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Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card
Get a FREE $100 Gift Card Upon Approval!
Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card image
Bonus offer 25,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards points
Annual fee $99 $0 for the first year
Rewards rate 4 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases
Card details
Network
American Express
Provider
Scotiabank
Credit needed
Good
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$99
$0 for the first year
Purchase interest rate
19.99%
Cash advance rate
22.99%
Balance transfer rate
22.99%
Free gift card offer

Get a FREE $100 gift card upon approval from LowestRates.ca!

Card description
  • Earn 25,000 bonus points with your first $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months - worth $250 in travel. Plus, first year annual fee waived. For accounts opened by February 28, 2018.
  • Earn up to 4x Scotia Rewards points for every $1 you spend at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment
  • Earn one point on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Concierge Services 24/7
  • Rates, fees and other information are effective as of November 1, 2017. Subject to change.
American Express Air Miles Credit Card
American Express Air Miles Credit Card image
Bonus offer 500 Bonus Air Miles
Annual fee $0
Rewards rate 1 Air Miles reward mile per $20 spent
Card details
Network
American Express
Provider
American Express
Credit needed
Good
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$0
Purchase interest rate
19.99%
Cash advance rate
22.99%
*provided you make your minimum monthly payments on time
Balance transfer rate
1.99%
21.99% after 6 months
Card description
  • New American Express® AIR MILES®* Credit Card Cardmembers, earn a Welcome Bonus of 500 AIR MILES®* Reward Miles when you charge a total of $500 in purchases to your Card within your first three months of Cardmembership
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $15 in Card purchases at AIR MILES®* Sponsors
  • Earn 1 reward mile for every $20 in purchases you charge to the Card everywhere else
  • Optional Balance Transfer Offer to new Cardmembers - Enjoy a special 1.99% introductory interest rate on transferred balances in the first 6 months if you choose to transfer your other credit card balances to this American Express card at time of online application. There is no balance transfer fee at time of application.
  • Shop at participating AIR MILES®* Sponsors across Canada with your American Express AIR MILES Credit Card and your AIR MILES®* Collector Card, and you can earn reward miles twice
  • More than 1000 rewards to choose from! Redeem for a wide range of rewards - everything from electronics to travel and more
  • You can use Apple Pay on your eligible device to pay for goods and services at participating American Express contactless merchants
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.
  • Conditions apply
Features
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Entertainment Benefits
  • Extended Warranty
  • Purchase Protection
  • Travel Insurance
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express image
Bonus offer 20,000 Bonus Starpoints
Annual fee $120
Rewards rate 2 Starpoint per $1 spent
Card details
Network
American Express
Provider
American Express
Credit needed
Excellent
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$120
Purchase interest rate
19.99%
Cash advance rate
22.99%
*provided you make your minimum monthly payments on time
Balance transfer rate
N/A
Card description
  • New Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express Cardmembers, earn 20,000 bonus Starpoints® after you charge $1,500 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership
  • You can earn 2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases charged to the Card at participating SPG and Marriot Rewards hotels until February 15, 2018
  • Earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 in all other purchases charged to the Card
  • Enjoy a Free Weekend Night Award when you reach $40,000 in purchases each year
  • Experience Starwood Gold Preferred Guest status when you reach $30,000 in purchases each year
  • Redeem Starpoints for Free Nights with no blackout dates at over 1,200 of the world's most desired hotels in nearly 100 countries
  • Use Starpoints for flights on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates with SPG Flights
  • Experience once-in-a-lifetime events with SPG Moments
  • American Express Invites™ opens the door to great music, theatre, dining, film, fashion and shopping experiences. Be among the first to know, and among the first to go!
  • Add a Supplementary Card and the first year’s annual fee is on us. That’s a value of $50.
  • You can use Apple Pay on your eligible device to pay for goods and services at participating American Express contactless merchants
  • Annual interest rate 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% on funds advances
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.
  • Conditions apply
Features
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Entertainment Benefits
  • Extended Warranty
  • Purchase Protection
  • Rental Car Insurance
  • Travel Benefits
MBNA Rewards Mastercard®
MBNA Rewards Mastercard® image
Bonus offer 5,000 Bonus points
Annual fee $0
Rewards rate 1 Point per $1 spent
Card details
Network
Mastercard
Provider
MBNA
Credit needed
Good
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$0
Purchase interest rate
19.99%
Cash advance rate
24.99%
Balance transfer rate
21.99%
Card description
  • Get MBNA Rewards for your purchases and redeem them for your passions, including travel, merchandise, or even cash back.
  • Earn 1 MBNA Rewards point‡ for every $1 in eligible purchases
  • Receive 5,000 bonus MBNA Rewards points after your first eligible purchase††. That's equivalent to $50 when redeemed for cash back or travel
  • Redeem points‡ for cash back, travel, brand-name merchandise, gift cards from top retailers and charitable donations
  • No annual fee
Features
  • Extended Warranty
  • Purchase Protection
  • Rental Car Insurance
  • Travel Benefits
Best Western Mastercard®
Best Western Mastercard® image
Bonus offer 20,000 Best Western Rewards points
Annual fee $0
Rewards rate 1 Best Western point per $1 spent
Card details
Network
Mastercard
Provider
MBNA
Credit needed
Good
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$0
Purchase interest rate
19.99%
Cash advance rate
24.99%
Balance transfer rate
1.99%
21.99% after 10 months
Card description
  • Reward yourself with a free night's stay. You could get a FREE night with the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® credit card‡
  • Earn 20,000 Best Western Rewards® points†† on your first purchase – enough for a free night stay
  • Earn 1 Best Western Rewards® point for every $1 in eligible purchases‡
  • Earn 5 Best Western Rewards® points for every $1 in eligible purchases at Best Western properties‡
  • You will be awarded "Gold Status" upon first use of your credit card and "Diamond Status" when you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases within one year♦♦
  • No limit to the Best Western Rewards® points that can be earned using the credit card in a year
  • Use your Best Western Rewards® points in many ways – hotel stays, dining, gift cards and more
  • 1.99% promotional annual interest rate† (AIR) on balance transfers* for the first 10 full months
Features
  • No Limit on Points Earned
SimplyCash Card from American Express
SimplyCash Card from American Express image
Bonus offer 1.99% Interest rate on balance transfers (first 6 months)
Annual fee $0
Rewards rate 5% Cash back (first 6 months)
Card details
Network
American Express
Provider
American Express
Credit needed
Good
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$0
Purchase interest rate
19.99%
Cash advance rate
22.99%
*provided you make your minimum monthly payments on time
Balance transfer rate
1.99%
21.99% after 6 months
Card description
  • Optional Balance Transfer Offer to new Cardmembers - Enjoy a special 1.99% introductory interest rate on transferred balances in the first 6 months if you choose to transfer your other credit card balances to this American Express card at time of online application. There is no balance transfer fee at time of application.
  • New SimplyCash™ Card from American Express Cardmembers can 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 6 months of Cardmembership1
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all other purchases and when your Welcome Rate ends
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn
  • No annual fee for Supplementary Cards
  • Access to memorable experiences with American Express Invites®
  • Insurance coverage and 24/7 Customer Service
  • You can use Apple Pay on your eligible device to pay for goods and services at participating American Express contactless merchants
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.
  • Conditions apply
Features
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Entertainment Benefits
  • Extended Warranty
  • Free Supplementary Card
  • Purchase Protection
  • Rental Car Insurance
  • Travel Insurance
Harley-Davidson® Mastercard®
Harley-Davidson® Mastercard® image
Bonus offer 1.99% Interest rate on balance transfers (first 10 months)
Annual fee $0
Rewards rate 1 Genuine Rewards Point per $2 spent
Card details
Network
Mastercard
Provider
MBNA
Credit needed
Good
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$0
Purchase interest rate
19.99%
Cash advance rate
24.99%
Balance transfer rate
1.99%
21.99% after 10 months
Card description
  • You could be one purchase away from winning a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle††
  • Use your card for eligible purchases and you may be entered in a quarterly Harley-Davidson motorcycle draw‡
  • 1.99% promotional annual interest rate† (AIR) on balance transfers* for the first 10 full months
  • Earn 1 Genuine Rewards Point for every $2 in eligible purchases‡
  • Redeem your points for Harley Chrome® Cash‡ to be used at participating Harley-Davidson Canadian retailers
  • No annual fee
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Get a FREE $25 Gift Card Upon Approval!
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card image
Bonus offer N/A
Annual fee $0
Rewards rate 2% Cash back on two categories of your choice
Card details
Network
Mastercard
Provider
Tangerine
Credit needed
Good
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$0
Purchase interest rate
19.95%
Cash advance rate
19.95%
Balance transfer rate
19.95%
Free gift card offer

Get a FREE $25 gift card from LowestRates.ca

Card description
  • Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.5% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases
  • Get three 2% Money-Back Categories if you choose to have your Rewards deposited into your Tangerine Savings Account, or two 2% Money-Back Categories if your Rewards are deposited back onto your Credit Card
  • No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn
  • No annual fee
  • 2.5% Foreign Conversion Fee
  • Free Cards for Authorized Users on your Account
  • Money-Back Rewards are earned automatically and paid monthly, and can either be applied towards your Credit Card balance or redeemed into your Savings Account.
  • Change your 2% Money-Back Categories to suit your spending.
  • Orange Alerts are emailed to you so that you’re up-to-date on what's happening in your Account.
  • Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty
  • Accepted worldwide at more than 24 million locations in over 210 countries
  • Mastercard Zero Liability
Features
  • Extended Warranty
  • Free Supplementary Card
  • Purchase Protection
SCENE® VISA*
SCENE® VISA* image
Bonus offer 4,000 Bonus SCENE points
Annual fee $0
Rewards rate 1 SCENE point per $1 spent
Card details
Network
VISA
Provider
Scotiabank
Credit needed
Good
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$0
Purchase interest rate
19.99%
Cash advance rate
22.99%
Balance transfer rate
22.99%
Card description
  • Earn 4,000 bonus points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in first 3 months. That's 4 FREE movies. For accounts opened by February 28, 2018.
  • Earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 you spend on credit card purchases
  • Earn 5 SCENE points for every $1 you spend on SCENE Visa purchases at participating Cineplex Entertainment theatres or online at cineplex.com
  • Rates, fees and other information are effective as of November 1, 2017. Subject to change.
American Express Gold Rewards Card
American Express Gold Rewards Card image
Bonus offer 25,000 Membership Rewards points
Annual fee $150
Rewards rate 2 Points per $1 spent
Card details
Network
American Express
Provider
American Express
Credit needed
Excellent
Fees and interest
Annual fee
$150
Purchase interest rate
30%
Cash advance rate
N/A
Balance transfer rate
N/A
Card description
  • New American Express® Gold Rewards* Cardmembers can earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards® points just by making $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership. That’s enough to redeem for a round-trip Fixed Mileage Flight Reward TM* to almost anywhere in North America.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 on eligible travel and everyday purchases
  • Charge any travel to your Card then pay for it with points. Your points can even cover taxes and fees!
  • Transfer your points to frequent flyer programs, including Avios and Aeroplan®*
  • 1 Free Supplementary Gold Rewards Card (a $50 value*) to help you earn points faster
  • You can use Apple Pay on your eligible device to pay for goods and services at participating American Express contactless merchants
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.
  • *As a Charge Card, the balance must always be paid in full each month. 30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full.
  • Conditions apply
Features
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • American Express Hotel Collection
  • Entertainment Benefits
  • Extended Warranty
  • Free Supplementary Card
  • Purchase Protection
  • Rental Car Discounts
  • Rental Car Insurance
  • Travel Insurance
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Rewards credit cards

 

Want to earn rewards just by using your credit card? Maybe it's time to get a rewards card. Rewards credit cards offer you points, cash back, and other benefits based on how much you use your card — the more you spend, the more you earn. Credit card providers offer a wide range of exciting rewards cards in Canada, so compare your options above to find the right card.

How do rewards credit cards work?

 

The competition for new credit card customers is intense, so credit card providers offer robust rewards programs to entice shoppers and get them to use their higher end cards.

Some cards offer travel points toward airfare and hotels, some offer points toward your favorite retailers, and others offer cash back. Just pick the rewards card that fits your spending habits and your lifestyle.

Wondering when you get to redeem those rewards? Rewards credit card providers generally award points monthly or once a year, and then you can redeem your rewards online or over the phone whenever you're ready. Meanwhile, cash back awards usually come in the form of a cheque at the end of the year or as a credit to your account. Just remember: the more you spend, the greater your rewards.
 

Who should get a rewards credit card?

 

Consumers with good credit scores and average or above average credit card spending. Many rewards cards come with high annual fees and high interest rates, which is why they're best for shoppers who pay their balances every month and spend enough money to make the annual fee worth it.

You also need a reasonably high income to get approved for a rewards credit card. In most cases, rewards credit card providers require you to have a minimum household income of $35,000 per year. Other rewards cards require applicants to have annual incomes that are as high as $100,000.

How do I decide what type of rewards credit card to get?

 

Figure out what kind of rewards suit you best. Most shoppers start by looking at what they spend their money on each month and what kind of rewards would be most useful. Frequent travellers probably want a card with a travel points program, such as air miles or hotel points. High spenders might prefer cash back, while consumers with special interests may want a specialty rewards card.

How should I compare competing rewards credit cards?

 

The key measure of a rewards credit card is how much cash back or how many points are awarded per dollar spent. This measure is known as the rewards rate, or, sometimes, the rewards ratio.

The best rewards credit cards return at least 1% of your monthly spending back to you in rewards, whether it’s cash back, points, or another benefit.

Look for cards with reasonably ‘clean’ rewards programs — cards that don’t put a lot of limits or conditions on how you can earn and use your rewards.

And consider the annual fees — some rewards cards have annual fees over $200. But don’t just dismiss these cards, especially if you’re a big spender. These rewards cards may come with sign-up bonuses and a great rewards return rate.

Rewards credit cards compared: a cash back case study

 

Comparing rewards credit cards can be confusing for even the savviest consumers. Most rewards cards offer different rewards rates depending on the amount of money you spend and what exactly you spend it on. Just take a look at the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite.

With this card, you can earn 4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases, 2% cash back on drugstore purchases and recurring bills, and 1% cash back on other purchases — up to a maximum of $25,000. After you hit this spending threshold, the card returns 1% cash back on eligible purchases.

Check out the rewards rates and benefits on some of our top cash back cards below:

Scotia Momentum No-Fee VISA
Rewards
  • 1% on gas/grocery/drug store purchases and on recurring bills
  • 0.5% on all other eligible purchases
Interest rate
7.99%
19.99% after 6 months
Annual fee
$0
Scotia Momentum VISA
Rewards
  • 2% on gas/grocery/drug store purchases
  • 1% on all other eligible purchases and after annual $25,000 limit
Interest rate
19.99 %
21.99% after first 6 months
Annual fee
$39
Scotia L'earn VISA
Rewards
  • 1% on all eligible purchases
Interest rate
19.99%
Annual fee
$0
Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite
Rewards
  • 4% on gas/grocery purchases
  • 2% on drug store purchases and recurring bills
  • 1% on other purchases and after annual $25,000 limit
Interest rate
19.99%
Annual fee
$99

That’s a lot of math. We even crunched some numbers to illustrate what kind of rewards you’ll earn on each card based on the amount of money you spend. The graph below depicts the rewards rate for some of our best cash back credit cards — the most popular rewards category at LowestRates.ca.

A quick note on methodology: cash back rewards rates vary based on what you buy, so we used a weighted basket to depict the average cardholder's monthly spending.

  • 13% on gas
  • 27% on groceries
  • 13% on drug store purchases
  • 13% on recurring bills
  • 34% on other purchases

We used a basket of up to $60,000 in spending, beyond which all purchases are categorized as ‘other’. Most families only spend so much money per year on items like gas, groceries, and recurring bills, no matter how big their budget.

We also included the annual fees for each card and stripped out introductory offers. Now you can get a true sense of how each card will reward you over the long term.

Cash Back Rewards Cards Comparison

While every family spends money on different things and in different amounts, the graph above gives you a rough idea of the rewards you can earn with these cards based on your annual spend.

Figuring out which card will give you the best rewards rate depends on how much you spend per year. No fee rewards cards like the L’earn Visa or the Scotia Momentum No-Fee are actually better if you only spend a few thousand dollars per year on your card. If you’re a big spender, a Cadillac offering like the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite reigns supreme.

What are the disadvantages of a rewards credit card?

 

APRs on rewards cards can be 20% or even 30%, and the annual fees can amount to hundreds per year. That’s why most rewards credit cards (especially premium offerings) are only appropriate for consumers who spend a lot of money.

Applicants also need to have a good credit score to be approved for a decent rewards credit card. Most rewards cards require a minimum score of 710, and the threshold is even higher for premium cards — usually 720 or above.

Is there anything I should watch out for in a rewards credit card?

 

Check for caps or limitations on your rewards. Many rewards cards only offer the best points rewards rate on the first few thousand dollars you spend. When you exceed that annual amount, you're subjected to a lower rewards rate. Other cards come with a hard cap, beyond which no more rewards points will be awarded, no matter how much you spend.

You also need to check for requirements or conditions on your rewards. Some high-end rewards cards require you to spend a lot before you can get the best rewards rate. That's why many shoppers opt for a rewards credit card with a steady rewards rate and few variations.

Make sure your spending habits match the rewards card you're interested in applying for. Some rewards credit cards only offer points or cash back on certain products or services. That's why you should take the time to calculate how much money you actually spend in each of those categories before you apply for the card. For example, if you don’t own a car, a rewards card that earns cash back on gas purchases probably isn’t the right fit.

And lastly, remember to watch out for rewards that expire at the end of the year or after a set period of time.

Compare rewards credit cards today

 

The appeal of rewards credit cards is easy to see. Who doesn’t like earning points and rewards on their everyday purchases? With more rewards credit cards available today than ever before, you have a lot of credit card options.

Compare all the best credit cards right here at LowestRates.ca.

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