No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Save money each year and access rewards and benefits with a no annual fee credit card. Compare cards with no annual fee here
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, updated on September 13th, 2023       

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Flexible cards, no annual fee

Nothing in life is free and that extends to credit cards. Most credit cards will charge you a fee every year just for owning a credit card – you don’t even have to use it and your provider will still slug you with a fee from anywhere between $30 to over $500. Platinum cards have annual fees as high as $1,200, or more! Without paying this fee, each year gives you more freedom to use more of your hard-earned cash on purchases and services. Many budget conscious consumers compare no annual fee credit cards for their flexibility. No annual fee credit cards, over time, may save you more money than comparable low rate credit cards.

Benefits, rewards and more

Just because your card comes with no annual Fees doesn’t necessarily mean they remove rewards and benefits. Many no annual fee credit cards offer rewards programs – even Gold or Platinum rewards such as complimentary insurance, concierge services or flight upgrades. You can even compare cards with no interest days, bonus rewards points and other perks such as access to events and concerts. This does come with a catch in the form of higher than average interest rates compared to cards that do charge an annual fee.

Is a no annual fee credit card right for me?

A no annual fee credit card is often the better choice for people who only use a credit card “in an emergency” – for unexpected bills or payments such as urgent car repair or medical treatment. With the flexibility of interest free days (on some cards) it’s a less costly option than payday loans or other small, short-term loans. You can leave your credit card in a drawer and forget it’s there – it doesn’t cost anything if you don’t use it! It also caters to people who prefer to pay off their balance each month instead of letting it accrue. No annual fee credit cards are also ideal for those people who want a low or zero interest rate balance transfer and have an eye to pay off the debt. However, the right choice is up to you and your preferences.

Your no annual fee credit card questions answered

Is a “no annual fee” promotional period a no annual fee credit card too?
Yes. If you compare no annual fee credit cards, credit cards with promotional annual fee waivers (usually 12 months) are included. Keep in mind you will have to pay the annual fee every year thereafter.
Can I cancel a no annual fee credit card before the promotion expires?
Yes. You can contact your credit card provider when the annual fee kicks in. However, you should be aware that most providers will not cancel the card unless you have zero balance.
Can I get frequent flyer points or rewards points?
Yes; some no annual fee credit cards offer these programs, usually at the cost of higher interest rates.
Can I get platinum rewards cards with no annual fee?
Yes; some Platinum cards offer their cards with no annual fee.
Can I get a balance transfer with a no annual fee credit card?
Yes; some credit cards with no annual fee also offer 0% or low-rate balance transfers.
If I don’t spend anything on may card, does that mean I pay nothing?
In practical terms, yes. There may be account-keeping fees at some institutions, but for the most part, you will not be charged interest if you do not make purchases.

Helpful guides to making the most of your no annual fee credit card

No annual fee…Ever? Or just for a while?

If you’re in the market for a no annual fee credit card, you have likely come across the term “No Annual Fee” – with strings attached. As you may know, the credit card market is a competitive market. It takes a lot of effort and enticement to have a customer jump ship to a new credit card provider. Some credit card providers sweeten the pot by offering introductory “honeymoon” style waivers of an annual fee for the first year. Be aware that after that first year, you may be on the hook for the full fee amount.

A mixture of cards – which is best?

No annual fee credit cards are a jumble of all types of credit cards we comparefrequent flyer, rewards cards; you can even find some platinum cards with no annual fee. However, the more benefits you want the higher your interest rates will be. Those cards with extensive rewards programs may have substantially higher interest rates, which absorbs the costs of the rewards you’re entitled to. Some Platinum or rewards cards may not even award 1 point for each dollar spent, which means you’re better off paying a fee in the first place!

Are annual fee refund cards worth it?

Some no annual fee credit cards handle the “no” part in a different way. Most no annual fee cards simply don’t charge you the fee each year. Some cards will refund the annual fee to you if you hit a certain spending limit. For example, if you spend at least $5,000 a year on one card, that provider may refund your annual fee as a courtesy. If you don’t intend to use your no annual fee card that much, it may not be right for your situation. That way it’s not a “set and forget until an emergency” type of card.

The quickest way to zero balance?

If you’re looking to pay off your credit card debts in the quickest way possible, a no annual fee credit card coupled with a 0% balance transfer may be the ticket to financial freedom. If you do not spend any more on your No Annual Fee credit card, you can contribute more to paying down your debt without incurring an annual fee, nor interest. This could be a good strategy for eliminating debt without accumulating any more fees or charges as you go along. You should figure out if this is right for you by asking a financial professional.