The wide variety of credit cards available in Canada is impressive! So it is normal to be unsure of which card best suits our daily needs while respecting our financial situation. Among the big names that everyone knows, Mastercard credit cards are particularly popular. According to what we can glean from their website, Mastercard aims to “connect and power an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible.”
According to the Canadian Bankers Association, 95% of the Canadian population have credit cards! Of course, we are referring only to the proportion of the population that has reached the age of majority where they live. With this knowledge, it is easy to imagine that choosing a credit card can be taken lightly. However, with so many credit card options available to consumers, it is important to stay informed. Many people decide to go with Mastercard’s options, so to help you make your decision and choose the cards that best suit your needs, our team has put together a list of the top 10 Mastercard credit cards in Canada in 2022.
Your credit score and credit cards
Before you start looking at your options, it’s important to understand one of the great basics of credit in Canada: the credit score! A credit report is an analytical tool that provides a partial picture of a person’s financial situation. A credit score represents the status of the account while the credit score is an overall rating of the quality of the credit report. A credit report follows us throughout our lives and allows us to qualify for certain financial products, such as bank loans, and even insurance. If you are a newcomer to Canada, Hardbacon has a complete guide to explain how to set up your financial life here.
Finally, even though we’ve listed the top 10 cards, it’s possible that the perfect cashback reward card for you isn’t listed here. To make sure you have all the options available to you, our team invites you to use our credit card comparison tool. It’s a completely free and customizable tool that allows you to identify the cards that best suit your buying habits. Moreover, since many cards allow you to earn rewards, it will be possible to measure the approximate rebates you could receive by using your new card on a daily basis. Enjoy!
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard
Annual fee: $120
Reward rate: 1.2%*.
Welcome Bonus: 2,000 Air Miles and first year’s annual fee waived
The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard is one of the best known Mastercard credit cards in the world and one of the best known cards among Air Miles rewards program enthusiasts. The card has an annual fee of $120. However, this fee is waived in the first year after enrollment. This offer expires on December 6, 2022, so you still have plenty of time to think about it before making your choice! The interest rate on purchases is 20.99%. For cash advances, the interest rate is 21.99% for Quebec residents and 22.99% for other Canadians.
With this credit card, cardholders earn three miles for every $12 in purchases made at participating Air Miles partners. For all other purchases charged to the card, one mile is earned for every $12 spent. Currently, until December 6, 2022, there is a welcome offer to earn up to 2,000 Air Miles!
To qualify, new cardholders must make a minimum of $3,000 in net purchases with their card within the first three months of enrollment. The bonus will then be awarded according to the Air Miles level that was chosen when the account was opened. With the Air Miles program, you can choose to earn Silver Miles or Dream Miles.
In addition, travellers will be especially pleased with this credit card, which offers 15% off all Air Miles flights in North America. It also entitles the cardholder to a free membership to the Airport Experiences programs provided by Loungekey. This program provides access to over 1,000 exclusive lounges in 400 airports worldwide. Card members are also entitled to one of the best travel insurance packages, including 15-day coverage for out-of-province emergency medical expenses up to $2 million. If that is not enough, you can always get more travel insurance; just shop for the policies using the Hardbacon travel insurance comparison tool.
Finally, to be eligible for this card, the primary cardholder must have a minimum salary of $80,000 per year or $150,000 per household.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
Annual fee: None
Discount rate: Approximately 2% *
Welcome Bonus: 5% rebate rate for the first three months
Annual fee: None
Discount rate: Approximately 2% *
Welcome Bonus: 5% rebate rate for the first three months
One of Mastercard’s best-value cards is the BMO CashBack Mastercard. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular cards among Canadians. It has no annual fee and it earns a fair amount of cash back. In addition, the interest rates offered are very standard. The interest rate on purchases is 19.99%. For cash advances, the interest rate is 21.99% for Quebec residents and 22.99% for all other Canadians. There is no minimum salary required to qualify for this card, you simply have to be of age of majority in your province.
The rewards program offers discounts of up to 3%. This rebate rate applies to all grocery expenses. For recurring bill payments that are pre-authorized on the card, the rebate rate is 1%. Finally, for all other purchases charged to the card, the rebate rate is 0.5%. To find out how much you could receive in rebates, you can always use the Hardbacon credit card comparison tool. You will be able to get an accurate estimate based on your family expenses.
BMO has a welcome offer of 5% cash back for the first three months after you join. The 5% earn rate applies to eligible purchases up to $2,500. That’s up to $500 of eligible grocery purchases, up to $500 of eligible recurring bill payments, and up to $1,500 of any other eligible purchases. This offer expires on December 6, 2022.
Rebates are earned monthly in the form of points, redeemable for cash back, as soon as one dollar is earned. At the end of the billing period, the member is able to see how many points they have accumulated and the value of that reward. Points never expire and remain redeemable as long as the credit card is in good standing. Once redeemed, the rebate can be transferred to a savings account or applied directly to the credit card balance.
Among other benefits, BMO offers collision damage waiver for rental vehicles, emergency return to Canada insurance and eight-day coverage for out-of-country medical expenses up to $2 million. There is also a concierge service to facilitate reservations for the theatre, restaurants, etc. Finally, there are several exclusive offers available to members, including travel discounts.
BMO World Elite CashBack Mastercard
Annual fee: $120
3.25%* rebate rate
Welcome Bonus: 10% discount for the first three months and no annual fee for the first year
Let’s continue the list with another BMO credit card that’s particularly popular. The BMO World Elite CashBack Mastercard is a popular choice for money savers! It requires a fee of $120 per year. However, if the cardholder has a BMO checking account and their plan is the Performance Plan, the annual fee can be reduced to $80. There is a $50 annual fee for each additional card. The interest rate on purchases is 20.99% and 22.99% on cash advances. For Quebec residents, the interest rate for cash advances is 21.99%.
The BMO World Elite Cashback Mastercard is kind of like the big sister of the BMO CashBack Mastercard. As you can imagine, the rewards program is very generous. Cardholders get 5% back on groceries, 4% back on transportation, 3% back on gas, 2% back on recurring bills pre-authorized on the account and 1% back on all other purchases. If you do the math based on your family’s expenses, you’ll notice that you could get some pretty significant discounts. In addition, there is currently a popular welcome offer that provides 10% back on all purchases made during the first three months of ownership, up to a maximum of $2,600.
This limit is broken down as follows: up to $500 in eligible grocery purchases, up to $300 in eligible transit-related purchases, up to $300 in eligible gas and electric vehicle charging purchases, up to $500 in eligible recurring bill payments, and up to $1,000 in any other eligible purchases. Not to mention, there is no annual fee for the first year! This offer expires on December 6, 2022.
As an added benefit, cardmembers enjoy “BMO World Elite Cash Back Travel Insurance”. This includes coverage for vehicle rentals while travelling, as well as insurance for damage, theft, accident, dismemberment and even death. In addition, if an emergency requires you to return home, there is coverage for unexpected return expenses. This goes up to $2000 per person. In addition, there is coverage for all flight delays over six hours. There is also $750 per person in delayed and lost baggage coverage. Finally, Cardmembers under the age of 65 are entitled to coverage for all out-of-province and out-of-country hospital medical expenses. However, this only applies to trips of less than eight days. If you want more travel insurance, you can find some compelling offeres with the Hardbacon travel insurance comparison tool.
For purchase protection, there is a purchase insurance and an extended warranty. This card has the advantage of covering damage and loss of purchases for 180 days. The warranty on retail products is extended to a maximum of two years.
Cardholders also automatically become members of the Dominion Automobile Association (DAA). As with many BMO credit cards, cardholders receive attractive discounts for many events, including Cirque du Soleil shows!
The minimum annual income for the BMO World Elite Discount Mastercard is $100,000 per person, or $150,000 per household. So this is a card that is not available to everyone.
HSBC World Elite Mastercard
Let’s continue with the only HSBC card we’re featuring in this list, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. It’s particularly interesting, especially for those who love to travel! The annual fee is $149 for the main card and $50 for additional cards. The interest rate is 19.90% on purchases and 22.90% on cash advances and balance transfers.
This card earns six points for every dollar spent on travel purchases. This includes flights, car rentals, hotel nights, cruises, vacation packages, train travel, and even timeshares. For all other purchases charged to the card, you receive three points for every dollar spent.
Furthermore, when you have enough points, they can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, financial rewards and mileage programs. You can find all the products available on this website. The value of the points depends on what the holder decides to do with them. Indeed, he will not benefit from the same value if, for example, he decides to buy a plane flight or to rent an apartment.
There is a welcome offer that is valid until February 28, 2023. First, the annual fee is waived in the first year of membership. Second, cardholders can earn up to 80,000 points (worth $400 in travel rewards). The details of the offer are as follows: a welcome bonus of 20,000 points, an additional bonus of 40,000 points if card purchases within the first 180 days total at least $6,000, and an additional 20,000 points as an anniversary bonus.
In addition, membership in LoungeKey’s Airport Experiences Mastercard Program is free for HSBC World Elite Mastercard holders. This provides access to 850 airport lounges for a cost of US$32 per person. Also, on Expedia and Agoda’s website, you will find a 10% discount on hotel reservations that is offered to those who hold this card. Finally, you should know that there are no foreign currency conversion fees.
The card also offers several protections, including coverage in case of medical emergency outside the country, insurance for lost or delayed luggage, insurance against trip cancellation due to illness or injury, and protection when renting a vehicle while travelling. Finally, you benefit from a purchase and extended warranty insurance that allows you to be protected against any theft or damage of your purchases during the first 90 days. The manufacturer’s warranty is doubled for a maximum of one year.
To be eligible for the card, you must have a personal annual income of $80,000, an annual household income of $150,000, or a minimum of $400,000 in assets under management.
MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard
Annual fee: $120
Reward rate: 2% *
Welcome Bonus: Up to 20,000 reward points
The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard is not well known to the general public. But it has great benefits that many people will love! It has an annual fee of $120 for the primary card and $50 for additional cards. The interest rate is 20.99% for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers!
The rewards program allows you to earn points based on daily purchases made on the card. Points are then redeemable for brand name merchandise, gift cards at participating retailers, cash back, charitable donations and travel. As long as the account is active, the points never expire. Plus, it’s one of the last credit cards in Canada to offer two points per dollar for every dollar spent anywhere – even Costco!
Even better, cardholders earn five points for every dollar spent at restaurants, grocery stores, digital media, subscriptions and household utilities. This is applicable up to $50,000 in annual spending. For other categories of purchases, people benefit from one point per dollar spent.
In addition, there is a great welcome offer right now! You can earn 15,000 MBNA Rewards points when you make your first eligible purchase with your card. This must be done within the first 90 days of account opening. There is also the opportunity to earn 5,000 bonus points when the new cardholder enrolls in eStatements within the first 90 days of account opening.
As part of the rewards program benefits, on their birthday, cardholders receive a point bonus of 10% of the total number of points that have accumulated in the account during the 12 months prior to the primary cardholder’s birthday month, up to a maximum of 15,000 points. There are also several insurances that are included with the card.
Finally, to qualify, you must have an annual personal income of more than $80,000, or an annual household income of $150,000 or more.
The Brim Mastercard
Annual fee: None
Reward rate: One Brim Reward Point per dollar of purchase
Welcome Bonus: $200 in Brim points
One of Canada’s best Mastercard credit cards is the Brim card! This little known card is ideal for people who want an affordable and convenient card! It has no annual fee and earns Brim points based on daily spending. Interest rates for purchases and balance transfers are 19.99%. For cash advances, the interest rate is 21.50%.
The Brim Rewards program does not work with purchase categories: instead, it offers an interactive online marketplace where users can take advantage of exclusive offers from partners. They have the ability to multiply their points based on their shopping habits. The partners are numerous, including Hellofresh, Dropbox, Kobo, Microsoft and Lululemon. We could have guessed it from the look of the card, but it goes without saying that the card is particularly aimed at young people! In fact, there is no minimum income requirement, just the age of majority in your province of residence.
The first time a cardholder uses Brim’s service, they get 200 points as a welcome gift. There is no known end date for this bonus. What’s not to like?
In addition to waiving currency conversion fees, the Brim Mastercard also offers travellers free access to 1 million Wi-Fi points with Boingo. It also comes with an online app to manage expenses. There are plenty of benefits: insurance for mobile devices, reimbursement of show tickets in case of emergencies, insurance for accidents that may occur while travelling on public transportation, and great payment flexibility for daily expenses.
Rogers Platinum Mastercard
Annual fee: None
Rebate rate: 1%*.
Welcome Bonus: $25 cash back
Another card that’s not widely known, but is popular with frequent travellers is the Rogers Platinum Mastercard credit card. What’s the big advantage? It offers a 3% rewards rate on purchases made in a foreign currency!
So even though travellers pay the foreign transaction fee, they receive a rebate that is usually greater than the foreign transaction fee. So, it’s almost as if there are no foreign currency fees! In addition, there is no annual fee and no minimum income requirement. Interest is 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.
As mentioned earlier, there is a reward program that earns cash back on everyday purchases. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn! There’s 1% cash back on all eligible regular card purchases and 3% cash back on all eligible U.S. dollar purchases. There is also a $25 cash back welcome bonus on your first purchase within three months of joining.
If you don’t travel regularly, this may not be the ideal card for you. However, there are other benefits that may charm you. First, there is a fraud detection system that quickly identifies potentially problematic transactions. Second, in the same vein, there is zero liability insurance. This means that the cardholder is not held responsible in the event of a fraudulent transaction. Finally, there is Balance Protection insurance. This protects the primary cardholder and his or her family from any financial consequences related to unforeseen events.
The Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard
Annual fee: None
Discount rate: 0.5%*
Let’s finish up with the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard, which is unique! Unlike other rewards programs, it allows you to choose from a list of purchase categories that earn enhanced cash back. A 2% rebate is offered in two categories of your choice from the following list: groceries, entertainment and transportation, furniture, restaurants, hotels and motels, gas, recurring bill, pharmacy and parking. This card offers the option of a third category at 2% if cash back is deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account. All other purchases have a 0.5% cash back rate.
Money-Back is automatically paid monthly instead of annually as with some credit cards. They can be deposited on your credit card statement or directly into the Tangerine Savings Account. Cardholders are entitled to an unlimited amount of cash back.
The card comes with purchase insurance, which covers damage and loss of products purchased for the first 90 days of ownership. The extended warranty doubles the retailer’s warranty for up to one additional year.
The card has no annual fee. The interest rate on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances is 19.95%. To qualify, annual income must be at least $12,000.