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The Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2019 In Canada

Barry Choi

Nov 27, 2019 6 min read

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The Best Cash-Back Credit Cards of 2018 In Canada

Check out the best updated rewards credit cards for this year here.

If you don’t like to travel and you don’t really care about earning points that can be redeemed for merchandise, then a cash-back credit card is what you should look at. People love cash-back credit cards because they’re easy to understand. You’ll earn a set percentage in cash-back for every purchase you make, how amazing is that? Although this concept is great, no two credit cards are alike.

Before you sign up for the first credit card you see that offers cash-back, you need to consider the annual fee (if any), the percentage in cash-back you’re getting, and any higher rates of return you get when spending on certain categories. You should also take a look at any additional offers and benefits available that may appeal to you such as balance transfers and roadside assistance.

Comparing all the different-cash back cards can be a tedious task which is why we’ve looked at all the details and have come up with the four best cash-back credit cards in Canada.

Top Best Cash-Back Credit Cards In Canada

Simply Cash™ Card from American Express

simply cash back - best cashback 2019

  • No annual fee

  • 19.99% on purchases

  • 22.99% on cash advances

  • 2.5% cash-back in your first 3 months (up to $150 cash-back)

  • Earn 1.25% cash back on purchases when your Welcome Rate ends

The Simply Cash Card from American Express looks like a pretty simple credit card, but when you take a closer look at it, you’ll realize why people love it. The 1.25% cash-back on all purchases is fantastic considering this is a cash-back credit card with no annual fee, but you also get 2.5% cash-back in your first 3 months of card membership (up to $150 cash-back). In other words, if you have a large purchase coming up, this is a card you may want to apply for.

Another benefit that comes with this card is American Express Invites which gives you front of the line access to concerts, movies, dining experiences and more. You’re basically getting early and sometimes exclusive access to some amazing events which shouldn’t be missed. Check your credit score with Borrowell to see if you could qualify for this awesome credit card! 

Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa* Card


  • No annual fee

  • 7.99% introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months (19.99% after that)

  • 22.99% on cash advances

  • 1% cash-back on eligible purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores, and recurring bill payments

  • 0.5% cash-back on all other eligible purchases

  • Up to 25% off base rates at participating AVIS and Budget car rental locations in Canada and the U.S.

If you do the majority of your spending at merchants where American Express isn’t accepted, you’ll want to consider a card such as the Scotia Momentum® No-Fee Visa* Card. This card has no annual fee, but the top cash-back is limited to four categories: groceries, gas, drug stores, and recurring bill payments. All other purchases earn your 0.5% cash-back. This is clearly not the most generous cash-back card out there, but it may be the most convenient considering Visa cards are widely accepted around the world.

Supplementary cards are free so you can pool the cash-back earned with family members or other authorized users. What’s also nice is cardholders get up to 25% off base rates at participating AVIS and Budget car rental locations in Canada and the U.S. To take advantage of this offer, you just need to pay your car rental with your Scotiabank card.

MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus® Mastercard

MBNA  - best cash back credit cards 2019

  • No annual fee

  • 19.99% on purchases

  • 24.99% on cash advances

  • Get 5% cash-back on eligible gas and grocery purchases for the first 6 months (until the total gas and grocery purchases in the applicable month reaches $500)

  • Get 2% cash-back on eligible gas and grocery purchases thereafter (until the total gas and grocery purchases in the applicable month reaches $500)

  • Get 0.5% cash-back for all other eligible purchases

Are you looking for a no fee cash-back card that offers some generous cash-back categories? If you said yes, you’ll want to consider the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard, but be sure you take the time to understand the details. For the first six months of cardmembership, you’ll earn 5% cash-back on gas and grocery purchases, but that only applies to a combined total spend of $500 every month. If you reach that threshold, you’ll earn just 0.5% cash-back on those purchases.

After the promotional period ends, you’ll still earn a generous 2% cash-back on gas and grocery purchases, but that $500 limit every month still applies. The limit will annoy some people, but you just need to look at your overall spending and compare the cash-back you get with this card to what the other cards on this list offer before deciding on which card to apply for.

What’s interesting about the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard is that you also get some additional benefits that may be useful to you. There’s purchase assurance that covers your purchases from theft, loss, and damage for 90-days from the date of your purchase. There’s also extended warranty included that doubles your manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year. Finally, you get some basic travel insurance which includes common carrier accidents, unexpected return home, car rentals, and lost luggage.

Home Trust Preferred Visa

home trust preferred visa - best credit cards of 2019

  • No annual fee

  • 19.99% on purchases

  • 19.99% on cash advances

  • 1% cash-back on all purchases

  • No foreign currency conversion fees

  • Roadside assistance included

The Interest Rate is in effect the day the Account is used or activated.

In case you didn’t know, most credit cards charge a 2.5% currency conversion fee when you make purchases in a foreign currency. As you can imagine, that fee can add up to quite a bit unless you have a card such as the Home Trust Preferred Visa. With this card, the currency conversion fees are waived, so you’ll pay the exchange rate that Visa sets every day. This pretty much ensures that you’ll be paying one of the lowest rates when making a purchase in any currency besides Canadian dollars.

With all of the spending you make, you’ll earn 1% in cash-back. That’s right, there’s no need to worry about different categories, you’ll earn that 1% cash-back on all purchases with no limits. What’s also nice about this card is that you get free roadside assistance. If you were to purchase roadside assistance on your own, it could potentially cost you more than $75 a year, so you’re getting a lot of value here considering that the Home Trust Preferred Visa has no annual fee.

Editorial Note: Our editors’ opinions are their own and content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it is posted. Borrowell does receive compensation from third-party advertisers, but it does not affect our editors’ opinions.

The credit card companies featured in this blog are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the application links for the most up to date information.

Barry Choi
Barry Choi
Personal Finance Expert
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Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert. His work has been featured in The Financial Post, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, and other publications. He's also made appearances on Global News and the CBC. Barry's goal is to make money easy to understand for all Canadians.

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