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Best No Annual Fee American Express Cards in Canada 2024

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A no annual fee credit card means you don’t have to worry about paying hundreds of dollars every year to enjoy the basic protections offered by a credit card.

And considering that the top no-annual fee American Express Cards offer competitive rewards and benefits, getting one can be a no-brainer if you are in the market for a new credit card.

While Amex Cards are not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard, they are increasingly popular in Canada and often beat their competitors on the perks provided.

Read on to learn about the best no annual fee Amex credit cards and alternatives.

Best No Annual Fee American Express Cards

CardAnnual feeBest ForWelcome Bonus
SimplyCash Card from American Express$0Cash back$10 monthly statement credit for 10 months ($100 value)
American Express Green Card$0General rewards10,000 points
American Express Essential Credit Card$0Low interest rate

1. SimplyCash Card from American Express

The SimplyCash Card from American Express is one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.

For a no-fee credit card, this card also offers some interesting travel benefits, including a $100,000 travel accident insurance coverage.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Best for: Cash back

Cardholders earn 2% cash back on gas and grocery purchases ($300 annual cash back limit at the 2% rate; 1.25% after) and 1.25% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

You get access to exclusive offers with American Express, and this card comes with standard purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

Learn more in this review.

SimplyCash Card from American Express

Rewards and benefits: Earn up to 2% cash back on gas and groceries; 1.25% cash back on all other purchases; travel accident insurance.

Welcome offer: NA

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

2. American Express Green Card

Formerly known as the Amex Choice Card, the American Express Green Card is a no-annual-fee credit card you can use to earn rewards.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Best for: General rewards

Cardholders earn 1 point per $1 spent on everyday purchases and an additional point per dollar spent on bookings via Amex Travel Online.

You can easily transfer and convert your points on a 1:1 basis to other frequent flyer loyalty programs. You can also redeem your points for travel purchases, gift cards, purchases at Amazon.ca, and more.

This card comes with a standard extended warranty and purchase protection insurance coverage.

Learn more in this review.

American Express Green Card

Rewards: Earn 1x pts per $1 spent on all purchases.

Welcome offer: NA

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

3. American Express Essential Credit Card

The American Express Essential Credit Card is the third no annual fee Amex Card available in Canada. If you are looking for a low-interest credit card to save on interest fees, this card is worth checking out.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Best for: Low interest rates

The 12.99% annual interest rate on purchases and cash advances is this card’s top feature, and you don’t earn points or cash back when you spend.

Also, cardholders benefit from $100,000 travel accident insurance and the perks available through American Express Experiences.

What To Look For in a No Annual Fee Amex Card

A no annual fee credit card will not provide all the VIP perks you would otherwise expect of a premium credit card.

That said, its offerings may be sufficient based on what you use your credit card for.

If you want to earn real cash back, the SimplyCash Card from Amex is a great option. It also includes benefits that often come in handy, like travel accident insurance.

Other factors to consider are the welcome bonus, basic insurance coverage, eligibility requirements, type of rewards, and interest rates.

Benefits of No Annual Fee American Express Cards

No fee American Express cards may offer these benefits:

  • Competitive cash back earn rate or rewards
  • Basic insurance coverage benefit
  • No minimum income requirement
  • Fraud protection guarantee
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Emergency card replacement

Downsides of No Annual Fee American Express Cards

The main downsides of no annual fee Amex cards are:

  • Insurance coverage is limited
  • Amex cards are not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercards

No Annual Fee Credit Card Alternatives

In addition to the Amex cards listed above, you can also check the following top no annual fee credit cards in Canada.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is on many lists featuring Canada’s best cash back credit cards.

This card offers an impressive 20% cash back on purchases in 3 categories, and you earn 0.50% cash back on all other purchases.

More importantly, the cash back you can earn is unlimited, and it is paid out automatically each month.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card also provides a 1.95% promotional balance transfer rate in the first 6 months.

If you have an annual income of $60,000 or higher, you could apply for the Tangerine World Mastercard instead and enjoy premium perks.

This card also has no annual fees.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 10% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($100 value); 1.95% balance transfer rate for 6 months.

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Neo Financial Mastercard

The no-fee Neo Mastercard pays an average of 5% cashback at participating retailers and at least 1% cash back across all your purchases.

You can also pair your Neo Card with a savings account and earn a high interest rate on your deposits.

Cardholders earn up to 15% cash back when they make their first purchases at hundreds of stores, plus a $25 cash bonus when they sign up here.

Neo Credit card

Rewards: Average of 5% cash back at 12,000+ partners and a guaranteed minimum of 0.50% cash back across all purchases

Welcome offer: Get up to 15% cash back on your first-time purchases, plus a $25 welcome cash bonus.

Interest rates: 19.99% – 29.99% on purchases; 22.99% – 31.99% for cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Related:

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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