Best Rewards Credit Cards for No Annual Fee in 2024

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ByDoug Milnes, CFA
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Reviewed byLee Huffman
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Updated: March 14, 2024

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The top no-annual-fee rewards credit cards typically offer high reward rates on spending across specific categories such as travel, dining, groceries and gas. Some also come with higher-than-standard reward rates on all purchases. A number of these cards give you the means to earn spend-based welcome bonuses in the form of cash back, points or miles.

If you favor using a particular airline or group of hotels, you might benefit from getting a co-branded rewards credit card. Examples of cards from this segment that make the cut include the Hilton Honors American Express Card and the IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card.

If you plan to use your no-annual-fee rewards credit card outside of the U.S., look for ones that do not charge foreign transaction fees. Other factors to consider when selecting a card that works well for you include APRs and added benefits.

This article is part of our larger series on
Best Rewards Credit Cards

MoneyGeek’s Take: Top 5 Rewards Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

Quick Summary

Upon going through our list of the best rewards credit cards with no annual fee, you’ll notice that reward rates vary based on the card you get and the bonus categories on offer. We have taken this into account and also have paid attention to APRs, welcome offers and foreign transaction fees to make our selections. To view more options, scroll further down the page.


  • Hilton Honors American Express Card

    A rewarding travel card for people who are casual guests at Hilton hotels and resorts


    • 3–7 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 20.99% – 29.99% VariableAPR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    An excellent no-annual-fee card that lets you earn unlimited cash back


    • 1.5%–6.5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 20.49%–29.24% VariableAPR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • ExcellentRecommended Credit

  • Citi Double Cash® Card

    A great no-annual-fee card that offers up to 2% cash back


    • 0% Intro APR (then variable APR)Balance Transfer Offer
    • 18 MonthsBalance Transfer Duration
    • 19.24%–29.24% VariableAPR
    • $5 or 3%, whichever is greater; $5 or 5% after first 4 monthsBalance Transfer Fee
    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit

    Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Chase Freedom Flex® Card

    An easy-to-use cash back card with quarterly rotating bonus categories


    • 1%–5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 20.49%–29.24% VariableAPR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit

    Chase Freedom Flex® Card
  • IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

    Great card for earning points fast for IHG loyalists


    • 2-17 Points per $1Rewards Rate
    • 21.49% – 28.49% VariableAPR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit

Summary of the Best Rewards Cards for No Annual Fee

Find out how all the top cards from this category fare against each other based on aspects such as APRs, welcome offers and reward rates by going through this no-annual-fee rewards card comparison table.

  • Credit Card
    Best For
    Avg. Reward Rate
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card
    Hilton Honors American Express Card
    A rewarding travel card for people who are casual guests at Hilton hotels and resorts
    3–7 Points per $1*
    $0
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
    Chase Freedom Unlimited®
    An excellent no-annual-fee card that lets you earn unlimited cash back
    1.5%–6.5% Cash Back
    $0
  • Citi Double Cash® Card
    Citi Double Cash® Card
    A great no-annual-fee card that offers up to 2% cash back
  • Chase Freedom Flex® Card
    Chase Freedom Flex® Card
    An easy-to-use cash back card with quarterly rotating bonus categories
    1%–5% Cash Back
    $0
  • IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
    IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
    Great card for earning points fast for IHG loyalists
    2-17 Points per $1
    $0
  • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
    Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
    A great no-annual-fee card for diverse spenders
  • American Express Cash Magnet® Card
    American Express Cash Magnet® Card
    A great no-annual-fee card that comes with unlimited 1.5% cash back across categories
    1.5% Cash Back
    $0
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
    Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
    Best for intro APR on balance transfers and purchases with ongoing value
  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
    Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
    One of the best cards available for Costco members who spend a lot on gas
    1%–4% Cash Back
    $0
  • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
    Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
    An excellent balance transfer card with travel rewards
  • Citi Rewards+® Card
    Citi Rewards+® Card
    An excellent no-annual-fee rewards card with a 0% introductory APR offer
    1–2 Points per $1*
    $0
  • United Gateway Card
    United Gateway Card
    A great no-annual-fee rewards card for people who fly United
    1 Mile per $1
    $0
  • Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
    Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
    A great miles rewards card with no annual fees
    up to 2 Miles per $1*
    $0
  • American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card
    American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card
    A great travel card with no annual fee for frequent flyers on American Airlines
    1–2 Miles per $1
    $0
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
    Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
    Great no-annual-fee card for earning points at Marriot properties
    1–3 Points per $1
    $0
  • Simmons Rewards Visa Signature®
    Simmons Rewards Visa Signature®
    A great no annual fee card that offers rewards and travel benefits
    1.25 Points per $1
    $0
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
    Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
    A simple cash back card that’s best for everyday purchases.
    1%–3% Cash Back
    $0
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

No-fee does not mean no-frills. Many cards today offer attractive benefits and rewards without having to pay an annual fee to use them. -- Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com.

How to Compare Rewards Credit Cards & Intro Offers

Given the significant number of good no-annual-fee rewards credit cards to choose from, paying attention to different factors is important when making a selection.

1

Co-branded or not

If you are a frequent flyer or regularly use any particular group of hotels, you may benefit from getting a co-branded no-annual-fee rewards credit card. Some of the top options include the Amex Hilton Honors Card, the IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card, the United Gateway Card and the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card.

2

Rewards rate

Depending on the card you get, you might stand to earn higher rewards on category-based spending. For instance, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card offers 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and on drugstore purchases. All other purchases come with 1.5% cash back. The Citi® Double Cash Card, on the other hand, lets you earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you make purchases and an additional 1% when you make your payments on time.

3

Welcome offer

Several of the top cards from this category come with welcome offers. For example, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time early spend cash bonus of $200 if you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first three months.

4

APR

Not all cards from this segment come with similar APRs. Pay particular attention to this aspect if you plan to maintain revolving balances in your account from one billing cycle to the next. In such a scenario, you might be better off getting a low APR card. Some no-annual-fee rewards cards also come with time-based 0% APR offers.

5

Foreign transaction fees

If you use a credit card with foreign transaction fees outside of the U.S., expect to pay up to 3% extra on each international transaction. Some of the rewards cards with no annual fees that waive foreign transaction fees include the Amex Hilton Honors Card, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.

6

Added perks

Features and perks tend to vary from one no-annual-fee rewards card to the next. Some of the card-specific benefits you may get include free additional cards, $0 fraud liability, purchase protection, extended warranty and basic travel insurance coverage.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*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. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.
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