Best no-annual-fee credit cards of August 2022

The best no-annual-fee credit cards offer excellent rewards, welcome bonuses, intro 0% APR periods and even extra perks. CardRatings editors name the top cards that don't charge annual fees, but still offer plenty of value.
Best credit cards of 2022
author Brooklyn Lowery
Terms apply; see the online credit card application for full terms and conditions of offers and rewards
20+ years
finding the best card for you
1,500+ cards
in our database
5,000+ cardholders
polled about their cards
243 reviews
from our experts
Learn about our methodology  

List of Winners

  • CardName - Best for Rotating Categories
  • CardName - Best for Earning Ultimate Rewards Points
  • CardName - Best for Balance Transfers
  • CardName - Best for Everyday Purchases
  • CardName - Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back
  • CardName - Best for Dining Out
  • CardName - Best for Choosing Rewards Categories
  • CardName - Best for Travel Rewards
  • CardName - Best for Small Business
  • CardName - Best for Earning Membership Rewards Points
  • CardName - Best for Business Travel Abroad

If "no-annual-fee credit card" makes you think of a piece of worthless plastic that doesn't do much for you besides take up space in your wallet, than it's a good thing you're here. We've compiled a solid list of no-annual-fee credit cards from our partners that are more – MUCH more – than space hogs in your wallet. The reality is that no-annual-fee credit cards don't necessarily mean you're getting a lesser card than you do when you agree to pay an annual fee. The best no-annual-fee credit cards out there offer plenty in the way of rewards, features and perks for people who want all those things but aren't ready to pay an annual fee for them.

These cards routinely show us that you CAN, after all, get something for nothing whether you're looking for cash-back rewards, travel rewards, extra perks for your small business or something else. Take a look at our picks for top no-annual-fee credit cards:

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CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: This card offers a bonus worth $200 after you spend $500 with the card in the first three months of opening the account. You can also earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in quarterly bonus categories, 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1% cash back on other purchases, all without an annual fee.
Welcome Bonus
Cashback Match Discover will match all the cash back you earn during your first year as a cardholder
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: At the end of your first year as a cardholder, Discover will match all the cash back you earned during that year.

Foreign Transaction Fees foreign_fee.

The Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate quarterly (activation is required each quarter). Earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. (Check out this quarter's bonus categories).

PROS:

  • You can earn 5% cash back in multiple categories which is one of the highest rewards rates available for day-to-day purchases.
  • The welcome bonus could be quite lucrative thanks to the Cashback Match offer.
  • This card also offers a nice intro 0% APR period of 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then, RegAPR)

CONS:

  • There are a lot of purchase categories to keep track of which can get confusing. You’ll also need to remember to activate the 5% rotating categories.
  • The welcome bonus could be worth quite a lot but it's a delayed gratification situation – you'll have to wait to the end of your first year as a cardholder for Discover to match the cash back you earned during that year.

Read our full CardName

Current Scores Past Scores (avg.)
Overall Score 86.3 88.2
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.7 8.8
Customer Service 8.6 8.9
Website/App Usability 8.6 8.6
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.9 9.3
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.5 8.7

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: This is a tiered cash-back card that accumulates rewards as Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Those points can be combined with the points you earn through some other Chase cards (see the Pro Tip below), which means that you can think of this card as either a cash-back card or, if you want, a travel rewards card since Ultimate Rewards points are coveted travel rewards.
Welcome Bonus
up to $300 Earn 1.5% extra cash back on purchases during your first year (up to $20,000 spent) for a bonus worth up to $300 cash back
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: Earn 1.5% extra cash back on purchases during your first year (up to $20,000 spent) for a bonus worth up to $300 cash back. Also, take advantage of an intro period of zero interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then, RegAPR).

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants, 3% at drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • The Chase Ultimate Rewards points that are earned with the Freedom Unlimited® card can be combined with the Ultimate Rewards points earned from other Chase cards, like the CardName, and redeemed to possibly make the points earned worth even more.
  • The new card member bonus earning is a solid opportunity to earn more on your everyday spending during the first year (up to $20,000 spent).
  • With at least 1.5% cash back earned on every purchase this card has a very good and simple rewards earning rate.

CONS:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® does charge a foreign transaction fee of foreign_fee, so you may want to use a different card while travelling abroad.
  • WThere are a lot of tiers to keep up with to truly maximize your earning; therefore, if simplicity is your goal, you might look for a flat-rate card instead.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores (avg.)
Overall Score 83.4 84.5
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.3 8.4
Customer Service 8.4 8.6
Website/App Usability 8.3 8.4
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.3 9.0
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.0 8.1

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName is the option that offers at least 1.5% on all your purchases, but CardNamediscontinued gives you the chance to earn up to 5% in those rotating quarterly categories, so you could choose to use CardName for all of the purchases that don't earn 5% cash back with CardName. Yes, it takes a little thought and planning, but it's worth more cash back to you.

Going a step further, all of your rewards for both cards accumulate as Chase Ultimate Rewards points and can be combined in a single bucket. If you also happen to be a CardNamediscontinued, you can combine all your points under the Sapphire® card and when you redeem them for travel through the Ultimate Rewards® portal, they are worth 25% more.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: A flat-rate cash-back rewards card that offers you as much as 2% cash back on your purchases is certainly a card worth considering. As an added perk, this card features a lengthy intro 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers so it could save you some serious interest money if you have an existing balance on another card that you need a little extra time to pay off (after the intro period, the APR becomes RegAPR). Citi is a CardRatings advertiser
Intro 0% APR
18 months on balance transfers Intro 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then, RegAPR)
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: For a limited time, earn $200 cash back when you spend $1,500 in the first six months.

Intro APR offer: 18 months of no interest on balance transfers (then, RegAPR); it's a solid opportunity to put, or rather keep, some money in your wallet.

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

Rewards: Earn 1% cash back when you make your purchases and then rake in another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases. That effectively means you can earn a 2% cash back on all your purchases AND it's a nice incentive to pay your balance off each billing cycle.

PROS:

  • One of the largest benefits of this card is the ability to earn 1% cash back when a purchase is made and an additional 1% when you pay for the purchase – encouraging you to pay off your purchases made with card.
  • Earning effectively 2% cash back on a card (after purchases have been paid) for all purchases is very good in the no-annual-fee card space.
  • For a little extra bonus, the card is offering an intro 0% APR on balance transfers (then, RegAPR), allowing you the flexibility to transfer in another balance and save on interest.

CONS:

  • Even though the card does not have an annual fee, it does charge a balance transfer fee: BalanceTransferFees
  • This card does have a foreign_fee foreign transaction fees, so it may be the card that you leave at home for your next international trip.
  • The intro 18 months 0% APR on balance transfers (then, RegAPR) is one of the best on the market, but this does not apply to new purchases, so if you are transferring in other balances this is a benefit but not if you are looking to carry a balance with new purchases made.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores (avg.)
Overall Score 82.2 88.2
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.2 8.8
Customer Service 8.0 8.8
Website/App Usability 8.2 8.6
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.5 9.2
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.3 8.8

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Tiered rewards credit cards require sort of an intermediate level of credit card savvy to make them really work for you. They require a bit more planning and strategy than a flat-rate card, but not nearly as much as a rotating categories or cardholder-choice card. Likewise, they often give you an intermediate level of rewards earning potential – likely more than a flat-rate card offers and less than a strategically used rotating categories/cardholder-choice card offers. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
Welcome Bonus
$200 Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Welcome Offer: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months. You can also enjoy an introductory period of zero interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then, RegAPR).

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Cardholders earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 spent in each category per year, then 1%), and 1% back on other eligible purchases.

PROS:

  • This card has excellent everyday rewards earning of 3% back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 spent annually in each category, then 1%) and 1% back on other eligible purchases.
  • The new cardholder welcome bonus offer is solid for a no-annual-fee card.
  • Take advantage of an intro 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then, RegAPR) that can help to save you some money on interest payments.

CONS:

  • Foreign transactions fees with the card should dissuade you from using it internationally or you will be paying these fees with every purchase made.
  • The bonus cash back earning categories can be great for those that spend in these categories regularly, but if not there are likely cards that have either more broad bonus categories or categories that fit your spending habits better.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 74.8 86.3
Rewards Program Satisfaction 7.5 8.4
Customer Service 7.7 8.7
Website/App Usability 7.4 8.6
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 7.9 9.3
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.0 8.6

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Four words: No foreign transaction fees. That rarity among cash-back rewards cards, plus the rewards-earning opportunity, make this an excellent no-annual-fee option in our books.
Welcome Bonus
$200 Earn $200 after you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: Earn a $200 cash-back bonus after spending just $500 on purchases with your new card in the first three months. This card also offers a solid introductory 15 months of no interest on purchases and balance transfers (then, RegAPR; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months).

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Earn an easy-to-understand 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There are no caps, categories or hoops to worry about.

PROS:

  • With a 0% intro APR period of 15 months for new purchases and balance transfers, you can make a large purchase without incurring additional interest charges (3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months). After the intro, the APR becomes RegAPR.
  • The 1.5% cash back earned on every purchase is easy-to-remember and can be lucrative. It's a nice combo for a no-annual-fee card.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees charged by this card, a rarity among cash-back rewards cards.

CONS:

  • The 1.5% earned on every purchase is great for straightforward earning, but you can earn higher rewards on specific categories with different cards.
  • Savvy credit cardholders may want to have the Quicksilver in their wallet and use it in tandem with a card with rotating spending categories to earn the most rewards possible on purchases made.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores (avg.)
Overall Score 78.5 87.0
Rewards Program Satisfaction 7.8 8.6
Customer Service 7.7 8.7
Website/App Usability 8.1 8.7
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.1 9.2
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.0 8.6

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: This is a card designed to reward all your food adventures, from dining out to experimenting in your own kitchen. And, since everyone has to eat and this card doesn't even charge an annual fee, this could be the perfect card for a lot of different people.
Welcome Bonus
$200 Earn $200 cash back after you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash-back bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within your first three months as a cardholder.

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • No foreign transaction fees allows you to use this card with peace of mind while traveling abroad.
  • Unlimited 3% cash back earned on dining and entertainment is one of the best rewards earning rates on the market for a no-annual-fee card.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then, RegAPR; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months) allows you to make purchases for that period of time (or transfer an existing balance) without incurring additional interest fees.

CONS:

  • As this card is designed as a cash-back rewards card, it is difficult to redeem rewards earned for things other than cash back and still get good redemption values.
  • The annual fee version of this card, the CardNamediscontinued, comes with additional features like higher cash back earning rates. It may be worth the fee in comparison to this card if your spending is frequent in the rewards categories.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 72.2 Did not survey
Features Satisfaction 7.2 n/a
Customer Service 7.1 n/a
Website/App Usability 7.5 n/a
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 7.8 n/a
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 6.9 n/a

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: This cardholder-choice cash-back rewards card offers solid rewards on everyday purchases, but it's the opportunity to choose a category in which you'll earn top rewards (from among a list of six options) that makes it truly special.
Welcome Bonus
$200 Eanr a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: Earn $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Earn 3% cash back in your choice category from among a list of six: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishing. You'll also earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and an unlimited 1% on all other purchases. You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the mobile banking app or online banking or it will remain the unchanged if you don't choose to update. There is no expiration on rewards.

If you are a Preferred Rewards client with the bank, you can receive 25%-75% more cash back on each purchase depending on your tier.

PROS:

  • One of the largest benefits of this card revolves around the ability to choose your preferred top rewards-earning category so you're earning top rewards where you spend the most (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases quarterly).
  • If you are a Preferred Rewards client at Bank of America, you can earn 25%-75% more on every purchase depending on your Preferred Rewards tier (tiers are based on total account balances).
  • Take advantage of an intro 0% APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases as well as on balance transfers made within the first 60 days. After the intro periods, the APR becomes a RegAPR

CONS:

  • This card does charge foreign transaction fees, so this is one you may want to leave in your wallet when traveling internationally.
  • If you aren’t a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you don’t get nearly as much cash back value out of the card.
  • Be aware that you can only change your 3% rewards earning category once per month, so if you have a large upcoming expense in a different category than you already chose you may not earn the full cashback potential of the card.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores (avg.)
Overall Score 78.2 86.1
Rewards Program Satisfaction 7.8 8.7
Customer Service 7.9 8.6
Website/App Usability 7.9 8.6
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 7.9 9.0
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.7 8.3

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Travel rewards cards often come with annual fees, which is why a card that features no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and healthy rewards opportunities really catches our attention.
Welcome Bonus
20,000 miles Earn 20,000 miles – worth $200 in travel – after you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles – equal to $200 in travel – after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months. You can also take advantage of a no-interest intro offer for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then, RegAPR; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months).

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Earn 1.25 miles per $1 spent on every purchase.

PROS:

  • You can combine miles you earn with this card with miles you earn using a CardName or CardName.
  • The 20,000 bonus miles you can earn after spending $500 in the first three months is very good for a no annual fee travel reward card.
  • There are few travel rewards cards that offer an introductory 0% APR period on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, which this one does (3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months). After the intro period, the APR becomes RegAPR.

CONS:

  • Similar to the annual fee version of this card (CardNamediscontinued), the travel partners to which you can transfer your miles aren't the most popular ones out there. It's nice that this is an option, but the ability to cover your recent travel purchases with miles is likely to be your best use of rewards.
  • The 1.25 miles per $1 spent earning is straightforward; however there are higher travel rewards points earning credit cards out there.
  • Unlike it’s annual fee older brother, this card does not have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores (avg.)
Overall Score 83.1 82.6
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.3 8.2
Customer Service 8.3 8.3
Website/App Usability 8.5 8.3
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.7 8.6
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.1 8.1

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Business owners are always looking to cut expenses, so a no-annual-fee credit card that rewards you for your everyday business purchases is a nice find. And, this one offers you up to 5% cash back on some common business purchases.
Welcome Bonus
$750 Earn $750 (75,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $7,500 in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 in the first three months. If you happen to have a big business expense coming up, you'll be glad to know this card also offers an intro period of 12 months no interest on purchases (then, RegAPR).

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined office supply store and internet, cable and phone services each anniversary year. Also, earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined gas station and restaurant purchases each anniversary year. You'll earn 1% cash back on everything else.

PROS:

  • For frequent spend categories like office supplies, internet, cable and phone services, the 5% cash back earned, up to $25,000 annually, is among of the best in the market.
  • The intro 0% APR on purchases for 12 months (then, RegAPR) is a great benefit for a business owner with some start-up costs or a major purchase on the horizon.
  • The new cardholder welcome bonus of $750 after $7,500 in purchases with the card in three months, can help your business get some quick cash back.

CONS:

  • The $25,000 annual cap on bonus category spend could be limiting if you frequently make purchases in these categories.
  • This card does charge foreign transaction fees.
  • The 5% cash back is specific to these categories, so if your business expenses are more varied, you might be better off with a card that offers bonus rewards on all purchases instead of just in select categories.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores (avg.)
Overall Score 76.0 80.1
Rewards Program Satisfaction 7.5 7.9
Customer Service 7.8 8.1
Website/App Usability 7.6 8.1
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 7.9 8.3
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.4 8.0

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

There is a family of Chase Ink small business credit cards and, in a number of ways, they actually work best in combination thanks to the unique features of each. In particular, the no-annual-fee CardName (described below) offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase. That means it's a great card to use in addition to the CardName so that you can earn 1.5% back on all the purchases that don't earn at a higher rate with the other Ink card. If you want to get really fancy (and venture beyond no-annual-fee cards), the CardName offers yet again different rewards earning opportunities and, more importantly, offers cardholders 25% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Yes, there is a AnnualFees annual fee, but it just might be worth it for your business.

CardName discontinued    Winner

foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: No two businesses are exactly alike, which is why it's nice that this card offers cardholders the opportunity to earn 2x points on all your eligible purchases up to $50,000 spent in a calendar year (then, one point per $1 spent). No categories to worry about means this card could be an excellent fit for just about any small business.
Welcome Bonus
15,000 points Earn 15,000 points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Welcome Offer: Earn a 15,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. There is also an introductory offer of no interest on purchases for 12 months (then, RegAPR).

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Cardholders earn two points per $1 spent on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each calendar year. You earn point per $1 on all your eligible purchases after you reach the spending cap.

PROS:

  • The rewards earning rate is excellent at two-times points per $1 spent on all eligible purchases up to $50,000 spent per calendar year, then 1 point. A $50,000 annual spend cap on bonus rewards is great for a card with no annual fee.
  • With Expanded Buying Power, you can spend beyond your credit limit. Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, and credit record.
  • With the 0% intro APR offer on purchases for 12 months (then RegAPR) you can make some initial business purchases without incurring additional fees.

CONS:

  • This card does charge a foreign transaction fee, so it may be best to leave this one at home while abroad.
  • If your spending is beyond the $50,000 annual spend cap on bonus rewards, a card with no spending cap or at least a higher one might translate to more rewards.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores (avg.)
Overall Score 76.5 85.8
Rewards Program Satisfaction 7.6 8.4
Customer Service 7.7 8.6
Website/App Usability 7.71 8.8
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 7.8 9.0
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.5 8.5

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Flat-rate cash back means one less thing for busy business owners to think about. Rack up cash-back rewards no matter where your (or your employees) use the card.
Welcome Bonus
$500 Earn $500 cash back when you spend $3,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

Bonus: Earn a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of account opening.

Foreign Transaction Fees: foreign_fee

The Rewards: Earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all your purchases; there are no spending caps or categories to keep up with.

PROS:

  • With unlimited 1.5% cash back earned on all purchases made, this card makes rewards earning very simple and straightforward.
  • The initial card member bonus of $500 when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of account opening is generous.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees with this card so you can use it while travelling internationally without additional fees incurred. Even if your business doesn't travel abroad often, you could save those fees if you purchase with merchants who charge in a foreign currency.

CONS:

  • If your business spend is in particular categories, there may be a better card that will help you to earn maximum rewards in the categories that your business frequently spends in.
  • If you spend more than $1,000 monthly with this card, especially after the first year, you may be better off with the annual fee version of this card, CardNamediscontinued.

Read our full CardName.

We have not polled this card yet, but would love to hear your thoughts on it if you are a cardholder. Comment below or email us at editor@cardratings.com to share more about your experience.

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FAQ

When a card has no annual fee, it means you do not get charged a yearly fee for being able to use a credit card. You can think of it as a kind of membership fee.

Depending on the card, not being charged an annual fee can save you around $25 to as much as $1,000 each year (obviously, a $1,000 fee is not at all common, though that high and higher annual fees are out there). Although this can be a significant factor in choosing a certain credit card, it's important to keep in mind that you may still be charged other fees, such as late payment, balance transfer and international purchase fees, none of which are directly tied to the annual fee.

No-annual-fee credit cards are a good option for people who do not use credit cards frequently, but want to keep an account open to improve or maintain their credit. No annual fee means you don't have to think about whether the rewards, perks and features of the card are valuable enough to you to offset it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you should never consider a card with an annual fee (more on that below).

Yes, if you have an annual fee card, you will be responsible for this charge even if you don't use your card. As mentioned above, the annual fee isn't tied to transactions on the card, but is rather the membership fee you pay for having it. You could think of it as that gym membership you never use – until you cancel it, you still pay for the membership regardless of whether your sneakers touch a treadmill.

If you have an annual fee card in your wallet that no longer meets your needs, you have a couple of options:

  1. Close the card. While it's certainly possible to close a credit card that no longer meets your needs (assuming your account if fully paid up), it's likely not the best idea. That's because the length of your credit history plays into your credit score. Closing accounts – particularly for cards you've held for awhile – can stunt your history. In many cases, option 2 is a better bet.
  2. Product change/downgrade your card. Most banks will allow you to switch one card for another in the bank's portfolio while maintaining your same account. That means that you can keep your credit history intact and you won't be dinged with a hard credit pull like you generally are when applying for an all-new card. If you have a card that charges an annual fee, but you no longer need that card, you can contact your bank and ask how to product change your card to a no-annual-fee card offered by the bank. If you're downgrading from a rewards card to another card that offers the same rewards currency, you'll likely be able to hold on to your rewards this way.

Remember, even if you don't mind paying the fee for a card you aren't using, banks can close unused cards, which is likely to negatively affect your credit. Make sure to use the cards you have – responsibly, of course – so you can keep that long history of responsible credit card usage going.

Yes, a credit card annual fee can absolutely be worth it. Whether an annual fee is worth it, though, depends on how you are going to use a card and what the card offers you in terms of perks, features, rewards and more. In an ideal scenario, the annual fee you pay would be well more than offset by the value of the rewards and features the card offers you. That's often easy to do with a new cardholder signup bonus in your first year, for instance, but the circumstances could change after that initial bonus and you'll need to assess whether the ongoing rewards justify whatever the annual fee is.

In other cases, you may choose a card with an annual fee to improve your credit. There are a number of cards geared toward applicants looking to build or rebuild their credit that do charge annual fees. Since, maintaining a good history with a credit card can help you raise your credit score and build a solid credit history, it may very well be worth it in the long run to carry a card with an annual fee for a little while.

See our favorite cards with annual fees

The CardName has everything you want in a no-annual-fee credit card. CardRatings experts choose this card as one of the best no-annual-fee cards because it offers at least 1.5% cash back on every purchase with the opportunity of more in select categories, but there are no revolving categories to manage.

Another reason this card is one of the best cards with no annual fee is because you earn cash back in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be combined with your points from other Chase cards. This means your cash back can be turned into travel rewards. Don’t forget, earn an extra 1.5% cash back on purchase during the first year (up to $20,000 spent). All of this with no annual fee.

There are plenty of no-annual-fee credit cards available for people with bad or no credit. In fact, in many cases, it's cards for people with excellent credit that charge annual fees. That's because those are the cards most likely to feature all the perks, features, rewards and more that would justify an annual fee.

Now, a common type of card for people looking to build or rebuild credit is called a secured credit card. While those cards don't necessarily charge an annual fee (though some do), the definition of a secured credit card is that cardholders must secure their line of credit with a refundable deposit. So, it's not an annual fee, but it is a one-time deposit to establsh your line of credit.

Just about anyone can find a no-annual-fee card that offers some value to their wallet. The fact is, there are some excellent perks and features to be had with credit cards that charge annual fees. If your credit is good and you're financially responsible, taking advantage of those perks offered by cards with an annual fee is likely worth it. However, you basically have nothing to lose by also carrying a card that DOESN'T have an annual fee and, in fact, you may find yourself raking in additional rewards or being glad you have that credit available in the case of an emergency. 

Still not convinced? Let's get a bit more specific about who can benefit most from these cards:

1. Someone supplementing the rewards of another card. There are a lot of creit card rewards programs out there to which multiple cards belong. For instance, you can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points with any number of cards – several that charge annual fees and several that don't. If you're interested in maximizing your rewards with the Ultimate Rewards® program, it may very well make sense to carry both a card like Chase Sapphire Preferred®, which charges an annual fee, as well as Chase Freedom Unlimited, which does not; that way you can use the best card for a given purchase in order to earn top rewards. This strategy, in fact, is one of the key reasons you mightwant to carry multiple cards from a single bank.

2. Someone needing a 0% interest period. You may have noticed a trend in the cards above in that they often feature some kind of zero interest introductory period, whether for purchases or balance transfers or both. That means that not only can these cards save you money when it comes to no annual fee, they may also be able to save you a bundle when it comes to interest. 

Very often, cards with annual fees focus their features and perks in areas besides the interest rate and it can be a bit harder to find a no-interest period on cards with annual fees.

3. Someone who is wants the security of a credit card, but won't use it often enough to offset an annual fee. Let's face it: Credit cards are simply more secure to carry, particularly when you travel, than loads of cash (or a debit card, for that matter, thanks to how the laws are written). If you lose a credit card, your credit card company has you protected against fraud. Lose a wad of cash or your debit card, and you could be out hundreds of dollars. Just having the card available to you so that you can travel and shop securely isn't a bad idea. And, who knows, you just might like the rewards you rake in along the way.

4. New credit card users. Navigating the world of credit cards can be daunting for a newcomer. Sometimes it's hard to determine whether you'll use it enough to offset the annual fee another card might be charging. That's why a no-annual-fee credit card could be an excellent "Guinea pig" of sorts. Use the card for a year, see how much you like earning those rewards (and whether you earn enough to offset an annual fee) and then decide whether you would like the perks and features of a card with an annual fee. 

One last note, if you do decide to venture to another card over time, feel free to keep your no-annual-fee credit card open. In general, it's better for your credit to keep the card open and it isn't costing you anything to keep it around.


Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2021 to conduct surveys among 1,524 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2021-Aug. 31, 2021 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. "Current Scores" reflect scores from the most recent survey; "Past Scores (avg.)" are the scores averaged over each prior year the card has been surveyed. "Past Scores" indicates a card has only been surveyed in one prior year.

Ranking Methodology: CardRatings experts review the fine print, details, perks, rewards and features of hundreds of cards and compare them side-by-side with similar cards. A card that makes an excellent balance transfer card may not make a great cash-back rewards card even though it offers those rewards. While the Best of the Year list is announced annually, that list – and all other “best of” lists on CardRatings – are regularly reviewed and updated as issuers change the terms and features of each card often.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured in this post, please visit the following links: CardName (See Rates and Fees; terms apply); CardName (See Rates and Fees; terms apply)

Disclaimer:

The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

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