Best Neo Financial Credit Card Review 2022: High Cash Back Rate

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This Neo Financial credit card review provides a detailed look at the card’s offering to help you decide if it’s a right fit for you.

Neo Financial credit card is one of the best cash back credit cards with no annual fees in Canada. But with a small monthly fee through its Neo Plus or Neo Ultra accounts, you can earn even higher cash back rates.

But if you want to make the best of any credit card in Canada, it’s essential you look beyond the reward program, rate and monthly fees to know if its truly the best for you.

This Neo Financial credit card review covers everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

You will also learn about the alternatives to the Neo credit card and how they compare.

Neo Financial Overview

Neo Financial is an online-only bank providing low-cost banking solutions to Canadians through its partnership with ATB Financial, Concentra Bank and MasterCard.

Established in 2020, Neo partners with thousands of local and international e-commerce and retail partners to provide the best banking experience to Canadians.

Ultimately, Neo’s high-interest savings accounts and competitive cashback credit cards are what set it apart from the competition in Canada. 

This review focuses on the Neo Financial credit card, but you can learn more about the Neo Financial Savings Account here and see how it compares to other high interest savings account in Canada.


What is Neo Financial Credit Card?

Neo Financial Credit Card

Welcome Offer: 15% welcome bonus on your purchases at most partner locations

Earn Rate: Average of 5% cashback at partners and a minimum of 1% on other purchases.

Annual Fees: $0

Monthly Fees: Free for the basic card; $2.99 to $6.99 for the premium cards

Purchase Credit Rate: 19.99% to 24.99%

On Neo Financial site

Neo Financial credit card is a cashback Mastercard offering competitive rewards with zero to low monthly fees. The card is issued by ATB Financial and is accepted wherever Mastercard is accepted.

You can use the Neo credit card to make purchases at your favourite local and international stores, ranging from grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, gym and coffee shops etc.

The Neo Financial standard credit card offers an average of 4% cash back on purchases at partner stores. But you can earn more and maximize the cash back rate by paying a small monthly fee for the premium accounts: Neo Plus or Neo Ultra

On average, you can earn 5% cashback on the Neo Plus account and 6% cashback on the Neo Ultra account. This is way higher than the rate of most credit cards in Canada.

The cash back rates on Neo Financial credit cards

While the Neo standard card differs from the Neo Plus and Neo Ultra in terms of cashback rate and fees, the three accounts share the following features:

  • Zero annual fees
  • High cashback rewards at partner stores
  • 1% cashback reward at non-partner stores
  • 19.99% APR on purchase 
  • 21.99% APR on cash advance
  • No insurance coverage
  • No income requirements
  • No inactivity fee

Let’s now take a detailed view of each Neo credit card.

1. Neo Financial Standard Credit Card

The Neo Financial Standard Credit Card is a no-fee Mastercard offering an average of 4% cashback at partner stores and 1% at non-partner stores.

That means you’re guaranteed a minimum of 1% cash back on all your purchases using the Neo Financial credit card.

This is one of Canada’s best no-fee cash back credit cards, with a competitive reward rate and the industry’s average annual interest rate on purchase (19.99%).

Who is this card ideal for?

The Neo Financial credit card is ideal for those who spend less than $750 per month. You can also consider this card if you’re not comfortable paying monthly fees in exchange for higher cash back. 

2. Neo Plus Credit Card

The Neo Plus credit card offers an average of 5% cashback at partner stores in exchange for a $2.99 per month fee.

Like the Neo standard card, the Neo Plus offers a 1% cashback reward for all purchases at non-partner stores. 

This is a competitive offer that you can’t easily find elsewhere. Most cashback credit card providers in Canada that charge high monthly fees don’t offer up to a 5% cashback rate. 

And as Neo Financial continue to build out its partnership network with more retailers and merchants, the value of the card will continue to grow.

The Neo Plus credit card is ideal for those who spend more than $750 per month. 

3. Neo Ultra Credit Card

The Neo Ultra credit card offers the highest average cashback rate of 6% at partner stores and 1% at non-partner stores in exchange for $8.99 monthly fees. 

While this account is ideal for those who spend more than $1,000 per month, you may find it attractive, too, even if you spend less than that amount. 

Overall, Neo Financial Ultra credit card offers one of the highest average cashback rate in Canada that is non-promotional.

And irrespective of your spending habits, Neo Ultra is definitely one of the best options if you’re looking for the highest cash back on your spending Canada.


Neo Credit Card Benefits

Next in this Neo Financial Credit Card review, we look at some of the benefits of the card that sets it apart from its peers.

1. High Cash Back Rate

Neo Standard and Neo Plus credit cards offer one of the industry’s high cash back rewards, while Neo Ultra offers the overall highest cashback reward in Canada. 

With a Neo card, you will earn an average of 4% to 6% unlimited cash back at partner stores and a flat 1% at non-partner stores. 

2. Welcome Bonus

In addition to the high cashback rate, Neo credit card also welcomes new credit cardholders with 15% cashback. This is also one of the Industry’s high cashback rates on welcome bonuses.

However, depending on the partner and offer, the Neo credit card welcome bonus could be more or less than 15%.

3. No Fees

The Neo Financial standard credit card is one of Canada’s best no-fee cash back cards with competitive cash back rewards and one that guarantees you earn a minimum rate on all purchases.

By earning an average of 4% at partner stores and 1% at non-partner stores, you’ll be offsetting a good portion of your purchases.

4. Low Credit Score Requirements

Compared to other credit card providers, Neo has low credit score requirements. All you need is a 600 minimum credit score to qualify for any of Neo’s three credit cards. This is also an opportunity to improve your credit score by paying your bills on time.

5. No Income Requirements

Unlike most credit card providers in Canada, Neo Financial has no income requirements at the individual or family levels.

This eliminates the credit card eligibility discrimination between low and high-income earners.

6. Flexible Withdrawal

Some credit card providers allow you to cash out your cash back earnings at a scheduled period.  Neo Financial cash back works differently.

You can redeem your cashback earning automatically any time you want with Neo Financial.


Drawbacks of Neo Credit Cards

1. Earning Restrictions

There’s no guarantee of earning high cash back at Neo partner or non-partner stores at all times. The cashback offers, your spending choices, and your location may limit you from accessing Neo’s competitive cashback.

However, Neo Financial guarantees you a minimum cash back of 1% on your monthly purchases – capped at $5,000 for spending at non-partner stores.

2. No Insurance Coverage

Unlike other cashback Mastercard in Canada, Neo Financial credit cards have no insurance coverage or an extended warranty protection.

So if you’re looking to cover yourself against any credit card liability, Neo Financial credit card is not the best option for you. 

3. Limited Access

If you’re a Quebec resident, you have to look for other options because Quebec residents can’t use Neo credit cards or other Neo products at the moment.


Neo Rewards Program

Neo Financial offers three reward programs tailored to its three-tier credit cards: Neo Standard, Neo Plus and Neo Plus.  

  • Neo Essential: Neo Essential is a reward program tailored to Neo Standard Credit Card. As expected, the program offers access to 4% average cashback at Neo partner stores and 1% cashback at non-partner stores without monthly fees. 
  • Neo Plus: This program is tailored to the Neo Plus credit card, which charges $2.99 per month in exchange for 5% average cashback at Neo partner stores and 1% cashback at non-partner stores.
  • Neo Ultra: Neo Ultra is tailored to Neo Ultra credit card that charges $8.99 per month in exchange for the industry’s highest average rate of 6% at partner stores and 1% at non-partner stores. 

Eligibility for Neo Credit Card

Neo Financial has more flexible requirements than other credit card providers in Canada. All you need to qualify for a Neo credit card is to:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (excluding Quebec residents)
  • Live in Canada
  • Have at least 600 credit score
  • Have a valid photo ID
  • Reach the age of majority in your province 

How to Apply for Neo Credit Card

The Neo credit card application process is one of the easiest in Canada. You can either sign up online or through the Neo mobile app.

To sign up for the Neo credit card online, click the “sign up” button on the Neo website and provide the required information.  

However, you can also sign up for a Neo credit card through its Mobile app available on Google Playstore and App Store. 

Regardless of the method you used, Neo will access your application to confirm your eligibility. However, this may impact your credit score since it’s a new credit application. 

Once qualified, you will complete your application and wait for the delivery of your Neo credit card. 


How Do I Activate My New Neo Mastercard?

You must activate your Neo Mastercard to use it at partner and non-partner stores. All you need to activate your new Neo Mastercard is to:

  • Login to the Neo app or visit member.neofinancial.com 
  • Enter your Neo account email and password. 
  • Click on the “Card” icon 
  • Click on “Activate your physical card”
  • Type your card CVC and expiry date
  • Confirm your PIN

You can activate your new Neo Mastercard online or through the Neo Mobile app.


Neo Financial Credit Card Rating

Based on the critical review and comparison of the following factors, we rate Neo credit card 4.5 out of 5 stars, thereby recommending it to individuals looking for a high cash back rate with no/low fees.

Cashback rate⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Monthly fees⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
APR on purchase and cash advance⭐⭐⭐
Withdrawal schedule⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Insurance coverage
Income requirements⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Credit score requirements⭐⭐⭐
Accessibility⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hudson’s Bay Mastercard

The Hudson’s Bay Mastercard is a points card that was developed in partnership with Neo Financial.

With the Bay Neo Financial Credit Card, cardholders get the following benefits:

  • 4 points per $1 spent at Hudson’s Bay
  • 2 points per $1 at other stores
  • Earn cashback at thousands of other stores nationwide
  • $0 annual fees
  • 15% welcome cash back bonus

Neo Financial Credit Cards Alternatives in Canada

If the Neo Financial credit card doesn’t meet your needs, you have a lot of alternatives to consider.

The following are some cash back credit cards in Canada with competitive rates and no annual fees:

1. BMO CashBack Mastercard

BMO CashBack Mastercard is one of Canada’s best no-fee cash back credit cards offering competitive cashback with an average annual interest rate on purpose and cash advance.

New BMO CashBack Mastercard holders enjoy up to 5% cashback on their initial three months of membership. Following that, you will enjoy competitive cashback on the following purchases: 

  • Groceries: 3%
  • Recurring bills: 1%
  • All other purchases: 0.5%

With this card, you can earn more than you could with the Neo Financial standard credit card that limits high cashback earnings to purchase at partner stores.

Unlike Neo Financial credit cards, BMO CashBack Mastercard offers an extended warranty and purchase protection up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

2. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is another worthy alternative to Neo Financial credit card due to its 2% standard cashback rate and below-average interest rate on purchase and cash advance (19.95%).

Like Neo Financial, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card currently offers a 15% welcome bonus. However, you must spend at least $1,000 within your initial two months of membership to qualify for the welcome bonus.

That said, Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has an average income requirement of $12,000. Also, applicants must have no bankruptcy history in the last seven years to qualify.

Like BMO CashBack Mastercard, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card also offers an extended warranty and purchase protection up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

Learn more: Tangerine Credit Card Promotions

3. Rogers World Elite Mastercard

Finally, the Rogers World Elite Mastercard is worth considering if you’re looking for a no-fee cash back alternative to Neo Financial credit card in Canada. 

With a $25 welcome bonus, this card offers 3% unlimited cash back on all USD purchases and 1.5% on regular purchases.

Unlike Neo credit cards, Rogers World Elite Mastercard offers comprehensive insurance coverage and travel benefits. However, it requires the following minimum income for eligibility:

  • Annual personal income: $80,000
  • Annual household  income: $150,000

FAQs on Neo Financial Credit Cards

Is Neo a real credit card?

Absolutely. Neo Financial offers real cashback Mastercard that are acceptable wherever Mastercard is accepted. Neo partners with thousands of local and international stores that offer an average of 4-6% cashback reward on eligible purchases.

What credit score do you need for Neo?

You need a minimum of 600 credit scores to qualify for a Neo credit card. This is below the requirements of most credit card providers in Canada.

Where is the Neo card accepted?

The Neo card is accepted everywhere Mastercard is accepted, be it at local or international stores.

Does Neo card build credit?

Yes, the Neo card can build your credit if you pay your bills on time. However, late payment can result in a decrease in your credit score.

How safe is Neo financial?

Neo Financial is safe as per the standard of online banks in Canada. Your deposit up to $100,000 per insured category is protected by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Learn more about how CDIC works here.
Furthermore, Neo Financial’s partnership with the industry’s giants, such as ATB Financial, Concentra Bank and Mastercard – means you’re dealing with a trusted and regulated online bank.

Is the Neo Financial Credit Card Free?

There are no annual fees for all the Neo credit cards. The basic card also has no monthly fees, but you’ll pay $2.99 to $8.99 for the premium cards that have higher cash back rates.

Final Thoughts on Neo Financial Credit Card Review

Overall, this Neo Financial Credit Card review has been positive. The card provides a great balance between a decent cash back rate and cost/fees.

All the three-tier Neo credit cards are above the industry’s average in terms of rate and fees. Thus, you can’t make the wrong choice with any of them. 

However, if you’re looking beyond the cashback rate and fees, you may want to consider the Neo credit card alternatives discussed above.

Let us know which option you’re going with in the comment section.

If you’re looking for more ways to save costs in Canada, kindly read our other relevant posts.  

Related: Neo Financial vs KOHO

Neo Financial Credit Card Review
4.5

Summary

The Neo Financial Credit Card lets you earn 4% to 6% at partner merchants and a minimum of 1% at other merchants.

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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