No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Pay on plastic and save on card costs with a no annual fee credit card.

No annual fee credit cards let you enjoy a range of benefits without paying a yearly account fee. Depending on the type of card you choose, you may be able to enjoy no annual fee for the life of the card or HK$0 annual fee for a promotional period (such as the first year you have the card). Some no annual fee credit cards require you to meet certain spending criteria to take advantage of the waived fee on an ongoing basis.

These cards often offer a variety of other perks including, rewards programmes, Air Miles and even cashback. Use this guide to learn how no annual fee credit cards work and compare the features, benefits and drawbacks to find the best no annual fee credit card for you.

What is a no annual fee credit card?

card-couple-250x250-shutterstockA no annual fee credit card doesn’t charge you for yearly account maintenance, which could save you anywhere from HK$600 to several thousand or more per year. These cards can be ideal if you want to keep your costs low or if you don’t use your card regularly and can’t justify paying high fees.

While having a card with no annual fee for life can save you a lot of money, it is worth remembering that interest rates on credit cards are higher than other forms of borrowing, typically at more than 30%. So, if you regularly carry a balance from month to month, the interest charges are likely to more than wipe out any savings you have made. Some no annual fee credit cards also offer fewer additional features, so you may miss out on rewards or complimentary extras.

What is the best no annual fee credit card?

There isn’t one best no annual fee credit card. Comparing your options, the conditions of the no annual fee offer and the features of the card will help you find the right one for you.

Promotional offers and perks available on no annual fee credit cards

If you want more benefits than just savings on your credit card’s annual fee, you can compare credit cards that couple HK$0 annual fee with everything from shopping discounts to a rewards programme.

What should I consider before applying for a no annual fee credit card?

If you’re interested in getting a no annual fee credit card now, ask yourself these questions to help compare your options:

  • NAFcard-questions250x250-shutterstockHow often do you use your credit card? If you rarely use a credit card but still want one for unplanned expenses or emergencies, a no annual fee option will give you the features that you need without burning a hole in your pocket while you’re not using it.
  • Do you carry a balance? The higher interest rates charged on credit cards can make borrowing in this way expensive, even if you don’t have to pay an annual fee. If that’s the case, you might want to consider a different form of borrowing.
  • Do you have existing debt? If you have existing debt, getting a no annual fee credit card could tempt you to spend more money than you can afford. Aim to pay off your current debts, or consider a balance transfer credit card to save money on interest charges.
  • What credit card benefits do you want? No annual fee credit cards sometimes have fewer perks than other options. If you’re interested in features such as rewards programmes or earning Air Miles, make sure you look at a range of cards and consider these factors as well as the annual fee, so that you can find an option that suits all of your needs.
  • Will you use the credit card after the HK$0 annual fee promotion ends? If the card comes with no annual fee for a promotional period, consider whether you want to use the card once the introductory period ends. If the card doesn’t have a competitive interest rate or extra features to outweigh the annual fee cost, you might want to consider switching cards to another HK$0 annual fee option before the annual fee applies.

Benefits and drawbacks of HK$0 annual fee credit cards

Benefits

  • Save money on your credit card. The most obvious perk of these cards is that you won’t pay an annual fee. This could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year and even more over the life of the card.
  • Practical. Without the extra perks and additional benefits, no annual fee credit cards can be ideal for emergencies and when extra credit is required.
  • Promotional offers and deals. Some no annual fee credit cards come with promotional offers, Air Miles programmes and other perks that you’d regularly have to pay a yearly fee to access.

Drawbacks

  • Fewer extra features. While some no annual fee cards do come with rewards programmes and other benefits, they usually have fewer features than cards with a higher annual fee.
  • Temporary HK$0 annual fee. Unfortunately, not all of these cards offer no annual fee for the life of the card. If your card only has a HK$0 annual fee for a promotional period, make sure you know when the standard annual fee will apply and how much it is to avoid any surprise costs.
  • Higher interest rates. Credit card companies may charge higher ongoing interest rates on no annual fee credit cards. This could add to your costs if you regularly carry a balance from month to month.

As there are many types of HK$0 annual fee cards on the market, it’s important to consider your financial situation and how you intend to use the card. Make sure to consider not only the conditions of the annual fee, but also the other features, benefits and costs of the card before you apply for a credit card with no annual fee.

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Answers to the most popular questions about no annual fee credit cards

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