All of the major credit card companies, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, offer credit card accounts in Canada. Each card has different features and options, so it's important to consider how you will use the card before you make your selection. Be sure you understand the terms of any account you are considering before you decide.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
As the third largest bank in Canada, Scotiabank offers a number of different financial products. The Scotiabank Value Visa Card is a credit card that focuses on saving money on interest. This card has an annual fee of $29 per year, though the fee is waived if you are part of a Scotia Total Equity Plan, which is a home equity line of credit (HELOC).
The Annual Interest Rate (AIR) for purchases is 11.99%. There is an introductory AIR for balance transfers of just 0.99% for the first six months. As a bonus, cardholders also get discounts of up to 20 percent at AVIS car rental locations worldwide.
TD Cash Back Visa Card
The TD Cash Back Visa Card is just one of the many different credit card accounts offered by TD Bank in Canada. There is no annual fee. The interest rate for purchases is 19.99%.
This card awards 1% cash back dollars on grocery and gas purchases that are set up on regularly recurring bill payments. There is a cap of $5,000 annual spend on the gas and grocery store rewards. Once you reach the cap, those purchases earn 0.5% cash back dollars. You also earn 0.5% cash back dollars on all other purchases made with the card.
You can redeem your cash back dollars to pay down your balance, or you can use your rewards for cash, merchandise, and other options.
MBNA Platinum Plus
The MBNA Platinum Plus card is another option without an annual fee, but it does not include a rewards program. However, it can be very appealing to those looking to save money due to the fact that the account offers a 0% promotional annual interest rate on balance transfers for the first 12 months. After the promotional period, however, the variable interest rate goes up to 19.99% for purchases and 21.99% for balance transfers.
BMO SPC Cashback MasterCard
The BMO SPC Cashback MasterCard is offered by the Bank of Montreal. It is designed for students. There is no annual fee. The interest rate for purchases is 19.99%. New cardholders can currently earn up to $60 cash back, earned as 4% cash back on your purchases for the first four billing cycles. After that, you earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all your purchases. This card also provides discounts ranging from 10% to 15% at hundreds of stores.
Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard
Capital One's Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard is a travel rewards card awarding two miles for each dollar spent with the card. Thanks to this great benefit, Rewards Canada has designated this account as the country's top "points credit card with an annual fee."
The annual fee is $150. New cardmembers can earn a bonus of 40,000 miles for spending $1,000 in purchases with three months of opening the account, which can be worth $400 in travel. The interest rate for purchases and balance transfers is 19.8%.
American Express Cobalt
American Express is a popular issuer in Canada as well as the U.S. The Cobalt credit card has a monthly fee of $10 (instead of an annual fee) and an annual interest rate for purchases of 19.99%. New cardholders can earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points for making $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.
If you choose this card, you can earn five points for each dollar you spend at restaurants, bars, grocery stores and for food delivery in Canada, two points per dollar on transit and gas purchases in Canada as well as eligible travel purchases, and one point per dollar everywhere else.
For your first year, you'll also earn 2,500 points for each monthly billing period that you spend at least $500 in purchases with the card.
WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard
The WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard from Royal Bank of Canada comes with a $119 annual fee. It offers many travel benefits such as a free checked bag on WestJet flights and an annual round-trip companion flight for just $99. Cardmembers earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations and 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on everyday purchases. The interest rate for purchases is 19.99%.
Home Trust Secured Visa
The Home Trust Secured Visa credit card is a great option for Canadian consumers who have gone through bankruptcy or who want to limit their spending and focus on building their credit. This card is secured and requires a deposit of $500 to $10,000. When you have made your security deposit, you are issued a card with a limit equal to your deposit.
You can choose from two different versions of the card. The 'no annual fee' version comes with an interest rate of 19.99% for purchases. The other version of the card has an annual fee of $59 or $5 per month, with a lower AIR of 14.90%.
Can U.S. Citizens Hold a Canadian Credit Card?
In order to qualify for a credit card in Canada, you'll need to be a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident. This means that consumers who hold dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Canada, will likely be able to hold a Canadian credit card while being an American citizen. Likewise, if you are a permanent resident of Canada and have retained your American citizenship, you should be able to qualify for a credit card in Canada, as long as you meet all of the other requirements that the card issuer might have.