Top 4 Credit Cards for People Who Earn Less than $60,000

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by Ratehub.ca July 27, 2015 / No Comments

When you start shopping around for your next credit card, one of the details you might forget to double-check before you submit an application is what the income requirement is. Sure, some credit cards sound great – but are you eligible to apply for and use its benefits? It all depends on how much you earn.

Since the best rewards credit cards typically come with high credit limits, credit card companies require cardholders to earn a minimum amount of money each year, so they know they could afford to pay off the balance of the card. For example, a student who wasn’t working during school would only qualify for a no fee credit card, whereas someone who makes $100,000/year could access the best credit cards on the market.

That being said if you’re currently making less than $60,000/year, there are some great credit cards available to you.

Scotiabank Gold American Express


  • Annual fee: $99
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points (value: $150) when you make $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn 4 Scotia Rewards points dollar on gas, groceries, entertainment, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar on everything else
  • Access to VIP airport lounges with Priority Pass membership

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is one of the best rewards cards in Canada and requires just $12,000 in annual income for applicants to be considered. What makes this card so appealing is the fact that you 4 Scotia Reward points on every $1 spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment. That’s essentially a 4% cash equivalent which is one of the highest earns you can get from any credit card. With purchases in other categories, you earn only 1 Scotia Reward point per $1 spent, so it’s best to use this card just for the multipliers.

There is an annual fee of $99, but you do get a welcome bonus of 15,000 points which is worth $150. It’s also worth noting that this card comes packed with a comprehensive travel insurance package that includes travel emergency medical, trip cancellation/trip interruption, delayed and lost baggage, rental car collision loss/damage, and much more.

SimplyCash Card from American Express


  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants for the first 6 months (up to $250 cash back)
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all other purchases once welcome rate ends

If you want to keep things simple, the SimplyCash Card from American Express is the card to go with since it’s a true cash back card. For the first 6 months of card membership, you’ll earn 5% cash back on all eligible purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants in Canada (up to $250 cash back). Once the promotional period ends, all purchases will earn you 1.25% which is pretty good considering this is a no fee card.

One additional benefit that could be of interest to some people is the balance transfer offer to new cardmembers where you would pay just 1.99% in interest for the first 6 months. Cardholders also get access to American Express Invites, purchase assurance, and extended warranty.

PC Financial Mastercard


  • Earn 25 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix
  • Earn 10 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 20 PC Optimum Points per purchased litre of gasoline at Esso

If you shop on a regular basis at Shoppers Drug Mart and stores where PC Products are sold, you’ll want to take a look at the PC Financial Mastercard. With this card, you’ll earn 25 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix and 10 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. You’ll still earn points through in-store promotions and targeted offers, but the PC Financial Mastercard will help you earn points even quicker. It takes just 10,000 PC Optimum Points to earn a $10 credit so it’s incredibly easy to claim your rewards.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card


  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases in up to three categories of your choice, and 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • No limit on how much cash back you can earn

What makes the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card unique is that you get to choose up to three categories of your choice where you can earn 2% cash back on your purchase. All other categories earn you just 0.5% cash back, so you should choose your categories based on where you spend the most money. You can swap your categories at a later date, however, they don’t kick in until the following billing cycle. The rewards can either be paid out as a statement credit or redeemed into your Tangerine Savings Account.

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