Canada’s best Mastercard credit cards 2020 - MoneySense

Canada’s best Mastercard credit cards 2020

Mastercards offer the assurance of near-universal acceptance. Here are our top eight options, from low-interest to cash back to travel rewards.


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As one of the top credit card companies in the world, Mastercard is both extremely popular and also nearly universally accepted. For those already banking at BMO Bank of Montreal, a major Canadian bank that associates with Mastercard, these cards may offer all the perks you’re after, along with opportunities to “double dip” on rewards or loyalty programs. Whether you’re looking to earn points or cash, travel more or keep your interest rates down, chances are there’s a Mastercard for you on this list. (Want to consider more options? Click here to browse our full list of the best credit cards in Canada.)

The best Mastercard credit cards in Canada

Best for cash back with bonus categories

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card*

Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardWith 2% back on all purchases in your choice of up to three spending categories, including grocery, home improvement, gas and travel accommodations (0.5% on everything else), there’s no Mastercard that puts quite as much back in your wallet on as many bonus categories as the Money-Back Credit Card from Tangerine. Cardholders can choose two categories in which to receive 2% cash back, plus, when they set up an automatic deposit of rewards into a Tangerine savings account, they receive cash back in a third category. With no annual fee, a three-month bonus of 4% cash back in three categories for new members and a low income requirement, this Mastercard is a winner.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Welcome bonus: New members who apply by January 31, 2020, will receive 4% cash back in up to 3 categories for 3 months
  • Earn rate: 2% cash back on purchases in up to 3 spending categories and 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • Additional benefits: Purchase assurance covers loss, theft or damage for 90 days after purchase; extended warranty up to one year
  • Income requirement: $12,000

Click here for more details about the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card*

Best cash back Mastercard

Rogers World Elite Mastercard

Rogers World Elite MastercardWith 1.75% cash back on all purchases, this is one of the best cash back cards out there. On top of that, you’ll get 2% on Rogers products and services and 4% on foreign purchases.

Most cards charge a 2.5% foreign transaction fee, so the savings can really add up for the traveller or cross-border shopper. There’s no limit on the amount of cash you can earn, and even better, there’s no annual fee.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Welcome bonus: $25 after making your first purchase within your first 3 months
  • Earn rate: 4% on purchases in another currency; 2% back on Rogers products and services; 1.75% on all other eligible purchases
  • Additional benefits: Rental car collision and damage coverage; emergency medical insurance; trip cancellation or interruption protection
  • Income requirement: $80,000

Best for Air Miles collectors

BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard*

The Air Miles loyalty program is one of the most popular in the nation, and for good reason. There are numerous program partners and just as many opportunities to redeem. Air Miles can be used for travel, merchandise or even cash off at certain retailers. Travellers will love this card’s welcome bonus of up to 3,000 Miles and its extraordinary earn rate of one Mile for every $10. Cardholders can make their Miles grow faster when they “double dip” by using the credit card along with their Air Miles loyalty card at participating sponsors. Offering extra benefits like travel and rental car insurance, plus discounts and lounge passes, this card is a great travel companion.

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Welcome bonus: Up to 3,000 bonus Air Miles and annual fee waived for the first year
  • Earn rate: One Mile for every $10 in purchases
  • Additional benefits: Travel and medical insurance; flight discount of 15% on Air Miles flights in North America; up to 25% discount at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car; Mastercard Airport Experiences membership, plus 2 annual complimentary lounge passes; extended warranty and purchase protection
  • Income requirement: $80,000

Click here for more details about the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard*

Best travel credit card

BMO World Elite Mastercard*

If you’re an avid traveller but prefer not to participate in the Air Miles program, the BMO World Elite card may be right for you. Instead of collecting Air Miles, cardholders earn BMO Rewards Points—at a very competitive rate of three Points to the dollar on dining, entertainment and meal purchases. BMO Rewards are redeemable for travel and merchandise rewards, and you’ll reach your goals faster with the current sign-up offer of 35,000 Points. Since the card is geared towards travellers it also includes a robust insurance package and complementary access to airport lounge access.

  • Annual fee: $150 (waived in the first year)
  • Welcome bonus: 35,000 BMO Rewards Points (redeemable for a short haul flight)
  • Earn rate: 3 Points per dollar spent on dining, meals and entertainment, and 2 Points per dollar on everything else
  • Additional benefits: Mastercard Airport Experiences membership, plus 4 annual complimentary lounge passes; BMO World Elite Total Travel and Medical Protection insurance; extended warranty; purchase protection
  • Income requirement: $80,000

Click here for more details about the BMO World Elite*

Best no fee travel card

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard*

Travellers love flexibility—and with the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard, you can choose how you earn your rewardswhether it be travel, cash back, merchandise or charitable donations. With numerous opportunities to collect bonus Points on top of the two Points for every dollar spent on gas, groceries and at restaurants, and one point per dollar on everything else, you’ll rack up the rewards in no time. And, you don’t need to rush to redeem; your MBNA Points never expire.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn rate: 2 Points for every dollar spent on gas, groceries, and restaurants and 1 Point per dollar on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: Up to 10,000 bonus Points (which is good for $100 in travel) and 4 Points per dollar on gas, groceries, and restaurants for the first 90 days
  • Additional benefits: Emergency services; purchase protection; extended warranty
  • Income requirement: None

Click here for more details about the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard*

Best Mastercard for groceries

PC Financial World Elite*

PC Financial Word Elite MastercardIf you buy your groceries at Loblaws-affiliated stores (including real Canadian Superstore, No Frills and Fortino’s), you should definitely be paying for them with your PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. This card, which carries no annual fee, allows you to rack up substantial Points in the ever-popular PC Optimum program at an attractive earn rate of 30 Points per dollar at Loblaws stores, PC Travel and Esso, 45 Points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 Points per dollar everywhere else. Points can be redeemed in denominations of 10,000 Points for $10 off groceries, drug store items, or anything else available where PC products are sold.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Welcome bonus: None
  • Earn rate: 30 points per $1 at Loblaws stores, PC Travel and Esso; 45 points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart; 10 points per dollar everywhere else
  • Additional benefits: Travel emergency medical insurance; car rental collision or damage; purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Income requirement: $80,000

Click here for more details about the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard*

Best Mastercard for Costco shoppers

MBNA Rewards World Elite*

MBNA rewards world eliteIf you’ve got a large family to feed and clothe, chances are you’re all-in with warehouse shopping. Previously the only card Costco accepted was their store-branded American Express, but things have changed. As of 2015, Costco accepts any Mastercard which means that in addition to the savings you and your family will enjoy by buying in bulk, there are other perks to be earned from your grocery spends. When you shop at Costco with the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard you will earn 2 Points for every dollar—Points that you can redeem for travel, rewards or cash back. And with a travel redemption value of 100 Points per dollar, your next trip is closer than you might think.

  • Annual fee: $120
  •  Welcome bonus: Up to 30,000 MBNA Rewards Points (20,000 when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months and another 10,000 when you sign up for paperless statements)
  • Earn rate: 2 Points per dollar
  • Additional benefits: Discount at Avis and Budget Rent A Car; purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Income requirement: $80,000

Click here for more details about the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard*

Best for low-interest

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard*

Whether due to an unforeseen expense, an emergency or a simple overspend, most people end up holding a credit card balance at least once in their life. The trick is to take steps to pay it off quickly, and that’s where a card with a low-interest rate can help. The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard boasts a rate of only 8.99% on purchases (super low compared with the standard 19%-plus), and an introductory rate of 0% for six months on balance transfers. Plus, the annual fee is a reasonable $39 per year.

  • Annual fee: $39
  • Welcome bonus: 0% promotional interest rate for the first 6 months on balance transfers (you’ll be charged a flat 3% fee, or a minimum of $7.50, on transfers).
  • Earn rate: N/A
  • Additional benefits: Up to 9 additional users at no extra fee; Trip Assistance services, including help replacing lost documents and support if your luggage goes missing; purchase protection for up to 90 days; and extended warranty of up to one additional year on top of the manufacturer’s coverage
  • Income requirement: None

NOTE: APR and balance transfer offer is different for residents of Quebec.

Click here for more details about the True Line MasterCard*

Best student credit card

BMO CashBack Mastercard*

BMO Cash Back MastercardWhereas many no fee student credit cards don’t offer much in the way of cash back, the BMO Rewards Mastercard helps you earn. Cardholders receive 1% cash back for every $1 they spend. With its strong welcome offer, purchase protection and extended warranty, this card is offering a lot of bang without charging a single buck in annual fees and can help students build up their credit history while also earning strong everyday rewards.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Welcome bonus: 5% cash back on everyday purchases for the first 3 months; 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfer for a full 9 months
  • Earn rate: 1% cash back for every $1 spent
  • Additional benefits: Extended warranty and purchase protection against theft or damage for 90 days after purchase; up to 25% off at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car

Click here for more details about the BMO CashBack Mastercard*