The results of Canada’s Choice 2021
were revealed last month covering 10 categories of credit cards
and loyalty with some surprising and not so surprising results. The fourth of which we look is the card that took the top spot in the Cash Back Credit Card category and that’s the Neo Financial Mastercard
Other posts in this series:
- A closer look at the credit card that Canada voted as the number one overall travel rewards card in Canada
- A closer look at the credit card that Canada voted as the number one no annual fee travel rewards card in Canada
Unlike some other Canada’s categories this one took us by surprise. None of the big name Cash Back cards even came close here. No CIBC Dividend. No Scotia Momentum. It was Neo all the way thanks to the support of their membership base the card came out on top in the Cash Back Credit Card category. This relative newcomer doesn’t offer a lot of bells and whistles but they did want it to be different from your traditional cash back cards by having a more partner specific reward program.
Let’s look at what this card offers:
The card does not have a set welcome bonus offer although it did have a limited time $25 sign up offer recently. I have seen tent cards with QR codes at Neo partners that you scan to sign up and get that bonus so if those are still around you may be able to score that $25.
Outside of that limited time offer the Neo card wanted to do their welcome bonus differently and that was by providing big discounts or other perks the first time you use the card at their participating merchant partners. Some of those offers include up to 15% cash back on your first purchase at the retailer.
Earning & Benefits
Neo Card focuses on bigger earn at their partners across the country and they state you’ll earn on average 5% cash back with those partners. Cash back at non Neo partners varies as they run the earn portion a little differently. Neo guarantees that you will earn at least 1% cash back on all your spending for the month. So if you have a month where don’t spend much at their partners earning that average 5% and your average cash back rate drops below 1% they will top you off the ensure all your spend that month nets you 1% back. That monthly top off to 1% is limited to $5,000 in non-partner spending per month.
You can earn higher cash back rewards at Neo partners by upgrading your card to the Plus or Ultra plans. They cost $2.99 and $8.99 per month respectively. With Plus you’ll earn 1.25 times the rewards over the standard plan and Ultra will earn 1.5 times the rewards over the standard plan.
Outside of the big network of partners where cardmembers can get bigger discounts and other potential rewards the Neo card does not come with any benefits. There is no insurance package, no lounge access, no free Wi-Fi and lot of the other perks found on other cards in our market.
Wrapping it up
Here at Rewards Canada we don’t rank the Neo Financial Mastercard
as one of the top 5 cash back credit cards in our rankings due to it being relatively new and lacking a standard welcome bonus, no insurance package or any additional benefits. For Canada’s Choice the card came out on top thanks to some great support for it from Neo members and followers. I’ll be curious to see what happens next year and if the traditional banks will come out fighting to win this spot.