Finding the right credit card could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year. Whether it’s through lower fees, higher reward points or simply valuable perks like travel medical insurance or rental car savings, every dollar counts. If you use your card wisely, pay off your balance monthly and find the right rewards program for you, you’re sure to come out ahead. There’s a barrage of credit card options out there, so making a choice can be overwhelming and difficult. To help you find a keeper or two, MoneySense has done some digging.
To come up with Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2018, we tapped our credit card tool, which is powered by our partner Ratehub.ca*. The methodology considers numerous factors, including welcome bonuses, great cash-back value, rental car discounts, flexible travel with no restrictions, high cash-back value, superb insurance packages, and more.
We ran the numbers for six card categories based on $2,000 in monthly spend (or $1,000 for the student category.). Everyone’s card needs and usage are different and change over time, so we encourage you to use the tool as well, as it will help you match the best credit card in Canada for you based on your spending habits.
Our assumptions on the monthly spend are as follows—groceries ($500), gas ($200), restaurants ($200) and bill payments ($125), travel ($175), entertainment ($225), pharmacy ($75) and other purchases of $500. (For student cards, we assumed a lower $1,000 total monthly spend).
The end game was a magic number—that is, the annual net reward in dollar terms to identify the top three cards in each of the six categories, plus an honorary mention. Easy.
Give the tool a try but remember, this is only a starting point for your credit card search. Everyone is unique. For instance, you may have different spending habits than the credit card selector tool assumes. Or, you may already have a credit card affiliated with the financial institution where you bank and just want to upgrade to something better suited to your changing household situation. So, do your own research to ensure your final pick is fine-tuned to your needs.
*Ratehub.ca may be partnered with some financial institutions. This does not influence the “Canada’s Best Credit Card” rankings.