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The Best Low-Interest Credit Card With Rewards in Canada for 2021

March 17, 2021
5 mins
A happy young woman wearing a yellow sweater works on her laptop

Finding the right credit card depends on your short- and long-term money goals and how you plan to use the available credit. Someone looking for a low-interest credit card might consider different options than someone looking to rebuild credit or get rewarded for everyday spending.

If you are thinking about a low-interest credit card, you probably fall into one of two categories:

  1. Debt consolidation. You have consolidated your debt using a balance transfer and are working hard to pay it off while controlling your spending. If this scenario resonates with you, we at RATESDOTCA applaud you, as this is a great personal finance move and one that will undoubtedly pay off. You are on your way to being debt-free and can use this experience as a stepping stone to top-tier rewards cards and better financial products.
  2. Low-interest rates on purchases. You pay off your credit card balance most of the time, but not every time. A low-interest credit card can ensure you pay less interest if you carry a balance for a period or forget to make a payment.

Life can throw you a curveball and you may not always be able to pay your credit card bill on time. Preparing for these events can help keep your debt manageable.

The HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® offers a low annual interest rate and rewards on everyday spending — a rare combination of features. Learn more about this unique card below.

Our top pick

Credit cards

Top features

Annual fee

1. HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

  • Low-interest rates on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances
  • Price protection

$25

HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®

*Best of Finance Winner: Best Credit Card for Paying Down Your Balance in Canada for 2020

The HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® is a leading low-interest rate credit card and has a lot to offer without the additional benefit of rewards. Cardholders get an annual interest rate of 11.90% on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances for an annual fee of $25. But that’s not all; this card also offers HSBC Rewards points for everyday purchases and price protection, a rare shopping coverage.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will see $294 in HSBC Rewards points within the first year.

The average Canadian could also save around $161.80 in interest charges over the first 12 months versus what they would pay on a standard credit card with an interest rate of 19.99%. This calculation assumes the cardholder pays interest on a balance of $2,000 every month.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or defaults). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on any existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$25

Annual fee for additional cards: $10

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend at least $2,000 in the first 180 days of opening the account. Plus, get an annual fee rebate for the first year ($25 value).

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

Offer expiry date: April 19, 2021

Rewards:

  • Earn two points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
  • Earn one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = 58,800 points
Monetary value= $294
Annual fee = $0*
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $294

*The primary cardholder receives a rebate for the $25 annual fee for the first year.

First-year savings:

We compared a credit card with a $2,000 balance and a standard interest rate of 19.99% to the HSBC +Rewards Mastercard with an interest rate of 11.90%. The average Canadian could save roughly $161.80 in interest charges with this low-interest credit card.

Credit card balance = $2,000
19.99% interest rate = $399.80
11.90% interest rate = $238.00
First-year savings (what you would be paying on a standard credit card – what you would be paying on a low-interest credit card) = $161.80**

**The annual fee is accounted for in the rewards calculation.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Statement credits
  • Financial rewards

Insurance:

Other perks:

  • Take advantage of the low annual interest rate (11.90%) on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
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Find the best credit card for your lifestyle today!

How to use a low-interest rate credit card responsibly

A low-interest rate credit card can help cardholders carry a balance for short periods — accumulating less interest than a standard credit card. However, it is best practice to pay off your credit card balance on time and in full each month.

Doing so can build healthy financial habits and ensure you manage credit responsibly, which is key to building and maintaining a good credit score.

Although the HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® card does offer rewards, these features are second to the benefits of a low interest rate. Credit card rewards can be easily offset by mounting interest charges accruing on an unpaid balance.

Rates, product information, and reward estimates are subject to change at any time and do not constitute financial advice. This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely those of RATESDOTCA. Information in this article is accurate as of the date of this posting, March 17, 2021. Read our full disclaimer.

Hayley Osmond

Hayley Osmond is an editor and writer in the personal finance space, where she uses her eight years of media and marketing experience to bring content to life. She specializes in money products, including mortgages, home and auto insurance, and credit cards. Hayley holds a Broadcast Journalism diploma from Sheridan College and was awarded the Shaw Media Journalism and Media Award for graduating at the top of her class. Her work has appeared in Global News and diverse digital corporate training materials behind the scenes.

Hayley is passionate about making complex subjects, such as home buying and financial literacy, concise and intriguing. Her work has garnered media coverage from The Globe and Mail, blogTO, Yahoo! News, and CityNews 680 and has been syndicated across other publications.

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