Credit Cards

The battle of credit cards with HIGH base rate (1.5%+) in Canada

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 28th, 2021 7:29 am
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Poll: Who is the winner?

  • Total votes: 73. You have voted on this poll.
Amex SimplyCash Preferred
 
18
25%
Brim WE
 
2
3%
CWB WE
 
1
1%
MBNA RWE
 
7
10%
Brim World MC
 
0
0%
HSBC WE
 
15
21%
Rogers WE
 
30
41%
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
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Apr 24, 2017
5662 posts
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The battle of credit cards with HIGH base rate (1.5%+) in Canada

The available options continue to decrease in 2021, thanks to the continuing credit card devaluation. A lot of people are looking for a nice replacement. Can one of the followings catch your eye to become your one-card solution or the card for everything else? Highlights of each card below:

Amex SimplyCash Preferred
- 2% on everything, unlimited
- Redemption: cash back
- Amex Offers
- $99 AF, free additional cards

Brim WE
- 2% everything, up to 25K
- Redemption: cash back
- No FX
- Bonus points through Brim Rewards
- $199 AF, $50 per additional card

CWB WE
- 2% everything, up to 25K
- Redemption: cash back
- Bonus points through CWB partners
- $120 AF, $50 per additional card

MBNA RWE
- 2% on everything, unlimited
- Best redemption type: travel, e-gift cards. Down to 1.67% return on cash back redemption
- Price protection insurance
- $120 AF, free additional cards

Brim World MC
- 1.5% on everything, up to 25K
- Redemption: cash back
- No FX
- Bonus points through Brim Rewards
- $99 AF, $30 per additional card

HSBC WE
- 3% on travel, 1.5% on everything else
- Best redemption type: travel
- 10% off selected hotel booking on Expedia
- No FX
- Net $49 AF

Rogers WE
- 1.5% on everything
- Redemption: cash back
- Annual spending requirement: 15K+
- No AF
Last edited by EdisonL299 on Apr 13th, 2021 1:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
📱 Telus: $30/25GB Peace of Mind Plan + 1000 International minutes
💳 Credit card combo (2.5-7.5% return): AmEx + Scotiabank + CIBC
38 replies
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
10234 posts
5321 upvotes
Markham
I am old school. But for regular people, Rogers WE probably beat all of those considering amex acceptance issue, MBNA is not exactly 2%, CWE is new and lot people probably don't want to deal with Brim

Might be including 1.5% + cards is more comprehensive
Deal Addict
Jun 12, 2015
2285 posts
809 upvotes
Ontario
Following this thread...looking to replace or add any card to compliment current Roger and PC WE which both are downgraded.
Newbie
Nov 29, 2020
67 posts
87 upvotes
MBNA RWE. Has the highest return of non-Amex cards. Amex acceptance is a huge issue where I live. I spend way more then 25k each year, so Brim/CWB is out of the equation as well.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2019
2050 posts
3207 upvotes
BC
Amex SCP requires $19,800 spend per year to break even with Rogers WE.
Brim WE is max 1.2% if you factor in AF.
CWB WE is max 1.52%.
MBNA WE is 1.67% cash back and requires $70,588 spend per year to break even with Rogers WE.
Sr. Member
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Jan 18, 2015
833 posts
553 upvotes
Cornwall, ON
I like the Amex offer of the bunch best, for 4 reasons:
  1. Lowest Annual Fee.
  2. They don't care about income.
  3. Customer Service is unbeatable.
  4. Uncapped CB.
...The only downside is it's an Amex so there are merchants that don't accept it.
Max Low Income NoAF CB:
SLOT1: Simplii 4%/1.5%
SLOT2: 3% (Grocery) BMO CB MC ** MC for WM Supercentre+NoFrills
SLOT3: 2% Tang 2/3 categories AND/OR 2% Desjardins Remises/CB (Specific Categories)
SLOT4: 1.25% (OTHER) Amex SC
[OP]
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Apr 24, 2017
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rhw123 wrote: Amex SCP requires $19,800 spend per year to break even with Rogers WE.
Brim WE is max 1.2% if you factor in AF.
CWB WE is max 1.52%.
MBNA WE is 1.67% cash back and requires $70,588 spend per year to break even with Rogers WE.
smartie wrote: I am old school. But for regular people, Rogers WE probably beat all of those considering amex acceptance issue, MBNA is not exactly 2%, CWE is new and lot people probably don't want to deal with Brim

Might be including 1.5% + cards is more comprehensive
MBNA RWE
...
- Redemption: travel, e-gift cards
...

This is why I put up the redemption type for each card.
MBNA RWE gives 2% return if you redeem for travel or e-gift cards (not factoring annual fee here).

Also, for this card, I don't think anyone should redeem for cash back. Just like Amex Cobalt, should you redeem for cash back (1K MRS = $7)? Obviously no.
Last edited by EdisonL299 on Apr 12th, 2021 8:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
📱 Telus: $30/25GB Peace of Mind Plan + 1000 International minutes
💳 Credit card combo (2.5-7.5% return): AmEx + Scotiabank + CIBC
Deal Guru
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May 8, 2009
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Going to the Moon
I have CDC VISA Plat [Icey White] for 5%/everything and no-FTF, otherwise can use Mogo for 1.25-2.5% cashback especially for spend that's excluded from CDC's cashback, so these 2%/uncat Canadian credit cards are irrelevant to me. If you wanna argue that you're too cool to use prepaids, well CDC is working on putting in a crypto collateral to grant a "credit limit" and function as a secured CC. Their 2% card (Ruby Red) is dirt cheap.
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Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2018
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titaniumtux wrote: I have CDC VISA Plat [Icey White] for 5%/everything and no-FTF, otherwise can use Mogo for 1.25-2.5% cashback especially for spend that's excluded from CDC's cashback, so these 2%/uncat Canadian credit cards are irrelevant to me. If you wanna argue that you're too cool to use prepaids, well CDC is working on putting in a crypto collateral to grant a "credit limit" and function as a secured CC. Their 2% card (Ruby Red) is dirt cheap.
Isn't it a hassle keeping track of expenses and recurring payments that will be coming out? Or do you like etransfer and let cash sit there?

One of the benefits of credit cards is if you put expenses past your statement date, depending on Grace period, using a credit card is essentially an interest free loan for 50-60 days.

It frees up cash flow, you gain some tiny interest on it.

Also, is CDC's CRO coin that valuable?
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
10234 posts
5321 upvotes
Markham
EdisonL299 wrote: MBNA RWE
...
- Redemption: travel, e-gift cards
...

This is why I put up the redemption type for each card.
MBNA RWE gives 2% return if you redeem for travel or e-gift cards (not factoring annual fee here).

Also, for this card, I don't think anyone should redeem for cash back. Just like Amex Cobalt, should you redeem for cash back (1K MRS = $7)? Obviously no.
Well, your thread title said "2% flat-rate", I interpreted flat rate means regardless what you redeem, it's 2%. Selected rewards is not flat rate for me. Otherwise I nominate BMO cash back WE at 5%

Also the only way to compare all of them is in cash value. Not everyone value 20 dollar old navy GC as same as 20 dollar cash
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Aug 5, 2007
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titaniumtux wrote: otherwise can use Mogo for 1.25-2.5% cashback especially for spend that's excluded from CDC's cashback,
How are you getting 1.25-2.5% on Mogo when the advertised rate is 1-2%… unless you are being creative with how you load it?
Sr. Member
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Nov 14, 2009
511 posts
229 upvotes
surrey
CDC VISA is the endgame for me. No more shuffling cards for meager and constant devaluing of rewards. I am surprised the new CWB 2% is gaining so much interest when CDC Ruby is 2% back, no FTF, and full Spotify rebate
Last edited by Song44 on Apr 12th, 2021 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
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Jan 4, 2011
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Montreal
None of the cards mentioned are really appealing to me, whether as an "everything else" card or an all-in-one card. The difference between a 1.5% card and a 2.0% card is $50 for every $10,000 of spend, and that's not even factoring in the extra annual fee. I don't MS at all, so I have better uses for that much spend vs. getting a max of 0.5% extra over my existing card. And even if I didn't have a better use for the spend, I'd still probably put the extra "everything else" spend on my Aeroplan VIP card to maximize my accumulation of SQM.
Deal Guru
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May 8, 2009
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Going to the Moon
EDL67134234 wrote: Isn't it a hassle keeping track of expenses and recurring payments that will be coming out? Or do you like etransfer and let cash sit there?

One of the benefits of credit cards is if you put expenses past your statement date, depending on Grace period, using a credit card is essentially an interest free loan for 50-60 days.

It frees up cash flow, you gain some tiny interest on it.

Also, is CDC's CRO coin that valuable?
  1. e-transfer enough every week/fortnight/month or whatever to cover spend
  2. OK. I must be doing it wrong then :twisted: . Using an oversimplified example...$1k monthly spend, 1.2% HISA, 2% credit card with annual fee...you get $20/month cashback and $1 in HISA interest. Say you had that $1k sit in CDC prepaid card balance and earn nothing, but use their 3% cashback card (what I would consider to be a better equivalent to the big bank chequing/premium CC with AF waiver combo), you'd earn $30 cashback, no HISA interest. Now you wouldn't leave >$1k in card balance unless you were anticipating larger scale spending within the coming 2-6 weeks, so your remaining $$ that you'd save in HISA, could stash some TCAD in Crypto Earn in CDC and earn 6-14% for 0/1/3 months term deposits. If you were to put $1k in there and $1k in card balance, you've blown whatever you'd earn in HISA interest on $2k balance out of the water. Sure, I agree, CC's free up cash flows, but unless you're strapped for cash, the benefits of using a CC with a CL & grace period is trivial versus a prepaid
  3. Their CRO coin is a utility coin. It fluctuates. You can convert it immediately to CAD or stablecoin or even BTC, ETH, etc. upon earning it. Some ppl hoard CRO to unlock more things at CDC or spend 'em on gift cards or other things. There's no real right or wrong way to use it. Even if my 5% cashback is nerfed by spreads, some immediate devaluation between when I earn and when sell it, say I lose to VISA's exchange rate when I could have used a US issued card or other things...I'm still up say 4-4.5% net, which is much better than what any CC can offer me
mrelusive wrote: How are you getting 1.25-2.5% on Mogo when the advertised rate is 1-2%… unless you are being creative with how you load it?
Looks like you answered your own question.
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It used to be that this kind of thread would be flooded by people arguing that their favourite travel card effectively earned more than 2% cash back because they could redeem their points for business class flights at 3.5 cpp or something. Where are they?

This time it's the crypto people flooding the thread, lol. Sign of the (pandemic) times?
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Going to the Moon
rhw123 wrote: It used to be that this kind of thread would be flooded by people arguing that their favourite travel card effectively earned more than 2% cash back because they could redeem their points for business class flights at 3.5 cpp or something. Where are they?

This time it's the crypto people flooding the thread, lol. Sign of the (pandemic) times?
  1. the crypto products (payment cards) are new, especially in Canada
  2. yes, travel cards are less relevant when most people aren't (or shouldn't be) travelling
  3. Even still, those travel cards are mainly good for churning...most have 2.5% FTF and a handful of restrictions on highly optimized redemptions (high minimum to redeem, etc.)
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rhw123 wrote: It used to be that this kind of thread would be flooded by people arguing that their favourite travel card effectively earned more than 2% cash back because they could redeem their points for business class flights at 3.5 cpp or something. Where are they?
Lockdown.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
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Apr 24, 2017
5662 posts
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Added Rogers WE, Brim World MC & HSBC WE.
📱 Telus: $30/25GB Peace of Mind Plan + 1000 International minutes
💳 Credit card combo (2.5-7.5% return): AmEx + Scotiabank + CIBC
Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2006
2413 posts
885 upvotes
Burnaby
I guess everyone waiting on their 80K bonus for HSBC WE lol. If you can get around the ancient application process if you aren't auto approved and the clunky online banking experience. The things that work against it can also be positive, given its possible to use the points as statement credit by jumping through a few hoops redeeming min 25k points + 10k increments.

Just apply for the MBNA BW to offset the annual fee and get 20K BW points to bank just in case :)

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