Top Canadian Credit Cards for 2014

For my latest Million Endeavour project, I have developed a list of what I think makes the list of the top Canadian credit cards for 2014 in hopes that you may find it useful.

Although the cards that I have selected are all no annual fee credit cards that will reap the best reward possible, almost all credit card rewards will amount to an insignificant value. With that being said, I wouldn’t mind having some extra rewards every so often and I am sure you wouldn’t either.

In any case, I have categorized my top Canadian credit cards for 2014 into three reward categories:

Consumer Retail Reward Credit Card

Scotia-bank SCENE Visa Card

If you are a movie person like me, you may find this credit card much more than just useful, it can be quite enjoyable as well. In fact, I have just made the switch from my 1% cash back credit card to the Scotia-bank SCENE Visa Card.

How the rewards work:

  • 1 SCENE point for every $1 you spend using the credit card
  • 5 SCENE points for every $1 you spend using the credit card at any Cineplex Theatres
  • 100 SCENE points every time you buy a movie ticket
  • 10% off popcorn, drinks and other snacks
  • Redeem a movie ticket for 1000 SCENE points; or use your points online for other entertainment rewards.

Sign up bonus:

  • 4000 SCENE points when you make your first purchase with the card
  • 250 SCENE points as a sign up bonus

Other remarks:

  • The only drawback for this card is that for those who aren’t already a Scotia customer, the bank goes through a rigorous credit check before issuing the card.

Cash Back Credit Card

American Express Simply Cash

The American Express Simply Cash is the newest AMEX Card and it is currently offering the highest cash back rate compared to all the other cards. The great thing about this card is that it also offers insurance in car rental theft and travel accidents.

How the rewards work:

  • 5% cash back on gas, groceries and restaurants for the first 6 months
  • 1.25% cash back on all other purchases and all purchases thereafter

Other remarks:

  • Despite the attractive cash back rate, AMEX is not as widely accepted as VISA or MasterCard.

MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard

The MBNA Smart Cash is one of the cash back favourite. This card has been around for quite some time and has become quite popular. This shouldn’t be surprising especially when you consider what it has to offer.

Rewards:

  • Up to 5% on participating gas and grocery venues for the first 6 months
  • Up to 2% on participating gas and grocery venues after the 6 months
  • Up to 1% on all other purchases

Other remarks:

  • Personally, I don’t like credit cards that use the term “up to” or “eligible”. These terms mean that not all purchases on the credit card will qualify for cash back.

RBC Cash back MasterCard

As opposed to the Smart Cash, the RBC Cash Back MasterCard offers similar rates but without the “up to” or “eligible” terms in the fine print. All the purchases made on this card will be included in the cash back program.

Rewards:

  • 2% cash back on all grocery store purchases made with the card
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • Release your cash back amount whenever you have accumulated $25

Other remarks:

  • Additional cards for authorized users are free of charge

Travel Reward Credit Card

American Express Blue Sky Credit Card

The AMEX Blue Sky Credit Card takes the number one spot in my favourite travel reward credit card. Not only is the card offering a higher rate of return than almost all the other no annual fee credit cards out there, the redemption process is also incredibly easy to understand.

To redeem your points, simply use your credit card to book any flight as you would normally do. All you have to do afterwards is to call it in to get your rewards credited. Additionally, the reviews also suggests short wait times and excellent customer service when reaching a representative.

Rewards:

  • 25 Blue Sky Points for every $1 spent on the credit card
  • Spend over $500 in the first 3 months of activation and earn 10,000 Blue Sky Points
  • 10,000 Blue Sky Points Equates to $100 credit in your travels
  • Earn 5000 points for each referral

Other remarks:

  • Similar to the Simply Cash credit card, AMEX is not as widely accepted as either VISA or MasterCard

 Capital One Aspire Travel Platinum MasterCard

The Capital One Aspire Travel card offers the same reward rate as the Blue Sky Credit Card. The only difference is that there is a 25% extra mile that is added on top at the end of the year instead of added on immediately.

Rewards:

  • 1 reward mile for every $1 spent using the credit card
  • 5000 bonus reward mile on the very first purchase
  • 25% extra reward mile added on at the end of every year (1.25% rate in total)
  • 15000 reward miles equates to $150 credit on travels

Other remarks:

  • From reading the reviews, many customers have complained about the low credit limit and minimal benefits the card provides.

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