The Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards in Canada

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Written by SnappyRates Team

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No annual fee credit cards don’t charge any annual or monthly fees to use the card.

They are great starter credit cards and often come with cash back or travel perks.

If you want to avoid paying up to $500 each year for a credit card, consider signing up for one without an annual fee.

Keep reading for our top picks of the best travel credit cards, best cash back rewards credit cards, and the best credit cards for fair credit, all without annual fees.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

The following no-annual-fee credit cards are some of the best in terms of cash back rewards. On some of them, you can earn up to 10% to 15% cash back!

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • Interest rate: 19.95%
  • Income requirement: $12,000 personal
  • Top rewards: earn up to 2% cash back

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is great for earning cash back if you spend a lot in certain categories, like restaurant, grocery, and transportation purchases.

You can earn 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 categories of your choice and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Tangerine also offers a 1.95% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months.

Get more details in this review.

Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa card

  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Top rewards: earn up to 1% cash back

With the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card, you earn 1% cash back on gas, grocery store, and drug store purchases and recurring bill payments. You’ll get 0.5% cash back on everything else.

As a Scotia cardholder, you get up to 25% off at participating AVIS and Budget car rental locations in Canada and the US.

Neo Credit Card

  • Interest rate: 19.99%-25.49% on purchases, 21.99%-25.49% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Top rewards: up to 15% cash back

Neo Financial has 2 credit cards – the standard Neo Card and Secured Neo Card. They are essentially the same; however, the Secured Card helps build your credit score.

With the Neo Card, you earn an average of 0.5% cash back on all purchases. At Neo partners, you earn 5% cash back, and can get up to 15% cash back on first purchases.

Neo has a mobile app where you can view cash back offers near you, track your spending, and more.

Neo Financial is rolling out new features soon, making it one of the best no annual fee credit cards with rewards.

BMO CashBack MasterCard

  • Interest rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: $15,000
  • Top rewards: earn up to 3% cash back

The BMO CashBack Mastercard earns you cash back on all purchases, with the highest earn rate on groceries. You earn:

  • 3% cash back on groceries (up to $500 monthly)
  • 1% cash back on recurring bill payments (up to $500 monthly)
  • 0.5% cash back on everything else

Cash back rewards can be redeemed for as little as $1. They never expire as long as your account is in good standing.

This card includes extended warranty and purchase protection, and savings for Cirque du Soleil shows.

Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card

  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: $15,000 household
  • Top rewards: earn up to 4% cash back

With the Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card, you’re rewarded for your everyday spending. The earn rate is as follows:

  • Earn 4% cash back on coffee shop, bar, and restaurant purchases (up to $5,000 annually)
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on groceries, gas, drugstore purchases, and pre-authorized payments (up to $15,000 annually)
  • Earn 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases

Refer a friend, and you could earn $50 if they sign up for the same Visa card. There’s no limit to the amount you can earn from this.

Purchase security and extended protection insurance are included for free with this card. For an extra fee, you can add CIBC travel medical insurance.

Learn more about the card here.

MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard

  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases, 24.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Top rewards: earn up to 2% cash back

This no annual fee cash back Mastercard is pretty straightforward with your earning potential.

You earn 2% cash back on grocery and gas purchases (up to $500 monthly), and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

There aren’t many other rewards besides cash back, but you can get up to 10% off at Avis and Budget car rental locations.

This credit card also comes with purchase assurance and extended warranty benefits.

SimplyCash Card from American Express

  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Top rewards: earn up to 1.25% cash back

The SimplyCash Card from American Express is a great credit card for earning a flat rate of cash back.

On all purchases, you earn an unlimited 1.25% cash back.

Also included is $100,000 travel accident insurance, buyers assurance protection plan, and a purchase protection plan.

You can use the American Express Installment Program to pay off your monthly balance in installments.

KOHO Mastercard

  • Interest rate: N/A
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Top rewards: up to 1% cash back

KOHO isn’t a credit card; instead, it’s a prepaid Mastercard that earns you tons of cash back.

It’s one of the best prepaid credit cards in Canada, due to the cash back earning potential and other benefits.

The KOHO standard Mastercard is free and earns you up to 1% cash back when you spend.

With the KOHO Premium Mastercard, you can earn 2% cash back in 3 categories of your choice.

KOHO comes with a mobile app that helps track your spending, savings, and cash back rewards.

Other features include credit building for just $10 per month, and you can earn interest on your spending and savings account.

Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Fair Credit

The following are some of the best no annual fee credit cards for fair or average credit. They don’t require a high credit score and are generally easy to be approved for.

Along with these two, notable mentions include the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and the Neo Financial Credit Card.

Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card

  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Top rewards: earn up to 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent

This Scotiabank credit card rewards you with Scene+ points on every purchase.

They can be redeemed for movie tickets, food and drinks, grocery purchases, travel, statement credits, and more.

You can earn 2 Scene+ points for every $1 spent at participating grocery retailers, Cineplex theatres, or Cineplex.com.

On all other purchases, you earn 1 Scene+ point.

As a Scotiabank Scene+ Visa cardholder, you can get 25% off base rates at Avis and Budget car rental locations.

Home Trust Preferred Visa Card

  • Interest rate: 19.99%
  • Income requirement: $15,000
  • Top rewards: earn 1% cash back

The Home Trust Preferred Visa Card is a simple, flat rate cash back rewards card. You can earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases with no spending limits.

This credit card does not charge any FX fees, meaning you can use it anywhere in the world without a 2.5% to 3% fee.

It includes purchase security insurance for up to 90 days on eligible items, and you get guaranteed hotel reservations when you book it on this card.

image showing dollar coins and credit cards

Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

Travel credit cards often come with annual fees – especially the ones with good rewards. However, these top credit cards offer great travel perks with no annual fee.

American Express Green Card

  • Interest rate: 20.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Top rewards: 1x Membership Rewards points on everyday purchases

The American Express Green Card is a great no-annual-fee credit card for earning Membership Rewards points on everyday purchases.

You earn a flat rate of 1 point for every dollar spent, plus 1 additional point on Amex Travel Online.

Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for travel bookings, gift cards, statement credits, merchandise, and more.

Points can also be transferred 1:1 to frequent flyer or loyalty programs, like Marriott Bonvoy, Avios, and Aeroplan.

Buyer’s assurance and purchase protection plans are included, and you get access to exclusive American Express experiences and offers.

CIBC Aventura Visa Card

  • Interest rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: $15,000 household
  • Top rewards: Aventura points for travel purchases

The CIBC Aventura Visa Card pays you Aventura points on every purchase. You earn:

  • 1 point for every $1 spent on groceries, gas, and drug stores (up to $6,000 annually)
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on travel through the CIBC Rewards Centre
  • 1 point for every $2 spent on everything else

Aventura points can be redeemed at the CIBC Rewards Centre for flights, hotels, car rental bookings, and more. Points never expire, and there are no booking fees.

This CIBC credit card comes with 90-day purchase security protection insurance, and you get access to personalized travel booking and trip planning with Aventura Assistant.

You can link and use your Journie rewards card to save up to 10 cents per litre at participating gas stations.

BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

  • Interest rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: $15,000
  • Top rewards: earn up to 3 Air Miles per $25 spent

The BMO AIR MILES Mastercard rewards you with Air Miles on everyday purchases. You can earn:

  • 3 Miles for every $25 spent at Air Miles partners
  • 2 Miles for every $25 spent at eligible grocery stores
  • 2x Air Miles at participating partners

Rewards can be redeemed in the Air Miles Store on travel purchases, as cash back, or dream rewards.

This BMO credit card includes extended warranty and purchase protection, as well as up to 25% off at Alamo and National Car Rental locations.

Rogers World Elite Mastercard

  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household
  • Top rewards: 1.5% to 3% cash back on all purchases

The Rogers World Elite Mastercard is a great credit card for earning cash back rewards plus travel insurance benefits.

On all purchases, you earn 1.5% unlimited cash back. If you spend in US dollars, you get 3% unlimited cash back.

Included with this card is a complimentary membership to Mastercard Travel Pass by DragonPass, where you can access over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide for only USD $32 per person.

Extended warranty and purchase protection, out-of-province/country emergency medical insurance, rental car collision/damage insurance, trip interruption, and cancellation insurance are all included for free.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card

  • Interest rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: $15,000 household
  • Top rewards: earn up to 2x Aeroplan points

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card pays you in Aeroplan points when you spend with the card. You earn:

  • 1 point for every $1 spent on groceries, gas, and direct Air Canada purchases
  • 1 point for every $1.50 spent on everything else
  • 2x the points on the Aeroplan eStore

Besides earning and redeeming Aeroplan points, auto rental collision and damage insurance is included with this card, along with purchase security and extended protection insurance.

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases, 24.99% on cash advances
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Top rewards: earn up to 4 MBNA points on purchases

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard allows you to earn points on all purchases, which can be redeemed for flexible rewards. You can earn:

  • 4 points for every $1 spent on grocery, household utility, restaurant, digital media, and membership purchases (in your first 3 months, up to $10,000 spent in each category – earn 2 points per $1 spent after)
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else

In addition, you’ll earn Birthday Bonus Points, equal to 10% of the points you earned 12 months before your birthday month (up to 10,000 points).

You can redeem MBNA Rewards points when you shop through the MBNA Rewards Catalogue.

They can be redeemed for travel purchases, gift cards, or merchandise. Or, you can redeem them for a statement credit.

This MBNA credit card also comes with $1,000 mobile device insurance, extended warranty benefits, and purchase assurance protection.

You can use this card to save up to 10% off the base rates at AVIS and Budget car rental locations.

Methodology:
The Snappy Rates team assesses the best no annual fee credit cards based on their annual fees, interest rates, welcome bonuses, rewards, top features, categories, insurance coverage, and other perks. We carefully evaluate each credit card and place more weight on the long-term reward value offered by each card. Only credit cards we would personally use are recommended. While these credit cards are some of the best on the market, but may not be right for you. Always do your own research before choosing a credit card.

Pros of No Annual Fee Credit Cards

No annual fee credit cards save you a ton of money. Some credit cards charge upwards of $500 per year just to use the card.

Granted, they come with many perks, but if you’re looking to save money and don’t mind missing out on some benefits, no annual fee credit cards are a great choice.

No-fee credit cards are generally easier to be approved for and don’t have a high income requirement, which means that almost anyone can apply.

Lastly, most no-annual-fee credit cards reward you on everyday spending, with cash back rewards or points that can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, statement credits, and more.

Cons of No Annual Fee Credit Cards

No annual fee credit cards have fewer rewards and benefits than credit cards with an annual fee.

For example, most cards on this list do not include travel insurance or perks, and most don’t pay more than 1% to 2% average cash back.

No annual fee credit cards often have a smaller sign-up bonus as well.

Overall, it may be worth it to sign up for a credit card with a small annual fee to be further rewarded for your spending.

FAQs

How can I get my annual credit card fee waived for free?

Some credit card companies waive the annual fee for the first year as part of their welcome bonus, so generally, you don’t have to do anything to get it waived for free. Besides that, you can ask your bank to waive the annual fees by talking to someone on the phone or in person. Sometimes, they’ll waive the fee to impress newcomers.

Is a lifetime free credit card actually free?

Lifetime free credit cards mean that there is no annual fee. They will always be free, but may charge additional fees for extra services.

Does Scotiabank Visa have an annual fee?

The Scotiabank SCENE+ Visa card and the Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card do not have annual fees, but many other Scotiabank Visa cards do. 

What are no annual fee credit cards?

No annual fee credit cards are credit cards that do not charge an annual fee for using them. They are typically easier to apply for and do not require a high annual income, but come with fewer benefits than credit cards with an annual fee.

How can I use a credit card without charges?

Pay your balance in full and on time each month to avoid interest charges. Try not to go over your credit limit, or you will face overdraft fees.

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SnappyRates Team

The SnappyRates Team comprises personal finance writers who have reviewed and personally tested hundreds of financial products in the Canadian space. With over 20 years of combined experience to draw from and expertise in all things credit cards, banking, insurance, and mortgages, our goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive guides and resources to help you on your financial journey.

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  • Earn up to 225x more than other banks!
  • Get 4.00% interest rate* on every dollar.
  • No monthly fees and unlimited free transactions.
*Terms and conditions apply. Limited time offer.