**This post contains affiliate links

One little known fee when it comes to credit cards is the foreign transaction fee. Basically, 95% of Canadian credit cards charge a fee of 2.5% whenever you make a purchase in any currency besides Canadian dollars. This fee isn’t a secret since it’s clearly outlined in the cardholder agreement, but people don’t typically notice it because the final amount that shows up on your statement already includes the 2.5% fee.

To give you some perspective, for every $10,000 you spend in a foreign currency, it’s costing you $250 in fees so it can definitely add up fast. The good news is that there are many no foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada. Some of these cards just don’t charge the 2.5% fee while others give you enough cash back or points to more than cover the foreign transaction fee so you can actually come out ahead.

In my opinion, every Canadian should have a no foreign transaction fee credit card since there’s no reason why you should be paying more for your purchases than you have to. What’s surprising to some people is that some of the best travel credit cards in Canada aren’t actually the best credit cards for international travel. Some cards are great for earning points and lounge access, but when shopping abroad (or online), you’ll want to make sure you’re using a no foreign transaction fee credit card in Canada.

Credit cardAnnual feeWelcome bonus
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card$13925,000 points ($250 value)
STACK$0$5
Home Trust Preferred Visa$0None
Scotiabank Gold Amex $12030,000 points ($300 value)
Rogers World Elite Mastercard$0$25
Rogers Platinum Mastercard$0$25
Fido Mastercard$0$25
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard$14920,000 points ($100 value)
Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard $0None
Brim FinancialUp to $199None

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 25,000 Scotia Rewards points ($250 value) when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Priority Pass standard membership + 6 free visits per year
  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining, entertainment, and transit purchases
  • Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual bonus of 10,000 points ($100 value) if you spend a minimum of $40K per year
  • Included travel emergency medical, trip cancellation, and trip interruption insurance
  • Rental car collision / Loss damage insurance included
  • Hotel / Motel Burglary insurance included
  • $139 Annual fee

I personally think the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is the perfect no foreign transaction fee credit card for those looking for a single all-in-one travel credit card that combines points, benefits, and no forex fees.

The card comes with a sign up bonus of 25,000 Scotia Rewards points which has a value of $250. The card does have an annual fee of $139, buy you get a free Priority Pass membership and 6 annual airport lounge passes which are 2 more than any other travel reward card that has a fee under $150. The included travel insurance is good for 25 days for those under the age of 65 and 10 days for those 65+ which is why this card is one of the best credit cards with travel insurance.

Apply Now for the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card

 

STACK

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • No ATM fees (ATM provider may charge a fee)
  • Discounts at a variety of merchants
  • Access to exclusive experiences
  • $5 when you sign up with my referral

STACK is a prepaid Mastercard which is one of the best credit cards for international travel. What makes it appealing is that besides no foreign transaction fees for purchases, there’s also no forex fees when using ATMs. That’s right, if you preload your stack with funds, you can then withdraw cash in foreign countries without paying any additional fee (although the local ATM provider may charge you a one time use fee). When you take out money, you’re basically paying whatever the Mastercard mid-market rate is at the time. To simply put it, there is no cheaper way to get cash when you’re abroad. As mentioned, this is a prepaid card, so you’ll need to load funds before you can use it but that should be simple enough since you can do it via E-Transfer or Visa Debit. If you sign up with my referral link, you’ll get $5 for free! You must click the link via your mobile device for it to work.

Apply Now for the STACK card


Home Trust Preferred Visa

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • 1% cash back with no limits
  • Roadside assist membership
  • Visa Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
  • 10 transactions per day limit

The Home Trust Preferred Visa is one of the few credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. This is the ideal card for travellers who just want a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. The 1% cash back has no limit which is a nice bonus and the roadside assist membership is great for those who drive. However, this card is not available to residents of Quebec. 

Apply Now for the Home Trust Preferred Visa

 

Scotiabank Gold Amex 

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 30,000 Scotia Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on gas, public transportation, ride shares and eligible streaming service purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance included
  • Concierge services and specially targeted offers
  • $120 annual fee

What sets the Scotiabank Gold Amex apart from the other no foreign transaction fee credit cards on this list is the high earn rate. You get 5 points per $1 spent on grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases which puts in on part with the Amex Cobalt card, but you get no forex fees with this card. 3 points per $1 spent on gas, public transportation, ride shares and eligible streaming service purchases isn’t too bad either. In case you’re wondering, the sign up bonus of 30,000 Scotia Rewards points is worth $300.

Apply Now for the Scotiabank Gold American Express card
 


Rogers World Elite Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • $25 in cash back rewards after your first purchase
  • Earn 2% cash back on Rogers products and services
  • Earn 1.75% cash back on all other purchases made in Canadian dollars
  • Earn 4% cash-back on purchases made in foreign currencies
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package for 10 days (3 days for those aged 65+)
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty

Some people may be turned off since this is a Rogers branded card, but when you look at the details, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. Although you’re technically paying the foreign transaction fee of 2.5%, you get 4% cash-back on purchases made in foreign currencies so you end up ahead by 1.5%. You’ll also get 2% cash back on Rogers products and services, as well as 1.75% cash back on all other purchases made in Canadian dollars. Your cash back is easy to use since you can redeem it for any purchases as long as you have at least $20 in cash back in your account. That’s pretty impressive for a no fee card which is why it’s also one of the best cash back cards in Canada. Read my review of the Rogers World Elite Mastercard for my full thoughts on the card.

Rogers Platinum Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • $25 in cash back rewards after your first purchase
  • Earn 2% cash back on Rogers products and services
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all other purchases made in Canadian dollars
  • Earn 3% cash back on purchases made in foreign currencies

The Rogers Platinum Mastercard has fewer perks compared to the Rogers World Elite Mastercard, but it has a lower income requirement ($50,000 vs. $80,000) which will make it easier for many people to qualify. With this card, you get 3% cash back on all purchases made in a foreign currency (so you’re up by 0.5%), 2% unlimited cash back rewards on Rogers products and services, 1.25%. Like all of Roger’s other cards, there is unlimited cash back rewards on all other eligible purchases which so you don’t need to worry about any caps.

Fido Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • $25 in cash back rewards after your first purchase
  • Earn 2% cash back on Rogers products and services
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all other purchases made in Canadian dollars
  • Earn 3% cash back on purchases made in foreign currencies

There used to be some minor differences between the Fido Mastercard and the Rogers Platinum Mastercard, but with the recent changes, they both offer the exact same benefits. They’re literally the same card with the exception of a different name. It makes no difference which card you apply for, but since the Rogers World Elite Mastercard offers the most benefits of the three Rogers cards, you’re better off applying for that card if you’re looking for a no foreign transaction fee credit card.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

  • $149 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 20,000 welcome bonus points
  • $100 annual travel enhancement credit
  • 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases, 1.5% on all other eligible purchases
  • 31-day travel insurance coverage
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey (fee per visit still applies)
  • 10% discount on select hotel bookings on your card with Expedia and Agoda
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi through Boingo at over 1 million hotspots worldwide

What you’ll notice is that of all the cards with no foreign exchange fees, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard offers the most benefits. The signup bonus is worth $100 and can be redeemed on any type of travel booked using your credit card. The 3% in travel rewards is one of the highest rates of return for travel when compared to credit cards that have a similar annual fee. I love how the travel insurance covers you for 31 days when most cards cap at 15 days. Plus, who doesn’t like a discount on select hotel books through Expedia? This is easily one of the best credit cards for international travel.

Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard 

  • No annual fee
  • 5% back at Amazon.ca, grocery stores and restaurants for six months after your account is opened
  • 2.5% back at Amazon.ca, Whole Foods Market in Canada and foreign currency transactions
  • 1% back per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Extended warranty
  • Price protection
  • Rental car insurance
  • Common carrier insurance

The old Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard credit card from CHASE used to be the best no foreign transaction fee credit card, but then CHASE pulled out of Canada. It took a few years, but Amazon is back and they’ve partnered with MBNA. The new card is similar to the old one but I don’t love it. If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, then it can definitely be beneficial, but I like other cards more. Keep in mind that the 2.5% back on purchases made in a foreign currency only apply if you’re an Amazon Prime member. If you’re not a member, you don’t get any extra benefits when making purchases in a foreign currency.

Brim Financial

  • Up to $199 annual fee
  • Up to 2 points per $1 spent
  • Open rewards
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Free global Wi-Fi

Brim Financial has three no foreign transaction fee credit cards in their Brim, Brim World, and Brim World Elite Mastercards. The basic card has no annual fee, the world card charges $99 and the world elite comes with a fee of $199. The higher the tier you go, the more points you earn. After their customer service issues pre-launch, I haven’t paid much attention to Brim, but I’m mentioning them since they have Canadian credit cards without foreign transaction fees.