The Best Canadian Credit Cards of 2015

Best of Finance 2015 Credit Cards

RateSupermarket.ca’s Annual Credit Card Ranking Gets Straight to the Point

What offers the best value: a mile, a point, or cash back? Are annual fees worth it? How can a promotional interest rate help pay off a lingering balance?

These are some of the most common questions posed by Canadian credit card shoppers – but when it comes to choosing a card, it’s not always clear which are top performers.

RateSupermarket.ca, Canada’s comprehensive financial rates comparison site, has taken the guesswork out of picking your plastic with the 2015 Best of Finance Awards, a ranking of the hardest-working credit cards and banking products in Canada.

“It can be tricky to assess whether a credit card will help or harm your bottom line over the long run,” says Penelope Graham, Editor at RateSupermarket.ca. “Plush signup bonuses and promised freebies may appear to provide great value, but it’s important to choose a card with features that practically fit your personal spending habits.”

To determine and compare the true value proposition of each card, RateSupermarket.ca converted rewards – from points and miles to interest promotions – to cash earned over a 24-month period, based on the average Canadian household expenditure*. The Awards also ranked the top Canadian banking and investment options.

And without further ado… The best Canadian credit cards of 2015:

The Best Credit Cards in Canada

Cash Back

WINNER: Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* Card

2nd Place: MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard® Credit Card

3rd Place: SimplyCash Card from American Express

 

Travel Rewards – With Fee

WINNER: Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

2nd Place: BMO® World Elite™ MasterCard®*

3rd Place: RBC Royal Bank® Visa Infinite‡ Avion®

 

Travel Rewards – No Fee

WINNER: Blue Sky Credit Card

2nd Place: Capital One® Aspire Travel™ Platinum MasterCard®

3rd Place: Shell AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* from BMO

 

Travel Rewards Loyalty Program

WINNER: TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

 

Grocery Rewards

WINNER: President’s Choice Financial® MasterCard®
Gas Rewards

WINNER: MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard® Credit Card

2nd Place: Shell AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* from BMO

3rd Place: Shell CashBack MasterCard®* from BMO

 

Low Interest

WINNER: MBNA TrueLine® MasterCard Credit Card

2nd Place: National Bank Syncro MasterCard®

3rd Place: Desjardins Visa Gold Modulo

 

Low Balance Transfer

WINNER: Platinum Plus® MasterCard® credit card

2nd Place: President’s Choice Financial® MasterCard®

3rd Place: Scotiabank Value® VISA* card

 

Building Credit

WINNER: National Bank MC1 MasterCard®

2nd Place: Home Trust Secured Visa Card

3rd Place: Capital One® Guaranteed MasterCard® (both secured and unsecured)

Student

WINNER: TIE – Scotiabank L’earn® VISA* card

WINNER: TIE – StudentAwards MBNA Rewards MasterCard® credit card

2nd Place: BMO® SPC®‡ CashBack MasterCard®*

Special Mention: Scotiabank SCENE® VISA* card

*http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil108a-eng.htm

How Did We Choose the Winners?

Rewards Credit Cards

To calculate the return earned on each Canadian rewards credit card, we assumed the following:

  • A total monthly spend on the card of $1,119.58*, divided into the following categories:

Best of Finance Rewards Credit Card Methodology

  • The credit card balance was paid in full each month, with no interest charges accrued.
  • The consumers always uses the card at partner retailers, if applicable (e.g. all gas purchased at Shell locations).
  • All points and miles were calculated into a cash value in order to compare cards like for like.
  • Spending was calculated over a 24-month period, taking into account all signup bonuses, good standing bonuses, first-purchase bonuses, annual fees and waivers.

*Source: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil131a-eng.htm

Low Interest Credit Cards

To calculate the value of low interest credit cards, we assumed the following:

BOF-low-interest-methodology

  • The cardholder is starting with the average Canadian credit card balance of $2,627*, and pays the minimum payment plus $10 monthly over a 24-month period
  • The interest paid on the balance over the 24-month period is compared to that of the average credit card with a 19.99% APR.
  • Total card value takes into account all signup bonuses, good standing bonuses, first-purchase bonuses, annual fees and waivers.

Low Balance Transfer Credit Cards

To calculate the value of low balance transfer credit cards, we assumed the following:

BOF-Balance-Transfer-Methodology

 

  • The cardholder is starting with the average Canadian credit card balance of $2,927*, and pays a monthly installment of $218.92 in order to pay the balance within a 12-month period
  • The cardholder has transferred the balance from another card to activate the promotion balance transfer interest rate, and has paid a 1% fee of $26.27.
  • The interest paid on the balance over the 12-month period is compared to that of the average credit card with a 19.00% APR
  • Total card value takes into account all signup bonuses, good standing bonuses, first-purchase bonuses, annual fees and waivers.

About RateSupermarket.ca 

Over 7 Million Canadians have found their best rate for personal finance products on RateSupermarket.ca. Launched in 2008, RateSupermarket.ca is Canada’s most comprehensive rate comparison site, offering visitors transparent access to the best mortgage rates as well as credit cards, bank accounts, insurance quotes and GIC rates.

Related Topics

Credit Card Debt / Credit Card News / Credit Card Reviews / Credit Cards / Credit Cards 101 / Debt Repayment / Personal Finance / Personal Finance News / Using Your Credit Card / Your Credit Score

4 thoughts on “The Best Canadian Credit Cards of 2015

  1. you need to tell your readers that on the MBNA Smart Cash card there is a $1000 reward qualifying monthly maximum on non gas/grocery purchases. So, anyone that uses the card for an item like a big screen TV $1000+ or a decent road bike $3000+ will receive only $10 in rewards for that and any other general purchases for that same month. That drops the reward rate substantially. Might as well not use the card for anything other than minor purchases.
    Thats why I’m getting rid of the card

  2. Tangerine Master Card has 2% back in certain categories – you get to pick 2 categories – and if you have the cash back put into your savings account monthly, you get to pick a third category – gives you your own flexibility – don’t know why it didn’t make the list

    • Hi Debbie,
      Thanks for your comment. At the time our annual Best of Finance rankings were compiled for 2015, the new Tangerine credit card had not yet come to market. We agree it’s a great option, and we asses every new credit card each year when creating the rankings. Keep an eye out for the 2016 edition to see what the new card winners are this year.

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