Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards of 2024

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No Annual Fee Credit Cards

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Credit cards are a useful way of streamlining your payments, helping you manage your budget, and stay safe against fraudulent activity; that’s why most Americans have at least one in their wallet. Some cards charge an annual fee but others have no annual fee attached. What are the benefits of owning a card with no annual fee and what options are there?

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Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fee of April, 2024

No Annual Fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Cash back: 5% cash back on groceries, 3% on dining and take-out, 3% back on drugstore purchases, 5% cash back on travel when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 1.5% cash back on all other spending
Annual fee: $0
Best for: 0% Intro APR, Intro offer, Travel rewards, Cash back
Welcome bonus: 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles, Get $200 when you spend $500 in your first 3 months

Our take: The Freedom Unlimited® card from Chase offers impressive rewards, generous cash back and intro bonuses – all for a $0 annual fee. This card is best for those with excellent credit (750+) and is perfect if you're looking for an extended 0% intro APR offer– this one goes for 15 months.
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What is a no annual fee credit card?

Many credit cards charge you an annual fee for your account. That means that once every 12 months (usually) you’ll be charged the fee, which can range from $5 to as much as $500 depending on the type of card you hold. A “no annual fee” credit card does not charge you a fee for having the card.

How does a no annual fee credit card work?

Cards that demand annual fees can use the money to offset the costs of the extra features they offer. No annual fee credit cards don’t have this cushion so the level of perks might be lower, but they can still be well worth having and the lack of a yearly fee is attractive.

No annual fee credit cards work in the same way as cards that charge a fee. When your application is accepted the credit card company gives you a maximum spending limit for your account. You can then use it to buy goods and services up to that limit. Every month you receive a statement showing what you have spent, the total, and what the minimum repayment is. If you don’t clear the account, interest is charged on the outstanding amount.

What types of credit cards have no annual fee?

Generally, any card that doesn’t offer specific reward perks (for example, getting travel benefits or a particularly low interest rate) for holding the card will come without a fee.

What are the pros and cons of no annual fee APR credit cards?


  • Many no annual fee cards offer introductory periods of 0% APR that are longer than those for cards that charge a fee.
  • Often, no annual fee cards offer lower ongoing interest rates than their annual fee counterparts.
  • Several no annual fee card providers offer a free credit score periodically – without it impacting on your credit score.


  • Generally speaking, credit cards that charge an annual fee offer better introductory bonuses and benefits than no annual fee credit cards. That’s why they can charge.
  • While there is no annual fee, most cards will charge fees for other things such as foreign transactions. Make sure you understand what you may be charged for.
  • The bonus for signing up to a no annual fee card is usually less attractive than the offer for an annual fee-charging card.

Why do credit card companies waive annual fees?

Annual fees are waived by credit card companies to offer a more affordable option for people seeking a new credit card and attract more customers.

How do I qualify for a no annual fee credit card?

As with any credit, a high credit score and good financial records will secure the best deals. Credit card companies are keen to enlarge their client base but not at the expense of risk. Though a poor to fair credit rating doesn’t mean you cannot get a no annual fee credit card, it does limit your options and interest rates will almost certainly be higher.

What are the best credit cards with no annual fee?

Credit card accounts are always liable to change and new products constantly come on the market. Among the best no annual fee credit cards at the moment are:

  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card – 1.5% cash back on purchases, $200 cash back when you get the card, no annual fee, 14-25% APR offered
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited Card – 1.5% - 5% cash back on all spending, no annual fee, $200 cash back for getting the card, 15-25% APR offered.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash Card – 2% cash back on purchases, $200 cash rewards for getting the card, no annual fee, 14-25% APR offered

But this is not an exclusive list and you need to look at the market carefully to get the card that is the best fit for you and your circumstances. Each one is different with varying offers and bonuses.

Can I get a credit card with no annual fee with fair credit?

There are cards available for those with fair credit with no annual fee but you will find your choices have fewer perks and high interest rates.

Can I get a credit card with no annual fee with bad credit?

You may be able to find a no annual fee credit card with poor credit, but they are comparatively rare. You’ll find your rates are high, your credit limit low, and you won’t get any rewards. That said, if you’re looking to rebuild your credit, a card like this may help you start doing so if you’re careful.

How to qualify for a credit card with no annual fee

There are a wide range of cards out there with no annual fee, so you may find the terms are more lenient than other types of credit card. That said, you’ll want to have a credit score of 650 or higher to secure the best rates and deals, and a low credit utilization percentage.

Tips for choosing a credit Card with no annual fee

  • Compare the rates and fees: There may be no annual fee involved but most cards charge fees for foreign transactions, balance transfers, late payments, and other things. Check before you sign so you don’t get an unexpected shock.
  • Look at the promotional APR: Most card providers offer a 0% introductory APR for a period. Find out what that period is, the longer, the better.
  • Check any other bonuses: The best cards come with rewards and benefits. You need to examine which best matches your lifestyle and gives the biggest return.

Is it worth getting a card with no annual fee?

There are many reasons why a credit card with no annual fee is a good choice:

  • Infrequent credit card users: For those who rarely use a credit card, a no annual fee credit card is probably the most economical option. In order to recover enough in benefits from a fee-charging card needs a certain annual spend and if you don’t meet or exceed that then it is probably not worthwhile.
  • New credit card users: For newbies, simple is best. Once you get used to owning and using a credit card account you may wish to upgrade to another fee-charging choice.
  • People looking to widen their credit providers: Different cards have different perks so adding a no annual fee credit card to your borrowing portfolio may make perfect sense.
  • Anyone wanting to improve their credit: Careful use of a credit card with no annual fee can help rebuild your credit score while being affordable.
  • For debt consolidation: With many cards offering 0% APR, a no annual fee credit card gives you a chance to consolidate your debts and reduce your monthly outgoings.

On the other hand, there are some factors that may make seeking out a higher-tier card the preferred option. Particularly if air miles, bonuses, and rewards are an important part of your lifestyle then a no annual fee credit card is likely to fall short of your expectations.

How to apply for a no annual fee credit card

Application for most credit cards with no annual fee is usually online, straightforward, and fast with decisions made in instantly, or in hours rather than days. Just make sure you have your details to hand before you begin.

Compare no annual fee credit card offers

Ready to apply for a no annual fee credit card? You’re in the right place – compare the best no annual fee credit card offers here to find the right card for you. Once you found one that suits, simply follow the application process. Once approved, you’ll usually have the card in your hands within 10 days.

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