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These Are the Best Travel Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

If you travel regularly, there's no reason for you to miss out on all the rewards and perks offered by travel credit cards—and there are hundreds of options available to travelers today.

But because of annual fees, many of these cards won't be economical for people with low to moderate monthly budgets. We scoured our list of cards to find the best travel credit cards with no annual fee, so you can earn miles without worrying about whether you're earning enough to justify your credit card account.

Recommended Cards

Best ForCredit Needed
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® CardRewardsGood/Excellent
Discover it® Miles
Discover it® MilesGeneral SpendingGood/Excellent
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for BusinessBusiness TravelGood/Excellent
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit CardHotelsGood/Excellent

Continue reading to learn about the terms and benefits of each no-fee credit card. You can also head to our tool at the bottom of the page to compare how each card works for your budget.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Card for Rewards

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is one of the best credit cards for travel with no annual fee, due to its high rewards rate for a broad range of spending categories.

3x Points

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers one of the highest rewards rates of any no-fee credit card for gas station, restaurant and travel spending. You'll earn 3 points for every dollar you spend in these categories, including hotel reservations, vehicle rentals and ridesharing services. All spending outside of bonus categories will earn you 1 point per $1 spent.

Sign-Up Bonus

Currently, Wells Fargo is offering a solid 30,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 with the card within the first three months of opening your account. These points can be redeemed for a $300 travel credit.

The information related to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Card for General Spending

On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Miles

On Discover's Secure Website
Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match™ details & other information.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
APR
14.24% - 25.24% 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."}

The Discover it® Miles is a great no-fee travel credit card for general spending.

Decent Rewards

Although it doesn't match the rewards offered by the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card, the Discover it® Miles offers a decent 1.5 miles for every $1 you spend, regardless of the spending category or how much you spend. This may appeal to people who don't think they'll spend as much in the categories outlined by other cards.

This is also a higher rewards rate than the card's cash-back counterpart, the Discover it® Cash Back card, which yields just 1% back for general spending.

Double Your Miles

At the end of your first year, Discover will double all of the miles you've earned over the course of the year, meaning your effective rewards rate for the first 12 months is actually 3 miles per $1 spent. For example, if you spend $1,000 each month to earn 18,000 miles by the end of year one, Discover will credit your account with 18,000 bonus miles, which can be redeemed for a $180 credit—all in addition to the miles you've already earned.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Card for Businesses

On Capital One's Secure Website

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

On Capital One's Secure Website
One time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 1.5 miles per $1 on every purchase
  • Plus, a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 15.24% - 23.24% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • Get online Quarterly and Year-End Summaries
  • There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One and is not part of our independent analysis.

  • Earn 1.5 miles per $1 on every purchase
  • Plus, a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 15.24% - 23.24% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • Get online Quarterly and Year-End Summaries
  • There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
Annual Fee
$0
APR
15.24% - 23.24% (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."}

The Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business is a solid no-fee travel card for small businesses. However, you should compare it with other Capital One business credit cards to find the most flexible option for your needs.

Rewards Rates

With the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business, you'll earn 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend, regardless of spending categories. This enables your company to earn decent rewards while building your business credit score.

However, if you're interested in a Capital One business card, you should consider the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, which offers the same rewards rate with more flexible redemption options.

Sign-Up Bonus

If you spend $3,000 within three months of opening your account, you'll receive a 20,000-point sign-up bonus, worth a $200 credit toward travel purchases. This is a pretty good introductory bonus, but only if you think you'll spend enough to earn the reward.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Card for Hotel Points

On Capital One's Secure Website

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website
Receive 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 14.24%-24.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One and is not part of our independent analysis.

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 14.24%-24.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Annual Fee
$0
APR
14.24% - 24.24% (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."}

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is a subpar travel card when it comes to general spending. However, if you take advantage of its hotel program, you can earn excellent rewards.

Low Rewards Rate—Except for Hotels

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card will earn you a low 1.25 miles per $1 spent on travel, transportation and vacation expenses, making it one of the poorer offers on this page. If you want a Capital One card with a higher rewards rate, you'd be better off going with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which will earn you the standard 1.5% rewards rate on all spending.

However, there is one area where the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card excels: hotel reservations. If you use your card to book hotel reservations through hotels.com/Venture, you can earn a staggering 10 miles per $1 spent. So if you anticipate a lot of road trips and hotel stays in your near future, this is a card to consider.

Welcome Offer

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers a very attainable welcome offer. If you spend more than $1,000 within three months of opening your account, Capital One will credit your account with 20,000 bonus miles, which can be redeemed for a $200 travel credit.

Credit Card Comparison Tool

Anyone searching for travel credit cards with no annual fee should base their decision on their monthly spending habits. This comparison tool will help you do that. Click edit on the right-hand side of the tool and input your estimated monthly expenses, then see how each card will perform for you over the next two years.

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Daniel Caughill

Daniel is a Staff Writer at ValuePenguin, covering insurance, retirement and other personal finance topics. He previously wrote about compliance and best practices for K-12 school districts at Frontline Education.

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.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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).