Capital One Aspire Cash Mastercard Review

Tuesday 06th, August 2013 / 20:29 Written by
Capital One Aspire Cash Mastercard Review
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The Skinny

1- Aspire Cash Mastercard

Capital One Aspire Cash Mastercard Application Link

The Capital One Aspire Cash Mastercard sets the minimum standard for all credit cards in Canada. If you are looking for a simple, above average earning rate and no annual fee, this is a great card.

There is no annual fee and you earn 1.5% cashback on all your spending with no restrictions and with your rewards coming back in the form of a statement credit of cheque.


Capital One Aspire Cash Mastercard
Type: Mastercard
Rewards: 1% cash back as statement credit each month
.5% cash back as statement credit at the end of each year
Annual Fee: $0
Sign-up Bonus: N/A
Point Value: N/A


The Capital One Aspire Cash Mastercard is my favorite no annual fee card for non-category spending in Canada. It sets the standard for the amount of rewards you should be getting, as everyone is eligible for this card and there is no annual fee. It is a Mastercard so there is wide acceptance.

Since there is no fee for this card, I think this is a great card for people to carry in their wallet if a decent amount of spending is done in categories that don’t earn bonuses (ie gas, grocery drugs, restaurants)



This is a very simple credit card rewards program in the marketplace. Every purchase earns the same return and rewards are deposited to your account in the form of a statement credit at the end of each month or year. You just have to request when you want your rewards to be sent to you, either as a cheque or a statement credit.

Earning Rewards

Every purchase earns the same return. You make a purchase of (for example) $100, and 1% of that, or $1 is put into your rewards account. At the end of your membership year, you earn an additional .5% in your rewards account, or $0.50, making your overall return 1.5% cashback.

Rewards points will be earned at the end of the month in which they are earned, upon the closing of the statement cycle.

Redeeming Rewards

Redeeming rewards is simple. You simply go online or call Capital One at 1-800-481-3239 and tell them you want to redeem your rewards. You can redeem any amount of your rewards, with no minimum or maximum. These rewards can be returned to you in the form of a statement credit or as a cheque.

If you close your account before you redeem your rewards, you will lose those rewards. If you are interested in closing this account, simply redeem your rewards for a cheque, then close your account.

Rewards Comparison

Whenever I do rewards comparisons, I use this card as my basis for comparison. In this case, there are 2 other card that might be comparable to this one.

MBNA Smart Cash

The MBNA Smart Cash card, which earns 1% cashback on all purchases and 2% cashback on gas and groceries. Between the Aspire Cash and the (no annual fee) MBNA Smart Cash, it would really depend on your spending patterns. If you spend more on gas and groceries then the MBNA is a better card. If you spend more on other things then the Apsire Cash is the best card. However, there is nothing to say that you can’t use the MBNA card for your gas and groceries and the Aspire Cash for everything else. In fact, that is a strategy I would suggest for many people.

MBNA Smart Cash Review

Capital One Aspire World

The other comparable card would be the Capital One Aspire World Mastercard. This card CAN get you 2% cash back in the form of travel, if you are willing to put in some effort when structuring your travel purchases. However, there is an annual fee on this card and if you are not willing to make the effort to maximize your return, the Aspire Cash has the ability to get you a better return with less headaches.

Capital One Aspire World Mastercard Review

Scotiabank Gold American Express

The Scotiabank Gold American Express card is one of my favorites. This card gets you a high return in gas, groceries and restaurant categories. I don’t put these against each other, and actually would say these 2 cards complement each other very well. In my suggested 2 card wallet, I would put these 2 cards as my preferred cards for most people. Put category spending (gas, groceries and restaurant) on the Scotiabank American Express, and everything else on the Capital One Aspire Cash card to maximize your return.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Review

Annual Fees

There is no annual fee on this card.

Additional Benefits

This card is a World Mastercard. It comes with the same benefits as all of Capital One’s World Mastercards, including:

Insurance Benefits

The Capital One Aspire World Mastercard comes with the following insurance coverages:

  • Travel Emergency Medical
  • Flight Delay
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation
  • Baggage Loss
  • Car Rental Collision / Loss Damage Waiver
  • Trip Interruption
  • Baggage Delay
  • Travel Assistance
  • Price Protection
  • Extended Warranty
  • Purchase Assurance
  • Concierge Service
  • Zero Liability



If you are interested in getting a credit card that has a high earning on all purchases, not just in specific categories, then the Capital One Aspire Cash is one that is certainly worth considering. On top of it all, there is no fee, so there is very little risk or cost to holding this card as an alternate.

You can earn exactly 1.5% cash back on all your purchases, with no restrictions and no jumping through hoops to get your rewards back to you.

The Good

  • Great earning rate for all purchases at 1.5%
  • Mastercard has wide acceptance
  • Insurance coverage in line with higher level cards

The Bad

  • Rewards in certain categories can be beat by other cards.
  • A portion of your rewards are not earned until the end of the year

Capital One Aspire Cash Mastercard Application Link


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10 comments on “Capital One Aspire Cash Mastercard Review”

  1. it guy says:

    I have this card, but if you follow the link it looks to be discontinued.
    Now its 25% anniversary bonus instead of 50%.

    • thepointster says:

      I noticed that they have changed this. It is too bad, as the 50% bonus was a great feature. I think the best cards to get now are the Capital One Aspire World or the BMO World Elite or the MBNA World Rewards card. All of which offer very close to 2% return on all purchases when redeemed properly.

  2. rawr says:

    The ones you mentioned need a higher tier income and consist of an annual fee. The only card that can redeem actual cash (not for travel) is MBNA World Elite but unless you spent a huge amount the annual fee offsets the actual returns you get so you’re better off with MBNA Smart Cash Plat. Plus.

    • thepointster says:


      Thanks for the note. I definitely agree. You definitely have to check if you are spending enough to offset the annual fee. Up until very recently, the best card for low spenders was the Capital One Aspire Cash card whcih returns 1.5% cash back straight. Now, it is likely the MBNA Smart Cash card. In hte next several articles I will be commenting on the best cards for low spenders.

      • rawr says:

        Looking forward to it. Not saying I am a low spender but its good to have card reviews for both high and low spenders to give a more open selection for all with set preferences. That being said Aspire Cash World/Platinum are both discontinued. They still have the Platinum with the exclusion of the anniversary bonus so its not the once great card it once was sadly. I heard they’re working on a World Elite which peaked my interest. MBNA SC also downgraded from 3% gas/groceries to 2% as well.

        • thepointster says:

          Thanks for the info. I was just doing research on the best no annual fee cards, and it turns out that the previous standard of 1% cash back is even tough to find. MBNA is now capping their 1% cashback card and it seems that Capital One pulled all the good cashback type of cards. Thanks for the heads up. It seems that the Canadian marketplace is definitely moving away from no annual fee cards as it seems those are all getting pretty bad.

          The World Elite whcih is now called MBNA Rewards World Elite is actually quickly moving up to the top of my card list. 2% cashback (that comes only if you redeem in $250 or more increments or $100 increments against a travel purchase) for no annual fee first year is pretty good.

          • rawr says:

            Hi thepoinster,

            Just curious, for the MBNA cards it says ‘up to’ %. Usually when I see an ‘up to’ on a cards info it usually means it’s a tier-system card. Is that true for the MBNA Smart Cash or is it non-tiered? Tiered cards are the worst imo since you need you build up a certain amount of spending to get the full % effect. No info is given on the MBNA application site which leads to me thinking its non-tiered.

            ie: 0.5% cash back on first $3,000 spent with card in a year
            1% cash back on annual card purchases between $3,000 and $15,000

          • thepointster says:


            The MBNA Smart Cash card has just changed. It used to be 1% on all spending, and a bonus of 2% on all spending in the gas, and grocery category up to a limit of $1250 / month.

            Now, that 1% is limited as well to the first $1250 / month. I actually spoke to someone at MBNA and they told me that the up to means that you get the 1% on the first $1250, then AFTER you have spent $1250, you will get only .5%. This is one of those few times where the tier system gives you the better benefit on the first dollar and the lower benefit on the later dollars. Kind of odd that they are encouraging you to stop using the card after you already have that month.

  3. Mike says:

    With a $5000 maximum credit limit, this card is almost useless for anyone with a high net worth. Apparently Capital One is a small player in Canada. I remember they tried selling no doc sub-prime mortgages up here during the sub-prime mortgage crisis. They were giving them to anyone as long as they could sign an application. When those mortgages came up for renewal they left those customers on a lurch stating they were withdrawing from Canada and not renewing. With no other options available to them, those sub-prime borrowers were mostly forced into foreclosure and bankruptcy.

    • thepointster says:


      I didnt realize there is a max credit limit. For higher spenders, the MBNA World Elite card or the BMO World Elite cards are likely better fit.

      MBNA also offers relatively low credit limits but BMO offers generally higher limits (in my experience).

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