When I wrote about the top cash back credit cards in Canada earlier this year I received a lot of feedback from readers who were not high spenders or who didn’t meet the minimum income requirements to get the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite or the Capital One Aspire Cash World MasterCard.

So what’s the best cash back credit card option for folks who make less than $60,000 a year or for those who don’t spend a lot on your credit card every month?

First let me share my own experience using cash back credit cards and how I switched and saved money on a number of occasions.

How I Switched Credit Cards And Saved

My first rewards credit card was the PC Financial MasterCard.  I shopped at Superstore enough to make earning and redeeming the points worthwhile, but I was only earning 1% back on my spending.  In one year I managed to get about $140 back based on spending $1,200 a month on the card.

Next came the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard.  The card offered an enticing 5% cash back on groceries and gas for the first 6 months.  I switched to the Smart Cash card and earned $400 in one year after spending about $1,600 a month.

When my income went above the $60,000 threshold I was offered the chance to upgrade to the Smart Cash World MasterCard, which gave me another round of 5% cash back on groceries and gas for 6 months.  My spending had increased to about $2,500 a month (kids!) and so I was able to earn about $500 in cash back in one year.

Then MBNA changed its rewards program and reduced the cash back you could earn with the Smart Cash card.  If I kept using the card my annual cash back rewards would fall to $350.

So I did some research and found that, with my income and spending level, I could earn much more cash back by using the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite for groceries, gas and recurring bill payments and the using the Capital One Aspire Cash World MasterCard for everything else.

With this combination I’m on track to earn $550 in cash back rewards this year.

How Can You Switch And Save?

Okay, so that’s my cash back credit card journey, but how does that help you?  If you’re a big spender and you earn over $60,000 annually then you should definitely consider the combination of the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite and the Capital One Aspire Cash World MasterCard to maximize your cash back rewards.

If you don’t qualify for those cards then there are still a few good options to consider.  Here are six cash back credit cards that are relatively easy to get approved for and can still earn you big rewards:

Credit CardAnnual Cash back $1,000/month*After 3-years
MBNA Smart Cash Platinum MasterCard$240$576
Capital One Aspire Cash Platinum$150$450
RBC Cash Back$138$414
PC MasterCard$125$365
TD Rebate Rewards$120$360
Scotia Momentum No-Fee$102$306

*based on spending $400 per month on groceries and $100 per month on gas

As you can see, even with changes to the Smart Cash card it’s still far and away the best cash back credit card for folks who don’t yet qualify for the premium rewards cards.

By switching from the PC MasterCard to the MBNA Smart Cash card you’ll save (or earn) an additional $115 per year.

Get A Free $100 Gift Card

Right now, for a limited time, Rate Supermarket is offering a free $100 gift card if you sign up for the MBNA Smart Cash card or the MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard.  The $100 gift card increases your Smart Cash earnings to $340 in the first year, which means you’ll earn an incredible 2.83% back on your spending.

The promotion is called Switch and Save, and they’ve got a great comparison feature that will show you how much you’ll save by switching from your current credit card to the Smart Cash MasterCard, which offers 5% cash back on groceries and gas for the first 6 months.

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