10 Best Credit Cards For Fair Credit In Canada (Oct 2022)

September 19, 2022
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There are quite a few good credit cards out there for people with a fair credit, but some stand out above the rest for their impressive welcome bonuses, promotional rates, and excellent rewards. I constantly keep up with the credit cards and policy changes and make my recommendations below based on years of experience.

I recommend the President’s Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard as the #1 credit card in Canada if you have a fair credit and don't want to pay annual fees. It offers comprehensive travel and medical insurance, has very high earn rates when purchasing at partner stores, and has a 21-day interest-free grace period in place for all purchases.

What Is A Credit Card For Fair Credit?

Fair-credit credit cards are a type of credit card that requires a credit score of at least 560 to apply. For these cards, annual fees are considerably lower than some premium cards, and you can expect fees to be well below $50. Some don’t even charge annual fees or waive the first-year fee completely.

Some of the cards available for fair credit include cash back cards, balance transfer & low credit cards, and budget travel cards. Perks you can expect for the no-fee options include high cash back rates of up to 5% for the first couple of months, generous welcome bonuses, and grace periods on balance transfers. For the premium fair-credit credit cards, you can expect an annual fee of $120-$150 and plenty of travel perks like insurance, concierge services, and more. These are still limited compared to some of the premium travel cards for people with excellent credit.

Without further ado, here are the best fair-credit credit cards Canada has to offer:

The Best Credit Cards For Fair Credit In Canada

  1. President’s Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard: Best for earning points at PC partner stores
  2. BMO CashBack Mastercard: Best for high promotional cash back rate
  3. Home Trust Preferred Visa Card: Best for no foreign exchange fees
  4. MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard: Best for no limit on how much cash back you can earn
  5. TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card: Best for comprehensive travel and medical insurance
  6. American Express Cobalt Card: Best for generous welcome bonus
  7. President's Choice Financial Mastercard: Best for low credit score requirement
  8. Scotiabank Value Visa Card: Best for 0% introductory interest rate for the first 6 months
  9. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card: Best for customizable cash back categories
  10. Neo Financial Mastercard: Best for access to a virtual card

President’s Choice Financial® World Elite Mastercard®

Great for earning PC points and very low credit score requirement
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    20.97% on purchase, 22.97% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    20,000 pts
  • Rec. Credit Score
    560+
  • Features & Benefits

    • World Elite Mastercard Earn 20,000 PC Optimum points as a welcome bonus
    • Extended warranty and purchase assurance
    • Access to Mastercard Global Services
    • Complimentary Concierge Services
    • Fraud protection and Proactive monitoring to manage and protect your credit card information
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for earning PC points and very low credit score requirement

    Pros

    • 20,000 bonus welcome points
    • Earn up to 45 PC points per $1 when purchasing at partner stores
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
    • Complimentary Concierge service
    • No annual fee
    • Relatively low credit score requirement (560+)

    Cons

    • PC points can only be redeemed at select stores
    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $80,000
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The President's Choice Financial Mastercard is a store credit card that offers very generous rewards when you shop at any of its partner stores. It doesn’t charge annual fees, and you can earn bonus points on most everyday purchases.

    Rewards

    PC Financial is partnered with a lot of stores; here are some of the best rewards by category:

    • 45 PC points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
    • 30 PC points per $1 spent on grocery stores (Loblaws, No Frills, and more)
    • 30 PC points per litre of gas at Esso gas stations
    • 10 PC points per $1 spent everywhere else 

    Make sure to check PC Financial site for new partner stores.

    Perks and benefits

    • 21-day interest-free grace period on purchases
    • 4 free additional authorized users
    • Extended warranty
    • Complimentary Concierge services

    Insurance

    • Medical emergency insurance
    • Car rental collision insurance
    • Identity theft assistance

BMO CashBack MasterCard

Great for high earn rate on groceries and very low balance transfer fees
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    $25
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • $125 in cash back as a welcome bonus after spending $2,500 within your first 3 months
    • Get a 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months, 1% fee applies to balance amounts transferred
    • Redeem your cash back as a direct deposit, credit on your statement, or a deposit to your BMO InvestorLine account
    • Extended Warranty and purchase protection
    • Discount on car rentals
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for high earn rate on groceries and very low balance transfer fees

    Pros

    • Earn 5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months
    • 3% cash back on groceries
    • Very low introductory interest rate (1.99%) for the first 9 months
    • Redeem any amount of cash back instantly & set up automatic deposits
    • Extended warranty and protection on all purchases
    • 25% off at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations

    Cons

    • Cash back capped at $500/month
    • Low base earn rate
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The BMO CashBack Mastercard is a no-fee credit card that offers very competitive cash back rates, even compared to some premium credit cards. New cardholders can enjoy a 5% cash back on all purchases for the first three months. If you’re looking to transfer your balance, this is also a great option; the BMO CashBack Mastercard charges just 1% in transfer fees and has a fixed 1.99% rate for the first 9 months.

    Rewards

    The BMO CashBack Mastercard offers cash back on all purchases and bonuses in certain categories. Here’s the breakdown:

    • 3% cash back on groceries 
    • 1% on subscriptions like streaming services and utilities
    • 0.5% on all other purchases

    Perks and Benefits

    Redeeming Your Cash Back

    After accumulating $25 in cash back, you can redeem it at any time. Here are the options you have:

    • Set up deposits directly into a BMO account (Savings, Chequing, or InvestorLine)
    • Get a credit on your monthly statement
    • Set up recurrent payments when you accumulate a certain amount of cash back
    • Get a one-time lump sum payment

    Keep in mind your cash back rewards won’t expire as long as your account is in good standing.

Home Trust Preferred Visa Card

Great for no foreign fees and no limit on how much cash back you can earn
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 19.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    N/A
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • No foreign exchange fee
    • No limit on how much cash back you can earn
    • No annual fee
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for no foreign fees and no limit on how much cash back you can earn

    Pros

    • No foreign exchange fees when purchasing abroad or online
    • No annual fee
    • 1% cash back on all purchases
    • No cap on how much cash back you can earn
    • Car rental insurance
    • Visa Zero Liability Policy

    Cons

    • No welcome bonus
    • Needs a good credit score (660+)
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The Home Trust Preferred Visa Card offers cash back on all purchases and doesn’t charge any annual or management fees. The cash back rate is low compared to other credit cards, but it makes up for it by not charging foreign exchange fees and offering no-limit cash back on all purchases.

    Perks and Benefits 

    • 1% cash back on all purchases
    • No foreign exchange fees
    • No limit on how much cash back you can earn every year
    • Zero Liability policy
    • Accepted wherever Visa is accepted

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

Great for high earn rates on restaurants, groceries, and household utilities
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 24.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    10,000 pts
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 5,000 bonus points as a welcome bonus after spending $500 within 90 days
    • Earn 5,000 bonus points as a welcome bonus after enrolling for paperless e-statements within 90 days
    • Earn 20% bonus points every year on the anniversary of your account
    • Redeem your points for cash back, travel, merchandise, or gift cards
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for high earn rates on restaurants, groceries, and household utilities

    Pros

    • 10,000 bonus welcome points
    • No annual fee
    • Earn 4 points per $1 spent on eligible restaurants, groceries, and household utilities for the first 90 days (2 points per $1 thereafter)
    • Car rental & mobile device insurance (for up to $1,000)
    • Annual birthday bonus of 10% of all the points you earned in the last 12 months (maximum 10,000)
    • Extended warranty on purchases

    Cons

    • Low point yield after earning 10,000 points in a year (1 point per $1 spent)
    • Can only earn bonus points on select categories
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees 

    The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is one of the few travel credit cards that offer generous point earn rates and benefits, plus it doesn’t have any income requirement. To apply for this card and start enjoying the generous rewards, you only need a credit score of 660 or higher.

    Rewards

    Considering this card it doesn’t charge annual fees, the rates are very good. You will earn:

    • 4 points per $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, memberships, and household utilities (up to $10,000 spent on each category annually)
    • 2 points per $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, memberships, and household utilities after reaching the annual limit
    • 1 point per $1 spent on all other categories
    • Birthday bonus points: 10% of the points you earned in the previous 12 months as a free bonus

    There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn in a year, and your points will not expire as long as your account is in good standing.

    Perks and benefits

    Some additional benefits include:

    • Access to the MBNA Payment Plan to schedule monthly payments for a large purchase
    • 10% off at partner rentals National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations
    • Mobile device insurance
    • Extended warranty

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

Great for earning Aeroplan points, a generous welcome bonus, and exclusive travel perks
  • Annual Fee
    $139
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    50,000 pts
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points as a welcome bonus when you make your first purchase
    • Earn 20,000 bonus Aeroplan points after you spend $1,500 within 90 days
    • Earn 20,000 Aeroplan points as a welcome bonus when you spend $7,500 within 12 months
    • No annual fee for the first year
    • Emergency Road Services plus complimentary TD Auto Club membership
    • Access to Visa Infinite Concierge service
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for earning Aeroplan points, a generous welcome bonus, and exclusive travel perks

    Pros

    • 50,000 bonus welcome points
    • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent
    • Earn double the points when you pay with your card at over 320 partner brands
    • Your Aeroplan points won't expire as long as your card is in good standing
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
    • Complimentary Concierge service

    Cons

    • Needs a good credit score (660+)
    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $60,000
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The annual fee is $139, somewhat high compared to other credit cards, but it makes up for it with very good perks and benefits and a completely free first year. It also comes with 50,000 Aeroplan points, and you get an additional 20,000 points when you spend $1,500 within 90 days of opening your account and when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of opening your account.

    Earning points

    With the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, you can earn points on everyday spending. For all purchases made from Air Canada, you’ll earn 1.5 Aeroplan points; the same rate applies when you purchase groceries and pay for gas. Earn 1 point on all other purchases.

    Perks and Benefits

    • Link your TD Aeroplan account with your Starbucks Rewards Account and earn 50% more Aeroplan points and 50% more Stars at Starbucks stores
    • Twice the points when you pay using the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card at over 300 partner brands
    • Another benefit is that you can set up payments over $100 and pay them over 18 months at a 0% annual interest rate.
    • Enroll for NEXUS and get a $100 rebate every 48 months
    • Free Uber Pass membership for 6 months

American Express Cobalt Card

Great for exchanging MR points with other rewards program and high MR earn rate
  • Annual Fee
    $155 (1st year free)
  • Interest Rate
    20.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    30,000 MR points
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points as a welcome bonus after you spend $6,000 within a year ($500/month)
    • $300 in statement credits towards purchases charged to your card
    • $225 credit in American Express Prepaid Cards
    • Access to American Express Experiences
    • Access to American Express Front Of The Line presales
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for exchanging MR points with other rewards program and high MR earn rate

    Pros

    • 30,000 MR bonus
    • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on eligible eats & drinks purchases
    • Transfer points 1:1 to other loyalty programs (Aeroplan, Marriot Bonvoy, and more)
    • Access to presale tickets and VIP seating in select events through American Express' Front Of The Line program
    • $100 Travel Credit and 4 complimentary visits to Plaza Premium Lounges
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance

    Cons

    • Needs a good credit score (660+)
    • High annual fee ($155)
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The American Express Cobalt Card is a premium credit card with an annual fee of $155. This card is unique because its Membership Reward points can be exchanged 1:1 with some of the best rewards programs, including the Aeroplan and the Marriot Bonvoy program.

    Rewards

    You can earn MR points at a rate of:

    • 5 MR points per $1 spent on eats & drinks
    • 3 MR points per $1 spent on streaming subscriptions
    • 2 MR points per $1 spent on travel & transit
    • 1 MR point per $1 spent on everything else

    Redeeming your points

    The American Express Cobalt Card offers plenty of options to exchange your points. You can spend them directly on categories like streaming subscriptions, various eats & drinks, movie tickets, or statements of credit.

    Additionally, you can Exchange your MR points for Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, Hilton Honors, Choice Privileges, or Marriott Bonvoy points.

    Insurance

    This card offers very complete coverage, including categories like:

    • Emergency Medical Insurance
    • Flight Delay Insurance
    • Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
    • Mobile Device Coverage
    • $250,000 Travel Accident Insurance

President's Choice Financial Mastercard

Great for earning PC points and very low credit score requirement
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    20.97% on purchases, 22.97% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    20,000 pts
  • Rec. Credit Score
    560+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 20,000 PC Optimum points as a welcome bonus
    • Extended warranty and purchase assurance
    • Access to Mastercard Global Services
    • Fraud protection and Proactive monitoring to manage and protect your credit card information
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for earning PC points and very low credit score requirement

    Pros

    • 20,000 bonus welcome points
    • Earn 30 PC Optimum points per litre of gas at Esso and Mobil gas stations
    • Earn 10 PC Optimum points per $1 spent on groceries, household utilities, and beauty products
    • Doubles the warranty period offered by the manufacturer when using the card
    • No annual fee
    • Low credit score requirement (560+)

    Cons

    • No travel insurance
    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $60,000
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The President's Choice Financial Mastercard is a store credit card that offers very generous rewards when you shop at any of their partner stores. It doesn’t charge annual fees, and you can earn bonus points on most everyday purchases.

    Rewards

    PC Financial is partnered with a lot of stores; here are some of the best rewards by category:

    • 10 PC points per $1 spent on grocery stores (Loblaws, No Frills, and more)
    • 25 PC points per $1 spent at drugstores (Shoppers Drug Mart)
    • 30 PC points per litre of gas at Esso gas stations
    • 10 PC points per $1 spent everywhere else 

    Make sure to check the PC Financial site for new partner stores.

    Perks and benefits

    • 21-day interest-free grace period on purchases
    • 4 free additional authorized users
    • Extended warranty

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

Great for building your credit, low balance transfer fees, and no annual fee
  • Annual Fee
    $29 (1st year free)
  • Interest Rate
    12.99% on purchase, 12.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    N/A
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • 0% introductory interest rate for the first 6 months
    • Annual fee waived for the first year
    • Transfer your balance seamlessly and pay higher interest balances quicker
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for building your credit, low balance transfer fees, and no annual fee

    Pros

    • 0% interest on cash advances for the first 6 months
    • No annual fee for the first year
    • Low interest rate of just 12.99%
    • A low annual fee of just $29 (waived the first year)
    • Great for building your credit score (reports monthly to TransUnion)
    • No fees when requesting additional cards

    Cons

    • No welcome bonus
    • No rewards or perks
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The Scotiabank Value Visa Card is a low-interest credit card with a low annual fee of $29, waived for the first year. This card offers an introductory interest on cash advances of 0% for the first 6 months, and 12.99% after that. The same interest rate applies to purchases.

    Perks and benefits

    • Great for rebuilding your credit history
    • Interest-free grace period
    • Pay lower interests by transferring your balances to the Scotiabank card
    • Set up payment schedules on purchases over $100 through Scotiabank’s SelectPay, and pay no interests
    • Complimentary Avis and Budget car rental membership plus 25% discount in Canada and the US

    Insurance

    The Scotiabank Value Visa Card offers two insurance bundles, Basic and Comprehensive Protection. 

    • The basic bundle includes medical insurance for up to $50,000
    • The Comprehensive bundle includes medical, job loss, strike or lockout, and disability insurance

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Great for no annual cash back limit and a low interest rate on balance transfers
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.95% on purchases
  • Welcome Bonus
    $100
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn $100 cash back welcome bonus after spending $1,000 within your first 2 months
    • Earn bonus cash back on 2 categories plus an additional category when you link your Tangerine Savings Account
    • No limit on how much cash back you can earn
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for no annual cash back limit and a low interest rate on balance transfers

    Pros

    • $100 bonus
    • Select 2 Money-Back categories and start earning 2% cash back (0.50% cash back on all others)
    • There's no annual limit to how much cash back you can earn
    • Cash back earnings are paid out monthly
    • Customizable cash back spending categories
    • Low 1.95% interest on balance transfers

    Cons

    • Very limited features
    • Low cash back rate compared to other cash back cards
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is a no-fee cash back card that can be customized to match your spending. With this card, you can choose your favorite cash back categories and earn bonus cash back. It comes with a promotional cash back rate of 15% on all purchases for the first 2 months, capped at $1,000, so you can earn up to $150 in cash back.

    Perks and Benefits

    The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card brings a lot of flexibility compared to other cash back cards out there. For starters, cardholders can choose their preferred cash back categories and earn 2% cash back in two categories – three if you create a Tangerine Savings Account – and 0.5% cash back on all others. Here are the eligible categories:

    • Gas
    • Groceries
    • Pharmacies & drug stores
    • Entertainment
    • Hotels & motels
    • Home Improvement
    • Restaurants
    • Transportation

    Keep in mind you can change your chosen categories at any time, but it might take some time for it to take effect.

    Redeeming Your Rewards

    Cash back rewards are deposited directly into your Tangerine Savings Account, if you have one (highly recommended, to unlock the third bonus category), or applied to your credit card balance. Cash back rewards are paid out monthly, and there is no limit to how much cash back you can earn.

Neo Financial Mastercard

Great for cash back rate on your first purchase and no cash back limits
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    24.99% on purchases, 26.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    N/A
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 15% in cash back on your first purchase as a welcome bonus
    • No annual fee
    • Quick sign-up process
    • Sync your Neo credit card with Apple Play and Google Pay
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for cash back rate on your first purchase and no cash back limits

    Pros

    • Earn 15% cash back on your first purchase
    • Earn 5% cash back at partner stores (Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Loblaws, and more)
    • No cap on how much cash back you can earn
    • No annual fees
    • No minimum income requirement
    • Mastercard Zero Liability Protection

    Cons

    • Needs a good credit score (660+)
    • Very limited features
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The Neo Financial Mastercard is a no-fee cash back card that is part of the Neo family of products (Savings, Invest, and Mortgages). Neo is partnered with over 7,000 merchants through the Merchant Partners program and offers time-limited cash back offers and promotions. When you make your first purchase at Merchant Partners, you will earn 15% in cash back (this may vary slightly depending on the offer).

    Rewards

    Neo doesn’t offer a fixed cash back rate. Instead, you will earn cash back based on the offers available and the plan you choose. You can expect average cash back of 5% on every purchase; they’re so confident about how much you’ll earn that if you fall below 0.5% on average, they’ll top you up to 0.5%. So, there is a base rate of 0.5% on all purchases – with the potential to be much higher. Make sure to take advantage of all the offers available.

    Perks and benefits

    • Cash back is credited instantly to your account.
    • Budgeting and spending insights tools, accessible from the app
    • Access to a virtual card
    • New monthly cash back offers when purchasing at thousands of stores
    • Zero liability policy
    • Minimum 0.5% cash back guaranteed

What Is A Fair Credit Score?

Credit score numbers in Canada range from 300 to 900; the higher your score, the more trustworthy you are in the eyes of financial institutions. Credit cards with the best perks and cost-effective benefits usually require a fair-to-very good score. A fair credit score is a score that ranges from 560 to 659. Here’s a breakdown so you can see how you stack up:

  • Excellent credit score: Between 760-900
  • Very Good credit score: Between 725-759
  • Good credit score: Between 660-724
  • Fair credit score: Between 560-659
  • Bad credit score: Between 300-559

What Are Credit Card Bureaus?

Credit bureaus – also known as Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies – are private companies that collect and aggregate credit card information about you and how you’ve used your credit in the past. It tracks things like how long you’ve had credit, if you miss your payments, how many credit cards you have, and more. Here’s a list of all the factors that can affect your credit score:

  • Length of your credit history
  • If you carry a balance on your credit cards
  • If you frequently miss payments
  • Amount of outstanding debts
  • Credit card utilization rate
  • Number of recent credit card applications
  • Records of insolvency or bankruptcy

In Canada, there are two major credit bureaus: TransUnion and Equifax. They assess your credit based on the parameters listed about your credit history and rank you based on how likely you are to pay back a debt. 

Pros & Cons Of Credit Cards For Fair Credit

Pros: Why A Fair-Credit Credit Card May Be Worth It

  • Low annual fees
  • Offer the chance to earn rewards in most spending categories
  • Flexible and easy-to-understand rewards system
  • Choose from cash back, travel, low interest, or balance transfer cards
  • Access to shopping perks like extended warranties, return guarantees, and more

Cons: Why A Fair-Credit Credit Card May Not Be Worth It

  • Some travel and cash back cards have caps on how much you can earn every year
  • Credit cards on this range usually have excellent promotional and welcome bonuses, but the base rates aren’t as good
  • Limited perks and benefits compared to premium credit cards

Types Of Credit Cards For Fair Credit In Canada

#1 Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are a type of reward credit card that allows you to earn rewards in the form of cash back when you make purchases. Cash back rewards are usually category-bound, meaning you can earn cash back when you make purchases towards certain categories like groceries or gas. 

BMO CashBack MasterCard5% promotional cash back rate for the first 3 months
Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardCustomizable cash back categories (2% non-promotional rate)

#2 Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards are a type of reward credit card that allows you to earn rewards in the form of points when you spend money at partner brands or make any travel-related purchase. Rewards for this type of card can be redeemed for flights and hotel stays at partner airlines and hotels. Alternatively, you can redeem your points for discounts on travel-related purchases.

American Express Cobalt CardComprehensive insurance and access to American Express Experiences
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card30,000 bonus welcome points and no foreign transaction fees

#3 Balance Transfer & Low-Interest Credit Cards

Balance transfer credit cards are a type of credit card that offers users the option to transfer their balance from other credit cards to consolidate their debt, minimize their interests, and indirectly build their credit score by reducing their overall utilization percentage of their credit.

Scotiabank Value Visa Card0% introductory interest rate for the first 3 months

How To Choose A Credit Card For Fair Credit In Canada

Depending on the type of card you pick, here are some of the things you should look at:

Perks & benefits

The three most common types of credit cards that require fair credit are cash back, travel, and balance transfer/low-interest cards. Depending on the type of card you’re looking for, you want it to have the best perks, which may include high cash back rates, discounts on flights and hotel stays, or low-interest rates.

Annual fee

The annual fee is the first thing you should look at when shopping for a credit card. If it’s a reward card like cash back or travel card, a high annual fee may significantly reduce your earnings if you can’t take advantage of all the perks and benefits. Generally, paying a higher annual fee means better perks, but you still have to spend money to earn money. Make sure you balance the annual fee with how much you expect to use your card in a given year.

Welcome bonus 

Premium cash back and travel reward cards in Canada usually come with a welcome bonus or a promotional rate period. Welcome bonuses usually come in the form of points that can be exchanged for rewards, and usually, the kind of card that offers a welcome bonus also has an annual fee.

Promotional bonus

Promotional bonuses are time-limited offers that credit card issuers offer their new cardholders. For cash back and travel cards, these are usually higher cash back rates and higher point yield, respectively. For balance transfer cards, promotional bonuses are usually grace periods where you don’t pay interest on your transferred balances. Make sure to check what are the non-promotional rates and decide beforehand if it’s worth it to apply for the card.

How to apply for a CARDTYPEX card in Canada

Residency Status

Canadian credit cards are available to residents and non-permanent residents. However, most cards require you to be a Canadian resident. Some prepaid, store, and secured credit cards, may not require credit history, but it will depend on the issuer. For premium cards, you can expect residency requirements.

Age

In Canada, the minimum age to request a credit card is the age of the majority. Teens under that age can’t get approved for credit cards but can be added as authorized users to one of their parent’s credit cards. For reference, the age of the majority in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan is 18 years old. In all other provinces, the age of the majority is 19.

Personal Or Household Income Requirements

Most metal credit cards come with an annual income requirement, usually ranging from $60,000-$80,000 personal income or $100,000-$150,000 household income. The higher the requirements, the better the perks. Income requirements are usually tied with annual fees as well, and cards with a high-income requirement also tend to have a high annual fee.

Fair-Credit Credit Cards FAQs

Are credit cards for people with fair credit worth it?

Fair credit cards might be worth it for you:

  • If you have a low credit score and are looking to rebuild it
  • If you’re looking for a credit card with a low-to-no annual fee
  • If you want to limit your spending and are looking for a card that can help you manage your budget

Fair credit cards might not be worth it for you:

  • If you are looking for a credit card with lots of perks and benefits 
  • If you have a high credit score and can apply for cards with better rewards

What Is The Best Free CARDTYPEX In Canada?

The best free CARDTYPEX in Canada is the President’s Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard. It comes with a generous welcome bonus, high earn rates at PC partner stores, and complimentary travel perks like concierge services and medical insurance.

What Is A Bad Credit Score In Canada?

In Canada, credit score numbers range from 300 to 900. The higher the number, the more trustworthy you are to financial institutions. The two largest credit card bureaus in Canada (Equifax and TransUnion) agree that a bad credit score is anything below 560.

What Credit Score Do You Start Off With In Canada?

It depends. In Canada, the lowest credit score is 300. However, you’d only start at these points if you have a very bad history – otherwise, you’re likely to start with a much better score.

What Credit Score Do You Need For A Credit Card In Canada?

It depends. Most credit card bureaus in Canada agree that an acceptable credit score for approval starts at 650, but credit cards like secured and prepaid don’t have such requirements.

Can I Get A Credit Card With Poor Credit?

Yes, you can get a credit card even with poor credit in Canada. There are cards dedicated for people with low credit, including secured and prepaid cards. Secured cards will help you rebuild your credit, while prepaid cards can make paying easier but will not help you with your credit.

How Can I Fix My Credit Score In Canada?

Secured credit cards are one of the best ways to rebuild your credit – as long as you make your payments on time. Other ways to rebuild your credit are to limit your number of credit card applications (hard checks will hurt your credit score in the short term), keep your utilization percentage on your credit cards low (less than 35%), and use different types of credit.

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