The 8 Best Credit Cards Without Annual Fees of 2019

Stop wasting money on those pesky fees

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Some of the best credit cards also come with an annual fee, which means the credit cards have to offer enough perks to justify paying a fee to have the credit card. If you want to cut down the cost of carrying credit cards, choosing a card with no annual fee is the obvious choice.

Not sure which no annual fee credit cards are worth it? We've reviewed credit cards that don't charge an annual fee and put together a list of the best. Our list includes:

  • Best for 5% Rewards: Chase Freedom
  • Best for Small Business: Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
  • Best for Balance Transfers: Citi Simplicity
  • Best for Troubled Credit: Capital One Secured Mastercard
  • Best for Everyday Shopping: Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
  • Best for Travel: BankAmericard Travel Rewars Credit Card
  • Best Flat Rate Cash Back Rewards: Citi Double Cash
  • Best Signup Bonus: Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Going the no annual fee route doesn’t mean you have to miss out on great credit card perks. Many of the best no annual fee credit cards offer rewards, special APR pricing, or even both. To keep your credit card costs down, make sure you pay your balance on time and in full each month. This keeps you from having to pay additional interest and fees on the card.

 

01

Chase Freedom
Courtesy of Chase

What we like: The Chase Freedom is one of the most popular credit cards. As a new cardholder, you can earn a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. You can meet that by spending about $167 on credit card purchases each month. Balance transfers and cash advances don’t earn rewards.

You’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter. The bonus categories rotate each quarter and you have to signup to earn the 5% rewards. All other purchases earn 1% cash rewards. Your purchases earn points that you can redeem for cash back as a statement credit to your account.

What we don't like: You have to activate the bonus categories each quarter for your purchases to earn 5% cash back rewards. Plus, quarterly rotating bonus categories means you'll have to change your spending to maximize your rewards.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Ongoing APR: 17.24% to 25.99% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount in U.S. dollars
  • Signup Bonus: $150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months

02

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Courtesy of Chase

What we like: The Chase Ink Business Cash credit card offers cash rewards for small business owners who spend a lot on their businesses each month.

The Chase Ink Business Cash credit card allows you to earn $500 in cash back rewards after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. If you spend at least $1,000 each month on your business, meeting the minimum spending requirement will be a cinch.

Ongoing, you’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants every year, which is easily done if you’re taking clients out for meals or on the road traveling to meetings. You'll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

What we don't like: If you shop internationally for your business, this isn't the best card for those purchases. You'll pay a foreign transaction fee on any purchases made in a currency other than U.S. dollars, even with online retailers located in other countries.. The fee applies even when you're making online purchases with international retailers. 

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
  • Ongoing APR: 15.49% to 21.49% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $15 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount in U.S. dollars
  • Signup Bonus: $500 bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months

03

Citi Simplicity Mastercard
Courtesy of Citi 

What we like: Citi Simplicity has a very long introductory period for balance transfers–21 months. All transfers must be completed within the first 4 months. You'll also pay no interest on purchases in the first 12 months.

There's no late fee, no penalty rate, and no annual fee. You can choose your own payment due date, which is great if you're paid weekly or bi-monthly and have several other bills that fall in the beginning or end of the month.

What we don't like: Citi Simplicity doesn't offer a rewards program or a signup bonus. The card also has a much shorter introductory period for purchases.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% for 21 months on balance transfers; 0% for 12 months on purchases. 
  • Ongoing APR: 16.99% to 26.99% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the purchase amount in U.S. dollars.
  • Signup bonus: None offered

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04

What we like: The Capital One Secured Mastercard makes it easy to get started with a secured credit card. You may have the option of paying a a minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 for a $200 credit limit, depending on your credit history.

After making your first five monthly payments on time, Capital One will consider you for an automatic credit limit increase with no additional security deposit required. You’ll have also access to CreditWise, a free credit monitoring tool that helps you stay on top of your credit score.

What we don't like: The card has a high APR, which means paying your balance in full each month is a much to avoid expensive finance charges.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Poor
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Fee: Up to $39
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 26.99% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: None offered

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05

Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
Courtesy of American Express 

What we like: The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express also pays 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in grocery purchases each year. Plus you'll earn 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select departments and 1% cash back on everything else. Grocery purchases over $6,000 in a calendar year will earn 1% cash back.

You can earn a $200 bonus statement credit by spending $1,000 in the first three months of having your credit card.

What we don't like: Purchases made at wholesale clubs and superstores don't qualify for 3% cash back rewards. Instead, these purchases will earn at the 1% rate.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Ongoing APR: 15.24% to 26.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $0 on transfers requested in the first 60 days; $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $5 or 3% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 2.7% of the amount after conversion to U.S. dollars
  • Welcome Offer: $200 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months

06

BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card
Courtesy of Bank of America

What we like: The BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card offers a signup bonus worth $250 in travel purchases if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

Ongoing, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5 points for every dollar you spend on purchases. Bank of America customers with an active checking or savings account get a 10% points bonus on every purchase. And the bonus increases up to 75% if you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client.

What we don't like: The rewards rate is low relative to annual-fee travel credit cards.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 12 billing cycles
  • Ongoing APR: 17.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account.

07

What we like: The Citi Double Cash incentivizes cardholders to pay off balances by paying 1% cash back as you repay your balances. You'll also earn 1% on all purchases as you make them.

The flat rate cash back setup allows you to maximize rewards without having to pay attention to categories or alter your spending

What we don't like: Unfortunately, the Double Cash doesn't offer a signup bonus for new cardholders.

  •     Minimum Credit Required: Good
  •     Annual Fee: None
  •     Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 18 months
  •     Ongoing APR: 15.74% to 25.74% variable
  •     Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  •     Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance
  •     Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the purchase amount in U.S. dollars
  •     Signup Bonus: None offered

08

Generic credit card graphic design
Courtesy of Getty Images

What we like: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, a co-branded credit card with Wells Fargo and American Express, pays a signup bonus with $300 cash redemption value if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. 

Ongoing, you’ll earn three points for every dollar you spend on restaurants, gas stations, ride shares and transit, flights, hotels, home stays, car rentals, and popular streaming services; all your other purchases will earn one point per dollar.

What we don't like: There's a relatively higher spend amount to earn the signup bonus.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
  • Ongoing APR: 16.24%-28.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months

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About Our Reviews

We are committed to researching and recommending the best financial solutions and products for our readers. Jacara has partnered with CardRatings and may receive commissions from links within our content, but these have no bearing on our reviews or recommendations. The above content has not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any card issuers prior to publishing.