Best Visa Credit Cards in Canada in 2018
Among the credit card processors in Canada, Visa is widely recognized as the biggest. Cardholders can expect that most merchants will accept their Visa card without question, whereas the same cannot be said for processors like American Express. There are some outliers, such as Costco who prefer Mastercard. Regardless, Visa enjoys a healthy lead in market share and regularly makes up over half of global credit card payments by itself, leaving other card issuers to split the rest of the pie.
The universal popularity of the Visa brand can be attributed to the sheer number of best credit cards bearing its logo, which help people all over Canada get more for their money and enjoy a large variety of rewards. Additionally, cutting-edge applications like Visa Checkout help customers and merchants handle payments in new and convenient ways.
Summary of Best Canadian Visa Credit Cards in 2018
|Credit Card||Special Card Feature||Annual Fee||Card Review||Apply for Card|
|Scotiabank Value Visa||11.99% APR|
0.99% balance transfer for 6 months
|$29||Read More||Apply Now|
|Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite||4% cash back on selected categories|
Valuable travel insurance
|$99||Read More||Apply Now|
|Home Trust Preferred Card||0% foreign transaction fee|
1% cash back on all purchases
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|Scotiabank Scene Visa||No annaul fee|
2,000 points welcome bonus
5 pts/$ on movies
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|Scotiabank Momentum No-Fee Visa||7.99% purchase interest for their first 6 months|
1% cash back on selected categories
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite||Up to 5% in GM earnings on first $10,000||$79||Read More||Apply Now|
|RBC Visa Platinum Card||5.99% balance transfer rate for 30 months||$0||Read More||Apply Now|
Best Low-Interest Visa
There are few obstacles tougher to overcome than high interest, especially if you’re carrying a balance from month to month. It gets harder and harder to chip away at the principal debt when interest continues to accrue, so cards like the Scotiabank Value Visa help people in this situation gain relief.
The purchase interest rate is just 11.99%—much more forgiving that most other cards. The card’s annual fee is only $29, which is far eclipsed by the amount of interest cardholders will save if the card is used properly. Cardholders will also save up to 20.00% off the price of rental cars at Avis.
Aside from the low regular interest rate, the Value Visa enables new cardholders to transfer existing credit card balances, and pay just 0.99% interest on this amount for six months. With six months of shelter from the interest they were collecting, cardholders can make serious dents into their debt.
You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Scotiabank Value Visa review.
Best Cash Back Visa
Cash back rewards are some of the most coveted, as few benefits can compete with direct savings. When buying gas or groceries on the Momentum Visa Infinite, cardholders will get an impressive 4.00% cash back, and for drugstore purchases and recurring bill payments, 2.00%. Everything else earns cash back at 1.00%, making it impossible to find yourself in a situation where you don’t earn at least some money back on what you buy.
The card’s annual fee is $99, but new members have this amount waived during their first year if they sign up before June 30, 2018. At 4.00% cash back on gas and groceries, cardholders earn $240 in annual cash back just by charging $500 per month in these categories. This is easily worth the annual fee, but Scotia also offers a valuable travel insurance package to sweeten the deal. It comes with travel emergency medical, trip interruption, baggage, and rental car insurance as well.
You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite card review.
Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Visa
Foreign transaction fees, which are charged on each purchase not made in Canadian dollars, can silently escalate the expenses of a vacation or business trip. The average fee runs around 2.50% per foreign transaction, so cards that either waive or subsidize these fees are essential companions for frequent travellers. The best Visa credit card for the job is Home Trust’s Preferred card, which has the straightforward benefit of not charging these fees for any foreign transactions whatsoever. Cardholders also earn 1.00% cash back on all their purchases, whether in CAD or any other currency.
Though it does suffer from some minor hiccups, such as a limit of 10 transactions per day, the addition of comprehensive roadside assistance and rental car insurance make it worthwhile. Purchase protection and extended warranties further solidify the deal, and it’s all offered for no annual fee.
You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Home Trust Preferred card review.
Best Student Visa
Students typically have less discretionary income and a limited budget to work with compared to the average Canadian, so they need a credit card that’s inexpensive to hold yet still offers relevant benefits. The Scotia Scene Visa answers this call confidently, with a $0 annual fee and bonus that earns new cardholders 2,000 points for charging just $500 in total purchases in the first 3 months. Its income requirement of $12,000 is flexible for students, and will help them entertain themselves more frugally by earning 5 points per dollar at a wide range of movie theatres: Cineplex, Scotiabank Theatres, Famous Players, Galaxy, Cinema City, SilverCity and more.
Everywhere else, the card collects points at the standard rate of 1 per dollar.
You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Scotiabank SCENE Visa card review.
Best No Annual Fee Visa
It’s never fun to pay for the privilege of using your credit card, but that’s exactly what annual fees are. Accordingly, one of the most upfront credit card benefits around is simply to issue cards without an annual fee, and the best of these processed by Visa is Scotiabank’s Momentum No-Fee Visa. It lives up to its name by charging no annual fee and yet still allowing cardholders to accrue cash back on all their purchases. At gas stations, grocery stores, drugstores and on recurring bills, cash back comes at 1.00%, with 0.50% earned on all other purchases.
There’s also a special introductory bonus, offering new cardholders 7.99% interest on purchases for their first 6 months. For those who are planning a big expense and may need to carry it between monthly statements, this could come in handy. Topped off with discounts of up to 20.00% on rental cars at AVIS, Scotiabank offers yet another valuable Visa card with their Momentum No-Fee deal.
Best Lifestyle Rewards Visa
The Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite card offers new applicants up to 5.00% in GM Earnings on their first $10,000 in annual spending. After the promotion, they earn at a rate of 2.00%. GM Earnings have a high-value equivalency—with $1 in GM Earnings the same as $1 off the purchase price or lease down payment of a new Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, or GMC vehicle.
The best part is that there are no earning caps or limits on the number of points you can redeem at once, and they will never expire. With diligent use, the card will attain a sizeable discount on a new car or truck from GM in a few years. Lastly, when cardholders eventually get their dream vehicle, they’ll enjoy travel medical, rental car, trip interruption insurance, and other protective benefits. Better yet, Scotiabank is waiving the annual fee for new accounts opened by June 30th, 2018.
You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite card review.
Best Balance Transfer Visa
A card that helps people escape from high interest is a lifeline, and one of the best cards for that purpose is the RBC Visa Platinum, which lets cardholders transfer their balances (up to $50,000) and pay just 5.90% interest on them for a 30-month promotional period. That’s 2.5 years where interest accrues at a dramatically lower rate than the standard 20.00%, translating to incredible savings power. Other balance transfer promotions limit the timeframe to as little as 6 months.
To cap it all off, RBC offers cardholders a free additional card and some automotive benefits like increased Petro-Canada rewards at the pump and roadside assistance. Best of all? Cardholders don’t even need to pay an annual fee for all these perks.
You can learn more about the card by reading our complete RBC Visa Platinum card review.
Didn’t Find the Visa for You?
If none of the cards on this expansive list piqued your interest, feel free to comment below or email us with your specific criteria and we’ll be glad to make specific recommendations.