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Updated: August 09, 2023

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Credit cards for millennials

Top 4 credit cards for millennials

LightField Studios / Shutterstock

🗓️

Updated: August 09, 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.

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 aimed at the “Baby Boomers” generation isn’t always helpful for finding the best credit card to fit your lifestyle. As a millennial, money may be tight: you may still be a student, paying off student loans, or not earning the highest salary you ever will in your career. Even though you’re sticking to a budget, you may still like 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 five best credit cards. These cards are well-suited to millennial lifestyles, as well as deliver many perks and bonuses that you’ll actually use.

Top 4 best credit cards for millennials in Canada 2023

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

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card: best for cash back rewards

Apply for a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card 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.*

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

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card: best for travel rewards

Earn up to $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ pointsÂą. Offer ends October 31, 2023.

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.

Earn up to $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ pointsÂą. Earn 20,000 bonus Scene+ points by making at least $1,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, you are eligible to earn a 20,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $7,500 in everyday eligible purchases in your first year. Offer ends October 31, 2023.

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 $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ pointsÂą. Offer ends October 31, 2023.
  • 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

Âą Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card to learn more.

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card: best for lifestyle rewards

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 year*.

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. When you sign up, you’ll get an amazing welcome bonus. 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 year*. Plus, every cardholder gets a $50 “lifestyle credit”* each and every year that they can spend however they wish. 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
  • Welcome bonus: 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 year*.
  • 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.

Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card: best for entertainment perks

Earn 5,000 Scene+ Points (5K with $750 spend in first 3 months).Âą Offer ends October 31, 2023.

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.

Earn 5,000 Scene+ Points (5,000 bonus Scene+ points by making at least $750 in everyday eligible purchases in your first 3 months).Âą Offer ends October 31, 2023.

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
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 5,000 Scene+ Points (5K with $750 spend in first 3 months).Âą Offer ends October 31, 2023.
  • 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.

Summary of the best credit cards for millennials

Credit card Annual fee Purchase interest rate Rewards program Sign up bonus
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card $0 19.95% Cash back 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
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card $120 20.99% Scene+ points Earn up to $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points¹. Offer ends October 31, 2023.
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card $120 (first year annual fee waived)* 20.99% BMO Rewards points 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 year*.
Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa* Card $0 19.99% Scene+ Points Earn 5,000 Scene+ Points (5K with $750 spend in first 3 months).¹ Offer ends October 31, 2023.

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.

The best credit cards by category:

About our author

Keph Senett
Keph Senett, Author

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.

Disclaimer

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