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What's the best cash back credit card in Canada?

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Best cash back credit cards in Canada

Compare Canada's best cash back credit cards

The best cash back cards with

any annual fee
CardBest used forAnnual feeRewards
BMO CashBack MasterCard®

Groceries

CA$0

  • 3% groceries
  • 1% bills
  • 0.5% other
Get more details
SimplyCash™ Card from American Express®

Everyday spending

CA$0

  • 2.5% gas, groceries, restaurants, travel, pharmacy, bills, entertainment, other
  • 1.25% other
Get more details
SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express®

Everyday spending

CA$99

  • 2% other
Get more details
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Flexible spending

CA$0

  • 2% other
Get more details

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In-depth: The best cash back credit cards in Canada for 2020

Best cash back credit card with no annual fee

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Everyday rewards: Earn 2% cash back in 2 categories of your choice (or 3 when you also open a free Tangerine Savings Account), and 0.5% on everything else.
  • Income required: $12,000 

Why it made our Best Of list:  Ever since it was launched in 2016, it’s been a no brainer to include the Tangerine Money-Back Card in our annual rankings of the best cash back credit cards in Canada. The card has no annual fee, no limits or caps on the amount of rewards you can earn, and offers 2% in up to three spending categories. All that and we haven’t even touched on the biggest advantage the Tangerine Money-Back has over other credit cards: flexible bonus categories.

While most cash back credit cards lock you into earning higher rewards on the same typical bonus categories (think groceries, gas, and bills), Tangerine actually lets you pick up to three of your own from a broad selection that includes: restaurants, groceries, gas, drugstores, entertainment, home improvement, hotels/motels, recurring bills, public transportation and parking (including taxis and rideshares). Since you’re not stuck with any pre-set bonus categories, you can customize your card to align with your particular spending habits and earn more cash back. You can even change your bonus categories at any time on the Tangerine app (though changes will take about one statement period to process). For all your purchases that don’t fit under one of your bonus categories, you’ll earn 0.5%.

The fact the Tangerine Money-Back has no annual fee and offers the unique ability to pick your own bonus categories also makes it a great option for pairing with another credit card. For instance, while a credit card like the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite excels by offering 3% on groceries it earns just 1% on dining. If you also carried the Tangerine Money-Back Card, you could choose restaurants as one of your bonus categories and double your returns whenever you eat out without owing any additional annual fees.

Like many no fee cards, the Tangerine Money-Back Card offers few frills (outside of the conventional card benefits like purchase protection and complimentary extended warranties). But if you do earn an annual income of at least $60,000, you could automatically be referred to the higher-tier Tangerine World Mastercard and receive additional perks like mobile device insurance and up to $60,000 in rental car collision/loss/damage/waiver insurance.


Best cash back card for household spending

TD CashBack Visa Infinite

  • Annual fee: $120 (waived for the first year)
  • Current welcome offer: Earn 10% cash back for the first three months or on up to $2,000 in purchases - whichever comes first (offer ends September 8, 2020).
  • Everyday rewards: Earn 3% cash back on groceries, gas, and recurring bills. Get 1% on everything else.
  • Income required: $60,000 

Why it made our Best Of list: When describing what makes the TD CashBack Visa Infinite so great, it’s hard to ignore the value of its welcome offer. It'll earn you 10% cash back on all your spending for the first three months (up to $200) and includes a first year annual fee waiver for not only the primary cardholder but for an authorized user as well. If you’re new to TD, that’s up to $350 in added value in just your first year.

Aside from the welcome offer, this card has three regular bonus categories -  gas, groceries, and recurring bills - which each earn 3%. To top it off, the TD CashBack Visa Infinite also offers drivers the added benefit of a complimentary roadside assistance membership that can help you save on everything from road towings and battery replacements to emergency gas deliveries, and more. Plus, you’ll have 24/7 access to an emergency roadside assistance hotline.

This card also comes with built-in travel insurance coverage and access to Visa Infinite benefits (i.e. concierge services) but it doesn't offer mobile device insurance like the Scotia Momentum Infinite.


Best flat-rate cash back credit card

SimplyCash Preferred from American Express 

  • Annual fee: $99
  • Current welcome offer: Earn 5% cash back for the first six months or on up to $6,000 in purchases - whichever comes first.
  • Everyday rewards: Earn 2% cash back on every dollar spent.
  • Income required: None

Why it made our Best Of list: If you’re looking for a no-nonsense rewards credit card and don’t want to think about bonus categories or tiered earn rates, the SimplyCash Preferred from American Express is right up your alley. This card will earn you an unbeatable flat earn rate of 2% cash back on no matter what you buy - whether it’s groceries, flight tickets, electronics, or clothes. The card also comes with a welcome bonus that’ll let you pocket 5% on everything for your first six months (up to $300).

Aside from its impressive rewards and welcome bonus, the card does stand out for a few other reasons. For one, unlike most other premium cards, the SimplyCash Preferred has an annual fee of just $99 versus the standard $120 fee. It’s also free to add authorized users (not an extra $50 every year like with other premium cards) and you won’t need to meet any specific income requirements to get approved. Additionally, it’s got some great benefits including up to $5 million in out of province travel medical insurance for trips up to 15 days, entertainment perks like access to ticket pre-sales through American Express Invites, concierge services, and more. Since this card is issued by American Express, you’ll want to consider carrying a back-up debit or no fee Visa or Mastercard just in case a store or restaurant doesn’t accept Amex.

Summary (+/-)

Author bio

Mikael Castaldo, Senior Manager of Credit Cards

Mikael is a Senior Business Manager at Ratehub.ca and the driving force behind our credit cards team. He knows everything there is to know about the best credit cards, and works closely with Canada’s top financial institutions - from banks to credit unions - to help ensure our over 800,000 monthly users get matched with the right plastic. A numbers guy at heart, having worked as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, he’s found himself right at home as a personal finance expert at Ratehub.ca.

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