August 17, 2022

Top Canadian credit cards with great rewards

The views and opinions expressed in this article represent the views and opinions of the…

Top Canadian credit cards with great rewards

The views and opinions expressed in this article represent the views and opinions of the personal finance review website managementhelp.org, who sponsored this article. Managementhelp.org may be compensated by the companies for promoting, reviewing, or recommending their products or services. The services are ranked based on their popularity and features as determined by managementhelp.org

**This ad is not targeted toward residents of Quebec

Using the right credit card could help you earn rewards such as cash back or miles points annually, amongst other benefits. Whether you’re searching for low fees, extra rewards, or simply more benefits such as rental car savings or travel medical insurance – every dollar counts.

If you use your card well, clear your monthly balance, and select the most reliable rewards program, you are bound to save money in the long run.

There are many credit cards out there. However, finding the best deal in Canada can be challenging.

In this review, we’ve highlighted the top 7 credit cards in Canada (with Neo Card as the no.1) so that you can easily zero in on the one that aligns with your spending habits – the one with features you truly value. 

Ultimately, the final decision will be yours to make. 

Let’s get into it!

Top Credit Cards in Canada:

1. Neo Card (CC): Best Canadian Credit Card Overall

Pros:

  • Neo Card Guarantees 1% cash back with the potential of up to 15%

  • No minimum limit for redeeming cash backs

  • Fully digital

  • Cashback and cash-out rewards at any time

Cons:

Overview:

Neo Financial offers fantastic cashback offers, including double-digit cashback rewards from several local neighborhood restaurants and Cafes for repeated visits or spending habits. 

It’s straightforward to browse Neo Partners in the application before selecting where to have your lunch to increase your cash back.

Your cashback accrues as you spend, and you can request a cash out anytime, with extra no conditions. 

Unlike most of its counterparts, you won’t have to wait to hit a specific threshold to make a cashout.

If you want your money, simply tap “Cash Out” in the application, and you can automatically cash out your credit statement or into your Neo Money account.

Another standout feature is that Neo will notify you when your bill is due and the amount you have to pay to avoid interest fees. This can either be an app or email notification. 

When was the last time you had a card that helped you avoid interest charges?

Fees: (do not vary): 

Rewards Rate:

Best used for:

With no minimum limit for redeeming points, it’s a great card for people who want to enjoy earned points without limitations.

>>Up to 15% Welcome Bonus Cash Back on Your First Purchase at Some Neo Partners<<

2. Tangerine World Mastercard: Excellent Money-Back Rewards

Pros:

Cons:

Overview: 

Tangerine World Mastercard is an excellent card to consider if you love traveling and receiving money-back rewards – which are deposited into your account every month.

To take advantage of the travel rewards, simply use your Tangerine credit card at select merchants which accept Mastercard while outside Canada, it’s that easy! 

You can also take advantage of the Mastercard® Travel Pass – a complimentary membership provided by Dragonpass, which allows you to get exclusive dining perks, as well as retail offers, spa visits and so much more.

The Tangerine World Mastercard offers the following interest rates:

  • Interest Rate on Purchases:19.95% APR

  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount transferred, or minimum of $5.00 APR

There are two main requirements for qualifying for this card:

Fees (do not vary): 

  • Annual Fee: Zero APR 

  • Purchases Interest Rate: 19.95% APR 

  • Interest on Cash Advances: 19.95% APR 

  • Foreign currency conversion: 2.50% APR 

Rewards Rate:

Best used for:

Excellent for everyday purchases and for those of you who travel frequently.

3. Syncro Mastercard: Best Credit Card in Canada with Low Interest

Pros:

  • Low purchase interest rates

  • Includes purchase protection (90 days) & extended warranty

  • Low annual fee

  • Great interest rates for cash advances

Cons:

Overview:

Do you feel you spend so much on interest? Are you searching for a low-interest credit card? The National Bank Syncro Mastercard could be what you need. With an annual fee of $35, it’s one of the cards with the lowest interest rates in Canada.

Even better, the interest rate is not determined by your credit score. Thus, if you don’t have a good credit score, you should consider this card.

The Syncro card offers the following interest rates: (do not vary)

Since most credit cards offer an average interest rate of 19.99%, you’ll be saving a lot by using this card. 

There are two main requirements for qualifying for this card:

Fees: (do not vary)

  • Annual Fee: $35 APR

  • Purchases Interest Rate: 8.9% APR

  • Additional Card Fee: $0 APR

  • Cash Advance Interest Rate: 12.9%APR

Rewards Rate:

Best used for:

Perfect for everyday purchases. Also a great card for customers who are likely to carry balance due to the low-interest rate.

Low Purchase Interest Rates With Syncro

4. Mycredit Mastercard: Great Card for Bonus Rewards on Restaurants

Pros:

  • No annual fees

  • 1% cash back on restaurant purchases

  • Mobile protection, fraud protection and purchase protection

Cons:

Overview:

The Mycredit MasterCard is an ideal card for people who primarily spend a lot on restaurant purchases and recurring credit card payments. 

The cashback you’ll receive will automatically apply during your monthly billing period, and you’ll receive extra coverage for your mobile device.

With this card, you’ll be insured against damage or theft for up to two years after purchasing a product with a manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, your purchases will be protected from damage, loss, or theft for up to 90 days after you make the purchase.

As if that’s not enough, you’ll receive up to double the manufacturer’s warranty for most credit card purchases (up to one year).

Better yet, you won’t have to be worried about security since the card guarantees secure online purchases by verifying your identity when making online purchases. The card has fraud protection that will guard you against any unauthorized transactions.

To receive this card, you’re required to:

  • Be 18 years or above (PE, AB, MB, QA, SK & ON) — 19 years in other provinces

  • Be a temporary or permanent Canadian resident

Fees: (do not vary): 

  • APR interest rate: 20.99% APR

  • Cash advance interest rate: 22.49% APR

  • Balance transfer interest rate: 22.49% APR

Rewards Rate:

Best used for:

Restaurants (and other qualifying purchases)

No Annual Fees With mycredit

5. American Express Cobalt® Card – Earn Rewards While Travelling

Pros:

  • Free supplementary cards

  • Flexible monthly fee structure

  • High earn rates of up to 5% return on expenditure

  • 1:1 transfer with specific airlines, hotels, and frequent flyer programs

Cons:

Overview:

The real claim to fame of the American Express Cobalt Card lies in its points earning structure on grocery purchases.

With this card, you’ll receive 5 Membership Rewards points for every dollar you spend on restaurants, groceries, food delivery services, and cafes, which is super lucrative.

You’ll also receive 3 points for every dollar you spend on streaming services, 2 points per dollar spent on transit, gas, and travel such as taxi cabs, buses, or hotel stay, and one point per dollar spent on anything else.

To maximize your profit’s value, you can redeem them for travel through the Fixed Points Travel Program or the Amex travel portal. Alternatively, you can redeem them for gift cards, merchandise, or statement credit, but at a reduced value compared to travel.

The Amex Cobalt Card comes with a sweet insurance bundle of up to $5 million for country/out-of-province emergency medical coverage, a hotel burglary protection of up to $500, car rental damage, and coverage of up to $85,000 and $250,000 of travel accident coverage, stolen or lost luggage and baggage or flight delay.

Other offers include:

  • Mobile device insurance of up to $1,000

  • Access to the American Express Hotel Collection

  • American Express invites to exclusive events

Fees: 

  • Minimum monthly fee of $12.99

  • 21.99% APR  on funds advances

  • 20.00% APR  on purchases

    If you have Missed Payments, the applicable rates for your account will be 23.99% and/or 26.99%

Rewards Rate:

  • 5X points on qualifying drinks and eats purchases in Canada

  • 2X points on qualifying gas and transit purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases

  • 3X points on qualifying streaming purchases in Canada

  • 1X point on everything else

  • Up to 75,000 Membership rewards points for referrals who get approved annually

Best used for:

Perfect travel card with benefits such as access to American Express travel partners such as British Airways Executive Club and Air Canada Aeroplan.

6. Echo Mastercard – Great for Rewards and Low Fees

Pros:

  • No charges for supplementary cards

  • 1.5% cashback on grocery, gas, and a few online purchases (limited)

  • 1% cashback on all other qualifying purchases (unlimited) 

  • Purchase protection from damage or theft for 90 days after purchase

Cons:

Overview/Product Details:

Have you been searching for a low card fee with cash back rewards on all purchases? The Echo Mastercard offers this and a lot more. This card is great, especially if you spend a lot on groceries, gas, and online shopping.

You’ll receive a 1.5% cash back on annual purchases of up to $25,000. This translates to $375 in annual cash back rewards, diluting the $30 annual fee and making it worth it.

Better yet, this is one of the few Canadian cards that reward you for doing your shopping online. Thus, for the right person, it’s a great card — all other purchases receive a 1% cashback.

Another unique thing about this card is that you can redeem your rewards any time you want. However, you have to earn at least $10 to do so.

Fees: 

  • Annual Fee: $30

  • Annual Fee for Additional Card: $0

  • Purchases Interest Rate: 20.99% APR

  • Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.49% APR

If you have Missed Payments, the applicable rates for your account will be 20.99% and/or 22.49%

Rewards Rate:

  • 1.5% cashback on grocery, gas, and online purchases

  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

Best used for:

Gas, grocery, and online purchases.

Enjoy Cashback Rewards With Echo

7. Allure Mastercard – For Giving Back to the Community

Pros:

  • Receive 1 point for every $2 you spend on the card

  • 10% discount on the purchase of specific gift cards

  • Zero liability for unauthorized transactions

  • Extended warranty — up to two times the manufacturer’s warranty

Cons:

Overview:

The National Bank Allure Mastercard offers prospective cardholders several benefits and rewards programs. 

You can receive a standard cash back card with a purchase rate of 20.99% and balance transfer and cash advance rate of 22.49%. 

Regardless of the card you select, the application process is straightforward. Just ensure you meet the following requirements before starting:

Fees: 

  • Purchase Rates: 20.99% APR 

  • Foreign transaction fees: 2.5% APR 

  • Balance transfer rate: 22.49% APR 

Rewards Rate:

Best used for:

The Allure Mastercard is a perfect way to contribute to a great cause as you earn and spend cash rewards. 

10% Off Gift Cards With Allure

8. MC1 Mastercard – Good Travel Card With the Priceless Cities Program

Pros:

  • No yearly fees

  • A full package of security features

  • A Priceless Cities program

  • Up to double the manufacturer’s warranty

Cons:

Overview:

The MC1 MasterCard is a great option for Canadians who want to enjoy a zero annual fee as they build their credit history. 

Even though the card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus or other rewards, it comes with advanced security features like 90 days of Purchase Protection, Fraud Protection, and an Extended Warranty.

This card also offers a contactless payment method and ID check to ensure secure online purchases. 

In addition, the card comes with the Priceless Cities program, which gives cardholders access to entertainment experiences, priority access, culinary encounters, and several other worldwide events.

Better yet, the card doesn’t charge an annual fee, which partly dilutes the interest rates that range between 20.99% and 22.49%. Lastly, the card has a reasonable credit limit of $500.

Fees: 

Rewards Rate:

Best used for:

The MC1 Mastercard is designed for people who want a straightforward card for paying their bills. The card isn’t associated with any offers or special programs but a $0 annual fee.

No Yearly Fees With MC1

Factors to Consider When Reviewing Highest Rated Credit Cards

Below are a few things that you should look at when selecting a credit card:

Credit Score

A great card should be easily accessible without too many limitations. Thus, with a fair credit score, you should have access to top rewards. On that note, you can boost your credit score by paying your bills on time, lowering your credit utilization, and having a mix of several credit cards.

Debt Assessment

In some cases, you may have a high-interest card debt or an accumulated debt from other loans. Thus, we also weigh options and  would recommend a balance transfer credit card that allows you to consolidate your debts during the introductory APR period.

On the other hand, if you’ve not accumulated any debts and plan to stay that way, we recommend cards with unique benefits such as cash-back.

Take advantage of Cash Back Rewards With Neo Card

Rewards Program

Most people usually want a card with a wide selection of lucrative rewards. These may come as flexible travel rewards, cash back, or redeemable credit card points that you can use in hotels and airlines. 

Either way, you’ll prefer to have a credit card that allows you to receive rewards in your preferred categories.

Fees and Other Costs

Lastly, we make sure to compare long-term carrying costs and other fees. Not only do we weigh the card’s interest rate against annual fees, but we also double-check late fees, over-the-limit fees, application fees, and other fees that you may be required to pay.

Types of Credit Cards Available

Below is a list of credit cards that you can acquire:

Rewards Credit Cards

With these cards, the name says it all. You’ll receive some perks once you use these cards to make purchases. These perks can either be cash, miles, or points. The more you spend, the more rewards you’ll receive.

This type of card is perfect if you can manage to be paying your monthly balance in full. There are four types of cards in this category. These include:

Cash Back Credit Cards

With this card, a rebate will be credited to your credit card balance, usually calculated as a percentage of your total purchases in dollars.

Although most cash-back credit cards have high earn rates in specific categories (gas and groceries, for example), they have a minimum base rate for any expenditure outside those categories. That aside, cash-back rewards will help you save on anything you can purchase with your card.

Take advantage of Cash Back Rewards With Neo Card

Travel Credit Cards

These cards will reward you with miles or points you can redeem on travel-related spendings such as hotels, flights, vacation purchases, and cruises. Although you might not receive these rewards as direct cash back, travel points come in handy and may help you save a lot on upcoming trips.

Better yet, most travel credit cards offer perks such as comprehensive travel insurance, airport lounge access, and attractive sign-up bonuses.

Store Credit Cards

These cards will reward you with points for everyday spending that you can redeem for discounts from retailers. The main idea here is to reward loyal customers with lucrative benefits.

The advantage for the retailer is that you’ll be locked into its ecosystem, a price too little to pay considering you’ll have access to exclusive offers. There are two types of store credit cards:

  • Closed-loop: Can only be used at specific retail chain families or stores.

  • Open-loop: These have an Amex, Mastercard, or Visa logo, and you can use them like traditional cards to purchase from stores where these cards are accepted.

Hotel Credit Cards

Like travel cards, these cards reward customers with points that can be redeemed for hotel perks and stays. These cards are usually attached to a specific hotel or VIP program.

Low-interest Credit Cards

With the average industry interest rates between 19.99% and 22.99%, many reward cards are not the best fit for customers who carry balances. This is where low-interest credit cards come in.

With an average interest rate between 8.99% and 12.99%, these cards allow users to access credit without high-interest fees that add up quickly. However, they don’t come with many perks or extras, but the low rates ensure you come out ahead, especially if you need more time to pay back your balance.

Take advantage of Cash Back Rewards With Neo Card

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Accumulating your debt load on a specific card will make the interest compound rapidly. The best option is to transfer the debt to a balance transfer card. This card will allow you to move your debt from a card with high interest to one with a reduced rate.

These cards come with promotional rates for a certain period. For example, you may be charged a 0% interest rate for 12 months. This will buy you time to pay back your balance with low or no interest. In some cases, the regular rate on the balance transfer credit card may be lower than usual.

Student Credit Cards

Student credit cards, commonly known as “starter cards,” are designed for users who lack a credit history but want to create a credit score. These cards tend to offer no annual fees, a few qualification requirements, and few or no extra perks. However, you may come across a few that offer fantastic rewards for your daily expenditure.

Secured Credit Cards

If you don’t have a local credit history or a good credit score, you may have difficulty getting approved for standard cards. It can become a serious issue, especially if you want to build your credit towards a loan or specific purchase. This is where secured credit cards come in!

You’ll “secure” this card by making a deposit, and for this reason, anyone can get approved. Afterward, you can use the card responsibly to help build your credit score.

Black Credit Cards

Unlike the name, black credit cards are not all about the color. They’re exclusive credit cards designed for the creme de la creme. Typically, you can acquire this type of card through an invitation if you are a big spender or high earner.

The eligibility criteria for these cards differ by the credit card companies. The rule of the thumb is that you need a fantastic credit score and showcase spending patterns of at least six figures yearly.

Take advantage of Cash Back Rewards With Neo Card

What is the Best Credit Card to Have? FAQs

Why Should I Acquire a Credit Card?

Owning and using a credit card responsibly will help you build your credit score in the long run, signaling to banks and potential lenders that you are trustworthy and reliable. Good credit is essential for major purchases such as homes and cars.

In addition, credit cards will earn you money on everyday purchases and offer extra perks such as travel insurance and points.

How Can I Apply for a Credit Card?

Before the credit card provider approves you, they’ll first assess your financial history to see if you are creditworthy. Thus, we can’t guarantee that you’ll be approved. The standard application process looks something similar to this:

  1. Fill out an application form: You can do this at your brick-and-mortar financial institution or online. You’ll be asked to provide personal information such as name, address, date of birth (DOB), social insurance number, income, and employer.

  2. Information-checking stage: Here, the credit card issuer will double-check your credit history to verify the provided information.

  3. Decision-making stage: You can be instantly approved or disapproved if you make an online application. The credit card issuer may also ask you to contact them and provide additional info.

  4. Credit card mailing: If approved, your credit card will be mailed out. It takes approximately 14 business days to arrive.

  5. Activate the card: Once you receive it, you’ll have to activate it. Log in to your account or contact customer support using the number on the card. Once it’s activated, you can use it to purchase at your favorite store.

Can Americans Receive a Canadian Credit Card?

Yes, many Canadian banks offer newcomer and non-resident credit cards. These cards are designed with temporary residents and newcomers in mind and typically don’t demand a credit check.

If you’re a US citizen, you should also consider acquiring a prepaid or secured credit card online. These cards will require you to deposit using them; they’re a great option for those visiting Canada.

Which Credit Cards Are Accepted the Most in Canada?

Mastercard and Visa are the most accepted Canadian credit cards. However, two popular retailers (No Frills and Costco) don’t accept visas. Thus, if you have an American Express card, it’s important that you carry a backup payment form — it’s less frequently used in Canada.

How Is Credit Card Interest Applied in Canada?

Most Canadian credit cards will charge you an interest rate of around 20% per annum. You’ll only be required to pay interest  if you don’t pay your entire balance in due time. You’ll continue paying the interest as long as you carry the balance.

Is It Acceptable To Have Two Credit Cards in Canada?

Yes. The number of Canadian credit cards you own will solely depend on your personal preferences, credit score, and spending habits. Owning two or more credit cards comes with several advantages and disadvantages. Below are a few things to remember:

  1. You can improve your credit score by using the two or more credit cards that you own responsibly

  2. Once you own more than one card, you can access multiple credit sources. This increases the risk of debt.

  3. You’ll have to go through a hard credit check to receive an extra credit card, which may slightly drop your credit score.

How Long Will It Take To Get Approved for a Credit Card in Canada?

This will depend on your credit report and credit score. You can expect to get approved instantly if you have a high credit score. In most cases, credit card approvals take between five and seven days. In extremely rare cases, it may take up to 30 days.

What is the Best Credit Card – The Takeaway

Now that we have reviewed the best credit cards in Canada, you should have at least one card you will acquire in mind.

For obvious reasons, we selected the Echo Mastercard as our top pick — the card offers several benefits, including 1.5% cash back on grocery stores and gas, an extended warranty, and purchase protection, just to name a few.

Take advantage of Cash Back Rewards With Neo Card

However, every other card on our list is excellent in one area or the other. It’ll help if you explore these cards and take advantage of the lucrative perks. Adios!

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