Best Credit Cards with No Annual Fee in 2023
You are probably aware of your bank issuing credit/debit cards, whether you hold one or not. Now, credit cards allow you to pay your bills instantly without worrying about your bank balance, which you can repay later with some additional charges. They are powerful financial tools, if used wisely, with valuable rewards that are worth your money.
However, a lot of credit cards also require their holders to pay an annual fee to keep the card active. There are exceptions, of course, and this article is going to feature the best credit cards in 2023 that do not require any yearly fee.
Credit Cards with No Annual Fee: Best Offers
Our experts have settled on the top 9 credit cards offered by reputed companies that do not charge any annual fee, but there are other factors considered as well. For example, welcome bonuses, loyalty points or rewards, transaction fees, and APR are some of the factors that determine the benefits of using a credit card.
There is brand value as well – the more reputed the provider, the better. All you need is to go through the upcoming section to find the credit card that suits you the best.
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is one of the best flat-rate cashback cards in the markets, with a huge welcome offer, exclusive rewards, and no annual fee. You need a credit score of 670 or higher to get the card. The key advantages of using the card have been listed as follows:
- Does not require you to pay an annual fee.
- Unlimited 2% cashback on all purchases.
- 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months, followed by a variable rate of 18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74%.
- $200 cash reward as a welcome bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
- Premium benefits at the most luxurious hotels and resorts of Visa Signature Concierge.
- Cell phone protection benefit against damage or theft of up to $600.
There are some downsides to using the card as well.
- Balance transfer fee of 3% in the first four months, followed by a 5% transfer rate (min. $5).
- High foreign transaction fee of 3%.
- Lack of travel partner benefits, more suited for the US.
Citi® Double Cash Card
If you are looking for a credit card without an annual fee and solid perks overall, then City® Double Cash Card might be the perfect choice for you. The only prerequisite is that your credit score needs to be 670 or higher. It also offers cashback, provided you pay the minimum due on time. Let’s look at the features of the card at a glance:
- Devoid of an annual fee.
- 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months, which is followed by a variable APR within the range of 17.74-27.74%.
- 2% cashback on purchases – 1% unlimited during the purchases and 1% during the repayment of dues.
- Citi ThankYou points for a variety of travel partners like Air France, Singapore Airlines, and JetBlue.
- Digital wallet options.
- 24/7 customer support, fraud, and ID theft protection.
The shortcomings of this credit card are:
- No intro 0% APR on purchases.
- 3-5% balance transfer fee (min. $5).
- Foreign exchange fee of 5%.
Discover it® Cash Back Card
Although not the best cashback credit card in the market, Discover it® Cash Back stands out for its features which include a variety of rewards and the exclusion of an annual fee. Anyone with a FICO credit score over 670 can apply for the card. Let’s look at the key benefits of using this card.
- No annual fee required.
- 1% unlimited cashback on all purchases.
- A quarterly cashback of 5% on different categories like e-commerce restaurants, gas stations, groceries, etc.
- Initial 15 months are not subjected to an APR. However, the rate is 15.74-26.74% after that period.
- Automatic cashback match for the first year, which doubles your cashback amount.
- No foreign purchase fee.
- Dark web monitoring to ensure fraud and scam protection.
The cons of Discover it® Cash Back are:
- No traditional welcome bonus.
- Quarterly 5% cashback is limited to $1,500.
- Low cashback rate of 1%.
Chase Freedom FlexSM
Flex your freedom with Chase Freedom FlexSM, which not only relieves you from an annual fee but also offers a bunch of generous rewards for categories like medicines and restaurants. All you need is a FICO credit score over 670.
- Earn a massive welcome bonus of $200 for a purchase of $500 in the first three months.
- 5% cashback in different categories every quarter (max. $1,500).
- Chase Ultimate Rewards® presents you with 5% cashback on travel, along with other gift cards.
- Does not charge an annual fee. No intro APR for the first 15 months, followed by a rate of 18.74-27.49%.
- A base cashback rate of 1% on all purchases, unlimited.
- Special cashback of 3% on restaurants and pharmacies, which includes delivery as well.
- A bunch of MasterCard World Elite benefits.
The benefits of using this card are manifold, but let’s look at the other side as well:
- Foreign purchase transaction fee of 3%.
- Travel benefits only applicable through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Wells Fargo AutographSM Card
Another credit card from Wells Fargo and Co. is available for consumers with a FICO score of 670 or above, which does not require an annual fee. There are a bunch of welcome rewards as well, although for a limited period of time.
- 30,000 bonus points for spending $1,500 in the first three months, which can be redeemed for $300 (offer valid till 1/10/23).
- Earn 3 points per dollar while spending on specific services like dining, hotels, gas stations, travel, streaming apps, and phone services. 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
- No introductory APR for the first 12 months. A varied rate of 18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% applies after.
- $600 on smartphone protection.
- $0 annual fee.
- No foreign transaction fees.
The drawbacks of this card are:
- Bonus offer valid for a limited period of time.
- No travel partner benefits.
- High balance transfer fee of 5%.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
As the name suggests, this no annual fee credit card offered by Bank of America has a simple rewards system, mostly aimed at travel benefits. The card is best suited for members of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Program with a credit score of 750 or higher. The features of the card have been discussed below:
- Unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent, which can be redeemed later.
- Devoid of any annual fee.
- No foreign transaction fee.
- 25,000 points worth $250 can be earned by a purchase value of at least $1,000 in the first three months.
- 0 APR for the first 60 days and 18 billing cycles, which follows a variable rate of 17.74%-27.74%.
- Exclusive points for hotels, dining, flights, rental cars, etc. Preferred Rewards members can earn extra points.
Let’s look at the shortcomings of this card.
- No direct cashback available. You can only receive redeemable points.
- High balance transfer fee, which can go up to 10%.
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
Although Wells Fargo Reflect® Card comes with no annual fee and 0% introductory APR for a time period, it does not offer other welcome bonuses and rewards. The minimum credit required to receive this card is 660 or higher. There is also no cashback available, so let’s go through what the card has to offer for its users.
- No annual fee.
- Introductory APR of 0% for first 18 months, extendable for a 3-month period. A variable rate of 16.74%-28.74% applies thereby.
- Enjoy shopping, dining, and travel benefits through Wells Fargo Deals.
- $600 insurance for smartphone protection against damage or theft.
Although the card does not charge an annual fee, it is not recommended for long-term use since a lot of exclusive benefits are missing. The downsides include:
- Foreign transactions are charged for a fee.
- No cashback on purchases.
- No welcome bonus for new users.
- No exclusive rewards for the card holders.
- Balance transfer fee.
US Bank Visa® Platinum Card
US Bank VISA® Platinum Card stands out for its no annual fee policy and a lengthy time period with 0% APR. The credit score required to apply for this card is 670 or above. Although it doesn’t come up with a Welcome Bonus, the positives of using this card are explained below.
- First and foremost, you do not need to pay an annual fee.
- A long introductory APR period of 18 billing cycles, followed by a variable rate of 18.24-28.24%.
- Free TransUnion Credit Score.
- Cell Phone Protection Benefits worth $600.
However, apart from the long 0% APR period, the card lags behind in a lot of aspects. Some of them have been mentioned below:
- No welcome bonus or rewards.
- No cashback or redeemable points offered to the users.
- The APR rate following the initial period is also on the higher side.
- Foreign transaction and balance transfer fee are also applicable.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The last one on the list, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card is a good option for casual spenders who like to go out and spend on travel, dining, shopping, etc. It also comes with a welcome bonus, unlike the previous ones. The required credit score for this card is 700 or higher.
- No annual fee.
- 200% cash bonus as a welcome offer for purchases worth $500 in the first 3 months.
- Unlimited 3% cashback on restaurants, groceries, streaming services, and entertainment.
- Flat 1% cashback on all other purchases.
- 10% cashback on Uber and UberEats services.
- 5% cashback on cards and hotels booked from Capital One Travel.
- 8% cashback on Capital One Entertainment.
- Does not charge any fee for foreign transactions.
- 0% intro APR for the first 15 months, followed by a rate of 17.99-27.99%.
A feature-packed card with limited cons, but we will talk about them whatsoever.
- APR rate is on the higher side.
What Are Credit Cards with No Annual Fee?
An annual fee is a yearly amount that credit card companies charge for providing all the perks to their users. It can be interpreted as the charge of owning a credit card, which typically ranges between $95 to $500.
There are some cards that waive the fees for regular payment of dues, but a no-annual-fee credit card is free for a lifetime. The company does not charge you a joining fee or a yearly amount, which turns out to be a good option for people with budget constraints.
How to Choose the Best Credit Card with No Annual Fee?
To find out the best card that suits your style of expenditure, you can consider the following aspects.
- Credit Score – A credit score is a rough estimate of your borrowing behavior. It determines how likely you’re to repay your loan back on time. You can check your credit score for free, based on which you can filter your potential credit card list.
- Time Frame for Balance Transfer – In case you want to transfer your dues to a card with low-interest rates and no annual fee, sort the potential options by checking out the time frame for completing such transfers. A card that lets you transfer your balance within 5-7 days can be a good option.
- Debt Repayment Time – The higher the time period for repayment of debts, the better. Find a card that offers a 30-day or above interest-free period.
How to Get Credit Cards with No Annual Fee?
If you’re looking for a bunch of comprehensive rewards without luxury spending, a no-annual-fee credit card can turn out to be a good option for you. You can just visit your bank website and apply for the credit card online.
Once you get access to the credit card, you are free to use it to pay your bills. However, make sure you spend within the credit limit and repay the dues on time to avoid any interest. However, most credit cards come up with a 0% introductory APR, so make sure you make the best use of the time.
Otherwise, watch out for welcome offers, cashback, low balance transfer fees, and other perks on the card you want to apply for.
Who Can Qualify for a Credit Card with No Annual Fee?
Not all credit card companies are eager to provide you with one. Here are some factors that determine whether you are eligible for a credit card or not.
- Age – You need to be above 18 to apply for a credit card.
- Citizenship – Most companies issue credit cards only for US citizens. If you’re an international applicant, make sure your company has the required provisions.
- Income – You need to show proof of your income to explain that you’re capable of repaying the dues.
- Credit Score – Based on your credit history, the companies take note of your borrowing behavior. A good credit score means more available options.
Should You Get a No Annual Fee Credit Card?
Since credit cards come up with a lot of rewards on aspects like shopping, entertainment, dining, travel, paying bills, etc, they often charge an annual fee that compensates these benefits on their behalf. So, it is quite likely that a no-annual-fee credit card may not feature the same perks as compared to a premium one.
So, if you’re running low on budget and want to cut down on your expenses without missing out on the basic amenities, a no annual fee credit card is indeed the best option for you. You are still eligible for cashback, welcome offers, and a 0% APR for an initial time period, without investing an extravagant amount.
Pros and Cons of No Annual Fee Credit Cards
The advantages and shortcomings of no annual fee credit cards have been explained in this table.
|Pocket-friendly (can save up to $500).||Low availability.|
|The preferred option for budget spenders.||Low cashback rates.|
|Builds your credit score.||A welcome bonus is not always available.|
|A bunch of premium rewards.||Fewer rewards overall.|
On a shoestring budget? Need to reduce your expenses? Here is our solution to your problem. Watch out for the best no annual fee credit cards and save up to $500 yearly without missing out on cashback, 0% API, and other benefits. Buyers with a credit score on the lower side can also apply today at the respective websites of the bank.
Are credit cards with no annual fee good?
Credit cards without an annual fee can provide a decent set of rewards and cashback. Considering the fact that you do not need to pay a fee or an APR (initially), they can be a good option for saving money.
Who can apply for a credit card with no annual fee?
Anyone can get a credit card without an annual fee if they are a US citizen over 18 and has a decent enough credit score. However, you need to be either self-employed or have a job.
How long does it take to get a credit card with no annual fee?
After you submit your credit card application, you can expect your credit card in hand within 1-2 weeks. You can contact your credit card company to clarify the time of processing.
Can I get a credit card with no annual fee online?
Yes, you can apply for a credit card with no annual fee online. However, you must confirm whether the respective company features such perks or not.