8 Easiest Credit Cards To Get In Canada (2022)

Credit card application and approval processes are known to be long and tedious.

Even after answering dozens of questions about your occupation, employment status, annual income, monthly expenditure, and more, it is common to wait several weeks before hearing back about your application being approved. 

In today’s post, I will list the credit cards that don’t require all the waiting.

With quick and simple decision processes and little to no income requirements, I’m sure that you will find something on this list that will provide you with a card quickly.

In the end, make sure you also check out the section on secured credit cards and what to do if your credit score is too low.

Let’s get started. Here are the easiest credit cards to get in Canada!

Best Overall
Neo Mastercard
Neo Mastercard
  • Apply quickly, use instantly
  • Up to 5% cash-back 
  • Great user experience 
  • Mastercard Zero Liability
  • No annual fee 
Best Paid Option
American Express Cobalt® Card
American Express Cobalt® Card
  • Get approval decision in 60 seconds
  • No income requirement 
  • Amazing insurance (travel, mobile device, etc.) 
  • Get up to 5x AMEX Membership Rewards
  • $13 per month
Best Prepaid Option
Koho Reloadable Prepaid Mastercard
Koho Reloadable Prepaid Mastercard
  • Only a soft credit check required 
  • No income requirement 
  • At least 0.5% cash-back on all purchases 
  • Credit building features are available
  • No annual fee

Features To Look For Before Getting A Credit Card In Canada

Having a credit card comes with responsibility. Not only that, but there is a lot of variety regarding credit card features, fees, and rewards.

As such, you should consider some specific features before getting a credit card. These include things such as:

  • Borrowing and cash advance interest rates
  • Annual fees
  • Cash-back and reward points
  • FX and ATM fees
  • Insurance (including travel, mobile device, rental car, extended warranty and zero liability)
  • Eligibility requirements (such as annual personal or household income and estimated credit score needed)
  • User experience (mobile app, desktop access, customer service, etc.)
  • Additional benefits (such as airport lounge access, discounts, etc.)
  • Costs for additional cardholders
  • Transaction limits and minimum credit limits
  • Approval/decision timeline

Based on your needs, different cards will suit your wallet differently. Generally, most credit cards have similar interest rates (around 19-22%.) Rewards, perks and insurance offerings will increase in relation to the annual fee.

If you are considering spending a significant amount on your credit card each month ($1000 or more), I recommend using a mid to high-annual fee card to maximize your savings. This way, you can make back your annual fee in rewards/cash-back and still save some money on top.

The Easiest Credit Cards To Get In Canada

Here are the eight easiest credit cards to get in Canada. Regardless of what kind of card you’re looking for, something in this list should be able to fit your needs.

1. Neo Mastercard: Best Overall (Amazing Cash-Back)

Neo Financial Money Logo

Standout features:

  • Up to 5% cash-back
  • No annual fee
  • Great user experience
  • Apply quickly, use instantly
  • Mastercard Zero Liability
  • 19.99%-24.99% interest

This Neo Mastercard is a really fantastic credit card that you can use nearly instantly.

Apart from how easy it is to get it, it is also equipped with amazing cash-back perks (up to 5%) in more than 7,000 Canadian stores, has no annual fee and has amazing technology behind it.

Users have access to great features on the Neo mobile application, including instant card freezing (in the case of a stolen or misplaced card) and spending/saving insights.

This card is also available as a secured card if you want to avoid a hard credit check, which means you’ll have to put down a deposit equal to your credit limit before receiving the card. I’ll speak more about secured cards at the end of this post.

Neo also offers banking, investing and mortgage products. You can learn more about this financial institution in this review.  

Sign up for the Neo card and have instant access here.

2. American Express Cobalt® Card: Best Paid Option For Instant Approval

American Express logo 3

Standout features:

  • Get approval decision in 60 seconds
  • No income requirement
  • Amazing insurance (travel, mobile device, and more)
  • Get up to 5x AMEX Membership Rewards®
  • 20.99% interest

This American Express Cobalt® Card is your best bet if you are looking for a quick decision on your application and don’t mind paying a monthly fee (which is set at $12.99, coming to $155.88 per year.)

I know that the fee is not ideal, but the number of perks you great for it is incredible. The insurance on this card is specifically amazing for travel and includes:

  • Travel Accident Insurance (up to $250,000)
  • Travel medical insurance (up to $5 million)
  • Flight and baggage delay insurance ($500)
  • Hotel Burglary Insurance ($500)
  • Mobile device insurance (up to $1,000 in the event of theft, loss or accidental damage)
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage (up to $85,000)

In short, I highly recommend this card to you. You can learn more about it and get an application decision in just a few minutes here.

3. Koho Reloadable Prepaid Mastercard: Best Prepaid Option

KOHO Logo

Standout features:

  • Only a soft credit check is required (no income requirement)
  • No annual fee
  • At least 0.5% cash-back on all purchases
  • 1.5% FX fee (lower than usual)
  • Credit building feature available (for a fee)

We’re big fans of Koho here at Wealth Awesome. If you are looking for an easy-to-get card that is prepaid, you should definitely go with Koho.

This Koho account is equipped with great cash-back features and has no annual fee. If you are also keen to build your credit score without taking out credit, you can opt for their credit-building offer for $7 per month. You can learn more about this feature and all things Koho in this post.

Koho also offers a Premium account for $84 per year that offers increased cash-back, no FX fees, free financial coaching and more.

Learn more about Koho and sign up here.

4. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card: Great No Fee Option

Tangerine logo

Standout features:

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 2% cash-back (no limit!)
  • Purchase assurance and extended warranty
  • Gross annual income required: $12,000

This Tangerine card has good cash-back offers in place especially considering that it has no annual fee.

It comes with a standard 19.95% interest rate and a 2.5% fee on foreign exchange transactions. Cash advances with this card cost $3.50.

You only need a $12,000 annual income in order to be eligible for this Tangerine Mastercard. If you do make $60,000 or more per year, though, you should definitely opt for the Tangerine World Mastercard instead.

This card also has no annual fee but is equipped with significantly better features and rewards.

Learn more and sign up for the Tangerine credit card here.

5. PC Financial Mastercard: Best for PC Optimum Rewards Points

PC Financial Logo

Standout features:

  • No annual fee
  • Instant approval
  • Up to 3% rewards in PC Optimum points
  • Purchase assurance, extended warranty and Mastercard Global Service
  • No income requirement

If you are already a PC Optimum point collector or simply want to become one, this card is the one for you. It offers fantastic point perks that allow you to collect faster than you would with a regular PC Optimum Card and redeem for free gas, groceries, drugstore purchases, and more at Loblaw-associated stores.

This PC Financial Mastercard has no annual fee and is equipped with good insurance perks including purchase assurance, extended warranty and Mastercard Global Service.

There is also an incredibly quick decision process following your application and no income requirement.

PC Financial also offers a good chequing/spending account that you can learn more about here.

Sign up for the PC Financial Mastercard here.

6. Triangle Mastercard (Canadian Tire): Great CT Rewards

Canadian Tire Logo

Standout features:

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 4% in Canadian Tire “CT” Money and cash-back on gas
  • Redeem your points at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Atmosphere, Sports Rousseau, and Hockey Experts

Are you a regular Canadian Tire+ shopper looking for an easy-to-get credit card with good rewards?

If so, this card might be worth your time. With no annual fee and the ability to redeem your points at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Atmosphere, Sports Rousseau, and Hockey Experts

stores, it’s a great option for Canadians.

This card has a 19.99% interest rate and is backed by Mastercard.

You can apply and get a quick decision on your application on the Triangle website here.

7. Scotia Momentum No-Fee Credit Card: Great for Newcomers

Scotiabank logo

Standout features:

  • Get a credit card even without existing credit history in Canada
  • No annual fee
  • 0.5%-1% cash-back rewards
  • $12,000 annual individual income required

This Scotia Momentum No-Fee Credit Card is part of Scotiabank’s Startright Program for newcomers, which means you can apply for the card even without existing credit history in Canada.

The card is equipped with cash-back rewards and the ability to save on car rentals at Avis and Budget. Users also have the option to add Scotia Credit Card Protection for insurance coverage.

The card charges 19.99% interest on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances. You can learn more about this card and sign up for it through this link.

Look more into the best banks for new immigrants in Canada in this post.

8. RBC Virtual Debit Visa: Instant Access for RBC Customers

RBC logo

Standout features:

  • Instant use with an RBC chequing account
  • 24/7 fraud control and Visa zero liability
  • No monthly or annual fee
  • Directly linked to your chequing account
  • No credit check required

This card is a great option if you are looking for the features of a credit card without actually taking out credit or going through the credit check process.

The RBC Virtual Debit Visa can instantly be available to you for online and POS purchases in Canada and abroad, avoiding giving out your actual debit card details and providing increased convenience and security.

This card is accepted everywhere Visa is and comes with great fraud control and zero liability benefits. You also have the option to order a physical card to carry in your wallet if you prefer that, but the virtual card will be available to you instantly after your application.

You can learn more about this card here.

Requirements To Get A Credit Card In Canada

There are certain requirements to get a credit card in Canada regardless of the card’s features or the bank’s risk criteria.

These include:

  • Being a Canadian resident (citizen, permanent resident, or refugee status),
  • Having a Canadian credit file
  • Being at least the age of majority in the province or territory in which you live

Beyond these basic criteria that almost always apply, each card has slightly different requirements when it comes to things such as your annual income or credit score.

Most basic cards with a limited credit limit require at least a $12,000 annual individual income and a credit score of around 660. Cards with increased rewards/features and higher credit limits will require both a higher income and a higher credit score.

Don’t forget that you will have to consent to a hard credit check upon your application for a credit card. Although the effect is small, credit checks tend to affect your credit score in a negative way, so be careful not to apply for credit cards too often. 

You usually do not have to bank with a financial institution to apply for one of their credit cards. Just fill in their application forms, consent to a credit check, and you will be good to go. 

A Note On Low Credit Scores and Secured Credit Cards

A Note On Low Credit Scores and Secured Credit Cards

If you are experiencing issues getting a credit card due to a low credit score, that’s okay.

Most financial institutions offer secured credit card options which means that you will simply have to put down a deposit that is equivalent to your card’s credit limit. Once you receive your card, you’d use it as a regular credit card and build your credit score over time by making your monthly payments.

When I worked in the banking sector in Canada, it was not at all uncommon for the credit card applications I processed to be secured.

In these cases, the applicant would put down $500 or $1,000 into a locked term deposit to be held as collateral if they did not make their credit card payments.

This way, the bank’s risk is reduced, and you can still reap the advantages of having a credit card.

The hope is also that you can build or rebuild your credit score over time by making your payments each month and remaining in good standing with your bank.

If you are experiencing issues with low credit scores or simply want to avoid a hard credit check that is usually not necessary when getting a secured card, I would definitely recommend this type of credit card to you.

Koho’s credit building feature may also be a great option for you in this case. You can check out Koho and sign up for their free account here.

Conclusion

Easiest Credit Cards To Get In Canada

Today’s post covered some of the best and easiest credit cards to get in Canada.

Regardless of which option you choose, it is incredibly likely that you will have a card available to you to use in a matter of minutes or hours. Better yet, you’ll also have access to some great perks, including cash-back and rewards points.

I consistently cover topics regarding credit cards on Wealth Awesome. If you’d like to learn more about them, I highly recommend checking out the posts below.

  1. The ten best travel credit cards in Canada
  2. The nine best reloadable credit cards in Canada
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Selin is a seasoned personal finance and sustainable banking expert with several years of experience working in Canadian credit unions, both in the branch networks as well as the head office. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, she's also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers youth community and is either working with kids or travelling when she is away from her computer.

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