The very best bank cards for weak credit in Canada for August 2023

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MoneySense is an award-winning journal, serving to Canadians navigate cash issues since 1999. Our editorial workforce of skilled journalists works intently with main private finance specialists in Canada. That will help you discover the most effective monetary merchandise, we examine the choices from over 12 main establishments, together with banks, credit score unions and card issuers. Be taught extra about our promoting and trusted companions.

The 5 greatest bank cards for weak credit in Canada

In case your credit score rating has taken successful (ouch) or there’s another excuse why you may have a low (or no) rating—you’re a newcomer to Canada or a teenager with no credit score historical past but, for instance—you’ll have to show you may deal with credit score responsibly. A technique to try this is—you guessed it—to have a bank card. When used correctly, a bank card can truly assist you rebuild weak credit. A low credit score rating may restrict the vary of bank cards you may qualify for proper now, however there’s a bunch of merchandise created for individuals on this state of affairs. We’ve rounded up the most effective ones in six classes.

Greatest total secured bank card for individuals with weak credit

House Belief Secured Visa*

At a look: The House Belief Secured Visa presents extra flexibility than most secured bank cards. Cardholders can select between an rate of interest of 19.99% with no annual payment or a decrease rate of interest of 14.90% with a $59 annual payment. House Belief studies funds to the credit score bureaus. With this card, you even have a say in your credit score restrict: Deposit $500 to $10,000, and your chosen quantity turns into your restrict. Need peace of thoughts? House Belief is a member establishment of the Canada Deposit Insurance coverage Company, so your deposit is absolutely protected.

  • Annual payment: $59
  • Rate of interest: 14.9% on purchases
  • Minimal deposit: $500
  • Annual earnings requirement: None
  • Further advantages: Zero legal responsibility safety
  • Welcome provide: This card doesn’t have a welcome bonus presently.


  • Cardholders can select between an annual payment of $59 and a 14.90% rate of interest or no annual payment and a 19.99% rate of interest.
  • When you select the decrease rate of interest of 14.90%, you may pay your $59 annual payment in a lump sum or installments.


  • There’s a $12 further payment for accounts which might be inactive for a yr.
  • This card doesn’t have any extras or perks.
  • Not out there to residents of Quebec.

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Greatest secured bank card for rewards

Neo Secured Credit score*

At a look: You can begin utilizing the no-annual-fee Neo Secured Card with a deposit of as little as $50, and it has a money again program that may get you a median of 5% money again for purchases at companion companies. You possibly can subscribe to elective “Bundles” that provide the means to make your card extra suited to your spending habits, with boosted rewards and varied perks like insurance coverage.

  • Annual payment: $0
  • Rate of interest: 19.99% on purchases (19.99% to 25.49% for Quebec residents), 24.99% on money advances
  • Minimal deposit: $50
  • Annual earnings requirement: None
  • Welcome provide: You possibly can earn $25 money again.
  • Further advantages: Entry to elective Bundles; Insights enables you to monitor your spending


  • Tailor the cardboard to your wants utilizing customizable Bundles.
  • Earn limitless money again in your purchases. 
  • Open a Neo account with no arduous credit score examine (excluding Quebec candidates), which implies you received’t harm your credit score rating additional.
  • It is a assured approval bank card.


  • You’ll have to buy with companions to get probably the most money again. 
  • There are nearly no extras with this card except you subscribe to a Bundle.

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Greatest bank card for weak credit

Capital One Assured Secured Mastercard

Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard

At a look: You’re assured to be accepted for the Capital One Assured Secured Mastercard, so long as you’re of the age of majority in your province, you don’t have an present Capital One account (or have utilized for one previously 30 days), and also you haven’t had a Capital One account in unhealthy standing previously yr. This card presents an efficient option to construct your credit score—even in case you have a low credit score rating—and even presents a couple of extras.

  • Annual payment: $59
  • Rate of interest: 19.80% on purchases, 21.90% on money advances, 19.80% on steadiness transfers
  • Minimal deposit: $75 (minimal, in safety funds, as much as a most of $300) 
  • Annual earnings requirement: None
  • Further advantages: Journey advantages together with as much as $250,000 in widespread service journey accident protection and baggage delay; automotive rental collision/loss harm waiver; 24/7 journey help; worth safety; buy assurance and prolonged guarantee


  • You’re assured approval so long as you meet fundamental eligibility standards.
  • Comes with some journey advantages, together with widespread service journey accident protection and automotive rental collision/loss harm waiver.


  • Comes with some journey insurance coverage, however you’ll doubtless want to purchase supplemental safety.
  • This card doesn’t provide the power to earn rewards or money again.

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Greatest bank card for college kids with weak credit

BMO Air Miles Mastercard for College students*

At a look: With the BMO Air Miles Mastercard for College students, cardholders can earn Air Miles they’ll redeem for journey, merchandise or money rewards. Whereas this no-annual-fee card doesn’t provide something in the way in which of extras, it does welcome new members with a wholesome bonus of 800 Air Miles.

  • Annual payment: $0
  • Rate of interest: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on money advances, 22.99% on steadiness transfers
  • Minimal deposit: None
  • Welcome provide: You possibly can earn 800 Air Miles Bonus Miles value $80 in direction of purchases with Air Miles Money
  • Annual earnings requirement: None 
  • Further advantages: None


  • Earn 3 miles for each $25 spent at taking part companions, 2 miles for each $25 spent at any eligible grocery retailer, and 1 mile for each $25 spent on all the pieces else.
  • You possibly can “double dip” utilizing this card and your Air Miles card at sponsored areas to extend your Air Miles earned.


  • This card doesn’t include any extras.

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Greatest bank card for newcomers to Canada

Scotia Momentum No-Charge Visa*

At a look: Newcomers usually don’t have any Canadian credit score report which may hinder an individual’s means to use for a mortgage or mortgage, or provoke a relationship with their financial institution. The Scotia Momentum No-Charge Visa treatments that with a no-fee card that earns money again rewards and comes with a beefy welcome bonus besides. 

  • Annual payment: $0
  • Rate of interest: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on money advances, 22.99% on steadiness transfers
  • Minimal deposit: None
  • Annual earnings requirement: $12,000
  • Welcome provide: You possibly can earn 5% money again on all purchases for the primary 3 months (as much as $2,000 in complete purchases). Provide ends 31 Oct 2023
  • Further advantages: As much as 25% off base charges at taking part Avis and Funds automotive rental areas


  • Switch balances from different playing cards and pay no curiosity for six months.
  • Earn 1% money again on purchases at fuel stations, grocery shops, drug shops and recurring funds, and 0.5% money again on all the pieces else. 
  • Supplementary playing cards are free, so you may have members of the family or trusted buddies in your account.


  • This card doesn’t provide any included insurance coverage protections.
  • After six months of benefitting from 0% curiosity on steadiness transfers, the curiosity reverts to 22.99%.

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Ceaselessly requested questions

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How are credit score scores calculated?

These 5 variables have an effect on your credit score rating. 

  • Fee historical past: Whether or not you pay your payments in full and on time, any missed funds and the way lengthy you owed cash. 
  • Debt load: The whole amount of cash you owe collectors—together with bank cards, loans and mortgages.
  • Varieties of credit score you carry: The extra collectors you’re beholden to, the upper danger you may pose to lenders.
  • Mortgage purposes: Every time you apply for credit score, your rating takes a small, momentary hit—so keep away from making use of for a number of sources of credit score in a brief time period. 
  • Credit score historical past: This exhibits lenders you may repay your debt, so apply for a card early, and use it responsibly.

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What’s a secured bank card?

A poor credit score historical past will restrict the playing cards out there to you, however you continue to have choices. For starters, when utilizing a bank card to rebuild your credit score rating, you’ll want to decide on between a secured card and an unsecured card.

A secured bank card is obtainable on the situation that you just “safe” it with collateral, often within the type of a refundable money deposit that may be claimed by the lender for those who default in your funds. These playing cards are marketed on to these with weak credit, in order that they have a better approval course of, and the playing cards themselves include no frills. Lenders report your exercise to Canada’s two primary credit score bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax. Over time, as you proceed to repay your money owed responsibly, you’ll construct a credit score historical past. With a pay as you go card, the credit score restrict is instantly based mostly on the holder’s deposit.

Unsecured playing cards, however, aren’t typically out there to individuals with weak credit scores however are often supplied to these with “truthful” scores—often within the vary of 600 to 650. Because the title suggests, an unsecured card doesn’t require a deposit. Plus, in contrast to secured playing cards, many unsecured playing cards provide rewards (similar to factors or money again). That mentioned, these playing cards usually have harder approval necessities than unsecured playing cards. And as with all types of contracts, it’s all the time a good suggestion to learn the effective print when making use of for a brand new bank card.

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Establishing your credit score rating as a newcomer to Canada

Sadly, for those who’re a newcomer to Canada, your credit score rating from your own home nation received’t comply with you right here. In consequence, your bank card decisions could also be extra restricted, however this additionally means you can begin constructing a brand new rating from scratch—which, for some, generally is a optimistic factor. One method is to get began with a secured card, with the purpose of graduating to a greater, unsecured card as soon as your credit score rating has improved. 

One other option to construct your Canadian credit score rating could be by means of a program for newcomers at a financial institution. For instance, Scotiabank’s StartRight program is designed particularly for newcomers to Canada, offering entry to credit score, a financial savings account, no-fee worldwide cash transfers and assist from the financial institution’s monetary advisors. Equally, BMO’s NewStart program can concern you a bank card, a checking account, a security deposit field and even mortgage choices.

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How we decide the most effective playing cards

The MoneySense editorial workforce selects the most effective bank cards by assessing the worth they supply to Canadians throughout varied classes. Our greatest bank cards for individuals with weak credit rating relies on an in depth record of card particulars and options, together with approval chance, annual charges, rates of interest, welcome presents and annual earnings necessities. We have now additionally thought of the professionals and cons of every card that can assist you decide which of them greatest fit your monetary wants. Our rankings are an unbiased supply of data for Canadians. The addition of hyperlinks from affiliate companions has no bearing on the outcomes. Learn extra about how MoneySense makes cash.

Video: 5 causes to swap your debit card for a pay as you go money again card

Extra of the most effective bank cards:


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