Fortunly's Guide
Advertiser Disclosure

Best Credit Cards in Canada for 2024

Written By
I. Mitic
Updated
April 01,2024
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

Credit cards offer a variety of benefits to consumers, including convenience, purchase protection, and rewards. Before choosing a credit card, it's important to consider what you would like your new card to help you with. Will you use it to sponsor your travels or rely on it to pay off debt faster?

Once you know what you need to accomplish, you'll know which features are most important. Keeping those in mind, here's a rundown of some of the best credit cards in Canada to help you choose one without having to dive deep into the fine print.

Top-Rated Credit Cards in Canada for April 2024

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Logo

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Learn More
ANNUAL FEE: $120 per year
APR: 19.99%
REWARDS RATE: Up to 5x rewards on purchases
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE: 725 - 759
Key Facts
Review
Pros & Cons
  • Excellent rewards and Amex perks
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel insurance
Click to 
BMO CashBack® World Elite® Mastercard® Logo

BMO CashBack® World Elite® Mastercard®

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Learn More
ANNUAL FEE: $120 annual fee
APR: 20.99%
REWARDS RATE: Up to 5% cash back on purchases
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE: 660 - 724
Key Facts
Review
Pros & Cons
  • Excellent cashback rates
  • Cash back never expires

Travel insurance

Click to 
MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard Logo

MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Learn More
ANNUAL FEE: $120
APR: 19.99%
REWARDS RATE: Up to 5x rewards on purchases
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE: 725 - 759
Key Facts
Review
Pros & Cons
  • 5x points on everyday purchases
  • Excellent point-redemption ratio for travel rewards
  • MBNA Payment Plan
Click to 
Brim World Elite Mastercard Logo

Brim World Elite Mastercard

5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Learn More
ANNUAL FEE: $0 for the first year, then $199
APR: 19.99%
REWARDS RATE: 2x points for all purchases
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE: 660 - 724
Key Facts
Review
Pros & Cons
  • Excellent mobile app and budgeting tools
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • No foreign transaction fees
Click to 
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card Logo

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Learn More
ANNUAL FEE: $139 per year, first year free
APR: 20.99%
REWARDS RATE: Up to 1.5x points per purchase
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE: 660 or above
Key Facts
Review
Pros & Cons
  • Annual fee rebated at the end of the first year
  • 50,000 Aeroplan points as a welcome bonus
  • 50% more Aeroplan points at Starbucks
Click to 
Quick Breakdown

Best Canadian Credit Cards in 2024 - Our Picks:

  • Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

  • BMO CashBack® World Elite® Mastercard®

  • MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

  • Brim World Elite Mastercard

  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

What Are Credit Cards and How They Work? - A Quick Guide

Credit cards are a form of borrowing. A credit card company loans you a set amount of money, and you agree to pay that money back, plus interest, usually on a monthly basis.

Essentially, when you borrow money using a credit card, the credit card company pays the vendor for you. You then repay what you borrowed, or part of it, with interest. The best Canadian credit cards have high limits, low fees, and low interest rates. They are a way to finance a purchase if you can’t afford to pay for it outright or need a little extra time to pay off a debt.

Your credit limit is the maximum amount you’re allowed to borrow. It’s determined by your creditworthiness - a measure of your financial history and ability to repay debt.

Types of Credit Cards

Let's discuss the four main types of credit cards available in Canada:

Student Credit Cards

A student credit card is a great option for young adults just building their credit history. These cards typically have lower interest rates and no annual fees, making them a more affordable option for those still in school. Many student credit cards come with rewards programs that offer cash back or points for every dollar you spend, which helps with saving for tuition or other expenses.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

A balance transfer card is suited for those looking to pay off a debt. Some of Canada's credit card companies offer 0% interest rates on balance transfers for a certain period, which can help you save money. Many balance transfer credit cards also come with rewards programs that give you cash back or points for every dollar you spend.

Secured Credit Cards

A secured credit card is meant to help you rebuild your credit history. These cards require a security deposit as collateral in case you default on your payments. Secured credit cards typically have lower interest rates and annual fees, making them more affordable for those trying to improve their credit score. However, the best credit cards in Canada are usually unsecured and aimed at people with higher credit scores.

Bad-Credit Credit Cards

A bad-credit credit card is often the only choice for those with a credit history. These cards typically have higher interest rates and annual fees, but they can help you build your credit history if used responsibly. Many bad credit credit cards come with rewards programs that give you cash back or points for every dollar you spend, too.

How To Apply for a Credit Card in Canada

When it comes to borrowing money, using a credit card is one of the most common options. If you’re new to credit cards or just looking for a new one, here’s what you need to know about applying.

It’s actually quite simple: You can either register online or in person, and most applications only take a few minutes to complete.

To start, you’ll need to provide some personal information, like your name, address, and date of birth. You’ll also need to give the credit card company information about your employment and income.

Once you’ve submitted your application, Canadian credit card companies will review it and decide whether to approve you for a credit card. If they do, you’ll receive your new card in the mail within a few weeks, and some will even issue virtual credit cards you can use instantly.

Evaluation Criteria

How We Evaluated Canadian Credit Cards

Choosing the right credit card means covering all your bases. You should look into its features and the rewards it offers. Cards are made for different purposes, so you should also make sure that the credit card lines up with your financial goals. Let's discuss all these aspects to make deciding on your new credit card as easy as possible.

Credit Card Features

When you compare credit cards in Canada, just like anywhere else, the primary features of every card are:

  • Interest rates
  • Annual fees
  • Cash advance fees
  • ATM availability
  • Card Issuer

All these play a key role in selecting your next credit card. For example, if you're looking for a card with no annual fee, that narrows down your choices significantly. Of course, the most important part is to pick a card with a reasonable APR, as you don’t want to get into debt paying it off.

All the cards on our list are within the 19.99%-20.99% APR range. The average annual fee for the cards is always above $100, but some of the best credit cards in Canada rebate the annual fee for the first year. On our list, these basic features are more-or-less the same, so the major difference lies in the credit card rewards.

Credit Card Rewards

Aside from the features, the most important thing we considered were the rewards for using the credit card. After all, credit card statistics show that 78% of Canadians owned credit cards that earned rewards in 2021.

Most of the cards on our list revolve around points but depending on what you can redeem them for, some of them might be a better fit for you than others.

Some of the more popular rewards credit cards offer are:

  • Cash back
  • Points
  • Travel miles
  • Sign-up bonuses

Everyone’s spending habits are different, so your decision between Canada's best credit cards will depend on you finding a card whose rewards system lines up with yours. For example, if you’re a frequent traveller, a credit card with travel miles would be beneficial. On the other hand, if you like to save on a big purchase with various discounts, a point-based rewards system would make more sense. The closest thing to a one-size-fits-all solution is an excellent cashback card, but you should be mindful of your withdrawal options there.

Final Note

Choosing the right credit card can seem daunting but, by considering your spending habits and needs, you can find the right financial instrument for you. Don't be afraid to shop around and compare your options, as this is the easiest way to narrow down your choices and select the right credit card.

FAQ

What is the best rewards credit card in Canada?

+

The best rewards card depends on your needs. Some cards offer up to 5x the points for your purchases, and most of them come with an intriguing welcome offer. However, which would be the best depends on your financial lifestyle.

What is the best credit card to rebuild credit?

+

If you're looking for a credit card to help rebuild your credit, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look for a card with a low interest rate, no-interest promotional period, and low fees since all those things add up over time and push you into more debt.

How do you rank the best credit cards in Canada?

+

There is no onebestcredit card. It all depends on your individual needs and what you’re looking for in a credit card. For example, if you'd like to travel often, the American Express Cobalt® Card might be the card for you, while those who appreciate cash back as a reward might find the BMO CashBack® World Elite® Mastercard® to be a better fit.