promotional period with a slightly higher interest rate.

Top Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Credit CardBalance Transfer Intro RateAnnual FeeCard ReviewApply for Card
CIBC Platinum Visa* Card0% for 10 months$0Read MoreApply Now
MBNA True Line® Mastercards®0% for 6 months, conditions apply.
12.99% APR
$0Read MoreApply Now
MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercards®0% for 6 months, conditions apply.
8.99% APR
$39Read MoreApply Now
RBC Visa Platinum Card5.9%
For 30 months
$0Read MoreApply Now
Scotia Value Visa Card0.99%
For 6 months
$29Read MoreApply Now
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card1.95%
For 6 months
$0Read MoreApply Now
Best Western MasterCard®1.99%
For 10 months
$0Read MoreApply Now
American Express SimplyCash Credit Card1.99%
For 6 months
$0Read MoreApply Now
RBC Cash Back Mastercard 1.9%
For 10 months
$0Read MoreApply Now
RBC Visa Infinite Avion1.9%
For 10 months
$120Read MoreApply Now
BMO Air Miles Mastercard 1.99%
For 9 months
$0Read MoreApply Now
MBNA Harley Davidson MasterCard1.99%
For 10 months
$0Read MoreApply Now
Scotia Momentum Visa Card2.99%
For 6 months
$39Read MoreApply Now
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard3.99%
For 3 months
$20Read MoreApply Now

cibc platinum visaCIBC Platinum Visa* Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0

One of the top balance transfer deals available in Canada comes courtesy of the CIBC Platinum Visa* card, which currently offers 0% interest on balance transfers for an industry-leading 10 months. Like its 0% balance transfer competitors from True Line, the CIBC card comes with no annual fee and charges a 1% fee for each individual balance transfer made. Unlike the True Line cards, CIBC only authorizes balance transfer amounts up to 50% of the card’s assigned credit limit—MBNA allows amounts up to the card’s full credit limit.

The CIBC Platinum Visa also comes with basic auto rental insurance (collision and loss damage), and is broadly accessible to the average Canadian, with a minimum annual income requirement of just $15,000.

Click here to apply for the CIBC Platinum Visa* card


MBNA True Line MasterCardMBNA True Line® Mastercard®

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $0

The only 0% balance transfer promotion currently available to Canadians is offered by MBNA, and it applies to two of its credit cards. The True Line® Mastercard® is a great option for those who want to take advantage of this 0% promotion and are averse to paying an annual fee. MBNA allows those who apply before December 31, 2018 to transfer up to their available credit limit within 90 days of receiving the card, and pay 0% interest on those transferred balances for 6 months. After the promotional period ends the rate rises to 12.99% for balance transfers. Purchases are subject to the same interest rate, which is very low for a no annual fee credit card. The combination of $0 annual fees, zero interest, and $0 minimum income requirements is unique in the market.

Choosing between this card and the even lower-interest Gold card is a matter of mathematics. Before choosing, ask yourself: will the reduction by 4.00% to your interest rates help you save more than the $0 you’re paying in fees? It often will, but there are cases in which it will not, making the annual fee a waste of money. Here’s a quick example:

If your balance transfer is for $1,000 and it takes you an extra month to pay it off, you’ll be charged one month of interest at 12.99% with the True Line card. That’s about $10.83 you’ve accrued in interest. If you had put your balance on the True Line® Gold card instead, you’d pay about $4.59 less in interest but $0 on top for the annual fee. Increasing the amount of your balance and the length of time you carry it month-to-month increases the relative value of lower interest, however, so it’s important to take stock of your own situation before choosing between the two.

Apply for the True Line® Mastercard®


MBNA True Line MasterCardMBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $39

The True Line® Gold Mastercard® also comes with a promotional balance transfer rate of 0% for 6 months. The rate applies to every balance transferred within 90 days of receiving the card, and those who apply before December 31, 2018. Cardholders will pay a 1% fee per balance transfer, amounting to 1.00% of the total transferred, regardless of whether it’s a loan, line of credit, or from another credit card. However, the 0% interest rate for 6 months offers superior savings power, especially given that most credit cards accrue interest of 20% plus. Like the True Line® Mastercard®, those who apply for the Gold Mastercard® are also subject to terms and conditions.

Though the promotional interest rate might catch your attention, in our opinion the card’s real standout features kick in *after* the promotion has ended. Instead of pumping the interest rate back past 20.00%–a risk for those who aren’t able to pay off their balance during the 6-month promotion—the rate increases to a manageable 8.99%. The purchase rate is also 8.99% by default, making the card feasible for daily use as well. There are few better cards for escaping high interest, whether amid a favourable promotion or afterwards, and MBNA charges only $39 annually for the Gold card and imposes $fair_good minimum income requirements.

Apply for the True Line® Gold Mastercard® here


Tangerine cash back credit cardNo annual fee, 2% accelerated cash back on 2 selected categories, 0.50% cash back everywhere else.Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0

Tangerine’s Money-Back credit card offers an advantageous balance transfer option to new cardholders, who pay just 1.95% interest on the balance for 6 months. There’s a 1% transfer fee and no “apply by” date. This perk complements the card’s flexible savings power, with the ability to choose any 2 of 10 purchase categories to earn 2% cash back in. People with large families who spend a bundle on groceries can pick the grocery category and start earning cash back, with other categories including common buys like restaurants, gas, home improvement, drug store purchases and recurring bills. Categories can be swapped at any time you like.

It’s also possible to get a third cash back category by signing up for a Tangerine Savings Account and having your cash back deposited there. When you consider that you’ll also earn 0.5% cash back on everything else, the savings will quickly add up. Peripheral perks on the card are the absence of an annual fee, as well as standard 90-day purchase insurance and extended warranties by up to an additional year.

Click here to apply for the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard


Scotiabank no-fee Value Visa CardScotiabank Value Visa Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $12000
– Annual fees: $29

The Scotiabank Value Visa Card offers a 0.99% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (accounts must be opened by date included in the terms and conditions; please click on the link below). There is a $29 annual fee. The advantage of this card is that at the end of the 6 month introductory period, the go to interest rate will be 12.99% on your transferred balance and new purchases. We always recommend trying to pay down your balance during the promotional period. If you haven’t, we would recommend transferring your balance to another low balance transfer credit card offer (balance surfing), 1 month prior to the promotional rate expiring. That way you will be sure to beat even a low rate of 12.99%.

Click here to apply for the Scotiabank Value Visa Card


Best Western MasterCardBest Western MasterCard®

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $
– Annual fees: $0

This is another card from MBNA that offers a 1.99% APR for 10 months on balance transfers and $0 annual fee. After that, the interest rate (APR) on transferred balances will be 19.99%. Instead of a pure balance transfer credit card, the Best Western MasterCard® is a hotel rewards card, with $0 annual fee and a 20000 point sign-up bonus with your first purchase – enough for a free nights stay.  Might as well get a free hotel night while transferring your balance!

There is a 1% balance transfer fee. This is a good card for those looking for a very strong balance transfer offer – 10 months is the second longest one out their, but also value a free hotel night stay welcome bonus!

Click here to apply for the Best Western MasterCard


American Express SimplyCash Credit Card

SimplyCash PreferredEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: poor_fair
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $0

The $0 annual fee SimplyCash card from American Express offers a 1.99% balance transfer rate for the first 6 months, with 0% balance transfer fee at time of application. Amex will allow you to transfer up to 50% of your available credit line, to a maximum of $7,500. Balance transfers are subject to a 0% transfer fee at time of application – a great deal.

The advantage of this card is that it can act as both a low balance transfer card & a cashback rewards card all in one. This card is great for those looking for a low interest balance transfer offer, a $0 annual fee card or a credit card with 2.5% cash back on all purchases in the first 3 months (up to $150 in cash back), and 1.25% on all other purchases all the time – Canada’s market leading flat rate cash back card!

Click here to apply for the American Express SimplyCash Credit Card


Cash Back Mastercard With No Annual FeeRBC Cash Back Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0

The RBC Cash Back MasterCard has $0 annual fee and offers a 1.9% promotional interest rate on balance transfers and cash advances for 10 months with no transfer fee for new cardholders!

This is the only credit card in Canada we know of that comes with such a low balance transfer and cash advance promotional rate, with a 3% transfer fee.

The RBC card ends up being a great card to surf to after your promotional rate from another balance transfer card expires.

Click here to apply for the RBC Cash Back MasterCard


RBC Visa Infinite AvionRBC Visa Infinite Avion

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $60000
– Annual fees: $120

RBC’s balance transfer promotion isn’t exactly 1.9%, but it comes close enough to make it a competitive entry in the race for “Best Balance Transfer Card in Canada”—especially with a relatively lengthy 10-month promotional period. New cardholders who transfer their balance(s) to the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card will enjoy paying just 1.9% interest on this amount until 10 months after their account was first opened. In a useful twist of functionality, the 1.9% rate is also applied to cash advances made during this window. It’s important to note that the interest rate returns to the standard 19.99% upon the conclusion of the promotional period, so we recommend this card only to those that can pay off their transferred balances in their entirety during the 10-month promotion. Remember, like a lot of the special offers on GreedyRates the promotion is available to those who apply through our link, but will not necessarily show up when looking at RBC’s own card page.

Aside from transferring debt or advancing cash up to their approved credit limit with RBC, cardholders also enjoy an array of perks that make travelling safe and inexpensive. The card generates 1.25 RBC Rewards points for every $1 they spend on travel—hotels, cruises, rental cars, flights, and more—and can spend these points on the same, but also on merchandise and cash credits to their own statement. There are no blackout dates, seating restrictions, or airline limitations for cardholders, and RBC points are transferrable to many other rewards programs.

Though its annual fee is on the steeper side at $120, the thoughtful inclusion of medical insurance and coverage rental cars, trip interruptions, trip cancellations, and new purchases is a significant boon.

Click here to apply for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion


Carte MasterCard BMO AIR MILESThe BMO Air Miles Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0

For those who want to reduce their travel expenses, but also shelter an outstanding balance from high interest rates, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard is a very suitable option.

New cardholders who want to consolidate their other balances with BMO can do a balance transfer and pay 1.99% interest on this amount for 9 whole months. In the meantime, purchases earn Air Miles at a rate of 1 for every $20 spent. You’ll get 20000 bonus Miles as well, which carries about a $52.5 equivalence. With $0 annual fee, that means BMO is almost paying you to sign up.

Including the generous introductory bonus, those in the habit of spending at least $1,500 per month will end their first year with over 1,400 Air Miles. That’s enough for a round-trip flight from Toronto to New York.

Finally, as an added perk, cardholders can save up to 25.00% off the cost of their car rental, when using the card at Alamo or National Car Rental branches across Canada. At these two franchises, and at Shell, Air Miles are earned at an accelerated rate.

Click here to apply for the BMO Air Miles Mastercard


Harley-Davidson® Mastercard® credit cardMBNA Harley-Davidson Platinum Plus Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $
– Annual fees: $0

Cards like the Scotiabank GM Visa help people save up for a new car or truck with their everyday purchases, but there are few options that exist for those who prefer two wheels instead of four. MBNA fills this gap with their Harley-Davidson Platinum Plus Mastercard, which also offers a competitive balance transfer bonus for new members. Applicants transferring their balance from another bank will pay just 1.99% interest on the sum of their transfer for a whole 10 months, allowing them some precious time to get ahead of their bills and escalating interest.

Balance transfer aside, the card is also unique for its focus on Harley-Davidson motorcycles and the people who love them. Most know that Harley buyers are loyal for life, but buying a quality bike is expensive. Accordingly, it’s a big advantage to be able to save up Harley-Davidson Genuine Rewards with every purchase. Cardholders get 1 point for every $2 they spend with the MBNA card, which can be redeemed for Harley Chrome Cash and then used for a discount on the price of a new Harley. Chrome Cash is also helpful for buying motorcycle apparel and even for servicing your bike at a Harley dealership.

For $0 annual fee, the card is already worthwhile, but MBNA sweetens the deal with a chance to win a Harley motorcycle with every purchase you make. Each purchase enters you into a quarterly lottery, with the winner walking away with a new bike. The card also comes with insurance perks as well, including extended warranties and purchase protection, plus coverage for travel accidents, trip interruption, and rental car theft, damage, accidents, and personal effects.

Click here to apply for the Harley-Davidson Platinum Plus Mastercard


BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $20

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is aptly named, because what it lacks in extraneous perks like insurance or rewards points, it makes up for with a competitive interest rate. The normal rate for purchases and cash advances with the card is just 11.9%, so those who plan on carrying a balance from month to month will incur less interest than with cards with rates that can climb to upwards of 25.00%.

For balance transfers made to the Preferred Rate Mastercard, cardholders will pay 3.99% interest for carrying this transferred balance month-to-month and can enjoy this low rate for 3 consecutive months. Furthermore, the card’s annual fee is also light on the wallet at just $20. While there are cards with a lower purchase interest rate and a lower balance transfer rate, there are few (if any) that combine the two so well.

The icing on the cake is BMO’s addition of purchase protection for new items purchased with the card and the extension of manufacturer’s warranties by up to an additional year.

Click here to apply for the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard


Scotia Momentum VisaScotia Momentum Visa Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $12000
– Annual fees: $39

New to the Scotia Momentum Visa is a solid balance transfer deal for 2.99% interest on transfers for the first 6 months. It comes with some caveats: balance transfers cannot come from within Scotiabank and accounts must be opened by October 31, 2018 to get the promotion. A new cardholder who’s avoiding excessive interest payments could multiply their savings due to the card’s 2% cash back rate on groceries, gas, drug stores and recurring bills. Everything else earns cash back at 1%, and the annual fee on the Momentum Visa is a very reasonable $39.

It’s also important to note that in terms of cash back, the rate is on a diminishing schedule. Cardholders will receive 2%, minimum spend of $3,000 in first 3 months, after which they will start to earn 1%. Additional features on the card are expected but appreciated, such as purchase security and extended warranty protection, and 25% off base rates at Avis and Budget rental car branches.

Click here to apply for the Scotia Momentum Visa credit card


RBC VISA Platinum CardRBC Visa Platinum Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $0

We should start by qualifying this entry: the RBC Visa Platinum Card doesn’t offer a 0% balance transfer rate. But it’s worth the attention of anyone with large credit card debts because it does offer a relatively low promotional balance transfer interest rate, and the offer lasts for an inordinately long amount of time. Balance transfers are charged at only 5.9% APR for a massive 30 months, which is a very generous window of time to pay down credit card debt.

In addition to its lengthy promotional period, the RBC Visa Platinum Card also comes with $0 annual fee. You’ll get a free second card for an authorized cardholder, a hefty credit limit of up to $50,000 and perks that include premium vehicle insurance, travel insurance, RBC special offers in fashion, dining, and car rentals, and a discount of up to 3¢ per liter on fuel and 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada. You can get more details by reading our complete RBC Visa Platinum Card review.

Click here to apply for the RBC Visa Platinum Card

Find Balance in Your Financial Life

Balance transfer cards can be relied on as useful tools for consolidating balances and loans and finding shelter from high interest rates. Make sure that you’re saving the most money possible by entering your potential transfer amount, current interest rate, fees and other details into our handy balance transfer savings calculator. The calculator will help you narrow down the balance transfer credit cards that are best for your circumstances.

Remember, if you’re still stuck, you can always reach out to us! Leave a comment below or shoot us an email, and we’ll get back to you shortly. And before you go, take a minute to give us your thoughts on this hot topic in personal finance:

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