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Best no-annual-fee credit cards of May 2020

Finding the best-no-annual-fee credit card for you doesn't have to mean sacrificing every valuable perk and reward. CardRatings editors name the top cards that don't charge annual fees, but still offer plenty of value.
Brooklyn Lowery, CardRatings Senior Manager Last Updated, May 22, 2020

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers (terms apply) from our partners. How we make money.

best no annual fee credit cards 2020If "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.

LIST OF WINNERS

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:

BEST NO-ANNUAL-FEE CARDS FOR CASH-BACK REWARDS

Citi Rewards+ Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card allows you to rack up rewards quickly as it essentially gives points in increments of 10. You'll earn two points for every $1 spent at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 in purchases each year) and one point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. However, since Citi rounds up points on every purchase to the next highest 10, you'll get a bit more than that. For example, buy a $3 cup of coffee and get 10 points instead of three. Spend $41 at the supermarket and get 90 points instead of 82. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser

The Bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within three months of opening an account; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com. Plus, enjoy 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months (then, 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable); balance transfers are subject to a fee of $5 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

The Rewards: Earn 2X ThankYou® points at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X point thereafter. Plus, earn 1X point on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • The only credit card that rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase made.
  • 2X ThankYou® points earned at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 in the first year.
  • The card has an excellent 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then, 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)).

CONS:

  • The introductory bonus offer of 15,000 bonus points, equal to $150, is similar to other cards on the market; however, this card requires a higher minimum spend than many.
  • Two points earned at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 spent annually) and one point on other purchases isn't bad, but there are other cards on the market with higher rewards earning rates in those categories.

Read our full Citi Rewards+ Card review.

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)).

Bonus: There isn't a traditional bonus with this card, but you should consider that introductory 18 months of no interest on balance transfers (then, 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)) a solid opportunity to put, or rather keep, some money in your wallet.

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

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, 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)), 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 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • This card does have a 3% 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, 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)) 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 Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer review.

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This is a flat-rate 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.

Bonus: New cardholders can earn $150 cash back once spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account. Also, take advantage of an intro period of zero interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then, 16.49% - 25.24% Variable).

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

The Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

The information related this credit card has been collected by CardRatings and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and redeemed to possibly make the points earned worth even more.
  • The new card member bonus of $150 cash back earned after $500 spent in the first three months of account opening is a great bonus that has a fairly low minimum spend requirement.
  • With 1.5% cash back earned on every purchase, this card has a very good and simple rewards earning rate without rotating categories or additional complications.

CONS:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® does charge a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars, so you may want to use a different card while travelling abroad.
  • While the 1.5% cash back earned is very straightforward, this does not vary from types of spend so you may be able to find a card that has higher rewards earning rates for your specific spending habits.
  • Balance transfers will incur a fee of 3% when you transfer during the first 60 days of account opening, with a minimum of $5. Then, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Read our full Chase Freedom Unlimited® review.

 

PRO TIP

Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a flat-rate cash-back card option, but there's a rotating categories version as well: Chase Freedom® (This card is not currently available on CardRatings). With Chase Freedom®, you earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate quarterly (you'll need to activate the bonus categories each quarter to earn the bonus). Earn 1% cash back on purchases over the spending cap and on all your other purchases (Check out this quarter's bonus categories). You could choose to use Chase Freedom Unlimited® for all of the purchases that don't earn 5% cash back with Chase Freedom®. 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 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings), 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.

The information related these cards has been collected by CardRatings and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards.


Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card features a simple-to-understand rewards earning structure and offers you the added perk of cell phone protection against covered damage and theft as long as you pay your cellular bill on the card; that could save you $100 or more a year in insurance premiums alone.

Bonus: Receive a $150 cash rewards bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months as a cardholder. Plus, you'll earn 1.8% cash back (as compared to the standard 1.5%) on qualified digital wallet purchases during your first 12 months as a cardholder. Lastly, new cardholders can take advantage of an intorductory 15 months no interest on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then, 13.99%-25.99% Variable).

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Rewards: Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases without having to worry about categories or spending caps.

PROS:

  • The $150 bonus earned by new cardmembers after $500 in purchases made in the first three months of card membership is great for a no-annual-fee card.
  • Qualifying digital wallet purchases earning 1.8% cashback in the first year of card membership is great for those that frequently use these methods for making purchases.
  • Save money with up to $600 in cell phone protection against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly mobile bill with your card.

CONS:

  • Even though there is an additional bonus for qualifying digital wallet purchases in the first year, there are other cards on the market with higher rewards earning rate than 1.5% on an ongoing basis.
  • This card does charge foreign transaction fees, so you'll likely want another in your wallet for your next trip abroad.
  • While the introductory 15 months of 0% APR on eligible balance transfers and purchases is very good, there are cards on the market with longer initial periods for 0% APR. After the intro period the APR becomes 13.99%-25.99% Variable.

Read our full Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card review.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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 Offer: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. You can also enjoy an introductory period of zero interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then, 12.99% - 23.99% Variable).

Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

The Rewards: Cardholders earn 3% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on all your other purchases.

PROS:

  • This card has excellent everyday rewards earning of 3% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores and 1% back on other purchases.
  • The new cardholder welcome bonus of $150 after you spend $1,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening is a solid welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card.
  • Take advantage of an intro 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then, 12.99% - 23.99% Variable) 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.
  • While the new cardmember bonus of $150 is very nice, the initial spending requirement is $1,000 in the first 3 months which is higher than other no annual fee cards with similar bonuses.

Read our full review of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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.

Bonus: Earn a $150 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, 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)).

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

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 or transfer in a balance without incurring additional interest charges. After the intro, the APR becomes 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable).
  • 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.
  • The 15 months intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers (then, 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)) is not the best on the market, so if you are primarily interested in a 0% period and want the longest period possible, you may want to consider another card.
  • 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 Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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.

Bonus: Earn a one-time $150 cash-back bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within your first three months as a cardholder.

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The Rewards: Earn 3% cash back on your dining and entertainment purchases, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on all your other purchases. Read our full Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

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, 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)) allows you to make purchases for that period of time (or transfer an existing balance) without incurring additional interest fees.

CONS:

  • If you choose to take advantage of the intro 0% balance transfer offer, remember to account for the balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer made.
  • 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 Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings), 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 Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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.

Bonus: $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: 3%

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 earn 25%-75% more on every purchase depending on your Preferred Rewards tier (tiers are based on total account balances).
  • Enjoy a great new card member welcome bonus of $200 online cash rewards after making at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days.

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 Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card review.

BEST NO-ANNUAL-FEE CARDS FOR TRAVEL REWARDS

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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.

Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles – equal to $200 in travel – after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. You can also take advantage of a no-interest intro offer for the first 12 months on purchases (then, 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)).

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

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 Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business or Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business.
  • The 20,000 bonus miles you can earn after spending $1,000 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 for 12 months, which this one does. After the intro period, the APR becomes 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable).

CONS:

  • Similar to the annual fee version of this card (Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)), 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 Purchase Eraser option 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 Pre&;™; reimbursement.

Read our full Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card review.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This is another no-annual-fee travel rewards credit card option with no foreign transaction fees and healthy rewards opportunities.

Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points – that's worth $200 in cash value – after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. There's also an intro no-interest period of 12 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers made within the first 120 days for the first 12 months (after the intro, the APR jumps to 13.99%-25.99% Variable).

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The Rewards: Earn three points per $1 spent eating out and ordering in; for gas station, rideshare and transit purchases; on travel purchases, including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals; and on popular streaming services. Earn 1 point per $1 on your other purchases. Keep in mind that earning that level of points on travel purchases is usually reserved for travel rewards cards with annual fees. This is a special card, indeed.

PROS:

  • This card has excellent everyday points earning with three points earned per $1 spent on eating out, travel, gas stations, rideshare purchases, and popular streaming services.
  • The Wells Fargo Go Far® Rewards program provides a lot of value for cardholders.
  • The new card member bonus of 20,000 points earned after $1,000 spent in the first three months of card membership can be very helpful for your next cash redemption.

CONS:

  • Although the card earns excellent rewards on some categories, it earns only one point per $1 on most spend categories so it may be hard to maximize your points earning if you don’t frequently make purchases in those higher earning categories.
  • The Go Far® Rewards program can be very valuable, but it can also be confusing to understand for card members as there are a LOT of options and opportunities with it (which, of course, could be a very good thing).
  • You cannot transfer your rewards earned to travel partners.

Read our full Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card review.

Discover it® Miles

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card features an easy-to-understand way to rack up unlimited rewards toward your travel expense; additionally, the bonus match Discover offers could make this intro offer HUGE.

Bonus: Discover will match, mile-for-mile all the miles you earn during your first year as a cardholder. Earn 35,000 miles (that's worth $350 in flexible travel redemption) and Discover will make that 70,000 miles (worth $700) at the end of your first year.

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The Rewards: Earn an unlimited 1.5 miles per $1 spent on every purchase, every day. Remember, Discover will match all the miles you earn at the end of your first year, which means you'll basically be earning three miles per $1 spent on all your purchases during year one.

PROS:

  • The card does not have a foreign transaction fee so you can use the card while abroad without incurring extra fees.
  • Discover matches the miles earned in the first year of card membership, effectively meaning you earn three miles per $1 spent in the first year of card membership.
  • Miles can be redeemed for travel credit or cash back, with your miles always being worth $.01 each no matter whether you redeem for travel credit or cash back

CONS:

  • As a flat rate rewards earning card, you could be getting more rewards with a card that has rotating categories or higher variable rates for different spending categories.
  • The new card member bonus, while valuable, does make you wait until the end of the first card member year to get the additional miles.
  • Discover cards are not as widely accepted overseas so you may run into scenarios where you may not be able to use the card at certain establishments.

Read our full Discover it® Miles review.

BEST NO-ANNUAL-FEE CARDS FOR BUSINESS

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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.

Bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. If you happen to have a big business expense coming up, you'll be glad to know this card offers an intro period of 12 months no interest on purchases (then, 14.74% - 20.74% Variable).

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

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.

The information related this credit card has been collected by CardRatings and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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, 14.74% - 20.74% Variable) 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 $500 after $3,000 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 Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card review.

 

PRO TIP

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 Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card (described below) offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase. That means it's a great card to use in addition to the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card 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 Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card 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 $95 annual fee, but it just might be worth it for your business.

The information related to these credit cards has been collected by CardRatings and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards.


American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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 flat-rate cash-back on all your eligible purchases up to $50,000 spent in a calendar year (then, 1%). No categories to worry about means this card could be an excellent fit for just about any small business.

Welcome Offer: The bonus here is being able to take advantage of an introductory offer of no interest on purchases for 12 months (then, 13.24% - 19.24% Variable).

Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

The Rewards: Cardholders earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year. You earn 1% cash back on all your purchases after you reach the spending cap.

PROS:

  • The rewards earning rate is excellent at 2% cash back on all eligible purchases up to $50,000 spent per calendar year, then 1%. 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 13.24% - 19.24% Variable) you can make some initial business purchases without incurring additional fees.

CONS:

  • There isn’t a traditional welcome bonus offered with this card, which is disappointing.
  • 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 American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card review.

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card offers an easy, straightforward way to earn cash back with unlimited 1.5% earned on every purchase made. Plus, as mentioned in the pro tip above, it pairs well with other Chase Ink business credit cards.

Bonus: Earn $500 in bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months from account opening. Plus, take advantage of an introductory 12 months no interest on purchases (then 14.74% - 20.74% Variable).

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

The Rewards: Earn a flat and unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Those rewards accumulate as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, a common currency among numerous Chase rewards cards. If you have other Chase rewards cards in your wallet, you can combine Chase Ultimate Rewards® points earned on those other cards into a single bucket as needed in order to redeem your points more quickly or, in some cases, for more value.

The information related this credit card has been collected by CardRatings and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

PROS:

  • The $500 cash back welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership is a great offer for a no-annual-fee card.
  • All purchases, from office supplies to airfare, earn 1.5% cash back, making rewards earning easy and straightforward.
  • The 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then, 14.74% - 20.74% Variable) can help you make some needed purchases without incurring interest fees in the initial period.

CONS:

  • This card charges fees on all foreign transactions.
  • If your business spend is more specific to particular retailers or categories, you may be able to maximize your points earning with a variable rewards earning card rather than a flat-rate earning card.
  • If you plan to use your card often, there are several annual fee cards that offer higher rewards and might be worth the additional fee.

Read our full review of the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
About Our Ratings

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.

Bonus: Earn a $200 cash-back bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. You'll also save money thanks to a 0% interest intro offer on purchases for the first nine months (then, 14.49% - 22.49% (Variable)).

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

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 $200 once you spend $3,000 on purchase in the first three months of account opening is very generous.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees with this card so you can use it while travelling internationally without additional fees incurred.

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, Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business (This card is not currently available on CardRatings).

Read our full Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business review.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE

If yours is a business that requires you to travel frequently, you might consider the no-annual-fee travel version of this card, Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business (This card is not currently available on CardRatings). With this card, you'll earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on every purchase (plus 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel™) and you can earn 20,000 bonus miles – worth $200 – if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.


WHO SHOULD CONSIDER A NO-ANNUAL-FEE CREDIT CARD?

OK, not to be trite here, but the answer to this question, quite frankly, is everybody. 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 needing a 0% interest period. You may have noticed a trend in the cards above in that all of them 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured in this post, please visit the following links: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (See Rates and Fees); Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees)

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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