Best Credit Cards in Canada
MasterCard is the second largest of the three major credit card companies in Canada, in terms of how many credit cards it offers and how many transactions are made on those cards. Unlike American Express, MasterCard doesn’t issue credit cards on its site, nor does it offer any credit cards that are solely under the MasterCard name. Instead, your MasterCard will be issued by a bank, credit union or retailer, meaning you’ll see the issuer’s logo + the MasterCard logo on your card.
With that being said, MasterCard does divide its credit card products under three categories: Standard MasterCard, World MasterCard and World Elite MasterCard.
- A Standard MasterCard can be any credit card, from a basic no-fee credit card (e.g. the BMO Preferred Rate MasterCard) to a rewards credit card (RBC Shoppers Optimum MasterCard) or a cash back credit card (RBC Cash Back MasterCard). The cards are meant to help you make purchases, build credit and potentially earn some rewards in the process.
- A World MasterCard, on the other hand, is always going to be a rewards credit card. The most popular World MasterCard in Canada is the Capital One Travel World MasterCard, but there are also cash back cards, points cards, and other flight and hotel rewards cards. If you use your credit card responsibly and pay off the balance each month, you could earn greater rewards through a World MasterCard than with a Standard MasterCard.
- Finally, any World Elite MasterCard is at the top tier of MasterCard’s reward credit cards. There are currently only 4 World Elite MasterCard’s in Canada, offered by BMO, CIBC, RBC and MBNA. The rewards range from cash back to travel rewards, but the cards may also include additional perks, such as companion flights, travel credits and complimentary services on trips.
World Elite program
The World Elite MasterCard program offers a wide range of benefits to enhance the user experience. But the selection of features will vary by individual card and issuers. Therefore, it’s important to compare different World Elite MasterCards prior to choosing the one that’s best for you.
First, a World Elite MasterCard may include both personal assistance and personal protection benefits. This includes concierge services and zero liability protection. Any time you need assistance, whether it’s booking a reservation or buying and delivering gifts, you can rely on the exclusive concierge services provided by the World Elite program. With these personal protection benefits, you won’t be held liable for any unauthorized purchases made with your credit card. Be sure to review the terms and conditions for more details regarding your protection.
Your World Elite MasterCard may also include shopping protection, including extended warranty insurance, price protection insurance, Maestro, and purchase assurance. Your protection does not stop here, the World Elite program also tends to offer top-of-the-line travel insurance. Benefits may include travel medical insurance, delayed baggage insurance, car rental collision damage waiver insurance, hotel/motel burglary insurance, lost baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, and trip cancellation insurance. This added protection is sure to decrease your worries while you’re travelling.
An additional travel perk is travel assistance that’ll provide you with airport lounge access and MasterCard global service. This will increase your comfort while travelling and ensure you’re able to get emergency assistance virtually anytime, anywhere, and in any language.
Finally, if you have a World Elite MasterCard you’ll enjoy a series of special offers provided by the program. You should take advantage of preferred access to a selection of valuable offers, upgrades, and experiences provided by special offers. Review what’s available to you and reap the rewards.
MasterCard credit card partnerships
Some of MasterCard’s current credit card partnerships include:
- AIR MILES: BMO + MasterCard offer 3 AIR MILES credit cards together: the BMO AIR MILES MasterCard, BMO SPC AIR MILES MasterCard (for students) and the BMO AIR MILES World MasterCard. The first two have no annual fee, while the BMO AIR MILES World MasterCard has a $99 annual fee and earns rewards faster.
- Canadian Tire: Canadian Tire offers 3 MasterCards: the Options MasterCard (Canadian Tire money), Gas Advantage MasterCard (gas rewards credit card) and Cash Advantage MasterCard (cash back credit card).
- Costco: As of Fall 2014, Capital One + MasterCard are the official partners on Costco’s new credit card. Up until then, Costco had been partnered with American Express.
- Delta SkyMiles: The Capital One Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard comes with a welcome bonus of 25,000 Delta SkyMiles, gives you priority boarding and lets you earn 2-3 miles for every $1 spent on the card.
- Gas retailers: Both Petro Canada and Shell offer MasterCards that combine their individual loyalty programs with the credit cards.
- Harley Davidson: The Harley Davidson MasterCard comes with a $25 Harley Chrome Cash certificate and lets you earn 1 Harley Davidson Genuine Rewards point for every $2 you spend on your card.
- Hudson’s Bay Company: The Hudson’s Bay MasterCard lets you earn double the Hudson’s Bay Rewards points on almost every $1 spent at the Hudson’s Bay and partner stores.
- IHG: The Capital One IHG Rewards Club World MasterCard comes with a welcome bonus of 60,000 IHG Rewards Club points, gives you Platinum Elite status, and lets you earn 5 points for every $1 spent at any IHG hotel or 2 points for every $1 spent anywhere else.
- PC Points: The PC Financial MasterCard comes with a 40,000 PC Points sign-up bonus (equals $40 of free food) and lets you earn 10 PC Points for every $1 spent anywhere you shop.
- Save-On-More: The MBNA More Rewards MasterCard comes with 25,000 Save-On-More points and helps you earn 4 points for every $1 spent in Save-On-Food stores. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, travel and more.
- Sears: Sears offers 3 MasterCards: the Sears Card (earn Sears Club Points when you shop at Sears), Sears Financial MasterCard (earn Sears Club Points when you shop anywhere) and Sears Financial Voyage MasterCard (earn 3x Sears Club Points when you shop anywhere).
- Shoppers Optimum: The RBC Shoppers Optimum MasterCard has no annual fee, and lets you earn 15 points for every $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 5 points for every $1 spent anywhere else.
- Sobeys: The No Fee BMO Sobeys MasterCard comes with $20 of free groceries and helps you earn Sobeys Points 2x faster, by giving you 2 points per $1 spent in Sobeys and 1 point per $1 spent anywhere else.
- Sony: The MBNA SonyCard MasterCard comes with 2,000 Sony Points after your first purchase, and lets you earn double the points on purchases made at Sony stores plus points on all eligible purchases elsewhere.
- Target: The Target RBC MasterCard helps you save 5% on all purchases at Target stores in Canada, as well as earn additional rewards toward Target gift cards. It has no annual fee and extended warranty on electronics.
- Walmart: The WestJet Rewards MasterCard comes with a welcome bonus of $25 Walmart Rewards, which can be used in stores, and lets you earn 1.25% of your purchase in Walmart Rewards when you shop at Walmart and 1.00% when you shop anywhere else.
- WestJet: RBC + WestJet partnered with MasterCard to offer two rewards credit cards for their frequent flyers. The WestJet RBC MasterCard is the more basic of the two, as it comes with a lower annual fee and a smaller welcome bonus. The WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard, however, has a higher annual fee but also comes with one $99 companion flight per year.
Remember that all of these credit cards will be issued by a bank, credit union or retailer – not by MasterCard itself. As well, some of these credit cards may help you earn points specific to a bank’s own branded rewards program, of which there are too many to list here.
More on MasterCard
Headquartered in O’Fallon, Missouri, MasterCard is the second largest credit card company in the world. Infamous for its catchphrase, “For everything else, there’s MasterCard,” the company held 26.9% of the market share of purchase transactions made worldwide in 2013. MasterCard operates in more than 210 countries, and is known for both its credit card and prepaid card products.