4 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

4 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Best Credit Card with No Annual Fee for Cash back
#1
Chase Freedom Credit Card
  • Earn 5x multipliers on purchases you're likely already making: gas, restaurants, movie theaters, and more
  • After regular use of the card in your first three months, you'll likely earn the signup bonus without having to push spending
  • Redeem points for things you truly want with the flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
Best Flat Rate Cash Back Card with No Annual Fee
#2
Citi Double Cash Card
  • Get rewarded twice with 1% cashback on all purchases with no spending limits, and an additional 1% on all monthly payments (as long as you keep up with your minimum payments)
  • Redeem rewards with a number of flexible options to fit your interests and lifestyle
  • Get a free pass on your first late fee without your APR being affected (though your credit score will still be)
Best Credit Card with No Annual Fee for Travel Rewards
#3
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn rewards quickly with 1.5 points per $1 spent
  • Even though there's no annual fee, you can still earn a high signup bonus of 20,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months (equivalent to $200 of travel credit)
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no interest in the first 12 months of using the card!
Best Credit Card with no Annual Fee and 0% APR
#4
Citi Simplicity Card
  • An unreal 21 months with an introductory APR of 0%
  • ...with the same introductory rate for balance transfers
  • Manage existing debt with no annual fees or late penalty fees

Credit cards have gotten increasingly flashy in recent years, with tons of different options for hotel credit cards, business credit cards, travel cards, and more.

The fact of the matter is that paying an annual fee on a credit card can be worth it if the rewards you earn and cardmember benefits justify it.

But you might be suprirsed to hear that when you choose one of the best no annual fee credit cards available, you can still earn hefty rewards.

You might be wondering:

If you're the kind of person that does not believe in having to pay to use a credit card, then applying for one without an annual fee is probably a good option. The best no annual fee credit cards can also be a good fit for those new to credit card use, or those managing a large amount of debt—thanks to many options within this category offering generous introductory APR rates as well.

If you fit this distinction of a new or debt-ridden credit card user, you might also consider prepaid cards, secured credit cards, credit cards for students, and best credit cards for little to no credit.

Now:

Before you think that no annual fee credit cards are boring, it's important to bring up that some of the options on this list don't require the payment of an annual fee to get rewards, whether they be cash back or travel rewards. Of course, some of the best no fee credit cards can also be used to pay off debt, with long 0% APR periods and low APR rates.

Here's the bottom line:

Whatever your reason, there's a no annual fee credit card option perfect for you. Check out our list below for our top picks of the best credit cards with no annual fee for cash back, travel rewards, and debt management.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.


Editorial staff

Quick Look: 4 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards
Citi Simplicity Card
  • An unreal 21 months with an introductory APR of 0%
  • ...with the same introductory rate for balance transfers
  • Manage existing debt with no annual fees or late penalty fees
Check on Citi
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn rewards quickly with 1.5 points per $1 spent
  • Even though there's no annual fee, you can still earn a high signup bonus of 20,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months (equivalent to $200 of travel credit)
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no interest in the first 12 months of using the card!
Check on Bankofamerica
Citi Double Cash Card
  • Get rewarded twice with 1% cashback on all purchases with no spending limits, and an additional 1% on all monthly payments (as long as you keep up with your minimum payments)
  • Redeem rewards with a number of flexible options to fit your interests and lifestyle
  • Get a free pass on your first late fee without your APR being affected (though your credit score will still be)
Check on Citi
Chase Freedom Credit Card
  • Earn 5x multipliers on purchases you're likely already making: gas, restaurants, movie theaters, and more
  • After regular use of the card in your first three months, you'll likely earn the signup bonus without having to push spending
  • Redeem points for things you truly want with the flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
Check on Creditcards.chase
4 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

4 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Read Video Infographic Tips

Credit cards have gotten increasingly flashy in recent years, with tons of different options for hotel credit cards, business credit cards, travel cards, and more.

The fact of the matter is that paying an annual fee on a credit card can be worth it if the rewards you earn and cardmember benefits justify it.

But you might be suprirsed to hear that when you choose one of the best no annual fee credit cards available, you can still earn hefty rewards.

You might be wondering:

If you're the kind of person that does not believe in having to pay to use a credit card, then applying for one without an annual fee is probably a good option. The best no annual fee credit cards can also be a good fit for those new to credit card use, or those managing a large amount of debt—thanks to many options within this category offering generous introductory APR rates as well.

If you fit this distinction of a new or debt-ridden credit card user, you might also consider prepaid cards, secured credit cards, credit cards for students, and best credit cards for little to no credit.

Now:

Before you think that no annual fee credit cards are boring, it's important to bring up that some of the options on this list don't require the payment of an annual fee to get rewards, whether they be cash back or travel rewards. Of course, some of the best no fee credit cards can also be used to pay off debt, with long 0% APR periods and low APR rates.

Here's the bottom line:

Whatever your reason, there's a no annual fee credit card option perfect for you. Check out our list below for our top picks of the best credit cards with no annual fee for cash back, travel rewards, and debt management.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.


Editorial staff

Quick Look: 4 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards
Citi Simplicity Card
  • An unreal 21 months with an introductory APR of 0%
  • ...with the same introductory rate for balance transfers
  • Manage existing debt with no annual fees or late penalty fees
Check on Citi
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn rewards quickly with 1.5 points per $1 spent
  • Even though there's no annual fee, you can still earn a high signup bonus of 20,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months (equivalent to $200 of travel credit)
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no interest in the first 12 months of using the card!
Check on Bankofamerica
Citi Double Cash Card
  • Get rewarded twice with 1% cashback on all purchases with no spending limits, and an additional 1% on all monthly payments (as long as you keep up with your minimum payments)
  • Redeem rewards with a number of flexible options to fit your interests and lifestyle
  • Get a free pass on your first late fee without your APR being affected (though your credit score will still be)
Check on Citi
Chase Freedom Credit Card
  • Earn 5x multipliers on purchases you're likely already making: gas, restaurants, movie theaters, and more
  • After regular use of the card in your first three months, you'll likely earn the signup bonus without having to push spending
  • Redeem points for things you truly want with the flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
Check on Creditcards.chase

Best Credit Card with no Annual Fee and 0% APR

Best Credit Card with no Annual Fee and 0% APR: Citi Simplicity Card
Apply Now
On Card Issuer’s Secure Website
  • Variable APR
    15.49% - 25.49%
  • Cash Advance APR
    See terms.
  • Rewards Rate
    n/a
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro APR
    0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 18 months
  • Bonus Offers
    n/a

Pros

  • An unreal 21 months with an introductory APR of 0%
  • ...with the same introductory rate for balance transfers
  • Manage existing debt with no annual fees or late penalty fees

Cons

It's hard to find anything bad to say about this no fee credit card, based on what it stands for when it comes to helping people manage their debt. If you want to nitpick, The Balance brings up the fact that the card itself is pretty "boring" as there are no rewards or bonuses offered on top of its main schtick.

Details

  • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee…EVER
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49% based on your creditworthiness*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month

Application Process: Online, using an easy to follow form.

Annual Fee: None, as with all the others on this list of the best credit cards with no annual fee.

APR: We dare you to try and find another card with an introductory 0% APR for 21 months (which includes balance transfers!). Once almost two years have passed, a variable APR of 14.99% to 24.99% is assessed. Additionally, after the introductory rate, balance transfer fees are $5 or 3%: whichever is higher.

Rewards: None, though we'd argue that the introductory APR rate is enough of a reward.

Bonus Offers: None, see above.

Best Credit Card with No Annual Fee for Travel Rewards

Best Credit Card with No Annual Fee for Travel Rewards: BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card
Apply Now
On Card Issuer’s Secure Website
  • Variable APR
    16.49% - 24.49%
  • Cash Advance APR
    See terms.
  • Rewards Rate
    1.5 points per dollar
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro APR
    0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles
  • Bonus Offers
    20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases

Pros

  • Earn rewards quickly with 1.5 points per $1 spent
  • Even though there's no annual fee, you can still earn a high signup bonus of 20,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months (equivalent to $200 of travel credit)
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no interest in the first 12 months of using the card!

Cons

If you're carrying a balance, the high APR may be a turnoff once you get past the introductory period. Honestly, if you fly a lot, it's not the best card for you. There are plenty of other travel credit cards that cater to those who fly frequently.

Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

Application Process: Apply online or call their toll-free number if you'd rather go through the process with a human.

Annual Fee: None, none, none!

APR: A nice 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months, then a variable APR of 15.99% to 23.99% after.

RewardsPoints can be redeemed for travel statement credit that can be used on flights, hotels, rentals and other related purchases.

Bonus Offers: Get excited to earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening, which is equivalent to $200 of travel credit. If you're an active Bank of America checking or savings customer, get an additional 10% bonus customer points. Preferred Rewards clients can get up to 25-75% bonus points. The Points Guy calls this card a "no-brainer" if you're an existing Bank of America customer.

Best Flat Rate Cash Back Card with No Annual Fee

Best Flat Rate Cash Back Card with No Annual Fee: Citi Double Cash Card
Apply Now
On Card Issuer’s Secure Website
  • Variable APR
    14.99% - 24.99%
  • Cash Advance APR
    26.74%
  • Rewards Rate
    1.0%
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro APR
    0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months
  • Bonus Offers
    n/a

Pros

  • Get rewarded twice with 1% cashback on all purchases with no spending limits, and an additional 1% on all monthly payments (as long as you keep up with your minimum payments)
  • Redeem rewards with a number of flexible options to fit your interests and lifestyle
  • Get a free pass on your first late fee without your APR being affected (though your credit score will still be)

Cons

If you want some cons, we'll give you some cons. This option on the list of best no annual fee credit cards has a couple of things you might not be excited by:

  • No sign-up bonus
  • High ongoing APR
  • Foreign transaction fees

Finally, when it comes to actually accessing your rewards, you'll have to wait until you hit the minimum cash back redemption minimum of $25.

Details

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.99% - 24.99% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

Application Process: Online, through Citi.

Annual Fee: $95. Just kidding - it's a no annual fee credit card!

APR: A ridiculous 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers made within the first 18 months of credit card use. After that, a variable APR of 14.49% to 24.49% (based on creditworthiness). If it needs saying, note that balance transfers do not earn cash back, and must be completed within 4 months from account opening. Additionally, expect a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the total amount, whichever is greater.

Rewards: Rewards are fairly flexible and can be claimed as a statement credit, gift card, or a check in the mail. The only bummer? There's a minimum cash back redemption of $25 that can take some time to build up.

Bonus Offers: The Citi Double Cash Card bonus offers may or may not be useful to you, but include:

  • A free pass on your first late fee
  • Special access to pre-sale tickets, VIP packages, and complimentary movie screenings ℅ citiprivatepass.com
  • Travel insurance and purchase protection

Best Credit Card with No Annual Fee for Cash back

Best Credit Card with No Annual Fee for Cash back: Chase Freedom Credit Card
Apply Now
On Card Issuer’s Secure Website
  • Variable APR
    16.24% - 24.99%
  • Cash Advance APR
    26.24%
  • Rewards Rate
    1.0%
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Intro APR
    0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months
  • Bonus Offers
    Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Pros

  • Earn 5x multipliers on purchases you're likely already making: gas, restaurants, movie theaters, and more
  • After regular use of the card in your first three months, you'll likely earn the signup bonus without having to push spending
  • Redeem points for things you truly want with the flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards portal

Cons

Here's where things get a little murky—the rewards for the Chase Freedom card can be a pain to activate, earn, and redeem. First off, the minimum redemption amount is $20 for rewards. Additionally, in order to earn 5x rewards on certain categories, you have to first remember to activate them to get higher cashback rates (though they do send you reminder emails)! Magnify Money provides a list of dimensions for people to consider on the more negative side of this credit card.

If you don't have the patience and time to deal with activating and remembering reward bonus categories, consider the similar Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card. It works as a flat-rate cashback card that allows you to earn 1.5% cashback from all spending.

Details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Application Process: Online as a straightforward application.

Annual Fee: As this is on the list of credit cards with no annual fee... The Chase Freedom Card can be used for a total of $0 each year.

APR: A generous 0% for the first 15 months—use this time to get your finances together. After that, a variable APR of 15.74% to 24.49% is assessed. Additionally, balance transfer fees are $5 or 5% of the transferred amount, whichever is greater.

Rewards: Redeeming rewards is up to you, with many different options available:

  • Bank account deposits
  • Statement credits/cash back
  • General merchandise purchases made through the portal or third-party retailers such as Amazon
  • Travel purchases

A 5x reward multiplier goes into affect when activating certain Chase Freedom categories, and aligning your purchases accordingly. Here's how the Chase Freedom categories break down throughout the year of 2017:

  • Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation
  • Q2: Groceries and drug stores
  • Q3: Restaurants and movie theatres
  • Q4: Walmart and department stores

Bonus Offers: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 within 3 months after opening your new account. Stack your bonuses and earn $25 after you add your first authorized user and they make their first purchase within the same 3 month period.

Maddy Osman creates engaging content with SEO best practices for marketing thought leaders and agencies that have their hands full with clients and projects. Learn more about her process and experience on her website, www.The-Blogsmith.com and read her latest articles on Twitter: @MaddyOsman.

Join the conversation: 4 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Never make a dumb purchase again

Our tips in your mailbox: