The Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards Canada 2021

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The Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards Canada 2021

Written by Matthew Taylor
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood

The Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards Canada 2021

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Credit Card Travel

If you travel or shop in the US or overseas and want to use your credit card, you’ll incur expensive foreign transaction fees. These fees typically cost around 2.5% of your transaction, so they can easily add up quickly. A good way to get around these fees is to use a no foreign transaction fee credit card.

Check out what credit score you need to get a credit card.

Who Would Benefit From a no Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card?

Anyone who travels to or shops in the US or overseas frequently or for long periods of time would benefit from a no foreign transaction fee credit card. Such people could include:

  • Snowbirds who winter in the southern US
  • People who shop across the US border regularly
  • People who shop online and buy from non-Canadian merchants
  • Those who use their credit card to make business purchases from US vendors

Do you make a lot of foregin transactions? Then you may benefit from a foregin currency bank account.

Best no Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards in Canada

Everyone has a different idea of what the best credit card is, but when it comes to no foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada, these are the five we think you should consider.

  • Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card
  • HSBC World Elite Mastercard
  • Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
  • Rogers Platinum Mastercard
  • Home Trust Preferred Visa

Best No Foreign Transaction Fees Credit Cards in Canada Overview

CardAnnual FeeInterest RateWelcome OfferBenefits
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite$13919.99%None– Rewards pointsAirport lounge access
– Travel insurance
HSBC World Elite Mastercard$14919.90%20,000 rewards points + annual fee rebate– Rewards pointsAirport lounge access
– Travel insurance
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card$12919.99%None– Rewards points
– American Express perks
– Concierge service
– Airport lounge accessTravel insurance
Rogers Platinum MastercardNone19.99%$25 in cash back rewards– 1% cash backSecurity features such as fraud prevention
Home Trust Preferred VisaNone19.99%None– 1% Cash back
– No foreign currency exchange fees
– Purchase insurance
– Hotel reservations
– Fraud prevention

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

This card, which is offered by Scotiabank, has an annual fee of $139, It has an interest rate of 19.99% and a minimum credit limit of $5,000.

You can collect Scotia Rewards points with the card at these rates:

  • Two points on every $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, entertainment purchases, dining, and daily transit purchases
  • One point on every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

These points can be redeemed with Scotiabank to pay off your credit card, to get gift cards, travel rewards, electronics, and more.

Find out if your credit card rewards can be taxed.

You can also earn 40,000 bonus points in the first year you have the card. If you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months, you get 30,000 bonus points. If you spend $40,000 in the first year, you get an additional 10,000 points.

With the card, you also get a Priority Pass membership that you can use at certain airport lounges. This membership comes with six free visits per year.

The card also offers insurance like travel emergency medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance, flight delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and lost baggage insurance.

Plan on travelling in Canada? Find out if you still need travel insurance.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard has an annual fee of $149 and an interest rate of 19.90%. This card also allows you to earn rewards points which can be used towards financial rewards, travel, gift cards, and certain merchandise offered by HSBC.

When you sign up for this card, you get 20,000 points and a rebate of the annual fee for the first year. You can also get an additional 20,000 points if you spend $5,000 in the first 180 days you have the card. 

You can earn points with:

  • Travel purchases, where you can earn three points per $1 spent
  • Other purchases, where you can earn one point per $1 spent

If you use this card, you get a complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences, which you can use at over 850 airport lounges around the world. You will still have to pay $32 USD each time you visit these lounges.

This card also offers travel medical insurance, lost baggage insurance, trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, and extended warranty insurance.

Looking for travel specific credit cards? Check out these Aeroplan cards.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

This card, also offered by Scotiabank, has an annual fee of $129 and a minimum credit limit of $5,000. If you use this card, its interest rate is 19.99%.

You can collect Scotia Rewards points with the card at these rates:

  • Five points on every $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, entertainment purchases, and dining
  • Three points on every $1 spent on eligible gas, daily transit purchases, and streaming services
  • One point on every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

You can also earn 40,000 bonus points in the first year you have the card. If you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months, you get 30,000 bonus points. If you spend $7,500 in the first year, you get an additional 10,000 points.

Find out if your credit card points are worth it.

This card offers perks from American Express, like discounts on shopping, dining, and travel. You can also purchase Front Of The Line presale event tickets, and American Express will frequently send you special offers and events.

You also have access to a complimentary concierge service, discounts on a Priority Pass membership usable at many airport lounges around the world, and access to over 1,200 VIP airport lounges around the world.

Looking for more protection? Check out these credit cards with mobile device insurance

Like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, this card also offers insurance like travel emergency medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance, flight delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and lost baggage insurance.

Rogers Platinum Mastercard

Rogers Platinum Mastercard

This card is offered by Rogers Bank. It doesn’t have an annual fee and has an interest rate of 19.99%.

The Rogers Platinum Mastercard is a cash back rewards card. You can earn 3% cash back rewards on eligible purchases made in US dollars and 1% cash back rewards on all other eligible purchases.

You will get a welcome bonus of $25 in cash back rewards when you make your first purchase within three months of receiving your card.

Having a hard time qualifying for a credit card? Consider getting a secured credit card.

This card offers several security features. You aren’t held liable if there is unauthorized use on your card. The bank automatically monitors and prevents fraud by declining suspicious transactions and reporting them to you. You can also optionally get Group Balance Protection Insurance, which will help with the financial impact of events like losing your job or becoming hospitalized.

Thinking of buying insurance? Learn the basics and choose the right type of  insurance for you.

Home Trust Preferred Visa

Home Trust Preferred Visa

This card is offered by Home Trust and has no annual fee and an interest rate of 19.99%. With this card, you can earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases.

You pay no exchange fees on foreign currency transactions with this card, even if you shop online. Eligible purchases are insured against theft or damage until 90 days after the purchase date. You have access to guaranteed hotel reservations. You also aren’t held liable if there is unauthorized use on your card.

*This card is not available in Quebec.

No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards FAQs

What are foreign transaction fees?

Foreign transaction fees are added to transactions that are either done outside of Canada or are done with a non-Canadian merchant. They are typically 2.5% of the total value of the transaction. 

Should I use cash instead of a no foreign transaction fee credit card?

If credit cards are widely accepted where you’re using them, you can avoid taking out large amounts of cash. If you lose this cash or have it stolen, you often have little recourse. Credit cards help protect you from this issue because you can get purchase protection and PIN protection. You can easily cancel your credit card if it gets lost or stolen abroad. You can also get extra benefits with your credit card that you wouldn’t get by using cash, such as rewards on every dollar spent. Overall, a no foreign transaction fee credit card is generally a better option overseas than using cash exclusively.

Which is the best no foreign transaction fee credit card in Canada?

Based on the lack of annual fee and foreign currency exchange fees, as well as the cash back rewards and purchase insurance, the Home Trust Preferred Visa is a great option for most Canadians travelling abroad. When looking for the right credit card, compare your options and find one that fits your unique needs. 

Bottom Line

Having a no foreign transaction fee credit card means that you aren’t charged the foreign transaction fee that is added to any credit card transactions done outside of Canada, whether in person or online. Since these fees are charged on every transaction, this kind of credit card is especially useful for those who travel frequently or for long periods of time, as well as those who make a lot of purchases in foreign currencies. There are several no foreign transaction fee credit cards available to Canadians, so finding one that works best for you shouldn’t be difficult. 


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