Frugal Friday: Cash Back

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As we’re sure you know by now, we like saving money and finding a good deal. You also know we like credit cards because they often come with great rewards for travel. That being said, often times cash back cards are overlooked when they can provide incredible value. Maybe you’re someone who isn’t interested in travel points and you would just prefer to have cash back. That’s awesome. You can save a lot of money that way.

There are two main ways to get cash back: shopping portals and credit cards.

Shopping Portals

Shopping portals are our new favourite thing. We’ve known about them for a long time but never really used them. Now, we don’t make an online purchase without checking a cash back portal. In Canada, we have two major shopping portals that offer cash back. There are others but there are two big ones and these are the ones we will cover.

Photo Courtesy of Ebates


Ebates is the biggest cash back shopping portal that we have here in Canada and it is fantastic. They have so many retailers that most of us shop at regularly and the cash back opportunites are pretty much endless. Here are a few other the retailers you can earn cash back through:

  • Sephora
  • Old Navy
  • Expedia
  • The Bay
  • Clearly Contacts
  • Amazon Canada
  • Best Buy
  • Indigo
  • Home Depot

That’s a small list because they have many more.

So, how does it work?

First, you need to create an account. Click here to create an account. Once your account is setup you are ready to shop. Now, any time you want to shop you go to Ebates first. When you see the retailer you want to shop at you click on them. Ebates will redirect you to that retailer’s website. You proceed to shop and checkout as normal. Your order will have a special source code attached to it that the retailer will communicate with Ebates and tell Ebates how much you spent and then Ebates will deposit the appropriate amount cash back into your account. Ebates often has special promos where certain retailers will earn you double cash back or an increased cash back amount so I suggest opting in to their mailing list.

Photo courtesy of Boomer & Echo

Great Canadian Rebates

Great Canadian Rebates, or GCR for short, is a great shopping portal but it is definitely much smaller than Ebates. Is has some of the same retailers and some different ones, too. Here is a small example of small of their retailers:

  • TurboTax
  • 1-800-FLOWERS
  • Etsy
  • Expedia
  • Coach
  • Lowe’s
  • Sportchek
  • Amazon Canada

Often we will go to both to see which portal is offering the most cash back before we buy anything.

Great Canadian Rebates works the exact same way as Ebates. You can sign up for an account by clicking here.

The thing that we love about GCR is that they offer cash back on approved credit card applications. We previously mentioned that the Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard is one of those. If you apply for and are approved for the card you will earn $60 cash back. That effectively turns the $75 annual fee into $15 which is a really good deal.

Some of the other credit cards you can get cash back on are:

There are many other cards but those are some of the more popular ones. Great Canadian Rebates and Ebates are great sites and we highly recommend you sign up for both and check which one has more cash back before making your next online purchase. In the end, it’s free money to go shopping and you can’t be mad about that.

Cash Back Credit Cards

In Canada we have plenty of cash back credit cards but we will only cover the ones we think are best and are worth your time.

Photo Courtesy of TD Canada

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite

  • 9% cash back on gas, grocery and recurring bill payments for the first 3 months
  • $120 annual fee
  • 3% cash back on groceries, gas and recurring bills after 3 months
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • Redeem cash back at any time to pay down the card balance
  • No expiration on cash back
  • Invitations to exclusive food and wine experiences
  • Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership
  • Travel Medical Insurance
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage
  • Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection

The TD Cash Back Infinite card is great for those looking to earn cash for their credit card spending. The 9% cash back for the first $3,500 spent in the first 3 months is the big draw for this card. If you hit the $3,500 spend in the first 3 months that works out to $315 back. That’s a good deal. Even after you use $120 of that to cancel out the annual fee you’re still up $195. After the first 3 months you get 3% back on groceries, gas and recurring bills which is a good deal also. Personally, I would just use this card for the first 3 months, hit the $3,500 spend then put it in the sock drawer. That being said, using this as your every day spend card will add up to lots of cash back over the year.

This card has a $60,000 personal income or $100,000 household income requirement. You can apply for this card here.

Photo Courtesy of MBNA

MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

  • 10,000 MBNA Rewards points after first eligible purchase ($100 value)
  • $89 annual fee
  • 2 MBNA Rewards per $1 spent
  • Points can be redeemed for cash back or travel

This is another very solid product for cash back. You get 2% cash back on every dollar you spend with no maximum. This is the card I would go to after meeting the $3,500 spend on the TD card for non grocery/gas purchases because that card earns 3% back. This is also a good card to just apply for, buy one thing and get $100 back if you choose to do that.

Your personal annual income must be greater than $80,000, or your household annual income must be $150,000 or greater to be approved for this card however.

You can apply for this card here.


Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.5% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.
  • If you choose to have your Money-Back Rewards deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account you can get a 3rd 2% Money-Back Category.
  • No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn.
  • You can change your 2% Money-Back Categories to suit your spending.

This is the best card for those who do not meet the income requirements of the above two cards. The unique thing about this card is that you get to choose the categories you earn 2% cash back in. Your options are:

  • Grocery
  • Furniture
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel-Motel
  • Gas
  • Recurring Bill Payments
  • Drug Store
  • Home Improvement
  • Entertainment
  • Public Transportation and Parking

You can’t just make a change before each purchase though. Each change has to wait 90 days to take effect. This is their way of preventing people from changing the category before every purchase. That being said, most of us spend our money in certain categories more than others and this can definitely be a valuable card to many people.

You can apply for this credit card here.

Hopefully some of you will get some benefit from your online shopping and credit card spending. Happy cash back!

Never stop adventuring!