Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada 2017

Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada 2018

Last updated on September 12, 2018 Views: 18022 Comments: 60

Whether you’re looking to get rid of high interest credit card debt, finance a new purchase, or carry a small balance from time to time, low interest credit cards are the best option – better than a line of credit or personal loan – and always better than a rewards credit card.

In this article

We compared all the low interest credit cards in the Canadian market. Some credit cards might offer the same or lower interest rates for a shorter-term promotional period, others for an annual fee, others with risk-based APRs, and still others with a variable interest rate that can rise at any point in time.

None beat no annual fee 5.99% fixed rates for new purchases, none beat 0% for 12 month balance transfers, and none beat 0% for 12 month cash advances deposited into your checking account – for everyone who gets approved. None.

With no annual fee and Canada’s best interest rates conveniently available in your wallet when you need them, these credit cards are must haves. None of the cards on our list come with an annual fee, so there’s no cost to carrying them as sound back-up credit cards as well.

Summary of the Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada 2018

Credit CardInterest RateAnnual FeeCard ReviewApply for Card
American Express Essential Card1.99% for 6 months
$ 0
Read MoreApply Here
Scotiabank Value Visa0.99% for 6 months
$29Read MoreApply Here
MBNA True Line® Mastercards®0% for 6 months, conditions apply.
$0Read MoreApply Here
MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercards®0% for 6 months, conditions apply.
$39Read MoreApply Here
BMO Preferred Mastercard3.99% for 3 months
$ 20
Read MoreApply Here
RBC Cash Back Mastercard1.9% for 10 months $ 0
Read MoreApply Here
RBC Visa Infinite Avion1.9% for 10 months $ 120
Read MoreApply Here
RBC Visa Platinum Card5.9% for 30 months $ 0
Read MoreApply Here
Modulo Visa Desjardins10.9%
free mobile device insurance
$ 50
Read MoreApply Here
TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa8.2% - 16.45%$ 25
First year free, conditions apply.
Read MoreApply Here

Best Low Interest Fixed Rate Credit Card In Canada

American Express EssentialTM Credit CardAmerican Express Essentialᵀᴹ Credit Card

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

This new offer from American Express Essentialᵀᴹ Credit Card is the low interest card you want to make new purchases or take out a cash advance with. With $0 annual fee and an 8.99% fixed interest rate on new purchases & cash advances, this card stands out. It’s simple, clean and transparent, the 8.99% rate is what you see and what you get upon approval, regardless of your credit.

No other cards from the big banks offer such a low fixed rate, and it comes with no annual fee. Not RBC, TD, Scotia, CIBC or BMO. Most have low rate cards at 11.99% for purchases and cash advances, with a $29 fee. Many have cards with cash advance rates as high as 24.99%!

With $0 annual fee, you can keep the American Express Essential credit card in your wallet as a back-up to your rewards card, cost free. It’s great if you need to finance a new purchase, access cash or if you want to transfer a balance without having to worry about promotional periods.

The 8.99% interest rate, is the lowest fixed rate in the country. Because it’s not a variable rate, there’s no risk it will increase on you. Also, if you get approved for the card, you’ll get the advertised 8.99% rate – there’s no “as low as” trickery, where you apply for one rate, but end up with a higher one.

When you apply, you can also get a 1.99% balance transfer rate for the first 6 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee. Upon expiry of the 6 month promo rate your APR will go to and stay at 8.99% for your transferred balances.

Click here to apply for the American Express Essential™ Credit Card

Scotiabank Value Visa

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

People who might carry their credit card balance from month to month can appreciate predictable, low interest rates. Aside from the Amex Essential, another contender for the best fixed rate credit card in Canada comes from Scotiabank, with its Value Visa. For a low annual fee of $29, cardholders pay a competitive interest rate of 12.99%, which can potentially save hundreds of dollars every year.

The low fixed rate is also supplemented with low promotions: to boost savings for new applicants, Scotia allows cardholders to transfer a balance after being approved, and benefit from a 0.99% promotional interest rate for 6 months. With a balance transfer of $3,000, for example, a cardholder would avoid $147 in interest payments alone during their first 6-months when compared to the regular 12.99% balance transfer rate available from the card. And savings would jump even more if balances are being transferred from cards or loans with higher rates than the standard Value Visa rate. It’s also important to note that Scotia applies the 0.99% rate to cash advances as well, which is an unusual benefit that many individuals will appreciate.

Finally, cardholders who rent vehicles at any participating AVIS location in Canada will receive up to 20% off on the price of their rental. Overall, the Scotiabank Value Visa stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Amex Essential card, but didn’t take the top spot due to its slightly lower fixed interest rate.

Click here to apply for the Scotiabank Value Visa

Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada for Balance Transfers

MBNA True Line MasterCardMBNA True Line® Mastercard®

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

The True Line® Mastercard® is one of only two cards available to Canadians (conditions apply) that has a 0% balance transfer promotion lasting 6 months. The card has $0 annual fee, but charges a bit more interest on purchases and post-promotional balance transfers than its Gold counterpart (see below). The True Line Mastercard’s regular rate in these categories is 12.99%, which is still quite competitive, and an enormous benefit for those who can’t pay off their balance transfer in 6 months or who need to carry a spare balance that they’ve collected in the meantime.

MBNA’s True Line® card has auxiliary perks identical to its Gold card, and neither card comes with an annual income requirement. The key differences between the two are in their annual fees and interest rates, making it relatively simple to determine which card is best for you. If you’re categorically opposed to paying an annual fee during a period in which you’re trying to get rid of debt, you’ll want to go with the True Line® Mastercard®. If you might be able to stomach paying an annual fee for the privilege of paying less in interest over time, we recommend that you keep reading and consider the Gold card below.

Apply for the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® here

MBNA True Line MasterCardMBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®

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

Applicants for the True Line® Gold Mastercard® can get a 0% interest rate for 6 months on any debts they decide to transfer to MBNA (loans, lines of credit, credit card balances, etc.) within their first 90 days after receiving the card. Avoiding standard credit card interest rates (often 20% or higher) means hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings during this 0% promotional period, and True Line® Gold cardholders don’t need to preoccupy themselves with a sky-high interest rate after the promotion ends. Those interested in the 0% promotion (conditions apply), and pay a 1% transfer fee for each balance transfer they make.

After the promotional period ends, the True Line® Gold Mastercard®’s default purchase and balance transfer rate climbs to a still very low 8.99%. This allows members to use the card for their everyday needs, and to repay their balance transfer without urgency and exorbitant compounding interest charges. The combination of a 0% balance transfer deal and then a low post-promotion rate is truly rare, justifying the card’s $39annual fee.

Apply for the MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® here

Best Low Interest Credit Card in Canada for Purchases

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

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

People often turn to credit cards to help manage the expense of a large purchase, carrying the balance of the purchase cost over a period of multiple months. The most logical type of credit card for carrying a balance is a low-interest card, which charges a much more reasonable interest rate than rewards or cash back cards.

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard‘s purchase interest rate is 11.9%—about 10% less than standard credit card purchases, which can save revolvers a lot of money month after month. The card also helps those who want to consolidate their high-interest balances from other credit cards by providing an introductory balance transfer bonus for the first 3 months, during which they’ll accrue interest at just 3.99% on their transfer.

Despite the card’s rather singular purpose, it also adds extra value by offering purchase protection to cardholders. New items’ manufacturers’ warranties can be increased by up to an additional year, and protective coverage against accidental damage and theft gives cardholders an additional safety net.

Click here to apply for the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

Best Low Interest Credit Card in Canada For Cash Advances

RBC - 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 comes with no annual fee and has a superb 1.9% interest rate for 10 months on cash advances and balance transfers! That’s Canada’s lowest rate for cash advances, with the longest term. With $0 annual fee, it’s a no brainer.

Most Canadian credit card cash advances start charging interest from the moment you withdraw funds at rates of 24% or more, plus charge an initial cash advance fee of $5 or more. With the RBC Cash Back MasterCard promotional rate you get cash advances at only 1.9% for the first 10 months of the card, a massive savings.

You can also decide to use the card for balance transfers, at 1.9% for 10 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee. Most other Canadian cards charge a balance transfer fee of 1%-3% up front!

The other nice thing about this card is that if you want to use it for new purchases, you’ll get 2% on groceries and 0.5% on everything else. That said, we’d recommend only using the card for new purchases AFTER you’ve paid down your cash advance loan.

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

Like the RBC Cash Back Mastercard, the RBC Visa Infinite Avion also offers a 10-month, 1.9% interest promotion for cash advances, a low rate which makes it realistic to pay off a cash advance without accumulating a massive amount of debt in interest. RBC also applies this low rate to balance transfers as well, providing increased flexibility and functionality to the credit limit cardholders receive. Remember—this promotion is available for those who apply through our link, but won’t necessarily show up on RBC’s regular page for the card.

It’s also important to mention a couple of the card’s downsides, like the high post-promotional interest rate of 19.99%, making it smart to pay the balance in full before the promotion is over. The annual fee is also on the higher side, at $120, though the peripheral perks and points-earning ability that accompany the card can make up for it. Travellers will appreciate that the RBC Visa Infinite card comes with coverage for out-of-province medical needs, as well as trip interruptions, cancellations, and damage or loss stemming from one’s rental vehicle. Additionally, cardholders will earn 1.25 RBC Rewards points per $1 spent on travel, won’t have to worry about blackout dates or seating restrictions, and can fly with any airline they like. It’s even possible to transfer collected RBC points to other rewards programs, like British Airways or American Airlines.

Click here to apply for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion

Best Low Interest Credit Card in Canada to Pay Off Long-Term Debt

RBC VISA Platinum CardRBC Visa Platinum card

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

The RBC Visa Platinum brings something special to the Canadian credit card landscape by offering a very long low-interest balance transfer promotional period. When you transfer your credit card balance to the RBC Visa Platinum, you’ll pay 5.9% interest on it for a full 30 months.

While other balance transfer cards might offer lower interest rates during their promotional periods, these promotions usually last for only 6-10 months. And if you have a large amount of debt to pay off, a period this short might not give you enough time to pay off your debt entirely before the promotion ends and the interest rate skyrockets back up to around 20% or more. The RBC Visa Platinum’s 5.9% for 30 months is a more sensible approach to gradually paying off debt.

Aside from this attractive balance transfer promotion, the card comes with other perks: it has $0 annual fee, offers discounts of up to $0.03 per litre on gas at Petro-Canada, and provides cardholders with roadside assistance and emergency travel assistance.

Best Low Interest Credit Card in Canada with Added Value

Desjardins Modulo VisaDesjardins Modulo Visa

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $50

The Desjardins Modulo Visa stands out among low interest cards in Canada for its steady low interest rate + the added value of its other features. To start with, the interest rate of 10.9% is competitively low and it applies to both credit card purchases and cash advances. In addition to this low interest rate, cardholders also get free mobile device insurance to protect their smartphone or tablet in case it gets lost, stolen, or damaged. This is an offer unique to Desjardins—we’re not aware of other credit card issuers that will insure your phone. There’s also free travel insurance (covering up to 3 days) for short trips outside of your province of residence.

Finally, the Desjardins Modulo Visa also allows cardholders to earn Desjardins Bonusdollars, making for a very unusual hybridization of low interest and rewards in one card. Bonusdollars are earned at a rate of 1%, so cardholders can treat themselves to flights, merchandise, and gift cards while also enjoying lower credit card bills.

Click here to apply for the Desjardins Modulo Visa card

Best Low Interest Variable Rate Credit Card in Canada

TD Emerald Flex Rate VisaTD Emerald Flex Rate Visa

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $
– Annual fees: $25

Low variable interest rates are ideal for cardholders who don’t want to be in a financial squeeze should they need to carry some of their balance from month to month. Many people need this extra flexibility, and cards like the TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa answer their call with a competitive interest rate on purchases and cash advances that scales with the applicant’s creditworthiness. Approved applicants with strong credit can receive a rate as low as TD Prime + 4.50%; those with weaker credit will pay a higher interest rate, up to TD Prime + 12.75%. Given the most recent measurement of TD’s Prime rate in July 2018 of 3.70%, this means one can expect to pay between 8.2% and 16.45%.

Even the card’s highest interest rate has value, as many standard credit cards charge interest on purchases and cash advances at around 20%, which can lead to significant interest charges for those who occasionally carry a balance. This is why—for the right cardholder—the $25 annual fee is justifiable. It’s also important to consider that there are middle tiers between the advertised top and bottom rates, so there’s some grey area for those who fall all along the credit spectrum. Depending on your credit assessment, you might end up with any of the following rates: (TD Prime) + 4.50%, TD Prime +6.25%, TD Prime +8.75%, TD Prime +10.25%, TD Prime + 11.75%, or TD Prime +12.75%.

Finally, though the annual fee is negligible, it’s nice to be able to rebate it during the first year. To get this benefit, prospective cardholders need to apply online before December 3, 2018. Other peripheral value is derived from the optional insurance perks cardholders can pay for, such as travel medical, trip interruption, and trip cancellation insurance. We also appreciate the ability to use the TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa with Apple Pay.

Click here to apply for the TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa

What to Watch For With Low Interest Credit Cards

If you do carry a balance, it makes no sense to chase rewards. You’ll be spending close to 20% a year in interest, to save maybe 2% in rewards. Even if you carry the balance for 2 statement periods, it will cost you over 3.5% in compounded interest. The math doesn’t work. You’re best option, if you know you occasionally don’t pay down your entire credit card bill, is to get yourself a no fee, low interest credit card. Just keep it in your wallet for those rainy days, unexpected expenses or need to haves – it costs you nothing, but will save you tons.

For whatever reason, most banks don’t offer fixed rates as low as 5.99% to 9.99% with no annual fee. RBC, BMO, CIBC and Scotia offer low interest rate credit cards with rates as low as 11.99%, but they come with $20-$29 annual fees. RBC and TD have low variable rate credit cards of prime plus 4.99% to 8.99% or 1.25% to 12.75%. You don’t know if you’re going to get a rate of 7.69% or 15.45% before you apply. The problem is, even if you’re unhappy with the rate you get, if you were approved, you still have to pay the annual fee!

With many of the new personal loans on the marketplace, while they advertise rates as low as 5.9%, they average more in the 12% range. Furthermore, they require you to send in proof of income and identity verification. Perhaps it’s better than going into the branch to apply for a line of credit, but it’s certainly not easier than applying for a credit card online.

That’s why we love the new American Express Essentialᵀᴹ credit card. There’s no annual fee, making it free to have whether you need it right away or not, and it has an 8.99% fixed rate. You know what you’re getting before you apply, and it will never change.

Just remember, don’t make any new purchases on your balance transfer card – use it for balance transfers exclusively. You’ll be paying 22% interest on new purchases, and when you try to pay the higher interest balance down, only a portion of your repayment will go towards your new purchase. The other portion will go towards your existing balance – you don’t choose. As a result, you’re new higher interest balance will stick until your lower interest balance is completely paid down.

So why use a credit line or personal loan to pay off credit card debt, when you can access 0% rates? It just doesn’t make sense. We continue to recommend balance transfers as the optimal strategy to pay off high interest credit cards, store cards or fixed payment loans you may have. No other products offer interest rates as low.

Use our compare low interest credit cards and assess what interests you will pay based on your personal financial parameters.

Before you go, take a minute to give us your thoughts on a hot topic in personal finance:

Article comments

Tanya says:

Waffling between the MBNA True Line and True Line Gold. I’m not sure I can pay the balance I want to transfer in 6 months, but definitely would be paid in a year How large of a balance for how long would make the lower interest rate and annual fee pay off?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Tanya,

If you’re trying to decide between the MBNA True Line and True Line Gold Mastercard, then the biggest factor in your eventual choice is the size of your balance. This is true because you’re confident that you’ll be able to pay it off in a year, so to make the 8.99% rate worth paying $39 for (as opposed to $0 for 12.99%), you’ll need to figure out how much that extra 4.00% will save you over 6 months’ time. This considers that for both cards, your first 6 months will be without interest and the post-promotion interest rates are very low.

According to our math, the minimum balance you can have to make paying the $39 worthwhile is $1,950. Look at it this way: If your balance is just $1,000, then you’ll accrue $64.95 in interest at 12.99% in those 6 months and pay $0 in annual fees, for a total of $64.95. If you choose to pay the annual fee for 4.00% less interest on your $1,000 balance, your final payment will be $44.95. However, after adding the fee that’s $83.95. $1,950 is the breakeven point because if you choose to pay $0 for 12.99% interest for 6 months, your total interest charge will be $126.65. If you get the Gold card, 8.99% interest for 6 months plus the $39 annual fee is also $126.65. The larger your balance, the greater value you gain from the flat rate that you’re paying for that 8.99%.

Hope that answers your question thoroughly! As always, let us know if you need further assistance.


Brenda says:

Hi. I had an RBC cashback mastercard that I used for a cash advance to pay for a new roof. I got the 1.9% over 10 months and paid it off just last week when the 10 months expired. I called them to see if they had any offers that would allow me to advance more money for another term as I now need 10,000 for another renovation. They said I could not get the same rate on that card and would have to go with a rate around 8% which is the best they could offer so I canceled the card. I guess my question is how soon can I reapply for another RBC cashback card? I think they call this cycling and not sure how strict they are on that. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Brenda,

Great comment. We applaud you for successfully completing your balance transfer! It’s awesome how much money you saved, isn’t it? Now that you (obviously) want a repeat experience, you’ll likely have to go to with another card from scratch, because most banks only offer their best balance transfer deals to new customers, or existing customer with new debt from another source.

You think you could pay off this $10,000 in 6 months? If so, check out the True Line Gold Mastercard from MBNA, which is currently offering 0.00% for 6 months to new customers who transfer a balance. Afterwards, your rate won’t rocket up to 20.00% or 24.00% either, it’ll stay at 8.99%–a very unique and forgiving model. If 6 months isn’t your cup of tea, then there are other comparable 10-month balance transfer deals, such as the Best Western Rewards Mastercard and the Harley-Davidson Mastercard.

As long as you’re a new cardholder and your debt is transferred from another lender (not RBC), you’ll probably also be able to get your hands on the RBC Visa Platinum card, which offers 5.90% interest for a whopping 30 months (2.5 years!). We’d call over to RBC to make sure that you’re eligible, however. If you are (and be sure to mention that it’s through us), then apply through our link because RBC may not have the same promotion on their own site. Need more info? Let us know and we’ll reply promptly!

GreedyRates Staff

Larry Joseph says:

I owe about $30000 on a TD Emerald card with 7.95% interest. I’m having a hard time paying it down. Would I be able to get the MBNA 0% card (owned by TD also) and do a deposit transfer to my bank acct (with no interest) and then use it to pay down the Emerald card? What are the limits to this? Could I do the whole amount and then at the end of the year do something similar again to avoid the higher interest rate on what balance I have left. Essentially switching to the best rates to maximize my payments. If no, what would be the best strategy for me?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Larry!

We’re glad you came to us for advice about a potential balance transfer. If you have $30,000 exposed to high interest, then you could be collecting significant compounded interest charges already, which will have a negative impact on your ability to pay it off in a timely (and inexpensive) manner. However, your balance is with TD, meaning that you won’t be able to use TD or MBNA balance transfer deals to escape these interest charges. This is because MBNA and TD are essentially the same bank, though TD Asset Group is the official parent company. You’ll have to go elsewhere for your transfer.

Thankfully, RBC presents a solution that’s quite suitable for you, in their Visa Platinum card. Instead of charging 0.00% interest for a very short period like 6 months (which might not be enough time for a large balance like yours), RBC charges a bit more interest but applies the promotion for years, literally. You can shelter that $30,000 under just 5.90% interest for 30 months (2.5 years), making it much easier to rid yourself of this outstanding balance. There are other great options as well, all listed in the link below. If you have any specific questions, feel free to comment again or shoot us an email.

GreedyRates Staff

Frances says:

I’m wondering which card would make the most sense if I wanted to make a new purchase that will take me longer than 6 months to pay off? Would it make sense to take advantage of one of the cash advance deals and make the purchase that way?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Frances,

Thanks for your awesome comment! We’re glad that you’re getting inspired by our articles and are now curious about how to finance a large upcoming purchase. We’d be glad to help. If the item is expensive and you don’t think you’ll be able to pay it off within 6 months, then you’ll still be able to get a lot of value from a 6-month balance transfer promotion.

Essentially, you’d apply for a card like the True Line Mastercard, and once you get it, make your purchase with another credit card or bank account. The True Line card will allow you to deposit your credit limit into that account, which effectively erases that portion of your balance and transplants it with MBNA at 0.00% interest for 6 months. Work hard to reduce this balance as much as you can in 6 months, so that your remaining debt is negligible after the promotion ends.

This method is extremely logical, especially if you’re approved for the Gold True Line card, which raises its interest rates after 6 months, but to only 8.99%. This is probably less than your existing bank charges, so after you pay off your new purchase, you can simply transfer the rest of your balance to MBNA and continue using your old card. However, if all this maneuvering is too complicated, check out the RBC Visa Platinum card. This will keep your balance safe at 5.90% for 30 months, letting you pay it back gradually without much risk of compound interest.

Thanks again for reading,
The GreedyRates Team

Chris Poellein says:

I have been a MBNA costumer since 2007 because of the 9.99% interest rate and the frequent Promotions. But … MBNA send me a notice that they are raising their interest rate to 14.99% starting August 1st . A sudden 5% increase !!! Sorry .. but I’m not THAT loyal !

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Chris,

Your comment is much appreciated. We understand how frustrating it can be for issuers to raise interest rates suddenly, though this is how it has always worked with variable rates. They reserve the right to change your rate when they like, but usually don’t surprise cardholders like this. It’s logical that they might alter one’s rate if they miss minimum payments, but we’ve had a few readers express their displeasure upon realizing that they suddenly pay more interest than they used to–even with perfect payment histories.

At least they gave you some warning before raising your rates. This gives you more than enough time to find a better option and let MBNA know that their new policy has resulted in one less customer. It will also give MBNA a chance to offer you a better rate to keep you on their balance sheet. We always recommend that cardholders who are switching to another card or issuer call their old one first, as it often produces a better deal.

If not, then feel free to explore other options. We’re seeing a lot of great balance transfer deals going around lately, and you could easily use one of them to escape high interest and MBNA all in one move. They’re all found on our page below. Check them out and let us know if you have any follow-up questions. Best of luck!

The GreedyRates Team

Carla says:

Hi, regarding your MBNA Trueline card comments- “You’ll get a rate between 5.99% & 14.99% depending on the strength of your credit – but you’ll see your rate before you actually apply – without any impact on your credit”; “it takes two minutes and does not count as a credit inquiry to get your rate.” How do you see the strength of my credit without a credit inquiry soft or hard to my account???

GreedyRates says:

Hi Carla! Thanks for your question. We’ll do our best to address it satisfactorily. Regarding the MBNA Trueline card, this is one of the few cards that will allow you to determine your eligibility without receiving lasting effects on your credit score. Here’s how it works: basically, when you use MBNA’s tool to discover the rate that you’ll be approved for, you will receive a soft credit inquiry on your report, which has no negative effects on your credit. Here’s what the fine print says:

“By submitting the form below, your request will automatically generate an inquiry on your credit bureau file. The information will then be shared with TransUnion, an external credit reporting agency. If everything matches, we will verify your identity and provide you with the low annual interest rate that you are eligible to receive.”

Hard checks or credit inquiries last longer, normally for a period between 3 and 6 years, though their impact is minimal. If you are happy with the rate you’re approved for and do decide to apply for the card, then MBNA will replace the soft inquiry with a hard one (though you’ll already know your eligibility). Good luck and happy card hunting!

GreedyRates Staff

CHB says:

Ok, Main questions. At this point Im paying off $25,000 on a 13% cc. How do I pay off this with the lowest interest and also have a card to use for regular use. I would ideally have 0% card rate to pay off balance and another lowest interest card to use for regular use that could carry a small balance if needed.
Thanks for the help!

GreedyRates says:

Hey CHB, thanks for the questions, and for your thorough details. If you’re looking at the Platinum Plus card to help reduce your exposure to interest, you’re already halfway to a solution. There are no better deals out there, and if you’re approved for a $25,000 credit limit with MBNA, you can essentially park your entire balance there for a year, and not worry about the 13.00% interest at all. In the mean time, you now have a completely empty credit card to use however you like.

Alternatively, you could cancel your older credit card and find a low-rate option like you originally suggested. We really like the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate card, which is a simple credit card that offers two basic perks: a low annual fee and 11.99% interest on everything. There are other low-interest cards that might suit you better. Check them out here.

GreedyRates Staff

Corey says:

Is the 0% rate from the date that you are approved and receive the card? or from the date of the transaction? If approved for $5000 and decide to do the “transfer of funds to bank account” is that 0% for 12 months from the date of transaction. Then I can pay off other debts and bills with the funds transferred to my bank account and pay the $5000 back within the 12 months?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Corey, thanks for the request for clarification–we can definitely help. This is how the 0.00% rate works on the MBNA Platinum Plus card. You’re given a 0.00% rate on all balances transferred to the card within the first 90 days of ownership, whether you transfer them piecemeal or in bulk. Your only restrictions are this 90-day window and your available credit limit, which is up to MBNA to determine based on your credit history. The 0.00% is applied to each balance from the date of the transfer (made within the window), so if you were approved for the card a few weeks ago and just now received it, you can wait to do your $5000 transfer until the end of the 90-day window and still receive the full year of no interest. This is how it’s written on MBNA’s website:

The rate applies to “any balance transfers made within 90 day(s) of your account opening and will remain in effect for 12 Statement Periods from the transaction date of each eligible transaction.” Overall, the scenario you described in your comment was possible, so good luck!

GreedyRates Staff

James says:

I just paid off a balance on my MBNA Platinum Plus card. The 12 month 0% promotion has expired and I was wondering how I go about getting that same 0% interest promotion again? Do I need to cancel it and reapply?

GreedyRates says:

Hi James, we appreciate your comment. Congratulations on paying off your balance with the Platinum Plus! MBNA’s promotion with this card is amazing, and we’re glad you could experience it. You’re also not the first person to want the same deal another time, and there’s really nothing stopping you. Just remember a few things:

MBNA won’t let you open another Platinum Plus card while there’s still an account open, so you’ll have to cancel your other card first. Also, you can’t transfer balances from MBNA or TD accounts to the Platinum Plus, because then the bank would be cannabalizing its own debt.

Cancel your Platinum Plus card, now that the balance is at zero, and wait a month or so before reapplying for it again. This way, the bank’s records will have updated across its entire system, and there should be no obstacles standing between you and your second 0.00% interest rate promotion. Enjoy!

GreedyRates Staff

Daryn says:

I have a MBNA card with the 0% interest for 12 months. I dont have any debts and was wondering if it a good idea to do a cash advance for the full credit limit of 6500 (cash advance is the same at 0% interest for 12 months) and invest it in an RRSP, it is better than using a credit line. I just payoff the card within the 12. months. Does this make good sense?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Daryn, thanks for coming to GreedyRates! If you aren’t planning on doing a balance transfer or deposit transfer from another bank, you can’t avail of the 0.00% interest promotion. Cash advances made with the Platinum Plus card carry a monthly interest of 24.99%. If you want the MBNA Platinum Plus card and plan on using it to do a deposit transfer (paying off a loan or line of credit in full by transferring your approved credit limit to the lending bank), then you’ll need to take out your new debt within the first 90 days of getting the Platinum Plus card. As we understand it, you were approved for and received your Platinum Plus card already, even though you had no outstanding balances, so depending on when you were approved it could be possible to benefit from the interest rate reduction. We can’t say how effective your investment strategy is, however. How you use the money is up to you, just make sure you can pay off your balance within 12 months.

GreedyRates Staff

Teresa Wishart says:

I owe a lot of money on a Walmart Credit Card..can I transfer this debt at a lower interest rate and make a good size payment every month.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Teresa! Thanks for leaving your comment here with us. If you’ve got any amount of debt in any form–loan, another credit card, a line of credit, and more–the MBNA Platinum Plus card will accept it as a transfer. It’s even better if you’re planning on making sizeable payments and working hard to reduce the total balance, so we give you a big thumbs up! The other cards listed on the article above are also useful for reducing your balance, but none will grant you that 0.00% interest rate. Keep in mind that the Platinum Plus has a 1.00% balance transfer fee, so if you’re transfering a large amount, be prepared to pay for the privilege of these low rates. Thanks again.

GreedyRates Staff

Pat says:

Hello. Is it possible to do a balance transfer from my MBNA credit card to some else’s bank account?
Thanks for your advice throughout the years.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Pat, thanks for the interesting question. MBNA is very flexible when it comes to transferring different types of debt between accounts, but you’ll have to check with them first to see if this is possible. It’s likely that you’ll be able to transfer your balance to a spouse or partner on a joint account, but not to a stranger. Until we get more detail we can’t know for sure. One way that MBNA allows balances to be transferred is to do a “deposit transfer,” whereby one can send their approved credit limit to a different bank holding the balance. This could potentially be a spouse’s bank account and not your own, we think. Please check with MBNA, however. Also – let us know what you find out! Great question, and good luck.

GreedyRates Staff

Mike says:

I have a MBNA Platinum Plus card with about a $2000 balance where the promotional interest rate of 0% will expire about Feb. 6th, 2018
I also have an AMEX card with about a $3900 balance
I applied for another MBNA Platinum Plus card around August 2017 to try to transfer this AMEX balance but was denied because I already had an MBNA account (the Platinum Plus card mentioned above)
I now have a Scotia Bank card $5000 limit with a .99% or 1% promotion for 6 months.
I cannot transfer all the balances from both cards above (AMEX and MBNA cards)
Should I transfer the full balance from the MBNA Platinum Plus card (about $2000) to the Scotia Bank card? I will also transfer about $3000 from the AMEX card which will then reach the full $5000 limit on the new Scotia Bank Card.
Then should I close the MBNA Platinum Plus card’s account and re-apply for another MBNA Platinum Plus card to take advantage of the 0% promotion?

Julie says:

In the UK these same companies offer zero interest on purchases for 2 years. You get free credit. The cards are already making huge amounts from charging the supplier or retailer interest whenever you use their cards.
If they have to be more competitive there, then why not here ?
We are being ripped off.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Julie, thanks for contacting us about the RBC Visa Platinum card, and its 5.90% interest rate promotion. You can get this rate for 30 months but you’ll need to follow the link on our site, because this is a special rate that the bank offers those who apply via their partners (like us). It may be that the agreement RBC sent you was the standard boilerplate, and isn’t updated for all the bank’s latest running offers. Customer service representatives may not be universally updated either. Also remember that the 5.90% rate is only for cash advances and balance transfers, and is not considered the overall interest rate. The rate for purchases, which is usually displayed more prominently, is 19.99%.

As long as you began the process from the link below, you should be good to go. On our side, it shows the 5.90% for 30 months promotion just fine, but let us know if you’re still having issues, and we’d be happy to follow up.

GreedyRates Staff

Michele says:

Hey there! So I have been offered 2 promotions and I’d like to see what makes sense and is ok to do. My CIBC card is offering a balance transfer at 0% at 10 months. My MBNA card is offering a 0.99% balance transfer for a year. I do carry a balance on my MBNA and I already did a balance transfer last year, my due date for that promotion is up in October. Since my CIBC has a higher balance, could I do the balance transfer from my CIBC onto my MBNA and then after take advantage of moving all that over to the CIBC balance transfer?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Michele, thanks for your question. We think that you should put as much of your balance as possible on the CIBC card first, and then use all of your discipline to pay off this balance before accruing any interest at all. If you cannot, that’s totally fine, because then MBNA can work as your backup. This also works better because of your current balance with MBNA. Come October, if you need to, you can take advantage of MBNA’s offer. Basically, your plan is sound, but you should simply switch the order of the cards you’ll use. Assuming that you work hard to pay down your balance, you should end up with less total interest in the end. Let us know if you have any additional questions!

GreedyRates Staff

Jan says:

I was looking for information on paying down debt and came your site and find it very informative. Does greedyrates have any financial affiliation with any of the institutions it mentions in this or any other of your articles?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Jan, thanks for your question! We try to be as transparent as possible when describing our relationship with the issuers we review. We do have financial affiliation with some of these entities, as you can see from the advertisements on the side of GreedyRates’ pages. However, this does not prevent us from sharing our own personal impartial views and opinions about their products. If a card has positive attributes, we give praise where praise is due, and if it has negative attributes, we warn customers of these downsides (an example is the Canadian Tire Mastercard review). What’s more, we compare different credit cards side by side in clear tables, making it easy for readers to see the differences from one card to the next. If you have any further questions, we’d be happy to answer as soon as possible. Thanks very much!

GreedyRates Staff

Brenda Cook says:

I am interested in transferring a balance of $5000 to a low interest card. I also need one that allows automatic charges every month as I have several of those. I know my credit score is not very high. Any suggestions?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Brenda, thanks for your question.

MBNA will approve your application with your creditworthiness in mind, but given a healthy financial history, a transfer of $5,000 seems likely. Even if your credit score is lower, don’t worry: MBNA often approves customers that have weaker scores or rocky credit history.

If the automatic charges you’re referring to are automatic debits from your account, then you should know that only one-time balance transfers are eligible for the 0% rate, so you might be better off telling your lender to charge you the entire sum, and then transferring it to the Platinum Plus. If not, please disregard. The Platinum Plus is a credit card and can make automatic purchases, but again, avoid carrying a balance. That is not what this card was designed for.

Good luck in your application – if you need any more assistance let us know and we will be happy to provide. Thanks.

GreedyRates Staff

Sarah says:

I want to apply to MBNA. But I read a lot of bad reviews about MBNA online. Is there any truth to that?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Sarah!

Thanks for asking your question, we will do our best to answer it. As far as issuers go, there are really none that are better or worse than others. Each is governed by strict laws that protect customers like you.

The best way to determine which is best is simply by comparing their credit cards. MBNA, as an issuer, has some of the best offers we’ve seen among the others available in the marketplace, which is the reason we’ve taken so much time to review their cards.

Among the MBNA products on Greedyrates, the only disappointment you may experience is in picking a card that isn’t suited to your needs. Otherwise, if you find one that looks good, you can trust that you’ll get exactly what is written in our reviews.

We hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Jan says:

I am looking to transfer a balance of $2600 to another card with a very low or no interest rate. I have also been offered to increase my credit limit from $3000 to $5000 without any complications of reapplying. My husband does not have a card at all. Would it be best for him to apply for one as he makes the most and then transfer my balance to his, avoiding paying interest for a year? What would be the charge then if we were to use the new credit card for a necessary purchase? Also does greedyrates have any financial affiliation with any of these institutions? I am looking for completely unbiased advice and as you can suspect, I don’t have much faith in banks to do what is best for me.Thank you.

GreedyRates says:

Hey Jan, thanks for reading GreedyRates!

Let’s see if we can help you out a bit. We understand you and your husband currently have a $2,600 balance on your existing card, and the issuer has offered to help you by raising your credit limit. However, this does not solve the problem of high rates, only that you can now add to your debt.

We recommend you pick up the MBNA Platinum Plus for a couple reasons. You can use it to get 12 months of relief on the interest rate that you’re currently paying on that $2,600, and give your husband access to credit at the same time. Considering that your debts and incomes are shared, he should be the one to apply and request that the entire balance be transferred.

Now, do not cancel your other card! In the meantime, you can accept a higher credit limit on it and use it for purchases that you wouldn’t make with the Platinum Plus. This will let you slowly pay off your outstanding debt and make smart purchases at the same time.

Let us know if you have any concerns or need further guidance. Thanks for reading!

GreedyRates Staff

Pamela says:

I am looking at the MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard 0% for 12 months $0 Balance & Deposit Transfers
A friend has told me this card makes the insurance mandatory and that’s where most of his monthly charges came from which was more than the interest. Is this true? It says nothing about insurance costs in the comparatives above
thanks in advance

GreedyRates says:

Hi Pamela, thanks for your question.

Regarding your concerns about the MBNA Platinum Plus card, we’re not sure where your friend got his or her information but we have never heard of MBNA charging customers for the insurance that comes as a default.

The basic travel protection and rental car coverage that comes with the card is a common feature among several other credit cards – and we are not certain that these features cost cardholders money. To be sure, check with customer service at MBNA and let us know what you find. We think a short conversation will clear up your doubts for good. Thanks again!

GreedyRates Staff

Rachel says:

Thanks to your blog I applied for and got the American Express Essential Card. Since I already have an American Express card, I figured I would call them and apply over the phone. What a mistake!!!! Please inform your readers that the balance transfer deal is ONLY available if they apply online! Because I applied over the phone, I was not able to take advantage of the balance transfer offer and I didn’t know that until my card arrived in the mail and I attempted to do so.

Judy says:

Hi Staff, thanks for your knowledge on credit card. I would be interested in transferring my credit card balance to another card. From what i read you mention MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard at 0% for 12 months. First of all, should i at the end of the 12 months period do a “deposit transfer? Second, Can this be done online? Can I do the same for a business credit card/

GreedyRates says:

Hey Judy, thanks for your great questions.

We understand that you want to transfer a balance from one card to another, and you were correct in choosing the MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard as your optimal solution.

When applying to transfer your balance, MasterCard and MBNA will approve you for both the specific amount that can be transferred, as well as your credit limit with the new card. For one year, interest will not accrue on the balance you carry, but cross the one year boundary and the APR will quickly change from 0% to a higher rate.

If you are still carrying a balance at the end of the 12-month introductory period, you apply to do another balance transfer to a new introductory rate card. This can all be done online or over the phone. If this isn’t possible, then you might want to look into a deposit transfer. Whether or not you should transfer your remaining balance to a checking account and take care of it from there depends on the account’s rate, versus the post-bonus period MBNA rate.

Your question about business credit cards is also interesting. While what you can get approved for depends on your current credit score, we think you will enjoy the RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Businesses. The card has an extremely low interest rate and also brings value in the form of points that accrue with purchases and a flexible line of credit. You can look at all of the credit cards for businesses that we recommend to find the best fit for your circumstances.

We hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Jenny says:

Thank you for this article, it’s very helpful. I did the inquiry to get my rate for the MBNA TrueLine Credit Card and got 9.99% (out of a possibility of 5.99%, 7.99%, 9.99%, 12.99% and 14.99%).
What does that say about my credit strength in your opinion? I unfortunately don’t have the time or funds to get my credit report before making a rather urgent application… Thanks for your help!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Jenny, great questions and comments!

While it isn’t totally necessary to check your credit report before applying for a new credit card, it should be noted that applying may affect your credit score, and that by checking it beforehand you’re able to better understand your chances of approval and also at what rate. This gives you a bit more foresight, but it’s ok that you didn’t check. While every card issuer is different, that MBNA quoted you at 9.99% probably means your credit score is relatively healthy. If you’re not happy with that, we recommend taking advantage of one of the many free credit report services out there to learn what may be stopping you from increasing your score and then putting what you learn into action.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Colin O says:

This site never fails to inform. Great work! One question, however. Are any of these low interest rate cards also paired with a high limit? I am looking to do a balance transfer of approximately $5000, and if these cards are all low limit cards, a balance transfer won’t help me much. Any ideas?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Colin!

We really appreciate your comments and are glad you enjoy the site.

To address your question, we’re happy to report that the MBNA Platinum Plus card may suit your needs well. Credit and balance transfer limits run up to $100,000 on this card, depending on what you’re approved for. Plus, for those who transfer balances from other cards, MBNA offers a beneficial 0% interest rate for a full year.

Thanks and best of luck!

GreedyRates Staff

Judy says:

Hi, thanks for this great info. Once the year is over, what will be the interest rate?
Thank you

GreedyRates says:

Hey Judy, thanks for your inquiry.

Regarding the interest rate on balance transfers, after the year-long promotion has concluded, it will go from 0% to the standard rate of 21.99%. One must understand that the only 0% rate during the promotion is the interest on balance transfers that were made in the first 90 days of membership. Purchases, cash advances and other functions of the card still accrue interest.

The Platinum Plus is largely for providing shelter from high rates accompanying your largest debts, and not to use as a normal credit card. If you can’t pay back the full balance over the promotional period, you can do another balance transfer, request an extension from MBNA, and take other courses of action as well. When the time comes, we’re here to help.

GreedyRates Staff

Ryan says:

Hello I’m new to the credit card world. I was looking for something that has a no annual fee, low fixed interest rate, and that builds up my credit. And maybe something if possible with cash back. Is there a credit card that has that all?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Ryan!

What a great question. Let’s see if we can help you out.

While it’s hard to find a card that “has it all”, there are some great options that will serve your needs well – even without prior knowledge of your current credit score. Since you mentioned first that you’re looking for something with no annual fee and low interest rate, one of the best cards in that category is the American Express Essential Credit Card, which has no annual fee and a fixed rate of 8.99% on all purchases – including cash advances! (which usually range around a 20% interest rate). We estimate that this card will save you over $1300 a year on interest, something that a new cardholder can definitely appreciate.

For a card with cash back, know that most will come with the interest rates standard among the industry’s best. Expect around 19% if cash back is your primary goal. Since you are new to the credit card world, we recommend you start with a basic card that makes it easy to manage your finances (low rates, no annual fees). The Amex Essential mentioned above is great, but for the single purpose of establishing credit, the Secured Visa from Home Trust (no annual fee) is also great. You will be approved no matter your current credit score, and given the chance to build credit quickly, provided you are responsible with your finances.

Good luck!

GreedyRates Staff

Michele says:

I love coming to this site. Always informative and honest! Love it! I did the MBNA balance transfer last year based on this advice and am just using it to pay my balance off. However, I won’t be able to pay it off in full. Can I do another balance transfer or is that not a good idea?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Michele,

You can absolutely get another MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard at 0% for 12 months. However, because no banks allow balance transfers form one of their own cards to another of their cards, you’ll have to do what’s called a “deposit transfer”. Once you get your card, simply request MBNA to do a deposit transfer into a Canadian checking account of your choice. MBNA will transfer the sum from your new Platinum Plus credit card to your checking account at 0% for 12 months. You will then use the money now in your checking account to pay down your balance on the old MBNA Platinum Plus credit card.

Hope that helps!

GreedyRates Staff

virginia chubo says:

I have MNBA master card. they changed me 1% transfer fee And i pay 1% of what i owe goes to my payment every month.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Virginia,

That correct. You pay 0% interest, however each month you pay the greater of 1% of your balance or $5. Since htere is no interest, 100% of your payment goes towards paying down your balance.

GreedyRates Staff

Nika says:

I am interested in applying for the MBNA true line credit card – and while doing some research I came across your article. My question is wouldn’t inquiring a rate from MBNA on the card impact score? Since in order for them to give me a low rate, they have to look at my history? I would also assume that by not providing my sin card, the rate would probably be the highest, which defeats the whole purpose of getting pre-approved interested rate.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Nika,

MBNA performs what’s called a “soft” inquiry, which does not impact your score at all. It’s the same type of inquiry a bank might use to pre-approve its customers. Only “hard” inquiries impact your score.

Not providing your SIN should not impact your interest rates at all. So long as the lender can identify you and pull your score and history without your SIN, you should get assigned an interest rate and credit line reflective of your credit worthiness.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Nigel says:

When referring to the ‘balance transfer card’ in the second last paragraph above, which card are you referring to exactly?? Thanks!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Nigel,

We were speaking generally about any balance transfer card. Try to keep one card specifically for balance transfers, and make any new purchases on a separate credit card.

The reason we make that recommendation is as follows. Most Canadian credit card issuers use the proportional payment allocation method. As a result, if you have a balance on your credit card at 0% and other balances at 19%, when you pay your credit card statement, the issuer will allocate your payment to each balance based on the proportion each balance represents of the total balance on the card. As a result, you won’t be able to pay down your high interest balance until your low interest balance is paid down completely.

Hope that helps and was clear enough,

GreedyRates Staff

Carol O'Blenis says:

I am looking for a no fee, fixed low interest rate credit card. Does one exists? Promotional rates dont interest me they just raise it afterward whatever and whenever

GreedyRates says:

Hi Carol,

The Alterna Platinum Plus MasterCard above offers a 9.99% fixed annual interest rate (forever) on purchases and balance transfers, with no annual fee.

Hopefully that’s what you were looking for!

GreedyRates Staff