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How to choose the right credit card.

In Canada, we have twice as many credit cards as people: for every 100 Canadians, we had 205.7 credit cards as of 2022, Electronic Payments International reports.

It can feel like we’re flooded with options when it comes to choosing a card as well. Secured? Travel? Or what about other types of rewards, like cash back?

Which card is right for you will depend on a combination of your credit history, how you plan to use your credit and your own personal preference and goals. Which of these common credit card types sound like they’d work best for you?


If your credit score needs some work before you qualify for an unsecured credit card, you might be offered a secured card instead. Secured and unsecured cards are essentially the same – you just have to put up security funds as collateral for a secured card. Security funds don’t earn interest but they’ll be returned to you in full if you close your account, so long as you’ve paid off your balance in full.


Calling all adventure seekers! With a travel card, you collect points on your purchases that can cover the cost of rewards like flights, hotels or maybe even that all-inclusive resort you’ve had your eye on. You might also enjoy travel insurance coverages that will add a little extra chill to your down time.

Different cards have different rewards structures: for example, points earned on the Capital One Aspire Travel® Platinum Mastercard® can be redeemed to cover travel purchases made on your card, while other cards may offer more points for using specific travel-booking sites.


Travel not your thing? There are lots of other cards that let you redeem points for a wider variety of rewards. Capital One even offers the Smart RewardsTM Mastercard, which earns you points when you make payments toward your card balance. Points can then be redeemed for account credits or gift cards.

Cash back

Of course, you can always get rewarded in cash. This type of card is similar to other points-based cards, but, in lieu of rewards, you get a percentage of the money you spend back.

Did you know? Every time you apply for a credit card, your credit score takes a hit, whether you’re approved for the card or not. One way around that is to use Capital One Canada’s free online tool Quick Check®, which tells you which card you’re approved for before you apply without impacting your score.

* If Quick Check pre-approves a card, you can be 100% sure we’ll approve your application as long as:

a. There’s been no change in your credit file information, personal information or financial status from the time you receive your Quick Check results to the time you apply for one of our credit cards;

b. You’re at least the age of majority in the province or territory you live in;

c. Your application isn’t flagged for fraud prevention;

d. You don’t have an existing Capital One account; and

e. You haven’t applied for a Capital One account in the last 30 days or had an account with us that was not in good standing in the last year. In good standing means not past due, over limit, fraudulent, restricted, or part of a consumer credit counselling program or bankruptcy.

In some cases, we may not be able to open an account for you even though your application was approved. This can happen if we’re unable to verify your identity, or you don’t provide the required security funds if you’re approved for a Secured Mastercard®.