Best Credit Cards

Best Low Interest Credit Cards In Canada For 2019

| Last updated on November 4, 2019
best low interest credit cards

Low-interest credit cards are a great option for anyone building credit, holding over a balance, financing a new purchase, or paying off debt without taking out a personal loan or line of credit. And, although you may think a rewards credit card offers the best value (who doesn’t like to be rewarded), low-interest cards are always better.

Some cards call for a minimum annual income while others don’t. Some cards charge a low annual fee, or no fee at all, while some extend special introductory welcome offers on cash advances or balance transfers. You’ll also notice that some credit cards come with few frills or added bonuses, but instead put a little extra cash back into your pocket by offering some of the lowest interest rates in Canada.

Check out our list of the best low-interest credit cards in Canada, and quit paying those hefty interest changes.

Best overall low interest credit card

American Express Essential Credit Card

American Express Essential

Apply Now

on American Express’ website

Welcome Offer: 1.99% interest in first 6 months if you transfer your other credit card balances to this card.

Interest Rate: 12.99% on purchases and cash advances.

Annual Fee: $0

Min. Income Required: $0

When making a significant purchase, take cover from exorbitant purchase interest rates with the American Express Essential low-interest card. The Essential card’s 8.99% is very competitive even among other low-purchase-interest-rate cards on the market. That gets even better when considering its $0 annual fee and lack of any minimum income requirement. Keep in mind that American Express cards are not accepted in as many places as MasterCard or Visa. Also, if you take advantage of the balance transfer offer, you are only able to transfer up to 50% of your approved credit limit.

Special Perks

  • Enjoy a 1.99% interest rate in first 6 months if you transfer your other credit card balances to the American Express Essential card
  • Transfer 50% of your assigned credit limit, up to a maximum of $7,500, whichever is less. No balance transfer fee for this offer

Added Bonuses

  • Advanced and reserved ticket access and special offers with American Express Invites, Front of the Line
  • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
  • Purchase Protection Plan
  • $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance
  • World-class 24/7 customer service

Click here for more details about the American Express Essential Credit Card

Best low interest + balance transfer credit card

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

mbna trueline mastercard

Apply Now

on MBNA’s website

Welcome Offer: 1.99% annual interest rate on balance transfers for the first 10 months, for transfers completed within 90 days of account opening.

Interest Rate: 8.99%

Annual Fee: $39

Min. Income Required: $0

The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard has one of the lowest purchase interest rates in Canada. Plus, a standard single-digit balance transfer rate following the 6-month promotional rate of 0%. That can be pretty enticing to cardholders who want to consolidate outstanding debt on one single card. What’s more, you can take advantage of the promotional balance transfer option up to 90 days after opening your account instead of immediately, which isn’t the case for many other credit cards.

Special Perks

  • With the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard, you get a 0% promotional annual interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Only 8.99% after 6-months  (For transfers completed within 90 days of account opening. A balance transfer fee of 3% applies)
  • 24.99% interest on cash advances
  • Save on interest when you use the welcome offer to transfer a balance from a higher-interest-rate credit card
  • Add up to 9 authorized users with no additional annual fee

Added Bonuses

  • Purchase Assurance provides coverage on most items purchased with your MBNA credit card for the first 90 days from the date of purchase
  • On most new purchases made with your MBNA credit card you can double the written warranties up to one additional year with extended warranty benefits
  • Trip Assistance for lost document and ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance, pre-trip information, and legal assistance
  • Cash advances at banks and ATMs internationally
  • Emergency card replacement – 7-10 day delivery or by courier
  • Around-the-clock-fraud protection

Click here for more details about the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

Best variable rate card

National Bank Syncro Mastercard

national bank syncro mastercard

Apply Now

on National Bank’s website

Welcome Offer: No welcome offer for this card.

Annual Fee: $35

Interest Rate:
8.9% minimum (or Prime Rate + 4%)
Balance transfers and access cheques: 12.9% (or Prime Rate + 8%)
Cash advances: 12.9% (or Prime Rate + 8%)

Min. Income Required: $0

The National Bank Syncro MasterCard comes without a lot of welcome perks or bonuses, but if you have a strong credit score, this card offers a variable interest rate that’s well below what typical rewards credit cards charge. You won’t be charged for an extra card, and you’ll also get protection and extended warranty on purchases, and access to the Priceless Cities program, which allows cardholders to enjoy curated dining and travel experiences.

Special Perks

  • Unlike a fixed-rate card, the National Bank Syncro Mastercard is a variable rate card Interest rates vary based on your credit score
  • Balance transfer rates can be as low as 8.99 based on a strong credit score
  • No fee for additional cards
  • Low annual fee

Added Bonuses

  • 12.9% interest rate well below many credit cards
  • Zero liability fraud protection
  • 90-day purchase protection and an extended warranty on most items bought with your card
  • Enjoy great food and so much more in the world’s top cities thanks to Priceless Cities

Click here for more details about the National Bank Syncro Mastercard

Other great low-interest credit cards

Scotiabank Value Visa

Scotiabank value visa

Apply Now

on Scotiabank’s website

Welcome Offer: 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.

Interest Rate: 12.99%

Annual Fee: $29

Min. Income Required: Personal $12,000

With its lower interest rate, the Scotiabank Value Visa card makes it easy and affordable to finance medium to large purchases. It may not have the lowest rates when compared to other low-interest credit cards, but it’s definitely in the running. Take advantage of the 0.99% introductory interest rate on cash advances for the first 6 months, and save even more, and switching balances over from higher interest rate cards offers the potential to save hundreds of dollars each year.

Special Perks

  • The Scotiabank Value Visa welcomes new cardholders with a 0.99% interest rate on Cash Advances for the first 6 months
  • 12.99% interest rate after the promotional period ends
  • Free supplementary card
  • Convenient way to pay with Visa payWave – simply wave your card and go

Added Bonuses

  • Comprehensive protection (optional) from life events, like job loss and disability
  • Save up to 25% off base rates at participating AVIS locations and at participating Budget locations in Canada and the U.S. when you pay with your Scotiabank Value Visa card.

Click here for more details about the Scotiabank Value Visa

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

bmo preferred rate mastercard

Apply Now

on BMO’s website

Welcome Offer: 3.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee.

Interest Rate:
Purchases: 12.99%
Balance transfers and access cheques: 12.99%
Cash advances: 12.99%

Annual Fee: $20

Min. Income Required Personal $15,000

The most logical type of credit card for carrying a balance is a low-interest credit card like the BMO Prefered Rate Mastercard. Consolidate high-interest balances from your other cards and with the 3.99% introductory balance transfer bonus for the first 9 months. During this time you’ll accrue just 3.99% on your transfer. Add bonus protection on purchases and coverage against theft and accidental damage, and you have a no-nonsense credit card that charges a lower interest rate than most rewards or cash-back cards.

Special Perks

  • With the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard, you get a 3.99% introductory interest rate welcome offer on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to balance amounts transferred
  • Low purchase interest rate that is about 10% less than standard cards

Added Bonuses

  • No frills. Just some of the lowest interest on any card in Canada on all purchases, balance transfers and cash advances
  • Purchase protection with manufacturer’s warranties increased by up to one additional year
  • An additional safety net of coverage against accidental damage and theft

Click here for more details about the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

Desjardins Modulo Visa

desjardins modulo visa

Apply Now

on Desjardin’s website

Welcome Offer: No welcome offer for this card.

Annual Fee: $50

Interest Rate:
Purchases: 10.9%
Balance transfers and access cheques: 10.9%
Cash advances: 10.9%

Min. Income Required: $0

The Desjardins Modulo Visa credit card offers one of the lowest fixed annual interest rates for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances in Canada. The card also offers a full suite of insurance coverage, as well as a rather nice BONUSDOLLARS program that lets you turn your purchases into gifts, trips and more every time you charge purchases to your card. You’ll also get purchase protection and extended warranty coverage, quick financing with Accord D financing, tap and pay from your smartphone, and more.

Special Perks

  • Get 1% off purchases in BONUSDOLLARS, which can be redeemed for gifts, travel, and more with the Desjardins Modulo Visa credit card
  • $1,000 in mobile insurance coverage for cell phones, smartphones or tablets
  • Each additional card costs only $10
  • Cash advances up to $5,000 a day

Added Bonuses

  • Free insurance coverage for trips of 3 days or less outside your province of residence
  • Emergency healthcare insurance while travelling in Canada or abroad
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Baggage insurance against lost, damaged or stolen luggage while traveling
  • When purchasing eligible items with your card, you benefit from purchase protection in case of loss or damage and an extended warranty
  • Round-the-clock protection against fraudulent charges

Click here for more details about the Desjardins Modulo Visa

How we choose the cards in our list

We reviewed all the top low interest credit cards in Canada for 2019. From there, we compared each one based on their annual purchase interest rate (APR), annual feels, balance transfer offers, and perks.

View the best overall credit cards in Canada.