Best Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

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If you want to minimize costs and maximize reward earnings, then you need a credit card with no annual fee.

While some cards with no annual fee offer lower rewards or fewer benefits, the best no annual fee credit cards can be invaluable. With these cards in your wallet, you won’t have to worry about using them often enough to justify paying an annual fee.

In this guide, we will walk you through some of the best credit cards available, so you can determine which is best suited to your specific circumstances.

Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

1. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Capital One VentureOne

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards card is often overshadowed by the Capital One® Venture® Rewards card, but it does offer some great benefits. It’s rare to find a good travel rewards card with no annual fee, so this is one that may catch your attention.

You can enjoy 1.25 miles for every dollar spent on purchases, which although less than the 2 miles on the Venture Rewards, with no annual fee, it offers a no-strings-attached reward for those who don’t spend enough to justify an annual fee. Since the Venture card attracts a $95 a year fee, you can enjoy some serious savings with the VentureOne.

The most notable feature of this card is that you can enjoy a one-time bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months of account opening. This will land you 20,000 miles, which is the equivalent of $200 in travel. You can transfer miles to 12 travel loyalty programs, so you can fly any airline or stay at any hotel with no time restrictions.

The VentureOne is offered with an intro 0% APR for the first 12 months before it increases to a variable rate. It also provides access to 24-hour travel assistance services, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and other perks.

The only potential downside of this card is that the 1.25 miles per $1 is a lower rate than many other cards (although many of them come with an annual fee). So, if you want to quickly accumulate miles, you may be better suited to a card that offers a higher ratio.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee (rare for travel rewards cards)
  • 1.25 miles in rewards per $1 spent on all purchases
  • 20,000 miles (equivilent to $200 in travel) signup bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Learn more about the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

2. Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom is a cashback credit card with rotating categories. In simple terms, you can enjoy 5% cashback on combined purchases up to $1,500 in bonus categories each quarter. There is also 1% cashback on all your other purchases. So, if you spend strategically, you could earn a substantial amount of cashback and not have to pay an annual fee.

The Chase Freedom card also offers a signup bonus. New cardholders can enjoy a $150 bonus provided they spend a minimum of $500 within the first three months.

On paper, the rewards offered with other cashback cards may be more impressive, but many of these cards have an annual fee. So, while your rewards may seem great, it can quickly evaporate when you renew. With no annual fee and an introductory APR of 0% for the first 15 months, the Chase Freedom card allows you to fully enjoy your rewards without needing to worry about fees and charges.

The Chase Freedom card becomes even more valuable if you use it in combination with other credit cards. If you have another rewards card that gives you 1.5% or 2% cashback on every purchase, you can use the Chase Freedom card just for purchases that will earn you 5%. See our article on maximizing credit card rewards for more details.

The Chase Freedom card is also associated with some other great benefits, including trip cancellation insurance. This offers reimbursement up to $1,500 per person if your trip is canceled or interrupted by sickness or injury. You can also benefit from auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, and travel and emergency assistance services. The only potential downside is that the Chase Freedom card does attract a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cashback on purchases in categories that rotate each quarter
  • Earn 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Learn more about the Chase Freedom card

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Another great offering from Chase is the Freedom Unlimited card. Like the Freedom card above, you can earn a $150 bonus if you spend $500 during your first three months of membership. However, you can also earn 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no need to worry about categories, caps, or expiration dates.

Like the Freedom card, you can enjoy 0% APR for the first 15 months for purchases and balance transfers.

The most attractive feature of this card is that there are rotating categories or quarterly enrollments, so you can just spend as normal and enjoy your cashback. The cashback is automatic, with no questions asked. This simplicity makes the card appealing and makes it a great “everyday” card that you can use for the majority of your purchases.

While flat rate cashback cards are not new, the Freedom Unlimited is quite unique as it offers a fairly high return with no annual fee. In comparison, the Chase Freedom card only offers 1% on purchases outside the bonus categories. Additionally, if you spend more than $1,500 each quarter in your bonus categories, it automatically reverts to the 1% level. So, with the Freedom Unlimited, you don’t need to worry about capping out. Also, there are no redemption thresholds, so you can deposit your redeemed points as a cash payment directly into your checking account.

The Freedom Unlimited card also offers travel benefits, including trip cancellation, travel and emergency assistance services, and auto rental collision damage waiver. Unfortunately, like the Freedom card, you will find that the Freedom Unlimited has a foreign transaction fee rate set at 3%. So, if you’re a frequent traveler outside the U.S, this may not be the best card for you.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no caps
  • $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited card

4. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne

If you’re a foodie, then the Capital One SavorOne could be the right card for you. This card was designed for food lovers and those with large grocery bills, as the rewards are geared towards dining out, grocery purchases, and entertainment. You can earn 3% cashback on entertainment and dining purchases, 2% cashback on grocery spending, with 1% cashback on all other spending.

Additionally, there are no expiration limits on your rewards and no limit to how much you could earn. In addition to these attractive cashback rates, new cardholders can also earn a $150 bonus by spending $500 in the first three months.

Redemption of your rewards is super simple with the SavorOne. There are no rotating categories or enrollment requirements, and you can set your account for automatic redemption of your rewards when it hits a specified threshold or once a year. However, there is also the option to redeem your rewards at any time as a check or statement credit.

You’ll enjoy a 0% intro APR for the first 15 months before it rises to a variable rate. You should also note that any balance transfers during the promotional period are subject to a 3% fee.

Another great perk of this card is that there are no additional costs associated with foreign transactions. This could add up to serious savings when compared to other cards, which charge 3%, so you can enjoy cuisine around the world without compromising your cash back.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • 3% cashback on dining and entertainment, 2% on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases
  • $150 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Learn more about the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards card

5. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver

With the Capital One Quicksilver, you don’t need to worry about rotating categories, as you can earn 1.5% cashback automatically on all your purchases. You don’t have the hassle of registering for promotions or trying to plan your spending habits to suit bonuses and rewards.

There is also a $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 within the first 3 months.

The card also offers some fantastic perks and member privileges, including extended purchase warranty protection, travel upgrades, and complimentary concierge assistance. You can also appreciate that this card charges no foreign transaction fees, which is rare and could save you up to 3% on every foreign transaction you make.

Although the Quicksilver has been designed to be simple and easy to earn rewards, if you’re prepared to organize rotating categories, you could earn far more cash back. If you have predictable spending patterns, you may be better suited to a category based card that offers a larger percentage of cash back in areas where you spend the most.
However, if you want to maximize your rewards, the Quicksilver is a good card to have in addition to your rotating categories card. You can use your other card for purchases in categories and earn a higher percentage for all other spending. Just be sure to choose another card with no annual fee.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • 1.5% cashback on all purchses with no caps
  • $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Learn more about the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card

6. Citi Double Cash

If you’re good at paying off your balance each month, then the Citi Double Cash could be the right credit card for you. You can not only earn 1% cashback on every purchase but also an additional 1% after you pay for those purchases, for a total of 2% cashback. To qualify for the cashback, you need to pay at least your minimum due balance on time. This double cash structure is different to most reward cards, so you can think differently about accumulating points.

The reward accumulation encourages smart credit card habits, as it provides a great incentive to pay off the balance each month on time. While you do need good credit to qualify for this card, it could help you to build excellent credit.

The Citi Double Cash also offers a 0% APR introductory rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months, which is attractive if you tend to carry a large balance and require more time to pay it off. You can also benefit from the Citi Price Rewind program that automatically searches for lower prices on your purchases, and if the same item is found within 60 days at a lower price, you’ll be refunded the difference up to $1,200 a year with a maximum of $300 an item.

The only potential downside of this card is that there is a 3% foreign transaction fee rate, so it is not a great choice for travelers. There is also a 3% fee for each balance transfer with a $5 minimum.

This is a great card for everyday spending, but you may want to carry a different card for your family vacation and overseas travels.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • 2% cashback on all purchases (if you pay at least the minimum balance when it is due)
  • Currently no signup bonus

7. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise is another flat-rate cashback credit card offering 1.5% cashback on all your purchases. However, it is set apart from many other flat-rate cards with the offer of 1.8% cashback on qualified digital wallet purchases, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, during the first 12 months of membership. While this isn’t a massive boost, it does provide a competitive edge, along with a $150 bonus for new cardholders who spend at least $500 in the first three months of membership.

The Cash Wise card also features a 0% introductory APR rate for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. However, only balance transfers made within the first 120 days qualify for this introductory rate, and there is a fee for those transfers.

Another perk of this card is that you can get $600 of cellphone protection against theft or damage with a reasonable $25 deductible. To qualify, you need to use your Cash Wise card to pay your monthly cellphone bills.

A potential downside is again the 3% foreign transaction fee. If you’re a frequent traveler, this could easily wipe out your cashback made on purchases. For example, if you spend $2,000 on your overseas vacation, you’ll earn $30 in cashback, but it will cost you $60 in your foreign transaction fees. So, if you’re a frequent traveler, this may not be the best choice of card for your circumstances.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • 1.5% cashback on all purchases
  • $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Learn more about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

8. Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Chase Ink

If you’re a business owner (including freelancers and those who are self-employed), you too can enjoy a cashback credit card with no annual fee. The Chase Ink Business Cash is one of the best no annual fee credit cards for business owners providing 0% APR on all your purchases during the first 12 months. You can also earn a $500 bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. The card provides flexible rewards that are tracked as points and a whole host of perks.

You can earn 5% cashback on your first $25,000 annually in office supply stores, cell, landline, and internet charges. You can also earn 2% cashback on gas station and restaurant purchases up to $25,000 each year, with an unlimited 1% cashback on all your other purchases.

Once you have accumulated 2,000 points, you can redeem your rewards as an electronic checking deposit or statement credit. You can also redeem your points for gift cards, but this is at a lower rate.

Unfortunately, like many of these no annual fee credit cards, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee. So, if your business activities take you overseas, this may not be the best card to use outside of the U.S.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • For business owners
  • 5% cashback at office supply stores, cell phone bills, landline bills, and internet bills
  • 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • $500 signup bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months

Learn more about the Chase Ink Business Cash credit card

9. Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business

Capital One Spark Cash Select

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business has been designed to make it easy to understand and take full advantage of the benefits. While it may not offer the most lucrative benefits package, there is a 0% APR introductory rate on all your purchases during the first nine months, but if you spend $3,000 in the first three months, you’ll receive a $200 bonus.

The Spark Cash Select for Business offers 1.5% cashback, which applies to all the purchases you make with no cap. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about offsetting a hefty annual fee. You can also authorize several employees to make purchases using the card, with no charge for requesting additional cards.

There are also additional perks, including no foreign transaction fees, free fraud protection, and quarterly and year-end summaries provided to aid your accounting. You can also enjoy travel and emergency assistance services, extended protection, and auto rental collision damage waiver.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • For business owners
  • 1.5% cashback on all purchase with no caps
  • $200 signup bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months

Learn more about the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business card

10. Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Wells Fargo Propel

Another Wells Fargo offering as the best no annual fee credit card is the Propel American Express. This offers generous benefits offering 3 points for every $1 spent on travel-related purchases, dining, and popular streaming services. All other spending is rewarded with 1 point for every $1.

New cardholders can also earn a 20,000 point welcome bonus ($200 cash redemption value) if they spend $1,000 within the first three months of account opening,. There is also a 0% APR introductory offer on qualifying balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.

Unlike many reward cards, the Propel American Express doesn’t impose limits on redeeming your points. You can redeem for gift cards, travel, digital downloads, merchandise, or cash back.

Cardholders can also benefit from the Go Far program that allows you to combine rewards with your other Wells Fargo cards, so you can pool rewards with your friends and family. Go Far also allows you to earn bonuses when you shop in the Earn More Mall.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • 3% rewards on travel, dining, and streaming services
  • 1% rewards on all other purchases
  • 20,000 point signup bonus (equal to $200)

Learn more about the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card

 

As you can see, there are some fantastic rewards cards without needing to balance a hefty annual fee. With our picks for the best no annual fee credit cards, you can enjoy cashback, introductory APR rates, and no annual fees, making them a great way to boost your finances. Check this page if you want to see even more credit cards with no annual fee.