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Premium credit cards aren’t the only ones offering consumers lots of attractive extras. There are a bunch of excellent no fee credit cards that you should consider adding to your wallet.  If you’re looking for the best no fee credit card in Canada, check out our list.

I’ll be frank: I’ve never thought that Canada’s best no annual fee credit cards get the respect and attention they deserve.

They tend to be outshined by their premium counterparts. You know which cards I mean: those that, for the privilege of paying an annual fee of $120 (or more), give cardholders a big welcome bonus or perks like comprehensive insurance packages or airport lounge access.

I’m not saying that those costly cards aren’t worth the price (they often are). I just think that there’s a lot to be said for no annual fee credit card cards in Canada that deliver nice perks without the hefty price tag.

While the best no fee credit cards haven’t got the bells and whistles of premium plastic, many pack an impressive amount of punch underneath their no-frills exterior.

But what is the best no fee credit card in Canada? The answer depends on what you’re looking for, but here’s a list of the best no fee credit cards in Canada.

Best No Fee Credit Cards in Canada

Credit CardBest ForRead More
Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardCash BackRead More
BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*Cash BackRead More
SimplyCash™ Card from American ExpressCash BackRead More
CIBC Dividend® Visa* CardCash BackRead More
The RBC Cash Back MastercardCash BackRead More
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®Flexible RewardsRead More
Choice Card from American ExpressTMFlexible RewardsRead More
Home Trust Preferred Visa CardNo Foreign Transaction FeesRead More
MBNA True Line® Mastercard® Credit CardLow Interest RateRead More
Best Western Mastercard® Credit CardTravel RewardsRead More
BMO® AIR MILES®† No-Fee Business® Mastercard®*BusinessRead More
BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®BusinessRead More

Best For Cash Back

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

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The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is one that I proudly have in my wallet. There are few no-fee cards that can compete with its outstanding 2% cash back in two categories. You’ll even get a third 2% category if you deposit the cash you accrue from your credit card into a Tangerine Savings account (not a tough requirement given what good rates and low/no fees Tangerine accounts offer compared to Canada’s five big banks).

This is an excellent offer especially since the 2% cash back is not a promotional offer but rather the standard earn amount—such generosity is rare for a no-fee card. All other spending earns 0.5% cash back.

Another bonus: apply for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card by August 16, 2021 and earn an extra 10% back (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.*

What solidifies Tangerine’s place among the best no annual fee credit card in Canada is that cardholders get to pick what two or three categories they want to earn 2%. You can pick popular purchases like gas or groceries or more niche ones like parking or home improvement stores.

No other card (be it basic or premium) offers such flexibility.

As another plus, there is no cap whatsoever on how much you can earn in cash back and you can even switch categories should your spending habits change.

The card is also full of additional perks like a low balance transfer interest rate of only 1.95% interest for the first six months, as well as purchase assurance and extended warranty.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $12,000
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Additional Benefits: Automatic, monthly reimbursement to your credit card balance or savings account; unlimited cash back
  • Other Card Info: Purchase APR: 19.95% | Cash Advance APR: 19.95%
  • Welcome offer: Apply for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card by August 16, 2021 and earn an extra 10% back (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.*

Learn more about the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card


BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*

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If your spending doesn’t really fall into a few set categories but you want a no-fee credit card with a big cash bonus, check out the no-fee BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*.

You’ll earn 5% cash back on all purchases charged to the card in the first three months—though only for up to a maximum of $4,000 in spending (which works out to be $200 cash back). Then get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases!*

Another nice feature is that new cardholders can transfer balances from their other credit cards to the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* and enjoy an introductory interest rate of a very attractive 1.99% for the first nine months. There is a 1% fee for balance transfers, but that’s pretty standard.

Cardholders will also enjoy rental car benefits, purchase protection and extended warranty.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Income Eligibility: $15,000
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 5% cash back bonus for first 3 months on all purchases and 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months (with a 1% transfer fee)
  • Additional Benefits: Up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations, purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Other Card Info: Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents)
Learn more about the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*.

SimplyCash™ Card from American Express

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The SimplyCash™ Card from American Express is an excellent no annual fee credit card for anyone who wants to earn cash back in a simple and straightforward (but competitive) way. Upon sign up, you’ll earn a special welcome rate of 4% cash back on all purchases charged to this card for the first six months (up to $200 cash back).

After the welcome rate ends, you’ll earn 1.25% cash back after that on all purchases charged to your credit card. There is no limit on how much cash back you can earn with this credit card, and no complicated categories to navigate.

Finally, when you book travel or make purchases with the SimplyCash™ Card from American Express, your spending is protected by travel and shopping insurance coverage. You’ll be covered by travel accident insurance, buyer’s assurance, and purchase protection.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: None
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 4% cash back bonus for first six months (up to $200 cash back), 1.25% cash back after that.
  • Additional Benefits: Travel insurance, purchase protection, American Express Invites, refer a friend incentive
  • Other Card Info: Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 21.99%
Learn more about the SimplyCash™ Card from American Express.

CIBC Dividend® Visa* Card

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You can’t go wrong adding the CIBC Dividend® Visa* Card to your wallet. Not only does it have no annual fee, but you’ll earn cash back on purchases charged to the card. How it works: earn 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases, 1% cash back on eligible gas, transportation, dining purchases and recurring payments, and 0.5% cash back on everything else†. As a welcome bonus, you’ll also get 5% cash back for the first 4 statements on total purchases of up to $2,000†. Plus, there’s no limit on the total cash back you can earn. This card also comes with travel accident insurance and shopping coverage.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Annual Interest on Purchases: 19.99%
  • Annual Interest on Balance Transfers: 22.99%† (21.99% QC only)
  • Annual Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99%† (21.99% QC only)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $15,000 household
  • Credit Score Required: Good
  • Welcome offer: Get 5% cash back for the first 4 statements on total purchases of up to $2,000†.
  • Additional Benefits: Earn cash back on card purchases, includes travel insurance, includes shopping protection

Conditions apply

Quebec Residents – Learn More about this CIBC product here

Résidents du Québec : Pour en savoir plus sur ce produit CIBC, suivez ce lien

Learn more about the CIBC Dividend® Visa* Card.

The RBC Cash Back Mastercard

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If you think getting access to a decent cash back rate means you need to pay a premium, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out you’re mistaken. The RBC Cash Back Mastercard gives you 2% cash back on all your grocery store purchases (up to $6,000/year), and you can receive 1% unlimited cash back on grocery spend over $6,000/year. All other card purchases will fetch you 0.5% cash back, up to $6,000 annually. After that, you’ll start racking up to 1% unlimited cash back on all your card purchases in excess of $6,000.

On top of that, you’ll get an automatic saving of 3¢ per litre at Petro Canada and earn a 20% bonus in Petro Points when you link your card. And don’t forget the 90-day purchase security and extended warranty protection (up to one year longer) that comes with your purchases when you use this card.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good
  • Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on groceries and up to 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases and pre-authorized payments
  • Additional Perks: Purchase security and extended warranty protection, savings of 3¢ per litre on fuel at Petro Canada, and 20% more Petro Points when you link your RBC card
  • Purchase APR: 19.99%| Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Learn more about the RBC Cash Back Mastercard

Best Low Interest Rate No Annual Fee Credit Cards

MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card

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Another no-fee credit card offering an excellent interest rate is the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card. The annual interest rate on purchases, balance transfers, and access cheques is just 12.99% —which is attractive if you tend to carry a balance. Adding this card to your wallet could save you oodles in interest charges. But watch out for the interest rate on cash advances – it’s a whopping 24.99%.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Additional Perks: Low annual interest rate
  • Interest on Purchases: 12.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 24.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 12.99%

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

Learn more about the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card.

Best For Flexible Rewards

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

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Thought platinum cards were only for consumers who were willing to pay an annual fee? No way. A plethora of rewards points is what makes the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® rank among the best no annual fee credit cards in Canada.

You’ll net 2 MBNA Rewards points for each dollar you spend on gas, groceries and restaurants (up to a maximum spend of $5,000 on each category). Those categories represent common expenditures for most Canadian consumers that often make up the lion’s share of monthly spending. For all other purchases, you’ll get 1 point per $1. Points can be redeemed for an array of items like cash-back, brand-name merchandise and more.

Right now, as a welcome bonus, new cardholders will earn an extra 5,000 points after making $500 or more in eligible purchases within 90 days of your account opening. They’ll also get 5,000 more points if they enroll in paperless e-statements within 90 days of opening their account.

In addition, new cardholders also get to turbocharge their points-earning potential: earn 4 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases during the first 90 days, and 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases thereafter ($5,000 annual cap on each category). Plus, you’ll still earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases, and with no annual fee, there’s really no reason to not sign up!

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Welcome Bonus: Get 4 points per $1 on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases and up to 10,000 bonus points. (Conditions apply)
  • Interest Rate on Purchases: 19.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 24.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 22.99%
Learn more about the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®.

*This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.


Choice Card from American ExpressTM

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Rack up the rewards on every credit card purchase with the Choice Card from American ExpressTM. You may have already been collecting Membership Rewards points, or you may be new to the program, but either way, the welcome offer means your tally grows by 10,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on your card in the first three months. And you continue to reap your rewards at a rate of 1 Membership Rewards® point per dollar.

When it comes time to redeem you have a few options. You can redeem your points toward eligible everyday card purchases such as groceries and streaming services, plus travel and more. You can visit Membershiprewards.ca and redeem your points for gift cards and merchandise, or even use them towards eligible Amazon.ca purchases. And last, but not least, you can spend your points on new travel purchases booked on American Express Travel Online through the Flexible Points Travel Program. 

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: 10,000 Membership Rewards points 
  • Additional Perks: Exclusive entertainment access, earn reward points on every card purchase
  • Purchase APR: 19.99%| Cash Advance APR: 21.99%

Learn more about the Choice Card from American Express

Best No Foreign Transaction Fees with No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Home Trust Preferred Visa Card

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For a good all-around no-fee card, check out the Home Trust Preferred Visa Card. It offers a suite of practical benefits and perks. If you are spending a lot on online purchases, you may be spending money in shops outside of Canada. This card will save you the 2.5% foreign exchange fee that so many cards charge on top of foreign currency purchases.  For all card purchases made within Canada, you also get cash back rewards! While 1% back isn’t the most competitive earn rate, it’s the icing on the cake when you consider the other fees that you’re saving on. And it’s always nice to see some cash coming back to you as you spend. The purchase security and rental car coverage are fairly standard, but still a great benefit as well.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Fair
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
  • Interest Rate on Purchases: 19.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 18.99%

Learn more about the Home Trust Preferred Visa Card

Best For Travel

Best Western Mastercard® Credit Card

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For a no annual fee travel credit card that will get you free hotel stays, check out the Best Western Mastercard® credit card. For starters, new cardholders will receive a welcome bonus of 20,000 Best Western Rewards® points after their first eligible purchase. Depending on the property, redemption for hotel stays requires anywhere between 8,000 to 36,000 points per night – so that welcome bonus easily gives you one night free at a selection of Best Western hotels.

After that, you’ll earn 5 Best Western Rewards® points for every dollar spent at Best Western Hotels, and 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere. Plus, you’ll automatically earn Gold Elite Status after your first eligible purchase, with the chance to be upgraded to Diamond Status if you spend $10,000 on your card. Points can be redeemed for hotel stays, dining cards, gift cards and more – the choice is yours! With 100 Best Western Hotels around the world, this is a great card for travellers to have in their wallets.

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Income Eligibility: None
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Welcome Bonus: 20,000 Best Western Rewards® points
  • Other Card Details: Annual Interest Rate on Purchases (“AIR”): 19.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 22.99%
Learn more about the Best Western Mastercard® credit card.

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.

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.

Best For Business

BMO® AIR MILES®† No-Fee Business® Mastercard®*

If you are looking for a great no annual fee business card that will allow you to collect AIR MILES, then take a look at the BMO® AIR MILES®† No-Fee Business® Mastercard®*. Cardholders earn 1 Mile for every $20 in card purchases and 1.25X the Miles for every $20 spent at participating Shell stations. While the earn rate leaves a lot to be desired, it is one of the only no annual fee travel credit cards on the market that allows cardholders to collect AIR MILES. Plus, new cardholders can earn up to 1000 AIR MILES bonus Miles. How it works: receive 500 Miles after your first purchase within 45 days of card membership, and then 500 additional Miles after spending $2,500 in net card purchases within the first three months of account opening. Not too shabby!

The Details

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: Get up to 1,000 Bonus AIR MILES
  • Other Card Details: Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Learn more about the BMO® AIR MILES®† No-Fee Business® Mastercard®*.


BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®

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The BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®  allows you to cash back on business expenses without paying an annual fee. With this card, you get 1.5% cash back on eligible gas stations, office supplies purchases and on cell phone and internet recurring payments. You’ll also get 1.75% cash back on card purchases at Shell stations, and a base rate of 0.75% cash back on all other card purchases.

The welcome offer is also highly competitive: earn 10% cash back on gas stations, office supplies and recurring phone and internet bills in the first four months. Other benefits include optional employee cards protected by a Liability Waiver Program, as well as purchase protection and extended warranties.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: 10% cash back on gas, office supplies, and cell phone/internet bills
  • Additional Benefits: Cash back on all purchases, purchase protection and extended warranty, incredibly flexible redemption options
  • Interest on Purchases: 19.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99%

Learn more about the BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®*.

Comparing the Best No Fee Credit Cards in Canada

Credit CardWelcome OfferStand Out Feature More Info
Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardEarn an extra 10% back* for a limited time with the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. (Conditions apply.)Earn unlimited cash back on everyday purchasesVisit Site
BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*5% cash back bonus for first 3 months on all purchasesEarn up to 3% cash back on card purchases.Visit Site
SimplyCash™ Card from American Express2.50% cash back on all purchases charged to your card for the first three months (up to $150 cashback)Earn 1.25% unlimited cash back on card purchasesVisit Site
CIBC Dividend® Visa* CardGet 5% cash back for the first 4 statements on total purchases of up to $2,000†2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases;
1% cash back on eligible gas, transportation, dining purchases and recurring payments†;
0.5% cash back on everything else†;
Get cash back on demand - redeem your cash back at any time when you have a minimum of $25 through CIBC Online and Mobile Banking®
Visit Site
The RBC Cash Back MastercardNoneEarn 2% cash back on groceries and up to 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases and pre-authorized paymentsVisit Site
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®Get 4 points per $1 on eligible gas, groceries and restaurants purchases and up to 10,000 bonus points (conditions apply).Earn MBNA rewards on card purchasesVisit Site
Choice Card from American ExpressTMWelcome offer: 10,000 Bonus Membership Rewards® pointsEarn reward points on every card purchaseVisit Site
Home Trust Preferred Visa CardNoneNo foreign transaction feesVisit Site
MBNA True Line® Mastercard® Credit CardNoneLow interest rateVisit Site
Best Western Mastercard® Credit Card20,000 Best Western Rewards® pointsEarn rewards on card purchasesVisit Site
BMO® AIR MILES®† No-Fee Business® Mastercard®*Get up to 1,000 Bonus AIR MILESEarn AIR MILES on card purchasesVisit Site
BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®10% cash back on gas, office supplies, and cell phone/internet billsEarn cash back on all card purchasesVisit Site

The Best Credit Cards by Category:

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

Article comments

1 comment
BartBandy says:

These rankings seem to be tilted towards the introductory rewards, and yet most card holders keep their cards for much longer period (and shouldn’t be opening new cards every 3 months unless they want to do damage to their credit score). Can you re-run the analysis on which is the best no-fee card AFTER the introductory period? That would be far more useful.