Skip to main content
Ratehub logo
Ratehub logo

Canada's 5 best no foreign transaction fee credit cards for 2023

Most credit cards offer foreign transaction fees on any non-canadian currency purchases. Fortunately, there are a few credit cards that help you save on those pesky fees. Here is our selection of the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards available in Canada.

Discover the right credit card for you with CardFinder

Find Canada’s best no foreign transaction fee credit cards suited for you in 60 seconds! View cards and exclusive offers you’re likely to qualify for without affecting your credit or needing a SIN

find my perfect card

Unlock exclusive gift cards while they last

Canada's best no foreign exchange credit cards at a glance

compare all

How to choose the best no foreign exchange card - frequently asked questions

What are foreign transaction fees?

Is it worth it to get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees?

Are foreign transaction fees refunded?


Best no foreign exchange card per category

Barry Choi

Most people don’t realize it, but just about every credit card out there charges foreign transaction fees. Whenever you buy something in a non-Canadian currency, you end up paying an additional 2.5% on top of the exchange rate.

If you make regular purchases online in foreign currencies and travel often (or plan to when it’s safe to do so and you’re fully vaccinated), these fees can add up. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer to spend that money on myself.

Fortunately, there are a few credit cards that let you save on foreign transaction fees. Each has its pros and cons, so we listed out the features of every no foreign transaction fee credit card available in Canada to help you decide which card to pick up.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite was the first credit card from one of Canada’s big banks with no foreign transaction fees. It also boasts an excellent welcome offer: earn up to $1,100+ in value in the first 12 months, including up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points. Offer ends 31 October 2023. 

It also offers robust travel insurance benefits and a competitive rewards structure of 3 Scotia points per dollar at participating grocery stores like Sobey's, IGA, and Freshco (among others), 2 Scotia points per dollar on groceries, restaurants, entertainment, and daily transit (including taxis), and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Scotia Rewards are flexible and can be redeemed for flight purchases on any airline with no blackout dates. For context, 1 Scotia point = $0.01, or 1% in travel rewards. You’re also eligible to receive 25% off car rentals at participating Avis locations – a perk that is offered to all Scotiabank credit card holders.

Home Trust Preferred Visa

Aside from being a no foreign transaction fee credit card, the Home Trust Preferred Visa also has no annual fee and comes with the additional benefit of 1% cash back on all your spending in Canada with no limits or caps.

A true no foreign transaction fee card, Home Trust uses the exchange rate set by Visa without any additional surcharges.

Home Trust Preferred Visa cardholders can also take advantage of a number of other perks including car rental insurance and Visa Zero Liability coverage to help ensure cardholders are protected against potential fraudulent activities. The downside is that this card is not available to residents of Quebec. It’s also worth noting that the card is limited to 10 authorized transactions per day – which is something we point out in our full review of the Home Trust Preferred Visa.

Finally, while the Home Trust Preferred Visa doesn’t charge an annual fee, it does have what’s called an inactivity fee. If you don’t use the card to make at least one purchase during a consecutive 12-month period, you’ll be charged $12. It’s an inconvenience for sure, but it’s easily avoidable. Just make sure to charge a purchase to the card at least once per year – even if it’s just a few dollars.


Scotiabank Gold American Express

Scotiabank added a second no foreign transaction fee card in its roster of travel credit cards in 2019, as the Scotiabank Gold American Express now no longer charges a 2.5% fee for purchases made in non-Canadian currencies. Plus, it has a generous welcome offer allowing new users to earn up to $650 in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points. Must apply by October 31, 2023.

The Scotiabank Gold AMEX also gives you six rewards points for every dollar spent at participating grocery stores (like Sobey's, IGA, Freshco, and more), five points for every dollar spent on eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments, three points for every dollar on transit purchases, and one point on everything else.

Additionally, this card comes with top-notch travel insurance benefits, which means it would also make a great choice for an all-in-one travel card. The one drawback of this card is since it’s issued by American Express, it may not be as widely accepted in some countries. All purchases made in a foreign currency will earn 1 point per dollar – regardless of the category.

HSBC World Elite Mastercard

HSBC has a no foreign transaction fee credit card: the HSBC World Elite Mastercard with a $149 annual fee and individual annual income requirements of $80,000. With the welcome bonus, you can earn up to $649 in total value* for the first year! Must apply by May 31, 2023. Conditions apply. In terms of rewards, you can pocket up to 3% in points for every dollar you spend on eligible travel purchases. This card also includes great travel insurance benefits. A drawback of the card, however, is their redemption structure as you’ll need to rack up 25,000 points before you can start redeeming for travel rewards.

Brim Financial Mastercard

If you’ve never heard of Brim Financial before, it’s time to get up to speed as they offer some seriously impressive rewards credit cards.

First launched in 2018, all three of Brim’s cards charge no foreign transaction fees – from the entry-level Brim Mastercard ($0 annual fee) and the mid-tier Brim World ($99 annual fee) to the premium Brim World Elite ($199 annual fee).

In addition to the ability to save 2.5% on fees when making foreign currency purchases, Brim cardholders will earn rewards on all everyday purchases. Depending on which Brim Mastercard you choose, you’ll earn either 1%, 1.5%, or 2% on all everyday purchases (with the Brim Mastercard, Brim World, and Brim World Elite respectively).

The kicker: Brim cardholders can rack up bonus rewards when shopping from over 200 eligible partner merchants. Some of our favourites include up to 4% on Apple and Microsoft, and 3% on Nike, Lufthansa, Etihad, and Emirates Airlines.

While you’ll technically earn points, Brim Rewards effectively acts as cash back. You can redeem 100 points for $1 in cash credits towards any card purchase.

All Brim Mastercards also offer complimentary mobile device insurance and free Boing Wi-Fi Membership. Plus, the World and World Elite versions provide rental car insurance and out-of-province/country emergency medical insurance.

Find your perfect credit card in under 60 seconds - No SIN required

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself

    Answer some questions so we can personalize our recommendations - this won't impact your credit score

  2. Check your eligibility

    We confirm your eligibility with our partner, TransUnion. This will be a ‘soft credit check’ which you can see but lenders cannot

  3. Find your perfect matches

    We show you the cards you’re most likely to want and most likely to get

let's get started

Meridian Visa Infinite Travel Rewards Card

The Meridian Visa Infinite Travel Rewards Card isn’t a no foreign transaction fee credit card per se, but it does offer 3% in rewards points on foreign purchases. After accounting for foreign transaction fees, that works out to about a 0.5% return on purchases made in a non-Canadian currency – so you’ll still come out ahead. The card also offers a flat 1.5% on all other purchases along with great travel insurance coverage (including $5,000,000 in emergency health coverage), mobile device insurance, and a welcome offer that waives the $99 annual fee for the first year.


Rogers Platinum

The Rogers Platinum Mastercard doesn’t technically waive its foreign transaction fees but it does offer savings on US dollar purchases, which can beneficial for snowbirds or anyone who frequently travels south of the border.

The no-fee, entry-level card offers 3% cash back on eligible purchases made in US dollars. Since foreign transaction fees typically hover around 2.5%, your net rewards on USD purchases would come out to 0.5% cash back.

The obvious drawback is you’ll only reap savings on USD transactions and still owe FX fees on purchases in any other international currency. That’s a major limiting factor compared to the other no FX fee cards on this list. The one silver lining is many international websites and merchants do offer the ability to pay in USD – even if they’re not based in the United States.

When it comes to all other everyday purchases, the Rogers Platinum Mastercard earns 1% cash back.


Rogers World Elite Mastercard

In the same vein as the aforementioned Rogers Platinum Mastercard, the premium Rogers World Elite isn’t a true no foreign transaction fee card and only offers savings on select foreign purchases. Specifically, it earns 3% on purchases made in US dollars, which means you’ll come out ahead by 0.5%.

Purchases made in any foreign currency other than USD will result in the typical foreign transaction fees.

It’s a major drawback for sure, but considering many international websites and merchants do accept USD as a payment option, you could still technically save on some foreign purchases outside of the US.

The bigger downside of the Rogers World Elite is the fact you must spend at least $15,000 on the card annually just to be considered eligible to keep it. If you don’t hit that $15,000 minimum, you may be forcibly downgraded to the entry-level Rogers Platinum Card covered above. It’s an odd stipulation and essentially forces you to default to using the Rogers World Elite for the majority of your everyday purchases.

The Rogers World Elite does offer an impressive 1.5% cash back on all other everyday purchases and charges no annual fee. The card does have a steep income requirement though and you’ll need to earn at least $80,000 annually in order to be approved. Rewards Mastercard

The Rewards Mastercard is a co-branded credit card offered by MBNA, and well, obviously, Amazon. The card doesn’t waive its foreign transaction fees per se but offers cardholders who are also Amazon Prime Members an accelerated earn rate of 2.5% on all international purchases, which effectively means you’ll break even on anything bought in a non-Canadian currency since FX fees usually hover around 2.5%.

The major caveat of this card is you can only save on FX fees if you’re also an Amazon Prime Member (non-Prime cardholders will earn a standard 1% on foreign purchases). So, while the Rewards Mastercard technically has no annual fees, you will have to pay $7.99 per month for Prime to access the FX savings.

This card will earn you Rewards points, which act as cash back with one distinct limitation: points can only be redeemed for purchases from Amazon. For example, 250 Amazon Rewards points is worth $2.5 in Amazon gift cards.

It goes without saying this card is catered to loyal Amazon shoppers, offering either 1.5% or 2.5% on Amazon purchases depending on whether or not you’re a paying Amazon Prime Member. You’ll earn a standard 1% on everything else.

Why you should get a credit card with no foreign transaction fee

When you're travelling abroad, every transaction you make with your credit card has to be converted from the country's currency to Canadian dollars before appearing as a charge on your statement. For the trouble of doing this, many providers charge a foreign transaction fee (usually 2.5%) in addition to the spot rate. This may look like a small amount of money, but added up over multiple transactions (let's face it - everyone spends a lot while on vacation) they can quickly become a problem. This is why having a credit card with no foreign transaction fees can save you more money than you think. Think of it as a card that gives you a 2.5% discount on all your purchases in foreign currency.

Not only that, but for those who like to online shop on foreign websites (U.S. included), you'll save the same 2.5% on all your transactions.

What to look for in a no foreign transaction fee credit card

Outside of the obvious - no foreign transaction fees - there are a couple of other features that you'll want to look out for when shopping for a card of this type.

Because you'll primarily be using this card while abroad, you'll want to choose one that also offers great rewards on spending outside of Canada. It's an often-overlooked detail on rewards cards, but many of their great point values and cash back rates don't apply outside of the country. There's no point in getting a card with no foreign transaction fees if it won't also rewards you for using it in foreign countries, so make sure yours will.

Along with that, see if your chosen card also comes with any travel perks, such as VIP airport lounge access, hotel upgrades, checked baggage, or rental car discounts. If you don't already have travel insurance, it's also a good idea to select one with a thorough, comprehensive travel insurance package to cover events like emergency medical, stolen/lost baggage, and flight delay/cancellation, among others.


Related articles

The knowledge bank

A wealth of knowledge delivered right to your inbox.

By submitting your email address, you acknowledge and agree to’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Contact us for more information. You can unsubscribe at any time.