No Annual Fee Credit Cards

You don't have to pay an annual fee to get the credit card you want. If you want decent rewards without having to spend extra money on an annual fee, then no annual fee cards are suitable for you. Find low rates, cash back, and rewards with these great cards from our partners - all with no annual fee.

See offers from our partners below.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Apply Now at Citi's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.49%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances
  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • Free online access to FICO® Credit Score
Apply Now at Barclaycard's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
10.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

Comparing No Annual Fee Credit Card Offers

Updated: February 20, 2018

CreditCards.com's Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards of 2018:

  • Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card: Best for travel
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Best for groceries
  • Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best starter card
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best cash back sign-up bonus
  • Discover it® Cashback Match™: Best for Amazon purchases
  • Chase Freedom®: Best for rotating rewards
  • Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for gas and groceries
  • Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card: Best for mobile wallet purchases
  • The Amex Everyday® Credit Card from American Express: Best points sign-up bonus
  • Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card: Best for balance transfers

What Our Experts are Saying

On the Citi® Double Cash Card:

“Given that most cardholders have a clear preference for cash back rewards with no annual fee, Citi Double Cash may be the most broadly appealing card on the market,” says personal finance journalist Lisa Gerstner. “Its total rate of 2 percent cash back on all purchases is the best you’ll find on a widely available cash back card that carries no annual fee.”

“It’s just a simple set-it-and-forget-it card that fits into most anyone’s busy lifestyle,” says CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schulz. “There’s no minimum spending threshold to meet, no rotating categories to chase. It’s just 2 percent on anything you buy, anywhere and anytime you buy it. That’s a tough combination to beat.”

The Citi Double Cash card also comes with important consumer protections and insurance products as cardholder perks, adds personal finance expert Holly Johnson. “Some of the most lucrative benefits offered include Citi Price Rewind, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, and travel accident insurance. These protections are free just for being a cardholder."’

On the Discover it® Miles Card:

If you plan to use your rewards for travel, the Discover it Miles card is one of the most generous no annual fee cards you can get – especially in the first year. The travel card offers a flat 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend and then doubles your first-year earnings. “That brings your total annual earnings to 3 percent, which is pretty sweet,” says Johnson.

“Those looking for a versatile rewards card with no annual fee can’t go wrong with the Discover it Miles card,” says CreditCards.com Editor-in-Chief Daniel P. Ray. “With double miles in the first year, you can get a big head start on that dream trip of yours.”

Full Details on No Annual Fee Credit Cards

You don’t have to pay a high annual fee to earn a big return on a rewards credit card. Credit cards without an annual fee offer much-appreciated savings, a hassle-free experience and other benefits, say experts.

"Yearly fees prevent consumers from buying what they really want," says Julie Pukas, head of U.S. Bankcard and Merchant Solutions at TD Bank. "Our 2017 Consumer Spending Index revealed that millennials spend nearly $300 more than the average respondent on dining, a total of approximately $2,000 annually. Without the burden of an annual fee, consumers are able to spend money on the things they want while earning cash back on their purchases.

"Some consumers may save their credit card rewards points so that they can pay off their annual fee," says Pukas. "By switching to a card with no yearly fee, they can put those rewards to something they really want, like flights, dining out and more."

The trick is to identify whether one suits your lifestyle. Here, we look at:

  • What is an annual fee?
  • Who should get a no annual fee card?
  • Common benefits of a no annual fee credit card
  • When to switch to a card with no annual fee

Take a look at what we've learned:

What is an annual fee?

An annual fee is a charge some credit cards impose, often because the card has rich rewards or benefits to offer. That said, there are cards of all types without an annual fee, so shop around. You can even find cards with which you can earn points or cash back.

Who should get a no-annual-fee card?

A no annual fee credit card is great for someone who is looking for a balance transfer card, trying to build credit or wants a rewards card without the hassle of an annual fee. With a balance transfer card or 0% APR card, you avoid interest charges for a limited time – this may be a card you don't plan to use much in the future, so an annual fee isn't wanted. If you need a secured card or a card for bad or fair credit, you'll want to see if there is an annual fee, which can be another cost when cash is short. Many rewards cards have annual fees, but there are some without one, which is ideal if you don't plan to use the card extensively.

Common benefits of a no-annual-fee credit card

  • You don't have to worry about earning enough points or miles. "Annual-fee credit cards aren't inherently bad. With some, you can get enough back in rewards and perks to make the fee worth it. But if you don't use your credit card much, you might be losing money," says Ben Luthi, financial expert at Student Loan Hero. So, look at whether you benefit enough to justify an annual fee.
  • Keep it simple. "Another reason you might want to opt for a no-annual-fee card is the simplicity," says Luthi. "You don't have to worry about making sure you're breaking even."
  • It's a good option when building credit. A number of cards for fair or bad credit offer no annual fee, making this an easy way to avoid a fee while you're building credit. Note, though, that there can be other fees that can trip you up – read the fine print before making a decision. Also, make sure the card issuer reports to all 3 major credit bureaus to ensure that your good credit habits are recorded.
  • It's excellent for someone just starting out with cards. If you are new to credit cards, a card with no annual fee is a good choice so that you can practice with the card without worrying about using enough points or cash back to offset the annual fee.
  • Enjoy a higher available credit. If you want to have a higher available credit, but you don't plan to use the card often, getting a card without an annual fee is a good choice. A high available credit with a low balance is a great way to help you build your credit. However, make sure you put at least a small charge on the account each month (and pay in full and on time each month), because on-time payments are the leading way to build credit.

When to switch to a card with no annual fee

  • Your rewards value doesn’t add up. "Fee-based credit cards can offer some excellent rewards, but they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution," says financial writer and former banker Sandra Parsons of aTheoryofChange.com. "If you’re paying an annual fee for your credit card, you need to crunch the numbers to make sure the value of the cash back or points you earn exceeds the value of the annual fee. If it does, then you want to check to make sure the net value of your rewards (accounting for the annual fee) is higher than the value you could earn with a no-fee card. If not, you would be better off switching."
  • You have a high balance. If you have a balance you want to transfer to a 0% intro APR card, a balance transfer card without an annual fee can be a good choice, says Michael Tamez, investment blogger with Sunshine Gold Investments. That way, once you pay off the balance, you can continue to build credit without having to use the card heavily to pay for the annual fee.
  • You use cash often. If you don’t use your credit card often, and the annual fee is eating you up, the switch to a card with no annual fee may be the best option.
  • You want the benefits without the fee. "The good news is that there are several no-annual-fee cards that offer amazing perks," says Luthi. "Some offer high cashback rates and some even offer sign-up bonuses. And while you won’t get a lot of the same perks that you’d get with a premium credit card, you can still get benefits like a 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers, no foreign transaction fees, price protection, and rental car insurance."
  • One final tip before making a decision. If you’re thinking about switching cards, take advantage of the waived-fee period of some products first. Says Aaron Aggerwal, assistant vice president of credit cards at Navy Federal Credit Union: "Many credit card companies waive their annual fee in the first year, so use this time to test out your spending and see how to get the most out of your card." Then, you can decide if a card with no annual fee works best for you.

Want some more information?

Check out our reviews for cash back cards and travel rewards cards to see some of the strongest offers. Just make sure you check the annual fee on each one!

Recap: Our Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

CardAnnual Fee0% Intro APR on PurchasesRegular APR
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card$012 months13.24% - 23.24% Variable
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express$015 months14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card$09 months14.24% - 24.24% Variable
Chase Freedom Unlimited®$015 months16.24% - 24.99% Variable
Discover it® Cashback Match™$014 months13.24% - 24.24% Variable
Chase Freedom®$015 months16.24% - 24.99% Variable
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card$012 billing cycles14.24% - 24.24% Variable
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card$012 months14.24% - 26.24%* Variable
The Amex Everyday® Credit Card from American Express$015 months14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card$015 months16.40% - 26.24% Variable

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