Advertiser Disclosure

The content on this website includes links to our partners and we may receive compensation when you sign up, at no cost to you. This may impact which products or services we write about and where and how they appear on the site. It does not affect the objectivity of our evaluations or reviews. Read our disclosure.

Best Debit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees in Canada

When travelling abroad, you can save money big time by using a no foreign transaction fee credit card or a debit card that waives this fee.

No foreign transaction fee debit cards make it easy to access cash at ATMs and pay for goods and services without getting hit with a constant barrage of foreign transaction surcharges.

Read on to learn about your top 3 debit card options for avoiding FX fees in Canada.

Best No Foreign Transaction Debit Cards of 2023

These Mastercard and Visa cards are prepaid cards that combine the benefits and features of credit and debit cards.

1. KOHO Extra Mastercard

  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Free international ATM: 1/month
  • Monthly fee: $9 or $84 per year
  • Rewards: Up to 5% cashback

The KOHO Extra Mastercard is a prepaid rewards card that offers up to 5% cashback on all purchases (both locally and abroad).

It comes with a unique-looking physical card and a virtual card for quick online payments.

Users earn 2% interest on their balance, making this one of the best savings accounts in Canada.

When you spend abroad using the KOHO Extra Mastercard, you don’t pay FX fees. You can also make one free international ATM withdrawal each month.

A KOHO Card can be funded using direct deposit or e-Transfer.

When you sign up for the KOHO Card using our promo code CASHBACK and make a purchase, you receive a $20 bonus.

KOHO Extra (Premium) Prepaid Mastercard

Best premium prepaid card in Canada

Annual fee: $9/month or $84/year

Rewards: Earn 2% cashback on 3 categories of spending, and earn 0.5% cash back on other purchases. Up to 6% cash back at partner retailers.

Welcome offer: $20 sign-up bonus when you enter our CASHBACK promo code.

Interest rates: 0%

Minimum income requirement: None

Recommended credit score:
N/A

None

koho extra premium card-img

On KOHO’s website

  • Earn up to 6% cash back on purchases at partnered merchants and a higher minimum cash back rate on most purchases.
  • Earn 4% high interest on your balance.
  • No foreign exchange fees.
  • Get priority user support.
  • Get access to a financial coach to answer financial questions.
  • Get one free withdrawal per month at an international ATM.
  • Easily subscribe to credit building and improve your credit score.

Earn up to 5% cashback

No foreign exchange fees

No interest fees

Must pay a monthly or annual fee

Cash back rate is not as high as some cards

The KOHO Premium Prepaid Mastercard offers cashback on all purchases and pays interest on your balance. Waivers for foreign exchange fees and a free international ATM withdrawal make it a suitable option for travellers.

Alternatively, you can get the KOHO Easy Mastercard if you don’t want to pay monthly fees.

The free card offers 1% cash back on groceries and transportation plus 0.50% interest on your balance.

It also waives a portion of the transaction fee. Instead of a typical 2.50%, you pay 1.5%.

KOHO Easy Prepaid Mastercard

KOHO Mastercard Prepaid Card 2

$20 sign-up bonus after first purchase

Earn up to 5% cash back

0.50% savings interest on your balance

$0 monthly fee

2. EQ Bank Card

  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Free international ATM: 0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Rewards: 0.50% cashback

The EQ Bank Card can be paired with an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account and used for free withdrawals at any ATM in Canada.

This Mastercard offers 0.50% cashback on all purchases and pays 2.50% interest on your balance.

In addition to having no monthly fees, the EQ Bank Card waives foreign transaction fees.

To get the card, open a free Savings Plus Account online and fund it using direct deposit, cheque, or by connecting a bank account at another financial institution.

EQ Bank Card

eq bank card-img

Earn 2.50%* interest on your balance

0.50% cash back on purchases

No monthly account or FX fees

Free ATM withdrawals

3. CIBC AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card

  • Foreign transaction fee: None or 2.5% (there are fees for loading money)
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Free international ATM: 0
  • Rewards: 1% cashback

The CIBC AC Conversion Card holds up to 10 currencies, including CAD, USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, MXN, HKD, JPY, TRY, and CHF.

This makes the card useful for spending foreign currencies like a local in 45 countries.

When paying using a currency loaded on the card, FX fees do not apply. If you need to convert currencies to make a payment, the standard 2.50% FX fee applies.

This card pays a 1% cashback for a limited time.

CIBC AC Conversion Visa Card

CIBC AC_Conversion Card Image

Earn 1%* cashback on purchases

Holds 10 currencies at once

No monthly account fees

Enjoy Visa’s Zero Liability

Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees

These premium credit cards waive foreign transaction fees.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Annual card fee: $150
  • Minimum income eligibility: $60,000
  • Cashback rewards: Up to 3%

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card comes with comprehensive travel insurance, airport lounge access, and more. It also waives foreign transaction fees.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

Best for no FX fees and travel perks

Annual fee: $150

Rewards: Earn 3x Scene+ points on eligible grocery purchases, 2x pts. on dining, entertainment and transit, and 1x pts. on everything else.

Welcome offer: Up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points and no annual fee for the first year.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $60,000

Recommended credit score:
760
900

Very Good

scotiabank passport visa infinite card

On Scotiabank’s website

  • Earn 3x Scene+ points for shopping at select grocery stores, including Sobeys and Safeway.
  • Earn 2x points on dining, select grocery stores, entertainment venues and eligible transit options.
  • Earn 1 point for all other eligible purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases overseas.
  • Includes Avis® Preferred Plus membership.
  • Access to over 1,200 global airport lounges with the Visa Airport Companion Program.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits are included.
  • A minimum annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 is required.

Earn up to 3x Scene+ points

No foreign transaction fees

Premium perks like travel insurance included

High-income requirement of $60,000

$150 annual fee

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is a great option for anyone who wants to earn Scene+ points on their purchases. Zero foreign exchange fees, comprehensive travel insurance coverage, and Visa Airport Companion Program membership also make it a good option for travelers.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Annual card fee: $120
  • Minimum income eligibility: None
  • Cashback rewards: Up to 6%

The Scotiabank Gold Amex Card offers comprehensive travel benefits, insurance, and discounted Priority Pass membership. It also waives the 2.5% fee on foreign currency purchases.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Best travel credit card in Canada

Annual fee: $120

Rewards: Earn up to 6x Scene+ points on groceries, 5x pts. on dining, food delivery, & entertainment, 3x pts. on gas, and 1x pts. on everything else.

Welcome offer: Get up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points in the first 12 months.

Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: $12,000

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

On Scotiabank’s website

  • Zero foreign transaction fees when travelling overseas or shopping abroad.
  • Earn 6x Scene+ points at select grocery stores, including Sobeys and Safeway.
  • Earn 5x points on dining or food delivery at select stores and restaurants as well as select movies, theatres and ticket agencies.
  • Earn 3x points on eligible gas and transit purchases.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 CAD spent on eligible purchases.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance benefits and extended warranty protection are included.
  • Priority Pass™ membership discount to access VIP lounges.
  • Amex Offers® including deals on shopping, travel and dining.
  • Access to Front Of The Line® presale tickets to concerts, restaurants and events.
  • Minimum annual income of $12,000 required.

Earn up to 6x Scene+ point

Lots of premium perks included

No foreign transaction fees

Low income eligibility at $12,000

Expensive annual fee

$29 fee for each additional card

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card provides a great opportunity to earn Scene+ points on all purchases and extra points on select purchases. Its zero foreign transaction fees and travel insurance coverage make it a good choice for travellers.

What is a No Foreign Transaction Fee Debit Card?

A no foreign transaction fee debit card is a type of debit card (or prepaid card) that does not charge extra fees when used for making purchases in a foreign country or in a foreign currency.

Typically, debit and credit cards charge a 2.50% to 3% fee when used outside of your home country.

No foreign transaction fee debit cards are excellent options for people who frequently travel or shop on foreign merchants online.

Benefits of a Debit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fees

The pros of a no foreign transaction fee debit card include:

  • Save on FX fees online, in-person, and when withdrawing at an ATM.
  • More convenient than carrying cash.
  • Offers security via Visa and Mastercard’s Zero Liability.
  • Some pay cash back and offer other rewards.
  • They are widely accepted.
  • You won’t be paying cash advance fees.

Downsides of a No Foreign Transaction Fee Debit Card

The cons of these debit cards include:

  • No access to a line of credit.
  • You may still be charged an operating fee by ATMs when you withdraw cash.
  • Currency conversion rates are not always favourable.
  • There are limited perks compared to premium credit cards.
  • It may be more difficult to recover lost funds from a debit account compared to a credit card.

FAQs

What is a foreign transaction fee?

A foreign transaction fee is a fee charged by banks or credit card issuers for transactions made in a foreign currency or outside of your home country. The fee is typically a percentage of the total transaction amount, ranging from 1.5% to 3%.

Are there any other fees associated with using a no foreign transaction fee debit card?

While a no foreign transaction fee debit card does not charge extra fees for foreign transactions, you may still be subject to ATM fees and currency conversion fees.

Can I use a no foreign transaction fee debit card to withdraw cash from ATMs overseas?

Yes, you can use your no foreign transaction fee debit card to withdraw cash from ATMs abroad. ATM fees and currency conversion fees may apply.

Do no foreign transaction fee debit cards offer rewards?

Some no foreign transaction fee debit cards offer cash back, such as the KOHO Extra Mastercard. It also waives one foreign ATM withdrawal monthly.

How do I avoid ATM fees when using a no foreign transaction fee debit card?

To avoid ATM fees when using a no foreign transaction fee debit card, look for ATMs that are part of your bank’s network or that have agreements with your bank to waive or reduce fees. You can also try to withdraw larger amounts of cash at one time to minimize the number of transactions and fees.

Best Credit Offers in September 2023

Earn up to 5% cashback and grow your savings + $20 bonus

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

No credit check and free budgeting app with automatic savings features.

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

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

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 purchases.

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

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

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

No annual account fees.

Guaranteed instant approval credit card with 600+ credit score.

Retirement 101 eBook - 3D

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 Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, 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.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.