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Published January 5, 2023

Best Low-Interest Credit Cards in Canada

If you often carry a balance, switching to a low-interest credit card can help keep it from growing as quickly — making it easier to pay off and saving you money.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

If you don’t care about rewards, simply need of a basic credit card to build credit, or carry a balance from a high-interest credit account, a low-interest credit card is a good place to start.

Switching to a low-interest credit card can help keep your spending in check while making it convenient to pay off your balance and save money. To make your search less daunting, we’ve shortlisted 19 low-interest credit cards in Canada that come with a host of additional features and benefits to suit your needs. 

Best low-interest credit cards

Best general low-interest cards

Best for a low variable rate tied to your credit score

National Bank Syncro Mastercard

National Bank Syncro Mastercard
  • Annual Fee
    $35
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    8.90% / 12.90%
Why we like it
Why we like it

The National Bank Syncro Mastercard is a low-fee, low-rate option that offers perks and insurance coverage.

Pros
  • Save money on interest throughout this year with a low rate.
  • No minimum income requirement to qualify.


Cons
  • Since this card has a variable rate, you’ll need to keep track of the interest you’re charged if you plan to keep a balance.
  • No promotional rates or ability to earn rewards.
Product Details
  • $35 annual fee.
  • No annual fee for additional cards.
  • Variable interest rates are tied to the prime rate, which is the annual variable interest rate posted by National Bank.
  • Purchases: 4% + the prime rate, or a minimum of 8.90%.
  • Balance transfers and cash advances: 8% + the prime rate, or a minimum of 12.90%.
  • 21-day grace period for purchases.
  • No grace period applies to balance transfers and cash advances.
  • Contactless payments so you can spend less time at checkout with Tap & Go technology.
  • Purchase protection to protect your new purchases from theft or damage for up to 90 days after the date of purchase.
  • Extended warranty offers up to double the manufacturer’s warranty for most items purchased using your credit card.
  • Secure online purchases with Mastercard® ID Check, a service that protects you against fraud by verifying your identity when making online purchases.
  • Benefit from Mastercard’s Zero Liability policy — you won’t be liable for unauthorized transactions completed with your card.
  • Enjoy unique experiences with Priceless Cities. Get room upgrades, exclusive menus and many other surprises.
  • $500 minimum credit limit.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Best for a low fixed interest rate on purchases

Laurentian Bank Visa Black Reduced Rate

Laurentian Bank Visa Black Reduced Rate
  • Annual Fee
    $30
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    12.49%
Why we like it
Why we like it

Laurentian Bank’s Visa Black Reduced Rate card boasts a 12.49% interest rate on purchases, making it ideal for anyone who needs some breathing room to pay down their credit card balance.

Pros
  • If you need to maintain a balance on your account, you’ll benefit from a competitive and low rate of interest all year round.
  • It’s unusual to score an interest rate this low without a high annual fee.


Cons
  • No ability to earn rewards on purchases.
  • No promotional interest rates.
Product Details
  • $30 annual fee, plus free additional cards.
  • 12.49% on purchases and cash advances.
  • Cash advances are limited to $500 per day.
  • For purchases, a 21-day interest-free payment deferment until the date shown on your statement.
  • Possibility of access to virtual mail statement.
  • Balances transfer to other credit cards may be possible upon request.
  • Cards are accepted in over 150 countries.
  • Cash advances are available from 800,000 automatic teller machines and 400,000 financial institutions.
  • Easy account payment by Internet, telephone, mail or at Bank Branches.
  • Be protected in the event of unauthorized use of your card or account information. With Visa’s Zero Liability policy, you have nothing to pay.
  • Easily access funds with your credit card PIN.
  • Safely complete your online purchases at participating merchants with Visa Secure and Click to Pay.
  • Access to add optional Assur-payment coverage, which combines insurance, advice and health and wellness assistance services to support you and your loved ones in the event of the unexpected. Offered as an optional Laurentian Bank Visa* card ​benefit, Assur-payment provides the support to help you in your daily life and when you need it most.
Best low-fee card with a low interest rate on purchases and cash advances

RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option

RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option
  • Annual Fee
    $20
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    12.99%
Why we like it
Why we like it

For those who carry a balance on their card and don’t mind a fee, RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option offers a low interest rate on purchases and cash advances. Earn rewards with select partners like Petro-Canada, Rexall and DoorDash.

Pros
  • Low regular interest rate on purchases and cash advances.
  • Attractive rewards on fuel, drugstore purchases and food deliveries with Petro-Canada, Rexall and DoorDash.


Cons
  • A $20 annual fee on the primary card.
  • No promotional offer.
Product Details
  • $20 annual fee on the primary card and $0 for additional cards.
  • Standard purchases and cash advances interest rate: 12.99%.
  • Save and Earn Faster with RBC Offers:
  • Instantly save 3¢/L on fuel and start earning 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada after linking the card to a Petro-Points account.
  • Link this card with your Be Well card to get 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible products at Rexall.
  • Redeem Be Well points faster for savings on eligible purchases; 25,000 Be Well points = $10.
  • Add your card to a DoorDash account and get $0 delivery fees for 3 months from DoorDash valued approximately at $30.
  • Enjoy unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees on orders of $15 or more when paying with your RBC Visa card.
  • Receive zero liability protection to protect you from fraud and Purchase security and extended warranty insurance to protect your eligible purchases.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
Best unsecured card to build or rebuild your credit

Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard®

Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard®
  • Annual Fee
    $79
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    14.90% / 21.90%
Why we like it
Why we like it

Competitive interest rates and guaranteed approval can help those with poor credit access a card and begin rebuilding their score. If your credit score isn’t strong enough to qualify for the unsecured card, you’ll be offered a secured card instead.

Pros
  • Low interest rates for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Guaranteed approval if you meet eligibility criteria.
  • Can be used to build or rehabilitate credit.


Cons
  • Doesn’t earn rewards.
  • $79 is the highest annual fee charged by Capital One’s Canadian credit cards. If you’d prefer to pay a lower annual fee ($59) and have a standard interest rate (19.8%), consider opting for the Guaranteed Mastercard® instead.
Product Details
  • $79 annual fee.
  • Improve your credit: Captial One reports credit card activity to credit reporting agencies on a monthly basis. Use your card responsibly to help establish or improve your credit.
  • Build for the future: A good credit score gives you more options – it can help you get better interest rates on loans, and can increase your chances of getting approved for an apartment rental or mortgage.
  • Everyday benefits: Price Protection Service, Purchase Assurance, and Extended Warranty.
  • Travel benefits: Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance, Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Waiver, Baggage Delay, and Travel Assistance.
  • Mastercard Global Service™: If a card is lost or stolen, this service provides emergency card replacement, emergency cash advance, 24/7 telephone access and referral to the closest ABM.
  • Zero Liability: No need to worry about unauthorized charges being made to the account. Capital One cardholders are protected with Zero Liability for unauthorized use of the card. That means cardholders won’t pay for any unauthorized purchases on their card.
  • If Capital One is unable to approve you for a Low Rate Gold card based on your credit history, you’ll be approved for a Secured card. With a Secured card, you’ll also be required to send in security funds.
  • Preferred rates: 14.9% for purchases and balance transfers, 21.9% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live. You must also not have an existing Capital One account or a pending application for one. You must not have applied for a Capital One account more than once in the last 30 days or held a Capital One account that was in poor standing in the last year.
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Best no-fee low-interest cards

Best no-fee card for balance transfers

MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card

MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro Interest Rates
    0% intro for 12 months on balance transfers
  • Balance Transfer Fee
    3%
  • Interest Rates
    12.99% / 24.99%
Best no-fee card with a low fixed interest rate

Desjardins Flexi Visa

Desjardins Flexi Visa
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    10.90%
Why we like it
Why we like it

The Desjardins Flexi Visa offers more than the average no-fee, low-interest rate credit card, including mobile device protection and a modest amount of travel insurance.

Pros
  • Competitive interest rate on purchases and cash advances.
  • Mobile device protection and travel insurance included.


Cons
  • No points system or rewards program.
  • No promotional offers.
Product Details
  • No annual fee for the primary card and any additional cards.
  • No transaction fees on purchases made in Canada.
  • 25-day grace period to pay your bill without incurring credit charges.
  • 10.9% interest rate on purchases and cash advances.
  • If the minimum payment is not made, the annual interest rate will increase to 19.9% until payment is received.
  • Cash advances limit of $5,000 per day.
  • Up to $1,000 in insurance against loss, theft, accidental damage or mechanical failure of mobile devices purchased with the Desjardins Flexi Visa.
  • Purchase protection: Eligible items purchased with the Desjardins Flexi Visa are protected against loss or damage for 90 days from the purchase date.
  • Extended warranty: The original manufacturer’s warranty is doubled for up to one additional year on most items purchased with the Desjardins Flexi Visa.
  • Travel insurance for trips up to three days cover:
  • Eligible medical care and services required for up to $5 million per person;
  • Trip cancellation for up to $500 per person and trip interruption for up to $1,000 per person if the trip is paid for using the Desjardins Flexi Visa;
  • Baggage insurance for up to $500 per person for bags that are lost, stolen or delayed more than six hours.
  • Car rental discounts include: up to 15% off rental rates and reduced fees at Hertz; up to 10% off rental rates and reduced fees at Thrifty and Dollar.
  • Cardholders enjoy zero liability in the event of fraudulent card use.
Best for using home equity

Home Trust Equityline® Visa Credit Card

Home Trust Equityline® Visa Credit Card
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    7.99%-14.99%
Why we like it
Why we like it

Tap into the equity of your home to access up to $1 million in revolving credit with lower interest rates than you’d find through a traditional credit card.

Pros
  • Receive up to $1,000,000 in revolving credit to pay for big-ticket items.
  • Save more with $0 annual fee, no prepayment penalty and no exchange fees.


Cons
  • Interest rate may vary depending on real estate collateral and borrower’s credit.
  • No rewards or promotional offers.
Product Details
  • No annual fee.
  • Interest rates: 7.99% to 14.99% for purchases and cash advances. The rate you’ll receive depends on real estate collateral and your credit.
  • Use home equity to secure anywhere from $20,000 to $1,000,000 in revolving credit. Use it to pay for renovations, a family vacation or other big-ticket item.
  • No prepayment penalty when you pay off the entire balance.
  • Pay no exchange fees on foreign currency transactions when using the Home Trust Equityline Visa for online shopping or abroad.
  • Purchase Security insurance is included with the Home Trust Equityline Visa card. It insures eligible items against theft or damage for 90 days from the date of purchase.
  • Visa Zero Liability policy offers protection from unauthorized purchases and fraudulent activity.
  • Accepted in more than 200 countries and territories.
  • Check the account balance, view transactions and pay bills online at Home Trust Visa Online.
  • Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay Digital Wallet compatible.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
Best no-fee card with a low variable interest rate

RBC RateAdvantage Visa Credit Card

RBC RateAdvantage Visa Credit Card
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    Prime + 4.99%-8.99%
Why we like it
Why we like it

It doesn’t earn rewards, but the RBC RateAdvantage Visa offers a low variable interest rate, no annual fees and a variety of perks, including $0 DoorDash deliveries, accelerated Be Well points for Rexall purchases and discounts on fuel when you gas up at Petro-Canada.

Pros
  • Save money with a no-fee credit card.
  • Benefit from attractive perks on food delivery service, drugstore shopping and gas bills.


Cons
  • You’ll need to track the interest charged on this variable rate card, which can change at any time.
  • No promotional offer on interest rates.
Product Details
  • No annual fee.
  • Preferred rates: Prime + 4.99% – 8.99% for purchases and cash advances. The rate you’ll receive depends on your application and credit history.
  • Get $0 delivery fees for 3 months from DoorDash after adding the RBC RateAdvantage Visa to a DoorDash account.
  • Enjoy unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees on orders of $15 or more when paying with the RBC RateAdvantage Visa.
  • Get 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible products at Rexall after linking the RBC RateAdvantage Visa to a Be Well Rexall account.
  • Redeem Be Well points faster for savings in-store on eligible purchases; 25,000 Be Well points = $10.
  • Save 3¢/L on fuel and always earn 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada after linking the RBC RateAdvantage Visa to a Petro-Points account.
  • Use Visa payWave when paying for small purchases.
  • Save time by having minimum or full monthly payments automatically withdrawn from your bank account.
  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance automatically protects card purchases against loss, theft or damage for up to 90 days, and doubles the manufacturer’s original Canadian warranty for up to one extra year.
  • Optional add-on services include balance protection insurance, 24/7 identity theft and credit protection, RBC road assistance, and travel insurance.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
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Best low-interest cards for balance transfers

Best for balance transfers and instant approval

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®*

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®*
  • Annual Fee
    $20
    Waived first year
  • Intro Interest Rates
    0.99% interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months
  • Balance Transfer Fee
    2%
  • Interest Rates
    12.99% / 15.99%
Why we like it
Why we like it

You can tap into competitive interest rates alongside free additional cardholders, extended warranty, purchase protection and access to BMO purchase installment plans with the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®*.

Pros
  • Competitive interest rates with no annual fee for the first year.
  • An attractive introductory balance transfer rate offer.


Cons
  • The balance transfer rate goes back to 15.99% once the promotional period ends.
  • No rewards program.
Product Details
  • Welcome Offer: Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee and we’ll waive the $20 annual fee for the first year.*
  • Enjoy our lowest interest rate of 12.99% on purchases.*
  • Free extended warranty and purchase protection.*
  • Zero Dollar Liability: protects you from unauthorized use of your credit card.*
  • Worldwide acceptance at over 30 million locations.*
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.
Best for balance transfers and cash advances

CIBC Select Visa* Card

CIBC Select Visa* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $29
    Waived first year
  • Intro Interest Rates
    0% interest rate on balance transfers for 10 months
  • Balance Transfer Fee
    1%
  • Interest Rates
    13.99%
Why we like it
Why we like it

The CIBC Select Visa doesn’t earn rewards but offers low interest rates, discounts at the pumps, fee-free global money transfers and the option to add on insurance coverage.

Pros
  • Ability to transfer up to 50% of your credit limit with 0% interest for 10 months.
  • Competitive regular interest rates for purchases and cash advances.


Cons
  • No ability to earn rewards.
  • You’ll find lower regular interest rates on other cards.
Product Details
  • Intro offer: Get 0% interest for up to 10 months on balance transfers with a 1% transfer fee and a first year annual fee rebate. Transfer up to 50% of your assigned credit limit. Conditions apply.
  • $29 annual fee. First year rebated. $0 for up to 3 additional cards.
  • 13.99% for purchases and cash advances.
  • The CIBC Select Visa Card comes with valuable insurance, including up to $100,000 of Common Carrier Accident Insurance.
  • Link and use a Journie Rewards card to save on every fill-up at participating Pioneer, Fas Gas, Ultramar and Chevron gas stations.
  • There are no transaction fees when sending a CIBC Global Money Transfer.
  • Visa’s Zero Liability Policy offers protection from unauthorized purchases and fraudulent activity.
  • Optional travel medical insurance and payment protection insurance available.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live. You must also have a $15,000 minimum annual income.
Best for balance transfers and purchases

MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card

MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro Interest Rates
    0% intro for 12 months on balance transfers
  • Balance Transfer Fee
    3%
  • Interest Rates
    12.99% / 24.99%
Why we like it
Why we like it

With a strong intro offer, no annual fee and a low interest rate of 12.99%, the MBNA True Line Mastercard is an affordable, no-frills way to transfer balances, pay for purchases and build credit.

Pros
  • Interest-free balance transfers for a full year.
  • Save money while building credit with the no-fee credit card.


Cons
  • Higher interest rate compared to the 8.99% offered on the MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®, which charges an annual fee.
  • Few extra benefits and no rewards program.
Product Details
  • No annual fee.
  • Standard Annual Interest Rates of 12.99% on eligible purchases, 12.99% on balance transfers✪, and 24.99% on cash advances.
  • You could get a 0% promotional annual interest rate (“AIR”)† for 12 months on balance transfers✪ completed within 90 days of account opening.
  • Around-the-clock fraud protection.
  • Use available credit on your credit card to transfer funds right to your chequing account.
  • †, ✪, Terms and Conditions apply.
  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
  • Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.
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Best low-interest cards for students

Best intro offer on cash advances + our pick for newcomers to Canada

Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card

Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card
  • Annual Fee
    $29
    Waived first year
  • Intro Interest Rates
    0% intro on balance transfers for 6 months
  • Interest Rates
    12.99%
Why we like it
Why we like it

A rare 0% intro period on balance transfers and low interest rates year-round, the Scotiabank Value Visa can help you quickly pay down balances transferred from higher-rate credit cards.

Pros
  • Cardholders who carry a balance will save money every month with this card’s low 12.99% interest rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
  • A stellar 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months.


Cons
  • No rewards.
  • No insurance coverage.
Product Details
  • 0% introductory interest rate on Cash Advances for the first 6 months (12.99% after that; annual fee $29).1 Plus no annual fee in the first year.1 Offer ends April 30, 2023.
  • 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (12.99% after that).
  • Save up to hundreds of dollars a year on interest.
  • Low interest rate of 12.99%.
  • Pay down higher interest rate balances faster.
  • Transfer higher rate balances and save even more.
  • To be eligible, $12,000 (individual) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident that is the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.
Best low-rate card for students

Coast Visa Student Low Interest Rate card

Coast Visa Student Low Interest Rate card
  • Annual Fee
    $30
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    12.90%
Why we like it
Why we like it

This student credit card offered by Coast Capital Savings comes with Hertz car rental discounts, insurance coverage and a low, 12.9% interest rate.

Pros
  • With no transaction fees, the money you save adds up.
  • Access to the Accord D Desjardins program: a financing service that lets cardholders charge purchases to a second credit limit.


Cons
  • No rewards program.
  • A no-fee option is available with a higher interest rate.
Product Details
  • $30 annual fee.
  • 12.9% interest on purchases and cash advances.
  • A no-fee option is also available but charges 19.90% interest.
  • Take advantage of Accord D Desjardins: a separate, secondary credit limit at participating merchants that won’t affect the existing credit limit on the card.
  • Receive a 5 to 10% discount on a short-term car rental at all participating Hertz counters worldwide.
  • Free additional card for a spouse or family member.
  • Offers mobile device insurance, accident insurance, and three-day travel insurance.
  • Optional credit balance insurance available.
  • Compatible with Visa payWave technology.
  • Zero liability policy offers protection from unauthorized purchases and fraudulent activity.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
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Best low-interest cards to earn travel rewards

Best low-rate card for travel rewards

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
  • Annual Fee
    $25
    Annual fee rebate for the first year*
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    11.90%
Why we like it
Why we like it

This low-interest and low-annual fee rewards card offers bonus points on dining and entertainment purchases, as well as several types of insurance.

Pros
  • At 11.9%, you’ll benefit from a lower interest rate on purchases and cash advances than many other rewards cards.
  • Redeem points for travel, as gift cards or as financial rewards.


Cons
  • Despite the low interest rate, there’s no balance transfer promotional period.
  • Travel and medical insurance coverage costs an additional $69 per year.
Product Details
  • Get up to $200 in total value* for the first year! Must apply by February 28, 2023. Conditions apply.
  • Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
  • HSBC’s lowest interest rate for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
  • Price Protection Service – find a lower price within 60 days of your purchase, the difference will be refunded, up to $500 per eligible item.
  • Primary Cardholder Annual Fee: $25.
  • Annual Interest on Purchases: 11.9%.
  • Authorized User Annual Fee: $10 Per Card.
  • *Terms and Conditions apply.
  • ®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.
Best low-rate travel rewards card for no FX fees

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card
  • Annual Fee
    $399
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    9.99%
Why we like it
Why we like it

With low rates and a generous rewards program, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card is a unicorn for frequent travellers seeking luxury perks, premier travel benefits and exceptional interest rates on purchases and cash advances.

Pros
  • Low interest rates, no foreign transaction fees, and an impressive insurance package that includes comprehensive travel insurance coverage and newly-added mobile device insurance.
  • Luxury travel privileges include 10 free VIP airport lounge visits per year with a complimentary Priority Pass membership.


Cons
  • The $399 annual fee is quite a bit higher than other rewards cards, but frequent travellers seeking a low rate on purchases and cash advances can easily make the yearly cost worthwhile.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $2,100* in value in your first 14 months, including up to 60,000* bonus Scene+ points. Offer ends April 30, 2023.
  • You will not pay 2.5% foreign transaction fees on any foreign currency purchases, including online shopping and when travelling abroad. Only the exchange rate applies.
  • Earn 2X Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD you spend on all your eligible purchases.
  • Scene+ points can be redeemed for travel purchase, merchandise and other non-travel rewards such as gift cards and prepaid cards.
  • You must redeem a minimum of 5,000 points per travel-related rewards redemption, equivalent to $50 in travel savings. Points must be redeemed within 12 months of the purchase date.
  • $399 annual fee.
  • Redeem points for any flight, any time through Scene+ Travel, a full-service travel agency. Plus, take advantage of a best price guarantee on airfare.
  • Get a Hertz #1 Club Gold membership for special privileges and rental car benefits at over 8,500 locations in 147 countries.
  • Enjoy culinary events and experiences, entertainment, luxury fashion, tours, and more through American Express benefits, including American Express Invites, Platinum VIP offers and access to 24/7 premium concierge services for restaurant reservations, show tickets, and gift purchases.
  • Lounge access at over 600 VIP airport lounges around the world with a complimentary Priority Pass membership, which includes 10 free visits per year.
  • 12 types of insurance provided, including 31-day travel medical benefits — up to $2 million in coverage — for you, your spouse and any dependent children under the age of 65. 10-day coverage available for those over the age of 65.
  • Preferred rates: 9.99% for purchases, 9.99% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.
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Best low-interest secured cards

Best low-interest secured card to build or rebuild your credit

Home Trust Secured Visa Card

Home Trust Secured Visa Card
  • Annual Fee
    $59
  • Interest Rates
    14.90% / 19.80%
  • Min. Deposit
    $500
  • Maximum Deposit
    $10,000
Why we like it
Why we like it

The Home Trust Secured Visa offers a straightforward, no-frills experience for credit builders. Plus, there are two secured credit card options to fit a variety of needs: a no-fee card, and a low-interest card with a $59 annual fee.

Pros
  • Low interest rate.
  • Payments are reported to both credit bureaus.


Cons
  • You’ll need to budget for the annual fee.
  • No ability to earn rewards on purchases.
Product Details
  • $59 annual fee.
  • No fee option available with a higher interest rate.
  • $500 minimum security fund deposit required.
  • $10,000 maximum security fund deposit.
  • Hard credit checks are made on Home Trust Secured Visa applications.
  • Credit activity, including every payment, is reported to TransUnion and Equifax, the two major consumer credit bureaus in Canada.
  • Ability to upgrade to an unsecured credit card.
  • Manage your account and billing with online banking.
  • Cardholders can choose between a card with no annual fee and 19.99% interest or an annual fee of $59 and 14.90% interest.
  • Protection against fraud through Visa’s Zero Liability Policy.
  • Preferred rates: 14.90% for purchases, 19.80% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must have a source of income and cannot currently be in bankruptcy. You must be able to provide security funds and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live. The Home Trust Secured Visa Card is not available to Québec residents.
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Best low-interest business cards

Best no-fee business card with a low variable interest rate on purchases and cash advances

CIBC bizline® Visa* Card for Business

CIBC bizline® Visa* Card for Business
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    As low as 7.45%
Why we like it
Why we like it

A low interest rate, no annual fee, a reasonable minimum income requirement, and the potential for a generous credit limit make the CIBC bizline Visa card a viable fit for small but growing businesses.

Pros
  • No annual fee for up to ten cards.
  • A very low interest rate.
  • A credit limit of up to $50,000.


Cons
  • The interest rate can fluctuate, which could be an issue for businesses on a tight budget.
  • Very few perks.
  • No opportunity to earn rewards through business-related purchases.
Product Details
  • No annual fee for the first card and up to nine additional cards.
  • Credit limits range from $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Manage, track and organize credit activity through CIBC CreditSmart.
  • Fraud alerts and zero liability in the event of fraudulent card activity.
  • $100,000 in common carrier accident insurance for the cardholder, a spouse and dependent children.
  • A $35,000 minimum individual annual income is required for approval.
  • Preferred rates: As low as 7.45% — CIBC Prime plus 1.5% on purchases and cash advances.
Best low-fee business card with a low interest rate on purchases

CWB Low Rate Visa* Business card

CWB Low Rate Visa* Business card
  • Annual Fee
    $25
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    12.90% / 21.00%
Why we like it
Why we like it

For businesses looking for a low-fee low-interest rate credit card, the CWB Low Rate Visa* Business card can help consolidate office spending with a $5000 minimum credit limit.

Pros
  • Low fixed interest rate on purchases.
  • Benefit from Zero Liability coverage against unauthorized transactions and purchase protection for 90 days up to a maximum of $50,000 per account per year.


Cons
  • No rewards program.
  • No special offer on interest rates.
Product Details
  • Annual fee of $25 for the primary card and $5 for additional cards.
  • 12.90% annual interest rate for purchases, and 21% on cash advances.
  • Consolidated monthly statements available.
  • 21-day grace period on purchases.
  • Emergency card replacement and cash disbursement around the globe available with the card.
  • Receive a $5,000 minimum credit limit.
  • Provided the conditions are met, a cardholder will not be held responsible for unauthorized transactions. Purchases made with your credit card in the store, over the telephone, online or via a mobile device will be protected by Zero Liability.
  • Manage and track spending with SmartControls payments functionality through the MyCardInfo Online Card Management Tool.
  • Save time and money automatically by using Visa SavingsEdge to pay for select business needs when shopping with participating merchants.
  • Purchase protection for 90 days up to a maximum of $50,000 per account per year and double the manufacturer’s warranty for a maximum of one additional year with the extended warranty.
Best low-fee business card with a low fixed-interest rate on purchases and cash advances

National Bank Business Mastercard Low-rate card

National Bank Business Mastercard Low-rate card
  • Annual Fee
    $30
  • Intro Interest Rates
    N/A
  • Interest Rates
    14.50%
Why we like it
Why we like it

The National Bank Business Mastercard Low-rate card is a strong choice for businesses who need to maintain a balance on their credit card account.

Pros
  • A competitive interest rate on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
  • A modest annual fee.


Cons
  • No ability to earn rewards on purchases.
  • No promotional interest rates.
Product Details
  • $30 annual fee.
  • 14.50% on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
  • 21-day grace period for purchases.
  • No grace period applies to balance transfers and cash advances.
  • $1,000 minimum credit limit.
  • Compensation plan available in the event of fraud worth up to $10,000.
  • Safe online purchases with Mastercard ID Check, a service that protects against fraud by verifying your identity when making online purchases.
  • Easy Savings advantages and promotional offers from participating merchants.
  • Card payments can be automatically withdrawn from your National Bank or another account so you can avoid late payment fees if you apply for pre-authorized debit.
  • National Bank’s Business Mastercard card also has a no-annual fee option that charges 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on balance transfers and cash advances.
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Methodology to identify the best low-interest credit cards

NerdWallet Canada selects the best low-interest credit cards based on their overall consumer value. Our evaluation is weighted by factors: 20% average earn value, 20% intro offer, and 60% fees and interest.
* Average earn value considers earning rates, rewards structure and spending categories.
* The intro offer considers the welcome bonus value, promotional interest rates, and any waived fees.
* Fees and interest consider interest rates for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances, and additional costs such as foreign transaction fees.
Other noteworthy features, such as insurance, special perks and extra benefits, earn unofficial bonus points. Only cards without a standard or promo low-interest rates were considered.

    Summary of the best low-interest credit cards

    Best no-fee credit cards

    Best balance transfer credit cards

    Best student credit cards

    Best travel rewards credit cards

    Best secured cards

    Best business cards

    How low-interest credit cards work in Canada

    By Helen Burnett-Nichols 

    What is a low-interest credit card?

    A low-interest credit card is similar to a traditional credit card, but it carries an interest rate lower than that of a typical card. If you often carry a balance on your credit card, you may find that your interest charges are adding up — and your balance keeps growing. Finding a card with the lowest possible interest rate is one way to help keep your credit card debt manageable. 

    Low-interest credit card features

    A common feature is that low-interest cards tend to come with lower annual fees than cards that offer more benefits. Some low-interest cards even charge no annual fee. 

    Generally, lower-interest credit cards come with a tradeoff: most don’t offer many perks, such as rewards points or travel insurance.

    How to get a low-interest credit card

    Qualifying for a low-interest credit card is similar to applying for any other credit card. Typically, you must:

    Many financial institutions offer low-interest personal credit cards and low-interest business credit cards. Once you choose a card, you can apply through the credit card issuer’s website. You’ll usually find out fairly quickly whether the issuer approved your application.

    What is a good interest rate on a credit card? 

    Typical credit card interest rates hover around 20%, any rate lower than that could be considered a good interest rate. 

    A 2021 study from the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) showed more than 30 low-interest rate credit cards on the market offered interest rates lower than 13%. 

    What is the average credit card’s interest rate?

    In Canada, most credit cards charge an interest rate of 19.99% or more on purchases, and an even higher rate on other types of transactions, such as cash advances.

    Common current credit card interest rates

    Credit cardRate
    TD Cash Back Visa19.99%
    RBC Avion Visa Infinite19.99%
    MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard8.99%
    Scotiabank Value Visa12.99%
    BMO CashBack Mastercard20.99%

    Some credit cards offer low promotional interest rates for the first few months, but move to a higher rate once that introductory offer expires. For example, the Scotia Momentum Mastercard offers a low 7.99% interest rate for the first six months, but once the promotional period ends, the rate increases to 20.99%.

    What to know about credit card interest rates

    Most credit cards are considered unsecured credit, as you don’t have to put down any collateral. Interest is the price you’ll pay to borrow money on a credit card. If you don’t repay the full balance by the credit card’s due date, that amount of interest will be added to your balance. And if you don’t pay off your balance the following month, you’ll incur additional interest on top of the previous month’s accumulated interest. That’s one reason why credit card debt can add up so quickly.

    What is a credit card interest rate? 

    Your credit card’s interest rate is the amount charged on any balance outstanding after your credit card’s due date each month. Your credit card agreement and each monthly statement includes the interest rate as an annual percentage, or APR. 

    Credit card interest rates vary between cards, financial institutions, and the type of transaction.

    Types of interest rates on credit cards

    Depending on how you use your credit card, you may see different interest rates apply to different transactions. Be aware of these different types of credit card interest rates.

    Credit card annual interest rate

    Your credit card’s annual interest rate, also known as APR, is the percentage of interest the issuer will charge on an outstanding balance during a one-year period. Financial institutions use this percentage to calculate how much interest to charge you if you don’t pay your balance by the due date. 

    Purchase interest rate

    The purchase interest rate is the annual interest rate you’ll pay on an outstanding balance accumulating from regular purchases made using the card. These purchases may include anything from a new pair of jeans to the recurring charge for your gym membership.

    For example, say you have a card with a set purchase interest rate of 20.99% and you charge a $100 restaurant meal to it. If you don’t pay back that dinner charge on your card’s due date, you’ll pay about $1.74 in interest. 

    Cash advance interest rate

    When you use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, you’re borrowing money from the credit card company. This type of transaction is called a cash advance. You’re not withdrawing your own money — like you would with a debit card. For this type of transaction, some card issuers can charge a higher interest rate than for regular credit card purchases. 

    Cash advances are not subject to the interest-free grace period, which means you’ll start accruing interest on this amount as soon as it’s withdrawn. You might also have to pay a cash advance fee charged by the institution that owns the ATM. 

    Let’s say your credit card charges 22.99% on cash advances and you withdraw $200 at your bank’s ATM with a plan to pay back the amount in 30 days. Your bank charges you a $5 fee for the transaction.

    To repay the cash advance, you’ll pay $208.90. But if you’re not able to pay back the full amount by your planned 30 days, the credit card debt will continue to grow.

    Balance transfer interest rate

    Some card issuers offer special interest rates to entice you to move your credit card balance over from a different card. The promotional balance transfer interest rate is usually much lower than the interest rate for purchases, often between 0% and 5% for a specific period of time like three to six months or longer. 

    However, balance transfer offers come with a few caveats. Many cards charge a balance transfer fee of up to 3% of the transferred amount. Plus, after the promotional period ends, any balance left unpaid will be subject to the card’s regular interest rate.

    Let’s say you apply for a new balance transfer credit card with a 0% promotional interest rate for 12 months and a balance transfer fee of 3%. You move a $3,000 balance over from a 19.99% card. If you are able to pay off your balance within the 12 months, you’ll save $488 in interest.

    But if you don’t manage to pay off the balance in full by the end of the promotional period, it will immediately be subject to the card’s regular interest rate. If you still have $1,500 left and the regular rate is 20.99%, you’ll be looking at $26.10 in interest that next month — and the amount could keep growing until it’s repaid. 

    How credit card interest rates are set

    Credit card interest rates can also change over time. For example, some banks will increase your interest rate if you miss payments or make late payments. Other cards have a variable APR that is linked to, and may fluctuate with, the bank’s prime lending rate. 

    According to the CBA, financial institutions and credit card issuers set credit card interest rates based on numerous factors, including:

    These rates are not always set in stone, and can change. For example, during the early part of the pandemic, several financial institutions cut credit card annual interest rates by up to 50% for customers experiencing hardship.

    Additionally, cardholders can try negotiating for a lower rate in certain circumstances — such as if they have a long record of paying their bill on time and are close to the credit limit.

    How interest is charged on a credit card 

    Interest is charged on any balance outstanding on your credit card after the payment due date — and continues to accrue for each billing cycle if you haven’t paid off the balance. Your monthly interest charge will appear on your credit card statement after your due date. 

    How to calculate credit card interest

    Most issuers calculate credit card interest based on a daily formula. A basic way to calculate your daily interest rate is to take your annual rate, let’s say it’s 20%, and divide it by 365, which amounts to about 0.0548%.

    If you have a balance of $1,000, you’ll accrue interest to the tune of about $0.55 per day, or $16.45 in a 30-day period, if you don’t make any payments.

    Given that most cardholders make purchases and payments throughout the month, many banks use the account’s average daily balance to calculate interest at the end of each billing cycle.

    So, to calculate your credit card interest: 

    When do you pay interest on a credit card?

    Interest on a credit card applies after the interest-free grace period if you don’t repay your balance by your due date. You’ll continue to be charged interest until you pay back your credit card’s full balance owing.

    Credit card interest appears on your statement as a monthly amount, but generally calculated on your purchases using a daily formula.

    Credit card grace period

    Financial institutions in Canada are required to offer a 21-day grace period after a purchase, which begins on the last day of your billing period, as listed on your credit card statement. If you pay off the balance in full during this grace period, you will not incur any interest charges on that purchase. 
    The grace period only applies to purchases, not cash advances or balance transfers. If you can pay back the purchase either in full during the interest-free grace period or before your credit card’s next due date, you won’t accrue any interest.

    How to avoid paying interest on a credit card

    To avoid paying credit card interest, pay off your balance in full each month before your interest-free grace period runs out. You can ensure that you repay the balance on time by keeping an eye on your payment due date, listed on your credit card statement.

    Another way to avoid interest charges — at least temporarily — is to transfer your balance to a credit card offering a 0% interest rate for new balance transfers. Just make sure you can pay off the balance during the promotional period.

    Can you negotiate credit card interest?

    While credit card interest rates might seem set in stone, there may be some wiggle room. If you have a good credit score, a strong record of paying your bill on time, and you’re not close to your credit limit, you may be able to request a lower interest rate from your financial institution. You might get a reduced rate for a short amount of time or permanently.

    Frequently asked questions about Canada’s low-interest credit cards

    What is the lowest interest rate on a Canadian credit card?

    A number of cards offer low introductory rates on balance transfers for a few months, but you have to dig a little deeper to find the true lowest-interest-rate cards. The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard offers 8.99% interest on purchases and balance transfers with a $39 annual fee. The National Bank Syncro Mastercard has a variable purchase interest of 4% plus prime, with a minimum of 8.9% and a $35 annual fee.

    Does paying interest on a credit card affect your credit score?

    Paying interest on your credit card each month won’t affect your credit score — as long as you make at least the minimum payment by your due date. If you miss payments or are late paying your credit card bill, you will see the effect on your credit report. 

    In addition, if you’re often paying the minimum payment on your credit card bill, your credit score may be affected by a high credit utilization rate. 

    Financial experts recommend using less than 35% of your credit limit as it usually accounts towards your credit score.

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