The Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada

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best cash back credit cardsA 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

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

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 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

tangerine money back credit cardThe 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!

What we likeNo 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

The Details:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to three Money-Back Categories for the first three months
  • 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

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*

TD Cash Back Visa InfiniteAnnual Fee: $120
Purchase APR: 20.99%
Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

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

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 rebate for the first year on the steep $120 annual fee. This offer ends on December 1, 2019 so take full advantage now!

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!

What We Like: Easy cash redemption, lucrative cash back for gas, groceries, and bills, no expiry on earnings, fantastic welcome bonus

What We Don’t Like: $120 annual fee

The Details:

  • Earn 10% in Cash Back Dollars on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to a total spend of $2,000)
  • 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 insurance and Emergency Road Services with the Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership

Learn more about the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite*


Best No Annual Fee Cash Back Card with 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®*

BMO CashBack MastercardIf 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?

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

The Details:

  • 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

Learn more about the BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*


Best 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

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Cardscotia momentum visa infinite 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).

As of August 1st, an annual fee for this credit card will raise from $99 to $120, but the annual fee is waived in the first year. You’ll need to earn at least $60,000 per year to qualify for this card, and supplementary credit cards are $50 each. The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card also offers mobile device and comprehensive travel insurance — both big perks that make this card worth considering.

What We Like: Generous 4% cash back on groceries, recurring bills, and subscription purchases

What We Don’t Like: Annual fee increase and cost for supplementary credit cards

The Details:

  • No annual fee for the first year
  • 4% cash back on groceries, recurring bills, and subscription purchases
  • 2% cash back on gas and daily transit (public transit, taxis, and Ubers)
  • 1% cash back on everything else you charge to your card

Learn more about the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card


Summary of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada

Credit Card ReviewCash Back EarningsAnnual FeeMore Info
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

Promo: 10% on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2000)
$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
$0Learn More
Scotia Momentum®
Visa Infinite* Card
4% cash back on groceries & recurring bills, 2% cash back on gas and daily transit, 1% on everything else$120 (first year free)Learn 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 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:

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Jordann Brown

Jordann Brown is a millennial money expert and personal finance blogger based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Jordann is the founder of the popular personal finance blog, My Alternate Life, and she frequently appears as an expert in Canada media.

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