Best Visa Credit Cards in Canada
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 who prefer Mastercard, however, such as Costco, which does not accept Visa in Canada. 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 outstanding 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.
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 Visa Card Promotion
In terms of a great introductory promotion, the most rewarding Canadian Visa card currently available is the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card. During their first three months, cardholders will receive 9.00% cash back on gas, grocery, and recurring bill payments (offer valid through June 3rd, 2018). If you spend $3,000 per month across these categories and $2,000 elsewhere, you stand to earn well over $1,500 in cash back during your first year. After the promotion ends, the cash back rate declines to a still-competitive 3.00% in these categories and 1.00% everywhere else.
One of the best parts about the Cash Back Visa Infinite card is that it allows cardholders to use their cash back flexibly, as they can pay down their balance whenever they want, as long as they’re redeeming $25 or more in cash back. Additionally, the card comes with some protective benefits that inspire confidence, such as emergency road assistance services and travel medical insurance.
You can learn more about the card by reading our complete TD Cash Back 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.
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 Travel Rewards Visa
The TD First Class Visa Infinite card is impressive due to its strong introductory bonus and the fast rate at which cardholders earn rewards. Buy something as small as a pack of gum with this Visa credit card and get 20,000 welcome points, and then another 30,000 if you can spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of membership (offer expires June 3rd, 2018). Including the maximum bonus, those who regularly charge $2,500 per month to their card will earn 110,000 points in their first year, which is the equivalent of $440 in airfare, hotel accommodations, or other common travel needs.
The card also favors those who prefer to book their travel with Expedia, earning 9 points per dollar spent on the site ExpediaForTD.ca. Other everyday purchases still earn rewards points at the fast rate of 3 per dollar, making it easy to save up and reduce the cost of your next trip. Members will even receive a Priority Pass to airport lounges worldwide. Finally, all can appreciate travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel accident, and baggage insurance for themselves and their companions.
You can learn more about the card by reading our complete TD First Class Visa Infinite 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.
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.