11 Best Mastercards In Canada (Dec 2022)

October 3, 2022
Blog
credit cards visa mastercard

There are quite a few good Mastercards out there, but some stand out above the rest for their impressive welcome bonuses, promotional cash back rates, and excellent rewards. I constantly keep up with the latest promotional rates and policy changes and make my recommendations below based on years of experience.

I recommend the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard as the #1 Mastercard in Canada due to its low monthly fees, very high earn rate on gas, groceries, and transit, and access to exclusive Mastercard services. It has low annual fees for a Mastercard and offers generous travel benefits like insurance and triples the miles earn rate at select partner stores.

What Is A Mastercard?

Mastercards are a type of credit card that uses the Mastercard network – one of the world's largest electronic payments networks – to provide consumers and businesses an easy way to pay and get paid. The Mastercard network is accepted worldwide, and there are millions of ATMs worldwide available to cardholders.

To provide credit cards, Mastercard partners with banks and other financial institutions that issue credit cards in Canada; these institutions set the requirements and benefits of their credit cards and Mastercard provides the framework through which transactions can be completed. Currently, Mastercard is partnered with 19 of the largest financial institutions in Canada, including the Bank of Montreal (BMO), Canadian Tire Bank, MBNA, and the National Bank of Canada.

The Best Mastercards In Canada

  1. BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard: Best for earning 3x Miles at partner stores
  2. BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard: Best for generous welcome bonus
  3. BMO CashBack Mastercard: Best for no annual fee
  4. BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard: Best for promotional cash back rate for the first 3 months
  5. Brim Financial Mastercard: Best for no foreign transaction fees
  6. MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard: Best for bonus points every year on the anniversary of your account
  7. MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard: Best for car rental & mobile device insurance
  8. MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard: Best for low-interest rates on purchases and balance transfers
  9. President’s Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard: Best for access to Mastercard Global Services
  10. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card: Best for customizable cash back categories
  11. Tangerine World Mastercard: Best for earning unlimited cash back every year

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

Great for earning bonus miles, insurance, and discounts on Air Miles flights
  • Annual Fee
    $120 (1st year free)
  • Interest Rate
    20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    2,000 Air Miles
  • Rec. Credit Score
    760+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 3,000 AIR MILES as a welcome bonus
    • Mastercard Travel Pass complimentary membership
    • 25% discount on one worldwide AIR MILES flight per year
    • Access to BMO AIR MILES World Elite Travel and Medical Protection, and BMO Concierge Services
    • Mastercard Travel Rewards cash back offers when travelling and shopping abroad
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for earning bonus miles, insurance, and discounts on Air Miles flights

    Pros

    • 2,000 Air Miles
    • Earn 1 AIR mile for every $12 spent
    • Get 3x the Miles when purchasing at select partner stores
    • 25% discount on one AIR MILES flight every year
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
    • Complimentary Mastercard Travel Pass membership

    Cons

    • High credit score to qualify (at least 760)
    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $80,000
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard has a $120 annual fee with the option to waive it for the first year completely. To apply for this card, you need an excellent credit score of 760 or more, and an annual income of at least $80,000, or a household income of $150,000.

    Earning points

    With the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard, the base point earning rate is 1 Mile for every $12 spent. Grocery and gas purchases at store partners earn three times the amount, 3 Miles per $12 spent

    Perks and Benefits

    • 25% discount on one AIR MILES flight every year
    • Complimentary Mastercard Travel Pass membership
    • Access to exclusive lounges
    • Mastercard Travel Pass membership, which allows travellers to go through an expedited Fast Track Security Lane at airports
    • Access to BMO’s Concierge Service to book flights and hotels and arrange transportation

    Insurance

    The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard has comprehensive medical and travel insurance, including car rental, flight delay, and baggage insurance.

    Rewards

    • AIR MILES Cash Rewards, exchange your Miles online or in-store when making everyday purchases at partner stores
    • Redeem points for gift cards, e-gift cards, or Prepaid Mastercards
    • Access to Mastercard Travel Rewards, earn points when you travel or make purchases outside of Canada

BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard

Great for travel perks and bonus points on all travel-related purchases
  • Annual Fee
    $150 (1st year free)
  • Interest Rate
    20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    70,000 pts
  • Rec. Credit Score
    760+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 70,000 points as a welcome bonus on your first year
    • Annual fee waived for the first year
    • Mastercard Travel Pass membership
    • Cover all flight charges and taxes using your points
    • Access to BMO Concierge services and Mastercard Travel Rewards when travelling abroad
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for travel perks and bonus points on all travel-related purchases

    Pros

    • 70,000 bonus welcome points
    • Earn 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases
    • Complimentary Mastercard Travel Pass membership (4 free passes/year) & BMO Concierge services
    • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, entertainment, and recurring bills
    • Annual fee is completely waived for the first year
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance for up to $2 million

    Cons

    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $80,000
    • Needs an excellent credit score (760+)
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees 

    The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard is a premium travel card with an annual fee of $150 (waived for the first year for new cardholders). To apply for this card, you need an excellent credit score of at least 760, plus an annual income of $80,000 or more. It comes with a free Mastercard Travel Pass membership, medical coverage, and more.

    Rewards

    With this card, you can earn points on all purchases, but some categories offer better rates:

    • 5 points per $1 spent on travel-related purchases
    • 3 points per $1 spent on entertainment, dining, and subscriptions & recurrent purchases
    • 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else

    You can redeem your BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard points for:

    • Flights, hotels, vacation packages, and transportation
    • Contributions to your BMO Savings or Investment account
    • Directly use your points to pay for eligible purchases

    Perks and benefits

    • Complimentary Concierge services
    • 25% off at partner rentals National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations
    • Complimentary access to the Boingo Wi-Fi network worldwide
    • Zero liability policy

    Insurance 

    The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard lives up to its name and offers comprehensive travel and medical insurance, including:

    • Baggage delay and loss insurance
    • Flight delay insurance
    • Car rental insurance
    • Travel accident insurance
    • Medical emergency insurance
    • Roadside Assistance program

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.

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

Great for high promotional earn rate for the first three months and high cash back on groceries
  • Annual Fee
    $120 (1st year free)
  • Interest Rate
    20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    $200
  • Rec. Credit Score
    760+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn $200 in cash back after spending $2,000 in your first 3 months
    • Complimentary Mastercard Airport Experiences membership
    • Complimentary Roadside Assistance Program
    • Mastercard Travel Rewards membership and access to cash back offers when travelling abroad
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for high promotional earn rate for the first three months and high cash back on groceries

    Pros

    • Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months
    • 5% cash back on groceries
    • First year's fee is completely waived
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
    • Access to a comlimentary road assistance program
    • Purchase ProtectionPlus insurance for stolen or damaged items

    Cons

    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $80,000
    • Relatively high annual fee
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The annual fee for the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is $120 (waived for the first year). It comes with one of the best promotional cash back rates of 10% for the first three months, and you can redeem your cash back for as little as $1 at any time. You can also set up automatic deposits and get your cash back sent to your BMO chequing or savings account, your InverstorLine account, or use it directly as credit in your monthly statement.

    Perks and Benefits

    The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard offers many ways to earn cash back. For the first three months, you will get 10% cash back on all categories. After the promotional period, you will still earn a substantial amount of cash back on eligible categories: groceries (5% cash back), transit (4% cash back, including taxis and public transportation), gas and EV charging (3% cash back), recurring payments and subscriptions (2% cash back), and 1% on all other purchases.

    Additional benefits include a Mastercard Airport Experiences complimentary membership and access to exclusive Mastercard Travel Reward offers when travelling and shopping outside Canada.

    Insurance

    The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard lives up to its name and offers comprehensive travel and medical insurance, including:

    • Baggage delay and loss insurance
    • Flight delay insurance
    • Car rental insurance
    • Travel accident insurance
    • Medical emergency insurance
    • Roadside Assistance program

Brim Financial Mastercard

Great for milestone bonuses and cash back rates at partner airlines
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 21.50% on cash advanes
  • Welcome Bonus
    N/A
  • Rec. Credit Score
    725+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn $200 in First Time Bonuses when purchasing at partner stores
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • No annual fee
    • Manage your card through the Brim app. Freeze your card, lock purchases in foreign currencies, or lock online purchases
    • Instant purchase notifications, insights into your monthly spendings, and instant card lock for all of your secondary cards
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for milestone bonuses and cash back rates at partner airlines

    Pros

    • Earn up to $200 in bonuses when reaching certain milestones
    • No foreign exchange fees when purchasing abroad or online
    • Earn up to 3% cash back from partner airlines (Lufthansa, Etihad, Avianca, Emirates)
    • Complimentary access to free global Wi-Fi through the Boingo Wi-Fi network
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
    • Free access to budgeting tools

    Cons

    • High credit score to qualify (at least 725)
    • Low base earn rate (1% back)
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees 

    The Brim Financial Mastercard is a no-fee travel card that offers cash back when booking flights with one of their partner airlines. Additionally, you can earn up to $200 in first-time bonuses, for example, when you book your first flight. 

    Despite not charging an annual fee, the Brim Financial card does require a good credit score of at least 725.

    Rewards

    With this card, you can earn points on every purchase. Here are the rates:

    • 3% cash back on eligible flights (Etihad, Avianca, Emirates, and Lufthansa)
    • 1% cash back everywhere else

    Perks and benefits

    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Access to the Boingo Wi-Fi network worldwide
    • Seasonal offers and promotional cash back rates

    Insurance 

    The Brim Financial Mastercard offers insurance on certain categories, despite not charging any annual fee:

    • Common carrier accident insurance
    • Mobile device insurance
    • Extended warranty

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

MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

Great for high earn rates on restaurants, groceries, and household utilities
  • Annual Fee
    $120
  • Interest Rate
  • Welcome Bonus
    30,000 pts
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn 20,000 bonus points as a welcome bonus after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days
    • Earn 10,000 bonus points as a welcome bonus when you enroll for paperless e-statements within the first 90 days
    • Earn 10% 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

    • 30,000 bonus welcome points
    • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on restaurants, groceries, and household utilities
    • Annual birthday bonus of 10% of all the points you earned in the last 12 months (maximum 10,000)
    • Car rental & mobile device insurance (for up to $1,000)
    • Extended warranty on purchases
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance

    Cons

    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $80,000
    • High annual fee
  • More Details

    Bonuses And Fees

    The annual fee of the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard is $120 plus $50 per additional cardholder. To qualify for this card, you need an annual income of at least $80,000 or a household income of at least $150,000.

    This card comes with a bonus of 10,000 points, and you can earn an additional $20,000 if you spend over $2,000 within 90 days of opening your account. You also get a bonus of 10,000 points if you enroll for paperless e-statements during that same period.

    On your birthday, you will get a bonus of 10% of the total number of points you earned in the past 12 months, completely for free, up to a maximum of 15,000 points per year.

    Rewards

    You can redeem your reward points for cash back, travel,  merchandise, and gift cards. You don’t have to worry about your points expiring; as long as your account is in good standing, points will never expire.

    Perks and Benefits

    Purchase at partner restaurants and grocery stores, or use your card to pay for digital media and household utilities and earn 5 points per $1 spent, for up to $50,000 per category. All other categories earn 1 point per $1 spent.

MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®

Great for low annual fee and low interest on purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual Fee
    $39
  • Interest Rate
    8.99% on purchases, 24.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    N/A
  • Rec. Credit Score
    660+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Around-the-clock-fraud protection
    • Access to 24/7 customer service
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for low annual fee and low interest on purchases and balance transfers

    Pros

    • A low annual fee of just $39
    • Purchase assurance and warranty
    • Request up to 9 additional cards at no cost
    • Low interest rates on purchases and balance transfers (8.99%)
    • Fraud protection on all spendings
    • Customer service available 24/7

    Cons

    • No rewards on purchases
    • No welcome bonus
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard has a relatively low annual fee of $39. It has round-the-clock customer support and very thorough fraud protection and has very competitive interest rates on balance transfers (8.99%) and purchases (8.99%), which makes it a good low-interest option. However, interest rates on cash advances are very high at 24.99%, so if cash advances are the primary reason you’re looking for a card, you should consider other options.

    There are no minimum income requirements to apply for this card, but there’s a 660 credit score minimum.

    Perks and Benefits

    Low-interest credit cards don’t offer a lot of perks, but here are some of the benefits of MBNA Mastercards:

    • 10% off car rentals at partner Budget and Avis stores worldwide
    • Full coverage and purchase assurance for the first 90 days
    • Doubles the warranty for up to an additional year when you pay using your MBNA card
    • Fraud protection on all spending

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

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.

Tangerine World Mastercard

Great for promotional cash back rate and customizable cash back categories
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.95% on purchases, 19.95% on cash advanes
  • Welcome Bonus
    $150
  • Rec. Credit Score
    725+
  • 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 promotional cash back rate and customizable cash back categories

    Pros

    • $150 bonus
    • Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 2 months (2% cash back on 2 categories afterwards)
    • Unlock a third category and earn 2% cash back by creating a Tangerine Savings Account
    • There's no annual limit to how much cash back you can earn
    • Mobile device & rental car insurance
    • Customizable cash back spending categories

    Cons

    • No free passes included with the Mastercard Travel Pass (DragonPass)
    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $60,000
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The Tangerine World Mastercard is a no-fee customizable cash back card that allows you to choose how to earn additional cash back. You can choose from 10 categories and earn bonus cash back with no annual limits. New cardholders will get promotional cash back of 15% for the first two months on all purchases up to $1,000 spent ($150 cash back).

    Rewards

    With Tangerine, you can select which categories you will earn extra cash back on. Keep in mind you can change them at any time, but it will take up to 90 days before it takes effect.

    • 2% cash back in two categories (choose from gas, groceries, hotels, home improvement, and more)
    • 0.5% cash back on all other purchases

    Perks and benefits

    • Unlock an additional 2% bonus cash back category by linking your Tangerine Savings Account with your credit card
    • Access to the Mastercard Travel Rewards program when purchasing abroad
    • Access to the Boingo Wi-Fi network worldwide
    • Complimentary DragonPass Mastercard Travel Pass
    • Choose from 10 cash back categories to earn bonus cash back

    Insurance

    Up to $60,000 in coverage for all purchases plus:

    • Loss, theft, and damage insurance
    • Extended warranty (up to 1 additional year)

How Do Mastercard Credit Cards Work In Canada?

Mastercard is one of the largest credit card networks in Canada, and it is accepted in businesses in more than 210 countries and over 1 million ATMs worldwide. Mastercard itself doesn’t issue or distribute cards; instead, it partners with financial institutions and provides access to the Visa payment network.

Credit card issuers (financial institutions like banks) set their terms and conditions for their cards, including all the perks and benefits. Mastercards earns a small commission from the merchant every time a customer uses the Mastercard network. Like 

Earn $347 From Our First Email

All Mastercards include a unique 16-digit card number, a magnetic strip, a PIN code, and a CVC. Mastercards are usually made from plastic and can be used everywhere the Mastercard network is supported.

Pros & Cons Of A Mastercard Credit Card

Pros: Why a Visa credit card may be worth it

  • Access to exclusive Mastercard services like Priceless Experiences and World Elite Concierge Services
  • Withdraw from 1 million ATMs worldwide
  • Supported in over 210 countries and territories
  • Generous welcome bonus on all their cards
  • Partnered with 19 of the biggest banks and financial institutions in Canada
  • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance on their premium cards
  • CHoose from no-fee credit cards or premium cards with annual fees and better perks

Cons: Why a Visa credit card may not be worth it

  • Most Mastercard credit cards require good-to-very good credit scores (660+)

How To Choose A Mastercard In Canada

Card type

The most important thing you should consider when shopping for a Mastercard is the type. Based on your spending and your long-term goals you may want to go for a cash back or a travel Mastercard. In general cash back credit cards have lower annual fees, but if you travel often it might be worth it to pay the higher annual fee of a travel credit card for the additional perks and travel benefits.

Annual fee

Another important fact to consider is the annual fees. There are many Mastercards that don’t charge any annual fee, and the more premium cards can have fees ranging from $120-$150; this may seem high compared to a card with no fees, but if you’re a frequent traveler or spend a lot of money at eligible stores, you will easily make up for this fee with all additional perks like higher cash back rates and exclusive travel benefits.

Welcome Bonus And Promotional Rates

Most Mastercards come with a generous welcome bonus like promotional grace periods of higher points or cash back yield. Additionally, some Mastercard offers to waive the first year’s fee completely.

Exclusive Mastercard Benefits

Most Mastercards come with exclusive access to some of their services. These are particularly relevant if you’re looking for a travel credit card with extensive coverage:

  • Priceless Experiences
  • Priceless Cities
  • Priceless Golf
  • World Elite Concierge Services
  • Global Emergency Services
  • Mastercard Luxury Hotel And Resorts portfolio
  • Mastercard Zero Liability Protection
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection

Credit Card Insurance & Purchase Warranties

Some Mastercards include comprehensive travel and medical insurance. These cards usually have the highest annual fees but are a must if you travel often, especially if you travel with your family. Here are some of the most common insured categories you can expect:

  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Baggage loss insurance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Mobile Device Insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Travel emergency and accident insurance
  • Trip interruption
  • Trip cancellation

What Financial Institutions Offer Mastercard Credit Cards?

In Canada, there are three tiers of Mastercard credit cards for consumers. These are accepted in over 200 countries and millions of ATMs worldwide. Here’s a list of all the financial institutions in Canada that have partnered with Visa to offer one of their five tiers of credit cards:

  • ATB Financial
  • Bank of China (Canada)
  • BMO Bank of Montreal
  • Brim Financial
  • Canadian Tire Bank
  • Capital One
  • CIBC
  • Collabria Financial Services Inc.
  • Desjardins
  • HSBC Bank Canada
  • MBNA
  • National Bank of Canada
  • President’s Choice Financial
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • Rogers Bank
  • Scotiabank
  • Servus Credit Union
  • Tangerine
  • Walmart Canada Bank

What Are The Mastercard Credit Card Tiers

Mastercard offers three main credit card tiers for individuals. The higher the tier, the higher the benefits you can expect, and the higher the annual fee and overall requirements:

  • Standard Mastercard
  • World Mastercard
  • World Elite Mastercard

How To Apply For A Mastercard In Canada

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.

Residency Status

Canadian credit cards are available to residents and non-permanent residents. However, some premium credit cards may require you to have Canadian citizenship. For other card types like a prepaid, store, and secured credit cards, you don’t even need a credit history. At the end of the day, residency requirements will depend on the specific credit card issuer.

Credit score

Based on the tier of your Mastercard, credit scores can vary: World and World Elite tiers usually require a very good-to-excellent ranging from 725 to 760. Keep in mind that the higher your credit score, the more likely your application will be accepted, and the cards with the higher requirements usually have the best intro bonuses, rewards, and general benefits.

Personal Or Household Income Requirements

Some premium Mastercards come with an income requirement, usually ranging from an individual income of $60,000-$80,000 or a household income of $100-$150. These cards tend to require a higher credit score and come with the best benefits. However, this is not the norm: most Mastercards have no income requirements.

Mastercards FAQs

Are Mastercards Worth It?

Mastercards might be worth it for you:

  • If you want to access exclusive Mastercard services like 
  • If you travel abroad often and want to apply for a card that has worldwide support
  • If you have a high credit score and want to access the credit cards with the best perks and benefits

What Is The Best Free Mastercard In Canada?

The best free Mastercard in Canada is the BMO CashBack Mastercard. It offers a 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for up to 9 months, and very generous cash back rates. For the first 3 months you'll enjoy 5% on all purchases, then 3% cash back on groceries,

Which One Is Better Visa Or Mastercard

There is no clear winner; both networks have wide acceptance in Canada and offer similar benefits. If you’re looking for a credit card, it’s more important that you check what the card issuer is offering in terms of perks and benefits – that’s where the real difference is.

Which Canadian Banks Use Mastercard?

Mastercard is partnered with 19 of the biggest financial institutions and banks in Canada, including four out of the big five banks: BMO, CIBC, RBC, and Scotiabank. Currently, TD is the only bank of the big five that doesn’t offer a Mastercard.

What Is A Perfect Credit Score In Canada?

Credit score numbers in Canada range from 300 to 900; the higher the number the more trustworthy you are to financial institutions. A perfect credit score would be 900, but the highest recorded score is around 850. If you have a credit score over 760 it is not worth worrying about reaching a higher score – at that point, you can already access all the possible benefits.

For reference, here is the credit score breakdown:

  • 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

Earn $347 From Our First Email