Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

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

  • Credit cards with no annual fee can save you money
  • The best no annual fee credit cards offer rewards
  • 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 quarter* 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 purchases*, 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.

 

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

You earn a full 2% Cashback Bonus® on your first $1000 in combined purchases at Gas Stations (stand-alone) and Restaurants each calendar quarter. Calendar quarters are defined as the three-month periods beginning January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. Purchases at Gas Stations and Restaurants over the quarterly cap, and all other purchases, earn 1% cash back. Purchases made at Gas Stations include only merchants in the category that sell automotive gasoline that can be paid for either at the pump or inside the station. Gas Stations affiliated with supermarkets and supercenters may not be eligible. Restaurant purchases include only those made at merchants classified as full-service restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and fast food locations. Certain digital wallet transactions qualify for 2% Cashback Bonus, for more information see Discover.com/digitalwallets. Purchases made through third-party payment accounts, mobile or wireless card readers, virtual wallets or similar technology will not be eligible if the technology does not provide sufficient transaction details for rewards qualification. 2% Cashback Categories: In accordance with standard industry practices, merchants are assigned a merchant category code (MCC) typically based on their line of business, or the type of products and/or services they primarily sell or provide. Discover Card does not assign MCCs to merchants. Even if you make purchases at a merchant of items that appear to fit in a rewards category, the merchant may not have an assigned MCC in that rewards category. Only purchases made from merchants located in the United States are eligible for 2% Cashback Bonus. In order for a purchase to qualify for the 2% Cashback Bonus Program, the transaction date must be before or on the last day of the offer or promotion. Rewards are added to your Cashback Bonus account within two billing periods.  See Cashback Bonus Program Terms and Conditions for more information about your rewards.

Redeem Miles: Starting at 1 Mile, you can redeem your Miles as a credit to your account to pay for all or part of your bill, for cash as an electronic deposit to your bank account, or for a credit for Travel Purchases made on your statement within the last 180 days. Travel Purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites, commuter transportation, restaurants and gas stations. Restaurant purchases include those made at merchants classified as full-service restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, fast-food locations, and restaurant delivery services. Gas Station purchases include those made at merchants classified as places that sell automotive gasoline that can be bought at the pump or inside the station. Gas Stations affiliated with supermarkets, supercenters, and wholesale clubs may not be eligible.

Even if a travel purchase on your statement appears to fit in a Travel Purchase category, the merchant may not have a merchant category code (MCC) in a Travel Purchase category. Merchants and payment processors are assigned an MCC based on their typical products and services. Discover Card does not assign MCCs to merchants. Certain third-party payment accounts and digital wallet transactions may not be eligible for credit redemption if the technology does not provide sufficient transaction details or a qualifying MCC. See Terms and Conditions for more information.