Best Credit Cards for Quebec Residents
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Best Credit Cards for Quebec Residents

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Last updated on November 18, 2022

Have you ever noticed that occasionally the rules for credit cards can sometimes be different depending on which region of Canada you live in? It’s especially common with citizens of Quebec, who may not pay the same interest rates, get the same credit card welcome offers, or pay the same fees as credit card users in the rest of the country. Sometimes a specific credit card may not even be available at all to Quebec residents.

To ensure Canadians living in “la belle province” can pick the perfect plastic for their needs, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best credit cards for residents of Quebec. While there are other credit cards on the market for Quebecers, we think our picks are particularly outstanding — read on to find out why.

Best Credit Cards for Quebecers Compared

CardBest ForBiggest PerkAnnual Fee
Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardCash BackChoose where you earn extra cash back$0
Refresh Financial Secured CardBad CreditGuaranteed approval (conditions apply)$48.95 ($12.95/annual fee + $3/maintenance fee per month)
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* CardTravelOnline exclusive: Earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points. Plus, first year no Annual Fee. Conditions Apply. Must apply online by January 3, 2023.$139 (first-year annual fee rebate)
Scotiabank Gold American Express® CardNo Foreign Transaction FeesNo foreign trans. fees on overseas purchases + 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible groceries, restaurants, and entertainment$120
HSBC +Rewards MastercardLow Interest11.9% interest rate on purchases, 11.9% on cash advances, and 11.9% on balance transfers$25
BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for StudentsStudents3% cash back on groceries*$0
BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*Rewards4 annual airport lounge passes*$150

Terms and conditions apply.

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card offer is not available to residents outside of Quebec. For non-Quebec residents, please click here.

Best for Cash Back

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

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Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: $12,000
– Age: 18+/Age of majority
– Residency: Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident
– Other: No bankruptcy for the past 7 years

Yes, that’s right! The best credit card in Canada for cash back is actually one without an annual fee. The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card regularly earns 2% back on purchases in up to three categories of your choice, and there are 10 categories to choose from. You earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases. Cash back is paid out monthly and there is no maximum spending limit for any purchase category, so your earnings are unlimited. The card also features purchase insurance and extended warranty insurance.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card currently features some amazing welcome offers: Special 15% cash back rate* on the first $1,000 spent with the card ($150 cash back) in the first two months, apply by December 29, 2022. New cardholders can also take advantage of a balance transfer promotion that features a low promotional interest rate of 1.95% on transferred balances for 6 months and there is no balance transfer fee for residents of Quebec.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card review.

*Terms and Conditions apply

Runner-Up for Cash Back: SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express is a contender for best cash back card because of its super bonus offer: In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $40 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $400 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.

And if you dig the Tangerine card’s 2% cash back offered in a few categories, it might be worth it to pay a $9.99/month (Equals a total fee of $119.88 annually) annual fee for the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express, which gives you 4% cash back on eligible gas station purchases in Canada, 4% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases in Canada (up to $1,200 cash back annually) and 2% cash back on all other purchases. You’ll earn enough cash back to cover the annual fee and then some if you charge about $5,000 or more to the card each year, which is very realistic for the average Quebecer.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express review

Best for Bad Credit

Refresh Financial Secured Card

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Who’s Eligible?
– Recommended Credit Score: Bad-Poor
– Minimum Income: $0
– Minimum Deposit: $200

The Refresh Financial Secured Card can be a lifeline for anyone who has trouble getting approved for a credit card due to a history of bad credit or a past bankruptcy. Because it’s a secured credit card, you provide the deposit (Refresh Financial has a minimum deposit requirement of $200 up to a max of $10,000). Your security deposit acts as your credit limit and also guarantees repayment of any debt you charge to the card. The card operates just like any regular credit card; as long as you pay off your balance each month in a timely manner, you can gradually build up your credit score as you shop.

There is no credit check when you apply for the Refresh Financial Secured Card and approval is guaranteed as long as you provide a security deposit. The card comes with an annual fee of $48.95 ($12.95/annual fee + $3/maintenance fee per month), which is not bad at all for a card that can help you seriously increase your credit score. Note that the card does charge a higher-than-average rate of 3.5% for any purchase that is not in Canadian dollars. Other fees to beware of include the $0.50 bill payment fee and the $5 fee to use an ATM (Canadian or international). Furthermore, there is a fee of $5 if you go over your spending limit and if you go over your spending limit twice, the card will be cancelled. Overall, the card charges quite high fees so be sure to familiarize yourself with the fee schedule.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Refresh Financial Secured Card review.

* This card is owned and issued by Digital Commerce Bank pursuant to license by Visa International. Use of the card is governed by the agreement under which it is issued. The Visa Brand is a registered trademark of Visa International. All credit and approvals are provided by Refresh Card Solutions Inc. Digital Commerce Bank provides no credit or loans. All funding and lending for this program is provided by Refresh Card Solutions Inc.

Best for Travel

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

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Eligibility Criteria:
– Standard Purchase APR: 20.99%
– Balance Transfer APR: 20.99%
– Cash Advance APR: 20.99%
– Current Promotion Expires: January 3, 2023
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $60,000
– Annual fees: $139 (Annual Fee Rebate the first year)

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card is one of the most outstanding credit cards for frequent fliers because it makes it easy to earn Aeroplan points.

Earn up to $1,400 in value including up to 50,000 Aeroplan points, no annual fee for the first year and additional travel benefits. Must apply online by January 3, 2023.

  • Earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card
  • Earn 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $1,500 within 90 days of Account opening
  • Plus, earn an additional 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of Account opening
  • Enroll for NEXUS and once every 48 months get an application fee rebate†, and share free first checked bags
  • Plus, get an annual fee rebate for the first year

To receive the first-year annual fee rebate, you must activate your Card and make your first Purchase on the Account within the first 3 months after Account opening and you must add your Additional Cardholders by January 4, 2023.

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card earns 1.5 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and Air Canada purchases. You earn 1 Aeroplan point for every $1 on all other purchases. You can also earn 50% more Aeroplan Points and 50% more Stars at participating Starbucks® stores. Simply link your TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card to your Starbucks® Rewards account. Conditions apply. Learn more here.

The card also comes with extensive travel insurance like hotel/motel burglary, Travel Medical Insurance, and rental car insurance. Extra perks include a NEXUS fee rebate and a free checked bag for the card holder and up to eight travel companions on Air Canada flights.

Click here to apply for the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card.

This offer is not available to residents outside of Quebec. For non-Quebec residents, please click here.

Terms and conditions apply.

Runner-Up for Travel: Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card has a very different set of benefits compared to the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, starting first and foremost with its basic rewards system. The Passport™ Visa Infinite* earns Scene+ points, which may be less widely known than Aeroplan points, though they’re just as valuable.

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card is also distinct from the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card in that it offers six free annual airport lounge visits (the most of any credit card in Canada with an annual fee of under $200) and it’s one of the few Canadian credit cards that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Finally, it has high earning potential, at 3X Scene+™ points on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland & Participating Co-ops, and more eligible grocers. Earn 2 Scene+™ points on every $1 you spend on other eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit purchases (including buses, subways, taxis and more), and earn 1 Scene+™ point on every $1 you spend on all other eligible purchases. The annual fee is $150.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card review.

¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card to learn more.

Best for No Foreign Transaction Fees

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Minimum Income: $12,000
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian citizen or permanent resident
– Other: No bankruptcies in the past seven years

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card is one of the few credit cards in Canada that doesn’t charge a foreign exchange fee when you make purchases in foreign dollars, which can save you 2.5% when you travel outside Canada or shop online at non-Canadian sites. New Cardholders can earn up to $850* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived.¹ Offer ends April 30, 2023.

With one of the top earn rates in the country for these categories, the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card earns 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD you spend on eligible grocery, dining and entertainment purchases. Get 3X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on gas, eligible daily transit and select streaming services. You’ll earn 6X Scene+ points for each $1 CAD charged to your account on all eligible purchases¹ at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. The card also comes with strong travel insurance, a discounted Priority Pass membership and concierge service.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express® card review.

¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card to learn more.

Runner-Up for No Foreign Transaction Fees: HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®

The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® also waives foreign transaction fees for non-Canadian dollar purchases, and its welcome bonus is massive: Quebecers who apply by February 28, 2023, can get up to 110,000 Points* ($550 travel value), but unfortunately there’s no rebate available to Quebecers for the card’s $149 annual fee. Conditions Apply. Here is breakdown of the components of the Welcome Bonus:

  • Welcome bonus of 20,000 points* ($100 travel value)
  • Earn 70,000 points* when you keep your account open and active for 6 months ($350 travel value)
  • Earn 20,000 points* as an anniversary bonus ($100 travel value)
  • Receive a $100 annual travel enhancement credit*

The card earns its accelerated points in different categories than the Scotia Gold Amex: With the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® you’ll earn 6 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases* and 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases*—equivalent to 3% and 1.5% earn rates respectively when redeemed for travel rewards*. And, as a Mastercard, the HSBC card will of course be accepted at more vendors than the Scotia Gold Amex.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® review.

This offer is only available to residents of Quebec (residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec eligible for separate offer).

*Terms and Conditions apply.

®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.

Best for Low Interest

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Recommended Credit Score: 630+
– Minimum Income: N/A
– Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province
– Residency: Canadian

The HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® stands out first and foremost for its low interest rates of 11.9% on purchases, 11.9% on cash advance, and 11.9% on balance transfers, as well as for its low annual fee of $25. Not only that, but cardholders can earn rewards, which is very unusual for a low interest card. Get 2 points for every $1 spent on dining or entertainment purchases and 1 point for all other spending. The card also has a solid Special Offer for Quebecers who apply by February 28, 2023, worth up to $200 in total value* for the first year, conditions apply.

  • Earn 40,000 points* when you keep your account open and active for 180 days ($200 travel value)

Another very rare benefit of the card is price protection: If you buy something with the card and then within 60 days of your purchase you find that same item listed for cheaper than what you paid, you can get reimbursed up to $500 per occurrence, up to $1,000 annually.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® review.

This offer is only available to residents of Quebec (residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec eligible for separate offer).

*Terms and Conditions apply.

®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.

Best for Students

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for Students

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Income: At least some annual income from employment, scholarship/grant, student loan or family allowance.
– Age: Between ages 18-24 at a recognized post-secondary school (must be at least age of majority in your home province)
– Residency: Canadian

The student version of the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* has no annual fee and a welcome offer of 5% cash back in the first three months (to a max of $100 cash back) as long as you apply by December 6, 2022. The card earns you 3% cash back on groceries (up to a monthly max of $500 on grocery spending; the max resets each month) and 1% (to $500 per month)* on recurring bill payments like streaming services or subscriptions. You net 0.5% (no max) on all other purchases*.

The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* has a very flexible redemption policy whereby you can deposit your cash back into a BMO account (chequing, savings or InvestorLine) or put it toward a statement credit. The card comes with lots of student-focused benefits like getting a free credit score via CreditView, as well as extended warranty and purchase protection. Road trips are more affordable thanks to the card’s discount of up to 25% on rentals at participating National Car Rental®† and Alamo Rent a Car®†† locations*. You will also get 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas*.

Click here to apply and learn more.

*Terms and conditions apply

Runner-Up for Students: KOHO

Unlike the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®, the KOHO card is not a credit card, it’s a prepaid card. But that’s why it’s a good alternative student card, because with KOHO you don’t have to worry about making payments on time or getting into trouble with credit card debt. KOHO Easy is a free, reloadable, prepaid card that’s connected to your KOHO no-fee spending account. The card works like a debit card in some ways, but you also up to 5% cash back. Best of all, you can earn saving interests on your entire KOHO account balance.

Sign up and get a $20 instant cash bonus (once you load your account and make your no minimum first purchase within 30 days) right to your KOHO account with GREEDYRATES referral code.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete KOHO review.

Best for Rewards

BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Minimum Income: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian

The BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* allows you to rev up your rewards points, starting with its lucrative sign-up bonus, where you can get up to 60,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.* The card earns rewards on spending at a respectable rate, with 5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.* The card’s flexible redemption program means you can redeem points for flights, hotels and vacation packages with no black-out periods. You can also apply points to pay for purchases or build up your savings by putting them towards a BMO savings or investment account.

But the standout feature of the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* is probably its lucrative lounge access package. The card gives you complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes. And unlike most lounge access deals, BMO lets you use your four free annual passes for yourself or for a guest to accompany you.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*.

*Terms and conditions apply

Why Is Quebec Different Than the Rest of Canada When It Comes to Credit Cards?

Credit card rules regarding fees, interest rates, minimum payments and more are often different for residents of Quebec due to the fact that the province has different laws governing credit cards. One of the main laws that affect credit cards is Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act. The act governs things like what is allowable in contracts (such as a credit card agreement) between a merchant (like a credit card company) and a consumer (a credit card user).

One of the best examples of how Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act affects Quebec credit card users differently than the rest of Canada is to take a look at a new law the province instituted affecting credit card minimum payments. In August of 2020, a new rule went into effect that Quebecers must pay at least 2.5% of their credit card balance each month; previously, credit card users in Quebec only had to make a minimum payment of 2%. The mandatory minimum payment will continue to rise until 2025 when Quebec residents will be required to pay at least 5% of their outstanding balance each month. (Note that this gradual increase only pertains to credit card accounts that already exist. New credit card accounts in Quebec will immediately be subject to the 5% minimum payment requirement.) In the rest of Canada, most credit card providers only require that a cardholder pay 2.5% of the amount owing or make a minimum payment of $10. Quebec’s new law is designed to help Quebec credit card users not spend beyond their means and prevent credit card debt from ballooning out of control.

To emphasize the importance of the new 5% rule, an example on Quebec’s consumer protection website shows how a $1,000 purchase charged to a card with 19.9% would take almost 26 years to pay off and cost an extra $3,001 in interest charges if the cardholder only made the 2% minimum payment. With a 5% minimum payment, the card would be paid off in 6 years and only cost an additional $442 in interest. If you want customized information about how long it would take you to pay off credit card debt, check out our GreedyRatescredit card calculator.

FAQs

Unfortunately, not all credit card companies make it obvious when there are different rules for applicants in Quebec. Sometimes a website may ask you to choose which province you reside in and then adjust the credit card information if you select Quebec as your place of residence. Otherwise, you may sadly have to read the fine print (often there will be a symbol or number beside some text, which signals that there is additional information you should read) to know what rules and fees do or do not apply to you.
While your credit card will still be valid outside of the province, it’s possible that your credit card issuer may update your terms of service once you tell them of your new address. It’s best to contact your credit card company to see if any elements of your credit card agreement (like fees or interest rates) will change if you leave the province.
In an effort to ensure that citizens of Quebec keep spending under control and don’t experience financial fallout from credit card debt, Quebec is forcing credit card companies that operate in the province to require that already existing cardholders make a minimum payment of 2.5% of their balance owing. New credit card applicants will have to pay a 5% minimum balance immediately. By 2025, all cardholders in the province will have to pay at least 5% of their balance each month.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

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.

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