The Easiest Credit Cards to Get in Canada in 2023August 02, 2023
If you are in the market for a new credit card, you may have noticed that some credit cards are easier to get than others. It makes a difference on what type of credit card card you get as the limit. Some credit card issuers have requirements that are less strict than others.
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As you use your credit card though, you will be able to increase your limit since you will have proven you are able to pay for the funds that you borrow.
Minimum Credit Score Required to get a Credit Card
When it comes to borrowing money, your credit score always comes into play. With that said, though, you don’t actually need a good credit score to get a credit card. There are plenty of credit card companies that will give you a credit card if you have a low card score. There are others, though that may require a specific score in order to qualify.
The credit card companies that require specific scores are usually those that have more exclusive rewards and offer higher limits. They are the ones that are more difficult to get, especially if you haven’t had a credit card before.
Credit Card Types That are the Easiest to Get Approved For
There are plenty of credit cards available for those who don’t have the greatest credit score. They are an easy and effective way to improve your credit score while having access to a reliable credit card.
Secured Credit Cards
Secured credit cards are a type of credit card that requires a deposit. Different secured credit card companies require different deposits. Some require as much as your credit card limit. Others just require a few hundred dollars.
Student Credit Cards
Student credit cards often have lower interest rates as well as easier qualification requirements. This is because students often don’t have a lot of credit history since they are trying to further their education. With that said the credit card limits are also often lower.
Prepaid Credit Cards
Prepaid cards are a type of credit card where you don’t borrow any money. You essentially load a credit card with a certain amount of money and can spend it until it’s empty. These are great for gifts or situations where a credit card is needed but you don’t have one. Really, it’s basically a debit card with the abilities of a credit card. While they don’t impact your credit score at all, they are great for those with poor credit scores and still need to have a credit card.
Guaranteed Approval Credit Cards
Unfortunately, in Canada, there are no guaranteed approval credit cards that aren’t secured or prepaid. This is especially true if you have a bad credit score. It’s easier to get approved for an unsecured credit card if you have good credit, but never guaranteed. However, if you are looking for guaranteed credit cards at any credit level then there are some great prepaid and secured credit cards to choose from.
Plastik Secured Credit Card
The Plastik Secured Credit Card is a card that not only comes with many perks but it works very similarly to unsecured credit cards. Some key features of this card are:
- It has an interest rate of 17.99%
- An annual fee of $48
- $6 monthly maintenance fee
- 25 day grace period of regular purchases
- 3 day grace period on cash advances
- Zero fraud liability
- Instant balance payments
You can actually get a pretty high limit with the Plastik card as well. The minimum is $300, but the maximum is $10,000. You can check your balance and see your rewards at any time using the app.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
One of the easiest credit cards to get is the Capital One Secured Mastercard. This is because one of the great features that they offer is guaranteed approval. This is great for someone who is looking to rebuild credit or just get a credit card without the hassle. The details of this card include:
- Zero liability protection
- Purchase assurance
- Extended warranty coverage on items purchased with the card
- Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Waiver
- Price Protection
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Baggage Delay
- Travel Assistance
With this card the interest rate is 21.99%. There’s also a monthly fee of $59. This secured card doesn’t always require the full amount of your card limit. It’s usually between $75 -$300. It’s also important to keep in mind that while the card does have guaranteed approval, you still need to meet the minimum requirements.
- You need to be the age of majority in the province/territory of where you live.
- You provide the security funds required.
- You don’t already have an existing Capital One account, or one that’s pending.
- You haven’t applied for a capital one account more than once in the last 30 days.
- You haven’t had a Capital One account that wasn’t in good standing within the last year.
Neo Secured Mastercard
With the Neo Secured Mastercard, there are some amazing perks that mirror those of unsecured credit cards. It even has a high limit of $10,000. You can easily apply in just a few minutes and there are some great cashback perks that can help you save money.
This card includes:
- Up to 15% cashback on first purchases
- An average of 5% cashback at thousands of partnerships
- The ability to spend the cashback how you choose (doesn’t have to be used in the form of statement credits)
- The ability to earn unlimited cash back
- No annual fee
- 24.99% interest on regular purchases
- 26.99% on cashback purchases
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard is a great way to build your credit score without borrowing any money. How does this work exactly? Well, the KOHO card acts as a credit card, but you can put as much or as little funds on it as you like. You also earn cashback on your purchases. That said, which KOHO plan you choose will determine the cost per month and what benefits you receive.
The easy plan costs $0 per month and comes with a virtual card as well as a physical card. You earn 1% cashback on grocery and transportation purchases as was a 0.5% interest. The cost of the credit building feature is $10 per month. You have the ability to lock your card in the up, extra cashback with partners and roundups.
The essential plan costs $4 per month. It includes both a physical and virtual card as well as 1% cash back on groceries, transportation, and eating and drinking. You get 0.25% on all other purchases, but there is no cashback for booking.com purchases. The interest you earn is higher at 1.5% and credit building only costs $7. You also get the ability to lock your card, receive extra cashback with partners and roundups.
The extra plan costs a bit more at $9 per month. With this plan you not only receive physical and virtual cards, you also receive a premium card. You earn .5% cashback on all purchases as well as 2% cashback on eating and drinking, transportation and grocery purchases. You get 6% on all booking.com purchases. Credit building only costs $7 and you earn 2% interest on your funds. You can lock your card in the app, get roundups and earn extra cashback with partners. There are also no foreign exchange fees and you get 1 free international withdrawal per month.
The last plan is the everything plan. It costs $19 and includes all of the same perks as the extra plans. However, there are a few differences. You earn 4% interest instead of 2% and credit building only costs $5. It has all of the other offered benefits, but you can also get real time e-transfers with this plan.
Instant Approval Credit Cards
Waiting for a credit card can be a pain. If you are applying for one, chances are that you need it sooner rather than later. That’s where cards with instant approval come in. With some you can also get a virtual card and then you could be using them instantly. However, instant approval credit cards can be more difficult to get and do require at least an average credit score.
There are different types of credit cards from all different types of financial institutions. With the way technology is growing, it’s not just small banks that offer them anymore. You can also get instant approval with traditional credit cards and store credit cards.
One of the best instant approval credit cards out there is the Tangerine Money Back Credit Card. This card has no annual fee and offers 2% cashback on categories of your choosing. This means that you are more likely to earn rewards since you control what you earn them on. Other important aspects of this card to consider are:
- 19.96% interest on regular purchases
- 19.96% on cash advances
- 19.96% interest on balance transfers
- Mobile wallet compatible
When it comes to cashback, the categories you have to choose from are:
- Recurring Bill Payments
- Drug Store
- Home Improvement
- Public Transportation and Parking
American Express Cobalt
American Express Cobalt also allows you to use your credit card faster with instant approval. The interest rate on regular purchases is 20.99% with 21.99% on cash advances. There is also a monthly fee of $12.99. The perks included with this card are:
- 5x the points on food delivery and restaurants
- 3x points on streaming subscriptions
- 2x the points on travel and transit
- 1x the points on all other purchases
- Mobile device insurance
- Travel insurance
- Purchase protection
- World Class Service
Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard
The Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard is another very popular credit card. With this card you can earn:
- 4% back in Canadian Tire money at select stores
- $0.05 back per litre on fuel
- 1.5% back at grocery stores
- 0.5% back on all other purchases
Another perk you can get with this card is no fee and no interest financing on qualifying purchases of $150 or more. This is only available at participating retailers, though. You can also get bonus CT money on bonus days, some weekly flyer offers and different events that allow you to earn more.
There are no annual fees and no minimum income requirements. The interest rate on everyday purchases is 20.99%. The interest rate on balance transfers and cash advances is 22.99%. This card is also mobile wallet compatible so you can start using it immediately, even before your physical card arrives.
If you love this card and are looking to earn more rewards or are just looking for a higher reward card, then there is also the Triangle World Elite Mastercard. It offers more perks but still has no annual fee.
PC Financial Mastercard
PC Financial offers a few different Mastercard’s and none of them have annual fees. No matter which one you choose, though, there are plenty of perks you can receive, including:
- 10 points for every dollar you spend on all purchases
- 25 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
- A minimum of 30 points per litre of fuel at ESSO
- 20 points per $1 spent on PC travel
The interest rate on regular purchases is 20.97%. Cash advance interest rates are 22.97% unless you are in Quebec, where the rate is 21.97%. With any of your purchases, there is a grace period of 21 days.
You can also add free additional users to your account for your family members, and, just like other Mastercards, you have access to Mastercard Global Service. This service either replaces your card or offers you a cash advance in case of an emergency. There’s free purchase assurance and a free extended warranty also included on all purchases made with any of the cards.
The three different types of cards you can get are the PC Financial Mastercard, PC Financial World Mastercard and the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. The added benefits to getting a PC World Mastercard are 24/7 concierge service. The World Elite card has even more benefits including Travel Medical Insurance coverage, Car Rental Insurance coverage and Identity Theft Assistance Services.
Home Trust Secured Visa
The Home Trust Secured Visa is one of the best secured cards out there. While it isn’t a guaranteed approval like a lot of the other secured credit cards, their approval rate is higher, and you can get instantly approved, therefore making it the easiest instant credit card you can get. This card is recommended for those with low credit scores, who are new to the country, or who just want to have a new positive credit line on their credit report.
While you will have to put down a deposit if you are approved, you can get the annual fee waived if you go with the 19.99% interest rate. This is only charged if you carry a balance, though. With an annual fee of $59, you can get an interest rate of 14.9%.
Other than building your credit score, some perks that come with this card are:
- Zero liability policy
- It can be used with digital wallets
- You can manage your account online
- Worldwide acceptance
With this particular secured credit card, your deposit amount can range anywhere from $500 to #10,000. This deposit will be kept as long as you hold your card.
BMO Preferred Rate
This card not only offers instant approval, but it also offers their lowest interest rate at 13,99% for regular purchases and 15.99% on cash advances. There is also an annual fee of $29. With that said, though, the annual fee can be rebated as long as you have a BMO Performance chequing account.
Some additional benefits included with the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard are:
- You can get an additional cardholder for free
- Extended warranty protection
- Purchase protection
- 24/7 worldwide emergency support
- BMO pay smart installment plans – interest-free monthly payments for a small fee
- Balance protection
- Roadside assistance
- Zero liability
- Mastercard identity check
- BMO alerts
RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option
All RBC credit cards have an instant approval process, but the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option is the most popular card that they offer. It includes:
- An annual fee of $20
- Purchase interest rate of 12.99%
- Cash advance interest rate of 12.99%
- Additional card cost of $0
- Purchase security
- Extended warranty insurance
- Zero liability protection
- Fuel savings with Petro-Canada
- Be Well points when you shop with Rexall
- 3 months of $0 delivery with DoorDash
- Credit card lock
There are also other additional features that you can purchase with the card.
When You Can Use an Instant Approval Card
When you are able to start using your instant approval credit card just depends on if the credit card issuer has virtual cards that work with apple pay, android pay or any other mobile wallet. If they do, you should be able to use the credit card online or in person instantly. If they don’t then you may have to wait 5 to 7 business days before you receive your physical card.
How Credit Scores Affect Instant Approval Credit Cards in Canada
It might not come as much of a surprise to hear that the higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to get approved for an instant approval credit card. These cards are often unsecured, meaning that there is no deposit required.
While your credit score isn’t the only factor that is considered when applying for a credit card, it does have a large impact on the decision. For this reason, it’s recommended that you have an idea of your credit score before you apply by checking your own credit score. Every time you get your credit checked, it reduces your score by 5 to 15 points. Having an idea of what your score is helps you avoid applying for more than one card.
With that in mind though, having a credit score lower than 660 will likely result in a decline. A credit score between 660 and 725, might not result in an instant approval depending on the other factors related to your income and credit history. However, with a credit score of 725 or higher, the chances are high that you will be approved for most instant approval cards.
Other Factors Involved in a Credit Card Instant Approval
While we know that your credit score is an important factor in obtaining a credit card, there are other things that credit card companies look at as well.
- Proof of Income: This means that many credit card providers will want to prove that you have an income in order to make the payments. They usually like to know how long you have worked at your place of employment as well.
- Income Amounts: A lot of unsecured credit cards have a minimum income requirement. This means that if you don’t make enough money, you won’t be approved for the card, even if you do have steady employment.
- Credit Report: These companies don’t just look at your credit score. They also look at any other debts you have, what their standing is, and what your overall debt to income ratio is. While your score reflects a lot of this information, it doesn’t give the details. A consent is required though in order for a hard check with the credit bureaus to be done.
On top of this, when you apply you will have to show some sort of ID to prove who you are. Your SIN number may also be required, especially if they have a hard time finding your credit report by just using your name.
Difference Between Instant Approval Cards and Guaranteed Approval Cards
While there are still some requirements you need to meet for credit cards with instant approval and guaranteed approval, instant approval cards require a credit check while guaranteed approval cards don’t. The main requirements for most guaranteed approval cards are just that you are a Canadian citizen/permanent resident, you meet the age of majority and you can pay any required security deposit. Instant approval cards look at your credit score, credit history, income and anything else that may affect your ability to pay back the money you owe.
With that in mind though, both types of credit cards can make a positive impact on your credit score. In order to do that though, you do have to use the card appropriately. This means that you make all of your payments on time, every monthly billing period. It’s also recommended that you keep your balance between 1% and 35% of your maximum credit limit. These things will have the greatest positive impact.
When it comes to getting a credit card, you should do your research. What’s your credit score? Do you need the requirements? Are you looking to earn rewards or increase your credit score? There are so many different things to consider and so many different cards to choose from.
While it is important to have different types of credit on your credit file, make sure you pay attention to your balances. Using that credit card correctly will improve your credit score, but credit card debt can easily get out of hand, so it’s best not to spend more than you can afford.