Looking for the best credit card for the buck? Here’s a list of the best no annual fee credit cards in Canada. No annual fee credit cards may some times carry an income requirement. That is to make a minimum annual income a year, to qualify for one.
For instance, PC Financial’s World Elite Mastercard, even though have no annual fee, has a requirement attached to it, to have more than 80k in annual income or spend 25k a year. Here, I will try to analyze cards based on use cases and may suggest possible combos to use. Please note that I have not listed the cards by any ranking. You yourself are the best judge when it comes to your shopping needs and I would recommend using this as a guide to arrive at your decisions.
Best Cashback Cards
Rogers World Elite Master Card ( income requirement of $80k per year or $150k annual household income.)
- 4% unlimited cash back rewards on all eligible purchases made in a foreign currency;
- 2% unlimited cash back rewards on Rogers™ products and services charged to your card;
- 1.75% rewards on all other eligible purchases.
Alternative: Rogers Platinum card (No minimum income requirement)
- 3% unlimited cash back rewards on all eligible purchases made in a foreign currency;
- 2% unlimited cash back rewards on Rogers™ products and services charged to your card;
- 1.25% unlimited cash back on all other eligible purchases.
Bonus Benefit: No Foreign Transaction Fees.
This is still the best ‘everywhere’ card that has no fee since other cards usually have a base earn rate of 0.5-1%.
Tangerine Cashback Master Card
No Annual fee Mastercard with 2% cash-back on your purchases in up to three different categories.
The different categories available are Groceries, Gas, Entertainment, Drugstore, Home Improvement, Recurring Bill Payments, Transportation, Hotel-Motel, Furniture, Public Transportation and Parking.
With unlimited cash back rewards available, you don’t have to worry about any monthly restrictions or limits, which is credited to your Tangerine chequing account at the end of every month.
To change your chosen categories, you can log in to your account and select “Rewards” and then “Change Categories”. You can then select your new 2% Money-Back Categories. Please note that these changes won’t take place immediately, instead, you will be notified of the date when the changes will take place.
From April 22, 2019, to July 31, 2019, Tangerine is offering a promotional 4% cashback on purchases on up to three Money-Back Categories of your choice.
One of the biggest perks of this card is that you get the cashback straight into your savings account automatically every month. However, it only offers 0.5% cash back on purchases outside of your chosen categories. Also, if you shop at Costco, you won’t get qualified for the 2% cashback under the grocery category.
RBC CashBack Master Card
If you put a lot of groceries on your card, the RBC Cashback MasterCard can be worth looking into. It’s 1% on everything, and 2% on grocery purchases including Costco. Plus the card qualifies for the Petro Canada discount- Save 3 cents per litre of fuel plus always earn 20% more of the Petro Points.
Cashback with Car Rental
BMO Cashback Master Card- 5% cashback for the first three months and 1% thereafter on ALL purchases. No cap on cashback and no specific categories.
Up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations.
Amex SimplyCash is similar to Rogers Platinum in that it’s no fee and it’s 1.25% everywhere, however, not every place takes Amex, and there’s a 2.5% foreign purchase fee.
Promo offer- Earn 2.5% cashback (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
I would still recommend this card for three user cases: 1) Amex Front of the Line (early access to tickets for shows), 2) it actually has insurance coverage (unlike the Rogers Platinum card), 3) AMEX SimplyCash might be worth it to be in the AE ecosystem. I’m not sure if you get same promotions and offers with that card vs the Gold/Platinum cards but every now and then they have nice events that you could take advantage of for your enjoyment/savings needs.
President’s Choice Master Cards
World Elite (Income requirement of 80k or Min Household income of 150k),
Loblaw banner stores- 30 pts for 1 $, Shoppers Drug Mart- 45 pts for 1$, Esso – 30 pts per litre, PC Travel- 30 pts per 1$.
Since it takes 10,000 PC Optimum Points to redeem $10 in merchandise, the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard acts like a 3% cash-back card (4.5% at Shoppers Drug Mart) since you’ll be earning 30 points per $1 spent at partner stores.
- Travel Emergency Medical Insurance (up to 10 days)
- Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Waiver Insurance
- Priority Pass standard membership
- 24/7 concierge service to make dinner reservations, event reservations etc.
LoungeKey access to Mastercard Airport Experiences- still have to pay $27 USD for each individual visit, but the standard membership is free which is normally $99 a year.
PC World (Income requirement of 60k or Household income of 100k)
Loblaw banner stores- 20 pts for 1 $, Shoppers Drug Mart- 35 pts for 1$, Esso – 30 pts per litre, PC Travel- 20 pts per 1$
PC Mastercard (No income requirement)
Loblaw banner stores- 10 pts for 1 $, Shoppers Drug Mart- 25 pts for 1$, Esso – 30 pts per litre, PC Travel- 20 pts per 1$
Simplii Visa is by far the best for eating out. Offers 4% cash back on restaurants, bars and coffee shops, 1.5% on groceries, gas and prescriptions, and 0.5% on just about everything else.
Promotional Rate-In the first four months, you can also cash in on a 10% cashback whenever you go out to eat or drink.
Shop Only At Costco
If you shop at Costco might be worth checking out the Costco Capital One Mastercard, which comes FREE with the Costco membership. You earn 3% on restaurant purchases, 2% on gas purchases, 0.5% on the first $3,000 you spend annually on all other purchases, and 1% after that
I would still recommend Rogers World Elite for Costco, if you have Costco Executive membership, for a total of 3.75% cashback (2% + 1.75%)).
Scotia Bank Scene Card-
Promotional Offer- Earn 2,500 bonus SCENE points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in the first 3 months. Earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 you spend on your everyday credit card purchases thereafter.
2000 Scene Points
Best Card that comes with a Banking Package
The TD Visa Cash Back Infinite, when you combine it with the TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan it waives the yearly fee of $120.
10% cashback on all purchases for the first 3 months, then 3% on grocery and gas, 1% on everything else. Also 3% on recurring bills, which is handy. Cable, phone, internet, cellphones, even utilities if your provider accepts credit cards. Also 3% on recurring bills, which is handy. Cable, phone, internet, cellphones, even utilities if your provider accepts credit cards,
Free roadside assistance anyone?
The Triangle World Elite card gives free gold roadside assistance worth $250 and more points if you shop at CanTire stores.
The BMO AIR MILES MasterCard
Offers 1 mile for every $20 you spend on everyday purchases and double the air miles on shopping at Airmiles Partners.
Promotional offer- Earn up to 800 AIR MILES bonus miles with a minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months.
Consider ‘double-dipping’- if you use your AirMiles card and BMO Airmiles Card to earn extra points at the AirMile Partner stores. Once you start using the AirMiles, the Airmiles start sending you flyers and more offers customized for you.
Use Case examples of real friends
My dear friend Christo recommends Tangerine (2%) for the 3 categories, and then Rogers WE (1.75%) for everything else. For anyone thinking about the Tangerine MC vs Rogers World Elite, the difference between 1.75% cashback and 2% cashback on $8000 in purchases, for example, is $20. According to him, the Tangerine is a good option, however, it only offers 0.5% cash back on purchases outside of your chosen categories. He would suggest using the Tangerine card for the 2% back on your chosen categories, and one of the other cards for everything else. Depending on how much you’re spending per year in those 2% categories, you may find it more convenient to just get the Rogers card and forgo the extra .25% return.
A couple of friends of mine, use PC World Elite for all their shopping. Rewards, free groceries every now and then. They have their own hacks to increase points. They pay their insurance on cars and house in full every year with this card, instead of paying monthly from their bank account. They save up the cash and pay a lump sum amount, that helps a lot with points.
In their own words, “pretty much every purchase goes on the card, we repay in full every month. Points add up like crazy, it took us a few years to create our system, but it works for us”.
Credit Card Hacks
Finally, be sure to maximize your 2% cashback spending in Tangerine MC.
One way to do this is to choose Grocery as one of your categories and then go to a grocery store that has a gift card section where you can buy gift cards to your favourite stores and restaurants (NOT COSTCO).
Stock up on gift cards for stores where you regularly shop anyway. This simply means you’re effectively earning 2% on all those future purchases made with your gift cards that would normally only qualify for the 0.5% rate. Just make sure you only buy what you’ll spend money on anyway.