Sure, top cards in this category aren’t as rich in rewards as the best credit cards that require you to pay an annual fee. But they can still deliver a slew of rewards—everything from limitless cash-back to no restrictions on travel. So whether it’s cash back that you want, no foreign transaction fees or rich travel rewards, these no-fee credit cards offer gold plated payback to your bottom line.
The best no fee credit cards in Canada 2019
- Tangerine Money-Back — Best for cash back
- Rogers World Elite MasterCard — Best for no foreign transaction fees
- MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus MasterCard — Best for travel points
- SimplyCash Card from American Express – Honorable mention
- More on the best credits cards – View a complete list of top cards by category
- Our methodology – For greater insight into our rankings
Best no fee credit card for cash back
Earns great rewards: 2% cash back in two spending categories of your choice from 10 different options as well as the choice of a third category to get 2% back on if you also have a Tangerine Savings Account. Plus, 0.5% on all other purchases.
Free: No annual fee.
No reward limits: Lets you earn unlimited Money-Back rewards on your everyday purchases.
Automatic earnings: Cash back can be applied monthly to either your credit card balance or deposited into your savings account.
Click here for more details about the Tangerine Money-Back Card*
Best for no foreign transaction fees
Rogers World Elite MasterCard
Great earnings: Get 4% cash back on purchases in a foreign currency, 2% on Rogers products and services charged to your card, and 1.75% on all other purchases.
Free: No annual fee. Plus, additional cards are free. (But note, the individual income requirement for this card is $80,000, which is higher than most credit cards.)
Warm welcome: Get $25 in cash back rewards when you make your first card purchase within 3 months of receiving your card.
Flexible redemption options: You can redeem your cash back rewards towards all eligible purchases made on the card in the last 90 days.
Emergency medical coverage: Including Emergency Air-Transportation or Evacuation, additional hotel and meal expenses (up to $200 a day for a maximum of 10 days) if incurred after the planned return to Canada, emergency dental care, and more. (Certain conditions apply.)
Best no fee credit card for travel points
Solid rewards: 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible gas, groceries, and restaurants ($5,000 max annual spend per category) and 1 point per dollar on everything else
Flexible rewards: Redeem your points for travel, gift cards, and more.
Free: No annual fee
More choice: Points can be redeemed for several things, including flight tickets, hotels, merchandise or charitable donations.
7 different types of travel and purchases insurance: So that you can shop and travel worry-free.
Click here for more details about the MBNA Rewards Plus MasterCard*
Three-month bonus: Get a welcome bonus of 2.5% cash back on eligible purchases (up to a maximum of $150) for the first three months
No annual fee: Both this card and any additional cards are free
Broad rewards: Get 1.25% cash back on all purchases regardless of purchase category (after the welcome bonus ends.) Plus, no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn.
Refer a friend: Get $100 cash back for each approved referral up to a maximum annual referral bonus of $1,500.
Entertainment perks: That includes access to select Toronto lounges, including Roy Thomson Hall and the Budweiser Stage. Plus Front Of the Line access to presale tickets of the most in-demand concerts, theatre productions, restaurants, and more
Click here for more details about the SimplyCash Card from American Express*
Canada’s Best No Fee Credit Cards – Rewards Overview
|Card||Net reward (excluding 1st year sign-up bonus)|
|Tangerine Money-Back Card||$286|
|Rogers World Elite MasterCard||$420|
|MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus||$348|
In-Depth: THE BEST CREDIT CARDS BY CATEGORY
- Overall Best Credit Cards in Canada
- Best Rewards Credit Cards
- Best Travel Credit Cards
- Best Cash Back Credit Cards
- Best Low Interest Credit Cards
- Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
- Best Student Credit Cards
For the Best No Fee Credit Cards 2019 ranking, MoneySense ran the numbers for no annual fee rewards cards based on $2,000 in monthly spending using Ratehub.ca’s‡ credit card calculator. The following spending scenario was used: $500 on groceries, $200 on gas, $200 on restaurants, $125 on bill payments, $175 on travel, $225 on entertainment, $75 on pharmacy purchases and $500 on everything else.
The end game was a magic number—that is, the annual net reward in dollar terms to identify the top no fee rewards card for every type of card user, along with an honorary mention. Our methodology also took into consideration other factors, including welcome offers, the range of spending bonus categories, purchase protections and travel benefits.
‡MoneySense.ca and Ratehub.ca are both owned by parent company Ratehub Inc. We may be partnered with some financial institutions, but this does not influence the “Canada’s Best Credit Card” rankings. You can read more about this in our Editorial Code of Conduct.