Sure, gas is typically an accelerated rewards category on credit cards, along with groceries and drug store purchases. But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn great rewards if you don’t own a car. Credit cards are starting to offer rewards for daily transit, including buses, subways, taxis, and rideshare services. So, no matter how you commute, you can be earning cash back in your wallet, or points toward your next vacation.

Whether it’s the opportunity to park your bum in a cozy lounge chair at the train station or earn cash back on daily transit, these seven credit cards offer great perks and rewards for people who don’t own a car.

Our top picks

Credit card Great features Annual fee

1. American Express CobaltTM Credit Card

Membership Rewards, travel insurance, flexible redemption $10 per month ($120 per year)

2. Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

Scotia Rewards, travel insurance

$120

3. Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

Cash back, travel insurance  $120

4. SimplyCashTM Preferred Card from American Express

Cash back, travel insurance  $99

5. TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card

Cash back, travel insurance  $120

6. Scotiabank PassportTM Visa Infinite* Card

Scotia Rewards, travel insurance $139

7. Tangerine World Mastercard®

Cash back, rental car collision and loss damage insurance  $0

1. American Express CobaltTM Credit Card

Get up to 30,000 bonus points when you sign up for the American Express CobaltTM Credit Card. Earn 2,500 Membership Rewards each month you spend $500 in the first year. Cardholders can earn two times the points on travel, transit, and gas. Grabbing the bus, a cab, or rideshare has never been so rewarding. Not only that, this card has you covered with car rental theft and damage insurance.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will see $1,298.20 in Membership Rewards points within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Fair: You have had a credit card or loan for at least one year. For the last two years or more, you have paid back debts to creditors (with no defaults). You haven’t missed more than two payments on your credit in the last three months.

Annual fee:

$10 per month ($120 per year)

Each additional supplementary card has a $0 annual fee.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn 30,000 Membership Rewards in the first year. Collect 2,500 Membership Rewards each month you spend $500 on your card. Those points can earn you an eligible short-haul flight using the Fixed Points Travel Program or a $300 statement credit towards travel.

Offer Expiry Date: N/A (subject to change without notice)

Rewards:

  • Earn five Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on eligible eats and drinks, including restaurant, bar, grocery, and food delivery purchases.
  • Get three Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on transit and gas, including public transit, taxis, and rideshare services.
  • Get one point everywhere else you shop.

Note: Some Cobalt members have reported receiving the “eats and drinks” rate of five Membership Rewards points per dollar on Uber rides. This lucky bonus may be due to the merchant code used by both Uber Eats and Uber.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 153,820.32 Membership Rewards
Monetary value= $1,538.20
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $240.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,298.20

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Shop on Amazon.ca
  • Turn points into a statement credit

Insurance:

  • Out of province/country emergency medical insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance
  • $250,000 travel accident insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Buyers assurance protection
  • Fraud protection guarantee

Other perks:

  • Enjoy exclusive experiences through American Express Front of the Line and access even more benefits through Cobalt perks.

2. Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

Apply for the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card and earn 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend $1,000 within the first three months. Earn three times the rewards points on ride and drive, including gas, public transit, buses, taxis, and rideshare services.

Based on our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian can earn $1,141.59 in Scotia Rewards points within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$120

Each supplementary card has a $29 annual fee.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when they spend $1,000 within the first three months.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: July 1, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn five Scotia Rewards points on eligible grocery, restaurant, fast food, drinking establishment, food subscription purchases, and entertainment.
  • Earn three Scotia Rewards points on eligible gas and daily transit, including public transit, taxis, and rideshare services, as well as select streaming services.
  • Earn one Scotia Rewards point everywhere else you shop.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 128,158.72 Scotia Rewards points
Monetary value = $1,381.59
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $240.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,141.59

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel
  • Experiences
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Applied as a statement credit
  • Converted to SCENE points

Insurance:

  • Travel emergency medical insurance
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Delayed baggage and lost baggage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Rental car collision loss/damage insurance
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance
  • Purchase Security
  • Extended Warranty
  • Scotia Credit Card Protection (optional)

Other perks:

  • No foreign transaction fees for online purchases and abroad.
  • Enjoy American Express Invites exclusive offers and events.
  • Take advantage of the Scotia Rewards Travel Service Best Price Guarantee on airfare, as well as complimentary concierge services, and a preferred discount on Priority Pass Membership.

3. Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card

For a limited time, the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card is offering new cardmembers 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months, up to $2,000 in total purchases. Regularly earn 2% back on daily transit, including buses, taxis, trains, and rideshare services. Also, save on rental cars at Avis locations across the U.S. and Canada and feel reassured with rental car collision loss/damage insurance.

You could have an extra $849.86 in your wallet within 24 months, according to our Best of Finance methodology.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least 10 years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$120

Each supplementary card has a $50 annual fee.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardholders can earn 10% cash back for the first three months, up to $2,000 in total purchases. Plus, Scotiabank will waive the annual fee for the primary ($120) and secondary cardholders ($50 each) for the first year.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: July 1, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn 4% cash back on grocery and subscription purchases, as well as recurring bill payments set up on the account.
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas and daily transit, including buses, taxis, and rideshare services.
  • Earn 1% back on everything else.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $969.86
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $120
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $849.86

*Annual fee is waived for the first year.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Deposited into an eligible Scotiabank account
  • Credited to your statement annually

Insurance:

  • New mobile device insurance
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
  • Travel emergency medical insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Delayed and lost baggage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Rental car collision loss/damage insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty
  • Scotia Credit Card Protection (optional)

Other perks:

  • Save on rental cars at participating AVIS locations across the U.S. and Canada.
  • Enjoy the complimentary Visa Infinite concierge services, as well as access the Visa Infinite Hotel Collection and Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country Program.

4. SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express offers 5% cash back on all purchases for the first six months, up to $300 cash back. This card also features an array of travel insurance coverages, including car rental theft and damage insurance.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could an extra $750.00 within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$99

Each supplementary card has a $0 annual fee.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn 5% cash back for the first six months up to a total of $300 back.
  • Enjoy a 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers made for the first six months. You can transfer up to 50% of your credit limit, up to $7,500, whichever is less. And, there is no balance transfer fee. However, this option is only available at the time of online application.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: N/A (subject to change without notice)

Rewards:

  • Earn 2% cash back on everything you buy, once the welcome offer ends.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $948.00
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $198.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $750.00

You can redeem your points for:

  • Cash back is applied as a statement credit annually

Insurance:

  • Car rental theft and damage insurance
  • $100,000 travel accident insurance
  • Emergency medical insurance (out of province/country)
  • Lost or stolen baggage delay insurance
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance
  • Buyer’s assurance protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Fraud protection guarantee

Other perks:

  • Enjoy all that American Express Invites has to offer, including front of the line access and exclusive offers and events.

5. TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card

The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card offers new cardholders 6% cash back for the first three months, up to a total spend of $2,000. After that, earn 3% back on eligible grocery and gas purchases, as well as recurring bill payments. Get 1% back on everything else.

If you don’t have a car, the Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership won’t be of much use. However, this card does offer savings on rental cars through Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car across the U.S. and Canada. Plus, save with auto rental collision and damage insurance. And, TD Visa Infinite cardholders can access exclusive Visa Infinite Credit Card Lounges, conveniently located at major transit hubs like Toronto’s Union Station.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see just under $650.00 within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Unknown.

Annual fee:

$120

Each supplementary card has a $50 annual fee.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn 6% cash back on all purchases for the first three months, up to $2,000 in total purchases. Plus, TD Bank will waive the annual fee for the primary and first additional cardholder for the first year.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: May 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn 3% Cash Back Dollars on eligible grocery and gas purchases, as well as recurring bill payments.
  • Earn 1% back on everything else.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $760.68
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $120.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $640.68

*Annual fee is waived for the first year.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Applied as a statement credit (whenever you like)

Insurance:

  • Travel medical insurance
  • Delayed and lost baggage insurance
  • Emergency travel assistance services
  • Auto rental collision and loss damage insurance
  • Visa Zero Liability
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Enjoy exclusive Visa Infinite benefits, including complimentary concierge services and access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, and Visa Infinite Food and Wine Experiences.
  • Take advantage of the free Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership for 24/7 roadside assistance.
  • Save with Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car across the U.S. and Canada.

6. Scotiabank PassportTM Visa Infinite* Card

The Scotiabank PassportTM Visa Infinite* Card offers new cardmembers 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when they spend at least $1,000 within the first three months. Apart from being a great travel rewards card (no foreign transaction fees and travel insurance), this card offers two times the rewards on daily transit purchases. Plus, cardholders can save on rental cars and get rental car collision loss and damage insurance.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see a bonus of just over $600.00 within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least 10 years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$139

The first supplementary card has no annual fee; after that, each card has a $50 annual fee.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardholders can earn 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when they spend at least $1,000 within the first three months. That’s a $300 travel value!

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: July 1, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn two Scotia Rewards points per dollar you spend on eligible grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases, as well as daily transit, including buses, taxis, and rideshare services.
  • Earn one Scotia Rewards point everywhere else you shop.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 88,482 Scotia Rewards points
Monetary value: $884.82
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $278.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $606.82

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel
  • Experiences
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Applied as a statement credit
  • Converted to SCENE points

Insurance:

  • Travel emergency medical insurance
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Delayed and lost baggage insurance
  • Rental car collision loss and damage insurance
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty
  • Price protection service
  • Scotia Credit Card Protection (optional)

Other perks:

  • Save on rental cars with your complimentary Avis Preferred Plus membership.
  • Book travel through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service for the Best Price Guarantee on airfare.
  • Enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchase made online or abroad.
  • With your complimentary Priority Pass Membership, you’ll receive six free airport lounge visits per year.
  • Access the Visa Infinite Hotel Collection, Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country program, and the Visa Infinite concierge services.

7. Tangerine World Mastercard®

For a limited time, new cardmembers of the Tangerine World Mastercard® can earn an extra $250 when they spend at least $5,000 within the first three months. Regularly earn 2% cash back in up to three categories of your choice. Earn the third category when you choose to deposit your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account. Cardmembers can choose from 10 categories in total, including public transportation and parking. Plus, this card comes with rental car collision and loss damage insurance.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see roughly $496.16 within the first two years, depending on the chosen categories and if the rewards are deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Free supplementary cards.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardholders can earn an extra $250 when they spend $5,000 in everyday purchases within the first three months.
  • Take advantage of the 1.95% promotional interest rate on balance transfers made within the first 30 days of account opening, for the first six months. A 1% balance transfer fee does apply.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: March 31, 2020

Rewards:

To start, earn 2% Money-Back Rewards in two chosen categories. And, if you choose to have your Money-Back Rewards deposited in your Tangerine savings account, you are eligible for the third castigatory at 2%. Switch up your selected Money-Back categories as your spending habits change and earn 0.5% on all other eligible purchases.

The 10 Tangerine Money-Back Rewards categories:

  • Restaurants
  • Grocery
  • Gas
  • Entertainment
  • Home Improvement
  • Furniture
  • Hotel-Motel
  • Recurring Bills
  • Drug Store
  • Public Transport and Parking

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $496.16
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $278.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $496.16

*Assuming you have earned the third category by depositing your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account and you have chosen to earn from grocery, restaurant, and gas purchases.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Deposit into your Tangerine Savings Account monthly
  • Applied as a statement credit monthly

Insurance:

  • Rental car collision and loss damage insurance
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Mastercard Zero Liability

Other perks:

  • Enjoy complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey, for exclusive offers in over 400 airports worldwide.
Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is a creative, resourceful, and knowledgeable content producer who is passionate about financial literacy, storytelling, and generating ideas. She writes about credit cards, savings, debt management, and personal finance. In her spare time, Hayley can be found wandering in the woods, hunting for second-hand treasures, or curled up with a steeped tea and a good podcast.

Recent News Articles
Exploding Home Prices Making Mortgages Harder to Qualify For
Existing homeowners may be rejoicing at the fact average home prices are headed for the stars. Would-be purchasers, on the other hand, are curling up in the fetal position as their homeownership dreams turn nightmarish.
What Is an Auto Insurance Endorsement Form?
Auto insurance endorsement forms can increase or reduce your coverage. Learn about the most common endorsements in Ontario and Alberta.
The Cost of Lying on Your Mortgage Application
When it comes to mortgage applications, there’s no such thing as a little white lie. Even for applicants who think they may only be fudging a trivial part of the application, such indiscretions are still be considered fraud, and it can cost them.