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If you have a tendency to make partial payments and carry over large balances from month to month on your credit card, then you may want to consider low-interest credit cards. 

Credit cards are notorious for charging exorbitant interest rates, which can really eat into your savings. The good news is that there are a handful of credit cards available to Canadians that charge far lower interest rates than what you may be used to. If you use credit cards for large purchases for which you don’t have the cash on hand, a low-interest credit card might be better than a personal loan or line of credit. 

We’ve rounded up some of the best low-interest credit cards available to help you avoid racking up sky-high interest charges month after month. 

Overview Of The Best Low-Interest Credit Cards

The following is a list of the best low-interest credit cards in Canada, along with their respective interest rates and annual fees:

Annual FeePurchase Interest RateBalance Transfer Interest Rate
RBC RateAdvantage Visa$0Prime + 4.99% – 8.99%Prime + 4.99% – 8.99%
MBNA True Line® Mastercard®$012.99%12.99%
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®$2511.9%11.9%
TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa* Card $25TD Prime + 4.50% to 12.75%TD Prime + 4.50% to 12.75%
Scotiabank Value®Visa* Card$2912.99%12.99%
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®*$2913.99%13.99%
CIBC Select Visa* Card$2913.99%13.99%
MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®$398.99%8.99%
Note: Want to cancel your credit card for a new one? Make sure you know the consequences click here.
rbc rate advantage

RBC RateAdvantage Visa

If you’re looking for a low rate credit card that also has no annual fee, the RBC RateAdvantage Visa is a good option to consider. With this card, you’ll benefit from a low variable interest rate of RBS’s prime rate + 4.99% to 8.99%, depending on your credit assessment. If you have good credit you’ll likely be offered a lower interest rate. 

Additional benefits include no annual fee, $0.03 a litre savings at Petro-Canada, 5x More Be Well Points at Rexall, and a 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription.

Annual fee: $0

Purchase interest rate: Prime + 4.99% – 8.99%

Balance transfer interest rate: Prime + 4.99% – 8.99%

Cash advance interest rate: Prime + 4.99% – 8.99%

Earn rate: None

Extra features:

  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance.
  • Link your card to your Petro-Points card and save $0.03 a litre on fuel and earn 20% more Petro-Points.
  • Link your card to your Be Well Points card and 5x More Be Well Points at Rexall.
  • 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription.

MBNA True Line Mastercard

MBNA True Line® Mastercard®

Like the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard, the MBNA True Line Mastercard also comes with a low-interest rate of 12.99% for purchases and balance transfers. However, the rate goes up to 24.99% for cash advances. 

Unlike the Gold Mastercard, the basic True Line Mastercard comes with no annual fee in exchange for a slightly higher rate. That said, 12.99% is still roughly half of what you’d pay for your average reward-based credit card.  

With such a low rate, the MBNA True Line Mastercard makes a great option for those looking to keep their interest down on all their purchases and balance transfers. As such, transferring higher-rate balances over to the True Line card can help you save quite a bit on your debt load

Annual Fee: $0

Purchase interest rate: 12.99%

Balance transfer interest rate: 12.99% (0% during a 12-month promotional period, 3% transfer fee)

Cash advance interest rate: 24.99%

Earn Rate: None

Extra Perks

  • Any unauthorized purchases will be flagged and reversed thanks to the Mastercard Zero Liability protection program. 
  • You can also save at least 10% on your next car rental at any Avis Rent-A-Car or Budget Rent-A-Car locations. 
  • You can add up to 9 authorized users without a fee. 
  • Use Apple Pay on your smartphone in conjunction with your MBNA card for more convenient point-of-sale purchases. 

HSBC +Rewards Mastercard

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

The HSBC +Rewards Mastercard offers the best of both worlds in terms of low-interest rates and rewards, which is a true rarity. With the low-interest rate of 11.9% on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances, you won’t be stuck overpaying for the interest portion, particularly if you tend to carry a balance from month to month. 

With every purchase you make using this card, you earn points that can be used to redeem rewards on travel, merchandise, and gift cards. More specifically, you can earn 2 points for every $1 spent at eligible restaurants and entertainment venues, and 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Getting approved for the low-rate HSBC +Rewards Mastercard is easy too, as no minimum income is required. Plus, the annual fee is quite low at $25. 

Annual Fee: $25

Purchase interest rate: 11.9% 

Balance transfer interest rate: 11.9%

Cash advance interest rate: 11.9%

Earn Rate

  • Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar for all other purchases.

Extra Perks:

  • Price protection – If something you purchase is reduced in price in 60 days, you’ll be refunded the difference in price. 
  • Your purchases will be protected with purchase assurance and extended warranty insurance.
  • Thanks to the Apple Pay feature, you can use your smartphone for purchases. 

TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa* Card 

Whether you’re looking for a convenient credit card for everyday purchases or want a low-rate option to transfer over all your higher-rate balances to save money, the TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa is a great option. With this card, you can take advantage of a low variable interest rate of TD’s prime rate + 4.50% to 12.75%, depending on your credit assessment. And that applies to both purchases and cash advances.

As of this writing, TD’s prime rate stands at 7.200%. So, that means you could be paying a rate as low as 11.7% if your credit rating is high. If you have a tendency to carry a balance from month to month, paying a lower rate can really help.

The annual fee is also comparatively low at $25 per year, with additional authorized users paying $0. 

Annual Fee: $25

Purchase interest rate: TD Prime + 4.50% to 12.75% 

Balance transfer interest rate: TD Prime + 4.50% to 12.75% 

Cash advance interest rate: TD Prime + 4.50% to 12.75%

Earn Rate: None

Extra Perks:

  • Earn 50% more Starbucks points when you link your TD card with your Starbucks account.
  • If you have a big purchase ($100 or over), you can use the TD Payment Plan to break down the costs into 6, 12, or 18-month payments. 
  • Purchase security and extended warranty.
  • Have peace of mind knowing that you can shop securely online and in-person thanks to Visa Zero Liability which protects you against unauthorized transactions made with your credit card.
  • You can use your card in conjunction with Apple Pay. This allows you to use your smartphone to make a payment rather than having to reach for your card. 
  • Automatically get alerted via your mobile phone whenever any suspicious activity on your TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa card is detected. 

Scotiabank Value Visa

Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card

If you’re looking for a basic low-interest credit card, the Scotiabank Value Visa is a good option. Purchases, balance transfers and cash advances all have a rate of 12.99%. However, during a 6-month introductory period, you can a 0% rate on your balance transfers. This can lead to a lot of savings if you currently have a high balance on other high-interest credit cards. 

Moreover, if you’re worried about defaulting on your credit card, you can add credit card protection to your card. With this, you’ll be covered in the event you’re unable to pay due to an unexpected event like illness, disability, death or job loss.  

Annual fee: $29

Purchase interest rate: 12.99%

Balance transfer interest rate: 12.99% (0% during a 6-month introductory period)

Cash advance interest rate: 12.99% 

Earn rate: None

Extra features:

  • Save up to 25% on car rentals (Avis and Budget).
  • Get your annual fee waived during the first year with this card.
  • Supplementary cards can be added at no extra cost.

BMO Preferred Rate MasterCard

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®*

The interest rate on the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is a low 13.99% for purchases, and 15.99% for cash advances — but the introductory rate is unparalleled. For the first 9 months, you can take advantage of an incredibly low rate of just 0.99% on balance transfers with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, the annual fee of $29 will be waived for the first year. 

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard makes sense for those who are looking to consolidate their debt into one manageable, low-rate debt. It’s also great if you have a tough time making full payments each month and carry balances over to subsequent billing periods. 

Annual Fee: $29

Purchase interest rate: 13.99% 

Balance transfer interest rate: 13.99% (0.99% during a 9-month introductory period, 2% transfer fee)

Cash advance interest rate: 15.99%

Earn Rate: None

Extra Perks:

  • You’ll have full protection with the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard, including extended warranty coverage on new items, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty period for up to one year. 
  • You’ll also have Zero Dollar Liability to protect you against purchases made on your card without your consent. 

CIBC Select Visa* Card 

One of the best introductory offers out there comes from the CIBC Select Visa Card, which currently offers 0% interest on balance transfers over the first 10 months with only a 1% transfer fee. That should give you plenty of time to catch up on your outstanding payments while moving your balances over to your new CIBC credit card (up to 50% of your credit limit). Plus, the $29 annual fee will be waived for the first year. 

Following the introductory 0% rate period, the rate will increase to 13.99% for purchases and cash advances, though still a very competitive rate compared to other cards. If you have a lot of high-interest debt on cards, the CIBC Select Visa card may be a great option to consolidate your debt. 

Annual Fee: $29

Purchase interest rate: 13.99%

Balance transfer interest rate: 13.99% (0% during the introductory period, 1% transfer fee)

Cash advance interest rate: 13.99%

Earn Rate: None

Extra Perks

  • Get $100,000 in Common Carrier Accident Insurance.
  • CIBC Payment Protector Insurance for added protection. 
  • Save up to 10 cents per litre on gas when you link and use your Journie Rewards card to fuel up (at participating gas stations). 
  • If you send money abroad using CIBC Global Money Transfer, no transaction fees will be charged. Plus if you pay the balance by the due date, no interest will be charged either. 

MBNA True Line Mastercard

MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®

One of the lowest interest rates you’ll ever see on a credit card comes from the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard credit card. At a low 8.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers, you’d be hard-pressed to find a rate lower than that elsewhere. 

To take full advantage of this low rate, you can transfer any debts to your MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard, including any other credit card balances, loans, lines of credit, and so on. Depending on the rates you’re paying on other loan balances, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by transferring those balances to your new MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard.

This card comes with an annual fee of $39, though the low-interest rate and the savings that come with it easily justify this small charge. 

Annual fee: $39

Purchase rate: 8.99 % (QC: 10.99%)

Balance transfer interest rate: 8.99% (QC: 10.99%)

Cash advance rate: 24.99% (QC: 20.99%)

Earn rate: None

Extra features

  • Add up to 9 authorized users with no additional annual fee.
  • Purchase Assurance up to 90 days.
  • Mastercard Zero Liability.
  • Extended Warranty benefits double warranty by up to one year.
  • Trip Assistance and Legal Assistance.
  • Save at least 10% on your next car rental at Avis Rent-A-Car or Budget Rent-A-Car.

Why Apply For A Low-Interest Credit Card?

If you’re able to fully pay off your credit card purchase balance before the due date each month, you shouldn’t have to worry about high-interest rates. But if you have a habit of having of making partial or minimum payments, a high rate can make it very difficult to pay down what you owe. 

Plus, you may even find the balance getting higher and higher every month as much of your payments go towards paying down the interest portion rather than the principal.

In this case, having a credit card that has a low-interest rate can be a real lifesaver. You could save a pretty penny depending on your balances with a lower rate, especially if you consolidate all other credit card debt and transfer your other balances over to a low-interest credit card. 

Just keep in mind that some low-rate cards may charge a higher rate for cash advances. Plus, these cards typically don’t come with an option to earn points, with the exception of one or two low-interest cards. 

Final Thoughts

Low-interest credit cards not only offer much lower rates than your average rewards credit card, but they often come with low annual fees too. Further, these cards are relatively easy to qualify for, often requiring no minimum income to be eligible. By using your low-interest credit card wisely, you can save a lot of money that otherwise would have been spent on the interest portion of your credit card balances.

Low-Interest Credit Card FAQs

How do I get the most value from my low-interest credit card?

The best way to get the most value from your low-interest credit card is to move other higher-rate balances over to consolidate your debt. Not only will you have just one bill to manage every month instead of many, but you’ll be charged a much lower rate on your outstanding balance, helping you save. And as always, it’s wise to try your best to pay your credit card balances in full so that you won’t be stuck paying any interest on balances that will have to be carried over to the following billing period. 

Are there any low-interest credit cards where I can earn reward points? 

Currently, the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard is one of the only cards that offers both low-interest and rewards points. 

What are the requirements for low-interest credit cards?

Requirements for low-interest credit cards vary by provider. All cards, however, require you to be a resident of Canada and be the age of majority in your province or territory. There may also be certain income and credit requirements.

Can I get an instant approval on my credit card?

Yes, many credit cards offer instant approvals. To give yourself the bet chance of qualifying immediately, ensure you meet the minimum requirements of the credit card.
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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