Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada
Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfer in Canada in 2022
- Best Offer CIBC Select Visa* Card - Get 0% interest for up to 10 months with a 1% transfer fee† and a first year annual fee rebate† Apply Now Read Our Review >
- MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card - Balance Transfer✪ Promo: 0% for 12 months† Apply Now Read Our Review >
- Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card - Balance Transfer Intro Rate: 1.95% for 6 months (1% transfer fee applies)* Apply Now Read Our Review >
A balance transfer promotion allows debtors to transfer and consolidate high-interest debts onto a new, low-interest credit card. Using these promotions responsibly can stop your compounding debt in its tracks, providing you with a low-interest or interest-free opportunity to pay off your debt and start your financial life anew.
Below is a curated list of the most advantageous balance transfer deals in Canada, and all the details you need to know in order to make an educated choice for your debt repayment goals.
Best Low Interest (0%) Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada
|Credit Card||Balance Transfer Intro Rate||Post-Promotional Balance Transfer Annual Interest Rate||Annual Fee||Card Review|
|CIBC Select Visa* Card||Transfer your credit card balance - Get 0% interest for up to 10 months with a 1% transfer fee† and a first year annual fee rebate†||13.99%†|
(13.99%† Purchase Annual Interest Rate, and 13.99%† Cash Advance Annual Interest Rate)
(First Year Rebate)†
|MBNA True Line® Mastercard®||0% |
for 12 months†
|Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card||1.95% for 6 months (1% transfer fee applies)*||19.95%||$0||Read More|
1. CIBC Select Visa* Card
– Minimum Credit Score: Good
– Minimum Income: $15,000 annual household†
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Resident of Canada
– Other: No bankruptcy for the past 7 years
The CIBC Select Visa* Card offers 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 10 months (1% transfer fee)† and after that, you can count on its consistent 13.99%† Balance Transfer Annual Interest Rate. Currently the only card on the market to offer such a balance transfer promotional rate, this card is perfect to help close the gaps created by your holiday spending for instance. The card comes with a $29 annual fee which is rebated your first year.†
Aside from offering the best balance transfer promotional rate on the market, cardholders also receive common carrier insurance and opt to pay for other insurances.
- Welcome Bonus: First Year Annual Fee Rebate†
- Balance Transfer Promotion: Get 0% interest for up to 10 months with a 1% transfer fee†
- Interest Rates: 13.99%† Purchase Annual Interest Rate, 13.99%† Cash Advance Annual Interest Rate, and 13.99%† Balance Transfer Annual Interest Rate
- Additional Perks: Common carrier insurance†
- Annual Fee: $29 (first year rebated)†
† 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
2. MBNA True Line® Mastercard®
– Recommended Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: N/A
– Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province.
– Residency: Available to all Canadian residents except for residents of Quebec.
The MBNA True Line® Mastercard® is aptly named, rescuing cardholders with an effective combination of a low balance transfer rate, low purchase rate, and no annual fee. The card’s rates on purchases and balance transfers are about half of what any standard card charges, and for cardholders that have a hefty outstanding balance—or many of them—the chance to dramatically reduce their interest payments is a true saving grace.
- No annual fee
- Special balance transfer✪ promotion: 0% interest for 12 months†
- 12.99% regular interest rate on purchases and 12.99%✪ on balance transfers
- 24/7 customer support
- Constant fraud defense
The most prominent feature of the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® is probably its special balance transfer✪ promotion, which is one of the best balance transfer promotions in Canada. New cardholders who transfer a balance within the first 90 days of opening their account can get a balance transfer interest rate of 0% for 12 months†. At the end of the 12 months period that interest rate increases to 12.99%, which is still relatively low. The only catch to the deal is that each balance transfer is subject to a 3% transfer fee (minimum $7.50), which can be a significant expense to pay up front, particularly for large balances transferred.
The absence of any annual fee is a perk that runs parallel with the low interest rate benefits, in that it works to actively reduce the money coming out of a cardholder’s pocket. To keep your money secure, MBNA links True Line® cards to its fraud protection service, which keeps an eye out for suspicious activity and actively works to halt fraud in its tracks.
Who’s the Card For?
The MBNA True Line® Mastercard® is ideal for those who need relief from older and ongoing debts. People with multiple credit cards, loans, or lines of credit can utilize the card’s balance transfer feature to escape compounding interest and then continue to use the card for their daily purchase needs without the same massive interest penalty as with other cards.
†, ✪, Terms and Conditions apply.
This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button
The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the issuer of this credit card. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ®MBNA and other-trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.
3. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Balance Transfer Intro Rate: 1.95% for 6 months (1% transfer fee applies)
– Annual fee: $0
Tangerine’s Money-Back Credit Card offers an advantageous balance transfer option to new cardholders, who pay just 1.95% for 6 months (1% transfer fee applies)*. This perk complements the card’s flexible savings power, with the ability to choose any 2 of 10 purchase categories to earn 2% cash back in.
People with large families who spend a bundle on groceries can pick the grocery category and start earning cash back, with other categories including common buys like restaurants, gas, home improvement, drug store purchases and recurring bills. Categories can be swapped at any time you like.
It’s also possible to get a third cash back category by signing up for a Tangerine Savings Account and having your cash back deposited there. When you consider that you’ll also earn 0.5% cash back on everything else, the savings will quickly add up. Peripheral perks on the card are the absence of an annual fee, as well as standard 90-day purchase insurance and extended warranties by up to an additional year.
Note that if you have an annual personal income of at least $60K, or household income of at least $100K, you should check out the Tangerine World Mastercard® instead. It has no annual fee and offers the same balance transfer deal and flexible rewards as the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, but provides extra features including mobile device insurance, airport lounge access, and car rental insurance.
*Terms and Conditions apply
Choosing the Right Balance Transfer Card for You
There are a handful of key factors you should look at to determine which balance transfer promotion is the best fit for your debt repayment scenario:
Promotional Balance Transfer Rate
The lower the interest rate the better.
Does the promotion give you enough time to pay back your debt in its entirety? Among all the balance transfer-related questions we get at GreedyRates, about 40% of them are cardholders asking how they should go about either extending the promotional period on their card or re-transferring their balance to another card with another promotion. 6 months might sound like plenty of time to pay off a balance, but it can fly by faster than you expect.
Post-Promotional Balance Transfer Interest Rate
Once the promotion ends, the interest rate on your transferred balance might suddenly rocket up, depending on the card you’ve transferred to. Some cards still have relatively low interest rates even after the promotion ends. Other cards immediately bump the interest rate up to 20% or so, which can be financially detrimental if you still haven’t paid off the balance at that time.
Balance Transfer Fee
Most balance transfer cards charge a one-time balance transfer fee, typically in the range of 1% to 3% per transferred balance. In most cases, the cost of the transfer fee will be added to your balance. So if you transfer $4,000 of credit card debt, you will be charged a $40 transfer fee, increasing your transferred balance to $4,040.
Eligibility Criteria and Card Issuer
The balance transfer card you have an eye on might require a minimum annual income, credit score, and a credit standing free of current bankruptcies or consumer proposals. And the card issuer will not allow you to transfer a balance from one of its own credit cards, or the credit cards of its subsidiaries. For instance, MBNA is owned by TD, and will therefore not allow the transfer of a debt owed to TD. Check with the bank before applying if you’re concerned that you might not qualify for a card, or that the debts you have may not be eligible to transfer.
Before making a final decision about which balance transfer card you’ll go for, read through an in-depth review of the card to make sure there are no potential snags or fine-print details that might surprise you later on.
How to Complete a Balance Transfer
The process of executing a balance transfer will generally be similar from one card issuer to the next, and should more or less follow the sequence below:
- Apply for a balance transfer credit card using one of the links listed earlier in this article.
- When filling out your card application you will indicate which creditors you want to pay, how much you want to pay to them, and the account numbers for the debts you’d like transferred.
- Once you’re approved for the balance transfer credit card, the credit card company will contact your creditors on your behalf and pay them the amount you indicated. It can take from two to four weeks for this process to be completed.
- To avoid late fees, continue to make any required minimum payments on your debts during the transition process.
- Make all balance transfers within the card’s allotted window for the promotion. This window varies from one card to the next, but it’s typically within 3 months of opening the account. The amount eligible for transfer also varies from one card to the next. For some cards the maximum transfer amount will match the card’s credit limit; for other cards the maximum transfer amount might be 50% of the balance transfer card’s credit limit. If you have multiple sources of debt and their combined total exceeds the amount you’re allowed to transfer onto the new card, prioritize transferring the debts that have the highest interest rate.
- Be meticulous about making the minimum payment each month for the new card, well in advance of its due date. Missing a payment during the promotional period can result in the bank increasing your low promotional interest rate to a far higher rate in the neighbourhood of 20% or more. Consider automating your minimum payments, so you’ll never, ever be late.
- Create a personal budget that will allow you to not only make the minimum payment on your new credit card, but to really capitalize on the low-interest balance transfer period and pay as much of your transferred balance off as possible before the interest rates go back up.
- Beware new purchases. Balance transfer credit cards only give you a low interest rate on your transferred balances, whereas new purchases made with the card will likely be subject to a much higher purchase interest rate. If you intend to make new purchases with your credit card, and carry a balance, make sure that the balance transfer card you select also has a relatively low purchase interest rate, or close the balance transfer card once the balance is paid off and open a different low interest rate credit card.
Beat the Banks at the Balance Transfer Game
A number of established banks and financial organizations rely on brand awareness rather than developing innovative, competitive services, and they assume that you’ll take either the first or most familiar offer you see. Don’t. Compare what’s out there, do a little math, and choose the best card that’s right for you.
If math isn’t your forte or if you’re struggling to make a choice, you can always shoot us an email or leave a comment for us below this article. Send us some info about the debt circumstance you’re in and we’ll be happy to give you free, unbiased advice.
*This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.