A common misconception amongst Canadian Consumers is that a “no fee” credit card provides little to no rewards or perks. While this may have been true in the past, many credit card companies now offer a variety of “no fee” cards, each with a variety of benefits and/or rewards available to their cardholders.
Currently, Canadian household debt is at an all time high, and unfortunately, we are also in a rising interest rate environment. This being the case, many Canadians are looking to save money where ever possible, especially avoiding unnecessary fees. Paying an annual fee for a credit card is easily something that can be avoided, especially if the consumer is not earning enough rewards to offset the cost of the annual fee. Your spending habits should always be considered when reviewing rewards and benefits vs. the potential annual fee.
While paying an annual fee typically gets consumers increased benefits and faster rewards, credit cards with no annual fee should not be underestimated. The best way to maximize the value of your rewards is to minimize your out of pocket costs. Here are a 5 “no fee” cards that have benefits that set them apart from other “no fee” credit cards:
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American Express EssentialTM Card
This is a great credit card for numerous reasons, for one it has no annual fee and most importantly it has a very low interest rate on purchases and cash advances. In the fact at 8.99%, this rate is less than half that of typical credit cards in the market. Even with the low rate and no annual fee, this card also offers perks such as extended warranty and travel accident insurance. There is even a sign-up bonus that will allow new cardholders to take advantage of a 6-month 1.99% balance transfer offer, allowing consumers to save even more money when using this card.
Cashback No Fee Credit Card
American Express® SimplyCashTM Card
This is a great cashback credit card, even while having no annual fee, it has great perks and benefits associated to it. New cardholders can take advantage of a 5% cashback offer for 6-months. 5% cashback is considered fairly generous when compared to other cashback cards (in fact 5x the average), but please keep in mind that there is a maximum cashback of $250 (at the 5% rate). This card also grants cardholders access to the American Express Invites program, giving cardholders special access to events and concerts. There are also perks such as purchase protection, travel insurance, and rental car protection available with this card. While there are many benefits to this card, please always keep in mind all these features only matter if you plan to use them.
Balance Transfer No Fee Credit Card
No-Fee Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card
This no annual fee credit card offers some great features, especially for those individuals who looking to consolidate some of their debt to a lower their monthly payments. This card offers a great low rate of 16.99% purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances which is very good from a competitive standpoint. Even with the low rate on balance transfers this card is also offering an introductory 3.99% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months, which can save you hundreds if not more in interest payments (depending on the amount being transferred and the time frame to be debt free).
Student Credit Card
BMO SPC®** AIR MILES®† MasterCard®*
This is a great student credit card, no annual fee with a lot of perks to help students as the build up their credit. Cardholders have an opportunity to earn 1 Air Mile for every $20 that they spend, this is very similar to many other rewards credit cards that have annual fees. There is even a limited time offer to earn 500 Bonus AIR MILES when you sign-up. Additional perks like extended warranty and purchase protection are also available, cardholders also gain access to exclusive SPC discounts (Student Price Card Ltd.) of 10% to 15% at hundreds of stores. These benefits can help students save money and earn rewards while using the card.
Travel Rewards No Fee Credit Card
Scotiabank®* American Express® Card
This travel card offers great benefits with no annual fee. Cardholders can book any travel on this card then pay for it using their points, the points redemption program is very flexible. The card also offers rewards of 2 points for every $1 that you spend on all eligible gas, grocery, dining and entertainment purchases, there is even a sign-up bonus where new cardholders can earn 5,000 bonus points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in first 3 months, helping you to travel sooner.
This information is just our view and should be not be considered advice of any sorts.
From our experience and other professionals we partner and engage with, we work to find useful tips and information that would be important to share.
If you are someone that is looking for professional advice tailored to your circumstance, please contact a bank, financial advisor, or mortgage broker.