There is a wide range of credit cards that include a promotional annual fee waiver for new customers. This means that you pay a $0 annual fee for the first year, which can help reduce the initial costs of getting a new card. But since the annual fee usually kicks in again after the first year, it’s important to factor in the card’s other features when deciding if it will offer any value.
How we selected our top cards
We’ve chosen the cards on this page based on the providers available through Finder. These cards are not representative of the entire market. When selecting top cards that offer a $0 annual fee for the first year, we compared a number of factors including revert annual fees, interest rates, welcome offers, rewards and travel perks. Our top choices offer a high value in one or more of these categories.
No single credit card will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before picking your new card.
Best credit cards with no annual fee for the first year
Our picks for cards that waive annual fees for the first year
There are a few great credit card options that waive their annual fee for the first year, letting you enjoy the perks without an immediate hit to your wallet. Here are a few of our favorites:
The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card offers an impressive welcome bonus and a great cash-back rewards system. Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to a total spend of $2,000). Ends 1 December 2019. Plus, as a card holder, you’ll enjoy a slew of perks including exclusive deals on dining and entertainment. Eligible applicants need a good to excellent credit score.
This card helps you leverage your everyday purchases to get free gifts! Earn 4% cash back on groceries and recurring bill payments. Also, save on car rentals at participating Budget and AVIS car rental locations. Spend with your card knowing that Balance Protection has you covered in case your card gets stolen.
The BMO CashBack World Elite MasterCard lets you save as you spend. Earn points when you pay with your card, and use your rewards to pay down your credit card balance, build your bank account balance or add to your investments.
How do credit cards with $0 annual fee for the first year work?
This is an introductory offer where at the end of the first year, the card’s standard annual fee will be charged. This is typically applied on the anniversary of your account opening, and every 12 months thereafter. This is why you may see an offer that reads something like “$89 annual fee (waived first year)”.
Can I get my credit card annual fee waived beyond the promotional first-year offer?
Unfortunately, most credit card owners won’t be able to get an extension of the annual fee waiver. This is why it’s important to take advantage of promotional offers, and try to pay down your balance as much as you can while you’re being charged little or no interest.
Credit cards with no annual fee for life
Another category of cards which allows you to continually enjoy annual fee waiver is the no annual fee credit card. These cards often charge higher interest rates as a result and are more suitable for card users who regularly repay their card balances.
How to compare credit cards with $0 annual fee for the first year
In order to make the most of your annual fee waiver and the credit card, it’s important to consider the following factors when comparing credit cards:
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- Other promotional features. Credit cards often include additional introductory offers, such as a 0% balance transfer rate, 0% purchase interest rate or bonus sign-up points. Consider how these deals add value to your card.
- Standard annual fee. You must factor in the standard annual fee since it will apply after the introductory period. Make sure the card you choose has a standard annual fee you can afford so that you don’t have to deal with excessive credit card costs in the future.
- Purchase rate. This is the interest rate for eligible purchases, which is important to consider if you tend to carry a balance on the card.
- Balance transfer rate. This is the interest rate applied to balance transfers and is particularly relevant if you plan to consolidate existing debt onto your new credit card.
- Rewards. Rewards credit cards let you earn points per dollar spent that you can redeem for travel, merchandise and other rewards. This can add to the value of your credit card, particularly if you’re a high spender or frequent flyer and regularly pay your balance in full.
- Complimentary extras. Depending on the card, you may be able to enjoy perks such as complimentary travel and purchase insurances, concierge services and free checked bags.
- Cash advances. Cash advances, which include but are not limited to ATM withdrawals and cash equivalent purchases, attract cash advance fees and high cash advance interest rates. You should avoid making cash advances on your credit card if possible since these incur high fees.
- Foreign transaction fees. This is usually around 1-3% of the transaction value for overseas transactions, but note that internet purchases made in foreign currencies may also attract these fees. Travel credit cards, however, often don’t have foreign transaction fees.
- Other fees. You need to identify and compare any other fees that may be applied to your account, such as ATM fees or late payment fees.
Compare credit cards with no annual fee
You’ll find many great no-annual-fee credit card options in a variety of categories.
When comparing credit cards with annual fee waivers, make sure you research all the available credit card options. Since these annual fee savings may be only temporary, remember to weigh in the card’s ongoing features and check for any ongoing fee waivers before choosing the one that will work for you both now and in the foreseeable future.Back to top