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The Best No Annual Fee Credit Card in Canada

Credit Cards May 12, 2020

What is the best no annual fee credit card?


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For many Canadians, paying an annual fee for a credit card simply doesn't make sense. Whether they simply don't spend enough to make it worthwhile, or even if they already have an American Express card and are looking for a backup card (American Express isn't accepted everywhere!), no annual fee credit cards have their place. But credit cards with no annual fee aren't all created equally. We created this guide to help you select the best no annual fee credit card that meets your needs and earns you the best rewards. All rewards are calculated using our standard monthly spending amounts.


Below is a summary of our top picks for no annual fee cards in Canada:

Best Overall - Rogers World Elite Mastercard

Best Card for PC Optimum Collectors - President's Choice World Elite Mastercard

Best Card with No Annual Income Requirement - MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus

Best Card From a Major Bank - BMO CashBack Mastercard

Other Great Options


Best Overall - Rogers World Elite Mastercard

The Rogers World Elite Mastercard has long been the king of no annual fee credit cards. However, this card is being devalued on July 1, 2020. The cashback rewards on all purchases drops from 1.75% to 1.5%, and it no longer offers 4% cashback on foreign currency transactions (it is now only 3% back on USD transactions). After analyzing all the credit cards with no annual fees in Canada while including this adjustment, this card still came out providing the best rewards for most Canadians (over $250 in rewards annually based on our standard monthly spending amounts).

On top of the great cashback earning rate, it also is one of the few cards in Canada without an annual fee to offer reasonable travel insurance coverage, including Rental Car Collision/Damage, Out-of-Province Emergency Medical, Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation. The only real downside to this card is that it requires an annual income greater than $80,000, and requires annual purchases greater than $15,000 to maintain eligibility to the card which excludes a lot of Canadians.


Rogers World Elite Mastercard
Annual Fee: $0 (Requires $80,000 Household Income)
Sign-up Bonus $25 in cashback rewards upon making first purchase
Rewards - Earn 3% cashback on all purchases in USD
- Earn 1.5% cashback on all other purchases
Insurance See all insurance coverage
Other Perks - Mastercard Airport Experiences LoungeKey Membership (does not include lounge passes)
- Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard Cardholders

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Best Card for PC Optimum Collectors - President’s Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard

Many Canadians are avid collectors of PC Optimum points, and maximize point collection by shopping regularly at Loblaw grocery stores, Shopper's Drug Marts, and Esso Mobil gas stations. If this describes you, then the perfect card for you is the President’s Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard.

Not only is it convenient to have all your points in one loyalty program, but the earning rate on this card is incredible for a no annual fee credit card. It features a 3% back in rewards on groceries (at Loblaw stores), 4.5% in rewards at Shopper's Drug Mart, 3 cents per litre in rewards at Esso Mobil, and finally 3% in rewards if you book your travel through PC Travel. If you generally shop through these stores, we estimate your annual rewards earnings could reach $330 a year based on our standard monthly spending amounts), and that's not even including the bonus points promotions that PC Optimum often has. This is even more in rewards than our top pick, but it requires some brand loyalty in your shopping habits.

The card additionally does feature Out of Province Medical and Car Rental Car Collision/Damage Insurance. Although this is not a complete travel insurance package, some peace of mind while travelling doesn't hurt. As with the Rogers World Elite Mastercard, The only real downside to this card is that it requires an annual income greater than $80,000 to get the card which excludes a lot of Canadians.


President's Choice World Elite Mastercard
Annual Fee: $0 (Requires $80,000 Household Income)
Sign-up Bonus None
Rewards - Earn 45 points for every $1 in Card purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart
- Earn 30 points for every $1 in card purchases at Loblaw grocery stores, Esso Mobil gas stations, and at PC Travel
- Earn 10 points for every $1 spent everywhere else
Insurance See all insurance coverage
Other Perks - Concierge Service

Best Card With No Annual Income Requirement - MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

Our top picks above for cards with no annual fee both required annual incomes greater than $80,000 to be eligible to apply. What about the best credit card for the rest of Canada? Our top pick for no annual fee credit card with no annual income requirement is the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard.

Although the points earned by this card aren't directly cashback, they can be applied as a statement credit to any travel expense (which is still pretty versatile). This card has solid earn rates, including 2% on grocery, restaurants and gas, and 1% back on everything else. Based on our  standard monthly spending amounts you can earn $240 annually in rewards (almost as good as the Rogers World Elite Mastercard), and it comes with a $100 sign-up bonus, which is huge for a card with no annual fee.

Where this card loses out to the Rogers World Elite Mastercard is the lack of travel insurance and the lack of any additional rewards on the USD transactions (although both cards still charge the standard 2.5% foreign currency conversion fee on transactions).


Sign-up Bonus - 5,000 bonus points upon spending $500 in your first 90 days of card membership
- An Additional 5,000 bonus points once enrolled for paperless e-statements
This sign-up bonus is worth $100 value
Rewards - Earn 4 points for every $1 in eligible gas, grocery and restaurant purchases in the first 90 days
- Earn 2 points for every $1 in eligible gas, grocery and restaurant purchases after the first 90 days
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else
Insurance - Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Benefits
Other Perks - Discounts on Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car

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Best Card From a Major Bank - BMO CashBack Mastercard

You may not be comfortable dealing with a credit card issuer that is not a traditional bank (even if the above cards can provide better rewards) or you may just prefer to have your chequing, savings, and credit card accounts all in the same mobile app. No matter what the case may be, we found the BMO Cashback Mastercard provides the best rewards for most consumers based on our standard monthly spending amounts.

With this card, you would earn about $170 annually in cashback rewards. The card features 3% cashback on groceries, 1% on cashback recurring bills and 0.5% cashback on all other purchases. This huge return on groceries makes this card a great choice for students or families with large grocery bills. It should be noted this card lacks any travel insurance or other benefits, but is still is an excellent card for everyday spending.


Sign-up Bonus - Get 5% cashback in your first 3 months of card ownership (up to $100 cashback)
Rewards - Earn 3% cashback on all grocery purchases
- Earn 1% cashback on recurring bill payments
- Earn 0.5% cashback on all other purchases
Insurance - Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Benefits
Other Perks - Discounts at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car
- Discounts on admission to Cirque du Soleil shows

Other Great Options

We felt we should also include two cards that we found provided such great earn rates, that although they didn't make the cut they were close to earning as much as the top-earning cards above.

First is the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card which provides 2% cashback on 2-3 spending categories and 0.5% cashback on everything else, which is also a great reward earning rate. We estimate cardholders should expect to earn about $192 annually in cashback, based on our standard monthly spending amounts. Additionally, this card comes in a World Mastercard variant, with a similar earn rate but additional perks (including mobile device insurance).


Sign-up Bonus None
Rewards - Earn 2% cashback on up to three spending categories
- Earn 0.5% cashback on all other purchases
Insurance - Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Benefits
Other Perks - None

Finally, the Simplii Cash Back Visa provides an impressive 4% cashback on dining out, 1.5% cashback on gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and pre-authorized payments and 0.5% cashback on everything else. We estimate cardholders should expect to earn about $220 annually in cashback, based on our standard monthly spending amounts. The one catch is this card requires you to already be a Simplii Financial customer.


Sign-up Bonus None
Rewards - Earn 4% cashback on eligible restaurant, bar and coffee shop purchases, up to $5,000 per year
- Earn 1.5% cashback on eligible gas, groceries, drugstore purchases and pre-authorized payments, up to $15,000 per year
- Earn 0.5% cashback on all other purchases
Insurance - Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty Benefits
Other Perks - None


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