A cash back credit card is a rewards credit card that lets you earn a small percentage of your spending back in cash. The amount you’ll earn back varies from card to card, with the best cash back credit card in Canada allowing you to earn as much as 6%. The best cash back cards are a good option for anyone who wants to earn the maximum possible rewards for their spending but isn’t interested in earning points for free flights or other rewards. With the best cash back credit card, you can redeem your cash reward as either a deposit into your chequing account or a credit on your statement. It’s that easy – just more money in your pocket.
Overview of Best Cash Back Credit Cards
|Credit Card||Best For|
|Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard||Flexibility|
|TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card||Easy Redemption|
|BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*||No Annual Fee with a Welcome Bonus Offer|
|SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express||All Around Cash Back|
|Scotia Momentum® |
Visa Infinite* Card
|Gas and Grocery Spending|
|Home Trust Preferred Visa||Travelling Abroad|
The dollar value of the cash back you’ll earn can vary dramatically depending on your unique spending habits and the rewards scheme of the credit card. Most cash back credit cards reward you differently depending on how your purchase is categorized. For example, a cash back credit card may pay 4% cash back on grocery spending, but only 1% cash back on gas.
For this reason, it’s important to analyze your spending habits and choose a credit card that is right for you. For example, if you have a long commute and you spend $1,000 per month on gas and groceries, choose a credit card that rewards that spending. If you choose wisely, charge your everyday purchases to your credit card and pay off your balance every month. It’s a simple but savvy strategy that allows you to easily earn hundreds of dollars per year in cash back rewards.
Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard – Best For Flexibility
The Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard is a winner for its flexibility and simplicity. There’s no annual fee or no complicated rules or limits: cash back rewards are earned automatically and paid monthly either to your credit card balance or redeemed into your savings account. Upon sign-up, you choose two of Tangerine’s money-back categories that you want to earn 2% and get 0.5% on everything else. You can also get a bonus third 2% cash back spending category if you redeem your cash back into a Tangerine savings account. It’s that easy!
Plus, Tangerine has an incredible welcome offer. As of April 22, 2019, new Tangerine Credit Card Account holders can earn 4% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to three Money-Back Categories of their choice, for the first three months. Apply ASAP, because this promo expires on July 31, 2019!
What we like: No annual fee, simple and flexible cash back reward structure
What we don’t like: 0.5% on everything else is not as competitive as other credit cards
- No annual fee
- 2% cash back on two eligible Tangerine spending categories (groceries, gas, drug store, restaurants, recurring bill payments, furniture, home improvements, hotels, entertainment, public transportation/parking)
- 0.5% cash back on everything else
- Automatic, monthly reimbursement to your credit card balance or savings account
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* – Best For Easy Redemption
If you’re looking to maximize the payout for gas, groceries, and regular bills, the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* is a great option. *This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.
It offers 3% in Cash Back Dollars on eligible grocery and gas purchases and on regularly recurring bill payments set up on your account. For everything else, you get 1% cash back. What’s also great is that there’s no expiry on Cash Back Dollars.
As a sign-up bonus, there’s a limited time welcome offer of 6% on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to a total spend of $3,500), and you get a rebate for the first year on the steep $120 annual fee.
A big perk of this credit card is that you don’t have to wait for a yearly or monthly statement to redeem your earnings. Instead, you can redeem your Cash Back Dollars at any time, applying a credit to your card’s balance whenever you like (minimum of $25 redemption). You’re the boss!
What We Like: Easy cash redemption, lucrative cash back for gas, groceries, and bills, no expiry on earnings
What We Don’t Like: $120 annual fee
- 3% in Cash Back Dollars on eligible grocery and gas purchases and on regularly recurring bill payments set up on your account
- Earn 1% in Cash Back Dollars on all other Purchases made with your Card
- $120 annual fee
- Redeem your Cash Back Dollars whenever you please
- Includes travel medical insurance and Emergency Road Services with the Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership
BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®* – Best For No Annual Fee with a Welcome Bonus Offer
If you’re looking for a no-fee card with a hefty welcome bonus, the BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®* may be for you. It offers a generous sign-up bonus of 5% cash back in your first 3 months on all purchases. Plus, you can redeem the cash any way you want: deposit it into your BMO chequing or savings accounts, put it into your Investorline account, or apply the credit to your monthly statement. After the promo period ends, you’ll get 1% cash back on all credit card purchases. If you’re making big purchases on this card, the payoff is plenty.
Other perks include up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations, purchase protection and extended warranty on most items bought with your card, and a 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months (with a 1% transfer fee). Did we mention that there is no annual fee for this credit card?
What We Like: 5% cash back bonus, flexible redemption, no annual fee
What We Don’t Like: 1% is on the lower side of cash back
- Easy, flexible redemption
- 5% cash back bonus for first 3 months on all purchases
- 1% cash back on all credit card purchases when your sign up bonus ends
- No annual fee
- 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months (with a 1% transfer fee)
- Free supplementary cards
SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express – Best For Cash Back
The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express is an excellent all-around cash back credit card. This credit card does not have specialized spending categories, so you’ll earn the same cash back for every dollar you spend. Upon sign-up, cardholders earn 5% cash back on all purchases for the first six months, up to a maximum cash back of $300. After that, you’ll earn 2% cash back with no limits, and supplementary credit cards have no annual fee.
There is a $99 annual fee to use this credit card and no minimum income requirement. If you have a balance on your current credit card that you’ve meant to pay off, the SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express offers a special 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months.
What We Like: Free supplementary credit cards, no limits on cash back, balance transfer option, flat cash back rate
What We Don’t Like: $99 annual fee
- Earn 5% cashback in your first 6 months (up to $300)
- Earn 2% cash back when your Welcome Rate ends
- $99 annual fee
Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card – Best For Gas and Grocery Spending
The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card has one of the most generous cash back programs available in Canada and is ideal for anyone who spends significant amounts of money on gas and groceries. The cash back is capped at $25,000 per category, but that is a generous limit.
There is an annual fee for this credit card of $99, and you’ll need to earn at least $60,000 per year to qualify. Supplementary credit cards are not free, but the annual fee is waived in the first year. The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card also offers strong insurance coverage, including travel insurance, emergency medical insurance, car rental collision insurance, and purchase insurance.
What We Like: Generous 4% cash back rewards for gas and grocery spenders, insurance coverage
What We Don’t Like: High minimum income, supplementary credit cards incur an annual fee
- Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases)
- 4% cash back on gas & groceries
- 2% cash back on Drug Stores and recurring bill payments
- 1% cash back on everything else you charge to your card
- No annual fee for the first year
Home Trust Preferred Visa – Best For Traveling Abroad
The Home Trust Preferred Visa lets you earn 1% cash back on all purchases. There is no annual fee to use this credit card and no minimum income requirement. With this credit card, there is no limit on how much cash back you can earn, and Roadside Assistance is included at no extra cost.
The Home Trust Preferred Visa made waves recently due to its 0% foreign transaction fees. When you make purchases in a foreign currency, your credit card will charge a foreign currency exchange fee. This fee is usually a few percentage points. The Home Trust Preferred Visa does not charge this fee, making it a travel-friendly credit card.
What We Like: No foreign transaction fee, free roadside assistance, no annual fee
What We Don’t Like: Low cash back rewards on everyday purchases
- 1% Cash Back with no limits to your total rewards
- No restrictions on where you earn your rewards
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
Summary of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada
|Credit Card Review||Cash Back Earnings||Annual Fee||More Info|
|Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard||4% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to 3 spending categories of your choice (for the first three months).||$0||Learn More|
|TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card||3% in Cash Back Dollars on eligible gas, grocery, and recurring bill payments, 1% on everything else|
Promo: 6% on all purchases for the first 3 months
|$120 (first year free)||Learn More|
|BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*||1% cash back on all credit card purchases|
Promo: 5% cash back in your first 3 months
|SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express||2% cash back on all spending|
Promo: 5% cash back for the first six months
|Scotia Momentum® |
Visa Infinite* Card
|4% cash back on gas and groceries, 2% cash back on pharmacy and bills, 1% on everything else|
10% cash back for the first 3 months
|$99 (first year free)||Learn More|
|Home Trust Preferred Visa||3% cash back on foreign currency, 1.25% cash back on everything else||$0||Learn More|
Final Thoughts re Best Cash Back Credit Cards
To find the best cash back credit card in Canada, you’ll have to think about what’s important to you and compare the perks offered by each. Are you seeking cash for free groceries? Or would you rather have the flexibility of spending cold hard cash however you please? Regardless of which one you choose, cash back credit cards are an excellent way to capitalize on everyday purchases (like gas and groceries) that actually add up to big-ticket items over time. By using a credit card like the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* credit card to earn 4% cash back on these purchases, you’ll be able to save and earn hundreds of dollars per year. Or if you’re a millennial just starting out, the Tangerine Mastercard is also an excellent choice, especially with its no annual fee and low annual income requirement. Unlike travel rewards credit cards, which let you redeem points that are subject to restrictions and blackout periods, a cash back credit card is the simplest, most direct way to capitalize on your everyday spending.
The Best Credit Cards by Category:
- The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards in Canada
- The Best Credit Cards in Canada
- Best Credit Cards to Use for Car Rental Insurance
- The Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards in Canada
- Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards in Canada
- The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada
- The Best AIR MILES Rewards Credit Cards in Canada
- The Best Aeroplan Credit Cards in Canada
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