In Canada, the plethora of available credit cards can make selecting the right one challenging. Credit card companies entice consumers with enticing rewards, cashback offers, air miles, and various other perks to lure them towards their cards.
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that many of these credit cards are not without cost, as they come with annual fees that can amount to over $100 per year. Your accumulated rewards may outweigh the annual fee if you frequently utilise a credit card. However, a no-fee credit card would be an ideal choice if you only use your credit card sparingly or reserve it for emergencies.
Our carefully compiled list features the top 10 no-fee credit cards in Canada, each offering remarkable features such as cashback benefits, welcome bonuses, and competitive interest rates, all without imposing an annual fee.
Before deciding and applying for any credit card, we highly recommend examining this curated list of Canada’s best no-fee credit cards. Doing so lets you determine which cards provide the greatest value tailored to your specific needs.
10 Best No-Fee Credit Cards in Canada
Some Canadians don’t like paying annual fees for their credit cards because they are not spending enough to offset the annual fee, not using the insurance and perks, or just choosing not to pay them.
Luckily for them, I have put together the best no-fee credit cards in Canada. These cards offer sweet rewards and some basic perks and still give you insurance on the side.
Let’s take a look at them.
While most credit cards in Canada place you into a preset category to earn bonus rewards, the Tangerine World Mastercard lets you choose three categories to earn the 2% cashback rate.
The Tangerine World Mastercard is among the best no-fee credit cards in Canada. You can adjust your categories every three months to fit your preferred expenses and continue earning cashback rewards.
The credit card offers excellent no-fee card benefits, like mobile device protection and rental car insurance. As a traveller, you will also get Mastercard perks like Boingo WI-Fi and LoungeKey Membership.
- Minimum income: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household
- Spend $1,000 and earn 10% cash back in the first two months
- Earn 2% cash back on any three categories of your choice
- Mobile device insurance when you buy your phone with the card
- Get extra bonus categories when you redeem your rewards into your Tangerine Savings account
- No annual fee
- High 2% earning rate
- Unlimited money-back rewards
- Exclusive experiences through MasterCard
- Travel insurance would be a welcome addition to the travel-related benefits.
- High minimum income requirement
If you are looking for a no-fee credit card that has simplicity, flexibility and offers cash back on everyday spending, Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is your card.
The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is Canada’s only no-fee credit card offering 2% cash back in up to three categories while allowing you to choose your categories.
You can pick between bonus categories like gas, groceries, recurring bills, pharmacy purchases, dining, public transit, furniture, and home improvement.
You are not locked into your choices as you can change the bonus categories if you want to, though you will have to wait for one or two statement periods. And for every purchase that doesn’t fall under any of your bonus categories, you earn 0.5% cashback.
- Earn 2% cash back in two bonus categories of your choice
- Earn 0.5% on any other purchases
- An interest rate of 19.95 for purchases
- Accessible Internet and mobile banking
- Unlimited cashback rewards
- Tailor the 2% cash back to your spending by choosing the two most suitable categories
- Transfer balances within 30 days of using the card and pay only 1.95% interest on the transferred balance
- Free 90-day purchase protection
- 1-year extended warranty
- No physical branch locations
- Lower cash back on other categories
If you are looking for a credit card not restricted to a couple of categories to offer your rewards, you should consider the Neo Financial Standard Mastercard.
The Neo Financial Standard Mastercard offers you the best earning rate, and you get 1% cash back on all purchases. Neo company offers plenty of retailers they have partnered with to offer you enough bonus rewards.
Whenever you shop with Neo’s partners using the Neo Financial Standard Mastercard, you get an average of 4% cashback. Many of Neo’s partnered retailers across Canada include grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, subscription services, etc.
- Welcome bonus of 25% cash back at Neo’s partner stores
- 1% cash back for all purchases
- 4% cash back for all purchases at Neo’s partner stores
- Redeem cash back quickly towards credit card balance
- Interest rate: 19.99% purchase and 24.99% cash advances
- Earn an average of 4% cash back on gas, grocery stores, and more.
- You can cash out anytime with just one tap.
- Access to your transactions through a mobile app
- There is a 2.5% Foreign Exchange Fee.
- No basic insurance
- No extended benefits
4. MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard
If you are looking for a no-fee credit card that offers insurance, the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is perfect.
This credit card offers several kinds of insurance, including rental car collision, balance protection, extended warranty, unexpected home return, and accidental death and dismemberment.
For every $1 spent on utility payments, groceries, restaurant purchases, and digital media memberships, you receive 2 MBNA reward points. You can redeem your points by using them for travel, cash back, gift cards, merchandise, etc.
When you open a new account and sign up for paperless e-statements, you will earn 4 MBNA reward points for every $1 spent. You will also receive a welcome bonus of 10,000 points that you can redeem as $100 for travel.
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases like grocery, restaurants, household utility purchases, and membership
- Earn 1 point on every dollar spent on other purchases
- Earn 4 points on every dollar spent for eligible purchases for the first 90 days
- Enjoy 5,000 bonus points after your first $500 eligible purchases within the first 90 days and 5,000 bonus points for paperless e-statement acceptance.
- Purchase protection and extended warranty
- You can redeem your points for any kind of reward you choose
- An interest rate of 19.99 for purchases and 24.99 for cash advances
- Easy to qualify for
- Reliable customer support
- Zero liability insurance
- Enhanced security
- Enjoy decent returns on travel rewards
- High interest
- No comprehensive benefits like travel insurance or mobile device protection
5. CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card
The CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card is Canada’s best rewards credit card and an Aeroplan co-branded card that offers quite amazing perks to Aeroplan members.
The credit card has a welcome bonus of 10000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase. Cardholders get modest flight discounts of 8-15% on most routes on Aeroplan flight rewards for Air Canada flights.
You will always receive the preferred pricing discounts on all Aeroplan rewards when you use this no-fee CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card and continue to collect Aeroplan points. Your Aeroplan points never expire if your card is active and open.
- Minimum income: $15,000 personal or household
- Interest rates: Purchases interest of 20.99%/Cash advances interest of 22.99%
- Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
- Aeroplan preferred pricing on Air Canada flights
- Earn 1x Aeroplan points on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases
- Aeroplan rewards
- Low-income requirements
- No annual fee
- High-interest rates
- Minimal travel benefits
6. SimplyCash from American Express
SimplyCash from American Express is one of Canada’s best no-fee credit cards due to its simplicity. No matter what you buy, the credit card offers an impressive 1.25% cash back. If you sign-up for the card, you get a welcome bonus of 4% cash back on whatever you buy for the first six months up to a $200 limit.
To spice it all up, the SimplyCash from American Express offers insurance coverage. AMEX Buyer Protection Plan covers all purchases made with the SimplyCash card for up to one additional year.
This insurance policy also insures eligible purchases charged to the card against accidental physical damages for up to $1000 per occurrence. As a traveller, when you buy tickets with the SimplyCash from American Express card, you can get $100,000 in travel accident insurance.
- Earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases once the welcome rate ends
- Income required: None specified
- Up to $100,000 in travel accident insurance
- Presale ticket access to live events with American Express Front of the Line
- Enjoy AMEX Buyer’s Protection Plan insurance.
- Interest rate: 19.99% purchase and 21.99% cash advance and balance transfers
- Enjoy free additional cards at no extra costs
- Excellent customer service
- Access to custom entertainment packages
- Enjoy special offers and virtual events curated specially for cardmembers
- Access memorable events and front-of-the-line services, like ticket purchases
- Late payments incur penalties
- The card is not widely accepted overseas
7. BRIM Mastercard
The BRIM Mastercard is one excellent no-annual-fee credit card in Canada. While many Canadian credit cards charge foreign transaction fees on every purchase you make in an international currency, the BRIM Mastercard does not charge foreign transaction fees.
The BRIM Mastercard offers you convenience and added security while shopping abroad without any added cost. Even when you are making purchases in Canada, the BRIM Mastercard is very beneficial.
This credit card offers you at least 1 point/dollar for every purchase you make while also allowing you to rack up your bonus points at over 200 stores across Canada. As a cardholder, you can enjoy many valuable side perks like mobile device insurance, free Boingo Wifi membership, and travel accident insurance.
- Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on everyday purchases
- Earn 30 points for every dollar spent with Brim partners
- Access to Boingo Wifi
- Enjoy multiple forms of insurance
- Earn $200 worth of bonus points for the first time shopping with Brim mobile app
- No foreign transaction fees
- Enjoy 2000 pints referral bonus
- Family members above 13 can have their Brim cards
- You can redeem rewards on any purchase
- Secure your card quickly through the mobile app
- The credit card is unbanked
- It offers fewer benefits than other BRIM cards
The Triangle Mastercard from Canadian Tire offers you impressive reward rates in Canadian Tire Money (CTM). When you purchase an item at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, or any affiliate stores, you earn 4% in CTM and 1.5% when you make up to $12,000 purchases at any grocery store except Walmart or Costco.
If you make gas purchases for Gas+ or other participating Hustky Stations, you will earn $0.05 for every litre of gas you buy.
If you are a frequent shopper at Canadian Tire, this credit card is best for you. You can redeem your CTM at sporting goods stores across Canada, clothing retailers, or Canadian Tire.
- Earn 4% in CTM for purchases at Canadian Tire, Sport Check, and other participation stores
- Earn 1.5% in CTM when you buy groceries up to the first $12,000 per year
- Receive 5 cents for every litre of gas you fill at Gas+ or some Husky stations.
- Interest rates of 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances
- Enhanced security
- Zero liability insurance
- Excellent customer service
- Easy to qualify for this card
- Quickly return items bought with this card
- High-interest rate
- No basic insurance
- You can only redeem your rewards at specified stores
- You can’t qualify for other benefits like travel coverage, etc
9. BMO CashBack Mastercard
The BMO CashBack Mastercard is one of the best credit cards in Canada, designed with Canadian students in mind. With its zero annual fees, it also offers a welcome bonus of 5% cash back for the first three months and a yearly low-income requirement of $15,000,
The BMO CashBack Mastercard has standard insurance coverage like purchase protection and an extended warranty. The card also offers a 3% cash back on groceries and a 2% cash back on recurring bill payments for every $500 spent monthly in each category.
As a student, the 5% cashback welcome bonus can be helpful at the beginning of the semester. If you plan the timing well enough, you can get cashback rewards on the books you will buy that semester.
- Interest rates: purchases 19.99%, cash advances 22.99%, balance transfers 22.99%
- 3% in cash back on grocery purchases
- 1% in cash back on recurring bill payments
- You can use the Pay with Points option to redeem your points to cover transactions.
- Extended warranty and purchase protection.
- To apply, you must be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in your province and have a Canadian credit file.
- Attractive introductory offer
- No minimum threshold for redeeming your cash-back rewards
- Unlike other cards, it offers fewer travel perks and types of insurance
- Accelerated earn rates for groceries and recurring bills are capped at $500 per billing cycle,
10. Rogers World Elite Mastercard
The Rogers World Elite Mastercard is Canada’s best no-fee credit card for everyone looking for a no-fee credit card with travel insurance.
This credit card doesn’t require extra money to cover your emergency travels. The Rogers World El Elite Mastercard covers out-of-province and Out-of-country emergency medical insurance, collision and damage coverage for car rentals, and trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Whatever item you purchase, you earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar you spend with the credit card. When you buy things in U.S. currency, you earn 3% cashback. New members receive a $25 welcome bonus whenever they make their first purchase.
- $25 cash back for your first purchase
- 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- 3% cash back on all U.S.D purchases
- The interest rate of 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advanced and balance transfers
- Income requirements of $80,000 and $150,000 for individuals and households, respectively,
- Travel insurance coverage
- Access to Mastercard perks like Loungekey, Boingo Wifi, and Mastercard Travel Rewards
- Emergency medical coverage
- Your purchases are well-secured and protected
- Zero liability insurance
- Quick and easy payments
- Additional fees
- High-income requirement
- Penalties for late payment
- High-interest rate
How We Picked the Best No-Fee Credit Cards in Canada
From personal experience and after thorough research on each of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada listed above, we noticed that these cards have features usually reserved for cards with an annual fee.
These credit cards offer lucrative sign-up bonuses, low-interest balance promotions, strong cashback reward rates, etc.
While many other credit cards exist in Canada, we have singled out these no-fee credit cards.
They are unique and allow their cardholders to enjoy various amazing features, rewards, the most prolonged period of introductory rates, and the chance to build their credit history or score.
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Why You Should Consider Getting a No-Fee Credit Card
Choosing the right credit card depends on your credit usage and what you hope to gain from it. However, there are several compelling reasons why you might want to opt for a no-fee credit card.
- Building your credit: If you’re a student or a recent immigrant in Canada, chances are you have limited or no credit history. Starting your credit-building journey in Canada with a no-fee credit card is an excellent option. It allows you to establish your credit history and improve your credit score, and you can do so without incurring an annual fee. While you may eventually desire a more prestigious and expensive credit card, starting with a no-fee option is smart.
- Infrequent credit card use: If you don’t regularly use a credit card, paying an annual fee is simply not worthwhile. A no-fee credit card is better if you only occasionally rely on a credit card for specific purchases. With this card type, you won’t have to concern yourself with an extra yearly bill for a privilege you rarely take advantage of. You can use your no-fee credit card as sparingly as you like without worrying about being charged for infrequent usage.
- Need for an additional card: Many individuals prefer to carry multiple credit cards, citing various benefits in different situations. If you already possess a credit card with enticing perks and rewards but an accompanying annual fee, having a no-fee card as a backup can prove advantageous. These cards come in handy for everyday expenses like groceries and gas, allowing you to enjoy cashback rates without the burden of a yearly charge. While your annual fee credit card might be your go-to for travel expenses as a frequent traveller, a no-fee credit card can effectively complement your financial arsenal.
Things To Look Out For In A No-Fee Credit Card
- Welcome Bonus: A generous welcome bonus can expedite your decision-making process when selecting a no-fee credit card. Many credit card companies entice new customers with attractive incentives, often exceeding average point values or cashback offers during the initial months of card ownership. Remember that some welcome bonuses may require a minimum spending threshold, so consider planning a few significant purchases within the specified time frame.
- Interest Rates: Interest rates play a crucial role when choosing a credit card, particularly if you anticipate carrying a balance from month to month. The standard purchase interest rate for most credit cards in Canada is 19.99%. It’s advisable to avoid cards with interest rates exceeding 20%, as they can lead to mounting debt if not managed carefully.
- Insurance: While not all no-fee credit cards provide insurance coverage, it’s worth paying attention to this aspect if it aligns with your needs. Although insurance coverage may not be essential for all Canadians, it can be a valuable addition. Take note of which no-fee credit cards offer insurance coverage as part of their package. Common types of coverage include travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, and mobile device protection.
- Rewards: Your primary spending category and intended card usage should guide your selection of a no-fee credit card, as this will determine the rewards you receive. If you frequently travel, opt for a credit card that offers accelerated points on travel purchases. On the other hand, if you plan to use the card for everyday essentials like groceries and gas, look for a credit card that provides a high cashback rate on those specific purchases.
Final Thoughts on Best No-Fee Credit Cards in Canada
When it comes to finding the best no-fee credit cards in Canada, it’s crucial to consider several key factors. Look for cards with enticing welcome bonuses, competitive interest rates below 20%, and valuable insurance coverage that aligns with your needs.
Additionally, prioritize rewards that match your spending habits, whether you’re a frequent traveler or prefer earning cash back on everyday purchases like groceries and gas.
Ready to discover the perfect no-fee credit card for you? Take advantage of the benefits and savings they offer by comparing and applying for the best options available. Start exploring your options today and find the ideal credit card that suits your financial goals and lifestyle. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to maximize your rewards and save money – apply now!
FAQs on Best No Fee Credit Cards Canada
Do all credit cards have an annual fee?
No. While there are lots of credit cards that charge annual fees, there are still credit cards with no annual fee in Canada. However, these cards that do not charge yearly fees have fewer benefits than those that charge annual fees.
How do I get a no-annual-fee card?
To get a no-fee credit card in Canada, simply apply online after comparing your options with our list and choosing your most suitable card. Provide information on your identity, income, citizenship, or residency so the lender can perform a credit check. Your card will be mailed to you once approved.
Is a no-annual-fee card good for rebuilding credit?
You might not get approved for a no-fee credit card if you have a lower credit score. A better option for rebuilding your credit score is a secured credit card. Secured credit cards are easy to approve and are generally best for rebuilding your credit.
What other fees apply to a no-annual-fee card?
Though you won’t have to worry about annual fees with these credit cards, there are other fees you will have to pay depending on the card you use. You might have to pay a late payment fee, a balance transfer fee, a cash advance fee, a returned payment fee, an over-limit fee, a foreign transaction fee, a card replacement fee, and more.