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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 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 CardEarn unlimited cash back on everyday purchasesRead OnVisit Site
BMO® CashBack® Mastercard®*5% cash back bonus for first 3 months on all purchasesRead OnVisit 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)Read OnVisit Site
CIBC Dividend® Visa* CardEarn 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases and get up to 1% cash back on everything else (conditions apply)Read OnVisit Site
No-Fee Scotiabank Value® Visa* cardNo balance transfer feeRead OnVisit Site
MBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit cardLow interest rateRead OnVisit Site
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).Read OnVisit Site

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.

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%

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%
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.

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 2.50% cash back bonus for first three months (up to $150 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 your first $6,000 on net annual eligible grocery purchases, and 0.5% cash back on your first $6,000 on all other annual purchases. After that, earn 1% cash back on all other annual purchases over $6,000. 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
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $15,000 household
  • Credit Score Required: Good
  • Additional Benefits: Earn cash back on card purchases, includes travel insurance, includes shopping protection
  • Annual Interest on Purchases: 19.99% | Annual Interest on Cash Advances: 22.99%
Learn more about the CIBC Dividend® Visa* Card.

Conditions apply

Insurance coverage(s) included with CIBC credit cards are underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. You may contact the insurer at 1 866 363-3338 in Canada and the U.S or collect from elsewhere at 905 403-3338 or visit cibccentre.rsagroup.ca. Some insurance coverage(s) require purchase(s), common carrier fares, accommodations and other trip costs to be charged to the card to activate coverage. Other conditions may apply. For important information regarding coverage, eligibility requirements, benefits, pre-existing health/medical conditions, limitations and exclusions, see cibc.com/ca/credit-card/agreements-insurance.html and the insurance certificate(s) in your card package.


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:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: $12,000
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Welcome Offer: 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (16.99% after that)
  • Additional Perks: Discounts at AVIS and Budget Rent-A-Car locations
  • Other Card Info: Purchase APR: 16.99% | Cash Advance APR: 16.99%
Learn more about No-Fee Scotiabank Value® Visa* card

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 No Foreign Transaction Fees No Annual Fee Credit Cards

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

  • 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.

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.