Best No Fee US Dollar Credit Card in Canada: Head-To-Head

I loathe to pay a fee for credit cards and have not paid a fee for credit cards ever (well there are fees but they are usually free for the first year and I usually cancel before the first year is up).  I also loathe having nasty surprises on my credit card bills when I travel to the US or when I do online shopping on US websites because of the exchange rates.  Here is the best No Fee US Dollar credit card in Canada.  In addition here is a credit card with no foreign transaction fee (actually there are a number of them).

The Best USD No Fee Credit Card in Canada

No Fee USD Credit Card in Canada

It took me a long time to realize that they charge you a foreign transaction fee on top of the crappy exchange rate the credit card companies give you.

Therefore when you buy something in the US, a month later you’ll have forgotten exactly what you paid for it and you’ll vaguely wonder why it seems so much more expensive on the credit card bill in Canadian dollars than when you purchased it.  I am speaking from many experiences of course.

That’s why I got a US dollar bank account and a No fee USD credit card in Canada. 

There’s no foreign transaction fee for these credit cards in Canada to worry about.

I don’t like currency surprises in Canadian dollars.  We currently have the TD US Dollar Visa and have been very happy with it.  I like it because we don’t have to deal with currency fluctuations.

We don’t pay an annual fee because we have a US dollar account with the TD Borderless Plan with our joint account and keep a minimum of $3000 USD in the account.  Also, I prefer having a US Dollar Credit Card so that I can make an online purchase from US retailers (e.g. Amazon.com) without having to worry about the current CAD/USD exchange rate.  We try to go to Hawaii once a year so we do use US dollars quite frequently.

Here are some of the best USD Credit Card with No Fees in Canada available out there and how to get them for free (if applicable).

The caveat is that to pay the bill you will need a US Dollar bank account (usually attached to that particular bank credit card, otherwise it’s going to be annoying to withdraw US dollars from one bank to pay at the other bank), otherwise getting US dollar bank drafts is really going to add up!

BMO US Dollar Credit Card Mastercard

BMO US Dollar Mastercard
Source: BMO
  • The annual fee for the BMO US Dollar Mastercard is $35 USD
  • If you spend $1000 USD in one year, you will be refunded your annual fee the following year
  • Extended warranty doubling the manufacturer’s warranty (up to a maximum of one year)
  • Purchase protection for 90 days against theft or damage of your purchase

TD US Dollar Visa

TD US Dollar Visa
Source: TD Bank
  • The annual fee for the TD US Dollar Visa is $39 USD
  • This annual fee be waived if you have a Borderless Plan (US Dollar Account) and a minimum of $3000 USD in your account at all times or if you have private banking with TD.  You can check out my review of the card here.
  • Up to $5,000 of trip interruption coverage, to a maximum of $25,000 for all people insured on the same trip
  • Up to $1000 for delayed (if delayed for greater than 6 hours) and lost baggage insurance
  • Collision/Loss Damage coverage for rental cars with a commercial car rental company (note, this wouldn’t work for Turo rental cars, I asked!).
  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection– this is for items you’ve purchased with your card, should they be stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase
  • Free supplemental cards (up to three).  My husband and I both have this card together.
  • Chip and pay wave convenience

RBC US Dollar Visa Gold

RBC US Dollar Visa Gold
Source: RBC
  • The annual fee for the RBC US Dollar Visa Gold is $65 USD
  • This is one of the only US Dollar credit cards where you can earn points.  You get 1 RBC Rewards Point for every $1 USD spent.
  • Has trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Also includes auto rental collision/loss damage insurance
  • The annual fee can be waived with RBC VIP Banking, but that usually entails spending a monthly fee on your regular day-to-day banking package

RBC Bank Visa Signature Black Card

RBC Bank Signature Black

The RBC Bank Visa Signature Black credit card works well with your US bank account (the bank account based in the United States).

  • Zero annual fee ($0 annual fee)
  • You can earn 1 RBC Rewards points per dollar spent
  • You can redeem for travel or redeem $1 for every 1 point spent (a 1.00% cash back)
  • Also it includes trip cancellation/ Interruption, travel accident, cell phone protection, loss luggage, and even emergency travel services such as road side assistance or emergency cash and card replacement.

I recently signed up for this card and have been happy with it.  Here’s my RBC Bank Visa Signature Black review.

The statement are all electronic. 

This is one of the only cards where you can earn RBC Rewards points.  The RBC Rewards point can be converted to RBC Avion points in Canada.

CIBC Aventura US Dollar Visa Card

CIBC Aventura US Dollar Visa Card
  • The Aventura US Dollar Visa also provides an ability to earn points, Aventura points.
  • The annual fee is $35 USD but the first year is rebated for new cardholders (awesome!)
  • You can get up to 2500 Adventura Points
    • To do this you need to (complete the actions below within 60 days of approval… each action gives you 500 points):
    • share your email address with CIBC
    • Sign up for e-statements
    • Add an authorized user to your US dollar credit card
    • Add your US dollar card to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Android Pay
    • Have a CIBC chequing account (that is eligible)
  • 1:1 Adventura points per dollar spent on purchases at their CIBC Rewards Centre, and 1:$2 for purchases elsewhere
  • 90 day purchase protection insurance for lost, damaged, or stolen goods
  • You need a minimum household income of $15,000 to apply for this card
  • There are Avis and Budget car rental discounts

Scotiabank US Dollar Visa

Scotiabank US Dollar Visa
Source: Scotiabank
  • The Scotiabank US Dollar Visa has a $35 USD annual fee
  • There is no annual fee for supplementary cards
  • There is no USD currency conversion
  • It includes purchase security and extended warranty protection
  • There is an up to 25% off base price discount on Avis and Budget car rentals

The Best No Fee US Dollar Credit Card?

What is the best no fee US Dollar credit card in Canada, then? 

Does the best no fee credit card exist for USD credit cards?

Well, they all have fees attached to them so there is no best no annual fee credit card in Canada for these USD card.  But the CIBC US Dollar Adventura Card is free for the first year.

The TD US Dollar Visa is free if you have a US Dollar Borderless Account.  So this makes it a free USD credit card in Canada.

Finally, the US Dollar Mastercard from BMO is free if you spend at least $1000 USD for the year (you will get refunded your annual fee the following year).  This also makes it a free USD credit card in Canada with a minimum spend.

If you like to collect points and are willing to give up the card if you don’t want to pay the annual fee, the CIBC Aventura is the only one that is ‘no fee’ AND also gives out points.

No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can always get a card like the CIBC AC Conversion Card so that you can have US dollars loaded on the card without having to have a US Dollar bank account (you can also have other currencies loaded on the card too which makes this even more convenient for frequent travelers).  The CIBC AC Conversion card is free and it is a preloaded card, not a credit card.

Another option is choosing a credit card that has no foreign currency transaction/ conversion fee.  So even though you get a bit dinged with the higher spread for the exchange rate, you won’t get dinged the extra foreign currency transaction fee.

ROGERS WORLD ELITE MASTERCARD

The Rogers World Elite Mastercard gives you 3% cash back on eligible purchases in USD foreign currency expenses which pretty much negates the foreign transaction fee (around 2.5%) that you would be charged on your USD purchases south of the border or even on US dollar purchases when you are shopping online.

The Rogers World Elite Mastercard are no-fee cards, which is great if you don’t want to pay an annual fee.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite also does not charge the foreign currency exchange fee and it gives you a generous 6 airport lounge visits in the form of airport lounge access to use.

As a frequent traveller, I personally think it’s one of the best travel credit cards available right now.

When you make purchases in a foreign currency you aren’t charged extra.

This is a great card for individuals 65 and older as it comes with emergency medical coverage that are longer compared to other card issuers.

Here’s my Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite review.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

The Scotiabank Gold American Express card also has no foreign transaction fee on foreign currency purchases.  It has generous bonus points in the form of Scene+ Points if you spend $1000 in your first three months as well.  These Scotiabank cards that earn Scene+ points are great rewards cards.

Scene+ points are great for travel (and not just for movies anymore) because you get your points about 2-3 business days after you make the qualified spend.  It’s also easy when you redeem points, you can redeem up to 12 months after you make your travel purchases.

You can get 6 points on groceries for ever $1 spent on every day purchases at Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, and Thrifty Foods.

The downside is this card doesn’t come without airport lounge benefits like free lounge access but it does come with airport lounge membership.

Here’s my Scotiabank American Express Gold Card review.

Meridian Visa Infinite Travel Rewards Card

Meridian is part of the category of credit unions and is not a big bank but you have to be an Ontario resident.

For this you can earn 6 rewards points for every $2 spent on purchases made outside of Canada in foreign currencies.  Technically it’s not a no foreign currrency fee card but you get it back in terms of rewards points at about 3% cash back.

This is a great card for individuals 65 and older too.

The Meridian Visa Infinite travel rewards card’s fee is waived in the first year (including supplementary cards).

Use a Debit Visa Card

Finally, another option is to use a Debit visa card.  Basically it is a debit card but can be accepted where Visa credit cards are accepted (hence they are widely accepted).

I also have a RBC Bank Debit Visa linked to my US RBC account.  It is accepted everywhere where Visa is accepted, but it’s a debit card.

The RBC Preferred Money Market Account is a free account based in the United States that you can open with RBC.  Here’s more information on how to USD from Paypal to a USD bank account in Canada.

The RBC Bank Debit Visa is free and there are no annual fees, however if you have an automatic bill payment linked to this card, be wary of the minimum balance in your chequing or savings account because I have been dinged $5 USD on more than one occasion because there was less than the minimum balance after the money was removed.

Therefore this makes the RBC Bank Visa Signature Black quite attractive as a USD No fee annual contender.

For the best US dollar savings accounts, check out this post.

So in summary, the best US credit card for Canadians in my opinion, is the one that is free that you won’t have to worry about. 

This is why I like to keep a minimum balance to get these perks.  Personal finance is personal though, not every one likes to keep a minimum balance with a big bank and views it as wasted opportunity cost.

It is also smart to carry some cash with you on your travels in case these Canadian credit cards don’t work during your valuable travel.

Readers, would you prefer to have a US Dollar card or a no foreign currency conversion card?

What do you think is the best No Fee US Dollar Credit Card in Canada?

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18 thoughts on “Best No Fee US Dollar Credit Card in Canada: Head-To-Head”

  1. Hi GYM, that’s a lot of information. How did you collect them? Sounds like you are an excellent researcher.

    One headache of international travel is the card. I realized some credit card companies claim, they don’t charge international transaction fees. But, sometimes the local vendors do charge extra fees for any foreign credit cards. It could be confusing. I usually carry cash over, and exchange to the local currency. But the rate could be crappy.

    Reply
    • @Helen- I think it goes from me having the US dollar credit card for free and wondering what other cards are out there! I like to know what my options are haha!

      Reply
  2. I use the Rogers World Elite MasterCard that gives me a 4% reward for my USD purchases. This more than cover the normal 2.5% exchange rate surcharge. This card has a $29 annual fee, but it’s waved because I have registered a Rogers service as my automated payment. The best part is I get a 1.75% base reward on any purchases.

    Reply
    • @Leo- Thanks for sharing your USD strategy! That sounds like a good workaround to the exchange rate surcharge.

      Reply
  3. We go to the US a few times a year but I do make many purchases online in US$. I feel it’s probably not enough to warrant getting a US $ card but have considered it. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • @anon- If you have a USD bank account then I’d say it’s a no brainer (that way you can buy USD when it’s at parity, when it ever gets to parity, lol). If you don’t have one and you are at the mercy of the banks and the foreign exchange fee then I would say that it’s not as good of an idea.

      Reply
  4. I’m a simple guy. Have a US home that I use about four mons a year, and live in a border city with the US.

    The BMO card, that give back the annual fee is the one for me.
    I easy spend $1,000 a year in the US

    Reply

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