The 9 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards of 2019

If paying an annual fee isn’t in your budget, here are some top no annual fee credit cards to consider.
11/23/19 | By Brett Holzhauer
Man paying for a purchase with a no annual fee credit card

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Paying an annual fee or similar credit card costs can feel a bit unorthodox. In essence, you’re paying a fee to spend money.

But many credit cards with annual fees offer ways to recoup those costs plus earn extra rewards, which can make these cards worth the expense.

Many popular credit cards have an annual fee, but if you aren’t in a place where paying an annual fee is possible, don’t fret. There are plenty of cards with no annual fees that can suit your spending and earning needs.

9 best no annual fee credit cards

A great no annual fee card is one that makes it easy to earn points or cash back without the hassle of tracking bonus categories or complicated rewards programs.

For many, the idea of juggling four or five cards to max out the cards’ earnings isn’t appealing. Instead, they want one card they can put everything on and still reap decent rewards.

For a no annual fee card, consider ones that offer at least 1.5% cash back on all purchases and a welcome bonus of some sort. Other perks to look for are features like rental car insurance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, cell phone protection, and roadside assistance.

Card Best for...
American Express Cash Magnet Card Someone who wants to save money with no fuss
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express A single person or couple with focused spending on groceries and gas
Chase Freedom Unlimited Someone with less focused spending but who still wants to earn decent cash back
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Those looking to earn a quick early spend bonus and respectable returns on spending
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Those who enjoy dining and going out
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Earning points redeemable for travel
Discover it Cash Back Someone with diversified spending
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Those who need to consolidate debt for 18 billing cycles
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Earning points on based on specified spending

American Express Cash Magnet Card

The American Express Cash Magnet Card is a great card for someone looking for a way to earn cash back on their purchases with little effort. You can earn up to 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Along with this, you will have an introductory 0% APR (annual percentage rate) for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.

Along with the cash back, you’ll have access to Amex Offers, which are card exclusive offers for discounts on various products.

As for travel insurance, you’ll benefit from car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage), a global assistance hotline, roadside assistance, and travel accident insurance.

If you’re looking for warranties, this card does come with extended warranty perks. This will extend the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for up to two additional years. Also, if you’re unable to return eligible items within 90 days of the date of purchase, American Express may refund the full purchase price, excluding shipping and handling.

Lastly, when something you buy breaks or is stolen, purchase protection can have you covered. If the item was purchased less than 120 days ago (90 days for residents of New York, Indiana, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Northern Mariana Islands), it may be eligible for replacement.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is a solid choice for earning rewards on supermarket, gas, and department store purchases. With the Blue Cash Everyday Card, you can earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, 1% cash back on other purchases.

You can also qualify for a welcome bonus — earn $150 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

The card can also be used to consolidate credit card you might already have or fund a large purchase. There’s a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.

You’ll also have all of the same travel coverages and warranty coverages listed under the American Express Cash Magnet Card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a top choice for anyone looking to take the next step in their cashback earnings. You can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. You can also earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

To add to the savings, the card also comes with a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.

This card does have unique features, which include no minimum to cash out your earnings, the ability to use cashback earnings on Amazon orders, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and contactless pay.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a straightforward option for earning cash back on everyday purchases. You can earn 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day. You can also earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

There’s even a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers that you can take advantage of. Other benefits of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards include no foreign transaction fees, extended warranty, travel accident insurance, complimentary concierge service, and 24-hour travel assistance services.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card may be a good fit for someone interested in great food and entertainment.

You can get 3% unlimited cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Capital One defines entertainment categories as buying tickets to a movie, theatrical play, sporting event, tourist attraction, theme park, aquarium, zoo, dance club, pool hall, or bowling alley.

To add, you can earn a $150 one-time cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

As for features of the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards, you’ll get the same benefits as the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards above, including the 0% intro APR for 15 months months on purchases and balance transfers.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers the chance to earn valuable miles that can be used towards travel. You can earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

Along with this, you can earn 10X miles when booking on Hotels.com through January 2020, and 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day. You’ll also have a 0% intro APR for 12 months on new purchases.

The features on the card are identical to the above Capital One cards, plus you can transfer your miles to various airline partners, such as Aeromexico, Air Canada, Emirates, JetBlue Airways, and Singapore Airlines.

Discover it Cash Back

The Discover it Cash Back has a lot of earning potential but does need a bit of strategy to max it out.

The card comes with rotating quarterly categories that earn up to 5% cash back, up to $1,500. This can earn you $75 in cash back in the selected categories per quarter.

In 2019, the quarterly spending categories include grocery stores, gas stations, Uber, Lyft, restaurants, and Target.

If you spend a decent amount of money in the quarterly categories, this can net a decent return. However, it does take a small amount of planning, as you do have to activate each quarter to earn your bonus cashback. You’ll earn 1% on all other purchases.

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum is largely for people looking for stress-free spending or to consolidate debt. You get a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles.

Along with this, you’ll have cell phone protection when you pay your monthly bill with your U.S. Bank Visa Platinum.

As this card doesn’t offer any sort of rewards, you won’t benefit from your everyday spending like you would with other cards on this list.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is another great card to turn focused spending into valuable reward points for travel.

With this card, you can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, worth $300 when redeemed for cash. Along with this, you can also earn 3X points on eligible dining, transportation, travel, and streaming service purchases; and 1X points on other purchases.

The card even comes with an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.

As for other benefits, there are no foreign transaction fees with the card, and it comes with cell phone protection from damage or theft.

Final thoughts

There are great perks to be earned from cards with no annual fee. Whether you’re looking for a points-earning or cashback card, there’s nothing wrong with refusing to pay an annual fee.

However, if you’d like to take your points earning to the next level or have higher monthly spending, you may want to consider getting a card with an annual fee to ensure better earnings. It may seem a bit counterproductive to pay to spend, but the right circumstances may earn you additional rewards.

A Simple Cashback Card for Day-to-Day

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Benefits

  • $150 welcome bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets; 2% at U.S. gas stations and select department stores; 1% on all other purchases
  • Terms apply
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