Best Cash-Back Credit Cards in Canada for 2018

Jordann Brown
by Jordann Brown August 1, 2018 / 4 Comments

A cash-back credit card is a great way to earn rebates on your everyday purchases. The best cash-back credit cards refund a small percentage of every purchase you make on the card, either as a statement credit or cash in your bank account.

Each card offers different cash back percentages for particular spending categories, so the best card for you depends on your individual spending profile. Luckily, you can compare multiple cards side-by-side with Ratehub.ca’s credit cards rewards calculator.

Ratehub.ca’s best cash-back credit cards in Canada


Cash-back cards with an annual fee

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

  • Annual fee: $99 (waived for first year)
  • Earn 4% cash back on gas and groceries, 2% back on drugstore purchases and recurring bill payments, and 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Receive VISA Infinite benefits

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is the best cash-back credit card for anyone who spends big on gas, groceries, recurring bills, and drugstore purchases — think couples, families, and large households. You’ll earn 4% cash back on gas and groceries, 2% cash back on drugstore purchases and recurring bill payments, and 1% cash back on everything else.

Cash back rewards are refunded annually, and can be applied to your credit card statement or deposited into an eligible Scotiabank chequing account or savings account.

The $99 annual fee is waived for the first year for new applicants who open an account by October 31, 2018.


SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

  • Annual fee: $99
  • Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases for the first six months (up to $300 cash back)
  • Earn 2% cash back on all purchases after that, with no limit on how much you can earn
  • 1.99% interest rate on balance transfers made within the first six months

The SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express currently has the best welcome offer on the market: 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in Canada for the first six months of card membership (up to $300 cash back). After the welcome rate ends, you’ll earn 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limit on how much you can earn at that rate. The card has an annual fee of $99.

With no tiered returns based on spending categories, the SimplyCash Preferred straightforward card with a competitive overall return. If you’re looking to pay down existing debt, it also offers a low 1.99% introductory interest rate on all credit card balances transferred to the card within the first six months, with no balance transfer fee charged on the transaction. Even though it’s not a travel credit card, it comes with comprehensive insurance coverage including travel emergency medical and accident, flight delay, baggage loss, car rental collision/loss damage waiver.


No fee cash-back cards

SimplyCash Card from American Express

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2.5% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants for the first 3 months (up to $150 cash back)
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all other purchases once welcome rate ends

The SimplyCash Card from American Express is a no-fee cash back credit card that lets users earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases with no limit. On top of this regular cash back rate, new users will also earn 2.5% on gas, groceries, and restaurants for the first three months of card ownership (up to a maximum of $150).

This credit card has an interest rate of 19.99% on regular purchases and 22.99% on balance transfers and cash advances. For new cardholders who are carrying a balance on another credit card, the SimplyCash Card from American Express offers a special introductory rate for new users who wish to transfer a balance – 1.99% for the first six months. The balance transfer option is only available when you sign up, and there’s no fee for this special low rate.

While this credit card offers less insurance coverage than comparable cards that charge a fee, you’re still covered for travel accident insurance, car rental collision, loss and damage insurance, and coverage on your purchases including zero liability, extended warranty, and purchase assurance.


Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases in up to three categories of your choice, and 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • No limit on how much cash back you can earn

A relative newcomer to the cash back credit card scene, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has proven to be a popular no-fee cash back credit card, primarily because of its flexibility. With this credit card, you earn 2% cash back on either two or three categories of your choice. The possible categories are grocery, restaurants, gas, the pharmacy, hotels, home improvement, bills, parking and public transportation.

This credit card has no fee, no minimum income requirement, and no fee for additional cardholders, making it accessible to most Canadians. Purchases on this credit card are subject to a 19.95% interest rate, as are cash advances. There is no balance transfer option for this credit card.

The downside of the no-frills style of the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is that there are no insurance benefits associated with this credit card.


BMO CashBack MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 4% cash back on all purchases for the first 4 months (up to $125 cash back)
  • After welcome offer ends, earn 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations

Third on our list of best no-fee cash back credit cards is the BMO CashBack MasterCard. As we mentioned, this credit card has no annual fee, and just a $15,000 per year income requirement to qualify. With this credit card, you’ll earn 1% cash-back on all purchases except during the first four months, when you’ll earn 4% cash back, up to a maximum of $125. This credit card charges the standard interest rate of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances and balance transfer fees.

The BMO CashBack MasterCard offers a variety of perks not available through every credit card, including a 25% discount on car rentals at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations and no fee for additional cardholders. Your purchases are also protected by extended warranty, zero liability and purchase assurance.


ECHO Cashback MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on gas, groceries, and certain online purchases (up to $25,000 annually)
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on everything else
  • Apply for your cash back as soon as you accumulate $25

Offered by National Bank, the ECHO Cashback MasterCard is a no-fee credit card for online shoppers. With this credit card, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on gas, groceries, and most online purchases, and an additional 1% back on all other purchases. There is no limit on how much cash back you earn, and you can apply your cash back as soon as you accumulate $25.

There is no income requirement for the ECHO Cashback Master Card, and you can expect to pay 19.99% on any purchases not paid off before the standard 21-day grace period. With the ECHO Cashback MasterCard, you’ll also enjoy purchase protection for 90 days after the date of purchase and extended warranties up to an additional year — the perfect compliment to your online shopping habit.

Still searching for the right card?

Fill out your spending profile and see which card comes out on top

Flickr: KMR Photography

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  • Beau Mann

    MBNA Rewards World Elite card information is outdated. Card holders are receiving letters this month notifying them that the annual fee is increasing to $120 and that 120 point are required to redeem for 1:00 cash back. It is still 100 point per $1.00 on other rewards. If using only for its cash back benefits it effectively drops the cash back to 1.67%. Also interest rates are going up 1%

    • Ratehub

      Hi Beau,
      While the changes to the annual fee are happening on September 1, and the interest rate for balance transfers is increasing September 8, the changes to the point earning and redemption will not occur until February of 2019.

      We are closely monitoring the situation with MBNA since they announced this information and will be updating our reviews and valuations of the card accordingly as we get more information on how the transition between point valuations will be handled by MBNA.

      • John W

        Looks like you can’t even apply for the MBNA World Elite card anymore anyway, so this is useless information for those shopping for a new card. How come the Rogers World card isn’t on here? I’ts 1.75% on everything, 4% on foreign currency

        • Ratehub

          Hi John,
          The MBNA World Elite card was on this page previously, but we removed it after they stopped taking applications for the card. The Rogers World Elite card is definitely an interesting card and we’re reviewing it as an option to include in future posts.