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Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards
22 Jul 2018

The Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Credit card companies target customers who charge a lot a charge often. These are the customers who will make the most money for the company.

Because of this, they offer cardholders some amazing awards. However, those rewards come at a cost. This is where the annual comes from.

Most heavy spenders understand that the rewards points they are signing up for make the annual fees worth every coin. But what happens if you aren’t one of those heavy spenders?

You can still find a credit card that doesn’t have an annual fee. The truth is, you have tons of options for cards that don’t ask for an annual payment but give great rewards.

And lucky for you, we did some research and found some of the best no annual fee credit cards out there.

Ready to sign up for yours? Keep reading!

The Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

We all love to get things for free, but even credit cards without an annual fee come with their own sets of pros and cons. We listed them all for you here:

Pros of a No Annual Fee Credit Card

1. Not having an annual fee with your credit card gives you less financial responsibility. You can even avoid paying interest at all if you pay in full and on time every month. This will also keep you from being assessed late fees.

2. Because your payment history will be reported to the credit bureaus, you can improve your credit score without spending extra money.

3. Since credit cards with annual fees are geared toward a more elite customer base, you will have more options to choose from while shopping for credit cards without an annual fee.

Cons of a No Annual Fee Credit Card

When they give you a credit card for free, it isn’t logical for the credit card company to give too many cash bonuses. The cons on this list revolve around that principle.

Specifically, this can mean you will have:

  • Lower sign up bonuses
  • Less free benefits and perks
  • Lower reward point percentages

All the credit cards on our list have fraud and liability protection. So, if your card is lost or stolen, you won’t be responsible for any unauthorized charges.

But the awards go far beyond that. We credit cards with double cash-back bonuses travel benefits including car rentals, and much more.

1. Discover it Chrome

Discover created two different types of credit cards with Discover it Chrome. They made one option for students and one regular one.

APR

0% Introductory APR on purchases for 6 months, Then 14.49% to 23.49% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies

Rewards, Bonuses, and Perks

Good Grades Reward

You will receive a $20 statement credit for any school year you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or more. This reward can continue for up to 5 years.

2% Cash-back on Gas and at Restaurants

You can earn 2% cash-back at when you buy from stations and restaurants for up to $1,000 in total purchases each quarter. This perk adds an extra 1% cash-back on all your other purchases.

Cashback Match

Discover will automatically match all the cash-back that accrued at the end of your first year as a cardholder.

An Account On and Off Switch

You can freeze your credit card account through the app or website. If you’d like to cut back on your spending or avoid a misplaced or stolen card from being swiped, just use the switch.

Free FICO Score

Discover will record your FICO for you and keep it available to review in your account for up to 12 months. Your updated score will also be displayed on all of your statements.

Who is The Card For?

If you’re a student who gets good grades and wants to build and track your credit score, this is the card you need.

2. Citi Double Cash Card

You won’t find many credit cards that double your cash back without charging you a hefty annual fee.

APR

15.24% – 25.24% variable APR based on your creditworthiness

Rewards, Bonuses, and Perks

Earn Cash-back Twice

This credit card allows you to earn cash-back twice. You get paid 1% for your purchases.

And then, you will receive an additional 1% on those credit card payments. This rule applies only if you pay at least the minimum amount due.

The best part about this reward is there is no extra work for you. Citi doesn’t require you to keep track of the categories you spend in.

They also don’t put a limit on the amount of cash-back you’re allowed to earn. You, however, can’t earn cash back on the following:

  • Cash advances
  • Interest
  • Account fees
  • Returns
  • Balance Transfers

Easy Cash-back Redemption

You can request your cash back in a form of a check or credits toward your statement balance.

Citi Private Pass

Citi gives cardholders special access to a variety of events. This special access includes presale and VIP packages to concerts, sporting events, and movie screenings.

Who is the Card For?

If you want to save money on your credit card bill and spend money on great experiences that really matter, you’ll love this credit card.

3. Wells Fargo Platinum Visa

Wells Fargo offers a higher than normal 0% APR by keeping the benefit going for a full 18 months. Plus it back up your checking account.

APR

16.90%-26.74%

Rewards, Benefits, and Perks

My Money Map

My Money Map is a program Wells Fargo offers that helps you create and manage your budget. It gives helps you learn to better control your spending habits.

FICO Updates

You can check your credit score when you sign into your Wells Fargo account.

18 Months 0% APR

You will receive an introductory APR of 0% for the first 18 months as a cardholder. This counts for both balance transfers and purchases.

Overdraft Protection

If you link the credit card to your Wells Fargo checking account, you can pay for purchases with your credit card instead of overdrafting your account.

You can also take advantage of free roadside dispatch, travel and accident insurance, and cell phone protection.

Who is the Card For?

The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa is for anyone who is trying to take control of their finances and pay off accounts.

4. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Pretty much every credit card company has a card with travel rewards, but their perks don’t compare to the ones Capital One offers with its Venture card.

APR

13.49% – 23.49% variable APR

Rewards, Bonuses, and Perks

Payment Flexibility

With this credit card, you can choose your own payment due date. Set it up for a convenient day of the month for you like when you get paid.

Full Access to Eno

Eno is an app that helps you maintain your Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. It works by giving you balance, transaction, and billing information through text messages.

Credit Wise

You can review your credit score any time you want with the CreditWise app. This service is free, even if you don’t have this credit card. And frequently checking your score won’t hurt it.

Other perks you can use with this card are no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, and 24-7 customer service.

Who is the Card For?

If you travel often and would love to save money while you do it, you’ll enjoy this credit card.

5. Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Looking for a credit card with a cash bonus and 0% APR deal? The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card is worth a look.

Upon signing up, you will receive 15 months 0% APR and an opportunity to earn a $150 cash-back bonus. You can even get another $25 if you add a new authorized user within the first 3 months of becoming a cardholder.

APR

16.49%-25.24% Variable APR

Rewards, Perks, and Benefits

Unlimited Cash-back

When you sign up, you will be eligible to earn 1.5% cash-back on all purchases. This is unlimited and doesn’t require your purchases to meet any specific criteria.

Cash-back Never Expires

There’s no expiration date on the cash-back rewards you earn. Plus, you don’t have to meet a minimum rewards amount to cash-out. You can do so as soon or as late as you want.

Travel Bonuses

If you use the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for your traveling costs, you’ll gain access to exclusive rates, offers, and flexible payments.

Amazon Points

Linking this credit card to your Amazon account will allow you to redeem your cash-back rewards at checkout. The points even go toward tax and shipping charges.

Who is the Card For?

This is a credit card that lives up to its name. With Chase Freedom, you really are free to make purchases just about any place you would like for any item you want.

More importantly, you’ll be earning rewards the entire time.

When It’s Time to Make a Change

Maybe you’ve been using a credit card that has an annual fee for a while. Maybe you’re thinking about swapping that card out for one that’s completely free.

How do you know if the rewards your losing are worth it? Afterall, you signed up for that card for a reason, right?

Here are some ways to see if changing your credit card will be worth your while.

The Awards Aren’t Adding Up

As we said before, credit cards with fees usually offer the best rewards. But these awards aren’t always worth the amount they’re charging you.

Take some time and compare your spending habits to the awards and cash-back bonuses you’ve been earning through your credit card. Then take a look at the annual fee.

If the annual fee is significantly less than the monetary value of your rewards, keep your card. If not, switch to a free credit card that still offers some great rewards.

Your Balance is High

When you combine a high balance with a high APR, you can find yourself struggling to pay your balance down. By doing a balance transfer on a new card that offers 0% APR for the first year or so, you will see yourself paying the balance off quicker and building a higher credit score.

Additionally, there’s no risk of an annual fee weighing you down again, even after interest begins to accumulate.

You Use Cash More Than Anything

Plenty of people prefer to make payments using cash instead of a credit or debit card. Being able to physically touch your money in your wallet and watching it disappear as you spend, makes you more cautious about your purchases which absolutely saves you money in the long run.

If you’re paying an annual fee for a credit card you hardly ever use, you should seriously consider using a free credit card. Otherwise, the other steps you’ve taken toward budgeting aren’t setting you up for the most success.

Take Advantage of Introductory Freebies

Just as many no annual fee credit cards offer a full year of 0% APR, credit cards with fees sometimes waive the fee for the first year. These free introductory deals are great ways to see how much money you will spend and if the other awards and bonuses will be worth it once the fees kick in.

Shop around before you make any final decisions. And don’t rush. This way you will find the card that’ll give you the most bang for your buck.

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Learning about the best and worst credit card and personal loan options is part of what we do to help you access a life of financial freedom and satisfaction. Check out our website for helpful tips on improving your credit score and meeting your goals.

If you have questions about anything, our FAQ page is loaded with definitions of financial terms and more. But you can also contact us for help. That’s what we’re here for.

Which one of our best no annual fee credit cards will you sign up for today?