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Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada for 2019

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Last updated on August 20, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 22
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Credit cards don’t exist solely to help you spend money. If you choose the right one for your lifestyle, you can earn just by doing your regular shopping. The key is to choose a credit card with a solid and worthwhile rewards program that suits you.

Best Canadian Credit Cards for Rewards

Credit CardBest For
BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®*Best Rewards Credit Card for Everyday Purchases
American Express CobaltTMBest Rewards Credit Card for Restaurants
Scotiabank SCENE VisaBest Rewards Credit Card for Students
TD® Aeroplan® Visa InfiniteBest Aeroplan Rewards Credit Card
BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*Best Air Miles Rewards Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy American Express CardBest Hotel Rewards Credit Card
Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* CardBest Travel Rewards Credit Card
MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®
Best Base Rewards Earn Rate Credit Card
PC Financial World Elite MastercardBest Store Rewards Credit Cards

Best Everyday Reward Credit Cards

BMO World Elite Mastercard

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: good_excellent
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $150 

BMO Rewards World Elite MastercardThe BMO Rewards World Elite Mastercard offers a nice mix of features for cardholders who spend on travel and expect higher-end travel perks, without compromising their points redemption flexibility. Its accelerated model for collecting rewards earns 3 points per $1 spent on travel, dining, and entertainment, and then 2 points per $1 spent elsewhere. This translates to about a 2.1% and 1.4% return rate respectively per our Loyalty Program Bible, and these rewards can be spent on travel (logically), merchandise, gift cards, cash back, and more. You’ll also get 35,000 points as a bonus for spending $3,000 in your first 3 months, plus a $150 annual fee waiver.

With a bonus value of $400 not including all the points you’ll earn on everyday spending, the BMO World Elite card is a lucrative choice in its first year, and travellers stand to get much more value by keeping it in their wallets beyond year one. This is due to its strong travel insurance (for emergency medical, trip interruption and cancellation, rental cars etc.) and its free membership to LoungeKey by Mastercard. This latter perk provides cardholders with 4 complimentary lounge passes yearly, allowing frequent travellers and guests to spend their layovers in the lap of luxury at no extra cost.

Click here to apply to the BMO World Elite Mastercard

Best Rewards Credit Card for Restaurants

American Express CobaltTM

American Express CobaltEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
fair_good
– Min personal income required: N/A
– Annual fees: $120

The American Express CobaltTM is the best rewards credit card in Canada for foodies and bon vivants. You earn a giant 5 points per $1 spent on eating out in restaurants or bars, as well as on food delivery, and even on your grocery bills.

The 2 points per $1 spent on travel—which includes hotel stays, gas, and ground transportation—make it a diverse card as well. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1. Receiving up to 30000 points as a welcome bonus is obviously another major plus (minimum spend required, terms and conditions are subject to change).

Points earned can be redeemed on flights, concerts and events, Amazon.ca purchases, etc. Or they can be redeemed for statement credit.

American Express CobaltTM users also receive great insurance on all of their travel and merchandise purchased with the card, and free supplementary cards can help accumulate points faster.

Click here to learn more about the American Express CobaltTM card

Best Rewards Credit Card for Students

Scotiabank SCENE Visa

scotia scene visaEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $12000
– Annual fees: $0 

The Scotia SCENE is a good fit for true movie buffs. You’ll earn 5 points for each dollar spent in Cineplex Odeon cinemas and 1 point on every $1 spent anywhere else. There’s a welcome bonus of 2500 points, which is equivalent to 2 free movie tickets (accounts must be opened by date included in the terms and conditions; please click on the link below).

What makes this rewards structure worthwhile is that you only need 1,000 points to earn a movie ticket. Given that a movie ticket + popcorn costs about $17 or so, you’ll be earning one free ticket for every 10-12 cinema visits, even if you don’t use your card anywhere else. Other reward redemption options like music also begin at 1,000 points.

The Scotiabank SCENE card has $0 annual fee, and the qualifying income level is low, making it one of the best reward credit cards in Canada for students.

Click here to apply for the Scotiabank SCENE card

Best Aeroplan Rewards Credit Card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite

TD Aeroplan Infinite VisaEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: good_excellent
– Min personal income required: $60000
– Annual fees: $120 First year free

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

Credit cards like the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite card are designed to help loyal Air Canada travellers save on their upcoming vacations or business trips, by steadily and reliably collecting Aeroplan miles from all their spending. Not only will the Aeroplan® Infinite grant an impressive 40000-mile bonus (15,000 Miles after a first purchase; 2X Aeroplan Miles on eligible Purchases in the first three months up to a total of 20,000 Miles and another 5,000 Aeroplan Miles when you add an authorized user before December 1, 2019), it will also accrue 1.5 Aeroplan miles for every single dollar spent on a wide variety of categories: groceries, gas, drugstore purchases, and anything off aircanada.com. Cardholders will also earn 1 Aeroplan mile for every dollar spent elsewhere, ensuring a constant flow of travel rewards.

The card’s $120 annual fee is justified, considering that in addition to the opportunity to earn Aeroplan miles, cardholders will also be covered with a comprehensive insurance package that includes travel medical, trip cancellation and interruption, trip or flight delay, delayed or lost baggage, rental car collision and damage, and common carrier accident. Other benefits are activated when the cardholder flies with Air Canada, such as complimentary checked bags, priority check-in and boarding, and a free one-time entry to the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge. Finally, we also appreciate the card’s ability to obtain discounts at any worldwide Avis or Budget rental car location.

Keep in mind that the minimum annual income for an eligible individual is $60,000 (or $100,000 for households). Those with even higher incomes might consider the card’s premium sibling, the Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card, which comes with many of the same bonuses but in greater quantities (faster earnings, more lounge passes, and even a 50% discount on an Air Canada companion flight).

Click here to apply for the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite

Best Air Miles Rewards Credit Card

BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*

BMO Air Miles World Elite MastercardEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: good_excellent
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $120 

BMO Air Miles World Elite‘s regular earn rate—1 Air Mile per $10 spent—is simple and transparent enough, but what’s better is that there’s a 15% discount on all Air Miles flights in North America with no blackout periods.

As a welcome bonus, you can receive up to 3000 Air Miles, and your first year’s annual fee waived. With a flight from Canada to Cancun costing just 5,000 Air Miles, it won’t take too long before you’re jetting off.

Click here to apply for the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

Best Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express CardEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
good_excellent
– Min personal income required: N/A
– Annual fees: $120

One of the credit card rewards most appreciated by travellers is the ability to stay overnight at nice hotels for free, and the Marriott Bonvoy Amex is one of the best Canadian cards for accommodating that. With an introductory bonus of 50,000 Bonvoy points, you’ll earn enough for 3 free nights after spending $1,500 in your first 3 months, plus another Annual Free Night Award on each anniversary. That doesn’t include the Bonvoy points that constantly collect from all purchases, at a rate of 2 for every $1 spent. When making purchases at Bonvoy properties (there’s over 7,000 of them worldwide), you earn points at an accelerated rate of 5 for every $1 spent.

The card has an annual fee of $120, but it also brings the superior travel perks to justify it—on top of the other features described above. Cardholders will also enjoy automatic Bonvoy Silver Elite Status (for free upgrades, Wi-Fi, and other perks where available), plus 15 Elite Night Credits to put toward an upgrade to Gold Elite Status (which occurs annually once the cardholder spends $30,000). A nice flexible use of Bonvoy points is that they’re transferrable to a variety of frequent flier programs, and on any trip, the card offers protection via car rental insurance, plus coverage for flight and baggage delays, lost and stolen items and more.

Click here to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

Scotia Passport Visa InfiniteEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: good_excellent
– Min personal income required: $60000
– Annual fees: $139 

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card occupies the opportune middle ground between cards that earn rewards and offer perks, and those that reduce/eliminate expenses derived from fees. Being the best of both worlds means that Passport Visa cardholders earns Scotia Rewards points, offers of the most valuable travel benefits, and is exempt from the fees that accrue from purchases made in a foreign currency.

Cardholders are introduced to the card with a bonus of 35000 points, which is awarded for just a conditions apply. In the meantime, they’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on groceries, dining, and entertainment expenses, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere. Points are redeemable on travel arrangements, merchandise, and more. Besides 0 foreign transaction fees, the card’s other travel perks includes access to Priority Pass lounges at airports worldwide, with 6 free entry passes.

To top it off, everyone can appreciate protection with travel medical insurance, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, and remediation for damage to their rental car. It’s easy to see why the Passport Visa is more than worth its $139 annual fee.

Click here to apply for the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

Best Base Rewards Earn Rate Credit Card

MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®

MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $120 
– This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here

A comprehensive rewards program offers bulk value in many ways, and MBNA is no exception, as it allows participants to redeem rewards points for exclusive travel and accommodations, brand name merchandise and electronics, gift cards to countless stores, cash credits, and more. The bank’s Rewards World Elite card is an access point to this lucrative rewards ecosystem and offers a best-in-class base/flat earn rate of 2 rewards points for every $1 spent (on eligible purchases). Moreover, new cardholders can earn an extra 15,000 points just for making an initial purchase (5,000 + 10,000 limited time offer), and another 5,000 after enrolling for e-statements—both within the first 90 days. Per our Loyalty Bible that’s a value of between $166-$200, depending on how the points are redeemed.

The card also provides some excellent insurance features, like coverage for common carrier accidental death and dismemberment, rental vehicle damage and collision, and loss of personal effects. Shoppers will appreciate the addition of extra purchase assurance, covering new items for 90 days against damage and theft, plus up to an extra year of extended warranty benefits. Finally, price protection is a rarity in the marketplace and allows the cardholder to request refunds on new items they’ve purchased within 60 days, if they see the same product advertised for less elsewhere. All in all, the MBNA Rewards World Elite card represents one of the fastest ways to earn for rewards-conscious Canadians.

The individual income requirement for the Rewards World Elite is $80,000, or $150,000 for a household.

Click here to apply for the MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®

Best Store Rewards Credit Cards

PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

President's Choice Financial World MasterCardEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $0 

When you compare rewards credit cards in Canada—particularly those with no annual fee—you’ll find that few cards offer a meaningful points rate outside of the promo period. With the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, you earn 45 points per $1 spent at stores like Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, pctravel.ca, and PC mobile. For families and shoppers who regularly shop in these stores, this might be worthwhile, particularly because the card comes with $0 annual fee.

Redeeming your points is refreshingly simple. Once you’ve earned 0 or more, all you need to do is present your credit card to the cashier when you go to pay and ask him/her to take $20 (or more) off your grocery bill. Since you get the money directly off your grocery bill, we consider it to be a ‘cash equivalent’ credit card.

It should be noted that a PC Optimum point is worth relatively little compared to, say, offerings from cash back cards with accelerated earn rates for groceries. 1 PC Optimum Point = $0.001 redeemable at one of the aforementioned grocery stores; this might end up being less valuable than, say, a cash back card that earns 3% on all grocery spend. That said, the PC Financial card does come with an impressive array of insurance and extended warranty perks, so it might be more beneficial for some than a cash back card.

Click here to apply for the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

Summary of Best Rewards Credit Card in Canada

We’ve put together the below list to allow you to compare the different options available in Canada with greater ease.

Credit CardReward Points StructureBonusAnnual FeesApply for Card
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite1.5 Aeroplan miles / $1 on groceries, gas, drugstore, and aircanada.com
1 Aeroplan mile / $1 spent elsewhere
40000 pts$120
First year free
Apply Now
BMO® World Elite®* Mastercard®*3 BMO pts/$1 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases
2 BMO pts/$1 spent everywhere else
35000 pts$150
First year free
Apply Now
American Express Cobalt™5 pts/$1 on dining and grocery
2 pts/$1 on travel
1 pt/$1 on the restaurants
30000 pts$120Apply Now
Scotiabank SCENE Visa5 pts/$1 on Cineplex Odeon movies
1 pt/$1 on the rest
2500 pts$0Apply Now
BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*1 Air Miles/$10 on purchases
2 Air Miles/$10 at selected card dealerships
2500 pts$120Apply Now
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card5 Marriott pts/$1 on all Marriott Bonvoy properties
2 Marriott pts/$1 on all purchases
50000 pts$120Apply Now
Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card2 pts/$1 on grocery, dining, entertainment and daily transit
1 pt/$1 on the rest
35000 pts$139Apply Now
MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®2 pts / $1 on all eligible purchases20000 pts$120Apply Now
PC Financial World Elite Mastercard45 pts/$1 at selected drug stores
10 pts/$1 on travel and Gas selected stores
10 pts/$1 Everywhere else
0 pts$0Apply Now

How To Choose The Best Rewards Credit Card

When trying to determine the best rewards card for you, consider your spending patterns. Your card should allow you to earn points when buying the items you would be purchasing anyway. For example, if you are a frequent traveler, then a hotel rewards card that earns extra points on hotel stays would be a smart choice. A large family would do best with a rewards card that earns points at the grocery store they shop at most frequently, while anyone who covers a lot of miles would benefit from a card that gives good rewards on gas.

Rewards Credit Cards – the Gifts That Keep on Giving

Canadians have some of the world’s best rewards credit cards to choose from, whether they want the immediate gratification of a big intro cash bonus, the chance to earn valuable rewards over time, or to make their travels more comfortable. While any of the highly-reviewed credit cards here would likely serve you well, it’s vital to find a rewards model that’s in sync with how you live your life. If you’re a bit overwhelmed, try inputting your personal criteria into our credit cards rewards calculator.

If you need a hand identifying your next credit card, drop us a line in the comments below or by email, and we’ll work hard to help you narrow down the available choices.

* This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

Article comments

22 comments
S says:

I have too many cards and want to consolidate. I currently hold a PC WE MC, a PREFERRED V, a TRIANGLE . I have had the Visa forever and the rewards options just don’t add up plus there is an annual fee. I am now covered under the PC WE MC for travel and I think I prefer no fee cards. I am thinking of doing the cash back option. What cards do you think I should eliminate and any recommendations on a good no fee cash back option

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey S,

It’s important for your credit to keep your oldest accounts and cards active, so in your situation we’d start by closing cards you’ve gotten more recently first. If you’re trying to consolidate because of your mix of balances and interest rates, then we’d try to get ahold of a True Line Mastercard by MBNA, transfer as many balances as you can, and then cancel the “younger” cards you don’t want around anymore. If your credit and debt situation is healthy, and you simply want to reduce the number of cards you have irrespective of their balances, then we’d probably close the Triangle and the PC World Elite card.

The Visa can be kept as a solid, inexpensive low-interest option, just in case. You can then pick up a Rogers World Elite Mastercard, which offers 1.75% cash back on all purchases for no annual fee. Its flat rate makes it a great all-purpose tool, but if you travel and want to avoid foreign currency transaction fees, then the card also earns 4.00% on these purchases to offset the 2.50% fee. With these two cards your wallet is still fully equipped but significantly less complex. Let us know what you think.

GreedyRates

Lucinda says:

I currently use cash back credit cards. I cruise a few times a year so I was thinking of switching to an air miles card to pay for my airfare but I’m not sure if there will be much savings. Is there a way to determine dollar value for air miles. My current cards earns 1-3% back depending on where purchases are made. The BMO air miles card earns 1 mile per $10, if I were to get that card how much would I need to spend to cover a round trip to Florida.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Lucinda,

There’s no doubt that in terms of direct benefits, cash back is the most efficient way to get the most from your daily spending. While this doesn’t cast a negative light on other types of cards, namely airline rewards cards, it’s pretty obvious that cash back is more universally applicable to one’s finances than saving money on travel. If you travel frequently and can make use of the some of the best and most common airfare card perks such as VIP airport lounge access, free checked bags, and companion travel vouchers, then earning miles can manage to be as lucrative as a cash back card.

But how lucrative? For this question, and for comparisons like the one you’ve mentioned in your comment between BMO’s cash back and Air Miles cards, it helps to use the Loyalty Program Bible. This resource illustrates the exact dollar value of rewards points from each credit card issuer and includes Air Miles, Aeroplan miles, WestJet Dollars, and other travel points as well. Here’s what the LPB says about Air Miles:

Air Miles have an average value of $0.105 per mile and can be redeemed on a variety of things including hotels, flights, rental cars, events, attractions, and even merchandise. For each of these redemption categories, the miles are worth slightly more or less. For example, if you use redeem them for hotel stays they’re worth $0.194 per mile and if you use them for airfare (as you mentioned you would) they’re worth $0.168 per mile. This means that if you collect 1 mile for every $10 spent, and plan to use them for airfare, your effective earnings rate is 1.68%.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you how many miles you’ll need to collect before being able to pay for a round-trip ticket to Florida, because we don’t know where you’re flying from or which partner airline you’ll be using. With the numbers we’ve already provided you, look up flights with an airline that you usually fly with and extrapolate from there. If you want to provide us with exact numbers via email (info@greedyrates.ca) or with another comment, feel very free to do so. Thanks!

GreedyRates

Rick Ellerbeck says:

We have the BMO world elite card and I just found out that they charge a 2.5% fee on any foreign transaction. I did not realize this and I see that Scotia Bank has a no fee foreign transaction card. Is the Scotia card just as good for reward points as BMO plus the no fees?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Rick!

Awesome comment! It’s unfortunate that you only now realized that the BMO World Elite card doesn’t exempt cardholders from foreign transaction fees, but not a big loss. If you’ve been travelling recently, this may have meant a few extra fees paid, but you’re right that you can end this headache forever by switching to the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card. Right now, it’s the best card for avoiding foreign transaction fees, but it comes at a steep price of $139 per year. You’ll need to decide if its other perks make that worthwhile. Here’s a little summary:

In addition to full exemption from foreign transaction fees, you’ll also earn 2 points per dollar spent on grocery, dining, entertainment, and transit. All other purchases earn points at a rate of 1 per dollar spent, and both these categories are relatively parallel to what BMO also offers. An introductory bonus of 25,000 points is another page taken from BMO’s book, but what sets it apart most significantly (aside from foreign fee exemption) is the 6 VIP airport lounge passes you are entitled to every year.

Honestly, for most travellers (frequent or even just once yearly) the more expensive annual fee is immediately justified by the absence of foreign fees. Though it’s around $19 more than similar cards, one needs to spend just over $700 per year in foreign purchases to break even. That’s not much and doesn’t include the value of 6 annual lounge passes. Ultimately, it’s up to you though, so let us know what you’re thinking. Good luck.

GreedyRates

Michael says:

We have booked a trip to Asia for a month. Booking direct flights on business class with Aeroplan points was impossible. As we will be spending quite a bit on hotels, shopping and restaurants,
we are seriously considering getting a new credit card to use on this extended trip. What would you recommend?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Michael,

Great questions. We were disappointed to hear you weren’t able to land business class tickets by paying with Aeroplan, but before you cancel your card, you should consider that you’ll be able to transfer your Aeroplan points to an impressive variety of other rewards programs. Many of them, like American Express’ Membership Rewards program, also offer credit cards that can provide you with the increased flexibility you desire.

One of the most flexible options resolves the issue you ran into with Aeroplan, and it’s sometimes restrictive redemption rules. The Gold Rewards Amex card is a purposeful travel companion because it earns on both everyday expenses but also on travel, and the points you collect can be retroactively redeemed against any travel-related expense that shows up on your statement. If you’re looking outside Amex for a travel card, however, then can we suggest the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite card?

It’s superior in terms of value in the current market, with high average earnings on common purchases like groceries, but also exemption from foreign transaction fees, 6 free passes to VIP airport lounges worldwide, and a slew of nice insurance perks. Booking with Scotia points is also supposedly easier than it is with Aeroplan, as you can do it through the Scotia portal or choose a different agency or website and still use your points. Check it out and let us know if you have any further criteria for us to evaluate. Thanks!

GreedyRates Staff

Mzfitz says:

Thanks for this article. I currently have a TD Infinite Travel Visa but I’m wondering if this is the best travel or points card. I want to know which card has the best option for entrance into airport lounges in Toronto. How can I find out which airport lounges accept which cards?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Mzfitz,

We highly appreciate your request for additional information about airport lounges, and can surely help you find a way to take advantage of them from Toronto. Most of the best travel cards offer membership to the Priority Pass program, which operates hundreds of these VIP lounges internationally. They publish a list on their website, which we’ll link below, but we can also summarize what your options are.

In Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson airport, there are multiple lounges operated by Priority Pass in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, called the “Plaza Premium Lounge”. You’ll have access from all terminals and regardless of whether you’re flying domestic or international. Here, you’ll find a variety of awesome amenities such as showers, free Wi-Fi, phones, alcoholic beverages, A/C, television, more comfortable seating (reclined seating!), and all the tools and equipment you need to do business remotely.

https://www.prioritypass.com/en/Lounges/North-America/Canada/Toronto/Toronto-Lester-B-Pearson-Intl

The cards that offer Priority Pass are many, but we prefer Scotiabank’s because they also have nice travel perks of their own. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, for example, gives free Priority Pass membership (a $99 value) plus 6 free entrance passes every year, each of which are worth the $27 you’d otherwise pay to get in. That’s a total of $261 in value up front, for a $139 annual fee that also gives you great travel insurance and the ability to earn rewards from your purchases. Its main highlight is exemption from foreign transaction fees (commonly 2.50%), which can save you a bundle.

The Scotiabank Gold Amex will also get you into the full network of Priority Pass clubs, but at a discount ($65 membership versus $99) instead of for free. However, it’s a more accessible card with less eligibility restrictions. Either would work well.

Hope that helps,
The GreedyRates Team

Julia says:

Hi
Thanks for the article. We’re just stating a plumbing company and looking for a business cards with high rewards program. It seems the rewards are mostly travel. Is that the best way to go? We were initially thinking cash back?

Thanks

Julia

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Julia!

Thanks for the excellent comment, and best of luck with your plumbing business. It’s not all luck when it comes to business credit cards, however, so if you make an informed choice then it will have a bigger positive impact. We’ve got a couple suggestions for you, and will help you choose the card that is most suitable.

First, check out the BMO Business Rewards Mastercard, which will be nice for a plumbing business especially. The card offers 3 BMO Rewards Points for each $1 you spend on gas, office supplies, and internet or cell phone payments. Plumbers are always on call, so earning a ton of flexible Rewards Points on your gas bills will be a huge benefit, allowing you to save up for vacations, merchandise, and even cash against your monthly statement. Even on purchases other than gas, supplies, and bills, you’ll earn 1.5 Points per $1 spent. For spending $5,000 in the first three months, you’ll already have 35,000 Points anyway, courtesy of BMO’s generous bonus.

If you want cash back, BMO offers another excellent credit card that is ultimately just as suitable for you. The BMO Cashback Business Mastercard has one of the most impressive introductory bonuses around, with 6.00% cash back for 4 months on gas, internet and phone bills, and office supplies. Then, its default cash back earnings rate is 1.50% on on these categories, 1.75% at Shell, and 0.75% cash back on all other purchases.

If you’d like to take a look at all our highest recommended credit cards for business, then delve into the page linked below, where you’ll be able to compare them all one-on-one. As always, let us know if you’d like to provide more exacting criteria, or get another recommendation. We’re reachable by email as well.

https://stage.greedyrates.ca/cards/cash-flow-management-credit-cards/

GreedyRates Team

Michelle says:

Great article! We currently have the BMO World Elite credit card and spend anywhere from 6000-10000/month, which means we earn 600-1000 air miles/month. We try and charge everything!

You provide an example of a flight to Cancun only costing 5000 airmiles, but it’s not that simple. I tried booking a flight to Rome this spring using my airmiles. No only was it 6000 airmiles (low season) but there were additional taxes, approx $600 per ticket, which is close to the amount of a regular priced ticket to Rome – not always beneficial to use for flights. We use our air miles for restaurant vouchers or hotel stays.

That being said, any suggestions for a credit card that has a cash back option? We would like to use the cash back to book flights, hotel stays, etc or use towards our credit card balance. Any suggestions?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Michelle! Thanks for singing our praises! We’re glad to hear that you’re putting your BMO World Elite card to work, and that you’re satisfied with it. You’re right, however, that using points for airfare isn’t the simplest way to redeem them. There are often some extra fees and charges to consider, but it’s good that you’ve found another use for your points. Cash back is also broadly useful for travel, as you mentioned, because you can either use it directly or offset the cost of the arrangements you’ve booked with the card itself.

If you need some cash back card suggestions, we’d be happy to comply. First, check out the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card. We chose this one to recommend simply because of its high earnings rate and flexible point redemption model. You’re able to redeem your cash back against your statement whenever you like (after airfare purchases, for example). As an introductory bonus, you’ll earn 9.00% cash back on gas, grocery, and recurring expenses, and then 3.00% when the promotion ends. You get 1.00% cash back on all purchases, as well as travel medical insurance and other nice perks. You can learn more about the card by reading our full TD Cash Back Visa Infinite review.

Another purposeful cash back card for travelling is the BMO CashBack World Elite card, which is similar to the one you have now, but earns cash back instead of miles. You’ll earn 1.50% on all your purchases, and 4.00% for the first 4 months. You can learn more about the card by reading the full BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard review.

GreedyRates Staff

Malcolm says:

Hi there! This is awesome info – I am keen on the Amex, but – I have a single one time large purchase to make in the states (about 45k Canadian) so I don’t think I can max out the Amex points, what card would you suggest for this? Thanks!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Malcolm! The credit card you get will also depend on your ability to pay back the $45,000 balance you intend to accrue. For example, if you think you’ll be carrying some part of it month to month, then getting a low interest credit card is a great idea. Even if you must pay the foreign transaction fee, you’ll save much more than 2.50% of the total purchase price, just by negating some interest.

The Amex isn’t a bad option either, but have you considered paying for the purchase with a balance, loan, or line of credit and then transferring it to a promotional balance transfer card like the MBNA Platinum Plus? If you’re commonly approved for large credit limits and have excellent credit, it could be an option. Essentially, you’d be taking out a loan at another Canadian bank, like RBC for example, buying your $45,000 item, incurring the 2.50% foreign fee and then a 1.00% transfer fee to the Platinum Plus (3.50% is an extra $1,575 which totals $46,575). This assumes that your approved credit limit is enough to handle the entire transfer, but even with the added 3.50%, 0.00% interest for 12 months means that you’ll save literally thousands in interest.

Let us know what strategy you go with. We’re always here to help!

GreedyRates Staff

Sanja Brestovac says:

Hi, great website guys! Looking for a new everyday, all-use card and hesitating between the Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite and the BMO World Elite Mastercard (since Amex is not accepted everywhere). No issue with the credit requirements and not worries about the difference in the annual fee. Want the best overall card for points, perks and insurance. Thanks for helping me out!

GreedyRates says:

Hi Sanja! We really appreciate the compliments, and are happy you’ve found GreedyRates helpful. If you’re comparing the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card and the BMO World Elite Mastercard, we can help you narrow down which is best. When looking for a great everyday card, both are a solid choice, so you can’t really go wrong, but there are certain nuances to grasp. For example, it would help to understand where your biggest expenses are. The Scotia Momentum card offers 4.00% cash back on gas and groceries for its primary rewards, while the BMO card helps cardholders earn 3 points per $1 on their travel, dining, and entertainment costs. It’s also useful to compare how the real-world value of these rewards stacks up against cash back.

Using our Loyalty Program Bible (linked below), we can see that BMO rewards are worth around $0.007 each, so a $100 purchase in the primary earnings category would be 300 points, or a value of about $2.10. The same $100 purchase would earn $4.00 cash back in an accelerated category with the Scotia card. The lesser earnings category closes the gap somewhat, with BMO’s 2 points per $1 translating to around $1.40–whereas Scotia’s 1.00% cash back default would earn $1.00 on a $100 purchase. Cash back is relatively direct (statement credit) while BMO points can be used on merchandise, travel rewards, and statement credits.

Another subjective notion is the perks that come with the two cards. The two have comparable travel medical insurance, but BMO has the extra inclusion of four free VIP airport lounge passes each year. That’s a $200 value. Both cards nullify the annual fee during the first year as well, making it a close race. In our opinion, if you’re a regular traveller, the BMO card is more beneficial, while the Scotia card makes a larger financial impact from everyday purchases. The choice is yours!

You can learn more about the two cards by reading our full Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card review and our BMO World Elite Mastercard review.

GreedyRates Staff

Richard Tench says:

To make this article useful you would have needed to identify rebate percentages by calculating the value of points.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Richard! Thanks for your suggestion. You’re right: comparing different rewards programs is pretty difficult, because rewards points denominate value differently and are collected at varying rates. To help contrast one card with another, or multiple cards, we’ve built our Loyalty Program Bible, which gives a specific CAD value for each type of reward point, depending on what it’s redeemed for. You can check it out in the link below. Thanks!

https://stage.greedyrates.ca/blog/greedyrates-loyalty-program-bible/

GreedyRates Staff

Sue Madigan says:

Hi there ! I have a small business and spend about $30000 monthly on my TD VISA
aeroplan card at the moment. I like to redeem the points on flights with Air Canada
or visa cards or gas cards. What should I switch to ?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Sue, thanks for your question! If you want a Visa card that’s great for travelling with Air Canada and can offset gas purchases, you’ll like the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card. It grants an impressive 25,000 Aeroplan miles right out of the gate, and then another 25,000 for spending $1,000 during the first three months. With $30,000 monthly spending, you’ll easily eclipse that amount, and including the bonuses, will easily cover the cost of several flights during your first year.

This is because gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and Air Canada bills earn miles at a rate of 1.5 per $1, with 1.25 points per $1 spent everywhere else. The cherries on the cake are priority check-in and boarding, complimentary checked bags, four annual Maple Leaf Lounge passes, and a once-yearly 50% companion flight discount. If this card doesn’t satisfy all of your requirements, feel free to point out where we went wrong and we’ll supply another recommendation. Thanks again!

GreedyRates Staff