2021 Canada's Choice Top No Fee Cash Back Credit Card
One of the newest credit card offerings, the Neo Mastercard® entered the Canadian market in mid 2020 after several years of development. The card is provided by Neo Financial, a new Canadian Fintech company launched by some of the same people who had created SkipTheDishes. We're proud to say Rewards Canada was one of the companies they checked in with during the development phase of their credit card so it was exciting for us to see the company and their products come to fruition!
The Neo Mastercard is a cash back rewards card that has been continually evolving since its launch in 2020. The focus is on earning higher cash back earn rates with specific Neo partners from coast to coast. They have quite a few partners and are adding more all the time. Here in their home city of Calgary you can see Neo stickers at a lot of merchants! Not a day goes by without me seeing one. Outside of using the card at their partners you do earn cash back on all other purchases as well.
The card has one name, the Neo Mastercard and is best known as a no fee card but they do offer two variations of the card:
June 23, 22 - It's back! Limited time offer: $25 welcome bonus when you apply and are approved for a Neo Mastercard
The card does not have a standard welcome bonus offer although it does have a $25 sign up offer from time to time. I have seen tent cards with QR codes at Neo partners that you scan to sign up and get a bonus so if those are still around you may be able to score that $25.
Outside of that limited time offer the Neo card wanted to do their welcome bonus differently and that was by providing big discounts or other perks the first time you use the card at their participating merchant partners. Some of those offers include up to 15% cash back on your first purchase at the retailer.
The interest rate on the card varies from 19.99% to 24.99% on purchases and cash advances. The rate you receive will be dependent on Neo's assessment of your credit application, credit profile, and your province.
The Neo Card focuses on bigger earn rates at their partners across the country and states you'll earn on average 5% cash back with those partners. Cash back at non Neo partners varies as they run the earn portion a little differently. Neo guarantees that you will earn at least 1% cash back on all your spending for the month. So if you have a month where you don't spend much with their partners and your overall average cash back rate drops below 1% they will top you off to ensure all your spend that month nets you 1% back. That monthly top off to 1% is limited to $5,000 in non-partner spending per month.
Once you have a Neo account and have collected some cash back rewards you can redeem them at anytime towards the balance on your credit card.
At the time of posting this the cash back towards your credit balance is the only redemption option however Neo does state more rewards are in the works such as gift cards, merchandise, savings and investments.
Outside of the cash back earn there are no additional features or benefits such as insurance coverage, annual credits or lounge access on the Neo Card.
The cash back earned on the card can prove to be very valuable especially if you can focus your spending at Neo’s partners.
Another good thing about the card is the quick application process and the immediacy of a digital card being available right for you to use when you are approved.
The Secured version of the card is great for those looking to start to build credit or re-build credit. The fact there is no fee on the secured is awesome as most secured cards in Canada carry monthly or annual fees.
There are no additional benefits provided on these cards outside of the cash back earned. That is, there is no insurance coverage - not even purchase protection or extended warranty. And in terms of benefits there are no annual statement credits, no lounge access and those type of things. Now, these are benefits you typically won't find on no fee cards but Neo doesn't include any benefits even on the paid versions of the card. The paid cards can end up costing as much as competing cards that do have insurance coverage and a slew of benefits.
If you don't shop a lot at Neo partners, the cash back earn rate isn't great compared to some of the competing cards in the market. This is even more pronounced if you spend more than $5,000 a month on your card as Neo will only guarantee the 1% cash back on that $5,000 in spending.
When Neo Financial was created they sought out to disrupt the Canadian financial industry. That is, to change the way things were being done by the big banks of Canada. They are definitely making inroads in that regard, not only do they have their credit card, they have also had their Neo Money account (with a high 1.45% interest rate) in the market for sometime and most recently have added investing and mortgage products. If you are looking to join the movement away from what has been the Canadian banking norm for decades, Neo can make a good option. The credit card was the product that they launched with and it has been evolving ever since 2020 to become a good cash back rewards option for those who don't need a card with all the extras or even so, for people who have cards with all the extras but need or want a no fee Mastercard addition.
Limited time offer: $25 welcome bonus2 when you apply and are approved for a Neo Credit card
Annual Fee $0
1 Average based on current offers at select partners. Cashback varies per plan, offer and partner.
2 Limited-time offer. Only new Neo Credit customers are eligible for this offer. This offer is only awarded if a new customer is approved for a Neo Credit. Customer has 90 days to complete the card application process. Offer is subject to the Rewards Policy, the Neo Platform Terms and Conditions and all other applicable terms and conditions. Offer may be amended or cancelled at any time without notice
* Card issued by ATB Financial pursuant to license by Mastercard International Inc.
Mastercard® is a registered trademark, and the circle design is a trademark of Mastercard International Inc.
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