What is the best cash back credit card in Canada? Save money by having one of these highly competitive cash back credit cards in your wallet.
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 a bundle back on your everyday purchases.  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 for 2020

Credit CardBest For
Scotia Momentum®
Visa Infinite* Card
Grocery, Recurring Bills, & Subscription Purchases
Tangerine Money-Back MastercardFlexibility
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* CardEasy Redemption
BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*No Annual Fee with a Welcome Bonus Offer
SimplyCash™ Card from American ExpressCash rewards for referring friends

How Much Cash Back Will I Earn?

It depends on the credit card. Some credit cards have a cap of the total amount that you can earn, but others (like the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard) have no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn on your everyday purchases.

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.

Best Cash Back Card For Grocery Spending

The average family of four in Canada spending roughly $12,157 per year on food expenditures — that’s a heck of a lot. Why not put the cost to work for you and earn points on your grocery purchases? Look for a credit card that offers a high points-earning potential for grocery spends,

Winner: Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

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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 groceries. With this card, you’ll earn a whopping 4% for every $1 you spend on grocery store purchases,  recurring bill payments, and subscription purchases (like Chefs Plate or Netflix).

This card also comes with an incredible promotional offer upon sign-up. As a welcome bonus, new cardholders earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months (up to $2000 in total purchases). Plus, there’s no annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards. The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card also offers mobile device and comprehensive travel insurance — big perks that make this card worth considering.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120 (First-year annual fee waived)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household income
  • Credit Score Required: Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for first three months (up to $2,000 in total purchases).
  • Earn Rate: 4% cash back on recurring bills, grocery purchases, and subscription services, 2% on gas and transit purchases, and 1% on everything else.
  • Additional Benefits: Comprehensive travel insurance, mobile device insurance coverage, luxury hotel privileges, complimentary concierge services 24/7
  • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Learn more about the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card.


Best Cash Back Card For Flexibility

The last thing you want in a cash back credit card is one that comes with a lot of rigid rules and restrictions. There’s value to getting a card tailored to your unique spending habits, but also allows you to change up the rewards scheme whenever necessary. The best cash back credit cards will also have flexibility when it comes to redemption and will make the payout process easy.

Winner: Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard

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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. Here’s how it works: choose two money-back categories to earn 2% cashback, plus get a third 2% category when you have your Money-Back Rewards deposited into your Tangerine Savings Account. As a welcome bonus, you’ll actually earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to 3 chosen categories for your first 3 months instead of the usual 2%, which makes this credit card all the more enticing. Apply ASAP, because this promo expires on January 31, 2020!

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $12,000
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to three Money-Back Categories, for the first three months
  • Additional Benefits: Automatic, monthly reimbursement to your credit card balance or savings account
  • Purchase APR: 19.95% | Cash Advance APR: 19.95%

Learn more about the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard


Best Cash Back Card For Easy Redemption

If you can’t cash out easily, what’s the point of having a cash back credit card? When choosing a winner, we looked for a card that balanced a great cash back rewards rate with a simple redemption process that included regular payouts.

Winner: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite*

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If you’re looking to maximize the payout for gas, groceries, and regular bills, the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* is a great option. 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 10% on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to a total spend of $2,000), and you get a full annual fee rebate for the first year on the steep $120 annual fee. Conditions apply, and you must apply online by March 2, 2020 to take advantage of this fantastic limited-time offer.

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. You’re the boss!

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120 (waived for first year. Must apply by March 2, 2020)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household income
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer:Earn 10% in Cash Back Dollars on all purchases for the first 3 months up to a total spend of $2,000 (Conditions apply. Must apply online by March 2, 2020.)
  • Additional Benefits: Earn up to 3% cash back on everyday purchases; includes travel insurance and Emergency Road Services with the Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership
  • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Learn more about the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite*.

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.


Best Cash Back Card with No Annual Fee and a Welcome Bonus

Finding a cash back credit card that offers both a generous welcome bonus and no annual fee is a rarity indeed. But we scoured the market and found one that’s a clear winner.

Winner: BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*

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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* with no caps, no category limits! If you’re making big purchases on this card, the pay off 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?

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Income Eligibility: $15,000
  • Credit Score Required: Fair-Good
  • Welcome Offer: 5% cash back bonus for first 3 months on all purchases and 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months (with a 1% transfer fee)
  • Additional Benefits: Up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations, purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Learn more about the BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*.


Best Cash Back Card with a Referral Rewards Program

When you have a great credit card, you tend to want to tell your friends about it. Unfortunately, with the average credit card, there isn’t a financial benefit to spreading the love and encouraging friends and family to sign up for the same card, but we found one that lets you share your credit card, earn rewards for it.

Winner: SimplyCashTM Card from American Express

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Like the other credit cards on this list, the SimplyCash Card™ from American Express has no annual fee and a generous welcome bonus. For the first three months of using this credit card, you’ll earn 2.5% cashback on all purchases charged to this card, up to $150 in cash back. After that, you’ll earn 1.25% cash back on purchases charged to your card and there’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.

This sign-up bonus isn’t as hefty as some of the other credit cards on this list, but you can earn a big cash bonus through the referral program on this card. Refer a friend and you could earn a bonus of $100 cash back for each approved referral, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of $1,500 cash back.

When signing up, you’ll get a special 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months if you choose to transfer your other credit card balances to this card. You can transfer up to half of your credit limit or $7,500 – whichever is lower – and there is no balance transfer fee. This card also comes with a suite of insurance (such as travel accident insurance and purchase protection) and access to early and advanced tickets to concerts, movies, and sought after events.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $0
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Bonus:Earn 2.50% cash back bonus for first three months, 1.25% cash back after that;
  • Additional Benefits: Travel insurance, purchase protection, American Express Invites, refer a friend incentive
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99% |Balance Transfer: 1.99% for first 6 months
Learn more about SimplyCash Card™ from American Express.

Summary of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada

Credit Card ReviewCash Back EarningsAnnual FeeMore Info
Scotia Momentum®
Visa Infinite* Card
4% cash back on groceries & recurring bills, 2% cash back on gas and daily transit, 1% on everything else
+
Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for first three months (up to $2000 in total purchases).
$120 (First-year annual fee waived)Learn More
Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard4% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to 3 spending categories of your choice (for the first three months).$0Learn More
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card3% in Cash Back Dollars on eligible gas, grocery, and recurring bill payments, 1% on everything else

Limited-time promo: 10% on all purchases for the first 3 months up to a total spend of $2000 (Conditions apply. Must apply online by March 2, 2020.)
$120 (Waived for first year. Conditions apply. Must apply online by March 2, 2020.)Learn More
BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*1% cash back on all credit card purchases

Promo: 5% cash back in your first 3 months
$0Learn More
SimplyCash™ Card from American Express2.50% cash back on all spending for first three months, 1.25% after that$0Learn More
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite*: *This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

How Do Cash Back Credit Cards Work?

It’s a pretty simple concept: for every purchase that you charge onto your credit card, you get a little kickback in cash — usually between 1% to 4% on every dollar that you spend. So if you have The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card and spend $12,000 on groceries per year, you’ll get a whopping 4% cash back, which works out to that’s $480 annually or $40 a month. It really demonstrates how that amount can really add up over time and put more money back into your pocket.

How to Maximize Your Cash Back?

Analyze your spending patterns. What are your biggest bills? If it’s groceries and gas, pick a credit card like The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card that rewards that spending. If you’re undertaking a major home renovation, sign up for the BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®* and take advantage of the generous welcome bonus of 5% cash back for 3 months. For a $15,000 renovation, that would net you $750, and you don’t even have to pay an annual fee! It’s all about being strategic in your spending, and it’s why having more than one credit card is a good idea.

When Do I Get My Cashback?

It depends on the credit card. For instance, for the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard, cash back is earned automatically on everyday purchases and paid monthly. For other cards, you may have to wait until the end of the year to get your rebate. The cash back is usually applied to your credit card statement, or in some cases, redeemed into your chequing or savings account.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Cash Back Credit Card?

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 Money-Back 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. If you are still undecided, check out our list of the best credit cards in Canada.

The Best Credit Cards by Category:

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

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