Best No Annual Fee Credit Card Rankings in Canada for 2018
There’s never been a better time to get a no annual fee credit card in Canada. Credit card issuers are packing loads of value onto the best no annual fee credit cards whether you’re looking for cash back, rewards, miles, a free flight, or low interest rates.
There are usually four very good reasons to get a no annual fee credit card (you might also want to inquire why people look for cards with annual fees). First, you don’t spend enough to make an annual fee worth the cost. Second, you want a back-up credit card in your wallet in case your primary card gets lost, stolen or frozen. Third, you have no need for some of the perks annual fee credit cards offer. Fourth, you’re reluctant to commit to a card before you try it.
Regardless of your reason, there have never been more no annual fee credit cards offering as much value as we have today.
Summary of Best Canadian No Annual Fee Credit Cards
|Credit Card||Special Card Feature||Annual Fee||Card Review||Apply for Card|
|Tangerine Money Back Credit Card||2% on 2 categories of choice||$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|RBC Cash Back Mastercard||2% on groceries|
1% on the rest
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|Rogers World Elite MasterCard||1.75% domestic |
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express Card||15,000 pts on first purchase|
4% on selected category
|$99||Read More||Apply Now|
|MBNA Best Western MasterCard||20,000 pts on first purchase|
1.99% balance transfer for 10 months
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card: Cash Back
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Canadians voted Tangerine’s no annual fee cash back card Product of the Year in the Financial Services category for 2017, and with good reason.
It comes with no annual fee, a 2% cash back rate in up to 3 categories of your choice (like gas, groceries, pharmacy, recurring billing, etc…), and 0.5% on all other spend. There are no limits to how much cash back you can earn. You can change your bonus categories and your cash back gets applied automatically every month!
This is by far the best no fee cash back card on the Canadian market. Most others, such as BMO offer 1% cash back. Some such as the Amex Simply Cash card goes as high as a 1.25% flat cash back rate. None give the value of the Tangerine Money-Back credit card. None, offer its convenience.
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
Another excellent no-fee credit card offering cash back is the RBC Cash Back Mastercard. With zero annual fees, it’s easy and inexpensive for you to accumulate more cash back on groceries at a fast rate of 2.00%. Cardholders who want to extend this card’s benefits to their family members will appreciate that supplementary cardholders are exempt from fees as well. Outside of the grocery category, cardholders will earn cash back at a rate of up to 1.00%.
Cash back on these other purchases begins at 0.50% and then doubles when the cardholder hits $6,000 in annual spending. On groceries, those spending more than $6,000 per year will see their cash back rate reduced from 2.00% to 1.00%. However, the cash back that one earns is unlimited, meaning there’s no maximum that can be accumulated per year. Purchase protection and extended warranties on items bought with the card are also appreciated. Finally, those who link their RBC Cash Back Mastercard to Canada’s Petro-Points program will save 3 cents per litre when filling up at Petro-Canada.
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card: No Foreign Transaction Fees
Rogers World Elite MasterCard
The Rogers World Elite MasterCard comes with an incredible 1.75% flat cash back rate and subsidizes foreign transaction fees. It offers 4% cashback on foreign purchases – phenomenal value for travel & U.S. dollar purchases online.
Not just for Rogers customers, the Rogers MasterCard has the strongest flat cash back rate for a no fee credit card in Canada. Combined with it’s no foreign transaction fees it makes for a great card to carry with you on vacation, make U.S. dollar purchases online, or to combine with a card like Tangerine, to earn 1.75% cash back in non-bonus categories!
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card: Free Flight Bonus
*Please note that Scotiabank no longer waives the annual fee for this card in its first year.
The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Frequent travellers can reduce their biggest expenses and earn on their everyday purchases with the Scotiabank Gold AmEx card. New card holders are eligible to receive a competitive introductory bonus of up to 15,000 rewards points, which have an equivalent value of $150. This represents a significant discount on one’s upcoming travel plans, as the points can be redeemed on flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars and more.
Members will collect rewards points at an excellent 4% rate by using their card on gas, groceries, dining and entertainment. This broad scope of eligible expenses makes it easy to accumulate points fast, potentially saving hundreds of dollars each year. Alongside a comprehensive array of protective benefits, like insurance for trip interruption, cancellation, travel accidents, rental car damage, hotel burglary, flight delay and even travel medical, the card presents a strong value proposition. The consistent advantages and impressive introductory bonus make the Scotiabank Gold American Express card a worthwhile option for a multitude of potential customers.
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card: Free Hotel Night Bonus
Best Western MasterCard®
This is an overlooked no annual fee credit card. While Best Western isn’t the Ritz, enough Canadians travel from city to city, whether by plane, train or automobile that a free hotel night at the Best Western might prove pretty convenient. With absolutely no annual fee, it’s a steal of a deal.
You will get 20,000 Best Western Rewards points on first purchase which is enough for a free nights stay. First purchase means you can buy a pack of gum and you meet the eligibility requirement. There’s no minimum spend requirement. With no annual fee, and no minimum spend requirement, that truly is a free nights stay.
The other nice thing about the Best Western Rewards card is that you can also transfer balances from your other credit cards to the Best Western MasterCard at 1.99% for 10 months, with a 1% transfer fee.
How to Choose Your No Annual Fee Credit Card
The best no annual fee credit card is not the first one your bank offers you. As you can see, there are several options. You have to decide the best credit card for you, given your goals and situation.
There are a few rules of thumb however to help guide you. First, if you don’t spend a lot on your credit card, a no annual fee credit card is the way to go. Second, if you only have one credit card, get a second no fee card as a back-up. In the event your primary card gets lost, stolen, maxed, or frozen, you’ll have an alternative – it costs nothing. Third, if you keep a balance from time to time, get a no annual fee low interest card – it’s free, so keep it in your wallet until you’re about to make that purchase you know you won’t pay off right away. You’ll cut your interest rate by half.
Finally, remember, if you love rewards, there’s no better offer than a no annual fee first year, with a free flight welcome bonus. With no annual fee, you can get as many cards with robust welcome bonuses as you’d like. All you have to do is watch out that you space out your applications a little, and take note of any minimum spend requirements. Other than that, it’s a great opportunity to get a free flight and to try new credit cards to see which rewards program you like best!