We aimed to develop an in-depth understanding about factors that influence cardiac medication adherence among South Asian, Chinese, and European White cardiac patients. Sixty-four patients were purposively sampled from an ongoing study cohort. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed for analyses. Physicians’ culturally sensitive communication and patients’ motivation to live a symptom-free and longer life enhanced adherence. European Whites were motivated to enhance personal well-being and enjoy family life. South Asians’ medication adherence was influenced by the desire to fulfill the will of God and family responsibilities. The Chinese were motivated to avoid pain, illness, and death, and to obey a health care provider. The South Asians and Chinese wanted to ultimately reduce medication use. Previous positive experiences, family support, and establishing a routine also influenced medication adherence. Deterrents to adherence were essentially the reverse of the motivators/facilitators. This analysis represents an essential first step forward in developing ethno-culturally tailored interventions to optimize adherence.