Cutting costs has always been a matter of discussion. We all have been trying to do so and failed. But don’t worry, cutting costs has never been easier. Imagine having credit cards with no annual fee. Exciting, right? Credit cards always offer rewards, cash back, and easy loans but come at a cost. Most credit cards require an annual fee payment, which is mostly high and needed to maintain the active status of your credit card.
In this article, we will discuss the best no-annual-fee credit cards with their features, pros, and cons that you can get. So without delaying any further, get in gear, and let’s hop right into the discussion.
What Do Credit Cards With No Annual Fee Mean?
An annual fee is stated by almost every bank in order to maintain your active credit card status. This fee is only payable yearly, as the name: annual fee. Initially, when you first get your card, you will have to pay it and then again after every twelve months.
The major benefit of credit cards with no annual fee is that your card will remain active even if you are not using it.
While some credit cards waive annual fees as a reward for the first year, many do not charge any annual fee at all. If any credit card says that it does not charge any annual fee, this does not include:
- Late penalty fee
- Returned payment fees
- Fees for foreign transactions and balance transfers
- Penalty fees for going over the credit limit
- Fees for a cash advance
- Fees are paid when the account is opened
Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fee
1. Capital One Credit Card
Capital One is a great option for credit cards for bad credit. It helps you build your credit score. It is among the credit cards with no annual fee. This is one of the best no annual fee credit cards for bad credit rebuilding, i.e. it requires no security deposit. On one hand, it does not require any security deposit, annual fees, or foreign transaction fees. But on the other hand, it does not provide any cash back, welcome bonuses, or rewards like other credit cards do. The credit limit starts off low but can be increased every six months after review.
If you want the best no annual fee credit cards with rewards, then you can also opt for Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. This offers all the features you get in a Capital One credit card along with cashback and rewards. Along with Uber membership, you get 10% cashback on Uber and Uber eats payments. Entertainment purchases will give you 8% cashback. When you book hotels or cars through Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll get 5% cashback. A 3% cash back reward on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming service while all the other payments will give 1% cash back.
- You do not have to pay a penny of the annual fee.
- You do not need to put down any security deposit.
- High chances of application approval.
- It does not require you to have a good credit score. A limited or fair credit score will be good to go.
- The credit limit can be increased in six months.
- Free credit scores.
- Helps in building credit.
- You do not have to pay any foreign transaction fee.
- No late payment fee or penalty APR.
- You don’t get cash back or rewards on Capital One credit cards.
- APR is high compared to other credit cards.
- You might need to link a bank account.
- The initial credit limit is low.
- It does allow no balance transfers
- SavorOne offers rewards only if you spend often in the card’s categories.
2. Discover it Credit Card
Discover it Credit Cards are among those secured credit cards that help individuals to build their credit scores. So, if you have a bad credit score and you’re looking for a good credit card, the Discover it credit card with no annual fee option is one of the best options available.
However, it is a secured card, i.e. you will have to put down a security deposit. With a minimum deposit of $200, you can get a Discover it card easily, without any fuss. The initial credit limit is equal to the security deposit. Furthermore, you will be eligible for an unsecured credit card in just seven months.
Discover it no annual fee credit cards for bad credit offers rewards and cash backs that are attractive enough and as a welcome reward, all the rewards and cash backs will be doubled in your first year.
- Amongst the best credit cards with no annual fee ($0).
- 5% cash back from daily grocery purchases, amazon shopping, restaurants, and gas stations.
- You will not be fined for late payments.
- Helps build up a good credit score.
- You can earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Foreign transaction fees are not applicable.
- Cashback and rewards are doubled in the first year.
- You get free FICO score access.
- APR of the initial year is 0%.
- You will have to put down a minimum security deposit of $200.
- If your rewards are crossing the limit of $1000/quarter, they will cap out.
- Introduction APR for purchases is not available.
- You can only put down a maximum of $2500 security deposit.
- You’ll have to manually activate bonus categories every quarter.
3. Wells Fargo Credit Card
If you are someone who prefers a lot of rewards on your credit cards, Wells Fargo got your back. It is the most rewarding credit card with no annual fee. Wells Fargo is amongst the best credit cards with no annual fee and easy-to-understand reward schemes.
It is known famously to meet all your financial needs with rewarding schemes and cash backs. It does not add to your expenses as it is one of the ideal credit cards with no annual fee.
- You get 2% unlimited cash back on all purchases.
- As a welcome reward, on a spending of $1000, you will get $200 cash back, but only under 3 months of card activation.
- If you use your Wells Fargo credit card for paying your cell phone monthly bill then you will get cell phone insurance of $600. ($25 can be deducted)
- Introduction APR is 0% for the first fifteen months of purchases and balance transfers.
- Additional rewards include travel assistance, emergency customer card help, cash replacement, cash disbursement, and roadside assistance for emergencies.
- No minimum spending or rewards.
- You can only apply or get your application accepted if you have a good credit score.
- You will have to pay fees for foreign transactions.
- You do not get rewards on airlines or hotel bookings.
- Rewards are not transferable.
4. U.S. Bank Platinum Visa Card
U.S. Platinum credit cards with no annual fee come with attractive schemes and no introduction APR for the initial 24 months. However, a major setback of this card is that there are no cash backs and the benefits are minimal. Having said that, you can transfer balances and make purchases without any APR charged on your payments or balance for 24 months, i.e. two years. Because of a whopping 24 months with no APR period and a credit card with no annual fee, U.S. Bank Visa Card makes it a good choice for the long run.
- Payment due dates are flexible.
- You get your frauds covered by the cards, i.e. 0 fraud liability.
- You can access TransUnion VantageScore freely for your credit score details.
- $600 insurance on your cell phone if all mobile bills are paid using a U.S. Bank Platinum credit card with no annual fee.
- You do not have to pay any annual fee.
- With a U.S. visa card, you can use ExtendPay to pay for purchases for an extended period of 3 to 24 months.
- No introductory APR for 24 months.
- You will have to pay foreign transaction fees.
- U.S. credit cards with no annual fee do not offer any cashback or rewards.
- You will not win any welcome bonuses.
- Only individuals with good credit are applicable to apply for this card.
- A 3% fee or a $5 fee (whichever is higher) on transferring the balance.
5. Chase Freedom Credit Card
Chase is a mix of attractive schemes and offers and compelling rewards. Individuals with good credit scores will find Chase Freedom Unlimited amongst the best credit cards with no annual fee. You get cash backs, rewards, insurance, protection services, and whatnot! Chase is a complete package that only individuals with good credit can enjoy. With unlimited earning and spending, Chase makes it to the top best no annual fee credit cards.
Chase is considered the most rewarding credit card and it actually offers very appealing schemes.
- You get 5% cash back on travel payments.
- 3% cash back on dining and drugstore expenses.
- You get additional rewards like travel insurance and payment protection, and purchases can be financed using My Chase Plan ( purchases over $100) into fixed installments.
- All the other purchases will win 1.5% cash back.
- If you spend in a gas station in the initial first year, you will win a 5% cashback up to $6000.
- Zero annual fees.
- Introduction APR is at 0% for a whopping 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
- As a welcome bonus reward, a $200 cash back on $500 spent in the first three months of purchases.
- You will have to pay foreign transaction fees.
- When you finance purchases using My Chase Plan, the interest rates are unpredictable.
- The bonus categories for cashback are not rotating and you will have to opt for them quarterly.
- Only people with good credit can get Chase Freedom credit cards with no annual fee.
6. Petal 1 visa credit card
Petal 1 visa credit card is the perfect choice of no annual fee credit cards for bad credit. Although Petal 1 does not require you to have a credit score, they track your cash score history along with your financial history to learn about your creditworthiness.
Petal 1 is among the best no-annual-fee credit cards, that are not only unsecured but also offer rewards. Although the rewards and cash backs are not compelling, it is more focused to bring your credit score up with a zero annual fee policy.
- Zero annual fees.
- You do not need any security deposit.
- You do not need to pay any foreign transaction fee since it is $0.
- No credit score is required.
- The credit limit can be increased every six months.
- Help you rebuild your poor credit score.
- No cash advance fee.
- Report to three major credit bureaus.
- 2% to 10% cash back only on selected purchases.
- APR is quite high, set at 23.74% – 33.24%.
- The credit limit is low, i.e. varies from $300 to $5000.
- No bonus rewards or cash backs.
- The introductory APR offer is not there.
7. Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
Are you a frequent flier? Do you require a lot of traveling for work or maybe you just like traveling? Bank of America Travel Rewards credit cards with no annual fee got you covered. No annual fees and no foreign transaction fees make this a very attractive choice for frequent fliers.
There are absolutely no blackout dates and the best thing about these credit cards with no annual fee is that it is not limited to any particular airline brand or hotel chain. Moreover, you get cash backs and rewards on your traveling purchases. You can redeem the reward points into cash which will reduce the cash-back rate to as low as 0.9%. The best way to redeem these points is to use them to make travel purchases like fares for flights, hotels, holiday packages, etc.
Cashback rewards to 1.5% which can be increased to 25%–75% when joining Bank of America Preferred Rewards programs but to avail it you need to have at least a $200000 balance in your account.
- Zero fees annual payment is important.
- Cash back rewards up to 3% are also increasable. (terms and conditions applied)
- You do not have to pay any fees for foreign transactions as it is $0.
- The introductory APR is 0% for the initial fifteen months.
- APR introductory offer does not apply to balance transfers.
- You need to have a good credit score to get these credit cards with no annual fee.
- If you spend reward points on other expenses apart from traveling, it will be very low.
Credit Cards With No Annual Fee: Suitability
As already mentioned, zero annual fees do not mean that there are no other fees applied. Best credit cards with no annual fee are most suitable for those who do not use credit often, however, if you expect rewards and cashback, the credit cards with annual fees will be more suitable for you.
If you tend to use a card only to build your poor score, credit cards with no annual fee are a good option for you. In case you are a student or you do not use a credit card very frequently, you should opt for a credit card with no annual fee.
People who use this mostly for transferring balances or require a credit card with not much maintenance (low) should choose a credit card with no annual fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What credit cards offer rental car insurance and trip cancellation with no annual fee?
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
- Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card
- United Explorer Card
- Capital One Credit Card
Q2: How do credit cards with no annual fee make money?
Any credit card with no annual fees earns money when you make any payment using the card. A huge percentage of the entire payment goes to the bank to which the card belongs. Therefore the banks that issue credit cards with no money make money when you use those cards to make any payment.
Q3: What credit cards have no annual fee and low-interest rates?
- Chase freedom flex
- Wells Fargo
- Discover it
- Citi custom cash card
- Alliant cashback visa signature credit card
- United gateway card
Q4: What credit cards have the best rewards with no annual fee?
- Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
- Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
- Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Q5: How many credit cards with no annual fees exist?
There are several no-annual-fee credit cards. For example:
- Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- Discover it® Cash Back
- Chase Freedom Flex℠
- Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Q6: What are the best credit cards with no annual fee?
- Discover it Cash Back
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Discover it chrome
- Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
- Citi Custom Cash Card
Q7: What do no annual fee credit cards mean?
No annual fee credit cards mean that you do not have to pay any yearly fees to maintain the active status of your credit card. It will remain open without any fee payment or even if you are not using it. An annual fee is a payment you have to make when you first get your card and then every twelve months. Hence, no annual fee credit cards mean that your annual or yearly maintenance fee is waived off; however, all other fees and charges like interest, late payment penalty, return payment fee, cash advance, foreign transaction fees, etc. are still applicable until mentioned.
If you are someone with a low credit score or do not use credit cards frequently, credit cards with no annual fee can be a good option for you. It provides a lot of benefits and you do not have to pay fees yearly to keep it active, it will remain open. We have mentioned the best no-annual-fee credit cards in the guide above. The guide is well-researched for your reference. In case you are thinking of getting one, you can refer to this manual, specifically put together to help you select the best credit cards with no annual fee.
We hope you are able to make your decision regarding the best credit cards with no annual fee and have selected the most suitable for you. However, if you are among those who use credit cards frequently, it is highly recommended that you opt for credit cards with annual fees. As those will be more rewarding for you and you will get more benefits using them.
- Elizabeth Jones is one of our editorial team’s leading authors on credit card offers, services & more. With over two decades of experience in the consumer credit industry and as a nationally recognized credit expert, Elizabeth provides in-depth analysis of both traditional & alternative forms of credit. Elizabeth regularly appears on many major media outlets including NBC Nightly News, Fox Business Network, CNBC & Yahoo! Finance. She is also a frequent contributor to Forbes Magazine. As a highly appreciated author for our exclusive Editorial Team, Elizabeth strives to provide readers with a trustworthy advice on how to manage their credit accounts while staying informed on the latest offers in the marketplace.
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