Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada for 2021


Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are a type of loyalty program. Instead of collecting points towards free rewards such as travel, cardholders receive cash back. While this might seem impossible to imagine, credit card companies see the value in helping people grow their money, instead of just their debt. Here we look at the Best Cash Back Credit Card and further down everything you need to know about cash back credit cards to help you decide if they are right for you.

Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.95%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 19.95%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?
  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited rewards
  • Automatic monthly cash back redemption
  • Flexibility
  • Get more rewards
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Why we like it

1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first 6 months

Regarded as one of the best credit card in Canada, Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card provides no annual fee, a lucrative 2% cash back in up to 3 merchant categories, and 0.5% on all other purchases with no caps, tiers or limits. It provides choice, value and convenience to beginner credit card users and even works great as a secondary credit card.

  • No annual fee -The no annual fee for both primary and secondary holders means that you are not paying for your cash back.
  • Unlimited rewards -Earn as much cash back rewards regardless of the category.
  • Automatic monthly cash back redemption -Every month, Tangerine will either apply your cashback dollars against your credit card balance or deposit it directly into your Tangerine Savings Account.
  • Flexibility - You can choose 2-3 categories for the 2% cash back and change categories once every 90 days to match your spending pattern.
  • Get more cash back rewards -Maximize your credit card rewards by choosing another cash back credit card that has bonus categories and using your Tangerine card to expand and get more bonus categories.
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Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Review 2021

Balance transfer offer: During your first 30 days, transfer balances and pay only 1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first 6 months.

Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to 3 categories of your choice with the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.

  • 2% Rewards in your chosen categories
  • Get 0.50% money back on all other everyday purchases.

  • Money-Back Rewards are earned automatically and paid monthly, and can either be applied towards your Credit Card balance or redeemed into your Savings Account.

  • No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn.

  • Change your 2% Money-Back Categories to suit your everyday spending.

Optimizing your 2% Money-Back Categories to suit your everyday spending has never been easier. Choose your categories to earn the most money back.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card 2% Cash Back Categories:

      • Grocery
      • Furniture
      • Restaurants
      • Hotel-Motel
      • Gas
      • Recurring Bill Payments
      • Drug Store
      • Home Improvement
      • Entertainment
      • Public Transportation and Parking

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Fees:

  • Annual: $0
  • Balance transfer: 3% with $5 minimum
  • Cash advance: $3.50 inside Canada, $5 outside Canada, plus 19.95% interest on overdue amounts
  • Foreign transaction: 2.5% per transaction
  • Missed or late payments: increased interest rates to 24.95% on all purchases
  • Over limit: $25 (Tangerine does not allow you to go over your limit unless the transaction was pre-approved)


Annual Fee: $139
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?
  • Earn Aeroplan points on your everyday Purchases.
  • Redeem your rewards any time – Every seat, every flight, no restrictions
    Use Aeroplan points for more than just flights 
  • Peace of mind when travelling
  • Assistance on the road
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Why we like it

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is a versatile credit card that allows you to earn Aeroplan miles, get a comprehensive travel insurance package, and earn rewards at a decent rate. With TD being the official partner of Aeroplan, we consider this one of the best Aeroplan credit card in Canada. It targets members and gives double miles when used together with the Aeroplan membership card.

  • Earn Aeroplan points on your everyday Purchases. Whether you use your TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card for gas, bills or groceries, you’re rewarded with Aeroplan points that can take you across the globe
  • Redeem your rewards any time – Every seat, every flight, no restrictions
    Every Air Canada seat available to buy for cash is also available for points – no restrictions, no blackout periods.
  • Use Aeroplan points for more than just flights - Redeem your points across your trip, from hotel rooms to car rentals.
  • Peace of mind when travelling – With a medical coverage that includes standard protection and up to $2 million coverage during the first 10 days of a trip, this card lets you travel in peace. In addition, it also offers access to emergency travel assistance as well as delayed and lost baggage insurance.
  • Assistance on the road – This credit card gives you complimentary membership to the company’s TD Auto Club and makes you eligible for free emergency roadside assistance anytime.
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TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card review

Limited Time Offer

Earn a Bonus Buddy Pass and 10,000 Aeroplan points1. Plus, first year no Annual Fee for the Primary and 1st Additional Cardholder1. Conditions Apply. Must Apply by January 17, 2021.
This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

Earn 1.5 points
for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and Air Canada® purchases, including Air Canada Vacations®.

Earn 1 point
for every $1 spent on all other Purchases made with your Card

Earn points twice
Earn points twice when you pay with your Card and provide your Aeroplan number at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands and at 170+ online retailers via the Aeroplan eStore

Your Aeroplan points don’t expire
Your Aeroplan points will not expire as long as you are a TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Primary Cardholder in good standing.
Annual Fee: $99
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 21.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?
  • High cashback rewards
  • Complete suite of insurance and protection plans
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Why we like it

If you are comfortable with shelling out a small fee of $99 per year, then the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express is one of the best cashback rewards cards. Those who want to maximize their rewards can take advantage of the limited-time 10% cashback rewards. It also offers a comprehensive insurance package that's worth more than $100 in value.


Why We Like It:

  • High cashback rewards One of the highest we've seen, the 10% promo cash back is a welcome opportunity for people who have a major purchase coming up. After the four-month promotional period is up, it returns to a still high 2% cash back with no limits. Cash back is applied as a statement credit to your account each September.
  • Complete suite of insurance and protection plans This Amex card offers extensive insurance that includes insurance against rental car damage, travel accident, foreign medical, and baggage theft as well as double manufacturer's warranty and insurance against theft or damage for purchases.
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SimplyCashTM Preferred Card Review

 New SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express Cardmembers can earn 10% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $400 cash back) for the first 4 months of Cardmembership

• Earn 2.0% cash back when your Welcome Rate ends

• No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn after your Welcome Rate ends

• Access to memorable experiences with American Express Invites

• Extensive insurance coverage and 24/7 Customer Service

• American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply


Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 21.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?


  • No Annual Fee
  • Awesome Welcome Offer
  • Cash Back Rate
  • Entertainment Special Access
  • Basic Insurance Coverage
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Why we like it

If you’re looking for a straightforward cash back credit card - this could be an ideal option for you! With no annual fee, earn 1.25% cash back, obtain insurance coverage and access to American Express special events. This is an ideal credit card for individuals wanting to earn cash back without making a big commitment to an annual fee.


  • No Annual Fee. One of the few American Express cards that comes with no annual fee.
  • Awesome Welcome Offer. Cardholders earn 2.5% cash back on all purchases in their first three months of ownership. Earnings cap at $150 - still a lot to earn while you spend!
  • Cash Back Rate. Once the welcome offer expires, earn 1.25% on all purchases with no limitations.
  • Entertainment Special Access. Gain access to American Express exclusive offers and experiences.
  • Insurance Coverage. Travel accident, buyer’s assurance and purchase protection insurance comes with card ownership.
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SimplyCash™ Card from American Express Review

Earn Cash Back

The more you buy with the Card, the more cash back you'll earn.
  • New SimplyCashTM Card from American Express Cardmembers can earn 2.5 percent cash back on purchases (up to $150 cashback) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on purchases when your Welcome Rate ends

    American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information and Terms and Conditions, click the Apply now link. Conditions Apply

Annual Fee: $120
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?
  • Welcome bonus
  • No-nonsense rewards
  • Enhanced insurance package
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Why we like it

For people who love to eat and drive, the Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite Card is the best rewards credit card with a fee. It provides an unrivaled 4% cash back on food and gas along with 2% on recurring payments and drugstore purchases, and 1% on the rest. On top of that, this card also comes with comprehensive insurance benefits and concierge benefits.

  • Welcome bonus  The whooping 10% cashback bonus on the first three months is a very delicious offer to refuse.
  • No-nonsense rewards Rewards are clear, transparent, easy to earn and easy to redeem. Cash back rewards are paid out annually either as a deposit to eligible chequing or savings account or credited to your credit card statement.
  • Enhanced insurance package The improved insurance package is comparable with other more premium cards. It provides comprehensive coverage on travel, including rental car collision loss or damage as well as purchase security and extended warranty protection.
  • Additional Perks. Obtain exclusive offers from Scotiabank including concierge service, competitive hotel rates and upgrades, and access to dining and wine country programs.
  • Annual Fee. Gain access to all of the above perks at the cost of $120 per year.
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Great reasons to get this card for your everyday purchases

Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases). Plus, no annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards. A welcome offer value of $350*.

• 4% on eligible recurring bill payments and grocery store purchases

• 2% on eligible gas station and daily transit purchases

• 1% cash back on all other eligible everyday purchases

• Complimentary Concierge Services 24/7
• Visa Infinite Dining Series
• Visa Infinite Music Series
• Wine Country Wonders
• Luxury Hotel Privileges
• Comprehensive Travel Insurance & New Mobile Device Insurance coverage

Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 19.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign exchange fees
  • 1% Cash back rewards on eligible purchases
Apply Now Full Review
Why we like it

With no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee in one credit card, what’s not to like about the Home Trust Preferred Visa? And because this is a no fee credit card, all benefits come free.

Why We Like It:

  • No annual fee – You can try it for free.
  • No foreign exchange fees – 0% foreign currency conversion charge when shopping abroad. It’s perfect for online and cross-border purchases – saving you 2.5% of the total cost.

  • 1% Cash back rewards – Regardless of the category, this credit card gives 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. The total cash back balance is credited to your account at the start of each year.
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Home Trust Preferred Visa Card Review

The Preferred Visa from Home Trust is a great credit card that doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee, this card helps cardholders to save 2.5% each time they make a purchase in any foreign currencies either online or in store.

This Home Trust Visa is a great cash back card that allows cardholders to earn 1% cash back1 on all eligible purchases

  • No annual fee
  • 1% CashBack on all eligible purchases
  • No foreign currency conversion surcharges2

1 CashBack Rewards are issued on all purchases made in Canadian dollars. Cash advances, balance transfers, interest, fees and foreign transactions (including online purchases in foreign currencies) are not eligible for CashBack Rewards.

This credit card product is not available in Quebec
Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.95%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 19.95%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?

Earn extra Rewards
Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard®
On-Demand and Subscription Services
Mobile Device Insurance

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Why we like it
The World Mastercard offers new perks to their customers that are not available to Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard users. Mobile insurance of $1,000, rental car insurance worth $65,000 for 31 days and Mastercard airport experiences are perks that cardholders gain access to. Both of these insurance packages are beneficial for individuals who have a smartphone and are renting cars often.
Credit Card snapshot
Tangerine World Mastercard®  Review

Earn cash back

Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all your other everyday purchases.
Easy online Pause My Card feature–in case you need it
If you ever think you’ve lost or misplaced your Card, there’s no need to panic. With a couple quick clicks, you can temporarily suspend it.

Transfer and save

During your first 30 days, transfer balances and pay an interest rate of only 1.95% on the transferred balance for the first 6 months (19.95% after that). A Balance Transfer fee of 1% on the amount transferred will apply.

No limits

No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn on your everyday purchases. Conditions apply.


What is a cash back credit card?


Cash back credit cards pay users a percentage of the money they spend on the card. This works similar to a rebate program. In most cases card holders can expect to receive somewhere between 1 to 2% of their purchases. For example, if you were to spend $1,000 on a 1% cash back card, you earn $10. This type of reward program helps people in a number of ways including:


  • Building a good credit rating
  • Payment towards purchases
  • Growing savings


As a result, they have become a very popular form of reward credit card.

How do cash back credit cards work?


Most cash back cards require an average to excellent credit score to qualify. If you don’t have a credit history or have a poor credit score, chances are you might not qualify. Here are the basics of how cash back credit cards work:


Sign-on Bonuses


Some cards offer sign-on bonuses such as $200 for newly approved cardholders. However, these also come with requirements such as cardholders have to spend a certain amount of money by a certain date to receive the bonus. Another thing to watch for is the low introductory APR when you sign up. Once this rate expires you can face APRs ranging from 15% – 25%.


Annual Percentage Rate (APR)


Each cash back credit card has an APR that determines how much interest you pay. It’s always best to pay off your monthly balance on time each month to maintain a good credit score and avoid interest charges. If not, you basically cancel out anything earned in your cash rewards. Often the higher the cash back rate, the higher your APR.




These credit cards might apply various fees including:


  • Annual Fees: Because cash back cards offer cash rewards, they often charge an annual fee. This can range from $50 to $100 per year. As with APRs you will find that the higher the cash back rate, the higher the annual fee might be. Depending on how much you intend to spend on your cash back card, the rate of cash back and how often you carry a balance, you might find your cash back card costs you more than a normal credit card.
  • Late Fees: Some cards also have late payment fees, so if you tend to be behind on your credit card payments, this card is probably not right for you.
  • Foreign transaction fees: Many cardholders don’t even notice they are being charged this fee. However, if you shop at global sites, or travel, this can really add up.




Cards redeem points in different ways including:


  • Checks
  • Direct deposit to your bank account
  • Deductions from your credit card balance
  • Gift cards
  • Donations


Most offer more than one option, so you can choose the one that suits your needs. You either cash out online or call their customer service line. When you redeem can vary based on timelines or minimum amounts. Some cards have expiry dates for cash points, while others hold your cash rewards as long as your card is active. Some cards have cutoff dates for cashing in, while others will automatically deposit your cash in your bank account at regular intervals like a paycheck.


Registering Online


Many cash back credit cards require to register online to earn special rewards. This includes special offers with retailers, accelerated rewards, earning points for certain categories, promotions, and more. To ensure you don’t miss out on rewards, read the registration instructions carefully and sign up to receive notifications for special promotions that require registration.

Types of cash-back credit cards


Most cards use a point system where points are added up and then converted into cash. Some features that differ among cash back credit cards include:


  • Limits: Most cards have a limit or cap applied to how many points cardholders can earn. This can be applied monthly, quarterly, or annually.
  • Cash versus Cash Value: This is very important as some cards offer actual cash, while others provide other forms of rewards such as gift cards or refunds.
  • Cash Back Categories: Make sure you understand how rewards are calculated. Some cards offer the same rewards across any type of purchase, while others offer different rates based on categories such as groceries, movies, gas, travel, etc. Some even allow you to choose your top categories.
  • Specific Stores: As with above, some cards are specific to partnering retailers or services. If you don’t usually shop at these stores, it really doesn’t make sense to have the card.


Some examples of Canadian cash back credit cards include:


  • AMEX SimplyCash Preferred
  • Tangerine Money-Back
  • Rogers World Elite
  • Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
  • CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite
  • Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back
  • TD CashBack Visa Infinite
  • BMO CashBack Mastercard


Cash back credit card advantages


There are many advantages to cash back credit cards including:


  • Cash rewards are earned either based on the amount of money spent, or on a percentage of purchases.
  • Most do not charge an annual fee and those that do make it worthwhile with higher cash earned.
  • You can find sign-up bonuses for a certain amount of cash at the time of approval or special introductory APRs.
  • Many provide special cash rewards based on shopping with special stores or based on certain categories that allow you to build up cash rewards faster.

Cash back credit card drawbacks


There are also some drawbacks such as:


  • High APRs are very common with cash-back cards.
  • Travelers need to be wary of foreign transaction fees which can be as high as an additional 3% for international purchases online or when traveling.
  • May have earning caps that can interfere with building up savings or money paid towards paying your balance.
  • Some are not actually cash back cards and instead offer “cash value” such as refunds or gift cards.

How to choose a cash back credit card


First, do your research before applying for any credit card, as the more applications you fill out, the worse it can be for your credit score. Next, look for the card that offers lower APRs and higher percentages for their rewards. Avoid high annual fees, and also pay close attention to sign-up bonuses.


For example, a card might offer a very enticing APR for the first few months, but then that rate rises to an alarmingly high rate. Make sure you’ll use the card consistently and that the offering for rewards makes sense for your shopping habits for cards with categorized rates or that prefer certain retailers or services.

Who should apply for a cash back credit card?


You’ll get the most out of a cash back credit card if you:


  • Plan to keep your balance paid each month
  • Have good credit, so you get lower interest rates and higher cash back rates
  • Tend to shop at the same stores, have predictable spending habits and choose a card in the categories where you tend to spend the most


If this sounds like you, you will maximize rewards and avoid getting further into debt.

Bottom line


Cash back credit cards are the perfect choice for those who control their spending and pay off their monthly credit card balances. If not, you won’t reap the rewards and end up paying more in fees and interest than you receive in cash back rewards.



When Do I Get My Cashback?


It depends on the card. Some choose a cash back interval such as monthly or quarterly, while others offer automatic redemption when you reach a target balance.


When should you redeem cash back?


It depends on a few factors:


  • If you have a redemption minimum
  • If your cash has an expiration date
  • If rewards can devalue
  • If there are timing bonuses for redemption


What's better points or cashback?


Since cash back is more flexible and easier to redeem, many people prefer this option. However, if you plan to travel, in some cases you get more bang for your buck with a travel points card that allows you to work towards a free or partially paid vacation. It really depends on your goals.


Are cash back credit cards worth it?


As long as you pay your balance off each month, a cash back credit card really is an excellent way to get a little extra money in your bank account or pocket.


Is cash back from credit cards taxable income?


No, in most cases, the CRA views reward programs as a discount, not income.


How to Maximize Your Cash Back?


You can maximize your cash back when you:


  • Choose a card with no or minimal fees
  • Collect bonus cash rewards by tracking and registering for special offers
  • Pay attention to limited-time offers
  • ALWAYS pay your balance in full


What is the best cash back credit card in Canada?


Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card offers:


  • Waived annual fee for first year
  • Welcome Bonus to earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months up to $2,000 in total
  • 4% cash back on all grocery, recurring bills, and subscription services
  • 2% cash back on daily transit
  • 1% cash back on everything else


What is the best no-fee cash back card in Canada?


Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard offers:


  • 2% cash back on 2 personal spending categories you select
  • 5% on all other purchases
  • Earn 2% cash back if you deposit the cash back you earn to a Tangerine Savings Account

Author Bio

Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where he managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook.