Best Visa credit cards in Canada

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Updated: May 01, 2024

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Visa is one of three credit card networks active in Canada (alongside Mastercard and American Express), and is widely recognized as the largest of the trio. Cardholders can be confident that most merchants will accept their Visa, though there are some outliers, like Costco, which accepts Mastercard only. Nonetheless, Visa enjoys a healthy lead in market share, regularly making up over half of global credit card payments by itself, leaving the other card issuers to split the rest of the pie.

The universal popularity of the Visa brand explains the sheer number of Visa credit cards in Canada, as well as the consistent majority Visa has on our list of Canada’s best credit cards overall.

Summary of best Canadian Visa credit cards

Card Name Visa Card Features Get Started
Home Trust Secured Visa Best for improving credit
◦ $0 annual fee
◦ $500-$10,000 credit limit
◦ 19.99% purchase interest rate
◦ High approval rate
◦ Purchase security: Eligible items purchased with the card are insured against theft or damage for 90 days from date of purchase
Apply Now
CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card Best for cash back
◦ Annual fee: see terms below
◦ After the Welcome Offer ends 4% cash back on eligible gas, EV charging and grocery purchases†
Apply Now
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card Best for travel
◦ $139 annual fee
◦ 1.5 Aeroplan points† per $1 spent on grocery, gas and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card
◦ 1 Aeroplan point† per $1 spent elsewhere; double points at participating retailers and the Air Canada eStore†
Apply Now
Home Trust Preferred Visa Best for no foreign transaction fee
◦ 0% foreign transaction fee
◦ 1% cash back1 on all eligible purchases in CAD
Apply Now

Terms and conditions apply.

Best Visa Card for improving credit

Home Trust Secured Visa

Apply now

Good

No annual fee

Purchase APR

19.99%

Cash Advance APR

21.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit Score

Good

Required Annual Personal Income

$0

Required Annual Household Income

$0

Pros

  • Reports to credit bureaus every month, helping to quickly build your credit rating.

  • Requires a $500 minimum deposit, with the credit limit scaling on a 1:1 basis all the way up to $10,000.

  • High approval rate

  • Monthly credit reporting to major credit agencies every month, expediting the credit repair or improvement process

  • Low foreign transaction fee

  • Cardholders get a 21-day no-interest grace period

  • Low monthly minimum payment options; pay either the greater of $10 or 3% of the monthly balance.

Cons

  • Standard interest rate although, if you opt for the annual fee version of the card, it comes down

  • No rewards or perks

  • Charges a monthly inactivity fee of $12 if the card is not used for a period of 12 months.

  • Despite a high approval rate, there are still chances of being denied based on deal-breaking factors

  • No welcome bonus offer as it is designed for credit building

The Home Trust Secured Visa is a smart choice if you’re looking to improve your credit score, and there are two features that really make it stand out compared to most other secured credit cards: 1. It has neither a monthly nor annual fee, making it a great fit for people who not only need to improve their credit but are looking to do so in a budget-conscious way; and 2. It offers Purchase Security, which is typically a feature reserved for unsecured credit cards only.

Home Trust makes monthly reports about your payments to Canada’s major credit bureaus, so you can expect to gradually build up your credit score, provided you make your payments on time. You guarantee repayment of whatever balance you put on the card by securing it (hence why it’s called a “secured” credit card) with your own money. The security deposit is flexible and can range from $500 to as much as $10,000, depending on how high a credit limit you want and how much money you can put down.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit limit: $500-$10,000
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
  • Purchase security: Eligible items purchased with the card are insured against theft or damage for 90 days from date of purchase

Learn more by reading our complete Home Trust Secured Visa review.

Best cash back Visa Card

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite

Apply now

10% back

Good

Get a first-year annual fee rebate and earn 10% cash back welcome bonus of up to $250!†

Earn 4% cash back on gas, EV charging, and groceries.

4%

Earn 2% cash back on dining, transportation, recurring payments or bills.

2%

Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases with no limit.

1%

Save 10 cents per litre with CIBC and Journie Rewards (Ultramar, Chevron, Pioneer, Fas Gas)

10 cents

Purchase APR

20.99%

Balance Transfer Rate

22.99%

Cash Advance APR

22.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Recommended Credit Score

Good

Required Annual Personal Income

$60,000

Required Annual Household Income

$100,000

Pros

  • Very high cash back rates on eligible groceries and gas and electric vehicle charging

  • Lucrative welcome offer

  • Flexible cash back redemption policy

  • Premium Visa Infinite benefits†

  • No limit on the total cash back you can earn†

Cons

  • Maximum annual spending limits in accelerated cash back

  • High-ish annual fee

  • Mid-level income requirement

The CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card outshines its competitors among the best cash back cards in Canada on several fronts: Its accelerated earn rates include the two categories where Canadians tend to spend the most money—eligible gas and groceries—and it doles out a huge 4% in each of those categories and for EV charging after the Welcome Offer ends. There’s an annual fee rebate for the first year, but it’s still an affordable card after the first year ends.

If you’re drawn to the high earn rates on eligible gas, EV charging, and grocery purchases, but you don’t meet the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card’s income requirements, we recommend applying instead for the CIBC Dividend Platinum® Visa Card, which is virtually identical to the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card but doesn’t offer as comprehensive an insurance package.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: $120 for primary cardholder; $30 per additional authorized user (up to 3)
  • Welcome offer: Get a first-year annual fee rebate and earn 10% cash back welcome bonus of up to $200!†
  • Regular cash back: After that 4% cash back on eligible gas, EV charging and grocery purchases; 2% cash back on eligible transportation, dining purchases and recurring payments; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Get cash back on demand – redeem your cash back at any time when you have a minimum of $25 through CIBC Online and Mobile Banking.®†
  • Insurance: Includes out-of-province travel medical insurance, trip interruption insurance, flight delay/baggage insurance and auto rental insurance.
  • Interest rates: 20.99% Purchase Annual Interest Rate; 22.99% (for non-Quebec residents only) Cash Advance Annual Interest Rate, and 22.99% (for non-Quebec residents only) Balance Transfer Annual Interest Rate

This is a digital-exclusive offer.

To be eligible for this offer:

1) this offer must have been directly communicated to you from CIBC or from a partner/affiliate; and

2) you must apply for the eligible card through the link provided in the CIBC or partner/affiliate communication to you.†

This offer is reserved for you. Please do not forward it to anyone else.

CIBC may approve your application, but you are not eligible to receive this Offer if you have opened, transferred or cancelled another Dividend card within the last 12 months.†

Best travel Visa Card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

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up to 50K pts

Excellent

Earn up to $1,200 in value† including up to 50,000 Aeroplan points†. Conditions Apply. Account must be approved by June 3, 2024.

Expires

Jun 4, 2024

for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®)†

1.5 points

Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend on all other purchases†

1 point

Earn points twice with Aeroplan partner brands and on the Aeroplan eStore.†

2x

Earn 50% more Aeroplan points at Starbucks when you link your card to your account.†

50%

NEXUS application fee rebate every 48 months†

1

checked bag free for you and up to 8 travel companions†

1st

Purchase APR

20.99%

Balance Transfer Rate

22.99%

Cash Advance APR

22.99%

Annual Fee

$139

Foreign Transaction Fee

2.50%

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent

Required Annual Personal Income

$60,000

Required Annual Household Income

$100,000

Pros

  • The card has a high earn rate for Aeroplan Points, generating 1.5 points† per $1 spent on eligible purchases.

  • Insurance offered includes coverage in the categories that travellers need, and is generally better than its Aeroplan peers at a similar annual fee level.

Cons

  • No airport lounge membership or free lounge access.

  • Aeroplan points can’t be redeemed for flights outside the Star Alliance network, nor can they be redeemed for cash credit. This makes them less flexible than some competing travel rewards programs.

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card starts new cardholders off with a colossal welcome bonus:

Earn up to $1,200 in value, including up to 50,000 Aeroplan points(enough for a round trip to New York City†) and additional travel benefits. Account must be approved by June 3, 2024.

  • Earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card
  • Earn 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $6,000 within 180 days of Account opening 
  • Plus, earn a one-time anniversary bonus of 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $10,000 within 12 months of Account opening 
  • Enroll for NEXUS and once every 48 months get an application fee rebate
  • Plus, share free first checked bags with up to 8 travel companions

Beyond this impressive start, the card has decent long-term value, collecting 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas, and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card (about a 2.1% rate of return), and 1 Aeroplan point per $1 spent on all other purchases. It also comes with a comprehensive set of travel and purchase insurance†. Its only weakness for hardcore travellers is that it doesn’t offer any form of airport lounge access; plus its annual fee for additional cardholders is relatively steep.

Key features:

  • Annual fees: $139 for primary cardholder; $75 for additional cardholders
  • Welcome bonus: Best offer yet for the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card: Earn up to $1,200 in value† including up to 50,000 Aeroplan points†. Conditions Apply. Account must be approved by June 3, 2024.
  • Aeroplan earn rates: 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery, and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card; 1 Aeroplan point per $1 spent elsewhere; double points at participating retailers and the Air Canada eStore
  • Additional benefits: Well-rounded insurance suite; share free first checked bags with up to eight travel companions when travelling with Air Canada

Learn more by reading our complete TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card review.

Terms and conditions apply.

Offer not available to residents of Quebec.

Best no foreign transaction fee Visa Card

Home Trust Preferred Visa

Apply now

Good

No annual fee and no foreign exchange fees

Earn 1% cash back on all purchases with no cap.

1%

Purchase APR

21.99%

Balance Transfer Rate

21.99%

Cash Advance APR

21.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee

0.00%

Recommended Credit Score

Good

Required Annual Personal Income

$15,000

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • 1% cash back on all purchases with no cap

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Purchase protection included

  • Ideal for frequent travelers and online shoppers

Cons

  • No cash back on transactions in foreign currency

  • Not available to Quebec residents

Foreign transaction fees, which are typically charged on each purchase not made in Canadian dollars, can silently escalate the expenses of a vacation or business trip. The average fee runs around 2.50% per foreign transaction, so cards that either waive or subsidize these fees are essential companions for frequent travellers. The best Visa credit card for the job is Home Trust’s Preferred Visa, which has the straightforward benefit of not charging these fees for any foreign transactions whatsoever. Cardholders also earn 1% cash back1 on all their eligible purchases in CAD, so the card is ultimately advantageous whether you’re at home or abroad.

Though the Home Trust Preferred Visa does suffer from some minor limitations (e.g. a max of 10 transactions per day), the addition of purchase protection and extended warranties further solidify the deal, and it’s all offered for no annual fee.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Cash back: 1% cash back1 on all eligible purchases in CAD

Learn more by reading our complete Home Trust Preferred Visa review.

1 Cash advances, balance transfers, interest, fees and foreign transactions (including online purchases in foreign currencies) are not eligible for CashBack Rewards.

How did we choose these cards?

We started by identifying the most popular card categories among our readers; then we compared all the Visa cards in Canada for those categories. Here are some of the most important card features we had in mind when choosing our category winners:

Fees vs. overall value

We always measure a card’s annual fee against the overall value it gives to cardholders in return, based on average consumer spending and debt levels. Some cards with steep annual fees offer such a robust value package that the fee ultimately shouldn’t be a deterrent to those who qualify. On the other hand, you don’t always get what you pay for, and an annual fee isn’t necessarily a sure sign that the card will be packed full of useful benefits. Aside from an annual fee, cards may often have less obvious costs that we also take into consideration, like foreign transaction fees and balance transfer fees.

Interest rates

Cash back and rewards cards typically have APRs hovering around 19.99% to 24.99%; we expect far lower rates from cards in the low interest and balance transfer categories. Cards may also stand out by offering low interest rates across multiple transaction types, like purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.

Earn rates and redemption values

One of the most important considerations of any rewards or cash back card is how quickly and easily cash back and rewards add up. When analyzing this feature we of course favour higher earn rates; however, we also consider the real-world value of rewards points (see our Loyalty Program Bible for more info). A rewards program’s ease of redemption and transferability is also important.

Sign-up bonus

Everyone likes the immediate gratification of a big sign-up bonus, which may include a bunch of rewards points, enhanced cash back rates, and an annual fee rebate. Of course, in our book a big sign-up bonus won’t trump a card’s overall, long-term value beyond its first year.

Special features

Cards may have an extra advantage if they offer value-added benefits like mobile device or travel insurance, discounts at widely-used merchants, and airport lounge access.

Can’t decide which Visa is for you?

Whether a card is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depends as much on your personal needs as it does on the card itself. For example, a rewards card offering every travel benefit under the sun won’t be of much use to someone who rarely leaves their home province; a cash back card may seem lucrative at first glance, but its relatively high interest will do more harm than good to someone who might carry a balance from month to month. If after perusing this list you’re still not sure which card is best for you, take a look at our article on choosing a credit card to suit your lifestyle, then come back to make a final decision. 

FAQs

  • Which is better, Visa or Mastercard?

    +

    Mastercard and Visa are very competitive with each other in terms of merchant acceptance rates, and one can’t be classified as being inherently better than the other. We encourage you to choose a credit card based on its overall value and features, be it a Visa or Mastercard, unless you frequently shop at one of the rare merchants that happens to accept only one or the other.

  • What are the easiest credit cards to be approved for?

    +

    The easiest credit cards to be approved for are typically secured credit cards. These cards require a security deposit, and are designed to be used by those who are looking to improve a low credit score. Once you have a credit score above 650 you can likely qualify for a number of basic unsecured credit cards, which will probably have low minimum annual income requirements.

  • Can I check my Visa card balance online?

    +

    Yes, you can check your Visa card balance online by setting up an online account with your card’s issuer. All reputable credit, debit, and prepaid cards issued today should offer online account maintenance.

  • Which is better, Visa Platinum or Visa Infinite?

    +

    Visa Infinite tops the list with superior benefits like travel insurance and Priority Pass lounge access. It's the ultimate choice for unparalleled privileges and rewards.

  • What is the highest-tier visa card?

    +

    Visa Infinite stands as the highest tier within Visa's card offerings, boasting a comprehensive range of benefits. In addition to standard perks, cardholders enjoy the invaluable auto rental collision damage waiver. This feature provides coverage for damages resulting from collisions or theft, providing added security and peace of mind.

  • Why is Visa the best credit card?

    +

    Visa has widespread acceptance across 200+ countries, ensuring convenience wherever you go. Benefit from the reassurance of Visa's Zero Liability Policy, safeguarding you from unauthorized transactions. However, we encourage you to choose a card based on its overall value and features that best suit your lifestyle.

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