Best no annual fee credit card in Canada for 2020 award seal

You know that old saying, "you can’t get something for nothing"? Well, no fee credit cards seem to shatter that theory.

They give you rewards with no strings attached.

And assuming you’re paying your bill on time, avoiding any pricey interest fees, you’re getting those rewards completely free.

When it comes to perks and benefits, you usually get what you pay for: higher annual fee = more perks and rewards.

But not everyone can stomach annual fees. And in some cases, it makes the most sense to stick to no fees, like:

  • when you rarely use a credit card,
  • when simple math shows projected rewards won’t cover the annual fee,
  • when you prefer NOT to track the cost against benefits, or
  • when you already have a premium card and you’re looking for a card to pair with it.

Plus, sometimes free is just a straight-up no-brainer.

Best no fee cash back credit cards for 2020

Here are a few of our favourite no annual fee cards:

CategoryCredit CardCurrent Welcome Bonus Offer
Best no fee credit cardRogers World Elite Mastercard$25
Best no fee flexible rewards MastercardMBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® Up to 10,000 points, plus 4 points per $1 spent in the first 3 months (terms)
Best no fee, low income requirements cash back cardTangerine Money-Back Credit Card4% cash back for the first 3 months (terms)
Best no fee American ExpressSimplyCash Card from American Express2.5% cash back for the first 3 months (terms)
Best no fee cash back Visa Home Trust Preferred VisaNone

Compare the top 10 no annual fee cards.

No fee credit card perks

Just because you’re opting for a no fee credit card, you don't need to forgo all the fancy perks that premium credit cards offer.

In fact, some no fee credit cards still come with:

  • insurance,
  • referral bonuses,
  • low interest rates,
  • sign-up bonuses,
  • 0% foreign exchange fees, and
  • discounts on purchases.

So, when looking for a no fee credit card, it pays to shop around – no need to settle for just any card.

Best no fee credit card

The best no fee credit card award goes to the .

Why? It's all in the earn rates. Get 1.75% cash back on all of your purchases. Plus, earn 2% cash back on Rogers products, and get 4% cash back on any purchases you make in a foreign currency (for a net reward of 1.50% after the foreign exchange fee). And, redeem your cash back against any purchase you make that's over $20.

Add it all up, and Rogers has a winner.

The downside to this card? It has high income requirements – $80,000 personal or $150,000 household, something no other card on this list has. If you can't meet them, one of the other cards will be better suited for you. It also lacks decent insurance coverage and perks compared to other World Elite Mastercards.

Best no fee flexible rewards credit card

This offer is not available to residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please go here.

The is a no fee card that gives you a 1.35% return on a typical spend (when points are redeemed for travel). With this card you'll earn:

  • 2 points for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases (up to $5,000 spent annually in each category), and
  • 1 point for every other $1 spent, including any overages in the bonus categories.

And since MBNA Rewards points are worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel, you'll earn up to 2% back on your spending.

Even more impressive is that you get 7 different types of purchase and travel insurance. In fact, all the MBNA Platinum Plus Mastercards cover you with the same insurance package.

So, if you’re looking for a no fee card and insurance is important to you, MBNA is definitely a good place to start.

Finally, to top it off, this card will get you going fast with 10,000 sign-up bonus points:

  • 5,000 when you spend $500 in the first 90 days, and
  • 5,000 if you enroll for e-statements in the first 90 days.

Plus, you'll also earn 4 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and restaurant purchases in the first 90 days.

Best no fee, low income requirements cash back credit card

The definitely stands out amongst its competitors because it works a little differently than other cards. It lets you choose which categories you want to earn higher cash back rates in, based on your own spending habits.

Here’s how it works: You get 2% cash back on up to 3 spending categories you choose. That means if the biggest chunk of your budget goes towards gas and groceries, you can earn 2% cash back on gas and groceries.

And one of the best parts? You're able to change your categories if your spending habits change. So, if you buy a bike and gas is no longer one of your expenses, you can easily change that category to restaurants, or entertainment, or something else.

If you meet typical Mastercard World income requirements of either 60K personal or 100K household, you could get the instead. It comes with the same exact rewards, no annual fee, and has a few more perks included.

Best no fee cash back American Express credit card

If you want a no fee American Express card, then the best option is the .

You’ll earn a solid 1.25% cash back on all purchases. Plus, for the first 3 months, you'll get 2.5% cash back (up to $150 earned) – that’s $75 more than you’d normally get. And, as an added bonus, this Amex card will also give you a referral bonus of $100 for any approved referrals you send their way (up to $1,500 annually).

On top of all that, you'll get:

  • 3 types of insurance,
  • American Express Invites and Front of the Line access,
  • Amex Offers for more savings, and even
  • an introductory balance transfer rate of 1.99% for 6 months.

Best no fee cash back Visa credit card

The best cash back Visa card on our list, the has a lot of things going for it. This card offers cardholders 1% cash back on all purchases – no limits, no restrictions.

And while that's pretty nice for a no fee card, that isn’t even where this card really shines. Not only does it offer you complimentary (though slightly limited) roadside assistance, but it also has no foreign currency exchange fee – and for the world-traveller and online-shopper alike…that 2.5% in savings is a pretty great deal. Just note that you won't earn cash back on these purchases.

Check out our complete list of the top 10 best no fee cash back credit cards, so you get the best of free there is.

Compare No Annual Fee Credit Cards

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