Find the best Canadian credit card for your needs
Credit cards provide easy access to interest-free money, as long as you pay it back in full and on-time. When you make a purchase and pay with your credit card, you're paying with borrowed money from your credit card provider.
Credit cards also come in handy if you don't like to carry a lot of cash or when in situations where you can't pay with anything but a credit card, like parking and online purchases.
Which credit card is right for me?
There are many different features, benefits and potential drawbacks for each credit card. Depending on your financial situation and lifestyle, one may be better for you than another. Some common card types can include:
- Secured and guaranteed: Secured and guaranteed cards are great if you're trying to establish or rebuild your credit history.
- No fee: Some credit cards charge an additional annual fee for maintaining your account. A "no fee" card simply has no annual fee.
- Low interest: A good option for people who carry a balance month to month and don't want to pay too much in interest if they can't pay off their bill each month.
- Balance transfer: Struggling to pay down a balance on another card because of high interest rates? Look for a card that offers low interest balance transfers: You'll be able to transfer the balance from a higher interest card usually for a small fee or even for free! Some products even offer 0% interest for a period of time, up to a year!
Credit card rewards and perks
Some credit cards offer cash back and reward programs. These types of cards are definitely worth looking into if you use your credit card often, including large purchases. When combined with a reward or cash back program, you may find yourself actually saving money by using a credit card.
- Reward cards: Reward cards allow you to earn points that are redeemable for merchandise, travel and other goods. You’ll earn points on your everyday purchases, -and depending on the card, you can earn bonus points for making purchases at specific retailers. There are also cards made specifically for travel, gas, grocery, and other rewards, meaning more points or cash if you travel frequently, drive long-distances or buy a lot of food. You can then redeem points online or over the phone. While remembering to use your card at specific retailers to earn those bonus points can be a hassle, if you're diligent about using your card to its maximum potential, the points earned can go towards your next cart full of groceries or your next vacation.
- Cash back cards: Some credit cards offer anywhere from 1% to 5% cash back on the money you've spent. While this may seem like a measly percentage, it can amount to a lot if you pay for everything with your card. From your $2 coffee, your monthly cell phone bill to your $1000 television, that small cash back percentage can add up to a lot if you're making many purchases, or even just a few big ones.
For example, if you have a card that earns you 2% cash back, and you've made a total of $10,000 in purchases over the course of a year, you would receive $200 cash back. When it comes time to redeem that cash back, some cards apply it as a credit to your account while others deposit the cash into your bank account. The terms of when you receive your cash also differ. Some providers require you to request it, while others will automatically deposit the credit into your account once a year; every provider is different.
Other specialty cards
Whether you are looking for a credit card with rewards, no annual fee, low interest rate or a cash back option, there is something out there for everyone. Depending on your lifestyle and interests, there are plenty of specialty cards on the market:
- Student: A student credit card typically offers lower fees and rewards. An excellent first credit card for students who want to start building credit.
- Business: Ideal for small to large business owners as these credit cards can support multiple cardholders, and offer expense management tools and extra insurance
- Sports: There are credit cards that offer rewards and perks that can be used towards games and merchandise for your favourite professional sports team.
- Stores: Specialty store cards allow you to show loyalty to the brand you love and enjoy the perks of being a cardholder with special sales.
- Charity and cause-related: Support a cause that is close to your heart by automatically giving a small donation with every purchase you make.
- Alumni: Show your school pride and support your alma mater by donating a small percentage to your alumni association and student initiatives with every purchase.
With Kanetix.ca's credit card comparison service*, you can find the credit card that best fits your lifestyle. You should note, however, that no matter the type of credit card you decide on, always read the fine print and understand what the terms and conditions.
What are the benefits of having a credit card?
The benefits of having a credit card can vary from person to person, but there are number of general benefits that everyone should consider
- Convenience: Pay for almost anything with a quick tap, pin or swipe of your card.
- Credit building: Build your credit score by making your payments on time.
- Practical: No need to carry a wallet full of cash and pay for online purchases with ease.
- Fraud prevention: If you become the victim of fraud, your credit card provider acts as an intermediary between the merchant and you.
- Expense monitoring: Monitor where your money goes exactly by looking at your purchases as an itemized list in your monthly statements. Some banks will categorize your purchases in the statement as well, so you can tell how much you spend on food, retail, gas, etc.
- Emergencies: Life is unpredictable and sometimes we get hit with financial surprises. If you're stuck in a pinch and can't fully afford an emergency situation out of your pocket, then a credit card can be a life saver. But be careful – we always recommend paying off your balance in full each month if you’re able!
*All credit card content displayed on Kanetix.ca is for informational purposes only, to help our visitors make an informed decision when choosing and applying for the best Canadian credit card to meet their needs. All information is provided to Kanetix.ca by credit card issuers and displayed on an as-is basis. Although great care is taken to provide precise information to our visitors, Kanetix.ca makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any credit card information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, delays in this information or damages arising from its display or use.