Qualifying for a new credit card can be tough. What are the easiest credit cards to get in Canada? Whether you have insufficient credit history or a poor credit score, it can be difficult to determine exactly which cards you will be approved for. Plus, credit inquiries can negatively impact your credit score. Apply for too many cards and your score will dip, making it even harder to successfully open a new credit card.
Fortunately, certain cards are much easier to get than others. Some cards have very simple requirements. Others, such as prepaid and secured credit cards, essentially allow you to fund the limit upfront. This makes it significantly easier for your application to be approved. Some cards may even offer instant approval.
Avoid rejection and protect your credit score with one of the easiest credit cards to get in Canada. As always, we highly encourage you to compare credit cards and and explore the best credit cards in Canada to see which one best fits your own spending habits.
Before you apply for any credit card
To avoid making too many credit card applications, take precautions. For instance, you should start by checking your free credit score. Once you know your score, you’ll know if you can apply for traditional or even premium credit cards, or stick with the easiest credit cards to get in Canada. You should also carefully check the eligibility criteria, such as the minimum income requirements. You must always be the age of majority in your province or territory of residence and be a Canadian resident.
How to improve your credit before applying for a traditional credit card
Getting a traditional credit card requires a good credit score of 660 or higher. If your score is not as good as you wish, work to raise your credit score. Increasing your score is a gradual process. Making regular, on-time payments and keeping your credit card balances low is something you can start doing right away. To improve your score, you can also use secured credit cards (responsibly) or credit building features, which are discussed below. You must always be careful not to open too many accounts.
The easiest prepaid credit cards to get in Canad
If you can afford to fund your credit card upfront, prepaid cards are a great choice. They are among the easiest credit cards to get in Canada. They function similarly to a debit card: you load the money in advance and then spend it as you see fit. However, many prepaid credit cards come with better perks than debit cards, such as cash back rewards.
It is important to note that prepaid cards do not have any impact on your credit score. Some issuers, such as KOHO, may offer an optional credit-builder service for an additional fee, but you will have to manually request this if you would like to increase your credit score while using a prepaid card.
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
KOHO’s Prepaid Mastercard is an extremely flexible prepaid card with guaranteed approval. The free Easy Plan offers a 1% cash back rate on certain purchases (groceries and transportation) and 0.5% interest on your account balance. There are also three paid plans, Essential, Extra and Everything, which provide higher cash back and interest rates.
Although prepaid credit cards cannot improve your credit score, KOHO has a workaround: the Credit Builder lines of credit. These are guaranteed approval products that cost $10/month on the Easy Plan, $7/month on the Essential and Extra plans, or $5/month on the Everything plan.
Credit Builder payments are reported to credit bureaus, thus positively impacting your score. However, if you qualify for a traditional or secured credit card, Credit Builder may be a comparatively expensive way to increase your credit score in the long run.
|Other||Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen and have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence.|
EQ Bank Card
If you need an incentive to save money, the EQ Bank Card is worth looking into. The card offers 0.5% cash back on purchases and an impressive 2.5% interest rate on any pre-loaded but unused funds. The difference in rates may be enough of a perk to make you think twice before tapping your card.
However, you can still find higher interest rates in some high-interest savings accounts. Moreover, there are limites to the EQ Bank card, such as the $500 ATM withdrawal limit per day.
In addition to their impressive interest rates, the EQ Bank has another major draw: it does not charge foreign currency conversion fees. If you are in search of a prepaid credit card to take abroad, this feature could save a lot of money. Since there are also no inactivity fees, you can enjoy the savings whether you are an occasional traveller or a frequent jet setter.
|Credit score (estimated)||Fair (around 600) – Soft credit check required to open an EQ account|
|Other||Be a client of EQ Bank. Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen and provide a social insurance number. Card not available in Quebec (only elsewhere in Canada).|
The easiest traditional credit cards to get in Canada
Generally speaking, most traditional credit cards require a credit score of approximately 660. If you do not meet this requirement, you may wish to increase your score via a secured credit card, and then apply for a traditional card later after your credit score has improved. Still, depending on your circumstances, some traditional cards may be easier to get approved for than others. We consider them in our list of the easiest credit cards to get in Canada.
BMO CashBack® Mastercard®
With a 3% cash back rate on groceries, 1% cash back on recurring payments, and 0.5% cash back on everything else, the BMO CashBack® Mastercard® is a respectable entry-level cash back card. It is generally open to applicants with credit scores in or above the ‘fair’ range. If you fall into this range, are not a student, and would prefer a traditional credit card, this is one of the easiest card to get approved for. There are no annual fees.
|Credit score (estimated)||Fair (around 600) or higher|
|Minimum income (estimated)||$15,000|
|Other||Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen and have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence. Also, you must not have declared bankruptcy in the past seven years. Provide your name, date of birth, contact info, SIN, address, employment status, income source(s), and rent or mortgage amount.|
CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Students
Student credit cards typically have simpler requirements than cards not targeted toward students. This makes them ideal for students to build credit.
Unfortunately, student credit cards generally do not offer impressive rewards. However, the no-fee CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Students has one major advantage over its competitors: it comes with free Student Price Card+ (SPC+) membership. It also helps you collect rewards. You get 1 point for every $1 spent at eligible gas stations, electric vehicle charging stations, grocery stores and drug stores, for example.
SPC+ membership allows students to enjoy significant discounts at a wide variety of major retailers. As always, we highly recommend comparing the list of retailers that offer SPC+ discounts against your own shopping patterns to better understand how much money you might save long-term.
|Credit score (estimated)||Poor (300) or higher|
|Other||Be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen and have reached the age of majority in your province or territory of residence. Have a $1,000 minimum credit limit.|
Neo Credit[Offer productType=“CreditCard” api_id=“60fed96813fd2f260ff90748″]
Neo offers a variety of credit products, including a traditional credit card named Neo Credit. With this card, you can earn an average of 5% cashback at thousand of partners across the country, such as Avis and Clearly. Simply log in to the Neo app and see which partners are available near you. If you have a Neo Money account, you can deposit your cash back in this account where it will generate interests at a 2.25% rate.
The Neo Credit is free, but you can subscribe to get more perks. Whether you’re into travel, food, or staying fit, you can add perks to your Neo Credit card to get more from all the things you love. For example, the “Mind and body” perk at $9.99/month, you could get 1.25 times more cashback at gyms, fitness classes, yoga studios, recreational centres, vitamin & supplement suppliers, and wellness practitioners, access to Headspace Plus with hundreds of meditation and mindfulness exercises, and more.
|Credit score (estimated)||Fair (600) or higher|
|Other||You need to live in Canada, have a Canadian photo ID, and be the age of majority in your province or territory to apply for the Neo Credit card.|
The easiest secured credit cards to get in Canada
In some ways, the process of setting up a secured credit card is incredibly similar to that of a prepaid card. In both cases, you open up the account without a hard credit check (which lowers your credit score) and must pre-pay a certain amount of money called a security deposit.
However, once you start using it, a secured credit card acts just like a traditional credit card. Most notably, you will receive a monthly statement that details your transaction history, balance owing, the minimum payment required, and the payment due date.
If you do not pay off the balance in full, you will be charged interest. Repayment history will be reported to credit bureaus. They may be among the easiest credit cards to get in Canada, but responsible usage can improve your score while poor decisions can cause your score to drop.
NEO Secured Credit Card
The Neo Secured Credit Card is an extremely budget-friendly option. The minimum security deposit during setup is only $50, making it affordable to join and start rebuilding your credit.
Neo also offers cash back on purchases. The company partners with various retailers to offer different cash back rates. For instance, at the time of writing this, their rewards portal advertised a cash back up to 6% at restaurants and up to 15% with selected partners.
If your cash back balance does not equal at least 0.5% of your total purchase value at the end of the month,
|Credit score (estimated)||None|
|Other||You need to live in Canada, have a Canadian photo ID, and be the age of majority in your province or territory.|
Home Trust Secured Credit Card
- Annual fee: $0 – $59
- Interest rate: 14.90% – 19.99%
The Home Trust Secured Credit Card gives you the choice between no annual fee and a small fee in exchange for a lower interest rate. The regular interest rate is 19.99%, which is only charged when you carry a balance, but if you prefer to have a 14.90% interest rate, you can choose to pay an annual fee of $59. Your card is easy to use and accepted worldwide (where Visa is accepted). You can pay using your mobile device by adding your Home Trust Visa to Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay Digital Wallet.
This card can help you build your credit history or improve your rating, while still controlling your spending limit with the amount of your deposit. The Home Trust Secured Visa card is designed for people with untraditional credit histories such as self-employed individuals, students, newcomers to Canada and anyone with past credit issues. As long as you keep up to date with your payments, your credit rating will continue to improve. Unfortunately, this card is not available in Quebec.
|Credit score (estimated)||300-560|
|Minimum income||Must have a source of income|
|Other||To qualify, applicants cannot currently be in bankruptcy and are subject to validation of ID. Applicants must be at least the age of majority in the province/territory where they reside. The card is available to Canadian residents except in Quebec.|
Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard
- Annual fee: $59
- Interest rate: 21.90%
Your approval is practically guaranteed if you can provide the necessary security funds ($75 or $300). With the Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard, your credit card activity will be reported to the credit reporting agencies on a monthly basis. You also have purchase insurance on most personal items against theft, loss or damage anywhere in the world for 120 days, extended warranty and price protection service. You get a car rental collision/loss damage waiver as well as insurance coverage for baggage delay and common carrier travel accidents.
|Other||You have to be the age of majority in your province or territory of residence. You cannot have an existing Capital One account, a pending application (or made more than one application in the last 30 days), or had an account that was not in good standing in the last year.|
FAQs about the easiest credit cards to get in Canada
Do you have any concerns about obtaining a credit card in Canada? Check out our list of frequently asked questions for more information.
There is no single Canadian credit card that is the easiest to be approved for. However, if you are struggling to qualify for a credit card, you have a few options. Prepaid and secured credit cards are relatively easy to obtain and do not require high credit scores. However, prepaid credit cards will not help build your credit rating and secured credit cards will be subject to interest rates and require a security deposit. Examples of prepaid credit cards include the KOHO Prepaid Mastercard and the EQ Bank Card. Examples of secured credit cards include the NEO Secured Credit Card and the Home Trust Secured Credit Card. Some traditional credit cards are also relatively easy to obtain. If you are currently in school, you may want to look into student credit cards, such as the CIBC Aventura Visa Card for students. Otherwise, you can consider applying for a credit card that accepts applicants with fair scores.
You do not need to reach a certain credit score in order to qualify for a Canadian credit card. However, some lenders may set more strict requirements than others. Generally speaking, a credit score of 600 will allow you to qualify for traditional credit cards specifically designed for low-credit individuals. A score of 660 will allow you to qualify for most standard credit cards. Prepaid and secured credit cards do not have a minimum credit score.
If you have poor credit, you may find it easiest to get approved for a prepaid or secured credit card. Generally speaking, you will have to fund these cards in advance. Be aware that secured credit cards can impact your credit score, while prepaid credit cards do not count toward your credit profile.
The Neo Financial Hudson’s Bay Mastercard is one of the easiest store credit cards to get approved for in Canada. It is a traditional credit card (not a secured card), but does not have a minimum income requirement and accepts applicants with relatively low credit scores.
The BMO CashBack Mastercard is one of the easiest unsecured credit cards to get approved for — even with only a fair credit score. The card does not have a minimum income requirement. Likewise, there is no monthly fee.
Find the best credit card for your needs
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