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Updated: July 19, 2023

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Mastercard bank cards on the table. Close-up of the Mastercard logo. E-commerce concept. Selected focus.

Best Mastercard credit cards in Canada in 2023

hodim / Shutterstock

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Updated: July 19, 2023

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware this post may contain links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for products or services you sign up for through partner links.

Of the three major credit card processors in Canada, Mastercard is particularly popular due to its near universal acceptance rate among merchants. Some stores even have exclusive Mastercard partnerships—a Mastercard is a necessity for those who often shop at Costco in Canada, where Visa and Amex are not accepted. Fortunately there are a wide variety of Canadian Mastercards to suit nearly every income level, habitual purchase category, and reward type preference.

Summary of best Canadian Mastercards in 2023

Mastercard 
Card type 
Annual fee 
Apply
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Cash back 
$0 
BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*
Travel rewards 
$150 
PC® World Elite Mastercard®
Grocery rewards 
$0 
MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®
Low interest 
$39 
BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for Students
Student 
$0 

Best cash back Mastercard

Quick Facts

Minimum credit score: Fair-Good

Minimum income: $12,000

Age: 18+/Age of majority

Residency: Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident

Other: No bankruptcy for the past 7 years

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is perfect if you want to choose the kinds of purchases you’ll earn extra cash back for, without paying for the privilege. Cardholders pay no annual fee and will choose two categories where their purchases earn 2% cash back—groceries, furniture, restaurants, hotels and motels, gas, recurring bills, drug stores, home improvement, entertainment, and public transit/parking make up the wide array of categories you can choose from. And by setting up automatic contributions to a Tangerine savings account, you can choose a third category with 2% cash back. On all other purchases, cash back accrues at 0.5%. The card’s flexibility makes it a perennial favourite in Canada, and it’s a fixture on our list of the best cash back cards offered by any card processor, Mastercard or otherwise.

New cardholders will also be able to take advantage of two welcome offers: Apply by July 5th, 2023. If you're approved, you’ll earn an extra 10% back on up to $1,000 in everyday purchases made within your first 2 months.* The second offer is a low 1.95% interest rate on balances transferred to Tangerine for 6 months (1% transfer fee applies)*.

Click here to apply or learn more about the card by reading our complete Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card review.

Note that if you’re drawn to the flexible rewards of the Money-Back Card, and you have an annual personal income of at least $60K or household income of at least $100K, you should take a look at the Tangerine World Mastercard® instead. Like the Money-Back Credit Card it has no annual fee and the same personalized rewards rates, but it offers added features like mobile device insurance, airport lounge access, and car rental insurance.

*Terms and Conditions apply

Best travel rewards Mastercard

BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*

Quick Facts

Minimum credit score: Excellent

Minimum income: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household

Age: Age of majority in your province or territory

Other requirements: No bankruptcies in the last seven years

Credit cards with high annual fees and steeper income requirements also give cardholders a greater array of perks. There are few travel Mastercards that can rival the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*, which offers a massive welcome bonus of up to 60,000 BMO Rewards points, plus a waiver of the first year’s $150 fee*. That’s approximately $550 in value but other bonuses, like the waiver on the $50 annual fee for the first authorized cardholder*, and perks like complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes, boost this number to an impressive value in your first year.

The card also accrues 5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.* Points can be redeemed on all travel arrangements, including luxury 4-star hotels and airfare. If you can meet the income requirement of $80,000 per year, you’ll also likely spend more per month on the card. For $5,000 per month, at the end of your first year you’ll have accrued enough points to spend 7 nights in an all-inclusive 5-star resort in Mexico, or a flight all the way from Canada to Dubai. During the layover, enjoy one of your four yearly complimentary VIP lounge passes. Last but not least, travellers and their families are protected with World Elite Total Travel and Medical protection package from BMO, which represents the cherry on top for this Mastercard.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* review.

*Terms and conditions apply

Best grocery rewards Mastercard

PC® World Elite Mastercard®

Quick Facts

Minimum annual income: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household

Age: Age of majority in your province or territory

Residency: Resident of Canada

The PC® World Elite Mastercard® is one of Canada’s best credit cards for earning back on groceries, and is a particularly good option for those who are allergic to annual fees and who shop regularly at Loblaw banner stores, like Loblaws, No Frills, and Real Canadian Superstore.

The card earns 30 PC Optimum™ points per $1 spent at Loblaw banner grocery stores (a 3% return rate); 30 points per litre of gas purchased at Canadian Esso™ and Mobil™ stations; 45 points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart or Pharmaprix; 30 points per $1 on PC travel services; and 10 points per $1 on everything else.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete PC® World Elite Mastercard® review.

Sponsored advertising. President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® is provided by President’s Choice Bank. The PC Optimum™ program is provided by President's Choice Services Inc. President’s Choice Bank is not responsible for the contents of this site, including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information regarding the PC® Mastercard®, PC® World Mastercard®, or PC® World Elite Mastercard®, please click on the “Apply Now” or other applicable button.

Best low interest rate Mastercard

MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®

Quick Facts

Minimum credit score: Fair-Good

Minimum income: N/A

Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province

Residency: Canadian

If you’re committed to eliminating your credit card debt and are willing to pay a small annual fee in exchange for lower interest, the MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® is a top choice. The card offers competitively low rates on balance transfers, 8.99%✪, and purchases, 8.99%, which could save you hundreds if not thousands over those other high 20%+ interest rates you’re probably paying. These rates afford the cardholder with some ease when it comes to paying down their credit card debt, a feature well worth the card’s $39 annual fee. Just avoid cash advances with this card, as they’re subject to a crushing 24.99% interest rate, which is rather out of step with its low purchase and balance transfer rates.

Interest rates aside, other notable features for the MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® are relatively scant, though cardholders do benefit from purchase assurance and extended warranty protection.

Click here to apply or learn more about the card by reading our complete MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard® review.

✪, Terms and Conditions apply.

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button

The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the issuer of this credit card. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ®MBNA and other-trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Best student Mastercard

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for Students

Quick Facts

Minimum credit score: Good

Minimum income: $15,000

Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province

Residency: Canadian

The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for Students offers great cash back rates on groceries but doesn’t charge an annual fee, the perfect combination for students with meagre budgets.

New cardholders start off earning at a special 5% cash back rate for the first three months, on up to $2,500 in purchases (max $125 in cash back)*. After that you’ll earn 3% cash back on groceries (up to $500 spent on groceries per month); 1% back on recurring bills (up to $500 spent per month); and 0.5% back on everything else*. The card also offers purchase protection* and extended warranty coverage*, rental car discounts*, as well as discounts on Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada and in Las Vegas*.

Click here to apply and learn more.

*Terms and conditions apply

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BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information. 

About our author

Nate Siegel
Nate Siegel, Author

Nathan Siegel has a professional and educational passion for finance. He follows trends in the Canadian banking sector, compares competing products, and pores over fine print to make personal finance choices easier for Canadian consumers. In his spare time he loves running, swimming, and dogs of all kinds.

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