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2022's Best No Fee Credit Cards for Canadians

Find the best credit cards with no annual fee.

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No fee credit cards on RATESDOTCA

With the sheer volume of choices available to credit card users, trying to settle on one specific card is a tough decision. You'll be tempted to get a card with rewards, air miles, cash back or various other perks offered by credit card companies.

As you start comparing credit cards, you'll notice that many of the rewards credit cards come with annual fees, and some of these may cost you over $100 yearly. If one intends to use a credit card often, the rewards collected will often justify the fee. What if you want to use the credit card occasionally or carry it just for emergencies?

In such cases, a no annual fee credit card will make sense. As you continue to shop for the best credit card for your needs, you'll likely notice no annual fee credit cards sometimes do offer some incentives and also have competitive interest rates. It is possible to get a credit card that combines some good features such as cash back rewards without paying an annual fee.

However, be aware that some no annual fee credit cards may just waive the fee for a limited amount of time. For example, there are credit card companies that will offer you a no annual fee for a year and charge you fees after that time is up. You may also find your fee is waived annually due to a special promotion or discount offer.

It is also important to check for a suitable rate of interest. You don't necessarily want to save on the annual fee only to be charged a higher interest rate. You'll have to decide if the interest rate combined with the savings on the annual fee makes financial sense for your spending habits.

By carefully examining the terms and conditions of these no annual fee cards, and comparing them to alternatives, credit card shoppers will be able to make the right choice.

The Best of Finance Winners for 2022: Best No Fees Credit Cards

  First year value* Credit score required Winner
$383 Good Tangerine World Mastercard®
$503 Good MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

*The RATESDOTCA Best of Finance methodology assumes the cardholder spends an average of $2,000 a month on their card to determine the first-year value. The calculation includes all welcome bonuses and promotional offers at the time of publishing.

Best No-Fee Cash Back Credit Card

Just because a card doesn’t charge an annual fee doesn’t mean it’s skimpy on rewards. Many no-fee credit cards offer hundreds of dollars in cash back for making everyday purchases and feature additional benefits like shopping coverage or exclusive offers.

We compared the top no-fee cash back credit cards using our Best of Finance methodology and ranked the cards that provided the highest first-year value.

  First year value* Credit score required Top features
$409 Fair Earn 2% cash back in up to three categories of your choice.
$383 Good Earn 3% cash back on your first $500 spent on groceries.
$500 Good Earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases.

Winner: Tangerine World Mastercard®

The Tangerine World Mastercard® offers cardholders the unique ability to set their own accelerated earning categories to maximize rewards. Cardholders can earn 2% cash back in up to three Money-Back Categories of their choice with options including groceries, gas, furniture, home improvements and even parking. Cardholders can choose the spending categories that reward them the most and tailor them to keep up with ever-changing circumstances.

This card also features mobile device insurance and basic travel perks.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn around $409 cash back in the first year.

The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Gift card
$150
+ Welcome bonus
$150
+ Annual rewards
$309
- Annual fee
$0
Total first year value
$609
Tangerine World Mastercard®

card image
Welcome bonus
$150
Money-Back Rewards
Annual rewards
$309
Money-Back Rewards
Annual fees:
$0
Interest rates:
19.95% on purchases • 19.95% on cash advances
$150 Amazon e-Gift Card from RATESDOTCA
Flexible no-fee cashback card with ability to choose what categories earn you the most cash back
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$150
Annual rewards
$309
The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Gift card
$150
+ Welcome bonus
$150
+ Annual rewards
$309
- Annual fee
$0
Total first year value
$609
Annual fees:
$0
Interest rates:
19.95% on purchases
19.95% on cash advances
$150 Amazon e-Gift Card from RATESDOTCA
Flexible no-fee cashback card with ability to choose what categories earn you the most cash back
Details at a glance Collapse details

Annual fee

$0

Limited time offer

  • Get a 1.95% promotional interest rate on balance transfers made within 30 days of opening the account for six months. A 1% balance transfer fee does apply.

Offer expiry date: N/A subject to change without notice.

  • Earn 10% cash back for the first two months on up to $1,000 in total purchases. That is up to $100 cash back.

Offer expiry date: July 31, 2022

Rewards

Earn 2% cash back in up to three categories of your choice. Start with two Money-Back Rewards Categories and earn a third when depositing your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account. Get 0.50% unlimited cash back on everything else.

Tangerine Money-Back Categories:

  • Grocery
  • Furniture
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel-motel
  • Gas
  • Recurring bill payments
  • Home improvement
  • Entertainment
  • Public transportation and parking

Change up your categories to match your spending style and maximize your rewards.

Earning potential

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = $309*
Tangerine special offer = $100
Annual fee = $0
Total earned over the first year (rewards and offers minus annual fee) = $409

*Assumes the cardholder deposits their rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account, earning the third category. The categories selected were groceries, recurring bill payments, and gas.

Ways you can redeem your points:

  • Apply cash back as a monthly statement credit.
  • Deposit cash back into a Tangerine Savings Account each month.

Insurance

  • Rental car collision and loss damage
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Benefits

  • Stay connected with Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard®*, and access over one million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide.
  • Access a complimentary membership to Mastercard® Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey for exclusive deals and offers at over 400 airports.
  • Take advantage of free supplementary cards for authorized users and earn more as a family.

Runners-up: Best No-Fee Cash Back Credit Card

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*

The BMO CashBack Mastercard®* offers members 5% cash back for the first three months*. After that, earn 3% back on grocery purchases, 1% back on recurring bill payments, and 0.5% back on everything else you buy. Earn even faster by adding additional cardholders for free.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will have $383 within the first year.

Annual fee

$0

Limited time offer/bonus

  • New cardmembers can get 5% cash back for the first three months. You will earn the regular 3% cash back rate on grocery purchases, up to $500 per billing cycle, with a bonus rate of an additional 2% back on your first $500 spend over the first three months. You will also receive the regular earn rate of 1% cash back on recurring bill payments up to $500 per billing cycle, with a bonus rate of an additional 4% cash back on your first $500 spend over the first three months. For all other purchases, you will receive the regular earn rate of 0.5% cash back, with a bonus of an additional 4.5% back on your first $1,500 spend over the first three months.

Sign-up bonus expiry date: December 6, 2022

Rewards

  • Get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, up to $500 in total purchases per month.
  • Get 1% cash back on recurring bill payments, up to $500 spent per billing cycle.
  • Get 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

SimplyCash™ Card from American Express

Cardholders of the SimplyCash™ Card from American Express earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases, no matter the category. That means cardholders can earn more on miscellaneous purchases like gifts and technology — items that usually fall outside the accelerated spending categories found on most credit cards.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn around $500 cash back in the first year.

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee for additional cardholders: $0

Limited time offer/bonus

  • New SimplyCash™ from American Express Cardmembers can earn 4% cash back on purchases (up to $200 cash back) for the first 6 months of card membership.

Offer expiry date: N/A subject to change without notice

Rewards

  • After the bonus rate expires, earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases, with no limit to how much cash back you can earn.

Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card

Access the top travel rewards programs with these no-fee cards. While this batch of cards have slightly lower earn rates than their counterparts with a fee, they still provide excellent value and great perks.

Plus, these cards can slide into your wallet as a primary or secondary credit card, and you don’t have to worry about another annual expense. You can use the card as often or sparingly as you like without having to justify its worth.

We compared the top no-fee travel credit cards using our Best of Finance methodology and ranked the cards that provided the highest value while also considering additional complimentary travel perks and benefits.

  First year value* Credit score required Top features
$503 Good Enjoy the flexible MBNA Rewards program and a generous welcome bonus. Enjoy basic travel insurance.
$484 Good Earn Scotia Scene+ points and redeem them for travel, gift cards and much more. Enjoy exclusive Amex perks.
$343 Good Earn more points with AIR MILES Partners.

Winner: MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® offers cardholders four points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, digital media, membership, and household utility purchases for the first 90 days, up to $10,000 in each category. After, earn two points for every $1 spent in these categories ($10,000 annual cap in each category) and one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

This card also features $1,000,000 travel accident insurance, unexpected return home insurance and car rental accident insurance.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn around $503 in rewards in the first year.

The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$205
+ Annual rewards
$340
- Annual fee
$0
Total first year value
$545
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

card image
Welcome bonus
$205
MBNA Rewards points
Annual rewards
$340
MBNA Rewards points
Annual fees:
$0
Interest rates:
19.99% on purchases • 24.99% on cash advances
2022 Winner - Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card
Flexible rewards redeemable for travel or cash back
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$205
Annual rewards
$340
The estimated dollar amount of benefits you’ll accumulate based on your monthly spending and rewards preference
+ Welcome bonus
$205
+ Annual rewards
$340
- Annual fee
$0
Total first year value
$545
Annual fees:
$0
Interest rates:
19.99% on purchases
24.99% on cash advances
2022 Winner - Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card
Flexible rewards redeemable for travel or cash back
Details at a glance Collapse details

Annual fee

$0

Welcome bonus

5,000 bonus points†† after you make $500 or more in eligible purchases within the first 90 days (about 3 months) of your account opening. Plus, 5,000 bonus points†† once enrolled for paperless e-statements within the first 90 days (about 3 months) of account opening

And 4 points†† for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days (until $10,000 is spent annually in the applicable category)

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.

Rewards

2x points for every $1 spent on:

  • Groceries
  • Restaurants
  • Memberships and digital media
  • Household utilities

1x point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Earning potential

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period + Welcome bonus = $340 + $163 = $503
Annual fee= $0
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $503

Benefits

  • Annual Birthday Bonus Points equal to 10% of the total number of Points earned in the 12 months before the month of your birthday (maximum 10,000 Points)
  • Discounts at Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car locations

Insurance coverage

  • Mobile device insurance - $1,000
  • Travel accident - $1,000,000
  • Unexpected return home - $2,000
  • Purchase protection - 90 days (about 3 months)
  • Extended warranty - 1 Year
  • Rental car accident - 2,000,000
  • Rental car personal effects - $1,000

Runners-up: Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card

Scotiabank®* American Express® Card

The Scotiabank®* American Express® Card is a no annual fee travel credit card that allows you to rack up Scotia Scene+ points for flexible redemption offers and enjoy exclusive Amex perks such as, Amex Invites and reserved tickets access. Not to mention you’ll also get access to Scotia’s exclusive travel agency.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would earn around $484 in rewards in the first year.

Annual fee

$0

Limited time offer/bonus

Earn 10,000 bonus Scotia Scene+ points within your first year (that's up to $100 towards travel).

Offer expiry date: October 31, 2022

Rewards

  • 2x points per $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries, restaurants, entertainment, transit and select streaming services
  • 1x points per $1 spent on all purchases.

BMO AIR MILES Mastercard*

New cardholders of the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard* can earn up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles when they spend at least $1,000 in the first three months. That is $80 in AIR MILES Cash. Regularly earn one Mile for every $25 in purchases on the card and get three Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners, like Metro, Foodland and Shell.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could earn around $343 in Miles in the first year.

Annual fee

$0

Limited time offer/bonus

  • Earn 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles when you spend at least $1,000 on your card in the first three months.
  • Get a 1.99% promotional interest rate on balance transfers for nine months. A 1% balance transfer fee does apply.

Offer expiry date: December 6, 2022

Rewards

  • Earn one Mile for every $25 you spend on your credit card.
  • Earn two Miles for every $12 spent at eligible grocery stores.
  • Earn three Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners.

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*RATESDOTCA may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services. however, our content and calculations are objective and free from bias. The opinions expressed are purely those of RATESDOTCA; thus, partners are not responsible for any editorials or reviews that may appear. For current term and conditions on any advertiser or partner’s product, please visit their website.

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