Best balance transfer credit card in Canada for 2020 award seal

Credit cards should never be treated as extra income – doing so is a very slippery slope. The #1 rule of credit cards is to pay off your balance each and every month.

A balance transfer credit card can help you take control of your finances again, and help you pay off your high interest debt to give you a bit of breathing room.

If you find yourself at the bottom of a mountain of credit card debt, chances are you’re also paying a mountain of interest. But if you still have a decent credit score, 0% or low interest balance transfer credit cards can get you a few steps closer to your financial freedom.

Canada's best balance transfer credit cards for 2020

Here are our top picks for 2020’s best balance transfer credit cards:

Category Credit Card Current Balance Transfer Offer
Best balance transfer credit card MBNA True Line® Mastercard® 0% interest on balance transfer for 10 months (terms)
Best balance transfer card that offers rewards Best Western Mastercard® 1.99% interest on balance transfers for 10 months (terms)
Best cash back balance transfer offer BMO CashBack Mastercard 1.99% interest on balance transfers for 9 months (terms)
Balance transfer credit card with low rates MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® 0% interest on balance transfers for 6 months (terms)
Best Visa balance transfer credit card Scotiabank Value Visa 0.99% interest for 6 months (terms)

Review all top 10 balance transfer credit cards here.

Canada's overall best balance transfer credit card

This offer is not available to residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please go here.

The credit card with the best balance transfer promotion is the .

You'll get 0% interest on balance transfers made to the card for 10 months. It's a balance transfer promotion not matched by any other card in Canada.

The transfer does need to be made within the first 90 days of account opening, however, and there is a 3% fee on the amount transferred (minimum $7.50).

After the promotion is finished, you'll still enjoy a low rate of 12.99%, if you haven't yet finished paying your balance.

Canada's best balance transfer credit card that offers rewards

This offer is not available to residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please go here.

Want to earn some rewards after you've paid off your debt, and don't want to get a new card? Then the is the best of both worlds.

It comes with the second-best balance transfer offer available – 1.99% interest for 10 months, with a low transfer fee of only 1% of the amount transferred.

As for rewards, you'll earn a welcome bonus of 20,000 points when you make your first purchase with the card, after which you'll earn 1 point for every $1 spent on the card (5 points at Best Western).

Just remember this rule about balance transfer cards – any payments you make on the card is usually applied to the portion of the balance with the lowest interest rate. All those new purchases will be at the standard interest rate of 19.99%, and will have a tendency to hang around maybe longer than you want.

Our advice? For this card, just make 1 small purchase to get the welcome bonus, and then stash it away until your balance is paid in full. That way you'll avoid paying any unnecessary interest charges.

This balance transfer promotion is also available on the .

Best cash back balance transfer credit card in Canada

Prefer to earn cash back rewards after you've paid off your balance transfer? Then the is the card for you.

For the balance transfer offer, you'll get 1.99% for 9 months on transfers made to your account, with a low 1% fee on the amount transferred.

If your current credit card balance is with either a TD or MBNA credit card, this is the best balance transfer offer for you.

One rule of balance transfers is you can't transfer balances between credit cards from the same issuer. Since TD owns MBNA, they're the same bank and you won't be able to transfer balances from either issuer to any of the MBNA cards listed here.

As for earning cash back once your balance is paid off, you'll get:

  • 3% cash back on groceries (up to $500 spend per month),
  • 1% cash back on recurring bills, and
  • 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

This balance transfer offer is also available on these 2 other BMO cards as well:

Canada's best low regular interest rate balance transfer credit card

This offer is not available to residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please go here.

For a great balance transfer card that has long term low rates, then look at the .

Why this card? It has some of the best interest rates available. To start, you'll get 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 6 months, with a 3% fee on the amount advanced.

And while that's not the best balance transfer offer available, this credit card has great regular interest rates for both purchases and balance transfers.

After the 0% balance transfer promotion expires, you'll still get a low rate of 8.99% on any outstanding amount you weren't able to pay off. This low rate applies to new purchases made to this card as well.

The permanent low rate means you don't have to be fearful of making new purchases to the card while paying off your balance because at least you'll be locked in at the low ongoing 8.99% interest rate instead of the usual 19.99% or higher that other credit cards normally charge.

This is really a great, all-around low interest card that will help you save on your credit card debt.

Best Visa balance transfer credit card in Canada

While all of our top cards are Mastercards, if you would prefer a Visa, you should take a look at the .

The balance transfer offer with this card is 0.99% for 6 months.

After the promo rate is over, you'll also get an ongoing low interest rate of 12.99% on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.

The card also has a low annual fee of just $29.

Compare Canada's Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

When comparing balance transfer credit cards, our focus shifts towards getting you the maximum annual interest savings. Because no rewards or perks are worth incurring debt.

Check out these balance transfer cards, ranked based on annual interest savings – take a look, then make a choice based on which features matter the most to you.

Tips for using your balance transfer credit card wisely

So, while saving a lot of money in interest is great, there are some things to keep in mind when taking advantage of a balance transfer promotion:

  • Do not use your balance transfer credit card for purchases until the balance transfer promotion period ends, otherwise you'll be stuck paying full interest on those purchases.
  • When the promotional period is up, interest rates go back to the full 19.99%+, so be sure to pay off the balance of your balance transfer card before the promotion ends.
  • Pay your minimum balance on time every month, otherwise you could lose your promotion and end up paying the full or even higher penalty interest rates.
  • Ongoing low interest rates combined with a good balance transfer offer is a good idea just in case you can't pay your balance in full before the offer ends or you need to make additional purchases on the card.

How to calculate your annual credit card interest savings

There aren't many worse financial experiences than sitting on huge credit card debt at insane interest rates that could be costing you thousands every year…

Want to know how much you could save with a lower rate? Our interest savings calculator can help you out:

Enter in your current debt, new interest rate, the old one, and how much you could pay off per month.

Frequently asked questions about balance transfers

What are balance transfers?

A balance transfer is simply when you transfer the balance of one credit card to another, mostly to take advantage of lower interest rates, or consolidate your debt. Many balance transfer credit cards also let you transfer money directly to your chequing account so you can easily pay off any debt.

Are there fees involved with balance transfers?

There usually is a fee involved, between 1%-3% of the total amount being transferred. However, if you live in Quebec, there isn't a fee.

What's the best balance transfer offer available right now?

The MBNA True Line Mastercard is offering a balance transfer promotion of 0% interest for 10 months. However, if you live in Quebec, it's 0.99% for 10 months.

Can you transfer credit card balances between cards from the same issuer?

No. One of the rules about balance transfers is that you can't transfer balances between credit cards with the same bank.

Can you use the credit card you've transferred balances to for purchases?

You can use credit cards you've transferred balances to for new purchases. However, when you make a payment to your credit card, it typically gets applied first to the portion of your balance with the lowest interest rate.

That means new purchases will incur interest at the card's normal rate until your entire low interest balance is paid in full. So, to avoid extra interest charges, don't use your card until the low interest balance has been fully paid off or your promotional period has ended.

How we get our rankings

How do we decide what are the best balance transfer cards? We take into account over 126 features of each credit card, broken down into 7 main categories.

Balance transfer page genius rating scoring

We then take those features and put them through our algorithm, which calculates a score out of 5. And since we're talking about credit cards with low interest, we give extra weight to the interest category, as it's the primary feature we're after with cards on this page.

Learn more about our Genius Rating methodology.

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