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The best family credit cards in Canada for 2022

Graham Christian

If there’s one universal truth, it’s this: starting a family is expensive. That’s why it’s essential to choose a credit card that fits your needs and will save you money in all the right areas. Whether it’s weekly trips to the grocery store, a family meal at a favourite restaurant, or a much-anticipated vacation, we’ve got you covered with our top picks. Read below to discover our best family credit cards in Canada.

Best everyday credit card for families

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When it comes to everyday family essentials, you’ll need a credit card that goes the extra mile to earn you savings on a regular basis. Enter the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite

Boasting a near-incomparable 4% cash back on gas and groceries, this card will save you big on two of the most common (and pricey) household expenses. Plus, if you sign up for Journie Rewards, you can save an additional 10 cents per litre when filling up at participating stations. Beyond that, you’ll also get 2% cash back on transportation (including ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft), dining, and recurring payments. Rewards are redeemable anytime through their website or mobile app, and there’s no limit to how much you can collect.

If you’re planning on sending money abroad, this card also has you covered: you’ll earn 0.25% cash back for every dollar spent on a CIBC Global Money Transfer. Plus, there are no transaction fees and you’ll never be charged interest as long as you pay your balance by the due date.

The CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite also offers some great insurance perks: users get coverage for mobile devices, out-of-province emergency travel medical, common carrier accident (up to $500,000) and auto rental collision and loss/damage, plus more. And, speaking of auto rentals, you can also get 25% off when you use the card at participating Avis and Budget locations. 

While the card does carry an annual fee of $120, it’s waived for the first year for principal and additional users. Plus, if you’ve got a CIBC Smart Plus account, you’ll get an annual fee rebate every year, meaning you’ll essentially never have to pay it at all. Additional cards for any family members are $30 annually (up to a max of three).

 

Pros:

  • 4% cashback on gas and groceries, 2% cashback on transit, dining, and recurring bills
  • Flexible redemption: rewards can be redeemed anytime and there’s no limit to how much you can collect
  • Perfect for sending money abroad: CIBC Global Money Transfers earn 0.25% per dollar, plus there’s no transaction fee and no interest (provided balance is paid on time)
  • Insurance perks: mobile device, out-of-province emergency medical, common carrier accident, auto rental collision and loss/damage (plus more)
  • First year annual fee rebated for principal and additional cards (cash value of up to $210) and get an annual fee rebate for the principal card each year with a CIBC Smart Plus account (cash value of $120 per year)

Cons:

  • Yearly fee rebate doesn’t extend to additional cardholders
  • Minimum personal income of $60,000 may pose a barrier to some users
  • More thorough travel insurance coverage on other cards 

Best travel card for families

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The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite is a near-perfect travel card all around, but it’s especially great for family vacations due to its high return on travel spending and flexibility.

With this card, you’ll get a staggering nine TD points per dollar when you use it for travel expenses like flights, hotels, car rentals, and all-inclusive packages. Plus, you’ll also get a very competitive three points per dollar on everything else. 

And if that’s not enough, the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite is also offering one of the best welcome offers on the market right now: new users who apply by October 29, 2022 can get up to 100,000 bonus points in their first year (that’s a cash value of $500 to use on future travel). You’ll get an automatic 20,000 points for making your first purchase with the card, then earn an additional 80,000 if you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days. Not only that, but principal and secondary cardholders will also get a rebate on the annual fee for the first year, helping you save even more. 

Another great feature is the ExpediaforTD web portal you can use to book all your travel purchases. It essentially works just like Expedia’s direct website and offers all the same options to choose from, allowing you to select from virtually any airline or hotel and earn big points in the meantime. 

And, because anything can and will happen on a family vacation, another big win for families who own this card is its impressive travel insurance package, covering you for emergency medical, trip cancellation/interruption, delayed/lost baggage, and more.

 

Pros:

  • Huge earnings on travel purchases - earn nine points per dollar when you book travel through ExpediaforTD.com
  • Excellent regular earn rate of three points per dollar on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: earn up to 100,000 TD points plus a rebated annual fee in the first year
  • Lots of flexibility - ExpediaforTD has all the same options Expedia does, freeing you to select virtually any airline or hotel 
  • Great insurance package covering travel medical (up to $1,000,000), trip cancellation/interruption, delayed/lost baggage, plus more

Cons:

  • Annual fee of $120 may not be worth it for families who don’t travel regularly
  • Other travel cards have more extensive insurance packages

Best no-fee card for families

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If your family is on a tighter budget, the last thing you need is another annual bill to pay. That’s why a no-fee credit card should be a must, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more flexible one than the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. 

While the card’s standard cash back rate is 2%, users also get an opportunity for something unparalleled in the market today: the ability to choose two spending categories they want to earn in. Tangerine offers such a wide variety of choices that most should have no problem finding their dream categories, and users who choose to deposit their cash back into a Tangerine savings account can get a complimentary third category.

While that’s great on its own, Tangerine’s welcome bonus increases the value even more. New users who sign up by September 30, 2022 can get an extra 15% cash back on purchases for the first two months (up to $1000). Combined with the card’s regular rate, that’s 17% cash back - ideal if you’ve got any big purchases lined up.

 

Pros:

  • Earn 2% cash back in up to three categories of your choice - an virtually unmatched level of flexibility 
  • Welcome bonus: earn an additional 15% cash back on purchases for the first two months (up to $1000) - that’s a total of 17% cash back you can use for any big purchases during that time
  • No annual fee

Cons:

  • Not a ton of extra perks and benefits - quite common for no-fee cards
  • Other cards may offer higher cash back in pre-selected categories

Best family credit card for entertainment

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If your family is big into nights out (and what family isn’t?), the Scotiabank Gold American Express card can help you earn points while having a great time. 

First off, you’ll earn five times the Scene+ points for every dollar spent on eligible grocery, dining, fast food, and entertainment purchases, then three points per dollar on eligible gas, daily transit, and streaming services. That’s a lot of earning power you can harness every time you use the card at your family’s favourite restaurant or at the theatre for a weekend movie. And if that’s not enough, the card’s welcome offer gets you 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months, then another 20,000 after spending $7,500 in the first year - that’s a possible 40,000 extra points you can earn just by using the card regularly, plus a waiver for your first year’s annual fee (a value of $120)

And while Scene+ used to be known primarily as a rewards system for Cineplex Odeon theatres and select chain restaurants, nowadays you can use those points for a lot more. Redeem for entertainment, dining, travel, gift cards, or statement credits. And if a family vacation happens to be on your mind, the Scotiabank Gold Amex offers quite a few benefits in that regard. 

Those who use the card abroad get no foreign transaction fees - saving you 2.5% on every purchase outside of Canada - as well as a thorough suite of travel insurance, including emergency medical, trip cancellation/interruption, delayed/lost baggage, plus more.

Plus, as with all American Express-branded cards, you’ll join their Front of the Line program for early access to presale concert tickets and choice seating.

 

Pros:

  • Earn five Scene+ points per dollar on eligible entertainment, restaurants, fast food, and groceries
  • Earn three Scene+ points per dollar on eligible gas, transit, and streaming services
  • Welcome bonus: earn up to 40,000 points in the first year plus get first year annual fee waived ($120 value)
  • Flexible redemption options: users can redeem points for entertainment, restaurants, travel, gift cards, or statement credits
  • No FX fees - saving you 2.5% with every foreign transaction made
  • Great travel insurance package
  • Access to Amex Front of the Line

Cons:

  • While things are getting better, Amex cards are still not accepted as often as Visa and Mastercard 

Best retail credit card for families

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If you’re like most Canadian families, your routine shopping is likely done at a specific grocery chain - and the President’s Choice empire of nationwide stores is one of the biggest there is. That’s why it’s beneficial to keep a retail credit card in your wallet. If you’re regularly giving your business to the same place, you may as well get something out of it in return, right?

For PC shoppers, the PC Financial series of credit cards go a long way towards savings for loyal customers, and their World Mastercard hits the perfect balance between earning power and accessibility. 

With this card, users can earn 20 PC Optimum points per dollar at PC-branded grocery stores like Loblaws, No Frills, and Real Canadian Superstore, plus 35 points at Shoppers Drug Mart. Not only that, but gassing up at Esson or Mobil stations with the card will get you at least 30 points per litre, and booking travel through PC Travel earns 20 points per dollar. Outside of those categories, you’ll still earn 10 points per dollar everywhere else you use the card. You can redeem your points in increments of 10,000 - equal to $10 in cash.

And, if you meet the criteria for approval, you can always upgrade to the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, which offers even higher point values and extra perks like travel insurance.

 

Pros:

  • Earn big points for shopping at PC-branded businesses: 20 PC Optimum points per dollar at Loblaws, No Frills, etc.; 35 points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart, at least 30 points per litre at Esso/Mobil stations, 20 points per dollar at PC Travel
  • No annual fee
  • Accessible for most families: minimum personal income requirement of $60,000 (personal) or $100,000 (household)

Cons:

  • Slightly higher than average purchase interest rate of 20.97%
  • Not a lot of extra perks
  • Card isn’t particularly useful outside of PC-branded stores - those looking for more flexibility may want to consider cards with high earning rates on groceries in general

Looking for a retail credit card?

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Adding additional cardholders

For many families, it makes a lot of sense to add additional cardholders to a credit account. This is especially true in the case of high-earning rewards cards as it creates the ability to collect points or cash back much faster than one person could alone. While most cards will allow you to add multiple secondary cardholders, some charge an annual fee per extra card. That being said, it’s usually much smaller than that of the primary user. 

Even though putting family members on your card’s account may be a great way to earn more rewards quickly, keep in mind that the primary cardholder is still responsible for the monthly statement, so make sure anyone you add is trustworthy and responsible.

 

Also read:

The best credit cards in Canada for 2022

The 10 best travel cards in Canada for 2022

The best credit cards for dining and restaurant deliveries in Canada

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