Natasha Macmillan, Business Unit Director - Everyday Banking
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
The biggest selling point of the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* is its impressive rewards on everyday essentials. On top of the 1% earn rate for all purchases, this card earns an industry-leading 4% cash back on both groceries, and gas purchases – two of the most common spending categories for Canadian households. Thanks to CIBC’s new Cash Back on demand feature, cardholders can choose to redeem rewards at any time as a statement credit starting in increments of $25.
- Significantly higher earn rates on groceries, EV charging, and gas than most other cards (4% cash back)
- Flexible cash back redemption option allowing users to redeem their cash back at any time in increments of $25
- Access to CIBC’s Pace It program, allowing you to pay off large purchases in monthly increments
- Features an excellent digital-only welcome bonus, where new users who apply online can earn 15% cash back welcome bonus of up to $300 (first 4 statements).
- Access to the Visa Infinite Program, entitling you to attend special dining events and hotel perks at participating hotels and restaurants
- Annual fee ($120) and personal income requirements ($60,0000) may be prohibitive
- Insurance coverage isn’t as comprehensive as other similar rewards cards (if insurance is a priority for you, consider the cards featured on our list of Best credit cards for travel insurance)
Best travel card for families
The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite is the go to credit card for frequent travellers looking for a Visa travel credit card thanks in no small part to its flexible airline options and high return on travel spending.
Through TD’s and Expedia’s co-branded website (Expedia for TD), cardholders can earn and redeem points for flights from hundreds of airlines as well as hotels and other travel-related expenses, such as car rentals and all-inclusive vacations.
- Welcome bonus: earn up to 100,000 TD Rewards points. Conditions apply. Must apply by September 5, 2023.
- Anniversary bonus: earn up to 10,000 TD Rewards points. Conditions apply. Must apply by September 5, 2023.
- Earn 8 TD Rewards Points per $1 on travel through Expedia for TD, 6 TD Rewards Points per $1 on groceries and restaurants, 4 TD Rewards Points per $1 on recurring bill payments, and 2 TD Rewards Points per $1 on everything else
- Points can be redeemed on virtually any airline or hotel of your choice through Expedia for TD
- Redeem points in increments as low as 200 (one dollar)
- 10% off car rentals from select Avis and Budget locations and an annual discount to Priority Pass Memberships
- Extensive travel package including emergency travel medical (up to $2 million), trip cancellation/interruption, plus more
- Minimum personal income of $60,00 and annual fee may be prohibitive to some users
- Other cards of this level offer higher point value for categories like dining, entertainment, etc.
- No complimentary airport lounge access (but there is a 20% discount off Priority Pass membership)
- No waived foreign transaction fees - users who intend to use the card for shopping abroad may want to consider this
Best no-fee card for families
While the fact that the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is a no annual fee card is a big reason behind its popularity, what really sets this card apart is the customizability. With this card, you can choose your own bonus categories (which will earn you a strong cash back rate of 2% per dollar spent). This is rare in the credit card market and means you can avoid being locked into a bonus category that you can’t take full advantage of or that doesn’t align with your spending habits. On top of that, your cash back is refunded on a monthly basis (instead of the standard annual reimbursement).
- Flexibility to pick up to three bonus categories to earn 2% cash back on (out of a total of 10 options), which is in sharp contrast to most other cards where you have fixed bonus categories that you have no control over
- 2% cash back per dollar on bonus categories is one of the richest earn rates for a no-fee card
- Freedom to change up your bonus categories at any time (changes will take up to 90 days to come into effect)
- Widely accepted almost everywhere including No Frills and Costco as it is a Mastercard credit card
- Extended warranty and purchase protection
- Free supplementary cards for authorized users
- For all purchases that aren’t categorized under one of your chosen bonus categories, you’ll earn just 0.5% cash back
- No travel medical insurance or any substantial side perks
Best family credit card for entertainment
The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card has a best in class return on spending due to the 5 times multiplier for every $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, food delivery and entertainment and 3 times multiplier on gas and transit. This adds up to a ton of points on your everyday purchases. On top of that, cardholders will not have to pay a foreign transaction fee on foreign currency purchases and have access to a cohesive travel insurance package. The Scotiabank Gold American Express card is a great travel companion offering significant savings.
- No foreign exchange fee on any foreign currency purchases while traveling abroad or shopping online (typically a 2.5% fee)
- Extensive insurance coverage - The $1 million travel medical insurance lasts for 25 days, which is one of the longer coverage periods you’ll get.
- High average % return on spending (5 points per $1 on purchases) - best in class multipliers across groceries, restaurants, entertainment, gas and transit
- Great welcome bonus with the opportunity to earn up to $650 in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points. Must apply by October 31, 2023.
- Access to VIP airport lounges and around the clock concierge services
- Points will expire if they are not used with 12 months of the purchase date
- American Express isn’t as widely accepted in Canada compared to Visa and Mastercard
- Annual Fee $120
Looking for a retail credit card?
How to add 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.
The best credit cards in Canada
The best travel cards in Canada
The best credit cards for dining and restaurant deliveries in Canada