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Published June 1, 2024

15 Best No-Fee Credit Cards in Canada for June 2024

The best no-fee credit cards in Canada offer impressive benefits without the burden of an annual fee.

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

NerdWallet Canada selected the best no-fee cards in Canada across numerous categories after analyzing dozens of no-annual-fee credit cards. Whether you’re looking for cash back, valuable travel rewards, impressive perks, lower interest rates, or more, our list of the best no-fee cards offer spectacular benefits without the burden of an annual fee. Consider our selections to choose the best option for your lifestyle and financial goals.

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Best no-fee credit cards in Canada

Best overall no-fee card

Tangerine World Mastercard®


$0

19.95%

0.5%-10%

Up to $100
Our Take
Why we like it

You can earn unlimited cash back at a 2% rate in up to three categories of your choice and 0.50% back on other everyday purchases while benefiting from exclusive Tangerine World Mastercard® perks and insurance cover.

Pros
  • Choose the best 2% rewards categories for you based on your spending.
  • A variety of additional perks like savings on subscription services, rental car collision/loss damage, mobile device insurance, and more.


Cons
  • Higher eligibility requirement for gross income.
Card Details
  • Apply for a Tangerine World Mastercard® by October 31, 2024 and earn an extra 10% back* (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.
  • Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.
  • Have your Money-Back Rewards deposited into a Tangerine Savings Account, and get a 3rd 2% Money-Back Category.
  • No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn.
  • Change your 2% Money-Back Categories to suit your spending.
  • With Mastercard Travel Rewards, you can unlock cashback offers and get a rebate applied directly to your statement, by using your Tangerine World Mastercard at select merchants that accept Mastercard while travelling outside of Canada.
  • Save on the things you love with your Tangerine World Mastercard. Enjoy special benefits and offers from a growing lineup of on-demand apps and subscription services made available to you as a Tangerine World Mastercard cardholder.
  • Make the most of your travel with Mastercard® Travel Pass Provided by DragonPass. Your complimentary membership gives you exclusive dining, retail and spa offers in over 650 airports worldwide, along with access to over 1,300 airport lounges at $32 USD per visit. Learn more at Mastercard® Travel Pass.
  • Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance**: Damage and theft protection for your car rental when you rent for up to 31 consecutive days and charge the full cost of your rental to your Card.
  • Mobile Device Insurance**: Protection on new cell phones, smartphones or tablets when you charge the full cost to your Card, or when you purchase it through a plan and charge all of your wireless bill payments to your Card. Covers up to $1,000 if your mobile device is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged or experiences mechanical failure.
  • Preferred rates: 19.95% for purchases and cash advances.
  • To be eligible, a $50,000 (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.
Other credit cards to consider

If this card doesn’t seem like a good fit for your wallet, take a look at NerdWallet’s selection of the best credit cards to help find the right option for you.

Best secured card

Neo Secured Credit


$0

19.99%-29.99% / 22.99%-31.99%

0.5%-6%

N/A
Our Take
Neo Secured Credit is a no-fee card that earns cash back rewards and offers access to high-interest savings.

Pros
  • A small $50 minimum deposit makes this card accessible to consumers of all budgets.
  • High average cashback rate of 5%.


Cons
  • Interest rates could be as high as 29.99% for some users.
Card Details
  • Build credit history with on-time payments.
  • Set your credit limit and get started with as little as $50.
  • Guaranteed approval with no credit score needed to apply.
  • 0.5% guaranteed monthly minimum cashback.
  • No monthly or annual fees.
  • Depending on plan (base or premium), customers can earn up to 6% on restaurants and bars, 4% on apps like DoorDash and Disney+, 3% on gas and groceries, and 0.5% on all other purchases.
  • Personalized Insights AI generates tailored information and recommendations designed specifically for you.

Best for: Annual bonus rewards

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®


$0

19.99% / 24.99%

1x-4x Points

Up to 10,000 Points
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.
Card Details
  • Earn 4 points†† for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days, and 2 points‡ for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in those categories thereafter – in both cases, these earn rates apply until $10,000 is spent annually in the applicable category.
  • Earn 1 point‡ for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • 5,000 bonus points†† ($25 in cash back value) after you make $500 or more in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • 5,000 bonus points††($25 in cash back value) once enrolled for paperless e-statements within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Each year, you will receive Birthday Bonus Points‡ equal to 10% of the total number of Points earned in the 12 months before the month of your birthday, to a maximum Birthday Bonus each year of 10,000 Points.
  • Redeem points‡ for cash back, brand-name merchandise, gift cards from participating retailers, charitable donations, and travel.
  • Mobile Device Insurance*** With Mobile Device Insurance, you’ve got up to $1,000 in coverage for eligible mobile devices in the event of loss, theft, accidental damage or mechanical breakdown.
  • No annual fee.
  • ‡, ††, ✪, ***, Terms and Conditions apply.
  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
  • Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.

Best for: Flat-rate rewards

American Express® Green Card


$0

21.99% / 21.99%

1x-2x Points

10,000 Points
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
  • Reward earn rates are lower than some other no-fee credit cards.
  • Lacks some of the travel perks and insurance options offered by other cards.
Card Details
  • Get the Card that lets you live in the moment while getting ready for the future.
  • The American Express® Green Card lets you go for it with every swipe or tap of your Card.
  • As a new American Express® Green Cardmember, you can earn a Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your Card in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. That’s $100 towards groceries or concert tickets.
  • Earn 1x the points on Card purchases.
  • Charge an eligible purchase to your Card and redeem your Membership Rewards points for a statement credit (All eligible purchases: 1,000 points = $10 statement credit).
  • With American Express Experiences and Front Of The Line®, American Express Cardmembers get access to amazing events in Canada.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Best for: Air Miles rewards

BMO AIR MILES®† Mastercard®*


$0

20.99% / 22.99%

0.04x-0.12x Miles

800 Miles
Our Take
Why we like it

It’s rare to find a 0.99% balance transfer offer on a dedicated travel rewards credit card, especially with a low 2% balance transfer fee. Sure, the introductory period is only for nine months, but the BBMO AIR MILES®† Mastercard®* makes it worth its while by adding an extra introductory perk: 800 bonus AIR MILES.

Pros
  • No annual fee.
  • Ability to earn unlimited rewards.


Cons
  • The introductory APR period for transfers is only nine months, so make sure you can pay off your balance during that window of time.
Card Details
  • Welcome offer: Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles!* That’s enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash.*
  • Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months, 2% fee applies to balance amounts transferred.*
  • Get 3x the Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners and 2x the Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store.*
  • Get 1 Mile for every $25 spent everywhere else.*
  • Use your BMO AIR MILES Mastercard and AIR MILES Collector Card at an AIR MILES Partner to earn Reward Miles from both.*
  • No annual fee.*
  • Receive a discount on car rentals.*
  • Extended Warranty.*
  • Purchase Protection.*
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

Best for: Grocery spending

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*


$0

20.99% / 22.99%

0.5%-5%

Up to 5% cash back
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.
Card Details
  • Welcome offer: Get 5% cash back in your first 3 months.*
  • Then get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases!*
  • Now earn the highest cash back on groceries in Canada without paying an annual fee!†
  • Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months, 2% fee applies to balance amounts transferred.*
  • No Annual fee.*
  • Want to get your cash back ASAP? Now you can redeem your cash back anytime through direct deposit, as a credit on your statement or into your BMO InvestorLine account.*
  • Extended Warranty.*
  • Purchase Protection.*
  • Receive a discount on car rentals.*
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • †Statement based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on Canadian cash back credit cards as of January 4, 2023.
  • BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

Best for: Businesses

BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®*


$0

19.99% / 22.99%

0.75%-10%

Up to $150
Our Take
Why we like it

The BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®* offers strong earn rates on gas, office supplies and bill payments, making it a smart no-fee choice for businesses looking to be rewarded for buying daily essentials.

Pros
  • No annual fee.
  • Rewarding intro offer.
  • Automatic rebates through the Mastercard Easy Savings program.


Cons
  • If you don’t frequent Shell gas stations you’ll miss out on the most savings.
Card Details
  • Welcome Offer: Get 10% cash back on gas, office supplies and cell phone/internet bills for 3 months.*
  • 0.00% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months with a 3% transfer fee.*
  • Get 1.5% cash back on eligible gas stations, office supplies purchases and on your cell phone and internet recurring payments.*
  • Get 1.75% cash back on purchases at Shell®†† gas stations.
  • 0.75% cash back on all other card purchases.*
  • 25 payment grace days.*
  • Optional Employee Cards – empower employees with delegated purchasing authority.*
  • Use your card at Costco locations across Canada.*
  • Liability Waiver Program protects your business against employee card abuse.*
  • Get cash advances at any BMO Bank of Montreal branch or at more than 1 million ATMs worldwide.*
  • Worldwide Acceptance.
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

Best for: Customizable cash-back rewards

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card


$0

19.95%

0.5%-10%

Up to $100
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.
Card 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). 1% balance transfer fee applies to the amount transferred.
  • 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.

Best for: Aeroplan points

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card


$0

20.99% / 22.99%

0.67x-1x Points

10,000 Points
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.
Card Details
  • 1x Aeroplan points per dollar on gas, electric vehicle charging, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases, up to $40,000 annual spend.
  • 1x Aeroplan points per $1.50 spent on all other purchases, including gas, electric vehicle charging, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases that exceed the $40,000 threshold.
  • Earn points twice at over 150 Aeroplan partners and 170+ online retailers through the Aeroplan eStore.
  • 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 are 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.

Best for: Rewards on dining and entertainment spending

Simplii Financial™ Cash Back Visa Card


$0

20.99% (Purchase)‡ / 22.99% (Cash advance)‡

0.5%-10%

Up to 10% Cash Back
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
  • Earn up to 4% cash back on eligible purchases in restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
  • Get cash back on fee-free global money transfers.


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.
Card Details
  • Earn 4% on eligible restaurant, bar and coffee shop purchases up to $5,000 spend per year†.
  • Earn 1.5% on eligible gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and pre-authorized payments, up to $15,000 per year†.
  • Earn 0.5% on all other credit card purchases with no limit on how much you can earn†.
  • For your first 4 months with a Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa* Card, enjoy 10% cash back on eligible restaurants, food delivery and bar purchases. Up to $500 spend †.
  • 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.†
  • Purchase security and extended protection insurance provided.†
  • Interest rates: 20.99% for purchases‡, 22.99% for cash advances‡.
  • To be eligible, a $15,000 (individual/household) 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.
  • †Terms and conditions apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details. This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
  • ‡ “Purchase” means any Transaction other than a Cash Advance, Balance Transfer or Convenience Cheque. “Cash” means a Cash Advance, Balance Transfer and Convenience Cheque. Interest rates may change from time to time.

Best for: No foreign transaction fees

Home Trust No Fee Preferred Visa Rewards Credit Card


$0

19.99%

1%

N/A
Our Take
Why we like it

This no-fee unsecured credit card is suitable to build or rebuild credit and offers cash back rewards on every purchase.

Pros
  • No foreign exchange fees on foreign currency purchases.
  • Suitable to build or rebuild credit.


Cons
  • Cash back rewards are only redeemable as a statement credit.
Card Details
  • Receive 1% cash back¹ on every eligible purchase made with your Home Trust Preferred Visa*.
  • CashBack Rewards earned are displayed every month on your statement, and the total amount earned for the previous year will be provided to you as a credit in January.
  • No annual fee.
  • Use your Home Trust Preferred Visa on purchases made in foreign currencies without added foreign exchange fees², whether you’re spending while abroad or shopping online at home.
  • Worldwide access from anywhere you are, for hotel and travel reservations or shopping in-store and online. Access cash at over 2.5 million ATMs in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
  • Manage your Visa account easily and securely — at any time, and from anywhere. Get your balance and view your transactions at Home Trust Visa Online.
  • Purchase Security³: insures eligible items against theft or damage for 90 days from the date of purchase.
  • Manage your Home Trust Visa account easily and securely — at anytime from anywhere in the world. View the card’s balance, transactions and pay bills online at Home Trust Visa Online.
  • Guaranteed hotel reservations — with this international travel credit card, you can request a guaranteed hotel reservation anywhere in the world and your room will be held for you even if you arrive late.
  • Preferred rates: 19.99% for purchases and cash advances.
  • To be eligible, $15,000 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. You cannot currently be in bankruptcy or be a resident of Quebec.
Other no FX fees cards to consider

If you want a card with no foreign exchange fees but this card doesn’t fit the bill, take a look at NerdWallet’s selection of the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards to find the right option for you.

Best for: Low interest rates

Desjardins Flexi Visa


$0

10.90% / 12.90%

N/A

N/A
Our Take
Why we like it

The Desjardins Flexi Visa offers more than the average no-fee, low-interest rate credit card, including mobile device protection and a modest amount of travel insurance.

Pros
  • Competitive interest rate on purchases and cash advances.
  • Mobile device protection and travel insurance included.


Cons
  • No points system or rewards program.
  • No promotional offers.
Card Details
  • No annual fee for the primary card and any additional cards.
  • No transaction fees on purchases made in Canada.
  • 25-day grace period to pay your bill without incurring credit charges.
  • 10.9% interest rate on purchases and 12.9% on cash advances.
  • If the minimum payment is not made, the annual interest rate will increase to 19.9% until payment is received.
  • Cash advances limit of $5,000 per day.
  • Up to $1,000 in insurance against loss, theft, accidental damage or mechanical failure of mobile devices purchased with the Desjardins Flexi Visa.
  • Purchase protection: Eligible items purchased with the Desjardins Flexi Visa are protected against loss or damage for 90 days from the purchase date.
  • Extended warranty: The original manufacturer’s warranty is doubled for up to one additional year on most items purchased with the Desjardins Flexi Visa.
  • Travel insurance for trips up to three days cover:
  • Eligible medical care and services required for up to $5 million per person;
  • Trip cancellation for up to $500 per person and trip interruption for up to $1,000 per person if the trip is paid for using the Desjardins Flexi Visa;
  • Baggage insurance for up to $500 per person for bags that are lost, stolen or delayed more than six hours.
  • Car rental discounts include: up to 15% off rental rates and reduced fees at Hertz; up to 10% off rental rates and reduced fees at Thrifty and Dollar.
  • Cardholders enjoy zero liability in the event of fraudulent card use.

Best prepaid card

Wealthsimple Card


$0

1%

$0

Unlimited
Our Take
Why we like it

Beginner investors interested in learning more about building wealth will feel right at home with the Wealthsimple Card, a no-fee prepaid Mastercard that earns 1% cash back on purchases. Use the rewards to support your TFSA, invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto, or fund your linked spending (Cash) account, where you can send, spend and receive money instantly with the Wealthsimple Cash app.

Pros
  • Use a Visa or Mastercard debit card to instantly deposit up to $3,500 per day (up to a maximum of $35,000 per month).
  • Effortlessly build an investment portfolio by transforming cash back rewards into stocks, ETFs or cryptocurrency deposited directly into a trading account.


Cons
  • There’s no brick-and-mortar location for Wealthsimple customers, so you need to be comfortable managing your money with an online-only company.
  • $5,000 per day spending limit; ATM withdrawals are limited to $500 per transaction/$1,000 per day.
  • Cash rewards invested into cryptocurrency are subject to Wealthsimple Crypto’s 1.5-2% fee.
Card Details
  • General fees and features: Wealthsimple does not charge any fees to use the Wealthsimple Card.
  • Currency conversion fee: Mastercard will determine the applicable exchange rate from the range of rates available in wholesale currency markets for the applicable processing date, which may vary from the rate Mastercard itself receives.
  • ATM withdrawals: Wealthsimple does not charge any fees for withdrawing cash, but you may see a standard ATM withdrawal fee (usually about $3.00) when you make a withdrawal at an ATM. ATM Withdrawal limits are $500 per transaction and $1,000 per day.
  • Reload methods: Add funds to your card by making a deposit via a linked bank account, a wire transfer, your Visa or Mastercard debit card, or an institutional transfer to move an account from another institution.
  • Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases. Cash back rewards can go directly into your Spend account, be added to the cash balance of a stock trading or crypto trading account, or be used to auto-purchase the cryptocurrency of your choice in your crypto trading account. Use the card anywhere Mastercard is accepted — in-store, in apps, or online. Pay bills, use direct deposit, and e-Transfer.
  • The Wealthsimple Card is available as part of the everyday spending account, which comes with both a digital and physical card that you can manage right from the Wealthsimple app.
  • Use the app to manage your rewards and spending preferences, or lock your card if something happens to it. Your balances are all updated in real-time, too — even if you’re using the physical card.
  • Add your Wealthsimple Card to Apple, Samsung or Google Pay digital wallet.
  • Use the Wealthsimple Cash app to send and receive payments to anyone else who uses the Cash app without paying fees. You can also send money to people who don’t have the Cash app yet. They will receive a prompt to download the app and claim the money you sent them.
  • Your money is protected for up to $100,000 through CDIC.
  • To be eligible, you must be a Canadian resident with a Social Insurance Number of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Best for: Students

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card for Students


$0

20.99% / 22.99%

0.67x-1x Points

10,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Credit card beginners can use the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for Students to accumulate travel rewards thanks to a solid earn rate and a generous welcome bonus.

Pros
  • The welcome bonus has no strings attached or hoops to jump through — simply make a purchase a receive 10,000 Aeroplan points.
  • 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
  • The higher 20.99% interest rate could be a problem for students learning how to use their first credit card.
  • To get the best value, you’ll have to be loyal to Air Canada and the Aeroplan rewards program.
Card Details
  • 1x Aeroplan points per dollar on gas, electric vehicle charging, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases, up to $40,000 annual spend.
  • 1x Aeroplan points per $1.50 spent on all other purchases, including gas, electric vehicle charging, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases that exceed the $40,000 threshold.
  • Earn points twice at over 150 Aeroplan partners and 170+ online retailers through the Aeroplan eStore.
  • 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.
  • Get three free months of Uber Pass for discounts on rides, meals and more. Offer ends September 8, 2022.
  • 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. Offer ends June 30, 2022.
  • Maximize your points by adding up to three additional cards and giving them to your spouse or other family members. Points can be shared with other Aeroplan members in your household.
  • Earn points by using your CIBC Aeroplan Visa to automatically make recurring bill payments.
  • Receive preferred pricing when paying for flights with your Aeroplan points.
  • Save up to 25% on car rentals at participating Budget and Avis locations worldwide when paying with your card.
  • Save up to 10 cents per litre at participating Chevron, Ultramar and Pioneer gas stations if you link your card with Journie Rewards.
  • Use the CIBC Pace It feature to make installment payments on large purchases.
  • Four types of insurance are provided: auto rental collision and loss damage insurance, purchase security, extended protection insurance, and $100,000 in common carrier accident insurance.
  • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must have full-time status in a college or university.

Best for: Newcomers

RBC ION Visa Credit Card


$0

20.99% / 22.99%

1x-1.5x Points

6,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The no-fee RBC ION Visa Card earns Avion points on every dollar spent with elevated rates for eligible grocery, gas, gaming purchases and more. Cardholders can save up to 3 cents per litre on fuel when they pay with their RBC ION Visa at Petro-Canada. It may lack lavish travel perks and robust insurance coverage, but as far as no-fee cards are concerned, the RBC ION Visa has a respectable lineup of benefits for everyday spenders.

Pros
  • No annual fee.
  • Petro-Canada fuel discounts.
  • Earn bonus Be Well points on Rexall purchases.
  • Accelerated earn rate on eligible grocery, gas, transit, streaming and digital gaming purchases.


Cons
  • Insurance is limited to purchase security & extended warranty protection.
Card Details
  • Get 6,000 Avion points upon approval* – that’s $40 of value in gift cards⁺! Apply by November 4, 2024.
  • Earn 1.5X Avion points¹ on:
  • Grocery – Satisfy your taste buds by earning points on groceries.ⁱ
  • Rides, Gas & EV Charging – Enjoy earning points on gas, rideshare, daily public transit, electric vehicle charging.ⁱⁱ
  • Streaming, Digital Gaming & Subscriptions – Stay entertained while earning points on streaming, gaming, eligible digital subscriptions, eligible digital downloads, and in-game purchases.ⁱⁱⁱ
  • Earn 1 Avion point for every $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases.¹
  • Pay With Points – Redeem your Avion points to pay bills, your credit card balance or even send money to friends with Interac e-Transfer⁴. Minimum redemption is only $10, so you can use your points where you need them most.
  • Save at Petro-Canada – Save 3¢/L on fuel and earn 20% more points when you pay with a linked RBC card.⁶
  • Earn more Be Well points at Rexall – Earn 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at Rexall when you pay with your linked RBC card and scan your Be Well card.⁷
  • Save Big on Delivery with DoorDash – Get a 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription – a value of almost $30.⁸ Enjoy unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees on qualifying orders of $15 or more when you pay with your eligible RBC credit card⁹. See how to save with DoorDash.
  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance⁵ – Automatically protects eligible card purchases against loss, theft or damage within 90 days of purchase, and doubles the manufacturer’s original Canadian warranty by up to one additional year, to a maximum of five years.
  • Corresponding legal references and product terms are available on the RBC website, which will be available and agreed upon in the customer onboarding process.
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Neo Secured Credit

Earn an average 5% instant, unlimited cash back at over 10,000 Neo partners with a guaranteed minimum 0.5% cash back. Plus, get up to 15% cash back on first-time purchases, all for no annual fee. Terms and Conditions apply*

Methodology: How we evaluate cards

NerdWallet Canada selects the best no-fee credit cards based on their overall consumer value as well as their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Our evaluation methodology is weighted by the following factors: 50% rewards value, 25% intro offer, and 25% fees and interest. Rewards value considers earning rates, rewards structure, promotional rates and spending categories. The intro offer considers the welcome bonus value, promotional interest rates, and any waived fees. Fees and interest consider interest rates for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances, and additional costs such as foreign transaction fees. Other noteworthy features, such as insurance, special perks and extra benefits, earn unofficial bonus points. Only cards without an annual fee were considered.

    Summary of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada

    CARD NAMEBEST NO-FEE CARD FORANNUAL FEEINTRO OFFER
    Tangerine World Mastercard®Best overall no-fee card.$0.Up to $100.
    CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card for StudentsBest for: Students.$0.10,000 Points.
    RBC ION Visa Credit CardBest for: Newcomers.$0.6,000 Points.
    Wealthsimple CardBest prepaid card.$0.N/A.
    MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®Best for: Annual bonus rewards.$0.Up to 10,000 Points.
    Neo Secured CreditBest secured card.$0.N/A.
    BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*Best for: Grocery spending.$0.Up to 5% cash back.
    CIBC Aeroplan® Visa CardBest for: Aeroplan points.$0.10,000 Points.
    Tangerine Money-Back Credit CardBest for: Customizable cash-back rewards.$0.Up to $100.
    American Express® Green CardBest for: Flat-rate rewards.$0.10,000 Points.
    Simplii Financial™ Cash Back Visa CardBest for: Rewards on dining and entertainment spending.$0.Up to 10% Cash Back.
    BMO AIR MILES®† Mastercard®*Best for: Air Miles rewards.$0.800 Miles.
    BMO CashBack® Business Mastercard®*Best for: Businesses.$0.Up to $150.
    Home Trust No Fee Preferred Visa cardBest for: No foreign transaction fees.$0.N/A
    Desjardins Flexi VisaBest for: Low interest rates.$0.N/A.

    How no-fee credit cards work in Canada

    What is a no-fee credit card?

    A no-fee credit card doesn’t have an annual fee: the lump sum amount charged by card issuers to help cover the cost of card rewards and programs. Most of the best Canadian credit cards carry annual fees over $100.

    Now, this isn’t to say you won’t ever pay any fees while holding a no-free credit card — you’ll likely still need to deal with interest charges, inactivity fees and the like. But annual fees? No-fee cards don’t have any, which could help you trim down on unnecessary costs.

    The only downside? No-fee cards may not offer the same premium perks that often accompany cards with steep annual fees. That said, no-fee cards still have some perks, including cash-back reward programs, travel points and more.

    Common features of a no-fee credit 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:

    Admittedly, no-fee credit cards often have fewer benefits than credit cards with an annual fee. But some no-fee credit cards may still include helpful perks, such as mobile device protection or travel insurance.

    Is a no-fee credit card a free credit card?

    A no-fee card isn’t exactly the same as a free credit card. While no-fee credit cards don’t charge you an annual fee, there will likely be other costs associated with using a no-fee card, including:

    All of these additional fees should be clearly outlined in the terms and conditions that come with your card. As long as you use your no-fee credit card responsibly, it may be possible to avoid fees completely.

    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:

    Types of no-fee credit cards in Canada

    Many types of no-fee credit cards are available, with the best offering the ability to earn valuable rewards, cash back and more, all without having to pay an annual fee.

    No-fee cash back credit cards

    Cash-back credit cards are fairly simple as far as perks are concerned: spend money; get a percentage of what you’ve spent back in cash. Now, as for the type of purchases that earn rewards and how much cash back you get for them, that’s what separates different types of cash-back cards.

    Take the Simplii Financial™ Cash Back Visa Card: it’s a no-fee cash back card that offers 4% cash back each time you swipe your card at a restaurant, bar or coffee shop, up to $5,000 per year.

    In comparison, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card offers unlimited cash back at a 2% rate in up to three money-back categories of your choice.

    No-fee travel credit cards

    Travel cards offer travel-related rewards when you use your card. Some travel cards charge large annual fees in exchange for premium perks, like comprehensive travel insurance packages.

    But the rewards offered by no-fee travel credit cards are nothing to sneeze at. The CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card doesn’t carry an annual fee and earns Aeroplan points every time you spend on gas, groceries and Air Canada travel purchases, for example.

    And the BMO AIR MILES®† Mastercard®*, another no-fee card, earns Air Miles rewards and comes with car rental discounts.

    No-fee rewards cards

    Rewards cards allow you to earn points for making eligible purchases. And these points can be redeemed for all types of perks, from travel vouchers to electronic gift cards.

    For example, the American Express® Green Card lets you earn rewards points across a variety of spending categories and points can be put towards purchases, travel spending, gift cards; you name it. Plus, you can transfer points to other loyalty programs, like Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy.

    No-fee Mastercards

    Credit cards branded with the Mastercard name or logo belong to the Mastercard network. Mastercard is not a card issuer, it simply processes credit card payments. And because Mastercard is one of the most popular card processors in the world, there are plenty of cards to pick from — including cards without annual fees.

    One example of a no-fee Mastercard with generous perks is the Brim Mastercard. It earns rewards points on everyday purchases, offers free global WiFi access and comes with travel, event ticket and mobile device insurance coverage.

    Who should get a no-fee credit card?

    A no-fee card may not be suitable for everyone, depending on their spending habits and financial goals, but there are some circumstances in which this type of card is a practical fit:

    Advantages of no-fee credit cards

    Disadvantages of no-fee credit cards

    When is an annual fee worth paying?

    Annual fees for Canadian credit cards can range from $6.95 to $699, and the cost may be worthwhile — it really all depends on your financial situation, lifestyle and spending habits.

    For example: a travel credit card with an annual fee may be a practical fit if you’re often on the road and frequently purchase travel insurance — a perk offered by numerous travel rewards cards.

    Or maybe it’s a cash-back credit card with an annual fee that offers bonus rewards for something you spend a lot of money on, like gas or groceries.

    Essentially, a credit card’s annual fee is worth it if the amount of value (savings or rewards) you can squeeze from the card each year is higher than the amount of the fee.

    How to choose a no-fee credit card

    When comparing credit cards, assessing the annual fee they charge is typically important. Of course, with no-fee cards, this isn’t a concern. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all the same. Here are some other things to consider when deciding between no-fee credit cards in Canada.

    Interest rate

    All credit cards — even no-fee cards — charge interest and those interest rates should factor into the card you choose. The no-fee cards on our list carry an average purchase interest rate of 20.2%, which is pretty standard. The average interest rate for a Canadian credit card in any category is 19.4%, but cards with lower rates exist, some under 10%. They’re rare, but they’re out there.

    If you tend to carry a balance on your card, keep your eyes peeled for no-fee cards with lower interest rates — anything under 20% is a competitive rate in this category.

    Welcome bonus or intro offer

    Introductory offers often come in the form of special cash-back offers or extra rewards points. They’re designed to help incentivize new card applications and could be a factor worth considering as you narrow down your no-fee credit card options.

    The caveat to welcome bonuses? You don’t always get the points or cash just for signing up. To nab the intro offer, you may have to spend a minimum amount within a certain time frame after opening the card, for example. The thing to note about welcome bonuses or intro offers is that they’re typically temporary, often ending after a few months.

    Ongoing rewards rate

    When comparing no-fee card options, take a look at what type of rewards the card will earn even after the intro offer expires — more specifically, how they’re earned and ways they can be redeemed.

    Whether you earn points from affiliated travel programs or cold hard cash back on eligible purchases, you’ll want a rewards program that will encourage you to make the most of your spending.

    Perhaps even more important, however, is how points are earned. One card may offer triple the points on your weekly grocery bill, while another may let you double down on your travel miles each time you book a flight with a qualifying carrier.

    Credit card insurance

    Some no-fee credit cards come with insurance coverage, but not all. Insurance coverage offerings may include travel insurance, event ticket protection, extended warranty and purchase security protection and more.

    Insurance coverage through your no-fee credit card may not be a strict necessity if you have coverage through an independent insurer or through your employer. But it can offer added protection and peace of mind, depending on the coverage available.

    How to apply for a no-fee credit card

    To apply for a no-fee credit card in Canada, you’ll first need to ensure that you meet the issuer’s eligibility requirements, and then follow the typical steps to submit an application.

    Eligibility requirements for a no-fee credit card

    Eligibility criteria may vary, but the baseline requirements for a no-fee credit card tend to be fairly standard.

    Age and residency status

    You must be a Canadian resident, and you must be the age of majority in the province or territory you live in.

    Credit score

    All of the no-fee cards on our list require applicants to have a Canadian credit file, so if this is your first credit card, you may need to explore other options, like getting a secured credit card, instead.

    Minimum credit score thresholds may also come into play, depending on the card you choose.

    Personal or household income requirements

    Income requirements tend to be more common among high-tier credit cards, while no-fee credit card income requirements tend to be much lower, if they’re required at all.

    Steps to apply for a no-fee credit card

    When you apply for a no-fee credit card, there’s no guarantee you’ll be approved. The credit card provider needs to assess your financial profile to determine if you’re creditworthy. The application process will typically look something like this:

    1. Fill out an application. This can be done online or at your financial institution. The application will ask for some basic information, such as your name, date of birth, address, social insurance number, employer and income.
    2. Your information is checked. The credit card issuer will make an inquiry on your credit report and verify the information that you provided.
    3. A decision is made. If you apply online, instant approval (or disapproval) is possible, but there’s also a chance the credit card issuer will ask you to contact them to provide additional information.
    4. Your card is mailed out. Your credit card will immediately be mailed out and will typically arrive within 14 business days.
    5. Activate your card. Once your card arrives, you’ll need to activate it by logging into your account or calling the number on your card. Once activated, you can use your card to make purchases.

    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 much 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.

    Frequently asked questions about no-fee credit cards

    Who should get a no-fee credit card?

    A no-fee credit card is suitable for many people. Those who don’t plan to spend much on their card, those who just want a backup credit card that earns decent rewards, and those who just don’t want to pay an additional fee will find no-fee cards attractive.

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

    No-fee credit cards are similar to other unsecured ones and operate like short-term loans. 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

    22 Best Credit Cards in Canada for June 2024

    22 Best Credit Cards in Canada for June 2024

    NerdWallet Canada’s picks for the best credit cards include top contenders across numerous card categories. Compare these options to find the ideal card for you.

    Credit Card Interest Calculator

    Credit Card Interest Calculator

    Interest charges don’t need to be a mystery. Use our credit card interest calculator to see how much interest you’d owe if you carry a credit card balance.

    When Is a Credit Card Annual Fee Worth It?

    When Is a Credit Card Annual Fee Worth It?

    A credit card’s annual fee can be offset by its benefits — just make sure the extra cost is worth the premium perks.

    25 Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada for June 2024

    25 Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada for June 2024

    Compare the best rewards credit cards in Canada across numerous rewards categories, including travel, cash back and more, to find the ideal card for your spending preferences.

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