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A low interest credit card is a great option, especially if you're trying to get rid of debt, carry a balance, or finance a new purchase. We compared all the best low interest credit cards in the Canadian market, and here are our top picks.

“Low-interest rates” and “credit cards” are two terms that don’t often go together in the personal finance world, but there are a handful of credit cards in Canada that fit this description.

Low-interest rate credit cards are a useful tool if you tend to carry a balance on your credit card, or if you are in the midst of paying off high-interest debt.

Whatever your reason for considering a low-interest credit card, there are a variety of options available to you in Canada.

Some credit cards offer low-interest rates for a promotional period only (for example, six months), while others offer low-interest rates but with an annual fee for the privilege.

Meanwhile, others offer low-interest rates, but the rates are variable and tied to Canada’s prime rate. Here is our list of the best low-interest credit cards available in Canada.

Summary: Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards in Canada 2021

Credit Card Annual Fee Interest Rate APR ("AIR") More Info 
MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® credit card$398.99%Read MoreVisit Site
MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card$012.99%Read MoreVisit Site
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®$25 (first year annual fee rebate for Primary Cardholder)*11.9%Read MoreVisit Site
CIBC Select Visa* Card$29 (first year annual fee rebate)*13.99%Read MoreVisit Site
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®*$20 (Waived the first year)*12.99%Read MoreVisit Site
Home Trust Secured Visa$0 or $5914.90% or 19.99% Read MoreVisit Site
*Conditions apply.

MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® credit card 

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Tied for second, the MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® credit card is the upgraded relative of the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card, but it may be more appealing. This card has an affordable $39 annual fee, but with that comes a low annual interest rate of 8.99% on purchases, balance transfers, and access cheques. That’s one of the lowest rates on the market.

This credit card is a good choice if you tend to carry a balance, potentially saving you big bucks in interest charges. If you have a remaining balance at the end of the period, it will be subject to an annual interest rate of 8.99% on balance transfers, which is still a low rate. Take note: be careful with cash advances with this credit card because the interest rate on those is a whopping 24.99%.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Additional Perks: Low annual interest rate
  • Interest on Purchases: 8.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 24.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 8.99%
Learn more about the MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® credit card.

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card

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If you tend to carry a balance month-to-month, the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card is another excellent choice. For starters, it has a standard annual interest rate of 12.99% on purchases, balance transfers, and access cheques – which is highly competitive. Did we mention that this card has no annual fee? One thing to note: the cash advance interest rate on this credit card is 24.99% — so watch out if you take cash advances on your credit card regularly.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Additional Perks: Low annual interest rate
  • Interest on Purchases: 12.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 24.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 12.99%

Learn more about the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card.

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.


HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

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The HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® offers a rock bottom interest rate of 11.9% — one of the lowest in Canada. If that’s not reason enough to add this card to your wallet, here are other perks to entice you: there’s no annual income qualifier, the annual fee is very affordable ($25), and you’ll earn rewards for every eligible purchase charged to the card. Specifically, you’ll get 2x Rewards on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and earn 1 point for every $1 on all other everyday purchases. Redeem the points for whatever you fancy: travel, gift cards and merchandise, and financial rewards (yes, you can put your points towards your credit card balance or sock it in an HSBC savings account!).

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $25
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: None
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 30,000 Points ($150 travel value) PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($25 value). Must apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply.*
  • Additional Perks: Redeem points for travel, financial rewards, gift cards, merchandise, and more; extended warranty and purchase protection; optional travel insurance
  • Interest on Purchases: 11.9% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Cash Advances: 11.9%

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here

Learn more about the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®.

CIBC Select Visa* Card

If carrying a balance is a possibility, the CIBC Select Visa* Card is a good option. For starters, it has a low-interest rate of 13.99% on purchases and cash advances, which can help you reduce interest payments and save you money. Plus, you’ll get a first-year annual fee rebate, making this a very enticing offer. If you’ve got high-interest debt on another credit card, this card is a good one for debt consolidation.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $29 (first-year annual fee rebate)
  • Annual Interest on Purchases: 13.99%Annual Interest on Cash Advances: 13.99%
  • Minimum Income Requirement: $15,000 household
  • Credit Score Required: Good
  • Other Perks: Low-interest rate on purchases and cash advances

Conditions apply

Learn more about the CIBC Select Visa* Card.


BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®*

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If you’re looking for a card with a competitive interest rate on regular purchases, along with a low annual fee and a promotional balance transfer rate, the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®* is a good option.

Cardholders can expect excellent interest rates: 12.99% on regular purchases and cash advances, which is significantly lower than most standard credit cards. Plus, right now, there is a promotional interest rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for the first 9 months (a 1% fee applies).

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®* also comes with the standard protections you expect from a credit card including extended warranty coverage, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty period for up to one year as well as purchase protection, which insures your purchases against theft or damage for 90 days.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $20 (Waived for first year)*
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $15,000 per year
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Welcome Offer: 3.99% interest on balance transfers for the first 9 months (1% transfer fee applies)
  • Additional Perks: Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • Other Card Details: Purchase APR: 12.99% | Cash Advance APR: 12.99%
Learn more about the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®*

*Conditions apply.

Home Trust Secured Visa Card

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Establishing a good credit rating is essential to building a solid financial foundation for yourself. Signing up for a Home Trust Secured Visa Card is an excellent first step to building or restoring your credit history. You have two choices when it comes to this card: You can pay a small annual fee of $59 and get a low-interest rate of 14.90%, or you can choose to have no annual fee and pay an interest rate of 19.99%. The card you choose depends on your budget and spending habits.

With the Secured Visa, you set your own credit limit, which is dependent on how much you put down in your security deposit. As you use the card to make purchases and pay bills, you improve your credit score (if you pay your bills on time), making this an attractive way to get ahead with your finances.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $59 or $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Poor to Fair
  • Additional Perks: Purchase security
  • Interest on Purchases: 14.90%/19.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 19.80%/19.99%

Learn more about the Home Trust Secured Visa

What to Look for in a Low Interest Credit Card

  • Annual fees: In all of the scenarios listed above, make sure to take into consideration the annual fee for the credit card. A higher annual fee may offset any savings in interest when you transfer a balance or make a big purchase on the credit card.
  • Balance transfer promos: If you are considering transferring a balance onto a low-interest credit card, you should also take special care to evaluate the promotional interest rate and the term. If the term is too short, you’ll end up paying higher interest rates on any remaining debt. Be honest with yourself about how much debt you can pay off during that time, and pick a credit card with a promotional term that matches your capabilities.
  • Hidden fees: sometimes balance transfer credit cards charge a “balance transfer fee” when you transfer your balance. This fee can be between 1.00% – 3.00% of the balance. Make sure to take this into account when evaluating your options, because it may change which credit card best suits your needs. You can usually find this information in the fine print on the credit card’s website.

Just remember that low-interest credit cards are great options for paying off outstanding debt or carrying debt in an emergency, but they should be temporary measures.

If you prioritize paying off your balance every month and get into the habit of maintaining a zero balance, a cash back credit card or travel rewards credit card may be a better option to maximize your spending.

Why Choose a Low Interest Credit Card?

If you use these credit cards prudently whenever you have a balance that you can’t quite pay off, or need to make a purchase that you don’t have the cash on hand for, you’ll be better off financially.

Plus, if you’re in debt, transferring your balance to a card with lower interest is an effective debt reduction strategy.

As you can see from our extensive list above, low-interest credit cards are not a “one size fits all” tool. There are three scenarios in which a low-interest credit card will make sense for your finances:

First is, if you are carrying credit card debt. If you have a large amount of high-interest debt, transferring it to a balance transfer credit card will help you pay it off more quickly than if you paid 19.99% interest (or more!) on the entire balance every month.

The second scenario where one of these credit cards will make sense is if you intend to make a big purchase soon and you know you can pay it off in a few months.

In this case, a low-interest credit card with a good balance transfer promotion could be a good option. You’ll have time to pay off the purchase without paying any interest charges whatsoever.

Finally, if you want a credit card for emergencies, choose one with a low standard interest rate. In this case, choose a credit card that offers a low-interest rate all of the time, not just on promotional balances.

This credit card is your defence against emergency purchases, and the ongoing low-interest rates mean you won’t be dinged on interest too badly if you have to carry the balance over several months.

The Bottom Line

Having a low-interest rate credit card in your wallet will save you oodles of dough if you’re paying off debt or carrying a balance each month. It’ll put more money back into your wallet, even when you pay a modest annual fee.

Just keep in mind that some of these credit cards offer a promotional low-interest rate for a set time period. But if you make it your mission to pay off your credit card debt fast, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

We suggest that you also check out our list of the best credit cards in Canada.

More on the Best Credit Cards by Category:

Article comments

1 comment
Jessica says:

Credit card interest rates are only going to go up in the future, better to steer clear of accumulating bank card debt!
Though an informative article and invaluable article