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Top no-annual-fee travel credit cards of 2022

Bank of America<sup>®</sup> Travel Rewards credit card

Generic card art

Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Blue American Express Card

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

Chase Freedom Unlimited<sup>®</sup>

On Chase's Secure Website

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A travel credit card doesn’t always mean you have to pay an annual fee. Our list of no-annual-fee travel credit cards allow you to earn rewards for hotels, airlines or other travel without charging you extra.

Compare the best no-annual-fee travel credit cards of 2022

Card
Welcome Offer
Credit Needed
Annual Fee
Best overall
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Generic card art
25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening660 - 850$0
Not available on ValuePenguin
Airline
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Blue American Express Card
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.720 - 850$0 See Rates & Fees.
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Travel insurance
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited<sup>®</sup>
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That’s 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.660 - 850$0
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Compare all cards

Welcome Offer

25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Credit Score Needed

660 - 850
720 - 850

Annual Fee

$0
Not available on ValuePenguin
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Best travel card with no annual fee

Bank of America<sup>®</sup> Travel Rewards credit card

Generic card art
Not available on ValuePenguin

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

$0

14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases

660 - 850

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire. 
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. 
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions. 
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout. 
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR offer ends, 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR will apply.
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 spent.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap. 
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Travel tip: Redeeming points for statement credit is easy with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. With the card’s flexible definition of travel expenses, you can redeem statement credit for baggage fees, dining and vacation rentals, in addition to hotels and flights.

Verdict

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is our top pick for a no-fee travel card because of its overall high earning rate and flexible points. With no foreign transaction fees and wide acceptance internationally, this card is also a great option to use when traveling abroad. The card provides the ability to earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.

Cardholders can redeem their points and pay themselves back with a statement credit for travel and dining purchases. Travel can not only include flights and hotels, but also ancillary purchases, such as baggage fees. Each point is worth 1 cent each.

The card is even better for existing Bank of America customers who are part of the Preferred Rewards program. This unique program offers a boost in points value and other exclusive banking benefits for those with a certain balance in their Bank of America and Merrill investment accounts. For example, if you have between $20,000 and $49,999 in these accounts, you’ll enjoy Gold status and enjoy a 25% boost in your rewards points. At the highest level — Platinum Honors — you'll receive a 75% boost in your rewards points.

  • Valuable sign-up bonus worth $250 (25,000 points * 1 cent)
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases (followed by an APR of 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases)
  • Flexible redemptions include baggage fees and vacation rentals, as well as airfare and hotels
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • High threshold to qualify for the Preferred Rewards program
  • No other way to increase the value of your points — points are worth 1 cent apiece at most for regular cardholders


Best airline credit card no annual fee

Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Blue American Express Card

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

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

$0

16.49%-25.49% Variable

720 - 850

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

Travel tip: To maximize the value of your card, use your Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card when eating out at restaurants.

Verdict

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is our top pick for best $0-annual-fee airlines card because of the relatively high value of SkyMiles and the size of Delta Air Lines’ network. This card is best for those who fly only a few times per year, but do so consistently on Delta. The SkyMiles program includes valuable partners in the SkyTeam alliance, like Air France-KLM and Korean Air. We found that SkyMiles have an average value of 1.3 cents each, a much better value than most currencies’ 1 cent each.

You'll Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. This rewards rate does fall flat compared to its competitors — still, keep in mind that SkyMiles tend to hold more value.

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

  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • SkyMiles often have a higher value than other rewards currencies
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply
  • Low welcome offer
  • American Express may not be accepted everywhere, especially when traveling internationally
  • Terms apply


Best credit card with no annual fee for travel insurance

Chase Freedom Unlimited<sup>®</sup>

On Chase's Secure Website

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

$0

15.24% - 23.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.24% - 23.99%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

Travel tip: The best way to get the most value out of your Chase Ultimate Reward points is to transfer them to Chase transfer partners. With 13-plus airline and hotel partners, your points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, which means you can travel the world and fly or stay for free.

Verdict

Offering travel insurance and reimbursement up to $6,000 per trip, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (and its sister card, the Chase Freedom Flex℠) is one of the few $0-annual-fee travel cards that offer trip protection. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card can work as an excellent cash back card. However, if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® becomes a travel credit card. The cash back you earn converts into valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, redeemable for flights and hotel stays.

Cardholders Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases The Chase Freedom Unlimited® also comes with an attractive sign-up bonus.

  • High sign-up bonus
  • 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months (followed by a 15.24% - 23.99% Variable APR)
  • Trip cancellation insurance up to $1,500 per person
  • Rental car insurance for collision and theft
  • In order to take full advantage of the Ultimate Rewards-earning potential of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you must also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card ($95 annual fee) or a Chase Sapphire Reserve® ($550 annual fee).
  • Charges a foreign transaction fee (3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars)


Best hotel rewards credit card with no annual fee

Hilton Honors American Express Card

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

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

$0

16.49%-25.49% Variable

660 - 850

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

Travel tip: With the Hilton Honors American Express Card, you can redeem your points for free hotel stays at Hilton properties. Point redemption amounts are dynamic, varying by location and time of year, so monitor prices to make sure you’re getting the most value you can.

Verdict

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a great $0-annual-fee hotel card due to its high earning rate and better-than-usual hotel benefits.

Cardholders can Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations AND 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. While Hilton Honors points are only worth about half the average rewards program point (0.5 cents each by our estimates), this is still an excellent earning rate for a no-annual-fee card.

A unique loyalty perk that comes with the Hilton Honors American Express Card is complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status (enrollment required), which grants you benefits like guaranteed discounts and late check-out. By spending $20,000 on purchases in a calendar year, you'll be granted Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment also required).

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

  • High welcome offer
  • Earn generous points on everyday earning categories, including U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Silver status (enrollment required)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply
  • American Express might not be accepted everywhere, especially when traveling internationally
  • Terms apply


Best Marriott card with no annual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Bold<sup>®</sup> Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

$0

16.24% - 23.24% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase®!
  • Earn up to 14X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status. Restrictions apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.

Travel tip: No-annual-fee hotel credit cards, like the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card, are great to pair with Chase Ultimate Rewards® or American Express Membership Rewards. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card becomes your primary way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and then if you need additional points to reserve a room, you can transfer your Amex or Chase points into Bonvoy points to make up the difference.

Verdict

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card is a popular choice as Marriott is the world's largest hotel brand. You'll Earn up to 14X total points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).. It's worth noting that each Marriott Bonvoy point is worth only 0.9 cents each, but points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your credit every 24 months.

Every year, you'll receive 15 elite night credits — this automatically qualifies you for Silver Elite status, which allows you to enjoy perks such as 10% more points on stays and priority late check-out. You can continue to be eligible for higher tiers of elite status the more you stay with Marriott.

  • Earn up to 14X total points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains). Plus, earn 1X point for all other purchases.
  • 15 elite night credits, qualifying you for Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • As a co-branded card issued by Chase, you are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule: if you’ve signed up for more than five credit cards in the past 24 months, your application will likely be denied.


Best United miles credit card with no annual fee

United Gateway℠ Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases, then 16.74% - 23.74% Variable APR. Learn more.

$0

16.74% - 23.74% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

Travel tip: United is part of the Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance in the world. With 26 partners, this allows you to use your United MileagePlus miles on luxurious airlines that predominantly fly to other parts of the world.

Verdict

The United Gateway℠ Card Is a solid option for frequent United flyers who want to avoid a card with an annual fee. Cardholders earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. While other airline cards offer limited bonus categories, the United Gateway℠ Card rewards users for routine purchases.

United MileagePlus miles are worth just 1.2 cents on average, but you can use them to book award tickets on Star Alliance airlines, such as ANA and Lufthansa Airlines. Lastly, you'll receive 25% back on United in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit.

  • 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 25% back on United in-flight purchases
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Mediocre sign-up bonus


Best American Airlines card with no annual fee

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

On Citibank's Secure Website

Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

$0

16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible mile earned from purchases
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 16.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Travel tip: Use your American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card when buying groceries, and you’ll earn 2x miles. With no limit to the amount of miles you can earn each year, this is a way to rack up miles for everyday expenses.

Verdict

Frequent American Airlines flyers should consider the $0-annual-fee American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card. You'll earn rewards through the AAdvantage loyalty program — this not only grants you access to American Airlines flights, but also to other airlines that are part of the oneworld alliance.

Cardholders Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases. While not necessarily the best offer, this card is best for beginner travelers that prefer American Airlines above other options.

Finally, cardholders enjoy a 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases when paying with this card. However, you won't want to use this card while abroad — you'll get hit with a 3% fee for each purchase.

  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Redeem miles through the AAdvantage program and access oneworld partners
  • 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases
  • Below-average sign-up bonus
  • Charges a foreign transaction fee (3%)
  • No free checked bag


Best JetBlue card with no annual fee

JetBlue Card

Generic card art
Not available on ValuePenguin

Earn 10,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening.

$0

15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food on JetBlue-operated flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip technology & $0 Fraud Liability protection

Travel tip: If you want to extend your points further and travel with others, consider JetBlue’s Points Pooling program. With Points Pooling, you can earn faster by combining your TrueBlue points with a group of friends or loved ones and then redeem them on travel together.

Verdict

The JetBlue Card is a top-notch pick for JetBlue flyers with a considerable rewards rate: Earn 3x points on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores and 1x points on all other purchases. These categories can help you earn TrueBlue points faster, and with one of the highest points value — 1.6 cents each — you could score some excellent deals by redeeming your points for JetBlue flights.

As an added perk, the JetBlue Card offers a 50% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases. This entry-level airline credit card is certainly worth taking a look at, as you'll enjoy $0 foreign transaction fees when making purchases abroad.

  • Earn 3x points on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • 50% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • No anniversary bonus or free checked bag, like its annual-fee counterpart, the JetBlue Plus


Best dining and travel card with no annual fee

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

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

$0

15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 15.24% - 25.24% variable APR after that
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

Travel tip: With high earning rates on dining and groceries, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great card to use while eating out when traveling.

Verdict

As a card that rewards 3% cash back on dining, groceries, streaming and entertainment, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card may not initially look like a travel credit card. But, this $0-annual-fee credit card could be a great bet for travel for a few reasons:

  • It rewards your spending when you’re going to restaurants or entertainment events while on vacation.
  • You can redeem your cash back as statement credit, which means you can use the rewards you earn to cover travel expenses or any other purchase.
  • It doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee.

Cardholders earn 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats. New cardholders can Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Earn 3% cash back on a wide variety of food purchases
  • Easily attainable sign-up bonus
  • 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months (followed by a 15.24% - 25.24% (Variable) APR)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Statement credit can be redeemed at any amount.
  • Travel expenses (airfare, hotels, baggage fees) earn only 1% cashback
  • Doesn’t accrue miles to use with Capital One's transfer partners or on Capital One Travel.


Honorable mention

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel

$0

15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 15.24% - 25.24% variable APR after that

Travel tip: Redeeming miles for statement credit on travel purchases is easy. You’ll select the eligible travel transaction and then use the Capital One Purchase Eraser to apply your statement credit.

Verdict

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers the ability to earn unlimited 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. While this isn't the best rewards rate — other cards can offer a 1.5% return — the huge benefit to this card is the access to Capital One’s transfer partners. You can transfer and redeem your miles on 15-plus travel loyalty programs, mostly at a 1:1 ratio.

But for simplicity, you still also have the option to redeem your miles for a statement credit on travel purchases.

  • Good sign-up bonus
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to Capital One's 15-plus loyalty programs
  • 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months (followed by a 15.24% - 25.24% (Variable) APR)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Lower earning rate compared to other travel credit cards
  • No bonus categories


Discover it<sup>®</sup> Miles

Generic card art
Not available on ValuePenguin

Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.

See terms

See terms

660 - 850

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • New Intro APR: 0% intro APR† for 15 months on purchases. Then 12.24% to 23.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • 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 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 rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.

Travel tip: Although they are called miles, the miles earned with Discover it® Miles card function more like points. You can redeem them for statement credit for travel purchases or to pay all or part of your bill.

Verdict

If you don't want to keep up with multiple rewards categories, the Discover it® Miles is one of the easiest ways to rack up tons of miles in no time. The card's 1.5% rewards rate is an above average rate that can help you earn bonus miles, regardless of the purchase category.

Similar cards come with sign-up bonuses valued at around $200 to $250. The Discover it® Miles comes with a unique offer that matches all your miles in the first year. Therefore, this card has the potential to be much more valuable for high spenders.

You can redeem your miles for travel, cash, Amazon.com or when using PayPal. Plus, your miles never expire and there are no blackout dates when booking travel, making the Discover it® Miles card the best option for a flexible yet straightforward rewards program.

  • A unique welcome offer that can be lucrative for high spenders
  • Earn a flat rate of miles on every purchase
  • No traditional welcome bonus
  • While Discover is accepted nearly everywhere in the U.S., Discover may not be accepted when traveling internationally

How to choose a no fee travel credit card

When picking a no-annual-fee travel credit card, here’s some key features to keep in mind:

Are you a frequent user of an airline or a devoted loyalist to a hotel chain? If you are, it makes sense to pick a co-branded card that rewards your loyalty. Even if you’re looking for a more flexible point currency, like Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll want to pay attention to who the transfer partners are in order to maximize value.

While a welcome bonus is a one-time value to the card, some can be worth over $1,000. Taking advantage of a lucrative welcome bonus could be a way to rack up points for that dream trip you’re planning.

The card’s earning rate is one of the most important features. Long after you’ve earned your sign-up bonus, it is the card’s earning rate that is going to help you accrue more points. To decide what earning rate matters most to you, take a look at your spending over the past few months. Are you eating out a lot? Then a card that rewards restaurant spending might be a good fit for you. Or maybe you’re driving a lot more? Consider a card that rewards gas purchases.

In the world of travel credit cards, not all points currencies are created equal. Transferable point currencies — like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards — are usually worth more than hotel points or airline miles, but often require an annual fee card to earn. Check out how ValuePenguin calculates what points are worth.

If you are planning on traveling internationally, a credit card that offers no foreign transaction fees will help save you from being charged an additional percentage on each purchase. With multiple purchases, this fee can add up quickly.

Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance or elite status. These extra perks can make your stay more comfortable, allow you to get a discount on an airline food purchase, score a room upgrade or even get a free night’s stay.

Who should get a no fee travel credit card?

First-time credit cardholders: If you’re a student or just starting out, a no-annual-fee credit card is a great card to consider when you don't have much credit history. Without having to pay an annual fee, you have access to a credit line that, as long as you pay your bill in full each month, helps you to build your credit. And because no fee credit cards offer fewer perks than premium travel cards, approval odds may be more lenient.

Those rebuilding credit: If you have poor credit, no-annual-fee credit cards could be an accessible way to help rebuild your credit. Since APR is often based on creditworthiness, you’ll likely have a higher APR than some borrowers, but by consistently paying on time each month, your credit score will improve in the long term.

Those wanting to consolidate balances: Several of the credit cards on this list offer an introductory 0% APR for a predetermined set of billing cycles. If you are someone who’s carrying a credit card balance with a high APR, transferring to a card offering a low- or zero-balance introductory APR can help save you thousands in additional interest and help you to pay off debt faster.

Those diversifying points: Even if you’re a veteran in the points and miles game, no-annual-fee cards can play an important role in your card portfolio. Some cards, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® pair well with the premium Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® cards, allowing you to earn more bonus points in additional categories. Others, like the Marriott Bonvoy card, would help you earn Marriott Bonvoy points, thus allowing you to transfer fewer of your valuable American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott.

Should I upgrade to a travel card with an annual fee instead?

When it comes to travel cards with annual fees, you'll find that the benefits end up outweighing the ongoing cost — if used correctly. Some travel credit cards offer perks such as free Global Entry or TSA Precheck or waived checked baggage fees. Whether you travel with one airline or hotel brand — or just travel often — you'll enjoy significantly better perks at a $95 annual fee mark.

For our recommendations, we suggest reading our round-up of our top 17 travel rewards cards.

FAQs about best no annual fee travel credit cards

What is the best credit card with no annual fee and cash back?

One of our favorite cashback, $0-annual-fee credit cards that doubles as a travel credit card is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. You’ll Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, your cash back can be converted into Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

What are the best airline credit cards with no annual fee?

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is one of the best $0-annual-fee airline cards if you fly on Delta. We found that SkyMiles have a higher value than other airline mile currencies, and with Delta as a part of the SkyTeam Alliance, you can use your SkyMiles to fly on partner airlines like AirFrance KLM.

What is a travel credit card with no balance transfer fee?

It’s difficult to find a travel credit card that offers no balance transfer fee. If you’re working to manage credit card debt, it’s generally not advisable to also try to earn credit card rewards. Currently, the JetBlue Card is offering a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles when transfers post within the first 45 days of opening the card.

What no fee travel credit cards have no foreign transaction fees?

Some no-annual-fee travel credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees include: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, Hilton Honors American Express Card, Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card, United Gateway℠ Card, JetBlue Card, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.

Which no annual fee travel cards offer the best welcome bonus?

In a world where the eye-popping sign-up bonuses are usually reserved for premium travel credit cards, the Hilton Honors American Express Card stands out for offering one of the highest welcome offers for a $0-annual-fee card. With the card, you can earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.  Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Another attractive option is the Discover it® Miles card. While it’s not a traditional welcome bonus, the Discover it® Miles will offer an unlimited match on all the miles you earn within the first year of opening the card. That means if you earned 50,000 miles through your own spending, that becomes 100,000 miles.

What credit score do I need to get a no annual fee travel card?

It depends on the card issuer. Often the lowest APR is reserved for borrowers with good to excellent credit scores, but that doesn’t mean you’re left out if you have poor credit. Check out our picks of best credit cards for bad credit.

Methodology

To make choosing the best credit card easier, ValuePenguin looked at over two dozen travel credit cards. After eliminating any that charge annual fees, our recommendations are based on sign-up bonus offered, flexibility and value of points or miles, airline or hotel loyalty perks included and any additional fees charged such as foreign transaction fees or balance transfer fees. Our choices are not influenced by advertisers.

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

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

The information related to Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card and Discover it® Miles 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.

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).