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The best rewards cards for
  • all reward types
  • cash back
  • store credit
  • travel
with
  • any annual fee
  • no annual fee
CardBest used forAnnual feeRewards
Food & transit

$120

  • 5 pts/$1 for gas, groceries, restaurants
  • 1 pts/$1 for other

Purchase interest: 20.99%  |  Cash advance: 23.99%  |  Balance transfer: 23.99%

Groceries & dining

$155

  • 5 pts/$1 for groceries, restaurants
  • 2 pts/$1 for gas, travel
  • 1 pts/$1 for other

Purchase interest: 20.99%  |  Cash advance: 21.99%  |  Balance transfer: N/A

Everyday spending

$0

  • 1% all everyday purchases
  • 3% eligible airlines
  • 4% select retailers*

Purchase interest: 19.99%  |  Cash advance: 21.50%  |  Balance transfer: 19.99%

Canadian Tire

$0

  • 4% Canadian Tire Spending
  • 1.5% groceries
  • 0.5% everything else

Purchase interest: 19.99%  |  Cash advance: 22.99%  |  Balance transfer: 22.99%

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The best rewards cards in Canada

Best overall rewards card


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If you’re looking for a well-rounded, lucrative rewards card that’s just as great for everyday spending as it is for travel, the American Express Cobalt has got you covered.

Offering an industry-leading five times the points (valued at $0.01 per dollar) on eligible restaurants and food delivery purchases, three times the points on eligible streaming services, and twice the points on travel and daily transit, the Cobalt easily takes our prize for best overall rewards card on point value alone. Aside from that, the card’s welcome bonus gives new users the ability to earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which they spend $500 on the card. Altogether, that could add up to a possible total of 30,000 extra points in their first year.

Point redemption is easy and flexible, as users can redeem their Membership Rewards points for gift cards, merchandise, Amazon.ca purchases, or travel. Frequent flyers can also transfer their points 1:1 to several loyalty programs. The card also comes with an extensive, far-reaching travel insurance package covering out-of-province emergency medical, flight delay, baggage delay, and much more.

The card’s monthly fee of $12.99 may be off-putting to those who prefer a no-fee rewards card, but the Cobalt’s strong earning power will be worth the extra charge for the right cardholder.

Pros

Earning potential for restaurants and takeout is significantly higher than most other cards

The only card in Canada with a 5x point multiplier

Great welcome bonus (up to 30,000 points in the first year)

Flexible point redemption

Impressively extensive travel insurance package

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Cons

Monthly fee of $12.99 (coming to an annual fee of $155.88, which is higher than most other rewards cards) 

American Express isn’t as widely accepted in Canada compared to Visa and Mastercard

Best rewards card for gas


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Gas purchases are one of the most common spending categories among credit card users, and for those seeking out a card that offers the best earn rates at the pumps, the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite comes out on top.

Offering 4% cash back on all grocery and gas purchases (plus 2% on transportation, dining, and recurring bills), it’s the perfect choice for users who want a high-earning rewards card that will earn them high points every time they fill up the tank.

The card’s flexible redemption model allows users to redeem their cash back at any time in increments of $25 or more, and it also comes with some insurance coverage (mobile device, out-of-province emergency medical, common carrier accident, and car rental collision/loss damage). Those looking to make larger-scale purchases with the card can also do so through CIBC’s Pace It program, which allows customers to pay in smaller monthly installments.

The only drawbacks are the card’s slightly prohibitive $120 annual fee (rebated for the first year) and $60,000 personal income requirement, but active users who will get the most out of the Dividend Visa’s cash back earnings will make it worth their while.

Pros

Significantly higher earn rates on groceries and gas than most other cards (4% cash back)

Flexible cash back redemption options

Access to CIBC’s Pace It program, allowing you to pay off large purchases in monthly increments

Cons

Competitive annual fee of $120 (rebated for the first year)

$60,000 annual income requirement may be prohibitive to some users

Insurance coverage isn’t as comprehensive as other similar rewards cards (if insurance is a priority for you, consider the cards featured on our list of Best credit cards for travel insurance)

Best rewards card for groceries


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With food prices currently going through the roof, you may be searching for a rewards card that will earn big at the checkout line. If that’s the case, look no further than the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite.

Boasting a hefty 4% cash back on groceries, recurring payments and subscription services, this card goes a long way towards helping you save on food costs over time. Plus, you’ll also get 2% cash back on gas and daily transit and 1% on everything else, making it the perfect choice for users looking for a high-performing card to help them save on everyday bills and purchases. 

There’s also the card’s excellent welcome bonus of a staggering 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months (up to $2000), which could be used to great advantage if you plan to buy a couple of big-ticket items during the promotional period. Plus, you’ll also get your first year’s annual fee waived (a value of $120). 

For a card geared towards everyday purchasing, it also comes with a few surprising travel benefits, such as Visa Infinite Concierge Service, access to the best available hotel rates and room upgrades with the Visa Infinite Hotel Collection, and up to a 25% discount on rental cars at participating Avis and Budget locations. It also comes with mobile device insurance as well as an impressively thorough travel insurance package for a non-travel card (emergency medical, flight delay, lost/stolen baggage, plus more).

While the card does come with a couple of barriers - it’s $120 annual fee and $60,000 personal income requirement, to be specific - those who can manage it will find a high-performing, everyday cash back card with a few pleasant surprises to offer while abroad.

Pros

Competitive cash back rate of 4% on groceries, recurring bills and subscriptions, plus 2% cash back on gas and transit purchases

Very attractive welcome bonus of 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months, plus first year fee waived

More travel perks than would be expected for a non-travel card including hotel room upgrades and discounts on car rentals

Mobile device insurance plus a surprisingly comprehensive travel insurance package

Cons

$120 annual fee may be prohibitive to some, especially if not using the card for travel

$60,000 personal income requirement could pose a barrier to approval

Best flat-rate rewards card


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For users who don’t fuss with categories and simply want a respectable flat rate of cash back across all purchases, the Brim World Elite Mastercard has got you covered.

Offering a flat-rate of 2% cash back across the board for the first $25,000 you spend on the card per year, the simplicity of this card is its strong suit. It also offers a generous welcome bonus of up to $500 in rewards after your initial purchases with any of Brim’s hundreds of retail partners. There’s also currently no annual fee or foreign transaction fees for this card, making it the best deal of any flat-rate cash back card on the market.

Another excellent feature of the Brim World Elite Mastercard is its insurance coverage. While you’ll get a respectable travel insurance package (including out-of-province medical, flight delay, baggage delay, and more), it also offers mobile device and event ticket insurance - two areas of coverage which are a bit more rare to find. And for those who plan on making it a family card and adding additional users, Brim gives you the ability to monitor spending, adjust credit limits, and freeze the card at the touch of a button using their app - a big win for parents trying to educate their children on responsible credit usage. 

Plus, aside from the 2% flat rate, using your Brim card at any of their partnered retailers can net you even bigger cash back rewards.

The only caveat here is the card’s personal income requirement of $80,000, which could pose a barrier to approval for many. For those looking for a version of this card with a lower income requirement, Brim’s World Mastercard and basic Mastercard offer many of the same benefits with a less-prohibitive hurdle.

Pros

2% cash back rate across the board is one of the highest in the market today

Substantial welcome bonus of up to $500 in rewards

No annual fee - a surprising rarity for a card with so many benefits

No FX fees - making it easier and cheaper to use the card abroad or online 

Extensive travel insurance coverage

Mobile device and event ticket insurance - hard to find in most cards

Easy-to-use tracking and adjusting for additional card users

Even higher cash back when using the card at Brim retail partners

Cons

Personal income requirement of $80,000 can pose a barrier to entry for some

Best no-fee rewards card


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Those looking for a flexible rewards card with no annual fee can’t do much better than the Tangerine Money Back Card

Users of this card can choose up to three spending categories where they will receive unlimited 2% cash back, complimenting your buying habits and making it easy to collect more rewards on recurring, everyday purchases. Their category choices are quite comprehensive as well, meaning you’ll be hard-pressed not to find three that will match your spending. And like we previously mentioned, the card has no annual fee to eat into your cash back earnings. As a somewhat hidden benefit, this also makes the Tangerine Money Back Card a perfect second credit card to compliment another rewards card in your roster. Because you can choose which categories to spend in, you may want to strategically select areas that your primary card doesn’t cover, thus maximizing your earning potential. It should be mentioned, however, that in order to access a third category, you must deposit your cash back earnings into a Tangerine savings account.

Plus, with the card’s current welcome bonus, new users can earn 10% cash back for the first two months of card ownership (up to $1000). 

With no annual fee, the Tangerine Money Back doesn’t come with as many bells and whistles as some other rewards cards, but those looking for a solidly-performing card that will work with any lifestyle won’t be disappointed.

Pros

No annual fee

Flexible: 2% cash back on up to three categories of your choice paid out monthly rather than annually

Welcome bonus: 10% cash back for first two months (up to $1000)

Cons

Not as many perks as other rewards cards

Other cards offer higher standard cash back rates

Best rewards card for perks


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One of the best parts about owning a high-tier rewards credit card is all the fun perks that come along with it, and if you’re a frequent credit user willing to splurge on a card with a high annual fee, the Platinum Card from American Express is right up your alley.

We’ll start with their welcome bonus, which offers new users the opportunity to earn 60,000 bonus points (valued at $0.01 per dollar) after spending $6,000 on the card in the first three months. Plus, you’ll make another 20,000 points if you use the card for a purchase between 14 and 17 months of ownership. Altogether, that’s a total possible bonus of 80,000 points (an $800 statement credit). 

Specifically, the perks on this card are perfect for frequent travelers, as evidenced by the annual $200 travel credit and $100 NEXUS credit you’ll receive. Frequent flyers out of Toronto Pearson airport will appreciate benefits such as access to Pearson Priority Security Lane during peak hours, complimentary valet service and a 15% discount on parking. And for hotel stays, you’ll get the full star treatment with a 4pm late checkout and complimentary breakfast for two thanks to AMEX’s Fine Hotels + Resorts program. In addition, you’ll get bumped up to gold status at Marriott Bonvoy, Radisson and Hilton hotel chains, giving you all the extra benefits that come with it. 

Users will earn three times the points per dollar on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada, twice the points per dollar on travel, and one point per dollar on everything else. While that’s not the highest point value of any card on this list, the staggering amount of travel perks this card offers will be a fair trade for the right user.

While the Platinum Card comes with an incredibly high annual fee of $699, it surprisingly has no annual income requirement. So if this card’s staggering amount of perks are worth the cost, apply away - just make sure your credit score is in top shape.

Pros

While the Platinum Card comes with an incredibly high annual fee of $699, it surprisingly has no annual income requirement. So if this card’s staggering amount of perks are worth the cost, apply away - just make sure your credit score is in top shape.

Very lucrative welcome bonus that can earn you a possible 80,000 points (an $800 value)

3x points on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada (which will come in handy when traveling domestically)

2x points on travel purchases

No minimum income requirement - a rarity for a card of this calibre.

Cons

By far the highest annual fee of any card on this list ($699)

Best rewards card with no foreign transaction fees


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Foreign transaction fees can add up while shopping online or abroad, so choosing a card that waives these charges is always a smart move. Enter the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, which offers no foreign transaction fees (a savings of 2.5% in all foreign currency) and two Scene+ points for every dollar spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel, shopping, dining, and more.

The card also has an attractive welcome bonus of 25,000 Scene+ points (valued at $0.01 per dollar) when you make at least $1000 of eligible purchases in the first three months (must apply by July 4, 2022). Combining that offer with their regular bonus of 10,000 points annually for spending at least $40,000, and you could have a combined total of 35,000 points in your first year. 

For those using the card for travel, it comes with a complimentary Priority Pass membership including six free visits per year to all participating lounges worldwide. You’ll also get a complimentary Avis Preferred Plus membership for car rentals and have the ability to use your Scene+ points to book travel through any online portal or agency you’d like. There’s also a comprehensive insurance package for travelers, including coverage for emergency medical, trip cancellation/interruption, and flight delay, among others.

Pros

One of the few Canadian credit cards to offer no foreign transaction fees

Two Scene+ points for every dollar spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases

Flexible point redemption

Priority Pass membership with six free visits per year to all participating lounges worldwide

Complimentary Avis Preferred Plus membership

Get up to 35,000 points in first year as a new cardholder

Cons

Annual fee of $139 is higher than the average for cards of this calibre

Much lower return than other cards with comparable annual fees

Medium-level personal income of $60,000 may be prohibitive for some

Best rewards card for travel


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The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite should be your first stop if you’re in search of an all-around high-performing travel rewards card. 

Offering an impressive nine points per dollar (valued at $0.005 per dollar) on all travel purchases made through their ExpediaforTD web portal (plus three points per dollar on all other card purchases), the First Class Travel Visa Infinite can save you big on flights and hotels. 

There’s also their welcome bonus of an automatic 20,000 points when you make your first purchase with the card, as well as another 80,000 points when you $1,500 within the first 90 days of your account opening. Altogether, that’s a possible 100,000 points you could earn as a new cardholder (a cash value of $500 when you book through ExpediaforTD). Plus, providing your account remains in good standing, there’s no travel blackouts, seat restrictions, or expiry date for your points. And if you’re in the market for a new set of luggage or neck pillow, you can also use your TD points towards purchases on Amazon.ca.

Other perks for travelers include a thorough travel insurance package covering medical insurance, trip cancellation/interruption, delayed/lost baggage, and more.

Pros

Nine points per dollar when booking travel through ExpediaforTD.com

Three points per dollar on all other purchases

Welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points in first 90 days ($500 value) is much higher than most competitors

Comprehensive travel insurance package featuring travel medical insurance up to $1,000,000 for the first 21 days

Flexible point redemption

Cons

$120 annual fee (rebated for the first year)

Medium-level $60,000 personal income requirement may be prohibitive to some users

Best rewards card for Aeroplan


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If you’re looking for the perfect rewards credit card to compliment your Aeroplan membership, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite should be on your radar.

While it offers 1.5 points (valued at $0.02 per dollar) for every dollar spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada purchases, the real draw for Aeroplan members is the ability to earn points twice when you pay with the card and also provide your Aeroplan number at participating retailers. Not only that, but the card’s stunning welcome offer can net you up to 50,000 Aeroplan points in the first year alone (Conditions apply. Must apply online by September 5, 2022), making the Aeroplan Visa Infinite very appealing for frequent flyers.

Travelers will also receive additional benefits, such as a complimentary first checked bag on Air Canada flights, comprehensive insurance coverage, and a NEXUS fee rebate every 48 months.

Pros

Welcome bonus: earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points in the first year

Earn double the points when using the card alongside your Aeroplan number at participating retailers

Earn a competitively high 1.5 Aeroplan points for every dollar spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada purchases

Earn a competitively high 1.5 Aeroplan points for every dollar spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada purchases

Cons

$139 annual fee (rebated for first year)

$60,000 minimum income requirement

No complimentary airport lounge access (a rarity for travel cards of this type)

Less flexible than other travel rewards programs as Aeroplan points can’t be redeemed outside of Star Alliance

Best rewards card for Air Miles


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For those who collect Air Miles, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard offers a generous welcome bonus of 2,000 Miles (valued at $0.121 per dollar), plus a waived $120 annual fee for the first year.

Beyond that, this card will also earn you a solidly competitive three Air Miles for every $12 you spend at participating retailers (arguably the best bang for your buck among Air Miles cards on the market), one Mile for every $12 spent anywhere else, and a 15% discount on all Air Miles flights in North America with no blackout dates. Traveling cardholders can also enjoy added perks such as insurance coverage, a complimentary lounge pass with Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, and free access to over a million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. Plus, you’ll also get to enjoy the extra perks available to all World Elite Mastercard members. While the card does come with an annual fee of $120, those extra benefits definitely make it worth the price.

While the card’s income requirement of $80,000 (or $150,000 per household) may be prohibitive to some, there isn’t much question that this card is the best choice for Air Miles loyalty members.

Pros

Welcome bonus of 2,000 Air Miles and waived annual fee for the first year

3 Air Miles per $12 spent at participating retailers

15% discount on all North American Air Miles flights

As Air Miles is one of the larger loyalty programs on the market, redemption options are wide and varied (flights, car rentals, hotels, cash, merchandise, etc.)

Excellent insurance package including trip cancellation/interruption, emergency medical, and more.

Other travel perks including lounge access, free WiFi, insurance

Cons

Annual fee of $120 (waived for first year)

High $80,000 personal income requirement may present a barrier for many

Despite having the best earn rate for Air Miles of any card on the market, the card’s standard rewards value is generally lower than others

Best low-interest rewards card


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While low interest credit cards don’t typically offer much in the way of rewards (the low interest is, in itself, considered a reward), there are cards out there that give users the best of both worlds. One great example is the HSBC+ Rewards Mastercard, which is our pick for best low interest rewards card.

Offering a much-lower-than-average interest rate of 11.9% across purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers, the card also comes with a fantastic welcome offer of up to 35,000 bonus points in the first year of ownership (a $175 value) plus its modest $25 annual fee rebated for the first year (conditions apply. Offer ends October 31, 2022). Even after the promotional period ends, users will still be able to earn two points per dollar on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and one point per dollar on everything else. Reward redemption is also quite flexible on this card, as you can redeem your points for travel, balance statements, or gift cards and merchandise. 

One caveat: the card does come with an optional travel insurance package for an extra $69, but it’s quite lean compared to some others. If having extensive coverage is a priority, there are plenty of rewards cards which offer better packages at no extra cost. 
While some cards offer lower interest rates or better rewards, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a card that balances both features better than this one. That being said, unless you’re planning on carrying a balance from month to month, there are other cash back cards on the market that offer better rewards.

Pros

Ultra-low interest rate of 11.9% across the board - most cards offer 19.99% or higher

Welcome bonus of up to 35,000 points 

Affordable annual fee of $25 (rebated for first year)

Earn two points per dollar on eligible dining and entertainment purchases

Flexible point redemption

Offers price protection, purchase assurance and extended warranty insurance

Cons

Other cards offer lower interest rates

Other cards can offer better rewards if you don’t carry a balance

Optional travel insurance is an extra $69, but isn’t as extensive as some others

Best retail rewards card


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If you’re a loyal shopper with a particular retailer, it’s usually wise to take advantage of their store rewards card if offered (especially if it comes with no annual fee). Using a retail rewards card is a great way to save big on regular, everyday purchases, and the best example of this is the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. 

Using this card, shoppers can earn 30 points per dollar (10,000 points = $10) at all Loblaws banner grocery stores (Loblaws, No Frills, Valu-Mart, and more), 45 points per dollar at all Shoppers Drug Mart locations, 30 points per litre at all Esso Mobil stations, 30 points per dollar at PC Travel, and a respectable 10 points per dollar everywhere else. If you’re a frequent shopper at any of these retailers, you could easily rack up big savings with no annual fee taking away from your rewards. 

Point redemption is easy and straightforward - as soon as you have 10,000 points, you can redeem them for $10 off at any Loblaws-owned retailers mentioned above or redeem 4,000 points to get 10 cents off per litre at Esso Mobil - but is slightly restrictive, as points can only be redeemed in increments of 10,000.

Other benefits include travel emergency medical and car rental loss/collision/damage waiver insurance, keeping you covered while abroad.

While the card’s $80,000 personal income requirement may be prohibitive to some, the PC Financial World Mastercard and PC Financial Mastercard are also available with a lower barrier for approval.

Pros

High earn rate potential at all Loblaws-owned grocery stores and PC Travel, Shoppers Drug Mart locations and Esson Mobil stations

Access to Mastercard World Elite benefits (Boingo WiFi, Dragonpass airport lounge access, plus more)

No annual fee

Extra travel insurance perks

Easy-to-understand point redemption

Cons

Can only redeem points in increments of 10,000

High $80,000 personal income requirement which could be prohibitive to many

Points cannot be transferred to other loyalty programs 

Very strict redemption rules - points cannot be used to pay for purchases at non-Loblaws retailers or redeemed against a statement balance. Plenty of other rewards cards on the market offering more flexibility

Cards summary (+/-)

What is a rewards credit card?

Rewards credit cards offer “rewards” in the form of cash back, points or miles for every dollar you spend. You can then redeem these rewards against your statement balance or for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more (depending on the issuer). 

The ideal user for a rewards card is someone who pays off their statement in full every month. This is because credit card debt generates interest which will begin to eat into and negate any possible savings gained from the collection of rewards.

 

Types of credit card rewards

 

Cash back rewards

Cash back rewards are just what they sound like - a percentage of cash back you’ll get from each purchase made on your card that you can use to pay off your statement balance or save on upcoming purchases. Most cash back rewards cards will offer higher percentages on select spending categories such as groceries, restaurants or travel, allowing you to earn more if you have a card with accelerated categories that match your buying habits. The main benefit to cash back is how straightforward it is - unlike points, your cash back balance is stated plainly in dollars and cents.

 

Points-based rewards

Points-based rewards work similar to cash back, but require a bit more calculation in order to find their true value (see our FAQ section for more details on this). Like cash back, points-based rewards cards allow you to earn points on each dollar you spend and you’ll typically be able to earn more for certain kinds of purchases. Once you’ve collected enough points to redeem, you can usually do so through the provider’s online portal or app. Depending on the issuer, your redemption options can vary from merchandise and gift cards to travel and statement balances.

 

Miles

Miles are rewards you can earn with co-branded rewards cards such as the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite or BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard. With every dollar you spend on cards like these, you’ll collect “miles” which you can redeem for discounts on air travel (or a free flight, depending on how many miles you have). An important note: the amount of miles you collect doesn’t represent how far you can travel for free - instead, it simply signifies how many points you’ve earned. The average value of a mile is around $0.01, but different cards may have higher or lower values depending on their point system.

 

How to maximize your credit card rewards

 

Pay your bills in full and on time

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: all the rewards you’ve collected won’t mean much if they’re being overshadowed by a mountain of interest-bloated debt, so the best thing you can do to maximize your earning potential is to pay your statements on time and in full. This way, you can take full advantage of your savings and really get the best out of your card.

 

Take advantage of welcome offers

Most rewards cards come with very attractive welcome bonuses, allowing you to earn big if you spend a certain amount on the card within a given promotional period (usually the first three months or so). Strategically plan to make larger purchases on your card within this window in order to take advantage of these offers, as they’ll typically allow you to collect a shockingly high amount of points or cash back very quickly.

 

Spend in accelerated categories

A common factor among many rewards cards is their habit of offering “accelerated” spending categories which allow you to earn higher-than-average points or cash back. These can be anything from groceries, gas, travel, recurring bills or more depending on the card. Before you choose a rewards card, think about what you tend to spend the most amount of money on every month, then choose a card with accelerated categories that match your buying habits to maximize rewards.

 

Stack your cards

For those who can handle multiple cards, a common hack for pro users is to carry multiple rewards cards for different purposes. For example, you may keep a travel rewards card specifically for travel purchases while an everyday cash back card with high earning rates on gas and groceries serves as your primary go-to for weekly expenses. This way, you’ll be able to get the highest rewards possible in every category you spend in.

 

"Double-dip" with loyalty cards

If you carry a co-branded rewards credit card in your wallet (such as the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite), you can effectively “double-dip” your cards by using it alongside your loyalty card at participating retailers, getting double the miles you normally would as you get closer and closer to a free flight.

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