In Canada, Mastercards come in handy – especially if you shop at Costco.

And the easiest way to get rewards is with a no fee Mastercard. After all, who doesn’t love free?

Even if you don’t shop at Costco, having a solid no fee card in your wallet can do no wrong – you’ll get valuable credit card rewards without even having to pay anything for them.

Let’s take a look at the best of the best, no matter what type of rewards you prefer.

No Fee Mastercard Avg. Earn Rate Welcome Bonus Apply
Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard 1.13% 4% on chosen categories for 3 months (terms) Apply
BMO Rewards® Mastercard 0.71% Up to 20,000 points (terms) Apply
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® 1.35% Up to 10,000 points, double points on gas, groceries, and restaurants in the first 90 days (terms) Apply
BMO CashBack Mastercard for students 1% 5% cash back for the first 3 months Apply
MBNA True Line® Mastercard® N/A 0% balance transfer promo rate (terms) Apply
Plus up to 4% cash back.
Ends Dec 18, 2019.

Best Mastercard for cash back with no fee

Of the various kinds of credit card rewards, cash back offers the most straightforward approach. There’s no point value analysis, no guesswork, no redemption value comparisons…

All you get is cold, hard cash right back into your pocket, either in the form of:

  • statement credits,
  • direct deposits, or
  • cheques.

And the best flexible no fee cash back Mastercard in Canada is…

Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard

The takes the top spot for flexible no fee cash back for multiple reasons.

Though its base earn rate of 0.5% is nothing special (making it perhaps not the most ideal for Costco shopping), you’re able to earn 2% cash back on up to 3 different categories (if you have a savings account with Tangerine and deposit your rewards into it).

Personalize your rewards

Perhaps its most unique feature is the ability to personalize which categories you receive your bonus cash back out of a list of 10 – no other card on the Canadian credit card market offers this level of control on your earnings.

Here are your category options:

  • grocery,
  • furniture,
  • restaurants,
  • hotel-motel,
  • gas,
  • recurring bill payments,
  • drugstore,
  • home improvement,
  • entertainment, and
  • public transportation and parking.

Not to mention, for a limited time you can also get a sign-up bonus of 4% cash back for 3 months on your chosen categories.

Honourable mention

The , our best no fee cash back runner up, gives you an overall good earn rate of 1% on all purchases.

Although not as good as the Tangerine’s 2% earn rate, if you’re looking for cash back rewards on all purchases without having to worry about specific categories, this card could be a good alternative.

Best Mastercard for flexible travel with no fee

If cash back rewards aren’t for you, we’ve got you covered with the top no fee Mastercard in Canada for flexible travel rewards.

Just a heads up, “flexible” means you can use the points earned on these cards for more than just travel – but travel will often give you the best value.

BMO Rewards® Mastercard

Earning you 1 BMO Rewards point per dollar spent, the comes in as number one no-fee Mastercard for flexible travel rewards.

The points you earn can be used to pay for any travel purchase – you’re not limited to specific airlines, cruise lines, or hotel chains. They can be used for flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, and can even cover the taxes and fees.

Not planning on travelling any time soon? No problem, you can also redeem your points:

  • investments,
  • experiences,
  • gift cards, and
  • merchandise.

The cherry on top? You’ll also receive a welcome bonus of 10,000 BMO Rewards points after your first purchase, plus an extra 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in 3 months, giving you a pretty decent head start on your rewards bank. Welcome bonuses are a super rare treat on no fee cards.

Related: How to Maximize the BMO Rewards Program

Best Mastercard for Costco with no fee

It’s hard to ignore the popularity of Costco in Canada. And if you’ve ever had their soft serve ice cream, you know…

Since this retail giant only accepts Mastercard credit cards, it’s become a necessary staple for Costco shoppers Canada-wide.

Here are our top picks.

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®

MBNA might be a lesser-known credit card issuer, but they’re a hidden gem.

And their is a great no fee contender for shopping at Costco.

You’ll earn:

  • 1 point for every $1 spent and
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases (up to $5,000 spent annually per category).

It’s also got a great sign-up bonus. Earn 5,000 bonus points after spending $500 in the first 90 days, and another 5,000 bonus points when you enroll for e-statements within the first 90 days as well. To top it off, the earn rate on gas, groceries, and restaurants is doubled for the first 3 months.

And with truly flexible rewards, you’re getting an average 0.95 cent per point value across the board.

Not to mention you’ll get an insurance package that’s quite comprehensive for a no fee card:

Check out more details here:

Honourable mention

Although the Rogers World Elite Mastercard has a much higher income requirement compared to the rest of the cards on this list ($80,000 personal or $150,000 household), it’s still a top no fee Mastercard.

You’ll get 1.75% cash back on all purchases, 2% cash back on Rogers products and services, and 4% cash back on all purchases in a foreign currency – from international websites or anywhere you travel outside of Canada. Just keep in mind this card doesn’t waive the 2.5% foreign exchange fee, so net rewards for purchases in another currency is 1.5% cash back.

Best Mastercard for students with no fee

And don’t think we forgot about you, students! There’s a Mastercard out there for you too.

BMO CashBack Mastercard for students

Though the credit card selection for students might not have a whole lot of options, the is a top notch student Mastercard.

To start, you’ll earn 5% cash back in the first 3 months you have the card, until you’ve earned $100 cash back. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase.

And, you’ll be able to start building up your credit score, and learn responsible use of a credit card.

Best no fee Mastercard with low interest

If you tend to carry a balance on your card or if you’re looking to get ahead of credit card debt, a low interest credit card could do you a big favour.

MBNA True Line® Mastercard®

The offers a great no fee option for low interest.

You’ll enjoy a 0% balance transfer promo rate for 10 whole months. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a permanently low interest rate of 12.99% (which is a fantastic deal compared to the average 19% APR).

The potential savings are endless…

Let’s say you carry a balance of $3,000 on your credit card, and your current interest rate is 19.99%. If you pay $100 per month, it would take you 42 months to pay off your balance, with a total of $1,193.45 paid just in interest.

Bringing that interest rate down to 12.99% cuts that number in half, helping you save over $545.62.

Check it out for yourself:

There you have it

What’s your go-to no fee Mastercard?

Do you think paying an annual fee is worth the extra rewards?

Let us know in the comments.