Best low-rate cards 2012

If you carry a balance sometimes, get a low-rate credit card so you can pay it off faster. Here we look at the cards that save you the most in interest charges—after fees are factored in.

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by MoneySense staff
October 4th, 2012

From the September/October 2012 issue of the magazine.

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If you don’t pay your balance off every month of the year, get a low-rate card. Rewards cards have high interest rates, plus they are proven to increase consumer spending. “When someone’s on the fence about a purchase they could say to themselves, ‘Well at least I’m getting the miles,’” says Matt Wallaert, a behavioural psychologist.

To find the card that best matches your spending and re-payment patterns, try our Credit Card Selector Tool.

In the meantime, here’s our list of the best low-rate cards ranked according to average amount of interest and fees you’ll pay, shown as a percentage of your balance:

1.


Scotiabank
ScotiaLine VISA
Annual Fee: $0
Current Interest Rate: 4%
Card Details: A line of credit with a credit card; interest is prime for first year; after that the secured rate is prime plus 1%; unsecured is prime plus 4.99%.

2.


Capital One
SmartLine Platinum MasterCard
Annual Fee: $0
Current Interest Rate: 5.99%
Card Details: Rate guaranteed until October 2015; after that it becomes a variable rate of prime plus 4.99%; requires income of $40,000.

3.


TD
Emerald Visa
Annual Fee: $25
Current Interest Rate: 4.75%
Card Details: The interest rate on the card is prime plus 1.75% to 9.75%, depending on your credit assessment.

4.


Capital One
Fusion Platinum MasterCard
Annual Fee: $0
Current Interest Rate: 9.9%
Card Details: Includes car rental insurance, accident insurance and lost luggage assistance.

5.


MBNA
TrueLine MasterCard
Annual Fee: $0
Current Interest Rate: 9.99%
Card Details: Includes car rental insurance, accident insurance and lost luggage assistance.

6.


National Bank
Syncro MasterCard
Annual Fee: $35
Current Interest Rate: 8.9%
Card Details: Interest rate is prime plus 4%, with a minimum rate of 8.9%; includes purchase insurance, extended warranty.

7.


Desjardins
Modulo Gold VISA (low-rate option)
Annual Fee: $50
Current Interest Rate: 9.9%
Card Details: Includes auto rental discounts, extended warranty and purchase protection.

8.


Capital One
Gold MasterCard
Annual Fee: $19
Current Interest Rate: 11.9%
Card Details: Rate guaranteed until October 2015; after that it becomes a variable rate of prime plus 9.9%. Requires good credit.

What will these low-rate cards cost you?

The best low-rate cards charge you less in interest and fees. How much you pay depends on your unpaid monthly balance.

Learn how we crunched the numbers for Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2012 by reading our methodology.

Pay off your credit card by the end of every month? Good, check out our Best cash-back credit cards 2012, Best travel cards 2012 and Best merchandise cards 2012 lists.

One comment on “Best low-rate cards 2012

  1. Thank you! You've just done alot of unsuspecting people a huge favour!! By helping them avoid the misfortune of being locked into high interest debt. Like I personally have been locked into for the past three years.

    May your work continue to raise consumer awareness, with respect to the vast array of options available today.

    Reply

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