Review of the National Bank Echo Cashback MasterCard

Annual Fee
Purchase Interest Rate
Min Personal Income Required
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Get 1.5% cashback on 3 purchase categories for the first 3 months. Get unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

The no annual fee National Bank ECHO Cashback MasterCard offers 1.5% cashback per dollar spent on 3 purchase categories for the first 3 months, and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

There one feature of the card that makes it stand-out from the pack is the ease of redeeming your cash back. While many cards only allow you to redeem at the end of each year, ECHO allows you to apply your cashback as soon as you reach $25.

Despite some qualifiers which we’ll address below, the National Bank ECHO cashback MasterCard is a great no fee rewards card for most Canadians. Its three 1.5% bonus categories for the first 3 months make it better than the flat 1% cashback rate offered by Capital One, and the RBC and CIBC cash back cards which offer 2% in groceries alone.

National Bank ECHO cashback MasterCard Benefits

The ECHO MasterCard comes with no annual fee, 1.5% cash back on 3 purchase categories for the first 3 months and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

However, there are two exceptions you should be aware of. First, the 1.5% cashback on gas and groceries purchases is only awarded on the first $25,000 of annual spend. Frankly, that shouldn’t be an issue for most. If you’re spending more than $25,000 a year on your credit card, there are better alternatives than the ECHO MasterCard.

Second, while it advertises a 1.5% cashback rate on online purchases, there are some exceptions: “all purchases related to a trip made with or without a travel agency (air transportation, accommodation and vehicle rental), purchases related to transportation (bus, metro, train) and repetitive payments (online subscriptions and automatic bill payments).” We find that a little disappointing.

Essentially any purchases on Expedia, Travelocity,, Netflix, National Post, Bell, Rogers, Telus, or Videotron would not qualify as an “online” purchase, and would thus only receive 1% cashback.

Here’s a summary of the rewards, perks and benefits that help this card stand-out from the pack:

  1. No Annual Fee
  2. No fee for supplementary cards
  3. Bonus Cashback 6% cashback on most online purchases (first 3 months), 1.5% cashback on gas and grocery
  4. Base Cashback 1% cashback on all other purchases, with no limits
  5. Cashback Redemptions Apply your cashback as soon as you accumulate $25
  6. Purchase Protection Purchases protected from theft or damage for 90 days after purchase
  7. Extended Warranty Doubles the original manufacturers warranty period up to 1 year


There is no specified minimum income requirement, although we always recommend you earn at least $15,000 before applying, unless you’re a student.

Worth It?

The National Bank MasterCard offers great value and convenience as a no annual fee cash back credit card. However, there are other no fee cashback cards that do an even better job, however they too have trade-off’s.

For example, the no annual fee FIDO MasterCard offers 4% cashback on purchases in a foreign currency and 1.5% on ALL other purchases with no caps.  You don’t have to be a FIDO customer to get the card and you can redeem your cashback as a statement credit, just like with the ECHO MasterCard. The only trade-off with the FIDO card, is that you can only redeem your cashback as a statement credit at the end of each year, unless you’re redeeming for FIDO goods or services.

The Rogers MasterCard offers 4% cashback on purchases in a foreign currency and 1.75% on ALL other purchases with no caps. It has a $29 annual fee which is waived in the first year, and every year thereafter on your anniversary date as long as your Rogers bill is set up as a pre-authorized payment.

Article comments

Douglas says:

no longer worth it there is an annual fee now

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Douglas,

Thanks very much for your comment. We’re sorry about the outdated information and will make changes to our article accordingly. You’re right that the National Bank Echo card now has an annual fee, though the move from $0 to $30 isn’t drastic. Still, for some cardholders it can hurt. We still believe that the card is worthwhile, however, given that its lowest rate of cash back (1.00%) would cover the annual fee with just $3,000 in annual spending. We assume you’ll be spending more than that, and probably in its 1.50% cash back category as well. However, these observations are all subjective and depend entirely on your own preferences and habits. We can’t deny that there are better options out there, when it comes to no-fee cash back cards.

One of them is the Amex SimplyCash card, which has a bonus introductory cash back rate of 2.50% for the first three months. Afterwards, it falls to 1.25% on everything, and suffers from less purchase restrictions than the National Bank card. If you’re interested in balance transfers, its 1.99% for 6 months’ deal is also stellar. In fact, you can find a lot of great no-fee cash back cards by filtering on our site. If you navigate to the page linked below and then use the menu on the left-hand side to select ‘No Annual Fee’, you’ll be presented with a healthy array of options. Best of luck!