Best No Annual Fee American Express Cards in Canada 2022

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 as well as alternatives.

Best No Annual Fee American Express Cards

CardAnnual feeBest ForWelcome Bonus
SimplyCash Card from American Express$0Cash back4% cash back in the first 6 months ($200 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 1.25% unlimited cash back on all 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 1.25% cash back on all purchases; travel accident insurance.

Welcome offer: 4% cash back in your first 6 months (valued at $250).

Interest rates: 19.99% 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 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 up to 12,500 bonus points in the first year.

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 15% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($150 value).

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 partners and a minimum of 1% 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% – 24.99% on purchases; 21.99% – 26.99% for cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Best Credit Offers in August 2022

Earn up to 15% cash back for a limited time ($150 bonus)

One of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada.

Get 2% unlimited cash back on up to 3 purchase categories.

Get 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

Get 15% bonus cash back in first 2 months ($150 value).

1.95% balance transfer offer for 6 months.

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

Free prepaid reloadable Mastercard (use referral code CASHBACK during signup for $20 free).

Free budgeting app with automatic savings features.

Access to a portion of your paycheque 3 days early.

1.20% savings interest on every dollar balance.*

Compare the best personal loan rates in Canada

Get the best rates from multiple lenders.

Borrow up to $50,000 regardless of your credit score.

Pre-approvals are available in as fast as 5 minutes.

Low-interest rates start at 1.99% and terms from 4-60 months.

The NeoCard pays up to 5% cash back at select retailers

Get a $25 bonus when you apply for the Card.

Up to 5% cash back at participating stores.

No annual account fees and 1% minimum cash back guaranteed.

Guaranteed instant approval credit card.

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

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 has a passion for helping others win with their personal 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, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

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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  • 15% cashback on $1,000 spent in first 2 months ($150 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 15% cashback on up to $1,000 spent in first 2 months ($150 value).* No annual fees!
*Limited time offer. Terms and conditions apply.
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