Credit Cards of June 2024

Credit cards
Apply for a credit card. On 20.06.2024 you have access to 11 credit cards. Increase your chances of getting money — fill out a multi-application with a free credit rating check.
Offers: 11
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

19.75% - 21.49%
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

19.99% - 22.99%
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™
from $5,000

Effective interest rate on the product

19.99% - 22.99%
Submit your credit card application online
Submit your credit card application online

Take advantage of our credit card selection system with a free credit check!

Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

20.99% - 22.99%
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

21.99% - 22.99%
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

21.99% - 22.99%
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

21.99% - 22.99%
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

21.99% - 22.99%
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

21.99% - 22.99%
Rating by Finanso®

The rating by Finanso® is determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula includes a financial product type as well as tariffs, fees, rewards and other options.

Recommended FinScore™

Effective interest rate on the product

21.99% - 22.99%
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Credit Cards of June 2024

A credit card is one of the keys that open the door to replenishing cash shortages. Its form resembles that of a debit card issued by banks or other financial organizations, but the essence of the product and the conditions of its operation are different.

A credit card is a physical object or a digital tool that allows its holder to pay online and offline for goods and services, and make eligible card purchases domestically or abroad according to the current exchange rate and under specific repayment terms within a credit limit set by the lender based on an internal procedure and an analysis of the customer's financial behavior.

Key Features

Visually, credit and debit cards look the same. Both cards have a 16-digit digital card number on the front, the cardholder's name (not on some cards), and the month and year of expiration. On the back is a sample of the cardholder's signature and a three-digit CVC secret code (in case it's not dynamic)  that can be used to confirm online transactions and must not be shared with third parties to minimize the risk of credit card fraud.

Credit cards tend to be more expensive because the APR is higher than for lines of credit, secured loans, and other types of consumer loans from various lenders, including banks, credit unions, and other lenders.

Customers should read the terms and conditions of their credit card products carefully, as there can be drastic differences in the cost of credit. For example, with some issuers, interest accrues monthly, while with others, it accrues daily.

Responsible borrowers benefit from using credit cards because they build a positive credit history to obtain further credit from reputable lenders at good rates and low-interest rates.

A credit card allows you to withdraw money from an approved credit line, while a debit card allows you to spend less money on the personal account associated with it.

Credit cards are convenient because you always have the money with you and can make the payments you need even when you are short on cash and the next paycheck is too far away to wait to make the necessary transaction.

This gives confidence and the impression that the money flow is at hand regardless of your current situation. At the same time, customers must consider that on the one hand, they can redeem points, redeem rewards, pay at grocery stores, and make other purchases. But, on the other hand, every dollar spent has to be repaid within a determined term plus interest if the payment is made beyond the grace period.

Typically, credit cards entice new customers by offering a grace period when customers repay only the borrowed amount. This works if the borrower has a high level of financial discipline, plans their repayments, and has a stable income. However, for people who have a sensitive problem with their spending habits, comforting themselves with shopping and spending more than they earn can be a serious trap especially if such a customer has more than one credit card.

A credit limit is not a static value but can be changed over time depending on the timeliness of installment payments and other criteria important to the lender. Credit cards are primarily intended for cashless payment transactions.

Borrowers should be careful about what part of the credit limit they use because, in reality, there are constantly other loans or even other expenses that cannot be reduced without affecting the quality of life, and the current income may not be enough to service the debt if the credit limit is fully used.

Some lenders upgrade their credit card products so that these include the option to withdraw cash from ATM or at the branch teller or counter. This option is a quick way to get money, but the cost is usually very high, and the repayment terms are strict, which has severe repercussions for borrowers if they fail to meet scheduled repayment.

Some call credit cards a tool for excessive spending and overconsumption, more active daily transit purchases; others say they are salvation in a desperate financial situation. There are different opinions, but the outcome in each specific situation depends on the understanding of the product terms, financial discipline, spending habits, and the duration of money use. Whether or not to use such a solution is up to borrowers to decide, as it is not only costly but also affects the credit score.

Credit card checks allow you to issue checks using your credit card's limit, and this transaction type will enable you to cover other debts, including amounts due on other debit cards and outstanding bills. When the check clears, interest accrues on the amount of the check. Such transactions often have higher interest rates than other non-cash transactions.

Use of the product: credit card checks are not automatic, and because it is more expensive than some other credit products and lenders are required to fully disclose terms, the borrower's specific consent is required in this case. This is a requirement of Canadian federal legislation as part of consumer protection measures in financial services. If you have unused loan checks, make sure you never throw them away without destroying or cutting them, as it has happened more than once that someone has had access to them and used them for fraudulent activities, causing the borrower to have to pay "someone else's loan" and get into financial trouble.

If you decide to transfer a portion of the balance from one credit card to another to pay lower interest rates, make sure the lender's fees do not negate your "savings" efforts. Typically, there is always a fee for transferring the balance from one credit card to another.

Borrowers can request that the lender or credit card issuer change the credit card limit to a lower or higher limit. Remember, you must give your consent to increase your credit limit. It is often sufficient to check a box to confirm that you understand the terms and agree to the changes. Verbal consent is not useful; it should always be confirmed in some other way. Sometimes this is simply stated on the subsequent credit card statement.

A special feature of credit cards is that interest payments can be endless until the debt is fully repaid to the lender. If the debt has become unmanageable for the borrower, urgent action must be taken; do not be ashamed to seek financial advice and contact your lender if needed. It is always possible to find a solution to get the borrower back on track without defaulting.

Information about grace periods amounts due, installments and interest paid, and due dates can be found in online banking, the lender's mobile app, and, of course, credit card agreements, which, aside from this general information, work together with your regular credit card statements.

For some customers, credit cards offer unexpected "surprises" in the form of additional fees for lender services such as:

  • copies of bank statements;

  • receipts to confirm transactions.

It is worth keeping these documents to save some money. In addition to online banking, online verification can also be a good way to avoid additional fees. Typically, customers who use online banking have access to their cash flow information and statements for 12 months.

Credit cards are too convenient to ignore this borrowing option because cards issued in Canada can be used not only domestically but also abroad. It is very convenient for traveling because you always have your money with you, regardless of the country. This convenience comes at an additional cost, but if borrowers carefully read the terms of using the credit card and the rates, they are willing to pay foreign exchange fees, which can be in one or two stages, depending on how the bank debits the amount spent: directly in Canadian dollars or in several currencies, requiring a double conversion.

Being a responsible borrower pays off. Some credit cards have a rule that interest rates increase if the amounts owed are not repaid on time. Even more, in some cases, delays in repayment can result in the loss of the special rate since the interest rate is not only increased during the overdue period and low-interest credit card turns into a more expensive borrowing instrument. However, federally registered financial institutions are required to inform their customers of such changes.

Some credit cards have an annual fee whose amount you will see in the annual statement. Some cards don't have an annual fee, and the borrower pays only for actually used money.

Some financial institutions offer a tool to reduce the risk of non-payment. This is the so-called credit card balance insurance. It is not a mandatory requirement for the lender to approve a credit card, but it can be very helpful if the borrower:

  • has lost his or her job

  • has suffered a disability or injury

  • has died;

  • suffers from a terminal illness or other medical condition that renders the borrower unable to continue working.

To ensure that the borrower receives the best possible terms when applying for a credit card, a few steps are suggested: reviewing the credit report, as errors and discrepancies may occur, but can be corrected. This may mean that instead of a secure credit card, the borrower receives an insecure credit card because the errors in the credit report have been properly corrected.

The credit limit does not mean that the customer cannot exceed the limit. Some financial institutions will not block transactions if they go slightly beyond the approved limit but exceeding the limit means extra charges for the borrower.

If the borrower sees that from month to month available limit is not sufficient, and they are getting very close to it, it is better to do one of the following:

  • To apply for a higher limit if you are eligible and fine with it;

  • to arrange notifications that you are getting close to the limit and control your spending more strictly if there is no possibility for the financial institution to block excessive transactions;

  • to lower spending using your credit card. Sometimes it happens that the borrower has several credit cards, and one of them is not used for a long time or has not been used at all.

Recommendations on responsible credit card usage

The assumption that a dormant credit card is free is not always true, as some financial institutions charge fees in such cases, and instead of zero debt, they are surprised with an outstanding balance, which affects their credit score.
This is another point that must be checked in the rates and the agreement with the credit card holder.

It is important that you keep all payment confirmations and receipts related to the use of your credit card line. Discrepancies do occur and the borrower must have a document to prove their own position on the correct amount of spending using the credit card.

Financial institutions and other credit card issuers provide valuable recommendations to help borrowers borrow responsibly:

  • Remember that the credit card limit does not mean a salary increase and that the amount drawn down must be repaid, including fees;

  • the interest that accrues if the credit card balance is paid late means that any purchases made with the credit card will be more expensive for the borrower;

  • make sure at least minimum payments are made on time;

  • check for errors in your credit card statements;

  • make sure you at least create some sort of budget and plan your spending;

  • keep your credit card information (number, PIN, CVV, card number, etc.) away from strangers;

  • be careful about checking automated charges and subscriptions (sometimes borrowers forget to use their due subscriptions while regularly adding to their debt).

Credit card transactions

Credit cards are popular because they allow a significant number of transactions without the need for an additional credit application and because they project the image of a wealthy person who is in control of their finances and life. Credit cards, therefore, make it possible to ensure the following:

  1. Cash payments at the cash register;

  2. Arrange payments by phone;

  3. Online payments;

  4. Cash advances - one of the most expensive types of credit recommended only when all other solutions have been exhausted. If you think this step is reasonable and weighted, you can use your credit card to withdraw cash at ATM or at a financial institution. And remember, this is an expensive loan, and the top priority is to pay it off in part or in full before you saddle yourself with penalties and ever-increasing interest amounts. Cash advances may not have a grace period (interest-free), and some financial institutions apply different interest rates depending on how the credit card is used. For example, a simple interest rate may apply to non-cash transactions, while compound interest may apply to cash advances. However, fees depend on the product and the lender. It can also be a fixed fee per cash amount withdrawn, a percentage of cash advance used, or a mixed fee policy if the lender charges a fixed fee plus accrued interest.

Note: Not every lender has a cap on cash advance usage fees, and borrowers need to consider this as well to avoid putting their household finances at risk.

Note: Even if you have not withdrawn cash from ATM, certain transactions may be tantamount to a cash advance from the lender's perspective, namely.

  1. card-to-card transfers or wire transfers;

  1. prepaid money orders;

  1. traveler's checks;

  1. credit card cheques;

  2. gambling and bids, bets, lotteries.

If you did not know that such a transaction is considered cash equivalent, that does not save you from fees charged from the time such a transaction is made, and your amount owed increases.

Note: Never assume that these are cash-like transactions under your lender's policy, read the cardholder agreement and rates carefully, and do not be ashamed to ask questions because it is the lender's business to make money on credit and other services, and it is your responsibility to refrain from making risky decisions that can ruin your budget and eat up more than you earn in a month.

Major types of credit cards

One may think that a credit card means only a loan product, but in fact, there are many kinds of credit cards with different functions.

Credit cards can vary by:

  • Payment processing system (for example, MasterCard or Visa);

  • Issuer (RBC, CIBC, BMO, etc.)

  • Use (personal/business);

  • Cardholder category (students, travelers, etc.)

  • Type (credit/debit);

  • Bonus program (cashback or reward programs).

Credit cards issued by banks offer numerous services, special rates, bonus programs, discount programs, cash back, and the ability to earn points that can be redeemed for various goods and services.

Store-issued credit cards are popular because they offer various discounts and bonuses, but usually have an interest rate of up to 30% and are usually only accepted at the issuer's stores that partner with retailers.

Travel credit cards usually allow a longer grace period compared to other similar products and related rewards programs for customers.

Let's take American Express as an example and analyze its benefits for Canadian customers:

The American Express Aeroplan credit card offers a substantial welcome bonus of 70,000 points. Spending money with this credit card is directly linked to earning points, for example, there are 45,000 points for those who spend $3,000 on purchases within 6 months with this card. There are set spending categories that allow earning points for every dollar spent with the credit card. For example, there are food and beverage categories, but the time is limited and the maximum number of such points can be up to 10,000 Aeroplan points. At the end of the promotional period, the borrowers will receive the points on the same terms as other senior members. It is worth noting that the bonuses during the promotional period and afterward encourage cardholders to use the credit more.

As a limited-time offer, American Express has introduced the American Express Aeroplan Reserve card. It allows cardholders to earn up to 110,000 Aeroplan Welcome Points. When the cardholder spends money, it is multiplied and converted into points.

The benefits of such a card are many, for example, the points can be redeemed faster, there are bonuses such as Priority Pass Line, virtual events and insurance coverage for spending, baggage preferences for checked items, access to the Maple Leaf Lounge, and the possibility to reach a higher card status - Elite. Points can be used to book flights, seat upgrades, etc.

Major credit cards categories

  • Travel;

  • Rewards to get;

  • Cashback cards;

  • No annual fee cards;

  • Low-interest cards;

  • Student cards;

  • Business credit cards;

  • Foreign currency credit cards (e.g., in U.S. dollars).

Each category corresponds to consumer behavior and social status such as students, business people, etc.

There is an interest rate differential between purchases and cash advances or transactions similar to cash advances.

Rewards credit cards do not necessarily have to be travel cards, but can be other cards where you get bonuses when you use the card to pay for gas, groceries at the supermarket, medical items at the pharmacy, etc.

Some US dollar credit cards offer not only shopping and travel bonuses but also the ability to avoid exchange rate fluctuations.

Cashback credit cards usually have no limit on earning cashback points.

Student credit cards are designed to compensate for students' lack of cash and lower income. And some issuers do not even require a client to be a student. It is beneficial for students if their credit cards have no annual fee, are easy to approve, and can be used as secured credit cards to get started. Student credit cards can include travel type, cash back, no additional fee cards, low rate type, and no FX fee cards, for good and bad credit. As you can see, student cards are present in all categories, they are available for students who can confirm that they will take a course and in fact study. The annual fee for such cards can vary from 0% to the annual amount of $150 and more. Like all credit cards, they cannot be obtained earlier than the age of maturity. Student credit cards can usually be obtained by young people who are graduating and often have a high-interest rate. Credit score requirements are not that strict because lenders understand that the student is only starting out a career and usually does not make it a credit history or long credit history.

Business credit cards are a type of card that can be issued to incorporated Canadian businesses and are intended for the employees of the business. The limit of such credit cards allows to cover expenses for business trips, hotels, and other accommodations, and employees do not need cash and do not have to spend their own money waiting for reimbursement from the employer.

Business credit cards require all fees and expenses to be paid by business owners. The fees are imposed on the business and not the business owner. Generally, a credit check is required to have such a card approved. Sales requirements can run into millions of dollars. Corporate and business credit cards usually have additional features, such as special offers for earning miles, renting cars, or access to the business lounge at the airport. Business credit cards can be used for small and mid-sized businesses including freelancers.

A corporate credit card can be used to pay for purchases that are necessary for the business and earn rewards for corporate purchases. The use of a corporate credit card affects the credit score of the business, while the use of a business credit card affects the credit score of the business owner. A corporate credit card is intended for higher amounts than a business card and may include access to specialized financial software as a supporting tool to facilitate the management of credit card use. Approval of corporate credit cards is more complicated due to the higher amounts involved, and in addition to confirming business registration and sales volume, an independent financial audit may be required.

Both business and corporate credit cards require a responsible financial attitude from the employees and the employer has to explain the rules of the lender's policy ad terms of credit card use.

There are instant approval credit cards, physical credit cards made of different materials (plastic, iron, etc.), and online ones or virtual credit cards which you see only in the app but they are functional for online payments, transfers, payments via google play, etc. With virtual credit cards, the borrower has a credit card account the same way as with other types of cards but no physical plastic to put in one's wallet or pocket.

Low-interest credit cards are credit cards available to reliable borrowers with good credit and payment history. Using borrowed funds through such cards is cheaper than many other cash loans and sometimes it is even possible to have 0% interest.

The average interest rate on low-interest rate cards in Canada was less than 17% in 2022. If a customer has no credit history or bad credit history, they are considered a higher risk by the card issuers, and such a circumstance is usually mitigated by a higher APR.

If repayments are made on time and fit into the monthly budget, it is possible to equate any card with a no-interest or low-interest card, with the exception of cards that have an annual fee that may be charged depending on the rate. Once the customer has improved their credit score, they can try to negotiate a lower interest rate with the lender.

Another large category is shopping credit cards, which offer bonuses in the form of increased cash back from retail partners (for example, on grocery purchases) and/or the ability to pay for goods in installments without interest. Such cards usually have an initial credit limit and approve transactions for higher amounts if the customer has a good repayment record. If the customer runs into difficulty repaying on time, it is usually possible to grant a deferral of payment, at which time fees may apply and the ability to continue shopping with the card may be blocked until all payments are up to date, including outstanding fees, NSF charges, etc.

Note: Open sources say it's worth refraining from using such cards if a borrower plans to apply for a serious loan from a reputable lender in some time (e.g., a mortgage), as this could lower the credit score. And make sure that all payments are properly processed and there are no arrears to ensure that there are no unexpected issues for mortgage approval.

In Canada, there are credit cards for rich people, the so-called black credit cards. Such cards have high eligibility criteria and are much more expensive compared to other credit cards (the annual fee can be several thousand euros per year).

One of the examples of such privileged black cards is the American Express Centurion Credit Card.

Black cards offer conscientious service, access to airport lounges, high cash backs, and other privileges.

The full eligibility criteria are kept secret by black card issuers, but some of them are known: there are residency criteria, and the possibility of applying for non-residents should be considered individually because in some cases it could be prohibited.

Where to get a credit card in Canada

Visa and MasterCard are payment networks, not direct card issuers. These entities work with other institutions that are a link for managing accounts and providing services to borrowers.

Credit cards are often issued by banks and credit unions. Another category of issuers known as alternative issuers is financial companies that offer financial services such as loans and prepaid cards to Canadians.

Depending on the type of credit card, the customer must meet a number of requirements:

  • Residency;

  • Personal or household income, etc.

For example, Visa Classic has very democratic requirements: no income requirements, while World MasterCard requires a minimum of $60,000 and $100,000 for household income.

Visa Privilege requires a minimum income of over $150,000, while MasterCard World Elite Card has other income benchmarks: $80,000 personal income and over $150,000 for a household.

According to the disclosed information American Express cards do not have income requirements for Credit, Charge, and Business cards.

American Express, MasterCard, and a number of financial institutions offer black credit cards.

In order to get the card at the issuer's office or by courier, customers have to apply for a credit card, meet the requirements, and get approved for personal limit upon personal income check and other verification.

Prior to getting credit cards (balance transfer credit card, low-interest credit card, air miles credit card, student credit card, reward credit cards, or secured credit card categories) ones need to consider a number of things, for instance:

  • tariffs;

  • foreign transaction fees;

  • annual fees;

  • fees on balance transfers;

  • bonus points;

  • membership points;

  • membership rewards points;

  • comprehensive travel insurance coverage and mobile device insurance;

  • airport lounge access rules;

  • specific spending categories;

  • bonus categories;

  • eligible grocery stores to get points at;

  • the needed amount of net purchases to get rewards;

  • monthly billing period;

  • participating budget locations;

  • eligible streaming subscriptions;

  • the number of points for every dollar spent, etc.

Priority credit cards have bunches of conveniences for example Visa Infinite benefits, and MBNA Rewards Platinum allowing to earn rewards, make eligible travel purchases and get an annual fee rebate. It is suggested to read the terms of credit use carefully including the credit card holder's agreement.

Financial institutions ensure credit card account opening, arrange servicing, secure encryption, administration, and other procedures.

How to choose and apply for a credit card in Canada

You should know that there are countless offers for credit cards from financial institutions, banks, government regulated issuers, and making the right choice means the following is done:

  • you understand credit card account terms;

  • the card suits your purposes (travel, shopping for groceries and other purchases, bonus payments, bridging cash shortages between paychecks, paying for gas and groceries and repaying with the next paycheck, improving credit or creating credit history for foreigners, making online or offline payments, etc.);

  • you understand how many bonus categories;

  • the monthly billing period is clear to you;

  • you are informed about comprehensive insurance packages if applied for the specific credit card;

  • the card gives a good reward for every dollar spent, membership rewards points;

  • the card matches your current financial capabilities to properly service the debt;

  • you have calculated and understand the potential amount of foreign exchange fees for foreign currency purchases;

  • you know that your personal income is sufficient for this type of credit card;

  • the card has understandable and affordable fees and rates (no annual fee, year annual fee waived for new members, etc.);

  • the card s affiliated with the partner stores where you regularly shop (even food delivery purchases, household utility purchases, etc.);

  • the card has a low or, in your case, acceptable credit interest rate (APR);

  • you are happy with the annual fee rebate procedure;

  • the card is issued by a trusted institution.

A thorough comparison will take more than 5 minutes, but if the borrower plans to actively use the credit card, he or she should ask the issuers questions, read the terms and conditions, and is advised to use the credit card calculators available online to back up his or her decision with numbers. Borrowers might check usual expenses like recurring bill payments, amounts spent on everyday purchases at the grocery stores, gas purchases, etc.

You can ask the issuer's advisor to help you choose the right product, consult a personal financial advisor, or both if that's convenient.

Your choice must be balanced and safe for the household budget because credit cards are very practical tools, but they allow access to expensive borrowed funds with strict rules for bad debtors who can fall into a debt trap.

If you choose the right credit card and pay attention to creating the budget, you may not have to pay APR because you paid on time and take care of your financial future.

Credit card requirements

When a customer applies for a credit card in Canada, the following criteria are relevant:

  • He or she must be of legal age, i.e., 18 years of age or another age provided by provincial regulations;

  • Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada;

  • No unresolved bankruptcy proceedings are allowed for unsecured credit cards;

  • Social security number;

  • Sufficient Credit Standing.

Applicant must provide full name, home address, social security number, and income verification.

If the applicant has no credit history, which is basically in two cases:

  • no credit history in Canada because the borrower is a foreigner;

  • there was no previous credit and it is the beginning of the relationship with the financial institution or alternative organizations as a lender.

If a person does not have a Canadian credit history, it is possible to use one of the following options:

  • applying for a secured credit card that requires a cash deposit to reduce the lender's risk;

  • applying for a joint credit card with a family member who has good credit and is willing to share the card with you.

If there is no credit history at all it is possible to:

  • start using credit cards from the application to get a student credit card if you are eligible for this product and study in Canada;

  • apply for a secured credit card. The best-secured credit card should be found based on the borrower's criteria;

  • obtain a credit card from a credit broker;

  • apply for a credit card from alternative lenders who are not picky about the borrower's credit score and credit history.

In all cases, it is possible to find a solution and apply for a credit card in Canada if you consider it a weighted solution.

Credit card application

One can apply for a credit card using an online bank, issuer' mobile app, or alternatively, a customer can apply for it at the issuer's branch. There are also referral programs when an active user of a credit card, a customer of the issuer invites friends, and family members, and gets points as a gratitude for his or her impact on growing the network of credit card users.

Credit card applications can be completed online, using apps, or offline. Details of the procedure depend on the issuer but in general application procedure required the client to enter the following information:

  • confirmation of Canadian residency;

  • location code;

  • citizenship;

  • birth date;

  • first name, last name, middle name;

  • home address, physical address;

  • housing status (owner, co-owner, rent);

  • job category;

  • form of statements (electronic or mailed ones);

  • monthly income;

  • current employer;

  • financial relations with credit card issuer' (mortgage, car loans, other loans, none, etc.)

  • personal annual income;

  • housing expenses;

  • years at the current address;

  • contact details, etc.

Some issuers might have more detailed questionnaire forms for credit card applicants. The application procedure starts with informing about tariffs, interest rate (initial and further in case the borrower defaults, minimal payments, annual fees, cost of additional user, etc.)

  • The borrower has to review legal documents (credit card privacy disclosure, terms and conditions, a summary of annual interest rates, electronic access agreement, privacy policy, credit card issuer' service commitment, etc.)

Online credit cards in Canada are available right upon approval on the issuer's side, physical ones depending on the type. If the card has a holder's name on it then it takes time for it to be printed. If there is only one card number then it can be available right upon approval.

Waiting terms are to be checked with your credit card issuer directly.

Credit card fees

Credit cards have multiple fees related to this loan product. The exact percentage and amounts vary from issuer to issuer but below we provide information about typical fees for credit card holders.

Transaction fees mean a big category, including:

  • dishonored payment fee;

  • NSF (non-sufficient funds fee);

  • replacement sales draft, cash advance draft of monthly statement fee;

  • over limit fee;

  • FX conversion fee (foreign currency conversion);

  • balance transfer fee;

  • cash advance counter fee for financial institutions in Canada;

  • cash advance counter fee for financial institutions outside Canada;

  • cheque fee;

  • first card fee;

  • promotional low rate fee;

  • credit card balance administration fee;

  • cash advance fees;

  • fee for adding an extra user to the credit card;

  • minimum payment;

  • annual fee.

A full list of fees applied by your credit card issuer' should be granted to you as a holder of the credit card.

Credit card interest rates

Interest rates depend on credit card type. Low-interest credit cards in Canada have an interest of 8.99% - 12.99%. Cash advances cost close to 25% APR. A standard credit card would cost close to 20% APR but if a client has a default interest rate for cash advances, cash-like transactions, and other transactions growth and can be even 30% APR.

Usual day-to-day expenses apply regular interest rates on credit card spending which means: household utility purchases, eligible travel purchases; grocery store purchases, etc.

The average interest rate for credit cards in Canada makes 19.99%

Credit card issuers usually apply compound interest rates with daily accrual. Due interest in such cases is growing together with the principal and it can be risky if this process is out of the borrower's control. In this case, every dollar spent generates not only rewards within bonus categories but also a bigger debt to the lender.

Loans are regulated in Canada on both federal and provincial levels. It is worth mentioning the Cost of Borrowing Regulations.

  • The legislation protects Canadian credit cardholders and ensures:

  • The right to information when applying for a credit card;

  • The right to information when the customer receives the card;

  • The right to be notified electronically of interest rate changes and other important events related to credit cards;

  • The rights of joint borrowers are protected;

  • The borrower must be informed of changes to their credit card agreement;

  • The right to information applies when the customer applies for the card; receives the credit card; receives the credit card contract and the card itself;

  • Right to information about changes to the credit agreement.

  • Attached to the credit card application form is a set of legal documents, including the lender's rates, which must be read;

  • This information must be disclosed in a single window;

  • Applying for a credit card means agreeing to all the terms and conditions.

  • The statement must include information on the period and the opening and closing balances; credit limit requested and APR; Rights and obligations in case of billing errors; A toll-free telephone number to contact the lender;

  • For changes to the credit agreement, the lender must notify the borrower 30 days in advance.

  • The bank's electronic notification must include information that the balance in the savings account is less than $100 and that the remaining credit limit is less than $100.

  • Federally-owned lending institutions must provide copies of all documents, agreements, and statements to the borrower and co-signer.

Credit card users' rights are protected by federal laws and a code of conduct.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Canada plays an important role in protecting customer rights through the monitoring of government lenders. This institution receives complaints from borrowers that federal financial institutions are violating borrowers' rights.

And of course, the Criminal Code of Canada (Article 347.1) regulates the maximum interest rate in Canada, which should be below 60%.

There is an important document for customers, the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Industry in Canada.

Among other things it requires:

  • that merchants be notified at least 90 days in advance of rate changes and other charges; 180 days is a deadline for notifying customers;

  • inform the payment card network of fees that allow merchants to cancel their contracts without penalties;

  • Co-badged credit cards should be branded the same for proper display and quick visual identification;

  • Debit and credit rules should not work together on one card to avoid customer confusion;

  • Premium cards will be made available to network customers only upon request, and premium products should be clearly indicated and distinguished;

  • Merchants are not required to introduce new credit card network products and services;

  • Merchants are not required to upgrade their payment terminals to contactless or other types.

For more detailed information on the applicable regulations, please contact your credit card issuer.

What to look out for when choosing a credit card

Independently of the credit card you decided to choose, it is important to check:

  • eligible grocery stores, partnering places for gas purchases, other eligible purchases, etc;

  • the required amount of net purchases to get rewards;

  • what is needed in order to redeem points;

  • personal income requirements as well as the personal income of co-signer norms;

  • how to earn rewards of different kinds;

  • applied fee cash advances and other fees;

  • to what credit bureaus repayment information is reported;

  • the reputation of the issuer.

The borrower has to pay attention to the things related to the loan cost, repayment methods, terms, penalties, grace period, and eligibility criteria for keeping good rates.


How do I qualify for a credit card in Canada?

Applicants must have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, be of maturity age, have an income source to service the line of credit, and be eligible for signing legally binding documents and entering into agreements.

Some cards have more strict eligibility criteria for instance priority cards require a certain income level and volume of spending. A corporate card can be applied for if the legal entity has a significant turnover amounting to millions, below this it would be a business credit card.

All details about eligibility criteria for a specific credit card should be asked directly from the issuer.

Can foreigners get a credit card in Canada?

Non-residents can get newcomers' credit card products or get pre-paid credit cards (secured ones). It would be required to provide proof of Canadian address. USA citizens can apply for a Canadian credit card even from abroad, according to the open source information.

Can I use a Canadian credit card in the USA?

It is possible to use Canadian credit cards not only domestically but also abroad, including in the USA. Note that if the card is open in Canadian dollars conversion fee would be implied and it can be even double conversion. Exchange rates are changing and if the item would be returned refund amount may be different than the one which was debited from the credit card at the date of purchase. Alternatively, to avoid extra fees it is possible to open a credit card in USD.