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Cash back cards remain one of the simplest ways to get rewarded for everyday spending. But not all cash back cards are created equal. The most lucrative options earn up to 4% to 5% on essential spending categories like groceries, gas, bills, restaurants, and more.

However, it’s difficult to navigate the best options for your wallet, given the complex rewards structures, varying annual fees, and generous signup bonuses. You won’t need to worry because we’ve analyzed the top options in Canada across annual fees, interest rates, insurance perks, and reward potentials.

Whether you want a straightforward no-fee card for basic rewards or a premium card with luxury perks, you’ll find your perfect match here. The right cash back card could net you hundreds of dollars per year in rewards on your existing spending.

Top 7 Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada

CardFeeEarn RateCash Back Welcome Bonus
Neo Credit– Basic: $0
– Premium: $4.99 monthly
1-5%Up to 15% on first-time purchases with partners.
Get the first 3 months free when you apply for the Neo Premium plan.
CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card$120 annually1-4%None
BMO CashBack® World Elite® Mastercard®$120 annually1-5%10% on the first $2600 in the first 3 months across several categories ($260 maximum)
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card$139 annually1-3%10% on the first $3500 for the first 3 months ($350 maximum)
SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American ExpressN/A2-4%Up to $100; $10 each month you exceed $300 in spending for the first 10 months
Tangerine Money-Back$0 annually0.5-2%10% back on the first $1,000 during first 2 months ($100 maximum)
BMO CashBack® Mastercard®$0 annually0.5-3%5% on the first $2500 in the first 3 months across several categories ($125 maximum)
Neo Credit

Neo Credit

Neo Credit is an everyday card with no monthly fee unless you upgrade your account to Premium. It is a great option for a wide variety of consumers and offers good cash back rates. Cardholders can earn 1% cashback on all gas and groceries and 0.5% guaranteed monthly minimum cashback with Neo partners. For consumers who want to upgrade to Premium, for $4.99 a month, cash back rates will increase. 3% on gas and groceries and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases. 

Key Features

Annual Fee: $0 (Base), $4.99 monthly (Premium)

Purchase Rate: 19.99% to 29.99% (19.99% – 24.99% QC residents)

Cash Advance Rate: 22.99% to 31.99% (22.99% – 25.99% QC residents)

Card Earn Rate: 

  • 1%, or 3% on gas and groceries (Base vs. Premium)
  • 0.5% monthly minimum cashback with Neo partners (or on all purchases for Premium users).
  • 5% (6% for premium) on average at Neo-partnered restaurants, bars, and cafes.
  • 3% (4% for Premium) on Netflix, Disney+, Crave, Apple, Spotify, Uber, Lyft, UberEats, DoorDash, and Skip the Dishes.
  • 2%+, (3%+ for Premium) at Neo retail partners.

Spending Caps: 

  • Up to $4,000/ year per category (gas and grocery)

Welcome Bonus: Up to 15% cash back on first purchases at select partners. Plus get the first 3 months free when you sign up for the premium plan. 

Eligibility: No income requirements. Credit checks are also not required (except for Quebec) but Neo retains the right to reject your application if you don’t meet their requirements. Consumers can opt for Neo Secured Credit if they don’t meet the eligibility requirements. 

Extra Features: Neo offers digital insights and a spending tracker. It also has a virtual card for immediate usage. Users can also add these flexible rewards subscriptions called Neo Perks for extra cash back and other perks such as travel insurance.

CIBC Dividend® Visa Card (1)

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card

The CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card has market-leading earn rates in many useful categories, such as gas, groceries, and dining. The card also includes comprehensive insurance, covering mobile devices, emergency medical, rental car, and more. The fee is lower than other premium options, and the first year is waived if you add up to three authorized users. 

Key Features

Annual Fee: $120 

Purchase Rate: 20.99%

Cash Advance Rate: 22.99%

Card Earn Rate: 

  • 4% cash back on gas, groceries, and EV charging
  • 2% cash back on recurring bills, dining and transportation
  • 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases

Spending Caps:

  • $20,000 annually on gas, groceries, EV charging, recurring bills, and transportation. 
  • Or $80,000 in overall card purchases 
  • Drops to 1% afterward

Welcome Bonus: None.

Eligibility: Minimum personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000, credit score + 760.

Features: Premium insurance benefits, mobile wallet integration, gas discounts.

BMO Cash Back World Elite Mastercard

BMO CashBack® World Elite® Mastercard®

The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard offers a strong welcome bonus, a best-in-Canada earn rate on groceries and premium perks. It’s a great option to earn rewards quickly in popular spending categories. The card offers paid airport lounge access, and the first year’s annual fee is waived.

One downside is the low spending caps on higher earn rate categories. After exceeding $300 to $500 in monthly spending, your enhanced earn rates drop to 1%. 

Key Features

Annual Fee: $120 (First year free)

Purchase Rate: 20.99%

Advance Rate: 23.99%

Card Earn Rate:

  • 5% cash back on groceries
  • 4% cash back on transit, ride sharing, taxis
  • 3% cash back on gas and EV charging
  • 2% cash back on recurring bills
  • 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases

Spending Caps

  • $500 monthly for groceries
  • $300 monthly for transit, ride sharing, taxis
  • $300 monthly for gas, and EV charging
  • $500 monthly for recurring bills
  • 1% afterward 

Welcome Bonus: Up to 10% cash back in the first 3 months ($260 maximum).

Eligibility: Minimum personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000, credit score +700.

Extra Features: Complimentary concierge service, emergency medical insurance, car rental discounts, event discounts, paid airport lounge access ($32 USD per visit), and minimum $1 redemptions.

td cash back infinite

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card

The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite is a great option for those looking to earn cash back on their everyday purchases. The card offers the strongest welcome bonus out of all the cards, with the potential to earn up to $350. However, the card is more expensive than other premium cards and does not have the first-year fee waived.

Key Features

Annual Fee: $139

Purchase Rate: 20.99%

Advance Rate: 22.99%

Card Earn Rate:

  • 3% cash back on groceries, recurring bills and gas
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Spending Caps: 

  • $15,000 annually on each of gas, groceries, and recurring bills
  • 1% afterward

Welcome Bonus: 10% cash back on up to $3,500 in the first 3 months (up to $350)

Eligibility: Minimum personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000, credit score +660

Extra Features: Emergency road service, premium insurance benefits, 50% more stars at Starbucks, and concierge services.

SimplyCash from American Express

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

The SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express offers strong cash back on various categories. It also has a generous welcome bonus, although staggered across ten months. Unlike some other options, Amex only pays cash back in September, so you have to wait until then to be paid out.

Key Features

Annual Fee: N/A

Purchase Rate: 21.99%

Cash Advance Rate: 21.99%

Card Earn Rate: 

  • 2% cash back on gas, groceries
  • 1.25% cash back on all other purchases

Spending Caps

  • $30,000 annually overall for gas and groceries
  • 2% afterward

Welcome Bonus: $10 for each billing where you spend more than $300 for the first 10 months (up to $100)

Eligibility: No income requirements, credit score +660

Extra Features: Extended warranty and purchase protection, travel insurance and mobile device insurance.

Tangerine credit card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card offers a choice of up to three categories to earn 2% cash back. The categories can be changed to align with big purchases. Otherwise, all other purchases earn 0.5%. With no annual fee and the ability to pick your bonus categories, this card makes it easy to align rewards with your spending. The solid welcome offer provides even more value for new cardholders.

Key Features

Annual Fee: $0

Purchase Rate: 19.95%

Cash Advance Rate: 19.95% 

Card Earn Rate: 

  • 2% cash back on up to 3 selectable categories
  • 0.5% cash back on other purchases

Spending Caps

  • None

Welcome Bonus: 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 2 months, up to $100 in total rewards

Eligibility: $12,000 income, credit score +725

Extra Features: Balance transfer offer (1.95% interest for first 6 months), automatic earning, limited insurance coverage.

BMO CashBack Mastercard

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®

The BMO CashBack Mastercard stands out for its high 3% earn rate on groceries – the best grocery earn rate among no annual fee cards in Canada. Strong insurance coverage and a solid welcome bonus add more value to the card. This card is a great option as a first credit card. 

Key Features

Annual Fee: $0

Purchase Rate: 20.99%

Cash Advance Rate: 22.99%

Card Earn Rate: 

  • 3% cash back on groceries
  • 1% cash back on recurring bills
  • 0.5% cash back on other purchases

Spending Caps

  • $500 monthly for groceries
  • $500 monthly for Recurring Bill Payments
  • 0.5% afterward

Welcome Bonus: 5% cash back on certain categories on $2,500 in spending within the first 3 months (up to $125 maximum)

Eligibility: No income requirements, credit score +660

Extra Features: Extended warranty and purchase protection, car rental discounts, event discounts, balance transfer promotion.

How Do Cash Back Credit Cards Work? 

Cash back credit cards work by returning a percentage of your spending in redeemable cash. The percentage, known as an earn rate, varies across cards and spending categories. For example, some cards may return a flat 1% rate across all categories. Other times, a card may offer 4% on groceries and 2% on everything else. Since the earn rate varies across categories, it’s best to find a card that aligns with your spending habits. In addition, many cards impose spending limits on their lucrative categories. For example, your 4% grocery earn rate may temporarily drop to 0.5% after exceeding $500 in monthly spending. 

Redeeming cash back rewards also varies across cards. Some options may automatically deposit rewards once yearly, while others provide more control. For example, American Express offers accumulated rewards as a statement credit every September. However, most institutions let you redeem cash back whenever desired. Some options require surpassing a minimum balance, such as $50. 

Aside from earning and redeeming cash back rewards, some cards may have additional features that enhance their value. This can include insurance coverage, purchase protection, extended warranty, travel perks, and more. Commonly, people are interested in the welcome bonus. This offers a lucrative opportunity to earn enhanced cash back during the first few months. While these features can vary by card, they are generally reserved for premium options. 

Pros And Cons of Cash Back Credit Cards

Pros

  • Some cash back cards offer higher earning rates for specific categories.
  • Redemptions are generally more flexible and less complicated than travel rewards.
  • Welcome bonuses provide extra value.
  • Rewards generally don’t expire as long as your account remains in good standing. But it’s important to check the details of your specific rewards programs. 

Cons

  • Higher interest rates than basic credit cards.
  • Some cash back cards have minimum redemption thresholds.
  • Entry-level options earn relatively low rewards.
  • Some financial institutions make you wait until a certain month of the year to get your cash back dollars Amex (September) and Scotiabank (November).

How To Choose A Cash Back Credit Card

how to choose a cashback credit card
  • Welcome Bonus: Premium cards generally offer an increased earn rate for the first 3-6 months. This can help you maximize value, especially on big purchases.
  • Category Bonuses: Most cards have varying earn rates on different categories. Choose a card that maximizes cash back on frequent expenses, such as groceries, gas, dining out, etc.
  • Annual Fee: Cash back cards range from no fee to $150+ per year. While premium cards offer more features and cash back potential, they may not appeal to everyone.
  • Redemption Structure: Some options only pay rewards annually, while others have no restrictions on usage.
  • Insurance & Perks: Extra benefits like rental car insurance, extended warranty, and airport lounge access can add value. Insurance and lounge access are generally reserved for premium options.
  • Spending Caps: Higher-earning category rates often decrease after passing a pre-established spending cap.

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Cash Back Credit Card

To maximize your cash back earnings and ensure your credit card annual fee is worth the cost, consider the following:

Pay Close Attention To Bonus Categories

Many cash back cards offer lucrative bonus categories that can significantly boost your earnings, particularly on essential expenses like groceries. To maximize rewards, prioritize a card that aligns with your top spending categories. Otherwise, in rare cases, a card may let you customize the top-earning categories. For example, the Tangerine Moneyback Card lets cardholders select up to three categories to earn 2% cash back.  

Utilize Your Card For Everyday Spending

To maximize earnings, consistently use your card for everyday purchases you would make, such as groceries, transportation, and dining out. Take advantage of the opportunity to include all your regular monthly expenses on your cash back card, including groceries, fuel, restaurant meals, transit fares, utility bills, subscriptions, and more. 

Pay Your Balance In Full

To preserve your cash back rewards and prevent the eroding effect of interest charges, it’s important to always pay off your monthly balance in full. Cultivate the habit of consistently paying your statement balance in full each month. Consider setting up automatic payments for the due amount to ensure you never miss a payment deadline.

Take Advantage Of The Welcome Bonus

Many of the cash back rewards cards listed have generous welcome bonuses which can boost your earnings. This is commonly an enhanced earn rate for the first few months. After the promotion ends, your cash back earn rates will drop to their standard levels. If your card has a juicy welcome bonus, try to time that with larger purchases, such as furniture or appliances.

Remember To Redeem Your Rewards

While it’s easy to let cash back rewards accumulate, it’s crucial to actively redeem them. Don’t miss out on the perks you’ve earned; instead, redeem your cash back for statement credits or deposit it directly into your bank account.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right cash back credit card for your lifestyle is key to maximizing rewards. The best options align high bonus category earn rates with your frequent spending. Features like welcome bonuses, insurance, warranties, and flexible redemption options provide even more value.

When comparing cards, evaluate annual fees and interest rates as well. Aim for a card with reasonable fees justified by strong rewards and benefits. Always pay your balance off each month to avoid interest charges that offset cash back earned.

Cash Back Credit Card FAQs

What is cash back on credit cards?

Cash back on credit cards is a rewards program where cardholders earn a percentage of their purchases as a cash rebate. 

How to get cash back from credit cards?

To get cash back from a credit card, you need to make purchases using the card. A percentage of your purchases will be returned as cash. However, different cards have varying redemption structures. 

Are cash back credit cards worth it?

Cash back credit cards can be worth it if you frequently use your credit card for purchases. You’ll earn rewards on purchases, which can add up to hundreds of dollars. 

Are cash back credit cards taxable?

No, cash back rewards are not taxable in Canada. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) classifies rewards as discounts rather than income. Cardholders don’t need to report cash back rewards when filing taxes.
Lucas Elliott avatar on Loans Canada
Lucas Elliott

Lucas, a Toronto native, holds an Honours BBA (Finance) degree obtained from Wilfrid Laurier University. His career has spanned venture capital and blockchain startups. Aside from writing at Loans Canada, Lucas is a Hardbacon contributor, and content specialist at Croton Content. Additionally, his passion for exploring the world has taken him to an impressive 28 countries across Europe, North America, Asia, and Central America.

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