Canada’s best instant approval credit cards for 2023

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Best for instant use
Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard*
• Annual fee: $0
• After being approved, start shopping instantly online
• Use with Apple Pay or Google Pay apps to make purchases before you receive your physical card in the mail
Best for overall rewards
American Express Cobalt*
• Annual fee: $156
• 5 points per $1 on groceries & dining
• 3 points per $1 on streaming services
• 2 points per $1 on travel, gas & transit
• 1 point per $1 on everything else
Best for no fee rewards
PC Financial Mastercard*
• Annual fee: $0
• 25 points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart
• 30 points per $1 at Esso/Mobil
• 10 points per $1 on everything else
Best for cash back
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express*
• Annual fee: $120
• 2% unlimited cash back on all purchases
• 4% back on gas and groceries up to $1,200 in cash back annually
Best secured card
• Annual fee: $120
• 1 pt per $1 spent
• Secured credit cards don’t typically offer rewards
Best for low APR
BMO Preferred Rate*
• Annual fee: $29
• 12.99% on purchases
• 15.99% on cash advances
Best for guaranteed approval
Capital One Guaranteed Approval Mastercard
• Annual fee: $59
• Guaranteed approval
• No income requirement
• Designed to help or rebuild credit
Best for online approval 
Tangerine Money-Back*
• Annual fee: $0
• 2% cash back in up to three spending categories
• 0.5% on everything else

Canada’s best instant approval credit cards for 2023

If you’re applying for a credit card, chances are you want it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you often have to wait several days to see if you were approved, and then wait some more while the card makes its way to you in the mail. The good news is many credit cards now offer instant approval. You simply fill out an online application and the credit card provider runs automated checks—you know within minutes if your application has been approved or rejected. 

As banking processes become increasingly digital, online credit card applications are becoming more common, and more issuers are offering instant approval credit cards. Here are the best ones available in Canada right now. 

Best credit card for instant use

Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard*

At a glance: With this card, Canadians who regularly shop at Canadian Tire and partner stores will appreciate generous earn rates on purchases and the ability to easily redeem their CT Money. For a card with no annual fee, it includes some valuable perks like car rental collision insurance and access to Canadian Tire Services Limited’s Roadside Assistance Gold Plan. If you apply at a Canadian Tire store and are approved, you may use the card immediately. And if you apply online and are approved, you’ll be able to proceed to checkout right away. You can also use your card through the Apple Pay or Google Pay apps to make purchases before you receive your physical card in the mail.

Canadian Tire recently launched the new Triangle Select program. If you sign up for $89 per year plus tax, you’ll get ten times the CT Money on everyday purchases made with your Triangle Mastercard on top of your in-store Triangle credit card rewards.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: 4% back in CT Money on almost everything at Canadian Tire and partner stores; 1.5% at grocery stores (excluding Costco and Walmart); 0.5% everywhere else; $0.5 per litre back in CT Money every time you fill up at Gas+ and Essence+ locations
  • Welcome offer: No welcome offer at this time.
  • Annual income requirement: None


  • The generous 4% earn rate makes this a card to consider for those who shop with CT Money at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Mark’s, L’Équipeur, Atmosphere, Party City, Pro Hockey Life, Sports Rousseau, Hockey Experts, L’Entrepôt du Hockey, and participating Sports Experts stores.
  • This card has no annual fee.
  • With $1 in CT Money equalling CAD$1, the rewards program is simple to understand.
  • Canadian Tire recently announced a new partnership that will allow Triangle members to earn rewards at Petro stations starting in 2024.


  • CT Money can only be redeemed at Canadian Tire and partner stores, so you’ll have to shop there to benefit from its rewards.
  • The 1.5% earn rate on groceries excludes purchases at Walmart and Costco, and is only available on the first $12,000 per year.
  • The participating gas partners, Gas+ and Essence+, aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as some other brands so it’s unclear whether the ability to earn 5¢ per litre back on fuel will beat out competitor loyalty programs.

Best rewards credit card 

American Express Cobalt*


At a glance: The American Express Cobalt fixes many of the drawbacks of some other rewards programs. It offers healthy accelerated earn rates and defines its spending categories extremely broadly. It makes redemptions easy and extremely flexible, even allowing you to transfer points to other programs. And it adds in a bunch of perks like an annual hotel voucher to make sure you want to keep it in your wallet.

  • Annual fee: $156
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances
  • Earn rate: 5 points per $1 spent on restaurants, coffee shops, bars, grocery stores and food delivery services; 3 points per $1 on streaming services; 2 points per $1 on gas, transit, rideshare services and travel; and 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome offer: You can earn 2,500 points for each month you spend $500, up to a maximum of 30,000 points.
  • Annual income requirement: None
  • Note: The 5 points per $1 earn rate on food will apply up to a maximum of $2,500 monthly starting August 15, 2023


  • Welcome reward lets you earn up to 30,000 membership rewards points, a $300 value when you use points for purchases.
  • Flexible redemptions let you use your points towards almost anything and you can even transfer them 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other rewards programs.
  • Outstanding accelerated earn rates and broadly defined spending categories mean you’ll rack up points quickly.
  • This card includes perks like up to $1,000 in new mobile device insurance, an annual USD$100 hotel credit, and some travel and car rental insurance coverage.


  • The accelerated earn rates have an annual cap of $30,000 in purchases. Anything after that earns at 1 point per $1.
  • The travel coverage is incomplete and doesn’t include emergency medical protection.
  • The annual fee is $12.99, billed monthly, adding up to a total of $155.88, slightly higher than other cards in this category. 
  • American Express cards are less widely accepted than Visa or Mastercard.

Best no-fee rewards credit card

PC Financial Mastercard*

PC Financial Mastercard

At a glance: The PC Financial Mastercard is one of Canada’s strongest no-fee rewards credit cards for everyday essentials, and since it’s a store card, eligibility is often more lenient than with traditional bank credit cards. Approval decisions come within minutes of submitting your application online, and PC Financial reviews your income for consideration for the PC Financial World Mastercard (for which you need a personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000) and the World Elite Mastercard (personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000), which offer accelerated earn rates. 

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest rates: 20.97% on purchases, 22.97% on cash advances, 22.97% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: At least 25 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart; 30 points per $1 at Esso and Mobil gas stations; and 10 points per $1 everywhere else
  • Welcome offer: earn 20,000 PC Optimum points
  • Annual income requirement: None


  • The welcome offer for new cardholders gets you 20,000 PC Optimum points (a $20 value).
  • Ability to “stack” points by showing your PC Optimum points card and paying with your PC Optimum Mastercard allows you to build up your points balance quickly.
  • With the wide range of stores under the Loblaw/President’s Choice umbrella—including Loblaws, No Frills, Fortinos, Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart and Joe Fresh—you’ll have plenty of opportunities to earn and redeem. 


  • This card doesn’t offer much in the way of extras or perks.
  • It does not include travel insurance.

Best cash back credit card 

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express*

At a glance: With a 2% unlimited cash back earn rate on everything you buy—plus a boosted rate of 4% on eligible gas and grocery purchases—the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express will appeal to those looking for an easy-to-understand rewards structure without charts or restrictions. If you shop at retailers who accept American Express cards, this is a cash back card to consider.

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances
  • Earn rate: 4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases up to $1,200 in cash back annually; 2% cash back on everything else.
  • Welcome offer: You can earn a $40 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases on your card.
  • Annual income requirement: None


  • The 4% cash back earn rate on gas and grocery purchases is hard to beat for those who spent a lot in these categories. Plus, earn the base rate of 2% without any caps or annual limits.
  • Comes with some travel and car rental insurance.


  • Does not include travel medical emergency insurance or new mobile device insurance.
  • As an American Express card, this card is not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard.

Best secured credit card

Plastk Secured Visa*

plastk secured visa

At a glance: Secured credit cards don’t typically offer anything in the way of perks, so with a points program in place, the Plastk Secured Visa is a stand-out. Pay a deposit (in the minimum amount of $300) to get started and earn 1 point per $1 spent on the card while building up your credit. 

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Earn rate: 1 point per $1 spent
  • Interest rates: 17.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances, 17.99% on balance transfers
  • Welcome offer: earn 5,000 points ($20 value), redeemable after 3 months.
  • Annual income requirement: None


  • When your application is approved, you’ll get 5,000 points (a value of $20).
  • It has a promotional interest rate of 0% for the first three months and reverts to a below-average interest rate of 17.99% after that.
  • Allows you to build up your credit by reporting monthly to Equifax.


  • At 250 points equalling $1, the points value is comparably low.
  • On top of the $300 deposit to secure the card, you’ll pay $48 annually plus a $6 monthly maintenance fee (for a total of $120 in fees). 
  • This card is not available to those in Quebec.

Best low-interest credit card 

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard*

BMO preferred rate mastercard

At a glance: Those looking for a low-interest credit card to help them pay down debt will want to check out the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard. A low $20 annual fee, a regular interest rate of 12.99% on purchases, free additional cardholders and an appealing welcome offer all make this a strong package. 

  • Annual fee: $29
  • Interest rates: 13.99% on purchases, 15.99% on cash advances
  • Earn rate: None
  • Welcome offer: earn a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee and we'll waive the $29 annual fee for the first year. Conditions apply.
  • Annual income requirement: None


  • The welcome offer of a 0.99% interest rate on balance transfers for nine months (2% transfer fee) and first-year annual fee waiver makes this a smart choice if you’re looking to pay down debt.
  • You can have the annual fee waived every year if you also have a BMO Performance chequing account.
  • Annual fee of $20 is affordable and you can add an additional cardholder for free.


  • This card doesn’t come with any perks like insurance.

Best credit card for guaranteed approval

Capital One Guaranteed Approval Mastercard

capital one guaranteed approval credit card

At a glance: Designed to help you build or repair credit, the Capital One Guaranteed Approval Mastercard is available to those who are in the age of majority in their province or territory, who haven’t applied for a Capital One account more than once in the past month, who don’t have an existing or pending Capital One account, or who haven’t had a Capital One account in bad standing in the last year. Those with a poor credit history are automatically approved for a secured Capital One card.

  • Annual fee: $59
  • Interest rates: 19.8% on purchases, 19.8% on cash advances, 19.8% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: None
  • Welcome offer: None
  • Annual income requirement: None


  • The card’s Quick Check service lets you know if you qualify for a card in 15 seconds and doesn’t impact your credit score. 
  • Comes with common carrier accident protection, car rental collision/loss waiver, and baggage delay insurance.
  • The low $59 annual fee won’t break the bank. 


  • Doesn’t have a rewards or cash back program

Best online instant approval credit card

Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard*

At a glance: The no-fee Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard offers 2% cash back on two spending categories of your choice—including groceries, restaurants, gas, entertainment, recurring bill payments—plus a third category when you get your rewards automatically deposited into your Tangerine savings account. You also earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases and there are no limits on how much you can earn.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest rates: 19.95% on purchases, 19.95% on cash advances, 19.95% on balance transfers
  • Earn rate: 2% cash back on purchases in up to three spending categories and 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • Welcome offer: You can earn an extra 10% back on up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within the first 2 months. Must apply by July 5, 2023.
  • Annual income requirement: $12,000


  • The welcome offer lets you earn 10% back on up to $1,000 (up to $100) within the first two months.
  • There are no caps to money you can earn.
  • Balance transfers get a promotional 1.95% interest rate for six months within the first 30 days of being approved for the card, plus a 1% fee.


  • This card doesn’t include any travel insurance or other perks.

Our methodology: How we determine the best cards

The MoneySense editorial team selects the best credit cards by assessing the value they provide to Canadians across various categories. Our best instant approval credit cards ranking is based on an extensive list of card details and features, including approval likelihood and speed, annual fees, interest rates, welcome offers, rewards earn rates, annual income requirements, and perks such as insurance coverage and purchase protection. We have also considered the pros and cons of each card to help you determine which ones best suit your financial needs. Our rankings are an unbiased source of information for Canadians. The addition of links from affiliate partners has no bearing on the results. Read more about how MoneySense makes money.

What do you need to get instantly approved for a credit card?

As with any credit card application, there are a few requirements you’ll need to meet in order to obtain an instant approval credit card. 

  • You must be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen. (If you don’t meet this requirement, there are credit cards that allow applications without this criteria, such as secured credit cards.)
  • You must be the age of majority. In Canada, the age of majority is 18 or 19 years old and older, depending on your province of residence.
  • You must not have a history of bankruptcy if you’re applying for an unsecured credit card. Most rewards and low-interest credit card options are unsecure, but there are secured credit cards that you can apply for even if you’ve declared yourself bankrupt.
  • No matter the kind of credit card you’re applying for, a good credit score will increase your chances of being approved.

Before you start an instant approval application, make sure you have the following information at hand: 

  • Your social insurance number
  • Your employment information
  • Your income information

The application form may ask for other information, and some of it may be optional. Bear in mind that the more details you provide, the more efficient the approval process will be. 

Once you’re approved, your application will still have to go out for proper credit checks. All cards require a credit check, except for secured cards and cards from an institution that you have an established relationship with. In some cases, you’ll be contacted for information or clarification. Shortly after, your card will be produced and mailed to the address on file.

Frequently asked questions

Instant approval credit cards offer an expedited approval process—saving you time and stress. Unlike with many regular credit cards, when you apply, you’ll know almost immediately whether you’ve been approved or if your application needs to go to a manual review.

With manual verification, it can take an additional two to three business days. If you’re approved, your application goes forward for credit checks while your card is printed and mailed. You can usually expect your card within five to seven business days, but some lenders allow you to start using your account even before it arrives.

No. Even with an instant approval credit card, your application must be approved—but the process is super quick. Certain instant approval cards, like the Capital One Guaranteed Approval Mastercard, come with guaranteed approval, though conditions still apply.

More of Canada’s best credit cards: