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Canada's Top Cash Back Credit Cards for 2017

I don't need to read all this just show me the rankings!

Posted April 11, 2017

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For nine years we've ranked the top travel rewards credit cards here on Rewards Canada and many years ago we started providing coverage on cash back cards as well. What we never did was rank them. Well that has all changed now as Canada's leading loyalty and rewards resource, we are proud to announce our first ever Canada's Top Cash back Credit Card rankings!

We'll be honest with you, these rankings were supposed to come out at the start of March but we learned about changes to two cash back cards in our market and that screwed everything up. Now that we know what the changes are that happened to the Tangerine Money Back Mastercard and the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express we're glad we waited. If we didn't we would have ranked the SimplyCash Preferred in fourth place and the mbna Rewards World Elite Mastercard in first. However as of today, April 11th, the SimplyCash Preferred Card became a whole lot better and knocks the mbna card out of the first place ranking that we were going to award it. It was close however. Both cards now offer a straight 2% Cash back. A very strong offering from both. Both have similar annual fees, SimplyCash at $99 (up from $79 with the changes today) and the mbna card $89. Where the SimplyCash card gets mbna is on the sign up bonus and the insurance package. mbna gives you 10,000 points as a sign up offer which is worth $100 while SimplyCash gives you 5% back for the first 6 months capped at $300 which is the equivalent of a $180 sign up bonus. Then you look at the insurance benefits and the SimplyCash blows away mbna with travel medical, flight delay, baggage delay and hotel/motel burglary insurance, all of which mbna does not offer. The one perk mbna has over the SimplyCash Preferred card is acceptance. Being a Mastercard you can use it more places than the SimplyCash card. The beauty in this however is that we always recommend that you carry a Visa, a Mastercard and an American Express card in your wallet. So if you are all about cash back there is no harm in getting both the mbna Rewards World Elite Mastercard and the SimplyCash Preferred card. By doing so you'll know you are always getting a 2% return, have great travel insurance coverage and pretty much shop anywhere with both cards in hand. Rounding out the top 5 are the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card, the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard and the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.

To see all the cards we considered and to learn about all the rewards and benefits on all the cards visit Rewards Canada's Cash Back Credit Card Comparison Chart. You'll also want to visit our Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Portfolio to see what we think is the best combination of cards for your wallet.

We compared well over 20 cash back card options for Canadians for the best of the best and from those comparisons these are our picks for the Top Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada:

Canada's Top Cash Back Credit Cards for 2017


SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Who doesn't want 5% back on all spending in the first six months (up to $300 in rewards) and then 2% on all spending after that along with a strong insurance package? The newly updated SimplyCash. Preferred Card from American Express grabs our top spot for 2017!

2nd


mbna rewards World Elite Mastercard

10,000 points worth $100 on your first purchase, the ability to cash out monthly and a straight 2% return is why the mbna Rewards World Elite Mastercard is one of the best cash back cards in Canada

3rd

Premium Cash Back
Scotia Momentum® VISA* Infinite card

A long time front runner, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card has always been one of Canada's better cash back cards and even the best a few years ago. While it has strong category bonuses of up to 4% cash back, the 1% on non-category purchases and supplementary card fees makes the card only net third place in our first rankings

4th


BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

A relative newcomer to the cash back reward world, the BMO CashBack World Elite makes it into our top 5 due to its flat 1.75% return on all spending.
PLEASE NOTE THE EARN RATE WILL CHANGE TO 1.5% AS OF OCTOBER 3, 2017
It has a decent insurance package that comes with it but also one of the highest annual fees for a cash back card and it is for that reason we rank it lower than the Scotia Momentum card.

5th

20,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points with first purchase
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Up until November of last year this card would not have been considered, but now that you can redeem Scotia Rewards points towards any purchase made on the card, this strong travel rewards cards also now has a strong cash back component. The fact that you can redeem points any time means you are not waiting until the end of the month or end of the year to get cash back. While the base cash back rate is only 0.66% to 0.8% that gets bumped to 2.64% to 3.2% when you shop at the 4 points per dollar categories this card has! And you still have the option to get a full 4% back of if you redeem as cash back towards a travel charge!
Details on the Top Cash Back Credit Cards
What is a Cash back Credit Card?
A cash back credit card rewards you for your everyday spending with cash. On every purchase you'll earn a percentage back that is paid out either on a monthly or yearly basis depending on the card.
Card Details Previous Rankings


SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

The SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express was just enhanced and because of those enhancements it is now the best cash back card in Canada. Here are just some of the reasons why this card came out on top:
  • 2% cash back on everything you buy with no caps
  • 5% cash back for the first 6 months ($300 cap)
  • An excellent suite of insurance and benefits including out of province medical coverage
  • Front of the Line / Amex Invites

Apply Now

N/A


mbna Rewards World Elite Mastercard

The mbna Rewards World Elite Mastercard was originally a travel rewards card but when they changed that allow you to redeem for cash back with no devaluation the card quickly came out as one of the best cash back cards. Some of the reasons why this card is an exceptional card are as follows:
  • Earn 2 MBNA Rewards point for every $1 in eligible purchases. 1 point is equal to 1 cent.
  • Get 10,000 bonus points after your first eligible purchase
  • No limit to the points that can be earned in a year, points don’t expire
  • Enjoy price protection and concierge services
  • $89 Annual Fee

Apply Now

N/A

Premium Cash Back
Scotia Momentum
® VISA* Infinite card

Several years ago, this was the best overall cash back card in Canada but others have made inroads on the card. That being said, it is still a strong card especially if you can make use of its category bonuses. Here are a few points as to why this card ranks well:
  • 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases (buy all your gift cards there)
  • 2% cash back on drug store purchases and recurring bill payments
  • An excellent suite of insurance and benefits including out of province medical coverage

Apply Now

N/A


BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is similar to the SimplyCash in that it is simple to understand, no tiered earn rates, just one simple one. Here's why the card comes in fourth place in our rankings
  • 4% cash back on all purchases in the first 4 months - Max. $250 cash back (limited time offer at time of publishing this feature)
  • 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases
  • An excellent suite of insurance and benefits including out of province medical coverage
  • The higher annual card fees (Primary and supplementary) kept this card from ranking higher.

Apply Now

N/A

20,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points with first purchase
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Originally a travel rewards card only, the Scotiabank Gold American Express card is one many would not consider for cash back but now that you have a use points for any purchase option it ranks high up as a cash back card. Here are some
  • Earn 4 Points for every dollar spent on gas stations, grocery stores, dining and entertainment which translates to a 2.64% to 3.2% cash back return
  • All other spending will come in at a 0.66% to 0.8% cash back return which keeps this card from ranking higher
  • An excellent suite of insurance and benefits including out of province medical coverage
  • The ability to redeem your points for any travel bookings from any travel provider with a return of 1 to 4%.

Apply Now

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Care to comment on what we chose as the best cash back rewards credit cards? Want to voice your opinion on the good and the bad of all the cash back Credit Cards in Canada. Share you views and experiences in the comment section below or on Facebook and Twitter for Canada's Top Cash Back Credit Cards 2017!


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