Alternatives to Credit Cards in Canada

Having trouble getting approved for a credit card? Here are some alternative options to explore:

1. Consider starting with a secured card

A secured credit card functions like its unsecured counterpart but with one key difference: you need to provide a cash deposit before using it, as security for the lender.

The deposit determines your credit limit and gives your card provider the right to seize the funds should you default on your payment obligations.

2. Become an authorized user on another account

Most credit cards allow the cardholder to add additional users to their account. 

If a trusted family member or friend adds you as an authorized user, you’ll receive access to a card that’s linked to their account.

As a result, you can actively use it to make purchases without meeting the lender’s eligibility criteria. 

3. Apply for a retail card

Some retailers partner with banks and card networks to issue credit cards of their own.

Retail credit cards can net you discounts on purchases and earn you points through loyalty rewards programs that you can redeem for merchandise or cash back. 

Retailers generally have relaxed eligibility requirements when it comes to credit scores, so you’ll face fewer hurdles when applying for one compared with regular cards.

4. Get a student card

Student credit cards cater to individuals pursuing their post-secondary education.

Like retail credit cards, they have less stringent eligibility requirements, so there’s a good chance you’ll get approved for one.

Lady smiling holding credit card

Don’t Forget!

Making timely payments on a credit card account where you’re an authorized user will neither improve nor harm your credit score.

Mark Gregorski

Mark is passionate about educating people on how the financial markets work and providing tips to help them better manage their money. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and has more than a decade of experience as an accountant.

Outside of writing and finance, he enjoys playing poker, going to the gym, composing music, and learning about digital marketing.