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2024's Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards for Canadians

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What’s a balance transfer credit card?

When you have existing credit card debt and you want to take advantage of a lower interest rate to easily pay it off, you can transfer the balance to a balance transfer credit card. A balance transfer credit card allows you to easily transfer your existing credit card balance and take advantage of a low interest rate. Some promotional interest rates can be as low as 0%. These low interest rate offers usually last for a limited period of time (e.g. 180 days or 1 year) and are designed to help you to easily pay off your existing credit debt. Many Canadians struggle to pay off their credit card debt due to high interest charges, not knowing that they can take advantage of balance transfer credit cards.

If you owe money on multiple credit cards, a balance transfer credit card can allow you to consolidate all your balances onto one card. Instead of managing several card bills payments each month, you’ll only have one. This is one a major selling point to balance transfer cards..

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2024

Planning to make 2024 the year you pay off your high-interest credit card debt? The right credit card could help you make it a reality. Cardholders with outstanding debt can transfer their existing balance to another card with a balance transfer promotion to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Some introductory rates can be as low as 0% for a set time, anywhere from a few months to a year. There are some conditions, though: new purchases incur standard interest rates, and missing payments will forfeit the offer.

Cardholders must typically pay a balance transfer fee of around 1% for the service. However, the cost is generally less than the interest charges on a standard credit card, where the interest rate for transferring a balance can be 20.99% or higher.  If used responsibly, cardholders can use a balance transfer card to focus on payments and reduce debt faster.

We compared balance transfer rates in Canada using our Best of Finance methodology and ranked the cards that provided the most savings.

  First year savings Credit score required Top features  
$400 Good 0% interest for 12 months on balance transfers completed within 90 days of account opening (3% transfer fee). Includes fraud protection.
$353 Good 0% interest for 10 months on balance transfers plus only 1% fee to transfer. Annual fee is waived for the first year.
$305 Good 0.99% for 9 months with a low 2% fee. Low annual fee waived for first year.

Winner: MBNA True Line Mastercard

If you’re ready to tackle your credit card debt, consider transferring your balance to the True Line® Mastercard® Card. There’s a 3% fee to transfer a balance onto the card but after that you’ll pay no interest on it or the first year. A 0% interest rate is as low as you can get; other cards offer it, but the introductory rate is not offered for as long as MBNA’s. Once you’ve paid off your debt, you’ll want to hang on to the True Line® Mastercard® Card as it has an 12.99% annual interest rate on purchases. All these factors are why it’s our pick for the best balance transfer card for 2024.

The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Cash bonus
$100
+ Welcome bonus
$0
+ Annual savings
$400
- Annual fee
$0
Total first year value
$500
MBNA True Line® Mastercard®

card image
Welcome bonus
$0
 
Annual savings
$400
 
Annual fees:
$0
Interest rates:
12.99% on purchases • 24.99% on cash advances
Get a $100 Cash Bonus from RATESDOTCA (Offer ends June 28, 2024)
2024 Winner – Best Balance Transfer Credit Card
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$0
Annual savings
$0
The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Cash bonus
$100
+ Welcome bonus
$0
+ Annual savings
$400
- Annual fee
$0
Total first year value
$500
Annual fees:
$0
Interest rates:
12.99% on purchases
24.99 on cash advances
Get a $100 Cash Bonus from RATESDOTCA (Offer ends June 28, 2024)
2024 Winner – Best Balance Transfer Credit Card
Details at a glance Collapse details

Annual fee

$0

Interest rate

  • 12.99% on purchases
  • 24.99% on cash advances
  • 0% on balance transfers for first 12 months completed within 90 days of account opening, with a 3% transfer fee.

Benefits

  • Access your account anytime, anywhere with the MBNA Mobile App.
  • Convenient, secure and easy to use Apple Pay with your MBNA credit card
  • 24/7 fraud protection

Insurance coverage

  • Extended warranty - 1 year
  • Purchase protection - 90 days

Runners-up: Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

CIBC Select VISA

With the CIBC Select Visa, you pay 0% interest for 10 months on a transferred balance plus a 1% fee to transfer. The annual fee is waived for the first year. Pay an additional 13.99% interest on purchases/cash advances. There's also no fee to add up to three additional cardholders; however, you'll likely only want to use this perk after you've paid off your balance.

Annual fee

$29 (first year waived)

Interest rate

  • 13.99% - Purchases
  • 13.99% - Cash advances
  • 13.99% - Balance transfer

Benefits

  • Save up to 10 cents per litre on gas with CIBC and Journie Rewards.
  • Send money abroad with $0 transfer fee with CIBC Global Money Transfer™.

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®* has a balance transfer welcome offer of 0.99% interest on your balance for nine months with a 2% fee for transferring. The annual fee of $20 is waived for the first year. Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty Insurance. Additional 13.99% interest on purchases.

Annual fee

$20

Interest rate

  • 13.99% - Purchases
  • 15.99% - Cash advances
  • 15.99% - Balance transfer

Benefits

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Zero Dollar Liability
  • Get 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas.

Frequently asked questions about balance transfer credit cards

Interested in getting a balance transfer credit card to help you pay off your existing debt? Here’s what you need to know.

What do I need to consider before getting a balance transfer credit card?

While comparing different balance transfer credit cards, it’s important to look at all the features the credit card comes with. This is because transferring your debt from one card to another should only be done when it helps you pay off your debts at a faster pace.

Remember, the interest you pay on a higher interest card is never worth the extra points – to get the most of a great rewards card use a Balance Transfer card to pay off your balance so you can get back to collecting all points.

Here are the features you should consider before picking a balance transfer credit card:

  • Balance transfer fee: Most credit card lenders charge a balance transfer fee, which can range from 1-5% of the amount you transfer over. For example, if you choose to transfer a balance of $4,500 and the transfer fee is 3%, you will be charged $135 for the transfer. If the transfer fee and interest rate is too high, the switch may not be financially beneficial to you.
  • Interest rates: While comparing different balance transfer credit cards, carefully look at the interest rates to determine which one is the best for your existing debt. Pay attention to the term of the promotional rates. See if the duration of the promotion is long enough for you to pay off all or a majority of your credit balance. Some balance transfer credit cards can offer you a very low interest rate for a limited period of time. Once that duration is over, the interest rate changes and you’ll be charged the standard interest rate the card comes with. For example, the MBNA True Line offers you a promotional interest rate of 0% for 10 months (+3% transfer fee) and 12.99% afterwards.
  • Terms and conditions: Pay attention to the terms and conditions that accompany the balance transfer credit card. Most balance transfer credit cards are designed to help you pay off existing debt, rather than to make new purchases. New purchases may be subject to a higher interest rate, such as, 12.99% or more. For example, the Scotiabank Value Visa gives you an interest rate of 0.99% for balance transfers and 12.99% for any new purchases and cash advances.

Will a balance transfer credit card affect my credit card score?

Whenever you apply for a new credit card, the lender checks your credit history and credit score. This results in a hard check that may cause you to temporarily lose a couple of credit points. This is exactly why you shouldn’t apply for several credit cards at once. Carefully compare the best balance transfer credit cards to choose the best one for you and then apply for that one only. As you begin to make regular debt repayments through your balance transfer card, you credit score should start to increase slowly and steadily.

Also, you can check the eligibility criteria on RATESDOTCA to help get a better idea on if you’re eligible for a certain credit card.

What are the different types of debt I can transfer onto a balance transfer credit card?

Balance transfer credit cards are most commonly used for the repayment of credit card debt, but some credit card lenders may allow you to transfer your loans or lines of credit onto the card. However, it’s important to note that these credit card lenders don’t allow you to transfer debts among their own products. For example, you cannot transfer a Scotiabank loan to a Scotiabank balance transfer credit card. Also, while transferring other types of debt onto your new balance transfer credit card, be wary of the transfer fee. Transfer fees are usually expressed as a percentage of the balance that is being transferred, so a high transfer amount may result in a very high transfer fee.

What should I do when my balance transfer promotion ends?

If you’re worried that your balance transfer promotion is going to end soon and you still have a considerable amount of debt to repay, you can consider transferring your debt to another credit card. Sometimes, this becomes a risky move as credit card lenders can decline your application. The best strategy is to maximize your first balance transfer promotion and pay off as much of your debt as you can during the period.

RATESDOTCA may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services. However, our content and calculations are objective and free from bias. The opinions expressed are purely those of RATESDOTCA; thus, partners are not responsible for any editorials or reviews that may appear. For current terms and conditions on any advertiser or partner’s product, please visit their website.

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