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Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Last Updated: June 1, 2022

Let’s Learn About: Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

  1. Credit cards with no annual fee can save you money

  2. The best no annual fee credit cards offer rewards

  3. Deciding whether to pay an annual fee means checking whether the card’s benefits make paying the fee worthwhile

Even the most diligent among us could face an uphill battle when it comes to managing the costs of holding any number of credit cards. Part of the reason could be due to annual and other credit card fees—including those for balance transfers and cash advances that could amount to hundreds of dollars a year.

Annual fees in particular, though, are easy to avoid, especially if you use a no annual fee credit card. Here’s how opting for a no annual fee card could benefit you.

Advantages of no annual fee credit cards

No making up the cost of the fee

They say there is no free lunch, and this is especially true when it comes to annual credit card fees.

For example, say you opt for a card that charges you several hundred dollars a year to use it, but your rewards might amount to less than the usage fees for that card. Your job is to figure out if the benefits outweigh the costs.

A lot of this is going to be specific to your spending habits. Do you drive often? Then a no annual fee card that gives a higher level of rewards at gas stations, like the Discover It® Chrome Gas & Restaurants Card, which provides 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1000 in combing purchases each quarter1 may be the right choice for you, instead of an annual fee card where your fee might not outweigh the money you’ve earned back on rewards.

What’s more, just because some cards charge an annual fee and offer amazing rewards doesn’t mean it’s easy to use them. If it takes several calls to customer service and a long time on the card issuer’s site to find redemption instructions, it may not be worth the hassle. It’s also important to note that benefit packages change, and some perks that come with annual fee cards like miles or hotel points can be subject to blackout dates.

Less to budget for

This is a no-brainer: If you’re not great at managing your money, stay away from cards with annual fees. Unlike monthly fees like rent, student loans or gas and electric bills, which you may be in the habit of paying regularly, once-yearly fees may come as a surprise.

You can still earn rewards

If you think that no annual fee credit cards don’t let you earn rewards, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Cards such as the Discover It ® Cash Back credit card offer cash back rewards on every purchase, yet don’t have an annual fee.

The best no annual fee credit cards

Cash back cards

Cash back cards make some of the best no annual fee credit cards. Not only do you save money on annual fees, but you also earn valuable cash back on purchases. This type of card can help your budget even while you spend.

Travel cards

No annual fee credit cards are great choices for frequent business or personal travelers. If you find yourself spending more and more on traveling, there’s a no annual fee travel card out there for you. For example, the Discover It Miles® Credit Card lets you earn Miles that can be redeemed for cash or as a statement credit for travel purchases2, all while saving money on the annual fee.

Secured cards

If you’re looking to build a credit history, getting rid of annual fees leaves more money to keep up with monthly payments. The Discover It® Secured Credit Card not only has no annual fee, but it also offers cash back rewards on purchases.

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