Credit Cards

Best Canadian Rewards Credit Cards 2023

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Looking to earn a return back from your credit card purchases? Read this essential guide about maximizing your credit card rewards through everyday spending.

During COVID-19, most Canadians are sequestered at home, waiting for the day that it’s safe to get outside again. With a global lockdown on international travel, running your expenses through a travel rewards credit card is a waste of your earning power. And make no mistake: the money you spend on groceries, jigsaw puzzles, and toilet paper (if you can find any) rack up. If you’re looking for the best points card in Canada or the credit card with maximum benefits, look no further. No matter what you’re doing during your quarantine, we’ve got a top pick in every category so you can reap rewards from your apocalypse shopping today.

The Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada

Get More Out of Groceries

If social media is any indication, loads of homebound Canadians are opting to spend their lockdown training to be the next Jamie Oliver, which means they’re spending like never before on groceries. Pay for your gigantic grocery purchase with the right credit card and you can reap some sweet cash rewards.

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card

CIBC Credit Cards logo

Get a first-year annual fee rebate for you and up to three Authorized Users† and 10% cash back for the first 4 statements on net purchases of up to $2,500.†

    For your grocery spends, the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card tops this category. After the Welcome Offer ends, get 4% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases†; 2% cash back on eligible transportation, dining purchases and recurring payments†; and 1% cash back on all other purchases†. Plus, there’s no limit on the total cash back you can earn.† Also, it comes with a nice welcome offer: Get a first-year annual fee rebate and earn a 10% cash back welcome bonus of up to $250!† It also comes with car rental insurance, travel insurance (including travel medical), and exclusive luxury hotel and travel benefits offered through the Visa Infinite program† – all of which will come in handy once you can leave the house again.

    The Details:

    • Annual Fee: $120 (first-year annual fee rebate)†
    • Purchase Annual Interest Rate: 20.99%†
    • Balance Transfer Annual Interest Rate: 22.99%† (21.99% QC only)
    • Cash Advance Annual Interest Rate: 22.99%† (21.99% QC only)
    • Income Eligibility: $60,000 individual, or $100,000 household†
    • Credit Score Required: Good;Excellent
    • Welcome Offer: Get a first-year annual fee rebate and earn a 10% cash back welcome bonus of up to $250!†
    • Additional Benefits: Earn cash back on every dollar you spend, including insurance coverage and shopping protection, access to Visa Infinite benefits†

    This is a digital-exclusive offer.† To be eligible for this offer, you must apply for a new eligible card using the “Apply Now” link available on this webpage.†

    †Conditions apply 

    Quebec Residents – Learn More about this CIBC product here.

    Résidents du Québec – Pour en savoir plus sur ce produit CIBC, suivez ce lien.

    Supersize Your Shopping Rewards

    Living in lockdown means restricting unessential travel and this — along with boredom — is sending people to their computers to get their shopping done. Whether it’s Chapters.ca for your next read, The Bay for new sweats, or Home Depot for the supplies for your garden project, online shopping is the way to go.

    BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*

    BMO Credit Cards logo

    Earn 5% on groceries*, 4% on transit including ride sharing, taxis and public transportation*, 3% on gas and electric vehicle charging*, 2% on recurring bill payments like your monthly phone bill or favourite streaming service*, and 1% unlimited cashback on all other purchases*.

      The BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* ranks number one on our list when it comes to online shopping. Earn 5% on groceries*, 4% on transit including ride sharing, taxis and public transportation*, 3% on gas and electric vehicle charging*, 2% on recurring bill payments like your monthly phone bill or favourite streaming service*, and 1% unlimited cashback on all other purchases*. Plus, it offers an awesome welcome bonus for new cardholders. Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year*. In addition, the $120 annual fee is waived in the first year*. Redemption is a cinch: cash back rewards can be deposited into your BMO chequing or savings account, applied as a statement credit, or deposited into your BMO InvestorLine account. So you can put that money towards your next meal or spending splurge.

      The Details:

      • Annual Fee: $120 (first-year annual fee rebate)
      • Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum $80,000 (individual) or $150,000 (household)
      • Credit Score Required: Excellent
      • Additional Benefits: Travel insurance*, Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass*, shopping protection*
      • Interest on Purchases: 20.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 23.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents)

      *Terms and conditions apply.

      Collect Colossal Cash Back at Costco

      Attention Costco shoppers: there’s a sizzling earn rate in aisle 7! With its massive selection of freakishly oversized products, Costco is a favourite for families (and more recently, toilet paper hoarders). Getting a good deal is what the warehouse store is all about, but exploiting those spends is complicated by the fact that Costco only accepts Mastercard.

      BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*

      BMO Credit Cards logo

      Get 5% cash back in your first 3 months* and a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months, 2% fee applies to balance amounts transferred*.

        For these spending sprees, the credit card with maximum benefits is the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*. This $0 annual fee card is currently extending a welcome offer to new card members: Get 5% cash back on purchases in your first 3 months*. After the Welcome Offer ends get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.* So stock up at Costco now and get a pay-off for your pandemic shopping later!

        The Details:

        • Annual Fee: $0
        • Income Eligibility: Minimum $15,000 (individual)
        • Credit Score Required: Good
        • Welcome Offer: Get 5% cash back on purchases in your first 3 months*. and a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months (with a 2%* transfer fee)
        • Additional Benefits: Car Rental Discounts*, purchase protection and extended warranty*
        • Interest on Purchases: 20.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents)

        *Terms and conditions apply.

        Cash In On Your Commute

        Not everybody is sequestered in their home during this time. If you’re an essential worker commuting to your job, you’re likely already aware of the new, lower gas prices showing up across the country. For commuters during COVID, there are two excellent options for credit cards that will give you some moolah at the pump:

        If You’re a Self-Employed/Small Business Owner:

        BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®*

        BMO Credit Cards CA logo

        Get 10% cash back on gas, office supplies, and recurring cell phone/internet bill payments for 3 months (up to a maximum of $150 cash back)*.

          Got a small business? With BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®*, you can fill up on cash rewards at the pump. As a welcome offer, new cardholders get a generous 10% cash back on gas (as well as office supplies and cellphone and internet bills) for the first three months. After the welcome period, the card still offers a solid earn rate. Get 1.5% cash back on eligible gas stations, office supplies purchases and on your cell phone and internet recurring payments*, 1.75% cash back at Shell®*, and 0.75% cash back on all other card purchases*. This is a business card, so you’ll need a business license to apply. But with a $0 annual fee, this is an attractive product, even for a sole proprietorship.

          The Details:

          • Annual Fee: $0
          • Income Eligibility: N/A
          • Credit Score Required: N/A
          • Welcome Offer: Get 10% cash back on gas, office supplies, and recurring cell phone/internet bill payments for 3 months*.
          • Additional Benefits: Earn cash back on every dollar you spend, purchase protection and extended warranty
          • Interest on Purchases: 19.99%| Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99%

          *Terms and conditions apply.

          If You Are An Employee:

          TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card

          TD Credit Cards logo

          Earn 10% Cash Back on all Purchases for the first 3 months† up to a total spend of $2,000. Plus, first year no Annual Fee for the Primary and Additional Cardholders†. Conditions apply. Must apply online by May 28, 2023.

            Don’t own your own biz? If you’re working during COVID-19, you can still cash in on the commute with the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card. Cardholders earn 3% in Cash Back Dollars on eligible grocery and gas purchases†, and on regularly recurring bill payments† set up on your account. All other card purchases earn at 1% cash back†. As a sign-up bonus for New Cardholders, there’s a limited-time welcome offer.

            Apply online by May 28, 2023 and earn 10% Cash Back on all Purchases for the first 3 months† up to a total spend of $2,000.

            • After your first $2,000 in Purchases, Gas Purchases, Grocery Purchases and Pre-Authorized Payments will continue to earn 6% up to a total spend of $3,500 for the first 3 months.
            • Plus, no Annual Fee† for the first year for the Primary and Additional Cardholders.

            To receive the first-year annual fee rebate, you must activate your Card and make your first Purchase on the Account within the first 3 months after Account opening.

            The Details:

            • Annual Fee: $139 (Annual fee rebate for first year)†
            • Minimum Income Eligibility: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income.
            • Credit Score Required: Good;Excellent
            • Welcome Offer: Earn 10% Cash Back on all Purchases for the first 3 months† up to a total spend of $2,000. Plus, first year no Annual Fee for the Primary and Additional Cardholders†. Conditions apply. Must apply online by May 28, 2023.
            • Additional Benefits: Includes travel insurance†, and Emergency Road Services with the Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership†, and Mobile Device Insurance†
            • Interest on Purchases: 20.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99%

            †Terms and conditions apply.

            This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

            Chow Down To Rack Up Points

            If you rely on that Friday night pizza order to get you through the week, or if you’re just done with cooking, why not choose a credit card that rewards you for every dollar you spend on restaurants and takeout?

            American Express Cobalt® Card

            American Express Canada Credit Cards logo

            In your first year as a new Cobalt® Cardmember, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year. That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets. Terms and conditions apply.

              The American Express Cobalt® Card gives you a healthy kickback on those purchases. Get 5 points per $1 spent on eligible food and drink in Canada, including groceries and food delivery, 3 points per $1 spent on streaming services, 2 points per $1 on spent gas and transit like buses or taxicabs, 1 point per $1 spent on everything else, and 1 additional Membership Rewards® point for every $1 spent as a charge on your Express Cobalt® Card on any eligible hotel or any car rental bookings made through American Express Travel.

              To jumpstart your earnings, the card extends a generous welcome offer--Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply).

              The Details:

              • Annual Fee: $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
              • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
              • Credit Score Required: Fair;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%

              Save and Earn With Your Spending

              RBC ION+ Visa

              Royal Bank of Canada logo

              Get 12,000 Avion points on approval with the RBC ION+ Visa. Apply by April 3, 2023.^

                We want to save as much as we can, whenever we can. You’ll be able to do just that with the RBC ION+ Visa card. First of all: Get 12,000 Avion points on approval with the RBC ION+ Visa. Apply by April 3, 2023.^. Earn 3X Avion points for every $1 spent on groceries, food delivery, rideshares, gas, streaming, subscriptions, digital gaming and more¹. Earn 1 Avion point for every $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases¹. You can stay entertained while earning points on streaming, gaming, eligible digital subscriptions, eligible digital downloads, and in-game purchasesⁱⁱⁱ.

                The Details:

                • Annual Fee: $48 ($4 charged monthly); Additional card $0
                • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
                • Credit Score Required: Good
                • Welcome Bonus: Get 12,000 Avion points on approval with the RBC ION+ Visa. Apply by April 3, 2023.^
                • Additional Perks: Redeem your Avion points to pay bills, your credit card balance or even send money to friends with Interac e-Transfer⁴. Minimum redemption is only $10, so you can use your points where you need them most.
                • Purchase APR: 19.99% (20.99%, as of April 1, 2023) | Cash Advance APR: 22.99% (21.99% if you reside in Quebec)

                Refer to RBC page for up to date offer terms and conditions.


                Get It Covered with Insurance Benefits

                Now that we’re all spending a lot more time at home because of the pandemic, we’re more likely to splurge on purchases we can enjoy in our homes. But are your purchases protected in case disaster strikes?

                What to Do With Your Travel Rewards During COVID-19

                Just because you’re stuck at home now doesn’t mean you’ll never travel again. If you have existing travel points, there are a few things you can do:

                Save Your Points For Later

                Check to see if the points expire on your travel rewards credit card. For instance, if you hold a TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, your Aeroplan points never expire so long as you’re a cardholder in good standing. It’s partly why we named it one of the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada. So, if there’s no expiry, you’re free to hang onto your points until you’re able to get back in the air (or on the road).

                Redeem For a Statement Credit

                Depending on your rewards program, you may be able to redeem your points for a statement credit. For instance, the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card offers the ultimate flexibility in redemption. If you don’t want to hoard your Scene+ points for travel at a later date, you can redeem your points to receive a statement credit.

                Transfer Your Points

                If your travel rewards program doesn’t have an alternative or if you’re up against an expiration deadline, you may be able to transfer the rewards to a different program. Failing that, you might opt to donate your rewards — most programs have charity partners.

                Book Now

                If you can’t save your points, get a statement credit, or transfer ‘em elsewhere, you may want to use them before you lose them. You could (optimistically) consider redeeming your points now and travelling later. For instance, see if you can get a flight or hotel deal for next year. Just make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance with trip cancellation/interruption coverage in case there’s another wave of COVID-19 that stalls your travel plans. Check out The Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance in Canada.

                Last Word

                Canadians have access to some great travel rewards credit cards, but with COVID-19, travel points may not be the most valuable rewards to collect. Until the pandemic blows over, your best bet may well be switching to one of the best cash back credit cards or one of the best credit cards in Canada that offers flexible rewards or points. Also, take advantage of the best credit card offers and sign-up bonuses while you’re making plenty of pandemic purchases. No matter what your sequestered spending habits are, you can find a credit card with maximum benefits.

                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.

                BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

                Keph Senett

                Keph Senett is a Canadian freelance writer with an interest in helping people make solid choices towards debt-free living. Her work has appeared in publications including Al Jazeera America, Greedy Rates, BBC News, and The Globe & Mail.



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