If you’ve been considering opening a credit card in Canada, there is no better time than now to do so. There are many no-fee cards to choose from, and credit card issuers are competing with each other to offer potential customers the best perks, deals, and rewards.
This means that you may have several cards to choose from, which can be overwhelming if you’re trying to simply compare the benefits of each equally. Instead, you should focus on what is the most important perk or set of perks for your lifestyle. Many credit cards offer bonuses such as cash back, reward points, special merchandise offers, flight miles, or special interest rates.
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Below are the best no-fee credit card offers for 2019.
TD Cash Back Visa
The TD Cash Back Visa is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a no-fuss credit card with straightforward rewards.
The first and most relevant benefit to this card is the steady amount of cash back you can earn. Cardholders receive a one percent rebate on all eligible gas and grocery purchases, and they can also earn a one percent rebate for setting up recurring bill payments via their online accounts. All other purchases accrue a 0.5 percent rebate.
The rebate rewards come in the form of “Cash Back Dollars,” which can be used to pay down your account balance in lieu of a bank draft. These reward dollars never expire, and there is no maximum amount that you can earn in a year.
In addition to these rewards, cardholders will also receive all the following benefits:
- Purchase security
- Extended warranty protections
- Avis and Budget car rental discounts
- Instant fraud alerts
- Visa payWave technology
- Visa Zero Liability transaction protection
- Emergency cash advances
There is no annual fee for opening this card, and there are no application fees either. If you opt for a cash advance, there is a fee of either $10 or five percent of the requested amount, whichever is greater. Late payments can accrue fees of up to $35.
The annual percentage rate for this card varies based on your credit score and the market rates, so be sure to keep an eye on fluctuations. In general, the interest on purchases is 19.99 percent, and the interest on cash advances is 22.99 percent.
As long as you are a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province/territory where you reside, you may apply online for an instant response or visit a local branch to apply in person.
BMO Rewards Mastercard
The Bank of Montreal offers a great, free alternative to its World Elite Mastercard, which comes with a hefty $150 annual fee. This allows you to experience most of the same benefits without the financial commitment.
Currently, new members can earn up to 20,000 BMO Rewards points as a welcome bonus. In addition to the generous bonus, cardholders receive one point for every $1 spent and double points on rentals from National Car Rental and Alamo locations. These points can be redeemed for rewards such as hotel stays, flights, gift cards, merchandise, and electronics.
If you frequently need to rent cars, this card is an especially good choice because you can also get up to 25 percent off car rentals made through National Car Rental or Alamo services.
Members may also be eligible for the following perks:
- Extended warranty
- Purchase protection
- Faster point accumulation via authorized cardholders
Insufficient credit transactions may result in fees of up to $48. If your account balance exceeds your credit line, you will be charged $29 for each billing cycle this occurs. If a payment is returned due to insufficient credit, you will be charged $48 for each occurrence.
Cash advances and international ATM usage are subject to $5 fees, and if your account is inactive for 12 consecutive billing cycles, you will be charged $10.
The APR is 19.99 percent for purchases and 22.99 percent for cash advances. New members can enjoy a promotional 1.99 percent APR on balance transfers for nine months.
If you’re interested in this card, you can apply directly on the Bank of Montreal website for an instant response.
Scotiabank offers over a dozen credit card options, but the no-fee Visa is a good balance of rewards and convenience.
Members can use the Visa payWave option with their card or smartphone to make checkouts faster and easier than ever. Cardholders also enjoy up to 25 percent off car rental rates at AVIS or Budget locations in the U.S. and Canada. You will also be eligible for purchase protection and Visa’s Zero Liability program.
If you opt for the cash back card, you can receive up to one percent cash back on gas, grocery, and drug store purchases and a 0.5 percent rebate on all other eligible purchases.
Returned payments and insufficient funds fees are $48 per instance, and there is a $29 over limit fee. Balance transfers are subject to a $3.50 fee, and foreign currency conversions incur a 2.5 percent charge.
For the first six months, Scotiabank offers a special 7.99 percent introductory APR on everyday purchases. Once the six months are up, the standard APR is 19.99 percent on purchases and 22.99 percent on cash advances, balance transfers, and Scotia credit card cheques.
You may apply online for an instant response, or you can call or visit the nearest Scotiabank branch to apply in about 10 minutes.
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
RBC Cash Back Mastercard allows you to earn easy cash back without annual fees.
This card’s cashback program is simple and straightforward. You can earn up to two percent back on grocery purchases and up to one percent back on all other eligible shopping trips. In addition to these rewards, you also get extended warranty coverage and purchase security. These insurances protect your eligible purchases against loss, theft or damage for 90 days.
New cardholders can take advantage of an introductory interest rate of 1.9 percent for 10 months on all balance transfers and cash advances. After this period, the purchase APR is 19.99 percent, and cash advance rates are 22.99 percent.
Those interested can visit the RBC website and complete an online application. Since fees are not readily available to view, you can call or email RBC to speak with a representative to inquire about specific fees and penalties.
CIBC Aventura Visa
Awarded the Best No Fee Travel Credit Card of 2018 by creditcardGenius, the CIBC Aventura Visa is well worth considering if you do a lot of traveling.
The biggest advantage of this card is its flexible points program. Members earn one point for every $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and drugstores, as well as one point for every $2 spent elsewhere. When you book travel through CIBC Rewards Centre, you also earn one point for every dollar spent.
New cardholders can earn up to 5,000 bonus points by completing account tasks and spending at least $500 during their first four billing cycles. These points can be redeemed for charitable donations, full airfare, hotel stays, cruises, merchandise, and more, or you can use your points to pay down your card balance.
In addition to the points program, members get the following benefits:
- Auto rental collision, loss, and damage insurance
- $100,000 common carrier accident insurance
- Purchase security
- Extended warranty
- Guaranteed reservations
- Personalized travel assistance
Purchase APR is 19.99 percent, and the APR on cash advances and balance transfers is 22.99 percent.
For a full list of applicable fees, such as late payment charges or declined transactions, you may call or email CIBC directly.
To qualify for this card, you must have a minimum annual income of $15,000. If you meet that requirement, you may apply for this card online via the CIBC website, or you can visit your local branch to speak with someone in person.
Finding a credit card that offers benefits that are useful to you can be an excellent way to build up your credit and earn extra rewards at the same time. There are dozens of cards available with constantly rotating promotional offers, so you should be sure to do your own research before committing to a card.