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Best No Annual Fee American Express Cards in Canada 2023

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: Earn a $10 statement credit each month you spend $300 in purchases on your Card in the first 10 months (up to $100 value).

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: Get 10,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

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 Mastercard (Standard)

Rewards: Average of 5% cash back at 10,000+ partners and a minimum of 0.50% cash back across all purchases

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

Interest rates: 19.99% – 26.99% on purchases; 22.99% – 28.99% for cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Related: Best Buy Now Pay Later Plans.

Best Credit Offers in March 2023

Get the best no-fee cash back credit card in Canada ($100 bonus)

Earn 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories.

Get a $100 welcome bonus after spending $1,000 in the first two months.

1.95% low-rate balance transfer and purchase protection insurance.

No annual fees to use the card; cashback is paid out monthly.

Get up to 5% cashback and grow your savings ($20 bonus)

Best free prepaid reloadable Mastercard plus a $20 welcome bonus.

Free budgeting app with automatic savings features.

Increase your credit score with optional credit building add-on.

Earn up to 2.00% interest on your entire balance.*

Earn up to 5% cash back at over 10,000 retail locations ($25 Bonus)

Get a $25 bonus when you are approved for the Card.

No annual account fees.

Earn up to 5% unlimited cash back at 10,000+ participating stores.

Guaranteed instant approval credit card.

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Author

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

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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  • 10% cashback on $1,000 spent in first 2 months ($100 value).*
  • Earn 2% unlimited cashback in 2 categories and 0.50% back on everything else.
  • No annual fees!
*Limited time offer. Terms and conditions apply.
Best No Annual Fee Cash Back Credit Card
Best No Annual Fee Cash Back Card
Get 10% cashback on up to $1,000 spent in first 2 months ($100 value).* No annual fees!
*Limited time offer. Terms and conditions apply.