Temporary Deal Alert – for a limited time you can get a FREE $100 Gift Card from RateSupermarket.ca with a no-annual fee card: either 0% balance transfer for 12 months OR up to 5% cash-back on gas and groceries.
- The MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard – 0% balance transfer for 12 months! If you have credit card debt, get this card NOW. Consolidate your debt for a year for 0%!
- The MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard – 5% cash-back on gas and groceries for the first 6 months. Yes, TD ruined this card when they bought out MBNA. It’s no longer the best cash-back card in Canada — that title goes to the Scotia Momentum Infinite VISA. Even still, get this MBNA card for 6 months, enjoy 5% cash-back on some gas and groceries and a $100 gift card!
And here’s the banner; check it out today because the deal ends April 30th, 2013!
What’s the best credit card deal in Canada for 2012?
The Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite is the best credit card deal in Canada because it offers:
- 4% cash-back on gas and groceries.
- 2% cash-back on drugstore purchases. Shoppers Drug Mart is on this list.
- 2% cash-back on recurring payments.
- 1% on everything else — for these purchases, to maximize cash-back, I recommend having a secondary credit card which I discuss later in this article.
Cash is king. That’s why I prefer a cash back credit card. Rewards credit cards are great. Cash-back rewards credit cards are even better. That’s why the insane cash-back levels on the Scotia Momentum Infinite really take the cake.
The former best credit card deal in Canada for 2012 was the Smart Cash MasterCard® credit card. I got many $50 cheques from MBNA while using this rewards credit card and I never paid any fees or interest. Sadly, they’ve reduced their payouts and thresholds. Even still, the card offers 5% cash-back on gas and groceries for the first six months so it is worth checking out.
Now, that’s not to say this is the best credit card for every Canadian. If I could only pick ONE card, it would be the Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite. It’s the best credit card for me. “Best for me” doesn’t necessarily equate to the credit card that’s “best for you”. It’s critical that you do the math because there is a $99 annual fee. If you use the card enough, the return is huge despite the fee.
I am strongly considering adding a secondary card to my line-up, for all my non-groceries/gas credit card purchases: the Capital One Aspire Cash™ World MasterCard®. Why? It offers a 1% cash-back on purchases plus a 50% anniversary bonus on points earned — essentially the cash-back is 1.5%. This rate, of course, doesn’t beat the Scotia card’s cash-back on gas, groceries, recurring payments, or drugstore purchases.
Also, while this is subject to change, as of November 21st 2012, new cardholders get $100 cashback when they make the first purchase on their new Capital One Aspire Cash™ World MasterCard®!
Let’s look at other great card offers that could meet your needs — whether you’re a student, or you want a 0% balance transfer, or you need a low fixed rate.
The Quick Table
Best Cash-Back Card
Best 0% Balance Transfer
Best Low, Fixed Rate
Best Student Rewards
The Best Low Interest Rate Credit Card (and the Best Fixed-Rate Credit Card)
I don’t recommend carrying a balance on a credit card — there are cheaper forms of credit and I don’t think you should be in debt anyway! But, if you do carry a balance, at least pay less interest. Get the TrueLine MasterCard® credit card, with a fixed 9.99% AIR! Also, be sure to pay it off as fast as possible.
The Best Balance Transfer Credit Card Deal
Canada’s best Credit Card balance-transfer deal, that I’m aware of, is the MBNA Platinum Plus®. This deal is subject to change without notice, but when I wrote this, they were offering 0% interest for 10 months (before fees). Again, I don’t recommend having debt let alone credit card debt. But if you’re going to pay to use somebody else’s money, a 0% balance transfer sounds a lot better than 20%, even after accounting for fees.
The Best Student Rewards Credit Card
I haven’t been a student since 2009, so I don’t exactly “keep up” on the latest and greatest credit card promotions for students. When you have a brand new credit history or very little income it’s hard to qualify for a card. Therefore you need to pick the right card and only apply once. The difficulty in finding the right card is compounded for students because there’s not a lot of good rewards credit cards out there for young people. Here’s a great credit card offer if you’re still in school: MBNA Rewards StudentAwards.
The Best Small Business Rewards Credit Card
|I need to get a credit card for my business. I’m strongly leaning toward the American Express® Gold Rewards Card for Small Business Owners.|
The Best Groceries Credit Card
The PC Financial MasterCard is often cited as the best for heavy spenders on groceries, but it’s simply not true. I got this card for the bonus groceries — by the time I signed up for electronic billing and a referral bonus or two, I got about $60 in free groceries. Yes, the annual fee is $0. But as a reward credit card, it sucks. It only gives you about 1% of your purchases in free groceries. Sure, there are other chances to earn PC Points, but the ongoing rewards from this credit card aren’t good enough to justify my effort. In short: it’s not the best credit card deal in Canada. Therefore I don’t recommend it to everybody. Instead, if you use the Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite to buy groceries, you’ll get way more cash back!
The Best Travel Rewards Card
- I don’t invest any of my self-worth in the branding of my credit card. But if I did, I’d get the American Express® Gold Rewards Card. There’s no doubt – this is a premium credit card. There’s also some awesome introductory offers, depending on when you sign up.
- The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card is another popular rewards credit card in Canada as of late. They ran a promotion where you could get $200 in travel. The problem is, this rewards card has a huge annual fee! I did use this credit card offer because I was able to get the fee waived. Check out my TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card review – I got $100 in free gas from this credit card! If you’re going to pay a large fee, I’d go with a more premium card like the American Express® Gold Rewards Card.
So, yes, there are other credit card promotions available, but I still think the Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite is the best cash back credit card for the average Canadian. I consider it the “main course” credit card, after which a person can pick and choose from the buffet of other credit card promotions to maximize their return.
What is the best credit card deal in Canada? The Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite is the best credit card deal in Canada for 2012 — so far. That’s not to say something else won’t come along. If you find something, let me know if you hear about any better credit card deals, credit card promotions, or credit card offers from superior cash back credit cards or rewards credit cards. And here’s a convenient summary of this page’s content:
- Canada’s best Credit Card deal: Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite
- Canada’s best low, fixed-rate Credit Card: TrueLine MasterCard® credit card – Fixed 9.99% AIR
- Canada’s best Credit Card balance-transfer deal: Platinum Plus® - 0% interest for 10 months before fees (this deal is subject to change! Get it before it ends!!)
- Canada’s best student rewards Credit Card: MBNA Rewards StudentAwards
- Canada’s best small business rewards Credit Card: American Express® Gold Rewards Card
- Canada’s best groceries rewards Credit Card: Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite
- Canada’s best non-groceries/gas/drugstore/bill cash-back Credit Card: Capital One Aspire Cash™ World MasterCard®
- Canada’s best no-fee cash-back bonus Credit Card: Capital One Aspire Cash™ World MasterCard®
- Canada’s best premium rewards / travel rewards Credit Card: American Express® Gold Rewards Card
Stuff I Haven’t Figured Out Yet: Credit Card Arbitrage Schemes
One cool (but potentially risky and dangerous) strategy for building wealth with a no-fee rewards credit card is to do “credit card arbitrage” — that is, use a low-interest balance transfer to earn interest in a savings account. I personally haven’t done credit card arbitrage because I haven’t found a safe, profitable way to go about it. But if I do, I’ll let you know.
Stuff I Haven’t Figured Out Yet: US Dollar Credit Cards for Canadians
There are some great US dollar credit cards available to Canadians. A US dollar credit card is extremely convenient for cross-border shopping, or even for buying things online. My US dollar credit card makes travel a dream. But this post is about the “best credit card deal” in Canada, which I take to mean “cash back”, “offers”, “promotions”, etc. Well, I don’t know of any US dollar rewards credit cards issued by a Canadian financial institution. That doesn’t mean there isn’t such a card out there, I just haven’t seen it.
In the future, I also want to discuss the best credit card deals in America — a country where the credit card rewards, cash back rates, offers, and promotions are incredibly awesome.