Best cash-back credit cards of 2016

Here’s our winning pick plus an option for small spenders

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by

From the September/October 2016 issue of the magazine.

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Not sure what you’re collecting points for? Consider getting a cash-back card instead. It’s not as exciting as receiving a free toaster or overseas flight, but there’s no mistaking the value.

Best cash-back credit card

MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard

MBNA Rewards World Elite Credit Card best cash-back credit cards
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Annual rewards*: $429

A cash-back card in hiding

This card isn’t marketed as a cash-back card but it acts like one giving you 2% back on every purchase

Premium for less

The annual fee for this card is $89 a year, cheaper than for most premium cards

Free money

You won’t pay a cent for this card in the first year, plus you’ll get 10,000 bonus points (worth $100) when you sign up

Care-free rental

With this card in your wallet you’ll never have to pay for the damage waiver on a car rental

Insurance lite

While this card is a little light on travel insurance benefits, it will give you peace of mind if your luggage ever gets lost

Runner-up

Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite

best cash-back credit cards

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Annual rewards*: $405

If you primarily pay for gas and groceries with plastic then this is the card for you. You’ll earn 4% back on that spending, plus you’ll earn 2% on recurring bills paid through the card. At $99, the annual fee is typical for a premium card but each supplemental card costs $30, which can water down the benefit of combining household spending on a single account.

Only spend $500/month?

Best cash-back credit cards

These no-fee cards offer the same rewards when put to the test. The Tangerine Money-Back credit card earns 2% on two spending categories of your choice and 1% on everything else. Customers with a Tangerine savings account can also add a third cash-back category earning 2% (as we assume here). Contrast that with the Amex’s SimplyCash card, which earns a flat 1.25% on every purchase. The Amex card also offers insurance perks like car rental insurance, which you don’t often see on a no-fee card.

Find the perfect card for you with our credit card selector tool »

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—Updated to reflect that the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card does offer purchase assurance and extended warranty—

9 comments on “Best cash-back credit cards of 2016

  1. I have a Capital One card and my balance is at $2500.00 and I want to transfer it to another Card to get a lower interest rate… I am a pensioner too, but need the card for emergencies so it is used up. What do u suggest I do?

    Reply

    • Look into a credit card product which allows you to transfer a balance to another CC for little to no interest.

      Reply

  2. The interest rate on my Capital One card is 29%

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  3. You forgot to include no annual fee cards.

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  4. Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty are offered with the Tangerine Money-Back Card.

    Reply

    • Thanks C.!

      Reply

  5. Love my Tangerine card! Got a 3 month bonus of 4% on my 3 chosen categories and managed to get $5000 of new furniture purchases, a vacation trip and lots of renovation spending on the card during that period. Since opening my card last year, I have already earned over $700 in cashback, which was deposited to my savings account at Tangerine. Spend or save as I wish. Absolutely no fees either. Bye, Bye Airmiles card that was useless. I will not pay fees to have a credit card, and do not carry a balance ever! No cost, free money – can’t lose.

    Reply

  6. I think the best cards are the ones with no annual fee and cash back. Most of the times the credit cards with miles/points they come at a premium even when you exchange them. I also found a great credit card reviews site which helped me chose the cards i have right now: https://planetrate.ca/eng/reviews/credit-cards

    Reply

  7. Claudia..If nothing else check out PC finacial card, you may be able to pay off your capital one balance on a less than 1% rate for 6months. Meanwhile always pay off your total charges each month..NEVER RUN A BALANCE..that way you pay NO interest…Good Luck!

    Reply

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