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Best No-Fee Credit Cards In Canada For 2021

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Last updated on February 18, 2021

While several premium Canadian credit cards come with a yearly fee, there are a variety of top tier credit cards that offer great rewards with no annual fees. As a matter of fact, credit cards with no annual fees offer more perks than most people think, including cash back bonuses, excellent rewards, and more. If you are looking for a no annual fee credit card that still offers incredible rewards and perks, you may want to check these cards out.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

tangerine credit card

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on Tangerine's website

Welcome Offer: choose up to 3 categories and receive a 4% cash back on those for the first 3 months.

Earn Rate: 2% cash back on your selected categories, and 0.5% on everything else.

Annual Fee: $0

Min. Income Required: Personal $12,000

If you want a solid no-annual-fee rewards credit card, then the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card card is a perfect choice. You will earn 0.50% cash back on all your purchases, and 2% cash back on your daily purchases in two spending categories of your choice.

The categories include:

  • Drugstores
  • Restaurants
  • Entertainment
  • Furniture
  • Gas
  • Recurring bill payments
  • Grocery

While this credit card has no yearly fee, it still charges interest on late payments. The yearly interest rate on cash advances and purchases is 19.95%. You should pay your balance off in full every month to keep away from interest charges.

Apart from unlimited cash back and no annual fees, there are also other benefits, such as purchase assurance and extended warranty. Purchase assurance automatically covers the damage, theft, or loss on insured items for three months from the purchase date. The extended warranty coverage offered by this credit card effectively increases the manufacturer’s warranty on products bought with this card.

You need to have a good credit score and an annual income of $12,000 to be eligible for this credit card. All in all, it is one of the best cash-back and no annual fee cards available to people in Canada.

BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*

bmo cashback mastercard

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on BMO's website

Welcome Offer: 5% cash back in your first 3 months + 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee.

Earn Rate: Get 1% cash back on all purchases.

Annual Fee: $0

Cash Advance: 22.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents)

Min. Income Required: $15,000

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With this no annual fee credit card, you will get 5% cash back on all your purchases you made in the first 90 days of account opening. In addition, you will earn 1% cash back on monthly utilities, subscriptions, and streaming services. Finally, you will get 0.5% cash back on your other purchases. Plus, you will get an introductory interest rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for nine months with a transfer fee of 1%.

This card has an annual income requirement of $15,000. So, even students with a part-time job can apply for this credit card.

Furthermore, it can be used at Costco. However, it’s important for you to know that since Costco is not regarded as a grocery shop and is a discount warehouse store, you will earn 0.5% cash back on grocery purchases there.

Since this card is a no annual fee card, you don’t need to pay yearly fees for you or any extra authorized users. However, it charges an interest rate of 22.99% on cash advances and 19.99% on purchases.

SimplyCash™ Card from American Express

SimplyCash™ Card from American Express

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on American Express' website

Welcome Offer: 4% cashback in your first 6 months (up to $200 cashback).

Earn Rate: Flat rate of 1.25% back on purchases when your welcome period ends.

Annual Fee: $0

Min. Income Required: $0

The SimplyCash™ Card from American Express allows you to earn 2.5% cash back on purchases for the first 90 days of card ownership. And you can earn 1.25% cash back on your purchases irrespective of the purchase category after your sign-up bonus ends. The good news is that Amex allows you to earn equally across all categories, with unlimited cash back.

The SimplyCash™ Card from American Express also includes shopping and travel coverage. You can get up to $100,000 in purchase protection, buyer’s assurance, and travel accident protection. On top of that, you are automatically enrolled in American Express Experiences that give you access to exclusive entertainment options.

It also includes access to select venues in Toronto, such as Budweiser Stage and Roy Thomson Hall. Additionally, you can buy Front Of The Line pre-sale tickets for the most popular theatre productions and concerts.

Scotiabank®* Gold American Express®

Scotiabank®* Gold American Express®

scotiabank gold american express

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on Scotiabank's website

Welcome Offer: 25,000 Scotia Rewards points.

Earn Rate: 5x points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, restaurants, fast food, drinking establishments, entertainment. 3x points for every $1 spent on gas, transit, and streaming services. 1x point for everything else. No FX Fees.

Annual Fee: $120

Min. Income Required: Personal - $12,000

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People who want to cash in points for travel fast and save cash on purchase protections and insurance will appreciate the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® card. You can easily earn and redeem rewards points overseas and at home (has no FX fees on foreign purchases). The card comes with a variety of insurance protections, and some purchases qualify for price protection and extended warranties.

You will get 5,000 bonus points on daily purchases in the first 90 days of account activation. Additionally, you will get one reward point for each dollar you spent on your purchases. You can book your trip through Scotia Rewards Travel Service, a travel agency that can guarantee the best prices on airfares.

Cardholders also get access to American Express Experiences. The company will notify you of special offers available, including film screenings, theatre engagements, and table reservations at fine restaurants. Apart from this, the credit card extends to you special offers such as amenities, privileges, and discounts.

This credit card insures you with a host of protections, including insurance for rental car damage, trip interruptions, accidents, and medical emergencies. Furthermore, these protections extend to your dependents as well as your spouse.

American Express® AIR MILES®* Gold Business Card

American Express® AIR MILES®* Gold Business Card

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on American Express' website

Welcome Offer: 150 bonus AIR MILES when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership.

Earn Rate: Earn 1 Reward Mile for every $15 in Card purchases at AIR MILES Sponsors. Earn 1 Reward Mile for every $20 in Card purchases everywhere else.

Annual Fee: $0 (No annual fee)

Min. Income Required: $0

If you’re looking for a business card with no annual fees, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Gold Business Card offers you the chance to get Air Miles on your each purchase. This credit card gives you the flexibility to carry your balances from one month to the next or pay your balances in full.

You will earn 150 Air Miles as a sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of card ownership. In addition to this, you will get one Air Mile for each $20 you spent on purchases elsewhere, and one Air Mile for each $15 you spent on purchases at Air Miles Sponsors.

Last but not least, you will get 2x Air Miles when you buy things from participating Air Miles Sponsors across Canada and pay with your credit card and use your Air Miles Collector Card. You can also give cards to your employees without paying any yearly fees.

Apart from earning Air Miles, this credit card allows business owners to access business tools that can help them organize their business expenditures and increase their cash flow. It also offers Accidental Death Insurance of up to $100,000. This insurance covers you, your kids (below 23 years of age), and your spouse when any of you travel on a ship, bus, train, or airplane and charge your tickets to your credit card. Plus, supplementary cardholders, their kids (under the age of 23), and spouses are also covered.

Cardmembers also get special American Express benefits. You get exclusive access to shopping, dining, movie, theater, and travel benefits through Front of the Line perks and American Express Experiences.

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

For those who want a no annual fee credit card with flexible options for reward redemption, this credit card is worth considering. With this credit card, you will earn 10,000 reward points as a welcome bonus. You will receive 5,000 bonus points after you make $500 or more in purchases within the first three months of your card membership. In addition to this, you will earn 5,000 more points once you sign-up for paperless e-statements within the first three months of card ownership.

In addition to these bonus points, you will get four reward points for each $1 you spent on restaurant, grocery, and gas purchases for the first three months of account activation, and two reward points for each $1 you spent on restaurant, grocery, and gas purchases afterwards. Finally, you will get one reward point for each $1 you spent on other purchases. And you can redeem the points for merchandise, gift cards, travel rewards, and more.

PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

This credit card from PC Financial carries no yearly fees. It allows you to earn 45 points for every $1 you spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 30 points for every $1 you spent at participating Loblaw banner stores. Loblaw banner stores include Atlantic Superstore, No Frills, Zehrs, Maxi & Cie, Pharmaprix, Real Canadian Superstore, Provigo, and Loblaw to name a few.

Apart from this, you will get 30 points for every $1 you spent on PC travel and PC mobile purchases. Other than that, you will get 30 reward points per liter at Mobil and Esso service stations. Plus, you will get 10 points for each dollar you spent on your other purchases.

This credit card comes with complimentary purchase assurance and car rental insurance in case of damage in the first three months after you purchase a product with your credit card. It also comes with a complimentary extended warranty that extends the manufacturer’s warranty for up to 12 months.


Are no-annual-fee credit cards really free?

Yes and no. These credit cards have no annual fee, but they are not exactly free when you consider the interest payments and penalties on late payments. However, if you make your payments on time, it is most certainly considered a “free” credit card.

Who should get a no annual fee credit card? What are the benefits?

The benefits are that you don’t have to pay any fees to keep the card. This makes it easier to keep the card long-term, building a longer average age of your credit accounts, which can help increase your credit score.

The credit cards that do have annual fees offer higher rewards earn rates plus they usually have larger welcome bonuses. People who spend heavily with their credit cards will come out net positive even after paying the annual fees for these cards. However, if you’re not a heavy spender, getting a no annual fee credit card can be the better option.

Plus, you can always get an additional premium card on top of your existing no annual fee card. Having no annual fee means you can keep the card without worrying about wasting money and not earning enough rewards to cover the costs.

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