Best credit cards for restaurants and dining out
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Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or opting for delivery, you’re likely spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year on restaurants and dining. If you don’t have a rewards credit card with a special bonus for dining out, you’re losing out on hundreds of dollars that you could have earned.
While most rewards credit cards in Canada have bonuses for common spending categories like groceries, gas, and transportation, relatively few allow you to earn back for your spending on restaurants. We’ve compiled a list of the best cards for frequent diners here.
Comparison of the best credit cards for restaurants and dining out in Canada
|Credit card||Welcome bonus||Earn rate||Annual fee|
|American Express Cobalt® Card||Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply)||5 points for every $1 spent on dining out, at grocery stores, cafes, bars and food delivery||$155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card||Earn up to $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points¹. Offer ends Oct. 31, 2023.||5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent at restaurants, bars, and on eligible fast food, groceries, food delivery, and food subscriptions||$120|
|BMO eclipse Visa Infinite*||40,000 bonus points + first year annual fee waived||5 points for every $1 spent on dining out, groceries, food delivery, meal subscriptions, and at bars||$120|
|Tangerine Money Back||If you're approved, you’ll earn an extra 10% back on up to $1,000 in everyday purchases made within your first 2 months.*||2% on restaurants (if selected as a special money-back category)||$0|
|KOHO Extra||Sign up and get a $20 instant cash bonus (once you load your account and make your no minimum first purchase within 30 days) right to your KOHO account with money.ca referral code.||2% cash back on eating & drinking||$84 (or $9/month)|
|MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®||Up to 30,000 MBNA rewards points† †||5 points‡ per $1 spent on restaurants, groceries and more||$120|
|The Platinum Card®||Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points (conditions apply)||Earn Rate of three points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada||$699|
The American Express Cobalt® Card is an excellent all-around rewards credit card that benefits Canadians with a penchant for spending money on food regularly. In addition to earning five points for every $1 every time you swipe in a restaurant, you also get the same number of points when you spend at grocery stores, bars, cafes, and on food delivery (applicable only to purchases made in Canada).
When it comes time to trade in your rewards, Amex points are worth $0.01 each when redeemed against any eligible purchase you’ve made with the card, including restaurant bills. The annual fee is a high-ish $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee), but you can make up for that with the introductory offer. In your first year as a new Cobalt® Cardmember, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year. That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets. Conditions apply.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete American Express Cobalt® Card review.
Scotiabank Gold American Express® – Best for no foreign exchange fees
Welcome Bonus: Earn up to $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points¹. Earn 20,000 bonus Scene+ points by making at least $1,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, you are eligible to earn a 20,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $7,500 in everyday eligible purchases in your first year. Offer ends October 31, 2023.
Earn rate: Earn 6X Scene+™ points on every $1 CAD you spend in Canada at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland, and more eligible grocers.¹ Earn 5X the Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD spent on other eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments (including food delivery and food subscription services), as well as on eligible entertainment purchases (movies, theatre, and ticket agencies). Plus, you’ll get 3X the Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible gas, daily transit, and eligible select streaming purchases, and 1X point per $1 spent on every other purchase with no cap on this base earn rate.
Additional perks: Travel insurance, car rental insurance, purchase security, discounted Priority Pass, 25% off at AVIS and Budget car rentals, etc.
Annual fee: $120
If you spend frequently on restaurants and travel or shop internationally, then the Scotiabank Gold American Express® is an excellent choice. You can earn 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD you spend when dining at restaurants, fast food joints, or eligible bars. You’ll also earn the same rate on food delivery services, food subscriptions such as Hello Fresh and groceries. If you want to splurge on both dinner and a movie, Scotiabank also gives you 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD on eligible entertainment purchases, including movie and theatre tickets. You’ll also earn 6X Scene+ points for each $1 CAD charged to your account on all eligible purchases at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA and a bunch more eligible grocers.¹
Scene+ points are worth up to $0.01 each, depending on what you’re redeeming them on. When you’ve earned enough you can redeem them for things like air travel, purchases of merchandise at eligible retailers, gift cards, or credits to your statement balance.
Besides offering points, this credit card also waives foreign transaction fees on international purchases. Foreign transaction fees usually add 2.5% to every international transaction, so waiving this fee can add up to significant savings if you make international transactions regularly. International dining bills unfortunately will not earn at at the 5 points per $1 rate—they’ll earn at 1 point per $1 instead. But the foreign transaction fee waiver nonetheless makes this one of the best dining cards for those who travel abroad frequently.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express® review.
¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card to learn more.
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* – Best for fine dining experiences
Welcome bonus: 40,000 BMO Rewards points + annual fee waived in the first year
Earn rate: 5 points per $1 CAD spent on dining out or delivery, including meal subscriptions, bars, and grocery, gas, and transit, capped at $50,000 per year. One point per $1 spent on everything else
Additional perks: $50 annual lifestyle credit, supplementary cards boost earn rate, mobile device insurance, travel insurance, access to Visa Infinite exclusive dining invites
Annual fee: $120
Offering a hefty five BMO Rewards points for every $1 spent on dining out or ordering in, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* has an excellent rewards scheme. Additionally, you’ll also get the same rate at bars, grocery stores, drugstores, and on gas and transit (applicable only to purchases in Canada). Another unique perk via Visa Infinite is the dining experiences you’ll have access to as an extra reward, such as multi-course meals with wine pairings delivered to your home or spending an evening with chefs.
One hundred and fifty BMO Rewards points can be redeemed for $1 in travel or investments into BMO accounts, which works out to a rate of $0.0067 per point. Points can also be redeemed as a statement credit or for merchandise, though the points will be worth less for those redemptions.
On top of that, this credit card offers other great perks, including a $50 annual statement credit, mobile device insurance, and you can boost your earn rate by 10% when you add a secondary cardholder to your account. If you want to add even more lucrative rewards like priority airport lounge and security passes, luxury hotel access and more, and are willing to pay a higher fee, check out the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* credit card.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* review.
Tangerine Money-Back Card – Best no annual fee
Welcome bonus: Special 10% extra cash back rate on the first $1,000 spent with the card on everyday purchases (max. $100 cash back) in the first two months if you're approved.*
Earn rate: 2% per $1 spent in 2-3 selected categories; 0.5% on all other spending
Additional perks: Purchase assurance and extended warranty
Annual fee: $0
If you are looking for a credit card that will allow you to earn on dining out without having to pay a hefty annual fee, then look no further than the Tangerine Money-Back Card. It’s free of charge and still has a decent earn rate for restaurants. The way this credit card works is that you, the cardholder, get to choose two or three spending categories in which you’ll earn 2% back. Once you have selected restaurants as one of your money back categories, you will earn 2% on every $1 spent on dining with no limits—a huge advantage over many other credit cards. Another reason why we love the Tangerine Money-Back Card is that you will see those money back rewards in your account every month, you don’t need to wait a year to see your rewards.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card review.
*Terms and Conditions apply
KOHO Extra – Best prepaid card
Welcome bonus: Sign up and get a $20 instant cash bonus (once you load your account and make your no minimum first purchase within 30 days) right to your KOHO account.
Earn rate: 2% cash back on restaurants, bars, cafes, food delivery, groceries, and transportation (in Canada and abroad), and 0.5% cash back on everything else
Additional perks: No foreign exchange fees and one free international ATM withdraw per month
Annual fee: $84 (or $9/month)
If you’ve had trouble managing your credit in the past, you may want to stay away from credit cards altogether. In this case, a prepaid card like the KOHO Extra credit card is a good choice that still allows you to earn cash back on restaurant spending. You’ll get 2% cash back when using KOHO Extra at restaurants, cafes, bars, on food delivery, and at both small or larger chain grocery stores. The 2% cash back also applies to transportation, including ride shares like Uber or Lyft. You’ll get up to an extra 6% cash back at partnered merchants.
It’s also important to keep in mind that KOHO Extra requires you to deposit money before you spend it, so there is no way to overspend.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete KOHO Extra review.
MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® – Best overall
Welcome bonus: Earn up to 30,000 MBNA Rewards points††—20,000†† when you make $2,000+ in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of card membership + an additional 10,000 points†† when you enroll in paperless e-statements in the first 90 days of card membership. You’ll also earn annual Birthday Bonus Points‡ for a total of 10% of your points earned over the previous 12 months, up to a maximum of 15,000 points.
Earn rates: 5 points‡ for every $1 spent on restaurants, groceries, digital media, memberships and utilities.
Additional perks: Travel insurance, car rental insurance, mobile device insurance, price protection, etc.
Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases; 24.99% on cash advances; 22.99%✪ on balance transfers.
Annual fee: $120
The MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® makes it easy to collect points while dining out. Cardholders earn 5 points‡ per $1 spent on all restaurant purchases, and the same high rewards rate applies to groceries, memberships, digital media and utilities as well (up to $50K spent annually in each of those categories). That’s an unusually high limit for an accelerated earn rate.
New cardholders have the opportunity to earn a special welcome bonus of 30,000 points††. You’ll get 20,000 points†† when you make $2,000 in purchases during the first 90 days of being a cardholder. You can then receive an additional 10,000 bonus points†† when you sign up for paperless e-statements (within 90 days of opening your account). Those 30,000 points have a value of approximately $245-$300 depending on how you choose to redeem them, which goes a long way in offsetting the annual fee.
You can redeem MBNA Rewards points towards travel for purchases like flights, hotels, and car rentals. If you prefer, you can also take cash rewards including cash back, a statement credit, or charitable donations to participating charities. Finally, you can also use your points for merchandise and gift cards. The flexibility in the rewards program makes it one of our favourite picks to recommend for Canadians.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® review.
††, ‡, ✪, ***, ††††, Terms and Conditions apply.
This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.
Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the issuer of this credit card. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ®MBNA and other-trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.
The Platinum Card® – Best for earning Aeroplan points
Welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points – that’s $800 towards a weekend away. New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn 80,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $7,500 in net purchases to your card in your first three months of Cardmembership. Conditions apply
Earn rate: Earn 3 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada, 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel, and 1 point for every $1 in all other Card purchases
Additional perks: Curated dining experiences; extra hotel benefits via Fine Hotels + Resorts program; Toronto Pearson airport benefits; Platinum Concierge service; comprehensive travel insurance; free access to airport lounges; $200 CAD Annual Travel Credit
Annual fee: $699
The Platinum Card® from American Express may technically earn fewer points per $1 on on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada with its earn rate than some of the other cards listed above, at three points per $1 spent; but keep in mind that all the points it earns can be transferred into Aeroplan points at a 1:1 ratio.
And The Platinum Card®’s premium dining benefits don’t stop at its earn rate. Platinum and Centurion cardholders have exclusive access to the Global Dining Collection, which offers reservations for international eateries at the vanguard of haute cuisine, and intimate dining events with the world’s most respected gourmet chefs.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete The Platinum Card® review.
Whether in restaurants, through meal subscription services, or via delivery, dining out is an essential part of our lives. If you’re looking for a credit card that rewards this type of spending with points or cash back, our choices above cover a broad spectrum of options – even one that isn’t a credit card at all. Whether you are looking for a no-fee card, a low-interest card, or a high-earning card, one of the choices above will suit your needs.
Can I earn cash back when I spend at restaurants?+
Yes! Although many of the credit cards listed above allow you to earn rewards points that can be redeemed for travel and merchandise, KOHO Extra lets you earn 2% cash back on all restaurant spending.
Do I have to pay an annual fee to earn rewards from restaurant spending?+
No. While most rewards credit cards require you to pay an annual fee, the Tangerine Money-Back Card does not have a yearly fee. The rewards you can earn with this credit card are slightly lower than the fee-based cards, so it’s essential to consider your spending habits when deciding which credit card is best for you.
What constitutes a restaurant for most rewards credit cards?+
Most credit cards use merchant category codes to classify your spending into rewards categories. You can check your vendor’s merchant category code online in advance of your purchase, but this process can be onerous. A quicker method to keep track of which establishments qualify for rewards is to monitor your credit card statement, which will show the purchases that qualify for rewards or cashback.
American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.