With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know which credit card is the right choice for you. But one thing is for sure – you want a credit card that ultimately benefits in some way, whether it be through travel points, cash back, or even just a good deal on interest rates.

The last thing you want is to sign up for a card that does nothing for you – you’re potentially missing out on free money or wasting it on high interest payments. So how do you decide? Well, you should first do your research and know what you’re looking for. But we know this can be time-consuming.

We analyze the market every year and singles out the best of the best with our Best of Finance awards – providing you with a concise list of the top cards in various categories. And now we decided to take it one step further and break down why these cards perform the best – showing you how much they could earn or save you. Check out how much you could earn with the best cash back rewards cards of 2017 below. 

Cash back card with a fee

The best of the best: Scotia Momentum®VISA Infinite* card

Annual fee: $0 initially, $99.00 after the first year. $30 for each supplementary card.

Purchase interest rate: 19.99%

Balance transfer interest rate: 22.99%

Cash advance interest rate: 22.99%

New cardholder bonus: N/A

Rewards

Everyday purchases: 5% cash back for the first three months at eligible retailers and 1% cash back after the first three months at eligible retailers.  

Eligible food purchases (grocery stores, restaurants, bars, food delivery, etc.) 4% cash back. 5 Membership Rewards® points for every $1 spent.

Eligible drug stores 2% cash back

Eligible gas stations 4% cash back

Eligible transit purchases N/A

Eligible travel purchases N/A

Recurring bill payments 2%

How much you could earn in your first year (assuming an average monthly household spend of $1,147.82): $488.75

Other cool perks: Complimentary tastings, private vineyard tours and discounts on wine purchases at over 60 wineries in British Colombia and Ontario.Exclusive access to Visa Infinite dining and entertainment events, and certain luxury hotel privileges.

The next best contender: American Express CobaltTMCredit Card

Annual fee: $120

Purchase interest rate: 19.99%

Balance transfer interest rate: N/A

Cash advance interest rate: 21.99%

New cardholder bonus: Bonus 10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. In the first year, a bonus 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each month in which you spend $500 – potentially adding up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year.

Rewards

Everyday purchases: 1 Membership Rewards® point for every $1 spent anywhere.

Eligible food purchases (grocery stores, restaurants, bars, food delivery, etc.) 4% cash back. 5 Membership Rewards® points for every $1 spent.

Eligible drug stores: 1 Membership Rewards® point for every $1 spent anywhere.

Eligible gas stations: 2 Membership Rewards® points for every $1 spent.

Eligible transit purchases: 2 Membership Rewards® points for every $1 spent.

Eligible travel purchases: 2 Membership Rewards® points for every $1 spent.

Recurring bill payments: 1 Membership Rewards® point for every $1 spent anywhere.

How much you could earn in your first year (assuming an average monthly household spend of $1,147.82): 89,449 Membership Rewards® points ($774.49)

Other cool perks: Advance access to concert, show and event tickets through Front Of The Line® by American Express Invites®. Advance screenings to blockbuster movies.

Cash back card with no fee

The best of the best SimplyCash™ Card from American Express

Annual fee: $0.00

Purchase interest rate: 19.99%

Balance transfer interest rate: N/A

Cash advance interest rate: 21.99%

New cardholder bonus: N/A

Rewards

Everyday purchases: 0.5% Money-Back Rewards anywhere, plus 2% Money-Back Rewards in two other spending categories of your choice.

Eligible food purchases (grocery stores, restaurants, bars, food delivery, etc.): 5% cash back in the first six months and 1.25% cash back anywhere after the first six months

Eligible drug stores: 1.25% cash back anywhere after the first six months

Eligible gas stations: 5% cash back in the first six months and 1.25% cash back anywhere after the first six months

Eligible transit purchases: 1.25% cash back anywhere after the first six months

Eligible travel purchases: 1.25% cash back anywhere after the first six months

Recurring bill payments: 1.25% cash back anywhere after the first six months

How much you could earn in your first year (assuming an average monthly household spend of $1,147.82): $350.43

Other cool perks: Advance access to concert, show and event presale tickets through Front Of The Line® by American Express Invites®·  Access to specially reserved seats for cardholders through Front Of The Line® Reserved Tickets.Access to express lines, VIP lounges and bars at select event and concert venues in Toronto. Advance to special offers and experiences with American Express Invites® – from blockbuster movie screenings to weekend getaway packages and special online and in-store shopping deals.

The next best contender: Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Annual fee: $0.00

Purchase interest rate: 19.95%

Balance transfer interest rate: 1.95% for the first six months on transfers made in the first 30 days and 19.95% after the first six months.

Cash advance interest rate: 19.95%

New cardholder bonus: N/A

Rewards

Everyday purchases: 1.25% cash back anywhere after the first six months.

Eligible food purchases (grocery stores, restaurants, bars, food delivery, etc.): N/A

Eligible drug stores: N/A

Eligible gas stations: N/A

Eligible transit purchases: N/A

Eligible travel purchases: N/A

Recurring bill payments: N/A

How much you could earn in your first year (assuming an average monthly household spend of $1,147.82): $217.14

Other cool perks Option to pick a third Money-Back Rewards category if you opt to deposit your Money-Back Rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account.Option to continually change your Money-Back categories to suit your spending. 

How we calculate rewards potential

To calculate the return earned on these rewards credit card, RateSupermarket.ca assumed a total monthly spend of $1,147.82* on the card, divided into the following categories:

  • Food: $675.75
  • Gas: $121.90
  • Pharmacy: $68.17
  • Travel: $148
  • Other: $134

Please note:

  • The credit card balance was paid in full each month, with no interest charges accrued.
  • The consumers always use the card at partner retailers, if applicable (e.g. all gas purchased at Shell locations).
  • All points and miles were calculated into a cash value in order to compare cards like for like.
  • Spending was calculated over a 12-month period, taking into account all signup bonuses, good standing bonuses, first-purchase bonuses, annual fees and waivers.
  • Gas mileage was based on a 2016 Honda Civic.

*Monthly spend calculated from Statistics Canada 2015 average household expenditures data.

RATESDOTCA Team

The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

Recent News Articles
Safety Reminders So Halloween Doesn’t Haunt You Later
The COVID-19 pandemic raises new concerns for a safe Halloween this year. Taking a few precautions to protect your home and vehicle as well as all those little trick-or-treaters can help limit your concerns to overindulging in candy.
Car Insurance Rates Rise in Alberta in the Third Quarter
The Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB) in Alberta gave several insurers the green light to increase their auto rates in the third quarter of 2020. Here’s what you need to know.
5 Simple Things You Can Do to Use Your Credit Card Better
Your credit card may offer you a variety of perks that can save you money. However, it’s up to you to use them.