Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards in 2022

A no annual fee credit card — as the name implies — comes with no yearly fees and might offer different types of benefits. MoneyGeek can help you decide if a no annual fee card is right for you and make it easier to explore your options.

Last Updated: 7/1/2022
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While credit cards with annual fees can be worth the money, you can also score some rewards and other perks — along with no yearly charges — with a no annual fee card. If you don’t like the idea of paying an ongoing annual fee and aren’t looking for much in the form of additional features, a no annual fee card might work well for you.

MoneyGeek narrowed down the best no annual fee credit cards based on features like rewards and APR and laid out our comparison results in easy-to-understand charts and tables. Keep in mind that you need good to excellent credit to qualify for no annual fee cards with the best benefits. If your credit is less than favorable, there are credit cards with no annual fee with little to no benefits.

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MoneyGeek Quick Tip: If you plan to maintain revolving credit in your account, consider getting a no annual fee card with an intro 0% APR offer on purchases, as this can help you save during the first 12 to 18 months. However, note that the card’s regular APR will kick in at the end of the promotional period.

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MoneyGeek’s Take: No Annual Fees Cards for Consumers & Businesses

MoneyGeek’s experts reviewed and compared more than 100 credit cards to compile our list of the best credit cards with no annual fees. We’ve taken rewards, reward bonuses, customer experiences and other factors into account to make our selections.

Summary of Top Cards

Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fee for July 2022

Selecting a credit card with no yearly fees requires paying close attention to your specific requirements. For instance:

  • Do you plan to use the card internationally?
  • Do you want to capitalize on your spending by earning rewards?
  • Do you want to build or rebuild your credit?
  • Will you pay off your balances in full each month?

Rewards Cards With No Annual Fee

It’s becoming increasingly common for no annual fee cards to offer rewards or cash back on category-based spending. If you’re looking for a credit card with no annual fees and cash back options, be sure to account for the categories in which you tend to spend the most, as this will have a bearing on the rewards you earn.

  • creditApproved icon


    Capital One SavorOne Rewards
    A great no annual fee card that comes with rewards

    • Excellent, GoodCredit Needed
    • 3% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • $200 cash bonus*Other Perks
    • 14.99%-24.99%APR

  • Citi Double Cash Card
    A great no annual fee card that offers 2% cash back

    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • 2% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 0% APR Balance TransfersOther Perks
    • 13.99% - 23.99%APR

  • American Express Delta SkyMiles Blue Card
    A great miles rewards card with no annual fees

    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • 2X Miles*Rewards Rate
    • 10,000 Bonus Miles*Other Perks
    • 15.74% - 24.74%APR

Business Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

While you might not get much in the form of features through a business credit card with no annual fee, you may still expect a few business-specific benefits. These can come in the form of higher cash back for office-related spending, employee cards at no extra cost and the ability to integrate your credit card account with your bookkeeping software.

  • creditApproved icon


    Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card
    An excellent no annual fees rewards card for Costco members

    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • 1-4% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • No Foreign Transaction FeesOther Perks
    • 15.24%APR

  • Chase Ink Business Cash
    Great business card with no annual fee and soild welcome bonus

    • Excellent, GoodCredit Needed
    • 1-5% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • $750 Bonus Cash BackOther Perks
    • 13.24% - 19.24%APR

No Annual Fee Cards for Limited Credit

If you have no credit history or poor creditworthiness, you might still qualify for a no annual fee card for limited credit. These cards let you build or rebuild your credit by reporting your payment histories to all three major credit bureaus. You may also want to consider applying for a secured credit card by paying a security deposit.

  • creditApproved icon


    Capital One Platinum Credit Card
    A great no-frills no-annual-fee card for people with fair credit

    • Limited-FairCredit Needed
    • NoneRewards Rate
    • No balance transfer feesOther Perks
    • 26.99%APR

  • Citi Secured Mastercard
    A great no-annual-fee card for people looking at building their credit

    • No - Limited CreditCredit Needed
    • NoneRewards Rate
    • Low minimum depositOther Perks
    • 22.49%APR

Top Rating Criteria for No Annual Fee Credit Cards

No Annual Fee

MoneyGeek’s best credit cards rankings are determined using public data from card issuers and other reputable sources, such as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Our experts look over each card's fees, rewards, benefits, interest rates and more to rate each feature. These ratings are stack ranked and weighted for each card category to determine our top picks for each user. Each month, we revisit our data to update our ratings, recommendations, and other card information as needed because we know credit card features regularly change. View our methodology page to learn more about how we collect data and rank cards.

Quick Tips for Comparing No Annual Fee Credit Card Offers

There is more to selecting a credit card than looking at its annual fee. The card’s APR affects the amount you pay as interest. It’s also important to consider each card’s fees, rewards, sign-up bonuses and added perks.

  • Card Feature
  • APR
    APR is important to be aware of, especially if you plan to carry forward outstanding balances from one month to the next. Consider this example — say you have an outstanding debt of $1,000 that you repay by making $100 payments each month. If you get a card with a 13.25% APR, you’ll end up paying $61 as interest. If the APR was 24.5%, you’d pay $115 as interest.
  • Fees
    Late fees and returned check fees are a staple with all credit cards, although the amount might vary from one card to the next. If you plan to use your card outside of the U.S., look for one that comes with no foreign transaction fees. Otherwise, you might need to pay up to 3% on each international transaction. For example, that’s $60 in fees for a $2,000 transaction.
  • Rewards
    These can come in the form of reward points or cash back. With reward points, you need to determine the dollar value of each point, as these tend to vary. Some cards let you earn points faster when you spend across specific categories such as dining, entertainment, gas and groceries. Look at how you may redeem your rewards as well, as not all cards offer the same methods.
  • Bonuses
    Some no annual fee credit cards offer sign-up bonuses. Earning these bonuses typically requires that you meet predetermined spending criteria, but can equal large rewards like cash back or travel miles.
  • Added Perks
    Despite not charging any yearly fees, some no annual fee cards offer additional benefits, like purchase protection and complimentary travel insurance.
No Annual Fee Credit Cards Compared at a Glance

Compare the cards below based on the creditworthiness required, their reward rates and the APR that applies on purchases. The links in the table below will take you to our partner’s site,, where you can compare and apply for a selected credit card.

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MoneyGeek’s Quick Guide to Understanding No Annual Fee Credit Cards

A no annual fee credit card doesn’t charge the cardholder a yearly fee. They can offer great value through rewards and cash back. Some such cards offer intro bonuses, and you may also find ones that charge no foreign transaction fees. No annual fee cards may work well for people who don’t spend much money, are looking for their first cards or are uninterested in paying a yearly recurring fee.

Getting a credit card with no yearly fees requires an application process where the card issuer examines your existing finances and creditworthiness.

Annual Fee Cards vs. No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Given the high number of no annual fee credit cards on the market, it’s fair to wonder if it makes sense to pay a yearly fee to use a card. In most cases, credit cards that come with annual fees offer an array of travel benefits, favorable reward structures and large bonuses.

Cards with fees may be worth it to you if the benefits and rewards offset and exceed the annual charge. However, many cards without fees offer similar benefits that could provide you sufficient value based on your situation. Weighing the value of benefits against how you use credit cards can help you choose between a card with fees and without.

If you wish to get a premium card with annual fees, you will likely need to have good or excellent credit.

Reward Rates

Credit cards that come with annual fees tend to have better reward rates than no annual fee cards. If you’re prepared to pay a yearly fee, you may find cards that offer up to 5% cash back on category-based spending. Determining if paying a fee is worth the rewards you earn requires that you calculate your estimated earnings in rewards and compare it with the annual fee you’ll need to pay.

Travel Benefits

Some of the common benefits linked with premium annual fee credit cards include travel insurance, elite membership status in hotel or airline reward programs that come with added perks. Additional benefits may include airport lounge access, discounts on flight and hotel bookings, bonus credit that cardholders may use with ride sharing companies, TSA PreCheck and the ability to transfer points to various airline or hotel reward programs.


Some annual fee cards offer yearly bonus points if you meet predetermined spending criteria. For example, a card might offer 5,000 bonus points if you spend at least $10,000 in a year. One-time welcome bonuses provided by annual fee cards are typically more substantial than the sign-up bonuses you’ll find through no annual fee cards. While an intro bonus might seem appealing initially, you need to determine if the card in question will provide value in years to come.

Who Should Use No Annual Fee Credit Cards?

You may want to consider getting a no annual fee credit card if you meet one or more of these criteria:

  • You’re a new credit card user. If you've never used a credit card until now, getting one with no annual fees to learn the ropes might be in your best interest. While you develop responsible spending habits, you’ll also improve your credit.
  • You want to rebuild your credit. People with poor or limited credit might benefit from no annual fee cards, provided they start maintaining good financial habits. As long as they continue to make timely repayments, they may expect to improve their credit scores.
  • You’re looking to save on interest. If you have outstanding debt on a card with a high APR, you might benefit by getting a no annual fee card that comes with a 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers. Depending on the card you get, the 0% APR may stay in place from 12 to 18 months.
  • You don’t use your card much. If you intend to use your credit card occasionally, a no annual fee card might be best for you. Typically, benefiting from annual fee cards requires that you spend a tidy sum throughout the year.
  • You want to diversify your benefit options. Some people who have existing cards get no annual fee cards to make the most of what’s on offer. For instance, while a premier card might limit its rewards to spending across specific categories, a cash back card with no annual fees can give you the ability to earn unlimited cash back on all your purchases.
  • You don’t have outstanding balances. If you plan to pay off your balances in full each month, you don’t have to worry about a high APR that might come with your no annual fee card.

Using a No Annual Fee Credit Card as a Stepping Stone

A no annual fee credit card gives you a cost-effective way to learn how credit cards work and how to be responsible with your finances. You may use your no annual fee card as a stepping stone to build your credit history. This can result in an increased credit limit and open the door to more specialized and premium cards.

Moving forward, you can think about getting an annual fee card with the aim of increasing your reward earning potential. While finding a no annual fee card with rewards is fairly easy, annual fee cards tend to offer better perks.

How Can I Get a Credit Card With No Annual Fee?

Start by selecting a no annual fee card based on your spending patterns and requirements. For instance, if you wish to earn cash back as an individual, you can get up to 2% cash back on all purchases through the Citi Double Cash Card. On the other hand, business users may benefit by getting 5% cash back on purchases at office supply stores, as offered by the Chase Ink Business Cash card.

Next, look at the credit score required to qualify for any given card, and apply only if you meet this criterion.

Once you’ve found the card you wish to get, apply online, over the phone or via mail. Information you need to provide includes:

  • Personal details (complete name, date of birth and Social Security Number)
  • Contact details (phone number, residential address and email address)
  • Employment and income details

In some cases, credit card issuers inform applicants about their decision in minutes. However, since the approval process might involve looking over your finances and credit history, it can take a week or more. You might have to wait for up to 14 days to receive your approved card through the mail.

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Traveling or making a big purchase soon? If you apply for a credit card and are approved, call customer service immediately, and kindly ask them to overnight the card to you. They will likely say yes, and do this free of charge. — Brett Holzhauer, Personal Finance Reporter

FAQs About No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Questions surrounding the use of no annual fee cards are plentiful, and we’ve answered the most commonly asked ones below.

Just how well a no annual fee card works for you depends on factors such as how much money you spend, the rewards you want and whether or not you pay off your balances in full each month.

Tips From The Pros: Finding the Right No Annual Fee Card

  1. What are some pros and cons of no annual fee credit cards?
  2. What should consumers consider when comparing no annual fee credit cards?
  3. What are some reasons to consider paying an annual fee for a credit card?
Harry P. Bowen, Ph.D.
Harry P. Bowen, Ph.D.

Professor, McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte

Emily Carlson Goenner
Emily Carlson Goenner

Assistant Professor, Herberger Business School at St. Cloud State University

Timothy Moreland
Timothy Moreland

Assistant Professor of Economics at The University of North Carolina – Greensboro

Dr. Aleksandar (Sasha) Tomic
Dr. Aleksandar (Sasha) Tomic

Economist and Program Director of Boston College's MS in Applied Economics Program, Associate Dean, Strategy, Innovation, & Technology, Woods College of Advancing Studies, Boston College

Larry Duffany
Larry Duffany

Principal Owner, Larry the Money Medic

Laurie Meamber
Laurie Meamber

Associate Professor of Marketing at George Mason University

May Jiang
May Jiang

CPA, CFP®, Founder of Beyond Profit and Wealth Consulting

Lambrianos Nikiforidis, Ph.D.
Lambrianos Nikiforidis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Marketing at SUNY Oneonta

Dr. Brian J Adams
Dr. Brian J Adams

Associate Dean of Graduate Business Programs and Professor of Finance at the University of Portland's Pamplin School of Business

Steven J. Welch
Steven J. Welch

Associate Professor of Finance and Chair of the Department of Accounting & Finance at at College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University

Michael Manahan
Michael Manahan

Lecturer at California State University, Dominguez Hills

Jeff Johnson, Ph.D.
Jeff Johnson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Henry W. Bloch School of Management

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Professor and Dollars and $ense Advisor at Joliet Junior College

Dr. Chris Phillips
Dr. Chris Phillips

Professor of Economic and Statistics at Somerset Community College

Bill Schretter, CLU, ChFC, CFP, ATA, CFC
Bill Schretter, CLU, ChFC, CFP, ATA, CFC

CFP Board Ambassador and an Adjunct Faculty Member at UC

Shilpi Sunil Kumar
Shilpi Sunil Kumar

Assistant Professor of Economics at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John's University

Josiah R. Baker
Josiah R. Baker

Nimocks Professor of International Business, Professor of Financial Economics at Methodist University

John Korsak
John Korsak

Assistant Teaching Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Economics Department

Dr. Martin Mulyadi
Dr. Martin Mulyadi

Associate Professor of Accounting at Shenandoah University

Ahmed Maamoun
Ahmed Maamoun

Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Minnesota

Norbert Tschakert, Ph.D., CPA
Norbert Tschakert, Ph.D., CPA

Gassett-Schiller '83 Professor of Accounting at the Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University

Nadia Nafar
Nadia Nafar

Assistant Professor of Management, Business and Economics

Yong Chao, PhD
Yong Chao, PhD

Professor of Economics at the College of Business, University of Louisville

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About the Author

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.

*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
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