Rogers World Elite MasterCard – Best Free Cash Back Card in Canada?

   (Editor Rating)

Rogers World Elite Mastercard Review

Rogers World Elite MasterCard Rating
  • Annual Cost
  • Cash Back
  • Insurance Benefits
  • Customer Service
  • Long Term Viability
4.6

Review Summary:

In terms of the total package of no fees and cashback benefits, no card can compete with Rogers World Elite. Rogers Elite offers competitive rates for travel and foreign exchange, and their cashback on all other transactions is extremely high as well.

While their track record with the Platinum card suggests these deals won’t be supported forever, it is still a great idea to cash in on their offerings while you still can.

Pros

  • Much higher than average cashback offers
  • Great insurance perks
  • 100% Free to use

Cons

  • Risk of reduced benefits in the future
  • Much easier to use if you are a Rogers customer

In a recent post announcing the new Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa (4% at restaurants), I hinted that the Rogers World Elite MasterCard may be a top contender for the best free cash back credit card in Canada.

My post comparing the best free cash back cards in Canada is a popular one with the Tangerine card holding the title for a couple of years now. However, with the new Rogers World Elite MasterCard, could the Tangerine card be dethroned?

The Tangerine card is popular because it’s a free credit card that offers 2% cash back on up to three categories of your choosing.  The categories include: entertainment; furniture; home improvement; hotels; public transportation and parking.  While 2% is great, 0.5% on the rest of your spending is not great.  This is where the Rogers World Elite Card can fill the gap.  More on this in a minute.

First, let’s take a look at some of the specs for the Rogers World Elite MasterCard.

The Benefits

For a no-fee credit card, the cash back benefits are surprisingly generous.  If you travel internationally or make foreign currency transactions, this card will charge you 2.5% but will give you 4% cash back (net: 1.5% cash back).  4% on FX transactions is great, but what really makes this card stand out is 1.75% cash back on all other spending.   

In addition to the higher than average cash back, they also offer a couple insurance perks that are useful – specifically the trip interruption/cancellation insurance.

Summary of their cash back benefits:

  • 4% unlimited cash back rewards on all eligible purchases made in a foreign currency;
  • 2% unlimited cash back rewards on Rogers™ products and services charged to your card; and,
  • 1.75% cash back rewards on all other eligible purchases.

Summary of their insurance benefits:

  • Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection;
  • Rental Car Collision/Damage;
  • Out-of-Province/Out-of-Country Emergency Medical; and
  • Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation.

The Downside

Looking at the specs, it doesn’t seem like there would be any downside, but there are a couple! 

First, if you aren’t a Rogers customer (like me) and cannot claim your cash back on Rogers services, you can only get a statement credit once a year (in December).  To add a little more nuisance into the mix, you need to call their customer support in order to request the statement credit.  If you don’t call in before December, you’ll have to wait a full year in order to redeem all the cash back that you have accumulated throughout the year.  Update, you no longer need to wait a full year to redeem – see Final Thoughts below.

Second, Rogers hasn’t been around very long, and they reduced the benefits of the first Platinum card that they released a little while ago.  However, this may have been to pave way for the release of this World Elite card.  In my opinion though, if you pick this card as your main go-to card for spending, there is a risk in the future that Rogers may reduce benefits.

As this is a World Elite card, the minimum requirements are a bit higher: Minimum $80k income, or $150k household income.

The One-Two (maybe Three) Punch

As previously mentioned, the Tangerine card is great if you spend a lot in their 2% categories, but 0.5% cash back on all other spending is just not good enough.  A strong combination of free credit cards is to both the Tangerine and the Rogers card in your wallet/purse. That way, you can use the Tangerine card for your 2% categories, and the Rogers Mastercard (1.75%) for all of your other spending (even Costco). 

Even better, if you shop at Loblaws/Shoppers, throw the free PC Financial World Elite Mastercard into the mix that gives you 3% cash back (in PC points) when you shop at their stores.  Having these three cards together would likely bring your credit card cash back to over 2% per year. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Rogers card offers a lot of value with no annual fee to pay.  It offers 4% cash back on foreign transactions (great for travel), and 1.75% on everything else.  You will be hard pressed to find another credit card in Canada that offers 1.75% cash back without any annual fees. 

The downside (no longer valid – see below), as mentioned, is that you can only redeem your cash back once a year (December), and you need to call into customer support to make that happen.  Not ideal, but perhaps not a deal breaker.

Update, Rogers World Elite card holders have received an email that solves the largest downside of this card:

Starting February 2019, if you make a purchase using your Rogers BankTM Mastercard® anywhere Mastercard is accepted, you can use your cash back rewards to pay yourself back for your purchase.  Your rewards. Your way. On your terms.

The options are endless! Mastercard is accepted at over 44 million locations worldwide, so it’s your choice how you wish to use your rewards, including:

  • Gas, groceries, restaurants and other everyday purchases
  • Birthday gifts, new outfits and other special occasion purchases
  • Flights, electronics and other big-ticket purchases – the choice is yours!

The redemption process stays the same. As long as you have a minimum of $20 in cash back rewards, you can start redeeming towards any eligible purchase – whenever and wherever you want. No need to wait once a year to redeem your cash back rewards.

Another risk is that Rogers bank does not have a long track record, and has already devalued a previous version of this credit card in the past.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Rogers plays around with the benefits of this card in the near future.

While the Rogers Mastercard is pretty strong, it gets even better if you stack the card with other free cards like the Tangerine card and the PC Financial World Elite MasterCard.  Combining these cards would likely bring your credit card cash back to over 2% per year.  Not bad for not paying any annual fees! 

FT

FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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smayer97
1 year ago

Sad that as of June 2, 2020, the cash back is now only 1.5% on everything and 3% for US$ purchases. Not as good as before but since it covers ALL categories (no picking and choosing needed), it is still a decent all around card. Given my mix as outlined above, it still fits in…though the decrease is unfortunate.

The cash back on US$ purchases makes it nice so I do not have to have a separate no fee card to manage.

smayer97
2 years ago

BTW, my combination is to use PC MC World Elite for 3% on groceries plus other frequent bonuses of 10% and 20% on total bills (mostly my wife), Laurentian Dollar Visa for 3% on recurring charges, 2% for gas and pharmacy.

So this card will be a nice addition to cover all the rest for 1.75% instead of 1%, and foreign purchases (to replace the Amazon Visa that used to offer no foreign exchange).

smayer97
2 years ago

Been wanting to do this for quite some time. Should have signed up when I was offered the original card, as I am a Rogers customer. But finally made the move.

One downside I have read is that you cannot download your transactions into software like Quicken. Not a biggy but would be convenient.

smayer97
2 years ago
Reply to  smayer97

BTW, my combination is to use PC MC World Elite for 3% on groceries plus other frequent bonuses of 10% and 20% on total bills (mostly my wife), Laurentian Dollar Visa for 3% on recurring charges, 2% for gas and pharmacy.

So this card will be a nice addition to cover all the rest for 1.75% instead of 1%, and foreign purchases (to replace the Amazon Visa that used to offer no foreign exchange).

Sheldo
2 years ago

Hi MS, I just did an annual redemption for a statement credit (I’m not otherwise a Rogers customer either). Super simple process: called them in Nov, asked for the credit, on my statement for mid-Jan. The call took about 5 mins. Been very happy w/ the card & 1.75% return at no annual fee.

MS
2 years ago

Has anyone used the World Elite cashback rewards recently? Is it as easy to redeem points as it they make it out to be? I’m not a Rogers customer.

Cris
2 years ago

Great review. I have the card and as is now it is the BEST option on the market!
Come on guys, you have 10 cards, one for each store, one for each type of purchase (groceries, restaurants, gas…), cash and points rewards, limit of spending, membership fees… you need a secretary all the time you go shopping!!!
Just to add to the review… you can have a free card for your wife and your kids and having the same perks.
My daughter is going abroad for 6 months and is perfect for her travel. You have to buy anything in the USA dollars you will get 1.5% back… I love it.
Just keep in mind 1.75% for all purchases, no limit, insurance, no fee and multiple cards.
I have a Capital One which give me 1.5% but now I use it only for Costco.
I have one from MBNA which let me transfer money with 0% or 1% for one year.
Simple and efficient.
Take care!

smayer97
2 years ago
Reply to  Cris

“Come on guys, you have 10 cards, one for each store, one for each type of purchase (groceries, restaurants, gas…), cash and points rewards, limit of spending, membership fees… you need a secretary all the time you go shopping!!!”

Every time I come back to this thread and read this line I have a good laugh. So true!

Yes, in the end you have to weigh the added benefits of adding or replacing a card vs the administration… For example, with MBNA we went from 1 to 2 to 4 cards to compensate for the decreasing capped returns but when they started dropping the returns, it was bye-bye….Another example is weighing Tangerine 2% for LIMITED categories vs 1.75% for all spending. The extra 0.25% is just not worth it for me (too much admin).

My current mix is:
– Laurentian Dollar Visa for the 3% cash back on recurring (set up once and forget it; our HUGE spend in this category easily pays for the $65 annual fee)
TIP: turn any charitable donations into monthly giving to qualify,
– 3% PC WE MC for groceries at No Frills and gas at Esso/Mobil (as of Aug 1, 2019, gas works out to 2¢/L (down from 3¢/L) + 1%),
– 2% Laurentian for gas everywhere else,
– 1.75% Rogers WE MC for all else (plus the benefit of 4% on foreign exchange purchases).

(As a bonus, also have the CDN Tire WE MC for 4% there, free deferred payments on purchases over $200, and 5¢ off gas IF we cross a CDN Tire Gas Bar or Husky ; not often).

Dean
2 years ago

Rogers just changed their policy so that starting February 2019, you can use your rewards to pay for any purchase. I imagine this will make the card attractive to more users.

Here is the snippet from the information email they sent me:

“Starting February 2019, if you make a purchase using your Rogers BankTM Mastercard® anywhere Mastercard is accepted, you can use your cash back rewards to pay yourself back for your purchase.

Your rewards. Your way. On your terms.

The options are endless! Mastercard is accepted at over 44 million locations worldwide, so it’s your choice how you wish to use your rewards, including:

Gas, groceries, restaurants and other everyday purchases
Birthday gifts, new outfits and other special occasion purchases
Flights, electronics and other big-ticket purchases – the choice is yours!
The redemption process stays the same. As long as you have a minimum of $20 in cash back rewards, you can start redeeming towards any eligible purchase – whenever and wherever you want. No need to wait once a year to redeem your cash back rewards.”

Sheldo
2 years ago

If my experience is of any value, I’m currently using this card together w/ the Scotia Visa Infinite card + Scotia Gold Amex (discussed on MDJ’s Nov 26 post). This is about the best payback combination I could find at <$200 per yr in fees (credit back: 4% grocs, gas, restaurants, event tickets, liquor stores; 2% recurring, drugstores; 1.5% foreign currency; 1.75% everything else + good/great travel insurance coverage).
Have had the Rogers card for a couple of months, no problems & the statement credit is coming in January (took a 5min customer service call; not otherwise a Rogers customer). The Rogers card takes the place of the previous MBNA Rewards card (which used to be awesome) which I cancelled this month due to increased fees & devalued payout (to 1.67% from 2%).

Sheldo
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheldo

Interesting add: just as I finished posting this, I received a customer email from Rogers Bank indicating that the redemption flexibility for receiving cash back rewards is soon being improved as an “exciting change to the program”. Stay tuned–I guess?

Martin
2 years ago

I have the Scotiabank Visa infinite. it has $99 annual fee. But Scotia bank has been offering first year fee free for a few years. The break even point on the fee between the Visa and any other 2% cash back fee free card is $4950 yearly spending on gas & grocery. I also use the Visa to buy $500 Onevanilla prepaid Master card from 7-11 store that also sell gas. All purchases from the 7-11 qualify as gas purchase. So I get 4% cash back. The fee for the Onevanilla prepaid card is $7.95 + taxes. The total fee is under $9 for a $500 card. So the net cash back after fee is more than 2%. Then I can use the Onevanilla card to spend on everything else that I normally get 1% cash back. So it is better than the 1.75% cash back from Rogers World Elite MasterCard.

Chris
2 years ago

I always love your credit card posts. Always so informative and ensures we all benefit from savings and highest point accrual/cash back. Thanks for all you do!! Happy Holidays!!