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Published October 21, 2021
Updated October 21, 2021

Canada’s 10 Best No-Fee Credit Cards of 2021

No-fee credit cards are a smart choice for anyone who doesn’t want to pay an annual fee to use their credit card.

ALSO CONSIDER: Best credit cards || Best travel credit cards || Best cash back credit cards || Best general rewards credit cards || Best student credit cards

No-fee credit cards offer valuable rewards, impressive perks, low interest rates, and more, without charging an annual fee. While it can be worth paying an annual fee if it brings you substantially higher earn rates or stronger benefits, you’ll need to take advantage of those perks to get their full value. If you don’t, or simply don’t want to pay a fee to use your credit card, a credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee may be a better long-term value.

NerdWallet’s picks for the best no-fee credit cards in Canada

 

American Express Green Card

Our pick for a no-fee card rewards card with flexible redemption options

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
20.99% / 21.99%
20.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances.
Rewards Rate
1x - 2x points
2x on eligible hotel and car rental bookings. 1x on all other eligible purchases.
Intro Offer
10,000 points
Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months. New cardmembers only.
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    The American Express Green Card has a simple rewards program with an accelerated earn rate on hotel and rental car bookings, and it’s easy to transfer your points to other loyalty programs for maximum redemption value. Oh, and the card itself is made from 99% recycled plastic.

    Pros

    • No limits on rewards spending, and more ways to redeem your points than other no-fee rewards credit cards on this list.
    • Cardholders who enjoy VIP treatment will enjoy access to a multitude of perks through American Express Experiences.

    Cons

    • Rewards earn rates are lower than some other cards on this list.
    • Lacks some of the travel perks and insurance options offered by other cards.
  • Product details
    • Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all eligible purchases.
    • Earn 1 additional Membership Rewards point for every dollar you spend on eligible hotel or car rental bookings made with American Express Travel.
    • Rewards points can be redeemed toward eligible card purchases, travel purchases, gift cards and merchandise, and eligible purchases at Amazon.ca. Points can also be transferred to frequent flyer and loyalty programs like Aeroplan, Avios and Marriott Bonvoy.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • Automatically extend manufacturer’s warranties by up to one additional year for eligible items purchased with your Green Card.
    • Access to Front Of The Line presale tickets, reserved tickets, special offers, events and more with American Express Experiences.
    • Two types of insurance provided, including extended warranty and purchase protection.
    • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, 21.99% for cash advances.
    • To be eligible you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

BMO CashBack Mastercard

Our pick for a no-fee card with bonus rewards on grocery purchases

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
19.99% / 22.99%
19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents).
Rewards Rate
0.5% - 3%
3% on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on everything else.
Intro Offer
$125 + a 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers
Up to 5% cash back in the first three months + 1.99% intro rate on balance transfers for 9 months. Conditions apply. Only valid for applications received by December 6, 2022.
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    The BMO CashBack Mastercard offers attractive earn rates on everyday purchases like groceries and utility bills, making it easy to quickly rack up rewards that you can turn into cold hard cash.

    Pros

    • Attractive introductory offer, especially if you’re interested in a balance transfer.
    • No minimum threshold for redeeming your cash-back rewards. Redeem as little as $1 if you want.

    Cons

    • Accelerated earn rates for groceries and recurring bills are capped at $500 per billing cycle, a ceiling that might be easy to hit if you have a family or higher monthly balances.
    • Offers fewer travel perks and types of insurance than some other cards.
  • Product details
    • Earn 3% in cash back on grocery purchases, up to $500 in spending per billing cycle.
    • Earn 1% in cash back on recurring bill payments, such as streaming services, subscriptions or monthly utilities, up to $500 in spending per billing cycle.
    • Earn 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases, including grocery purchases and bill payments that exceed the $500 threshold.
    • Cash-back rewards earned can be redeemed as statement credits, or placed in a BMO chequing, savings or InvestorLine account. BMO CashBack Mastercard holders can also use the Pay with Points option to redeem points to cover transactions made in the last 30 days. $1 minimum redemption and points do not expire.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • No charge to add additional cardholders.
    • Get 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada, and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas.
    • Save up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations.
    • Security features like transaction monitoring and alerts, zero liability for unauthorized use and Mastercard Identity Check.
    • Two types of insurance provided: extended warranty and purchase protection.
    • Preferred rates: 19.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.
    • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

BRIM

Our pick for a no-fee reward card with a digital-first experience

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
Rates vary by card member
Rewards Rate
1x-30x points
1x points on everyday purchases. Up to 30x on retail partners in the eShop.
Intro Offer
$200
Earn up to $200 in first-time reward bonuses at participating retailers.
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    The standard Brim Mastercard is a tech-savvy, no-fee rewards card. It offers an impressive mobile app with budget tracking, an eShop with hundreds of retailers, partnerships with five mobile wallets, free global Wi-Fi and no foreign transaction fees — even when shopping online.

    Pros

    • Rewards are easy to understand — each point is worth $0.01 — and you can earn up to 30x at select retail partners, including small local businesses and big brands.
    • There’s no fee for additional cardholders or a family card.

    Cons

    • Included insurance types are more limited than the Brim World or World Elite Mastercards.
    • Brim is a virtual bank with no physical bank branches, so you must be comfortable with a digital-first experience.
  • Product details
    • 1x points per dollar on everyday purchases, with no annual spend limit.
    • ​​Up to 30x points per dollar on retail partners in the eShop.
    • Points have a straightforward value of $0.01 and can be redeemed on transactions or as cash back. $1 minimum redemption required. Points do not expire.
    • No annual fee.
    • Brim’s Family Card option lets you add additional card members, set and adjust their spending limits, block types of transactions and track spending — perfect for teaching teens smart budgeting.
    • Enhanced security features allow you to lock your card and block online or foreign transactions instantly.
    • Stay connected with access to over 1 million Boingo Global Wi-Fi hotspots around the world.
    • Access to the Brim Installment plan.
    • Five types of insurance provided: common carrier accident insurance, mobile device insurance, event ticket protection, extended warranty and purchase security insurance.
    • Preferred rates vary by card member.
    • No foreign exchange fees.
    • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card

Our pick for a no-fee travel rewards card

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
20.99% / 22.99%
20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents).
Rewards Rate
Up to 1x points
1x per $1 spent on gas, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases, and 1x per $1.50 spent on all other purchases.
Intro Offer
10,000 points
Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase. New cardmembers only.
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    Most cards make you choose between low fees or valuable travel rewards, but the CIBC Aeroplan Visa offers both.

    Pros

    • An attractive intro offer that could be enough for a one-way economy class flight in North America.
    • Your Aeroplan membership will help you earn points twice as fast at Aeroplan partners and retailers in the Aeroplan eStore when you pay with your Aeroplan credit card.

    Cons

    • To get the best value, you’ll have to be loyal to Air Canada and the Aeroplan rewards program.
    • Earn rate on included categories is lower than some other no-fee cards.
  • Product details
    • Earn 1x Aeroplan points per dollar on gas, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases, up to $40,000 annual spend.
    • Earn 1x Aeroplan points per $1.50 spent on all other purchases, including gas, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases that exceed the $40,000 threshold.
    • Aeroplan Points never expire and can be redeemed for a variety of travel, merchandise, gift card, and other rewards offered by Aeroplan’s participating partners and suppliers.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • Primary Aeroplan credit cardholders may get access to preferred pricing, which means you can book flight rewards for even fewer points.
    • Get three free months of Uber Pass for discounts on rides, meals and more.
    • Earn 1 Aeroplan point for every $6 spent on CIBC Global Money Transfer, with no transaction fees or interest as long as you pay your balance on time.
    • Use the CIBC Pace It feature to make installment payments on large purchases.
    • Four types of insurance provided: car rental collision and loss damage insurance, purchase security and extended protection insurance, and common carrier travel accident insurance.
    • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.
    • To be eligible, $15,000 (household) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard

Our pick for bonus rewards on groceries, restaurants, entertainment and public transportation

Annual Fee
$130
Interest Rates
19.9%
19.9% for purchases and cash advances.
Rewards Rate
1.50%-3% BONUSDOLLARS rewards
3% on groceries, 2% on restaurants, entertainment and public transportation, and 1.5% on everything else.
Intro Offer
N/A
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    The Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard offers unlimited rewards, uncapped bonus categories, and impressive insurance and travel perks.

    Pros

    • Comprehensive insurance, including premium travel medical and mobile device protection worth up to $1,500.
    • Eight free passes to the Desjardins Odyssey Lounge at Montreal-Trudeau airport per year.

    Cons

    • No intro offer or ability to waive the annual fee.
  • Product details
    • 3% in BONUSDOLLARS per dollar spent on groceries.
    • 2% in BONUSDOLLARS per dollar spent on restaurants, entertainment and public transportation.
    • 1.5% in BONUSDOLLARS per dollar spent on other purchases.
    • Redeem BONUSDOLLARS for statement credits, financial products and services, charity, rewards, gift cards, purchases, and travel.
    • 1 BONUSDOLLAR earned = $1 you can redeem. BONUSDOLLARs do not expire.
    • $130 annual fee.
    • Airport lounge visits — 8 free passes to the Desjardins Odyssey Lounge at Montreal-Trudeau airport per year, plus entrance to more than 1,000 LoungeKey airport lounges as part of Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey.
    • World Elite Mastercard benefits, including cash back with Mastercard Travel Rewards when travelling outside of Canada, VIP events and offers through Priceless Cities, and access to over 1 million Boingo
      Global Wi-Fi hotspots around the world.
    • Up to 25% off Hertz car rentals and up to 10% off Thrifty or Dollar rentals.
    • Access to Accord D financing, and up to $5,000 a day cash advances at a rate of 19.9%.
    • 12 types of insurance provided, including 60-day travel medical benefits — up to $5,000,000 in coverage per person under age 59. 31-day coverage is available for ages 60-64. 15-day coverage is available for ages 65-75.
    • Preferred rates: 19.9% for purchases and cash advances.
    • To be eligible, $80,000 (individual) or $150,000 (household) annual income, or assets under management of $400,000, is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

Our pick for a no-fee card with bonus rewards on everyday spending

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
19.99% / 24.99%
19.99% on purchases, 24.99% on cash advances.
Rewards Rate
1x - 4x points
4x on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days, and 2x on all eligible purchases in those categories after that, up to $10,000 annual spend. 1x for all other eligible purchases.
Intro Offer
10,000 points
Earn 5,000 bonus points when you spend $500 in the first 90 days, and 5,000 additional bonus points when you enroll in paperless statements in the first 90 days. Conditions apply.
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard offers bonus rewards on common spending categories, along with flexible options for redemption.

    Pros

    • Flexible redemption options, including cash back, brand-name merchandise, gift cards, charitable donations and travel, and points never expire.
    • You can receive up to 10,000 Birthday Bonus Points every year.

    Cons

    • Accelerated earn rate drops to 2x after the first 90 days, and 1x after $10,000 in spending. Considering how many categories fit into the cap, hitting the limit will be easy for families and big spenders.
    • Lack of travel insurance may disappoint some cardholders.
  • Product details
    • 4x MBNA Rewards Points per dollar on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days. Then, 2x up to $10,000 in spending.
    • 1x MBNA Rewards Points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
    • Redeem points for cash back, brand-name merchandise, gift cards from participating retailers, charitable donations, and travel.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • Receive Birthday Bonus Points equal to 10% of the total number of points earned in the 12 months before the month of the primary cardholder’s birthday, up to a max of 10,000 points.
    • Use your MBNA card to save 10% off Avis and Budget rental car base rates in Canada and the U.S., and 5% of base rates internationally.
    • Access to the MBNA installment payment plan.
    • Three types of insurance provided: extended warranty, mobile device and purchase assurance.
    • Preferred rates: 19.99% for purchases, 24.99% for cash advances.
    • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Rogers World Elite Mastercard

Our pick for a no-fee cash-back card with travel perks

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
19.99% / 22.99%
19.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.
Rewards Rate
1.5% - 3%
3% on purchases made in U.S. dollars. 1.5% on everything else.
Intro Offer
$25
Get $25 in cash-back rewards when you make your first card purchase within 3 months of receiving your card.
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    The Rogers World Elite Mastercard is a no-fee card with an easy-to-understand cash-back rewards program with an accelerated earn rate on U.S. dollar purchases. And unlike some no-fee cards, it still offers valuable perks for those who like to travel.

    Pros

    • Rewards are easy to understand, $1 in cash-back rewards = $1 toward an eligible purchase or bill credit, and you can redeem rewards instantly using the Rogers Bank app.
    • Attractive travel benefits are included, like access to over 1,000 LoungeKey airport lounges, free Boingo Wi-Fi at over 1 million hotspots worldwide, and several types of travel insurance.

    Cons

    • A more modest intro offer than some cards, at just $25 in cash-back rewards when you make your first purchase.
    • You must spend at least $15,000 each year to maintain the card.
  • Product details
    • 1.5% in unlimited cash-back rewards for eligible regular purchases.
    • 3.5% in unlimited cash-back rewards for eligible U.S. dollar purchases.
    • Cash-back rewards can be redeemed for purchases or applied directly to your Rogers, Fido, or chatr mobile phone bill. Cash-back rewards can be redeemed using the Rogers Bank app or Pay with Rewards app. You must accrue at least $10 in cash-back rewards before you can redeem them on a purchase, and redemptions do not count toward minimum payment amounts.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • Earn unlimited cash-back rewards anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
    • Free Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard® Cardholders at over 1 million hotspots worldwide.
    • Access to over 1,000 LoungeKey airport lounges in over 100 countries with Mastercard Airport Experiences.
    • No charge to add additional cardholders.
    • Security features like transaction monitoring and alerts, zero liability for unauthorized use and balance protection.
    • Eight types of insurance provided, including 10-day travel medical benefits for those up to age 64 — up to $1 million in coverage. Three days of medical benefits are provided for those age 65 to 75.
    • Preferred rates: 19.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.
    • To be eligible, $80,000 (individual) or $150,000 (household) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card

Our pick for a no-fee bonus category card with a low introductory APR on purchases

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
19.99% / 22.99%
19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances.
Rewards Rate
0.5% - 10%
10% intro offer. 4% at restaurants, bars and coffee shops, 1.5% on gas, groceries, drugstores and pre-authorized payments, and 0.5% on everything else.
Intro Offer
$500 + 9.99% annual interest on purchases
Earn 10% bonus cash back at restaurants and bars in your first four months (up to $500). Get 9.99% introductory annual interest on purchases for the first six months (must apply by April 30, 2022).
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    The $0-annual-fee Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card earns bonus cash-back on the purchases you make almost every day.

    Pros

    • New cardmembers can earn a 9.99% introductory annual interest on purchases for the first six months.
    • Newcomers to Canada can build credit with Simplii’s New to Canada Banking Program.

    Cons

    • The 0.5% base rate isn’t exactly impressive, but it only applies after you hit the annual spending limits of bonus categories.
    • It only includes purchase security and extended protection insurance.
  • Product details
    • 4% on restaurant, bar and coffee shops, up to $5,000 per year.
    • 1.5% on gas, groceries, drugstores and pre-authorized payments, up to $15,000 per year.
    • 0.5% on everything else.
    • Redeem cash back as a statement credit in December.
    • No annual fee.
    • Cash back when you send money abroad with a Simplii Financial Global Money Transfer. No transaction fees and no interest charges.
    • Newcomers to Canada can build credit with Simplii’s New to Canada Banking Program.
    • Purchase security and extended protection insurance provided.
    • Preferred rates: 19.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.
    • To be eligible, a $15,000 (individual) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident (excluding Quebec) that is the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

SimplyCash Card from American Express

Our pick for a flat-rate no-fee cash back card

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
19.99% / 21.99%
19.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances.
Rewards Rate
1.25% - 4%
4% cash back during the first six months (up to $5,000 in purchases), then earn unlimited 1.25% cash rewards on purchases.
Intro Offer
$200
Earn 4% cash back during the first six months, up to $5,000 in purchases (equal to $200 cash back). New cardmembers only.
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    A flat rewards rate of 1.25% makes it easy to earn cash back on every purchase — no need to keep track of bonus categories, spending limits or tiered and rotating structures.

    Pros

    • An easy-to-understand 1.25% flat rate on every purchase.
    • Cardholders enjoy exclusive access, special offers and events, and more through American Express Experiences and Front of the Line Reserved tickets and presales.

    Cons

    • Cash-back rate than other cards with specific spending categories and tiered rewards structures.
  • Product details
    • 1.25% on purchases with no spending limits.
    • Redeem cash back as a statement credit in September.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • Refer a friend and earn a maximum annual referral bonus of $750 cash back.
    • Enjoy virtual events, live performances, exclusive tickets and more through American Express Experiences.
    • Access to The American Express® Installment Program.
    • Three types of insurance provided: Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan, Purchase Protection Plan, and $100,000 travel accident insurance.
    • Preferred rates: 19.99% for purchases, 21.99% for cash advances.
    • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Our pick for bonus categories tailored to your spending

Annual Fee
$0
Interest Rates
19.95%
19.95% on purchases and cash advances.
Rewards Rate
0.5% - 2%
2% unlimited cash back on up to three categories. 0.50% unlimited cash back on everything else.
Intro Offer
$150
Earn 15% back on up to $1,000 in purchases ($150) during the first two months if you apply by November 30, 2021.
  • Our take

    Why we like it

    You can earn unlimited cash back at a 2% rate in up to three categories of your choice — all while earning 0.50% back on everything else.

    Pros

    • You can tailor the 2% rewards to your spending by choosing up to three categories from Tangerine’s list of 10, which includes basics like gas and groceries as well as unusual picks like furniture and home improvement.
    • Transfer balances within your first 30 days and pay only 1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first six months (19.95% after that).

    Cons

    • 2% cash back is a competitive rate, but many cards offer double the rewards on specific categories.
    • Tangerine is a virtual bank with no physical bank branches.
  • Product details
    • 2% on two categories of your choice: grocery, furniture, restaurants, hotel-motel, gas, recurring bill payments, drug store, home improvement, entertainment, or public transportation and parking.
    • Get a third cash-back category by choosing to have your rewards deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account.
    • 0.50% on everything else.
    • Redeem cash back monthly as a statement credit or deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account.
    • No annual fee.
    • Transfer balances within your first 30 days and pay only 1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first six months (19.95% after that).
    • Get free cards for any authorized users on your account.
    • It only includes purchase assurance and extended protection insurance. For more insurance, consider the Tangerine World Mastercard which requires a minimum personal income of $60,000. If you meet this requirement, you will automatically be considered for the World card if you apply for the Money-Back card.
    • Preferred rates: 19.95% for purchases and cash advances.
    • To be eligible, a $12,000 (individual) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Methodology

NerdWallet Canada selects the best cash-back credit cards based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include rewards rates, interest rates, intro offers, and noteworthy features such as insurance, loyalty bonuses and other valuable perks.

How do no-fee credit cards work?

By Barry Choi

When shopping for a new credit card, many people naturally gravitate towards some of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada. These credit cards are similar to most other types of credit cards, but there’s no annual fee. Clearly, that’s a win for anyone who doesn’t like the idea of paying a fee to have access to a credit card, but there are other things to consider. Here are some common questions about no-fee credit cards that can help you make a decision.

What is a no-fee credit card?

Like all credit cards, a no-fee credit card allows you to make purchases with money borrowed from the credit card issuer. You’ll get an interest-free grace period that’s a minimum of 21 days. As long as you pay the entire balance before your statement due date, you won’t pay any interest charges. The big difference is that while some credit cards charge you an annual fee to be a cardholder, no-fee cards don’t.

» FIND OUT: What happens if you only make the minimum payment on your credit card?

Are there really no fees at all?

No-fee credit cards don’t charge you an annual fee, but there may be other costs associated with using a no-fee card, including:

All of these additional fees are clearly outlined in the terms and conditions that come with your card. As long as you use your no-fee credit card responsibly, it is possible to never pay any fees.

» MORE: How to use your credit card like a pro

Common features of a no-fee card

Every no-fee credit card is unique, so the included features will differ. That said, here are some of the common features you may get:

  • Interest-free grace period
  • Fraud protection
  • Increased earn rate on some merchant categories
  • Rewards (cash back, travel, store, etc)
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Admittedly, no-fee credit cards often have fewer benefits compared to credit cards that come with an annual fee. But there are a few no-fee credit cards that include helpful perks, such as mobile device or travel insurance.

Do no-fee credit cards still earn rewards?

Yes, there are many no-fee credit cards that earn rewards. The type of rewards you’ll receive depends on what card you choose. The typical rewards categories are as follows:

» See our picks for the best rewards credit cards in Canada

Pros and cons of no-fee credit cards

The benefits of getting a no-fee credit card may seem obvious, but it’s best to carefully consider the pros and cons before you apply.

Pros of no-fee credit cards

  • No annual fee. As long as you’re paying your balance in full and on time each month, it doesn’t cost you anything to have the card.
  • You can keep your account open for a long time. Since it doesn’t cost anything to keep the card active, your total available credit will grow, which has a positive effect on your credit utilization — one of the biggest factors in your credit score.
  • Good for emergencies. No-fee credit cards are low-cost and low-maintenance, so they make for an excellent backup credit card.
  • Helps you build credit. Using your credit card responsibly will build your credit history and credit score.
  • Earn rewards. You can earn points or miles that can later be redeemed for travel or merchandise.

» Make the most of your rewards: Here are the best ways to use credit card points

Cons of no-fee credit cards

  • Limited benefits. Credit cards that charge an annual fee often have better benefits and higher reward earn rates.
  • Smaller welcome bonus. No-fee cards usually have a less generous sign-up offer compared to cards with a fee.
  • Can be harmful. As with all credit cards, you could go into debt if you don’t manage your spending.

» CONSIDER: When is a credit card annual fee worth paying?

Can you get a no annual fee credit card with bad credit?

It depends on your situation.

For example, if you’re a student, some financial institutions will approve you for a no-fee student credit card even if you don’t have a credit history.

On the other hand, if you have a bad credit score due to previous financial difficulties, you may not be approved for a traditional no-fee credit card. However, you may still get another type of credit card.

You would likely still qualify for a no-fee secured credit card. These types of credit cards are similar to regular credit cards, but you need to deposit security funds. These funds act as your credit limit, but you can’t use them to pay your card balance.

  • FAQs

    • Who should get a no-fee credit card?

      A no-fee credit card is suitable for many people. Students on a fixed income, people who don’t want to pay an annual fee, and those who just want a backup credit card will find no-fee cards attractive.

      Regardless of your reasons, be sure to compare all the no-fee credit cards available so you can find the one that’s right for you.

    • How are no-fee credit cards different from debit cards?

      No-fee credit cards are similar to other unsecured credit cards and operate like a short-term loan. You borrow money from your credit card issuer and those funds must eventually be paid back. With your debit card, you can only spend money from your bank account. Since you aren’t borrowing money with a debit card, you won’t be charged interest.

DIVE EVEN DEEPER

Canada’s 10 Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2021

Cash back is the most flexible type of credit card reward.

Canada’s 8 Best Travel Credit Cards of 2021

The best travel credit cards have strong earn rates and great travel rewards.

Canada's 8 Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2021

The best rewards credit cards transform your everyday grocery, gas, restaurant and household spending into easy-to-use points and flexible loyalty program perks.

When Is a Credit Card Annual Fee Worth It?

Should you avoid a credit card with an annual or monthly fee, or is the extra charge — typically $30 to $150 — worth the premium perks?