Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards
Cash back rewards credit cards are great cards for people who like simplicity in their rewards. You know the value of your rewards and can easily calculate a return on your spending if you have a cash back card. In Canada, it would appear that the cash back cards are less rewarding than their siblings, the “Fixed-Value” rewards cards.
In this category, we have the Scotia Amex Gold card well ahead of the competition, then a few cards that are pretty much neck and neck as 2% return cards. The top 5 get rounded out with the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite.
The Top 5 Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada are:
|Top 5 Cash Back Credit Cards|
|1. Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite*
|2. MBNA Smart Cash|
|3. The SimplyCash™ Preferred card from American Express|
|4. Rogers™ Platinum Mastercard®|
|5. TD Cash Back Visa Infinite|
Redeeming Cash Back
Cash back rewards credit cards are those that give you your rewards in the form of (obviously) cash or statement credit. There are different ways that the rewards can be submitted to you. There are 2 key aspects, other than the cash back rate, that will make a cash back card better or worse:
- Minimum amount of rewards required to redeem
- Automatic redemption of rewards or user-initiated rewards redemption
On one end of the spectrum, the full amount of your award can come in as a statement credit automatically on a certain date. On the other end of the spectrum, some cash back cards require the cardholder to request a cheque / statement credit and can only do so after a minimum amount of rewards has been earned. Obviously the easier it is to redeem the rewards, and get all of your rewards in your hand, the better the card.
Cash Back Cards vs Fixed Value Rewards Cards
Something to think about is that the Fixed Value Rewards cards are very similar to the Cash Back credit cards. As a result, I have decided to put together some restrictions to delineate the difference.
A cash back card has the following requirements:
- You don’t need a specific purchase to release your rewards
- $50 or more in rewards can be redeemed for the best rate
Some examples of Fixed Value Rewards cards:
- The Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® card requires a travel purchase to release the rewards
- The MBNA World Elite points can be redeemed against a minimum $100 travel purchase at the best rate but can be redeemed for $250 statement credit at the best rate
Examples of Cash Back cards:
- The American Express Costco card accrues points until the end of the year when all rewards are paid out in the form of a cheque
- The Amazon.ca card accrues points for each purchase. When $20 of rewards are accrued (2000 points) a statement credit is automatically issued
1. Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite*
|Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite*|
|Rewards:||4% cashback on gas, grocery
2% cashback on drugstores and recurring bill payments
1% cashback on everything else
|Sign-up Bonus:||First year free|
|Redemption:||Full balance awarded automatically at the end of 12 month period|
This is a Visa credit card so it is accepted pretty much anywhere and it gives you a very high 4% cash back on gas and grocery spending. It also gives a 2% return on spending on drugstores and recurring bill payments so it is definitely at the top for those categories. Your rewards are redeemed automatically each year, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to redeem your cashback or not being able to get all of them due to a redemption threshold. The annual fee is annoying but given the huge rate of return, this is my favorite cash back card in the Canadian credit card market.
2. MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard
|MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard|
|Rewards:||2% cash back on gas and groceries,
0.5% on everything else
|Sign-up Bonus:||5% on gas and groceries for the first 6 months|
The MBNA Smart Cash card is a great card for people who want cash back, simplicity and no annual fee on their credit card. The 2% return on gas and grocery is great for a no annual fee card and 1% return on all other spending is the standard return for no-fee cash back cards. The other great thing about this card is that your rewards are send to you automatically once you achieve $50 worth of rewards. I really like this card as it is a nice compliment in case you have an American Express as your main spender.
3. The SimplyCash™ card from American Express
|The SimplyCash™ card from American Express|
|Rewards:||2% cash back when your Welcome Rate ends|
|Sign-up Bonus:||5% cash back on everything for the first 6 months (up to $300 cash back)|
If you’re fanatic about cash back cards, this credit card could be perfect. It offers a great 2% cash back on all purchases made and a 5% cash back bonus for the first 6 months of Cardmembership (up to $300 cash back). There is no limit to the cash back you can earn for the standard 2% rate.
American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.
4. Rogers™ Platinum Mastercard®
|Rogers™ Platinum Mastercard®|
|Rewards:||3% cash back on purchases made with a foreign currency
2% cash back on Rogers products and services
1.25% cash back on everything else
|Sign-up Bonus:||$25 in cash back rewards when you make your first card purchase in the next 3 months|
The Rogers Platinum Mastercard is a must-have if you’re a Rogers Customer – but even if you’re not, it has an exceptional perk which will make you take a second look. With a 1.25% cash back rate in every dollar you spend and no annual fee, this card is already hard to beat in terms of value. What makes the Rogers Platinum Mastercard really stand-out though is it’s 3% cash back on all purchases made in a foreign currency, which if played right, can further earn you some more value.
5. TD Cash Back Visa Infinite
|TD Cash Back Visa Infinite|
|Rewards:||3% cash back on grocery, gas and regular recurring bill payments
1% cash back on everything else
|Annual Fee:||$120 (first year waived)|
|Sign-up Bonus:||6% cash back welcome rate for the first 3 months, up to a total spend of $3,500|
The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite rounds up our list at #5. Although 3% cash back for gas and grocery purchases might not seem the best compared to the other rates from the list all the more with a $120 annual fee tag, one attractive perk you can get from this card is the 3% cash back on recurring bill payments which if played properly, can accumulate over time. The 6% welcome rate for the first 3 months, or if you hit the total spend of $3,500 (a cash back value of $210), also helps to sweeten the deal.