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 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 CardSpecial FeatureMore Info
Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardSpecial offer: Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to three Money-Back Categories for the first three months – Apply by January 31, 2020Learn More
BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*5% cash back bonus for first 3 months on all purchasesLearn More
SimplyCash™ Card from American Express2.50% cash back on all purchases charged to your card for the first three months (up to $150 cashback)Learn More
No-Fee Scotiabank Value® VISA* CardNo balance transfer feeLearn More
MBNA True Line® Mastercard®0% promotional balance transfer rate for the first 12 months (offer ends February 29, 2020)Learn More
American Express® AIR MILES®* Credit Card1.99% balance transfer interest rate for first 6 monthsLearn More
Rogers™ World Elite Mastercard®4% unlimited cash back on all purchases made in foreign dollarsLearn More
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®Welcome bonus: Get 4 points per $1 on eligible gas, groceries and restaurants purchases and up to 10,000 bonus points (conditions apply).Learn More

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

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The Tangerine Money-Back MasterCard 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. 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. In case you need more reasons to apply, Tangerine is currently offering a promotion until January 31, 2020, that lets new cardholders earn 4% money back in up to three categories for their first three months. 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:

  • Special offer: Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to three Money-Back Categories for the first three months – Apply by January 31, 2020
  • 2% cash back on two eligible Tangerine spending categories (groceries, gas, drug store, restaurants, recurring bill payments, furniture, home improvements, hotels, entertainment, public transportation/parking)
  • 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • Automatic, monthly reimbursement to your credit card balance or savings account

Learn more about the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard 


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). After that, you’ll get 1% cash back on all card purchases* with no caps, not category limits. 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:

  • Easy, flexible redemption
  • 5% cash back bonus for first 3 months on all purchases
  • 1% cash back on all credit card purchases when your sign-up bonus ends
  • 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months (with a 1% transfer fee)
  • Free supplementary cards

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 2.50% cash back on all purchases charged to this card for the first three months (up to $150 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.

Beyond earning cash back, the SimplyCash™ Card from American Express also offers a special 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months if you choose to transfer your other credit card balances to this card. You can transfer up to half of your credit limit or $7,500 – whichever is lower – and there is no balance transfer fee. Just make it your mission to pay down the balance ASAP, because the introductory balance transfer interest rate will increase to 22.99% following the 6-month promotional period or if you have 1 missed payment.

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:

  • Special Offer: Earn 2.50% cash back on all purchases charged to your card for the first three months (up to $150 cashback)
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases charged to your card
  • Special introductory 1.99% balance transfer interest rate for the first six months
  • Refer a friend and earn $100 cash back for approved applications up to a maximum of $1,500.

Other card details: Interest on Balance Transfers & Cash Advances: 22.99% | Interest on Purchases: 19.99%

Learn more about the SimplyCash™ Card from American Express.


Best Balance Transfer No Annual Fee Credit Cards

No-Fee Scotiabank Value® VISA* Card

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A balance transfer offer is a real boon for Canadians carrying debt on high-interest credit cards. One of the top no-fee credit cards on the market is the No-Fee Scotiabank Value® VISA* Card. With its low balance transfer interest rate, no annual fee, and no transfer fee, this card could save you tons of money. Currently, the card is offering a 3.99% introductory interest rate for new cardholders on balance transfers for the first six months. Afterwards, the interest on the transferred amounts goes up to 16.99%. This is also the APR that will be charged on new purchases and for cash advances, which is a good standard rate, especially for cash advances. A sweet (and rare) extra is that there is no fee whatsoever to do the balance transfer during the promotional period. Cardholders can also save up to 25% off rental car rates at AVIS and Budget in North America when you pay with your No-Fee Scotiabank Value® VISA* Card.

The Details:

  • 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (16.99% after that)
  • No balance transfer fee
  • Save up to 25% off base rates at participating AVIS locations and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S. when charged to your credit card.

Learn more about the No-Fee Scotiabank Value® VISA* Card.


MBNA True Line® Mastercard®

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Another no-fee credit card offering an excellent balance transfer promo is the MBNA True Line® Mastercard®. For a limited time, new cardholders enjoy a 0% interest rate for the first 12 months on any balance transfers done within the first 90 days of opening an account. Apply now because this promo ends on February 29, 2020! After the promotional period ends, the regular balance transfer interest rate is 12.99%, which is still lower than the interest rate of many other credit cards. (But watch out: the interest rate for cash advances is a whopping 24.99%). It’s important to note that, while the normal balance transfer fee is 1% of the amount transferred, for the promotional 0% rate, your transfers will be subject to a 3% fee—which could still well be worth it if you are carrying a lot of high-interest credit card debt.

The Details:

  • 0% promotional balance transfer rate for the first 12 months (offer ends February 29, 2020)
  • Low 12.99% Annual Interest Rate on Purchases (“AIR”)
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% (minimum fee of $7.50)

Learn more about the MBNA True Line® Mastercard®.

Other card details: Interest on Cash Advances: 24.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 12.99% | Interest on Purchases: 12.99%

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


American Express® AIR MILES®* Credit Card

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The American Express® AIR MILES®* Credit Card is an excellent no annual fee credit card if you are looking to earn AIR MILES. New cardholders receive a welcome bonus of 500 AIR MILES when you charge a total of $500 in purchases to your card within your first three months of card membership. In terms of spending, it’s easy to rack up the miles when you earn 1 Mile for every $15 in card purchases at AIR MILES Sponsors and 1 Reward Mile for every $20 in Card purchases everywhere else. To supercharge your rewards, give the retailers your AIR MILES number at checkout and earn your rewards twice.

Beyond earning AIR MILES, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Credit Card also has a balance transfer offer. When you sign up for this credit card, you’ll have the option to transfer a balance from another credit card. You can transfer up to half of your credit limit or $7,500, whichever is less. This balance transfer is subject to a special interest rate of 1.99% for the first six months, and there is no fee associated with transferring a balance. But make paying down the balance your mission since the balance transfer interest rate increases to 22.99% following the promotional period or if you have 1 missed payment.

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Credit Card also offers some basic shopping and travel insurance, including travel accident insurance, buyer’s assurance and purchase protection. This is a relatively basic suite of insurance but is nonetheless nice to have with a no annual fee credit card.

The Details

  • Earn 500 AIR MILES Bonus Miles upon sign-up
  • Earn 1 Mile for every $15 spent at AIR MILES Sponsors, 1 Mile for every $20 spent everywhere else
  • Special 1.99% balance transfer interest rate for the first six months

Other card details: Interest on Balance Transfers & Cash Advances: 22.99%| Interest on Purchases: 19.99%

Learn more about the American Express® AIR MILES®* Credit Card.


Best No Foreign Transaction Fees No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Rogers™ World Elite Mastercard®

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If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ll definitely find that Rogers™ World Elite Mastercard® is one of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada. It’s the only no-fee card in the country that essentially nullifies FX fees (that annoying 2.5% most credit cards charge for all purchases made in foreign currency) by offering 4% unlimited cash back on all purchases you make in foreign dollars.

The card also features the highest flat cashback rate of any no annual fee card in Canada with an incredible 1.75% cash back on all other non-foreign dollar purchases. That amount goes up to 2% in unlimited cash back when you charge any Rogers products and services to your card. Presently, as a sign-up bonus, you’ll also earn $25 in cash back once you charge your first purchase within the first three months. Rogers™ World Elite Mastercard® also offers some of the best insurance coverage—like rental car collision/damage, emergency medical, trip interruption and trip cancellation—of any no-fee credit card in the country.

The Details:

  • 4% unlimited cash back on all purchases you make in foreign dollars
  • 1.75% cash back on all other non-foreign dollar purchases
  • 2% unlimited cash back rewards on Rogers™ products and services charged to your card
  • Outstanding insurance coverage

Learn more about the Rogers™ World Elite Mastercard®. 


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 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 travel, hotels, 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:

  • Welcome bonus: Get 4 points per $1 on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases and up to 10,000 bonus points. (Conditions apply)
  • Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible gas, groceries and restaurants purchases ($5,000 max annual spend per category)
  • Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Redeem your points for travel, cash back, and more

Other card details:  Annual Interest Rate on Purchases (“AIR”): 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.

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 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.