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The Best Credit Cards for Low Income in Canada 2024

As our world leans further towards an economy of online shopping and cashless transactions, owning a credit card is becoming increasingly important. 

But what if you’re on a fixed income? Lots of credit cards feature excellent rewards and attractive signup offers, but come with prohibitive minimum income requirements, making them difficult to get.

Thankfully, many providers offer cards with that needs in mind. If you’ve got good credit but want a card that will match your income level, we’ve picked some of our favourites below:

The best credit cards for low income in Canada

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featured

5.0 Ratehub rated

Best for Groceries & dining

First year reward
$660/yr

based on spending $2,200/mo after $156 annual fee

Earn rewards

1pt – 5pts / dollar earn rate

Welcome bonus

15,000 bonus points (a $150 value)

Ratehub.ca's take

For the third year in a row, the American Express Cobalt is deemed the Best Overall Rewards Credit Card in Canada. The American Express Cobalt is the perfect choice for a rewards card that delivers for both everyday spending and travel. Luckily, this card also comes with no minimum income requirements.

The card offers a flexible point redemption system, strong travel insurance policy, and a generous welcome bonus. With its top-notch rewards system, cardholders earn 5 times the points on eligible restaurants and food delivery purchases, 3 times the points on eligible streaming services, and 2 times the points on travel and daily transit.  

Pros

  • Generous welcome bonus - earn 1,250 points for each month you spend $750, up to a maximum of 15,000 points.
  • Flexible point redemption options for travel, gift cards, merchandise, or purchases
  • High earning potential for restaurants and takeout compared to other cards
  • Front of the Line Presale and Reserved ticket access to events and special offers
  • Strong travel insurance with up to $5,000,000 in travel emergency medical coverage
  • No fee for additional authorized users (an average fee of $30 - 50 on other comparable cards)

Cons

  • Monthly fee of $12.99 (coming to an annual fee of $156, which is higher than most other rewards cards) 
  • American Express isn’t as widely accepted in Canada compared to Visa and Mastercard
  • Travel insurance package does not cover trip cancellation or medical coverage for cardholders over the age of 65
  • Airport lounge access isn’t provided, which may be disappointing to frequent travels
featured

4.5 Ratehub rated

Best for Flexible spending

First year reward
$647/yr

based on spending $2,200/mo after $0 annual fee

Earn rewards

2pts – 10pts / dollar earn rate

Welcome bonus

100 bonus points (a $100 value)

Ratehub.ca's take

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is the perfect choice for those who value true flexibility and customization in their rewards program. With a low minimum income requirement of $12,000 and no annual fee, you get to choose the bonus categories that align with your spending habits and earn 2% cash back per dollar spent. This is a rare feature in the credit card market, allowing you to avoid being stuck with bonus spending categories that don’t work for you and your spending habits.  

Pros

  • Customizable bonus categories: choose up to three from a list of 10 options to earn 2% cash back on; you can change your categories at any time to make the most of your rewards 
  • Cash back is refunded monthly (instead of the standard annual reimbursement), allowing you to enjoy the benefits of your cash back faster 
  • Enjoy the convenience of using your card almost anywhere, including popular retailers like No Frills and Costco
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • Free supplementary cards for authorized users

Cons

  • 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
  • Not as many perks as other rewards cards
featured

Best for Everyday spending

First year reward
$428/yr

based on spending $2,200/mo after $0 annual fee

Earn rewards

1pt – 4pts / dollar earn rate

Ratehub.ca's take

Interested in a card with a flexible travel rewards system, no annual fee and no income requirements? The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard has a lot to offer.

Not only is there no minimum income or annual fee, but this card also allows you to earn 2 points for every dollar spent on restaurants, groceries, and select recurring bills and 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases. A huge benefit of this card comes from its flexibility in point redemption. Once ready, you can redeem your points for cash back, brand-name merchandise, gift cards from participating retailers, charitable donations, or travel. That’s a lot of options. Plus, as long as your account remains in good standing, your points will never expire.

Pros

  • Of other no annual fee credit cards, the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard offers a great earn rate
  • No annual fee and no minimum income requirement
  • Flexible point redemption system allowing you to redeem points for a variety of uses
  • Welcome offer - earn 10,000 bonus points ($50 in cash back value). Plus, get 4 points per $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days.

Cons

  • Annual maximum of $10,000 annual on restaurants, groceries and select recurring bills (per category) - limiting earning potential 

Best for PC Points

First year reward
$289/yr

based on spending $2,200/mo after $0 annual fee

Earn rewards

10pts – 30pts / dollar earn rate

Welcome bonus

20,000 bonus points (a $20 value)

Ratehub.ca's take

If you are looking for a credit card that will help you save money on groceries, the PC Financial Mastercard is a great choice, especially for those who frequently shop at Loblaws-owned stores and Shoppers Drug Mart. 

Pros

  • Welcome offer - earn 20,000 PC Optimum points
  • No annual fee and no income requirements, making it accessible to a wider range of customers
  • Loblaw is one of Canada’s largest retailers, so there’s no shortage of opportunities to earn and redeem points
  • Stack your points by showing your PC Optimum card at Loblaw-affiliated stores and paying with your PC Financial World Elite Mastercard
  • Earn rates are high compared to other no-fee credit cards
  • Offers travel insurance benefits adding value to cardholders

Cons

  • Can only redeem points in increments of 10,000
  • Points cannot be transferred to other loyalty programs 
  • Very strict redemption rules - points cannot be used to pay for purchases at non-Loblaws retailers or redeemed against a statement balance. Plenty of other rewards cards on the market offering more flexibility

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The bottom line

Being on a fixed income can sometimes pose challenges, but one of them shouldn’t be gaining access to a credit card. Take a look at the cards we’ve recommended above, and do your own digging to find the right match for you (use our Cardfinder tool linked at the top of this article). 

Got any other cards to recommend for fixed-income users? Share them below in the comments.

 

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