The 10 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards
People have all kinds of different strategies when it comes to choosing credit cards. While I think there’s a lot of value in getting a card with an annual fee, I know a lot of people are just plain averse to cards with an annual fee.
In this article, I wanted to take a look at what I consider to be the most rewarding no annual fee credit cards, including personal and business options. If you’re willing to pay an annual fee, check out my article on the best cards with low annual fees (under $100).
The best personal credit cards with no annual fee
Just because you don’t pay an annual fee doesn’t mean you can’t get a great credit card. It’s pretty easy to maximize your return on spend by getting a card with no annual fee, so that’s the good news. The bad news is that you generally won’t get as many valuable benefits or protection for travel and rental cars on these types of cards.
That being said, there are some great no-annual-fee credit cards out there, so let’s take a look. Below are my personal favorite no-annual-fee cards, in no particular order.
Citi Dual Charge Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card (Revision) has no annual fee and offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase. This comes in the form of ThankYou points, but these can be redeemed for cash for statement credit with no minimum redemption amount.
In general, I recommend earning at least two cents on the dollar for your credit card spending (after paying your bill), so I consider that the gold standard.
Capital One VentureOne card
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards (review) credit card has no annual fee and offers unlimited Venture Miles at 1.25x per dollar spent. There are a few things that make this card special – it has no foreign transaction fees (which is rare for cards with no annual fee), it earns over a mile per dollar spent, and it earn miles that can be transferred to more than a dozen airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. The card also has a generous welcome bonus.
Now, I think there’s a good case to be made for choosing one of Capital One Venture’s more premium products, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review), but this article is about the cards with no annual fee.
Amex Everyday Card
The Amex EveryDay (review) credit card has no annual fee, and it is the only personal card with no annual fee that earns Amex Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred to airline and hotel partners. The card offers 2x Amex points at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 in annual spending, then 1x points). On top of that, you get a 20% points bonus on all purchases when you make 20 extra transactions per billing cycle, so the points really add up.
If you want a personal card with no annual fee that earns Amex points, you can’t beat it.
Chase Freedom Flex Card
The Chase Freedom FlexSM The credit card (review) has no annual fee and offers 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories (up to $1,500 spent per quarter), 5 x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 3x points on restaurants, and 3x points on pharmacies.
If you spend a lot in categories that often have quarterly bonuses and/or meals, this could be a great card.
Citi Personalized Payment Card
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card (review) has no annual fee and provides 5% cash back in your primary spending category each billing cycle, up to $500 in spend per billing cycle. Eligible categories include pharmacies, fitness clubs, gas stations, grocery stores, hardware stores, live entertainment, restaurants, some streaming services, some public transportation, and some travel.
If you have a category where you consistently spend a good amount of money every billing cycle, this is an extremely rewarding card.
US AAdvantage MileUp Card
The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ (review) card has no annual fee, and I would say it is the most lucrative co-branded airline card with no annual fee. The card has a welcome bonus, offers 2x AAdvantage miles on grocery store purchases (making it one of the best cards for supermarket spending), and spending on the card even counts towards membership status. elite.
If you spend a decent amount on groceries and want to earn AAdvantage miles, this card is for you.
The best business credit cards with no annual fee
There are also excellent business credit cards with no annual fee, although they are not as plentiful as the personal card options. Below are the business cards with no annual fee that I consider to be the most lucrative.
Amex Blue Business Plus Card
The Blue Business® Plus credit card from American Express (revision) has no annual fee (Rates and Fees) and is pretty tough to beat for those looking to earn travel rewards. The card offers 2x Amex points on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year (1x points thereafter). This makes it one of the best cards for everyday spending, and it doesn’t even have an annual fee.
Amex Blue Business payment card
The Blue Business Cash™ card from American Express (test) also has no annual fee (Rates and Fees), and this is the cash back version of the card above. The card offers 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year (1% cash back thereafter). For a company that spends up to $50,000 a year on domestic purchases, you can’t do better.
ink business payment card
The Ink Business Cash® (review) credit card has no annual fee and offers an absolutely huge welcome bonus, the largest of any card with no annual fee.
The card also has great bonus categories – you can earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per cardholder year at office supply stores, internet, cable TV , cell phones and landlines, and 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per cardholder year at restaurants and gas stations.
Capital One Spark Cash Select Card
The Capital One Spark Cash Select (review) has no annual fee and offers a fixed 1.5% cash back on all purchases, in addition to a huge welcome bonus. Although 1.5% cashback is not as good as 2% cashback, the main advantage here is that the card has no foreign transaction fees. Since some other cards charge foreign transaction fees of over 3%, this is a solid option for any business that makes a lot of purchases abroad.
At the end of the line
While I think there’s a lot of value in getting cards with annual fees, I know a lot of people like to avoid annual credit card fees, especially if they don’t spend that much on cards. As you can see above, luckily there are plenty of maps to choose from, no matter what your priority. From cards offering travel rewards to cash back, some of the most generous spend returns are available on cards with no annual fee.
What’s your favorite no annual fee credit card?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned. These include: The Blue Business® Plus credit card from American Express (Rates and Fees) and American Express® Blue Business Cash Card (Rates and Fees).