(terms) Best restaurant credit card for 2020 award seal

Whether you’re going out for a fancy meal to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, grabbing a quick lunch while at the office, or just ordering in pizza for a quiet date night at home, restaurants are a huge part of our daily lives.

In fact, according to Statistics Canada, 54% of Canadians eat out once a week or more. So, why not get a credit card that will help you maximize your rewards or cash back on these types of purchases?

Here are a few of our top picks for getting the biggest bang for your dining (or delivery) dollar.

Canada’s best restaurant credit cards for 2020

For all your dining, take out, or food delivery needs, these credit cards will help you earn the most rewards.

Category Credit Card Current Welcome Bonus Offer
Best overall restaurant credit card Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card 25,000 points (terms)
Best restaurant credit card with the highest potential rewards American Express Cobalt™ Card Up to 30,000 points (terms)
Best no fee restaurant credit card MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® Up to 14,200 points (terms)
Best cash back restaurant credit card Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card None
Best restaurant credit card with premium perks BMO® World Elite™* Mastercard®* Up to 40,000 points (terms)
Best low interest restaurant credit card HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard® 20,000 points (terms)
Best prepaid cash back restaurant credit card KOHO Premium Prepaid Visa Bonus 1% cash back for the first 90 days if you apply using the code CCGBONUS (terms)

* Note: All rewards calculations are based strictly on a monthly restaurant spend of $500. You can fine-tune the calculations to your own budget on our Compare Credit Cards page.

Compare the top 10 restaurant cards.

Canada’s best overall restaurant credit card

The is our 2020 top pick for best restaurant card for a few reasons.

First off, Scotia Rewards is a highly flexible travel rewards program with loads of redemption options. Some are better than others in terms of point values, but they include:

  • travel (1 cent per point (CPP)),
  • statement credits (0.67 to 0.8 CPP),
  • gift cards and prepaid cards (0.74 CPP),
  • donations (0.74 CPP),
  • merchandise (0.31 - 1.12 CPP),
  • Apple and Best Buy merchandise (0.89 - 1.11 CPP),
  • transfer to Cineplex SCENE rewards (0.81 CPP), and
  • experiences (0.59 - 0.71 CPP).

Second, you’ll be earning Scotia Rewards with this card quickly, earning:

  • 5 points for every $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, and entertainment,
  • 3 points for every $1 spent on gas, daily transit, and select streaming services, and
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else.

If you use your Scotia Rewards for redemptions worth at least 1 CPP, you’re getting a great 5% return on all of your food and entertainment purchases.

And that’s on top of the welcome bonus. Right now, you’ll kick off your reward earnings with a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points.

Finally, this card comes with a few other perks, including:

There is a $120 annual fee for this card, but with this array of perks and rewards, that may be worth it to you.

Best restaurant credit card with the highest potential rewards

For the most potential rewards you can earn at restaurants, look no further than the .

No other card comes close to the total earnings you can get with this card. You'll earn 5 points per $1 on all restaurant purchases, as well as groceries, up to a maximum of $30,000 in annual spend.

With an American Express Membership Rewards point worth up to 1.75 cents when redeemed for flights using the Fixed Points Travel Program, that's an astounding 8.75% return on not only your restaurant spend, but your groceries as well (that's why it also won best grocery card).

Or you can redeem your points for any travel booking from any provider, and get a straight point value of 1 cent each, giving you a still great return of 5% on your spending.

And you get great earn rates for other categories too:

  • 2 points per $1 on gas, transit, and travel purchases, and
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else.

Throw in a welcome bonus worth up to 30,000 points plus no income requirements, and it makes for a great card for all of your food related purchases – and it’s the #1 card in Canada.

Best no fee credit card for dining in Canada

If you’re not a fan of paying an annual fee for your credit card, the might be more your speed. This credit card also offers some flexible rewards and other perks, for no annual fee.

If you’re unfamiliar with the MBNA Rewards program, its points can be redeemed for:

  • travel (1 cent per point),
  • cash (0.5 - 1 CPP),
  • gift cards (0.92 CPP), and
  • merchandise (0.86 CPP).

And with this credit card you’ll earn:

  • 4 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries, and restaurant purchases for the first 90 days, then
  • 2 points for every $1 spent in those purchases after that (up to $5,000 annual cap on each category), and
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else.

And you can earn up to 10,000 bonus points as a welcome bonus:

  • 5,000 bonus points after you spend $500 in the first 90 days, and another
  • 5,000 bonus points after enrolling for paperless e-statements in the first 90 days.

Throw in 7 types of complimentary insurance for added peace of mind, and you’ve got a pretty solid no fee credit card for maximizing your restaurant and dining purchases.

Canada’s best restaurant credit card with cash back

While it doesn’t appear in our comparison table on this page, the no annual fee is our top pick for best cash back credit card to use for restaurants, dining, and take out.

With Tangerine Mastercards, you’ll earn

  • 2% cash back in up to 3 categories of your choice (including restaurants), and
  • 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

And you can change your 2% cash back categories at any time, but keep in mind that it can take up to 3 billing cycles for the changes to go into effect.

As for redeeming your rewards, it’s simple. Your rewards balance is paid out monthly, and can either be applied to your credit card balance as a statement credit, or deposited into your Tangerine savings account, if you have one.

Want a cash back card with a few more perks? If you can meet the income requirements ($60,000 personal or $100,000 household), the is also an excellent choice.

Best restaurant credit card with premium perks in Canada

While the eligibility requirements for this card are on the high side (either $80,000 personal, or $150,000 household), the comes with some fantastic perks, especially if you’re a fan of travel.

BMO Rewards is another flexible rewards program, giving you the option of redeeming your points for:

  • travel (0.71 CPP),
  • investments (0.67 CPP),
  • gift cards (0.56 CPP),
  • merchandise (0.54 CPP), or
  • experiences (0.65 CPP).

And your rewards start with a sign-up bonus of up to 40,000 points, after which you’ll earn:

  • 3 BMO Rewards points for every $1 spent on travel, dining, and entertainment (up to $50,000 spent annually), and
  • 2 BMO Rewards for every other $1 spent.

You’ll notice in the list of redemptions that you can redeem your BMO Rewards for investments at almost the same value as you would get for travel, giving you a way not only to save on every day spending, but to build your long term savings as well.

For insurance, this card comes with an impressive 14 types, including travel accident, trip cancellation and interruption, flight delay, and 3 coverages for rental cars. If you travel, this card has your back.

Of course, you’ll also get an array of other World Elite perks with this card, including:

  • World Experiences,
  • Priceless Cities,
  • concierge service,
  • airport lounge membership with 4 free passes, and
  • other exclusive entertainment access.

And while this card has a $150 annual fee, the rewards, insurance, and other perks can more than make up for that if you’re a frequent traveller.

Canada’s best low interest restaurant credit card

Prefer to keep your costs in check by using a low interest credit card for every day purchases, but still want to earn some rewards for a low annual fee? The may be the card for you.

We’ll start with the interest rates, which are significantly lower than the standard 20% you’ll see with most credit cards:

  • Purchase: 11.90%
  • Cash advance: 11.90%
  • Balance transfer: 11.90%

You’ll be saving 8% interest over most other cards for all purchases. If you tend to carry a balance on your card every now and again, this is a great way to reduce those costs.

You’ll also be earning HSBC Rewards at a rate of:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment, and
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

And you can redeem your HSBC rewards for travel, credit on various financial accounts (credit card, mortgage, or savings), gift cards, electronics, and more.

The included insurance coverages are pretty minimal, but does include the increasingly rare price protection coverage. This is a great way to be sure you’re going to get a good price, especially on some larger purchases.

And all of this for a low $25 annual fee, which is currently rebated for the first year.

Canada’s best prepaid cash back credit card for dining and food delivery

As a prepaid credit card that earns up to 2% on purchases, the is a rare beast.

While it does have an $84 annual (or $9 monthly) fee, you will earn:

  • 2% cash back on gas, groceries, restaurants, and transit, and
  • 0.5% cash back on everything else.

As an added bonus, it charges a 0% foreign exchange fee, making it an excellent choice for taking as a credit card when you travel, or for using to make online purchases in foreign currencies.

And it also offers purchase protection, which is a nice feature that can save you money and give you some added peace of mind.

Compare Canada’s Best Restaurant Credit Cards

How we get our rankings

How do we decide what the best restaurant credit cards are? We take into account over 126 features of each card, broken down into 7 main categories:

Restaurant page genius rating scoring

We then take those features and put them through our algorithm, which calculates a score out of 5. And since we're talking about restaurant credit cards, we give extra weight to the rewards category, as it's the primary feature we're after for cards on this page.

Learn more about our Genius Rating methodology.

FAQ

What’s the best cash back card to use for restaurants?

Our top rated cash back card to use at restaurants is the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. With this credit card you can earn 2% cash back in up to 3 categories (including restaurants), and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases. Straight up and simple.

Is there a best travel rewards card to use for restaurant purchases or ordering delivery?

There is! Our current top pick for best travel credit card to use at restaurants is the American Express Cobalt card. It has no income requirements, and you can earn up to 8.75% back on your grocery and restaurant purchases.

I prefer no fee credit cards. Which is the best no fee card to use for restaurants?

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® is our current top pick for best no fee credit card to use at restaurants. For no annual fee, not only do you get a good earn rate on some flexible rewards, you’ll also get up to 10,000 bonus points, and 7 types of complimentary insurance coverage.

How can I figure out which of these credit cards is best for me?

There are a lot of credit cards available in Canada, and a lot of different features, benefits, rewards, and perks to try to keep in mind. It can be overwhelming and time consuming to sift through all of this stuff on your own, so we decided to help.

By building a database of 178 credit cards and evaluating over 126 possible features of each, we’ve devised an unbiased, math-based algorithm that can help you figure out which card is best for you, based on what you care the most about. Best of all? You can get started with a simple 3 minute quiz, and we’ll make some recommendations. Check it out.

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