My favourite cards for everyday spend are either the American Express Platinum or Business Platinum Card. They both earn 1.25 points per dollar transferrable to Aeroplan or Avios, and you can earn up 60,000 to 75,000 points respectively, after applying for those cards and completing minimum spend.
However, nearly all Canadian Credit Cards have fees on top of the exchange rate when making purchases abroad. This is 2.5% with most credit cards. If you travel a lot, this really adds up.
The best known no foreign transaction fee credit card is the Chase Canada Marriott Visa, which currently comes with a 50,000 Marriott Point bonus. The card has no annual fee for the first year, but after that a $120 annual fee applies.
Luckily for Americans (or those with US credit profiles), there are so many great cards available without a foreign transaction fee. If you want a card that has both no annual fees and no foreign transaction fees, I recommend the BoA Merill+ Card.
No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card + No Annual Fee
In Canada, the other option was the Chase Canada Amazon Visa. Unfortunately, this card is not accepting applications anymore. Furthermore, Chase has already sold most of their credit card portfolio to Scotiabank. It’s likely that they will be selling the Amazon and Marriott cards as well to them as well.
Credit Karma, a great free way to check your credit, already displays those accounts as Scotiabank on TransUnion. When Scotiabank acquired the Sears Credit Card portfolio, they removed this benefit several months later. I would not be surprised if Scotiabank does the same with the Marriott and Amazon cards.
Additional Reading: Free Credit Score with Credit Karma
So, I was very surprised when I found another no foreign transaction fee credit card in Canada with no annual fee. Enter the Home Trust Preferred Visa.
The landing page for this credit card is here. There is no mention of the 0% foreign transaction fees there. However, if you look at the disclosure statement in the application, it does state explicitly there is no currency conversion charge.
Home Trust isn’t really a credit card issuer, but is one of the largest alternative mortgage lenders in Canada. They went through some financial issues a few months ago, but that shouldn’t be an issue because they are the ones giving you unsecured credit.
It is great that they are not actively marketing this as no foreign transaction fee credit card, and that it is difficult to find the application online. My guess is that they intended to offer this product as a niche products to clients, but there are no restrictions that, for example, only existing clients of Home Trust are able to apply.
The application is a little buggy. I just submitted an application this morning. It seems that there’s no instant approval process, so I’ll see soon enough what happens.
Apply for the Home Trust Preferred Visa Today!