The Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards 2022

While you can pay with credit card anywhere in the world nowadays, most cards come with an annoying 2.5% "foreign transaction" fee that is charged on any purchase that isn’t in Canadian dollars. Sometimes, it’s on top of an exchange rate that already has a 1-2% spread on the market rate.

If you prefer not to incur that 2.5% surcharge, keep reading to find out which Canadian credit cards waive the foreign transaction fee, along with other benefits!

Last Updated: September 21, 2022

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are referral links, which means I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. This post is not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned. All opinions are my own.


BEST NO FEE PERMANENT CARD: Home Trust Preferred Visa.
Runner-up: If you have a Scotiabank chequing account, Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite or Scotiabank Gold American Express and maintain the minimum balance to get the annual fee waived


BEST VALUE FOR LOUNGE ACCESS: Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite
Runner-up: HSBC World Elite MasterCard


1. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

Annual Fee: $139 (waived if you have a Scotiabank chequing account)
Foreign Transaction Fee: None + 1 or 2% cash back as a statement credit on travel
Minimum Income Requirement: $60,000 individual or $100,000 household income
Minimum Welcome Bonus: 25,000 points = $250 statement credit on travel after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Application Link(s): ScotiabankGreat Canadian Rebates ($125 cash back)

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite gets my vote for best no foreign transaction fee card offered by a major bank in Canada for several reasons:
  • It's possible to waive the annual fee through having a Scotiabank chequing account
  • This card truly does not charge any foreign transaction fees on either purchases or refunds
  • Visa tends to have a slightly better exchange rate than American Express, from my personal experience
  • Visa is more widely accepted than American Express
Another great perk is that the card offers six (6) Priority Pass lounge passes as well as a bunch of other travel insurance and shopping insurance benefits. The $250 travel credit welcome bonus is a nice touch as well, and can be applied towards both flights and hotels, including AirBnB.

2. HSBC World Elite MasterCard

Annual Fee: $149
Foreign Transaction Fee: None + 1.5% or 3% cash back
Minimum Income Requirement: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household income
Minimum Welcome Bonuz: 60,000 points = $300 statement credit upon spending $6,000 in 180 days + $100 annual travel enhancement credit
Application Link(s): HSBC, Great Canadian Rebates ($125 cash back)

For flexible travel rewards, the HSBC World Elite is a great alternative to the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite. Instead of offering lounge passes, it gives you an annual $100 travel enhancement credit that can be applied to extras such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, lounge access, etc. making the annual fee $49.

One of the biggest pros is that this card offers 31-day travel insurance coverage, which no other card offers. The amount of cash back that you can earn is likely going to be higher than the Scotiabank Passport. HSBC World Elite gives 3% cash back on travel and 1.5% on everything else, compared to 2% on gas, groceries, and entertainment, 1% on everything else using the Scotiabank Passport.

If a significant portion of your credit card spend goes towards travel and/or you have a wide variety of spend categories, I would recommend the HSBC World Elite card. If a large portion of your spend is on gas, groceries and entertainment and you like airport lounges, I would recommend the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite.

The reason this card is second to the Scotia Passport is because HSBC is notoriously difficult to deal with: 
  • If you’re new to HSBC, you’ll need to verify your identity at an HSBC branch to complete the application process. 
  • It takes 2-3 weeks thereafter to receive the physical card, so make sure you apply for this card well in advance of your trip.
  • To redeem HSBC points, you need a minimum balance of 25,000 points (worth $125), and you can only redeem in increments of 10,000 points ($50).
Compared to Scotiabank’s SCENE+ program, you need a minimum balance of 5,000 points (worth $50), but you can redeem to the exact cent you need.

3. Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Annual Fee: $120 (waived if you have a Scotiabank chequing account)
Foreign Transaction Fee: None + 1-5% cash back as a statement credit on travel
Minimum Income Requirement: $12,000 individual
Minimum Welcome Bonus: 40,000 points = $200 statement credit on travel after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months + $200 after spending $7,500 on eligible purchases in the first year
Application Link(s): ScotiabankGreat Canadian Rebates ($125 cash back)

If you don't qualify for the income requirements on the Passport Visa Infinite, the Gold Amex offered by Scotiabank is a good runner-up. It actually offers even more cash back (via travel credits) than the Passport Visa Infinite on certain categories. In particular, this matches the American Express Cobalt Card in offering 5% cash back on dining and groceries. As of October 1, 2022, you can actually get the equivalent of 6% cash back at select grocery chains.

The only downside is that Amex isn't as widely accepted as Visa.

Read More: The Best Non-Amex Credit Cards for Travel

4. Home Trust Preferred Visa

Annual Fee: $0
Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Minimum Income Requirement: None
Welcome Offer(s): None
Application Link(s): Home Trust

If it weren’t lacking some basic system features such as being able to change your PIN and unlimited transactions (you are limited to 10 per what??), this card would be my top pick for best permanent card. If you’re okay with these downsides, then by all means go for the Home Trust card.

Note that it is one of the only credit cards in Canada to offer Roadside Assistance as long as you have the card, which is great if you don't already have this through your vehicle insurance policy or CAA membership.

5. Brim Financial MasterCard

Annual Fee: $0 or $99 or $199 depending on the card
Foreign Transaction Fee: None + 1% or 1.5% or 2% cash back depending on the card
Minimum Income Requirement: None
Welcome Offer(s): None
Application Link(s): Brim Financial

Brim Financial is a startup that offers credit cards. It is a relatively inexperienced credit card provider, and there have been reports in the past of delays in receiving physical cards even after approval. If you're not in a hurry and willing to take a risk on a startup, Brim is a good alternative to the cards above. You also receive free Boingo Wi-Fi with all cards.

6. STACK Prepaid MasterCard

Annual Fee: $0
Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Minimum Income Requirement: None
Welcome Offer(s): $5 upon sign-up
Application Link(s): Get Stack

STACK isn't technically a credit card; it's a prepaid MasterCard which means you won't be able to pay for anything unless you pre-load the card with funds.

If you aren't necessarily looking for a credit card, STACK is actually great for trips where you want to keep physical cash low but also minimize transaction fees.

Personally, I'm a big fan of lounges so I have a bit of a bias towards the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite. What's your pick for a no foreign transaction fee credit card?


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