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Best No Fee Credit Cards in Canada for June 2024

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I currently carry two of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada in my wallet. While premium credit cards can and do offer extra perks and benefits, you may not be able to justify the additional expense, especially if you only use your card sparingly.

For me, no-fee credit cards plug the holes in my wallet by providing specific benefits that my other cards do not offer at no additional expense to me.

The no-annual-fee credit cards on this list are great for earning cash back, balance transfers, waiving foreign currency transaction fees, earning travel points, and racking up credit card rewards in general.

Read on to learn about the best no-fee credit cards in Canada.

Best No Fee Cash Back Credit Card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR: 19.95% purchase and cash advances
  • Income eligibility: $12,000
  • Great for unlimited cash back rewards

The Tangerine Money-Back Card is easily one of the best no-fee cash back credit cards in Canada. It offers 2% cash back on up to three different categories of spending, e.g. groceries, gas, entertainment, restaurants, and other popular purchase categories.

There is no limit to the cash back you can earn in your chosen categories, and you also get 0.50% cash back on all your other purchases.

Cash back is paid out monthly, so you don’t have to wait until the end of the year. Also, new cardholders can take advantage of a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for 6 months.

The Tangerine Money-Back Card offers free purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

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

Noteworthy mention: The Tangerine World Mastercard is a better option if your annual personal income is $60,000 or higher. It offers a similar cash back rate plus mobile device insurance, car rental insurance, and complimentary Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey.

Tangerine World Mastercard

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

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

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

Annual fee: $0

Best No-Fee Cash Back Credit Card for Flat-Rate Rewards

SimplyCash Card from American Express

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR: 19.99% purchases and 21.99% cash advances
  • Income eligibility: N/A
  • Great for flat-rate cash back on all purchases

The SimplyCash Card from American Express offers a flat-rate cash back rate that rivals many premium credit cards. You get an unlimited 1.25% cash back on most purchases and up to 2% on groceries and gas.

While it has no annual fees, the Simply Cash Card comes with $100,000 travel accident insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty benefits.

Learn more about it 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

Best No Fee Prepaid Card For Cash Back Rewards

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR: N/A
  • Income eligibility: N/A
  • Great for flat-rate cash back on all purchases

The KOHO Mastercard is a free reloadable prepaid card that pays 1% cash back on groceries and bill payments and up to 5% cash back at select merchants.

Cardholders also get access to a KOHO budgeting app they can use to set savings goals, monitor cash back earnings, and redeem cash back.

You can load your card using Interac e-Transfer or set up a direct deposit.

The KOHO Card does not require a hard credit pull, and there is no minimum income level to qualify. Learn more about KOHO in our full review.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on groceries and transportation, up to 5% unlimited cash back at partner stores in Canada. Get 5% interest on your entire balance. Users also get access to a free budgeting app, 0% APR cash advances and free credit score checks.

Welcome offer: $20 sign up bonus after first purchase (use CASHBACK promo code during sign-up)

Interest rate fee: N/A

Annual fee: $0*

Best No Fee Credit Card for Groceries

PC Financial Mastercards

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR: 19.97% purchases and 22.97% cash advances
  • Great for free groceries

The trio of the PC Financial line of credit cards are awesome for earning PC Optimum points you can redeem for free groceries and other items at any Loblaw-owned store, e.g. Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart.

‘The three PC Financial credit cards are the PC Financial Mastercard, PC Financial World Mastercard, and PC Financial World Elite Mastercard.

All three cards come with no annual fees and different levels of benefits For example, for the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, you earn 30 points per $1 spent in the store and Esso stations, 45 points per $1 when you shop at Shoppers Drug Mart, and 10 points per $1 everywhere else.

It also offers a 0.97% balance transfer rate for 6 months, as well as travel emergency medical, car rental insurance, and a 24/7 concierge service.

The PC Financial Mastercard has no income requirement; however, you will need at least a $60,000 personal income to qualify for the World Mastercard and $80,000 for the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard.

Click to read more about the PC Financial Mastercards.

PC Financial Mastercard

Best No Fee Low Interest Rate Credit Card

MBNA True Line Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR: 12.99% purchases and balance transfers; 24.99% cash advances
  • Great for balance transfers and low-interest on purchases

The MBNA True Line Mastercard has a standard low rate of 12.99% on purchases compared to the 19.99% charged by regular credit cards.

If you generally carry a balance, this card can help you save 7% right off the bat in interest fees. Also, it has a 0% promotional balance transfer rate for the first 12 months.

The MBNA True Line does not offer any other significant perk or insurance coverage; however, the potential interest savings can be worthwhile.

Read this detailed MBNA True Line Mastercard review for more information.

MBNA True Line Mastercard

Best No Fee Credit Card for Students

BMO Cash Back Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR: 19.99% purchases and 22.99% cash advances
  • Great for students and newcomers to Canada
  • Income eligibility: $15,000

If you are looking for a basic credit card that offers good cash back earn rate on all your purchases, has no fees, and with a low-income requirement, this card is worth checking out.

The BMO Cash Back Mastercard offers 3% cash back on grocery purchases and 1% on recurring bill payments. All other purchases earn at a 0.50% rate. The 1% and 3% cash back categories are each limited to $500 spending per month.

New cardholders who carry a balance can take advantage of the 1.99% balance transfer rate for 9 months – a 1% transfer fee applies.

This card offers basic insurance, including purchase protection and extended warranty, and up to a 25% discount when renting a car at participating National Rent A Car and Alamo Rent A Car locations.

Check out our BMO Cash Back Mastercard review.

Students can also qualify for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and earn up to 2% cash back while paying no annual fees.

BMO Cashback Mastercard

Best No Fee Credit Card With Roadside Assistance

Triangle World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR:
  • Great for free roadside assistance and Canadian Tire Money

The Triangle World Elite Mastercard is one of the few cards in Canada to offer free roadside assistance.

It is a part of Canadian Tire’s Triangle Rewards program, and you earn 3% in Canadian Tire Money (CT Money) when you spend on groceries (excludes Costco and Walmart), 4% at Canadian Tire Stores and affiliates, and up to 7 cents/litre when you purchase gas at Gas+ stations.

This card’s free roadside assistance covers the U.S. and Canada and provides 24/7 free towing, lockout service, fuel delivery, flat tire change, and extrication – easily worth $100 per year.

You also get purchase protection, extended warranty, and car rental insurance coverage.

One downside with this card is that you require a minimum personal income of $80,000 to qualify.

Learn more in this detailed Triangle World Elite Mastercard review.

Best No Fee Travel Credit Card

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR: 19.99% purchases and 24.99% cash advances
  • Great for general cash back

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard offers 2 points per $1 spent on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases (up to maximum annual spending of $5,000) and 1 point per $1 on everything else.

This card also provides purchase protection, extended warranty and discounts when renting a car at participating AVIS or Budget car rental locations.

Best No Fee Credit Card With No FX Fees

Home Trust Preferred Visa

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Interest APR: 19.99% purchases and cash advances
  • Great for No FX fees

The Home Trust Preferred Visa waives the foreign transaction fee, which is generally 2.5% or higher.

In addition, cardholders enjoy unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases and purchase security coverage. Read this review of the Home Trust Preferred Visa to learn more.

Home Trust Preferred Visa

What Is a No-Fee Credit Card?

A no-fee credit card is simply a credit card with no annual fee. Many card issuers charge a fee to cover the cost of their rewards, and this can cost up to hundreds of dollars per year.

Using a no-free card does not mean you won’t pay any fees. All credit cards charge interest for a start, and then there are foreign exchange fees and other fees you may have to pay.

Advantages of a No-Fee Credit Card

  • The main advantage is that they are free to use if you pay back your balance in full every month.
  • No-fee credit cards often have rewards, including cashback and travel rewards.
  • Because they are free and low-maintenance, they make excellent backup cards that you can keep on hand in case you lose your primary credit card.

Disadvantages of a No-Fee Credit Card

  • No-fee credit cards often do not provide the best premium perks that you can expect with premium cards.
  • You may not get such a good welcome bonus with a no-fee card.
  • Other fees include cash advance fees, over-the-limit fees, inactivity fees, foreign exchange fees, and more, meaning you may still have to pay fees depending on how you use the card.

Who Should Get a No-Fee Credit Card?

No-fee credit cards may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your spending habits and what you want from your card.

However, there are a few situations where they can be a good option.

For example, they can be useful if you want a backup card. You may already have a card that you pay an annual fee to use, but now you want an additional card to earn more rewards or in case of emergencies.

You may want a no-fee credit card if you are building your credit history. In this case, it’s unlikely you want to pay for an expensive card.

If you are not concerned about rewards and don’t use your card too often, you may not want to pay a fee. A no-fee card may make more sense if you don’t use your credit card frequently.

Alternatives to No-Fee Credit Cards in Canada

There are several alternatives to consider instead of no annual fee credit cards, so it may be worth looking at these options first.

Premium Credit Cards

If you want more perks, rewards, bigger discounts and better cashback rates, and you use your card frequently, premium credit cards may be more suitable.

Prepaid Cards

With prepaid cards, you spend your funds instead of borrowing money. But they are often free and provide the same convenience as using a credit card. Some even come with cashback and other benefits too.

Debit Cards

Like prepaid cards, debit cards do not involve borrowing money. They are often free, and they sometimes come with rewards.

Secured Credit Cards

With secured credit cards, you pay a deposit, and you can borrow up to that amount. They are an excellent way to build your credit score and can be an option if you cannot apply for a standard credit card. They are often free, and some provide rewards too.

Types of No-Fee Credit Cards in Canada

There are several types of no-free credit cards in Canada. Explore your options and choose the type that makes the most sense to you.

No-Fee Cashback Credit Cards

These types of credit cards provide cashback for using them. They may provide as much as 3% for certain purchases, but the rate is often lower than with premium cards.

No-Fee Rewards Credit Cards

Some no-fee credit cards offer the option to build up reward points that you can use to get discounts on purchases.

No-Fee Travel Credit Cards

These credit cards have features that make them useful for travellers, like travel insurance coverage, no foreign exchange fees, car rental discounts, airport lounge access and more.

No-Fee Visa Credit Cards

These no-fee cards use the Visa network. They are available from several card issuers, and they come with a range of rewards and features.

No-Fee Mastercard Credit Cards

Just like Visa cards, no-fee Mastercard credit cards are similar but run on the Mastercard network instead.

No-Fee Prepaid Cards

These are not credit cards. Instead, they are cards that you top up with your funds. But you can use them anywhere that credit cards are accepted.

How to Choose a No-Fee Credit Card

The best way to choose a card is to compare the no-fee cards available. To start, look at the additional fees like FX and over-the-limit fees.

You should also compare the interest rates for purchases and cash advances. However, this might be more important if you carry a balance.

Explore the types of rewards offered and how much cashback you can earn. Also, find out if any travel benefits are included, like travel insurance coverage.

Take a look at any welcome bonuses. These are often not as good on no-fee cards, but they are still worth checking out.

When you have a good idea of what the different cards offer, choose the most appealing according to your situation and spending habits.

If you find a suitable card, check the application requirements, including minimum income requirements. This will prevent you from applying for a card when you are unlikely to be accepted.

How to Apply for a No-Fee Credit Card

Applying for a no-fee credit card is no different from applying for any other credit card. You can often apply online, but you may be able to apply in person at a bank branch or over the phone if you prefer.

The main thing to check is the eligibility requirements. There is often a minimum annual income requirement, which may be lower than with premium credit cards.

You must usually be a resident of Canada and be the age of majority in your province or territory. A good credit score is also required for most cards.

If you meet the requirements, simply apply for your card, and you should find out shortly if your application has been successful.

Conclusion

The best no-fee credit cards in Canada can save you hundreds of dollars in annual fees while generating much more in rewards every year.

For a straightforward cash back credit card with easy approval, our top choice is the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. That said, the SimplyCash Card from AMEX puts up a strong showing with an excellent flat cash back rate for most purchases.

A combination of the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard and Triangle World Elite Mastercard means you can leverage your free grocery rewards, maximize your cash back at Canadian Tire, and get free comprehensive roadside assistance.

For foreign purchases, the Home Trust Preferred Visa and Rogers World Elite Mastercard are worth checking out.

Related:

Best Credit Offers in June 2024

Get the top savings and spending account and stop paying costly bank fees ($20 Bonus)

Save on fees and access unlimited transactions, eTransfers & bill payments.

Get a $20 instant bonus after completing your first purchase.

Earn up to 5% unlimited cash back and up to 5% interest on your balance.

Guaranteed instant approval with any credit score + free budgeting app.

Get this guaranteed approval credit card for any credit score ($25 bonus)

Get an instant $25 welcome bonus.

Earn 5% unlimited average cash back at thousands of locations.

Guaranteed approval for poor and bad credit scores. Takes 3 minutes.

No monthly fees and up to 15% cashback on your first-time purchases.

Stop paying monthly fees with a free chequing account + $400 bonus

Get a $400 cash bonus when you set up a qualifying direct deposit.

Unlimited debits, online bill payments and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

No monthly or annual account fees.

Earn a high interest rate on your savings (6.00% interest rate offer).

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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