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Published July 1, 2024

9 Best Mastercard Credit Cards in Canada for July 2024

The best Mastercard credit cards offer a diverse array of rewards, including cash back, Air Miles, points and more.

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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.

Mastercards are widely accepted across around the world, with plenty of card options for consumers and businesses. Thanks to a variety of co-branded rewards, Mastercards have become an indispensable tool for many Canadians. 

The best Mastercard credit cards balance value and function, offering comprehensive insurance coverage, competitive rewards rates and practical perks.

Best Mastercard credit cards in Canada

Best overall Mastercard credit card

BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*


$120

20.99% / 23.99%

1%–10%

Up to 10% cash back
Our Take
Why we like it

You won’t need a strategy to make the most out of this bonus-category card. The BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* spends like a flat-rate card thanks to stellar rates on four popular daily spending categories.

Pros
  • Score generous cash-back rates for popular spending categories: 5% on groceries, 4% on transit, 3% on gas, 2% on recurring bills, and 1% on everything else.
  • Feel protected with 13 types of insurance and fantastic travel benefits.


Cons
  • Spending categories come with easily-hit spending caps, but the 1% base rate still earns you value once you hit your monthly bonus rate limits.
  • The $120 annual fee is pretty steep. While we think you’ll more than make up for it through cash back savings, the no-fee BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* is a great alternative.
Card Details
  • Welcome offer: Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.*
  • Earn more cash back on the categories that mean the most: 5% on groceries.* 4% on transit including ride sharing, taxis and public transportation.* 3% on gas and electric vehicle charging.* 2% on recurring bill payments like your monthly phone bill or favourite streaming service.* 1% unlimited cashback on all other purchases.*
  • Get the highest cash back earn rate on groceries in Canada.†
  • Get valuable benefits and offers for digital everyday services from a variety of on-demand apps and subscription services.
  • Extended Warranty Plus.*
  • Purchase Protection Plus.*
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey.*
  • Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges.*
  • Complimentary Roadside Assistance Program.*
  • BMO CashBack World Elite Travel and Medical Protection.*
  • BMO Concierge Service.*
  • Unlock Mastercard Travel Rewards cashback offers when you travel and shop outside of Canada.
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • †Statement based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on Canadian cash back credit cards as of January 4, 2023.
  • 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: Air Miles rewards

BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*


$120

20.99% / 23.99%

0.08x-0.25x Miles

2,000 Miles
Our Take
Why we like it

With airport perks, travel benefits, 24/7 concierge access, and an impressive standard earn rate — 1 AIR MILE for every $12 spent — the BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®* offers frequent flyers a luxury travel experience at a great value.

Pros
  • Airport lounge access with a complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey.
  • Strong insurance policy, including up to $2 million in out-of-province/out-of-country emergency medical insurance.


Cons
  • This card doesn’t offer accelerated earn rates on certain spending categories.
Card Details
  • Welcome offer: Get 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles and we’ll waive the $120 annual fee for the first year.*
  • Get 3x the Miles for every $12 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners and 2x the Miles for every $12 spent at any eligible grocery store*.
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $12 in credit card purchases, everywhere you spend.*
  • Get valuable benefits and offers for digital everyday services from a variety of on-demand apps and subscription services.
  • Use your card at Costco.*
  • Extended Warranty.
  • Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges.*
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass.*
  • Use less Miles with our exclusive 25% discount on one worldwide AIR MILES flight redemption during the calendar year.*
  • BMO AIR MILES World Elite Travel and Medical Protection.*
  • BMO Concierge Service.*
  • Unlock Mastercard Travel Rewards cashback offers when you travel and shop outside of Canada.
  • *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 no-fee Mastercard

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®


$0

19.99% / 24.99%

1x-4x Points

Up to 10,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard offers bonus rewards on common spending categories, along with flexible options for redemption.

Pros
  • Flexible redemption options, including cash back, brand-name merchandise, gift cards, charitable donations and travel, and points never expire.
  • You can receive up to 10,000 Birthday Bonus Points every year.


Cons
  • Accelerated earn rate drops to 2x after the first 90 days, and 1x after $10,000 in spending. Considering how many categories fit into the cap, hitting the limit will be easy for families and big spenders.
  • Lack of travel insurance may disappoint some cardholders.
Card Details
  • Earn 4 points†† for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days, and 2 points‡ for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in those categories thereafter – in both cases, these earn rates apply until $10,000 is spent annually in the applicable category.
  • Earn 1 point‡ for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • 5,000 bonus points†† ($25 in cash back value) after you make $500 or more in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • 5,000 bonus points††($25 in cash back value) once enrolled for paperless e-statements within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Each year, you will receive Birthday Bonus Points‡ equal to 10% of the total number of Points earned in the 12 months before the month of your birthday, to a maximum Birthday Bonus each year of 10,000 Points.
  • Redeem points‡ for cash back, brand-name merchandise, gift cards from participating retailers, charitable donations, and travel.
  • Mobile Device Insurance*** With Mobile Device Insurance, you’ve got up to $1,000 in coverage for eligible mobile devices in the event of loss, theft, accidental damage or mechanical breakdown.
  • No annual fee.
  • ‡, ††, ✪, ***, 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.

Best for: Businesses

BMO World Elite Business Mastercard


$149

17.99% / 22.99%

1.5x-4x Points

Up to 100,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The BMO World Elite Business Mastercard is a solid option for business owners seeking a travel card, as it boasts travel insurance and airport lounge access for a relatively low annual fee. Plus, cardholders can take advantage of a points program that rewards business expenses, like gas, office supplies and cell phone payments.

Pros
  • Accelerated rewards rates on everyday business spending, including gas, office supplies, cell phone and internet bill payments.
  • Travel insurance coverage that includes trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage delay, and more.
  • Free Maple virtual care visits.


Cons
  • Limited airport lounge access.
  • $50 price for each employee card.
Card Details
  • Get up to 100,000 points: Earn 20,000 bonus BMO Rewards Points when you make your first purchase. Earn 8,000 bonus BMO Reward Points from months 3-12 by spending a minimum of $3,000 each month.
  • Take advantage of a 0.00% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for nine months with a 3% transfer fee.
  • Earn 4 points for every $1 you spend on gas, office supplies, cell phone and internet bill payments, up to a $50,000 annual spending limit.
  • Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all other card purchases, including category spending in excess of the annual limit.
  • Redeem reward points for travel, office supplies and gifts for employees, as well as to pay for recent purchases, make cash deposits into your BMO investment account, and more.
  • Get up to 22 additional cards so employees can easily make purchases on behalf of your business and help you earn points faster.
  • Get protection against employee card abuse with the Liability Waiver Program.
  • Enjoy two free airport lounge passes a year with a complimentary membership to Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass.
  • Get automatic rebates of 1%-25% when you shop at qualifying merchants with Mastercard Easy Savings.
  • Receive travel protection when you use your Mastercard to book travel arrangements. Coverage includes trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, a car rental collision damage waiver and more.
  • Get 90-day purchase protection and extended warranty protection of up to one additional year on items you charge to the card.
  • Access on-demand health care with five free virtual care visits on Maple shared by you and your family members.

Best secured Mastercard

Neo Secured Credit


$0

19.99%-29.99% / 22.99%-31.99%

0.5%-6%

N/A
Our Take
Neo Secured Credit is a no-fee card that earns cash back rewards and offers access to high-interest savings.

Pros
  • A small $50 minimum deposit makes this card accessible to consumers of all budgets.
  • High average cashback rate of 5%.


Cons
  • Interest rates could be as high as 29.99% for some users.
Card Details
  • Build credit history with on-time payments.
  • Set your credit limit and get started with as little as $50.
  • Guaranteed approval with no credit score needed to apply.
  • 0.5% guaranteed monthly minimum cashback.
  • No monthly or annual fees.
  • Depending on plan (base or premium), customers can earn up to 6% on restaurants and bars, 4% on apps like DoorDash and Disney+, 3% on gas and groceries, and 0.5% on all other purchases.
  • Personalized Insights AI generates tailored information and recommendations designed specifically for you.

Best for: Newcomers

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*


$0

20.99% / 22.99%

0.5%-5%

Up to 5% cash back
Our Take
Why we like it

The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* offers attractive earn rates on everyday purchases like groceries and utility bills, making it easy to quickly rack up rewards that you can turn into cold hard cash.

Pros
  • Attractive introductory offer, especially if you’re interested in a balance transfer.
  • No minimum threshold for redeeming your cash-back rewards. Redeem as little as $1 if you want.


Cons
  • Accelerated earn rates for groceries and recurring bills are capped at $500 per billing cycle, a ceiling that might be easy to hit if you have a family or higher monthly balances.
  • Offers fewer travel perks and types of insurance than some other cards.
Card Details
  • Welcome offer: Get 5% cash back in your first 3 months.*
  • Then get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases!*
  • Now earn the highest cash back on groceries in Canada without paying an annual fee!†
  • Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months, 2% fee applies to balance amounts transferred.*
  • No Annual fee.*
  • Want to get your cash back ASAP? Now you can redeem your cash back anytime through direct deposit, as a credit on your statement or into your BMO InvestorLine account.*
  • Extended Warranty.*
  • Purchase Protection.*
  • Receive a discount on car rentals.*
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • †Statement based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on Canadian cash back credit cards as of January 4, 2023.
  • 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: Cash-back rewards

Tangerine World Mastercard®


$0

19.95%

0.5%-10%

Up to $100
Our Take
Why we like it

You can earn unlimited cash back at a 2% rate in up to three categories of your choice and 0.50% back on other everyday purchases while benefiting from exclusive Tangerine World Mastercard® perks and insurance cover.

Pros
  • Choose the best 2% rewards categories for you based on your spending.
  • A variety of additional perks like savings on subscription services, rental car collision/loss damage, mobile device insurance, and more.


Cons
  • Higher eligibility requirement for gross income.
Card Details
  • Apply for a Tangerine World Mastercard® by October 31, 2024 and earn an extra 10% back* (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.
  • 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.
  • Have your Money-Back Rewards deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account, and get a 3rd 2% Money-Back Category.
  • No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn.
  • Change your 2% Money-Back Categories to suit your spending.
  • With Mastercard Travel Rewards, you can unlock cashback offers and get a rebate applied directly to your statement, by using your Tangerine World Mastercard at select merchants that accept Mastercard while travelling outside of Canada.
  • Save on the things you love with your Tangerine World Mastercard. Enjoy special benefits and offers from a growing lineup of on-demand apps and subscription services made available to you as a Tangerine World Mastercard cardholder.
  • Make the most of your travel with Mastercard® Travel Pass Provided by DragonPass. Your complimentary membership gives you exclusive dining, retail and spa offers in over 650 airports worldwide, along with access to over 1,300 airport lounges at $32 USD per visit. Learn more at Mastercard® Travel Pass.
  • Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance**: Damage and theft protection for your car rental when you rent for up to 31 consecutive days and charge the full cost of your rental to your Card.
  • Mobile Device Insurance**: Protection on new cell phones, smartphones or tablets when you charge the full cost to your Card, or when you purchase it through a plan and charge all of your wireless bill payments to your Card. Covers up to $1,000 if your mobile device is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged or experiences mechanical failure.
  • Preferred rates: 19.95% for purchases and cash advances.
  • To be eligible, a $50,000 (individual) annual income is required. Also, 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: Students

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for Students


$0

20.99% / 22.99%

0.5%–5%

Up to 5% cash back
Our Take
Why we like it

The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for Students has impressive earn rates — including 3% on groceries — and valuable perks, all without an annual fee.

Pros
  • Earn flexible and easy-to-redeem cash rewards on everyday purchases.
  • There’s no minimum threshold for redeeming your cash-back rewards. Redeem as little as $1 if you want.


Cons
  • Accelerated earn rates for groceries and recurring bills are capped at $500 per billing cycle.
  • Insurance is limited to extended warranty and purchase protection.
Card Details
  • Welcome offer: Get 5% cash back in your first 3 months.*
  • Then get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases!*
  • Now earn the highest cash back on groceries in Canada without paying an annual fee!†
  • Get cash back every time you spend, plus start building a healthy credit history.
  • Want to get your cash back ASAP? Now you can redeem your cash back anytime through direct deposit, as a credit on your statement or into your BMO InvestorLine account.*
  • No Annual fee.*
  • Extended Warranty.*
  • Purchase Protection.*
  • Receive a discount on car rentals.*
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • †Statement based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on Canadian cash back credit cards as of January 4, 2023.
  • 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 low-rate Mastercard

MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®


$39

10.99% / 24.99%

N/A

N/A
Our Take
Why we like it

MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard offers one of the lowest rates for purchases and balance transfers, plus extended warranty benefits on most new items and savings on car rentals at a modest fee.

Pros
  • One of the lowest regular purchases and balance transfer interest rates of 10.99%.
  • Benefit from additional purchase warranty, purchase assurance and trip assistance.


Cons
  • Unlike the no-fee MBNA True Line® Mastercard®, which charges 12.99% on purchases and 17.99% on balance transfers, this Gold card has a $39 annual fee.
  • No promotional offer or rewards program.
  • Balance transfers are subject to a steep minimum fee of $7.50 per transaction.
Card Details
  • $39 annual fee.
  • Standard Annual Interest Rates of 10.99% on purchases, 13.99% on balance transfers✪, and 24.99% on cash advances.
  • Use available credit on your credit card to transfer funds right to your chequing account.
  • Around-the-clock-fraud protection.
  • Access to 24/7 customer service.
  • This card is made from 100% recycled plastic
  • ✪, 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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Methodology: How we evaluate cards

NerdWallet Canada selects the best Mastercard credit cards based on their overall consumer value as well as their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Our evaluation methodology is weighted by the following factors: 50% rewards value, 25% intro offer, and 25% fees and interest. Rewards value considers earning rates, rewards structure, promotional rates 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 Mastercard credit cards were considered.

    Summary of the best Mastercard credit cards in Canada

    CARD NAMEBEST MASTERCARD FORANNUAL FEEINTRO OFFER
    BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*.Best overall Mastercard credit card.$120.Up to 10% cash back.
    BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*.Best for: Air Miles rewards.$120.2,000 Miles.
    MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®.Best for: No annual fee.$0.Up to 10,000 Points.
    BMO World Elite Business Mastercard.Best for: Businesses.$149.Up to 100,000 Points.
    Neo Secured Credit.Best secured Mastercard.$0.N/A.
    BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*.Best for: Newcomers.$0.Up to 5% cash back.
    Tangerine World Mastercard®.Best for: Cash-back rewards.$0.Up to $100.
    Student BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*.Best for: Students.$0.Up to 5% cash back.
    MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®.Best for: Low interest rate.$39.N/A.

    Guide to Mastercard credit cards

    Mastercard is one of the major card networks in Canada. With its comprehensive selection of credit cards and various rewards options, it has much to offer. 

    What is a Mastercard credit card?

    A Mastercard credit card is a card that can be used to make in-person or online transactions with available credit. Borrowed money must be repaid by the end of each billing cycle, or the outstanding balance begins accruing interest.

    Transactions made with a Mastercard credit card take place on the Mastercard payment network. The task of creating and issuing cards to everyday consumers is done by financial institutions. Credit limits, annual fees, rewards programs and insurance coverage vary by card and issuer.

    Mastercard credit card tiers

    Mastercard offers three tiers of card membership: Standard, World and World Elite. Generally, the higher the tier, the better the card’s perks, but top-shelf cards tend to have stricter eligibility criteria and steeper annual fees. 

    Standard

    The Standard tier is Mastercard’s baseline card category. These entry-level cards are a practical fit for first-time cardholders, newcomers or those seeking a no-frills card. 

    Standard Mastercards typically have low or no annual fees and less stringent eligibility requirements. But these cards may lack the enticing features and perks of higher-tier Mastercards.

    World

    World Mastercards occupy a practical middle ground between the Standard and World Elite categories. Credit cards in this tier tend to be tougher to qualify for than Standard Mastercards and are more likely to impose annual fees. But these drawbacks are balanced with richer rewards and better insurance coverage.

    World Elite

    Crowning Mastercard’s membership tiers is its World Elite category. These credit cards carry higher fees and stricter eligibility criteria. In return, they typically offer an enticing collection of perks and rewards, like comprehensive insurance coverage, airport lounge access, free global Wi-Fi, car rental discounts and more.

    Mastercard perks and benefits

    Some common features and programs are available to all Mastercard credit cardholders. Taking advantage of these benefits can help you get the most out of whichever Mastercard you choose. 

    Mastercard ID Theft Protection

    The Mastercard ID Theft Protection program protects personal information and identifies fraudulent activity. The service is free, but cardholders must opt in and enroll in the program. Cardholders are alerted to suspicious activity, and Mastercard support is available 24 hours a day to resolve any issues.  

    Mastercard Zero Liability Protection

    All Mastercard credit cardholders are covered by Mastercard’s Zero Liability Protection, which means they won’t be on the line for any unauthorized transactions should their card fall into the wrong hands. To remain covered by this policy, Mastercard states that its cardholders must take reasonable care in protecting their credit cards from loss or theft and, if lost or stolen, report the event to their financial institution immediately. 

    Mastercard Global Service

    The Mastercard Global Service is a 24-hour support program available to Mastercard credit cardholders. Cardholders can call and speak with a Mastercard representative to report lost or stolen cards, locate ATMs, access their account information and more. Local toll-free numbers are available in over 80 countries. 

    Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services 

    When you book travel experiences through the Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services program, you can take advantage of the following perks:

    How to choose the Mastercard credit card that’s right for you

    Though all Mastercards share the features listed above, that doesn’t mean they’re all an equally good fit for your wallet. When comparing your card options, be sure to consider the following:

    Mastercard credit card issuers

    The following card issuers offer Mastercard credit cards:

    How to apply for a Mastercard credit card

    Once you’ve determined the right Mastercard for you, you’ll need to submit an application. Whether you do this in person at a branch or online, the steps you’ll need to take will be similar:

    1. Review the card’s terms and conditions. 
    2. Ensure you meet any eligibility criteria. Specific requirements will differ by card and issuer. However, to qualify for a Mastercard credit card, you typically must:
      1. Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
      2. Be at least the age of majority in your province or territory.
      3. Meet credit score requirements.
      4. Meet annual income requirements.  
    3. Fill in your personal information. You can expect to provide your full name, residential address, employment information and other financial information.
    4. Submit the application. 

    Expect to be notified by mail or email once your application has been processed. If approved, your card will be sent by mail. You’ll need to activate your new credit card before you can use it. 

    How to activate a Mastercard credit card

    You can usually activate a new Mastercard by phone or through your card provider’s website or mobile app. You’ll need to enter some personal information, including your new credit card number, its expiration date, security code and, in some cases, an activation code.

    Mastercard credit card alternatives 

    Mastercards are a popular credit card option accepted in more than 210 countries around the world. But but there are alternatives worth considering.

    Visa credit cards

    Visa credit cards are accepted in over 200 countries and offer access to more than 2.5 million ATMs around the globe. Card membership tiers include Visa Classic, Gold, Platinum, Infinite and Infinite Privilege. Card issuers include the Bank of Montreal, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and TD Bank, among others. 

    American Express credit cards 

    American Express is both a card network and issuer. It offers a variety of personal and business credit cards, including co-branded Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.

    » MORE: Explore the Best American Express Credit Cards in Canada

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