Best 2020 Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada
The Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada
Why get a cash back rewards credit card?
For years, spending your hard-earned cash was a one-way street. You buy something, your bank balance goes down accordingly.
Well, that still happens, but with a cash back credit card you can earn a percentage of your money back.
The best cash back credit cards allow you to earn money back on just about anything, meaning you don’t have to change your spending habits to start earning and enjoying rewards.
Unlike other rewards cards that only offer air miles or points, you are free to spend your cash rewards on anything you like. New clothes? Excellent! A massage? Great! Paying bills? Boring, but still fine! The flexibility of cash back rewards programs is hard to beat.
How do cash back cards work?
Let’s suppose your credit card offers two percent cash back on all purchases: every time you spend $100, you can look forward to a $2 rebate. While this may not sound like much, the average Canadian, spending $1,600 a month, would receive $384 cash back per year.
How and when do you get your money back?
Each card is slightly different, but most pay you the cash back in the form of a credit on your monthly statement. If you have a bank account with the same company who issue your credit card, they may be able to deposit earnings into your chequing account instead.
How to find the best cash back rewards credit card for you
Ratesupermarket.ca conveniently allows you to compare and apply for cash back rewards cards all in one place. We have a wide selection of cash back cards choose from, and once you have found a card that suits your needs, you can apply for it in just a few clicks. We provide a summary of features for each card, cover all applicable legal jargon and even provide an unbiased review! See our moneywise blog for additional reviews and features on credit cards.
Do cash back cards include insurance?
The short answer is yes. The vast majority of cash back cards offer some form of insurance.
More often than not, your cash back card will include purchase security, which protects your newly bought items against loss or damage for a limited period of time. Extended warranty insurance is also a common feature. It lengthens the validity of the manufacturers warranty on new products, typically by one additional year.
While travel related coverage might not be as robust as it is on travel rewards cards, consider how much cash back you stand to earn based on your spending habits and chosen card’s rate of return. It might make financial sense to forego this coverage and purchase a separate policy when you travel.
Of course, if you are a frequent flyer and rely on the perks offered by travel cards, then a travel rewards card is likely the best rewards type for you. In that case, see our guide to the best travel cards and make sure you are getting the best deal. Alternatively, get two rewards cards! Use the cash back card for domestic purchases and the travel rewards card for booking trips and expenses when away from home.
Features of different cash back credit cards
Not all cash back rewards credit cards are created equally. Here’s a list of things to consider when comparing and selecting your card:
- What is the rate of cash back offered? It stands to reason that a card offering 4% cash back will earn you more than a card offering 2% cash back.
- Are there restrictions on where you can shop? Some cards only offer cash back at specific vendors or for specific types of purchases.
- Is there a limit to how much you can earn? Some cards offer attractive rates of cash back return but they are capped after you spend a certain amount, limiting your potential earnings.
- Is there a promotion running? Many rewards cards offer promotions to attract new customers and cash back cards are no different. For example, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card offers 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases).
- Is there an annual fee? While there are some no-fee cash back rewards cards (see the RBC® Cash Back MasterCard‡ and Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card for two great options in this category), the highest earning rewards cards do charge an annual fee. We account for this in the potential earnings calculations we provide for each card, so you get an accurate portrayal of how much cash back you will earn.
Our favourite cash back credit cards
Every card we feature has its pros and cons, and there is no “one size fits all” perfect card for everyone. However, we do have our favourite cash back credit cards, based primarily on the earning potential of the cards calculated over two years of regular use.
We recommend comparing a few cards to find the best fit for you, but if you are in a hurry, you may want to head straight for one of these:
Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card ($99 per year but waived first year, exceptional cash back earning potential).
RBC® Cash Back MasterCard‡ (no annual fee, very competitive cash back earning potential).
Check out our Best of Finance awards for other Ratesupermarket.ca favourites!
The Best Credit Cards in Canada
|Travel Rewards View all »||Sponsored Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card »||Sponsored Scotiabank PassportTM Visa Infinite* Card »||Sponsored TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card »|
|Gas Rewards View all »||Sponsored American Express CobaltTM Credit Card »||Sponsored Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card »||Sponsored Triangle™World Elite Mastercard® »|
|Low interest View all »||Scotia Momentum® Mastercard ®* Credit Card »||Scotia Momentum® No-Fee VISA* Card »||True Line® Mastercard® credit card »|
|Balance Transfer View all »||Sponsored President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® »||CIBC Select Visa* Card »||President's Choice Financial®World Mastercard® »|