- Annual fee: $0
- Earn Rate on groceries: 30 PC points per $1 at Loblaws banner grocery stores (including No Frills, Fortinos, and The Independent Grocer)
- Rewards on other purchases: 45 points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart, 30 points per litre at Esso/Mobil; 30 points per $1 at PC Travel; and 10 points per $1 on everything else
- Welcome bonus: None
- Additional perks: Travel emergency medical insurance; car rental loss or damage coverage; concierge service; identity theft assistance service
- Income required: $80,000 or $150,000 as a household
Best points cards for groceries (tie)
For those who want to turn their grocery purchases into world travel, the American Express Cobalt is here to help. There are a few standout elements of this card, starting with the unique payment structure that bills the annual fee in monthly installments of $10. Next is the welcome bonus, encouraging new cardholders to spend by rewarding 15,000 points when you make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. If you hit that target every month, you’ll have a cool 45,000 points accumulated by the end of the year. The earn rate on groceries as well as dining out and food delivery services is a very competitive 5 points per $1 (to a maximum spend of $30,000; thereafter, the earn is 1 point per $1); plus you get 2 points per $1 on transportation. Everything else earns at a rate of 1 point per $1.
Because this is a travel-oriented card, it should come as no surprise that there are some sweet perks geared toward frequent flyers (and drivers) like emergency medical coverage and car rental theft and damage coverage. Cardholders are also eligible for a credit on amenities at participating hotels.
It does bear mentioning that because this is an American Express card, it is not accepted at every store—but if you’re a shopper at Food Basics, Longo’s, McEwan, Metro, Pusateri’s, Rabba, Safeway, Sobeys or Whole Foods, you’re golden. Loblaws banner stores, including No-Frills, do not accept AMEX.
- Annual fee: $120 (billed monthly in $10 instalments)
- Earn rate on groceries: 5 points per $1
- Rewards on other purchases: 5 points per $1 on dining, food delivery and bars; 2 points per $1 on transportation including taxis, public transit and rideshares; and 1 point per $1 on everything else
- Welcome bonus: Up to 45,000 points rewarded, and 15,000 when you spend a total of $3,000 in your first three months
- Additional perks: Emergency travel medical coverage, travel accident, flight and baggage delay, hotel or motel burglary and lost or stolen baggage insurance; car rental theft and damage protection; hotel credit up to $100 USD on amenities like spa or dining at participating hotels; AMEX Invites and Front-of-the-Line Access
- Income required: None specified
Scotiabank Gold American Express
When it comes to travel, we like options, don’t we? Some simply come down to preference, like choosing between a window or aisle seat. Depending on your credit card preferences, you may want to consider the Scotiabank Gold American Express. This travel rewards credit card earns 5 points for every $1 spent on groceries, just like the American Express Cobalt reviewed above. (Check out the grocery stores and other retailers that accept American Express.)
Here’s how it works: For every point you earn, you get $0.01 redeemable toward travel, which is easy to figure out and calculate. Just think of it like a cash-back credit card with 1% earn rate toward travel savings. Plus, the welcome offer is pretty sweet. Earn up to 25,000 Scotia Rewards Points, when you use the card for up to $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. That’s about $200 in rewards.
While we’re comparing the two, it’s worth noting that the American Express Cobalt has an edge on the Scotiabank Gold American Express card since the former lets you get 15% to 75% more value out of your points through Amex’s fixed points travel chart or by transferring points to hotel loyalty programs. Neither are available with the Scotiabank Gold. That said, the Scotiabank Gold American Express is still a great card. Plus, the Scotiabank Gold American Express has some great perks that the Cobalt doesn’t, like no foreign transaction fees and additional points on entertainment and streaming services.