The 9 Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada for 2024

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    You work hard for your money, and your credit card should reward you by offering amazing perks for every dollar you spend! You’re going to spend money on everyday purchases like gas, groceries, and transportation anyway, so you might as well get something back for it. But how do you know which cards are really the best rewards credit cards in Canada? To find the card that’s best for you, check out our credit card comparison tool to instantly weigh your options. You can also read this round-up of our favourites to discover which of the best rewards credit cards in Canada has the best deal for you. 

    Scotiabank American Express Card – Best for Earning Rewards Points at Grocery Stores

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”62c453858e710d4f783b951d”]

    The Scotiabank American Express Card is a no-fee rewards credit card that has great earning potential at some of Canada’s leading grocery stores. Cardholders will earn 3x points for every dollar spent at Sobey’s, Safeway, Foodland, Freshco, and a handful of other grocery retailers across the country.

    This card has an exceptional reward rate for groceries, but it rewards you in almost every other category of spending, too. For every dollar spent on dining (restaurants and meal delivery services), entertainment (including theatres and ticket agencies), rideshares and public transport, gas, and select streaming services, you’ll earn 2 Scene+ points. Scene+ points are incredibly flexible and valuable, and collectors can redeem them for everything from travel rewards to banking products and statement credits.

    Scotiabank American Express cardholders will also enjoy all the perks of the AMEX network, like access to American Express Invites, which gives members the first chance to snag tickets to exciting events and experiences around the world. You’ll also save 25% at participating Avis and Budget car rental offices.

    Eligibility RequirementsScotiabank American Express Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    670
    Annual Income$80,000
    Additional Resident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite*– Best for Expedia Bookings

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f35480892ec22115033b309″]

    The TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* is a fantastic card for travellers because it rewards you with 8 points per dollar spent on travel booked through Expedia® for TD. Additionally, cardholders will receive 6 points per dollar spent on groceries & restaurants, 4 points on recurring bill payments, and 2 points on all other purchases. You will also earn 50% TD Points when you use your card at Starbucks®.

    From now until Mars 4, 2024, you can get up to 135,000 TD Points when you sign up for the card and get the annual fee waived for the first year. First, you’ll get 20,000 bonus points when you make your first purchase with the card within the first 3 months of opening your account. Then, you can get another 115,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on the card in the first 180 days.

    But that’s not all; TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite cardholders also get a birthday bonus of up to 10,000 bonus points, a $100 annual travel credit on Expedia for TD bookings, and a free 12-month† Uber One membership worth $120.

    You can use your TD Points to pay down your credit card statement or redeem your Points for merchandise or gift cards through TDRewards.com.Plus, with the Amazon.ca Shop with Points program, you can redeem your points directly on Amazon.ca.

    You’ll also get travel medical insurance that includes cancellation and interruption for an annual fee of $139 per year. The first additional card has an annual fee of $50 and subsequent ones are free.

    Eligibility RequirementsTD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    670
    Annual Income$60,000 (individual); or
    $100,000 (household
    Additional Resident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card – Best for Aeroplan Points

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”631783e23fb86e5793a23a43″]

    Rack up Aeroplan points with the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, which rewards you with 1.5 points for every dollar spent on gas and groceries and 1 point for all other purchases. Cardholders will also earn 1.5 points for eligible Air Canada purchases, and when you link your TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card with your Starbucks Rewards card, you’ll earn 50% more Aeroplan points there, as well.

    The Aeroplan Rewards Program is undoubtedly the most rewarding loyalty program for Canadian travellers, with a massive network of partner airlines and almost 200 partner retailers where members can earn double the points by scanning their Aeroplan card on top of paying with an Aeroplan-affiliated credit card. Plus, thanks to Aeroplan Family Sharing, you and up to 10 members can pool your points and achieve your travel goals faster together. Primary TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite cardholders can add up to 8 additional members for $74 per card.

    Eligibility RequirementsTD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$60,000 (individual); or
    $100,000 (household income)
    Additional Resident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    BMO AIR MILES Mastercard – Best for AIR MILES

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f3158de92ec22115033b2b5″]

    While the AIR MILES program has gone through significant changes in 2023, BMO’s commitment to expanding the program is a good reason to keep collecting AIR MILES, and the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard is an easy way to accumulate points for everyday purchases. The card is free to own and rewards members with 2x the miles for every $25 spent at grocery stores, 3x the miles at AIR MILES partner retailers (for every $25 spent) and 1 mile for every $25 purchase everywhere else.

    Currently, BMO is welcoming new members with 800 AIR MILES if you spend $1000 within the first 3 months, which is worth about $80 in Cash Miles, a decent amount of savings for a short-haul flight within Canada.

    The BMO AIR MILES Mastercard is also offering a low interest rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for the first 9 months. As long as you make sure to pay down the balance within the allotted time frame, you could save a decent amount on interest payments.

    Eligibility RequirementsBMO AIR MILES Mastercard
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual IncomeN/A
    Additional Resident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    Scotiabank Visa Scene+ Card – Best for Entertainment

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f32b19192ec22115033b2d5″]

    Movie lovers will love the Scotiabank Visa Scene+ Card, a rewards card that turns your everyday purchases into movie passes, concert tickets, trips, dinners, and merchandise. Earn 2x the Scene+ points at participating grocery stores, Home Hardware, and Cineplex Theatres and online purchases on cineplex.com. For all other charges, you’ll earn 1 Scene+ point on the dollar.

    The Scotiabank Visa Scene+ Card comes with no annual fee and is a great beginner credit card for first-time users and students. It offers no insurance, but it does reward users with a earns a good exchange rate on regular purchases like food and entertainment, and the points are flexible and can be used for a bit of fun when money is tight. Plus, this card comes with the Scotia Select Payment Plan, which offers you a way to repay select purchases of $100 or more interest-free. This is a good way to save on interest payments for those first-time, larger expenses.

    Eligibility RequirementsScotiabank Visa Scene+ Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$12,000
    Additional Resident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card – Best Travel Rewards Card

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f31a9ab92ec22115033b2c2″]

    With the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, you’ll get travel rewards for your purchases plus a bunch of perks and services that make travelling more convenient and comfortable without paying an arm and a leg.

    First, cardholders get all the perks of the Visa Infinite Program, including Visa Concierge Service, exclusive offers to the best hotels in the Visa Infinite Hotel Collection, and dining offers through the Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country Program.

    In addition, you’ll get complimentary membership to the Visa Airport Companion Program and 6 free Plaza Premium lounge entry passes per year. Plaza Premium has a network of over 1200 airport lounges around the world, so you’ll have a quiet refuge to wait for your flight no matter where your travels take you.

    Finally, Scotiabank credit card holders can say goodbye to foreign currency exchange fees, a 2.5% additional charge that’s tacked onto almost all other credit card charges. Scotiabank is the only bank in Canada to waive this fee, which is another reason why the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is an essential tool in any travel hacker’s wallet.

    Eligibility RequirementsScotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$60,000 (individual); or
    $100,000 (household)
    Additional Resident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    Tims Credit Card – Best for Coffee

    [Offer productType=“CreditCard” api_id=“64dd008b7271d033a068311b”]

    Imagine scoring a free dark roast double-double just to buy groceries. If free Tim Horton’s sounds good to you, then you need the Tim’s Credit Card, the only rewards credit card that rewards you for spending with goodies from Canada’s favourite coffee shop.

    Tim’s Reward points can be redeemed for cash value at Tim Horton’s only, at a ratio of 10:1 to buy anything on the menu. With the Tim’s Credit Card, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar at select grocery stores, gas stations, transit and EV charging stations. For all other charges, you’ll earn 1 point per $2. When you use your Tim’s Credit Card to pay for food and drinks at Tim Horton’s, you’ll get 15 points per dollar spent. Watch those points add up quickly and drink up the rewards!

    Eligibility RequirementsTim’s Credit Card
    Credit ScoreNot required
    Annual IncomeN/A
    Additional Resident of Canada, Provincial age of majority

    Scotiabank American Express Platinum Card – Best premium rewards card

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”62c4512c8e710d4f783b951c”]

    The Scotiabank American Express Platinum Card earns double the Scene Points for every $1 spent on all eligible purchases. But what really stands out is the super low interest rate clocking in at 9.99% on purchases and cash advances. With this card, you get the best of both worlds – flexible rewards and saving money on interest if you have to carry a balance.

    You can redeem your points for travel with the Scotia Rewards Travel Service. You can redeem your points directly in the Apple and Best Buy catalogues on the Scotia Rewards website. The site has a personalized catalogue with over 450 awards. You can also redeem your Scotia Rewards Points for SCENE points, and vice versa.

    This American Express card offers the same coverage and insurance as the previous card. You can attend unique international events with your VIP pass using the Scotiabank American Express Platinum Card. You get access to a 24/7 international concierge service. This service can help you find tickets for a show, a birthday present or a restaurant reservation. You have free access to 600 Priority Pass VIP lounges at airports so you can relax in exclusive lounges.

    This card comes with an annual fee of $399 for the primary card. The first additional card costs $99 and after that, the others are $50 each. In order to be eligible, your minimum annual income must be $ 2,000 and your minimum credit limit must be $10,000.

    Eligibility RequirementsScotiabank American Express Platinum Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    690
    Annual Income$150,000
    Additional Resident of Canada, Provincial age of majority

    American Express Cobalt Card – Best Amex

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f46aebc4726ce7207266a75″]

    The American Express Cobalt™ Card earns 5 privilege points for every dollar spent in the following categories:

    • Restaurants
    • Bars
    • Cafés
    • Food delivery in Canada

    It also gives 2 privilege points for every dollar spent on travel, transportation or fuel in Canada. One privilege point is awarded for other purchases.

    You can redeem your points in a number of ways, including for purchases charged to the American Express Cobalt Card such as streaming services and movie tickets. The card also provides several other ways to redeem your privilege points:

    • Purchases on amazon.ca
    • Gift cards
    • Travel
    • Events or concerts on ticketmaster.ca 

    Plus, thanks to the American Express Invites program, you have access to exclusive pre-sales to premieres, a ticket reserve just for cardholders, and special offers and unique experiences just for members. You also get a $100 USD resort credit and the option to upgrade your hotel room.

    Here are all the insurance coverages that are included with this card:

    • Out-of-province or out-of-country emergency medical insurance (for people under 65)
    • Flight delay insurance
    • Insurance if your baggage is delayed, lost or stolen
    • Hotel burglary insurance
    • Rental car damage or theft insurance
    • Insurance of up to $250,000 for all types of travel accidents

    It also offers purchase protection and an extended warranty, with the same coverage as the previous card. No minimum income is required to be eligible for the American Express Cobalt Card. Please note that the APR penalty is between 25.99% and 28.99%.

    Eligibility RequirementsAmerican Express Cobalt Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income$40,000
    Additional Resident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    Getting The Most Out Of Your Rewards Credit Card

    Choose the rewards you actually want

    First off, understand your card’s rewards structure. Some cards give extra points for grocery shopping, others for travel or dining out. So, make sure you’re swiping the right card at the right place. Got a card that rewards you for dining? Then bring it out when you’re enjoying poutine at your favourite local joint.

    Credit card churning: a brief overview

    Now, let’s talk about a little strategy called ‘credit card churning‘. No, it’s not about making butter, it’s about signing up for new credit cards to take advantage of the juicy sign-up bonuses, then cancelling the card once you’ve reaped the rewards.

    But listen, this isn’t a game for everyone. It requires a good credit score, impeccable timing, and the discipline to manage multiple cards without missing payments. Remember, every time you apply for a credit card, it has an impact on your credit score, and cancelling a card can affect your credit utilization ratio, so churn with caution!

    Use your card for all the things

    Maximize your rewards by paying for everything with your credit card – from your morning Tim Hortons coffee run to your monthly bills. But here’s the golden rule – Never carry a balance! Why? That leads me to our next point.

    Pay your balance off in full

    The golden rule of rewards credit card use is to pay your balance in full every month. It’s simple, you want to avoid interest charges like your toxic ew. These charges can eat into any rewards you earn, diminishing their value. Think of it as a game where you aim for a net profit in rewards – those juicy cashbacks, points, or miles.

    To win this game, you need to be diligent about your spending and ensure you’re not purchasing more than you can afford to pay off each month. Remember, a rewards credit card is not a license to overspend – it’s a tool to earn benefits on the spending you’d do anyway.

    Gamify your rewards credit cards

    Welcome to the world of strategic swiping! If you’re keen on maximizing your credit card rewards, consider using multiple rewards credit cards for different spending categories. You know, some cards offer extra points on groceries, some shine on travel expenses, and others might reward you generously for filling up your car with gas.

    By aligning your spending with the right card, you’re essentially turbocharging your rewards-earning potential. It’s like wearing the right gear for the right sport – you wouldn’t wear hockey skates for a soccer match, would you?

    Double dip with a loyalty card

    Ever thought about a rewards booster shot? Here it is: the double-dip strategy. This simply means using a store’s loyalty card alongside your rewards credit card. For example, imagine you’re shopping at your favourite grocery store. At the checkout, you first swipe your store loyalty card to earn points from the store’s rewards program, and then you pay using your credit card which gives you extra points on grocery shopping.

    Bam! You’ve just earned rewards twice on a single purchase. Now, isn’t that a slick move? But remember, this strategy works best when you’re loyal to certain brands or stores, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea!

    Track and redeem your points!

    Last but not least, don’t let your hard-earned points gather dust! Regularly check your points balance and make a plan to use them. Whether it’s for flight tickets to Vancouver or a shopping spree at the Eaton Centre, make sure you’re getting the maximum value out of your points. Bust out a spreadsheet and set up calendar notifications if you have to. Don’t let those little golden tickets expire.

    Remember, the credit card world is your oyster, and with the right strategies, you can find some serious pearls! Happy swiping, Canada!

    How to choose the best rewards credit card in Canada for YOU!

    Now that you agree rewards credit cards are amazing, how the heck do you choose the right one? It’s not just about picking a card with shiny perks – it’s about finding the one that suits your unique lifestyle and spending habits. Let’s break it down, step by step.

    Consider your needs & habits

    First, you’ve got to do a bit of self-reflection. Look at your shopping habits and lifestyle. Are you a frequent flyer, always dreaming about your next adventure to the Rockies or the Maritimes? Then a travel rewards card would be a perfect match for you.

    If you’re someone who spends a significant portion of your paycheck at the grocery store (hey, we all love our poutine and butter tarts, right?), then a card that offers extra rewards on grocery shopping is the way to go. The key is aligning your card’s reward structure with the types of purchases you make and how often you make them.

    How do you want to use your rewards?

    Next, consider your financial goals. Want to redeem points for that family trip to Banff or a shopping spree at West Edmonton Mall? Look for cards that allow for such redemptions. If cashback to offset bills sounds more appealing to you, then a cash-back card will be your best friend. The idea here is to match the most meaningful rewards for you with the card’s offerings.

    Pay attention to the fees & rates

    Don’t forget to check out the interest rates and fees. While that card may offer a dazzling array of rewards, if it’s tied to a high annual fee or interest rate, you might end up losing money rather than gaining rewards. Sometimes, a card with a lower reward rate but no annual fee can be a better choice for moderate spenders. So, read the fine print, folks! The absolutely best way to maximize your rewards is to pay your credit card balance off in full before the statement date so you never pay a dime of interest.

    Compare welcome offers

    Finally, pay close attention to the sign-up bonuses. Some cards offer substantial points or cash back when you sign up and spend a certain amount within the first few months. But, don’t let a sign-up bonus blind you to a card that otherwise wouldn’t fit your lifestyle. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

    Finding the best rewards credit card in Canada is like picking the best seat to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs – it’s all about your personal preferences and what will make you cheer the loudest. Happy card hunting, Canada!

    FAQs about the best rewards credit card in Canada

    Still have questions? We’ve got answers.

    What is the best rewards credit card in Canada?

    That’s a tough call because it can vary depending on your individual preferences and spending habits. However, one of the top contenders for best rewards credit card in Canada overall is the American Express Cobalt Card, known for its generous points system, especially on food and drink purchases, and flexible redemption options.

    What is the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada?

    The best travel rewards credit card can change year to year, but the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card has been highly praised. It offers flexible travel redemption options and excellent rewards rates, especially on travel, dining, and groceries, as well as no foriegn transaction fees and complimentary travel insurances.

    Are credit card rewards taxable in Canada?

    No, credit card rewards and points are not considered taxable income in Canada. They’re usually seen as a discount or rebate, not income. However, if you receive rewards in the course of business, like using a company card, there may be tax implications. Always consult a tax professional for your specific situation.

    Can I pay my credit card bill with reward points?

    Yes, but it depends on the credit card and the rewards program. Some cards do allow you to use your points to pay off your credit card balance directly. Others might let you redeem points for cash back or statement credits, which can indirectly help pay your bill.

    How do credit card companies make money with rewards?

    Credit card companies make money in several ways, including from interest on carried balances and fees like annual fees or late payment fees. They also make money from interchange fees, which are charged to merchants every time you use your card to buy something.

    While it might seem counterintuitive to offer rewards, these programs often encourage cardholders to use their credit card more frequently, leading to higher earnings from these interchange fees. Plus, some rewards programs have partnerships or sponsors that help fund the rewards.

    How to exploit credit card rewards in Canada?

    Exploiting credit card rewards is all about understanding your card’s rewards system and aligning it with your spending habits. Use your card for everyday purchases to maximize points, pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges, and regularly check your rewards balance and redeem points before they expire. Some people also practice ‘credit card churning‘ where they sign up for cards to get the welcome bonus and then cancel the card. However, this can have implications for your credit score, so proceed with caution.

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    Meagen Seatter is a freelance journalist for Hardbacon. She's been using credit cards to travel-hack her way around the world since 2019. In addition to freelance work, she writes for Investing News Network, a global publication reporting on the latest investment news, developments, and trends. She studies online at Athabasca University and currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.