Top Premium Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada

A premium cashback credit card with an annual fee is a great way to maximize your cashback rewards – especially if you make most of your purchases on credit cards. 

The best paid cashback credit cards in Canada feature high earn rates and some truly excellent perks – significantly better than Canada’s best no-fee credit cards.

Our Top 5 Canadian premium cashback credit cards feature all three major card networks and a variety of banks and digital companies. We start with a quick comparison of all our favourite Canadian premium cards, then break down the major features for each one, before explaining how to select the best one for your specific spending profile.

Best Premium Cashback Credit Cards in Canada: Quick Comparison Table

star rating5 / 5
Annual Fee

$107.88

Earn Rate

Average 6% cashback at Neo partners + 1% minimum cashback across all purchases

Best credit card in Canada when it comes to maximizing reward points
star rating4.5 / 5
Annual Fee

$120

Earn Rate

4% on groceries and bills/subscriptions, 2% on gas and daily transit, 1% on everything else

Best 2022 promo worth $320 in total, best card for groceries and bill payments
star rating4.2 / 5
Annual Fee

$199

Earn rate

2% on everything, plus bonus offers

Great promo offer, 0% foreign transaction fees, best card for flexible redemption
Star Rating3.6 / 5
Annual Fee

$120

Earn Rate

4% on gas and groceries, 2% on dining, bills, and transportation, 1% on everything else

None

Solid option from a reputable provider, best card for gas purchases
Star Rating3.4 / 5
Annual Fee

$99

Earn Rate

2% unlimited cashback on all purchases

Best flat rate cash back card, 2% unlimited cashback, welcome bonus worth up to $500, no minimum income requirement

Best Premium Cash Back Credit Card: Neo Financial Ultra Mastercard

The Neo Financial Ultra Mastercard is our pick for the Best Premium Cashback Credit Card in Canada. It offers a guaranteed cashback rate of 1% across all spending, and an average of 6% cashback from Neo partners.

Neo partners include nearly 5,000 stores all over Canada. Their rewards section is impressive and worth a look – it’s tailored to your actual geographic area so that you can see the kinds of cashback you can earn in your own neighbourhood.

The Neo Financial Ultra Mastercard is easy to apply for online. Approval takes 3 minutes, and applicants don’t need to have any specific level of income to qualify.

For more details about Neo Financial’s line of credit cards, head to our Neo Financial Credit Card Review.

Annual Fee: $107.88 ($8.99 monthly)

Income required: None

Welcome bonus: New Neo Financial cardholders receive up to 15% cashback on their first purchases from partner stores + Free $25 signup bonus.

Earn rate: 1% minimum base rate + Average 6% cashback at Neo partners.

Additional perks/benefits: None (the focus is on the cashback).

We love: The unbelievable earn rates and phenomenal app connectivity.

Best Premium Cashback Card for Groceries and Bill Payments: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

The cashback card with the most awards in 2021, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite offers phenomenal cashback on groceries and recurring bills and subscriptions.

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite doesn’t have the most generous welcome bonus at the moment (just an annual fee rebate), but that’s not always the case, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their website. It offers a complete suite of travel insurance, plus mobile device insurance, purchase protection, and an extended warranty.

For all the details about this excellent premium cashback card, check out our Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Review.

Annual Fee: $120 (first year waived)

Income required: $60,000 personal/ $100,000 household

Welcome bonus: No annual fee ($120) in the first year + 10% cash back on the first $2,000 charged to your card within the first 3 months (meaning up to $200 cash back) – for a total welcome bonus worth $320.

Earn rate:

  • 4% cashback on groceries and bills/subscriptions
  • 2% cashback on gas and daily transit
  • 1% unlimited cashback on everything else

Additional perks/benefits:

  • Complete suite of travel insurance
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Visa Infinite special offers and concierge services
  • 25% off base rates at participating AVIS and Budget car rental locations

We love: High cashback rates on groceries and bills, full insurance coverage, and being able to try it for a full year for free.

Best Premium Cashback Credit Card for Flexible Redemption: Brim World Elite Mastercard

The Brim World Elite Mastercard is our pick for best premium cashback card with flexible redemption. Account Holders can redeem Brim Rewards points against any purchase using the Brim app, or apply points to their account balance at any time.

The term “Brim Rewards points” makes it seem like this card doesn’t belong on a list of cashback cards, but it really does. Brim Points are worth $0.01 and you can use Brim Rewards like money, therefore, this is essentially a cashback card.

The Brim World Elite Mastercard features excellent perks including event ticket reimbursement insurance, which is unique among all the credit cards we’ve seen (and we’ve seen a lot!). It also has a generous welcome bonus, plus phenomenal cashback earnings from Brim partners.

For full details about Brim’s line of Mastercards, check out our Brim Financial Mastercard review.

Annual Fee: $199 (first year waived)

Income required: $80,000 personal/ $150,000 household

Welcome bonus: Over $500 in first-time bonus points (this is slightly misleading because you would really have to go out of your way to earn all the bonus points available. However, it’s still a great offer).

Earn rate:

2% flat rate cashback on everything + Hundreds of exclusive offers with Brim partners, up to 15% cashback.

Additional perks/benefits:

  • Brim’s “Refer your friends” feature gives you 2,000 points ($20) for each friend you refer who activates a Brim World Elite Mastercard
  • 0% foreign transaction fees
  • Free global WIFI
  • Flexible payments with a built-in installment program
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Event Ticket Reimbursement
  • Common Carrier Accident Insurance

We love: Flexible “points” redemption (it’s a cashback card, and you can’t convince us otherwise), unique insurance, and that nifty referral program.

Best Premium Cashback Credit Card for Gas and Groceries: CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite

The CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite is an excellent card for anyone who spends a lot on gas and groceries each month. Their welcome bonus is excellent. They’re currently offering 10% cashback in the first 4 months on up to $2,000, which is a possible total bonus of $200.

We did notice that the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite’s insurance package is significantly less comprehensive than Scotiabank’s. We love a welcome bonus, but we love great benefits more. But it’s still an excellent card and deserves a spot on this list.

You can learn more about the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite, and all the CIBC Dividend Visas, in our CIBC Dividend Visa review.

Annual Fee: $120 (first year rebated)

Income required: $60,000 personal/ $100,000 household

Welcome bonus: 10% cash back in the first 4 months on up to $2,000, plus first annual fee rebated.

Earn rate:

  • 4% cashback on gas and groceries
  • 2% cashback on dining, transportation, and recurring payments or bills
  • 1% unlimited cashback on everything else

Additional perks/benefits:

  • Save up to 10 cents/litre on gas with Journie Rewards
  • Suite of travel insurance
  • Visa Infinite special offers and concierge services
  • 25% off base rates at participating AVIS and Budget car rental locations

We love: The welcome bonus plus 4% cashback on gas and groceries.

Best Flat-Rate Premium Cashback Credit Card: Amex SimplyCash Preferred

With a low(er) annual fee, no minimum income requirement, and 2% cashback on everything, the Amex SimplyCash Preferred is a reliable card that does exactly what it says it will: simply give you 2% cash back on your purchases.

There’s something to be said for a card that doesn’t make you worry about whether a purchase fits in a specific spending category, or whether it’s a partner store. With the Amex SimplyCash Preferred, you always know what kind of rewards you’re getting.

While this Amex is excellent, keep in mind that it’s the least widely accepted card on our list. If you decide to get one, make sure you have a back-up card. You never know when you’ll need one.

Annual Fee: $99

Income required: None

Welcome bonus: 10% cashback in the first 4 months (on the first $4000 in purchases), plus a $100 statement credit when you charge $4000 in purchases in your first 4 months. Total value: $500

Earn rate: 2% unlimited cashback on all purchases

Additional perks/benefits:

  • Cashback if you refer a friend (up to $1,500 per calendar year)
  • Exclusive offers
  • Emergency Medical Travel Insurance (up 15 days for travellers under age 65)
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Hotel Burglary Insurance
  • Lost/Stolen Baggage Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft/Damage Insurance
  • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
  • Purchase Protection Plan

We love: 2% unlimited cashback, that amazing welcome bonus, no minimum income requirement.

Canadian Premium Cashback Credit Cards: FAQ

The Best Premium Cashback Credit Card in Canada: Our Verdict

Our pick for the best premium cashback credit card in Canada is the Neo Financial Ultra Mastercard. We love the great cashback earnings from Neo partner stores (a massive list of retailers) and the welcome bonus earnings are phenomenal.

The Neo Financial Ultra Mastercard makes a great pairing with other credit cards, like the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite, the Amex SimplyCash Preferred card, or a no-fee cashback card like the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. Using the Neo card in tandem with another card will let you earn those huge cashback rewards at Neo partner stores, while earning additional bonus cashback with other purchases.

If you want more information on developing a credit card portfolio, check out our post on Multiple Credit Card Strategy in Canada. Whichever card you choose, enjoy getting some cash back in your pocket with every purchase.

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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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NoName
4 years ago

You left out the CIBC Dividend cards.

4% for gas and groceries
2% at Tims and Telus (not that much of a perk)
1% anywhere else

99$ annual fee.

For a gas/groceries cash back it is pretty good, with a higher limit than Scotia Momentum card (80K vs 25K).

Pretty good insurance features too. You can find the two card variants here:

https://www.cibc.com/ca/credit-cards/cc-comparison-results.html?vdic,vdpc

smayer97
4 years ago
Reply to  NoName

Yes not a bad card and worth mentioning BUT need to correct a detail…
The $80K limit is for the TOTAL spend on the CIBC card. In fact it has a $20K limit for each of the first 2 categories (gas & groceries vs Telus & Tim Hortons—who can spend $20K on those 2 vendors alone???).
Compare that with Scotiabank which has a $25K limit PER first 2 categories (gas & groceries vs recurring expenses) and an NO CAP on TOTAL spend. All for the same price as the CIBC card.

So to me it looks like the Scotiabank card is a better deal, keeping in mind the potential limitations of VISA acceptance (e.g. No Frills, Costco).

SIDE NOTE: Who would have thought that VISA would no longer be accepted at some vendors. Used to be MC that was less accepted, many days gone by.

BCCM
4 years ago

Head’s up, Sept.1/2017 the BMO World Elite M/C will be dropping from 1.75% to 1.50% return, and as of ~May/2017 the balance requirements to waive the fee on BMO’s chequing account has risen to $6,000 from $5,000.

smayer97
4 years ago
smayer97
4 years ago

BTW, just learned of another cash back card that may be interested to some…
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card.

3% cash back on gas, groceries and recurring transactions, 1% on all else, with no caps. $120/yr annual fee, $50 for supplemental cards, though some (all?) fees waived if you maintain certain TD bank products.

Being a Visa, cannot use it at No Frills (our main grocery store), so does not work for us.

And still does not top the Laurentian Visa I mention above., especially since I do not hold any bank accounts at TD.

Aaron
5 years ago

The exact comparison I was looking for, between the two top-rated cards you mention below. Thanks for a focused and thoughtful analysis.

smayer97
5 years ago

The link for “MBNA Smart Cash card” at the very top seems to be incorrect. It just keeps coming back to this page. I believe it is suppose to take you to this page:
https://milliondollarjourney.com/top-cash-back-credit-cards-in-canada.htm

Karl Boehme
5 years ago

Hello
I came about your website today after I hadn’t realized the my CIBC Drivers Edge Master Card was being morphed into a CIBC Visa Dividend Infinite Card. Your site is great but has left me with a question. I need to have a MasterCard now as I technically don’t have one. I’m a Tangerine customer so this looks like a good possible fit but I had never realized anything about the “unqualified spend categories”. Are there any cards out there (free or premium) that give rewards in these “unqualified spend categories”
Thanks
Karl B

smayer97
5 years ago
Reply to  Karl Boehme

The Tangerine MC offers 1% for all other categories. And if you deposit the cash back rewards into a Tangerine savings account, you get 3 preferred categories.
BUT if you need a MC card and you expect your annual spend to significant per year, I would strongly have you consider the MBNA World Elite card, assuming you qualify based on annual income.

You would have to run the numbers based on the categories that qualify vs do not with Tangerine and compare that to the MBNA + the annual premium to see if it would benefit you. Currently, the MBNA is the best premium cash back MC card IMHO, if you need MC.

Alternatively, if you shop primarily at Loblaws related stores, the PC Wold Elite MC is a great alternative choice (with NO premium), at 3% for all grocery purchases, 4¢/l discount for gas at Loblaws affiliated stations (these include Superstore Gas Bar, No Frills, and Refuel stations in Ontario), and 1% on everything else. Note that this is a points cards, which I call an equivalent to cash, but only if you shop at Loblaws affiliated stores.

Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  smayer97

Has anyone used the almost new Myvanilla prepaid Master card that came out last year or this year? It is reloadable. If there is 7-11 stores that also sell Petro Can gas in your area, then that is the best way to maximize the Scotia momentum Visa Infinite cash back by combining the reward powers of Visa cash back & Petro points if you use the Scotia Visa to buy the reloadable Myvanilla prepaid Master card from the 7-11 stores that also sell Petro Can gas to earn Petro Can points. You can change all non gas $ grocery spendings to earn 4% or more rewards when combining the Visa cash back & Petro Can points.

Ravi
6 years ago

Hi, would you consider a new article? I’m very interested to learn of the best premium card, where it be cashback or travel benefits. I found last year I got a few k in cash back on CIBC World Elite Unlimited, but it ended up as a credit onto my card.. which I use for business expenses. So my business got it, as opposed to me personally via points or other.

smayer97
6 years ago

@frugaltrader
Why not include a review of the Laurentian Visa?
3% on recurring charges
2% on Gas & Groceries
1% on all else
NO CAPS
$65/yr fee (was $49/yr) – $50 refunded if spend $500 within 50 days. Extra $25 if spend $3000 within 1 yr. No cost for extra cards.
Purchase Insurance + Extended Warranty

Also Rogers Mastercard (is this a PREMIUM card or should it go under “No fee” cards as an equivalent to No Fee here: https://milliondollarjourney.com/top-cash-back-credit-cards-in-canada.htm ?)
1.75% on EVERYTHING as POINTS (Catch – redeemable only towards Rogers expenses)
$29/yr fee – waived 1st yr. Waived EVERY year IF charge Rogers services to card
Backed by Rogers Bank (new).

smayer97
6 years ago
Reply to  smayer97

P.S. Laurentian is MY top card, because I have large recurring payments. @3% it is great!
I combine this with PC Mastercard which although it is a Points card, it points are equivalent to CASH. NO complicated conversion…1000pts = $1.
With this combination, I have achieved over 2% overall, when considering ALL purchases, including ones where I only get 1%.

smayer97
4 years ago
Reply to  smayer97

BTW, for those interested in learning more about and following the discusssion about the PC World Elite Mastercard, go here:
https://milliondollarjourney.com/the-best-free-grocery-credit-card-the-pc-financial-world-elite-mastercard.htm

Dee Johnson
6 years ago

I think that paying a credit card fee for the travel insurance is much cheaper than buying travel insurance. With some research, I have discovered that there are different rules and restrictions for the cards that offer travel insurance. Has anyone looked into this and can suggest which card they think is best for travel insurance.