The best instant approval credit cards in Canada for 2024

If you’d like to sign up for an instant approval credit card, here are the best ones available in Canada right now.

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The best instant approval credit cards in Canada by category

If you’re applying for a credit card, chances are you want it as soon as possible. Typically, though, credit card applicants must wait several days to see if they’ve been approved, and then wait some more for the card to arrive via snail 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’ll know within minutes if your application has been approved or rejected.

Best credit card by categoryWhy we love it
Best for instant use
Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard
Annual fee: $0
Shop online instantly after being approved, and make purchases using Apple Pay or Google Pay before receiving your physical card in the mail
Best for overall rewards
American Express Cobalt*
Annual fee: $156
Some of the highest earn rates in Canada (with up to 5x the points on dining and groceries), combined with a flexible points, for your best return on spending
Best for no-fee rewards
PC Financial Mastercard
Annual fee: $0
High return on spending at the largest grocery and drug store network in Canada, with low eligibility requirements
Best for cash back
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express*
Annual fee: $120
4% back on groceries and gas, and 2% back on all other purchases
Best secured card
Home Trust Secured Visa*
Annual fee: $0
Guaranteed approval regardless of your credit score, with the option to pay no annual fee or receive a low APR of 14.90% if you opt to pay an annual fee
Best for low APR
BMO Preferred Rate*
Annual fee: $29
A low 13.99% on purchases and 15.99% on cash advances

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Best credit card for instant use

At a glance: With the Triangle Mastercard, 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. 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 Triangle Mastercard

Visit cfts.com for details
  • Annual fee: $0
  • 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
  • Welcome offer:
  • Annual income requirement: None
Visit cfts.com for details
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 660 or higher
  • Interest rates: 21.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

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Best rewards credit card 

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.

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American Express Cobalt

  • Annual fee: $156
  • Earn rate: 5 points per $1 spent on dining and groceries; 2 points per $1 spent on transit and gas; and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: You can earn 1,250 points for each month you spend $750, up to a maximum of 15,000 points.
  • Annual income requirement: None
  • Point value: 1 Amex Membership Rewards point = $0.01 when redeemed with the Flexible Points Travel Program, $0.015 on average with the Fixed Points Travel Program, and up to $0.02 with airline points transfers
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 725 or higher
  • Interest rates: 21.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances

Pros

  • 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 $5,000,000 in emergency medical coverage, $1,000 in new mobile device insurance, an annual USD$100 hotel credit, and some travel and car rental insurance coverage.

Cons

  • The accelerated grocery and dining earn rate has a monthly cap of $2,500 in purchases. Anything after that earns at 1 point per $1.
  • 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

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. 

PC Financial Mastercard

Visit pcfinancial.com for more details
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn rates: 25 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart; at least 30 points per $1 at Esso and Mobil gas stations; 20 points per $1 at PC Travel; and 10 points per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome offer: earn 100,000 PC Optimum points. Offer ends July 2, 2024.
  • Annual income requirement: None
Visit pcfinancial.com for more details
  • Point value: 1 PC Optimum point is worth $0.001 (redeem 10,000 points for $10)
  • Recommended credit score: 560 or higher
  • Interest rates: 21.99% on purchases, 22.97% on cash advances and 22.97% on balance transfers

Pros

  • The points system is dead easy to understand, as you can redeem 10,000 points for $10, or 10 points equals 1% in savings.
  • 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. 

Cons

  • This card doesn’t offer much in the way of extras or perks.
  • It does not include travel insurance. If you want coverage, consider the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, which comes with emergency medial and car rental collision coverage.

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Best cash back credit card 

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.

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SimplyCash Preferred from American Express

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Earn rate: 4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases; 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
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 725 or higher
  • Interest rates: 21.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances

Pros

  • Earn a minimum of 2% cash back (most other cards in Canada have base earn rates of 0.5% to 1%). It’s also a great cash back credit card for online shoppers for that reason, too.
  • 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.

Cons

  • American Express cards are not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard.

Best secured credit card

At a glance: Perks aren’t usually the reason people get a secured credit card. They do so for the ability to simply put money on the card and then use it with ease—the card’s limit is how much money you put on it, from $500 to $10,000. However, the Home Trust Secured Visa has one sweet benefit that allows it to outshine other secured cards: For a yearly fee of $59, you can get an interest rate of 14.90%, significantly lower than the card’s regular rate of 19.99%. This card is a good secured option, especially for new Canadians, students or those wanting to improve their credit history. (Yes, a secured credit card helps with your credit rating.)

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Home Trust Secured Visa

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn rates: None
  • Welcome offer: This card does not have a welcome bonus at this time.
  • Annual income requirement: None
  • Recommended credit score: 300 or higher
  • Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 19.99% on cash advances

Pros 

  • You decide your credit limit, and you can choose between two interest rates based on the annual fee: either a $59 annual fee and 14.90% interest rate, or a $0 annual fee and 19.99% interest rate. 
  • Payments are reported to credit agencies, which can help build cardholders’ credit scores. 

Cons

  • This card doesn’t have much in the way of perks like insurance, rewards or cash back, as its purpose is to provide credit to people who have bad credit or who might not otherwise get approved.
  • A security deposit is required upfront. 
  • Not available to residents of Quebec.

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Best low-interest credit card 

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 13.99% on purchases, free additional cardholders and an appealing welcome offer all make this a strong package. 

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BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $29
  • Interest rate: 13.99% on purchases
  • Welcome offer: You can earn a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee.
  • Annual income requirement: $15,000 (personal or household)
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 660 or higher
  • Interest rates: 15.99% on cash advances, 15.99% on balance transfers

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

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

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.

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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 unsecured, 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 (SIN)
  • Your employment information
  • Your income information

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

Once you’ve been 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.


If you browse the list above, you’ll see that some instant approval cards have welcome offers and/or rewards in the form of cash back or points (check the “earn rate” to see which ones). You can also find cards with appealing perks.


More of Canada’s best credit cards:

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About Keph Senett

About Keph Senett

Keph Senett writes about personal finance through a community-building lens. She seeks to make clear and actionable knowledge available to everyone.