Best low interest credit card in Canada for 2020 award seal

If you’re the forgetful type who tends to run late on payments, or if you’re carrying a balance on your credit card right now…

Saving on your monthly interest charges is worth checking into, and low interest credit cards can help you do exactly that.

With the right card, you could save hundreds (or even thousands depending on your credit card balance) per year.

You can learn more about how credit card interest works here.

Best low interest credit cards for 2020

At a glance – here are some great low interest credit cards available in Canada that could help you enjoy some major savings:

Category Credit Card Permanent Low Interest Rates Current Promotion
Best low interest credit card MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® 8.99% on purchases and balance transfers 0% interest for 6 months on balance transfers (terms)
Best introductory balance transfer offer MBNA True Line® Mastercard® 12.99% on purchases and balance transfers 0% interest for 10 months on balance transfers (terms)
Best low interest card with rewards HSBC Rewards+ Mastercard 11.9% on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers 10,000 points (terms)
Best variable rate low interest card National Bank Syncro Mastercard Prime plus 4% on purchases, minimum rate of 8.9% $100 cash back (terms)

Review all top 10 low interest credit cards here.

Best low interest credit card in Canada

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

Our best low interest rate credit card is the . You'll get some of the lowest permanent rates of any credit card.

Let's start with low interest balance transfers. This credit card has a promotional offer of 0% interest for 6 months on transfers made to the card in the first 90 days. After that, it still has a low standard interest rate of 8.99% for balance transfers.

New purchases made to the card also have a low rate of 8.99%, but the cash advance rate is still a high 24.99%.

It also comes with 7 types of purchase and travel insurance, just in case you need it.

All these low rates and coverages come for a reasonable annual fee of $39 that easily pays for itself if you regularly carry a balance.

Best introductory low interest balance transfer offer credit card

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

Have a large balance on an existing high interest credit card? You'll want to get to know the .

Why? It has the best balance transfer offer in Canada – 0% interest for 10 months.

That's right – almost a whole year not paying interest on your existing credit card debt.

Once the promotional rate ends, you'll still see a low rate of 12.99% on any outstanding balance (as well as any new purchases).

If you have existing credit card debt, it will really help get your finances in order.

Best low interest credit card with rewards

Want a low interest credit card while still earning some rewards? Then the is a card that provides both.

As for interest rates, you'll get a low rate of 11.9% on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.

And for rewards, you'll earn:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment, and
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

With an HSBC point worth 0.5 cents each when redeemed for any travel, it's a return of between 0.5% to 1%.

There's a welcome bonus as well. Earn 10,000 points when you spend $2,000 in the first 6 months.

For a low annual fee of $25, it's a great blend of rewards, fees, and interest rates.

Best variable rate low interest credit card

Want the lowest possible rate you can get? The is the card for you.

The interest rate on purchases is 8.90% – the lowest in Canada right now. And you'll enjoy a low rate of 12.9% on balance transfers and cash advances.

One thing to note about this card? It's a variable rate card. The rates for this card vary with the prime rate.

Here's how the rates are calculated:

  • for purchases, prime + 4%, with a minimum rate of 8.9%, and
  • for cash advances and balance transfers, prime + 8%, with a minimum rate of 12.9%.

The current prime rate is 2.45%, meaning the minimum rates are in effect. In fact, the prime rate would have to increase more than 2% before the minimum rate is overtaken, meaning it's likely to have the lowest interest rates for the foreseeable future.

Compare Low Interest Credit Cards

How credit card interest works

Credit card interest is expressed as an annual number, with interest calculated daily on outstanding balances. For purchases, you have a grace period after your statement is released before interest starts accruing – usually 21 days, but varies by issuer. However, miss that deadline and the interest is calculated from the date of the purchase.

For cash advances and balance transfers, interest starts accruing right away.

And interest is calculated daily, though the rates you see are expressed as annual rates. To determine what you'll pay, take the rate, and divide by 365 (or 366 if it's a leap year).

Multiply that number by the number of days the balance has been outstanding and you'll see how much interest you'll have to pay.

To learn more about how credit card interest works, this article has everything you need to know.

How much can you save with a low interest credit card?

They’re rare, but some low interest credit cards can offer interest rates under 9% for people with top-notch credit...That’s 11% less than the typical credit card these days.

What’s that in real dollars? Well if you carry a balance of $8,000 for a full year, that’s $880 in interest savings. Every. Single. Year.

These savings could help you pay down your credit card balance much faster ‒ and should give you extra breathing room every month.

Calculate your interest savings

So how can you go about calculating your interest savings?

Luckily, we have an interest savings calculator. Enter in your current rate, the rate of your new card, and how much you can pay each month.

You'll then be shown your interest savings, and how long it will take to pay down your balance. It's not 100% perfect, as it doesn't take into account any fees you may have to pay. But it will show you just how much you could save on interest alone.

Frequently asked questions about low interest credit cards

What's the lowest permanent interest rate available?

The lowest permanent interest rate offered is 8.99% on purchases and balance transfers, and is offered by the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard.

How much can I save on interest?

You can use our interest calculator to help get an idea of how much you could save.

Are there credit cards that offer rewards and low interest rates?

There are some credit cards that offer low interest rates as well as rewards. One example is the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard. However, the rates are not as low as cards that are exclusively focused on low rates.

Do low interest cards offer balance transfer promotions?

Yes, many of these cards offer balance transfer promotion, with the best offer currently being offered is 0% interest for 10 months.

How we get our rankings

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

Low interest 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 for cards on this page.

Learn more about our Genius Rating methodology.

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