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 Max 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 Card – At a Glance
- Annual: $0
- Cash back rewards: Average of 4%
- Purchase APR: 19.99% – 24.99%
- Cash Advance APR: 22.99% – 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 4% under the free “Essential” rewards tier. 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 up to 20%.
No Annual Fee: There is no monthly or annual fee for the Neo Cash Back Rewards Mastercard.
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.
Neo Credit Card Downsides
The Neo Card is not available in Quebec.
Depending on the cash back offers available at any point in time, your purchase preferences, and your location, you may or may not be able to earn cash back rewards 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.
Neo Plus: You earn an average 5% cash back at partner stores and 0.50% cash back at non-participating merchants. The 0.50% cash back offer is subject to a maximum spending of $1,250 within each subscription period.
Neo Plus costs $4.99 per month.
Neo Max: This rewards tier offers an average of 6% cash back at participating stores. In addition, you earn 1% cash back when you make purchases elsewhere (subject to a maximum of $1,250 per subscription period).
Neo Max costs $9.99 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.
If Neo is already launched in your area e.g. Winnipeg, Edmonton or Calgary, you can finalize your account opening and wait for your Neo Card – subject to a credit check.
If Neo is not yet launched in your area, you can join their waitlist.
When you refer your friends to join the wait list using your unique Neo referral link, you earn a $5 referral credit when they use the card to make their first purchase.
To be eligible for this card, you must have a valid government-issued ID and be the age of the majority in your province.
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 to consider:
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.
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 enjoys the standard zero liability protection.
Is the Neo Financial Credit Card for You?
While this card is not yet fully launched to the public, it does look promising. The 4% cash back rate is great if the offers are goods and services you normally buy or pay for, and this plan is 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 nothing at all.
The “Plus” and “Max” rewards tiers offer 0.50% – 1% cash back on all other purchases, however, this comes at a price.
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.
Neo Financial Credit Card Review
The Neo Financial Credit Card offers cash back rewards on eligible purchases. This Neo Card review covers what you need to know.