Best Charge Cards & Cards with No Preset Spending Limits

Charge cards tend to come with no preset spending limits and usually require that you pay your balances off in full each month. The MoneyGeek team has made use of its unique ranking algorithm to narrow down on the leaders of this pack so that you may find the best one based on your specific requirements.

Charge cards differ from credit cards in two basic ways. They come with no preset spending limits, although the maximum limits may change each month. These cards typically require that you pay your balances off in full every month, and as a result, they don’t charge any interest. However, some let you use pay-over-time features through which outstanding balances accrue interest at predetermined rates.

We have selected the top charge cards in the U.S. after factoring in aspects such as annual fees, the ability to earn rewards and other benefits. You may go through all the information we’ve collated through easy-to-understand tips, charts and tables to simplify your decision-making process.

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MoneyGeek's Take: Top Charge Cards in 2022

The best charge cards are ones that come with no preset spending limits and give you the ability to increase your buying power significantly. American Express dominates this sphere because not many credit card issuers provide charge cards now. In addition, most American Express charge cards come with a Pay Over Time feature that lets you carry forward balances of eligible purchases by paying a variable annual percentage rate (APR).

We’ve selected the cards that top the list of charge cards after accounting for factors such as the creditworthiness you need to apply, annual fees, rewards and added perks. Scrolling further down the page presents even more options.

Summary of Top Cards

Best Charge Cards for January 2022

MoneyGeek experts have gone through the best charge cards in the U.S. and compared them across aspects such as annual fees, rewards, payment flexibility and additional features. If we see a potential drawback, we’re quick to highlight it.

Best NPSL Cards for Personal Use

The best NPSL cards for personal use are ones that offer rewards. The top ones charge no foreign transaction fees. They also tend to offer statement credits for payments made toward specific merchants.


  • American Express Gold Card

    Best rewards card for frequent fliers and diners


    • Good–ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $250Annual Fee
    • 1–4 Points per $1Rewards Rate
    • 4xRewards Rate on Groceries
    • 3xRewards Rate on Air Travel

  • American Express The Platinum Card

    A great rewards card for air travel with premium benefits


    • Good–ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $695Annual Fee
    • 1–5 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 5xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 1xRewards Rate on Gas

Best NPSL Cards for Businesses

While the best NPSL cards for businesses offer rewards, they come with business-specific benefits as well. For instance, you and your employees pay no foreign transaction fees when using your cards outside of the U.S. Most of these cards also come with expense management tools.


  • American Express Business Platinum Card

    A good business card for premium travel benefits


    • Good–ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $595Annual Fee
    • 1–5 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 5xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 5xRewards Rate at Hotels

  • American Express Business Gold Card

    A dynamic rewards card for high-spending business owners


    • Good–ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $295Annual Fee
    • 1–4 Points per $1Rewards Rate
    • 1xRewards Rate on TV, Phone, Internet Services
    • 4xRewards Rate on Gas

Best Charge/NPSL Cards for Businesses without APR

Charge/NPSL cards for businesses without APRs don’t give cardholders the option to make payments over time. The best of these cards come with rewards/cash back, free employee cards, no foreign transaction fees and expense management tools.


  • American Express Plum Card

    Great no preset spending limit card with flexible payback methods


    • Good–ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $250Annual Fee
    • 1.5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 1.5xRewards Rate on Groceries
    • 1.5xRewards Rate on Gas

  • Capital One Spark Cash Plus

    Excellent card for earning unlimited rewards through employee spending


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $150Annual Fee
    • 2% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

How We Rank Charge Cards

Our lists of the best credit cards are based on publicly available data from card issuers and other reputable sources like the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. We review each card's fees, interest rates, rewards, benefits and more to assign a rating for each feature. These ratings are stack ranked and weighted for each card category to determine our top selections for each type of user. Because card details change regularly, we revisit our data each month to update our ratings, recommendations and other card information as needed. Learn more about our data collection and ranking process.

Top Rating Criteria for Charge/NPSL Cards

lowInterestAPR
APR
annualFee
Annual Fee
rewards
Rewards & Bonuses

Quick Tips for Comparing Charge Card Offers

Charge cards offer various features and benefits, which is why you need to compare your alternatives across different parameters. For instance, not all charge cards come with an APR-based pay-over-time feature.

1

Creditworthiness required

You may qualify for a charge card if you have good to excellent credit. If you don’t, you may want to consider getting a credit card for average credit.

2

Annual fees

Charge cards can come with rather high annual fees. This is why you need to determine if the value you receive through rewards and perks will outweigh the cost of a card’s annual fee in advance.

3

Foreign transaction fees

This aspect requires your attention if you plan to use your charge card outside of the U.S.

4

Payment flexibility

While charge cards typically require that you pay your balances in full each month, you may find cards that offer flexibility in this regard. For instance, most American Express charge cards come with a Pay Over Time feature that lets you carry balances by paying interest.

5

Interest rates

Pay attention to this aspect if the charge card you choose lets you make payments over time. For instance, the American Express Business Gold Card charges a variable APR of 14.24% to 22.24% for its Pay Over Time feature. In the case of the American Express Gold Card, the APR for its Pay Over Time feature is 15.99% to 22.99%.

6

Rewards

Compare your options based on whether you might benefit more by getting a charge card that offers high earn rates across specific categories or one that lets you earn a high flat rate on all purchases.

7

Sign-up offers

It is common for charge cards to come with introductory spend-based offers. For example, the American Express Business Gold Card comes with a welcome offer that lets you earn 70,000 bonus points by spending $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months.

8

Added perks

These can come in the form of statement credits, loyalty program status upgrades, complimentary travel insurance, other travel-specific benefits, extended warranty and purchase protection.

Best Charge Cards Compared at a Glance

Go through what you may expect from the best charge cards based on factors such as reward rates, APRs and annual fees.

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MONEYGEEK QUICK TIP

Charge cards are a good option for people who are concerned about getting into credit card debt. Since charge cards must be paid in full each month, they encourage smart spending habits. -- Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com

MoneyGeek's Quick Guide to Understanding Charge Cards

Traditionally, a charge card requires you to pay off your entire balance every month, which is why you pay no interest. However, charge cards have evolved in recent times, and a number of such cards now give you the ability to make payments over time by paying interest. Typically, you need good to excellent credit to qualify for a charge card.

Charge cards tend to come with no preset spending limits. However, they have maximum limits that are subject to change each month. It is also common for charge cards to offer spending-based rewards.

What Is the Difference Between a Charge Card and a Credit Card?

The charge card vs. credit card comparison presents some similarities as well as differences. For example, both types of cards can come with rewards.

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    Spending limits

    Credit cards come with predetermined credit limits, whereas charge cards have no preset spending limits.

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    Annual fees

    Finding credit cards with no annual fees is fairly easy, but this is not the case with charge cards.

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    Effect on credit score

    The amount of credit you use from a credit card’s total available credit limit affects your credit utilization ratio, and therefore, your credit score. Since charge cards have no preset spending limits, the most recent FICO scoring models don’t include your charge card balances in your credit utilization ratio. However, calculations carried out using older FICO Score and VantageScore models might include charge card balances when calculating credit scores.

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    Risk of building debt

    Charge cards come with a lower risk of building debt as compared to credit cards because they typically require that you pay off your balances in full each month.

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    Availability

    While the credit card market continues to grow, and new cards enter the picture every so often, the use and availability of charge cards have declined significantly in recent times.

How Do Charge/NPSL Cards Work?

Charge cards tend to come with no preset spending limits. However, every such card has a maximum limit, and once you reach this limit, you may expect to have transactions declined. Issuers of charge cards with no preset spending limits may change the limit every month based on factors such as your income, creditworthiness, spending patterns, payment history and net worth.

Charge cards in the past came with no interest because they required cardholders to pay off their balances in full each month. However, several charge cards now come with an interest-based pay-over-time feature, which makes them function much like conventional credit cards. However, not all purchases you make may qualify for the pay-over-time feature, and you’ll need to pay off balances from any such purchase completely at the end of the billing cycle.

Depending on the charge card you get, you might be able to earn rewards or cash back. Some such cards offer higher earn rates for spending on particular categories. When it comes to redeeming reward points, your options might include using them as a statement credit, using them to pay for travel or transferring them to partner airline/hotel loyalty programs.

Are Charge Cards Worth It?

If you want extra motivation to pay off your balances in full each month, you may want to consider getting a charge card. A charge card might work well for you if you have variable income or expenses and want a card that keeps up with your changing requirements. Since the top charge cards come with no foreign transaction fees, using one when you’re traveling overseas might also make sense.

Getting a charge card can be worth your while if you’re sure you’ll earn enough rewards and use its perks to offset its annual fee. For example, while the American Express Platinum Card offers multiple statement credits and higher reward rates on category-based spending, it comes with an annual fee of $695.

A charge card with an annual fee is best suited for people who spend enough money, frequent travelers, individuals who wish to keep their expenses in check and businesses that wish to streamline and capitalize on their spending.

FAQs About Charge Cards

Understanding the answers to other commonly asked questions about charge cards with no preset spending limits will help you decide if getting this type of card might work well for you.

Now that you have an understanding of how charge cards work, determine if getting one might work well for you. If you decide to move forward, narrow down on the best alternative after paying attention to factors such as annual fees, reward/cash back rates, payment flexibility and added benefits.

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About the Author


expert-profile

Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


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*Rates or fees may vary or include specific stipulations. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.