Best low-rate credit cards of 2016

The top option if you carry a balance, plus a choice for small spenders



From the September/October 2016 issue of the magazine.


If you carry a balance on your credit card, don’t chase points. The ones reaping rewards will be the card companies. These cards aren’t flashy, but you’ll feel great when you’re debt-free.

The best low-rate credit card

TD Emerald Visa

TD Emerald Visa - low-rate credit cards

low-rate credit cards

Annual cost*: $109

A rate to pique your interest

This variable rate card currently offers a preferred interest rate of just 4.2%

Check your credit rating

Your credit rating will determine which rate you’ll be offered, but if you don’t get one of the top two rates, consider the new American Express Essential Credit Card, which charges a flat 8.99%

Maximum interest

The interest rate on this card could be as high as 12.75%

Saving for a price

The TD Emerald Visa charges an annual fee of $25. If you’re only carrying small balances of less than $250 you may be better off with a no-fee low-rate card

Car rental discount

No one said low rate cards can’t come with perks. This card gives you up to a 25% discount on car rentals from Avis and Budget


American Express Essential Credit Card

low-rate credit cards

low-rate credit cards

Some cards charge you an annual fee for the privilege of getting a lower rate, but not the Amer- ican Express Essential Credit Card. It charges 8.99% in interest, which is the lowest fixed rate in Canada. (Compare it to the third-ranked RBC RateAdvantage card, which charges as low as 7.69% but costs $39 a year. That annual fee is like adding 1.95% interest on a $2,000 balance.)

*Estimated cost of the card based on a $2,000 balance after fees

Only spend $500/month?

best low-rate credit cards

best low-rate credit cards

If you carry a balance and don’t have a pristine credit rating then you need the new American Ex- press Essential Credit Card in your wallet. The 8.99% interest on this card is the lowest fixed rate in Canada and if you transfer a balance on to this card you’ll only be charged 1.99% for the first six months. Plus, there is no annual fee, which keeps costs down on smaller balances.

low-rate credit cards

Find the perfect card for you with our credit card selector tool »

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One comment on “Best low-rate credit cards of 2016

  1. How does the Capital One Costco card rate. It is a cash back card of 1, 2, and 3% with no annual fee. Please advise.


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