Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

No annual fee credit cards

Earn rewards and perks without paying for them.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Our pick for a no-annual-fee card: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express logo

Up to 3%

Cash back

  • 3% back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 each year, then 1%
  • Enjoy cash back on gas and at select department stores
  • No annual fee
Apply now
See rates & fees

A no annual fee credit card is a great choice if you want to keep costs low. It can also be surprisingly robust, offering attractive rewards or benefits you might not have expected.

Best no annual fee credit cards

Though annual-fee cards tend to offer the best features, you’ll find a wealth of top-notch no annual fee cards. Here are our picks for the cream of the crop.

Best for balance transfers
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers one of the best balance transfer intro APRs on the market. On top of that, you get a long intro APR period on purchases and you won't pay an annual fee.
  • Balance transfer intro APR. 0% for 18 months from the date of your first transfer, then 14.74% to 24.74% variable.
  • Purchase intro APR. 0% for 18 months from account opening, then 14.74% to 24.74% variable.
  • Other benefits. No annual fee. Long window to take advantage of the balance transfer intro APR.
  • No rewards program. You won't earn any rewards on purchases made with this card.
  • No signup bonus. You also won't earn any bonus when you signup for this card.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Refrain from using this card abroad or online with foreign merchants or you'll pay 3% fee of the amount.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

Best for cash back
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
As long as you pay off your purchases consistently, this card offers the highest flat-rate cash back for no annual fee. It also offers a stellar intro APR on balance transfers.
  • Cash back. Earn 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% back as you pay them off.
  • Intro APR period. 0% on balance transfers for 18 months from the date of your first transfer. After that, a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR applies.
  • Long intro APR window. Transfers can qualify for the intro APR up to 4 months after you've opened your account.
  • No signup bonus. You won't earn any bonus upon signup.
  • No intro APR period on purchases. You only get 0% intro APR period on balance transfers. But purchases don't get this perk.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Every transaction made abroad or online at foreign merchants will cost you 3% fee of the amount.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)

Best for signup bonus
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 15x
Points
100,000
Points welcome offer
According to our current valuations, this card's signup-bonus points are worth $700. That's significantly higher value than you'll find with other no annual fee cards.
  • Signup bonus. 100,000 points after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Reward points. 15x points on IHG hotel purchases. 2x points at gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores. 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Fourth reward night free. Redeem points for four or more reward nights and get one night free.
  • No intro APR period. You won't get a chance to save money on interest with this card.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Welcome offer 100,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 15x total points at IHG hotels, 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases

Best for travel
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card logo
Finder Rating: 3.2 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
1.5x
Points
25,000
Points welcome offer
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers simple but solid rewards on all purchases. If you're a member of the bank's Preferred Rewards program, you'll earn 25% to 75% more points on your spending.
  • Reward points. Earn unlimited 1.5x points on all spending.
  • Signup bonus. 25,000 online bonus points - worth $250 in statement credit - after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Intro APR period on purchases. 0% on purchases for the first 12 statement closing dates, then 14.99% to 22.99% variable.
  • No intro APR period on balance transfers. You only get an intro APR period on purchases, but not on balance transfers.
  • Penalty APR. If you make a late payment, Bank of America may impose a penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 22.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 22.99% variable
Welcome offer 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards 1.5x points on all purchases

Best for purchase intro APR
Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠ logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ doesn't have the longest purchase intro APR on the market. However, it does offer a terrific rewards structure and signup bonus to help you generate value over the long term.
  • Intro APR period. 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% to 23.74% variable variable.
  • Earn rewards. Earn 5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on Lyft through March 2022, 1% on all other purchases, 5% on travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 3% at restaurants, and 3% at drugstores.
  • Signup bonus. Earn $200 after you spend $500 in your first 3 months.
  • No balance transfer intro APR. This card doesn't offer an intro period on balance transfers.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Purchases made abroad or online with foreign merchants will cost 3% of the amount.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
Rewards 5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases

Best for low interest
UNIFY Financial Credit Union Variable-Rate Visa® Credit Card

UNIFY Financial Credit Union Variable-Rate Visa® Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
Consider this card if you have excellent credit and want a low APR. You could receive an APR on all balances as low as 7.99% variable. Also, the product is light on fees - balance transfer fees in particular.
  • Low APR. 7.99% to 17.24% variable on all balances is among the lowest you can find in a credit card.
  • No annual fee. You won't pay an annual fee for the card.
  • Other fees waived. The card also has no balance transfer fee, cash advance or foreign transaction fees.
  • No rewards. The card doesn't have a rewards program.
  • No signup bonus. Also, you don't get to earn any reward upon signup.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 7.99% to 17.24% variable
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

Best for small business
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2%
Cash back
$300
Welcome offer
With this card, you'll earn a solid 2% cash back on up to $50,000 in eligible purchases per calendar year, then 1% back. That can be an excellent deal depending on your business, especially as the card has no annual fee. You'll also receive an intro APR on purchases, which is uncommon among business credit cards.
  • Cash back. On all eligible purchases, earn 2% cash back on up to $50,000 each calendar year, then 1% back.
  • Intro APR period. 0% on purchases for the first 12 months. After that, 13.24% to 19.24% variable APR.
  • Expanded buying power. In some cases, you can make purchases that put you over your credit limit without penalty. This privilege adjusts according to Amex's discretion and factors such as your payment history and credit record.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Every purchase you make abroad or online with foreign merchants will cost you a 2.7% of the amount.
  • No balance transfers. This card's intro APR period on balance transfers was removed in May 2020.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer Up to $300 in statement credits: $100 each at Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx in the first 3 months
Rewards 2% cash back on all purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%

How we selected our top cards

We compared no annual fee cards from a number of major banks and credit unions. We singled out products with standout features such as strong intro APRs, attractive rewards or excellent signup bonuses.

What’s changed in 2020

Most cards from our 2019 list return this year, as they’re still impressive products. We’ve added entries that we also included in our picks for 2020’s best cards.

The one card that left our list was the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card. It was a superb card, but it’s currently off the market as PenFed reworks it.

Back to top

Compare credit cards with no annual fee

You’ll find many great no-annual-fee credit card options in a variety of categories.

Name Product Annual fee Balance transfer APR Purchase APR Filter values
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
$0
N/A
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Get 3% cash back on groceries on up to $6,000 annually (then 1%) with no annual fee. This is a simple and effective rewards card. Rates & fees
Chase Freedom Flex℠
$0
14.99% to 23.74% variable
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
$0
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
An impressive 18 months intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, as well as no annual fee make this one of the top 0% APR cards available.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
$0
14.99% to 23.74% variable
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
$0
N/A
12.99% to 26.99% variable
Build your credit with rewards and no fees: Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score of 600 or higher. See if you prequalify with no impact to your score.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

No annual fee cards by bank

American Express
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
  • American Express Cash Magnet® Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
  • Blue from American Express® Card
  • Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
Bank of America
  • Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
  • Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®
  • Susan G. Komen® Cash Rewards Visa®
  • MLB® Credit Card
  • World Wildlife Fund Credit Card
  • U.S. Pride® BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Visa® Card
  • Royal Caribbean® Visa Signature® Credit Card
  • Celebrity Cruises® Visa Signature® Credit Card
  • BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
  • Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students
Barclaycard
  • RCI Elite Rewards® Mastercard®
  • Diamond Resorts International® Mastercard®
  • Holland America Line Rewards Visa® Card
  • JetBlue Card
  • Barnes & Noble Mastercard®
  • Carnival® World Mastercard®
  • Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card
  • NFL Extra Points Credit Card
  • Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card
  • Princess Cruises Rewards Visa® Card
  • Uber Visa Card
  • Upromise® Mastercard®
  • Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card
Chase
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card
  • IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
  • United Gateway℠ Card
  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • Disney® Visa® Card
  • AARP® Credit Card from Chase
Capital One
  • Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
  • Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
  • Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
  • Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®
Citi
  • Citi Rewards+℠ Card
  • Citi® Double Cash Card
  • Citi Simplicity® Card
  • Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card
  • Expedia® Rewards CARD from Citi
  • AT&T Access Card from Citi
  • Citi® Secured Mastercard®
  • Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Discover
  • Discover it® Cash Back
  • Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card
  • Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card
  • Discover it® Student Cash Back
  • Discover it® Chrome for Students
  • Discover it® Secured
  • NHL Discover it® Card
PenFed
  • PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  • PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  • PenFed Gold Visa® Card
TD BankTD Cash Credit Card
US Bank
  • U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
  • U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Wells Fargo
  • Wells Fargo Platinum Card
  • Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
  • Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card
  • Wells Fargo Rewards® Card
  • Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card

What is an annual fee?

An annual fee is a yearly cost to keep a credit card. If your card has one, the annual fee is charged automatically each year, typically during the month you opened your account.

With a no annual fee card, you won’t have to pay this cost, which helps you minimize the expense of owning a credit card.

Annual fees typically range from as low as $30 or as high as $550. Some providers waive the annual fee in the first year, giving cardholders 12 months to enjoy their cards at no cost. That said, a card with an annual fee typically comes with more perks and benefits that can offset the fee.

Is an annual fee ever worth it?

An annual fee can be worth paying if it leads to higher rewards or special benefits you want. Sometimes, you can get so much value from an annual-fee card that the price is easy to justify. But ultimately, this depends on what you need and whether you can take advantage of a card’s features.

Pros and cons of a no annual fee card

It’s always good to get a full picture of a card type before you submit an application. Here are a few things to consider before getting a no annual fee card.

Pros

  • It’s low-maintenance.
    You can keep a no annual fee card for as long as you want without worrying about a yearly cost. Besides giving you credit to help you decrease your credit utilization, this also lets you increase your average age of accounts. Both are factors that help determine your FICO score.
  • Keep more of your rewards.
    An annual fee eats into any rewards you earn. For example, if you earn $100 in cash back but have to pay a $95 annual fee, you’ve effectively earned just $5 in cash back. With a $0 annual fee, any rewards you earn are all upside.
  • Signup bonus might be easier to obtain.
    While signup bonuses tend to be smaller than you’ll find with annual-fee cards, you often have to meet lower spending requirements. You might, for instance, earn a bonus worth $150 after you meet a spending requirement of just $500 within the first three months.

Cons

  • Lower rewards rates.
    There are many no-annual-fee cards that offer good rewards. But you’ll often find the best rewards with annual-fee cards.
  • Fewer benefits.
    No-annual-fee cards tend to have fewer features. For example, you might not find features such as airport lounge access, free checked baggage or travel credits.

How do I compare no annual fee credit cards?

There are many no annual fee cards out there, and the choices can sometimes feel overwhelming. To help you narrow down your options, here’s what to consider:

Do you want to earn rewards?

Many no-annual-fee cards come with a rewards program. You can either get a card with accelerated rewards on select categories like travel, dining, groceries or gas, or you can get a card with flat-rate rewards on all purchases.

  • Spend a lot on everyday purchases? Check out the cards issued by American Express, Discover and Bank of America.
  • Want a flat-rewards card? Citi and TD Bank offer one of the best cards with flat rewards rate on all purchases.
  • Spend a lot on travel? Barclaycard has almost 20 travel credit cards in the form of cobranded cards with cruise lines, airlines and home rentals. All other card providers offer a smaller selection of no-annual-fee travel cards, but most of them are excellent options.

Do you want a 0% intro APR period?

Many no annual fee cards have intro APRs. This means you could get 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers for a period of time. Think about whether a promotional interest rate is important to you — and if so, how long you want it to be.

Do you want a strong signup bonus?

A signup bonus can give you a burst of rewards soon after you’re approved for a card. Many no annual fee cards have similar bonuses, but you’ll find the occasional offer that stands out.

With a no-annual-fee card, expect to earn a bonus worth anywhere from $50 up to $250.

Do you have a good credit score?

Your credit score has a big effect on which cards you’ll be approved for. For rewards cards and products with intro APRs, you’ll usually want to apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher. If your score is lower than that, consider a no annual fee secured credit card to build your credit.

Bottom line

A no annual fee card can help you keep costs down. It can also offer great rewards and benefits you didn’t expect.

If you want more options, there are plenty of credit cards to compare. Check out our guide to the best credit cards of 2020.

Frequently asked questions

Back to top

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site