Advertiser Disclosure

The content on this website includes links to our partners and we may receive compensation when you sign up, at no cost to you. This may impact which products or services we write about and where and how they appear on the site. It does not affect the objectivity of our evaluations or reviews. Read our disclosure.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada for February 2023

The best cash back credit cards in Canada give you back a percentage of your spending on purchases. For example, a card with a 2% cash back rate pays you $2 cash back if you spend $100 on an eligible purchase.

Depending on how the credit card’s cash-out options work, you may be able to withdraw the cash back earned or redeem it as a statement credit to lower your card balance.

Read on to learn about the best cash back credit cards in Canada for 2023.

Table of Contents Show

Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada – Featured

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 10% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($100 value).

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on groceries and bill payments; Up to 5% cashback at select partners; Earn interest on your balance*.

Welcome offer: Get a $20 bonus when you load and make your first purchase (use promo code CASHBACK during sign-up).

Interest rate fee: 0%

Annual fee: $0

Best Canadian Cash Back Credit Cards of 2023

Credit CardCash Back RewardAnnual Fee
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories; 0.5% on everything else$0
Tangerine World Mastercard2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories; 0.5% on everything else$0
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card4% cash back on groceries, recurring bills, and subscriptions; 2% cash back on gas/transit; 1% cash back on everything else$120 (waived 1st year)
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard1% cash back on groceries and bills; up to 5% cash back at partner stores$0
Neo Card™Up to 5% cash back at thousands of locations across Canada$0
SimplyCash Card from American Express1.25% to 2% cash back on purchases$0
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express2% to 4% cash back on purchases$119.88
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card4% cash back on gas and groceries; 2% on dining and recurring bills; 1% on everything else$120 (waived 1st year)
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card5% back on groceries, restaurant, food delivery and entertainment; 3% back on gas; 1% back on everything else$120 (waived 1st year)
Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card4% cash back on gas and grocery; 2% cash back on pharmacy and utilities; 1% cash back on everything else$99 (waived 1st year)
Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa0.5% to 4% cash back on purchases (spending limits apply)$0

Best No-Fee Cash Back Credit Cards

Here are the best no-annual-fee cash back credit cards that are great for your wallet.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Best no-fee cash back credit card

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 10% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($100 value).

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $12,000

Recommended credit score:
600
900

Fair to Good

Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card

On Tangerine’s website

  • No annual fee.
  • Unlimited 2% cash back in two spending categories. Get an extra 2% cash back spending category when you deposit your rewards in a free Tangerine savings account.
  • Unlimited 0.50% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cash back earned is paid out monthly.
  • 1.95% promotional balance transfer for first 6 months; 3% balance transfer fee applies ($5 minimum).
  • Purchase assurance to cover loss, theft or damage of new items purchased using the card for up to 90 days.
  • Works with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
  • Extended warranty for up to one extra year.

No annual fee

High cash back rates

Low-income requirement

Cash back paid monthly

Low-interest balance transfer

No travel insurance coverage

3% balance transfer fee

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada. It’s great for students and those who have a limited credit history. Cardholders can also enjoy no-fee chequing and a high interest savings account.

Opposed to paying annual credit card fees but want to earn a decent cash back rate? The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card offers a flexible cash back regime that puts you in control so you can choose where best to maximize your earnings.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card tops our list of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada.

It has no annual fees, and you get to choose your reward categories.

This card gives you 2% unlimited cash back in 2 categories of spending, including everyday expenses such as groceries, gas, entertainment, recurring bill payments, and more.

If you deposit your cash back into a Tangerine Savings Account, you get a third 2% category.

All other purchases earn 0.50% unlimited cash back.

While it is not often marketed as a balance transfer card, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has a low 1.95% balance transfer rate for the first 6 months.

In addition, this card provides purchase protection and an extended warranty average.

For a limited time, new cardholders enjoy a bonus 15% cash back rate worth up to $150 when they spend at least $1,000 in the first 2 months.

Cash back redemption: Cash back is automatically paid out once every month.

Income eligibility: You need a minimum annual personal income of $12,000 to qualify. Learn more about Tangerine cards.

Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine World Mastercard

Excellent no-fee cash back card with travel perks

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in 2-3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get an additional 10% cash back valued at $100 in the first 2 months.

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $12,000

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Fair to Good

Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card

On Tangerine’s website

  • No annual fee.
  • Unlimited 2% cash back in two spending categories. Get an extra 2% cash back category when you deposit cash back earned in a free Tangerine savings account.
  • Unlimited 0.50% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cash back earned is paid out monthly.
  • Complimentary Mastercard® Travel Pass Provided By DragonPass membership with access to over 1,300 airport lounges at $32 USD per visit.
  • Rental car and mobile device insurance are included.
  • Access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide through Boingo Wi-Fi
  • 1.95% promotional balance transfer for first 6 months; 3% balance transfer fee applies ($5 minimum).
  • Purchase assurance to cover loss, theft or damage of new items purchased using the card for up to 90 days.
  • Compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
  • Extended warranty for up to one extra year.

No annual fee

Easy access to airport VIP lounges

Car rental and mobile device coverage

High cash back rates with unlimited earning potential

Lacks comprehensive travel benefits

The Tangerine World Mastercard offers premium perks without charging an annual fee. Its competitive cash back earn rate makes it worthwhile for any wallet, and the mobile device and car rental coverage are solid benefits to have up your sleeve.

If your annual personal income is $60,000 or more, you may qualify for the Tangerine World Mastercard and enjoy more benefits. This premium version of the Tangerine cash back credit card has even more perks.

Like the Tangerine Money-Back Card, it has no annual fees and pays 2% unlimited cash back on up to 3 spending categories.

It also includes rental car insurance, mobile device insurance, Boingo Wi-Fi at over 1 million hotspots worldwide, and Mastercard Airport Experience provided by LoungeKey.

Best Cash Back Credit Card for Groceries and Recurring Bills

The overall best credit card in Canada, Socitbank Momentum Visa Infinite, shines the most when considering its cash back rate for groceries and recurring bill payments.

In addition to this card are the KOHO Mastercard and Neo Card™.

Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Best for cash back rewards and premium perks

Annual fee: $120

Rewards: Earn between 1% and 4% cash back on purchases.

Welcome offer: Earn 10% cash back on purchases for the first 3 months up to $2,000 in purchases. Annual fee waiver for the first year.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $60,000

Recommended credit score:
760
900

Very Good

Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card

On Scotiabank’s website

  • Earn 4% cash back on groceries, subscriptions, and recurring bill payments.
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas and daily transit.
  • Earn 1% cashback.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits are included when you use your card for 75% or more of trip costs.
  • New mobile device insurance included.
  • Access to Visa Infinite Hotel Collection with the best hotel rates and automatic room upgrades.
  • Enjoy savings on car rentals with AVIS and Budget in Canada and the United States.
  • $60,000 annual income or $100,000 minimum household income required.

Earn up to 4% cashback

Travel insurance included

Comes with several premium perks

High annual fee

High-income requirement

The Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card is a good option for anyone who wants to earn cashback on their everyday purchases. It also includes travel insurance and new device insurance coverage plus additional perks like access to the Visa Infinite Hotel Collection.

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card offers some of the best cash back rates in Canada with 4% cash back on groceries and recurring payments, 2% cash back on gas and daily transit purchases, and 1% cash back on everything else.

For the first 3 months, you earn up to a 10% promotional cash back bonus valued at $200.

This premium card also provides comprehensive travel insurance coverage (8 types) as well as new mobile device insurance, purchase security, and extended warranty coverage benefits.

Cash back redemption: Cash back is credited to your account statement once per year in November.

Income eligibility: You need a minimum annual income of $60,000 or $100,000 in household income to qualify. Read our in-depth breakdown of the card.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

Best prepaid card in Canada

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 5% cash back on debit purchases, and earn interest on your balance.

Welcome offer: $20 with CASHBACK promo code.

Interest rates: 0%

Minimum income requirement: None

Recommended credit score:
N/A

None

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard 1

On KOHO’s website

  • Free KOHO users earn 1% cash back on groceries and bill payments
  • Earn up to 5% cashback on debit purchases at participating retailers.
  • Instantly cash out your cash back whenever you want.
  • Earn interest on the savings account.
  • No fees or interest charges.
  • No credit check is required to qualify.
  • Optional credit-building tool for $10/month.
  • Get spending insights and balance updates in the app.

Earn up to 5% cashback

Instantly cash out cashback

No fees or interest

$1.00 inactivity fee charged after 13 months of registering and 6 months of non-use

Credit-building service has a fee

The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard is the best rewards prepaid card in Canada. It also provides an option for people with a bad credit score or no credit history to enjoy the convenience of a credit card in the form of a prepaid card. There are no credit checks, and you can earn up to 5% cash back on purchases.

An unlikely winner in the grocery and recurring bills cash back category is the free KOHO Prepaid Mastercard. With no annual fees, you earn 1% unlimited cash back on grocery purchases and bill payments. It also pays a 0.50% interest rate on your balance.

Learn how it works.

Neo Card™

Neo Financial Mastercard

Excellent entry-level credit card for cash back

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 15% cash back for first purchases at eligible partners, 5% cash back at partner stores for other purchases, and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: $25 bonus

Interest rates: 19.99%-25.49% for purchases, 21.99%-25.49% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: None

Recommended credit score:
600
900

Fair

Neo Financial Mastercard

On Neo Financial’s website

  • Earn up to 15% cashback on first purchases at eligible partners.
  • Earn 5% cashback at over 8,000 merchants.
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Unlimited cashback on purchases.
  • Use Subscription Bundles to get extra cashback by choosing from selected categories, or get other rewards on insurance or subscriptions.
  • App Insights provides a clear picture of spending habits.

Earn unlimited cashback

Earn up to 15% cashback on first purchases

No annual fee

Useful app

High-interest rate

No extra perks besides cashback

The Neo Financial Mastercard is a great way to earn up to 15% cashback without paying an annual fee. Subscription Bundles give you more control over where you make the most cash back, and the easy-to-use app provides insights into your spending habits.

Not to be left out is the no-annual-fee Neo Card™ which offers up to 5% cash back at over 10,000 stores and partner brands in Canada.

Add on its optional Everyday Essentials perk bundle for $8.99 monthly, and you get access to 2% cash back at Walmart and Costco and multiple gas stations.

Best No Fee Flat-Rate Cash Back Credit Card

If you prefer to earn the same cash back rate on all purchases, the SimplyCash Card from American Express is worth looking at. It also has no annual fees.

SimplyCash Card from American Express

SimplyCash Card from American Express

Excellent credit card for students

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 2% cash back on eligible purchases and 1.25% unlimited cashback on other purchases.

Welcome offer: Earn up to $100 in statement credits over the first 10 months

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 21.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: None

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Fair to Good

New SimplyCash_Card-img

On Amex’s website

  • Earn 2% cash back on gas.
  • Earn 2% cash back on groceries up to $300 annually.
  • Earn 1.25% unlimited cashback on other purchases.
  • Earn bonus cashback of up to $750 per year for referring a friend.
  • No annual fee for a primary card or additional cards.
  • Access to American Express® Experiences that provides exclusive bonuses for events, performances, dining, and shopping.
  • Coverage up to $100,000 for Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance.

Earn up to 2% cashback

No annual fee

Earn bonus cashback for referring a friend

Access to American Express® Experiences

Lower cashback than some other cards

$300 annual limit on 2% cashback rate for groceries

The SimplyCash Card from American Express provides you with the option to earn up to 2% cash back on gas and groceries plus 1.25% cash back on other purchases. It has no annual fee and comes with a few perks like access to American Express® Experiences.

The SimplyCash Card from AMEX pays a 2% cash back rate on groceries and gas ($300 annual cash back limit at this rate; 1.25% after) and a 1.25% rate on all other purchases without a cap on how much you can earn.

This card also offers up to $100,000 in travel accident insurance when you pay your travel tickets in full using the card.

In addition, it provides standard purchase protection and extended warranty coverage benefits.

Cash back redemption: Cash back is credited to your account annually in August.

Income eligibility: No minimum income threshold is specified for this card. Get more details here.

SimplyCash Preferred Card from Amex

If American Express cards are to your taste and you like the SimplyCash Card from Amex, this card offers higher rewards for an annual fee.

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Excellent cash back credit card

Annual fee: $119.88

Rewards: Earn up to 4% cash back on everyday purchases.

Welcome offer: Get a $40 statement credit for each month you spend $750 or more (for the first 10 months).

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: None

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

New SimplyCash_Preferred_Card-imgs

On Amex’s website

  • Earn 4% cash back on purchases at eligible gas stations in Canada.
  • Earn 4% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada – get up to $1,200 cash back annually.
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy exclusive access to tickets, virtual events, live performances, and more through American Express Experiences.
  • Get up to $1,000 of mobile device insurance coverage.
  • Access various travel insurance benefits, including emergency medical ($5M), travel accident ($100K), flight delay, baggage delay, hotel burglary, and rental car insurance.

Up to 4% cash back on high-spend categories

No limit on most cash back purchases

Comprehensive travel insurance coverage

Monthly fee of $9.99

4% cash back on grocery purchases capped at $1,200

High purchase APR at 20.99%

The SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express offers a competitive cash back rate on all purchases. It also includes a solid list of insurance coverages without a hefty annual fee.

For a $119.88 annual fee tag, you could get the SimplyCash Preferred Card from AMEX and enjoy additional benefits:

  • 4% cash back on gas and groceries ($1,200 annual cash back limit); 2% unlimited cashback on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits including emergency medical, flight delay, baggage delay, hotel burglary, lost or stolen baggage, travel accident, and car rental insurance
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty benefits
  • American Express Experiences

This card also does not have a minimum income requirement.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Groceries and Gas

The best credit cards for grocery purchases relieve your wallet when you do your weekly grocery runs. The same goes for cards that pay decent cash back when you buy gas.

CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card

CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card

Best for students and fair credit

Annual fee: $120

Rewards: Earn up to 4% cash back on high-spend categories.

Welcome offer: Get a rebate on the annual fee for the first year.

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances. 

Minimum income requirement: A minimum annual personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000.

Recommended credit score:
760
900

Very Good

CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card

On CIBC’s website

  • Earn 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases.
  • Earn 2% cash back on transportation, dining, and recurring payments.
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else.
  • Maximize your earnings with no limit on the total cash back you can earn.
  • Access insurance benefits like mobile device insurance and emergency travel medical insurance.
  • Get up 10 cents off per litre on gas at participating locations when you link your card with Journie Rewards.
  • Save up to 25% on car rentals at participating Avis and Budget locations worldwide.
  • Access Visa Infinite benefits, including exclusive ticket access, hotel perks, dining events, and wine tastings.
  • Save with no transaction fees on sending money abroad.
  • A minimum annual personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000 is required to apply.

No limit on cash back rewards

Competitive 4% cash back in high-spend categories

Attractive additional rewards

High purchase APR at 20.99%

Minimum income requirement may be restrictive

Limited travel benefits

The CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card offers a competitive cash back program with no limit on its rewards. Its manageable annual fee makes it an attractive option for those interested in a cash back card with the potential for robust earnings.

The CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card is one of CIBC’s best cash back credit cards.

Users earn 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases, 2% cash back on transportation, dining, and recurring bill payments, and 1% back on everything else.

This card also offers the following insurance categories:

  • Mobile device insurance
  • Out-of-province emergency travel medical insurance
  • Common carrier accident insurance
  • Car rental insurance

Cash back redemption: Redeem your cash back anytime when your balance is $25 or more.

Income eligibility: At least $60,000 personal annual income or $100,000 for a household.

The CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card’s 4% and 2% earn rates are limited to $20,000 worth of spending in each category and an $80,000 cap overall.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Best travel credit card in Canada

Annual fee: $120

Rewards: Earn up to 6x Scene+ points on groceries, 5x pts. on dining, food delivery, & entertainment, 3x pts. on gas, and 1x pts. on everything else.

Welcome offer: Get up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points in the first 12 months and no annual fee for the first year.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $12,000

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

On Scotiabank’s website

  • Zero foreign transaction fees when travelling overseas or shopping abroad.
  • Earn 6x Scene+ points at select grocery stores, including Sobeys and Safeway.
  • Earn 5x points on dining or food delivery at select stores and restaurants as well as select movies, theatres and ticket agencies.
  • Earn 3x points on eligible gas and transit purchases.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 CAD spent on eligible purchases.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits and extended warranty protection are included.
  • Priority Pass™ membership discount to access VIP lounges.
  • Amex Offers® including deals on shopping, travel and dining.
  • Access to Front Of The Line® presale tickets to concerts, restaurants and events.
  • Minimum annual income of $12,000 required.

Earn up to 6x Scene+ point

Lots of premium perks included

No foreign transaction fees

Low income eligibility at $12,000

Expensive annual fee

$29 fee for each additional card

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card provides a great opportunity to earn Scene+ points on all purchases and extra points on select purchases. Its zero foreign transaction fees and travel insurance coverage make it a good choice for travellers.

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card is not your typical cash back card. However, it is on this list based on its high earn rates, bonus offer, and ease of rewards redemption.

Cardholders earn:

  • 5 points per $1 spent on groceries, fast food, food delivery, restaurant and entertainment purchases
  • 3 points per $1 spent on gas, daily transportation, and streaming services
  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

This card waives the 2.50% foreign transaction fees you normally pay when you purchase things abroad.

It also provides comprehensive travel insurance coverages (8 types) and a discounted Priority Pass membership with access to VIP airport lounges worldwide.

For a limited time, new cardholders get up to 45,000 bonus points valued at $450 when redeemed towards travel:

  • 25,000 bonus points when you spend at least $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 20,000 bonus points when you spend at least $7,500 in the first year

Cash back redemption: Redeem points as a statement credit or for gift cards, travel purchases, or merchandise.

Income eligibility: A minimum annual personal income of $12,000 is required.

Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card

Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card

Rewards: Up to 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases.

Welcome offer: N/A.

Interest rates: 19.50% for purchases; 21.99% for cash advances.

Annual fee: $99; the first-year fee is waived.

The Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card is one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.

Users earn:

  • 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases
  • 2% cash back on pharmacy purchases and utility bill payments
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

The card also offers comprehensive travel insurance benefits.

Note that the 4% and 2% cash back earn rates only apply to the first $25,000 in purchases. A 1% rate applies after you exceed this amount.

Cash back redemption: Cash back is credited monthly and can be redeemed starting at $50 as an account credit or for merchandise, gift cards and event tickets.

Income eligibility: You need a minimum personal income of $60,000 or $100,000 for a household.

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card

Lastly, the Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card is a noteworthy cash back credit card.

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card

Excellent credit card for students and newcomers

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn up to 4% cash back on high-spend categories.

Welcome offer: Get 9.99% interest on purchases for the first three months. Plus, earn 10% bonus cash back at eligible restaurants and bars for the first four months.

Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: Minimum annual household income is $15,000.

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Credit Card

On Simplii’s website

  • Earn 4% cash back on eligible restaurant, bar, and coffee shop purchases (capped at $5,000 per year).
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on eligible gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases, as well as recurring payments (capped at $15,000 spent per year).
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases without any cap.
  • The minimum annual household income is $15,000.

No annual fee

Competitive purchase APR at 19.99%

0.5% cash back is unlimited

Limited insurance benefits

Limited travel benefits

4% cash back categories are capped at $5,000 annually

The Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card offers competitive cash back on everyday purchases with no annual fee. It’s a great starter card to build your credit score while earning cash back on your most common purchases.

What Is a Cash Back Credit Card?

A cash back credit card is a credit card that gives you back a percentage of what you spend in cash.

Let’s say you spend $100 on eligible purchases and have a card offering 1% cash back. In this case, you would receive $1 back.

You accumulate cash back over the weeks and months, and you can see how much you have earned in your account.

While this is the basic principle, there are quite a few details you need to be aware of. These include the type of products you can purchase to earn cash back, any limits on how much you can earn, how to redeem your cash back and more.

Types of Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada

You can choose from several types of cash back credit cards in Canada. They work on the same principle but have minor differences.

Firstly, you need to consider the different ways to earn cash back.

Some cards have a flat rate of cash back. For example, this could be 1% on all purchases.

Others have a flat rate in addition to bonus categories. These are certain categories of spending where you can earn more. So, you could earn 2% for all eligible grocery purchases and 1% for everything else.

Other cards may even let you choose which categories you want to earn more cash back on (e.g. grocery and dining).

There are several cash back bonus categories for credit cards in Canada. The most common include:

  • Groceries – Usually at major grocery stores in Canada, and you may be limited to certain stores.
  • Entertainment – Earn cash back when you buy tickets to the cinema, concerts, theatres, etc.
  • Gas – Earn cash back for purchases at gas stations for your travel costs.
  • Dining – This could include eating out at restaurants, takeout, food delivery services, or all of them.
  • Transportation – Some cards allow you to earn cash back for the money you spend on different types of transportation, including public transport.
  • Monthly subscriptions – These include subscriptions like Netflix and recurring bills like internet and utility bills.
  • Travel – Including hotels and car rentals.

You should always check your card details because different cards will have different definitions.

For example, some will provide cash back for dining, including food deliveries, while others will be limited to restaurants.

In addition, grocery shopping may be restricted to certain stores, and some monthly subscriptions may not include bills.

How To Choose a Cash Back Credit Card

There are several factors you should consider when applying for a cash back credit card:

Rewards categories: Always consider how much you can earn on specific categories of purchases. If you regularly shop at a particular store, find out whether you can earn more cash back by shopping there. If you primarily use your credit card to purchase gas, ensure you get a better rate.

Additional rewards: Premium cash back cards typically offer extra perks alongside cash back. These include travel insurance, rewards points, discounts, and more.

Annual fee: Premium credit cards often come with high annual fees. In return, they often provide higher cash back rates or additional perks. You have to decide whether the additional fee is worth it. If you don’t need travel insurance benefits, a no-fee cash back credit card can save you on fees.

Promotions: Many cash back credit cards offer juicy promotional rates as welcome bonuses. You may be able to earn significantly more cash back in the first few months, or you may find a card that waives the annual fees for the first year.

Income eligibility: Check whether you are eligible for the card based on your income. While American Express cards do not have a minimum income requirement, for the Visa Infinite Cards on this list, you need to earn at least $60,000 per year to qualify.

Interest rate: While cash back and other rewards may be your primary concern, don’t forget to check the interest rate for purchases and cash advances. If you carry a balance, a low interest rate can help you pay less and repay your debt sooner.

How To Redeem Cash Back Rewards

When you have earned cash back from your card, you’ll want to get your hands on it. So how should you redeem it?

This is usually straightforward, but all cards have slightly different processes.

Often, you can use your cash back rewards to pay off your credit card balance. However, some cards set a minimum cash back amount before you can redeem it, so you need to reach a certain amount.

Others may have restrictions on how frequently you can redeem your cash back. This could be once a week or a month, for example. Some may only pay out annually.

With some cards, you can deposit your cash back rewards directly into a linked savings account and then use it as cash.

Here is a list of the major credit card providers and their standard processes for redeeming cash back:

  • BMO – You can redeem anything over $1 as statement credit and set up automatic direct deposits from $25 to your BMO accounts.
  • American Express – Cash back is paid out on an annual basis.
  • CIBC – You can redeem cash back from $25 and over.
  • TD – The minimum cash back earnings before you can redeem is $25, or you can redeem it annually without any minimum requirements.
  • Scotiabank – The cash back you earn is credited to your account once a year.
  • Tangerine – Cash back is paid directly to your savings account every month or applied directly to your balance.
  • RBC – You can redeem your cash back once you have earned a minimum of $25. Or it is automatically credited to your account once a year.

You may want to cash out more regularly, or you might want to save up your cash back to pay towards a large purchase.

Just make sure you check the full details of the card. For example, if you plan to use it regularly, you don’t want to get a card that only allows you to claim your cash back once a year.

Related: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card Review.

Benefits of Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back is easy to understand as opposed to earning points. With cash back, you know exactly how much you are getting upfront, i.e. $50 = $50.

The value of points varies with the redemption option you choose. For example, 5000 points may be equivalent to $50 when you redeem for travel and $35 when you redeem at a statement credit or for merchandise.

Downsides of Cash Back Credit Cards

Many of the best cash back credit cards have hefty annual fees.

Some also require you to have a minimum annual personal or household income to be eligible.

How To Apply for a Cash Back Credit Card

Applying for a cash back credit card in Canada is straightforward. The process is the same as for most other types of credit cards.

First, choose the right credit card based on the amount of cash back you can earn, how you can redeem it, and other factors like interest rates, annual fees, etc.

When you have found a card that you like the look of, check the eligibility requirements.

There is usually a minimum age and a residency status requirement. Most require that you are a resident of Canada and the legal age of majority in your province.

You will also need to have a good credit score for most cards. Very few credit cards will approve your application with a bad credit score; the same is true for cash back credit cards.

This means having a score of over 660. If you don’t have a good credit score, you may want to apply for a secured credit card instead.

Finally, check the income requirements. The card provider may state that you need a minimum personal income or household income, but not always.

Sometimes it is quite low, about $12,000 per year. But it can be higher for premium cards, like $80,000.

When you are ready to apply, you should be able to apply for your card online by providing the required information. You may also be able to apply over the phone or in person at your local branch.

How To Maximize Credit Card Cash Back

When you have applied for and received your cash back credit card, you will want to maximize the amount of cash back you earn. There are several ways to do this.

Firstly, choose a card that allows you to earn the most cash back based on your spending habits. For example, if you visit a certain grocery store every week, choose a card that provides a higher rate of cash back for shopping at that store.

Some cards allow you to choose the spending category to get a higher rate of cash back. While it may provide 1% cash back for general purchases, you could earn 3% or more for some categories

Look for welcome offers and consider applying for a new card when planning a larger purchase. You could get a higher cash back rate for the first few months but check for limits.

Use several credit cards to maximize your cash back. For example, one card may provide a higher cash back rate for one category, like travel, while you could use another for grocery shopping.

Add authorized users like your spouse or children, so they can earn cash back too.

Cash Back Credit Card Canada FAQs

What is the best no-fee unlimited cash back credit card?

For unlimited 2% cash back on three spending categories, apply for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. The SimplyCash Card from AMEX also offers unlimited 1.25% cash back on most purchases.

When can I redeem my cash back?

Some cards pay out your earnings monthly, while others do so once a year. Check your credit card agreement for more details.

Is credit card cash back taxable?

No, the cash back you earn from your personal credit card is not included in your taxable income when you file taxes.

Related:

Best Credit Offers in February 2023

Get one of the no-fee cash back credit cards in Canada ($100 bonus)

Earn 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories.

Get a $100 welcome bonus after spending $1,000 in the first two months.

1.95% low-rate balance transfer and purchase protection insurance.

No annual fees to use the card; cashback is paid out monthly.

Get up to 5% cashback and grow your savings ($20 bonus)

Best free prepaid reloadable Mastercard plus a $20 welcome bonus.

Free budgeting app with automatic savings features.

Increase your credit score with optional credit building add-on.

Earn up to 2.00% interest on your entire balance.*

Earn up to 5% cash back at over 10,000 retail locations ($25 Bonus)

Get a $25 bonus when you are approved for the Card.

No annual account fees.

Earn up to 5% unlimited cash back at 10,000+ participating stores.

Guaranteed instant approval credit card.

Retirement 101 eBook - 3D

Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

2 thoughts on “Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada for February 2023”

  1. Gravatar for Keith Richardson

    You seem to imply that all “SavvyNewCanadians” are poor (where public transport and groceries make up a large part of their monthly expenditure). What about the card ranking for the middle class who have a gas card and need a credit card to get money back on the bulk of their monthly expenditure? You also fail to mention Roger, Costco or Amazon cards which all rank above any of the ones you mention: but of course are not part of the BigBanks offering. So should I conclude that you only rate cards that pay you to rate them?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Keith: Your assumptions are wrong. While we do have affiliate relationships with some of the issuers listed (as noted in the disclosure at the top), there are cards on the list that we do not earn affiliate income from. This article is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of all the good cards you can get in Canada. You won’t find an exhaustive list anywhere. What we have listed here are some of the best credit cards for cash back. If you visit our credit card category page, we have also written about the best cards for groceries, travel, VIP airport lounges, no-fee cash back, no-FX fees, rental insurance, and more. Perhaps you will find what you are looking for there…

      https://www.savvynewcanadians.com/credit-card/

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • No monthly fees.
  • Get up to 5% cash back on purchases.
  • $20 welcome bonus with CASHBACK referral code.
  • Earn interest on your balance.*
*Limited time offer. Terms and conditions apply.
Best No Annual Fee Prepaid Cash Back Card
Best No Annual Fee Prepaid Cash Back Card
No monthly fees. Get up to 5% cash back on purchases. $20 bonus with CASHBACK code.
*Limited time offer. Terms and conditions apply.