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The Best Credit Cards Of 2019 In Canada

Barry Choi

Jun 04, 2019

Ask anyone what the best credit card is and you’ll get a different answer. What works for them may not work for you, so you need to put some extra thought into what your spending habits are and what kind of rewards you’re looking to earn before you put in your next credit card application.

That being said, what are the best credit cards of 2018 in Canada? From the best cash back card to the best card for paying down debt, we looked at various categories and have picked the top cards for you.

Best Overall Card

American Express Cobalt™ card

  • $10 monthly fee ($120 total annually)
  • Earn 2,500 Membership Rewards each month when you spend $500 in purchases on your card for the first year (30,000 total points)
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on Card purchases at eligible restaurants, bars, grocery stores and food delivery in Canada
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases (that’s 2X the points on purchases that get you from point A to B!)
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 19.99% annual interest rate
  • Cash Advance Rate: 22.99%
  • Additional Card Fee $0
  • Penalty APR: 23.99%-26.99%*

Ever since the American Express Cobalt™ card launched, it instantly became one of the best credit cards on the market due to its unique features. The monthly fee is much more appealing to people as opposed to paying $120 for the year upon signing up. This model allows people to test out the card and earn bonus points while deciding if this card is a keeper.

The 5 points earned on just about anything related to food is quite lucrative and is clearly aimed at people who enjoy eating out. 2 points earned per dollar spent on travel and transit (which includes public transportation) is quite generous while 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases is a nice way to round things out.

Your points earned can be used to redeem travel, concerts, gift cards, and much more. In addition, you can transfer your points to various hotel rewards programs which will help you earn free nights quicker. 

Best Credit Card For Students

Scotia Scene® Visa

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2,000 bonus SCENE points when you charge $500 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 5 SCENE points for every $1 spent at Cineplex theatres or
  • Earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get $10 off at participating restaurants when you redeem 1,000 points
  • 19.99% annual interest rate
  • Cash Advance Rate: 22.99%

With no annual fee and no minimum income requirement, the Scotia Scene® Visa* will likely appeal to students. You’ll earn 2,000 bonus SCENE points when you charge $500 in the first 3 months which is enough points for two free movies. Keep in mind that these points are only worth it if you’re paying off your full balance every month.

Earning SCENE points is easy with this card since you’ll get 5 points for every $1 spent at Cineplex theatres or and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Besides free movies at Cineplex, members can use their points at CARA restaurants which includes Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Montana’s, Milestones, Bier Markt, East Side Mario’s, Kelsey’s Roadhouse and more.

Best Card For Big Spenders

Scotia Momentum® Visa*

  • $99 annual fee (waived for the first year)
  • Earn 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases
  • Earn 2% cash back on drug store purchases and recurring bill payments
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included
  • 19.99% annual interest rate
  • Cash Advance Rate: 22.99%

If you spend a lot on groceries and gas every year, then applying for the Scotia Momentum® Visa* is a must since it gives you 4% cash back in both categories. That’s easily one of the highest earns you’ll get for those categories and since this is a Visa card, it’ll be widely accepted.

Earning 2% cash back on drug store purchases and recurring bills is also a nice benefit since those categories are often overlooked, while 1% cash back on all other purchases is pretty standard. You could argue that the most appealing aspect of this card is the fact that the annual fee of $99 is waived the first year so you can test it out for “free” for 12 months.

Best Cash Back Card

SimplyCash Preferred Card™ from American Express®

  • New SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express Cardmembers can earn 5% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $300 cash back) for the first 6 months of Cardmembership
  • Earn 2.0% cash back when your Welcome Rate ends
  • Optional Balance Transfer Offer – enjoy a 1.99% interest in first 6 months of Cardmembership if you choose to transfer your other credit card balances to this American Express card
  • Balance Transfer option is only available at time of online application – there is no balance transfer fee at the time of application
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn after your Welcome Rate ends
  • Access to memorable experiences with American Express Invites
  • Extensive insurance coverage and 24/7 Customer Service

If you’re looking for a straightforward cash back card, then you’ll want to pay attention to the SimplyCash Preferred Card™ from American Express®. You’ll earn 5% cash back on all your purchases (up to $300) in the first 6 months of card membership. Once that promotional rate ends, all purchases will earn you 2.0%.

For those who want to reduce their debt loads, the card also comes with an optional balance transfer at the time of application with a 1.99% interest rate for 6 months. There is no fee for this balance transfer so it should appeal to those who are looking to pay down their debt.

About The Author 

Barry Choi is a personal finance and travel expert based in Toronto who makes frequent media appearances in Canada and the US. You can read more of his work at or follow him on Twitter: @barrychoi

About Borrowell

Did you know that checking your credit score and credit report can improve your financial well-being and can help you save money? Having a good credit score can make it easier to achieve your financial goals and access products such as credit cards and personal loans.

*The product details described in this article may have changed since the time of publication.

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