The best rewards debit cards in Canada for 2023

These are the debit cards that can earn you rewards like cash back, PC Optimum points, Scene+ points and Air Miles.

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Best for PC Optimum pointsPC Money Account
Best for Scene+ pointsScotiabank Ultimate Package*
Best for Air MilesBMO Air Miles Chequing Account
Best for studentsScotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan*
Best for cash backKoho Easy*

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The best rewards debit cards in more detail

Debit cards can pack a serious punch as a payment method: you can choose from a large selection of no-fee chequing accounts, debit cards help keep spending in check and, of course, they don’t charge interest. But is there a debit card with rewards? Surprisingly, yes!

Credit cards have always had the jump on widespread acceptance when travelling, and, of course, noteworthy rewards like merchandise and cash back, but a select few debit cards have rewards, too. And while we’ve yet to see a debit card that offers complimentary travel insurance or lounge access, there are a few on the market that offer some pretty slick rewards.

Whether you have bad credit or no credit, or you just prefer to spend money straight from your chequing account, these are the cards to consider if you’d like to earn rewards, too.

Best for PC Optimum points

PC Money Account

This “money account” is positioned as an alternative to debit or credit for everyday spending, but it functions more or less like a debit card. You can fund it through e-Transfer from another financial institution and use it to pay bills (including pre-authorized withdrawals), transfer funds between banks, and shop. You can also use it when travelling abroad, since it’s accepted everywhere Mastercard is (very widely). The only things you can’t do with it are writing and depositing cheques—and, since you can only use it where Mastercard is accepted, debit-only establishments are a no-go. That said, we’ve included this card on our list because of its earning potential. This no-fee account is great for those who spend at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws banner stores but don’t want to go with a PC Financial Mastercard. You’ll earn 10 Optimum points per dollar spent anywhere—not just in those stores. When you do spend at Shoppers, you’ll get an accelerated rate of up to 25 points per dollar. Plus, there’s a welcome offer that can bank you up to 200,000 Optimum points. 

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Welcome offer: You can earn up to 200,000 Optimum points ($200 value) when you open an account. You’ll earn the first 20,000 points when you fund the account with over $150. Then, you’ll earn 10% back in points on your first $1,300 worth of purchases at Loblaws banner stores (up to 130,000 points). Finally, get 50,000 when you refer two friends.
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Interac e-Transfers: Unlimited
  • Rewards: Earn 10 Optimum points per $1 spent at Loblaws banner stores, up to 25 points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart, 10 points per $1 everywhere else.

Best for Scene+ points

Scotiabank Ultimate Package*

This all-inclusive chequing account aims to make everyday banking easy. While the account fee is $30.95 a month (kind of steep for a bank account), that fee can be waived if you maintain a balance of $5,000. That said, a lot of the extras that banks typically charge for are included in that price tag—you get unlimited debit transactions and Interac e-Transfers, free personalized cheques and drafts, free global ABM withdrawals, and even a safety deposit box. The account has no overdraft protection fees, either. This card also comes with a hefty $350 welcome bonus that’s deposited directly into your account when you set up things like bill payments and payroll deposits (details below). But what really makes this card stand out is the ability to earn Scene+ points, which you can use for movies but also travel, entertainment, gift cards and dining.

  • Monthly fee: $30.95 (waived if $5,000 balance is maintained)
  • Welcome offer:

    You can earn a $350 welcome bonus when you open an account. Conditions apply.

    Earn up to 5.45% interest on your Ultimate Package MomentumPLUS Savings Account for a limited time.
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Interac e-Transfers: Unlimited
  • Rewards: Earn 1 Scene+ point for every $5 spent on everyday purchases and 1 Scene+ point for every $1 spent at Cineplex.

Best for Air Miles

BMO Air Miles Chequing Account

If you’re an Air Miles collector, you can earn points while you do your everyday spending with this debit card. This streamlined account has a small monthly fee, but it offers unlimited transactions and e-Transfers. Most notably, you’ll earn 1 Air Mile for every $30 you spend on your debit card. Those Air Miles can be used towards travel, shopping, entertainment, e-vouchers and events.

  • Monthly fee: $16.95
  • Welcome offer: None
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Interac e-Transfers: Unlimited
  • Rewards: Earn 1 Mile for every $30 spent with your debit card. You’ll get 25 bonus miles every month if you also have a BMO Air Miles World Mastercard or BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard. 

Best for students

Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan*

If you’re a student, you probably don’t have extra cash to toss out for bank fees. This student account costs $0 when you’re enrolled full-time in a post-secondary institution in Canada or the U.S. Plus, it helps you earn Scene+ points, which can make movie nights, and also trips, merchandise, dinners and entertainment, more affordable, too.

  • Monthly fee: $0 
  • Welcome offer: A $100 bonus will be deposited directly into your account when you open a new account by July 31, 2023. In order to receive the bonus, in the first 60 days you must either set up and clear at least one eligible automated and recurring deposit (like payroll) or set up and clear at least one eligible recurring pre-authorized transaction (must occur for three consecutive months).
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Interac e-Transfers: Unlimited
  • Rewards: Earn 1 Scene+ point for every $5 spent anywhere and 1 Scene+ point for every $1 spent at Cineplex.

Best for cash back

Koho Easy*

If you’re looking for the best cash back debit card in Canada, this full-service account is it. While not technically a debit account, it functions as such. You can load a predetermined amount of spending money onto your card each month and start earning 1% cash back (or more) on your regular, everyday spending. Not only will you get 0.5% interest on the spending and savings accounts, but the card offers a RoundUp feature, which tallies up purchases to the closest amount of your choosing ($1, $2, $5 or $10) and sends that money into your savings. You’ll also get access to $100 of your next paycheque up to 3 days before it’s deposited, and the account features spending insights to help you keep track of your finances. And, for those who need a bit more hands-on help, Koho offers free financial coaching if you pay for the Credit Building plan ($10 per month). It also prides itself on having no hidden fees—like account fees, interest charges or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees.

  • Monthly fee: $0 
  • Welcome offer: 1% cash back on groceries and transportation
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Interac e-Transfers: Unlimited (daily maximum amount: $3,000)
  • Rewards: 1% cash back on bills, services, and groceries; up to 5% back at select merchants 
Watch: 5 reasons to swap your debit card for a prepaid cash back card

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About MoneySense Editors

About MoneySense Editors

MoneySense editors and journalists work closely with leading personal finance experts in Canada. Since 1999, our award-winning magazine has helped Canadians navigate money matters.