When it comes to credit cards, the options are endless…

…whether you’re looking for premium perks, low fees, or a card with lots of insurance – there is a card out there for you.

The unfortunate thing is that sometimes our credit card “wish list” is a little outside of our reach.

We recently wrote about how your credit score can affect the credit cards you get approved for, but credit scores aren’t the only thing that banks take into account.

Your personal or household income is also something that could affect your ability to get that dream card you have your eye on.

Different Levels of Credit Cards

Credit cards have different levels of rewards and prestige.

Mastercard has their higher level World and World Elite cards and Visa has their Infinite and Infinite Privilege cards.

And there is a cost for getting these higher level of credit cards – a high personal income.

Level Personal Income Requirement Household Income Requirement
Mastercard World $60,000 $100,000
Mastercard World Elite $80,000 $150,000
Visa Infinite $60,000 $100,000
Visa Infinite Privilege $200,000 $200,000

The Truth of the Matter…

In 2013, CBC reported on the fact that the median family income in Canada was $76,000 annually. While $76K sounds like a pretty good number, the median individual income was just $27,600.

That means that 50% of the population makes less than $30K.

This study also said that only 10% of Canadian individuals make over $80K a year…giving them access to all the above premium credit cards.

But what about the rest of us?

What about the other 90%+ of the population who work hard, have great credit scores, and want to have a premium credit card?

Whether you’re a stay at home parent, someone who is just starting out in the direct sales game, someone who is hustling for a startup company, or even someone who is independently wealthy and doesn’t have to work (wouldn’t that be nice?!)…

This list is for us.

The Best No Income Credit Cards

When I was younger, American Express credit cards seemed so fancy and exclusive. Not everyone had one and not every store accepted them.

A year ago, however, American Express shook up the credit card world by removing the minimum income requirement from ALL of their credit cards – and even their most prestigious credit cards suddenly had no income requirements.

If you’re looking for a great credit card, that doesn’t restrict based on personal income, this is the best place to start your search.

Obviously, if you’re not making “baller status” income, having a credit card with an annual fee of $900 might NOT make the most sense.

But then again, having an annual fee can open up a world of better rewards and exclusive perks

And American Express has great options for anyone who wants a premium credit card, and who isn’t scared away by an annual fee.

American Express Cobalt Card

One great example of a premium credit card, with no minimum income requirement, is the Cobalt Card.

This card is, without a doubt, one of the best credit cards on the Canadian market right now. The Cobalt gives you access to a rewards program that is pretty unbeatable. And that is one of the main reasons our algorithm finds the Amex Cobalt in the top spot in 4 different credit card categories:

If rewards are your main goal for getting a credit card, this card is at the top of our list.

Cobalt’s Membership Rewards can be redeemed for a number of things, and it has some of the highest earn rates in all of Canada. You will be earning:

  • 5 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and food delivery,
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on transit, travel, and gas,
  • 1 point for every other $1 spent, and…
  • 2,500 bonus points every month, for the first year, when you spend a minimum of $500 in purchases.

So, not only are these rewards valuable, but you have plenty of ways to earn them.

Find out more about the American Express Cobalt Card here:

Best American Express for Cash Back

According to our Genius Rating, the is the best cash back card in Canada. However, without an $60K personal income, you might not have a chance at getting it.

If you’re looking for a solid cash back credit card, that doesn’t require you to ask your boss for a raise, the is a good option. With an earn rate of 2% cash back on all purchases, you shouldn’t miss out on any rewards.

Plus, the SimplyCash Preferred card will give you:

  • 5% cash back for your first 6 months (up to $300 cash back),
  • free supplementary cards,
  • comprehensive purchase and travel insurance, and…
  • Amex perks like Front of the Line and American Express Invites.

Check out our more detailed review here:

Low Income Credit Cards with Higher Acceptance

It’s no secret that Amex cards aren’t accepted everywhere, so, if you’re looking for a card that isn’t an American Express, you’ll find those options here too.

The best way to find them?

  • Step 1: Go to our compare cards page, and slide the 4th slider all the way to the right towards acceptance.

Acceptance Slider

  • Step 2: Click the “More Options” button on the left-hand side of the page and slide the “Your Personal Income” slider until your personal income is showing (or all the way to the left for cards with no income requirements).

Personal Income Slider

Bonus tip: Our aim is to make choosing a card easy and fun. By using the sliders, filling in your monthly spending, and choosing the things that are important to you, you should be able to narrow down your choices.

Best Cash Back Card With No Minimum Income

The number one cash back credit card that has no minimum income requirement, is the . It gives cardholders up to 2% cash back on their purchases and is especially good if you do most of your spending in a few spending categories.

This card gives you the ability to pick the spending categories that will best suit your spending habits. You can choose 2 categories (3 if you have a Tangerine bank account), and you can even change these categories if your spending habits change – there aren’t many cards that give you that much control.

The Tangerine card has no annual fee and is a Mastercard, so you don’t need to worry about it not being accepted in stores.

Bonus tip: Consider adding the card to the mix to maximize your return on non-category specific spending. This card gives you a solid 1.25% cash back on all spending with no annual fee and no personal income requirement, so you’ll be getting a 1% boost in cash back rewards.

Find out more here:

Related: Tangerine Mastercard: Now With Unlimited 4% Cash Back

Best Travel Card With No Minimum Income Requirement

If you prefer to earn some no fee travel rewards, look no further the the . You’ll earn the following with this card:

  • 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries and restaurants (up to $5,000 spent annually in each category), and
  • 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else

With each point worth 1 cent in travel, this gives you up to a 2% return on some essentials. And the best part is your points can be redeemed against any travel purchases made to the card from any provider you choose.

Plus you’ll gain access to seven types of insurance, including emergency medical (up to $1,000,000 in coverage), trip interruption and rental car theft and damage.

That’s a lot to offer for a card with no annual fee.

Find out more here:

Best Insurance With No Minimum Income Requirement

The offers cardholders some of the top travel and purchase insurance, and impressively has no minimum income requirement.

This premium insurance coverage includes:

  • purchase protection: up to 180 days, a standard card only offers 90 days,
  • extended warranty: which triples the manufacturer warranty on your purchases up to an additional 2 years,
  • emergency medical: which covers you for 10 days of travel and even extends past the age of 65 years old – most travel cards don’t provide such intensive coverage,
  • flight interruptions: which includes flight delay, emergency cancellations, and baggage delay or loss, and
  • car rental theft and damage.

The insurance coverage alone make it worth its $89 annual fee.

On top of the impressive insurance package, you get valuable rewards on your purchases and redeem the points you earned for travel, financial services, merchandises and charitable donations.

A Few Frequently Asked Questions

Why do credit cards have minimum income requirements?

You might be wondering why banks would put a minimum income requirement on their credit cards…If people are willing to pay the annual fees, why not just let them decide which card they want?

One of the ways credit cards make money is through transaction fees. This fee is earned every time a cardholder makes a purchase.

Because of this, customers with higher spending are going to make banks more money…and generally speaking, the more money you make, the more money you spend. In order to attract high spenders, banks are willing to offer a few extra perks and benefits for those people with higher income.

Are minimum income requirements a hard and fast rule?

If you’re still desperate for that Visa Infinite or World Elite card, you should be happy to hear that minimum income requirements are not always set in stone. There is still a chance you could be approved for a high-income card without having a high income.

Here are a couple of ideas for getting that premium card of your dreams:

  • You could apply anyway. This could make sense if you have great credit, and you’re okay with a possible (but temporary) dip to your credit score.
  • You could apply for a card that has a lower income requirement and work your way up. If you really want the , you could start with the . You can show MBNA that you are a valuable customer, and after some time, you could request the World Elite version.

These ideas are just the starting point. You should always do your own research so you can decide what’s best for you.

We Would Love To Hear From You

Have you ever gotten a credit card that was outside of your income?

Do you have any tips to share with us?

Let us know in the comments below.