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12 Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards of 2022

12 Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards of 2022

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is the best $0-annual-fee card due to its generous rewards rate for different kinds of purchases, as well as its flexible redemption options.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. Citi is an advertising partner.

Top no-annual-fee credit cards of 2022

0% APR intro offer

If you're trying to keep your expenses at a minimum, you'll be happy to discover an abundance of no-annual-fee credit cards that are packed with perks and rewards. That said, there are different types of no-annual-fee credit cards to consider, including options that may or may not let you earn rewards for purchases.

As you compare no-annual-fee credit cards to find your right fit, it’s smart to look for options that have the perks and features you most desire. This could include the ability to earn cash back or specific types of travel rewards, or to enjoy a 0% APR for a limited time.

Compare best no-annual-fee credit cards

Card
Welcome Offer
Credit Needed
Annual Fee
Best overall and best for Chase
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!660 - 850$0
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Best for rewards
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited<sup>®</sup>
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That’s 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.660 - 850$0
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Best for travel
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Bank of America<sup>®</sup> Travel Rewards credit card
25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening660 - 850$0
Not available on ValuePenguin
Compare all cards

Welcome Offer

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That’s 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Credit Score Needed

660 - 850
660 - 850

Annual Fee

$0
$0
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website

Best overall and best for Chase

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!

$0

17.24% - 25.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

  • Earn 5% back and 3% back in several everyday categories
  • Generous welcome offer and $0 annual fee
  • Intro APR offer for purchases and balance transfers
  • Foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Bonus rewards in rotating categories capped each quarter

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Customers can redeem rewards for flexible options including travel, gift cards, merchandise and statement credits. A generous welcome bonus and intro APR for both balance transfers and new purchases round out this offer, making this card an even better deal.

Best for rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That’s 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

$0

17.24% - 25.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

  • Large sign-up bonus with a reasonable spending requirement
  • High rate of cash back on general purchases
  • Bonus cash back on dining, Chase travel and drugstores
  • Requires a high credit score
  • Foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is an excellent flat-rate cash back credit card that provides bonus cash back in popular categories such as drugstore purchases and dining out. Cardholders can also earn 5% back on travel purchases booked through Chase. Plus, if you have one of Chase's Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards, you can also improve the value of your rewards by redeeming them for travel through Chase or transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners. Rewards are unlimited with this card, and an intro APR offer can help you avoid interest charges for new purchases.

Best for travel

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

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Not available on ValuePenguin

25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

$0

See Terms

660 - 850

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire. 
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. 
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions. 
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout. 
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases. 
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap. 
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

  • Offers a generous points-based welcome bonus
  • Points never expire
  • No blackout dates for airfare or hotels
  • Bonus for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members
  • Rewards don't transfer to travel partners
  • Almost no travel-related perks included

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is one of the highest-earning $0-annual-fee travel cards around, and includes other great perks likes no foreign transaction fees. It also offers a See Terms (followed by a See Terms) — which is ideal if you carry a balance on your card from month to month.

Best for airline

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

$0

18.74%-27.74% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, and 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Pay with Miles: take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Terms Apply.

  • Earn Delta SkyMiles on all your spending
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 20% back on in-flight Delta purchases
  • Overall rewards rate is on the low end
  • High ongoing APR
  • Airline perks are limited

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is a sound starter card for folks looking to get their feet wet in the world of airline credit cards. It comes with a fair welcome offer, and you'll earn double miles on dining and Delta purchases. If you’re a frequent flyer, however, paying an annual fee for a Delta card with a better selection of perks may be worth it. For example, some Delta credit cards come with free checked bags and priority boarding, among other benefits.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here

Best for hotels

Hilton Honors American Express Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership.

$0

18.74%-27.74% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

  • Generous welcome offer
  • Excellent point-earning potential for frequent Hilton guests
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver Status included (enrollment required)
  • Best rewards rate is for hotel stays at Hilton properties
  • Limits to how you can use your reward points
  • Points have a low value

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is one of the more generous travel rewards credit cards with a $0 annual fee. Even if you're just looking to try out the Hilton Honors rewards program, this card will get you complimentary Hilton Silver status (enrollment required) and help you accumulate Hilton points faster, at no additional cost. You can even earn a generous welcome offer with enough points for a few free nights right off the bat.

For rates and fees of Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here

Best for rotating cash back

Discover it® Cash Back

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Not available on ValuePenguin

Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

See terms

See terms

660 - 850

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 14.24% to 25.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

  • Cash back match on all your earnings in the first year
  • Earn a high amount of cash back within rotating quarterly categories
  • Cash back rewards never expire
  • Quarterly maximum on the cash back rewards in rotating categories
  • No traditional welcome bonus
  • Enrollment in bonus categories required each quarter

The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card provides rotating rewards opportunities on significant expenses, such as groceries, gas stations and restaurants, so the opportunities to earn big are endless. On top of that, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned in your first year at the end of the year. There's no welcome bonus, but the cash back matching offer might be more lucrative if you spend a lot.

Best for flat-rate cash back

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

See Rates & Fees. On Wells Fargo's Secure Website

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

$0

17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR

660 - 850

  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5
  • $0 annual fee
  • No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card. (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • Intro APR offer for purchases and balance transfers
  • Comes with cellphone insurance
  • 3% in foreign transaction fees
  • Minimal cardholder perks beyond cellphone insurance

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card lets you Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases you buy, so you never have to worry about bonus categories or earnings caps. New applicants can also Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months, and cell phone insurance is offered as a cardholder perk. This card also has a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening for purchases and 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (followed by a 17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR), which lets consumers skip interest payments for a limited time. This combination of perks makes this cash back card one of the best options with no annual fee required.

Best for simple enhanced earnings

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

On Citibank's Secure Website

Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

$0

16.99% - 26.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% - 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per person.

  • Many options for redeeming your cash rewards
  • Automatic 5% back in top spending category each month
  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • 5% cash back is capped at $500 in monthly spending
  • Low rate of 1% cash back on your other purchases
  • Charges a 3% foreign transaction fee

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card lets Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. This gives it a major advantage over other 5% category cards, since you don't have to remember to enroll in the categories. The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card also offers the same lucrative categories each month, including groceries, unlike other 5% cards, where the categories can be hit-or-miss. A generous welcome offer is also included, as well as a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (followed by a 16.99% - 26.99% (Variable) APR).

Best for bad credit

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

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Not available on ValuePenguin

Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

See terms

See terms

0 - 600

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

  • No credit score necessary for application
  • Unlimited cash back match on all your purchases in the first year
  • Automatic account reviews starting at seven months
  • Requires a one-time minimum security deposit of $200
  • Credit limit is equal to your security deposit

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a rewarding and affordable option for people with poor or no credit. You'll have to pay a security deposit of at least $200, and your deposit will act as your credit limit. In exchange, you'll earn cash rewards on every purchase, including a match of all the cash back you earn in your first year of card membership. You'll also get access to your free credit score, which is essential to check regularly while building credit.

Best for fair credit

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

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Not available on ValuePenguin

No bonus

$0

28.49% (Variable)

0 - 660

  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One's mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you

  • Available for applicants with fair credit
  • You can see if you're preapproved with no impact to your credit
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • Doesn't offer the chance to earn rewards
  • High variable APR can lead to costly interest charges

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is available to individuals with fair credit, which typically includes those with FICO Scores from 580 to 669. This means it's easier to get approved for than other no-annual-fee credit cards, making it a valuable credit-building tool for those who need one. The Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn't offer any rewards, but it does let users build credit and qualify for a higher credit limit in as little as six months.

Best for 0% intro APR

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

See Rates & Fees. On Wells Fargo's Secure Website

N/A

$0

15.99% - 27.99% variable APR

660 - 850

  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period. 15.99% to 27.99% Variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min $5.
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can get access to personalized deals from a variety of merchants. It's an easy way to earn cash back as an account credit when you shop, dine, or enjoy an experience simply by using an eligible Wells Fargo credit card.
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • Good for paying off large purchases over time, due to its long intro APR
  • Lengthy intro APR for qualifying balance transfers
  • $600 per-claim cellphone insurance
  • No rewards program
  • No travel perks other than roadside assistance
  • No sign-up bonus

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card offers an incredibly generous intro APR period. New cardholders get a 0% intro APR up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers and 0% intro APR up to 21 months from account opening on purchases (followed by a 15.99% - 27.99% variable APR). This is one of the longest introductory periods of any 0% intro APR credit card on the market, all for a $0 annual fee. However, if you’re looking for perks like cash back on your purchases, this probably isn't the card for you.

Best for dining and entertainment

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

$0

17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99% - 27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

  • Solid sign-up bonus
  • Liberal cash back on entertainment and food purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Low rate of 1% back outside of bonus spending
  • Superstores like Walmart and Target excluded from the grocery category

If you love to spend money on dining and entertainment, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great $0-annual-fee credit card. Cardholders can earn 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats. This card also offers an APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months, then a 17.99% - 27.99% (Variable) APR.

Best for groceries

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

$200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

$0

16.99%-27.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Balance Transfer is back! Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 16.99% to 27.99% variable APR.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • New! 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • Get $7 back each month after using your Blue Cash Everyday® Card to spend $13.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.

  • Generous rewards for U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station purchases
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Welcome offer for new cardholders
  • Foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • Few additional benefits other than rewards
  • Caps on bonus category rewards apply

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is one of the best grocery credit cards. You'll get 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%. 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply. Rewards can be redeemed easily for statement credits toward your purchases. You also get an intro APR of 0% on purchases for 15 months and 0% on balance transfers for 15 months (followed by a 16.99%-27.99% Variable APR). Don't expect a lot of extra benefits aside from the cash back, but this is an excellent everyday card — hence the name.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here

Best for everyday use

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

$0

17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99%-27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months

  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Long introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases
  • Cash back never expires, as long as you have an open account
  • Lower reward potential than some other no-annual-fee cards
  • No bonus categories outside of some Capital One travel purchases

Consumers looking for a simple yet rewarding no-annual-fee credit card for everyday purchases will appreciate the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. In addition to a generous welcome offer, cardholders can earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). An intro APR on balance transfers and new purchases rounds out this offer and makes it even better.

Best for streaming and shopping

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

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Not available on ValuePenguin

$200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening

$0

17.49% - 27.49% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • New! $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose.
  • 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center.
  • 2% cash back on one everyday category, like Gas Stations/EV Charging Stations, Grocery Stores or Restaurants.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 17.49% - 27.49%
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Pay over time by splitting eligible purchases of $100+ into equal monthly payments with U.S. Bank ExtendPay™ Plan.
  • Terms and conditions apply.

  • Earn 5% back in categories you choose
  • Generous welcome offer applies
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Caps apply for 3% bonus category rewards
  • Foreign transaction fee of 2% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in U.S. Dollars 3% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in a Foreign Currency

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is unique because it lets you earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose. 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center. 2% cash back on one everyday category, like Gas Stations/EV Charging Stations, Grocery Stores or Restaurants. 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. A generous welcome offer and and an intro APR on both balance transfers and new purchases make this card even more attractive.

Best for small businesses

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

$0

15.49% - 21.49% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn rewards faster with employee cards at no additional cost. Set individual spending limits for greater control
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • Incredibly generous welcome offer
  • Intro APR offer for purchases
  • Other business cards have higher rewards rates
  • Foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is hard to beat if you're looking for a business card with a $0 annual fee. All purchases Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business. Plus, you get a very generous 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months (followed by a 15.49% - 21.49% Variable APR). This business credit card also comes with free employee cards, purchase protection, extended warranties, primary rental car coverage when you rent a car for business purposes and several other perks.

What is a no-annual-fee card?

While some credit cards charge an annual fee to their customers every year, quite simply, no-annual-fee credit cards don’t — this means you have the potential to use these cards without paying for the privilege. To do so, you'll just need to avoid other credit card fees and charges that can pop up, such as foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees and cash advance fees.

You should also note that the best no-annual-fee credit cards will definitely charge you interest if you carry a balance after any intro APR offer you receive comes to an end. To truly benefit from a credit card with no annual fee, you should strive to only charge purchases you can afford to pay off and pay your balance down to $0 every month.

With this in mind, it's worth noting that no-annual-fee credit cards offer many of the same benefits as cards that do charge annual fees. For example, the best rewards credit card with no annual fee can easily help you earn hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars in cash back or travel points. Some cards with no annual fee even offer 0% APR for purchases, balance transfers or both for up to 21 months.

Are no-annual-fee cards worth it?

No fee credit cards are definitely worth it for certain people, including those who don't use plastic enough to earn a meaningful amount in rewards. No-annual-fee credit cards can also be worth it for people who rarely travel, as well as those who are unlikely to use any credit card perks they get.

That said, there are situations where a credit card with an annual fee might leave you much better off. If you spend a ton of money on your credit card or want as many travel perks as possible, for example, a premium credit card could be a better fit.

Consider getting a credit card with an annual fee if:

  • Credit card perks like airport lounge access and annual travel credits are important to you
  • You spend a lot on plastic each month and want to maximize your rewards haul
  • Earning a huge credit card sign-up bonus is your biggest priority

Consider getting a credit card without an annual fee if:

  • You need to keep your expenses at a minimum
  • You mostly want to earn cash back
  • Credit card perks aren’t important to you

Who should get a no-annual-fee credit card?

A no-annual-fee credit card can be an excellent option for anyone looking to open a new credit card. These consumers, in particular, should consider opening a card with no annual fee:

A no-annual-fee credit card puts less pressure on users to make sure you're making the most of your card's benefits and rewards to offset an annual fee and just lets you focus on being a responsible credit card owner. For new credit card users, this is just what you need.

A no-annual-fee credit card can be great for building or rebuilding your credit history. You won't need to worry about being able to afford a card's high annual fee and can simply focus on paying off your balance on time and in full each month.

There's nothing worse than trying to pay off your credit card debt while also needing to pay your credit card's annual fee. Some no-annual-fee cards also come with low-interest APR offers on purchases and balance transfers, which can provide some relief for those working on getting their debt under control.

Experienced cardholders who already own more than one credit card may be looking for a low-risk way to add another type of credit card to their repertoire. For example, if you already own a cashback card and a general travel rewards card, but you're finding yourself frequently staying at Hilton hotels, you might consider opening the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card to elevate your hotel benefits.

How to choose a no-annual-fee credit card

When comparing no-annual-fee credit cards, you should consider all the factors at play to make sure you choose the card that's going to benefit you the most.

1. ELIMINATE CARDS WITH AN ANNUAL FEE

Many credit card companies offer several versions of the same type of card, which will include a no-annual-fee version, a version with a moderate annual fee and a with a high annual fee. If you're not comfortable paying for a credit card, you'll want to stick to a no-annual-fee credit card. However, if you do travel often or use your credit card regularly, it's worth considering credit cards with an annual fee.

2. DECIDE ON A BALANCE TRANSFER OR NON-BALANCE TRANSFER CARD

No one credit card has it all, so you want to focus on the primary way in which you want to use the card. If you're looking to pay off a balance at a lower rate or finance a purchase, you'll want to opt for the best 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers, regardless of the rewards it offers. Cardholders who tend to carry a balance should prioritize a low-interest rate over tantalizing perks. Anyone trying to build credit should consider only the card's credit-building potential and whether or not they'll qualify.

On the other hand, if you're looking to earn rewards, go for the most lucrative card you can get. As long as you're sure you'll always pay your balance off in full, you don't have to worry much about the interest rate.

3. DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF REWARDS TO EARN

If rewards are a priority for you, you still have to decide what type of rewards you'd like to earn. Cash back is the most versatile option, but cards that earn points often earn them at a higher rate — the question is whether or not you can make use of those points. Hotel points are best used on stays with that hotel chain, and airline miles are best used on flights with that airline, so only opt for a card that earns those if you frequent the respective hotel chain or airline. For those who travel but don't want to be confined to flying with one airline or staying with one hotel chain, a rewards system that offers flexible points might be the answer.

4. CONFIRM EARNING CATEGORIES ARE A FIT

Many rewards credit cards earn additional points or cash back on certain bonus spending categories, like travel, dining, gas or supermarkets. Make sure to choose a card that offers a high rewards rate on your main spending categories. This might require going into your bank account or budget to figure out where most of your money goes. If your spending tends to be irregular, a flat-rate credit card might be better for you.

5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A LARGE WELCOME OFFER

Credit card sign-up bonuses, or welcome bonuses, are an excellent way to earn big rewards in a short period of time. Some welcome bonuses offer cash, while others offer airline miles, hotel points, or flexible points, so make sure you'll get use out of what's on the table. It's important to prioritize cards that are a good fit regardless of any welcome offer, but if it comes with a generous sign-up bonus, that certainly doesn't hurt.

6. DETERMINE IF YOU WANT FLEXIBLE REWARDS

Many people will prefer flexible points over airline miles or hotel points. Cards that offer flexible redemption options usually allow you to redeem points in many different ways or with a long list of transfer partners rather than with one specific brand. That being said, co-branded credit cards that earn rewards with one specific airline, hotel or other partner can be more lucrative for those who are highly brand-loyal.

7. CONSIDER TRANSFER PARTNERS

Credit cards that earn flexible points often allow you to transfer your points to a long list of transfer partners for added versatility. These transfer partners typically include popular hotel and airline loyalty programs. If you plan out your reward travel strategically, these transfer options can yield more value per point than any other redemption option.

8. WEIGH ADDITIONAL PERKS

While rewards and interest rates are a big concern, it's also worth considering some peripheral benefits. Some credit cards come with a long list of protections and insurances that can save you lots of money and hassle, including price protection, purchase protection, cellphone insurance, rental car insurance and travel insurance. Premium cards tend to offer the best protections, along with VIP perks like airport lounge access, concierge services and valuable memberships.

How to compare a no-annual-fee vs. an annual fee credit card

Frequent travelers and high spenders might even want to consider whether a premium credit card is worth the high annual fee.

While annual fee credit cards cost money to keep, they also tend to come with better benefits and rewards that might save you more money than they cost. If you use a credit card often and choose one that aligns with your spending habits, it might be preferable to opt for a card that has an annual fee. If you're looking at a no-annual-fee credit card, it's smart to do the math before applying to make sure the annual fee version wouldn't be more lucrative.

The table below compares the no-annual-fee and annual fee versions of Capital One's popular Venture credit cards. For someone who spends $20,000 in the first year, that person would earn $355 more with the Capital One Venture than what they'd earn with the card's no-annual-fee counterpart.

No-annual-fee card
Annual fee card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Earning rateUnlimited 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Rewards earned ($20,000 in purchases per year)$20,000 x 1.25% = $250$20,000 x 2% = $400
Sign-up bonusEarn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travelEnjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
Annual fee$0$95
Total rewards in first year (minus annual fee)$450$1,055
Other benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Extended warranty
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Extended warranty
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website

How to maximize a no-annual-fee credit card

  1. Avoid carrying a balance: The primary reason to get a no-annual-fee credit card is so the card itself doesn't cost you any money. You won't want to pay high interest rates for carrying a balance on your card, ultimately defeating the purpose.
  2. Always pay your bill on time: If you pay your balance off in full and on time each month, your no-annual-fee credit card won't incur extra charges. However, you'll face interest charges if you carry a balance, as well as additional fees like late fees and balance transfer fees. Credit cards come with high interest rates and late fees, and paying those fees on a regular basis outweighs any benefits or rewards offered by the card.
  3. Utilize your bonus categories: If your credit card offers rewards, you can maximize them by using it as often as possible, particularly for purchases that fall under your credit card's bonus categories.
  4. Consider a card with a low interest APR period: Credit cards with 0% intro APR offers are best used by taking advantage of the interest-free period but paying off the balance before that period ends.
  5. Know your benefits: Read through your card's benefits guide, which can typically be found online. You might find some perks you weren't aware of that can help you make the most out of your credit card.

If you're able to manage multiple cards at once, it's advantageous to own both a no-annual-fee card with a card with an annual fee.

For example:

Let's say that you own the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, while the Chase Freedom Unlimited® lets you Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases

For dining and travel purchases, you will pay with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. For everything else — such as retail, grocery or gas purchases — you'll pay with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Both cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, so you can transfer all points earned with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you'll earn a 25% redemption bonus for booking travel, or you can transfer your points to 14 loyalty programs.

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If you don’t want to pay an annual fee on your credit card, you definitely don’t have to. Whether you’re all about cash back, travel or any other types of rewards, no-annual-fee options are likely available for you. Those rewards offers may not be as rich as the ones offered by those high-annual-fee cards, but there are still plenty of good deals to be had.

Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at ValuePenguin

FAQs about no-annual-fee credit cards

An annual fee is a membership fee, you pay once a year to keep your credit card. If your card does not charge an annual fee, you do not have to pay to own it. Not all credit cards charge an annual fee, and those that do typically offer additional rewards and benefits.

Owning a no-annual-fee card can help you build credit and learn responsible credit habits — all while earning valuable rewards on your everyday purchases. While credit cards with annual fees offer better benefits, people trying to minimize their costs will fare well with just a no-annual-fee card.

Cards with no annual fees may come with fewer perks depending on the card. For example, an airline card with a $95 annual fee may come with free checked bags or priority boarding, while its no-annual-fee version may come with neither of those perks. Therefore, you'll want to make sure that you're willing to give up these benefits by switching.

A great no-annual-fee card will come with a sign-up bonus, the ability to earn and redeem rewards and fraud and liability protection. Some will even include complimentary trip insurance. Plenty of cards with no annual fees offer an introductory APR offer. You'll want to pay attention to the ongoing APR, since this is the rate you'll have to pay if you ever miss a payment.

No-annual-fee cards come in all shapes and sizes. You can get a cashback card, general travel rewards card, hotel card, airline card, store card and more.

Credit cards with annual fees can be worth it if you use your credit card often and will take full advantage of the perks and rewards that come with it. Do the math to figure out how much you'd earn each year in rewards, and then subtract the annual fee to figure out if an annual fee credit card is right for you.

Even when your credit card comes with a ton of benefits, you may find yourself not using them as much as you originally thought. Instead of canceling your card, downgrading your card is a solid option to consider. For example, if you opened a travel credit card and haven't flown because of the pandemic, you should downgrade to a no-annual-fee card from the same issuer. This ensures that you keep any points or miles that you've already earned.

Credit card benefits cost credit card issuers money, so cards that offer valuable perks and rewards typically come with an annual fee to offset costs. For example, annual fees can help a credit card issuer cover the cost of offering big welcome bonuses, robust travel protections, partner rewards and premium memberships.

If your annual earnings in credit card rewards and benefits are notably greater than the card's annual fee, then you should pay the annual fee on a credit card. If you decide that the benefits and rewards aren't worth the cost of the annual fee, you'll need to either close the credit card or downgrade to a no-annual-fee version to avoid being charged.

The best cards with no annual fee offer benefits that align with your needs. That might be a secured credit card with a low security deposit if you're building credit, or a 0% intro APR credit card with a long introductory period if you're paying off debt or financing a purchase. If you're just looking to earn rewards, the best credit cards with no annual fee are those that offer high-value rewards that match your spending habits.

Sometimes it is possible to have your credit card annual fee waived by simply calling your credit card issuer and asking them to waive it. They might say no, but they might offer to waive the annual fee for a year in order to retain you as a customer. Some credit cards automatically have a $0 annual fee for the first year, which makes them a good option for folks who want to try out a better rewards card but aren't sure if the annual fee is worth it.

If your credit card's annual fee isn't waived in the first year, you'll pay the annual fee on your first credit card statement. Subsequent annual fees will typically be charged to your account on or close to the anniversary date on which you opened the credit card.

Many credit cards waive the annual fee for military members thanks to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Chase offers reduced or waived interest and fees on their credit cards for active-duty servicemembers.

You can determine your eligibility through the SRCA website. If you're eligible, contact your credit card issuer to find out if they offer any reduced or waived fees for you.

There are some Visa Signature cards with no annual fee. Visa Signature cards come with more robust benefits, from zero-liability policies, warranty protection and roadside and emergency assistance to a long list of travel insurances and perks. The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card and the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card are Visa Signature cards with no annual fee.

Methodology

To help you choose from the best no-annual-fee credit cards, we looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin, as well as cards on major issuer sites, in an effort to compare them. From there, we based our recommendations on the following criteria:

Rewards

While not all no-annual-fee credit cards offer rewards, we gave preference to ones that do. After an initial study period, we compared credit cards with no annual fee based on their cash back or rewards rates, as well as the average value of the sign-up bonus they offer.

APR

We gave preference to no-annual-fee cards that offer 0% APR for purchases, balance transfers or both for a limited time. We also compared cards based on their ongoing variable APRs, giving ones with more affordable rates a better score.

Additional perks and benefits

We also looked for cards that offer travel and purchase protections, as well as other cardholder perks.

Cardholder fees

While we only considered no-annual-fee credit cards for this ranking, we looked for and compared other fees like foreign transaction fees, cash advance fees and balance transfer fees. From there, we selected cards whose additional fees aren’t overly expensive or impossible to avoid.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here

For rates and fees of Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here

The information related to Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, Discover it® Cash Back, Discover it® Secured Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Credit Card and U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).