Finding the Best Canadian Credit Cards

If you're looking for the best Canadian credit cards, it pays to do your research. You want a card that has universal acceptance that offers reasonable interest rates and a low annual fee. If you are thinking about applying for credit cards in Canada, be sure to check out the information below.

Why You May Need a Canadian Credit Card

If you are an American living in Canada, you have to consider that owning a credit card is essential in your everyday life. After all, you may not always have the money to cover your purchases and a credit card will come in extremely handy. You will be able to purchase all the things you need in your everyday life with a credit card and pay it back later on a monthly basis.

You may think you can get by without a credit card if you're only a temporary resident of Canada. But it will make life much easier if you do have one. For example, some mobile phone companies require a local credit card to authenticate a new cell phone plan. And a Canadian credit card can be accepted as a form of ID in Canada, which is important when opening a bank account or getting government issued health insurance. You can also use your Canadian credit card to set up automatic bill payments for utilities and more.

Applying for a Canadian Credit Card - What to Consider

To apply for a credit card in Canada, you'll need to establish a Canadian credit history. To do this, request that your Canadian bank check your US credit record. You may have to be persistent to get them to do it, so keep trying if they turn you down the first time. If they are reluctant to carry-over your credit record, you may need to apply for a secured credit card just you establish your Canadian credit record. There are also some financial lenders who will offer an unsecured credit card, so it pays to look around. 

Since there are numerous institutions offering credit cards available in Canada, you want to choose a reliable credit card company which offers a competitive interest rate. You can begin your online search by focusing on the major credit card lenders in Canada, which are:

  • RBC - Royal Bank of Canada 
  • CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce 
  • BMO - Bank of Montreal 
  • Scotiabank 
  • TD - Toronto-Dominion Bank 

What to Keep in Mind Before You Apply

Before you apply for a credit card in Canada, know what to look for in order to get the best deal possible. When comparing credit cards, the first thing you have to look at is the APR or the annual percentage rate. You should remember that the APR is the main factor that will affect your monthly payment.

You also need to be aware of any other charges that come with the card, such as late payments fees and cash advances fees. It's important to remember that lenders will often charge a non-resident higher interest rates and fees to offset their risk. So don't be disappointed when you are charged more interest than you would be charged in the US.

If you're a temporary resident in Canada, it's important to note that the application requirements may be different than if you were a Canadian resident. This is why it's a good idea to discuss what is required from the lender before you apply for a credit card. 

For more information about getting a credit card in Canada, check out the Guide to Credit Cards for Expats in Canada

You can find other international credit cards by clicking on the links below:

  1. Home
  2. Credit Cards
  3. Applying for Canadian Credit Cards