Best Low Interest Credit Card Rates

While lacking the glamour of reward cards, low interest credit card rates offer the best value for customers that have a bit of red on their statements from time to time. Yes, it is nice to get up to 2% back on your purchases; but this amount is most likely negligible whilst paying your outstanding balance off at a ~20%% APR.  Below we compare low interest credit cards, for your reading pleasure.

Top 3 Low Interest Cards

RankCardRateRatingApply
1
MBNA Platinum Plus Mastercard
0% Interest First Year Apply NowReview
2
MBNA True Line MasterCard
Transfers 5.99% – 14.99% Apply NowReview
3
Alterna Platinum Plus Mastercard
Qualify For 9.99% Apply Now

There is simply no beating zero percent, which is what the MBNA Platinum Plus Mastercard offers on balance transfer and cash advances up to your line of credit. Of course, new purchases are hit with an interest rate of 19.99% – which has no business appearing in a low interest rate comparison article, except perhaps as illustration of the very high industry standard. However, if you are willing to put in the work you can apply a fancy little hack that will get you 0% interest on new purchases as well, which we describe below.

The Low Interest on New Payments Work Around

Let’s imagine you have designed an amazingly detailed and accurate replica of C-3PO that you would like to wear to the next comic con. You’ve gotten a free ticket to Toronto (thanks to the boys at WestJet) but it will cost you $2,000 to build out the costume and you simply can’t scrounge together the money. If you get that $2,000 as a cash advance from MBNA Platinum Plus, you can make the purchase and your first 12 months of debt repayment is interest-free. Remember though, after 12 months you’ll be paying 19.99% so best to plan ahead.

Of course, this little hack does not account for any future debt you might be taking on, but is illustrative of a particular strategy that can be employed to great effect provided strict discipline to plan. However, one could easily envision a scenario in which the cash advance is effectively “forgotten about”, with a harsh reminder in 12 months as to it’s existence.

You know yourself – if you are nervous about the above antics, perhaps it is best to just go for a standard low interest card, the best of which is:

Provided you have good credit, you will enjoy an interest rate on new purchases of 5.99%, which is the lowest interest rate available in the Canadian credit card market. An abbreviated pre-application is required to determine if you qualify, after which you may decide whether or not to go through with the entire application. There are additional interest tiers, coming in at 7.99, 9.99, 12.99 and 14.99% cards.

If you do not qualify for a reduced rate, you might be interested in:

The Alterna platinum has a standard interest rate of 9.99%, making it the best one-size-fits-all-regardless-of-your-credit-rating credit cards in Canada. The card comes with a few additional perks – purchase assurance, extended warranty and minimal travel and vehicle insurance services – but the only reason you should be applying for the Alterna is if you are in the market for a low-interest rate card and you did not get the reduced rate from the MBNA trueline.

Closing Balance

If you anticipate having a balance carry over from month to month on your credit card, forget about any fancy travel or rewards cards – you need to get yourself the lowest interest rate card out there – cashback or rewards will most likely not offset the difference between an interest rate of 20% and 10%.

If you know have a pre-known expense coming up that will require a credit card loan, it is best to get a cash advance from MBNA (or the RBC Cash Back card if MBNA does not fly for whatever reason) and pay the debt down over the 12 months while enjoying an interest vacation.

Of course, this does not account for any new debt taken on, and if you anticipate further dips into the red, check if you qualify for the MBNA TrueLine card, which offers an industry best 5.99% new purchase rate. If they don’t give you the best rate – which is based on your credit history – than you might be better off with the Alterna Platinum Mastercard, which offers a flat 9.99% interest rate – about 50% better than the market standard rate.

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