Best Mastercard Credit Cards in Canada in 2019

Advertiser Disclosure This article/post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services.
Last updated on August 4, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 12



In this article

Of the major credit card processors in Canada, Mastercard is popular for its near universal acceptance rate and wide array of useful features. Mastercard credit cards also have exclusive deals with major retailers, and are a necessity for those who often shop at Costco or Walmart, where Visa and Amex are not accepted. In terms of the cards that Mastercard offers to Canadians, there is a variety to suit nearly every income level, habitual purchase category, and reward type preference. Mastercard also provides some default perks and protections, including ID theft protection, extended warranties on purchases and more.

Summary of Best Canadian MasterCard Credit Cards in 2019

MasterCardCard TypeAnnual FeeCard Review
Best Western MasterCardRewards MasterCard$0Read More
Tangerine Money Back MasterCardCashBack MasterCard$0Read More
MBNA True Line® Mastercard®Balance Transfer No Fee MasterCard$0Read More
MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®Top Balance Transfer, Low Interest MasterCard$39Read More
BMO Air Miles World Elite MastercardTravel Rewards Mastercard$120Read More
BMO Rewards MasterCardNo Annual Fee MasterCard$0Read More
BMO Shell Air Miles MasterCardGas Rewards MasterCard$0Read More
Rogers Platinum MasterCardNo Foreign Transaction Fee MasterCard$0Read More
BMO Preferred MastercardLow Interest Rate MasterCard$20Read More
BMO World Elite MasterCardPremium Mastercard$150Read More

Best Hotel Rewards Mastercard

MBNA Best Western Rewards Credit CardMBNA Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: N/A
– Annual fees: $0
– This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here

Those who like to travel and enjoy new experiences in comfort can check all their boxes and simultaneously earn rewards points with the help of Best Western and MBNA. The versatile Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® accrues 1 point per dollar in eligible purchases, but accelerates this rate to 5 points per dollar when spending on Best Western properties. Your first purchase earns you Gold Status with Best Western, boosting the earnings rate by an additional 10.00% per stay. Spend $10,000 during the year and get DIAMOND Status, achieving an additional 15.00% alongside multiple other thoughtful perks.

Your first eligible purchase also yields a 20000-point bonus—an amount that’s equivalent to a free night’s stay. Those that have outstanding debt with other banks and want to enjoy Best Western’s magnified travel benefits can transfer their balance to the card and enjoy 1.99% interest for 10 full months.

You can learn more by reading our complete Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® review.

Click here to apply for the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®

Best Cash Back Mastercard

Carte de crédit Remises TangerineTangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is perfect if you want to choose the kinds of purchases you’ll earn cash back with, without paying extra for this valuable privilege. Cardholders pay no annual fee and will choose two categories where their purchases earn 2% cash back—groceries, furniture, restaurants, hotels and motels, gas, recurring bills, drug stores, home improvement, entertainment, and public transit/parking make up the wide array of categories to choose from. And by setting up automatic contributions to a Tangerine savings account, you can choose a third category with 2% cash back. On all other purchases, cash back accrues at 0.5%.

As part of a new bonus from Tangerine, those two (or three!) 2% categories are boosted to 4% cash back for new cardholders who apply and activate their card before July 31, 2019. They’ll earn 4% cash back in the categories they’ve chosen for 92 days, and will also be able to take advantage of a simultaneous deal which applies a low 1.95% interest rate on balances transferred to Tangerine for 6 months.

The flexible redemption process is another area where the Tangerine card shines, with cardholders able to credit their cash directly to any month’s statement. You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card review.

Click here to apply for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Best Balance Transfer Mastercards

MBNA True Line MasterCardMBNA True Line®  Mastercard® 

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: N/A
– Annual fees: $0
– Balance transfer fee: 3%
– Cash advance rate: 24.99%
– This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here

Carrying a large amount of credit card debt can be very stressful, both financially and emotionally. Fortunately MBNA offers two Mastercards that can help Canadians make serious progress in eliminating their debt.

The MBNA True Line®  Mastercard®  offers 12 billing cycles at 0% interest on all balance transfers made within 90 days of opening the account. There’s a $0 annual fee for the card, which helps further reduce a credit card bill. Once a cardholder reaches the end of the promotional balance transfer period, both balance transfers and purchases will be charged 12.99% interest—lower than many similar Mastercard options.

Along with a killer balance transfer offer, the MBNA True Line®  Mastercard®  offers 24/7 fraud protection and customer service. There are no other significant perks worth mentioning, just low balance transfer and regular interest rates along with all the reassurance of a Mastercard.

Click here to apply for the MBNA True Line® Mastercard®

MBNA True Line MasterCardMBNA True Line®  Gold Mastercard® 

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: N/A
– Annual fees: $39
– Balance transfer fee: 3%
– Cash advance rate: 24.99%
– This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here

If you’re committed to eliminating your credit card debt, and are willing to pay a small annual fee in exchange for lower interest, the MBNA True Line®  Gold Mastercard®  is a top choice. The card offers the same promotion as the no annual fee MBNA True Line®  Mastercard® —0% on balance transfers for the first 6 billing cycles, as long as you process the transfer within 90 days of opening your account.

Once that promotional period ends, the balance transfer and purchase interest rate increases to only 8.99%. This is uncharacteristically low and affords the cardholder with even more time and opportunity to pay down their credit card debt, a feature well worth the card’s $0 annual fee.

Alongside the low interest rate, cardholders benefit from a comprehensive suite of travel insurance, 24/7 fraud protection, and round-the-clock customer service.

Click here to apply for the MBNA True Line®  Gold Mastercard®  card

Best Travel Rewards Mastercard

BMO Air Miles World Elite MastercardBMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $120

Frequent travellers will appreciate the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard for its simple point collecting power, exclusive travel perks and great introductory bonus. Though the card is accompanied by an annual fee of $120, it will save much more each year, as you earn 1 Air Mile for every $10 in spending.  New members who spend $3,000 in the first three months will earn a 3000 Air Miles bonus—plus the first year’s annual fee waived and a companion flight rebate.

Those that charge $5,000 a month to the card will collect over 9,000 Air Miles in their first year, including the bonus, which is the equivalent value of a flight to Hawaii. While on their travels, cardholders will also enjoy a Priority Pass membership to the world’s various VIP airport lounges, as well as World Elite travel and medical protection.

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard review.

Click here to apply for the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

Best No Annual Fee Mastercard

BMO Rewards MasterCardBMO Rewards Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0

Few will argue that a solid rewards credit card isn’t worth its annual fee, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy to pay it. In this regard, cards like the BMO Rewards Mastercard offer a worthwhile array of benefits but also exemption from the yearly fee, which might run upwards of $50 on similar cards. Cardholders can earn a solid promotional bonus of up to 20000 BMO rewards points: the first half for a single initial purchase and the other half for spending just $1,000 in the first three months (conditions apply).

In the meantime, the card accrues BMO rewards points at a rate of 1 for every dollar spent, with a special rate of 2 points plus 25.00% off the price of car rentals at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations across Canada. Even without the accelerated rate, if you spend an average of $2,000 per month, you can earn around 45,000 rewards points in your first year. Points are redeemable on flights, hotels, and merchandise.

Click here to apply for the BMO Rewards Mastercard

Best Gas Rewards Mastercard

BMO Shell Air Miles MastercardBMO Shell Air Miles Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0

When making a list of their biggest daily expenses, many will find gasoline in one of the top few spots. The BMO Shell Air Miles Mastercard helps cardholders who spend a significant amount on gas and love to travel using Air Miles. On all their expenses, members will earn 1 Air Mile for every $20 they spend, whereas on products from Shell and at other Air Miles partners that rate increases to 2 Air Miles for every $20.

New members are welcomed with impressive introductory bonuses, giving them 800 Air Miles for making a single charge on the card.  Cardholders can also accelerate their earnings by shopping at Air Miles partner stores, where they’ll earn 2 the Miles.

With purchase protection and warranties on items bought with the card eligible for an extension by up to an additional year, the card’s $0 annual fee is even more enticing.

Click here to apply for the BMO Shell Air Miles Mastercard

Best ‘No Foreign Transaction Fee’ Mastercard

Rogers™-Platinum-Mastercard®_243x153Rogers Platinum Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $
– Annual fees: $0

Travellers are often unfortunately familiar with the dreaded foreign transaction fee, which averages % for purchases made in a currency other than Canadian dollars. Whether ordering online or flying abroad, eliminating these fees means you can reduce your trip expenses significantly.

Full disclosure: the Rogers Platinum Mastercard does not waive foreign transaction fees, but it does subsidize them in its own way. 3% cash back is awarded for each eligible foreign purchase—netting the cardholder 0.50% cash back after the % foreign transaction fee is factored in. Additionally, the card earns 1.25% on purchases domestically, meaning that no matter where you are, you’re always accumulating cash back.

For a $0 annual fee, the Rogers Platinum Mastercard is easy and inexpensive to set aside in one’s wallet just for use abroad. Rogers will even give new members a $25 cash back bonus when they make an initial purchase (conditions apply), with cash back redeemable once yearly in a lump sum statement credit or flexibly on Rogers/Fido products and everyday expenses like gas, groceries, restaurants and more.

You can learn more by reading our complete Rogers Platinum Mastercard review.

Click here to apply for the Rogers Platinum Mastercard

Best Low Interest Mastercard

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $20

The biggest detriment to those who cannot make full balance payments each month is interest, which can accrue quickly and make reducing debt that much more difficult. Lessening the impact of interest is what helps the BMO Preferred Rate card take the bank’s top spot for Mastercards, by offering a solid balance transfer deal of 3.99% for 9 months. Moreover, the interest rate for both purchases and cash advances is a competitive 12.99%–about half of what other comparable cards can offer.

A low annual fee of $20, plus extended warranty and purchase protection benefits cap off the deal. Overall, the BMO Preferred is one of the best Mastercard credit cards for those individuals with outstanding debt, but also ongoing financial obligations that require them to use credit.

Click here to apply for the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

Best Premium Mastercard

bmo world elite mastercardBMO World Elite Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $150

Credit cards with a higher annual fee and steeper income requirements also give cardholders a greater array of perks. There are few premium Mastercards that can rival the BMO World Elite Mastercard, which offers a massive 50000-point bonus (), plus a waiver of the first year’s $150 fee. That’s a $400 value, but other bonuses boost this number to an impressive $540 in your first year. It doesn’t end there, however, as the card also accrues 3 BMO rewards points for every dollar spent on travel, dining, and entertainment. 2 points per dollar are granted for all other purchases.

Points can be redeemed on all travel arrangements, including luxury 4-star hotels and airfare. If you can meet the income requirement of $80000 per year, you’ll also likely spend more per month on the card. For $5,000 per month, at the end of your first year you’ll have accrued enough points to spend 7 nights in an all-inclusive 5-star resort in Mexico, or a flight all the way from Canada to Dubai. During the layover, enjoy one of your four yearly complimentary VIP lounge passes.

The value of these passes is $140, which you’ll get every year, which result in a sum of $540. Last but not least, travellers and their families are protected with BMO’s World Elite Total Travel and Medical protection package, which represents the cherry on top for this premium Mastercard.

You can learn more by reading our complete BMO World Elite Mastercard review.

Click here to apply for the BMO World Elite Mastercard

Didn’t Find Your Dream Card?

If this list of Canada’s best Mastercards hasn’t delivered what you’re looking for, please feel free to comment below or email us with some specific criteria, and we’d be happy to make some personal suggestions!


Article comments

Lynn says:

I’m looking for a card to use for online purchases. My bank used to have a card that when making online purchases the money was just taken right out of my chequing account but they no longer have this service. Therefore I am in need of a card for my online purchases. I am retired so would need a card with low interest, no annual fees. Basically I would be paying the balance off each month. What card would you suggest? Thank you

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Lynn,

Thanks for the comment, and for coming to GreedyRates. If you’re looking for a credit card that you can use to make purchases online that then withdraws from a chequing account, then you might be interested in a debit card rather than a credit card. These only make use of the money that you already have, not borrowed funds like credit from a bank, but if your bank discontinued its debit card or doesn’t offer one (that’s what it sounds like) then a basic credit card will suffice.

Keep in mind that you can purchase online with virtually any credit card these days. However, our first suggestion is a card like the Home Trust Preferred Visa. It has a $0 annual fee and grants 1.00% cash back on all your purchases. More useful is its feature exempting cardholders from foreign transaction fees, which are tacked onto any purchase that requires an exchange of currency. This is relevant for online purchases especially, because many times it’s not immediately obvious where an online store is based or which currency it uses. If you’re ordering items from an online store that ships from the UK, for example, then spending your Canadian dollars means that you’ll incur a 2.50% charge for the foreign currency transaction to Pounds sterling.

The Home Trust Preferred Visa is a great card for being able to avoid these fees, but if you’re used to being able to stop by the local brand and meet with a banker, opt for a different credit card from one of the “Big Five” banks in Canada. Home Trust doesn’t offer the same level of support as BMO or TD, so you may prefer a card such as the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard. This is another $0 annual fee card, and grants 2.00% cash back on gas and groceries (that’s boosted to 5.00% for your first 6 months) and 0.50% cash back on everything else. It’ll be great to use online as well. Let us know if you have any further questions.


Moe says:

What Canadian credit card company offers a high credit limit like discovery in the US

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Moe,

That’s a great question. As you probably know, the credit limit that you’re given by the bank is directly related to the multiple factors that go into your creditworthiness, which are scrutinized by the bank when they look at your application. At this time, they determine how much credit to extend based on your credit score, past and current debts, assets, income, dependents and more. This means that if your credit is weaker, your income is lower, or you have a lot of current debt, then your credit limit is capped regardless of what the maximum limit allowable would be.

That said, the cards which offer the highest maximum credit limit in Canada are also those which have the highest annual income and credit requirement. You can also get a high limit on expensive charge cards from Amex, such as the Platinum American Express card (you’re paying for the privilege though, with a $699 annual fee). If you need a credit card with a high limit, then check out any of the World Elite cards such as the BMO Rewards World Elite Mastercard. Other good options are upper tier TD cards, like the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card. If you’d like to expand upon your financial situation, and which type of high-limit cards you’re looking for (rewards, cash back etc.) then we can give you more precise recommendations. Shoot us an email at Best of luck in your search!


Donna Vaters says:

When are the airport passes available on the MasterCard elite

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Donna,

You’ll get your mobile access code to the LoungeKey membership program when you do your application online for the BMO Air Miles World Elite card, and you can use this to login to LoungeKey where your passes will be automatically credited. To use the passes, just flash your Mastercard to the lounge receptionist when you and your guests enter. It should happen right after your application is approved, so if you know you’re approved you might be able to use them even before you get the card!

The receptionist will check if you have vouchers and how many can be used, or tell you how much it is for you all to enter ($27 per person if not using vouchers). If you don’t have your card on you, then you can tell the receptionist your access number and reference “Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey.” Enjoy!


Si says:

Very nice summary of different credit cards! Small question, regarding credit cards for gas especially at Shell, which one would be more advantageous, the one mentionned here where you’d receive 2 air miles per 20$ or 2% gas Capital One MC ? thanks (Also could you double dip and present your air miles card with the Shell AIR MILES Mastercard?

thanks again

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Si,

Good questions about gas cards, let’s see if we can make it clearer. First of all, you’re comparing one card which collects Air Miles to another, which collects cash back. Which of these is more valuable to you? Do you want to discount your travel or would you rather use your cash back at Costco? This is an important decision to make. Also, the Capital One Mastercard earns 2.00% cash back on gas (Shell included) while the Air Miles card earns 2 Miles for every $20 spent, which is the equivalent of around 1.00% instead of 2.00%–another distinction to make. Finally, no, you can’t present two credit cards in order to double your bonuses: whichever one you use is the one that collects extra rewards on the purchase while your membership to a similar card has no relevance if it isn’t part of the transaction. Hope that helps!


Chris says:

I do not see any review for Capital One MC and I’m rather disappointed. I was led to believe they were a highly rated company.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hello Chris,

We’ve got nothing against the Mastercard you mentioned, but in our article about the best cards to use at Costco, we also cover its limitations. Consider that the highest rate of accelerated cash back of 3.00% is only earned at restaurants, or that on gas purchases you’ll earn 2.00% with no mention of groceries—a large monthly expense. There are other options that will result in more total cash back, and that will also work at Costco. The BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard, for example, earns 1.50% cash back on all purchases including those at Costco, which will likely result in more savings overall.

You’ll also enjoy the perks of World Elite, including a generous introductory bonus of 5.00% on all spending for your first 3 months, LoungeKey airport lounge membership, and excellent medical insurance. Ultimately, you should decide which card is the best based on your own circumstances, and if you’d like to elaborate feel free to email us. Thanks!


Neil says:

For me, the most important attribute of a credit card is whether or not pending transactions show immediately when you login to the card’s site. If I want to check a purchase, I am not interested in waiting for the transaction to post. I want to see now. When people review credit cards, they never provide this information.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Neil,

Awesome comment! This is something that can be highly annoying if you encounter it with your bank. The bank will often list “account credit” on your online statement instead of something more descriptive, which is infuriating, because people just want to see what exactly they spent their hard-earned money on! Unfortunately, it’s not feasible to do this type of research for every bank account in Canada. Indeed, for many banks it might be a more matter of finding and selecting the right website option (we’ve seen a “Reveal Transaction Details” button before), which means user error enters into the equation as well.

Delays between the purchase and the time it’s posted to your statement vary, however, but it’s obviously preferable to be able to reference the purchase immediately. Keep in mind that some purchases might take longer to settle than others, if there are a greater number of banks involved or if the money had to cross international borders (online shopping). Accordingly, it’s always prudent to save your receipts so you can verify them against your statement.

Either way, these are things that can’t be discovered until you’re actually a customer and have already made a purchase. It takes a bit of experience in the Canadian market to discover the nuances of its many banks, but with practice and proper research (ask your fellow Canadians!) you can figure it out.