Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.
No fee credit cards let you enjoy a range of benefits without paying a yearly or monthly account fee. Depending on the type of card you choose, you can enjoy no fees for the life of the card or zero fees for a promotional period (such as the first year you have the card). Use this guide to learn how no annual fee credit cards work and compare the features, benefits and drawbacks to find the right no annual fee credit card for you.
Comparison of cards with no annual fee
What's in this guide?
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 to 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/monthly fee, compare credit cards that couple zero fees with anything from a 0% balance transfer offer to a rewards programme.
No annual fee credit cards with a 0% balance transfer offer
Balance transfer credit cards let you move debt from an existing credit card to a new card with a low or 0% promotional interest rate. With no annual/monthly fee and a low or 0% balance transfer offer, you could have a cost-free way to consolidate your debts.
Interest-free credit card spending hackMost credit cards offer a number of interest-free days on purchases when you pay your account balance in full by the due date on your statement. This gives you a way to make interest-free purchases on an ongoing basis.
What should I consider before applying for a card?
If you’re interested in getting a no annual/monthly fee credit card now, ask yourself these questions to help compare your options:
- How 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/monthly 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? No annual/monthly fee credit cards sometimes have higher interest rates than others, which can mean it takes longer – and is more expensive – to clear a balance. If that’s the case, you might want to consider a low interest credit card instead.
- Do you have existing debt? If you have existing debt, getting a no annual/monthly 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/monthly fee credit cards sometimes have fewer perks than other options. If you’re interested in features such as rewards programmes and complimentary insurance, make sure you look at a range of cards and consider these factors as well as the annual or monthly fee so that you can find an option that suits all of your needs.
- Will you use the credit card after the zero annual/monthly 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/monthly fee cost, you might want to consider switching cards to a zero fee option before the annual fee applies.
What is APR?Credit card promotions have to include an Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which all card issuers must calculate in the same way.
Credit card fee structures can get fiddly, so the APR’s designed to benchmark the yearly cost to borrow, with a view to helping consumers compare cards against each other. It takes into consideration the default interest rate plus any mandatory, regular account fees.
If you’re comparing credit cards with no annual fee, the APR will accurately reflect how much carrying a balance on the card is going to cost.
There’s a big catch though: the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) states that this rate must be what 51% (or more) of people accepted for a card receive. That means that up to 49% of those accepted for a credit card may end up paying a higher rate. This is why it’s often called “Typical” or “Representative” APR.
Benefits and drawbacks of zero annual/monthly fee credit cards
- Save money on your credit card. The most obvious perk of these cards is that you won’t pay an annual or monthly fee. This could save you a significant amount over the life of the card.
- Practical. Without the extra perks and additional benefits, no annual/monthly fee credit cards can be ideal for emergencies and when extra credit is required.
- Promotional offers and deals. Some no annual/monthly fee credit cards come with promotional offers, frequent flyer programmes and other perks that you’d regularly have to pay a yearly fee to access.
As there are many types of zero annual/monthly 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 fee, but also the other features, benefits and costs of the card before you apply.
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