Canada’s Best Credit Cards of 2014

Which cash-back card gets you the most cash? Which travel card gets you flying faster? Our 4th annual ranking has all the answers



From the September/October 2014 issue of the magazine.


In some ways, choosing a credit card is like choosing a bottle of wine: If you don’t do any research and just grab the bottle with the most attractive label, you might regret it later. Similarly, if you choose your credit card based on a special offer or just because it’s offered by your bank, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. There are more than 200 cards on the market and comparing rewards plans and other features is almost impossible, yet there is a real range out there when it comes to the value and convenience they offer.

      Play: Mark Brown talks credit cards with 680 News’ Mike Eppel

That’s where MoneySense comes in. We’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve read the fine print in every cardholder agreement, spent hours on the phone with customer service and even combed through credit card statements to better understand how they work and what type of spenders they benefit. We even factor in fees and the value of reward points over five years, to ensure we’re not swayed by large sign-up bonuses. Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2014* shows how much a typical user charging $2,000 to his card each month might earn back in rewards. Just remember to keep your actual spending habits in mind when making your choice. If you always pay off your balance in full, feel free to go for a rewards cards with all the frills. If you don’t, stick to a low-rate card for now, or you’ll end up paying for someone else’s rewards with your interest payments.


Best cash-back cards


Best retail rewards cards


Best low-rate cards


Best business cards


Best travel cards


Best student cards

TRY: Credit Card Selector Tool »


Published by MoneySense™ magazine, the Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2014 ranking evaluated certain credit cards on category-specific criteria, based on publicly available data as of July 2014. Usage assumptions made to calculate the value of the rewards may not reflect your own use. The Canadian credit cards available and the specific credit card terms may have changed since the data was compiled. Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2014 ranking is created for information purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. The information provided is not guaranteed and no representations or warranties can be made as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. Visit for full CCBC14 methodology.

Publié par le magazine MoneySenseMC, le classement Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2014 a évalué certaines cartes de crédit canadiennes selon des critères liés à une catégorie en fonction de données accessibles au public en date de juillet 2014. Les hypothèses sur l’utilisation qui ont servi à calculer la valeur des récompenses peuvent ne pas refléter votre propre utilisation. Les cartes de crédit canadiennes offertes et les modalités propres aux cartes de crédit peuvent avoir été modifiées depuis la compilation des données. Le classement Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2014 est créé aux fins d’information seulement et n’a pas pour but de donner des conseils financiers. L’information fournie n’est pas garantie et il n’y a aucune représentation ni garantie à l’égard de l’exactitude et de l’exhaustivité de l’information. Consultez pour la méthodologie complète.

16 comments on “Canada’s Best Credit Cards of 2014

  1. Just a heads up, I did the calculator and the American express gold cash back card came up as the number one for me. When I called them today, they told me that 3 weeks ago, they stopped offering that card and have replaced it with a new one that offers just 1.5% cash back. Please update your article & calculator. This is super annoying.


    • Thanks for the note Eileen. Looks like they discontinued the card after we went to press. We have removed it from our tool.


  2. I for one have had Aeoplan CIBC & now TD cads since 1982 but when my next annual fee renewal come up I will cancel it Aeroplan claims it has upgraded the reward plan but when I tried to get a Vancouver to Honolulu for next Feb the only availability was through US with long stopovers & one option was to fly back to Toronto from Honolulu than back to Vancouver I even tried the new Market Fare option but came up with 3 stopovers & 23 hours to get to Honolulu Frustrated I went to Expedia for TD using TD Platinum rewards & booked a direct AC flight under 7 hours plus had other options 1 stop through the US at between 8-10 hours Using my TD rewards I had to pay just over $400 cash for the usual direct flight which AC had a Tango fare return listed at $1040 using my TD points that were available I really like the idea that you can fly any airline use any available seat anytime & use your available points to even pay a portion of the fare BTM


    • Actually the flight departed from Kelowna a 1 hour time to Vancover include in the price One really has to understand the new Aeroplan rules Also the taxes & fees were higher with the so called free reward than booking direct with the airline


  3. I tried the selector tool – it got one item wrong – it suggested I use an HSBC card for foreign purchases to get 2% cashback on out-of-country disbursements – but ANY card from Chase Canada will waive the 2.5% currency conversion fee AND provide 1% credit with whatever of their affinity cards you happen to choose. And for the record, my experience is that MasterCard exchange rates are 1% better than Visa’s – so get a MasterCard

    (For the moment, and until they go bankrupt I use Chase’s Sears Mastercard for my out of country purchases)

    For people who spend lots at restaurants there is Amex’s no-fee Costco cashback card, which provides 3% cashback on restaurant purchases, 2% on gasoline and ‘up to 1%’ on everything else. Though what may happen with that card after their agreement with Costco ends later this year is anyone’s guess.


  4. I have found the Canadian Tire Gas Advantage Mastercard works best for me. I drive a lot, and saving 10 cents/litre really adds up.


    • Yup. I’ve been using Canadian Tire Gas Advantage card for a couple of years. I use about 400 to 450 litres of gas a month and save approx. $40 to $45 or $480 to $540 a month at 10 cents/litre. The only drawback is you have to spend $2000 a month to get 10 cents.


      • Then get the Superstore Mastercard that will give you 7 cents discount per litre no matter how much you spend on gas


  5. The Credit Union has 2 cards, the Platinum, and World Elite that both give 2% cash back on everything.
    We charge everything to it, and pay it off each month. (even our monthly phone bill get charged on it)
    The $150/year fee gives you tons of benetfits, and all that cash back, in the last year we made $1,800


    • unless you’re in it for the insurance that comes with it, the mbna rewards elite which is the same thing is way better. $89 annual fee vs $150 annual fee. No fee for supplementary cards which the ones you mention do charge.


      • forgot to add, the mbna world elite/rewards travel platinum are offered by the same divison. MBNA/TD.


  6. I applied for the Rogers Rewards Mastercard. When I had a sufficient amount of points I wanted to redeem them towards The Shopping Channel. However I never got a promo card via mail or even email. I contacted Rogers on many many occasions. Finally through the ‘live chat’ one of rogers representative told me to call the Rogers Loyalty Program. After being on hold for over an hour, with the loyalty program representative told me to try the live chat on rogers first rewards program.
    So after all that Rogers never gave me the points I earned towards the shopping channel.


  7. The advice is incredibly unique.


  8. I thought I got the best deal I could with Capital One, which gave me a 6% interest rate for 3 years. That rate just expired and I was informed in small print one bill prior to the expiry. The new interest rate put my next bill over limit by 7$. I was charged an over limit fee on that bill, and the credit bureau was informed, affecting my credit rating. Doing business with Capital One has now negatively affected my credit and therefore my financial plans for the future. Other cards don’t necessarily declare you over limit if their own interest charge puts you over. But on top of that, it really adds insult to injury that the interest charge only put me over limit because of the CHANGE in interest that very month. Consider this if you want to do business with Capital One. Looking back, I regret getting this card – it’s done me more harm than good.


  9. This is by far the worst credit card calculator I’ve seen. What about the American express gold card, spg American express, td aeroplan infinite visa, bmo MasterCard?.. All have better sign up bonuses than anything here. Not sure if the right amount of research has been put into this.


    • Hi Matt,
      FYI: We used a five-year average for rewards, dividing the benefit of any sign up bonus points across the five years. We only included sign up bonuses or teaser interest rates that were standing offers, excluding those with specific deadlines. We deducted annual fees from the value of the rewards.


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