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Ratehub’s 2024 Credit Card Awards

Natasha Macmillan

Natasha Macmillan, Business Unit Director - Everyday Banking

The wait is over - drumroll please! Discover the best credit cards for 2024 with our in-depth analysis and extensive testing. We’ve evaluated countless options to bring you the top cards tailored to your specific spending personality, whether you’re a frequent flyer or a student. Congratulations to the winners!

Best rewards credit card - American Express Cobalt

(also the winner for: People’s Choice Award, Best credit card for groceries, and Best credit card for restaurants) 

For the fourth 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 1,250 points for each month you spend $750, up to a maximum of 15,000 points.
  • Exceptional point earning with most notably 5x the points on eligible restaurant and food delivery and 2x the points on travel. The earning potential for restaurants is significantly higher than most other comparable cards
  • Flexible point redemption options for travel, gift cards, merchandise, or purchases. Frequent flyers can even transfer points 1:1 to several loyalty programs
  • 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 and companion, 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 options for travel, groceries, gift cards, and movie tickets

Best cash back credit card - CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite

(also the winner for: Best credit card for gas)

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 10% cash back welcome bonus of up to $200 (first 4 statements). Offer not available to QC residents. Terms and conditions apply.
  • 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 dealing with credit card debt, the MBNA True Line Mastercard is a card you should be paying attention to. Whether 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 (with a 3% transfer fee), perfect for paying down debt or eliminating it altogether

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

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 $50
  • 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 rental car card discounts from National and Alamo agency locations

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 3 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 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 credit card for newcomers - Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite 

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is one of the best credit cards in Canada. As a newcomer to Canada, a new permanent resident or foreign worker without a credit history, you can secure a credit limit of up to $15,000. In addition to great rewards, this card comes with perks that will make your next trip home a lot more comfortable. Key highlights of this card include: 

Pros

  • Earn three Scene+ points per $1 spent at participating grocery stores (e.g., Sobey's, IGA, and FreshCo) and two Scene+ points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment, and daily transit purchases
  • Welcome bonus: earn up to $1,300 in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived. Offer ends July 1, 2024.
  • No foreign transaction fees when you use your card outside of Canada 
  • Enjoy flexible point redemption options including for travel, groceries, statement credits, gift cards, and movie tickets
  • 6 complimentary airport lounge passes per year
  • Enjoy coverage for emergency medical, trip cancellation/interruption, and flight delay, and more
  • Enjoy discounts on car rentals and hotels while travelling

Best credit card for travel insurance - Scotiabank Gold American Express

The Scotiabank Gold American Express stands out as a top-tier travel credit card offering exceptional travel insurance and additional benefits to travelers. This card can be even more lucrative for those who dine out, travel, and seek out entertainment opportunities! 

  • Save on foreign currency purchases during international travel or online shopping as this card does not charge a foreign transaction fee (typically 2.5%)
  • Benefits from comprehensive travel insurance, including $1 million in travel medical coverage lasting for 25 days - one of the longest coverage periods available in the market
  • Earn an impressive 5 points per $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, food, delivery, and entertainment, making it one of the best multipliers on the market
  • Enjoy access to VIP airport lounges and take advantage of around-the-clock conceirge services for a luxurious travel experience

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 100,000 rewards points ($1,000 value). Conditions apply.
  • High earn rate on dining and travel purchases 
  • No minimum income requirement - a rarity for a card of this calibre
  • 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

2024 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 low interest credit card


Best balance transfer credit card


Best student credit card


Best business credit card


Best perks credit card


Best credit card for building credit


People’s Choice


Best credit card for newcomes


Best credit card for gas, groceries, restaurants


Best credit card for travel insurance


Historical winners