The 9 Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada has for 2021

How does a cashback credit card work? It’s pretty simple. You’ll get a percentage on every purchase you make using the card. The reward comes back in the form of cash i.e. money. The fantastic thing is cash back rewards are flexible, and you can spend them however you please. However, there are several cash back credit cards in Canada, and no two are the same. 

You need to consider different factors like the earn rate, annual fee, benefits, and more before you apply. Therefore, choosing the best cash back credit card Canada has that suites your needs best can be quite overwhelming. To reduce your stress, we at The Finance Key have put together a list of the top options and what they offer based on different categories. Let’s get into it.


The 9 Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada by Category

Credit CardBest ForAnnual Fees
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American ExpressBest for Flat-Rate$99
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite CardBest for Groceries and Recurring Bills$120
Free for the first year.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardBest for Flexibility$0
SimplyCash Card from American ExpressBest Flat Rate No-Fee Card for$0
Rogers World Elite MastercardBest for High Earners$0
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite CardBest for Easy Redemption$120
Home Trust Preferred VisaBest for No Fx Fees$0
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite CardBest for Groceries and Gas$99
Free for the first year.
BMO CashBack MastercardBest No-Fee Card for Groceries.$0
Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada by Category.

#1. Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For Flat-Rate)

Our Pick: SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Eligibility Criteria

  • Residency: Canadian Resident.
  • Age: 18 plus or majority age. 
  • Minimum Credit Score: Good to Excellent
  • Minimum Income: $0

Our pick for the best cash back credit card Canada has for flat-rate is the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express. It is your best bet if you are looking for best cash back credit cards that allows you to keep things simple. 

You won’t be dealing with tiered earn rates or different bonus categories. You get 2% flat cash back rate on all your purchases, including gas, online, electronics, or grocery purchases

This cash back credit card also allows you to add more authorized users to your card for free. This is especially fitting for couples or families intending to share an account and accumulate their rewards. The amount you can earn is limitless. 

However, while you can use Amex cards at thousands of locations, including most restaurants, major grocery stores, and retail chains, they are not as generally accepted as a Visa or Mastercard. So, it will be best if you go around with a second credit card or a debit card from Mastercard or Visa or Mastercard as an alternative.

Notable Features

  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Credit Score: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Bonus Offer: 10% cash back on all your purchases for the first four months (up to $400 cash back limit).
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: Nil
  • Earn rate: 2% flat cash back rate on all your purchases.
  • Additional Benefits:  Comprehensive car rental and travel insurance, exclusive access to entertainment, American Express Invites, free authorized users, bonus on referrals.
  • Cash Advance APR: 21.99%; Purchase APR: 19.99%. 

Perks

  • Referral bonus for each approved friend referral.
  • You get access to all American Express Invites offers, such as exclusive access to tickets, deals, and events.
  • You are entitled to comprehensive car rental and travel insurance.
  • You can add free authorized users to your card.

Drawbacks

  • Amex cards may not be accepted everywhere. 
  • You won’t be approved for this card without good credit.

#2. Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For Groceries and Recurring Bills)

Our Pick: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Eligibility Criteria

  • Residency: Canadian Permanent Resident/Citizen
  • Good to Excellent Minimum Credit Score: 
  • Minimum Income Requirement: Minimum personal annual income of $60,000 or a household income minimum of $100,000, or minimum assets under management worth $250,000.
  • Age: 18+ or majority age in the province. 

If you are concerned about your several recurring bills, worry no more. The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card is a great cash-back card with highly competitive benefits and rewards. It allows you to earn a ton of cash back effortlessly. 

You can earn an attractive 4% cash back on groceries, recurring bill payments, and subscription services. Large households and families can take advantage of this. You can also earn a 2% cash back on transport bills (public transit and gas), while your other expenses will come in at 1%. 

Only a few out of the best cash back credit cards can match this cash back visa infinite card’s earn rate. However, a $25,000 cap applies to your eligible spending in each category. If you exceed that amount, the earn rate will be the base 1%.

Since this card is a Visa Infinite card, it comes with a minimum annual income requirement of $60,000 or a minimum household income requirement of $100,000. The $120 annual fee can be waived during the first year for new applicants. 

Notable Features

  • Annual fee of $120. It is usually waived the first year.
  • The earn rate is 4% cash back on groceries, subscription services, recurring bills; 2% money back on gas and public transit; and 1% on every other purchase.
  • As a welcome bonus, you get 10% cash back for all your purchases up to a $2,000 cap in your first three months.
  • Income requirement: $60,000 minimum annual personal income or $100,000 minimum household income.

Let’s have a look at the perks that made this card our pick for the best cash back credit card Canada has for groceries and recurring bill payments.

Perks

  • Mobile device ($1,000), and travel insurance ($1,500).
  • Access to Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country Series.
  • Concierge service. 

Drawbacks

  • Although your cash back builds up monthly, it is only paid out once yearly. So, if you’d like to get your rewards sooner, having to wait for the whole year can be a total bummer. 

#3. Best No-Fee Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For Flexibility)

Our Pick: Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Eligibility

  • Good to Excellent minimum credit score
  • Age: 18+ or majority age
  • Residency: Canadian Permanent Resident/Citizen
  • Minimum Income of $12000

Sure, you don’t want cash back cards that come with strict rules and restrictions. A card that is suited to your particular spending habits yet permits you to change the earning scheme when needed is ideal. The best cash back credit cards will also be flexible with regards to redemption and easy payment process.  

There are several options for the best cashback credit card Canada. But, the Tangerine Money-back Credit Card stands out for its flexibility and simplicity, which is why it’s our pick as the best no fee cash back credit card Canada has for flexibility.

It comes with zero annual fees and no complicated limits. You earn your cash back automatically, and it is either redeemed monthly into your savings account or paid to your credit card balance monthly. 

The process is simple: You get two categories where you can earn 2% cashback. You get a third 2% category if you decide to deposit your Money-Back Rewards directly into your Tangerine Savings Account. All your other card purchases will earn you a 0.5% cash back.

Notable Features

  • Annual Fee: Zero
  • Credit Score: Good to Excellent
  • Minimum Income: $12,000
  • Interest on Cash Advances: 19.95%; Interest on Purchases: 19.95% 

Perks

  • Unlimited cash back
  • You get automatic reimbursement to your credit card balance, or savings account monthly.
  • Purchase assurance. This protects your purchase from theft, loss, or damage within 90 days.
  • You get an extended warranty, which gives you twice your manufacturer’s warranty up to an extra year.

Drawbacks

  • You will only get three categories if you bank with Tangerine. If not, you’ll get just two. 
  • The 0.5% cash back on other purchases outside of your 2 ‒ 3 pre-selected categories leaves something to be desired.  

Since this card is a basic no-fee cash-back card, the perks are thin. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent choice for you. You just have to pay more attention to your spending habits. A pro tip is to combine it with any of the best cash back credit card Canada has that are in this article. 

If you want more perks and you meet the $60,000 annual income requirement, you’ll go for the Tangerine World Mastercard. It comes with additional perks like rental car and mobile device insurance.


#4. Best No-Fee Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For Flat Rate)

Our Pick: SimplyCash Card from American Express

Another one of the best no fee cash back credit card Canada has. This card is different from the SimplyCash Preferred Cash mentioned above. For the SimplyCash Card from American Express, the earn rate is lower, but it compensates with the absence of annual fees.

The standard 1.25% earn rate allows you to get an above-average return on your general purchases like electronics, clothes, and online purchases. If you were using another card, you’d likely have gotten between 0.5% and 1% back instead. 

The SimplyCash also offers new customers a welcome bonus of 2.5% cash back on all purchases during the first three months, to a $150 cash back maximum. 

Notable Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Welcome Bonus: 2.5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $150 cash back)
  • Earn rate: 1.5% cash back on every purchase after the first 3 months
  • It comes with 3 types of insurance: Travel accident insurance, Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, and Purchase Protection Plan.

Perks

  • You get $100,000 in travel accident insurance coverage.
  • Free American Express Invites and $50 bonus cash back on every approved referral.
  • You can add free authorized users to your card
  • No minimum income requirement.
  • You get three types of insurance.

Drawback

  • Amex cards may not be accepted everywhere. 

#5. Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For High Earners)

Our Pick: Rogers World Elite Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria

  • Residency: Canadian Resident
  • Minimum Income: $80000
  • Credit Score: Good to Excellent
  • Age: 18+ or majority age

The Rogers World Elite Mastercard offers  1.5% cash back on all purchases and the chance to redeem hat cash back to most of the purchases you made with your card in the last 90 days.

It has a 3% earn rate on purchases made in the U.S. dollar which means you are earning 0.5% in cash back on purchases after you consider the 2.5% foreign exchange fee. In other words, the card is putting money in your pocket. 

If you are an online shopper or a  U.S. traveller, this is one of the best cash back credit cards you should consider. 

Notable Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Welcome Bonus: $25 bonus cash back after first purchase
  • Cash Back Structure: 3% cash back on purchases made in U.S. dollars and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • $80,000 minimum personal income requirement or $150,000 minimum household income.

Perks

  • No annual fee.
  • Purchase protection and extended warranties on card purchases. 
  • A welcome bonus of $25 in cash back rewards after your first card purchase.
  • A 3% earn rate on purchases in U.S. currency and 1.5% on every other purchases.
  • Travel insurance.

Drawbacks

  • It has a $80,000 minimum annual income requirement
  • To keep the card, you have to charge at least $15,000 in purchases every 12 months; else you’ll be downgraded to the entry-level Rogers Platinum Card with a pretty low 1% cash back on all purchases.

#6. Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For Easy Redemption)

Our Pick: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Minimum Income Requirement: $60,000 annual personal income or $100,000 household income.
  • Credit Score: Good to Excellent

The best cash back credit cards should allow you to cash out effortlessly. To determine the best cash back credit card Canada has that fits into this description, we looked for a card with both a great cash back rate and an easy redemption process. That card is the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card.

It is also a fantastic choice for maximizing the payout for your regular bills, gas, and grocery purchases. For eligible gas and grocery purchases, and recurring bill payments on your card, the card offers 3% cash back. Every other purchase gets a 1% cash back. 

As a welcome bonus, there’s a time-specific offer of 6% on all your purchases with the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card for the first 3 months (caps at $2,000), a first-year full yearly fee rebate for the primary and first additional card holder on the $120 annual fee. This offer lapses by May 30, 2021. 

Notable Features

  • Annual Fee: $120 (It can be waived for the first year if you apply latest by May 30, 2021)
  • Welcome Bonus: 6% cash back on all your purchases for the first 3 months till you spend $2,000 (You must apply by May 30, 2021, to enjoy this).
  • The welcome bonus of 6% also includes TD Auto Club membership, which is basically a roadside assistance package.
    Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99%; Interest on Purchases: 20.99% 

Perks

  • You can redeem your earnings whenever you like without having to wait for a monthly or yearly statement.
  • You can earn up to 3% cash back on eligible daily purchases.
  • It comes with Emergency Road Services with the Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership and travel insurance.
  • There’s no expiry on your cash back funds.

Drawbacks

  • The TD Auto Club Membership offer is not available for Quebec residents. 
  • The travel insurance coverage is not comprehensive. You get just travel medical coverage and lost and delayed baggage insurance.

#7. Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For No Foreign Transaction Fee)

Our Pick: Home Trust Preferred Visa

The Home Trust Preferred Visa is a great way you can save on foreign transaction fees. It is a no fee card that also offers a 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. For travelers, having to pay an additional 2.5% fee on purchases outside the country or in another currency is not pleasing. However, the Home Trust Preferred Visa Card ticks off this box. When you use this card, that 2.5% fx fee is waived. 

That’s not all. It also comes with car rental and purchases protection insurance. So if you are looking for the best no fee cash back credit card Canada has that offers free fx fees, this card is worth considering.

Notable Features

  • No welcome bonus
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest: 19.99% on purchases, 19.99% on cash advances
  • No fx fee

Perks

  • No annual fee
  • Zero foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad or in another currency.
  • 1% cash back on all purchases in Canada.
  • There’s no cap on the amount you can earn.
  • No minimum income requirement.
  • Rental car collision/loss/damage insurance of up to $48,000 for 48 days.

Drawbacks

  • You’ll be hit with a $12 inactivity fee if you don’t charge a minimum of one purchase on the card within a year. 
  • No cash back on purchases you make in a foreign currency.
  • Not available to residents of Quebec.

#8. Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For Groceries and Gas)

Our Pick: CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card

Eligibility Criteria

  • Residency: Canadian resident.
  • Minimum Credit Score Required: Excellent
  • Minimum Income Requirement: $60,000 individual annual income or $100,000 household income.
  • Age: Age of majority in the province.

Yearly, households in Canada spend an average of $2,000 annually to gas up their automobiles. If you often use your vehicle, it is only wise to get a credit card that’ll give you huge cash back on your fuel purchases.

There’s no better card than the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card for this. It offers an impressive 4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases and 1% cash back on other purchases. And, the total cash back you can earn has no limit. 

That’s not all. New cardholders also get a welcome bonus offer─ a rebate on the first year annual fee and a 10.99% introductory interest rate on all purchases. (lasts till August 2021). Add the shopping protection, car rental insurance, and travel accident insurance, and it secures its spot as one of the best cash back credit card Canada has from a big bank.

Notable Features

  • Annual Fee: $99 (rebate on the first-year fee as a welcome bonus).
  • Welcome Bonus: A first-year annual fee rebate, and 10.99% introductory interest rate on all your purchases until August 2021.
  • Earn rate: 4% cash back on groceries and gas purchase, 1% on every other purchase.
  • Annual Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99%†
  • Annual Interest on Purchases: 19.99%

Perks

  • Every dollar you spend earns cash back. 
  • Travel insurance coverage and shopping protection.
  • Concierge service
  • You get access to Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country Series.

Drawbacks

  • You can’t apply your earned cash back whenever you please. You have to wait till December for it to be applied as a statement credit. 
  • The 4% cash back rate only applies up to $20K worth of annual gas and grocery purchases, or up to $80K  total yearly purchases. After you cross these two benchmarks, your earn rate becomes 1% until December, when they reset the rates. 

#9. Best No Fee Cash Back Credit Card Canada (For Groceries)

Our Pick: BMO CashBack Mastercard

Eligibility Requirement

  • Residency: Canadian resident
  • Minimum Credit Score Required: Fair to Good.
  • Minimum Income Required: $15000
  • Age: Age of majority in the territory or province.

This no fee card is usually recommended for students. However, with the recent changes made to it, it’s now more appealing to a broader range of people. Some of these changes are a 3% cash back on groceries, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments, and an unlimited 0.5% on every other purchase. 

To top this, they added a 5% cash back welcome bonus for the first three months, which can go up to $100. So if, like most people, groceries are a huge recurring expense for you, then getting a credit card that pays back on your grocery purchases will be a smart move. 

The BMO CashBack Mastercard is arguably the best cash back credit card Canada has that helps you maximize your grocery spendings without paying an annual fee or meeting income requirements. 

Notable Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Earn rate: 3% on groceries; 1% on recurring bills; 0.5% on every other purchase.
  • Balance Transfer Promo: 1.99% interest on your balance transfers for 9 months and 1% transfer fee.
  • Welcome Bonus: Up to 5% cash back for your first three months.

Perks

  • No annual fee.
  • For a no-fee card, it offers one of Canada’s highest grocery cash back rates at 3%. 
  • No minimum income is required.
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection.   
  • You get discounts at Avis and National Car Rentals, and Cirque du Soleil.
  • You can add authorized cardholders for free.  

Drawbacks

  • The 3% and 1% cash back rates on groceries and recurring bill payments have a $500 monthly limit. 

A Review of the Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada

Credit CardRewardsAnnual Fees
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express10% cashback for the first 4 months.
2% subsequently.
$99
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card4% on groceries & recurring bill payments.
2% on gas & transport1% on every other purchase.
$120.
Free for the first year.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card2% cash back in up-to three selected categories.
0.5% on every other purchase.
$0
SimplyCash Card from American Express1.25% on everything$0
Rogers World Elite Mastercard3% cashback on purchases in U.S. dollars.
1.5% cashback on other things.
$0
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card3% on groceries, gas & recurring bill payments.
1% on other purchase
$120
Home Trust Preferred Visa1% cash back on all purchases in Canada.
2.5% fee on purchases outside Canada is waived.
$0
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchase.
1% cash back on other things.
$99Free for the first year.
BMO CashBack Mastercard3% cash back on groceries.
1% on recurring bills.0.5% on other purchases.
$0
A Review of the Best Cashback Credit Card Canada

Pro-Tips on Getting the Most Out of the Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada 

Pay Off Your Full Balance Monthly

You should never carry over a balance. Why? The reward of a cash back credit is the cashback. However, if you carry over a balance, the penalties and accumulated interest will cancel this reward. Like any rewards credit card, a cashback card has high annual interest rates (around 19.99%). 

So, if you have unpaid debt, it’ll accumulate your interest charges, and you might end up losing all your gains. The key is to pay off your full balance every month because even if you have the best cashback credit card Canada has, regularly carrying a balance won’t let you get the most out of it. 

However, if you find yourself carrying a balance regularly, you should consider getting a low-interest card instead. 

Don’t Overlook Cash-Back Credit Cards With an Annual Fee.

Sure, it’s natural to want to save money. It might even seem counterproductive to pay a fee for a cashback card. However, the fees mean you get additional benefits and rewards. So, don’t be quick to dismiss a card that comes with an annual fee, especially if the perks are more than the fee. Remember, the card has to fit your spending habits. So, if the best cashback credit card Canada has that fits your spending habits comes with an annual fee, you should go for it. 

Compare and Weigh Your Cash-back Credit Card Options

Your current bank may not have the best cash-back card for you. So rather than just taking the easy way out and accepting whatever they offer you, you should take the time to compare all available options. Compare the best cash back credit cards and go for the card that will give you the most return based on your lifestyle and spending habits. This shouldn’t be a problem since you don’t need to open a savings or chequing or savings account with a bank to get a credit card.

Add an Authorized User

Adding your partner or another relative as an authorized user is an effective way to boost your earnings if you own a premium card. Both cardholders can accumulate rewards or cash back and not have to pay double the annual fees. Some premium cards, like the SimplyCash, Preferred from American Express, allows you to add authorized users to your card for free. However, do not forget that only the primary cardholder will pay off the monthly balance.

Consider Pairing Multiple Credit Cards

Although using multiple credit cards can be a sign of insolvency and is widely frowned at, you can use this strategy to your advantage. For instance, the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card offers 3% cash back on groceries, gas, and recurring bills, but only 1% on other purchases.

In comparison, the Tangerine Money Back Card has no annual fee and offers 2% cash back in up to three selected spending categories. It would be smart to select restaurants, drug stores, and parking/public transit for everyday spending without paying more for the better rate.


Cash back vs Points – Which is Better? 

There is no straightforward answer to this question. 

For Cash Back: The cash back comes with simple, consistent, and flexible rewards. For example, 2% in cash back will alwys be $0.02. Cash back rewards also give you the opportunity to save money on all your daily purchases that are charged to your credit card, not only on travel of gift cards from certain retailers. 

Finally, you can redeem your rewards easily and they are often added automatically to your card’s statement balance.

For Points: Points are potentially more lucrative especially for travelers, but less straightforward.

Unlike cash back, points don’t have a consistent value. They vary based on what you are redeeming and the loyalty program. 

For instance, 1 Scotia Rewards point is worth $0.01 when you redeem it for travel rewards, but worth around 25% less when you redeem it for a gift card, and even 30% less when redeemed for cash credits. 

For other points programs, like Aeroplan and Air Miles and your points’ value varies when redeeming for travel depending on factors like your destination or weather. 

The major benefit of travel cards is they have more bonus categories and benefits, as well as bigger welcome offers. In addition, depending on your travel card, you can be strategic while redeeming and get above the standard $0.01 per point.

Overall, travel points can offer amazing value when you redeem them for travel rewards like flights. But if you don’t travel often and you want simple rewards, plus the chance to use your credit card rewards to save on all your daily spending, then a cash back card will suit you better.


FAQs – Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada

Why choose a credit card with cash back?

A cash back credit card gives you a discount ranging from 0.5% to 10% for every dollar you spend on your card. So choosing the best cash back credit card Canada has that fits your situation can save you a lot of money. 

When would I receive my credit card cash back?

This depends on your financial institution. Your cashback can be deposited in your bank account or added to your credit card statement. For some banks, you’ll earn your cashback on a monthly or yearly basis. While for others, it can be at any time you please as long as you’ve reached the minimum amount (usually from $10 to $25).

Why choose a cash back credit card with an annual fee?

An annual fee implies additional benefits. You’ll get a welcome bonus, greater cashback earnings, little or no limit on eligible purchase amounts, some hotel benefits, and better insurance.

Is there a good no fee cash back credit card in Canada?

Yes, there is. We have different picks for the best no fee credit card Canada, based on different categories. For instance, BMO CashBack Mastercard for groceries and SimplyCash Card from American Express for the best flat rate.

What is the best credit card in Canada?

There are over 200 credit cards in Canada. So, there is no one best credit card. You just have to understand your needs and choose the one that matches them best. 


Bottom Line – Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada

One of the most enticing credit card rewards options is cash back. This is because apart from the money it helps you save, it is pretty flexible. You can use your cash as you please without being limited to travel redemptions or merchandise purchases. However, the concern is how to choose the right one out of the best cash back credit cards. 

The best cash back card for you depends on your spending behavior and earning preferences. We─ The Finance key already did the heavy lifting and have researched the best cash back credit card Canada has. So, you can feel confident choosing anyone that suits your needs best from our list above.  

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