Before COVID-19, Canadians were spending on restaurants and delivery to the tune of around $200 per month. However, in the first months of the pandemic, restaurant visits took a hit nationwide. An estimated 10,000 establishments closed, some permanently, due to safety fears and reduced spending on “discretionary items.” Business at grocery stores, on the other hand, was booming. As we head into the second year of the pandemic, the home cooking trend appears to be losing some of its lustre. The numbers aren’t yet in but there’s a very good chance that restaurant and delivery expenditures are growing once again. If you’re one of the many Canadians who’s spending on restaurants and delivery, you’ll be interested to know about the best dining credit cards and the best credit card for food delivery. Read on to learn which credit cards get you best cash or points rewards to help you make the most of those purchases.
Best Credit Cards for Dining and Takeout in Canada
|Card||Earn Rate||Read More|
|American Express Cobalt® Card||5 Membership Rewards points per dollar at restaurants||Read More|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card||5X Scene+ points per $1 CAD at eligible restaurants||Read More|
|MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®||2 MBNA points per dollar at restaurants, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases||Read More|
|CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card||2% cash back at restaurants||Read More|
|KOHO Premium||2% cash back at restaurants||Read More|
|Tangerine World Mastercard®||2% cash back at restaurants||Read More|
Best Dining Credit Card Overall
American Express Cobalt® Card
The American Express Cobalt® Card ust got a whole lot more tempting with its juicy welcome offer. New cardholders can earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points. When you spend $500 per month for the first 12 months, you’ll get 2,500 Membership Rewards points each month. The flexible Membership Rewards program lets you redeem your points for almost anything you put on your card, from retail to restaurants, or on travel, gift cards, merchandise, or even at Amazon.ca.
Cash in when you nosh with the generous 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar earn rate at eligible restaurants, bars, cafés, and even food delivery. Streaming services earn you 3 points per dollar. Transit, gas, and travel earn at 2 points per dollar, and everything else at 1 point per dollar. Other perks include travel insurance and access to The Hotel Collection which gets you a voucher of up to $100 USD for services like spa visits and room service.
- Annual Fee: $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
- Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
- Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
- Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply)
- Additional Perks: Insurance, exclusive entertainment access, access to VIP benefits at the Hotel Collection from American Express®
- Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash Advance APR: 21.99%
Best Food Credit Card with Scotiabank
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card
The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card is one of the most lucrative rewards credit cards for food purchases. The welcome offer right now is worth a second look, with the ability to earn up to 45,000 bonus Scene+™ points in your first year (that’s up to $450 towards travel). Terms and conditions apply.
Afterwards, rack up those rewards on your food purchases with 5X Scene+ points per $1 CAD spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, or drinking establishments, and on food delivery and food box subscriptions. You’ll get 3X Scene+ points per $1 CAD for gas, eligible daily transit, and select streaming purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
You can redeem your Scene+ points for travel, gift cards and merchandise, as cash credits, or even for charitable donations. Depending on how you use them, points are generally worth 0.5–1 cent each. The program offers you the rare option to book travel with points on their site or on the site of any other provider, and you can even apply points to taxes and fees.
- Annual Fee: $120 (First year free)
- Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum of $12,000 annual income
- Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
- Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 45,000 bonus Scene+™ points in your first year (that’s up to $450 towards travel). Terms and conditions apply.
- Additional Perks: No foreign transaction fees, comprehensive travel insurance, American Express Front of the Line® access
- Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Best Food Credit Card with No Annual Fee
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®
Earning rewards is great, but earning rewards on a card with no annual fee is even better! With the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®, you’ll get 2 MBNA points per dollar spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases. If you’re a new cardholder you can double that to 4 points per dollar for the first 90 days. Plus you can earn up to an extra 10,000 points. Get 5,000 points when you sign up for paperless statements and another 5,000 points when you make $500 in purchases within the first 90 days of card membership. MBNA points are worth approximately 1 cent each for travel of .05 cents each as a cash credit. Not a bad deal for a no-fee card!
- Annual Fee: $0
- Income Eligibility: N/A
- Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
- Welcome Bonus: Get 4 points per $1 on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases and up to 10,000 bonus points. (Conditions apply)
- Interest Rate on Purchases: 19.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 24.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 22.99%
Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.
* This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.
Best Cash Back Credit Card for Food Purchases
CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card
There’s a good reason why the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card takes our top spot for cash back cards. Cardholders earn a massive 4% cash back on eligible gas and groceries, 2% back on eligible dining, transportation, and recurring bills, and 1% back on everything else.† Take advantage of the welcome bonus which gets you a full 10% on net purchases for the first four statements, up to a maximum of $250 cash back.† That means that if you spend $200 per month on restaurants and takeout, you’ll get back $20 per month for the first four months and $4 per month after that. That’s $112 back in a year—just on eating out.
The CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card doesn’t put any limits on how much you can earn, and, when you’re ready to redeem, your cash is available on demand. This card also carries a few valuable extras like travel and rental car insurance, gas savings with Journie Rewards†, and $0 transfer fee CIBC Global Money Transfers.
- Annual Fee: $120 (annual fee rebate)†
- Interest Rate on Purchases: 20.99%†
- Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 22.99%† (21.99% QC only)
- Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99%† (21.99% QC only)
- Income Eligibility: $60,000 individual, or $100,000 household
- Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
- Welcome Bonus: Get 10% cash back for the first four statements on net purchases of up to $2,500 (up to $250).† Plus a first-year annual fee rebate!†
- Additional perks: Travel insurance, car rental insurance, $0 transfer fee CIBC Global Money Transfers
Quebec Residents – Learn More about this CIBC product here
Résidents du Québec : Pour en savoir plus sur ce produit CIBC, suivez ce lien
Best Prepaid Card For Food Purchases
If you want cash back on your restaurant and food delivery bills but don’t want a credit card, take a look at KOHO Premium—a prepaid, reloadable card and integrated app that gives real-time insights into your daily spending. Basically, you get a chequing account with all the benefits of a cash back rewards credit card. In return for an annual fee of $84 (or $9/month), you get 2% cash back on your purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, food delivery, bars, coffee shops, and transportation and 0.5% back on everything else. Plus, you earn 1.20% on your KOHO Earn Interest balance.
KOHO Premium comes with a raft of features like Partner Cash back where you get accelerated earn rates, price matching, and free financial coaching. Plus, when you shop with this card you’ll pay no foreign transaction fees, which will save you 2.5-3% on any purchase made in another currency, online or in person.
Promo: Sign up and get a $20 instant cash bonus (once you load your account and make your no minimum first purchase within 30 days) right to your KOHO account with YOUNGANDTHRIFTY referral code.
- Annual Fee: $84 (or $9/month)
- Income Eligibility: None
- Credit Score Required: N/A
- Additional perks: Price matching, accelerated earn rate Cash back, no foreign transaction fees
- Interest Rate on Purchases: N/A
Best No Annual Fee and Cash Back Credit Card For Food Purchases
Tangerine World Mastercard®
If you’re looking for a cash back card you’re probably hoping to leave a little extra money in your pocket. The Tangerine World Mastercard® gets you 2% back in up to three spending categories of your choice including groceries, gas, restaurants, hotel-motel, recurring bills, home improvement, and entertainment. When you sign up, you make your first two choices and then when you opt for automatic cash back deposits into a Tangerine account, you’ll select a third category.
If that’s not enticing enough, there’s an awesome promotion right now: apply for the Tangerine World Mastercard® by May 31, 2022 and earn an extra 10% back (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months*. There’s some easy money to be made just by signing up and it won’t cost you a thing!
In addition to flexible cash back rewards, the Tangerine World Mastercard® gets you some great benefits, especially for a no-fee card, including Boingo W-Fi access worth $19 ($14.99 USD) per month, airport lounge access with a value of approximately $127 ($100 USD), $1,000 in mobile device insurance, and rental car loss/damage protection.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Income Eligibility: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household
- Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
- Additional perks: Mastercard Travel Rewards, Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard, rental car loss/damage insurance, mobile device insurance, Mastercard® Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey
- Interest Rate on Purchases: 19.95% | Interest on Cash Advances: 19.95% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 19.95%
- Welcome offer: Apply for the Tangerine World Mastercard® by May 31, 2022 and earn an extra 10% back (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months*.
*Terms and Conditions apply
Comparison of the Best Dining and Food Delivery Credit Cards
|Brand||Estimated first year annual rewards||Annual Fee||Stand Out Feature||Learn More|
|American Express Cobalt® Card||$766||$155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)||Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply)||Visit Site|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card||$567||$120||Earn up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that’s up to $450 towards travel). Terms and conditions apply.||Visit Site|
|MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®||$391||$0||Up to 10,000 bonus points in the first year||Visit Site|
|CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card||$607||See terms||Get 10% cash back for the first four statements on net purchases of up to $2,500 (up to $250)†||Visit Site|
|KOHO Premium||$193||$84 (or $9/month)||No foreign exchange fees||Visit Site|
|Tangerine World Mastercard®||$255||$0||Valuable extras like lounge access, free Wi-Fi, and mobile device insurance||Visit Site|
|*Based on a monthly spend of $200 on restaurants and takeout, $300 at grocery stores, $180 on gas or transit, $200 on bills, and $500 on everything else|
The Final Word
Restaurant and takeout spending can really add up, so why not make those purchases work for you? Each of these cards has its strengths, from generous welcome bonuses to no-fee rewards to cash back. There’s lots of choice here but you needn’t select only one card. For example, you could carry the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card and earn 10% cash back for the first four statements and then get the American Express Cobalt® Card to rack up those Membership Rewards points. Mixing and matching for points, rewards, and even perks can be a great strategy—just make sure you keep your credit score in mind and space out your applications. Whether you’re looking for rewards points, cash back, or perks like travel insurance, mobile device coverage, or no foreign exchange fees, you’re bound to find a card that’s right for you.