Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada 2022

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Looking for the best balance transfer credit cards in Canada? You’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss the best options available to you and help you find the card that is perfect for your needs.

A balance transfer credit card can be a great way to save money on interest payments and get out of debt faster. We will go over the features of each card and help you decide which one is right for you.

At the end, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the best balance transfer credit card in Canada that’s perfect for your needs.


What is a Balance Transfer Credit Card?

A balance transfer card is like any other credit card, except it allows you to transfer the balance of your high interest rate debt to a lower interest rate credit card.

A balance transfer card can help you pay down your debt faster than before because you are only paying interest on the transferred amount, not on the full amount of what you owe. 

People use balance transfer cards for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s because an old card is charging them an outrageous rate of interest. 

Other times, people transfer the debt from a store credit card to a general credit card for convenience.

Balance transfer cards can also be used to consolidate several debts onto one credit card, which makes it easier to manage and keep track of payments.

Some credit card companies offer introductory 0% APR for balance transfers for a limited time. This allows the consumer to pay down their debt without incurring any interest charges. 

So if you have a super-high interest rate and not much credit, then maybe it’s time to consider applying for one of these cards to really save some money. 


How Does a Balance Transfer Credit Card Work?

A balance transfer credit card is a credit card that allows you to transfer your existing debt from another credit card or loan onto a new card. This can be a great way to save money on interest payments, as most balance transfer cards offer lower interest rates, or even a 0% interest, for a promotional period.

Balance transfer credits work like this:

You open a new credit card and transfer your debt onto it. The new credit card will usually offer you a low or no-interest promotional period on the balance transferred, which can last for up to 12 months or more in some cases.

This means that you will not have to pay any interest on your debt during this time. After the promotional period ends, the standard interest rate will apply to any remaining balance.

Balance transfer credit cards let you pay down your debt quicker and with less money wasted on interest charges. The idea is that you can focus on paying off what you owe without interest piling up and making it harder to get out from under the financial burden.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are considering a balance transfer credit card.

  • First, you will need to make sure that you pay off your debt before the end of the promotional period, as any remaining balance will be subject to the standard interest rate.
  • Second, balance transfer fees will usually apply, which can be anywhere from 1%-3% of the amount you are transferring depending on the credit card.

Now that we’ve gone over what a balance transfer credit card is and how they work, let’s take a look at some of the best options available in Canada.

Learn more: 21 Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada


Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Canadians have a few great options when it comes to balance transfer credit cards. To make the decision process easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best cards available.

1. Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card

The Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card is a good option for people looking for a cash back credit card with no annual fee.

This card comes with no annual fee and provides an introductory interest rate of 0.00% on balance transfers for the first 6 months.

The best part about this card is the rewards program: You’ll earn 5% cash back on all purchases made in the first 3 months of using the card. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases made with your card.

Key Features:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0.0% for the first 6 months
  • Interest rates on purchases: 19.99%
  • Interest rates on cash advances: 22.99%
  • Minimum credit limit: $500
  • Rewards: You can get 0.5% on qualified purchases

Learn more: Scotia Momentum No-fee Visa Card Review

2. MBNA True Line Mastercard

If you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card that offers low rates and no annual fee, the MBNA True Line Mastercard might be a great choice.

The MBNA True Line Mastercard offers some of the most competitive rates on the market. 

There are no balance transfer fees if you use it to pay off a balance with another card, but there is a 3% transaction fee for transferring money from your bank account. Also, you will get 0% interest for 12 months on balance transfers made within 90 days of your card membership – a great feature to save on those credit card interest rates.

Even better, its standard interest rate on purchases of 12.99% is lower than the average interest rate on purchases. There are also no annual fees or foreign transaction fees to worry about with this card.

You can use this card for purchases in-store or online, and it’s accepted at most retailers around the world including restaurants and hotels. 

Key Features

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Offer: You will enjoy a promotional annual interest rate of 0% on balance transfers done within the first 90 days of opening an account for one year.
  • Interest on purchases: 12.99%
  • Interest on cash advances: 24.99%
  • Interest on balance transfers and access cheques: 12.99%

3. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is different from other credit cards because of its unlimited money-back rewards.

You can start collecting money back on your regular spending as soon as you open your account and begin using your card. 

You can earn up to 2% on all of your purchases, no matter what they are. That’s right, whether you pay for groceries, gas or even your morning coffee, every dollar counts toward your total balance.

Also, there are no limits or caps on how much money you can earn back with the card, it all depends on how much you spend.

With the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, you get a low interest rate of just 1.95% on balance transfer for the first 6 months. Afterwards, the rate resets to the standard rate on purchases of 19.95%. 

The best part about this card is that it has no annual fees. And if you spend up to $1,000 on eligible purchases with the first 2 months of getting the card, you will get an extra cash back of 10% through the Tangerine credit card promotions.

Key Features

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 1.95% for the first 6 months
  • Bonus Offer: Cash back of 10% on up to $1,000 everyday purchases within 2 months of membership
  • Interest rate on purchases: 19.95%
  • Interest on cash advances: 19.95%
  • Balance transfer fee: A minimum amount of $5.00 or 3.00% of the total amount transferred 
  • Rewards: Up to 2% cash back

Learn more:

4. CIBC Select Visa Card

The CIBC Select Visa Card is best suited for those who want to pay off their existing credit card balances without incurring any interest charges and then use the card to make new purchases. 

This card also has one of the longest introductory periods for balance transfers in Canada at 10 months, which means you can switch over your existing balance and pay 0% interest on it for up to 10 months. 

Also, the card comes with a first-year annual fee rebate for new clients. The annual fee is $29, but it is waived for the first year of membership.

The only drawback is that it has no sign-up bonus. But if you’re looking for a simple way to save on interest payments, this card could be the ideal option for you.

Key Features

  • Annual fee: $29. New cardholders get an annual fee rebate.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% for the first 10 months
  • Interest rate on purchases: 13.99%
  • Interest rate on on cash advances: 13.99%
  • Minimum annual income: $15,000 household

5. BMO CashBack Mastercard

The BMO CashBack Mastercard is a no-fee card that offers great cash back rewards and puts you in control of when those rewards are paid out.

You can choose to receive your cash back as a statement credit or have it deposited straight into your account. 

The BMO CashBack Mastercard gives you 3% on all your grocery purchases for your first 3 months. It also gives you a 1% cash back on all recurring bill payments with no limits or restrictions. 

Plus, if you’re a new customer, you’ll get a 1.99% introductory interest rate for your first 9 months and a transfer fee of 1%.

Additionally, the card also has no annual fee, making it a good choice for anyone who wants to earn free rewards but doesn’t want to pay an annual fee. 

Key Features

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 1.99% rate for 9 months
  • Interest rate on purchases: 19.99%
  • Interest rate on cash app: 22.99%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 1%
  • Rewards: 0.5% cash back on all purchases

6. BMO Air Miles Mastercard

If you’re looking for a no-fee Air Miles rewards credit card that allows you to earn rewards with a competitive rate on balance transfer, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard might be the card for you. 

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard offers 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. The card also has a low balance transfer charge of 1% depending on the amount transferred.

This can be a great way to help you pay off debt without paying high-interest fees. You can earn 1 mile for every $25 you spend at eligible gas stations and grocery stores.

Key Features

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 1.99% rate for 9 months
  • Interest rate on purchases: 19.99%
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 22.99%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 1%
  • Welcome Bonus: 800 AIR MILES

7. Scotiabank Value Visa Card

The Scotiabank Value Visa Card is one of the best credit cards on the market for those looking to pay off their balance. 

It has a $29 annual fee and comes with some of the best balance transfer offers on the market. It comes with a 0.00% cash advance introductory interest rate for the first 6 months.

The card has a low APR of 12.99% on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers, which is great for those who want to pay down their debt.

Key Features

  • Annual fee: $29/year
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% rate for 6 months
  • Interest rate on purchases: 12.99%
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 12.99%
  • Minimum credit limit: $500

Learn more: Best Scotiabank Credit Cards


Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards Overview

Although not all the best balance transfer credit cards are created equally, there are a few that stand out. So how do you know which one is best for you?

To help you make the right choice, here is a comparison of the best balance transfer cards discussed above:

Card NameAnnual FeesInterest on PurchasesInterest on Cash AdvancesRewardsWelcome Bonus
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card$019.99%22.99%0.5% on qualified purchases5% cash back on all purchases made in the first 3 months
MBNA True Line Mastercard$012.99%24.99%None0% rate on balance transfers done within the first 90 days of opening an account for one year
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card$019.95%19.95%2% on all purchases,10% for the first two months on everyday purchases of $1,000
CIBC Select Visa Card$29(one-year annual fee rebate)13.99%13.99%None0% interest for 10 months
BMO CashBack Mastercard$019.99%22.99%0.5% cash back on all purchases3% on all grocery purchases for the first 3 months
BMO Air Miles Mastercard$019.99%22.99%1 mile for every $25 spent on qualified purchases800 AIR MILES
Scotiabank Value Visa Card$29/year12.99%12.99%None0.00% cash advance introductory interest rate

How to Choose the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada

Below are the key factors to consider when choosing the best balance transfer credit card in Canada.

Annual Fees

Some balance transfer cards tend to have higher annual fees than other types of credit cards. 

So if you plan to use your balance transfer card for both purchases and balance transfers, it may be worth looking for a card with no or low annual fee.

Interest Rate

When choosing a balance transfer credit card, the interest rate is one of the most important factors. You can see above that some cards have higher rates than others.

The interest rate you pay will determine how much you’ll have to pay in interest charges over time. If you don’t choose wisely and you’re unable to pay off your debt before the promotional period ends, you may be faced with paying a higher interest than is necessary.

Balance Transfer Fee

When you transfer a balance from one credit card to another, there is usually a balance transfer fee. Some cards charge a up to 3% balance transfer fee (or even more), which can add up quickly if you have high balances. 

Reward Programs

If you want extra perks like airline miles or cash back, consider choosing a card with a rewards program that matches your spending habits. 

For example, if you travel frequently for business or pleasure, getting rewards for travel expenses would be beneficial for you over time.

Foreign Transaction Fees

If you plan on travelling abroad with your new card, make sure that it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. 

This fee can add up quickly when travelling internationally and can make it difficult to budget while on vacation.


How Does a Balance Transfer Credit Card Impact My Credit Score?

A balance transfer credit card can impact your credit score in a few different ways.

First, if you transfer a balance from one card to another, it will show up on your credit report as a hard inquiry. This can temporarily lower your score by a few points. However, if you make all of your payments on time and keep your balances low, your score will recover quickly.

Second, a balance transfer can help you improve your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of debt you have compared to your credit limit. If you transfer a balance from a high-interest card to a 0% interest card, you can reduce your overall debt and improve your credit utilization ratio. This can have a positive impact on your score over time.

Finally, if you are able to pay off your debt in full before the end of the promotional period, you will improve your payment history and credit utilization ratio. This can have a significant impact on your score in the long run.

Overall, the best way to use a balance transfer credit card is to pay off your debt in full before the end of the promotional period. This will help you improve your payment history and credit utilization ratio, which can have a positive impact on your score.

Read more:


FAQs on the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada

Do balance transfers hurt your credit?

Balance transfers will not significantly affect your credit score. However, getting a new credit card may have an impact on your credit in both positive and negative ways.

Is it worth getting a balance transfer?

It is worth it if you’re looking to pay off your credit card debt fast and at low costs.

Is it good to transfer credit card balance to a line of credit?

Credit cards often charge higher interest rates than lines of credit. As a result, transferring your credit balance to a line of credit means that the total cost of your debt will be cheaper.

What is a balance transfer fee?

A balance transfer fee is a fee charged by the credit card issuer when you transfer a balance from one credit card to another. The fee is typically a percentage of the amount being transferred and can range from 1%-3% depending on the issuer.

Can I do a balance transfer with more than one card?

Yes, you can do a balance transfer with more than one card. However, keep in mind that balance transfer fees will apply to each transfer.

What is the length of the 0% or lower rate APR promotional period?

The length of the 0% APR promotional period will vary depending on the card you choose. Some cards may offer a 0% APR for up to 18 months, while others may offer a shorter promotional period.

How does a balance transfer credit card work?

A balance transfer credit card allows you to transfer the balance of one credit card to another. This can help you save on interest payments and pay off your debt more quickly.

What are some things to keep in mind when considering a balance transfer credit card?

First, you will need to pay off your debt in full before the end of the promotional period. Second, balance transfer fees will usually apply, which can be anywhere from 1-3% of the amount you are transferring.

What is the best balance transfer credit card in Canada?

The best balance transfer credit cards in Canada include Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card, MBNA True Line Mastercard and Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.


Conclusion on the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada

If you’re looking to transfer a balance and save on interest payments, a balance transfer credit card may be a good option for you.

However, with many credit cards offering a balance transfer promotion, choosing the best balance transfer credit card can be confusing. Just make sure to do your research and understand the terms and conditions before you apply.

Fortunately, you can use the cards provided in this article to narrow down your search for the best deal on your credit card balance transfer.

But remember that what works best for you may not work best for someone else, so don’t forget to examine your priorities and find the card that will deliver the results you seek.

Do you have any experience with balance transfer credit cards? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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