Skip to content Skip to footer

Best Rewards Credit Cards for Canada in 2023

Best Rewards Credit Cards for Canada in 2023

The best reward credit cards

In this article, we provide a listing of the best rewards credit cards in Canada

Introduction

The surge in demand for the best rewards credit cards reflects the increasingly sophisticated needs of consumers in recent times. In 2022, there were 76.2 million active Visa and Mastercard credit cards in circulation in Canada (this roughly equates to two credit cards per adult person living in Canada considering an adult population size of 31.6million!).

A significant factor that people consider when choosing a credit card is the rewards, they can receive, such as airline miles, hotel or timeshare credits, cash back, rental car discounts, and much more. If you are looking to learn how to earn significant rewards through the use of your credit card, then this article is for you.

Choosing a credit card that provides the most rewards can be overwhelming due to the plethora of options available.

 To make the process of selecting a credit card easier for you, we have compiled a guide that compares some of the most generous rewards credit cards in Canada. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which credit card may be the best fit for you if you are considering getting one soon.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

Best rewards credit card Canada: MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4/5

$0

20.99%

Yes

Pros

  • Generous welcome bonus of up to 10,000 MBNA Rewards
  • Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership, and household utility purchases until $10,000 is spent annually in each category
  • Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on other eligible purchases
  • 5,000 bonus points after the first purchase
  • Offers birthday bonus points (equivalent to 10% of total points earned in last 12 months before primary cardholder’s birthday to maximum of 10,000 points)
  • Points never expire as long as account is open and in good standing
  • Zero annual fees

Cons

  • $10,000 limit on purchase categories.
  • The highest earn rate only applies for the first 90 days of the account.
  • Eligible to Canadian residents who are of the age of majority in their province/territory of residence.
  • Insurance coverage includes purchase protection and extended warranty

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

3/5

$120

20.99%

Yes

Pros

  • Earn up to 6 times the Scene+TM points on every $1 you spend in Canada on eligible grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases
  • Access to “Front of The Line” presale tickets to some of the most in-demand concerts, theatre productions, restaurants, and special events before the general public
  • No foreign transfer fees.
  • High spending cap on groceries, dining, entertainment, gas, transit and streaming (up to $50,000)
  • Preferred discount on the Priority Pass™ membership and access over 1200 VIP lounges

Cons

  • Charges high Annual fee
  • Charges $29 for additional credit cards
  • No cashback reward
  • Insurance coverage includes purchase protection, travel insurance, medical insurance, trip cancellation, delayed and lost baggage, rental and mobile device

American Express Cobalt Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: American Express Cobalt Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4.5/5

$155.88

20.99%

Yes

Pros

  • High welcome bonus (up to $300 in value)
  • 5x points on eligible restaurants or food delivery in Canada
  • 3x points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada
  • 2x points for eligible ride shares to a weekend getaway in Canada
  • 1x points on everything else including online shopping
  • 1 additional point on eligible hotel or car rental bookings
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • It is not accepted at many places as Visa and Mastercard.
  • You should be a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file to be eligible
  • You should be the age of majority in the province or territory where you live to be eligible
  • Travel and purchase insurance available

RBC ION+ Visa Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: RBC ION+ Visa Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4.5/5

$48

19.99%

Yes

Pros

  • Welcome bonus of up to $120 in value.
  • 3x Avion poinys for every $1 spent on grocerires, dining, rides, gas, streaming and subscriptions.
  • 1 Avion point for every $1 spent on other qualifying purchases.
  • Offers a three month complimentary DoorDash subscription (up to $30 in value)
  • Offers savings on fuel at Petro-Canada and 50 Be Well Points per $1 spent at Rexall.
  • Get a $4 rebate each month ($48/year) on the monthly fee of your credit card when you have an RBC Signature No Limit Banking

Cons

  • Charges annual fee to use.
  • Low number of insurance varieties
  • Insurance coverage includes Purchase Security and Extended Warranty and Mobile Device Insurance

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4/5

$0

20.99%

Yes

Pros

  • Offers 1 Aeroplan point for every $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging, groceries and air Canada ticket.
  • Offers 1 Aeroplan point for every $1.50 spent on all other purchases.
  • Zero annual fees
  • Welcome bonus of up to $200 in value
  • Aeroplan points don’t expire as long as credit card remains active
  • Ability to combine points with other Aeroplan family members

Cons

  • Travel earnings are relatively low
  • Low earn rates on common purchase categories
  • Insurance coverage includes Auto Rental Collision and Loss Damage Insurance, plus extra protection for new purchases with Purchase Security and Extended Protection Insurance

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

3.5/5

$139

20.99% (22.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • Includes comprehensive travel insurance
  • It offers unique perks
  • Welcome offer of up to $1,500 and 55,000 Aeroplan points
  • No annual fees in the first year
  • Aeroplan can be shared with loved ones.
  • Aeroplan points don’t expire as long as credit card remains active

Cons

  • Charges a high annual fee
  • $75 charge for an additional cardholder.
  • Short timeline (3 months) to activate and make purchase to qualify for first year rebate.
  • High minimum annual income ($60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income)
  • Insurance coverage includes Travel Medical, Trip Cancellation/ Interruption, Flight/Trip Delay, Delayed and Lost Baggage, Auto Rental Collision / Loss Damage and Travel Accident

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Best rewards credit card Canada: SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4/5

$119.88

20.99%  (21.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • 4% cashback for eligible gas station purchase and eligible grocery up to a limit of $1,200 annually
  • Offers an unlimited 2% cash-back earn rate on other purchases.
  • Maximum annual bonus of up $1,500 cash back
  • Offers cashback of up to $400 in statement credits during the first 10 months.
  • Referral membership bonus of up to $1,500.
  • Mobile device insurance up to $1,000

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Limit of $1,200 annual cashback limit for groceries.
  • No travel rewards compared to other card issuers
  • Insurance coverage includes purchase protection, mobile and travel coverage, and extended warranty available

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

Best rewards credit card Canada: BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4/5

$120

20.99%  (23.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • Generous cash back rates on common bill categories, including groceries (5%), transit (4%), gas (3%), recurring bills (2%) and other purchases (1%)
  • Up to 13 types of insurance supported
  • Offers a welcome bonus of 10% cash back for the first three months
  • Comes with several travel benefits
  • Ability to set up automatic recurring deposit starting at $25.

Cons

  • Charges a high annual fee
  • $50 additional card annual fee.
  • High minimum annual income qualification ($80,000 for an individual or $150,000 for a household) 
  • To be eligible, you must have reached the age of majority in the province in which you live & not declared bankruptcy in the past seven years
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to be eligible
  • You must meet minimum income requirements: $80,000 (individual) or $150,000 (household)

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4/5

$599

20.99%  (21.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • Earn up to 85,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan points
  • Earn 3x Aeroplan points on air Canada purchases, 2x points on dining and 1.25x o other purchases.
  • High earn rates on Air Canada purchases.
  • Offers several insurance options
  • Offers access to airport lounges

Cons

  • Charges a high annual fee
  • $199 additional reserve card annual fee.
  • Comprehensive travel and purchase insurance available
  • To be eligible, you must be a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file
  • You should be the age of majority in the province or territory where you live to qualify for this card

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4/5

$120

20.99% (22.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • First year annual fee waiver (includes additional cards)
  • Earn 4% for every $1 spent on groceries, recurring bills and subscriptions, 2% on gas and daily transit, 1% on other purchases.
  • The annual fee can be avoided by using the Scotiabank Ultimate Package.

Cons

  • $50 additional card annual fee.
  • Requires minimum annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 or minimum assets under management of $250,000
  • Offers comprehensive insurance packages such as Travel Insurance (Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Travel Emergency Medical, Travel Accident Insurance), New Mobile Device Insurance, Rental Car Collision Loss/Damage Insurance and Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Protection

The Royal Canadian Legion MBNA Rewards Mastercard

Best rewards credit card Canada: The Royal Canadian Legion MBNA Rewards Mastercard

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4.2/5

$0

19.99%  (24.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • No minimum income requirements
  • No annual fees
  • 2% earned for every $1 spent on eligible groceries, dining, media, membership up to $10,000. 1% earned on other eligible purchases.
  • Offers birthday bonus points equal to 10% of the total points earned in the 12 months before birthday month up to a maximum of 10,000 points.
  • Offers a 10% off your next car rental with Avis or Budget

Cons

  • High interest rates on cash advances
  • Offers a small welcome bonus
  • Few insurance benefits

PC World Elite Mastercard

Best rewards credit card Canada: PC World Elite Mastercard

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

3.7/5

$0

20.97%  (22.97% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • No annual fees
  • Offers high earn rates in certain stores (30 points per $1)
  • Points don’t expire as long as your account is active
  • Car rental collision/ loss damage waiver
  • Travel emergency medical insurance

Cons

  • High minimum income requirement
  • Points you earn can’t be transferred to other loyalty programs
  • The included travel insurance is limited to first 10 consecutive days.
  • Minimum income eligibility ($80,000 or $150,000 for household)
  • Insurance coverage includes Travel Emergency Medical Insurance and Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Waiver Insurance, 

RBC ION+ Visa Credit Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: RBC ION+ Visa Credit Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4/5

$48

19.99%  (22.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • Relatively low annual fee and can be waived if a checking account is owned.
  • Offers high-level rewards in multiple categories
  • No minimum income requirements.
  • 3x Avion points for every $1 on groceries, transit, streaming and subscriptions.
  • 1 Avion point for every $1 spent on other eligible purchases.
  • Offers petro Canada, Be well points and complimentary delivery subscription.
    • No charges for an additional card.
  • Avion points can be used to pay bills, settle credit balances, send money to friends.
  • Mobile device insurance up to $1,000

Cons

  • It requires a relatively high credit score (at least 660)
  • Not ideal for balance transfers
  • Insurance coverage includes Mobile Device and Purchase Security,  Extended Warranty and add-on travel insurance

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

3/5

$120

19.99%  (22.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • Access to 5x points for eligible hotel purchases and 2x for every $1 spent on other cards.
  • Welcome fee of 55,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after charging $1,500 purchases to card.
  • Acces to varieties of insurance
  • Offers high reward rate

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Rewards are limited to Canadian residents with a credit file and those with age of majority.
  • Insurance coverage such as Flight & Baggage Delay, Hotel Burglary, Lost or Stolen Baggage, Travel Accident and Car Rental Theft and Damage

HSBC +Rewards Mastercard

Best rewards credit card Canada: HSBC +Rewards Mastercard

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

3.7/5

$25

11.99%  (19.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • Lower interest rates
  • Low annual fees charged.
  • Offers up to 35,000 points + full annual fee rebate for the first year.
  • Earn 2 points for every eligible dining or entertainment purchasing and 1 point for every $1 spent on other purchases.

Cons

  • No balance transfer promotional period.
  • Travel and medical insurance is an additional $69
  • Insurance coverage such as Price Protection Service, Purchase Assurance, Optional Travel and Medical and Extended Warranty.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

3.7/5

$0

19.95%

Yes

Pros

  • No annual fees charged
  • Option to choose pending categories where you want to earn the most cash back
  • Unlimited Money-Back Rewards

Cons

  • No physical location
  • 3% balance transfer fees
  • Foreign currency conversion fee of 2.5%
  • Insurance coverage such as Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty

American Express Business Edge Card

Best rewards credit card Canada: American Express Business Edge Card

Overall Rating

Annual Fees

Interest

Insurance Coverage

4/5

$99

20.99%  (21.99% – cash advances)

Yes

Pros

  • Offers up to 57,000 membership rewards points.
  • Offers 10x points for every $1 spent on eligible office supplies, transit and gas, dining in the first 6 months up to 10,000 points and 3x when the offer ends.
  • Offers 1x points for every other purchases.
  • Can add up to 99 supplementary cards.
  • Offers a generous welcome offer and 1,000-point monthly spending bonus.
  • Car rental theft & damage insurance

Cons

  • Charges high annual fee
  • Limited welcome offer to 10,000 points.
  • Some retailers don’t accept American Express cards
  • Insurance coverage such as Employee Card Misuse and Car Rental Theft & Damage
  • To be eligible you should be a Canadian resident, have a Canadian credit file and attain the age of majority in the province or territory where you live

Credit card basics

Now that we have shared the best reward credit cards, let’s explore some basics that you need to know before choosing which card suits your needs.

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a physical card, usually made from plastic, issued by a bank or any other relevant financial institution. This card allows the holder to make purchases on credit.

When you use a credit card, you are essentially borrowing money from the card issuer that you will later have to pay back. Interest typically accrues on the outstanding balance if the balance is left unpaid past the agreed due date.

You can use credit cards to make purchases in person, online, or over the phone, depending on the merchant you are dealing with.

Factors to consider when choosing a credit card

For the best experience, there are certain factors that you must consider when choosing a credit card. Some of the major ones include the following;

Fees

No matter which credit card you choose, you may be required to pay certain fees, and these significantly impact the cost of using a credit card.

Some of the common fees you may incur depending on the card you choose include annual fees (fees that are charged every year for maintaining the card) and balance transfer fees (fees that are charged for transferring balances from another credit card).

The other fees you might pay include foreign transaction fees, late payment fees, and over-limit fees. You need to carefully review these fees alongside your financial situation before choosing which card to use.

Interest rates (APR)

Interest rate is typically the cost of borrowing and is expressed as a percentage of the balance owed. The interest rate you will pay varies depending on the card issuer, the card type, and your creditworthiness. Ensure to review the interest rates of each card issuer before you choose one.

Rewards programs

Most credit card issuers offer their users some rewards that they can use to make extra purchases. Rewards and cashback programs are among the core factors many people consider when choosing which credit card to use. Such rewards include statement credits, gift cards, travel rewards, and more.

Credit limit

Every credit has a maximum amount that the cardholder can borrow, and this depends on several factors, including the cardholder’s creditworthiness, income, card issuer, and more. So, you need to consider the credit limits offered by the different card issuers and choose one that suits your financial needs.

Credit score requirements

Your credit score represents your creditworthiness, and it is a factor that card issuers use to make certain decisions, such as your card limit, interest rate, and more. Different card issuers have different credit card requirements, so check the credit score requirements before applying for a credit card to avoid unnecessary hard inquiries that can further hurt your credit score.

Sign-up bonuses

Some credit cards offer sign-up bonuses, such as statement credits, bonus points, or cash back. Getting these bonuses at the start can add value to the card. However, don’t forget to consider the other ongoing rewards and fees after the bonus period ends.

Steps to follow to get a credit card

Some of the typical steps that you may have to follow to get a credit card include the following;

  • Decide why you need one: Make sure you only get the credit card if you need it.

  • Check your credit score: checking your credit score will give you an idea of your creditworthiness and which credit card issuers you may qualify for.
  • Check out the different offers: Do your research and compare different credit cards and decide which one has the best offers and terms.
  • Apply for the credit card: After deciding on the credit that suits you, apply for it through the issuer’s website or any other relevant platform.
  • Receive and activate your card: If the issuer approves your request, you will receive the card in the mail within a few days or weeks. The procedure for activating the card is usually provided on the issuer’s website.

Why you may consider getting a credit card?

As we shared earlier, you need to know why you need a credit card before applying for one. Some of the reasons that may justify getting a credit include the following;

  • To build your creditworthiness: Using a credit card can help you establish a credit history or improve your credit score. This can enhance your chances of getting future credit facilities, such as mortgages.
  • Service a huge purchase: If you want to make an essential purchase that you can’t finance with your current income, getting a credit card might be worth it.
  • Convenience: Credit cards make it easier to make purchases without carrying cash.
  • To take care of emergencies: Sometimes, your income may not be enough or readily available to take care of certain emergencies, such as unexpected car repairs, medical expenses, or travel expenses. With a credit card, you will have some level of financial safety to deal with unexpected expenses.

How to redeem and use your credit card rewards

To redeem these rewards, it is crucial to first understand the rewards program offered by your card issuer. Most card issuers have a mobile app or website where you can check for your rewards and redeem them with just a few clicks. However, you must use your credit card rewards for eligible purchases.

You should also remember to monitor your rewards balance and expiration dates. It is also important to note that credit card rewards may have restrictions, such as minimum redemption thresholds or expiration dates.

Final thoughts

In this article, we have discussed some of the best reward credit cards in Canada that offer attractive rewards and benefits.

All the cards we have shared offer a wide range of benefits, including generous welcome bonuses, high earning rates on certain spending categories, travel and insurance perks, and more. However, they also have varying interest rates and annual fees that you must consider before making your choice.

You should also take time to read the terms and conditions of these cards before opting for any of them.

In This Article

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Email
Print

Leave a comment

Get the best financial tips, videos, courses and materials for free!