6 Best National Bank Credit Cards In Canada (Feb 2023)

January 15, 2023
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There are quite a few good National Bank credit cards in Canada, but some stand out above the rest for their impressive rates, high points earn rates and low annual fees. I constantly keep up with the latest options and policy changes and make my recommendations below based on my years of experience.

The NBC World Elite Mastercard is a premium credit card for travelers that comes with a generous 60,000 reward points welcome bonus. It has an annual fee of $150waived the first year – and high points earn rate of 5 reward points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. This credit card is ideal for the frequent traveler looking for comprehensive insurance coverage.

What Is A National Bank Of Canada Credit Card?

The National Bank of Canada – also known as NBC – is one of the largest banks in Canada. NBC credit cards are open to business owners, corporate, and individuals. National Bank credit cards are used to collect points, earn cash back, and access exclusive Mastercard benefits.  

NBC credit cards offer unique features and valuable perks to cardholders, including comprehensive insurance coverages, travel benefits, and cash back rewards. NBC credit cards are divided into five main categories: cash back, no-fee, low interest, rewards and travel. Depending on what you're looking for, one type of card may be more beneficial than another.

The National Bank of Canada credit cards come with benefits exclusive to the Mastercard network, the second-leading payment network worldwide. Currently, NBC does not issue cards from other credit cards networks like Visa or American Express. 

The Best National Bank Credit Cards In Canada

1. NBC World Elite Mastercard – Best For Travel

Pros

  • Low annual fee of $150 (waived on the first year)
  • High earn rate (up to 5 points)
  • Generous welcome bonus (up to 60,000 welcome bonus points) 
  • Comprehensive purchase and travel insurance coverage
  • Get up to $150 annual credit

Cons

  • High annual income requirement ($80,000 for personal or $150,000 for household)
  • Offers minimal perks, which is lesser than other premium credit cards

2. NBC ECHO Cashback MastercardBest For Cash Back

Pros

  • Low annual fee ($30 only)
  • Get up to 1.5% cash back rate on eligible purchases
  • Insurance coverage for purchases and security
  • Exclusive access to the Priceless Cities program
  • Extended warranty on eligible purchases

Cons

  • Minimal insurance coverage protection
  • No premium perks are provided to the cardholders

3. NBC Syncro Mastercard – Best For Low Interest

Pros

  • Low annual fee of only $35
  • Low-interest rate (8.90% for purchases and 12.90% on balance transfers and cash advances
  • Insurance protection for the purchase
  • Contactless payment with Tap & Go technology
  • Protected by Fraud Protection with Mastercard's Zero Liability policy

Cons

  • Does not offer a rewards program
  • Fewer insurance coverages than other credit cards
  • No benefits or perks for the cardholders

4. NBC Platinum MastercardBest For Individuals With Low Annual Income

Pros

  • Generous welcome bonus (up to 35,000 points)
  • Comprehensive travel and purchase insurance coverage
  • Various redemption options
  • Low annual fee of $70
  • Exclusive access to Experiences and À la carte Rewards Plan

Cons

  • Fewer perks
  • Low reward points earning rate

5. NBC mycredit Mastercard – Best For No Annual Fee

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Insurance coverage protection for the purchase 
  • Secured online transactions
  • No minimum income requirement
  • Fraud protection

Cons

  • No exclusive perks or less beneficial features
  • Less insurance coverage protection

6. NBC Allure Mastercard – Best For Foundation Support

Pros

  • Donates automatically to donation to Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty Insurance Coverage
  • 10% discount on selected gift card purchases
  • Zero Liability Protection 
  • Secured online purchases with Mastercard ID Check

Cons

  • Low earning rate and less valuable features
  • No comprehensive insurance coverage

How Do NBC Credit Cards Work?

The National Bank credit cards work similarly to other credit cards issued by banks or financial institutions. It pays the purchases by charging them to your card, and you will have to pay later on a specific date.  

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The balance payment must be paid monthly, depending on the deadline given on the statement. The National Bank states that cardholders will not pay for the interest on their purchases if they pay their bill in full before the deadline of the statement. Otherwise, the bank will accumulate interest in your account. 

If you can’t fully pay your bill, you can still pay it in a minimum amount provided by the National Bank. Debit cards are also different from credit cards. It holds the money you deposit which can be transferred to other accounts or pay your purchases. Unlike credit cards, you don’t have any debt or money owed from the bank. 

Moreover, the National Bank gives back to cardholders through perks, benefits, and rewards. These are earned through eligible purchases from participating stores. Your purchase can earn cash back or points depending on your credit card type. 

Why Get A NBC Credit Card?

You should get a National Bank credit card to earn rewards or cash back from your purchases. It also carries various insurance coverage protection, including fraud protection, to prevent liabilities due to unauthorized activities in your account. Some of its cards have low or no annual fees with exclusive access to Mastercard programs. 

Rewards To Look For In A NBC Credit Card

The following are the rewards you can get from this card:

  • Earn up to 5 points or up to 1.5% cash back from eligible purchases
  • You can use accumulated points to redeem rewards for various options
  • Generous welcome bonus to new cardholders

Types Of NBC Credit Cards in Canada

#1 Cash Back Credit Cards

The National Bank cashback credit cards let the cardholders earn money back from their eligible purchases. Each card type offers a varying percentage rate on how much you can get from every $1 spent on eligible purchases. The cashback cards issued by the National Bank are Allure Mastercard, ECHO Cashback Mastercard, and NBC mycredit Mastercard.

#2 Rewards & Travel Credit Cards

The rewards and travel credit cards earn points or travel miles from eligible purchases. These points and miles are used to redeem rewards depending on the program designated to your card. Examples of these credit card types offered are the National Bank World Elite Mastercard, the National Bank World Mastercard, and the National Bank Platinum Mastercard.

#3 No Fee Credit Cards 

No Fee credit cards are basically credit cards without annual fees. Cardholders can earn specific rewards or benefits offered by the card without paying yearly for using it. The National Bank issues MC1 Mastercard, NBC mycredit Mastercard, and Allure Mastercard under this category. 

#4 Low-Interest Credit Cards

The Syncro Mastercard is the only low-interest credit card issued by the National Bank. It is a unique card focused only on lowering the interest rate from purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. The drawback is it does not provide reward points or cashback. 

How To Choose A NBC Credit Card In Canada

Welcome Bonus

Welcome bonuses are a great deal when getting a credit card. National Bank offers various welcome bonuses and introductory offers to new cardholders. You can see these offers on their website or if you inquire about some of their branches.

Annual Fee

National Bank applies different annual fees to their credit cards. The highest annual fee among their credit cards is the World Elite Mastercard, worth $150. You can also opt-in for the no-fee cards as they can reduce your overall expenses. 

Earning Rate

Individuals acquire credit cards primarily because of the cash back and points they can get. High earning rate credit cards usually have high annual fees. Consider how frequently you shop annually and check the rates offered by the credit cards from the National Bank. 

Insurance Coverage

Some credit cards don’t offer insurance coverages which can put the cardholders at high risk. With insurance, you are guaranteed protection against damages, stolen credit cards, or losses. An example of a credit card with comprehensive insurance is the National Bank World Elite Mastercard.

Rewards Flexibility

Ensure you can redeem your rewards without other requirements. Check out more information from the National Bank about the blackout dates or redemption options. 

Benefits

Each of the credit cards offered by the National Bank offers distinctive benefits. For example, the World Elite Mastercard provides various travel benefits around the world. Make sure you know what benefits you want from the credit card. 

Exclusive Features

Exclusive features define the primary purpose of the credit card. Not all credit cards have similar characteristics and always possess unique ones. The best example of this is the National Bank Allure Mastercard as it is mainly used to donate to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

How To Apply For A NBC Credit Card In Canada

Eligibility

National Bank accepts credit card applicants with few requirements. Please note that each credit card requires different eligibility, so ensure to know it before processing. The primary eligibility needed are the following:

  • Possess legal age in your province or territory of residence
  • You must be a Canadian resident
  • You must meet the income requirements of the card you are applying for. 

Credit Score

Every credit card issued by the National Bank requires a different credit score. However, it would be best if you had a good or excellent credit score which ranges from 600 to 800. Bad credit scores are lower than 600, but you can inquire about the credit score range needed for each card. 

Income 

The two National Bank credit cards with income requirements are the World Elite Mastercard and the World Mastercard. The following are the requirements for both of the cards: 

Annual IncomeWorld Elite MastercardWorld Mastercard
Personal Gross $80,000$60,000
Household Gross $150,000$100,00

National Bank Credit Cards FAQs

Are NBC credit cards worth it?

The National Bank credit cards are worth it if you are looking for cards that provide cash back, travel rewards, and points that you can redeem for products and services. All NBC credit cards come with excellent welcome bonuses. National Bank credit cards don't have annual income requirements.

Some National Bank credit cards, like World Elite Mastercard, World Mastercard, and Platinum Mastercard, guarantee comprehensive insurance coverage.

What is the most widely accepted credit card network in Canada?

The most accepted credit card networks in Canada are Visa and Mastercard. These are the two leading payment networks widely accepted worldwide. 

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