When considering a good overall rewards card, you have to consider the entire package of goodies before making a final choice. You’ll pay an annual fee with these cards but will get terrific bang for your buck. Whether it’s a spending bonus, VIP lounge access, super high cash-back rewards, or no blackout periods during travel, these cards have it all and pack a punch when it comes to delivering a great package of rewards.
The best rewards credit cards in Canada 2019
- American Express Cobalt — Best card for dining and travel
- Scotiabank Gold American Express — Best rewards card for everyday spending
- Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite — Best cash back card
- BMO World Elite MasterCard – Honorable mention
- More on the best credits cards – View a complete list of top cards by category
- Our methodology – For greater insight into our rankings
Best rewards credit card for dining and travel
Year-long welcome bonus: Up to $300 in points in the first year (provided cardholders hit a minimum spend of $500 for each of their first 12 monthly statements).
Rack up points fast: Five points for every $1 spent on eligible food delivery, groceries, and restaurants and two points per $1 spent on gas and transit buys—including taxis, public transit, and eligible flight tickets. Earn one point on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $120 (charged at a rate of $10 per month)
Get tickets before anyone else: Get advance access to Front of the Line by American Express Invites as well as advance screenings to movies. At ticketmaster.ca, 2,000 points are equal to $20.
Tons of travel-related benefits: Lost or stolen baggage insurance, hotel/motel burglary insurance, emergency travel insurance, flight delay insurance, and more.
Flexible: Points can be redeemed for flights on any airline anytime—with no blackout periods. Plus, points can be used to cover taxes and fees.
Click here for more details about the American Express Cobalt*
Best rewards card for everyday spending
One of the richest reward rates: 4 points per dollar on gas, grocery, dining, and entertainment, 1 point on everything else.
Beginner bonus: $150 in bonus points when $1,000 is spent on the card in the first 3 months.
Flexible: Offers the flexibility to redeem points for any travel expense, including flights on the airline of your choice.
Annual fee: $99
Great protection: Comprehensive travel insurance coverage.
Relaxation at its best: Discounted membership to Priority Pass Lounges in over 143 countries.
Discounts and other special offers: On hotels, airfare, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages.
Click here for more details about the Scotiabank Gold American Express*
Best cash back credit card
Get 4% back on gas and groceries as well as 2% at pharmacies and on recurring bills paid through the card. You’ll earn 1% cash back on every other purchase.
Annual fee: $99, however this fee is completely waived for the first year.
Free money: 10% cash back on everything for the first three months on the initial $2,000 in purchases.
Gold travel benefits: Boasts delayed and lost baggage insurance, trip interruption insurance, flight delay insurance, and travel accident insurance.
One of a kind dining and drink: Wine country discounts in Ontario and British Columbia where you can enjoy complimentary tasting, private vineyard tours, and discounts on wine purchases. Plus, access to other Visa Infinite Services (including concierge services).
Click here for more details about the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite*
What you’ll earn: Get 3 BMO points per dollar on travel, dining, and entertainment, and 2 points per $1 on all other purchases.
Strong welcome bonus: 35,000 BMO points when $3,000 is spent on the card in the first 3 months.
Annual fee: Free for the first year and $150 thereafter.
Robust travel benefits: Comprehensive travel insurance coverage and airport lounge access. You can also redeem points on any airline as well as taxes or fees
Click here for more details about the BMO World Elite MasterCard*
Canada’s Best Rewards Credit Cards – Net Annual Rewards
|Card||Net reward (excluding 1st year sign-up bonus)|
|American Express Cobalt||$501|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express||$546|
|Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite||$393|
In-Depth: THE BEST CREDIT CARDS BY CATEGORY
- Overall Best Credit Cards in Canada
- Best Travel Credit Cards
- Best Cash Back Credit Cards
- Best No Fee Rewards Credit Cards
- Best Low Interest Credit Cards
- Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
- Best Student Credit Cards
For the Best Rewards Credit Cards 2019 ranking, MoneySense tapped into Ratehub.ca’s‡ credit card tool and ran the numbers for cash back and travel credit cards based on $2,000 in monthly spending. We made the following assumptions — grocery spend of $500, gas of $200, restaurants of $200 and bill payments of $125, travel of $175, entertainment of $225, pharmacy purchases of $75 and all other purchases of $500.
The end game was a magic number—that is, the annual net reward in dollar terms to identify the top cards in each category, plus an honorary mention. Our methodology also took into consideration other factors, including welcome bonuses and accelerated earn rates, annual fee waivers, loyalty program flexibility and travel insurance perks.
‡MoneySense.ca and Ratehub.ca are both owned by parent company Ratehub Inc. We may be partnered with some financial institutions, but this does not influence the “Canada’s Best Credit Card” rankings. You can read more about this in our Editorial Code of Conduct.