CreditCardsCanada.ca presents

The Best Credit Cards of 2017

Sign-up bonuses and rewards are only good if you get a card that also matches your needs and spending patterns. This list of cards, compiled by our experts, breaks down the best Canadian credit cards.

Best Points Rewards Card

MBNA Rewards Mastercard® credit card

MBNA Rewards MasterCard
Card Details

Main Feature

Get MBNA Rewards for your purchases and redeem them for your passions, including travel, merchandise, or even cash back.

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Rates

APR: 19.99%

Balance Transfer APR: 21.99%

Cash Advance APR: 24.99%

Why we like it

A point rewards credit card is only as good as the redemption options. That’s why we love the MBNA Rewards MasterCard®. Use it for travel rewards, gift cards or even cash back. The merchandise options are also top notch – get an iPhone 6s for 134,000 points! Sure that might take awhile to accrue all those points, but there’s a lot of options on the low end as well. Check out the rewards catalouge at rewardscatalogue.com. Feeling generous? You can even choose to redeem your points for a charitable cause. Get a sweet sign-up bonus (worth %40 in rewards) and no annual fee. Overall, the MBNA Rewards card offers a variety options that are sure to please even the most diehard rewards enthusiast.

Best Airline Rewards Card

Alaska Airlines World Elite® Mastercard® credit card

Alaska Airlines MasterCard
Card Details

Main Feature

Get 25,000 bonus miles†† and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 (USD) ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) ◊◊ after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.

Annual Fee

$75

Interest Rates

APR: 18.99%

Balance Transfer APR: 19.99%

Cash Advance APR: 19.99%

Why we like it

With a juicy sign-up bonus and discount companion fare, the Alaska Airlines MasterCard takes the top spot for best Airline Rewards card. You’ll earn 25,000 bonus miles just for just for using your card on an eligible purchase (after spending $1,000 on the card within 90 days), which is enough points for a round trip flight within the continental US and Canada. Reach over 900 destinations worldwide on Alaska Airlines or 14 other airline partners including Delta, American Airlines, Qantas, Emirates, Air France and British Airways. Miles never expire making it a great choice for the frequent traveler or those looking to sock away miles for a family vacation.

Runner Up: Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Best Premium Cash Back Card

SimplyCashTM Preferred Card from American Express

Simplycash Preferred Card
Card Details

Main Feature

New SimplyCash TM  Preferred Card from American Express Cardmembers can earn 5% cash back on purchases for the first 6 months of Cardmembership (up to $300 cash back)

Annual Fee

$99

Additional Cardholders: $0

Interest Rates

APR: 19.99%

Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months*

Cash Advance APR: 21.99%

Why we like it

Cash back is great. What’s even better? Not having to deal with special categories to earn the full cash back rate. That’s where the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express really shines. You’ll get 2% cash back on all your purchases without having to jump through hoops. Be sure to take advantage of the introductory rate of 5% on purchases for the first 6 months of Cardmembership (up to $300 cash back.) The annual fee is competitive with other premium cash back cards, but make sure the cash back you earn outweighs the costs based on your spending habits. Other factors to consider: American Express offers some of the best customer service in the industry. Plus, it’s easier than ever to manage your account with the Amex App.

Best Cash Back Card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card 

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Card Details

Main Feature

Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to three 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.5% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Rates

APR: 19.95%

Balance Transfer APR: 1.95% for 6 statement periods

Cash Advance APR: 19.95%

Why we like it

If you believe “cash is king”, the best choice is obvious – a cash rewards credit card. Our top pick for best cash back card goes to the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. This unique card allows you to earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choosing, and 0.5% everywhere else. Since everyone has different spending habits, this feature allows you to customize your rewards program and ultimately earn more cash back than competing cards. With no annual fee, this card can add to your bottom line – when paid off every month. If you’re looking for a great cash back rewards card, add the Tangerine Money-Back Card to your wallet.

Runner Up: Scotia Momentum® VISA* Infinite Card

Best Balance Transfer Card

MBNA Platinum Plus® Mastercard® credit card

MBNA Platinum Plus Mastercard
Card Details

Main Feature

0% promotional annual interest rate† (AIR) on balance transfers✪ for the first 12 full months

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Rates

APR: 19.99%

Balance Transfer APR: 0% on balance transfers for the first 12 months

Cash Advance APR: 24.99%

Why we like it

Transferring a balance from a high rate card to a low rate card can save hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in interest payments. And you can’t beat a 0% interest rate. That’s why our top pick for best balance transfer card goes to the MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard. This card works well if you are serious about paying down debt. However, if you are simply looking to make minimum payments on your transferred balance there may be better options. Because the go-to interest rate is not low, you will want to pay down as much as possible within the intro period for the best results.

Best Travel Rewards Card

Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Card Details

Main Feature

Earn 30,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points, worth $300 in travel, with $750 in everyday purchases within three months*. Plus, first year annual fee waiver. For accounts opened July 31, 2017.

Annual Fee

First year free then $99

Additional Cardholders: $29

Interest Rates

APR: 19.99%

Balance Transfer APR: 22.99%

Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Why we like it

This card has it all: bonus points for signing up, increased rewards in select categories, and extraordinary travel benefits. We think this card works best for the frequent traveler or business professional making the most of an expense budget. The complimentary concierge services are a nice benefit at this price point ($99 annual fee). You also get access to Priority Pass Lounges worldwide. While the American Express brand might not have the same merchant acceptance as other issuers, this shouldn’t be a problem for most people. You will need to have good to excellent credit to be approved for this card.

Best Premium Rewards Card

Scotia Momentum® VISA* Infinite Card

Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite Card
Card Details

Main Feature

Annual fee waiver for the first year. For accounts opened by July 31, 2017.

Annual Fee

First year free, then $99

Additional Cardholders: $30

Interest Rates

APR: 19.99%

Balance Transfer APR: 22.99%

Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Why we like it

Visa Infinite cardholders expect – and receive – VIP treatment. With the Scotia Momentum® card you’ll get complimentary 24/7 concierge for any request, big or small. With exclusive entertainment access you can take advantage of advance ticket purchases, and exclusive VIP and backstage access to some of the biggest shows. Through the Visa Infinite Dining Series you have access to exclusive culinary experiences and private wine tastings. For the world traveler, the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection gives you access to over 900 luxury hotels around the world with automatic room upgrades and more. This card isn’t for everyone, but its premium benefits are perfect for the “VIP”.

Runner Up: CIBC Aerogold® Visa Infinite* Card

Best Hotel Rewards Card

The Starwood Preferred Guest®* Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest
Card Details

Main Feature

New Starwood Preferred Guest®* Credit Card from American Express Cardmembers, earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you charge $1,500 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership. Offer ends on October 18th, 2017.

Annual Fee

$120

Additional Cardholders: $50 (waived for the first year)

Interest Rates

APR: 19.99%

Cash Advance APR: 21.99%

Why we like it

The Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program caters primarily to business-people and frequent travelers looking for a high-end travel experience. Once you analyze the benefits, it becomes clear that the Starwood Preferred Guest®* Credit Card from American Express is the perfect companion to the program. In fact, for many consumers this card allows access to the higher Starwood membership levels by reaching annual spending thresholds. The benefits are many, and the annual fee is reasonable considering the sign-up bonus and annual perks. There’s a lot more packed into the card (and the Starwood program) than we can write in this short review. Research the program and we think you’ll see the value in the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card.