Best credit cards for millennials July 2024

Fact Checked: Tyler Wade

🗓️

Updated: July 17, 2024

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The best credit cards for millennials are well-suited to this generation's lifestyle, as well as offer rewards and bonuses that you'll actually use.

Let’s be real: financial advice for Boomers isn’t always helpful for finding the best credit card to fit a millennial's lifestyle. Money may be tight. You may still be a student, paying off student loans. You may not be earning the highest salary (yet). And even though you’re sticking to a budget, you may still want to travel and live it up a little — as long as your rent and groceries are paid first, of course.

With these considerations in mind, we set out to find the best Canadian credit cards for millennials and narrowed the list down to our top four best credit cards. 

Best millennial cards

Best credit cards for millennials in Canada

Credit card for millennials Best for Get started
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Cash back rewards Apply now
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Travel rewards Apply now
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card Lifestyle rewards Apply now
Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card Entertainment perks Apply now
Best for cash back

Best credit card for millennials in the cash back category

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Apply now

5.0

10% back

Welcome offer

Good

Suggested credit score

Get 10% cash back on up to $1,000 in everyday purchases made within 2 months. Pay only 1.95% balance transfer interest for the first 6 months.

Expires

Nov 1, 2024

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Choose the spending categories where you want to earn the most cash back

  • Unlimited cash back—no maximum spending limit for any purchase category

  • Cash back is paid out monthly rather than annually

  • Periodically includes a special welcome offer where you can get extra cash back

  • 1.95% interest on balance transfers for the first 6 months (1% transfer fee applies)*

Cons

  • Regular cash back rates are still lower than what you can get from a card with an annual fee

  • Limited extra perks or benefits beyond the cash back and balance transfer promotion

  • Generally not a good fit for shopping at warehouse clubs or wholesale grocers like Costco or Walmart

  • Tangerine does not have any physical bank branches

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Good

Required Annual Personal Income

$12,000

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Choose the spending categories where you want to earn the most cash back

  • Unlimited cash back—no maximum spending limit for any purchase category

  • Cash back is paid out monthly rather than annually

  • Periodically includes a special welcome offer where you can get extra cash back

  • 1.95% interest on balance transfers for the first 6 months (1% transfer fee applies)*

Cons

  • Regular cash back rates are still lower than what you can get from a card with an annual fee

  • Limited extra perks or benefits beyond the cash back and balance transfer promotion

  • Generally not a good fit for shopping at warehouse clubs or wholesale grocers like Costco or Walmart

  • Tangerine does not have any physical bank branches

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Good

Required Annual Personal Income

$12,000

Earn 2% cash back on 2 categories of your choice (e.g. groceries, recurring bills, gas, drug stores, etc.)

2%

Get a Tangerine Savings account and add a 3rd 2% cash back category.

3

Earn 0.50% on all your other everyday purchases.

0.5%

Variable APR

19.95% - 24.95%

Balance Transfer Rate

1.95%

Cash Advance APR

19.95%

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee

2.50%

Nothing is as flexible as cash in your hand. Until recently, cash-back credit cards weren’t offering the right mix of good reimbursement rates, eligible spend categories, and low (or no) annual fees. It seems that the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has finally hit the sweet spot with these perks. Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on your purchases in up to 3 categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases. That combined with its $0 annual fee makes this card a winner.

If that’s not enticing enough, there’s an awesome promotion right now: Special 10% extra cash back rate on the first $1,000 spent with the card on everyday purchases (max. $100 cash back) in the first two months if you're approved.* There’s some easy money to be made just by signing up and it won’t cost you a thing!

The details

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum income eligibility: $12,000
  • Credit score required: Fair;Good
  • Additional benefits: Automatic, monthly reimbursement to your credit card balance or savings account; unlimited cash back
  • Interest on purchases: 19.95% | Interest on cash advances: 19.95%
  • Welcome offer: Special 10% extra cash back rate on the first $1,000 spent with the card on everyday purchases (max. $100 cash back) in the first two months if you're approved.*

The fact is, you can use cash for anything you need and this flexibility along with decent reimbursement rates is why it tops this list. There are no restrictions or complicated rules to follow. It’s just money back in your pocket—and it doesn’t cost you a thing.

Learn more about the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

*Terms and conditions apply

Best for travel

Best credit card for millennials that love to travel

Scotiabank Gold American Express®

Apply now

4.5

up to 45K pts

Welcome offer

Very Good

Suggested credit score

Earn up to $950* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ pointsÂą

Expires

Nov 1, 2024

Pros

  • Lots of daily spend options to earn multiplied point bonuses

  • Swanky Amex perks like Front of the Line presale concert tickets

  • Save on foreign transaction fees when abroad

  • Fantastic insurance coverage, especially for travel

Cons

  • Relatively low-value welcome bonus

  • $120 annual fee that chews into your point value substantially

  • Scene points redeem poorly for travel

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Very Good

Pros

  • Lots of daily spend options to earn multiplied point bonuses

  • Swanky Amex perks like Front of the Line presale concert tickets

  • Save on foreign transaction fees when abroad

  • Fantastic insurance coverage, especially for travel

Cons

  • Relatively low-value welcome bonus

  • $120 annual fee that chews into your point value substantially

  • Scene points redeem poorly for travel

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Very Good

Scene+ pointsÂą on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, Freshco, Foodland and more

6x

Scene+ pointsÂą for every $1 you spend on dining, food delivery and other eligible grocery stores. Includes popular food delivery and food subscriptions.

5x

Scene+ pointsÂą for every $1 you spend in Canada eligible entertainment purposes. Includes movies, theatre and ticket agencies stores.

5x

Scene+ pointsÂą for every $1 CAD you spend in Canada on eligible gas and daily transit options. Includes rideshares, buses, subway, taxis and more

3x

Scene+ pointsÂą for every $1 CAD you spend in Canada on eligible select streaming services

3x

Scene+ point for every $1 spent on all other eligible everyday purchases

1x

Purchase APR

20.99%

Balance Transfer Rate

22.99%

Cash Advance APR

22.99%

Annual Fee

$120

Foreign Transaction Fee

0.00%

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card has some serious points-earning potential that can be put towards your next trip. Earn 6X Scene+ points on every $1 CAD you spend in Canada on all eligible purchasesÂą at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, VoilĂ  by Sobeys, VoilĂ  by IGA, VoilĂ  by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les MarchĂ©s Tradition, Rachelle BĂ©ry and Co-Op.

Earn 5X the Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on other eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments (including food delivery and food subscription services), as well as on eligible entertainment purchases (movies, theatre, and ticket agencies). Plus, you’ll get 3X the Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible gas, daily transit, and eligible select streaming purchases, and 1X Scene+ point per $1 spent on every other purchase.

The annual fee of $120 is a bit steep, which is a bit of a bummer. This card is a winner in our books, as it provides amazing benefits, such as no foreign transaction fees, comprehensive travel insurance, and Amex Front Of the Line® access. Plus, for a limited time, this card has an incredible welcome bonus for new cardholders.

What’s also exceptional about this credit card is the flexibility in rewards redemption. All you have to do is log in to the system and select the “Apply Points to Travel” option. Then just use your accumulated points to offset any travel costs (flights, rental cars, hotels, etc.) charged to your credit card. It’s that easy – no black-out periods or annoying restrictions. It’s no wonder the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card is often ranked as the best travel credit card in Canada.

The details

  • Annual fee: $120 (first year annual fee rebate)
  • Credit score required: Excellent
  • Welcome bonus: Earn up to $950* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ pointsÂą. 
  • Other perks: No foreign transaction fees, comprehensive travel insurance, Amex Front of the Line® access
  • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash advance APR: 22.99%
Apply now

¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card to learn more.*See Card Provider's website and Card Application for complete card details, terms and current offers. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accuracy of information.

Best for rewards

Best credit card for a millennial's lifestyle and rewards

BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite

Apply now

4.5

up to 60K pts

Welcome offer

Very Good

Suggested credit score

Get up to 60,000 points worth $400 in travel rewards, a $50 lifestyle credit and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year - that's a $570 value in your first anniversary!*

Expires

Nov 30, 2024

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer: Get up to 60,000 points and a $50 lifestyle credit

  • Good earn rate in top spending categories

  • First year annual fee waiver* (Value: $120)

  • Includes new mobile device insurance: Up to $1,000 in coverage**

  • Annual $50 lifestyle credit to spend however you like*

  • Includes comprehensive travel insurance

  • Access to exclusive Visa Infinite benefits

Cons

  • High minimum annual income: Minimum $60,000 (individual) or $100,000 (household)

  • Insurance doesn't include trip cancellation coverage

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Very Good

Required Annual Personal Income

$60,000

Required Annual Household Income

$100,000

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer: Get up to 60,000 points and a $50 lifestyle credit

  • Good earn rate in top spending categories

  • First year annual fee waiver* (Value: $120)

  • Includes new mobile device insurance: Up to $1,000 in coverage**

  • Annual $50 lifestyle credit to spend however you like*

  • Includes comprehensive travel insurance

  • Access to exclusive Visa Infinite benefits

Cons

  • High minimum annual income: Minimum $60,000 (individual) or $100,000 (household)

  • Insurance doesn't include trip cancellation coverage

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Very Good

Required Annual Personal Income

$60,000

Required Annual Household Income

$100,000

Earn 5x the points for every $1 spent on groceries, gas, dining in and out and transit.*

5x

Earn 10% more points when you add an authorized user to your account.*

10%

Get a $50 annual lifestyle credit to spend however you want*

$50

Purchase APR

20.99%

Balance Transfer Rate

23.99%

Cash Advance APR

23.99%

Annual Fee

$120

If you’re looking for a credit card that gets you valuable and flexible rewards that fit your urbanite lifestyle, consider the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card. Earn 5x the BMO Rewards points on groceries, dining, gas and transit*, and 1 point per $1 on everything else*.

BMO Rewards points are simple to redeem—just visit BmoRewards.com—and can be applied towards travel at a rate of 150 points per dollar. Alternatively, you can redeem your BMO Rewards for merchandise or gift cards, or use the Pay with Points program to apply your points to purchases made on your card. You can even deposit their value into a BMO investment account. That said, the value per point is lower than travel redemptions.

This is a good card for people who like to treat themselves. 

With Visa Infinite* perks that gain you access to special dining and wine events, we bet you can find something to splash out on. You’ll also automatically receive perks at luxury hotels and have access to the Visa Infinite complimentary concierge. Take note of the included comprehensive travel insurance and the new mobile device coverage of up to $1,000*.

The details

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Minimum income eligibility requirement: Minimum $60,000 (individual) or $100,000 (household)
  • Credit score required: Good;Excellent
  • Other perks: Travel insurance*, new mobile device insurance*, annual $50 “lifestyle credit”*, Visa Infinite perks*
  • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash advance APR: 23.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents)
Learn more about the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card

*Terms and conditions apply.

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.

Best for entertainment

Best credit card for millennials who want entertainment perks

Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card

Apply now

4.0

up to 5K pts

Welcome offer

Good

Suggested credit score

Earn up to 5,000 bonus Scene+ points within your first year.

Expires

Nov 1, 2024

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Generous rewards with 2X points at Cineplex and grocery stores

  • Low redemption thresholds for various rewards

  • 5,000 bonus Scene+ points as a sign-up bonus

  • Points don't expire

  • Car rental savings up to 25%

Cons

  • Limited earning potential for high spenders

  • Limited travel-related benefits compared to travel cards

  • Focus on entertainment and dining rewards may not suit all users

  • Limited sign-up bonus compared to cards with annual fees

  • Car rental savings limited to specific locations

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Good

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Generous rewards with 2X points at Cineplex and grocery stores

  • Low redemption thresholds for various rewards

  • 5,000 bonus Scene+ points as a sign-up bonus

  • Points don't expire

  • Car rental savings up to 25%

Cons

  • Limited earning potential for high spenders

  • Limited travel-related benefits compared to travel cards

  • Focus on entertainment and dining rewards may not suit all users

  • Limited sign-up bonus compared to cards with annual fees

  • Car rental savings limited to specific locations

Eligibility

Recommended Credit Score

Good

Scene+ pointsÂą on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland,participating Co-ops, Freshco and more

2x

Scene+ pointsÂą for every $1 you spend on Home Hardware, Home Building Center, Home Furniture locations in Canada and online at homehardware.ca

2x

Scene+ pointsÂą for every $1 you spend at Cineplex theatres or online at cineplex.com

2x

Scene+ point for every $1 spent on all other eligible everyday purchases

1x

Save up to 25% off base rates at participating Avis locations and participating Budget locations in North America.

25%

Purchase APR

20.99%

Balance Transfer Rate

22.99%

Cash Advance APR

22.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee

2.50%

There are a lot of credit cards aimed at students, but what they all typically offer is a quick way to get into debt. Even if you’re at the beginning of your credit history, it’s possible to make your spending work for you—and that’s what the Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card excels at the most.

A high earn rate and redemption ease make this a really attractive option for those who enjoy movies, shopping, and restaurants.

Earn 2X+ Scene+ points on every $1 you spend on all eligible purchases¹ at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.

Earn 2X Scene+ points for every $1 you spend on credit card purchases at Cineplex™ theatres or at cineplex.com, and 1 Scene+ point for every $1 you spend on your everyday credit card purchases.

The redemption rate is super-low (starting at 1,000 points), which means you can basically use this card for everyday purchases and skim the points for things that make you happy—like movies and meals. Best yet? The points never expire.

The details

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit score required: Good
  • Other perks: Earn 2X+ Scene+ points on every $1 you spend on all eligible purchasesÂą at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, VoilĂ  by Sobeys, VoilĂ  by IGA, VoilĂ  by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les MarchĂ©s Tradition, Rachelle BĂ©ry and Co-Op. Earn 2X Scene+ points for every $1 you spend on credit card purchases at Cineplex™ theatres or at cineplex.com, and 1 Scene+ point for every $1 you spend on your everyday credit card purchases.
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash advance APR: 22.99% | Balance transfer APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card

Âą Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card to learn more. *See Card Provider's website and Card Application for complete card details, terms and current offers. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accuracy of information.

Summary

Summary of the best credit cards for millennials

Credit card Fast facts Get started
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Annual fee: $0

Rewards program: Cash back
Apply now
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Annual fee: $120

Rewards program: Scene+ points
Apply now
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card Annual fee: $120 (annual fee waived in the first year)*

Rewards program: BMO Rewards points
Apply now
Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card Annual fee: $0

Rewards program: Scene+ Points
Apply now
Conclusion

The bottom line

Despite what the media might have you believe, millennials aren’t a monolith. There’s a wide age spread included in this group, from folks just applying to university to those learning how to save money for retirement. Some of you may be saving to travel the world, while others might be buying your first home. Whatever your millennial money goals are, it’s much easier to achieve them when you’ve got the right plastic in your wallet.

FAQs

Millennial credit cards FAQ

  • What is the average millennial credit card debt?

    +

    General credit card debt statistics in Canada indicate that the average amount owed on credit cards is around $3,909.

    Millennials, in particular, face significant financial challenges. A substantial portion of their debt can be attributed to student loans, with an average of $16,725, along with other high-interest loans.

  • How many millennials have credit cards?

    +

    As of 2022, approximately 90% of Canadians aged 18 and over had a credit card, which includes a significant portion of the millennial population​​. This high percentage reflects the widespread use of credit cards among Canadian adults, including millennials.

Keph Senett is a Canadian freelance writer whose areas of expertise include personal finance, travel and sports. When not writing, she spends her free time trying to figure out how to qualify for a soccer squad in Asia, Australia, or Antarctica.

Cory Santos Finance editor

Cory Santos is a finance writer, editor and credit card expert with over seven years of experience in personal finance. Cory joined Wise Publishing from BestCards, with bylines in numerous print and digital publications across North America, including the Miami Herald, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, AOL, MSN and Medium as well as financial podcasts like KOFE Talk.

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