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Best Credit Cards in Canada

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There are few financial decisions as important as deciding which credit card to use. While every Canadian will have different financial needs and preferences, some credit cards stand out above the rest. In this WealthRocket article, we show you the best credit cards in Canada, including the best travel credit card, best prepaid credit card, best overall credit card, and more.

Our picks

American Express Cobalt Credit Card

American Express Cobalt® Card

Best overall card
AMEX SimplyCash Preferred

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

Best cash back card
Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine World Mastercard

Best no annual fee card
American Express Cobalt Credit Card

American Express Cobalt® Card

Best travel card
A photo of the Neo secured credit card with a banner that says guaranteed approval

Neo Secured Credit

Best secured card
BMO Cashback Mastercard for Students

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for students

Best student card
Wealthsimple Cash Card

Wealthsimple Cash Card

Best prepaid card

Best overall credit card

American Express Cobalt Credit Card

American Express Cobalt Credit Card

Rated 4.1/5 stars.

Our Review
Rewards
  • 5pts Earn 5x the points on food and drinks, including restaurants and food delivery purchases.
  • 3pts Earn 3x the points on streaming subscriptions including Netflix, Disney+, and Crave.
  • 2pts Earn 2x the points on travel and transit including flights and public transportation.
  • 1pt Earn one point on all other purchases.

Why we picked it

The best overall credit card we’ve reviewed is the American Express Cobalt Card. It has an unbeatable blend of rewards and flexibility tailor-made for avid travellers and food enthusiasts alike. Every spend feels rewarding with its impressive 5 point per dollar return on dining and food delivery, ensuring every meal, whether at a restaurant or home, counts.

The true power of the American Express Cobalt card lies in its Membership Rewards and Cobalt Perks programs. The perks are always changing, but in the past, you could earn $15 when you spend at least $60 on seasonal deals online at Indigo, a prime example of the card’s added rewards when you shop. At the same time, you earn one more Membership Rewards point per dollar on hotel and car rental bookings. This card transforms your everyday spending into a source of continuous benefits, making it an ideal choice for individuals seeking to maximize their rewards potential.

Comparatively, while other cards might offer similar rewards without an annual fee, the Cobalt’s superior everyday earning potential and flexible reward options make it the top choice. If you’re looking for a card that offers unmatched daily value with amazing rewards, the Cobalt Card is your undisputed champion.

Note: the best overall credit card is typically rated as the card that will net you the most rewards with a solid hybrid of insurance, perks, and exclusive offers.

Best cash back card

AMEX SimplyCash Preferred

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

Rated 4/5 stars.

Our Review
Rewards
  • 4% Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas station purchases made in Canada.
  • 4% Earn 4% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases in Canada — up to $1,200 annually.
  • 2% Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases with no limit.

Why we picked it

The best cash back credit card we’ve reviewed is the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express. Tailor-made for individuals seeking substantial cash back rewards, this card stands out with its impressive 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. Every spend feels rewarding with this feature. With no limit on how much cash back you can earn and a straightforward redemption process, the SimplyCash Preferred Card simplifies the path to maximizing your earnings.

The true power of the SimplyCash Preferred Card lies in the gas and grocery cash back it offers. Cardholders can enjoy 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases. The essential nature of the three cash back categories makes it easy to get your earnings in. It’s like putting money back in your pocket every time you use it. Plus, you benefit from tailored Amex offers that reward you for spending at your favourite shops.

Comparatively, while other cards might offer higher earn rates on travel and transit, the SimplyCash Preferred Card’s superior everyday earning potential make it a standout choice for those who value simplicity and substantial cash back rewards. You can always explore more cash back credit cards, but if you’re looking for a card that offers unmatched daily value with amazing rewards, the SimplyCash Preferred Card is our top choice.

Best no annual fee card

Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine World Mastercard

Rated 3.7/5 stars.

Our Review
Rewards
  • 2% Earn 2% cash back in up to three spending categories, when you deposit your rewards to a Tangerine savings account.
  • 0.5% Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Why we picked it

The best no annual fee credit card we’ve reviewed is the Tangerine World Mastercard. It effortlessly combines savings with spending power, tailor-made for budget-conscious consumers who don’t want to compromise on benefits. Every purchase becomes an opportunity to save, with its customizable 2% cash back categories allowing cardholders to choose where they earn the most.

The true allure of the Tangerine World Mastercard lies in its ability to provide premium perks without a yearly cost. From mobile device insurance to rental car coverage, cardholders can enjoy a suite of benefits that are typically reserved for cards with hefty annual fees. And, with no limits on the cash back earned, the savings potential is truly unlimited.

Comparatively, the Tangerine World Mastercard outshines many no annual fee cards with its generous cash back and added benefits, like the Mastercard Travel pass that provides exclusive dining, shopping, and spa offers at more than 650 global airports. For more top contenders, see our roundup of the best no annual fee cards. However, for top-tier features without the price, the Tangerine World Mastercard remains unmatched.

Best travel card

American Express Cobalt Credit Card

American Express Cobalt Credit Card

Rated 4.1/5 stars.

Our Review
Rewards
  • 5pts Earn 5x the points on food and drinks, including restaurants and food delivery purchases.
  • 3pts Earn 3x the points on streaming subscriptions including Netflix, Disney+, and Crave.
  • 2pts Earn 2x the points on travel and transit including flights and public transportation.
  • 1pt Earn one point on all other purchases.

Why we picked it

The best travel credit card we’ve reviewed is the American Express Cobalt credit card. This card is tailor-made for young professionals who love to travel and dine out, making it a perfect fit for those who seek adventure and great cuisine. Its most notable feature is the rewarding 5 points per dollar return on restaurants and food delivery, elevating every dining experience. However, what truly sets the Cobalt card apart is its exceptional travel benefits.

The true power of the American Express Cobalt card lies in its Fixed Points Travel Program and American Express Travel Online booking system. Cardholders can redeem Membership Rewards Points on the base ticket price of eligible flights, making travel more affordable and accessible. Additionally, the card offers generous points transfers different airlines and hotel partners, providing unparalleled opportunities for exclusive deals on accommodations, flexible point redemption, and unforgettable travel experiences. For example, you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to six different airlines, expanding your options for free flights and upgraded experiences.

Comparatively, while other cards might offer better returns on daily essentials like gas and groceries, the American Express Cobalt card’s superior travel redemption options, elevated experiences, and comprehensive security and coverage while you’re traveling make it the top choice for globetrotters. If you’re in search of a credit card that offers exceptional travel benefits, combined with its dining rewards, the American Express Cobalt card is your ideal companion.

Best secured card

A photo of the Neo secured credit card with a banner that says guaranteed approval

Neo Secured Credit

Rated 2.9/5 stars.

Our Review
Rewards
  • 15% Earn 15% cash back on first-time purchases at participating partners.
  • 5% Earn an average of 5% unlimited cash back at thousands of Neo partners.
  • 0.5% Earn 0.5% guaranteed top-up cash back, up to $50.

Why we picked it

The best secured credit card we’ve reviewed is the Neo Secured Credit Card. Tailor-made for individuals who are keen on building their credit while simultaneously earning cash back, this card offers a unique value proposition that sets it apart in the market. Every spend feels rewarding with its remarkable feature: a 15% cash back rate on first-time purchases at participating Neo partners. This exceptional cash back rate allows cardholders to not only improve their credit but also enjoy substantial cash rewards with every eligible purchase. The Neo Secured Credit Card is an ideal choice for those looking to enhance their financial standing while reaping the benefits of cash back rewards.

The true power of the Neo Secured Credit Card lies in its guaranteed approval, absence of annual fees, and the potential for unlimited cash back. Following the initial 15% cash back, this card offers an average cash back rate of 5% on all subsequent transactions. Moreover, its unique security funds feature ensures that cardholders don’t exceed their credit limits, providing a secure and controlled approach to building credit. This combination of accessible credit building and generous cash back opportunities makes the Neo Secured Credit Card a standout choice for those seeking to responsibly manage their credit while enjoying financial rewards.

Comparatively, while other cards might offer better complimentary insurance coverage and exclusive experiences, the Neo Secured Credit Card’s accessible credit-building power combined with its cash back rewards make it a top contender in the secured credit card category. It’s a smart choice for those who want to rebuild their creditworthiness while enjoying the perks of cash back on their purchases. But, feel free to explore more of the best secured credit cards in Canada.

Best student card

BMO Cashback Mastercard for Students

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for students

Rated 3.6/5 stars.

Our Review
Rewards
  • 3% Collect 3% back on grocery purchases, up to $500 in monthly spend.
  • 1% Collect 1% back on recurring bill payments, up to $500 in monthly spend.
  • 0.5% Collect 0.5% back on all other purchases.

Why we picked it

The best student credit card we’ve reviewed is the BMO CashBack Mastercard for Students, tailor-made for those who need cash rewards on everyday purchases. What sets this card apart is its introductory offer; cardholders can enjoy up to a 5% cash back rate in the first three months. This promotion ensures that every spend feels rewarding right from the start, setting it apart from other student credit cards.

The true power of the BMO CashBack Mastercard for Students lies in its regular cash back feature. Cardholders can earn 3% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on recurring bill payments, effectively pocketing more money for essential purchases and monthly expenses. This card offers unparalleled opportunities for building a more flexible student budget. Additionally, you’ll earn every time you spend, as the card provides 0.5% cash back on all other purchases, making it a practical choice for students looking to maximize their cash rewards.

Comparatively, while other cards might offer better travel insurance and perks, the BMO CashBack Mastercard for Students stands out for its practical cash back rates and accessible eligibility requirements. For students seeking a card that offers guaranteed cash back with flexible cash redemption, the BMO CashBack Mastercard for Students is the undisputed champion in its category. If you’re looking to earn while you spend and save on everyday essentials, this card is a top choice for student finances.

Best prepaid card

Wealthsimple Cash Card

Wealthsimple Cash Card

Rated 3.6/5 stars.

Our Review
Rewards
  • 1% Earn 1% cash back on every purchase.
  • 4% Earn 4% interest on accounts with any balance.
  • 4.5% Earn 4.5% interest on accounts with a balance of $100,000 or more.
  • 5% Earn 5% interest on accounts with a balance of $500,000 or more.

Why we picked it

The best prepaid credit card we’ve reviewed for individuals seeking a dynamic blend of banking and investment benefits is the Wealthsimple Cash Card. Tailor-made for those who want the advantages of a chequing and high-interest savings account combined, this card is set to improve your financial journey. Every spend feels rewarding with its 1% stock, crypto, and cash back rate on all purchases. This unique feature sets the Wealthsimple Cash Card apart, allowing you to build your wealth with every transaction.

The true power of the Wealthsimple Cash Card lies in its cash account interest rate, providing a 4% base rate, which can increase to 5% for Generation clients. This means you can save while spending. The more you have saved, the more you earn. For instance, you’ll receive 4% interest on any balance, 4.5% on $100,000 or more, and an impressive 5% on balances of $500,000 or higher, making this card an exceptional choice for savers.

Comparatively, while other cards might offer more cash back, the Wealthsimple Cash Card’s $0 account fee, no foreign transaction fees, and investment potential set it leagues apart. If you’re looking for a card that offers high-interest on savings combined with investment earnings and no credit risk, the Wealthsimple Cash Card is for you. It’s a financial companion that not only simplifies your banking but also empowers you to build wealth, making it the ideal choice amongst other prepaid credit cards.

Notable offers from our partners

An image of the KOHO prepaid credit card.

Earn up to 4.5% interest on your balance and up to 6% cash back

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

Rated 3.5/5 stars.

Our Review

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Rated 3.7/5 stars.

Our Review

How we select our cards

When evaluating credit cards on our website, we use a comprehensive and unbiased methodology.

  • Spending scale

    Every card is analyzed on a $2,000 monthly spending scale, adjusted per the card’s category to ensure realistic spending reflections.

  • Features analysis

    With close scrutiny of almost 100 available credit card features, we ensure each card is benchmarked against the standard for its category. Depending on the category, further adjustments are made for elements like fees, card type, and more.

  • User-centric analysis

    Recognizing that every card has its own target audience, our formulas are crafted with a deep understanding of who’s using the card. This means we don’t just generalize; we focus on delivering insights that truly resonate with potential card users.

  • Diverse category analysis

    Our reviews dissect cards based on major categories, such as rates and fees, offers, rewards, various insurances (like travel, car rental, and purchases), and other perks. Depending on the card’s nature, some categories might be omitted for a precise and fair evaluation.

  • Impartial

    Importantly, our ratings remain impartial. They’re never influenced by affiliates or sponsors.

Recent updates

October 31, 2023: Added rationale for selection of each credit card in each category.

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a plastic (or sometimes metal) card issued to a customer by banks or various companies. It allows the cardholder to make purchases with borrowed money, also known as credit. Credit cards charge interest on purchases and grant a grace period to pay their bills.

Credit cards usually offer some cash back or rewards with each purchase made. They also tend to come with sign-up or welcome offers. Most credit cards help customers build up their credit score through their credit reports.

When signing up for a credit card, there are several qualifications one must meet. These could range from a minimum income requirement to a minimum credit score.

Types of credit cards

While credit cards are not necessarily exclusive to one category, most often have a defining feature that places them in one of the following classes:

Cash back credit cards

With a cash back credit card, you earn cash as you spend. The amount of cash you receive depends on specified cash back rates per spending category (for example, groceries, gas, etc.) The cash you earn can be redeemed to your savings or as a statement credit.

No annual fee credit cards

This type of card boasts having no monthly or annual fee to use the card.

Travel credit cards

Travel cards often have great welcome offers to help fund your vacation but also extensive travel insurance to keep you covered. Reward programs are also part of what makes a travel card valuable, allowing cardholders to accumulate points for redemption on flights, accommodation, and more.

Secured credit cards

A secured card requires a financial deposit that insures your spending. The amount deposited becomes your credit limit. By making payments on time, you can improve your credit score.

Student credit cards

Student credit cards are usually easy to qualify for to ensure those living with student expenses can still build credit while making a lower income.

Prepaid credit cards

Unlike secured cards, prepaid credit cards only allow you to spend what you’ve loaded on to the card, making it impossible to get in to debt. However, they don’t affect your credit score.

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