Credit cards with a $0 annual fee for the first year

Take advantage of an annual fee waiver to save money on a new card.

Updated

There is a wide range of credit cards that include a promotional annual fee waiver for new customers. This means that you pay a $0 annual fee for the first year, which can help reduce the initial costs of getting a new card. But since the annual fee usually kicks in again after the first year, it’s important to factor in the card’s other features when deciding if it will offer any value.

*How we selected our top cards

We’ve chosen the cards on this page based on the providers available through Finder. These cards are not representative of the entire market. When selecting top cards that offer a $0 annual fee for the first year, we compared a number of factors including revert annual fees, interest rates, welcome offers, rewards and travel perks. Our top choices offer a high value in one or more of these categories.

No single credit card will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before picking your new card.

Our picks for cards that waive annual fees for the first year

There are a few great credit card options that waive their annual fee for the first year, letting you enjoy the perks without an immediate hit to your wallet. Here are a few of our favorites:

Please note: All information about TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card has been collected independently by Finder and this card is not available through this site.

Waived annual fee card with a welcome bonus: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card

Earn 3% cash back when you make eligible purchases of up to $15,000.00 per year on each of groceries, gas and recurring bill payments on your credit card. Earn 1% for eligible purchases above $15,000.00 and for all other spending.Enjoy peace of mind when you're travelling with up to $2,000,000 Travel Medical Insurance per insured person per covered trip for 10 consecutive days. (If you or your spouse is 65+ years old, then you're covered for 4 consecutive days.) Enjoy access to toll-free Emergency Travel Assistance Services while travelling. Plus, get up to $1,000 per covered person per trip for delayed and lost baggage.

Waived annual fee card with cash-back rewards: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

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Earn 4% cash back for every $1 spent on eligible grocery purchases & recurring bill payments, 2% per $1 spent on eligible gas purchases & public transit, and 1% per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

With this card, you’ll get access to a comprehensive suite of travel insurance coverage. In addition, the annual fee is waived in the first year – a value of $120.

Waived annual fee card with perks and flexible cash-back redemption: BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

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This card offers a wide range of benefits including travel perks, an attractive signup bonus and the chance to earn a modest amount of cash back on eligible everyday purchases. Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.

After the promotional period ends, continue to enjoy rewards at the regular rate. Earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases. Plus, cardholders can enjoy discounted tickets to highly popular performances. Get 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada, and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas.

How do credit cards with $0 annual fee for the first year work?

This is an introductory offer where at the end of the first year, the card’s standard annual fee will be charged. This is typically applied on the anniversary of your account opening, and every 12 months thereafter. This is why you may see an offer that reads something like “$89 annual fee (waived first year)”.

Can I get my credit card annual fee waived beyond the promotional first-year offer?

Unfortunately, most credit card owners won’t be able to get an extension of the annual fee waiver. This is why it’s important to take advantage of promotional offers, and try to pay down your balance as much as you can while you’re being charged little or no interest.

Credit cards with no annual fee for life

Another category of cards which allows you to continually enjoy annual fee waiver is the no annual fee credit card. These cards often charge higher interest rates as a result and are more suitable for card users who regularly repay their card balances.

How to compare credit cards with $0 annual fee for the first year

In order to make the most of your annual fee waiver and the credit card, it’s important to consider the following factors when comparing credit cards:

  • Other promotional features. Credit cards often include additional introductory offers, such as a 0% balance transfer rate, 0% purchase interest rate or bonus sign-up points. Consider how these deals add value to your card.
  • Standard annual fee. You must factor in the standard annual fee since it will apply after the introductory period. Make sure the card you choose has a standard annual fee you can afford so that you don’t have to deal with excessive credit card costs in the future.
  • Purchase rate. This is the interest rate for eligible purchases, which is important to consider if you tend to carry a balance on the card.
  • Balance transfer rate. This is the interest rate applied to balance transfers and is particularly relevant if you plan to consolidate existing debt onto your new credit card.
  • Rewards. Rewards credit cards let you earn points per dollar spent that you can redeem for travel, merchandise and other rewards. This can add to the value of your credit card, particularly if you’re a high spender or frequent flyer and regularly pay your balance in full.
  • Complimentary extras. Depending on the card, you may be able to enjoy perks such as complimentary travel and purchase insurances, concierge services and free checked bags.
  • Cash advances. Cash advances, which include but are not limited to ATM withdrawals and cash equivalent purchases, attract cash advance fees and high cash advance interest rates. You should avoid making cash advances on your credit card if possible since these incur high fees.
  • Foreign transaction fees. This is usually around 1-3% of the transaction value for overseas transactions, but note that internet purchases made in foreign currencies may also attract these fees. Travel credit cards, however, often don’t have foreign transaction fees.
  • Other fees. You need to identify and compare any other fees that may be applied to your account, such as ATM fees or late payment fees.
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Compare credit cards with no annual fee

You’ll find many great no-annual-fee credit card options in a variety of categories.

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
11.9%
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
N/A
Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
Earn 10,000 Points ($50 travel value). Plus, get a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year. Apply by June 29, 2020. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec. Conditions apply.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
19.9%
22.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
$80,000
Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases (6 Points per $1 spent) and earn 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases (3 Points per $1 spent).
Earn up to 60,000 Points ($300 travel value). Plus, get a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year. Apply by June 29, 2020. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec. Conditions apply.
BMO World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
Get 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases (up to $50,000 spend annually), and get 2 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (and once you reach the $50,000 annual spend).
Earn a bonus of up to 35,000 BMO Rewards points with a minimum spend of $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership ($250 travel value to be used towards a flight booked through bmorewards.com). Plus, get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
Earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
Get 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on eligible purchases.
Earn a bonus of up to 2,000 AIR MILES. Terms apply. Plus, get the annual fee of $120 waived in the first year.
Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
$60,000
Earn 5% in GM Earnings on the first $10,000 annual spend, and earn 2% in GM Earnings thereafter.
Get the annual fee waived in the first year on the primary card as well as any supplementary cards. Apply by July 1, 2020.
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Bottom line

When comparing credit cards with annual fee waivers, make sure you research all the available credit card options. Since these annual fee savings may be only temporary, remember to weigh in the card’s ongoing features and check for any ongoing fee waivers before choosing the one that will work for you both now and in the foreseeable future.

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