The Best Cash Back Credit Card in Canada header image



The Best Cash Back Credit Card in Canada

There is very little difference between a pure cash back credit card and a rewards card that allows you to use your accumulated points as a statement credit. That is why WhatBank considered both of these options to determine the best cash back card in Canada.

WhatBank looked at eleven spending categories such as gas, groceries, drugstore, restaurants, etc. and created a low, medium, and high monthly spending amount for each of these categories. Next, it generated every combination of these spending scenarios, all 177,147 of them, and ran them through WhatBank’s credit card finder.

In 95% of the scenarios, a points card used for statement credit card beat out a pure cash back card.

As seen in the table below, the American Express Cobalt Card delivers the highest value in the vast majority of spending scenarios.

Lollipop chart showing AMEX Cobalt card as the best cash back card in Canada

So there you have it. Over 83% of the time using the American Express Cobalt card results in your getting the most cash back (in the form a statement credit).

Try it for yourself. Enter your monthly credit card spending info here and set “I want to maximize:” to Cash Back and click Find My Card. Now set “I want to maximize:” to Statement Credit. It’s likely that the AMEX Cobalt Card from the Statement Credit setting exceeded the highest value card in the Cash Back setting.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the AMEX Cobalt card is the best cash back card in Canada only if the places you do most of your spending accept AMEX. So you ask, what is the best cash back card in Canada omitting AMEX cards?

The Best Cash Back Card in Canada (Not including AMEX)

The results of running the same 177,147 spending scenarios through WhatBank’s credit card finder show that a points card used for statement credit beats out a pure cash back card 61% of the time. Not the clear win that it was when AMEX cards were included.

Here are the best cash back cards in Canada, not including AMEX, based on how many times that card ranked first in the 177,147 spending scenarios.

Lollipop chart showing five cash back cards contenders

Here are the same results in table form:

Percent of Time Credit Card Ranked First in Spending Scenarios


BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege 34%
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite 23%
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite 15%
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite 15%
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite 12%
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite <1%
RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard <1%
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard <1%
Tangerine Money-Back <1%

No one card stands apart as the best cash back card because it all depends on your spending! That’s why to really know the best card for your unique spending you need to try WhatBank’s Credit Card Finder.

Important Information

All of this information assumes that you pay off your credit card balance in full every month.

And a reminder, unlike most every other credit card site, WhatBank is completely unbiased because it doesn’t accept referral fees from the credit card companies.