If the card is issued by major banks, like a TD Visa or CIBC Visa, usually the cardholder has to pay an annual fee for benefits like cash back or car rental CDW waiver;
If the card is issued by independent card company, like Amex card or Citibank card or Capital one, you usually don't need to pay the annual fee for same features.
e.g. the Amex blue card offers cashback of up to 1%, Citi and Capital One platium have CDW waiver, all of these are at no fee cards.
Since most customers get their first card from their bank, the independent companies have to offer extra incentive to lure customers to their side. And I took it: I use Amex for daily spending and Citi Master for car rental.