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    Canada’s best credit cards come with a host of rewards programs and benefits for cardholders, from comprehensive insurance programs that protect purchases to luxurious travel benefits like lounge access and priority boarding. Unfortunately, these cards also come with a hefty annual fee, usually upwards of $200 per year.

    However, you don’t have to pay an annual fee on a credit card to benefit from great interest rates and programs. There are a wide variety of free cards available on the market. To see your options more clearly, use our credit card comparison tool. If you don’t have time to do this, no problem! The Hardbacon team has compiled its list of the best free credit cards for you to choose from.

    1. Tangerine World Mastercard – Best Free Credit Card Overall

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f344d1b92ec22115033b303″]

    The Tangerine World Mastercard is one of the two credit cards offered by Tangerine. The discount rate is 2% on two purchase categories of your choice and 0.5% on all other purchases. There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. You can deposit your cash back into your Tangerine savings account to unlock a third category at 2%.

    Plus, since it’s a World Mastercard, you’ll take advantage of the Mastercard Travel Rewards program, which provides cash back rewards and discounts at selected merchants outside of Canada. Other travel benefits include Boingo Wi-Fi access to over a million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, mobile device insurance of up to $1000 when you finance the purchase through a plan, and access to MasterCard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey.

    Eligibility RequirementsTangerine World Mastercard
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    680
    Annual Income $60,000 personal or
    $100,000 household
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority
    No bankruptcy in the last 7 years

    2. Neo Credit Card – Best Free Credit Card for Rewards at Neo Partners

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”60fed96813fd2f260ff90748″]

    The Neo Credit Card is among our main picks for the best free credit card in Canada. It has an average cash-back rate of 5% and is accepted anywhere that takes Mastercard. Plus, with a growing network of partners that’s already surpassed the 10,000 mark, it offers users more ways to earn cash back rewards than the many credit cards available through Canada’s major banks.

    To get the most value from your Neo Credit Card, you can use the app the find nearby discounts and deals available exclusively to Neo users. The app also has features built in to help you track your spending habits so you can see where your money is going, which can help you budget more carefully month-to-month.

    Eligibility RequirementsNeo Credit Card
    Credit Score600
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Canadian photo ID
    Provincial age of majority

    3. BMO CashBack Mastercard – Best Free Credit Card in Canada for Cash Back Rewards

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f298ccf68c746304bee1258″]

    The BMO CashBack Mastercard has generous cash back rates for a wide range of everyday purchases. With this card, you’ll get a 3% cash back rate on all grocery purchases, 1% on recurring bills and 0.5% on everything else.

    To get a better idea of how much cash back you can earn in a year, the BMO website offers a rebate calculator to estimate how much you can save based on charges to your BMO Cashback Mastercard. Unlike other credit cards that make you wait until the end of the month before you can claim your rewards, BMO lets you redeem your cash back and apply it to your credit statement or deposit it directly into your account whenever you want. You don’t have to meet spending targets either; rewards of as little as $1 can be claimed whenever you need them.

    Eligibility RequirementsBMO Cashback Mastercard
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    600
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    4. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card – Best Personalized Free Cash Back Credit Card

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f34494292ec22115033b302″]

    The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card earns 2% cash back on 2 spending categories of your choice, including groceries, restaurants and fuel; so you can match your rewards to your spending habits and earn more money back. The cash back rate is 0.5% on all other purchases.

    There is no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn with the Tangerine Money-back, and rewards can be deposited directly into your savings account or used to reduce your credit card balance. If you deposit your cash back rewards into your Tangerine Savings Account, you’ll get 2% cash back on a third spending category.

    Other benefits of this credit card include 90-day purchase protection that covers loss, theft or damage; and an extended warranty that doubles the period of repair services to a maximum of one year.

    Eligibility RequirementsTangerine Money-back Credit Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    5. Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card – Best Free Credit Card for Entertainment

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f32b19192ec22115033b2d5″]

    The Scotiabank Scene Visa Card is a great one to have in your wallet if you like movies because it gives you 2 Scene points for every $1 spent on groceries and at Home Hardware or Cineplex, plus 1 Scene point for every $1 of regular purchases. Scene points can then be used to pay for tickets to movies and other entertainment venues, or travel and dining experiences.

    A free movie ticket requires 1250 points and 1000 points save $10 at participating restaurants including Harvey’s, East Side Mario’s, Bier Markt, and Swiss Chalet. The Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Card also provides discounts on car rentals with AVIS.

    Eligibility RequirementsScotiabank Scene Visa Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    600
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    6. BMO AIR MILES No Fee Mastercard – Best Free Credit Card for Earning AIRMILES

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f3158de92ec22115033b2b5″]

    The BMO AIRMILES No-fee Mastercard helps you maximize your AIRMILES when you receive 1 mile for every $25 spent on purchases made with the credit card. Plus, your miles are tripled at participating AIRMILES retailers, such as Shell, Staples, IGA and Rona; and doubled on eligible grocery store purchases.

    You can redeem AIRMILES earned with your BMO AIRMILES No-fee Mastercard for hotel nights, flights, cruises and other travel-related purchases or use them for electronics and movie tickets, among others. To see how far your mile can take you, use the AIRMILES mile calculator available on the BMO website.

    Eligibility RequirementsBMO AIRMILES No-fee Mastercard
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    7. KOHO Prepaid Mastercard Easy – Best Free Prepaid Card

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”604aaa18e770040140f2203e”]

    The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard is not your average prepaid credit card. It acts like a debit card but provides all the conveniences of a credit card, it offers generous cash back rates on everyday purchases and select partner retailers. Select the Easy plan to avoid paying monthly fees.

    However, its true superpower is how it helps users manage their finances. The app can help you track your spending and manage your budget, and cash back can be deposited directly into a high-interest savings account that’s guaranteed to help your money grow. The best part? KOHO helps Canadians build and rebuild their credit history with their Credit Building Program, an optional add-on to your plan that reports to the credit bureau on your behalf when you make your payments on time. The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard Easy is available for all Canadians regardless of annual income and credit score.

    Eligibility RequirementsKOHO Prepaid Mastercard Easy
    Credit ScoreNot required
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    8. Simplii Financial CashBack Visa – Best for New Canadians

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”61a1344886fe7e29f7ee241c”]

    The Simplii Financial CashBack Visa Card is our top pick for new Canadians. If you regularly send money abroad, this card is an especially lucrative option because it earns cash back on global money transfers, and there are no transaction fees associated.

    When you sign up for the Simplii Financial CashBack Visa Card through the New To Canada Banking Program, you can get a credit limit of up to $10,000 to help cover expenses and bills, plus you’ll earn rebates on charges like monthly bill payments, purchases at eligible grocery and drug stores, and gas.

    Eligibility RequirementsSimplii Financial CashBack Visa Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    9. EQ Bank Card – Best Free Card for ATM Withdrawals

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”63d2cb6a18196b6d2e1928c2″]

    The EQ Bank Card is a simple, straightforward cash-back credit card that’s available for no annual fee and has a flat 0.5% cash-back rate on all purchases. It’s reloadable, so you don’t need to worry about going over your credit limit, and since it’s part of Mastercard’s global network, you can use it anywhere.

    You won’t be charged FX fees when you use your EQ Bank Card (although Mastercard’s currency conversion fee still applies) and if you want to carry a little cash in your pocket, you can use this card to withdraw from any ATM without those ridiculous ATM fees (in Canada only), because why should you pay to access your own money?

    Eligibility RequirementsEQ Bank Card
    Credit ScoreNot required
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalCanadian citizen
    Provincial age of majority

    10. TD Rewards Visa Card – Best for Shopping on Amazon

    [Offer productType=“CreditCard” api_id=“6334358261728a40bc5d854a”]

    If you want rewards you can use at one of the world’s biggest retailers, The TD Rewards Visa Card is one for you. It earns 4 points for every $1 spent on Expedia For TD, 3 points for every $1 spent on groceries and restaurants, 2 points for recurring bill payments, and 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else. With the current welcome offer available with this card, you can get a free 6-month membership to Uber One and bonus points worth up to $65 in Amazon credit when you take advantage of TD and Amazon’s Shop with Points Program.

    Points earned with the TD Rewards Visa Card can be used to shop on Amazon year-round. There are millions of eligible items that you can pay for with TD points. Use your points to pay for a portion at the checkout or to cover the full cost of your Amazon order.

    Eligibility RequirementsTD Rewards Card
    Credit Score700
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    11. RBC ION Visa Card – Best Free Credit Card in Canada for Merchandise

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”63249f0357179a4644cb8b41″]

    The RBC ION Visa Card rewards users with 1.5 Avion points per $1 spent on groceries, public transportation, gas and EV charging stations, rideshares, and subscription services. You’ll also earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

    Avion points can be used toward your credit card statement and other bills, to send Interac e-transfers and to book flights, but the exchange rate for travel rewards can’t match those of other travel-reward programs like Aeroplan. To get the most bang for your Avion points, check out Avion ShopPlus, a free browser extension that cardholders can use to track down deals and savings at over 2,400 partner retailers. Not only that, but you’ll continue to earn Avion points just for shopping and some retailers even offer cashback rewards just for spending. If you want to shop for free, the RBC ION Visa Card is one that should be in your wallet.

    Eligibility RequirementsRBC ION Visa Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority

    12. Scotiabank American Express Card – Best for Earning Points on Food and Drinks

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”62c453858e710d4f783b951d”]

    If you want to earn Scene+ points on groceries and nights out, pay with the Scotiabank American Express Card, which earns 3 points for every $1 spent on some of Canada’s most prominent grocery stores and 2 points for every $1 spent on dining. This is a wide category that covers a range of dining establishments including fast food joints, bars, coffee shops, orders through food delivery services, and grocery stores not included in the first category.

    However, this card earns you points in more areas besides food and drinks. You’ll also earn 2 points for every $1 you charge on entertainment, which includes movie theatre and ticket agencies; ride shares, public transit, taxis, and select streaming services. And since it’s free to own, the Scotiabank American Express Card is a great choice for a first-time credit card user or recent graduate. Earn points to cover a night of fun by paying for the essentials with the Scotiabank American Express Card.

    Eligibility RequirementsScotiabank American Express Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority
    Minimum credit limit of $1,000

    13. Scotiabank Momentum No-fee Visa Card – Best For Earning Cash Back on Common Spending Categories

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5f32ba8692ec22115033b2dc”]

    The Scotiabank Momentum No-fee Visa Card earns cash back at a rate of 1% at gas stations, grocery and drug stores, and for all recurring bill payments. For all other charges, you’ll earn 0.5% cash back. While the rates may not be the highest, they are pretty good for a no-fee credit card and cover a range of categories where people tend to spend the most.

    If you want an easy, secure way to pay for your most common purchases while you build credit and earn a little cash back, the Scotiabank Momentum No-fee Visa Card is an excellent choice.

    Eligibility RequirementsScotiabank Momentum No-fee Visa Card
    Credit Score
    (estimate)
    660
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority
    Minimum credit limit of $500

    14. Tim’s Credit Card – Best Free Credit Card in Canada for Coffee-drinkers

    [Offer productType=“CreditCard” api_id=“64dd008b7271d033a068311b”]

    The Tim’s Credit Card can help you get your daily cup of coffee for free with reward rates of 5 points at grocery stores, gas stations, transit and ridesharing, plus 1 point for every $2 spent everywhere else. When you pay for your Tim’s purchase with your Tim’s Credit Card, you’ll earn 15 Tim’s Reward points. It has no annual income requirements and there is a prepaid version offered to potential cardholders who don’t pass a credit check.

    Eligibility RequirementsTim’s Credit Card
    Credit Score600
    * Not required for the secured card, but points accumulation rate will drop
    Annual Income Not required
    AdditionalResident of Canada
    Provincial age of majority
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    Meagen Seatter is a freelance journalist for Hardbacon. She's been using credit cards to travel-hack her way around the world since 2019. In addition to freelance work, she writes for Investing News Network, a global publication reporting on the latest investment news, developments, and trends. She studies online at Athabasca University and currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.