Credit Cards

The best rewards credit cards to have in your wallet this holiday season

By: Jessica Mach on November 22, 2017

From finding a good parking spot to avoiding peak traffic at the mall, holiday shopping is all about strategy.

And a  big part of that strategy should involve taking advantage of the right credit card to get rewards back on your purchases.

A recent poll of 1,000 Canadian shoppers showed that Canadians are slated to spend more this holiday season than they did last year. The poll also found that Canadians are making use of loyalty, rewards and cash-back programs to stretch their dollar.

Picking the right credit card is important. There are some that are in a league of their own, offering far better rewards and perks than the competition. To save you time, we’ve rounded up the best cards in the four major rewards categories.

Cash Back

Top Choice: BMO World Elite Mastercard

Annual fee: $150.
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases / 22.99% on cash advances.
Income requirement: Minimum $80,000 annually for individuals, or $150,000 for households.
Signup bonus:Get 20,000 BMO Rewards points and have the annual fee waived your first year, if your application is received before Nov. 30, 2017. Those can be redeemed for $200 in travel.
The rewards: For every dollar spent, earn two BMO Rewards points. That means if you spend $1,500, you’ll have 3,000 points that can be redeemed for $30 for travel.

Runner Up: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Annual fee: $99, and $30 for each supplementary card.
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases / 22.99% on cash advances, balance transfers, and Scotia Credit Card Cheques.
Income requirements: Minimum $60,000 annually for individuals, and $100,000 for households.
Signup bonus: Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases for the first three months, and have the annual fee waived your first year if you sign up before Feb. 28, 2018.
The rewards:4% cash back on gas and groceries, 2% on drug stores purchases and recurring bill payments, 1% on everything else you charge to your card.

Travel Rewards

Top Choice: Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Annual fee: $99, and $29 for each supplementary card.
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases / 22.99% on cash advances, balance transfers, and Scotia Credit Card Cheques.
Income requirements: None.
Signup bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus points for your first $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first three months, and have the annual fee waived for your first year if you sign up before Feb. 28, 2018.
The rewards: Earn four Scotia Rewards points on every dollar you spend at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, and dining and entertainment venues. Earn one point for every dollar you spend on anything else. To illustrate how far the points will take you, consider spending $1,500 in a month, exclusively at eligible retailers and venues. That would get you 72,000 points, which would translate to $720 in travel dollars.

Runner up : Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Annual fee: $120, and $50 for each supplementary card.
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases / 22.99% on funds advances.
Income requirements: None
Signup bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus Starpoints if you spend at least $1,500 within the first three months.
The rewards: Earn one Starpoint for every dollar you spend, and two points for every dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels through Feb. 15, 2018.

Loyalty Points

Top choice: Scotiabank Scene Visa Card

Annual fee: $0.
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases / 22.99% on cash advances, balance transfers, and Scotia Credit Card Cheques.
Income requirements: None
Signup bonus: Earn 4,000 bonus points for your first $500 in every purchases in the first three months. This offer applies to accounts opened before Feb. 28, 2018.
The rewards: One scene point for every dollar you spend on your every credit card purchases, and five scene points for every dollar you spend on credit card purchases at Cineplex theaters or at cineplex.com. 1,000 points will get you a general admission ticket at a Cineplex theater, and $10 off at participating restaurants.

Runner up : BMO SPC Cashback Mastercard

Annual fee: $0.
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases / 22.99% on cash advances.
Income requirements: None
Signup bonus: Earn 4% cash back for every dollar spent in your first four months if you open an account before Oct. 31, 2018.
The rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases, and SPC discounts of 10% to 15% at hundreds of participating stores.

No Fee

Top choice: SimplyCash Express Card from American Express

Annual fee: $0.
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on funds advances
Income requirements: None
Signup bonus: Earn 5% cash back on all eligible purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants in Canada (up to $250 cash back) for the first six months of membership. There is also an option to use a 1.99% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months if you choose to transfer your other credit card balances to this card. 
The rewards: Earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases.

Runner up : Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Annual fee: $0.
Interest rates: 19.95% on overdue balances and cash advances.
Income requirements: None
Sign up bonus: None
The rewards: 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases that fall into select categories, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases. There’s no limit on how many Rewards you can earn, and Rewards can either be deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account or applied towards your credit card balance.

 

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