The best credit cards for families in Canada

We’ve rounded up the credit cards that are uniquely suited to family spending.

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Canada’s best credit cards for families

Starting a family changes everything—including which credit card is best for you. Your most-used spending categories might shift from dining out to groceries, and your credit card points might be used to book family vacations rather than a flight to Europe. The best credit card for your family will meet your new needs.

Best credit card by categoryWhy we love it
Best for families overall
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite
Annual fee: $120
Between 2% and 4% cash back across five major spending categories, plus easy redemptions
Best for families on a budget
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card*
Annual fee: $0
2% cash back in up to three categories of your choice, with no annual fee
Best for no-fee cash back
SimplyCash Card by American Express*
Annual fee: $0
At least 1.25% back on all purchases, with no annual fee
Best for entertainment
Scotiabank Gold American Express*
Annual fee: $120 (waived for the first year)
5 Scene+ points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment
Best for family vacations
Marriott Bonvoy American Express*
Annual fee: $120
Redemptions for free stays at over 30 hotel brands (from Marriott to Ritz-Carlton), plus point transfers to partner airline programs

Why trust us

MoneySense is an award-winning magazine, helping Canadians navigate money matters since 1999. Our editorial team of trained journalists works closely with leading personal finance experts in Canada. To help you find the best financial products, we compare the offerings from over 12 major institutions, including banks, credit unions and card issuers. Learn more about our advertising and trusted partners.

Best overall credit card for families


CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Earn rates: 4% cash back on eligible gas, EV charging and grocery purchases; 2% on dining, daily transit and recurring payments; and 1% on everything else
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents), 22.99% on balance transfers
  • Welcome bonus: You can earn 10% cash back welcome bonus of up to $250 (first 4 statements). Offer not available to QC residents. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 725 or higher
  • Annual income requirement: Personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000

Groceries and gas are undoubtedly two of the biggest expenses for busy families, so why not use a card that rewards your spending in those categories? When you use the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite to buy groceries, gas or pay for EV charging, you’ll get a whopping 4% cash back (one of the best rates on the market). A 2% return on dining out, transportation and recurring bills sweetens the pot, and the 1% base rate with no limit to how much you can earn means you’ll get money back no matter where you spend it. And, when you link and use your CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite with Journie Rewards, you can save up to 10 cents per litre at participating Pioneer, Fas Gas, Ultramar and Chevron gas stations—a huge benefit with today’s fuel prices. 

Just how much can a family earn with this card? To put it into perspective, consider a family that spends $1,000 on groceries and $150 on gas monthly. They would get a return of $46 per month, or $552 annually, on just those two expenses.

Best credit card for families on a budget


Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Get an $80 Cash Bonus upon approval on
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn rates: 2% in up to 3 categories of your choice (including groceries, gas and dining) and 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: You can earn an extra 10% back on up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within the first 2 months. Must apply by April 30, 2024.
  • Annual income requirement: Personal or household income of $12,000
Get an $80 Cash Bonus upon approval on
  • Recommended credit score: 660 or higher
  • Interest rates: 19.95% on purchases, 19.95% on cash advances and 19.95% on balance transfers

If an annual credit card fee feels like a hundred-odd dollars that could be better spent on diapers or hockey equipment, this card is for you. The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is a no-fee Mastercard that still offers substantial cash back. You will earn 2% cash back on up to three spending categories of your choice. When you sign up for this card, you can select two spending categories to receive 2% cash back, from this list: groceries, gas, restaurants, drug stores, recurring bills, parking/public transportation, entertainment, home improvement, furniture, and hotel/motel. If you set up an automatic deposit of your cash back into a Tangerine savings account, you’ll get a third spending category at 2% cash back. All other spends earn 0.5% cash back.

A family that spends $1,000 on groceries and $150 on gas monthly would get a return of $23 monthly, or $276 annually, on just those two expenses. Tangerine also has a welcome bonus of 10% on purchases up to $1,000 ($100 cash back) in the first two months (offer ends May 2, 2023). 

Best no-fee cash back card for families


SimplyCash from American Express

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn rate: 2% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases up to $300 annually; 1.25% cash back on everything else
  • Welcome offer: You can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you make at least $300 in purchases (for a total value of up to $100).
  • Annual income requirement: None
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 660 or higher
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances

If you’re looking to simplify your life (and who isn’t?), you might consider a card that offers you the same flat rate on cash back no matter what you use it for. Our pick is the SimplyCash Card by American Express, which offers 2% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases (up to $300 annually) and 1.25% cash back on everything else you buy, with no limit to how much you can earn. This is a no-fee card, so you can furnish your family with additional cards and see the money rack up even faster.

Unlike some other no-fee cards, the SimplyCash Card by American Express comes with some travel and flight insurance, and because it’s an Amex card, you’ll have access to American Express Experiences and special bonus offers.

Best credit card for family entertainment


Scotiabank Gold American Express

  • Annual fee: $120 (waived for the first year)
  • Earn rates: 6 points per $1 spent at Sobeys-affiliated stores; 5 points per $1 on dining, entertainment and groceries; 3 points per $1 on gas, transit and streaming; 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome offer: You can earn up to $650 in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points. Must apply by July 1, 2024.
  • Annual income requirement: $12,000
  • Point value: 1 Scene+ point = $0.01 when redeemed for travel, store purchases and food and drink at Cineplex and Scene partners
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 700 or higher
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers

If your family likes to go out for dinners and movies, you probably already know about Scotiabank’s Scene+ rewards. This loyalty points program started out with rewards that Canadians could redeem for movies at Cineplex theatres and meals at family-friendly restaurants like Swiss Chalet, but it has since expanded to include new rewards like travel, gift cards and statement credits. When you use the Scotiabank Gold American Express, you’ll earn 5x the Scene+ points on entertainment purchases and groceries, restaurants and drinking establishments; 3x the points on streaming services, gas and transit; and 1x the points on everything else. New cardholders can get a big head start with up to 40,000 Scene+ points. 

With these earn rates and bonuses, it won’t be long before you can treat the family to a day out at Playdium or even book a vacation through Scene+ Travel. This card comes with even more benefits, like no foreign transaction fees—a perk that will save you 2.5% to 3% on purchases made in other currencies, online or in person. Travel and shopping insurance and access to American Express benefits round out the package nicely.

Best credit card for family vacations


Marriott Bonvoy American Express

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Earn rates: 5 points per $1 at Marriott properties, 2 points per $1 everywhere else
  • Welcome offer: Earn up to 80,000 points. Offer ends May 6, 2024.
  • Annual income requirement: None
  • Point value: 1 Marriott Bonvoy point = $0.0117 on average when redeemed for eligible flights or hotel stays.
  • Recommended credit score for approval: 725 or higher
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances

Everybody loves a vacation, but when it comes to planning (and budgeting for) a getaway for the entire family, it pays to have a little help. That’s where the Marriott Bonvoy American Express comes in. With a $100 statement credit and perks like an annual Free Night award and complimentary Silver Elite status, this card gets you access to luxury hotels, first-class dining, and five-star spas and attractions with one of the best travel programs in the country. With an earn rate of 5x the Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend at Marriott and 2x the points on purchases made everywhere else, you can harness your everyday spending to ensure your family vacation is… well, anything but everyday.

In addition to the Marriott Bonvoy rewards, this card also gets you travel insurance including car rental and hotel burglary coverage and access to American Express Invites, Amex Front of the Line and Amex Offers.

Our methodology: How we determine the best cards

The MoneySense editorial team selects the best credit cards by assessing the value they provide to Canadians across various categories. Our best overall credit cards ranking is based on an extensive list of card details and features, including annual fees, interest rates, welcome offers, rewards earn rates and redemption options, annual income requirements, approval likelihood and speed, and perks such as insurance coverage, purchase protection, roadside assistance, rebates, discounts and airport lounge access. We have also considered the pros and cons of each card to help you determine which ones best suit your financial needs. Our rankings are an unbiased source of information for Canadians. The addition of links from affiliate partners has no bearing on the results. Read more about how MoneySense makes money.

Can you add family members as additional cardholders?

Whether you’re earning cash back or collecting rewards points, it’s a great idea to get additional credit cards for family members. These cards allow everyone to accumulate cash or points on the same account, multiplying your earning potential. Some cards, like the SimplyCash Card by American Express, offer supplementary cards for free, while others, like the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite, charge a fee. (Be aware that although these are individual cards for each family member, the account holder is ultimately responsible for paying the balance.) With a little preparation, you can maximize your family’s earnings and be well on your way to your goals. 

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About Keph Senett

About Keph Senett

Keph Senett writes about personal finance through a community-building lens. She seeks to make clear and actionable knowledge available to everyone.