Neo Financial, one of the newer challenger banks in Canada, offers a regular cash back credit card and a secured card.
The Neo Financial Mastercard (Neo Card) can be used to earn cash back on all purchases, and new cardholders get a welcome bonus.
The recently launched Neo Secured Card makes it easy to build your credit score while also earning rewards.
Below, I cover how these credit cards work, their pros, cons, fees, and alternatives.
Best Neo Financial Credit Cards
For a limited time, you get a $25 cash bonus when you apply and qualify for any of the two main Neo Cards (secured and unsecured cards).
You can easily qualify for the Neo Mastercard with a good credit score. If you have a poor credit score or limited credit history, the Neo Secured Card is for you.
Neo Mastercard (Standard)
Rewards: Average of 5% cash back at 10,000+ partners and a minimum of 0.50% cash back across all purchases
Welcome offer: Get 15% cash back on your first purchases, plus a $25 welcome cash bonus.
Interest rates: 19.99% – 26.99% on purchases; 24.99% – 28.99% for cash advances.
Annual fee: $0
Neo Secured Mastercard
Rewards: Earn up to 5% real cash back on purchases.
Welcome offer: 15% cashback on your first purchases, plus a $25 welcome bonus.
Interest rates: 19.99% – 26.99% for purchases.
Annual fee: $0
Credit limit: Starts at $50.
Credit score required: Poor or bad credit score.
Neo Standard Mastercard
This no-fee cash back card has no monthly or annual fees and offers an average of 5% cash back at participating brands and retailers.
For purchases made elsewhere (i.e. outside of the list of Neo partners), you earn a 0.50% cash back on up to a total of $1,000 in monthly spending.
Neo Financial recently introduced “Perks” you can bundle with the Neo Card to enhance and customize your rewards. These Perks have a monthly fee and are completely optional.
The Neo Perks are in these categories:
- Neo Travel
- Neo Everyday Essentials
- Neo Premium Access
- Neo Food & Drink
- Neo Mind & Body
- Neo Mobile & Personal Protection
The Neo Card charges interest as follows:
- Purchase APR: 19.99%-26.99%
- Cash Advance APR: 22.99%-28.99%
Neo Secured Card
The Neo Secured Card is a recent addition to Neo Financial’s line of credit cards. This innovative card is the best secured credit card in Canada.
It offers up to 5% unlimited cash back rewards at participating stores and a minimum of 0.50% cashback across purchases at non-partner stores.
This no-fee card means you can save up to $120 in annual fees compared to other secured cards on the market.
The minimum security deposit required for the Neo Secured Mastercard is low at $50.
Another thing to note about this card is that you can apply for it regardless of your credit score (poor or bad); they don’t require a hard credit check.
The Neo Secured Card charges interest as follows: Purchase APR: 19.99%-26.99% and Cash Advance APR: 21.99% – 26.99%.
The interest rates vary depending on your credit rating and the province of residence.
Quebec residents pay 19.99%-25.24% on purchases and 21.99%-25.24% on cash advances.
Benefits of Neo Credit Cards
1. Earn cash back: The Neo Card pays you cash back at thousands of retailers and local stores across Canada. Some of the major stores where you can earn include Earls, AVIS, H&R Block, Pet Planet, Frank And Oak, Well.ca, and over 8,000 local business.
If you regularly shop at one of the partner stores, the 5% cash back rate on the free Neo Standard Card is significant. At non-participating stores, you earn 0.50% cash back on average (up to $50 per month).
2. 15% Bonus Welcome: New cardholders get a 15% cash back bonus on their first purchase with the Neo Card at a partner store.
3. Flexible Rewards: You can redeem the cash back you have earned at any time and don’t need to wait for the end of the month or year.
4. All-in-One Banking: If you also have a Neo Savings account (Neo Money) for the high interest rates, there’s only one sign-in for both products. While Neo Financial doesn’t currently offer a chequing account, you could begin to divest from the big banks and their high fees, one account at a time.
5. Easy Qualification: This credit card is easy to qualify for, even with limited income.
6. User-friendly App: Neo users get access to a versatile mobile app that sends notifications in real-time when they earn cash back rewards or need to make a payment. If you lose your card, you can quickly freeze it on the Neo app.
7. No Monthly Fee: For the Neo Standard Mastercard, there is no monthly or annual fee.
8. Guaranteed Approval: The Neo Secured Card offers guaranteed approval regardless of your credit score. It is the best secured credit cards in Canada if you have bad credit.
Downsides of Neo Credit Cards
If you don’t routinely shop at any of Neo’s partner stores, the cash back offering is closer to 0.50% on average.
Also, the Neo Card does not offer insurance coverage benefits, not even basic ones like extended warranty and purchase protection benefits.
To access insurance coverage, you need to subscribe to one of the Perk bundles.
What is Neo Financial?
Neo Financial is a financial technology company founded by some of the same people that built SkipTheDishes.
It currently offers the following:
- The Neo Card
- Neo Secured Card
- A high-interest savings account (Neo Money)
- Neo Mortgage
- Neo Invest
You can learn more about the Neo Card in this Neo Mastercard review.
Neo Financial also issues the new Hudson’s Bay Mastercard after Capital One ended its partnership with the retailer.
Neo Financial Mastercard Alternatives
The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and SimplyCash Card from American Express are great alternatives to the Neo Card.
For a prepaid cash back card, consider KOHO.
Here’s what they offer:
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); 1.95% balance transfer rate for 6 months.
Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.
Annual fee: $0
SimplyCash Card from American Express
Rewards and benefits: Earn up to 2% cash back on gas and groceries; 1.25% cash back on all other purchases; travel accident insurance.
Welcome offer: Earn a $10 statement credit each month you spend $300 in purchases on your Card in the first 10 months (up to $100 value).
Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances.
Annual fee: $0
KOHO Prepaid Mastercard
Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on groceries and transportation; 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
Neo Financial Mastercard FAQs
There is no annual fee for the Neo Mastercard credit card.
Yes, the Neo Credit Card can help you improve your credit score. The company reports your transaction to TransUnion, a Canadian credit bureau.
No, Neo Financial is a financial technology company that doesn’t currently meet the definition of a full-fledged bank.
You can sign up for a Neo credit card using this link. This link includes a $25 bonus.
Yes, Neo Financial accepts applicants with lower credit scores.
The Neo Mastercard is a real credit card and not a prepaid card like KOHO. When you apply for it, Neo pulls your credit file before approving your credit card application.
Yes, it offers a Neo Secured Card. The minimum security deposit for this card is just $50, and it has no monthly or annual fees.