Credit Cards

These are the best balance transfer credit cards in Canada 2019

By: Barry Choi on January 21, 2019

Quite often people focus on cash back or travel credit cards, but those cards typically come with a high interest rate which can be made paying down your debt difficult if you’re carrying a balance. Fortunately, there are balance transfer credit cards available which will allow you to transfer some (or all) of your current credit card debt to a new card at a much lower interest rate for a promotional period.

As you can imagine, that can be incredibly valuable since paying as low as 0% interest is a lot less than the 19.99% that most credit cards typically charge. Although balance transfer credit cards don’t come with many additional benefits, they will hopefully help you reduce your debt, which is arguably the only benefit you need.

With so many options to choose from, we’ve selected the best balance transfer credit cards on the market right now.


Top Choice: MBNA True Line Mastercard

Why we chose it: Every situation is different, but we think the MBNA True Line Mastercard is the best balance transfer credit card since it gives you a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months and the card has no annual fee. Keep in mind that the balance transfer does come with a 1% fee of the amount advanced with a minimum fee of $7.50, but that’s a small price to pay to get 0% interest. Once the promotional period ends, you’ll be paying 12.99% interest, which is still lower than most credit cards.

The details

Annual fee: No annual fee
Balance transfer rate: 0% for the first six months (1% fee of the amount advanced, $7.50 minimum)
Interest rates: 12.99% on purchases and 24.99% on funds advances
Income requirement:No minimum income required
Additional benefits: None

 

CIBC Platinum Visa Card

Why we chose it: Canadians who apply for this card by Feb. 28, 2019, can make a balance transfer with an interest rate of 0% for 10 months. There is a fee of 1% for the amount advanced, but you’re getting nearly a year of interest-free payments which is quite appealing. Keep in mind that if you’re not able to pay that full amount off before the promotional period ends, your interest rate jumps up to 22.99%. On a positive note, this no fee card gives you some decent additional benefits such as car rental insurance and extended warranty.

The details

Annual fee: No annual fee
Balance transfer rate:0% for the first 10 months (1% fee of the amount advanced)
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on funds advances
Income requirement:$15,000
Additional benefits:Auto rental collision and loss damage insurance, travel accident insurance, purchase security and extended warranty

 

American Express Essential credit card

Why we chose it: There’s a lot to like about the American Express Essential credit card. Although the balance transfer interest rate of 1.99% is higher compared to the MBNA True Line Mastercard, the American Express card doesn’t charge you a fee for the transfer. When your promotional period ends, your interest rate is just 8.99%, which is great if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off your entire balance within six months. Another perk of this card is American Express Invites — it gets you special access to dining and entertainment events.

The details

Annual fee: No annual fee
Balance transfer rate:1.99% for the first six months
Interest rates:8.99% on purchases and funds advances
Income requirement: No minimum income required
Additional benefits:Buyers assurance, purchase protection, travel accident insurance, American Express Invites

 

MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard

Why we chose it: As the name implies, the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard is the premium version of the True Line credit cards. With this card, you pay an annual fee of $39, but your interest rate will be just 8.99% after the six month promotional period ends. Since this is a Mastercard, it’ll have a higher acceptance rate at merchants compared to American Express. That’s helpful if you plan to use this as an everyday spending card.

The details

Annual fee: $39
Balance transfer rate: 0% for the first six months (1% fee of the amount advanced, $7.50 minimum)
Interest rates: 8.99% on purchases and 24.99% on funds advances
Income requirement:No minimum income required
Additional benefits: None

 

Scotiabank Value Visa

Why we chose it: The balance transfer rate of 0.99% for the first six months is excellent since you don’t have to pay a fee on the amount you’re transferring. Keep in mind that the card does have an annual fee of $29, so you’d have to balance transfer at least $3,000 for this card to offer you lower fees than the MBNA True Line Mastercard. This card is ideal for people who bank with Scotiabank and prefer to only use credit cards issued by them.

The details

Annual fee: $29
Balance transfer rate: 0.99% for the first six months
Interest rates: 12.99% on purchases and funds advances
Income requirement: $12,000
Additional benefits: Up to 25% off at participating AVIS and Budget car rental locations in Canada and the U.S.

 

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