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Best No Annual fee Credit Cards in Canada for 2021

 

No Annual Fee Credit Cards

With so many different credit cards to choose from it can be difficult to decide which card makes the most sense for you. One of the most popular choices are credit cards that do not charge an annual fee. This helps reduce costs related to the credit card, but can also reduce the benefits and perks the credit card offers. Here we review everything you need to know about no annual fee credit cards.

Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.95%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 19.95%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?
  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited rewards
  • Automatic monthly cash back redemption
  • Flexibility
  • Get more rewards
Apply Now Full Review
Why we like it

1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first 6 months

Regarded as one of the best credit card in Canada, Tangerine provides no annual fee, a lucrative 2% cash back in up to 3 merchant categories, and 0.5% on all other purchases with no caps, tiers or limits. It provides choice, value and convenience to beginner credit card users and even works great as a secondary credit card.

  • No annual fee -The no annual fee for both primary and secondary holders means that you are not paying for your cash back.
  • Unlimited rewards -Earn as much cash back rewards regardless of the category.
  • Automatic monthly cash back redemption -Every month, Tangerine will either apply your cashback dollars against your credit card balance or deposit it directly into your Tangerine Savings Account.
  • Flexibility - You can choose 2-3 categories for the 2% cash back and change categories once every 90 days to match your spending pattern.
  • Get more rewards -Maximize your credit card rewards by choosing another cash back credit card that has bonus categories and using your Tangerine card to expand and get more bonus categories.
Credit Card snapshot
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Review 2021

Balance transfer offer: During your first 30 days, transfer balances and pay only 1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first 6 months.

Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in up to 3 categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.

  • 2% Rewards in your chosen categories
  • Get 0.50% money back on all other everyday purchases.

  • Money-Back Rewards are earned automatically and paid monthly, and can either be applied towards your Credit Card balance or redeemed into your Savings Account.

  • No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn.

  • Change your 2% Money-Back Categories to suit your everyday spending.

Optimizing your 2% Money-Back Categories to suit your everyday spending has never been easier. Choose your categories to earn the most money back.

Tangerine 2% Cash Back Categories:

      • Grocery
      • Furniture
      • Restaurants
      • Hotel-Motel
      • Gas
      • Recurring Bill Payments
      • Drug Store
      • Home Improvement
      • Entertainment
      • Public Transportation and Parking


Fees:

  • Annual: $0
  • Balance transfer: 3% with $5 minimum
  • Cash advance: $3.50 inside Canada, $5 outside Canada, plus 19.95% interest on overdue amounts
  • Foreign transaction: 2.5% per transaction
  • Missed or late payments: increased interest rates to 24.95% on all purchases
  • Over limit: $25 (Tangerine does not allow you to go over your limit unless the transaction was pre-approved)

 

Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 21.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?

 

  • No Annual Fee
  • Awesome Welcome Offer
  • Cash Back Rate
  • Entertainment Special Access
  • Basic Insurance Coverage
Apply Now Full Review
Why we like it

If you’re looking for a basic cash back credit card - this could be an ideal option for you! With no annual fee, earn 1.25% cash back, obtain basic insurance and access to American Express special events. This is an ideal credit card for individuals wanting to build credit without making a big commitment to an annual fee.

 

  • No Annual Fee. One of the few American Express cards that comes with no annual fee.
  • Awesome Welcome Offer. Cardholders earn 2.5% cash back on all purchases in their first three months of ownership. Earnings cap at $150 - still a lot to earn while you spend!
  • Cash Back Rate. Once the welcome offer expires, earn 1.25% on all purchases with no limitations.
  • Entertainment Special Access. Gain access to American Express exclusive offers and experiences.
  • Basic Insurance Coverage. Travel accident, buyer’s assurance and purchase protection insurance comes with card ownership.
Credit Card snapshot

SimplyCash™ Card from American Express Review

Earn Cash Back

The more you buy with the Card, the more cash back you'll earn.
  • New SimplyCashTM Card from American Express Cardmembers can earn 2.5 percent cash back on purchases (up to $150 cashback) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on purchases when your Welcome Rate ends

    American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information and Terms and Conditions, click the Apply now link. Conditions Apply

Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?

  • No Annual Fee.
  • Earn Air Miles.
  • Travel and Shopping Insurance.
  • Entertainment Exclusive Offers
Apply Now Full Review
Why we like it

If you’re looking for a basic credit card that will earn Air Miles while you spend, look no further! The American Express Air Miles card allows card holders to earn Miles everywhere they spend. Card holders obtain insurance and special offers with this card too, all these benefits come with no added cost to you.

  • No Annual Fee. This credit card is one of the few American Express credit cards with no annual fee.
  • Earn Air Miles. For every $15 spent, earn 1 Air Mile on purchases made with Air Miles Partners. Earn 1 Air Mile for every $20 spent elsewhere.
  • Travel and Shopping Insurance. Card holders benefit from travel accident, buyer’s assurance and purchase protection insurance with this card.
  • Entertainment Exclusive Offers. Gain access to special American Express events and experiences with this credit card.
Credit Card snapshot
WELCOME BONUS OFFER New American Express AIR MILES Credit Card Cardmembers, earn a bonus of 500 AIR MILES Reward Miles when you charge a total of $500 in purchases to your Card within your first three months of Cardmembership.

ALL THE WAYS TO EARN Enjoy an earn rate of 1 Reward Mile for every $15 in Card purchases at AIR MILES Sponsors and 1 Reward Mile for every $20 in Card purchases everywhere else.

INSIDER ACCESS Designed for American Express AIR MILES Cardmembers, Insider Access sends hundreds of lucky contest winners to see their favourite artists live in concert, and other special offers. You too can join the fun!
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 22.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?
  • Appealing low balance transfer offer
  • $0 annual fee
  • Cashback on four key areas
  • Peace of mind
Apply Now Full Review
Why we like it

7.99% introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months

Although it comes with no bells and whistles, the Scotia Momentum MasterCard Credit Card has an attractive low balance transfer promotion that may be appealing for people looking to pay off their debt. This no-fee cashback credit card also has solid features enough to make it ideal for people who want to build their credit.

Why We Like It:

  • Appealing low balance transfer offer This credit card offers a tempting 7.99% balance transfer promotional interest rate for a limited time, so you can slowly pay off your existing balance.
  • $0 annual fee Because it is a no-fee credit card, it makes the perfect starter card, or a secondary card for existing Visa or Amex cardholders who wish to shop on stores where only a MasterCard is accepted such as Costco.
  • Cashback on four key areas Not many no-free credit cards offer no-limit cashback rewards on gas, groceries, drugstore and recurring bills.
  • Peace of mind Even though this MasterCard lacks travel insurance and purchase protection, it makes up for it by giving 0% liability on all unauthorized credit card payments.
Credit Card snapshot

Scotia Momentum Mastercard Credit Card review

•7.99% introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months (19.99% after that)

• Cash back on everyday spending with no annual fee

• 1% cash back on eligible gas station, grocery store and drug store purchases and recurring bill payments

• 0.5% cash back on all other eligible everyday purchases

• Rates, fees and other information are effective as of August 1, 2019. Subject to change.

Make everyday purchases quickly and safely with just a tap of your contactless-enabled Mastercard or device

Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 19.99%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign exchange fees
  • 1% Cash back rewards on eligible purchases
Apply Now Full Review
Why we like it

With no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee in one credit card, what’s not to like about the Home Trust Preferred Visa? And because this is a no fee credit card, all benefits come free.

Why We Like It:

  • No annual fee – You can try it for free.
  • No foreign exchange fees – 0% foreign currency conversion charge when shopping abroad. It’s perfect for online and cross-border purchases – saving you 2.5% of the total cost.

  • 1% Cash back rewards – Regardless of the category, this credit card gives 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. The total cash back balance is credited to your account at the start of each year.
Credit Card snapshot
Home Trust Preferred Visa Card Review

The Preferred Visa from Home Trust is a great credit card that doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee, this card helps cardholders to save 2.5% each time they make a purchase in any foreign currencies either online or in store.

The Home Trust Preferred Visa is a great cash back card that allows cardholders to earn 1% cash back1 on all eligible purchases


  • No annual fee
  • 1% CashBack on all eligible purchases
  • No foreign currency conversion surcharges2

1 CashBack Rewards are issued on all purchases made in Canadian dollars. Cash advances, balance transfers, interest, fees and foreign transactions (including online purchases in foreign currencies) are not eligible for CashBack Rewards.

This credit card product is not available in Quebec
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee: $0
Purchases Interest Rate: 19.95%
Cash Advance Interest Rate: 19.95%
Recommended Credit Score
Average to Excellent (670-900)
Why we like it?

Earn extra Rewards
Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard®
On-Demand and Subscription Services
Mobile Device Insurance

Apply Now Full Review
Why we like it
The World Mastercard offers new perks to their customers that are not available to Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard users. Mobile insurance of $1,000, rental car insurance worth $65,000 for 31 days and Mastercard airport experiences are perks that cardholders gain access to. Both of these insurance packages are beneficial for individuals who have a smartphone and are renting cars often.
Credit Card snapshot
 
Tangerine World Mastercard®  Review


Earn cash back

Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all your other everyday purchases.
 
Easy online Pause My Card feature–in case you need it
If you ever think you’ve lost or misplaced your Card, there’s no need to panic. With a couple quick clicks, you can temporarily suspend it.
 

Transfer and save

During your first 30 days, transfer balances and pay an interest rate of only 1.95% on the transferred balance for the first 6 months (19.95% after that). A Balance Transfer fee of 1% on the amount transferred will apply.

No limits

No limit on the amount of Money-Back Rewards you can earn on your everyday purchases. Conditions apply.

 

What is an annual fee?

 

Some credit cards charge you a fee to use their credit cards. It is paid annually and covers various charges or special services provided by the card. As the name implies, no annual fee cards provide their cards without a fee.

What is a no annual fee credit card?

 

As mentioned, there are many different credit cards, of which some charge an annual fee. These fees cover a number of special features from rewards programs to discounts or VIP status with various retailers and services. When you have a no annual fee credit card you do not pay a fee to use your card. However, it is important to remember other fees might apply such as a missed or late payment fee and you still pay interest for unpaid balances and cash advances. 

How do no annual fee credit cards work?

 

No annual fee credit cards work the same way as other credit cards without having to pay a fee to use the card each year. You use it, in the same way, to make purchases or take cash advances and receive a statement with those transactions listed and tallied. You then can pay the balance or the minimum payment. For any balances carried you are charged interest, often with a higher interest rate for cash advances than purchases. You will also be charged other fees such as missed or late payment fees.


No annual fee credit cards advantages

 

For the most part, the reason Canadians choose to pay credit card fees is that it offers them access to what often proves to be measurable financial benefits. For example, these cards tend to offer rewards programs including cash back and travel rewards in hand with special offers not available to everyone. However, there are also no annual fee credit cards that do offer rewards including cash back. Here is the advantage of no annual fee credit cards:

 

  • Often the rewards that come with fees don’t add up to as much as you hope when you deduct the fees paid
  • You can use a no-fee credit card to help establish your credit history and credit score
  • You have nothing to lose as you have not paid out any fees to use the card
  • You can try the card out to see if it provides the value and convenience you are looking for


No annual fee credit cards drawbacks

 

The only drawback to annual fee credit cards is that you miss out on the features, loyalty programs and other special offers provided by cards with a fee. Of course, these drawbacks are based on what you desire in a credit card, as opposed to any disadvantages you would find across the board.


Who should get no annual fee credit cards?

 

Anyone can get a no annual fee credit card. However, those who benefit the most from these cards include:

 

  • People who want a credit card they use rarely for basic things such as reservations or online orders
  • People who mostly pay cash but want a credit card for the convenience to make larger purchases they can pay off over time
  • People without a credit history who want to start building their credit score

 

Basically, these cards work well for people who don’t want to pay a fee, or who will not use the card often so, therefore, will waste money on fees.


How to choose a no annual fee credit cards

 

When choosing a no annual fee credit card consider the following:

 

Interest rates

 

Interest rates vary from card to card and determine how much additional money you will pay for any balance you carry. Therefore when choosing a no annual fee credit card you want to find the lowest interest rate if you feel you are likely to carry a balance. This will save you money. To get an idea of how interest rates and annual fees impact your balance, a typical scenario for a balance of $4000 paid off over a year can be compared as follows:

 

  • On a card with a $0 annual fee and 21% interest, you pay an additional $472
  • On a card with a $50 annual fee and 9% interest, you pay an additional $249 including the $50 fee

 

Although you pay an annual fee of $50 for the second card, your low interest rate saves you $273 in interest. So you really need to consider interest rates and determine if it is worth paying the annual fee for that lower interest rate. 

 

Introductory Offers

 

Next look at the no annual fee credit cards with introductory offers. Often you can get a lower interest rate for a limited time. While this might sound good, if you feel you are likely to carry a balance beyond this limited time offer, the introductory offer will end, and your rates could go sky high. This ends up costing you more money in the end. Therefore consider:

 

  • How long you will have the low interest rates
  • What the special interest rate applies to
  • Other conditions or fees
  • What your standard interest rate becomes after the introductory rate

 

All of these things are important, but if you don’t intend to use the card often, finding a standard lower interest rate makes the most sense.

 

Rewards and Benefits

 

 

Although finding a no annual fee credit card with lots of rewards or benefits is possible, you will have less to consider when compared to cards with fees. However, there are options such as the AMEXSimply card which has no fees but offers cash back rewards, or the BMOCashback card that offers cash back on groceries and recurring bills. This can really help with savings over time, and when used for certain purchases and when paying your balance every month, you really can see some true benefits.  To choose the right no annual fee credit card with rewards consider:

 

  • If you need those benefits/rewards
  • How much you have to spend to earn points or cash back
  • Any restrictions that make it difficult to use the rewards

 

This can help you decide if the reward offers make sense for your needs.

 

Other Fees

 

As mentioned, although you aren’t being charged an annual fee, other fees can apply including:

 

  • Cash advance fees
  • Foreign currency charges
  • Over-the-limit fees
  • Reprinting charges for statements or receipts
  • Dishonoured payment fees
  • Inactive account fees

 

All fees must be considered before you sign on for the card.

Bottom Line

 

If you prefer to mostly pay cash and won’t use your credit card often, then the no annual fee credit card is ideal for you. However, if you use a credit card often, you might find it better to pay a nominal fee so you can get more perks and rewards.


FAQ’s

 

Are no annual fee credit cards totally free?

 

Yes and no. You do not pay an annual fee, but you do still pay interest on the unpaid balance. Some cards also charge:

 

  • Foreign currency conversion rates
  • Cash advance fees
  • Higher interest on Cash Advances
  • Dishonoured payment fees
  • Over-Limit fees

 

You have to check each card to see what additional fees you might have to pay. 

 

Is it worth paying an annual fee for a credit card?

 

 

It really is all about what you are willing to pay, what features you want and how your credit rating will affect the cards available to you. Some reasons people choose annual fee credit cards include:

 

  • Having a poor credit score or limited credit
  • Fees are offset by the rewards such as cash back
  • Better introductory offers
  • Travel points and rewards
  • Other forms of loyalty programs to gain points to exchange for products, services, discounts, etc.
  • Specialty features like VIP service and offers

 

It really is based on what you are looking for from your credit card.

 

Can you get a no annual fee credit card with bad credit?

 

Yes, there are no annual fee credit cards available for those with bad credit including:

 

Home Trust Secured Visa

 

This card requires you have a $500 deposit. The interest rate is 19.99% which is applied when you carry a balance. It is a secured credit card so if you use this card and pay off the balance on time each month it is an excellent way to improve your credit score. They do charge an inactive fee of $12 if you don’t use your card in 12 months, so always use it at least once a year.  The basic terms are:

 

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases
  • Personal income required: $0

 

No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa

 

This card requires applicants to earn at least $12,000 per year for approval. You also can’t have declared bankruptcy within the past seven years. Cards offer a minimum credit limit of $500 and also have a very good interest rate of just 12.99% on purchases. This is an unsecured card so is a good choice if you have a bad credit score. Watch for introductory offers when applying. The basic terms are:

 

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest rate: 12.99% on purchases and balance transfers
  • Personal income required: $12,000

 

These options can help rebuild your credit or build your credit history.

Author Bio

User
Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where he managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).