Best Rewards Credit Cards for No Annual Fee in 2024

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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.

MoneyGeek experts take a close look at all new and existing no-annual-fee rewards credit cards each month. They follow this up by comparing them based on parameters such as reward rates, welcome offers, APRs and added benefits. The result of their labor is this list of the top cards.

If you wish to use a credit card for business purposes, consider taking a look at what the top business rewards cards have to offer.

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

    The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a traveler's dream come true. With no annual fee and a generous welcome bonus, it's a financial no-brainer for those frequenting Hilton properties or just seeking exceptional value. Whether dining out stateside or shopping abroad, you'll accumulate points seamlessly without those pesky foreign transaction fees. And here's the kicker — this card instantly boosts you to Hilton's Silver status! Want more perks? Just up your spending game, and Gold status awaits. This card truly embraces both the occasional and the dedicated traveler.

    Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Generous welcome bonus
    • High earning rates with Hilton
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Automatic Hilton Silver status

    Cons

    • Potentially high APR
    • High credit requirement
    • Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a Free Night Reward after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first six months. This offer is available until July 31, 2024.
    • Collect 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels and resorts.
    • Receive 5X Points per dollar when you shop at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations.
    • Get 3X Points on all other eligible purchases.
    • No annual fee See Rates and Fees
    • Enjoy Hilton Honors™ Silver status just for having the card. Plus, if you spend $20,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you'll be upgraded to Hilton Honors™ Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
    • With no foreign transaction fees, you can make purchases abroad without any extra costs. See Rates and Fees
    • Terms Apply
    • See Rates and Fees


    Moneygeek.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
    Hilton Honors American Express Card
  • 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

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is an impressive card that pairs affordability with abundant rewards. It offers a compelling welcome bonus with no annual fee and substantial cash back in various everyday categories. It's especially beneficial for consumers who frequently travel, dine out or have regular drugstore purchases. The card is also an ally for big-ticket spending or balance transfers with its initial interest-free period. Plus, its flexible and enduring cash back rewards system means you can redeem them whenever you wish. Keep in mind that this card is best suited for consumers with solid credit histories.

    All information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has been collected independently by Moneygeek.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

    Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
    • Potentially high cash back for certain categories
    • Cash back doesn’t expire and is redeemable at any amount

    Cons

    • Recommended score needed: Good to Excellent credit
    • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
    • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
    • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
    • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
    • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
    • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
    • Member FDIC


    Moneygeek.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
    Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • 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

    The Citi Double Cash® offers unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, making it ideal for those who want a simple, hassle-free way to earn rewards without worrying about categories or limits.

    Pros

    • Easy 2% cash back on all purchases
    • Lengthy 0% intro APR on balance transfers
    • No annual fee
    • Accepts fair credit

    Cons

    • No intro 0% APR for purchases
    • Penalty APR
    • Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which you can redeem for $200 cash back.
    • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
    • Earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through December 31, 2024.
    • Balance transfer offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24%–29.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases. If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
    • There's an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first four months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).


    Moneygeek.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
    Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Chase Freedom Flex®

    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

    The Chase Freedom Flex® card offers remarkable value, especially for consumers who can maximize the diverse cash back categories. Chase welcomes new cardholders with a bonus, and its 0% introductory APR offers a financial cushion for the initial months. Accumulated rewards are yours to keep indefinitely. While it's a boon for those with good credit and an affinity for diving into rotating reward categories, it's less rewarding for generic purchases. Overall, this card is a solid pick for strategic spenders.

    All information about the Chase Freedom Flex has been collected independently by Moneygeek.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

    Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening
    • Potentially high cash back for certain categories
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% to 29.24%.
    • No minimum amount to redeem non-expiring rewards

    Cons

    • Requires good to excellent credit
    • Rotating categories can be complicated
    • Low rewards on non-bonus purchases
    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
    • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter.
    • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, a premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more.
    • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% to 29.24%.
    • No annual fee.
    • Keep tabs on your credit health; Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts and more.
    • Member FDIC.


    Moneygeek.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
    Chase Freedom Flex®
  • 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

    We recommend the no-annual-fee IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card to people who frequently stay at properties that are part of the InterContinental Hotels Group and wish to earn reward points faster. You earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Earn 3X points per $1 spent on purchases on monthly bills, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 2X points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

    If you spend $10,000 or more on purchases in a calendar year, you get Gold Elite Status that remains valid until the end of the following year. If you redeem your points for stays of four or more nights, you get a free reward night. This card is perfect to use outside of the U.S. as it comes with no foreign transaction fees.

    Additional benefits include purchase protection and travel insurance coverage.

    Pros

    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Points expiration period extension
    • High reward rate
    • Numerous hotel redemption options

    Cons

    • Gold Elite status requires high spending
    • High APR depending on your credit
    • No luxury benefits or perks
    • Must pay to transfer points
    • Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
    • No Annual Fee
    • Earn up to 17 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
    • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on purchases on monthly bills, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
    • Redeem 3 Nights, Get the 4th Night Free
    • IHG One Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at Hotels & Resorts such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
    • Member FDIC

    Disclaimer: Credit card offers are constantly changing. We work hard to stay updated with the latest information, but the offers listed on our site may no longer be available.

    IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

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®
    Chase Freedom Flex®
    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 its lengthy intro APR on balance transfers and purchases
  • 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.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com 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.