No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards: Best of Fall 2020

No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards: Best of Fall 2020

No-annual-fee credit cards can pack a lot of value. From sign-up bonuses and rewards, to introductory 0% APR offers, we've compiled our list of top no-annual-fee cards for many types of cardholders.

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.

Citi is an advertising partner

While many of the best credit cards charge an annual fee, there's still no shortage of no-annual fee-credit cards that are packed with perks and high-value rewards. You can find lucrative cashback credit cards, high-powered travel credit cards, 0% intro APR credit cards and even credit cards for bad credit that charge no annual fee.

We developed this list by scouring credit card offers from top issuers and evaluating no annual fee credit cards on ValuePenguin. Whether you're looking to cut down on fees or dip your toes into the world of rewards credit cards, these are the best no annual fee credit cards of 2020.

Best no annual fee credit cards 2020

Recommended cardBest for ...Credit required
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® cardTravelExcellent/Good
Citi® Double Cash Card
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offerRewardsExcellent
Discover it® Secured
Discover it® Secured Credit CardBad creditLimited/Bad/Poor
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express CardAirlineExcellent/Good
Apply Now
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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressAmerican ExpressExcellent/Good
Apply Now
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Discover it® Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back Credit CardCash backExcellent/Good
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®ChaseExcellent/Good
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card0% APRExcellent
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Hilton Honors American Express CardHotelExcellent/Good
Apply Now
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Recommended card
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
Apply Now
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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Apply Now
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Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Apply Now
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Compare no-annual-fee credit cards | What is a no-annual-fee credit card? | Annual fee vs. no-annual-fee | How to choose | How to maximize | FAQs

Best travel credit card with no annual fee

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value

Our thoughts:

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is a versatile metal credit card that's ideal for jet-setters who want to save money on travel but aren't ready to pay an annual fee. You'll Earn 3X points on eating out, ordering in and popular streaming services, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases. So, whether you're traveling or staying close to home, you're earning big. Plus, this is one of few no-annual-fee credit cards that don't charge a foreign transaction fee, making it perfect for international trips.

When it comes to redeeming your points, you can use them for a variety of travel purchases in the Go Far® Rewards portal. If you're not interested in taking a vacation, you can also cash points in for cash back or gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Benefits:

  • Generous welcome bonus.
  • Earn 3X points on eating out, ordering in and popular streaming services, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
  • Intro APR of 0% for 12 months on qualifying balance transfers and 0% for 12 months on purchases, helping you save money and pay off debt (the regular APR is 14.49% to 24.99% (Variable)).
  • Cellphone protection covers eligible cell phones for up to $600 in damage or theft.
  • No foreign transaction fees, so you avoid additional charges while traveling internationally.

Drawbacks:

  • The ongoing APR is high, making this card a poor choice if you're going to carry a balance.
  • You're not eligible for the welcome bonus or introductory APR if you opened any Wells Fargo credit card in the last 15 months.

Best rewards credit card with no annual fee

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • On Citibank's Secure Website
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Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

Our thoughts:

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is one of the best cashback cards if you're looking for an easy, one-size-fits-all option. You'll Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. This is one the highest rewards rates you can get for no annual fee.

This card doesn't come with a welcome bonus, but it does come with one of the best balance transfer offers, so it's also excellent for paying off debt quickly. You'll get an intro APR of 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers (13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) APR thereafter). While you'll have to pay a balance transfer fee of 3% on the transferred balance, this offer is still loaded with money-saving potential.

Benefits:

  • Earn the same high rate of cash back on every purchase.
  • Cashback rewards are simple to redeem.
  • Long intro 0% APR on balance transfers, making this one of the best cards for paying off debt interest-free.

Drawbacks:

  • No welcome bonus.
  • You'll pay a fee on balance transfers.
  • Charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made abroad.

Best for bad credit

Discover it® Secured credit card

Discover it® Secured
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Matches all cash back earned in your first card membership, for new cardholders.

Our thoughts:

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is designed for people with bad credit who want to improve their score by making a series of on-time credit card payments. You'll have to pay a security deposit of at least $200 with this card, and your deposit acts as your credit limit.

While you might be able to find a secured card with a lower minimum security deposit, this one comes with a host of other benefits. You'll get automatic monthly reviews starting just eight months in to see if you're eligible to graduate to an unsecured Discover credit card. You'll also get access to your free credit score, which is important to check regularly while building credit. Finally, this is one of few secured credit cards to offer rewards. Not only do you earn cash back, but the card also comes with a generous cashback matching offer.

Benefits:

  • You'll earn 2% back on dining and gas (on first $1,000 in purchases each quarter, then 1%) and 1% back on other purchases.
  • Unlimited cash back match on everything you earn in the first year.
  • Free FICO® Score helps you track your credit-building progress.
  • Possibility of graduating to an unsecured card in as little as eight months.
  • Low credit limit helps you avoid falling into debt while still building credit with responsible use.

Drawbacks:

  • Requires a refundable security deposit of at least $200.
  • Your credit limit is equal to your security deposit, and you can't access a larger credit line until you graduate to an unsecured card.

Best airline credit card with no annual fee

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

$0

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • NEW! Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • NEW! No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • 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.
  • Terms Apply.
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Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Our thoughts:

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is a good starter card for folks looking to get their feet wet in the world of airline credit cards, particularly if you prefer to fly Delta or want to try out the Delta SkyMiles program. It comes with a fair welcome bonus, and you'll earn double miles on dining and Delta purchases.

For a flexible redemption option, you can save $50 on your next Delta flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem through the Pay with Miles option, getting you 1 cent per mile. That being said, a good flat-rate cashback card will be more lucrative than that. Frequent flyers will get more value from one of Delta's credit cards with an annual fee.

Benefits:

  • Generous welcome bonus.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants, now worldwide. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees, making it a good option for international travel.

Drawbacks:

  • Low rewards rate.
  • Ongoing APR is high, so you don't want to carry a balance on this card.
  • Limited airline perks.
  • Terms apply

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

Best American Express credit card with no annual fee

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

$0

13.99%-23.99% Variable

Good/Excellent

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Earn $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Our thoughts:

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%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.

Don't expect a lot of extra benefits aside from the cash back, but this is an excellent everyday card — hence the name.

Benefits:

  • Generous welcome bonus.
  • Earn bonus cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores.
  • Intro APR of N/A can save you money (N/A thereafter).
  • Terms apply

Drawbacks:

  • The ongoing APR is high, so don't plan to carry a balance.
  • Spending limit on cash back earnings at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Terms apply

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

Best cashback credit card

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Matches all cash back earned at the end of your first year, for new card members.

Our thoughts:

The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card offers a whopping 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories up to a $1,500 quarterly maximum. These often include major expenses, such as groceries, gas stations and restaurants, so the opportunities to earn big are endless.

Discover 2020 cashback categories

January-MarchApril-JuneJuly-SeptemberOctober-December
Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVSGas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubsRestaurants and PayPalAmazon.com, Target and Walmart.com

On top of that, Discover will match all the cash back you earn in your first year at the end of the year. There's no welcome bonus, but if you spend a lot, the cashback matching offer might be more lucrative.

Benefits:

  • Cashback matching on all your earnings in the first year.
  • Earn 5% back on rotating bonus categories you activate, up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter. Earn 1% back on other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Score.

Drawbacks:

  • Quarterly spending limit on cash back.
  • No welcome bonus.

Best Chase credit card with no annual fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$0

14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
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Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Our thoughts:

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is an excellent flat-rate cashback credit card that's loaded with extra perks. In addition to the card's unlimited cashback rate and generous sign-up bonus, you'll also get 5% back at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 in spending for the first 12 months. Partner benefits include three complimentary months of DashPass, which gets you discounts on food delivery with DoorDash, and 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022. If you have one of Chase's Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards, you can also convert your cash back to points that can be redeemed for travel at a higher value.

Benefits:

  • Generous cash bonus.
  • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • Earn extra cash back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores in the first 12 months.
  • Intro APR of 14.99 - 23.74% Variable on purchases (14.99 - 23.74% Variable APR thereafter).
  • Partner benefits with DashPass and Lyft.

Drawbacks:

  • High ongoing APR, not good for carrying a balance.
  • No balance transfer offer.

Best Intro 0% APR card with no annual fee

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

  • On Citibank's Secure Website
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Intro APR of 0% for 18 months on Purchases and 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers (14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) APR thereafter)

Our thoughts:

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card doesn't come with a lot of bells and whistles, but if you're looking to do a balance transfer so you can pay off debt interest-free, this card is one of the best options. You'll get a lengthy introductory period to pay off your balance before the APR shoots up to the regular rate, and you can choose your payment due date for added flexibility.

You will have to pay a balance transfer fee, but the fee on this card is fairly standard and often worth it given the money you end up saving on interest. The main drawback of this credit card is the lack of a rewards program, making it less useful once the intro period ends.

Benefits:

  • Long introductory 0% offer for both balances and new purchases.
  • Choose your payment due date

Drawbacks:

  • No rewards.
  • You'll pay a Balance transfer fee applies with this offer: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum..
  • High regular APR, so you'll want to pay off your balance before the introductory period ends.

Best no-annual-fee hotel credit card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

$0

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and 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.
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Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases on your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Our thoughts:

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is one of the more generous travel rewards credit cards with $0 annual fee, especially if you like staying with Hilton. Even if you're just looking to try out the Hilton Honors rewards program, this card will get you complimentary Silver Elite status and help you accumulate Hilton points faster at no additional cost.

The welcome bonus is one of the most valuable for a no-annual-fee credit card, and the rewards rate is great, too. That being said, the rewards are only worthwhile when redeemed for stays at Hilton hotels, so you should be planning to stay with Hilton if you get this card. Most die-hard Hilton fans, on the other hand, would be better off with one of the brand's annual fee credit cards.

Benefits:

  • Generous welcome bonus.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands. Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Complimentary Silver Elite status.

Drawbacks:

  • Short list of hotel perks.
  • Several bonus spending categories only apply to U.S. establishments, so frequent international travelers won't earn as much.
  • Rewards are only good for Hilton stays if you want to maximize value.
  • Terms apply

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

Compare no-annual-fee credit cards

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What is a no-annual-fee credit card?

A no-annual-fee credit card is a credit card that doesn't charge any membership fees. Some credit cards charge an annual membership fee in exchange for better benefits or a more lucrative rewards structure. A credit card with no annual fee might not have a long list of perks, but you also don't have to pay to keep your account open.

Are no-annual-fee credit cards ‘free’?

A no-annual-fee credit card can be free of fees and interest charges, depending on how you use it. In most cases, if you pay your balance off in full and on time each month, your no-annual-fee credit card won't incur extra charges. Even if your card doesn't charge an annual fee, it likely still charges interest when you carry a balance, as well as additional fees like late fees and balance transfer fees.

Annual fee vs. no-annual-fee credit cards

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. Frequent travelers and high spenders might even want to consider whether a premium credit card is worth the high 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. For example, 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 "free" counterpart.

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 day2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Rewards earned ($20,000 in purchases per year)$20,000 x 1.25% = $250$20,000 x 2% = $400
Sign-up bonusOne-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening, equal to $200 in travelEarn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Annual fee$0$95
Total rewards in first year$450$805
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

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.

How do you intend to use the 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 out there, regardless of the rewards it offers. Folks who tend to carry a balance should prioritize a low interest rate over tantalizing perks, and 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.

What types of rewards do you want?

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 folks 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.

Earning categories

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.

Sign-up bonus

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.

Flexibility of redemption

Many people will prefer flexible rewards over niche credit cards with only one or two redemption options that make sense. 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 folks who are highly brand-loyal.

Transfer options

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.

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 premium version 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.

Other benefits

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.

Most credit cards now are zero liability and come with some fraud protection, but it's worth double-checking to make sure yours does. Having access to a free credit score, something that's provided by a handful of credit card issuers, can also be handy.

How to make the most of a no-annual-fee credit card

The best way to maximize the value of your no-annual-fee credit card is to avoid carrying a balance and always pay your bill on time. 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.

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. 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. Finally, 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.

What does ‘annual fee’ mean?

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

Are credit cards with annual fees worth it?

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.

Why do credit cards have annual fees?

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.

Should you pay the annual fee on a credit card?

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.

What are the best credit cards with no annual fee?

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.

Can I waive my credit card annual fee?

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 waive the 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.

When do you pay the annual credit card fee?

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.

Which credit cards waive the annual fee for military members?

Many credit cards waive the annual fee for military members thanks to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Both Chase and American Express offer reduced or waived interest and fees on their credit cards for active-duty servicemembers. Additionally, all of Discover's credit cards are no annual fee for everyone.

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.

Can you get a Visa Signature card with no annual fee?

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, the Wells Fargo® Visa Signature® Credit Card and the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card are all Visa Signature cards with no annual fee.

The information related to Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, Discover it® Secured and Discover it® Cash Back has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Elizabeth is a personal finance writer specializing in credit cards, student loans, financial planning, and small business. Her work has appeared on The Motley Fool, Business Insider, Yahoo! Finance, and Bankrate. She’s an avid credit card points collector and ex-business traveler who now enjoys frequent trips abroad for leisure.

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).