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Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada of 2022

You’ve probably heard the advice to “apply for a cashback card covering your spending habits” if you’ve watched courses or read articles on financial literacy. This is a perfect solution because you will spend money the same way you did before but get different rewards in the form of statement credits, points, cash back, or bonuses.

Various financial institutions estimate you can earn up to $1,500 in one year of continued use of rewards credit cards. So how do you get such a card, and what is the best choice? Let’s find the answer to this question in our article.

Rewards Credit Cards in Canada: Best Offers

Best rewards credit cards are the same as best credit cards in Canada. The only difference is that you will receive points or bonuses each time you pay for eligible purchases. You can then exchange them for real money and, for example, pay for a trip or Air Canada purchases.

There are several types of these credit cards, depending on their rewards (hotel, travel, airline, eligible gas purchases, and others). Below you can find the best rewards credit card Canada and earn your bonuses without additional efforts.

American Express Cobalt® Card

This rewards card is considered the most profitable in Canada, as it allows you to earn an average of $1,500 in rewards in the first year. It costs $12.99 monthly (you can add supplementary cards for 20% of the fee) and is available to anyone whose credit score exceeds 575-649 points, regardless of income.

American Express has these rewards:

Points value is between $0.01 and $0.02, depending on the purchase category. For example, you can spend these points on travel, car rental insurance, movie tickets, events, or Amazon purchases. Compared to the other offers, this rewards card’s main advantages are many bonuses and lenient eligibility requirements.

However, it does have several disadvantages – a high APR on credit funds and hefty annual and foreign transaction fees. Therefore, if you’re not going to use credit but just want to get cashback and rewards through various offers, this rewards card is an excellent option.

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Card

If you earn more than $50,000, you can become a cardholder and take advantage of the perks it offers, such as free travel insurance, trip cancellation coverage, or access to the airport lounges. For example, if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of use, you’ll get 30,000 points and can save $120 on your first year annual fee.

The main benefit of this rewards card is the ability to get a lot of bonuses on everyday spending. The four most popular spending sections fall under accelerated earnings categories and allow you to get 5 points for every 1 dollar you spend on dining, grocery, gas, and daily transit purchases. At the same time, this card has four drawbacks:

This may be a good option for those who want an elite card.

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite Card

This might be the best deal for you if you spend a lot on gas and grocery purchases. You’ll get 4% cash back rewards for spending in those categories up to $20,000 a year and 2% for travel, restaurants, food delivery, and cafés. Another perk of these credit card rewards are the generous welcome bonus of up to $300 and no annual fee for the first year of use (however, you still have to pay fees for balance transfers).

Of the disadvantages, users highlight only the high interest rates of 20.99% (22.9% on cash advances) and the need to have an income of $60,000 to obtain this card. However, financial experts recommend it for families who like to travel long distances for hotel discounts, complimentary Priority Pass membership, travel and mobile device insurance coverage. On average, independent companies estimate Canadians can earn $500 in cash rewards per year using this card.

BMO Ascend™ World Elite® Mastercard®

This card is best for those who frequently travel and go to restaurants or entertainment venues. It costs $150 a year, which is considered a significant drawback, but in the first year, it is waived. Using this rewards credit card, you will receive 5 points for every 1 dollar you spend on travel (flights, hotels, cruises) and can also use BMO concierge service and Mastercard World Elite benefits.

In addition, you will receive three rewards points per dollar for spending in the dining category, and for all other purchases, you will receive 1 issue for every dollar you pay. So depending on how often you travel, you could get about $500 per year.

The points on this rewards credit card are a bit cheaper than the other companies – they’re only $0.007. Besides, you must earn at least $80,000 a year, which is also a severe disadvantage.

PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard®

This offer is one of the best deals on the Canadian market because there is no annual fee. If you buy at eligible grocery stores like Loblaw or fill up at Esso™ and Mobil™ gas stations, you can earn many rewards points and get about $700 in cashback annually.

For every dollar you spend on groceries and fuel at partner companies, you’ll get 30 points. In addition, you’ll get 45 points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, and ten rewards points per dollar paid for all other purchases. However, this card has two drawbacks that make it less attractive:

  1. One point costs $0.001, which is very low compared to other offers.
  2. You must have $80,000 or more to get it.

This is a good offer for those who want the best cash back credit card with no annual fee.

MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

If you spend money on different categories and can’t choose any one card to cover them all, this is the right offer for you. There are bonuses for all products and services, from travel to gift cards.

Besides, MBNA credit card has simple rewards programs – you get 5 points for every 1 dollar spent on groceries, restaurants, digital media, and recurring bill payments, and 1 point for every dollar paid in all other categories. In addition, once you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days of card use, you will receive an additional 20,000 points of welcome bonus (1 point is $0.01).

There are only two drawbacks to this card – you need an annual income of $80,000 or more to apply for it and good credit of 670 FICO points. In addition, the cost to use it is $120 per year.

Scotiabank Gold American Express

Another card with a $120 annual fee allows you to earn up to $400 to $500 yearly in everyday purchases. How does it work?

The Scotiabank Gold American Express has loyalty programs with two welcome bonuses. You get the first one when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days (20,000 points or $200) and the second if you spend $7,500 in the first year. Another advantage of the company is that there are no foreign transaction fees. In addition, you only have to earn $12,000 a year to qualify.

What Is a Rewards Credit Card?

Would you like to get part of your money back when you buy groceries, dine out or pay for a flight to another country? With these credit cards, this is possible! They work on a simple principle – you spend money on foreign currency purchases or specific categories of goods, and the bank gives you back from 1% to 5% in the form of points, which may be converted into a statement credit. More often, these points are equal from $0.001 to $0.02 and can be used by you for payment in online stores, flights, or hotels.

But beware, these cash back credit cards have a high APR on credit funds and cash advances and often an unfavorable annual fee or balance transfer fee. As a result, you may want to forgo this option if you use credit and do not pay your balance in full each monthly billing period.

Pros and Cons of Rewards Cards

Of course, these cards have many advantages:

But it is essential to understand that at the same time, cards have disadvantages, and the main one is that you are forced to spend money in certain stores, where prices can be higher than average. So you will pay more for a small cashback, which is wrong regarding financial literacy. Also, these cards often have a high interest rate on the use of credit and an annual fee of $120-$150. If you don’t have time to spend all your flexible rewards and redeem points (which can expire in several months), you will pay more on the annual fee than you earn in cashback.

One final disadvantage of these cards is that many have strict annual income and credit score requirements. So if you have a low income and bad credit history, it’s better to get a regular credit card without a comprehensive rewards program.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Get a Rewards Card?

Such cards are available to everyone, but the lower your credit score, the worse the rewards program will be. The best offers on the market are only available to those with good credit, around 660 points. Also, it’s essential to remember that such credit cards are awarded based on income level. So, for example, fancy black credit cards, Visa Infinite and Mastercard Elite are only available to people with an income of $80,000 a year or $150,000 per household.

How to Choose the Best Rewards Credit Card for You?

Each card has its categories earning the most cash back. In addition, you should remember that credit cards have fees and interest rates, which you should also consider. To choose the best offer for you, you can use the following plan:

  1. First, determine your income level and credit rating. That way, you can figure out exactly what cards will be available.
  2. Analyze your expenses for the year. For example, if you spend $1,000 a year traveling but $10,000 buying clothes at brand stores, you need a brand store credit card. Look at which categories of items you buy most often, and find offers that give you great cashback.
  3. Determine whether paying an annual fee is a good deal for you. For example, some cards have annual fees of $150, but they are “paid back” because of free travel insurance, trip cancellation coverage, and other bonuses. So if you get a chance, choose a no fee cash back card so you can try it out and see if it’s worth it to you.
  4. Consider whether you will pay the rewards credit card balance monthly. All such credit cards have a high APR, so if you use your credit often and don’t always pay it back on time, it’s better to decline this offer and get a regular card.


A rewards credit card would be an excellent option if you don’t use credit but just want to get cashback, travel rewards, and bonuses on your spending. However, for those who care about being able to spend credit funds, a regular card is better since they often don’t have the high annual fees and APR.

In essence, “rewards” are the bonuses and cashback you receive each time you purchase a particular category of goods and services. The points and travel rewards you earn cannot simply be exchanged for money and transferred to your bank account but can be used to pay for eligible travel purchases, Amazon shopping, or flights.