Credit Cards are one of the first credit products consumers will use in their lifetime. While they make for a great introductory product to the credit world, they’re also valuable products that can provide lucrative benefits based on your needs and lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a lower interest rate, no annual fee, travel rewards, cash back, or to build credit, there is a credit card out there that will meet your needs.
With the endless choices available to Canadians, choosing a credit card that fits your needs and lifestyle can be overwhelming. As such, we’ve compiled some of the best credit cards out there based on certain categories including travel, business, Aeroplan points, and cash back. Find out which credit card offers the best welcome bonus, rewards and value.
How Do I Pick the Best Credit Card For Me?
- Credit Card Category – When choosing a credit card, one of the first things you should figure out is what you want from your credit card. Do you want to build credit? Do you want cash back? Do you want point flexibility, so that you can choose how to use your points? Once you get a broader understanding of what kind of credit card you want, you can hone in on the details.
- Annual Fee – Do the benefits outweigh the cost of your card? If you have an annual fee of $200 with a cash back rate of 1% to 2%, how much money will you have to spend before your benefits cover your costs? In this example, you’d have to spend between $10,000 to $20,000 a year to get $200 back in cash. If your yearly spending doesn’t exceed this amount, you’d be better off getting a different credit card that either has a lower annual fee or a higher cash back or points system.
- Points and Perks – Where you can earn points is just as important as how many points you can earn. Choose a credit card that offers the most points on purchases you make the most often. Also, take into consideration what kind of perks your card offers. For example, while many travel credit cards offer travel insurance, check what’s included, some may offer medical, trip cancellation and baggage protection as well.
- Welcome Offer – Many credit card issuers will offer welcome bonuses that can easily equal to a couple of hundred dollars.
What Is The Best Travel Credit Card?
Scotia Passport Visa Infinite
With an affordable annual fee of $139 and a $300 dollar welcome bonus that’s easy to achieve, the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite shines through among the best travel credit cards. It also has a decent points system that will garner you 2 points per dollar on common purchases including gas, groceries, pharmacies, restaurants, transportation, and entertainment purchases. All other purchases made on the card will give you 1 point on the dollar. Moreover, it includes travel insurance, six free airport lounge visits and no foreign transaction fees.
The Scotia Passport Visa Infinite also offers flexibility when it comes to redeeming your points. You can not only use it to make travel-related expenses, but you can also use it to purchase merchandise, prepaid cards, gift cards, or to pay down your credit card. Last but not least, you can convert your points to SCENE points which you can redeem at Cineplex for movies and snacks.
What Is The Best Business Credit Card?
Amex Business Gold
The Amex Business Gold is a charge card with an annual fee of $250. This may seem like a hefty fee, but its features make up for it. For one, when you choose an Amex Business Gold you’ll be rewarded 30,000 Membership Reward points, which is valued at approximately $300 dollars. The card also offers you 1 point per dollar on any purchase made on your card, with limited restrictions, earning points becomes fast and easy. You can also earn an extra point per dollar when you use any 3 suppliers from American Express’ list of merchants in Canada.
If flexibility and variety are important to you, Amex Business Gold is the way to go as you can not only redeem your points for credit, travel, retail or merchandise, but you can also convert your points to other frequent flyer and loyalty programs you may be a member of. In addition, Amex Business Gold protects you with its comprehensive insurance coverage. It includes travel protection, purchase protection and employee card abuse protection.
What Is The Best Aeroplan Credit Card?
Amex Personal Gold
At 2 points per dollar spent, Amex Personal Gold provides more points per dollar on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel expenses than most cards. All other purchases will earn you 1 point for every dollar spent. Moreover, when you select Amex Personal Gold you can earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership points which is valued at approximately $250 dollars.
While Amex Personal Gold doesn’t directly earn you Aeroplan points, it does allow you to transfer your points to any participating Frequent Flyer Program including Aeroplanes at a rate of 1:1. With such redemption flexibility, you can redeem your points with little limitations. You can also take advantage of Amex’s Fixed Points Travel Program which covers a base price for a fixed amount of points. When you travel, you’ll also have peace of mind with Amex’s comprehensive travel and shopping insurance.
What Is The Best Cash Back Credit Card?
With a no-nonsense attitude, Tangerine’s Money-Back credit card doesn’t provide a huge welcome bonus. Instead, it provides users with a balanced credit card that gives back great value. It has no annual fee and has a cash back earn rate of 2% on any two spending categories of your choice. If you open a savings account with them you could add a third category. All other purchases will earn you 0.5% cash back. It also comes with purchase insurance and a balance transfer rate of 1.95% which is valid for 6 months if you transfer your balance within 30 days of owning the card.
Apply for a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card by January 31, 2024. If you’re approved, you’ll earn an extra 10% back on up to $1,000 in everyday purchases made within your first 2 months.*
Credit Card Overview
|Best For||Annual Fee||APR||Cash Advance Rate||Welcome Bonus|
|Scotia Passport Visa Infinite||Travel||$139||19.99%||22.99%||30,000 Scotia Reward points|
|Amex Business Gold||Business||$250||30%||–||30,000 Membership Reward Points|
|Amex Personal Gold||Aeroplan points||$150||30%||–||25,000 Membership Reward points|
|Tangerine Money-Back||Cash back||$0||19.95%||19.95%||1.95% balance transfer interest for 6 months|
Factors Lenders Consider When Approving Credit Card Applicants
When you apply for a credit card there are a number of factors an issuer will consider before approving you. Below, we’ve listed the most common requirements a lender will examine.
- Income – Often your credit card issuer will have an income requirement you must meet in order to be eligible for the card. The amount itself is dependent on the issuer and the type of card you are applying for. The higher-level card you apply for the more it will cost, in general, the income requirement can easily range from $0 to $150,000 a year.
- Credit score – Once again, like the income requirement, the credit score required for a particular credit card is dependent on the issuer and card you apply for. The more prestigious the card the higher your credit score will need to be.
- Residence – Most issuers will require you to be a permanent resident of Canada in order to be eligible for a credit card. That means temporary foreign students or workers cannot qualify for a credit card.
- Age – By law, you must be at least the age of majority within your province or territory to qualify for a credit card.
- Business – Though it may seem obvious, if you are applying for a business credit card, you will need to be an owner of a business to apply.