You may not realize it, but most credit cards in Canada come with a currency conversion fee when you buy stuff abroad. So every time you make a transaction in a foreign currency, you are charged a fee in addition to the exchange rate. These are usually around 2.5% to 3%. Fortunately, there are credit cards with no conversion fees, and even prepaid cards that are perfect for those who travel often or make regular purchases in currencies other than the Canadian dollar.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Credit Card
Fee: $139 per year
Welcome Offer: Up to 30,000 Scotia Rewards points, first year’s annual fee waived and 5 times the travel rewards points for the first 3 months, by November 21, 2021
Reward Rate: Up to 2 Scotia Rewards points per dollar spent
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite credit card is probably the no currency conversion fee card that offers the most benefits for travellers. Its welcome offer is particularly attractive, starting with waiving the $139 first-year fee. Plus, by November 21, 2021, you’ll earn 30,000 Scotia Rewards points on everyday purchases of $1,000 or more within the first three months of enrollment. You can also earn five times the points on your travel purchases during the first three months, up to a maximum of $2,500. That means you can have up to 42,500 points just three months after you get your card, the equivalent of $425 in travel rewards.
This credit card also offers 10,000 annual bonus points if you make at least $40,000 in eligible purchases in a year. As for point accumulation, cardholders earn two points for every dollar spent on groceries, dining, entertainment or public transportation, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. These categories are also applicable abroad.
One of the most attractive travel features is free access to the Priority Pass program and six free airport lounge visits per year. You’re also entitled to complimentary membership in the Avis Preferred Plus program and the Visa Infinite Hotel Collection, which offer free car rental upgrades and hotel rooms, among other things.
Finally, this card also offers a range of protections if something goes wrong during your travels. It includes insurance in case of a medical emergency, flight cancellation, interruption or delay, delayed or lost luggage or if your personal effects get robbed in a hotel or motel. To apply, you must have an annual personal income of $60,000 or a family income of $100,000.
Scotiabank Visa Business Infinite Passport Credit Card
Fee: $199 per year
Welcome Offer: Up to 40,000 Scotia Bonus Points by November 21, 2021
Reward rate: 1.5 ScotiaBonus points per dollar spent
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Business Infinite credit card is the business version of the previous card. With this card, you can earn 1.5 ScotiaBonus points per dollar of eligible purchases for your business. In addition to no currency conversion fees for online and out-of-Canada purchases, you also receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership and six annual airport lounge visits worldwide.
By joining by November 21, 2021, you can earn up to 40,000 Scotia Rewards points as a welcome bonus. 30,000 points are earned when you make at least $5,000 in purchases on your card within the first three months. For an additional 10,000 points, you must make at least $60,000 in purchases in the first year.
Several benefits, created especially for business owners, are available to you. For example, you can turn your purchases into savings with the Visa SavingsEdge program. You can also enroll in the Visa Spend Clarity for Business program, an online tool to help you manage your spending more effectively. Finally, this card comes with up to $100,000 in employee unauthorized use protection.
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Business Infinite credit card has an annual fee of $199. The first additional card is free, and subsequent cards cost $50 each per year. The interest rate is 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances. The minimum credit limit is $10,000 and can go up to $100,000 unsecured. To qualify for this card, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- Annual sales of more than $500,000;
- Annual personal income of at least $60,000;
- At least $30,000 in purchases made with your credit card each year;
- Annual family income of at least $100,000
- Assets under management of more than $250,000
HSBC World Elite Mastercard Credit Card
The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is another no currency conversion fee credit card with many benefits. Canaidans can take advantage of an exclusive Welcome Offer if they apply by February 28, 2023. You earn 20,000 points when you open the card. You can earn 40,000 points when you spend $6,000 within 6 months of account opening. Then, you get 20,000 points as an anniversary bonus one year after opening.
When it comes to earning points, you’re also in for a treat, as you get six points per dollar on travel purchases and three points per dollar on other eligible purchases: 3% and 1.5% back, respectively.
When you travel, you’re entitled to the $100 travel credit every year, which you can use for airline upgrades, baggage fees or airport lounge passes. In addition, this credit card allows you to join LoungeKey’s Airport Experiences Mastercard program for free.
With this program, you have access to over 850 airport lounges worldwide for $32 USD per person. The card also entitles you to 10 percent off hotel reservations at Expedia and Agoda, and unlimited free Wi-Fi at more than 1 million Boingo hotspots.
This card has an annual fee of $149 and $50 for each additional card. To get it, you must have a personal income of $80,000 per year or a household income of $150,000. Insurance is also available, including 31 days of out-of-country medical emergency coverage, delayed or lost luggage, flight delay, interruption or cancellation, and vehicle rental.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card
Fee: $120 per year
Welcome Offer: Up to 50,000 Scotia Rewards points, first year’s annual fee waived and 0% interest on balance transfers for 6 months by November 21, 2021
Rewards rate: Up to 5 Scotia Rewards points per dollar of purchase
The American Express Gold Scotiabank no currency conversion fee credit card is the most attractive on our list when it comes to earning rewards points. You earn five Scotia Rewards points for every dollar you spend at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food outlets, as well as for ready-to-eat meal service and meal delivery subscriptions. You also earn five points for every dollar spent on entertainment products, such as movie or theatre tickets. Otherwise, you also get three points for every dollar you spend on gas or public transportation, including cabs and Uber, as well as on certain streaming services, such as Netflix. Finally, you also earn one point for every dollar on all your other purchases. This credit card offers the opportunity to quickly earn points on your everyday purchases.
As a welcome offer, you can earn up to 50,000 Scotia Rewards points by applying by November 21, 2021. You’ll earn 30,000 points for making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of membership and an additional 20,000 points for $7,500 in spending in the first year. You also get your annual fee waived for the first year and a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for six months.
The card gives you access to several American Express services, including the Amex Preferred program. This program gives you access to exclusive pre-sales for concerts and other events, and seats reserved for American Express customers. Travellers also receive a discount on the Priority Pass program, which gives them access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide. This card also offers the same guarantees as the Visa Infinite Passport for hassle-free travel.
This card has an annual fee of $120 and $29 for any additional cards. You must have a minimum income of $12,000 per year to apply.
Mastercard Brim Credit Card
Welcome offer: 200 Brim Rewards points
Reward rate: 1 Brim Reward Point per $1 in purchases
The Brim Mastercard credit card is perfect for those who want an affordable and convenient card. It has no annual fee and every dollar you spend gives you one Brim Reward Point. Brim doesn’t work with purchase categories, but rather with an interactive online marketplace where users can take advantage of exclusive offers from partners and the ability to multiply their points based on their shopping habits.
The first time you use the service, you get 200 points as a welcome gift. In addition to waiving currency conversion fees, the Mastercard Brim also offers travellers free access to one million Wi-Fi points with Boingo. It also comes with an online app to manage your spending.
The Mastercard World Brim credit card
Fee: $99 per year
Welcome offer: 300 Brim reward points
Reward rate: 1.5 Brim Rewards points per dollar spent
The World Brim Mastercard credit card comes with several additional benefits compared to the regular card. First of all, you get 1.5 Brim Rewards points per dollar of purchase. On your first use, you earn an additional 300 points. This card comes with a $99 annual fee.
In addition to Wi-Fi points worldwide, you also get access to airport lounges around the world with a free LoungeKey membership. You’re also entitled to a host of protections, including up to $1,000 in coverage on mobile devices, flight delay, delayed, lost or stolen baggage, hotel room theft, rental car insurance, and out-of-province emergency health care. They also offer a travel assistance service for all your needs before and during your trips. And of course, no currency conversion fees.
Mastercard World Elite Brim Credit Card
Fee: $199 per year
Welcome Offer: 500 Brim Rewards points and no annual fee by October 31, 2021
Reward rate: 2 Brim Rewards points per $1 in purchases
The no currency conversion fee Mastercard World Elite Brim credit card is the best value of all the Toronto-based company’s credit cards. For every dollar you spend, this card will give you 2 Brim Reward Points and you get 500 Reward Points on your first transaction. If you sign up by October 31, 2021, the $199 annual fee will be waived for the first year.
In addition to the benefits of the World version, this card offers greater coverage, such as out-of-province emergency health care insurance for up to 15 days and $5 million. You are also entitled to trip cancellation insurance and trip interruption insurance. These cover up to $5,000 and $25,000 per trip, respectively.
KOHO Premium Visa Prepaid Credit Card
Fee: $9 per month, or $84 per year ($24 discount)
Welcome offer: First month free
Discount rate: Up to 2% off
Unlike the other no-currency-conversion-fee cards on this list, the KOHO Premium Visa is a prepaid card. That means you can only spend the money you put on it, which is especially good for people who have trouble managing their credit. However, it offers many of the benefits of a regular credit card.
The best part is the cash back system. You earn 2% cash back on three categories of purchases: groceries, restaurants (including take-out and delivery) and transportation. The PowerUps program also offers discounts of up to 10% at select partners, including Sunwing Airlines. And for all your other purchases, you earn 0.5% off. So it’s a great choice for getting money back on your spending.
In addition to having no foreign currency conversion fees, the card gives you one free withdrawal outside of Canada per month. Another great feature of this card is the access to an in-house financial coach to answer your questions, about your budget, for example. For more information, Hardbacon has done a full review on KOHO and its programs.
STACK Mastercard Prepaid Credit Card
Spending limit: $5,000 in purchases per day
The STACK Mastercard prepaid credit card is another option for those who want to have more control over their finances. In addition to no currency conversion fees, you also pay no annual fees or interest. Another advantage is that there are no ATM withdrawal fees. And it works anywhere in the world. You can load up to $20,000 on your card and make purchases up to $5,000 per day.
STACK Mastercard offers cash back at over 140 retail partners. Its mobile app also helps you better manage your budget as well as create savings goals by rounding up your purchases. You also have access to an exclusive platform, STACK Travel, which allows you to book hotel rooms around the world and earn 20% back. For more information, read our full review of the STACK Mastercard prepaid card.