Canada's Best Cash-Back Credit Cards 2018

Canada’s Best Cash-Back Credit Cards 2018

Whether they’re fee or no fee, these cards will put money back in your pocket

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Best cash-back credit cards (with fees)

If you want a card that will put big-time cash back in your pocket—even if you have to pay a small fee—here are three great cards for you. We’ve run the numbers. While these cards charge an annual fee, they still outperform their no-fee counterparts if you’re spending $2,000 per month. Best of all, a couple of them even waive the fee in the first year. Scroll down further to see Canada’s best no-fee cash-back credit cards.

TOOL: Find the best credit card for you

Winner: Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite

Generous cash back: 4% cash back for every dollar you spent at the gas pump or on grocery runs (up to $1,000 annually and 1% thereafter). Plus: 2% cash back per dollar spent at drug stores and on reoccurring bills, and a minimum of 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Set it and forget it: Save on your monthly internet and phone bills with 2% cash back on pre-authorized payments.

First year free: Don’t pay the annual fee for one year if you get the card by Feb. 28, 2019.

Unique dining experiences: with the VISA Infinite Dining Series in some of Canada’s top restaurants.

Gold-star travel benefits: Robust travel insurance coverage including baggage loss and emergency medical insurance, car rental coverage, and more.

Second place: Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back

Gas and grocery savings: Earn 4% cash back per $1 spent on gas and groceries (up to $1,000 annually). Also get 2% cash back on pharmacy and pre-authorized payments, and 1% cash back on everything else.

Free for the first year: Don’t pay the $99 annual fee for the first year. (This offer is available for a limited time.)

Flexible rewards: Cash back rewards can be redeemed for account credit, merchandise, gift cards, and more.

Mobile device insurance: Buy your new wireless device or make all monthly wireless bill payments on your card, and your mobile device will be protected for up to $1,000 in case it’s lost, stolen or accidentally damaged.

Third place: SimplyCash Preferred™ Card from American Express

Warm welcome: Juicy welcome bonus of 5% cash back on eligible purchases (up to $300). Two per cent cash back on everything—not just specific categories—after the welcome bonus ends.

Reasonable rate: Low interest rate of 1.99% interest rate on balance transfer for the first six months.

Referral perks: Receive a bonus when you refer select American Express cards to your friends or family.

Beat the line: Be the first in line for events. Cardholders have priority access to concert tickets with American Express Invites.

How much to expect in rewards


Card Net reward (excluding 1st year sign-up bonus)
Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite $417
Meridian Visa Infinite Cash $417
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express $381

*Based on $2,000 monthly spending in the second year

Honourary Mention: BMO CashBack World Elite MasterCard

-4% cash back on every purchase in the first four months (up to $250 cash back)
-1.5% cash back on all purchases after four months
-Free roadside assistance
-$120 annual fee


Best no-fee cash back credit cards

If you’re like many rewards card users, cash is arguably the most straight-forward reward. And many don’t want to pay even a penny in annual fees for the privilege. Below we list Canada’s top no-fee cash-back cards, ranked by the size of the reward they offer when you spend $2,000 per month.

Winner: SimplyCash Card from American Express

Strong welcome bonus: Get 2.5% cash back on eligible purchases (up to a maximum of $150) for the first 3 months

Low balance transfer interest rate: Pay just 1.99% interest on balance transfers for the first six months.

Flush rewards: 1.25% cash back on everything—not just specific spending categories like gas or groceries—after the welcome bonus ends.

Jump to the front of the line: Get early access to concert tickets with American Express invites.

Special offers and experiences: From weekend getaway packages and special online and in-store shopping deals, card holders can buy a variety of special offers created just for American Express.

Refer a friend: You could earn a bonus of $100 cash back for each approved referral up to a maximum annual bonus of $1,500 cash back.

Second place: Tangerine Money-Back Card

Automatic wins: Money-back rewards are earned automatically and paid monthly, and can either be applied towards your credit card balance or redeemed into your Tangerine savings account.

Customized to your spending habits: You can choose 2-3 categories that you want to earn 2% in based on your spending habits—and you can change your selections.

Limitless: No limit on the amount of money-back rewards you can earn

Third place: BMO CashBack MasterCard

Welcome offer: Get 4% cash back on all purchases (up to $125) for the first four months when you sign up by November 29, 2019.

Reliable cash-back: 1% cash back on all purchases after welcome bonus ends

First rate: 1.99% introductory rate on balance transfers for the first 9 months

Car discounts: Up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations.

How much to expect in rewards


Card Net reward (excluding 1st year sign-up bonus)
SimplyCash Card from American Express $300
Tangerine Money-Back Card $286
BMO Cashback MasterCard $244

*Based on $2,000 monthly spending in the second year

Honourary Mention: Home Trust Preferred Visa

-1% cash back on all purchases
-No foreign transaction fees on up to 10 non-Canadian currency purchases per day
-Free roadside assistance

For more on the best cash-back credit cards in Canada, check out our partner Ratehub.ca.


 Ratehub.ca may be partnered with some financial institutions. This does not influence the “Canada’s Best Credit Card” rankings.