20 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit In Canada (2022)

Do you think you can’t get a credit card because of your credit history? Think again. There are many options available, even for those with less than stellar credit history or no history at all.

Having a credit card is almost a necessity these days. Almost 77 million credit cards were in circulation in 2021, which is expected to grow in the next few years.

With that said, my goal is to help you find a credit card that fits your needs.

To find the best credit cards for bad credit in Canada, I’ll go through several categories, including the best low-interest, rewards, credit building, and prepaid cards available. In the end, you should find one that works for you.

Best Overall
Neo Secured Card
Neo Secured Card
  • No annual fee
  • Average of 5% cashback at participating retailers
  • Guaranteed approval without a credit check
  • Low minimum security deposit needed
Best for Rewards
Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard
Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 4% cashback at Canadian Tire and other retailers. 
  • Get money off gas fill-ups at 
  • Get cashback when buying groceries
Best for Low-Interest
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
  • $20 annual fee waived the first year.
  • 12.99% regular interest rate

Credit Card Types – Secured Vs Unsecured

There are many types of credit cards – low interest, prepaid, reward earners, etc., but most fall within two categories – secured or unsecured.

Those with good credit won’t have a hard time obtaining a traditional credit card with a decent credit limit.

However, those struggling with fair or poor credit (usually a score below 660) will find it difficult to get approval.

Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are backed by a security deposit provided to the card issuer. If you fail to make any payments, they will use that security deposit to cover your outstanding debt. These cards are easier to obtain because they are less risky for the issuer.

The security deposit amount depends on the credit limit amount, which is typically lower than unsecured credit cards.

Unsecured Credit Cards

Most of the “traditional” credit cards you’re used to are unsecured credit cards. With these types, there is no backing collateral, so the issuer relies on your credit score for approval. Because it’s riskier for the lender, it’s harder to gain approval.

Cards that offer cashback rewards or other benefits like travel insurance all fall under the unsecured credit card category.

In addition, you can choose low-interest rate cards that can be either secured or unsecured.

Best Secured Credit Cards

1. Neo Card

Neo Cashback Credit Card Logo

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Guaranteed approval without a credit check or minimum income requirement
  • $50 minimum security deposit.
  • Earn an average of 5% cashback at participating retailers

The Neo CardTM is at the top of my list because it’s easy to obtain, even if you have less than stellar credit. In addition, unlike other secured cards, Neo offers cashback rewards on most purchases – up to 5% in some cases.

There is no credit check or minimum income requirement.

In addition, your credit limit depends on you. While there is a $50 minimum security deposit to start, you can increase that deposit amount at any time.

Whatever you deposit becomes your credit limit. That way, you’re in control over your finances and the amount you can spend.

Once you close your account and pay off your balance in full, your security deposit will be returned.

2. Capital One Guaranteed Secured

Capital One logo

Standout features:

  • Minimum $75 security deposit
  • A slew of insurance benefits and additional perks
  • No minimum income eligibility requirement

To obtain a Capital One Guaranteed Secured Card, you need to be the age of majority in your province, provide the minimum security funds, not have an existing Capital One account or applied for one in the past 30 days.

The benefit of this card is its Price Protection Service, Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty coverage.

In addition, you can benefit from traveller insurance, rental car collision and damage, and even emergency cash advances and zero liability protection.

The card does come with a $59 annual fee and a 19.8% interest rate.

Want to learn more? Check out Capital One’s website.

3. Home Trust Secured Visa

Home Trust Logo

Standout features:

  • Choose between no annual fee and 19.99% interest rate or a $59 annual fee and 14.90% interest rate.
  • A minimum security deposit of $500 is required.
  • Monthly reports to both credit bureaus so you can grow your credit score

Being approved for a Home Trust Secured Visa isn’t very difficult. You need to have a source of income, not be involved in a bankruptcy, and be the age of majority in your province.

Aside from that, once you’re approved, you can pick your interest rate and annual fee, along with how much of a security deposit you’re willing to put down.

Because it’s a Visa card, you’re offered Visa’s Zero Liability protection, ensuring you won’t pay anything if someone makes fraudulent charges on your account.

To apply, go here.

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Best Unsecured Credit Cards

4. MC1 Mastercard

National Bank of Canada Stock

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 minimum income eligibility
  • Great perks for those that are frequent travellers

If you travel often and need a card with no annual fees or minimum income requirements, the MC1 Mastercard could fit the bill. Cardholders can enjoy perks like Mastercard Priceless Cities, where you can enjoy room upgrades, exclusive dining options, and tours from all over the world.

In addition, you’ll gain comprehensive travel insurance, a $150 annual travel expense refund, and access to the National VIP Lounge at Trudeau Airport every time you fly internationally.

Check out more details here.

5. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Tangerine logo

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Cashback rewards on everyday purchases
  • Minimum income requirement of $12,000

As with most Tangerine products, there is no annual fee for the Money Back Credit Card. In addition, cardholders can get 2% cashback on all different purchases – from groceries and gas to restaurants and recurring bill payments.

There’s a low minimum income required and a standard interest rate of 19.95%.

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Best Rewards Earning Credit Cards

6. Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard

Canadian Tire Logo

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • 19.99% interest rate
  • Loads of perks, including cashback at Canadian Tire and other participating stores, savings on gas and groceries.

The Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard is a solid choice if you’re looking for rewards. You can earn 4% back in CT Money when you shop at Canadian Tire or other participating stores. You can redeem CT Money dollar for dollar in stores or online.

In addition, you can get $.05 off per litre at Gas and Essence locations. Need groceries? Use your card for 1.5% back at select grocery stores.

Apply here.

7. Plastk Secured Credit Card

Plastk logo

Standout features:

  • One of the first secured cards to offer rewards and cashback.
  • No credit score or minimum eligibility requirement
  • Need a minimum security deposit of $300

While Plastk is technically a secured credit card, it has the benefits of unsecured cards. It’s one of the first on the market to offer cardholders reward points while improving their credit scores.

With Plastk, you can earn points on all your purchases and redeem them to pay your bill, buy merchandise, or get a gift card.

The card comes with a slightly lower than average interest rate of 17.99%. There is a hefty fee though – $48 annually plus a monthly $6 maintenance fee totalling $120.

8. BMO Air Miles Mastercard

BMO

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Airline mile rewards when you get groceries or shop at participating airline partners.
  • You can secure a .99% introductory rate for the first nine months if you do a balance transfer.

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard is a good choice for those that travel frequently and have pretty decent credit.

With this card, you could earn two times the miles at certain grocery stores and three miles for every $25 spent at participating retailers.

You’ll need an income of $15,000 to qualify, and the purchase interest rate is 20.99%

Apply here.

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Best Low-Interest Credit Cards

9. BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

BMO

Standout features:

  • Low interest rate – 12.99% for purchases and 15.99% for cash advances
  • $20 annual fee
  • A fair credit score needed

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard makes the list because of its low-interest rate. In addition, new applicants can get an even lower introductory rate on balance transfers for the first nine months.

Cardholders with fair credit can still qualify for these great rates.

If you’re interested, apply here.

10. RBC Visa Classic Low Rate

rbc logo

Standout features:

  • Low 12.99% interest rate on purchases and cash advances
  • $20 annual fee
  • Fuel discounts and extra points earned at Petro-Canada stations
  • $15,000 required minimum income

The RBC Visa Classic has one of the lowest interest rates for both purchases and cash advances at 12.99%. In addition, you just need a fair credit score and a minimum income of $15,000 to score a card.

Besides the low rate, this card offers discounts per litre on fuel and extra Petro-Points at Petro-Canada locations.

To apply, go here.

11. Scotiabank Value Visa

Scotiabank logo

Standout features:

  • Low-interest rate of 12.99% for purchases and cash advances
  • Can get a 0% interest rate for six months with a balance transfer
  • There is a $29 annual fee that’s waived the first year.

If you’re looking to save money, a low-interest credit card is what you need. Luckily, the Scotiabank Value Visa comes in with a 12.99% rate. You could get a zero percent rate for the first six months if you do a balance transfer.

To qualify, you’ll need at least $12,000 in income. In addition to saving because of the low interest, you can also work on rebuilding your credit since Scotiabank sends regular reports to both Canadian credit bureaus.

If you’re interested, apply here.

12. Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed

Capital One logo

Standout features:

  • 14.99% interest rate
  • Usually guaranteed acceptance as long as you’re the age of majority in your province, haven’t applied for a Capital One card within the past 30 days, and don’t have an existing account.

It’s pretty easy to get accepted for a Capital One Low Rate card, one of its main perks. In addition, a 14.99% interest rate is one of the lower ones around.

The card does come with a hefty $79 annual fee and no reward offers.

However, the low interest and easy approval might be best for those struggling with bad credit. Interested? Apply here.

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Best Cards to Build Credit

13. Refresh Financial

Refresh Logo

Standout features:

  • Easy card to obtain, even if you have poor credit
  • 17.99% interest rate
  • A minimum security deposit of $200

This card ranks on my list because even if you have poor credit, you can still get approved. It’s a great way to rebuild your credit because Refresh sends monthly reports to both credit card bureaus.

To continue building your credit, Refresh recommends keeping your balance below 30% of your credit limit. You can enroll in their Credit Building Program where they will arrange an affordable payment schedule for you.

If you struggle with bad credit and are looking for ways to improve it, sign up here.

14. President’s Choice Financial Mastercard

PC Financial Logo

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Easy approval, even if you have poor credit
  • Can earn PC Points through everyday purchases and at the pump

This is a solid card to get if you’re looking to build your credit because it isn’t too hard to get approved. Many cardholders with credit scores in the 560s and above can obtain one.

The interest rate is average at 20.97%, but it’s the PC Points that make this a real score.

You can earn points when you fill up at Esso and Mobil gas stations. In addition, buying groceries, paying bills, or eating in restaurants will add to your PC Point value.

The downside to this card is the minimum income requirement of $60,000.

To apply, go here.

Best Prepaid Cards

15. KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Since it’s a prepaid card, there is no hard credit check, and it’s easy to gain approval.
  • .5% cashback on every purchase

The KOHO Prepaid card is a great option for those with bad credit. To start, you can enroll in their Credit Building program, where you pay $7 per month. As you continue to make on-time payments, you’ll see your credit score go higher and higher.

In addition, because you decide how much you add to the prepaid card, you can control your spending. When you add direct deposit to your KOHO account, you can receive regular interest payments to your account.

16. Stack Mastercard

Stack Logo

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Earn cashback rewards at over 140 retailers
  • No minimum income requirements

Similar to the KOHO Prepaid card, Stack Mastercard only lets you spend the amount you load onto the card, helping to keep your costs down.

In addition, there are no annual fees or minimum income requirements. You can monitor your budget and keep track of your spending through the app.

If you’re interested in learning more, go here.

17. Wealthsimple Cash Card

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Earn 1% cashback on all purchases

Because the Wealthsimple Cash Card is a prepaid card, you don’t have to worry about getting turned down because of a less than stellar credit score.

With the card, you can use it at any location Visa is accepted. Plus, you can withdraw your money from ATMs. Another bonus is that you’ll get a virtual version of the Wealthsimple card, meaning you won’t have to carry around the physical one.

Ready to apply? Start here.

18. Mogo Visa Platinum Prepaid

Mogo Logo (NEW)

Standout features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • An environmentally conscious card lets you make a positive impact.
  • Free credit score monitoring

While the Mogo Visa card doesn’t offer cashback rewards, it does offer ways to better the planet. To reduce your carbon footprint, with every purchase made, Mogo will plant a tree.

They estimate that if 25% of Canadians used the Mogo card, Canada would be net zero and climate positive meaning even more CO2  would be erased than emitted.

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Honourable Mentions

19. RBC Rate Advantage Visa

RBC logo

RBC Rate Advantage Visa makes the list because it has no annual fee and some perks. You can get $.03 off per litre of fuel and earn 20% more Petro Points at Petro Canada locations.

Your credit score will determine your interest rate. While that might seem daunting, it’s not a bad idea for individuals with poor credit. They aren’t guaranteed approval, but they could end up with a credit card.

20. TD Emerald Visa

TD Logo

The TD Emerald is a great card for students because TD doesn’t require a credit history. In addition, the interest rate could be as low as prime plus 1.5%.

There is a $25 annual fee, and the card only offers limited perks. You can get preferred rental car rates and emergency cash advances.

Conclusion

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit In Canada

Finding a credit card is hard enough with all the options out there, but adding a subpar credit history to it and getting approved might seem impossible. Hopefully, this list will help you if you’re struggling with bad credit or are looking at ways to improve.

If you want to avoid interest charges altogether and keep better control of your finances, check out these best-prepaid cards in Canada.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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