Looks like National Bank has decided to join the cash back competition introducing their newest MasterCard called the National Bank Echo Cashback MasterCard. Now why they have named it the Echo we haven’t too much a clue, but its returns and benefits definitely send a (large) echo to consumers.
Here’s what the Echo MasterCard has to offer:
- No annual fee
- 3% cash back on gas, grocery and online purchases for the first 3 months (limited time offer with no specified termination date)
- 1.5% cash back on gas grocery and online purchases after the promotion
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
One of the best benefits for this card is that you can claim your credit for every $25 CAD that has been accumulated as opposed to other cash back credit cards which allow you to claim your credit on the month stated every year.
Terms and Conditions
Basically, there’s only one condition: you are not currently a National Bank credit cardholder, which I believe most consumers in Canada are not.
Additionally, as the terms are set, you will earn 1% cash back for all your purchases but an additional 0.5% return will be given for any gas purchases, grocery purchases, and any purchases you make online with your National Bank Echo MasterCard.
During the promotional period, you are eligible to earn 3% during the first three months or $6,000 CAD worth of purchases, whichever comes first. After the promotional period, the additional 0.5% cash back amount is rewarded only on the first $25,000 CAD of eligible purchases. When your annual purchases have exceeded $25,000 CAD, then you are no longer eligible to receive the additional 0.5% return.
Any purchases made which are relate to air transportation, accommodation, vehicle rental and ground transportation is excluded from receiving the additional 0.5% return.
With a few similar cash back credit cards out on the Canadian market presently, this creates a bit of competition for the Echo:
1. MBNA Smart Cash Platinum MasterCard – no annual fee, earn 5% on gas, grocery for the first 6 months, then 2% after the promotional period and 1% return on all other purchases, credit can be claimed for every $50 CAD accumulation
2. Capital One Platinum MasterCard – no annual fee, earn 3% on dining, 2% on gas and 1% on all other purchases; cash back in January statement as a rebate coupon for Costco
3. Tangerine Money Back MasterCard – no annual fee, earn 4% on up to three categories of your choice for the first 3 months, then 2% thereafter and 1% on all other purchases
4. AMEX SimplyCash Card – no annual fee, earn 5% on gas, grocery and restaurants for the first 6 months, then 1.25% when the welcome rate ends.
5. Scotiabank Momentum Infinite Visa – $99 annual fee, earn 4% on gas and groceries, 2% on drug store and recurring payments and 1% on all other purchases; credit on your November statement
The Bottom Line
Nonetheless, the Echo Mastercard by National Bank is a good addition to the list of cash back credit cards available in Canada and definitely gives us another option when considering cash back returns. The 1% cash back return is comparable to a lot of other no annual fee cash back credit cards and can be a good strategy for National Bank to gain some recognition and compete with other credit cards.