The best instant approval credit cards in Canada

Best instant-approval credit cards in Canada

Instant approval is available through a growing range of credit card providers, in a number of different categories. We’ve rounded up the best to help you choose the right instant-approval credit card for your needs.

Card you can use instantly after approval 

Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard*

The Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard is a great option if you shop regularly at Canadian Tire, as well as CT Gas+, Sport Chek, Mark’s, and a variety of other retailers in the Canadian Tire family. If you apply in a Canadian Tire store and are approved, you may use the card immediately, rather than waiting for it in the mail. Or, if you apply online for instant credit and are approved right away, you’ll be able to proceed to checkout, where your card details will be pre-filled in the payments section—so you can start earning 4% back on qualifying purchases immediately. You can also use your card through the Apple Pay or Google Pay apps to make purchases before you receive your physical card in the mail.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards at partner locations: 4% in Canadian Tire Money on purchases at Canadian Tire and partner stores, and $0.05 back at Gas+ and participating Husky stations
  • Rewards on everything else: 1.5% on the first $12,000 spent on groceries per calendar year (excluding Costco and Walmart); 0.5% on everything else
  • Income requirement: None
  • Additional benefits: Personalized offers and exclusive bonuses; member-only events; extended warranty
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%

Get more details about the Triangle Mastercard*

Best no-fee rewards card

PC Financial Mastercard*

PC Financial Mastercard

PC Financial offers one of the strongest no-fee rewards credit cards for everyday essentials. Given the wide range of stores under the President’s Choice/Loblaw Inc. umbrella—including Loblaws, No Frills, Fortinos, Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart and Joe Fresh—this Mastercard is great for frequent shoppers favouring premium earning rates from grocery and pharmacy, as well as gas fill-ups at Esso and Mobil stations. You can earn at least 25 PC Optimum points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart, 30 points per $10 at Esso and Mobil stations, and 10 points per $1 everywhere else. And redeeming points is dead simple: 10,000 points equals a $10 store credit (equivalent 10 points for 1% in rewards) at PC-affiliated stores. Enriched by the PC Optimum program, this card allows you to take advantage of weekly points offers to earn more. 

Within minutes of submitting your online application, you should receive an approval decision. And since it’s a store card, eligibility is often more lenient than with traditional bank credit cards. PC Financial also reviews your income as consideration for the PC Financial World Mastercard ($60,000 personal or $100,000 household) and World Elite Mastercard ($80,000 personal or $150,000 household) credit cards. (Each gives bonus points for everyday purchases at PC-affiliated retailers.)  

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn rates: At least 25 points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart; 30 points per $1 at Esso and Mobil gas stations; and 10 points per $1 everywhere else
  • Income requirement: None
  • Additional benefits: Works with the PC Optimum program’s weekly offers; fraud detection with data encryption; proactive monitoring
  • Purchase interest rate: 20.97%

Get more details about the PC Financial Mastercard*

Best rewards credit card 

American Express Cobalt Card*

The American Express Cobalt follows in the footsteps of Netflix, Spotify and other subscription services by charging a $10 monthly fee to use the card, as opposed to an annual fee of $120. Combined with a generous earn rate of 5 points per $1 on eligible restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery in Canada, this card is definitely aimed at busy millennials who are out and about town with friends, as well as frequent travellers. On travel, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 on eligible transit and gas purchases in Canada, as well as travel purchases like flights and hotel, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. 

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