Best Visa Cards in Canada

Best Visa Credit Cards in Canada in 2022

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Last updated on September 28, 2022 Comments: 16

Visa is one of three credit card networks active in Canada (alongside Mastercard and American Express), and is widely recognized as the largest of the trio. Cardholders can be confident that most merchants will accept their Visa, though there are some outliers, like Costco, which accepts Mastercard only. Nonetheless, Visa enjoys a healthy lead in market share, regularly making up over half of global credit card payments by itself, leaving the other card issuers to split the rest of the pie.

The universal popularity of the Visa brand explains the sheer number of Visa cards available in Canada, as well as the consistent majority Visa has on our list of Canada’s best credit cards overall.

Summary of Best Canadian Visa Credit Cards in 2022

Credit CardBest ForSpecial Card FeatureAnnual Fee 
Home Trust Secured VisaImproving CreditHigh approval rate$0Read More
CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* CardCash BackAfter the Welcome Offer ends 4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchasesSee terms belowRead More
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* CardTravel1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, and direct through Air Canada® purchases$139 Annual Fee Rebate Read More
Home Trust Preferred VisaNo Foreign Transaction Fee0% foreign transaction fee;
1% cash back on all eligible purchases in CAD
$0Read More

Terms and conditions apply.

Best Visa Card for Improving Credit

Home Trust Secured Visa

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Bad-Poor
– Minimum Income: $0
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Resident of Canada

The Home Trust Secured Visa is a very smart choice if you’re looking to improve your credit score, and there are two features that really make it stand out compared to most other secured credit cards: 1. It has neither a monthly nor annual fee, making it a great fit for people who not only need to improve their credit but are looking to do so in a budget-conscious way; and 2. It offers Purchase Security, which is typically a feature reserved for unsecured credit cards only.

Home Trust makes monthly reports about your payments to Canada’s major credit bureaus, so you can expect to gradually build up your credit score, provided you make your payments on time. You guarantee repayment of whatever balance you put on the card by securing it (hence why it’s called a “secured” credit card) with your own money. The security deposit is flexible and can range from $500 to as much as $10,000, depending on how high a credit limit you want and how much money you can put down.

Key Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Limit: $500–$10,000
  • Purchase Interest Rate: 19.99%
  • Purchase Security: Eligible items purchased with the card are insured against theft or damage for 90 days from date of purchase

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Home Trust Secured Visa review.

Best Cash Back Visa Card

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Minimum Income: $60,000 individual or $100,000 household
– Age: Age of majority in province
– Residency: Canadian resident
– Other: No bankruptcy for the past 7 years

The CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card outshines its competitors among the best cash back cards in Canada on several fronts: Its accelerated earn rates are in the two categories where Canadians tend to spend the most money—eligible gas and groceries—and it doles out a huge 4% in each of those categories after the Welcome Offer ends. There’s an annual fee rebate for the first year, but it’s still an affordable card after the first year ends.

If you’re drawn to the high earn rates for eligible groceries and gas, but you don’t meet the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card’s income requirements, we recommend applying instead for the CIBC Dividend Platinum® Visa Card, which is virtually identical to the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card but doesn’t offer as comprehensive an insurance package.

Key Features

  • Annual Fee: $120 for primary cardholder; $30 per additional authorized user (up to 3)
  • Welcome Offer: Get a first-year annual fee rebate and earn a 10% cash back welcome bonus of up to $300!
  • Regular Cash Back: After that 4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases; 2% cash back on eligible transportation, dining purchases and recurring payments; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Get cash back on demand – redeem your cash back at any time when you have a minimum of $25 through CIBC Online and Mobile Banking®
  • Insurance: Includes out-of-province travel medical insurance, trip interruption insurance, flight delay/baggage insurance, and auto rental insurance.
  • Interest Rates: 20.99% Purchase Annual Interest Rate; 22.99% (for non-Quebec residents only) Cash Advance Annual Interest Rate, and 22.99% (for non-Quebec residents only) Balance Transfer Annual Interest Rate

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card review.

This is a digital-exclusive offer. To be eligible for this offer, you must apply for a new eligible card using the “Apply Now” link available on this webpage.

Conditions apply

Quebec Residents: Learn More about this CIBC product here.

Résidents du Québec : Pour en savoir plus sur ce produit CIBC, suivez ce lien.

Best Travel Visa Card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
Standard Purchase APR: 19.99%
– Balance Transfer APR:
22.99%
– Cash Advance APR:
22.99%
– Minimum Credit Score: Good-Excellent
– Minimum personal income required: $60,000
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Must be a resident of Canada. This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card starts new cardholders off with a colossal welcome bonus:

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.

Beyond this impressive start, the card has decent long-term value, collecting 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas, and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card (about a 2.1% rate of return), and 1 Aeroplan Mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. It also comes with a comprehensive set of travel and purchase insurance. Its only weakness for hardcore travellers is that it doesn’t offer any form of airport lounge access; plus its annual fee for additional cardholders is relatively steep.

Key Features
  • Annual Fees: $139 for primary cardholder; $75 for additional cardholders (annual fee rebate)
  • Welcome Bonus: Online exclusive: Earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points. Plus, first year no Annual Fee. Conditions Apply. Must apply online by January 3, 2023.
  • Aeroplan Earn Rates: 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery, and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card; 1 Aeroplan point per $1 spent elsewhere; double points at participating retailers and the Air Canada eStore
  • Additional Benefits: Well-rounded insurance suite; one complimentary checked bag when travelling with Air Canada

Terms and conditions apply.

Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Visa Card

Home Trust Preferred Visa

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Minimum Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: $15,000
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Resident of Canada

 

Foreign transaction fees, which are typically 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 Visa, which has the straightforward benefit of not charging these fees for any foreign transactions whatsoever. Cardholders also earn 1% cash back on all their eligible purchases in CAD, so the card is ultimately advantageous whether you’re at home or abroad.

Though the Home Trust Preferred Visa does suffer from some minor limitations (e.g. a max of 10 transactions per day), the addition of purchase protection and extended warranties further solidify the deal, and it’s all offered for no annual fee.

Key Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
  • Cash Back: 1% on all eligible purchases in CAD

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Home Trust Preferred Visa review.

How Did We Choose These Cards?

We started by identifying the most popular card categories among our readers; then we compared all the Visa cards in Canada for those categories. Here are some of the most important card features we had in mind when choosing our category winners:

Fees vs. Overall Value

We always measure a card’s annual fee against the overall value it gives to cardholders in return, based on average consumer spending and debt levels. Some cards with steep annual fees offer such a robust value package that the fee ultimately shouldn’t be a deterrent to those who qualify. On the other hand, you don’t always get what you pay for, and an annual fee isn’t necessarily a sure sign that the card will be packed full of useful benefits. Aside from an annual fee, cards may often have less obvious costs that we also take into consideration, like foreign transaction fees and balance transfer fees.

Interest Rates

Cash back and rewards cards typically have APRs hovering around 19.99% to 24.99%; we expect far lower rates from cards in the low interest and balance transfer categories. Cards may also stand out by offering low interest rates across multiple transaction types, like purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.

Earn Rates and Redemption Values

One of the most important considerations of any rewards or cash back card is how quickly and easily cash back and rewards add up. When analyzing this feature we of course favour higher earn rates; however, we also consider the real-world value of rewards points (see our Loyalty Program Bible for more info). A rewards program’s ease of redemption and transferability is also important.

Sign-Up Bonus

Everyone likes the immediate gratification of a big sign-up bonus, which may include a bunch of rewards points, enhanced cash back rates, and an annual fee rebate. Of course, in our book a big sign-up bonus won’t trump a card’s overall, long-term value beyond its first year.

Special Features

Cards may have an extra advantage if they offer value-added benefits like mobile device or travel insurance, discounts at widely-used merchants, and airport lounge access.

Can’t Decide Which Visa Is for You?

Whether a card is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depends as much on your personal needs as it does on the card itself. For example, a rewards card offering every travel benefit under the sun won’t be of much use to someone who rarely leaves their home province; a cash back card may seem lucrative at first glance, but its relatively high interest will do more harm than good to someone who might carry a balance from month to month. If after perusing this list you’re still not sure which card is best for you, take a look at our article on choosing a credit card to suit your lifestyle, then come back to make a final decision. You can also feel free to comment below or email us with your criteria and we’ll be glad to make specific recommendations tailored to you.

Mastercard and Visa are very competitive with each other in terms of merchant acceptance rates, and one can’t be classified as being inherently better than the other. We encourage you to choose a credit card based on its overall value and features, be it a Visa or Mastercard, unless you frequently shop at one of the rare merchants that happens to accept only one or the other.
The easiest credit cards to be approved for are typically secured credit cards. These cards require a security deposit, and are designed to be used by those who are looking to improve a low credit score. Once you have a credit score above 650 you can likely qualify for a number of basic unsecured credit cards, which will probably have low minimum annual income requirements.
Yes, you can check your Visa card balance online by setting up an online account with your card’s issuer. All reputable credit, debit, and prepaid cards issued today should offer online account maintenance.

* Advertisers are not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any advertiser product, please visit their Web site.

 

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Author Bio

GreedyRates is Canada’s go-to resource for all things personal finance. Our expert articles and videos cover every topic under the financial sun, including credit cards, credit scores, loans, bank accounts, budgeting, investing, RSPs, TFSAs, GICs, taxes, and more. Want our advice on a personal finance issue? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll gladly give you some free tips.

Article comments

16 comments
Gerry Van Vaals says:

Looking for card that provides the longest medical travel coverage after age 65

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Gerry,
Either the National Bank World Elite Mastercard and the Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Master card will be your best bet- both offer 15 days of travel medical coverage for those ages 65-75. Alternately, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite offers 4 days of medical coverage for those over 65 and as of July 1, 2021, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite will offer 3 days of coverage. Hope this helps.

Xiaoyu says:

Hi! I have recently moved to Canada and currently I hold the Scotiabank amex gold card. However, since I’ve experienced quite a few rejections on this card(a lot of smaller stores/restaurants don’t accept this card), I’m thinking about getting a visa card. What are some of your suggestions given that i have the amex gold? Ps I also have the Chase sapphire reserve from the states, but i think it’s unwise to transfer CAD to USD to pay my American credit debt. Thanks for your help!

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Xiaoyu,

Good to hear from you, and good questions as well! Welcome to Canada, first of all. Second, let’s give you some help with your credit card selection. Amex doesn’t have as high an acceptance rate among merchants anywhere as Mastercard or Visa, so having one of the latter two is recommended. That said, we recommend you search within your bank (Scotiabank) for a Visa card that complements the card you already have. The Scotiabank Amex card is great, but if you picked up the No-Fee Scotiabank Rewards Visa card you’ll have an alternative payment method that also earns the same type of Rewards points.

This is an advantage because you won’t split your spending between two rewards points, which would double the time it’d otherwise take to redeem for a reward you want. You may also be able to skip the credit check as well, since Scotiabank is the issuer and is already familiar with you and the only other Canadian account you own. Double check on this last point. Do some preliminary research on our site or call a Scotiabank agent and have them give you a hand with the application and any other questions. Regarding your American debt, a USD card could be an option, but that’s another thing to ask about.

GreedyRates

Vikram Singh says:

Which is low intrest Credit Card and high cash back?

Nate Siegel says:

Hi Vikram,

Thanks for coming to GreedyRates. Generally, it’s difficult to find a credit card that offers both high cash back and a low interest rate for purchases or cash advances, but there are a few examples that get close to what you want. One of the best comes from Desjardins, with its Modulo Visa card. It doesn’t earn cash back directly but offers 1% back is BONUSDOLLARS, which can be used with similar flexibility. The Modulo Visa also provides a lower interest rate than most other cards—just 10.9% on purchases but also cash advances as well!

You should also check out the Scotiabank Momentum No-Fee Visa, which could work if you’re only in need of low interest for a limited period of time. Its introductory bonus cuts the purchase interest rate to just 7.99% for your first 6 months, and the card itself earns cash back at a 1% rate on gas, groceries, and more (0.5% elsewhere). Hope these suggestions inspire you, just let us know if you need additional information.

GreedyRates

Sandy says:

How do you rate the RBC Visa infinite avion card ?

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Sandy,

If you want to know what we think of the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card, check out our review, but in the meantime, we can do a short highlight of the card’s pros and cons for you. Essentially, if you value the ability to earn points with the RBC card and use them for flying on any airline, this is a good option. Avion points are quite flexible, and besides a 15,000-point welcome bonus, the card impresses with a 1 point per $1 rate on all spending. Turn that up to 1.25 points per $1 on travel, and it’s obvious this Visa card puts most of its emphasis on the value of individual points and how they’re used. It’s also nice to get some insurance extras (not including medical coverage). Hope that helps!

GreedyRates Staff

Jack Goldstein says:

Hi,
Your Scotia Momentum Visa information is out-of-date. Since the summer, the card pays 4% on groceries and recurring transactions, 2% on transit and gas and 1% on everything else.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Jack,

Appreciate the comment. You’re correct that the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card went through a slight change that we forgot to update on this article (now remedied). Just to satisfy curious readers, the old version of the card included gas as a category in which spending would earn at a 4% rate instead of 2%. Another change is that they’ve moved up ‘Recurring Bills’ into the 4% category (which will be nice for some), as well as added a new 2% category called ‘Transit’ which should help provide savings from transportation costs where you aren’t driving yourself. Thanks again for the correction and keep on reading.

GreedyRates Staff

Mark says:

How about the ManulifeMoney+ no fee cashback visa? I just stumbled upon this card recently and it seems intriguing for a no fee cashback card. 2% on groceries (up to $15k annually) and 1% everything else. Has purchase protection and extended warranty. What intrigued me was the cashback redemption of 4 times a year automatically to your statement in March, June, September and December. Better then waiting a year like a lot of cards out there especially visa cards.

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Mark,

We hear you and cannot argue with what seems to be a nice card! However, just from its best highlights we can already see a reason to pick up the Tangerine Money-Back credit card instead: rather than 2% on groceries alone, Tangerine cardholders are able to choose 2 purchase categories where they’ll earn 2%. These include groceries but also gas, home improvement, and other common expenses where the savings are appreciated. Every other purchase earns at 0.50%, whereas your card’s 1% all-purpose rate is better, yet the Tangerine card pays its cash back monthly not quarterly.

Also, not only can you apply your cash back directly to your balance monthly, you can also deposit it directly into a Tangerine Savings account to let it earn interest. When you take this option, Tangerine allows you to choose a third 2% cash back category. Check it out and take what we said to heart, but if you’re still on the fence feel free to email us at [email protected] for further questions. Thanks.

GreedyRates

Scott D says:

Have you done a comparison on the Scotia Bank More Rewards Visa? I would like to know if it compares to other travel awards cards.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Scott,

Thanks for the great comment. We haven’t done much research into the Scotia More Rewards card or the More Rewards program since Scotia won the More Rewards exclusivity deal way back when. It seems as though the card was removed from Scotia’s website, however, so we’re not sure if it’s still offered. Either way, from the information we have collected about the card, it is (or was) a solid rewards-gathering tool on most purchases, but if you wanted to spend your rewards outside of travel, then their relative value diminished significantly.

If you’re looking for a more mainstream rewards credit card with great support and good value no matter what you’re redeeming your rewards on, then opt for a card like the BMO Rewards Mastercard. This is a card in the same tier, offering a flat rate of BMO Rewards of 1 point per $1 spent, a 20,000-point introductory bonus, and the ability to spend your points at similar relative value in multiple categories (merchandise, travel, etc.) If you’d like to expand upon your preferences a bit and let us know anything else relevant, we can provide more suitable suggestions. Email us at [email protected]! Thanks.

GreedyRates

JD Campbell says:

I wouldn’t pick Scotia bank value visa as top. The rbc low interest annual fee is cheaper, less interest at 11.99 and offers purchase protection which I don’t think the Scotia does. Am I wrong on this ?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Greetings JD,

Thanks for your commentary about our article on the best Visa cards in Canada this year. Obviously, the “best” card is always subjective, and entirely dependent on the personal preferences of the cardholder, but it’s good to know why you consider the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option a better alternative to Scotia’s Value Visa card. You’re correct that the RBC card’s annual fee is lower for the same interest rate (you’ll pay $20 per year with RBC instead of $29 to Scotia), but one thing you forgot to mention was the balance transfer promotion provided by Scotia currently.

That extra $9 means that new cardholders have the option to transfer a balance from their old credit card or loan and pay a low rate of 0.99% on it for 6 months. While some applicants will find it irrelevant, many will not, and this alone puts it leagues ahead of RBC’s card in our eyes. It’s simply more relevant to more Canadians, but again, entirely circumstantial. Another consideration in favor of Scotiabank is that its card gives you 20% off at Avis car rental branches. In the end, pick whatever works best for you, and the differences are negligible enough to justify either of the cards, if you aren’t picky. Best of luck with your choice.

GreedyRates