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Best Cash Back Credit Card Rankings in Canada For 2017

Best Cash Back Credit Card CanadaLooking for the best cash back credit card with unparalleled rewards? There’s never been a better time to get a cash back credit card in Canada than now. Reward rates have skyrocketed and programs are easier to use than ever.

With so many strong no fee & premium cash back credit options, there’s no reason not to get rewarded for every purchase you make.

Whether you spend a lot or a little, cash back credit cards offer superb value. They offer the simplicity and transparency lacking in many points programs and stellar earnings, making them outstanding primary and back-up credit cards.

Here’s the summary of the top ranked Canadian cash back credit cards:

Best Cash Back Credit Card Rankings for Canada 2017

A full review of each of the top ranked Canadian cash back credit cards as follows:

Best Bonus Category Cash Back Credit Card in Canada:

A Bonus Category cash back credit card offers extra cash back in one or more merchant categories such as gas, groceries, pharmacies, restaurants, etc… If you spend a lot in one of those categories, they can be excellent opportunities to maximize your cash back – especially if you combine cards with different bonus categories!

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card

Click Here To Apply

Why It’s A Winner: The Tangerine Money Back credit card, has made a dramatic impact on Canada’s no fee cash back credit card scene. The card offers the most refreshingly innovative, transparent and lucrative cash back program.

There’s no annual fee, and you get your cash back credited to your account every month – no waiting to redeem at the end of each year. You earn 2% cash back in 2 bonus categories of your choice (3 categories if you deposit your cash back into a Tangerine account), and 1% on all other purchases. There are no tiers, caps or limits. No fine print.

The card has the highest no fee cash back earn rate in the Canadian market. There is no other credit card without an annual fee that offers as much as 1% cash back as a base rate, and 2% cash back in up to 3 merchant categories of your choice (grocery, gas, restaurant, pharmacy, entertainment, recurring bills, etc…).

By comparison, RBC’s no fee cash back MasterCard offers 2% cash back on grocery store purchases, with a cap of $6,000 in spend and 1% everywhere else. The CIBC no fee Dividend Visa card offers 2% on groceries and only up to 1% everywhere else.

With no annual fee, the richest cash back rate and the most user friendly redemption process, this card is great as your primary no fee rewards card, or in combination with other category based cash back cards.

Click here to apply for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The BMO Cash Back MasterCard 

cash back credit card bmo mastercard

Click Here To Apply

Why It’s A Winner: The no-fee BMO Cash Back MasterCard is refreshingly simply, transparent and reliable – and offers the RICHEST sign-up bonus of 4% cashback on all purchases in your first 4 months, up to $125 cashback

(the 4% welcome bonus promo is a limited time offer for new cardholders who sign-up by August 31, 2017)!

You earn 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases, with no caps or fine print. There’s no annual fee – ever. With no annual fee, the 4% cashback promo is absolutely risk free money – it’s like getting an extra $125 in your pocket

(actually it’s more like an extra $93.75, since you would have gotten 1% of the 4% cashback without the bonus).  It’s yours for the taking. Even if you already have a cash back card, this could make a great back-up card for your wallet in case the other one is lost, stolen, declined or frozen. Or, you could just apply to get the 4% cash back until you reach $125 in earnings!

Click here to apply for the BMO Cash Back MasterCard

Best Flat Rate Cash Back Credit Card in Canada:

Flat rate cash back credit cards offer the same cash back rate on all your credit card spend with no caps, tiers or categories. You’ll get the same value everywhere, all the time.

The SimplyCash card from American Express
SimplyCash Card From American Express Cash Back

Click Here to Apply

Why It’s A Winner: If you’re looking for superb value and simplicity, The SimplyCash card from American Express can’t be beat. It has no annual fee & offers 1.25% cash back on all  spend, no limits.

But here’s where the card gets really interesting. The SimplyCash card from American Express gets you 5% cash back on all eligible purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants in Canada (up to $250 cash back or $5,000 in spend) for the first 6 months.

With no annual fee, it’s worth it just to take advantage of the 6 month 5% cash back promo. At the end of the promo period you can decide to keep using the card or not. There’s no cost to you either way.

Click here to apply for the SimplyCash card from American Express

MBNA Rewards World Elite® MasterCard® credit card 
MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard credit card

Click Here To Apply

Why It’s A Winner: The MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard is a hidden gem. It’s Canada’s richest and most convenient flat rate cash back credit card. No contest.

It offers a flat 2% cash back rate on ALL spend – no limits, no categories. To help you give it a try, it has a really low $89 annual fee in the first year, which is more than offset by a $100 welcome

bonus – which you get by simply activating your card with a purchase, no minimum spend is required. That essentially makes the richest flat rate cash back credit card free to try for the first year.

Besides the phenomenal 2% cash back rate, MBNA makes it really easy to redeem your cash back when and how you want. At any time, you can redeem your cash back by having MBNA send you a check, deposit your earnings into your bank account or apply your cash back against your statement.

Click here to apply for the MBNA Rewards World Elite® MasterCard® credit card 

Best Specialty Cash Back Credit Card in Canada:

Not every card fits neatly into a defined category. The cash back cards below offer superb value, in some cases, better than those above. Check them out to see what they can do for you.

The Rogers Platinum MasterCard
Rogers MasterCard

Click Here To Apply

Why It’s A Winner: The Rogers Platinum MasterCard may just be the richest no-fee flat rate cash back card in Canada – whether you’re a Rogers customer or not.

You get 1.75% cash back on ALL spendnot just at Rogers. Rogers customers can redeem for Rogers services and products at any time. Or, if you’re not a Rogers customer you can have Rogers apply your cash back earnings as a statement credit against ANY spend on your credit card.

The Rogers MasterCard also sets itself apart with 4% cash back on ALL purchases made in a foreign currency! That means, with a 2.5% foreign transaction fee, you’re netting 1.5% cash back on foreign purchases with

Rogers. You will be losing 1.5% to .5% (rewards rate of 1% to 2%, minus the 2.5% foreign transaction fee) with most other Canadian credit cards on foreign purchases.  That’s a huge savings on foreign purchases for most Canadians.

There is a welcome bonus of $25. The annual fee is waived in the first year. Thereafter, you can have your annual fee waived if your Rogers bill is set up as a pre-authorized payment. For all others, the annual fee is only $29. With no annual fee in the first year, and a $25 welcome bonus, you’re getting the card free for 2 years, if you’re not a Rogers customer.

This is also the best no fee cash back card to shop at Costco with – even better than the CapitalOne Costco MasterCard itself, where you will earn less than 1%! With the Rogers MasterCard, you will earn 1.75% cash back on ALL Costco purchases.

Click here to apply for the Rogers Platinum MasterCard

Best Annual Fee Cash Back Credit Card Winner:

Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite Card
scotia momentum visa infinite card

Click Here to Apply

Why It’s A Winner: The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card offers more cash back in everyday spending categories than any other credit card in Canada. You earn 4% cash back on gas & groceries, 2% cash back on recurring spend & pharmacies and 1% everywhere else.

Now for a limited time until April 30, 2017  get 5% cash back on all purchases in the first 3 months, up to $3,000 in spend. Once you’ve hit $3,000 in spend, you will earn cashback at the respective

rate for each merchant category. That’s a great opportunity to earn 5% cashback – especially in the non-bonus categories, where you otherwise would have only earned 1%! The card also comes with travel medical insurance, trip interruption, flight delay and car rental insurance – making it a good replacement for your travel credit card.

If you use your card for gas & groceries, this card can’t be beat. It will only take $205 of gas & grocery spend a month, to break even on your $99 annual fee.

Click here to apply for the Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite Card

Best “Same-as-Cash” Cash Back Credit Card Winner:

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Scotiabank Gold American Express

Click Here To Apply

Why It’s a Winner: More and more credit cards are now offering rewards that can be redeemed for their dollar value against specific purchases on your credit card statement. This is an increasingly popular trend in the travel rewards space, since it offers increased flexibility and transparency.

The highest earn “Same-as-Cash” cash back credit card in this category is the Scotia Amex Gold card. You earn 4% on gas, grocery, restaurants and entertainment – some of the most popular merchant categories of all. Earn 1% everywhere else. Spend $1,000 on gas, get $40 which you can then apply against any travel expense on your credit card statement. Book anywhere, anyhow. Simply apply your $40 credit against your statement.

So while not a pure play cash back credit card, it offers the same transparency and currency as cash, except it limits your cash redemption to the travel category.

The advantage that is has over a regular cash back card is that it comes with significant travel insurance, as well as a healthier welcome bonus of no annual fee in the first year and a $200 credit! With no annual fee in the first year, the $200 is completely free!

Click here to apply for the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Summary of Best Cash Back Credit Card Rankings in Canada

Credit Card Base Cash Back Bonus Cash Back Categories Welcome Bonus Annual Fee
Tangerine Money Back MasterCard 1.00% 2% in 3 categories None $0
Amex SimplyCash 1.25% 1.25% flat 5% for 6 months $0
Scotia Momentum Infinite Visa 1.00% 4% in gas, groceries 5% on all purchases for 90 days $99 / Waived 1st Year
MBNA Rewards World Elite 2.00% 2% flat $100 credit $89
Rogers MasterCard 1.75% 4% on foreign purchases $25 credit $0
Scotia Amex Gold 1.00% 4% on gas, groceries, restaurants, entertainment $200 credit, no fee 1st year $0
BMO CashBack 1.00% 1% flat 4% on all purchases for 4 months $0

Cash Back Strategy

There are a multitude of strategies to help you maximize your cash back. One of our favourites is called stacking. Essentially, you combine a multitude of cash back cards and use the one that provides you the most cash back for any given purchase. By doing so you maximize your total cash back earnings.

For example, if you wanted to do it with a series of no fee cash back cards, you could use the President’s Choice MasterCard World Elite to earn 3% at Loblaw’s and Shoppers Drugmart & 3 cents at Esso, your Tangerine card to earn 2% at restaurants, public transit and recurring spend and your Rogers MasterCard to earn 1.75% everywhere else and get 4% on foreign transactions All with no annual fees.

This is what it might look like visually:

cash back credit card optimization

The cells highlighted in green are short term promotions that are higher than any standard category bonus. So you might want to take advantage of them during their promo period. By way of example, despite PC MasterCard World Elite’s 3% cashback rate, you’d get 5% using Amex’s SimplyCash card for the first 6 months.

Cash Still Reigns Supreme!

If you’re frustrated with your points or miles card, now’s a great opportunity to try a cash back card and see if you like it.

If you currently use a debit card, you’re short-changing yourself. There is simply no reason to use a debit card. You either end up paying for your debit transaction through your checking plan, or on every transaction. Why pay to use your own money, when you can get rewarded for it?

To help you find the best cash back credit card for you, you can also use our tool, which shows you how much each card will earn you based on your individualized spend.

There’s never been a better time to get a cash back card than now. Take advantage of the rich promotional offers, no fee cards and first year fee waivers – the banks are giving away tons of value to earn your business – don’t be afraid to take advantage!



  1. I am looking for a new credit card to apply for because I am moving out. I have no idea what to look for and what certain things mean. After reading everything I still would like to know the best options for me who is wanting to start their credit building. I want the most beneficial that goes towards groceries and if possible a good welcome bonus. I’m sorry if I’m very vague and should already know a lot by now but I always appreciated opinions. Thank you!

    • Great questions! We know there is a lot of information to process at first, but let’s see if we can sort it out for you.

      The first thing you should do is discover exactly what your credit score is, and this can be done easily through one of the many online services out there. They can pull your credit report and send it to you, often for free. The score is a big determinant for the credit card you’ll eventually be approved for.

      We recommend applying for the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Cash Back card. This great credit card suits your needs well. A welcome bonus of 5% cash back for the first three months is huge, and you will also get a perpetual 4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases, which you mentioned is important. With 2% back on recurring and drugstore spending and 1% from everything else, the Scotia Momentum Visa is very worthwhile.

      However, because you mentioned that you are somewhat of a beginner and want to build credit, you might need something more introductory. You can work your way up to excellent credit very easily with a card like the People’s Trust Secured Credit Card, which will give you a credit limit that matches your initial security deposit. Use and pay off the card diligently and soon you will see your credit score improve significantly.

      We hope this helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  2. Tangerine isn’t so hot anymore. They’re dropping their 1% to .5% on all other categories 🙁

    • And, the foreign exchange conversion premium is raised from 1.5% to 2.5%. Your out of country holidays and purchases got more expensive.
      A couple of other changes are also being made that suggest it is copying more of Trump’s style as well as his colour. Tangerine isn’t as caring and sharing as it used to be.

    • I called Tangerine yesterday and told them that if they go ahead with plans to reduce the pay-back on the “other category” purchases from 1% to .5% that i would move my business. They did not appear concerned. However, if more and more people do as i plan to, it will get their attention and make them re-consider their plans. Consumers yield a big stick if they stick together!

      • I did the exact same thing as you did. And also sent them an email thanking them because I just found a card that offers 2% on everything, with $85 fee but $100 in points once I use it (MBNA reward world Elite)

        • Found out about this recently too and it’s disgusting howith tangerine used the 4% bait switch for 3 months then lower the 1% to 0.5% which makes the card average at best. Now I’ll need another card just for all other purchases

    • No Longer a Tangerine Fan

      I called them and complained about it too. We moved all our transactions to Tangerine for their cash back but it is no longer the best in the market. I told them that I would stop using it too. They mentioned that they were going to release new credit cards but we’ll see how it will. I don’t personally like credit cards with annual fees, however, MBNA might be worthed. I will consider it. If you have any other good options with no fees, let me know.

  3. Tangerine is changing their 1% on Other-category purchase to 0.5% effective April 29th. Has anyone heard of other no-fee cash back cards doing something similar?

    • Yes, i just received notification of this today and i’m not happy! I switched to the Tangerine Mastercard because it was offering the best rates at the time. Get the feeling we were sucked into something they knew they couldn’t maintain! Looking for a better deal! Suggestions?

    • Tangerine also increases the transaction fee for foreign currencies from 1.5% to 2.5%, and other fee increases here and there. I think the Rogers card is now a better option, especially if you travel once in a while.

  4. with the Rogers Master Card can i apply my cashback to my monthly bill of the same credit card ???
    i read that advantage just for tyhe Fido Master Card not for the Rogers Master Card?

    • Hi Rafael,

      Yes, you can apply your cashback from your Rogers MasterCard to any Rogers, FIDO or Chatr monthly bills. In fact Rogers MasterCard states “you can take a little off your bill each month, or save up and get a month for free! Or apply your cash back rewards against any purchase made in a Rogers retail location or online at Rogers.com.”

      One of the advantages of the Rogers MasterCard over the Fido MasterCard is that with the Rogers MasterCard you can apply your cash back to any Rogers, Fido or Chatr bill, whereas with Fido you can only do it against a FIDO service.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • yes i know that, tx,but …

        but i would like to use my cashback to pay my the same credit card statement.

        because im not client of rogers, fido or chatr.

        for example with the scotia infinite once a year they put the all amount of my cashback at my same statement like a positive amount.

        Thanks in advance for your answer !

        • Hi Rafael,

          Yes you have the option to apply your cash back earnings from your Rogers MasterCard as a statement credit once per year to any and all expenses, including non-Rogers expenses. All you have to do is call and ask Rogers to do so at the end of the year.

          Hope that helps clarify.

          GreedyRates Staff

  5. How does the Tangerine MasterCard compare to Citi Double Cash Card? Anyone know?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Kabeer,

      Not sure if that’s a relevant comparison given that Tangerine is Canadian and Citi Double Cash is American. That said, it’s fun nonetheless. They are completely different cards. Tangerine you get to choose up to 3 cashback categories of your choice that give you unlimited 2% cash back each, and you get 1% on all other purchases. Citi Double cash is unique and we don’t have a Canadian comparable. It gives you 1% cashback on all purchases, and then you get another 1% cashback when you pay down your credit card balance.

      Hope that helps!

      GreedyRates Staff

  6. I’m wondering if I can use the Rogers MasterCard to withdraw money from ATMs while travelling in order to save on foreign exchange costs.
    It charges a withdrawal fee of $5, but I’m not sure if I would be getting the 4% cash back as this will be considered a cash advance!!!

    • Hi Bassam,

      Great question! The 4% cashback rate on the Rogers MasterCard is for foreign transaction purchases on the credit card only, not for cash advances.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  7. Hi, I was just wondering if there is a credit card in Canada that charges 49% for cash advances?

    • Hi Justin,

      We’d be running from that card, not trying to find it. We don’t know of a Canadian credit card that charges that much interest for cash advances. Hopefully it stays that way.

      GreedyRates Staff

  8. So the elite MBNA world MC flat rate, does it allow automated bill payments to be considered for 2% rate? What limitations for bill payments are there? Ie, mortgage etc.

    • Hi Adam,

      All purchases, other than cash like transactions (cash advances, balance transfers, lottery tickets, etc…) will receive 2% cash back, including automated bill payments.

      The limitations for bill payments are dictated by the service provider, not the credit card issuer. The MBNA Rewards World Elite card can be used for automatic bill pay of any account, in the same way as any other credit card. The service provider i.e. mortgage, insurance, telco, is the one that may or may not automatically charge your card.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • That helps quite a lot. Yeah, the service provider info does make sense. Just wanted to make sure before I actually start talking to the credit card provider.

  9. Does Scotia infinite visa count Superstore as a grocery store?

  10. Hello,
    Im debating my credit cards and Im soooo confused on what to do. I currently have the Scotiabank Momentum and the BMO World Elite Air Miles cards, both have annual fees though. I do not track my monthly expenses as to where i shop etc but i spend about $6K per month on credit cards. Are one of these better than the other or is there a better no fee card? We travel a fare bit too so we do use Air Miles.
    thank you

    • Hi Scott,

      Without knowing where you spend your money, it’s hard for us to be accurate with our advice. That said, if you’re spending $5,000 a month in non-bonus categories, and $1,000 a month in bonus categories, you’d actually be better off with the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard than the Scotia Momentum card. The simply reason being, you’ll be getting 2% on $5,000 versus 1%.

      It might offer you a lot of flexibility in redeeming for travel as well. You’ll be able to book your travel however and whenever you want, and simply apply your cash back earnings against your credit card statement. If you have $700 in cash back earnings, simply apply it against your credit card bill, travel expense or not.

      With Air Miles you’ll have to book through their system and contend with availability. With the Scotia Momentum card, you’ll only be able to redeem at the end of each year, once a year.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

    • Amazon.ca visa has great foreign exchange rates only slightly higher (approx 1%) than Bank of Canada Rates and possibly the only Canadian credit card with no foreign conversion fee. Tangerine was decent at 1.5% but not as of April 29/17. Amazon visa also pays 1% cash back with no annual fee. They don’t offer purchase insurance however not a big deal because it seems most people don’t use it. If you purchase out of Canada and you only want one card in your wallet, Amazon Visa!
      Presidents Choice Elite, one of the best no fee cards (a must if you shop at any Loblaws, Superstores extra foods etc), loads of features(check on the web) (money back is in groceries) decent travel medical insurance for trips up to 10 days, car rental collision/Loss damage waiver insurance.

      • KatRyt, it is important to note that as of April 3rd Chase no longer offers the Amazon Visa card in Canada. But the good news is that it wasn’t the only card with no foreign conversion fee! The other two are the Rogers™ Platinum MasterCard® (no annual fee) and the Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® (annual fee of $120 waived from 1st Year).

  11. THE MBNA Rewards World Elite® MasterCard® credit card is NOT 2% cash back. Rather, card holder gets 2x points on every dollar spent ($10 = 20 points). However, when you redeem points for cash you get 1% so 20 points get redeemed for $1, not $2.

    • Hi Dave,

      That’s incorrect. Each MBNA Rewards World Elite point is worth one cent ($.01). MBNA’s website clearly states 10,000 bonus points equals $100 when redeemed for cash back. As a result, if you earn 2 points per dollar spent, you’re earning the equivalent of 2% cash back. Put another way, spend $10,000 on your credit card, you get 20,000 points worth $200 when redeemed for cash back.

      Hope that helps clear things up! It’s a great product with the highest flat cash back rate in Canada.

      GreedyRates Staff

  12. Quick question.
    What’s the break down for the options world mastercard and regular options mastercard. Is that better in rewards compared to a Cashback card. ( Canadian tire dollars are just as good for me as I shop there quite a bit. Probably spend 50k a year on the options world mastercard and I’m thinking if I should be using another mastercard that would have better rewards. Paying a fee doesn’t bother me.

    • Hi Syed,

      The Canadian Tire Options MasterCard is actually pretty robust for Canadian Tire purchases at a cash equivalent rewards rate of approximately 4%. However, as you mentioned, you can only use your rewards to redeem against Canadian Tire purchases. The card is not good at all for any other purchases outside of Canadian Tire, offering a very low rewards rate of .8%.

      By comparison you can get 1.75% cash back with the no annual fee Rogers MasterCard on ALL purchases and redeem your cash back against non-Rogers purchases, or get up to 2% cash back with the no annual fee tangerine credit card in up to 3 categories… 1% everywhere else. If you’re willing to pay an annual fee, you can go with the flat rate 2% MBNA Rewards World Elite cash back card, or the Scotia card which gives you 4% in gas and groceries, 2% in pharmacy and recurring spend and 1% everywhere else. You can also combine a few of the cards to maximize your rewards in different categories.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  13. What do you guys think about the Laurentian Bank Dollars Visa card vs the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Matt,

      The Laurentian Bank Dollars card offers 3% on pre-authorized bills (phone, internet, etc), 2% on gas & groceries and 1% everywhere else. It comes with a $65 annual fee, and no travel insurance.

      The Scotia Momentum card comes with 4% on gas & groceries, 2% on drugstore and recurring bills (phone, internet, etc), 1% everywhere else. Scotia also comes with fantastic travel insurance including travel medical insurance, trip interruption, trip delay, lost baggage and car rental insurance. The first year annual fee of $99 is waived.

      For most, it seems the Scotia Momentum Infinite card will provide more cash back (double in gas & groceries). We definitely like the free travel insurance package that comes with the Scotia card as well- pretty unique for a non-travel card. The advantage of the Laurentian Dollars Visa is that you can redeem your cash back at any point after you’ve accumulated $25. Scotia applies your cash back as a statement credit once per year.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  14. Can you link to a list of which restaurants are eligible for the Costco MasterCard 3% cashback.
    Also, a link to a list of which grocery stores are eligible for the Scotia Momentum Visa 4% cashback. Thank you.

    • Hi Sam,

      Unfortunately neither provides a link to all the restaurants and grocery stores where they provide cash back. They both use the SIC classification for the merchant category to determine if you get cash back. Suffice to say if it looks like a duck, smells like a duck and walks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Meaning if you’re eating at a restaurant, it’s probably classified as such by its SIC code, which is what CapOne and Scotia will use to determine if it qualifies for cash back.

      In the case of grocery stores (SIC Code 5411), the same holds true. That said, Costco and Walmart are NOT considered grocery stores. Stores like Loblaw, Metro, Maxi, IGA, Sobeys, Super C, Zehrs are all covered.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  15. The issue is that most of these cards don’t consider places like Superstore or Costco as “groceries”. So it’s really just 1% cashback….this increases the utility of the cards that have a flat cashback on all categories like the MBNA Rewards World Elite MC or the Rogers Platinum Card. The PC one is great if you just shop at Superstore and gas up at Esso but its very limiting.
    Thoughts on the fact that Superstore and Costco somehow are not considered in all of this?

    • Hi Isutanto,

      That is definitely an advantage of the flat rate cash back cards such as Rogers and MBNA. However, no fee credit cards with category bonuses such as Tangerine still offer tremendous value. And remember, it gives just as much cash back within Costco, as the Costco MasterCard itself!

      That said, there are two issues that explain the decision to exclude Costco from category bonuses. First, issuers can’t afford to give 2% cash back on everything for a no fee card, or 4% on everything for a fee based card. Their profitability model simply does not work. They can only do it for certain categories (where they will actually lose money on each dollar you spend), and then hope you use your card elsewhere to make up the difference.

      The challenge for the credit card companies with retailers like Costco and Walmart, are that customers can literally use their card for everything, from groceries to bicycles and clothing. As a result, the credit card issuer won’t have the opportunity to make up its loss on those transactions elsewhere – on the average.

      If we take Costco for example, it’s estimated that MasterCard charges an interchange rate of .80%+-, which the credit card company collects as its revenue. However, if they then give you 2% cash back, the’re losing 1.2% on each transaction. The hole is simply too large to dig out of, especially if users won’t use their card outside of Costco as much, because they get so much of what they need within Costco.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  16. What do you think about CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card which never mentioned in the article ?

    • Hi Tammy,

      We did consider the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite card, but felt the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card was superior for the following reasons:

      1. Both offer 4% cash back in gas and groceries
      2. Scotia Momentum offers 2% cash back on all recurring spend and drugstore purchases. CIBC Momentum only offers 2% cash back on Tim Hortons and Telus.
      3. Both offer 1% on all other purchases.
      4. Scotia Momentum waives it’s annual fee or has a welcome bonus almost all the time.

      So the reason the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card beat the CIBC Dividend card is because it offers a wider basket of merchants covered in the 2% category, and it almost always has an annual fee waiver or welcome bonus, making the card free to try for a year at tremendous value.

      Hope that answers it!

      GreedyRates Staff

  17. Does anyone know if the following stores count as grocery stores with Amex simply cash back card?
    Safeway. Save on food.Walmart. Shoppers.

  18. I looked into the Rogers Platinum Mastercard and it turns out that unfortunately, they do now have the usual 2.5% foreign transaction fee. This mean 4% – 2.5% = 1.5% cashback on foreign transactions. It’s still worth it if you’re buying a lot in foreign currencies.

    • Hi Ashao,

      Great point and we totally agree. Rogers offers this most value on foreign purchases when you consider that you’re netting 1.5% cash back on foreign purchases. The Amazon card will have no foreign transaction fee, but will only get you 1% cashback, so you’ll only net 1% cash back – you get 50% more cashback with the Rogers card.

      Thanks for the comment,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • For a US Costco customer, only the VISA card is accepted, the Amazon VISA card will be the best choice to shop there.

        • We’d throw the Marriott Rewards Visa card in their as well, as a good Canadian Visa card with no foreign transaction fees. No annual fee in the first year, a nice welcome bonus of up to 4 free nights and free night voucher each and every year you keep the card open.

  19. I was about to apply for the Costco Mastercard until I read your article. My main reason to get it was for Costco purchases. I assume Costco purchases would be classified as “other” so I would earn .5% using Costco card (up to first $3,00 spent), 1% using Tangerine or 1.5% using Fido Mastercard. I’m a Fido customer so choice is easy.
    Thanks for the great info.

    • Hi Dave,

      Great thoughts. Not to mention, you could also get the MBNA Rewards World Elite card above, and get 2% at Costco (and everywhere else), with no annual fee in the first year and a $100 signing bonus!

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Dont think so. Costco used to only allow payments with cash or debit card. When it started accepting payments with credit cards, it only allowed for their own credit card. So you will not gef a 2 or 4 percent from a different card at Costco.

  20. I spoke with Tangerine today, because I could not apply using the online application link. They don’t have a separate field for mailing address and the online form fields they do have won’t let you add mailing address to them. So I phoned. I’m told that you only get 3 categories if you have a Scotiabank savings account. If you don’t you get 2 categories only. You get 2% back on your categories, after the 3-month promotion is up, and only 1% cashback on everything else. Is that correct?

    • Hi Kate,

      Yes that is correct. You get 2% cash back in 3 bonus categories of your choice, if you deposit your cash back into a Tangerine Savings account (which is free), 2 categories of your choice if you direct the cash back as a statement credit each month. The 2% cash back in bonus categories is doubled to 4% for the first 90 days. You get 1% cash back on all other spend. There are no earning limits or caps either in the bonus categories or elsewhere.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  21. Can anyone tell me what kind of credit limit is possible on the tangerine card? I have tried their help line twice but have been told they can’t answer that question and the only way to find out is to do a full credit app. I don’t want to do that if its a low limit card. Any info would be appreciated. Cheers

  22. How does the Canadian Tire Mastercard compare with these other ones?

    • Hi Sele,

      The Canadian Tire MasterCard earns good rewards in Canadian Tire stores, but poor value (.8%~) outside of Canadian Tire stores. As a result, it’s not recommended as a general cashback credit card.

      Moreover, you have to be careful when applying for a Canadian Tire MasterCard, because while you’re applying for a credit card with an interest rate of 19.99%, they reserve the right to decline you for that rate, and approve you for a card with a rate of 25.99% on purchases and 27.99% on cash advances. You won’t know which rate you’ve been approved for until you receive your card. If you ever carry a balance, that’s a very high rate to assume.

      GreedyRates Staff

  23. The Tangerine card does have a drawback not mentioned here. Most credit cards allow you to set up automatic payments (either the minimum payment or the full balance due) so that you can be assured you will never get an interest charge even though there is a postal strike, or you are traveling, or just forget sometimes. But the Tangerine card seems to only allow this if you are a Tangerine Bank customer (and I live East of Montreal, so no Tangerines around here). This may be enough of a drawback for me to consider cancelling my Tangerine M/C.

    • Hi Narce,

      You are correct. However, you can still make online bill payment from your bank to pay down your Tangerine credit card. You just can’t make automatic pre-authorized payments initiated through Tangerine.

      Thanks for the comment!

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Yes, you are right, I can make payments through my regular bank – but if I am traveling, this means accessing my online banking information through an insecure public wi-fi hotspot, since my economy phone has no data capabilities. As we are warned in many security posts, this is NOT a good idea. All of my other cards can be paid automatically, in full, from my (non-Tangerine) bank account.

  24. Signed up with the MBNA Mastercard to get the 2% cashback, which is a great reward, especially with no annual fee first year and the $100 credit with first purchase.

    But I also want to mention that the customer service with MBNA has been outstanding so far. Perhaps because it is relatively unused or new, but I have never waited more than 2 seconds for a call to be answered and have gotten fast, efficient service and directly through to tech support (trying to link my new card to a 10 year old profile).

  25. Hi there. This is a great site to help decide what credit card to have. We have been trying to decide what is best. What do you folks think of the Walmart Financial Mastercard?

    • Hi Shelley,

      We think you can do better than the Walmart Financial MasterCard, both to earn cashback inside and outside of Walmart. First, you only get 1.25% cashback with the Walmart MasterCard for purchases inside Walmart, and 1% outside of Walmart.

      You can get 1.25% on ALL purchases with the no fee Amex SimplyCash card. Or, using the no fee Tangerine cashback card you can get 2% on WalMart supercenter purchases, if you select grocery as one of your 2 categories, plus another 2% cashback in another category of your choice, such as gas. You then get 1% everywhere else. Both these cards have great bonuses as well, you can read about above.

      Alternatively, if you’re a Rogers customer, you can get the no-fee Rogers MasterCard and get 1.75% cashback on ALL purchases, including Walmart.

      Thanks for the kind words and hope that helps Shelley!

      GreedyRates Staff

      • One negative I find with the Walmart Mastercard is that it’s not accepted if you live in Quebec. I also had trouble setting up the SecureCode and after calling Walmart Mastercard, and Mastercard itself, I have not received any replies.

        • Hi Ronee,

          That is true. Quebec residents cannot get the Walmart card yet, nor can any Walmart cardholder pay their balance in a Quebec based Walmart store. Then again, we’re not sure Quebecers are missing much with the Walmart MasterCard.

          Greedyrates Staff

  26. The AmEx card is great for 6 months, or until you realize that most of your regular merchants don’t accept AmEx, whichever comes first. Thereafter, it is subject to incineration.

  27. Hi. Just noticed this post. Great stuff as always.

    A question though, If the Scotia momentum Card has no fee the 1st year & gives 4% back on gas & groceries, while it cant be used at No Frills (owned by Loblaws) it still is a better bet in all other Loblaw grocery stores & all gas stations. More than Tangerine as well, after the 90 days , so why wouldn’t this be a good choice for stacking or on the grid above. Is the 2 cents per litre discount on gas offered by PC World Elite more lucrative r than 4% cash back?


    P.S. With all these options of travel points, cash back, Insurance , Free luggage on flights etc….It is virtually impossible to figure out which cards to use & when.

    P.P.S. Unrelated question : Trip interruption , loss baggage perks given by various credit cards are only if you booked the ticket with that credit card . Is that correct?

    • Hi Robert,

      We didn’t add the Scotia Momentum card to the stacking grid because of the annual fee. Sometimes the annual fee promo is in market other times it’s not.

      Correct, trip cancellation, interruption and lost baggage are typically available only if you book your ticket with the card that offers the coverage. The only exception is travel medical insurance, which covers even if you don’t book your travel with that card. You could drive to the U.S. and you, your spouse and dependents will be covered.

      GreedyRates Staff

  28. Rogers card will be good for who have rogers products and to waive annual fee you have to pay rogers, fido, chatr bill. Therefore, better for recurring bill with rogers mastercard. And PC mastercard gas points are 2 cents per liter unless fill with supreme. Only supreme will get 3 cents per liter or 3% back.

    • Hi Calvin,

      Thanks for the insight. The Rogers MasterCard gets you 1.75% on ALL purchases, and you can redeem once a year as a statement credit against ANY purchases, so it’s actually a really rich general cashback card. The annual fee is free for the first year for everyone, plus the welcome bonus of $35 off-sets the second year annual fee of $29 for non-Rogers customers – making it effectively free for 2 years.

      Of course nothing beats the no-fee PC Financial World Elite MasterCard’s 3% cashback in Loblaw owned stores. Combine the Rogers MasterCard with the PC Financial World Elite and Tangerine’s no-fee cashback card which gives you 2% in up to 3 categories of your choice and you have yourself a formidable trio of cashback options to optimize your rewards.

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Rogersbank announced the new mastercard.
        sounds good because I’m using fido but I already have rogers platinum master card.

        It pays to pay with Fido™ MasterCard®

        Earn 4% unlimited cash back rewards on all purchases in a foreign currency – from international websites to anywhere you travel abroad
        Plus 1.5% unlimited cash back rewards on all purchases in Canadian dollars
        Annual fee

        Get the credit card with no annual fee and get more of what you want from Fido.

        Get paid for using your card!

        Get up to $50 in cash back rewards as a welcome bonus: $25 on your first purchase
        Plus $25 when you register your Fido bill for pre-authorized payments.

        Hopely, it help you paying your bills..

    • You can get 7cents/litre with PC MasterCard at superstore gas station, that’s more than 5%!

  29. Something to note with the PC Financial World Elite card is that although the points are only available at Loblaws stores, they sell Gift certs to just about every major retail outlet out there. I believe they also sell pre-paid credit cards. So although it’s not as good as cash back, it’s the next best thing.

    • Hi Seglo,

      Good observation. So on the redemption side, using gift cards allows you to effectively redeem for more than just Loblaw goods, because you can redeem your cashback for an itunes, home depot or amazon gift card.


      GreedyRates Staff

    • I agree. I use points for pre paid Visa cards

  30. How come the Costco MasterCard is not on this list of the best?

    • Hi Libby,

      The Costco card may be good if you wanted to use it exclusively to earn 3% cashback in restaurant purchases, in combination with other cashback or rewards cards that earn more on all other purchases. Otherwise, it’s value is matched or exceeded by many, if not most, other no fee cashback cards in Canada.

      Here are the reasons it did not make our list. First it’s base cashback rate is one of the worst in Canada. You get .5% cashback on your first $3,000 of spend, and then 1% thereafter. 1% is the minimum base cashback rate available on every credit card in our rankings. That means one can get DOUBLE the cashback, even on Costco purchases, using their Tangerine or BMO no fee cashback MasterCard over Costco’s own MasterCard on the first $3,000 of spend.

      Second, while Costco’ 3% cashback on restaurants and 2% on gas is good, there are plenty of options, which we believe are as good or better, which have much better base cashback rates (although we won’t take anything away from the 3% cashback on restaurants). Tangerine offers 2% cashback in up to 3 categories of your choice (you get to choose from 10 categories), offering 4% for the first 90 days in your selected categories. Amex offer 5% cash back on gas, groceries & restaurants for the first 6 months and 1.25% cashback on all other spend all the time. BMO’s offering 2% cashback on all spend for the first 6 months, etc…

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

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