There truly is nothing better than earning money each time you spend money. When you make a purchase using a cashback credit card, that's exactly what happens.
Every purchase you make, whether for groceries, dinner, gas, and other purchases could add cash back into your account. But not all cash-back credit cards work the same. Some make it easy to earn extra cash back on certain purchases, but others should be totally skipped by those looking to maximize their rewards.
Want to learn what the best cash back credit card Canada has to offer? Keep reading to see what card you need to get to start earning while you spend.
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What to Know About Cash-Back Credit Cards
Using a cash-back credit card is a win-win situation. Each time you use such a card, the issuing bank makes a tiny bit of money, but so do you on eligible purchases.
The cash you receive back is automatically stored in your cash-back, or rewards account until you are ready to use it. With some banks you can redeem it at any time, while with others only one redemption per year is allowed. Certain banks require redemptions in increments of at least $25.
But not all credit cards are equal. Some credit cards do not have any annual fees and are free to keep open indefinitely. Others, usually the more lucrative ones, come with an annual fee.
Most cards offer a flat cash back rate on most purchases; 1% back on every dollar spent, for example. But some cards offer bonus spending categories.
With certain cards, you can earn between 2% and 5% back on every dollar spent on categories such as gas, restaurants, groceries, and others.
Ready to find your next credit card? Here are the top cashback Canadian credit cards you need to know about.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
This credit card is one of the best Canadian residents can get. There's no annual fee and you get to select which two categories to earn 2% cashback on.
If you opt to have your rewards automatically deposited into your Tangerine Savings Account, you'll be able to select a third category eligible for the 2% cashback. All purchases in other categories will yield 0.5% cashback.
Use it for your bonus categories, and if you are able, select another cash back credit card with higher cash back rewards for other spending categories. Income requirements are quite low and this card is popular among students. All in all, Tangerine Money-Back card is one of the best no fee cash back credit cards Canada has to offer.
You may also consider it's sister card, the World Mastercard. It has the same cashback rewards with some extra benefits, but its income requirements are higher.
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
Looking to earn as much as possible on food purchases? The Scotia Momentum card offers an incredible 4% cashback on groceries which is one of the biggest household expenses each month.
Canadians spend an average of $200 per person on groceries each month. That means a family of four spends around $9,600 per year at the grocery store. With 4% cashback, you can earn almost $400 of that back.
On top of that, the Scotia card also rewards you with 4% back on recurring bills, such as various insurance plans or utilities, and subscription services. Considering subscription services are becoming more prominent in Canadian households, this card certainly has multiple useful benefits.
You'll also earn 2% cash back on gas and public transportation and 1% back on all other purchases. Other benefits include $1,000 insurance for your mobile device and $1,500 in travel cancellation protection per trip.
A card this good sounds too good to be true. So let's look over its requirements.
For starters, there is a $120 annual fee which is conveniently waived for the first year. The card also requires an individual income of at least $60,000 or a household income of at least $100,000 in order to be approved.
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite
The CIBC Dividend card offers bonus cashback in 5 different categories. You'll earn 4% cashback on all spending at grocery stores and gas stations.
You'll also earn 2% back on all dining, including takeout and delivery, as well as public transportation. Recurring bills, such as utilities or phone bills will also yield 2% back. Everything else will earn 1% back.
As a welcome bonus, you'll earn at an increased rate of 10% back during your first four months of card membership, up to $200. The card also offers emergency medical travel insurance, car rental insurance, and mobile device insurance.
Because this is a Visa Infinite card, like the Scotia Momentum, there is an income requirement of $60,000 for individuals and $100,000 for households. It's annual fee is also $120 (first year fee is waived).
Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back
Similar to the above cards, the Meridian cashback card offers 4% back on all grocery spending as well as gas. You'll earn 2% back on recurring bills as well as purchases at drugstores. Everything else earns 1% back.
The $99 annual fee is waived the first year of your card membership. The card also includes mobile device insurance and travel insurance for up to 48 days.
The Visa Infinite income requirements are also in place; $60,000 for individuals and $100,000 for households.
American Express SimplyCash Preferred
If you prefer using just one credit card and want the process of earning cashback to be simple, the American Express SimplyCash is one of the overall best cashback credit card Canadian residents can get.
Though it comes with an annual fee of $99, it offers a flat 2% cashback on all spending. There are no category requirements. Every purchase yields 2% back.
This makes it ideal for those who only want to deal with one credit card. To offset the $99 annual fee, you would only need to spend $4,950.
Any spending over this amount leads to a profit. There is no limit on how much you can earn each year.
On top of that, new card members will enjoy an increased earnings rate of 10% back during their first 4 months of card membership, up to $400 in cash back.
You can add authorized users to this card at no cost, allowing the entire family to contribute to the earnings. You can also receive comprehensive car rental and travel insurance with the card.
American Express has rapidly grown to be widely accepted around the country and world, but occasionally you may still find a merchant who doesn't accept it. Make sure to always carry a backup Visa or Mastercard card with you, just in case.
American Express SimplyCash
Very similar to the annual-fee version of this card, this card offers a flat cashback rate of 1.25% back on all purchases. However, there is no annual fee for this card, making it easy to keep this card open for use as a backup card to complement any other cash back cards you may have.
While not that high, the 1.25% cash back rate is still better than the standard 1% and works well in tandem with any of the above cards that earn higher rates in specific categories.
Plus, during your first three months of card membership, you'll earn at an increased rate of 2.5%, capped at $150 in cash back.
This card also offers up to $100,000 in travel accident insurance, making it useful for frequent travelers.
Rogers World Elite
Those who travel to the US frequently, or who purchase from the US online on a regular basis may benefit from the Rogers World Elite card.
This card offers 3% cashback on all US purchases. However, since there is a 2.5% foreign transaction fee, you'll essentially be earning 0.5% back on US purchases.
That's still much better than using other cards in the US that charge foreign transaction fees.
All normal purchases here in Canada will earn 1.5% cashback. You'll also earn a bonus of $25 in cash back after your first purchase using your card.
The Rogers World Elite card comes with a high-income requirement; $80,000 for individuals or $150,000 for households.
You'll also need to spend at least $15,000 on your card each year in order to keep your card open, otherwise, it gets downgraded to the entry-level version of the card. The downgraded version only earns 1% back.
TD CashBack Visa Infinite
Another card for those looking for a simple option is the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card. the TD card offers 3% back on grocery, gas, and recurring bills. Everything else earns 1% back.
During your first 3 months of card membership, you'll earn at an increased rate of 6% cashback, on up to $2,000 in spending.
The $120 annual fee is generously waived during your first year. You'll also get a TD Auto Club membership providing you with roadside assistance. This can help cover common issues on the road, such as flat tires, dead batteries, empty gas tanks, towing and more.
The Visa Infinite income requirements are in place as well. You'll need to earn at least $60,000 per year as an individual or $100,000 as a household in order to qualify for the card.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
The BMO CashBack Mastercard is another popular no-fee option. With this card, you can earn 3% back on groceries, 1% back on recurring bills, and 0.5% back on everything else.
During your first three months, you'll earn at an increased rate of 5% back, up to $100 in cash back rewards.
For balance transfers, enjoy introductory rates of 1.99% APR for the first 9 months.
As a credit card with no annual fee, there are no income requirements to be approved. This card is perfect for students who don't have a ton of spending needs but still want to earn some cashback.
Preparing for a New Credit Card Application
Looking to get a new credit card? There are a few things to do first.
Start out by checking your credit score. If you'd like to apply for some of the more lucrative cash back credit cards that offer the best bonuses, you'll need a higher score.
If your credit score isn't too impressive, start with a no-fee credit card. Pay your balance off in full each month to start building your credit score.
Once your credit score is in the 700+ range, you can feel confident about applying for the higher-end cards, if you have the income levels to meet the requirements.
Applying for a New Credit Card
Once you've chosen the card you'd like to apply for, all you have to do is apply online. Applications only take a couple of minutes. You'll need to enter your basic personal information, along with other information such as
- Current rent or mortgage payments
- Current work status and employer information
- Your annual income
- Your social insurance number
It usually takes some time to be approved for a credit card. This can range from a couple of minutes to a couple of days. You'll get an email once your approval has gone through.
You can expect to receive your physical card 7 to 14 days later. If the process is taking a longer than usual, you can call the bank to determine the status of your application.
Sometimes they need a bit more information; clarifying your situation over the phone can be enough to turn a denied application into an approved application.
Start Earning With the Best Cash Back Credit Card Canada Offers
Unless you struggle with financial restraint and cannot control your spending habits, there is no reason not to be using a cashback credit card on all of your regular expenses.
Choosing the right card is the first step. The best cash back credit card Canadian residents can get will differ for each individual's goals and situation. But likely, a card on this list is perfect for your needs. If not, check out our credit card comparison page to find the best card for you.