Earn miles for your next trip from everyday spending.
An airline credit card can offer rewards like money off flights and seat upgrades. For many, you’ll pay an annual fee to reap these benefits, however there are some that waive the fee the first year, or don’t charge one at all. This can save you anywhere from $70 to $450 a year.
Compare airline credit cards with no annual fee
These airline credit cards either boast no annual fee or have a waived annual fee for the first year.
What’s the deal with no-annual-fee airline credit cards?
No-annual-fee airline cards
Airline credit cards allow you to earn miles or points to transfer to an airline program. And the money you save on airfare and travel isn’t squandered with a pesky annual fee.
$0 annual fee in the first year
Some airline credit cards will offer to waive the standard annual fee during the first year as part of an introductory offer. After the first 12 months, you’ll be charged a standard annual fee for the account.
These cards typically have higher signup bonuses and additional features compared to a no-annual-fee airline card.
No annual fee
There’s also a small selection of airline credit cards that offer no annual fee for cardholders. However, these cards often lack in extra features, such as lounge access or free checked bags. It’s also less common these airline cards to have introductory bonus point offers.
But if you get one of these cards and pay the balance off each month, it does give you a way to earn airline miles per $1 spent without paying fees.
Is a no-annual-fee airline credit card right for me?
If you travel and are looking for discounts on flights, no-annual-fee airline cards are a great place to start. With no fees, you can get a good idea of how often you’ll get these bonuses and be able to use them for flights. Some cards set expiration dates on miles earned, so you can test the waters to see if you spend enough to use the miles before they expire.
However, if you’re a big spender and travel often, you may want a card with more travel benefits. These cards often come with an annual fee for more points and a higher spending limit.
How can I compare airline credit cards with no annual fee?
Consider these features when you’re looking for a credit card that earns airline miles and has no annual fee.
- Annual fee details. Check the fine print to see how long the $0 annual fee lasts — you may be on the hook for fees after the first year.
- Bonus miles. See if the card you’re looking at offers introductory bonus miles, and if you can meet the spending threshold to earn them.
- Miles per dollar. Determine the value of your spending. Many no-annual-fee cards offer 1x miles, while some offer 2x miles on certain categories. Check over the details to determine if you spend enough in each category.
- Interest rates. Try to pay off your balance monthly, as these types of airline credit cards can have high interest rates. Paying fees can offset any miles you’ve earned.
- Additional cardholders. Boost your airline point balance by sharing the account with a partner or family member. Check if the card charges for additional card holders.
- Complimentary extras. Weigh any perks, such as complimentary insurance, lounge passes or annual travel credit. If the card offers a $0 annual fee in the first year, also consider whether these benefits will outweigh the cost of the standard annual fee once it applies.