The Best Visa Card in Canada

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The best Visa card in Canada depends on what you plan on using your Visa credit card for and the type of rewards you like to earn. Cash back and rewards credit cards can give you excellent value, but then there are cards with no foreign transaction fees and prepaid cards that can be beneficial in specific situations. You also need to consider the annual fee and any additional benefits that may interest you. To help you narrow down your choices, here’s my picks for the best Visa card in Canada.

CardTypeWelcome bonusAnnual fee
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite CardTravel25,000 Points$139
Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back CardCash backN/A$99 - First year free
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite CardTravelUp to 25,000 Aeroplan Miles$120 - First year free
Home Trust Preferred VisaCash backN/A$0
KOHOCash back1% cash back bonus$0

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee – First year free
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 30,000 Scotia Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Priority Pass Standard Membership + 6 free visits per year
  • 5X Scotia Rewards points on travel for the first 3 months (up to $2,500 in total travel purchases)
  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment, and transit purchases
  • Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual bonus of 10,000 points ($100 value) if you spend a minimum of $40K per year
  • Included travel emergency medical, delayed and lost baggage, and trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance
  • Rental car collision / Loss damage insurance included
  • Hotel / Motel Burglary insurance included

Ranked as one of the best travel credit cards in Canada, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card has become popular over the years since it has a great sign up bonus, lounge access and no foreign transaction fees. Your Scotia Rewards points are flexible since you can book your travel through the Scotia Rewards portal or apply your points directly to any travel purchases made with your Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card

  • $99 annual fee – first year free
  • Earn 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases
  • Earn 2% cash back on pharmacy and utility bill payments
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Mobile device insurance up to $1,000
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included
  • Price protection

The Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card is arguably the best cash back credit card in Canada now since you get a generous earn rate, but it’s the additional benefits that also make it the best Visa card. It was the first card to introduce mobile device insurance and it has price protection which is not offered by many cards. If you want to protect your purchases, this card is probably your best choice.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

If you’re looking for an Aeroplan credit card, then take a look at the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. The base sign up bonus is usually 15,000 Aeroplan Miles after your first purchase, and quite often there’s a promotion where you can earn an additional 10,000-15,000 Aeroplan Miles in the first three months. This promotion changes every so often so it’s worth checking back now and then. The earn rate of 1.5 Aeroplan miles per $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores and is a great way to rack up Aeroplan points fast.

Home Trust Preferred Visa

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Roadside assist membership
  • Visa Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance

If you’re looking for a Visa credit card without foreign transaction fees and has no annual fee, then the Home Trust Preferred Visa is a popular choice. You only earn 1% cash back on your purchases, but you don’t get this card if you’re looking for rewards. Another card worth looking at is the STACK Mastercard, but if you want a Visa credit card with no forex fees and no annual fee, get the Home Trust Preferred Visa. 


  • No annual fee
  • 1% cash back bonus for 90 days with CASHMONEY referral code  
  • 0.5% cash-back on all purchases
  • Automated savings goals

KOHO is one of the best prepaid credit cards in Canada since it still earns you cash back of .5% on all your purchases. This may not seem like a lot, but it’s rare that a prepaid credit card gives you anything at all so you should consider it a win. If you sign up with my referral code CASHMONEY, you’ll earn an extra 1% cash back for a total of 1.5% for the first 90 days.

Visa, Mastercard or American Express?

One of the most common questions people ask when getting a credit card is should they choose Visa, Mastercard or American Express? There’s no denying that Visa and Mastercard are accepted at most merchants around the world. That said, American Express adds more merchants to their partners list every day. It’s also worth noting that Visa isn’t accepted at some major stores in Canada including Costco and Loblaw’s owned supermarkets.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to have two out of the three major credit card issuers, so getting a Visa and another type of card would be ideal. By doing this, you’ll hopefully never run into an issue where you’re trying to charge something to your credit card they don’t accept it.

One reason you may prefer Visa over Mastercard is that their Infinite Class suite of cards has a personal income requirement of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000. The Mastercard equivalent is the World Elite cards which have a personal income requirement of $80,000 or a household income of $150,000. Basically, it’s easier to get a premium Visa card compared to Mastercard.

How to choose the best Visa card in Canada?

With so many Visa credit cards in Canada, it can be tough to narrow down your choices. All you really need to do is consider the following factors and which is the best Visa card for you will become obvious.

  • Income requirement – As mentioned, Infinite Class Visa’s have a minimum income requirement of $60,000. If you make at least that amount, you’ll have a lot of options. Don’t worry if your income is below that as you still have quite a few cards to pick from.
  • Type of rewards – One of the first things to pick is whether you want to earn travel or cash back rewards. That said, if you’ve been having issues with managing your money, going with a prepaid credit card or low interest credit card could be beneficial.
  • Sign up bonus – Looking for the best credit card deals in Canada should be one of your priorities when getting a new card. Many Visa credit cards come with bonuses that are worth $100+
  • Annual fee – It’s pretty common for credit cards to have an annual fee, but if the welcome bonus or included benefits are worth more than the fee, then you shouldn’t worry too much about it.
  • Additional benefits – All credit cards come with some additional benefits besides the regular earn rate so see which ones appeal to you. Roadside assistance, lounge access, no foreign exchange fees are just some of the perks you need to keep an eye out for.

Final thoughts

Everyone should have at least one Visa credit card. You don’t need to keep it in your wallet at all times, but it’ll be handy to have in case you need a backup credit card. If you plan on using one of the best Visa credit cards for your daily spending, make sure you pick one that best fits your lifestyle.

The Best Visa Card in Canada

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Moni Ramsey on August 18, 2019 at 7:08 PM

    Hi Barry

    Canadian Tire has a credit card called Triangle. Does this card help in increasing the credit score?

    • Barry Choi on August 18, 2019 at 8:19 PM


      Yes, the Canadian Tire Triangle card reports to the credit bureaus so it may increase your credit score as long as you’re paying your bills on time.

  2. Roch on June 4, 2020 at 8:39 PM

    Hi Barry,
    I currently have 2 Visa Cards including the Home Trust Visa as a No foreign transaction fees and like it. Can you suggest a list of Best MasterCard Cards in Canada?

  3. Roch on June 4, 2020 at 9:29 PM

    Thank you Barry.

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