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Compare the best low interest credit cards

The best low interest cards for
  • any annual fee
  • no annual fee
CardAnnual feePurchase interest rateBalance transfer rate

$29

13.99%

13.99%

Purchase interest: 13.99%  |  Cash advance: 13.99%  |  Balance transfer: 13.99%

$0

12.99%

12.99%

Purchase interest: 12.99%  |  Cash advance: 24.99%  |  Balance transfer: 12.99%

$20

12.99%

12.99%

Purchase interest: 12.99%  |  Cash advance: 15.99%  |  Balance transfer: 12.99%

$39

8.99%

8.99%

Purchase interest: 8.99%  |  Cash advance: 24.99%  |  Balance transfer: 8.99%

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5 things to know about low interest credit cards

1. They help you save on interest 

If you tend to carry a credit card balance from month-to-month, you should definitely consider a low interest credit card over a rewards credit card. 

Many rewards credit cards have interest rates as high as 19.99%. If you compare this to our pick of the best low interest credit card in Canada (MBNA True Line Gold) which has an interest rate of 8.99%, your monthly payments will be cut in half. Remember, rewards aren't ever worth chasing if you're carrying a balance and paying interest.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of how much you’d save with the low interest MBNA True Line Gold versus a typical rewards credit card if you carried a balance of $3,000 and made payments of $200 each month.

 

MBNA TrueLine Gold

Typical Rewards Card

APR

8.99%

19.99%

Balance 

$3,000

$3,000

Your monthly payments

$200

$200

Total interest owed

$194.31

$480.99

Time until debt is repaid

1.3 years

1.5 years

2. They have low annual fees

Low interest credit cards tend to have lower annual fees. Depending on which card you choose, you can expect an annual fee of anywhere from $0 to $39. That's nothing compared to the $120 or $150 annual fee you might find on some of the best rewards credit cards.

3. They can help you pay off past credit card debts faster

By taking advantage of a balance transfer, you can move the debt you owe on your current credit card over to a low interest card and save on high interest payments in the process. Some low interest cards even come with introductory balance transfer promotions that offer extremely low rates (we’re talking in the single digits) for a limited period of time to help pay off debt even quicker. Just be aware that most low interest credit cards will charge you a flat fee (usually 1% - 3% of your debt) on balance transfers.

4. They rarely offer rewards

One disadvantage of a low interest credit card is it won’t provide the extensive benefits and rewards you’d get with a rewards card. Typically, there’s no way to earn points or cash back on your spending. And your benefits (such as travel insurance) are highly limited.

All that said, low interest cards are still well worth it considering you’ll save a whole lot more on interest payments than you’d earn in rewards anyway. What’s 1% cash back in comparison to saving between 7% to 11% in interest annually.

5. Their cash advance rates may be higher

While some low interest interest credit cards offer low rates on all types of transactions, some do charge high rates for cash advances. We wouldn’t recommend making cash advances with your low interest credit card (or any card for that matter) but if it’s something you’re looking to use, just make sure to shop around and find a card that offers low rates across the board.


Best low APR credit cards for 2022

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

The pros:

  • At 8.99%, the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard is the only credit card to offer a standard fixed interest rate in the single digits for both purchases and balance transfers. 
  • The card has a below-average annual fee of $39.
  • The low interest rate is fixed and won’t fluctuate regardless of your credit rating, income, or the bank’s prime lending rate.
  • You won’t need to earn a specific income in order to qualify.

The cons:

  • There is no limited-time balance transfer promotion (though, the standard balance transfer rate is competitive at 8.99%).
  • The card’s cash advance rate is at the status quo of 24.99%.

MBNA True Line Mastercard

The pros:

  • The MBNA True Line Mastercard doesn’t charge any annual fees yet still offers a low interest rate of 12.99% on purchases and balance transfers (in comparison, most comparable low APR cards from the big banks charge anywhere from $20-$29 in annual fees).
  • The low interest rate is fixed and won’t change regardless of your credit rating, income, or the bank’s prime lending rate.
  • You won’t need to earn a specific income in order to qualify. 

The cons:

  • There is no limited-time balance transfer offer (though, the standard balance transfer rate is competitive at 8.99%).
  • The card’s cash advance rate is at the status quo of 24.99%.

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard 

The pros:

  • The card has a low standard APR of 12.99% that applies across the board to purchases, balance transfers, and even cash advances.
  • New cardholders will receive a balance transfer of 3.99% for the first nine months (plus, a 1% transfer fee), allowing you to move over the debt you owe on another credit card and pay it off faster at a fraction of the regular interest rate.
  • The card charges a low $20 annual fee, and it’s even waived for the first year.
  • The card issued by one of Canada's big banks, making it ideal for cardholders who want to maintain all their everyday bank accounts (credit card, chequing, and savings accounts) with a single institution.

The cons:

  • The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard carries the same interest rate as the aforementioned MBNA True Line Mastercard, however, the latter doesn't charge any annual fees.

CIBC Select Visa Card

The pros:

  • This card has a low standard APR of 13.99% for purchases and cash advances
  • New cardholders can get a get 0% interest for up to 10 months with a 1% transfer fee and first year annual fee rebate
  • The CIBC Select Visa Card charges a reasonable $29 annual fee, which is rebated for the first year. Plus, your first three additional cards come at no extra cost.
  • When you use a CIBC Global Money Transfer to send money abroad, you'll incur no transaction fees and won't be charged interest (providing you pay your balance by the due date)

The cons:

  • While the card's 13.99% interest rate is still much lower than average, it's still a little higher than other low-interest cards on the market

Summary (+/-)

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