Earning 1% cash – or more – for doing nothing but shop for things you’d buy anyway?
Say hello to cash back cards with no fees. A class of cards that deserves its own lane.
Sure, cash back may not boast the ‘highest overall rewards’ – but for us who like to keep the math simple (read: free cash)…This is home away from home.
Best No Fee Cash Back in Canada
Keeping the math even simpler, let’s focus on these top cards.
Because these top cards give you at least 1% cash on ALL your purchases. No mental accounting needed.
1. SimplyCash Card from American Express
What happens after the honeymoon’s over? You get 1.25% cash back on every purchase you make. Still quite a generous gesture. And here’s more:
- No minimum income requirement.
- $100 bonus cash back for each approved friend referral.
- 3 types of insurance.
Of course, you know that Amex acceptance may not be a full 100%.
But if you have a habit of paying off your balance in full every month – and if you already have another no-fee Visa or Mastercard but you’re looking for a higher earn rate – you could pair them together. Use this card everywhere Amex is accepted, and your older backup (lower earn rate) no-fee card on the rest.
Related: Is Cash Back Better Than Travel?
2. Rogers World Elite Mastercard
With 1.75% earn rate on all purchases, 2% back for any Rogers products or services charged to your card, and an even better 4% for purchases made in foreign currency ‒ is the
If that’s not enough, there’s also a $25 welcome bonus as the cherry on top.
If you’re already a Rogers customer, this card is a no-brainer. But if you’re not…
Here’s the catch: the ‘cash back’ rewards are applied towards Rogers products and services. Or as an alternative, you can call Rogers every year and ask for a statement credit instead.
Another downside is this card has a pretty high minimum income requirement of $80K (or $150K for household income).
3. Home Trust Preferred Visa
If you’re unable to qualify for Rogers high-income requirements, but you like the idea of saving on foreign transaction fees, then the
You get a straight-up 1% cash back on all purchases – no limits or caps. Just note that you won’t earn cash back on purchases made in foreign currency.
And that sneaky 2.5% foreign transaction fee is waived when you use this card.
Add to that complimentary roadside assistance, plus car rental and purchase protection insurance, making this card is one of the best no-fee cash back cards out there.
This card does not have PayPass support. Although this feature makes using a card easier, it is not necessary.
4. BMO CashBack Mastercard
…annnd what other extras do you get? Glad you asked:
- Flexibility on when you get your cash.
- 25% off when you rent a car at National and Alamo.
- Free to add extra cardholders.
- No minimum income requirement.
- 2 types of insurance.
Insurance isn’t as comprehensive as other BMO cards.
Related: Top 5 No Fee Mastercards In Canada
This card almost made it…
With this card, you don’t earn 1% or more in ALL purchases ‒ still, it deserves a mention…
5. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
You get some flexibility and double the flat 1% earn rate that other cards in this list offer, so why isn’t it included at the top of our list?
The Big Downsides
You only get 3 categories if you bank with Tangerine ‒ otherwise, you’re downgraded to 2 categories.
With all other purchases, outside of your 2-3 pre-selected spending categories, you earn 0.5% cash. Pretty big downside.
It doesn’t mean that this card isn’t right for you. It just means that you’ll need to pay attention to your spending habits. (Quick tip: use our spending calculator to see if this card makes sense for your situation.)
Pro tip: Consider combining this card with any of the cards mentioned above – since it’s a no fee card that allows you to choose your higher earn rate categories, this is the perfect strategic addition to any wallet. Use your Tangerine card for your chosen categories, and one of the other cards to boost your return on all of your other purchases, and get even more rewards for your spending.
If you want a few more perks, you could also opt for the
You’ll get the same earn rates, pay no annual fees and get a couple of extra perks.
The first is mobile device insurance. Should something happen to your device, you’ll be covered up to $1,000 for repair or replacement.
The other is car rental insurance, so you’ll be able to waive the insurance the car rental agency will charge you to cover the car.
It does come with higher income requirements – either $60,000 personal or $100,000 household. But if you do qualify, there’s no downside to getting this card instead.
To make things sweeter, right now we’re giving away $75 Amazon gift cards when you apply and get approved for either Tangerine Mastercard. Offer ends January 31, 2020.
Related: No Fee Vs. Low Fee Credit Cards
Another honourable mention
The next card is one that we couldn’t go without mentioning.
Although it’s not a no-fee card, it is a great low-fee alternative, with an annual fee of only $39.
6. MBNA Smart Cash World Mastercard
This means if you spend $500 a month on gas and groceries, you could easily earn $150 in rewards the first 6 months.
After the sign-up bonus, your earning will go to 2% cash back on gas and grocery purchases, up to $500 earned monthly. On all other purchases, you’ll earn 1% cash back.
As an added bonus, this card comes with 8 different types of insurance coverage, making this card really stand out.
And all for an annual fee of only $39.
The top no fee cash back cards side by side
If you’re looking for an automatic 1% cash back on everything, look no more. Here is a quick list of our top cash back cards – with 1% return on all purchases and free of fees – side by side.
|Card||Bonus||Income Requirement||# of Insurance Coverage|
|up to $150||$0||3|
|up to $25||$80,000||6|
|up to $100||$15,000||2|