Neo Financial Credit Card Review
Neo Financial Credit Card Review
- Cash Back Offers
- Instant Mobile Pay
- 3-Minute Easy Application
- Platform & Mobile App
- Welcome Bonus
Neo Credit Card Review Summary:
The Neo Credit Card by Neo Financial is the competitor to the big bank cards that Canada has been waiting for ever since ING Direct was bought out by Scotiabank and became Tangerine Bank. It offers the best flexibility of any Canadian credit card -and is the most simple to use!
In our Neo Financial review, we explore Neo’s 3 different tiers of MasterCard – Standard, Plus and Ultra. You can make your choice between a no-fee credit card and the premium version which only costs $8.99/month. Regardless of your choice, you’ll enjoy the best cashback rates in Canada.
The combination of simplicity, flexibility, and incredibly high cash back make the Neo Card our current choice for the best credit card in Canada.
- The most flexible and simple credit card in Canada
- Quickest approval process that I’ve ever seen
- Best cash back offers out of any credit card in Canada
- Groundbreaking new app connectivity
- Instant compatibility with Google Pay and Apple Pay
- Accepted anywhere that takes Mastercard
- Massive cash back bonuses only apply to partners (although that list includes a ton of companies, and is growing).
- No high-end travel insurance package such as those found on expensive $100+ annual fee cards.
The new Neo Financial Mastercard or “Neo Card” is the next big thing in Canadian credit cards.
We’ve seen tech companies disrupt everything from vehicles to space travel and investing. Now the new Neo credit card is coming for the old market standbys.
Three massive advantages for the Neo Card immediately stand out to me:
1) It travels at tech speed – not “bank speed”. You complete your application in 3 minutes or less and wait for it to be approved, which normally takes a few hours at most.
Once your application is approved, you can load the card onto your Google Pay or Apple Pay digital wallet and start collecting the rewards immediately. (Don’t worry, your physical card will come in the mail.)
2) If you use the Neo Card to purchase items from their partner companies (like Netflix, Spotify, DoorDash, Second Cup, etc.) then the cash back bonuses are absolutely the highest in Canada. It’s not even close! For non-partners, the guaranteed 1% cashback, even with the free Standard card, is highly competitive as well.
3) The Neo credit card was created by tech people who wanted flexibility – NOT to lock you into something. There are three price points for three different cards. While the lowest tier is absolutely free, the other two tiers offer competitive pricing – and best of all – the commitment is only month-to-month, none of this annual fee stuff!
What is Neo Financial?
Neo Financial is an online financial company that is seeking to cut costs to the bone, and offer Canadians the most simple, user-friendly banking products that they have ever seen.
That said, I don’t think these folks are done – not by a long shot. They’ve added investing and mortgages and have even more up their sleeves!
When I started researching the company, I saw investor names like Peter Thiel, Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke, and Dragon Den Star Arlene Dickinson. Those folks don’t put time and effort into a small-scale company.
In 2021 Neo Financial was also selected by the Hudson’s Bay Company to offer their store-branded credit cards after their previous deal with Capital One ended. The HBC loyalty program has over 7 million active members and 2 million cardholders, so this move demonstrates major faith in Neo Financial from an iconic Canadian institution.
I personally love the idea of supporting a Canadian start-up with a fresh take on how banking should work. (I mean… truthfully, not as much as I love maxing out my credit card cash back, but I’m pretty happy that I can do both at the same time.)
Neo Financial Credit Card Review: Fees and Cash Back Rewards
The Neo financial credit card comes in three flavours: Standard, Plus, and Ultra.
The Neo Standard Credit Card is absolutely free. It is an inexpensive way to easily pay for items and averages 4% cashback when used with Neo’s partner companies. It also includes a guaranteed cash back bonus of 1% for non-partners. Consequently, Neo Financial recommends this card for folks who spend less than $750 on their credit card each month.
The Neo Plus Credit Card will cost you $2.99 per month. You can snag an average of 5% in cash back from Neo’s partners, and 1% cash back when you spend at non-partner companies. Neo Financial recommends this card for folks who spend between $750 and $1,000 per month on their credit card.
The Neo Ultra Credit Card sets you back $8.99 per month. For that nine bucks, you get an average of 6% cash back when you spend with Neo’s partners, and 1% when you spend anywhere else. The Neo Ultra Credit Card is aimed at people who spend more than $1,000 per month on their credit card.
I love the flexibility and simplicity of these three options. The real key here is that 6% in cash back rewards is unheard of in Canada! This isn’t an introductory offer – this is the real deal. Six percent, long term, in cash!
Not that there is anything wrong with travel points (I love travel points) but good old cash is the best perk out there simply because it can be spent anywhere at any time, and there are no rules or complicated “blackout periods” to worry about. No air travel company is “blacking out” cash!
Another thing we love to see is that, in a world where fees just keep climbing, Neo actually cut their monthly fees in 2021, reducing the Plus tier by $2 (that’s a 40% price cut!) and the Ultra tier by $1 (a 10% cut).
On top of that, Neo Financial just announced (September 2021) a new promotion to go along with their already impressive offering. All new customers who sign up for any of the rewards credit cards will get a $25 voucher immediately.
How Does the Neo Credit Card Work?
Unlike other Canadian credit cards, the Neo Card instantly pairs up with your Google or Apple Pay, to let your earn credit card cash back without having to bring your credit card everywhere.
The Neo Card is accepted anywhere that takes Mastercard, and the cash back is earned instantly. There are no hoops to jump through or sites to redeem on.
The accompanying card app makes it easy to see your balance, figure out your payment, or claim your cashback. The other notable feature on the app is that if you don’t want to memorize all the Neo partners, you can just check the app at any time for the places around you that will let you max out your cash back rewards. The app will even tell you which small local businesses they’re partnering with.
My 2nd favourite part of the Neo Card (after the massive instant cash back bonuses many of the partners offer) is the flexibility of the card. You’re never locked into any long-term contract, and if you want to upgrade or downgrade cards, you can do it in moments with a couple of clicks. If you’re upgrading to a more expensive tier, you’ll simply pay a prorated fee for the rest of the month. It’s no problem!
This tech-savvy approach should come as no surprise when you consider that Neo is the brainchild of Andrew Chau and Jeff Adamson, better known as the Canadian entrepreneurship team behind Skip The Dishes.
How to Apply for the Neo Credit Card?
The Neo Card only launched in 2021, but it’s taking the credit card market by storm. And it’s incredibly easy to apply for:
Simply download the app, grab a government-issued ID, follow the user-friendly app directions, and wait 3 minutes for approval. That’s it!
I love this simplified application process, and I hope other credit cards quickly follow suit.
To be eligible for the Neo Card, you must be the age of majority for your province.
Neo Financial Credit Card Benefits
Aside from the no annual fee and the nice welcome bonus, Neo’s main benefit is their extremely attractive cashback offers. Neo is currently partnered with nearly 5,000 businesses all over Canada, and their list of partners grows each day.
The list includes both large vendors and local retailers, coffee shops and restaurants – so you should have no problem making use of these offers no matter where you are located. You can browse the full list of partners as soon as you download the Neo app.
Neo Financial’s most notable partners include DoorDash, Netflix, Spotify and Second Cup. Their store-branded Hudson’s Bay Mastercard provides an average of 2% cashback across all Neo partner shops nationwide, plus it doubles your points earn rate at Hudson’s Bay stores. They also currently offer a very nice welcome bonus, with 15% off on all first-day purchases.
The Neo Financial Secured Credit Card
Bad credit? No problem. You can still be a Neo Financial cardholder.
Like all secured credit cards, the Neo Financial Secured Credit Card is designed for people with bad (or no) credit. Secured cardholders send in a deposit that Neo holds in an account and uses to determine your credit limit. As long as your account stays in good standing, your deposit will be returned to you when you close the account.
Most secured credit cards have a minimum deposit of $500 but the Neo Financial Secured Credit Card has a $50 minimum, which means you can start rebuilding your credit immediately.
Unlike most of the best secured credit cards in Canada, the Neo Financial Secured Credit Card has no annual or over-limit fees. It also doesn’t require a hard credit check, which means approval is guaranteed – regardless of your credit rating.
Another thing that sets the Neo Secured Credit Card apart from most other secured cards is its cashback rewards. Cardholders receive an average of 5% unlimited cashback from Neo partners and a guaranteed 1% on non-partner purchases. Compare this to the Plastk secured card which offers 0.004% cashback (for an annual fee) and you’ll see the difference.
Neo Credit Card vs Tangerine No-Fee Cashback Mastercard
Our former most commonly recommended credit card on MDJ was the Tangerine no-fee mastercard. Now obviously there are three different Neo Credit Cards, so for the purposes of this comparison, I decided to compare it to the Neo Standard Credit Card and the Neo Plus Credit Card.
|Neo Standard No-Fee Credit Card||Tangerine No-Fee Credit Card||Neo Plus Credit Card|
|Cash Back Rewards||Average of 4% cash back at all Neo Partner stores + 1% on everything else||2% Cash back on specific categories of purchases, then 0.5% on everything else.||Average of 5% cash back at all Neo Partner stores, then 1% back on everything else.|
|Unique User-friendly app||Yes||No||Yes|
|Apple and Google Pay Connectivity||Yes||No||Yes|
|Auto-Connects to Elite High Interest Savings Account||Yes||Tangerine’s high interest savings rate has been substantially slashed over the years.||Yes|
|Accepted everywhere that Mastercard is accepted?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
As you can see, the Neo Card offers many features that Tangerine just has no equivalent of. When it comes to maxing out your rewards, you can see that simply by understanding where you can use your Neo card to its maximum advantage, you can double the best case scenario of the Tangerine no-fee Mastercard. You can also see how Neo stacks up against other credit cards by reading our guides on the best no fee cashback cards in Canada, or the best premium cashback credit cards.
Neo Financial MasterCard Review: FAQ
NeoFinancial Credit Card Review – Final Verdict
The Neo Card is the natural evolution of online banking. Our Neo credit card review’s verdict is that It is the most usable and convenient credit product that we’ve ever seen for the Canadian market.
That convenience alone would make the Neo Credit Card a strong contender for our wallets (and smartphones!) but when you combine it with the absurdly high cash back bonuses – it’s simply the best credit card option in Canada.
If you have one specific store or online destination that you LOVE – and that Neo isn’t yet partnered with – then I might pair the Neo Card with a store-specific card that allows you to maximize your spend, but in terms of an everyday card, you can’t beat what Neo Financial has put together.
I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!