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No Annual Fee Credit Cards: Best of Fall 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website
Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent/Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Secured

On Discover's Secure Website
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • 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 rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • 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 rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
24.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
New/Rebuilding
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
On Citi's Secure Website

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
Annual Fee
$0*
Regular APR
16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
On Capital One's Secure Website

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

On Capital One's Secure Website
One time bonus of $200 once you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 22.74% (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Student Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website
Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.74% - 23.74%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.74% - 23.74%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 23.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Fair/New to Credit
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
On Citi's Secure Website

Citi® Double Cash Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
On Chase's Secure Website

Chase Freedom®

On Chase's Secure Website
Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74 - 25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74 - 25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}
On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website
Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent/Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Secured

On Discover's Secure Website
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • 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 rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • 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 rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
24.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
New/Rebuilding
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
Annual Fee
$0*
Regular APR
16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

On Capital One's Secure Website

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

On Capital One's Secure Website
One time bonus of $200 once you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 22.74% (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Student Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website
Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.74% - 23.74%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.74% - 23.74%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 23.74% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Fair/New to Credit
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi® Double Cash Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

On Chase's Secure Website

Chase Freedom®

On Chase's Secure Website
Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74 - 25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74 - 25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

1. Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back offers the best cash back rewards available for cards without an annual fee. Cardholders can earn an excellent 5% cash back on categories that change every three months, for up to $1,500 in purchases (activation required)—a substantial step up from the meager 1.5% to 2.0% cash back rate offered by most other cards.

These are common categories such as gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, which is convenient as people won't have to go out of their way to achieve a high rewards rate. For 2019, the categories include grocery stores (January-March), gas stations, Uber & Lyft (April-June), restaurants and PayPal (July-September), Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com (October-December).

Discover ups the ante by automatically matching all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, which is a perk that's unparalleled by other no annual fee cards and has the potential to be more valuable than any existing sign-up bonus. So, if by then end of your first year with the card you've earned $250 in cash back rewards, you'll receive an additional $250.

This benefit effectively allows you to receive up to 10% cash back on the card's rotating categories for the first year of card membership—it’s a hard rate to match for any card. The card also lacks many of the additional fees that often plague so called 'no fee' cards, like foreign transaction fees and fees for spending over your credit limit, making it a great choice for applicants who are price-conscious.

2. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Backpackers, road warriors and even the occasional traveler will find that the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is the top travel card without an annual fee thanks to its industry leading 3% rewards rate on travel and transit purchases. Many other no annual fee cards define "travel" as strictly airfare and hotel purchases, which is why the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card's has caught the attention of many travelers. That's because this card allows cardholders to get an excellent 3% rewards rate on loosely-related travel purchases, like car rentals and gas station purchases, making it the most well-rounded travel card.

As an example of how comprehensive its rewards are, let's assume you were planning a trip to Seattle and needed to rent a car: In this scenario, you'd earn an outstanding 3% rewards rate on your plane ticket, Avis rental, hotel stay and gas station purchases when using the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card. There is simply no other no annual fee card that comes close to matching this high of a rewards rate across so many different types of travel purchases.

The card even comes in handy when you're not traveling, as its excellent 3% rewards rate extends to restaurants. This is a rather unique feature among no annual fee cards and a great one when you when you consider how many Americans subscribe to Hulu and Netflix. Overall, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers cardholders the best travel rewards that are available without having to pay an annual fee.

The information related to the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

3. Discover it® Secured

The Discover it® Secured is the best choice for people with limited credit because it has a high rewards rate on top of not charging an annual fee. It's worth noting that this card offers the best rewards among available secured cards. The card requires cardholders to make a refundable security deposit of at least $200, which is a standard feature when compared to competing cards.

Once you make the deposit, you'll earn a respectable 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 each quarter—a stark contrast to most other secured cards that don't offer any rewards. Up to that ceiling, the cash earned will be comparable to cards requiring higher credit scores.

Beyond rewarding you for everyday purchases, Discover has a feature that matches all the cash earned at the end of your first year. For instance, consumers who manage to get $200 in cash back rewards in their first year of card membership would receive an additional $200. Considering that most secured cards don't offer sign-up bonuses, this is the best replacement for one that's currently available across all secured cards.

4. Citi Simplicity® Card

The Citi Simplicity® Card is our top no-annual-fee choice for applicants who are searching for low cost short term financing, or looking to execute a balance transfer. That's because the Citi Simplicity® Card has a 0% intro APR period that is a few months longer than most competing cards—it stands at 12 months on purchases and 21 months on balance transfers. After that, 16.49% - 26.49%* (Variable) applies.

Most of the time if a card offers a 0% intro APR period, it will be for either purchases or balance transfers. While having both isn't necessary for most applicants, it's a nice option to have and shows why the Citi Simplicity® Card is at the head of its class. The promotional rate makes it a great pick for anyone who is struggling with credit card debt, as they'll be able to start chipping away at their credit card bill without having to worry about an annual fee or interest charges for the promotional period.

Another feature worth mentioning on the Citi Simplicity® Card is its lack of a late payment fee. It's fairly typical for a card to penalize you with a $35 fee every time you fail to make a payment on time. While we always recommend cardholders to pay on time, this is a great safety net to have as small fees can quickly add up and make it difficult to make progress when you're paying down existing debt.

5. Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business is the leading no annual fee card for business owners who want great cash back rewards without a complex structure. The card is the best in its category since it effectively grants companies a 1.5% discount on everything. Cards that offer a similar rewards rate often impose spending caps or have rotating categories. The simplicity of the card's unlimited 1.5% cash back is what makes this card attractive to business owners.

Keep in mind that companies that spend more than $19,000 per year on their credit card will be better off with the annual fee version of the card. That's because the $95 annual fee version, or the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, rewards users with a superior 2% cash back rate. Regardless, both cards share the same simple rewards structure and are the best cards for business owners looking to earn cash back.

6. Discover it® Student Cash Back

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is our top no annual fee pick for students for two reasons: it's easy to qualify for and it offers a high rewards rate. The Discover it® Student Cash Back shares the same rewards that makes the Discover it® Cash Back our overall winner. The card allows students to earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, for up to $1,500 in purchases (activation required), which is much higher than the standard 1.5% to 2.0% offered by competing cards.

Furthermore, the card's rotating calendar for 2019 aligns well with the student budget. For 2019, the categories include grocery stores (January-March), gas stations, Uber & Lyft (April-June), restaurants and PayPal (July-September), Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com (October-December).

Most other cards geared towards college students impose costly fees rather than rewards. For instance, some cards come with annual fees and foreign transaction fees. Furthermore, a lot of these cards are secured, meaning they'll require a commitment of a few hundred dollars up front before you can even get the card. The Discover it® Student Cash Back is also one of the few cards to waive your late fee on your first missed payment.

7. Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a great cash back card, as it offers 1% cash back on purchases and another 1% cash back as you pay for said purchases. However, in terms of rewards, it's slightly less rewarding in comparison to the Discover it® Cash Back, which is why we ranked it this low. That's because it doesn't take much spending in the Discover it® Cash Back's bonus categories to outearn the Citi® Double Cash Card. Even in the short-term the Discover it® Cash Back comes out ahead due to Discover matching all the cash back you earn in the first year. However, the Citi® Double Cash Card is a great card for people who don't want to bother with tracking rotating categories.

8. Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® offers similarly lucrative 5% rotating categories to the Discover it® Cash Back. And while the Chase Freedom® offers a sign-up bonus, it's only worth $150. Ultimately, Discover's cashback match for the first year of card membership will make the Discover it® Cash Back far more lucrative for someone looking to maximize cash back rewards. Prospective applicants strongly considering either of these cards should read our comprehensive comparison guide.

Summary of the best no annual fee cards

How to select the best no annual fee credit card

The first filter we’d suggest is whether you carry balances over each month. Anyone who carries a balance on their credit card and is struggling to make a dent on their bill due to the high cost of credit card interest should be searching for a credit card that excels in balance transfers. A balance transfer allows you to take the balance from one card and transfer it to another. Assuming the card has no balance transfer fee, or a small one, transferring your balance to a card with a lower APR will save you money on interest. The best cards will offer a 0% intro APR period for 12 months or longer, giving you ample time to start cutting into your debt without incurring interest charges.

Someone with bad credit or a limited credit history should focus on trying to improve their credit score before applying for a no annual fee card with superior rewards. That's because many no annual fee cards, particularly those that offer high rewards rates, are strictly for applicants with good or excellent credit. Thankfully, secured credit cards offer a method through which to improve your credit score while still earning some rewards. Many of these cards require a security deposit, but often allow you to 'graduate' to an unsecured credit line after showing financial responsibility through on-time payments. Once you move on from an unsecured card, you'll be able to earn your initial deposit back.

While students often have a limited credit history, they tend to have more options than a non-student applicant with the same credit. That's because there are specific credit cards that are targeted towards students. These are usually the best option for students since they offer a middle ground between cards that require excellent credit and secured cards meant for those with bad credit.

The simplest option for most people interested in earning rewards through a credit card without an annual fee will be a cash back card. You should be searching for cards that have a rewards rate of at least 1.5%. Most cash back cards will offer a flat cash back rate for all purchases, say 1.5%. However, the top cash back cards have categories, like restaurant and grocery purchases, that will allow you to earn bonus cash back, typically 5% in total. While these cards offer lower cash back rates on all other purchases, they provide the highest upside thanks to the bonus cash back in certain categories.

People who spend more than $1,000 per month on their card would be better off with a card that actually charges an annual fee. That's because at this threshold of spending, the rewards you earn will more than likely offset a card's annual fee. Anyone who spends this much should read our recommendations on the best rewards credit cards.

How we selected the best no annual fee credit card

Over the course of a few weeks, our team analyzed over 160 credit cards that come without an annual fee. After carefully evaluating each card, we came to the conclusion that there is no single 'best' no annual fee card because cardholders have varied needs. For instance, some users may be interested in travel, while others may be searching for a secured card. This conclusion led to us selecting six different cards as the best no annual fee credit cards of 2019. The cards that we selected had the highest rewards, the most staying power, valuable bonuses and other worthwhile perks and benefits.

Since not every card feature can be quantified, we made the conscious decision to measure certain features based on how useful we deemed them to be. For instance, some cards offer cardholders the ability to check their FICO credit score, but it's a feature that has been replicated many times over. Therefore, while this would still be a net positive for the card in question, this specific feature wouldn't hold as much weight as another more unique feature may. Furthermore, no decision was made by a single person, as each was discussed by our in-house team of credit card experts.

Aside from our own internal analysis, we examined the recommendations set forth by our competitors. We wanted to make sure that we considered varied viewpoints. We also scoured the internet for popular credit card forums to see if any card had an unusually large number of complaints from cardholders. This allowed us to avoid recommending cards that seemed like good choices, but fell flat due to something that's not immediately measurable through analysis.

Fees: While all of our top recommended cards have no annual fee, we also considered other types of fees, like foreign transaction fees and balance transfer fees. These types of fees were more critical in certain categories than in others. For instance, in the travel category, the presence of a foreign transaction fee is a huge detriment to a card since it essentially negates any rewards you earn when you make purchases outside of the U.S.

Rewards rate: Our search for the best no annual fee cards was focused on finding cards that provided cardholders the greatest value. Since none of the cards we evaluated have an annual fee, a large portion of their value is driven by the rewards they offer its users. We determined that most prospective applicants would be able to qualify for cards that offer a rewards rate of at least 1.5%. Therefore, we gave preference to cards that were able to meet this threshold.

Staying power: Our selections favored long-term utility over short-term rewards. While it's true that short-term rewards can boost a card's value over the first few years, our selections were made under the assumption that our readers would be applying for a card and holding onto it for several years. Therefore, cards with higher rewards rates took front stage when compared to those that come with higher sign-up bonuses.

Sign-up bonus: While sign-up bonuses weren't weighed as heavily as an on-going rewards rate, these bonuses still greatly impacted our best list. Generally, we favored sign-up bonuses that had smaller spending requirements since this means they're also more accessible to a larger number of people.

Other perks: Our in-depth analysis of no annual fee cards also took into consideration any unique perks a card may have. This also allowed us to determine whether any of the cards we analyzed were missing a critical feature. While we considered these 'other' perks and benefits carefully, most of the time they were used as a way to break a tie between closely matched cards.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the common questions about credit cards with no annual fee.

What does it mean if a credit card has no annual fee?

Typically, a credit card classified as "no annual fee" does not require that you pay a lump sum each year to receive the benefits and privileges of using the card. However, cards that are marketed as having no annual fee can have other kinds of fees, like late payment fees, interest charges and balance transfer fees. It's always important to review a card's terms and conditions before applying.

Is it good if a credit card has no annual fee?

Credit cards without an annual fee aren't necessarily better than those without one. This is because most cards with an annual fee provide extra benefits to incentivize card membership, like attractive spending bonuses and airport lounge access. However, if you're new to the world of credit cards, we suggest starting with a no annual fee card to build your credit and learn good credit management skills.

When would I want a credit card with an annual fee?

Once you've demonstrated that you can pay your bills on time and maintain a low balance, then you may want to consider a rewards credit card with an annual fee. These types of cards can be rewarding for moderate-to-high spenders who want to get travel rewards or cash back on certain categories of spending.

Yowana Wamala

Yowana is a former product analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in credit cards, rewards programs and travel. He previously covered mortgages, banking and insurance for the website. Yowana graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.

Comments and Questions

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).