Best No Fee Credit Cards in Canada (2022)

Fernando Figueiredo

The best no-fee credit card in Canada, you ask? The truth is, it depends what you’re after. Credit cards with no annual fee range from basic options that will do the job and not much more, to some offerings that in certain respects are more like premium cards.

This article will talk you through our selection of some top picks – keeping in mind that there are plenty of no-fee Mastercards, Visas and Amex cards more. You’ll also read about the Wise card, the perfect option if you want to save money when spending in different currencies.

Wise card: save on currency exchange fees

Comparison of the best no fee credit cards in Canada

Card Annual fee Interest rate: purchases Interest rate: advances Rewards Welcome bonus Best for
American Express Green Card¹ $0 20.99% 21.99% 1x points on everyday purchases, +1 on Amex Travel Online 10,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months Points on every purchase
American Express SimplyCash² $0 19.99% 21.99% 1.25% cash back 4% cash back up to $200 in the first 6 months Cash back on every purchase
BMO CashBack³ $0 19.99% 22.99% 0.5% cash back on everything, 1% on bills, 3% on groceries up to $500 monthly 5% cash back up to $125 in the first 3 months⁴ Points on groceries
Brim $0 Not stated Not stated Cash back and points No foreign transaction fee
CIBC Aventura $0 20.99% 22.99% (or 21.99% in Quebec) 0.5x points on everything, 1x points for various categories 7,500 points after first purchase, 2,500 points after certain activities within 60 days Points for travelling
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus $0 19.99% 24.99% 2x points in various categories up to $10,000 spent annually; 1x point on other eligible purchases; 10% birthday bonus points up to 10,000 points 4x points in various categories for first 90 days; 5,000 bonus points if you spend $500 within 90 days; 5,000 bonus points if you enrol for paperless e-statements within 90 days Bonus points
Rogers World Elite $0 19.99% 22.99% 3% cash back on eligible US dollar purchases, 1.5% on eligible other purchases $25 on first use within 3 months US dollar spending; travel insurance
Tangerine Money-Back $0 19.95% 19.95% plus $3.50 or $5 fee 2% cash back on categories of your choice, 0.5% cash back on other purchases 15% cash back up to $150 in the first 2 months (expires soon) Flexible cash back categories

1. American Express Green Card

Two of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada come courtesy of American Express, and the first of them – the Green Card – is made from 99% recycled plastic.

It lacks the extravagance of some other Amex cards, but by offering a solid 1 point per dollar spent on every eligible purchase it counts among the most consistent and reliable options on offer when it comes to rewards. Amex rewards can be redeemed broadly, including on travel and at¹

2. American Express SimplyCash

A contender for Canada’s best no-fee cash back credit card is Amex’s SimplyCash card – which is, if anything, even more straightforward than the Green Card. This cash back card very simply gives you 1.25% cash back on all your spending, with no limit.

And in your first 6 months it’s even better, as the welcome offer allows you to claim up to $200 cash back at 4%.

Not bad for a no annual fee card – especially when it also comes with some travel insurance coverage too.²

3. BMO CashBack

The best free credit card in Canada isn’t necessarily on the Amex network, though. Families may be particularly tempted by the BMO CashBack Mastercard if they’re spending a lot on groceries. Up to $500 monthly on groceries will net you 3% cash back.

You get 1% on recurring bills, too, and 0.5% on everything else, so depending on how you spend, it could prove great value.

Fans of Cirque du Soleil can rejoice as well: the card gives you 15% off their Canada tours and 20% off in Las Vegas.³

4. Brim

A no-fee credit card from a newer provider is the Brim Mastercard, which gives you 1% in points you can redeem as cash back or in a range of different categories. Its especially flexible Open Rewards program means your points are easy to redeem however you want.

And Brim offers a couple of features that travellers can get excited about: 0% foreign transaction fees, and free global wi-fi courtesy of Boingo. The lack of FX fees in particular could save you a lot when you’re abroad.⁵

5. CIBC Aventura

There are several no annual fee credit cards from CIBC that might be worth a look, including the Dividend and Aeroplan, but we’ve selected the Aventura Visa as one that’s worth a look especially if you’re a frequent traveller.

Most purchases will get you 0.5 points per dollar, rising to 1 at gas stations, drug and grocery stores, and at travel via CIBC’s own rewards centre. But what’s especially worth noting is what you can do with those points: you can spend them on flights with any airline, and short-haul flights could be as little as 10,000 points.⁶

6. MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus

If you like bonus points, the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard has you covered, and then some. On the first $10,000 you spend in your first year you get 4x points on a considerable range of categories including restaurants, groceries, and utilities.

There are more bonus points on offer too: 5,000 if you spend $500 within 90 days, and 5,000 if you enrol for paperless e-statements then too. And you get 10% extra points on your birthday each year.

What can you use your points for? Cash back is available, but so are some retail perks and travel offers.⁷

7. Rogers World Elite

The best no-fee travel credit card in Canada, possibly at least, is the Rogers World Elite Mastercard. It’s designed with an eye on those Canadians who spend time – and money – south of the border. You get a mighty 3% cash back, with no cap, on US dollar purchases, and there are plenty of travel insurance benefits on offer too, plus free Boingo wifi and airport lounge access.

Back in Canada, you still get 1.5% cash back across the board, which is worth considering as well.

The $25 welcome bonus sounds modest, but compare that to the percentages on offer in cash back: if you’re looking for a card for the long term, this one could do you proud.

Unlike most fee-free cards, you’ll need to be earning well to be eligible for this one: $80,000 in annual income, or $150,000 across your household. And you’ll need to spend $15,000 on it to stay eligible too.⁸

8. Tangerine Money-Back

The best no-fee Mastercard in Canada might be one of the ones already discussed, or it could be the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, which lets you earn cash back at 15% for the first two months on your first $1,000 spent.

After that, you have some flexibility: you can choose two categories to claim 2% cash back in, and you get 0.5% cash back on everything else.⁹

How does a no-fee credit card work?

In the world of credit cards, “no fee” tends to mean no annual fee. Some credit cards, usually the more premium ones, charge you simply for the privilege of having the card in the first place – but a no-fee card doesn’t do that.

There may still be fees with a “no-fee” credit card. Certainly, you’ll have to pay interest back if you don’t pay off your bill in full each month. Balance transfers tend to have a percentage fee as well, and foreign currency conversion is frequently charged at 2.5% – unless you have a no foreign transaction fee credit card.

What should I look for in a no-fee credit card?

No-fee credit cards offer the same sorts of rewards as any other credit cards. Generally you can either claim cash back each month – when you spend money on your card, you get a small percentage in the region of 0.5% to 3% back – or accumulate points that you can redeem for particular products or at particular retailers.

Travel credit cards are especially big business, including no-fee travel credit cards. These will frequently let you claim discounts on flights or even free flights altogether, plus other perks when you’re abroad.

Which is the best no-fee credit card in Canada? It depends what you want it for. Hopefully the guide above has given you a place to start.

Wise card: save your money when you spend in different currencies

No sign-up fees, no maintenance costs, no minimum balance.

Wise is not a credit card, but it can indeed be what you’re looking for. If you’re travelling internationally or just buying online, you might want to know that using Wise is 4x cheaper than banks for spending abroad..

Get the mid-market rate and avoid high foreign transaction fees

You won’t have the high foreign transaction fees - your money gets converted with the real mid-market rate, no matter if you spend in-person or online in over 200 countries.

The only cost you’ll have is a very low and transparent conversion fee, in case you need to convert your Canadian dollars. Unlike other accounts, there are no monthly or annual charges, nor any minimum balance requirements.

Get local account details

The Wise card is part of the Wise account, which means that you can add, hold, and convert over 40 currencies instantly. You can get your own bank details for 10 different currencies (including CAD, USD, GBP, EUR, and more) to receive money from those places.

Order your Wise card today


  1. American Express Green Card
  2. SimplyCash Card from American Express
  3. BMO CashBack Mastercard
  4. BMO Credit Card Terms and Conditions
  5. Brim Financial Card Features
  6. CIBC Aventura Visa Card
  7. MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard
  8. Rogers World Elite Mastercard
  9. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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