The Preferred Rate Mastercard from BMO offers a 12.99% interest rate across the board, meaning that purchases, balance transfers and cash advances are all charged at the same low rate. The annual fee is only $20, putting it in easy reach of most, and new applicants will receive a waiver for the first year. The card’s balance transfer offer of 3.99% for the first 10 months (plus a 1% transfer fee) isn’t the best deal available, but it’s a nice-to-have. As a BMO Mastercard, this card will work well for those who want to keep all their accounts with a single institution and stick with a big bank.
- Annual fee: $20
- Interest rate: 12.99% on purchases and cash advances
- Balance transfer offer: 3.99% interest for the first 10 months
- Additional benefits: 15% discount on Cirque du Soleil shows; purchase protection and extended warranty
Get more details about the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard*
Variable Rate Cards
As the name suggests, these cards don’t have fixed interest rates—and the rate you are charged on unpaid balances can change based on a few factors. Typically, the rate is tied to an index (usually the prime rate), which fluctuates, with an additional fixed percentage on top. For example, a card might charge the bank’s prime rate plus 5%. Also, it’s important to note that your credit score will play a role in determining how low of a rate you can get.
This all might sound impossibly complicated, but there’s a simple reason to consider a variable rate card: If you have an excellent credit score, you could land some of the lowest rates available in the credit card market. However, if you don’t have a great credit score, want to keep things simple, or you’re looking for a card that also comes with a great balance transfer promotion, you may want to consider one of the fixed rate cards covered above.
TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa
The interest rate you pay with the TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa will depend on the bank’s prime rate and your current credit score. Currently, TD has a prime rate of 2.45% so, depending on your credit score, the rate you’re offered for this card could be as low as 6.95% or as high as 15.20%. This same rate, calculated at the time of your application, will apply to all purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. The Flex Rate Visa comes with a modest annual fee of $25, but unfortunately does not offer a balance transfer promotion.
- Annual fee: $25
- Interest rate: Prime plus 4.50% to 12.75%
- Additional benefits: Discount at Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car; purchase security and extended warranty