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Canada's Top Cash Back Credit Cards of 2018

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

Posted July 11, 2018

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Welcome to Rewards Canada's second annual Top Cash back Credit Card rankings!

Just like last year, these rankings are coming out later in the year then planned thanks to changes to existing cards and the launch of new cash back cards in our market! We wanted to see how these card launches and updates would affect our rankings!

Now that the cards we have been waiting for have been updated or released we are pleased to offer our list of the Top Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada for 2018. The main card we were waiting for was the Rogers World Elite Mastercard that was announced earlier this year but wasn't officially released until late May. That card debuts at number three in the rankings thanks to strong earn rate and no annual fee. We are still waiting to see what will happen with Brim Financial's launch - they have cash back cards coming out but no one seems to have received cards from them yet so we could not wait any longer to see if could add them in.

The actual rankings see a shift in the third to fifth spots which means the top two spots remain the same as 2017 with the SimplyCash Preferred Card taking top spot once again and the mbna Rewards World Elite Mastercard coming in a close second. Both cards still offer a straight 2% Cash back. A very strong offering from both. Both have similar annual fees, SimplyCash at $99 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 mbna away 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. With the Rogers World Elite Mastercard landing in third place it drops last year's third place card, the venerable Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card down to fourth and we see the best Travel Rewards card in Canada, the American Express Cobalt Card come in fifth place thanks to its cash back component.

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 2018


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 SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express grabs our top spot for the second year in a row!

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
** PLEASE NOTE THE CASH BACK RATE OF THIS CARD WILL BE CHANGING ON FEBRUARY 1, 2019 TO 1.67% AND THE ANNUAL FEE WILL BECOME $120 ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2018 **

3rd


Rogers World Elite Mastercard

Launched in May of this year the new Rogers World Elite Mastercard breaks into this list thanks to having no annual fee (all the other cards on this list have annual fees) with really good earn rates. The base earn rate on the card is 1.75% cash back but that gets bumped to 2% for Rogers products and services and then it earns 4% on purchases made in a foreign currency, albeit with a 2.5% forex fee but that means you are still earning 1.5% on those purchases. The card also has a a pretty good insurance package for a no fee card!

4th

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

5th


American Express Cobalt Card

Primarily considered a travel rewards card, the American Express Cobalt Card stormed onto our market in the fall of 2017. Not only did it grab the number one spot in 2018 Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings it grabs 5th spot in these rankings! The reason why is that the card's Membership Rewards points can be used towards any purchase made on the card at any time. 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 0.7% that gets bumped to 1.4% to 3.5% when you shop at the 2 points per dollar and 5 points per dollar categories this card has! And you still have the option to get a full 5% 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 continues to be 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
  • $99 Annual Fee

Apply Now

2017: 1st


mbna Rewards World Elite Mastercard

The mbna Rewards World Elite Mastercard was originally a travel rewards card but when they changed it to 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
  • ** PLEASE NOTE THE CASH BACK RATE OF THIS CARD WILL BE CHANGING ON FEBRUARY 1, 2019 TO 1.67% AND THE ANNUAL FEE WILL BECOME $120 ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2018 **

Apply Now

2017: 2nd


Rogers World Elite Mastercard

New to our market and the rankings, the Rogers World Elite Mastercard jumps into the rankings thanks to having no annual fee coupled with strong earn rates and a decent insurance package:
  • 4% cash back on purchases made in a Foreign Currency
  • 2% cash back on Rogers products and services
  • 1.75% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • An really good suite of insurance and benefits including out of province medical coverage
  • No annual fee

Apply Now

New to the rankings

Premium Cash Back
Scotia Momentum® VISA* Infinite card

Several years ago, this was the best overall cash back card in Canada but others continue to make 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
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • An excellent suite of insurance and benefits including out of province medical coverage
  • $99 annual fee (current offer provides the first year free)

Apply Now

2017: 3rd


American Express Cobalt Card

The American Express Cobalt Card replaces the Scotiabank Gold American Express card in this spot and like the latter is one many would not consider for cash back but given the fact you can use points for any purchase it ranks high up as a cash back card. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • Earn 5 Points for every dollar spent on eats and drinks (restaurants, grocery, food delivery) which translates to a 3.5% cash back return
  • Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on transit, travel and gas which translates to a 1.4% cash back return
  • All other spending will come in at a 0.7% 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 5%.
  • $10 Monthly fee ($120 per year)

Apply Now

New to the rankings
 
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 2018!


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