Search Canadian Credit Cards

Updated: Sep 10, 2020
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MarketProSecure® Canada website supports advertisements and receives compensation from certain credit card issuers and advertisers. The partnership with a few financial product providers results in the coverage of their credit or debit related products. The content on the website is not provided or commissioned by any credit card issuers. The advertiser relationships do not affect the ratings and reviews nor our Best Card Picks. MarketProSecure® Canada makes an effort to provide accurate information. Clicking on the "Apply Now" button will present the most up-to-date information from the credit card issuer regarding the terms and conditions, rates, and fees. MarketProSecure® Canada may receive a commission from product providers and credit card issuers. Editorial Guidelines provides the full list of these issuers.

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Credit cards are essential to your financial wellbeing, while they might seem like insignificant pieces of plastic. Depending on how they're used, they can either help you get on top of your finances and open up a world of possibilities or put you in debt and damage your financial stability. It's all up to how responsible you are as a cardholder.

Since these little pieces of plastic are such a crucial addition to your wallet, let's take a closer look at them and see what Canadian credit cards have to offer.

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Credit cards are exceptionally convenient, providing you with the opportunity to make cashless transactions and borrow funds from your card issuer for more substantial purchases you couldn’t otherwise make.

They can be used for everyday spending on groceries, gas, utility bills. But, they also give you access to more expensive items such as jewelry, gadgets and appliances, travels, and more – things you couldn’t afford with your immediately available funds.

While these are welcomed perks, the most significant benefit is that credit cards enable you to build up your credit history and improve your creditworthiness.

With a good credit history, you’ll find it easier to get approved for other types of loans such as car or mortgage loans, you can improve your chances of finding a suitable apartment to rent, and you can even find a job more easily.

Of course, it can work the other way around as well if you have a poor credit history.

Don’t forget that credit cards are loans! While you can use them to afford certain purchases and transactions immediately, you’ll still need to pay that money back, often with added interest. Not paying off your credit card balance will severely affect your finances and credit history.

Types of Credit Cards You Can Use

There’s a wide variety of unique credit cards you can get from banks and credit unions. Each card is used for different purposes, and each comes with perks and features that are entirely dependent on the card issuer.

Here’s a brief overview of the most popular types of credit cards.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Balance transfer cards are great for consolidating debt or reducing interest rates on your outstanding balance. They enable you to transfer your debt from one credit card to another from a different issuer that offers better terms, conditions, rates, and fees.

Keep in mind that balance transfer cards offer lower interest, but only for a limited time, usually 6 to 18 months. After this promotional period ends, you’ll have to pay regular rates.

Standard Credit Cards

Standard cards come with no bells and whistles. They’re simple, offering average rates and fees and few rewards and bonuses (if any). They enable you to make everyday purchases that you pay off by the end of the billing cycle.

Rewards Credit Cards

Rewards credit cards are the most valuable. They come with perks such as cash-back on purchases, travel insurance, gift points, discounts, and more. You need to have a good or excellent credit score to be eligible for them.

Student Credit Cards

As their name implies, these cards are designed for college students who are just starting to build their credit. They don’t have an abundance of features, but they’re convenient and will help you establish your credit history.

Subprime Credit Cards

Subprime credit cards are for those who have a poor credit rating and cannot qualify for more valuable cards.

They’re often secured, meaning you’ll need to make a deposit to use them. They come with high fees and few rewards and bonuses as they’re primarily designed to improve your credit rating.

Shopping Credit Cards

Shopping credit cards have limited applications and can only be used for buying goods or services from the selected shops and brands. Unlike regular credit cards that you get from banks and credit unions, these cards are issued by the brand/store that accepts them.


We can categorize cards based on the specific features they come with as well. Some of the more popular card subcategories are as follows:

  • Low-interest Credit Cards
  • No Annual Fees Credit Cards
  • No Foreign Transaction Credit Cards
  • Guaranteed Approval Credit Cards
  • Credit Reporting Cards
  • And more

Each card comes with pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider all your options before applying.

Different credit cards are used for different purposes. When choosing the card for you, examine your spending habits and consider what you’ll be using the card for, and then make a decision. Frequent travellers can benefit from no foreign transaction fees credit card, and shoppers could use a shopping or rewards credit cards. In contrast, credit reporting cards are excellent for those with poor/limited credit.

Importance of Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a crucial factor in determining whether you’re eligible for a specific credit card. The reason for this is simple – it’s a sign of your creditworthiness. Issuers like banks and credit unions use your score to determine how risky it is for them to give you a card.

Credit cards are loans. When you use them, you’re borrowing money from your bank, and the bank has no guarantee that you’ll pay back that debt since there’s no collateral (which is one of the reasons you’ll encounter so many different fees and rates).

The best way for issuers to gauge your risk level and see whether you’ll pay them back is by looking at your previous borrowing behaviour – your credit score. If you pay all of your debts in time, you’ll have a higher credit score and be seen as a less risky candidate. If you borrow from banks and lenders but often fall back on your debts, you’ll be seen as riskier candidates. Your application has a higher chance of being denied, and you’ll likely be hit with higher rates and fees.

Many factors will impact your credit score, including account age, credit utilization ratio, payment history, new credit, and credit mix. Keep a close eye on all of this if you want to improve your score.

Common Credit Card Features

Whether it’s a Mastercard, Visa, or some other network, each card has unique features determined by your card issuer (bank or credit union). Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common features you’ll encounter.

Credit Limit

The credit limit is the maximum amount you’re allowed to borrow with your credit card. In most instances, you will not be able to spend more than your limit, although there are certain exceptions. If you overstep your limit, you will be hit with high-interest rates, so be careful.

Also, keep in mind your credit utilization ratio. As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t use more than 30% of your credit limit if you want to keep your credit score up.


Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is an interest charge on using your credit card. Some issuers offer promotional 0% APR in the first year of using a card. After the year’s up, you’ll be paying wither fixed or variable APR.

Credit Card Grace Period

Most issuers will offer a grace period on new purchases to your credit card, where they won’t apply interest charges until the end of the billing cycle. If you pay off the new acquisition by the due date, you won’t pay interest.

Cash advances and cash-like transactions usually don’t have a grace period, and you’ll be accumulating interest from the day of the purchase.

Fees You Can Encounter

Credit cards come with numerous rates and expenses, including, but not limited to:

  • APR
  • Annual fee
  • Monthly maintenance fee
  • Late payment fee
  • Overdraft fee
  • Cash advance fee
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Returned payment fee
  • Balance transfer fee

Rewards and Benefits

Many credit cards come with valuable rewards and benefits which are determined by your issuer. Cash-back rewards are typically the most valuable ones as they allow you to receive a small percent of your money back on some purchases.

Additional benefits can include:

  • Discounts
  • Insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Airport lounge access
  • Extended warranty
  • Free Wi-Fi access
  • And more

The Bottom Line

Credit cards are an essential addition to your wallet, but they need to be handled with care. While they can help you improve your financial health, they can also be detrimental to it. So, use them responsibly, pay off your balance on time, and enjoy the perks that they can provide.

Credit Card Offers Recap

Credit Credit FAQs. What People Ask About Card Offers

What’s the best credit card to use?2020-08-24T22:59:51-07:00

There isn’t a single best card that will suit all cardholders. The best card for you depends on your financial situation, credit score, and the ultimate reason you’d use it.

It’s in your best interest to compare and contrast different issuers’ cards before you settle on a choice. See which rates and fees you’ll be offered and whether some cards come with better rewards.

Doing some research beforehand can inform you about what to expect so that you can make the best financial decision for you and your family.

How do I apply for a credit card?2020-09-02T09:54:47-07:00

Depending on the issuer, there are several different ways to apply for a credit card. You can do so in person by visiting a branch of your preferred bank, by phone, or online if the issuer allows for it.

Online applications are safe, secure, and convenient. You’ll typically receive a notification about your application status more quickly than you would in person, often within mere minutes.

Before you apply, it’s a good idea to check whether you meet the specific criteria. If you don’t meet the qualifications, your application will not only be denied, but your credit score will also be temporarily damaged. Every new application triggers a hard inquiry into your credit report, which nips off a few points from your score. That is just temporary, and your score should be back to normal within 6 to 12 months.

Can I apply for a card online?2020-09-02T09:54:26-07:00

Most issuers allow applicants to apply for their new credit cards online. However, this depends on the bank/credit union.

Online applications are secure, fast, and convenient, but you still need to be careful as you don’t want to share your sensitive information through unreliable sites. When applying online, make sure to only do so through your bank’s/credit union’s website. Never start the application process through third-party sites that are not connected to the issuer.

What are the credit card application requirements?2020-08-31T22:36:02-07:00

Credit card application requirements vary from card to card (and issuer to issuer). As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need to:

  • Be of the age of majority in your province (18+ or 19+ in some provinces);
  • Be a legal resident of Canada;
  • Have a required credit score;
  • Meet the minimum income requirements;

Individuals under the age of 18 (or 19) cannot legally have their credit cards, but they can be signed as authorized users on an adult’s credit card. Most authorized users need to be at least 13 years old.

What kind of documentation do I need to apply for a credit card?2020-08-24T22:57:47-07:00

You’ll need to provide several documents when applying for a credit card, whether you’re doing so in-person, online, or over the phone. You’ll usually be expected to have:

  • Two valid, government-issued IDs (e.g. passport and driver’s license)
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of employment

You’ll be asked to provide your name, birthdate, social insurance number, employment status, address, contact information, gross annual income, and more upon application. It’s a good idea to have all the documents on hand when you start the process.

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