Credit Cards

💵 Best Cash Back Credit Cards In Canada For 2022

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Last updated on January 10, 2022
cash back credit cards canada

Cash back cards are the simplest types of credit card you can get. You make a purchase and get a percentage of that purchase back in the form of cash. You can spend that cash on anything you’d like, such as travel, daily purchases, or just paying back your card bill.

Cash back credit cards don’t offer as many perks, benefits, and insurance as travel and rewards card do. Most of them also don’t have any large welcome bonuses. However, they’re one of the most flexible types of credit cards when it comes to how you spend your rewards.

Every card offers different earn rates in specific categories of spending. The amount of cash back you get can greatly differ depending on your card, so it’s important to choose one that offers the most back for where you make the bulk of your daily purchases. For example, if you mainly spend your card for groceries, you want a card that offers the highest cash back rate for groceries.

We’ve listed the top Canadian cash back credit cards on the market today and listed them according to where you can get the most back depending on where you spend the most.

SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

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on American Express' website

Welcome Offer: 10% cashback in your first 4 months (up to $400).

Earn Rate: Flat rate of 2% back on purchases when your welcome period ends.

Annual Fee: $99

Min. Income Required: $0

SimplyCash™ Card from American Express

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on American Express' website

Welcome Offer: 2.5% cashback in your first 3 months (up to $150 cashback).

Earn Rate: Flat rate of 1.25% back on purchases when your welcome period ends.

Annual Fee: $0

Min. Income Required: $0

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

tangerine credit card

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on Tangerine's website

Welcome Offer: choose up to 3 categories and receive a 4% cash back on those for the first 3 months.

Earn Rate: 2% cash back on your selected categories, and 0.5% on everything else.

Annual Fee: $0

Min. Income Required: Personal $12,000

BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

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on BMO's website

Welcome Offer: 10% cash back in your first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases)

Earn Rate: Earn more cash back on the categories that mean the most: - 5% on groceries* - 4% on transit including ride sharing, taxis and public transportation* - 3% on gas and electric vehicle charging* - 2% on recurring bill payments like your monthly phone bill or favorite streaming service*

Annual Fee: $120

Min. Income Required: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household

Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite*

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

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on Scotia Bank's website

Welcome Offer: 10% cash back on all purchases for first 3 months (up to $2,000). No annual fee in the first year.

Earn Rate: 4% cash back on grocery, recurring bills, and subscription purchases. 2% back on gas and daily transit, and 1% back on everything else.

Annual Fee: $120

Min. Income Required: Personal $60,000 or Household $100,000 or a minimum assets under management of $250,000.

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What are cashback credit cards?

Cashback credit cards are easily the most flexible type of credit card on the market because when you spend money on the card, you’ll receive a reward in the form of cash. They are also the most easy to understand. For every dollar you spend on the card, you’ll receive a certain percentage of cashback.

For example, if you’re card offers 5% cashback and you buy $50 worth of gas, you’ll be able to redeem $2.50 just from doing an every-day action. And that money can add up quickly, making cashback credit cards very profitable for people who use them all the time.

Unlike other credit cards like travel credit cards that give you points and miles where you can be limited to where you can redeem, cashback credit cards give you one thing: cash, which you can spend anywhere you’d like.

All cashback credit cards offer different cashback percentages, annual fees, welcome bonuses, and minimum income requirements. And many cashback cards don’t only offer cashback, but also offer other benefits like travel insurance, auto insurance, and some special exclusive benefits. Some cashback credit cards even allow different cashback percentages for the different spending categories like gas, restaurants, and shopping.

Since they are all different, it’s important to pick and choose what kinds of rewards and benefits suit you most.

Are you looking for maximum cashback percentage and don’t care about benefits?
Do you go on long road trips and need benefits like auto insurance?
Do you value travel insurance from credit cards?
Are you looking for the lowest annual fee for the maximum amount of cashback?

Either way, it’s important to take your time when looking through all the different options.

Types of cash-back credit cards

Cashback credit cards come in three different types: flat rate, tiered, and rotating categories. These are basically just fancy terms to describe the different rewards structures.

Let’s take a look at them!

Flat rate cashback card

With the flat rate cashback card, you’ll receive the same percentage of cashback for everything, no matter the spending category. This structure could be helpful for you if you find yourself spending relatively equally through the categories and don’t want to deal with different percentages.

A good example of a card that offers this is the BMO Cashback World Elite. This card gives you a welcome bonus of 5% cashback for the first 3 months, and after that it’s 1.25% on all purchases, which is a good benchmark.

How can I maximize my cashback rewards with a flat rate cashback card?

There’s no specific strategy to maximize cashback for this kind of card other than just putting all your expenses on the card, then paying it off as you go. The nice thing about owning this kind of card is that you don’t need to worry about the different spending categories, as you get the same percentage of cashback all across.

Tiered cashback card

With the tiered cashback card, you’ll receive different cashaback percentages for certain categories.

For example, the card might offer 3% on groceries, 2% on gas, and 1% on everything else, which is the typical amount. This card would be helpful if you’re someone who spends big in certain categories like grocery shopping for the entire family, or commuting to work every day and fill up on gas often.

An example of a tiered cashback card is the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite. This let’s you have an impressive 4% Cashback on groceries and gas, 2% on drugstores and recurring bills, and 1% on everything else.

How can I maximize my cashback rewards with a tiered cashback card?

If the card offers 4% cashback on gas and groceries, use the card while spending in those categories. It’s likely that the card will offer 1% cashback on all other categories, so it might be a good idea to get another card that offers a higher cashback rate for all spending categories, perhaps a flat rate cashback card and use it in all the other categories.

Rotating categories cashback card

A rotating categories cashback card is similar to the tiered cashback card in which it allows you to have higher cashback in certain categories. There difference lies in the flexibility. With the rotating categories cashback card, you’ll be able to pick and choose which spending categories you want the higher percentages on. You can also change these categories monthly.

A great example of a tiered cashback card is the Tangerine Money-Back card, which allows you to choose 3 categories to receive 4% cashback on for the first 3 months, and 2% on your selected categories after that. This allows you to make maximum cashback of your preferred category for the first 3 months of owning the card, so plan your biggest purchases during this time period.

How can I maximize my cashback rewards with a rotating categories cashback card?

A great way to maximize your cashback is to pre-plan large purchases and change the category in advance so that when you make that huge purchase, you can get the most cashback out of it. You can also just set your high cashback percentages to categories that you know you spend the most in.

View the best overall credit cards in Canada.

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