The 6 Best Rewards Credit Cards with No Annual Fee (for Every Type of Person)

CREDIT CARDS - NO ANNUAL FEE CREDIT CARDS
If you’re looking for a money-saving credit card, these seven rewards cards with no annual fees are hard to beat.
Updated June 18, 2024
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The 7 Best Rewards Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

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When it comes to credit cards, earning rewards on purchases is a worthwhile benefit to seek out. These rewards can come in different forms, though it’s usually a choice between cash back vs. miles or points.

But if your rewards credit card also comes with an annual fee, you may find the rewards don’t make up for the amount you’re paying each year in fees. According to a 2019 U.S. News study, the average annual fee on credit cards is about $110. If you consider the average American has four credit cards, according to Experian, then you could be looking at average annual fees of about $440.

If you switch to no annual fee credit cards, you could save a lot of money on card fees. But are there really worthwhile rewards cards that don’t come with an annual fee? The short answer is yes. Keep reading to learn about all the best rewards credit cards with no annual fee.

In this article

What is the best rewards card with no annual fee?

As a general rule, there is no single best rewards credit card out there. The best rewards credit card with no annual fee will depend on the person and their unique situation. You may be more interested in cashback credit cards with no annual fee or no-annual-fee business credit cards. The best card is really whatever rewards credit card fits your lifestyle and spending habits.

Methodology

To help you narrow down your search, we looked for cards with clear-cut guidelines on earning and redeeming rewards. Here’s a breakdown of the factors used in choosing the cards on our list of the best rewards credit cards with no annual fee:

  • Easy rewards earning: Rewards credit cards should be straightforward when it comes to figuring out how rewards are earned, whether it’s in the form of points, cash back, or miles. If it’s hard to understand how to earn rewards, it’s probably not a card you want.
  • Simple redemptions: If the redemption process isn’t simple, it can turn off a lot of cardholders from actually using the credit card. There should also be at least a few options for redemptions, such as statement credits, gift cards, and redeeming points or miles for travel.
  • Additional benefits: Credit cards often come with additional perks and benefits. This could include extended warranty coverage, an intro APR of 0% for purchases or balance transfers, purchase protection, and more. These added benefits can be extremely valuable if used correctly and should not be overlooked.

In addition to these factors, we’ve also separated the rewards credit cards into categories that would fit a certain type of person or situation. For instance, if you’re a regular traveler, then you might like a card that comes with travel benefits and rewards you for travel purchases. But if you’re a small business owner, you could be more interested in a business card that rewards you for specific business purchases.

Regardless of the type of awards you’re seeking or the type of spender you are, we think this list will include a credit card that’s a best fit for you.

The best rewards cards with no annual fee

Card name Who it’s best for Welcome bonus Rewards rate
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Families Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, earn 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
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Travelers Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
Citi Double Cash® Card People with high-interest debt Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Business owners Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Frequent diners Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening 3% cash back on dining and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), popular streaming services, and entertainment; 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases; 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats (through 11/14/2024); and 1% cash back on all other purchases
Prime Visa Online shoppers $100 Amazon gift card upon approval 5% cash back at Amazon.com, Whole Foods Market, and on Chase Travel purchases; 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, and on local transit and commuting; 1% cash back on all other purchases

Best no-annual-fee rewards card for families

For families, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a great choice. It comes with the potential to earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).

You can earn 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, earn 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. This makes it easy to use this card for just about everything and reap the rewards along the way. You also earn 5% total cash back on qualifying Lyft rides. Families may find this card to be useful as an ideal universal option for everyday purchases on groceries, gas, restaurants, and more. 

Your redemption options include cash back, gift cards, and travel bookings. If you opt for cash back, you can choose to receive it in the form of a statement credit or a direct deposit into your checking or savings account. Gift cards are available for a variety of stores in the shopping, dining, and entertainment industries.

To use your rewards for travel, it’s as easy as logging into your online Chase account and navigating to the Chase Travel portal in which you can redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.

The Freedom Unlimited is one of the cards that comes with Chase’s DoorDash benefits. This card gives you a complimentary 3-month subscription to DashPass. This gets you unlimited $0 deliveries on DoorDash orders over $12.

Additionally, you also receive Chase purchase protection and extended warranty protection.

For more details, check out our Chase Freedom Unlimited card review.

Best no-annual-fee rewards card for travelers

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card comes with a welcome bonus of 20,000 miles after spending $500 in the first first 3 months. You earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Your points never expire as long as the account remains open and can be redeemed for travel bookings, statement credits, cash back, and gift cards.

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a strong choice if you’re looking for a simple travel rewards credit card and have no desire to pay an annual fee while you grow your rewards. You can also book your travel with this card and take your time to pay it off as there is a 0% intro APR (annual percentage rate) on purchases for the first 15 months of the new account After that, the APR is 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable).

You can rest easy while traveling knowing this card has a wide range of travel insurance benefits attached to it. There are also other helpful benefits such as flexible travel redemptions and car rental insurance.

For travelers who don’t want to deal with an annual fee and foreign currency conversion fees, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is one of the best no-annual-fee travel credit cards currently available.

Best no-annual-fee rewards card for balance transfers

The Citi® Double Cash Card is an optimal choice for anyone looking for a great balance transfer offer with a card that also earns cashback rewards. With a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)), the Citi Double Cash has one of the longest intro rates around. You'll want to strategize to pay off your debt by the end of that intro period though, as after that a regular variable APR will go into effect.

When spending with this card, you can earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24. Your cashback rewards can be redeemed as statement credits or deposited into one of your accounts. Alternatively, you can receive a check or have your rewards converted into Citi ThankYou points.

This card also comes with Citi Entertainment benefits that grant cardholders special access to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences, and more.

For more details, check out our Citi Double Cash Card review.

Best no-annual-fee rewards card for businesses

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is a prime choice for small business owners who want great cashback rewards from specific bonus categories. If you need a business credit card for your side hustle, this card is a top choice. Plus, it has a generous offer for all new cardholders: earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.

You earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. All rewards can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, and travel redemptions through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Business owners will find many of this card’s added benefits to be particularly useful. Employee cards can be added at no extra charge and you can set individual spending limits for each one. In addition, your purchased products are protected with extended warranty protection and purchase protection coverages.

For more details, check out our Ink Business Cash® Credit Card review.

Best no-annual-fee rewards card for restaurants

As the name implies, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great choice for frequent diners. You can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, you’ll earn 3% cash back on dining and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), popular streaming services, and entertainment; 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases; 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats (through 11/14/2024); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. That makes this card one of the best credit cards for dining out. The dining category includes purchases at any restaurant and other food- or drink-centered businesses. Capital One lists these as cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains, and bakeries.

Rewards can be redeemed for cash back in the form of either a statement credit or a check. For stress-free redemptions, you can set up automatic redemption preferences to receive your cash back at certain times throughout the year or whenever you hit specific thresholds (starting at a minimum of $25).

With no foreign transaction fees and built-in travel accident insurance, traveling foodies might especially consider a spot in their wallets for this card.

Best no-annual-fee rewards card for online shopping

The Prime Visa is a perfect credit card for online shoppers. You earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com, Whole Foods Market, and on Chase Travel purchases; 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, and on local transit and commuting; 1% cash back on all other purchases. Even better, you’ll also receive a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval for the card.

Rewards can be redeemed to pay for Amazon.com purchases with no minimum rewards balance necessary. You can also redeem your rewards through Chase for cash back, gift cards, or travel.

This card also comes with plenty of additional benefits to make it even more valuable. Travel benefits include no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement. For protection coverages, you have rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection, among others.

Although this card requires an eligible Amazon Prime membership, the Amazon Visa does not, but the non-Prime version of the card also has less earning potential. You earn only 3% cash back at Amazon.com, Whole Foods Market, and Chase Travel, and the immediate sign-up bonus is a smaller amount. This makes the Prime version of the card the superior option if you’re an Amazon Prime member.

For more details, check out our Prime Visa review.

Bottom line on the best rewards cards with no annual fee

You’re looking for a rewards credit card, but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of an annual fee. Not to mention, there are a lot of no-annual-fee cards out there, so it can be difficult to narrow down which one is the right fit for you.

Fortunately, we’ve listed the best no annual fee credit cards with rewards that can fit a variety of situations. Whether you’re a foodie, small business owner, or a student looking to improve your credit score — there’s a card for you. The cards we've listed include travel cards, cashback cards, business cards, and more. And there are even credit card issuers offering sign-up bonuses.

Just keep in mind that the best card for you might not necessarily be the best card for someone else. There are a lot of great credit cards available, though, so we wish you well in finding the perfect card for you.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.