Best Cash Back Credit Card in Canada for 2018 award seal

In theory cash back credit cards are simple. You buy things, you get cash back – easy right?

The fact of the matter is, not all cash back cards are created equal. With the best cash back credit cards on the list, you can rack up to 2% cash back on all purchases, whereas some of the lower end cards will only give you a 0.5% return.

You can even get up to 4% cash back on select purchases or up to 10% for a limited time as a sign up bonus.

When it comes to insurance coverage and premium perks, they are more rare with cash back cards than travel rewards credit cards. Many cash back cards don’t even give you the most basic of travel insurance ‒ but others can actually be just as good as a travel card.

All that to say, there is no need to be stuck with whatever credit card the bank offers you.

So we review 50+ features of each card, put them into our advanced algorithm, and give every credit card a rating out of 5 – we call it our Genius Rating. And what’s more? With one click of the card, you get instant access to our detailed review.

So, if you think cash is king, and you don’t mind paying an annual fee to get the best net annual return on your spending…

Then this top 10 best cash back credit cards list is the place to start.

Compare Cash Back Credit Cards

Choosing The Right One For You

When it comes to choosing a credit card that is right for you, sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by those “cash back" numbers...But the features can be just as important. Consider details, like:

  • Is there a flat cash back rate for every dollar spent?
    • A high flat cash back rate on all purchases is clearly the best.
  • Do you get increased cash on specific categories like gas or groceries?
    • If you have very high spending on some things then looking for a card with a spending bonus can increase your payout.
    • Hint: enter your spending breakdown by category on our compare credit cards page to factor that in.
  • Is there flexibility in how you get paid?
    • Most cards just give you a statement credit but a few let you choose between cheque, bank deposit, gift cards, travel and more.
  • How often can you cash out?
    • Once a year is standard but on demand is best.
  • Are there caps or tiers on your earnings?
    • If there’s a limit on cash earned or if you earn less cash on thousands of dollars in spending each year, it can be a big drain on your payout.
  • What about sign up bonuses?
    • They’re rare on cash back credit cards, but some do have them usually as increased cash back for a limited time with a cap on the maximum bonus cash you can earn.
  • Is there any included insurance coverage?
    • Rare insurance like price protection or trip cancellation can happen on cash back cards. Click on the Genius Rating to see how good the insurance rating is.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best cash back credit cards on the market right now.

Plus a $150 travel bonus.
Offer ends December 21, 2018.

The Best Visa In Canada For Cash Back

If you’re looking for the best Visa card that will give you the most cash back, look no further than the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite.

You’ll find one of the highest average returns on spending, because it gives cardholders 1% cash back on most purchases, 2% cash back on drugstore purchases and recurring bills, and the highest available cash back rate on gas and groceries of 4%. Plus, you'll earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 spent).

On top of a great return on spending, this card also comes with benefits like solid insurance, 24/7 concierge service, and Visa Infinite experiences.

However, one thing that really makes it stand out among its other top 10 cash back competitors, is the fact that Scotiabank will waive the annual fee for you for the first year – so you have a chance to try it out and really evaluate if the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is worth the $99/year price tag for you personally.

The Best Amex In Canada For Cash Back

The best American Express cash back card on the list is the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express.

This is another card that will give cardholders a straight 2% cash back on all purchases…and that’s after the introductory 5% cash back for the first 6 months (capped at $300).

As an added bonus, there are no minimum income requirements, making this card available to everyone.

This card also comes with a decent insurance package, free secondary cards and an introductory balance transfer rate of only 1.99% for 6 months.

Best Credit Cards in Canada for Cash Back

As a recap, here are the top 5 cash back credit cards in Canada, head to head. We included the average return on spending you can expect to get (assuming a reasonably optimal redemption), as well as the ways you can expect to earn your cash back.

Credit Card Avg. Reward Return Cash Back Earn Rates Get Detail
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite 2.02%
  • 1% back on everyday purchases
  • 2% back on drugstore purchases and recurring bills
  • 4% back on gas and groceries
  • 10% cash back for first 3 months (up to $200 earned)
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express 2%
  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • 5% cash back for first 6 months (up to $300 earned)
Rogers World Elite Mastercard 1.75%
  • 1.75% cash back on every $1 spent
  • 2% cash back on every $1 charged to your card for Rogers products and services
  • 4% cash back on all purchases made in foreign currency
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card 1.83%
  • 4% cash back for the first 4 months
  • 4% cash back on gas and groceries and 2% cash back on Tim Hortons and TELUS purchases on first $80,000 spent
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
CIBC Dividend Platinum Visa Card 1.82%
  • 4% cash back for the first 4 months (up to $200 earned)
  • 1% cash back on all purchases

The creditcardGenius algorithm calculates an estimated dollar value for all rewards and bonuses by using a typical point value a person can realistically achieve by redeeming their rewards in a reasonably optimized way. The "Welcome Bonus" is the dollar value obtained by combining of all one-time bonuses available to new cardholders within the first year. To qualify for the full bonus you may need to make purchases, meet minimum spending requirements, or complete special actions. Terms and conditions apply.

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