Neo Financial Credit Card Review 2021

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by Enoch Omololu

Updated

Advertiser Disclosure

Neo Financial is one of the newest financial technology companies in Canada that is launching a challenge at traditional banking as we know it.

If you are familiar with KOHO or STACK, Neo Financial is somewhat similar, although it offers a credit card in place of a prepaid card.

The Neo Financial credit card (or Neo Card) offers three levels of cash back rewards at participating retailers and brands, and it starts at $0 per month in fees.

If you use your credit card to pay for most purchases, you can significantly increase your cash back rewards with the Neo Cash back Rewards Mastercard Plus or Ultra plans for a small monthly fee.

This review provides an insight into Neo Financial, its cash back rewards program, how it compares to alternative cash back cards, and how to grow your savings faster with Neo Savings.

What is Neo Financial?

Neo Financial is a startup fintech founded by two of the co-founders of Skip The Dishes (Andrew Chau and Jeff Adamson) and Kris Read.

It currently offers Canadians access to an innovative cash back credit card (Neo Card) and a high-interest savings account (Neo Savings).

Neo Financial has partnerships with Concentra Bank and ATB Financial. In 2020, it raised $50 million in seed financing and the company has offices in Calgary and Winnipeg.

Neo Financial Credit Cards

Neo Financial Credit Card – At a Glance

  • Annual: $0
  • Cash back rewards: Average of 5%+ at partners
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% – 24.99%
  • Cash Advance APR: 21.99% – 26.99%
  • Credit score requirement: Variable
  • Digital wallets: Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Mobile app: Yes

Neo Card Benefits

The Neo Mastercard offers the following benefits:

Cash Back Rewards: Cardholders earn cash back when they make purchases at hundreds of places including local stores, online retail stores, gas stations, restaurants, and more.

With the Neo Card, you earn an average of 5%+ unlimited cashback at thousands of local and national Neo partner stores. The cash back earned is redeemed automatically and you can cash out at any time.

This card also offers access to one-time bonus cash back offers of up to 20%.

No Annual Fee: There is no monthly or annual fee for the Neo Cash Back Rewards Mastercard.

$25 Promotional Bonus: For a limited time, new customers who are approved for the Neo Card get a $25 voucher.

Mobile App: The Neo Financial app is available on iOS and Android phones and offers access to a versatile dashboard where you can easily manage your finances.

You can pay bills, check cash back offers, use Apple and Google Pay for fast POS transactions, and easily freeze your card if it goes missing.

Access to Savings: Neo clients can open a savings account and earn high interest on their money. Here is a list of some of the best savings accounts in Canada.

Get the Neo Card.

Neo Credit Card Downsides

Depending on the cash back offers available at any point in time, your purchase preferences, and your location, your cash back earnings may fluctuate when you pay using the card.

Neo Rewards Program

Neo Financial has a three-tier rewards program that works as follows:

Neo Essential: This rewards program is free and you earn an average of 4% in cash back when you make purchases at participating stores. The minimum cash back across all spend is 1%.

Neo Plus: You earn an average of 5% cash back at partner stores and a 1% minimum cash back across all your spending. The 1% minimum cash back offer at non-partners is subject to maximum spending of $5,000 per month.

Neo Plus costs $2.99 per month.

Neo Ultra: This rewards tier offers an average of 6% cash back at participating stores. In addition, you earn a 1% minimum cash back when you make purchases elsewhere (subject to a maximum of $5,000 per month).

Neo Ultra costs $8.99 per month.

How To Apply for the Neo Credit Card

To start, download the app and start the online application to see whether you pre-qualify.

The Neo Card is available across Canada and you can apply if you are the age of the majority in your province and have a government-issued ID.

There are no specific credit score or income requirements to qualify.

Best No Fee Cash Back Credit Cards

If you are looking for the best no-fee cash back credit cards in Canada, here are some others to consider in addition to the Neo Card:

1. Tangerine Money Back Credit Card

This card offers a 2% unlimited cash back on your purchases in up to 3 categories of spending including gas, groceries, recurring bill payments, restaurants, transportation, and more. It also offers an introductory 15% cash back bonus worth up to $150.

For all other purchases, you earn 0.50%.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has no monthly or annual fee.

Learn more in this card review.

2. SimplyCash Card from American Express

The SimplyCash Card from American Express is great for earning flat-rate cash back rewards.

You earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases. It also offers an introductory 4% cash back on purchases in your first 6 months of getting the card (up to $200 cash back).

The SimplyCash Card from AMEX has no annual fees.

You can learn more about what it offers in this review.

Is the Neo Card Safe and Legit?

Neo Financial is backed by ATB Financial, a financial institution in Alberta with assets of over $55.1 billion.

It keeps your savings at Concentra Bank which is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). CDIC membership means that your deposits are eligible for deposit insurance up to $100,000.

Neo Cash back Rewards Mastercard users enjoy the standard zero liability protection.

Is the Neo Financial Credit Card for You?

The Neo Card’s 4% cash back rate for its standard rewards tier is great if the offers available are goods and services you normally buy or pay for. This plan is also free.

If the featured offers end up being mostly services you don’t need, the “Essential” Rewards plan could easily go from 4% cash back to 1% which is not bad for a no-fee card.

The “Plus” and “Ultra” rewards tiers offer higher cash back rates, however, this comes at a small monthly fee.

Whether this card is worth your while will depend on the offers available. As with many of the other startup cash back programs we have seen in recent times, the offerings generally get better over time.

Apply for the Neo Card.

Neo Financial Credit Card Review
4.5

Summary

The Neo Financial Credit Card offers cash back rewards on eligible purchases. This Neo Card review covers what you need to know.

Best Credit Offers this month

One of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada.

Get 2% unlimited cash back on up to 3 purchase categories.

Get 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

Get 15% bonus cash back in first 2 months ($150 value).

1.95% balance transfer offer for 6 months.

Free prepaid reloadable Visa card.

Access to a portion of your paycheque 3 days early.

Free budgeting app with automatic savings features.

Credit building is available with a subscription.

1.20% savings interest on every dollar balance.*

Get the best rates from multiple lenders.

Borrow up to $50,000 regardless of your credit score.

Pre-approvals are available in as fast as 5 minutes.

Low-interest rates start at 1.99% and terms from 4-60 months.

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

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 has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Credit Canada, MSN Money, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

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.

23 thoughts on “Neo Financial Credit Card Review 2021”

  1. Neo has already drastically slashed cash back %, and even advertises on their own website, that the average cash back is now only 2%.
    This alone makes the card a fail already, not to mention their atrocious customer service skills.
    Don’t let the fact that a desperate retail outlet took them on as their new credit card partner, HBC has no others options, that’s the only reason they’re with Neo.
    Perhaps these two outfits will go out of business together.

  2. how are you suppose to apply if you dont have a phone or computer to take a picture what else can I do to apply for a creit card if you could help me that would be great

  3. Neo Financial has a bad customer service. Contacting them via phone is not easy and even email, Neo financial is not responding to call and email. In crisis you cannot rely on them. I am consecutively calling them for 5 days and emailed them, but still no answer. Poor service

    • Left an email requiring customer service yesterday, no response.
      I’ve been on hold 35min 44 sec.
      I want to support the HBC, but their financial partnership with Neo is likely to have me cancel their MC.

  4. I was forced to switch since Hudson’s bay discontinued their previous credit card company.
    I made a purchase and returned the item. However, my account has a credit balance instead of a ZERO balance. I received a statement saying i need to pay $28. I emailed and asked for clarification and as previously reviewed by someone, 2 weeks to get a response and NOT the appropriate response either. I regret switching. I plan on cancelling this card. Customer service sucks!

  5. I have been trying for weeks to get hold of Neo Financial via phone & sending an email which took them 4 days to reply. I tried adding them to my list of vendors on my online banking, but was told by my bank that when they reached out to Neo to add them to the list of vendors Neo declined to be added to the list. When I did get the email 4 Neo suggests to pay through Telpay. I got hold of my financial institution once again, and they reached out to Neo again they were told from Neo did not want to be payed through Telpay. So here I am wanting to pay my balance off and I get the dam run about. I am very frustrated and angry! Once I find a way to pay off this card I will be cutting it up.

  6. I also have frustrating experience with Neo. Customer support is horrible- phone like constantly busy with a message asking to call back later! Is that how banks suppose to be?! Emails are not answered. I cannot get a refund for two months now even it’s been issued by vendor. As soon as I get Neo balance zeroed I will close that account. I do not recommend Neo banking

  7. I got in early with the HBC replacement card and have been extremely happy with my Neo Financial FREE cash back card. Customer service was fantastic the 4 or 5 times I called them when I first signed up and then received my card. I’m sure the current situation is due to the extreme volumes created by the HBC Capital One conversion.

    For all the people complaining about getting a hold of the customer support line, can you tell me which institutions you have been receiving good, timely telephone support from? Certainly not Capital One, based on my experiences. They have been brutal when I had fraudulent use of my card, had to cancel it and then receive a refund on the cancelled card. I, like thousands of others, was affected by the data breach they experienced. They also cut the rewards I was receiving fairly recently and my understanding is they are leaving / cutting back in Canada, which is why HBC switched to Neo. Unfortunately I am tied into Capital One and paying the annual fee as I have not been able use my travel points during Covid. So is Capital One the company you are comparing Neo Financial Customer Support to?

  8. I preciously wrote my review as a review of Neo finance, they responded and tell me i should write it to Neo financial as they are two separate companies.
    I received my Neo card as replacement for my Bay card in May of 2021.
    I used the card for an $87 purchase at the Bay on May 22. When i get home i see a notice from Neo telling me that i owed them $222. There were charges from dash door and uber. The charges were beginning on May 21.
    While my daughter in law and i were looking at these there were two charges, made 7 minutes apart still pending. As we couldn’t contact anyone the charges were accepted.
    I pressed the freeze icon and froze my account.
    I wrote to Neo as phone contact is often impossible.
    Agent Mugenyi called to say he would refer the case to fraud section.
    I sliced my card at this time.
    Agent Oluwafni called and told me he was freezing the account.
    As each notification thereafter appeared i sent the reply to Neo stating i had not attempted a purchase, i added that the card was to remain frozen.
    This agent then began telling me that i was using the physical card to attempt these transactions.
    He added that the food deliveries were made from my ipad and delivered to my home.
    He then told me i was attempting to take the money from an ATM machine. When i mentioned the amounts were not multiples of 20’s he replied that i did it.
    I have witnesses who were with me while the last two food orders were pending, nothing was ordered not delivered to me at any time.
    My last call with this agent was to tell me that another transaction went through. I said card was frozen, he said i reactivated it.
    Since he froze the account i could see …card is temporarily frozen if i pressed my neo app, still showing this after the supposed reactivation.
    I wrote to neo complaints and got a note from Mr.James Nauss (June 6) that someone would call me the next day. No one called .
    I called the phone line and spoke to Justin in Alberta for about 30 mins. He also stated that his colleagues Helena or Mark would call me, again no contact.
    Since I stated to agent Oluwafni that I had difficulty understanding him due to his heavy accent and my hearing deficit he said someone else would call me. No one did.
    I am getting no support from Neo, only reminder to pay my bill. I had told all human agents that i would pay the bill i owed but not the fraudulent charges.
    I have notified the Bay.
    What is Neo doing? No support for me, and a bully of an agent. Stay far from Neo.

    UPDATE
    Approx 1700 hrs.
    I received a call from Adam at Neo and went through the episode again, Within one hour he sent me a message saying that they have decided it was “ friendly fraud” and therefore i am liable.
    Please think twice before using this credit card.

    • In my case, my wallet was stolen, and some purchases were made with the NeoFinacial card. They do not reverse the fraudulent charges, because the card was used with the PIN apparently (no way I could verify); according to them, if the fraudsters had the PIN, I must have given it to them, so I actually authorized the transactions.
      With this broad interpretation of liability, they will never reverse fraudulent charges.
      The agents were rude, too.

  9. Neo financial has zero customer service, please do not get this credit card. If you lose the card, these guys will never receive phone. When I applied it was told to me that I will get $25 reward, but I did not get it. I have applied but will never use them. Hard to contact in phone and no response in email.

  10. May I know the Address where I can pay my bills. I need to send a check to pay my bill for Hudson Bay thank you

  11. @Luzviminda: Here’s what I found on the Hudson’s Bay site regarding paying your credit card bills:

    “Hudson’s Bay will no longer accept in-store payments for the Hudson’s Bay credit card or Hudson’s Bay Mastercard issued by Capital One as of May 3. You can pay your remaining balance through your financial institution under the payee names of Hudson’s Bay Mastercard or Hudson’s Bay Credit Card (for PLCC). Please contact your financial institution for more information or assistance.”

    If you want to pay your Neo Financial Card bill, add Neo Financial as a “payee” on your existing financial institution’s app or website.

  12. Like virtually everyone else here, I can attest to the brutal customer service. I applied for a Hudson Bay Neo Mastercard, but was issued a regular card. No problem right? Mistakes happen. So I called and Neo reissued a new card. But then I find out they canceled my existing card without notice, and it will take 20 days for my new card to arrive. After a number of emails – telephone support is a sham for this company, you will not get through – they offer to express post it to me within 3 days…for $29! After more calls and emails they waive the fee. However, the card does not come on the promised day, and they have no way of tracking it. I asked if they used used express post and was told they did. Just got my new card and it was sent via regular mail. So basically the customer service people lie to their customers. Nice. And what credit card company takes up to 20 days to get you a replacement card?! If it wasn’t for the HB points I’d cut it up. After reading about these other problems, I still might. Apparently this is run by the same people who founded Skip the Dishes…honestly everyone, skip Neo and go with a real credit card company.

  13. Neo was started by the people behind Skip the Dishes – so it’s no surprise that they market themselves as “supporting local”, but in fact are taking a cut from small local businesses on transactions that likely would have happened with or without Neo/Skip. The cashback offers you get from Neo come directly out of the small businesses’ pocket every month, and can add up fast. The idea is that Neo is bringing in new customers, but their merchant dashboard is vague enough that you can’t actually find much data on who is coming in, and whether they were really new customers or not. If you take out a regular credit card from a regular bank, (depending on the card) you get points on all of your transactions, and it’s the bank paying for those rewards and cashback – NOT the small business. Neo got loads of funding because they figured out a way to attract millennials with a cute app and easy rewards, but with a model where they aren’t the ones paying for the rewards – the small businesses are. Genius.

    TDLR: If you don’t like using Skip the Dishes/Door Dash/Uber Eats because they take a cut from small local restaurants, then don’t use Neo – they are doing the same thing with cash rewards.

  14. Neo Financial is all about money and does not care about any customer. Being a former Bay Cardholder I forgot to update the new card and my first full payment went to the old Bay card and did not realize it until Neo Financial contacted me. I immediately make another payment and the first payment is still under processing as I write this review. Neo financial now charged me an interest of $6.73 I called to have this interest reversed since it was a mistake of not changing the old Bay card. I requested to speak to a supervisor and the customer agent said the supervisor is not around and would give me a call. I waited and no call. I called back 4 days later the second agent said since I made payment to another institution the interest cannot be reversed I asked to speak to the supervisor again the agent refused then I request my card be cancelled that’s when he agreed to bring the supervisor. I asked the agent to cancel the card because I will not deal with any company that does not value its customers. I am afraid The Bay has made a mistake in choosing a company like Neo financial who is all about money. Customer relations goes a long way.

  15. Honestly never had a problem with this credit card. Lots of angry folks on here with some bad experiences. I have not had to call customer service because everything just works.

    I’m pretty sure the fees come from the normal standard processing fee of all credit card transactions. The little guy local business sees no difference.

  16. The NeoFinancial card replaced the HB card I had automatically. I thought it would work the same way.
    No. The points system is different, and after 3 month the cashback is non-existent. The Bay used to give discounts for HB card users, this is gone.
    They will never reverse unauthorized charges. Their philosophy is that the cardholder is responsible to keep the card and the PIN safe; in case of fraud, they will hold you liable.
    I recently had my wallet stolen, some fraudulent transaction on credit cards; NeoFinacial was the only ”bank” that did not reverse the charges.
    My advice: stay away. there is no reason to use NeoFinacial card, your bank’s card is much safer and more reliable.

    • I agreed with your comments of the NEO card, that is not recommended which they take away the discount for HB card users, and the late interest charge is not included in the policies for one-time waiver, as I experienced at other credit card companies service had easily and friendly be waived.

  17. I am thinking to close Neo account because they lie about credit limit increase have been 6 month nothing yet!

  18. Stay away NEO Financial card, NOT recommended. Poor service.

  19. I have never had a credit card company asking me for my SIN # and a copy of my driver’s licence. I will be cancelling my card. Who in their right mind would gladly pass on this private information?

    • @Jeanette: If the credit card company is unable to pull your credit file, they may request your SIN and other ID info required to do so.

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