What are the best credit card for seniors in Canada? That was a question we recently received from a reader, and while credit cards are more about an individual’s unique spending habits and the benefits they find most useful in a credit card than age, we still thought we should help. With this in mind, we’ve selected a list of cards, both fee and no-fee, that offer perks and benefits ranging from cash back and other rewards to a low-interest rate to included extras like travel insurance. Whatever kind of card you’re looking for, you can find the details of our best credit cards for seniors here.
Best no-fee card for seniors
Just because you’re not paying an annual fee doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get rewards. With the SimplyCash Card from American Express you’ll earn an impressive 4% cash back for the first six months (up to $200 in rewards) after which time you’ll get 1.5% back on all purchases regardless of category with no limit on your earnings. This means no keeping track of your spending categories. Plus, you can boost your rewards by referring your friends or family and receive $100 for each approval up to $1,500 annually.
You can rest easy knowing your card is issued by one of the most established financial companies in the world, which means great customer service and a complete slate of features including paper or paperless statements, a mobile app and special access to events through American Express Experiences. We’ve selected the SimplyCash Card from American Express as one of the best credit cards for seniors because of the simplicity of the earn program, the above-average base rate and the ability to accelerate earnings—all for no annual fee.
- Annual fee: $0
- Welcome offer: Get a welcome bonus of 4% cash back in the first 6 months (up to $200 cash back)
- Earn rate: Earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases regardless of purchase category (after the welcome bonus ends). Plus, no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn; get $100 cash back for each approved referral up to a maximum annual referral bonus of $1,500
- Income requirement: None
- Additional benefits: Access to virtual events and special offers with American Express Experiences
Best cash back card for seniors
If you don’t mind paying an annual fee, you can max out your cash back earnings and get a host of extras and perks to boot. For $120 annually, the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite offers 4% cash back on groceries and recurring bills, like utilities and streaming services. You’ll get 2% back on your transportation, either public transit or gas, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, their promotional offer will get you a 10% cash back rate for the first three months (up to $200 in rewards). And the annual fee is waived the first year. This card also comes with a solid travel insurance package that includes rental car coverage, protection for your mobile device and access to Visa Infinite Services, which are your ticket to premium entertainment and events. One caveat is the annual income requirement (see below), so it may not be accessible for all (check out the card above).
Scotiabank is one of the Big Five banks, so you can access your account or customer services help online or in person. If you’re looking for a cash back card with extras (say, perks for visiting wine country), the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite is one of the best credit card for seniors.
- Annual fee: $120 (waived first year)
- Welcome offer: Earn 10% cash back on all purchases up to $2,000 for the first 3 months. Must apply before November 21, 2021.
- Earn rate: 4% back on groceries and recurring bills; 2% back on public transit and gas; 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Income requirement: $60,000 per individual or $100,000 per household annually
- Additional perks: Comprehensive travel insurance including emergency medical, travel accident, trip cancellation or delay, delayed or lost baggage and rental car loss or damage; new mobile device insurance; Visa Infinite Services including concierge and Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country program
Best low-interest credit card for seniors
Large or unexpected purchases don’t have to be stressors when you’ve got a low-interest credit card in your pocket. For those on a fixed income or who are anticipating carrying an outstanding balance, the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard can be a real lifesaver. This card’s purchase and balance transfer interest rate is 8.99%, less than half of the typical 20% levied by many cards, which means that you’ll reduce your interest charges substantially while you pay off your debt. As a low-interest card the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard doesn’t come with many perks, but it’s perfectly serviceable as a secondary card to use for big purchases or while you’re paying down debt. The attractive rate and low annual fee of only $39 make this our best low-interest credit card for seniors.
- Annual fee: $39
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Interest rate: 8.99% on purchases and balance transfers
- Income requirement: None specified
- Additional benefits: Savings with Avis and Budget car rentals; protection against fraudulent charges; purchase protection and extended warranty
NOTE: This offer is not available for residents of Quebec
Best drug store credit card for seniors
If your drug store is Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, there is no better card than the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard (and if it’s not, this card just might convince you to switch pharmacies). Operating in the PC Optimum program, this card lets you earn 45 points per $1 spent at Shoppers—a return of 4.5%. Plus, you’ll get 3% back (30 points per $1) on groceries at Loblaws, on gas at Esso and Mobil and on purchases through PC Travel Services. Prescription purchases do not count toward earning rewards.
PC Optimum is one of the most straight-forward loyalty programs out there, with simple, at-register redemptions at a rate of $1 for 1,000 points. This means a no-hassle way to turn your everyday spends into cash off your purchases, all at rates higher than almost any cash back card. Plus, Shoppers Drug Mart offers an Optimum senior’s discount of 20% off each and every Tuesday. The PC Financial World Elite Mastercard is one of the few World Elite cards available in Canada without an annual fee, making it one of best credit cards for senior looking for a way to monetize their drug store spends—for free. Again, this card does have an annual income requirement, so it may not be available for all seniors in Canada.
- Annual fee: $0
- Welcome offer: 20,000 points
- Interest rate: 20.97% on purchases, 22.97% on cash advances and balance transfers
- Earn rate: 45 points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart (not including prescriptions); 30 points per $1 per at Esso, PC Travel or any Loblaws stores; 10 points per $1 everywhere else
- Income requirement: $80,000 per individual or $150,000 per household
- Additional perks: Travel emergency medical insurance; car rental collision or loss protection; concierge service
Honourable Mention: Best credit card for seniors on a budget
Walmart Rewards Mastercard
With the Walmart Rewards Mastercard, you’ll earn Walmart Rewards dollars at a rate of 1.25% on purchases made at Walmart in-store or online earn, and 1% anywhere else. Every Walmart Rewards dollar is worth $1 against anything you buy at Walmart, and you only need a minimum of five Walmart Rewards dollars to redeem. For those on a fixed income, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers ease and simplicity in keeping your expenditures in check which is why we give it our honourable mention for best credit card for senior on a budget.
- Annual fee: $0
- Welcome offer: $25 total: $15 upon two purchases (one at Walmart, and another anywhere else), plus an additional $10 when you sign up for paperless statements
- interest rate: 19.89% on purchases, 22.97% on cash
- Earn rate at Walmart: 1.25% back in Walmart Rewards Dollars
- General earn rate: 1% back everywhere else
- Welcome bonus: Up to $25 ($15 when you make one purchase at Walmart and another anywhere else within 5 days; plus, 10 when you sign up for electronic statements)
- Additional perks: Zero liability protection; Tap-and-Go; personalized cheques; free additional cards