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Ratehub’s 2023 Credit Card Awards

Discover the best credit cards of the year with our in-depth analysis and extensive testing. We’ve evaluated countless options to bring you the top cards tailed to your specific spending personality, whether you’re a frequent flyer or a student. The wait is over - drumroll please! Congratulations to the winners.

Natasha Macmillan

Check out our winners across a variety of categories!

Best rewards credit card - American Express Cobalt

For the third year in a row, we have selected the American Express Cobalt as 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. 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. This card includes:

  • Generous welcome bonus - earn 2,500 points for each month you spend $500, up to a maximum of 30,000 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)

Best travel credit card - Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is the ultimate travel credit card, with valuable benefits that set it apart from others. With no foreign transaction fees, its one of the few Canadian credit cards that save you 2.5% on all your foreign purchases. Plus, it comes packed with perks, including: 

  • Generous Scene+ points for every dollar spent on groceries, dining, entertainment, and more
  • Access to airport lounges worldwide (with 6 free visits per year) via Priority Pass
  • Luxury hotel stays and dining experience through the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection and Dining Series
  • Avis Preferred Plus membership 
  • Comprehensive travel insurance for peace of mind on trips
  • Flexible point redemption

Best cash back credit card - CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite

Unlock a world of rewards with the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite. This card offers the best rewards for everyday essentials, with a 1% earn rate for all purchases and 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, you can choose to redeem rewards any time, starting at just $25. Here are some additional features you can expect with this card: 

  • Supercharged savings with higher earn rates on groceries and gas (4% cash back)
  • Flexibility to redeem your cash back whenever you need it, in increments of $25
  • Access to CIBC’s Pace It program, allowing you to pay off large purchases in monthly increments
  • Excellent digital-only welcome bonus -  earn 15% cash back welcome bonus of up to $300 (first 4 statements).
  • Experience exclusive dining events and hotel perks through the Visa Infinite Program

Best low interest credit card & best balance transfer credit card - MBNA True Line Mastercard

If you are currently dealing with credit card debt, the MBNA True Line Mastercard is a card you should be paying attention to. If you are looking for a low interest credit card, or a balance transfer credit card, this one ticks all the necessary requirements. With a fixed interest rate of 12.99% on purchases and balance transfers and no annual fee, you can minimize your debt easily and quickly! Here is what makes this card standout against its competitors:

  • A low and fixed interest rate of 12.99% that won’t change based on your credit rating, income, or the bank’s prime lending rate
  • No annual fee and no income requirements, making it accessible
  • Promotional balance transfer interest rate of 0% for a full year, perfect for paying down debt or eliminating it all together

Note: this offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

Best store credit card - PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

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

  • No annual fee, 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

Best credit card for building credit - NEO Card (Secured) 

The Neo Card (Secured) is a unique and accessible credit card that offers rewards for its users. With a minimum security deposit of $50 and no annual fee, this card is perfect for those looking to build or improve their credit score.  The card offers 5% cash back on purchases made at participating NEO partners and 1% on all other purchases, with a monthly limit of $5000. This secured card stands out against the other in this category for the following reasons:

  • No annual fee
  • Only secured card on the market with cash back rewards
  • Flexible credit limit - increase or decrease as needed
  • Insights dashboard to track spending 
  • Auto-pay feature
  • Low minimum security deposit of $5
  • No hard credit check, excluding Quebec applicants (hard credit inquiries may have a negative impact on your credit score)

Best student credit card - BMO Cashback Mastercard Student 

The BMO CashBack Mastercard - Student is a smart choice for student who are looking for a credit card. With no annual fee and strong returns on everyday essentials from grocery stores and supermarkets, this card provides a simple and valuable way to earn rewards on your spending. Key highlights of this card include: 

  • No annual fees and no income requirements - two critical features students should seek when considered a credit cardNo annual fee and no income requirement 
  • 3% cash back on groceries
  • Great welcome offer -  ${_rh.creditCards.bmo-cashback-mastercard-student.descriptions.badge_bonus
  • Cash back system is more straightforward than points
  • Redeem cash back for as little as $1 at a time
  • Enjoy extra benefits like purchase protection, extended warranty, and retinal card discounts from National and Alamo agency locations

Best business credit card - American Express Business Edge Card

The American Express Business Edge Card should be any small business owner's credit card  of choice to earn great rewards on monthly office expenses and streamline their expenses. This card offers a simple and flexible rewards program, with regards earned on all purchases and no restrictions on how rewards can be redeemed. Here are some additional features you can expect with this card:

  • Generous welcome offer: earn up to 67,000 welcome bonus Membership Rewards points.
  • Healthy earn rate on everyday business spending
  • Access to exclusive business benefits, including travel insurance, purchase protection and savings on office supplies
  • A maximum of 99 additional employee cards can be added to the primary cardholder account, which is considerably higher than other business credit cards

Best no fee cash back credit card - Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card 

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is the perfect choice for those who value true flexibility and customization in their rewards program. With 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.  Some of the standout features of this amazing credit card include: 

  • 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

Best perks credit card - American Express Platinum

When it comes to extra perks, the American Express Platinum Card is in a class all its own and is very easily classified as the best premium credit card in Canada. While its annual fee isn't cheap, the American Express Platinum Card offers all the bells and whistles and benefits that make it worthwhile making it a traveler’s dream credit card.  The perks offered with this card include: 

  • Very lucrative welcome bonus - earn up to 80,000 rewards points ($800 value).
  • High earn rate on dining and travel purchases 
  • No minimum income requirement - a rarity for a card of this caliber
  • Complimentary airport lounge access with unlimited passes to Priority Pass and Centurion lounges 
  • Dedicated 24/7 concierge service
  • Annual $200 travel credit
  • Best in class travel insurance coverage and VIP benefits at Toronto Pearson Airport including access to Pearson Priority Security Lane, free valet parking (usually a $25 fee), and 15% discount on parking as a statement credit
  • Upgraded gold hotel status with Marriott Bonvoy, Radisson Rewards and Hilton Honors and car rental privileges with Hertz and Avis 
  • Transfer point 1:1 to several frequent flyer programs

People’s choice award - Brim

Introducing the Brim Mastercard line-up. Three versatile credit cards that simplify reward programs. Canada’s top credit card choice of 2023. 

Whether you choose the Brim Mastercard, Brim World, or Brim World Elite, you can enjoy a flat earn rate on all your purchases and no foreign transaction fees. Earn 1%, 1.5% or 2% cash back on all your purchases (for Brim Mastercard, Brim World, and Brim World Elite respectively), and enjoy even more rewards from over 200 eligible partner merchants such as up to 4% on Apple and Microsoft, and 3% on Nike, Lufthansa, Etihad, and Emirates Airlines. Additional features you can expect with this card: 

  • Welcome bonus waives the annual fee for the first year, making it a great time to try Brim’s Mastercards 
  • No foreign exchange transaction fees, saving you 2.5% per purchase in a non-Canadian currency (online or abroad) 
  • Flat earn rate of 2% with an opportunity to earn even more at select partners
  • Flexible rewards system, letting you easily redeem Brim Rewards in increments of 100 points for $1 in statement credits
  • Strong insurance coverage, including travel insurance, mobile device insurance and event ticket insurance

2023 Credit Card Awards Methodology

How do you determine the winners?

Best rewards credit card

Best travel credit card

Best cash back credit card

Best no fee cash back credit card

Best store credit card

Best low interest credit card

Best balance transfer credit card

Best student credit card

Best business credit card

Best perks credit card

People’s Choice

Historical winners