The Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Finding the best no annual fee credit card for your shopping needs means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available options and interest rates. With the right no annual fee credit card, shopping on credit without extra costs can become a quick, over-and-done with task.

We reviewed dozens of no annual fee credit cards to identify the best of the best, based on CreditCards.com reviews, how easy they were to apply for and use, special features, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated no annual fee credit cards people can apply for to ensure a healthy credit history and score at the best possible price.

Top Pick
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Unlimited cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

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We’ve identified Chase Freedom Unlimited® as the best no annual fee credit card out there. With unlimited cash back of 1.5% on all purchases with no limit, this no annual fee credit card is one that will allow you to keep shopping with ease. These benefits allow you to continue making important purchases, without spending anything extra on annual card fees.

The 5 Top-Rated No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallChase Freedom Unlimited® 4.8
Runner UpBank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card4.6
Best 0 APR Credit Card with No Annual FeeCapital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card4.6
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card with Cash BackDiscover it® Cash Back4.8
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card with Signup BonusCapital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card 4.5

*Ratings are from CreditCards.com at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Visa took the top spot on our list of the best no annual fee credit cards thanks to its unlimited cash back of 1.5% on all purchases with no limit. During the first year, the cash back reward is doubled to 3% on the first $20,000 worth of purchases for even more value. Cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, and there is no minimum required in order to redeem.

Those who applied for and reviewed this no annual fee credit card appreciated that it was a good card for making everyday purchases, and found they were able to quickly earn rewards. People liked that they were protected against fraudulent activity, and found customer service to be excellent.

With no annual fee, the price is certainly right, and the quality service associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies an application. It has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on CreditCards.com with nearly 10,000 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the application.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Key Features: 

  • Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months
  • Regular APR 17.24%-25.99% variable
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠

Our Runner Up Pick: Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Runner Up
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

A cash back card with tiered ongoing rewards.

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The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card took the runner-up spot on our list of the best no annual fee credit cards. It boasts an introductory $200 online cash rewards bonus that’s awarded after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after opening the account. Rewards are tiered at 3% cashback on gas, or a choice of one of five other popular categories, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% on all other purchases.

Those who purchased and reviewed this no annual fee credit card appreciated that the tiered rewards could be customized to their spending habits. People found it easy to use, and like the bonus features such as auto rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and travel accident insurance.

With no annual fee, the price is certainly right, and the quality service associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on CreditCards.com with more than 2,000 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the application.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Key Features: 

  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
  • Regular APR 16.24%-26.24% variable
  • Extended warranty program and purchase protection

Best 0 APR Credit Card with No Annual Fee: Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best 0 APR Credit Card with No Annual Fee
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Redeem rewards for any amount.

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The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option for those looking for a 0 APR credit card with no annual fee. It features a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, and a $150 reward bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of opening the account. It also boasts a generous rewards program which offers 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase. Cash back rewards never expire as long as the account is open, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.

Cardholders who applied for and reviewed this no annual fee credit card appreciated that the Capital One app let them easily track and review their spending, at no additional cost. People said they liked the benefits of the card, and found it easy to use whether shopping online or in person.

With no annual fee, the price is certainly right, and the quality of service associated with the brand, as well as the generous rewards program more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on CreditCards.com with more than 6,000 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the application.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card Key Features: 

  • Fraud protection in case of loss or theft
  • Cash back doesn’t expire for the life of the account
  • Capital One mobile app offers customized alerts

Best No Annual Fee Credit Card with Cash Back: Discover it® Cash Back

Best No Annual Fee Credit Card with Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back

Automatic bonus matching for all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

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The Discover it® Cash Back is a great card for those who don’t want to pay an annual fee, but still want to earn valuable cash back on all their purchases. The company will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically for even more value. Each quarter, you can earn up to 5% cash back in popular categories such as restaurants and gas stations, while earning 1% cash back on all other purchases. Rewards never expire and can even be redeemed on Amazon.com

Those who use and reviewed this no annual fee credit card appreciated the bonus cash back offers, and that their rewards never expired. They also like that the card includes the ability to view their FICO® Credit Score for free, and that purchases are automatically monitored for fraudulent activity.

With no annual fee, the price is certainly right, and the quality service associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on CreditCards.com with more than 26,000 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the application.

Discover it® Cash Back Key Features: 

  • Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 14 months
  • Regular APR 14.24%-25.24% variable
  • Redeem cash back of any amount, at any time

Best No Annual Fee Credit Card with Signup Bonus: Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Best No Annual Fee Credit Card with Signup Bonus
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Earn an unlimited 1.25X miles per dollar with ample redemption flexibility.

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The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is an excellent no annual fee credit card for those who want the added perk of a signup bonus. Once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from opening the account, you’ll earn a 20,000 signing bonus, which is equal to $200 in travel rewards. You can earn points at a rate of 10X on select hotel bookings, and have the option of transferring miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs.

Those who purchased and reviewed this no annual fee credit card appreciated that it was easy to use, and allowed them to quickly earn rewards for travel experiences. People said customer service was excellent, and liked that there were no hidden annual fees.

With no annual fee, the price is certainly right, and the quality service associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on CreditCards.com with more than 6,200 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the application.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card Key Features:

  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months
  • Regular APR 14.24%-24.24% variable
  • Fly any airline and stay at any hotel with no blackout dates

Who Should Apply for a No Annual Fee Credit Card

A no annual fee credit card is an ideal choice for those who want the convenience and benefits of a credit card, without having to pay an annual fee to use and maintain the account. A credit card with an annual fee is often a turn-off for those in the market for a new credit card. Some people might save their cash back rewards in order to pay the annual fee on their credit card, which means that they aren’t taking full advantage of the rewards program. By applying for a card with no annual fee, you can make the most of your spending and earned rewards.

A credit card with no annual fee is also a good choice for those on a limited budget, such as students, seniors, or low-income households. This way, you can ensure that every dollar you earn is going where you need it to, instead of costly annual credit card account fees.

No annual fee credit cards are also good for those who are new to the world of credit, as it allows them a chance to build up a history and score without the hassle of yearly fees. They are also good for people wanting to consolidate debt, as many offer 0% APR on balance transfers.

Finally, a no annual fee credit card is a great option for occasional credit users, because you need to spend a minimum on a card with an annual fee in order to make it worth the cost.

Top Pick
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Unlimited cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

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Important Features to Consider

Not all no annual fee credit card are created equal. A no annual fee credit card should provide a low interest rate with added benefits. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best no annual fee credit card for your needs:

  • Card type. One of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing the best no annual fee credit card is if you want a Visa, MasterCard, Discover card, or AmEx. Not all merchants accept all cards, so if there’s somewhere you plan to use your card regularly, check to ensure you can make purchases without hassle.
  • Introductory APR. Some no annual fee credit cards offer an introductory APR (annual purchase rate) that is much lower than the regular APR – often 0%. If you have a number of upcoming purchases and want to keep the cost of borrowing low, a card with an introductory APR offer might be a good option. There are also some cards that also offer a promotional balance transfer APR of 0%, which can make transferring a balance from another card to the new card a smart choice, as long as you can make the payments responsibly.
  • Regular APR. A card’s regular APR will determine how much interest you are charged each month. Generally speaking, the better your credit score, the more likely you are to receive a competitive APR.
  • Rewards. Oftentimes, no annual fee credit cards feature rewards or cash back for everyday spending. Some even offer higher percentages in particular categories. Compare points schemes to find the best card for your particular spending habits.
  • Sign-up bonus. Many no-annual fee credit cards offer a signing bonus that makes them more attractive to new users. Some are given after a specific dollar amount of purchases, while others are awarded at the end of the first year.
  • Bonus features. Most no annual fee credit cards come with bonus features that make them more appealing to users, such as free spending tracking apps, extended warranties, travel insurance, or fraud protection. Review a card’s additional features to see if there are any that would be applicable to your personal situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

If a credit card has no annual fee, that just means that there is no cost to have the card. While you will still be charged an APR (annual purchase rate) on any balance not paid in full each month, you do not have to pay anything in order to have an account. Annual fees vary anywhere from $25-$995, depending on the card. Some cards will even waive the first year fee in order to entice people to apply, giving the cardholder an unexpected surprise on the anniversary date of the account opening.

Is it worth getting a credit card with an annual fee?

Generally speaking, it’s only worth getting a credit card with an annual fee if you’re receiving more back in rewards or other benefits than you are paying. Keep in mind that many of the top rewards credit cards waive the annual fee for the first year, which allows you to use the card in order to see if the added cost is worth the benefits. If, after the first year, you find that you aren’t getting the benefits you thought you would, you can always cancel the card or switch to a no annual fee credit card.

How can I get my annual credit card fee waived?

Many of the top rewards credit cards waive the annual fee for the first year as an incentive to get you to sign up. This allows people to use the card to see if the added cost is worth the benefits. You can also try calling your credit card issuer before the end of the year to see if they will waive the annual fee. They sometimes agree to this if you use your card a lot. Sometimes, an annual credit card fee will be waived if you do your day-to-day banking with an associated financial institution, so it’s worth speaking to a banking adviser to find out if you can have the annual fee waived on your credit card at the place you bank at. Finally, if all else fails, you can downgrade or cancel your credit card in order to avoid continuing paying the annual fee.

Do you have to pay an annual fee on a credit card if you don’t use it?

Yes,  you will still have to pay an annual fee on a credit card even if you don’t use it. This is what makes no annual fee credit cards so appealing to consumers.

Other No Annual Fee Credit Cards We Reviewed

Top Pick
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Unlimited cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

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We looked at 20 other no annual fee credit cards. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best no annual fee credit cards list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your credit needs. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

  • No Annual Fee Credit Cards with Cash Back
  • No Annual Fee Credit Cards with Signup Bonus
  • 0 APR Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

No Annual Fee Credit Cards with Cash Back

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

This no annual fee credit card with cash back lets you earn points two ways — 1% when you buy something and 1% as you make payments — for a total of 2% cash back.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 15.74%-25.74%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer APR 0% for 18 months
  • Mobile pay ready

Cost: $0 annually

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

This no annual fee credit card with cash back lets you earn an introductory cash back rate of 3% on all purchases in the first 12 months, up to the first $10,000 in purchases.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 15.24%, 19.24%, or 25.24% variable
  • Introductory balance transfer APR 0% for 12 months
  • Annual 10% anniversary bonus on all cash rewards

Cost: $0 annually

Discover it® Chrome

Discover it® chrome

This no annual fee credit card with cash back boasts an introductory cash back matching bonus on all the cash back earned at the end of the first year, with no limit.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 14.24%-25.24%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer and purchase APR 0% for 14 months
  • Redeem for any amount at any time

Cost: $0 annually

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

This no annual fee credit card with cash back is perfect for students with good credit, and offers 1% cash back on all purchases, with a 0.25% bonus when you pay your balance on time each month.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 26.96%* variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 fraud liability in case of loss or theft

Cost: $0 annually

U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card

U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card

This no annual fee credit card with cash back provides unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible net purchases, and includes a $150 signing bonus.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 16.24%-25.74%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer APR 0% for 12 billing cycles
  • No minimum redemption amount

Cost: $0 annually

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back

This no annual fee credit card with cash back lets you earn 5% cash back in rotating categories to a monthly maximum, and 1% unlimited for everything else.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 15.24%-24.24%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer APR 10.99% for 6 months
  • Introductory purchase APR 0% for 6 months

Cost: $0 annually

No Annual Fee Credit Cards with Signup Bonus

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

This no annual fee credit card with cash back offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases, and includes a $150 signup bonus.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 15.24%-26.24%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer and purchase APR 0% for 15 months
  • Split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee

Cost: $0 annually

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

This no annual fee credit card with signup bonus includes 75,000 Hilton Honors bonus points if you make $1,000 in purchases during the first three months.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 17.99%-26.99%* variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • For those with good to excellent credit

Cost: $0 annually

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

This no annual fee credit card with signup bonus lets users earn 2X ThankYou® Points at supermarkets and gas stations on their first $6,000 of charges per year, and then 1X points thereafter.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 15.74%-25.74%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer and purchase APR 0% for 15 months
  • Signup bonus worth $150

Cost: $0 annually

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

This no annual fee credit card with signup bonus lets users earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2X Bonvoy points on other travel purchases, and 1X point on everything else.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 18.24%-25.24%* variable
  • 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases during the first three months
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cost: $0 annually

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

This no annual fee credit card with signup bonus lets you earn 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases and unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everything else, with a $200 signup bonus.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 16.24%-28.24%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer and purchase APR 0% for 12 months
  • Optional cell phone insurance

Cost: $0 annually

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

This no annual fee credit card with signup bonus lets you earn anywhere from 1%-5% cash back on daily purchases, and features a $150 signup bonus offer.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 16.24%-25.74%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer APR 0% for 12 billing cycles
  • Auto rental insurance, roadside assistance, and lost luggage reimbursement

Cost: $0 annually

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

This no annual fee credit card with signup bonus lets you earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases with no maximum, and includes a 25,000 online bonus points signup offer.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 17.24%-25.24%* variable
  • Introductory purchase APR 0% for 12 billing cycles
  • No blackout dates or restrictions

Cost: $0 annually

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

This no annual fee credit card with signup bonus allows active and former military and their eligible family members to earn 1-3 points for every dollar spent, and includes 2,500 bonus points with your first purchase.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 12.15%-28.15%* variable
  • Points can be redeemed for cash, merchandise, gift cards, and more
  • $0 fraud liability in case of loss or theft

Cost: $0 annually

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

This no annual fee credit card with signup bonus allows user to earn 1%-5% cashback on everyday purchases, and includes a signup bonus of $150 after you make $500 in purchases during the first 3 months.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 17.24%-25.99%* variable
  • Introductory balance transfer and purchase APR 0% for 15 months
  • Free credit score updated weekly

Cost: $0 annually

0 APR Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

This 0 APR credit card with no annual fee offers an introductory balance transfer APR 0% for 21 months, and an introductory purchase APR of 0% for 12 months.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 16.99-26.99%* variable
  • No late fees and no penalties
  • 24-7 customer support

Cost: $0 annually

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

This 0 APR credit card with no annual fee offers an introductory balance transfer and purchase APR of 0% for 15 months, with a $150 signup bonus offer.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 15.24%-26.24%* variable
  • Earn 1%-3% cash back on all purchases
  • Includes purchase protection and zero fraud liability

Cost: $0 annually

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

This 0 APR credit card with no annual fee offers an introductory balance transfer and purchase APR of 0% for 12 months, with a 30,000 points signup bonus offer (a $300 value).

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 16.24%-28.24%* variable
  • Earn 1-3 points on all purchases
  • Includes auto rental and travel accident insurance

Cost: $0 annually

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card

This 0 APR credit card with no annual fee offers an introductory balance transfer and purchase APR of 0% for 18 months, and lets users easily access their FICO credit score online.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 13.74%-27.24% variable
  • Optional cell phone protection insurance
  • Includes auto rental and travel accident insurance

Cost: $0 annually

BankAmericard® Credit Card

BankAmericard® credit card

This 0 APR credit card with no annual fee offers an introductory balance transfer and purchase APR of 0% for 18 billing cycles.

Key Features: 

  • Regular APR 15.24% – 25.24% variable
  • Easily access FICO credit score online
  • No penalty APR

Cost: $0 annually

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