Credit cards for first timers

Just getting started with credit cards and have no idea where to begin? Compare credit cards for first timers with low fees and rates, giving you a good starting point to build your credit history.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 28th September 2022

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Comparing credit cards for first timers

Neo Credit Card

On Neo Financial's website

Featured

Neo Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

From 19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn up to 15% cashback on your first purchase at participating partners.
  • Earn enormous bonuses — like 15% cashback — on your first purchase at most partners. Plus an average 5% cashback at Neo partners.
  • Boost your cashback by choosing a flexible, monthly rewards plan.
  • No annual fee.

Pros

  • Earn an average of 4% cashback at thousands of local and national gas, grocery stores, and more.
  • You can cash out anytime with just one tap.
  • $0 p.a. annual fee.

Cons

  • There is a 2.5% Foreign Exchange Fee.
Plastk Secured Credit Card

On Plastk's website

Plastk Secured Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

3 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$48.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Upon sign-up, new customers get 5,000 Reward Points ≈ $20.00 redeemable after 3 months. Terms & Conditions apply.
  • Enjoy 0% on purchases for the first 3 months (17.99% p.a. thereafter).
  • Get a 25-day interest-free grace period on purchases.

Pros

  • The 5,000 Reward Points.
  • Get 3 days grace period on cash advances.
  • Earn more points with Plastk's referral program.
  • Instant Balance Payments via Interac e-transfer

Cons

  • There is a $6 monthly maintenance fee.
  • If you miss 2 consecutive payments, the interest rate will increase to 29.99% p.a.
Refresh Secured Card

On Refresh Financial's website

Refresh Secured Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

17.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$12.95 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Low annual fee of $12.95 p.a. (with $3 monthly maintenance fee).
  • Get a credit limit starting at $200 up to $10,000. Secure your credit limit with a required deposit then build your credit by making the same everyday purchase you already make.
  • No credit check is required.

Pros

  • No credit check is required.
  • The minimum deposit starts at $200.
  • Comes with an interest-free period of 21 days.

Cons

  • There is no rewards program on this card.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Balance transfer

6 months at 1.95% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.95% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 1.95% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers (3% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to cash advance rate of 19.95% p.a.
  • Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on your everyday purchases in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all your other everyday purchases.
  • Get your Rewards deposited into your Tangerine Savings Account and get a 3rd 2% Money-Back Category.
  • No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn on your everyday purchases. Conditions apply.

Pros

  • Get up to 2% cashback on 2 categories (up to 3 categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account).
  • $0 annual fee.
  • Up to 21 interest-free days.

Cons

  • There is a 3% balance transfer fee.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

Apply by 31 October 2022

Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn up to 7,500 bonus SCENE points. That's 5,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend $750 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 2,500 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $5,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first year. 
  • No annual fee.
  • Earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 you spend on your everyday credit card purchases.

Pros

  • Earn up to 7,500 bonus SCENE points when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn 5 Scene+ points for every $1 you spend on credit card purchases at Cineplex theatres or at cineplex.com.
  • Save on car rentals.
  • $0 p.a. annual fee.

Cons

  • There is no special balance transfer rate for this card.
Student BMO CashBack Mastercard

Apply by 6 December 2022

Student BMO CashBack Mastercard

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get up to 5% cashback on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • No annual fee.
  • Earn 3% cashback on grocery purchases, 1% recurring bill payments and 0.5% cashback on all other purchases.
Student BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

Apply by 6 December 2022

Student BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn 800 Bonus Miles when you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from the Credit Card open date. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • No annual fee.
  • Earn 3 AIR MILES Reward Miles for every $25 in purchases at participating AIR MILES Partners and 1 Reward Mile for every other $25 you spend on eligible credit card purchases.
SimplyCash Card from American Express

SimplyCash Card from American Express

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$99.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • New SimplyCash Card from American Express Cardmembers can earn 10% cashback on purchases (up to $400 cashback) for the first 4 months of Cardmembership.
  • Earn a $100 statement credit when you charge $4,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 4 months of Cardmembership.
  • Earn 2% cashback on purchases when your welcome offer ends.

Pros

  • Earn up to $500 cashback in the first 4 months when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn 2% cashback on purchases when your welcome offer ends.
  • Enjoy Travel-Related and Shopping Insurance Coverage.
  • No annual fee on additional cards.

Cons

  • There is no balance transfer offer on this card.
Neo Secured Card

On Neo Financial's website

Neo Secured Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn up to 15% cashback on your first purchase at participating partners.
  • No annual fee to pay — ever.
  • Decide your own credit limit to meet your needs. $50 minimum.
  • Get a 0.5% guaranteed cashback and an average of 5% cashback at partner retailers.
Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

6 months at 9.99% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn 4% cashback on restaurants, 1.50 % on gas, groceries, drugstore and .50% on all other purchases (cashback cap applies except for other purchases).
  • No annual fee.
  • Enjoy 9.99% introductory annual interest on purchases for the first 6 months (19.99% p.a. thereafter).
  • Add up to 3 additional cardholders and earn cashback faster.

Pros

  • Enjoy the 9.99% introductory annual interest on purchases for the first 6 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • Includes Purchase Security and Extended Protection Insurance.

Cons

  • You can only spend your reward dollars at Walmart Canada.