The Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Credit Cards of 2024

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on annual fees to have a great travel rewards credit card. These are the best travel credit cards with no annual fee.
Updated May 24, 2024
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When picking from the best travel credit cards, many people go for the cards with the benefits. Those rewards credit cards can be great, but not everyone has the budget to spend $500 or more on the annual fees these benefits-rich cards tend to carry.

The good news is you don’t have to pay a fee to benefit from a rewards credit card. There are many credit cards with no annual fee available and even travel credit cards offer great rewards and benefits without you paying extra money to the bank.

That’s why we’re focusing this article on the best travel credit card with no annual fee. Here’s what you need to know to pick the right travel credit card for you.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • No-annual-free credit cards often include perks like travel insurance or discounts.
  • Our top choices include the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card.
  • Choose a no-annual-fee card that matches your travel goals and spending patterns.

The best travel credit cards with no annual fee

Card name Welcome bonus Earnings rate Travel benefits
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Pay yourself back by redeeming points for statement credits to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, baggage fees, and dining expenses.
Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (that’s a $200 cash redemption value) Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans; plus earn 1X points on other purchases
  • 3X for restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans
  • 0% intro APR offer for purchases for 12 months from account opening (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable) could be used to manage travel expenses
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card 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
  • Transfer to 15+ hotel and airline partners
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Rental car theft or damage waiver1
  • Travel accident insurance
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening up to 14X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy; 2X points on other travel purchases; and 1X points on all other purchases
  • 15 Elite Night credits toward status
  • Automatic Silver elite status
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Lost and delayed baggage coverage
  • Trip delay reimbursement
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 6 months 2X miles on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases
  • 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food and beverages
  • Pay-with-Miles option
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Terms apply
Hilton Honors American Express Card Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months (offer ends 7/31/2024) 7X points at participating hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio; 5X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3X points on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Silver elite status
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance2
  • Terms apply
American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Earn 15,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services; 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases; and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • 25% savings on in-flight purchases
United Gateway℠ Card Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open 2 miles per dollar on United purchases, at gas stations, and on local transit and commuting; plus 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Earn United miles on purchases
  • 25% back on United inflight and Club premium drink purchases

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card is particularly useful for people who already bank there. This is because you have the option to use it as overdraft protection for your checking account.

You can earn even more rewards if you’re a Preferred Rewards tier member. Even if you’re not a Bank of America customer, you could still benefit from this card since you can earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

Redeeming your rewards is also easy with this card because you can apply for a statement credit right within your account against any travel or dining purchases — no need to transfer points, use special booking portals, etc.

You’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, which is fairly standard for a no-annual-fee travel card. Plus, it comes with an excellent 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles, and then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable and 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable).

Read our full Bank of America Travel Rewards card review for more details.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card offers a welcome bonus where you can earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (that’s a $200 cash redemption value). It also comes with a decent 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable).

Where it really shines, however, is with its high rewards rate across a wide range of frequently used categories. You’ll earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans; plus earn 1X points on other purchases.

You can redeem those points in many different ways as well: for a statement credit, to pay for PayPal purchases, for gift cards, and more. If you’re already a Wells Fargo customer with a bank account you’ll have even more options, such as a deposit into your bank account. You may even be able to use your ATM card to redeem your points in cash.

Check out our full Wells Fargo Autograph Card review for more details.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Many travelers are familiar with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. However, many don’t know that Capital One also offers a $0-annual-fee version of this card with similar rewards and benefits.

This Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 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. This card also offers a welcome bonus of 20,000 miles when you spend at least $500 on purchases within the first 3 months after account opening.

Miles can be used to book travel or erase travel purchases. You can also redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. You can transfer your miles to several different hotels and airlines that are Capital One transfer partners for potentially even greater value.

This card is good to bring on trips because there are no foreign transaction fees. Cardholders also receive an auto rental collision damage waiver to protect them in case of damage or theft. You’re also covered with travel accident insurance when you use this card to purchase your airfare.

If you need extra time to pay off your big travel purchases, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months (then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) APR).

Learn more in our full Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card review.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card offers cardholders automatic Silver Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. Silver Elite members receive 10% more points on stays, priority late checkout, and free Wi-Fi. As a cardholder, you’ll also receive 15 Elite Nights credits, which makes it easier to move further up the elite status tiers.

When spending with this card, you’ll earn up to 14X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy; 2X points on other travel purchases; and 1X points on all other purchases. Your Marriott Bonvoy points will not expire as long as you make purchases on your credit card every 24 months.

After you’re approved for the card, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a welcome offer.

Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

There are no foreign transaction fees, so you can keep this card in your wallet when traveling internationally. The card also includes baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and trip delay reimbursement.

Learn more in our Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card review.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Travelers who want to earn Delta SkyMiles without paying an annual fee should look into the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card. It earns 2X miles on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases. You can also earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. Terms apply.

Delta SkyMiles can be used to book Delta award flights or redeemed like cash using Pay with Miles. For every 5,000 miles you redeem, you’ll save $50 off the cost of your flight. We consider the potential value of Delta SkyMiles to be higher than this, so we wouldn’t recommend this redemption if you can avoid it.

There are no foreign transaction fees when using the Amex Delta SkyMiles Blue Card. Your rental car is covered in case of theft or damage with car rental loss and damage insurance.2 Plus, you’ll receive savings of 20% in the form of a statement credit after you use your card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food and beverages.

Learn more in our Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card review.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers complimentary Silver elite status in Hilton Honors, even if you’ve never stayed at a Hilton before. This mid-tier status level entitles you to attractive benefits such as 20% extra points on Hilton purchases, complimentary bottled water, and your fifth night free on award stays.

There’s also an opportunity to earn Hilton Honors Gold status when you spend at least $20,000 in a calendar year. Moving up a tier of elite status earns you possible room upgrades, complimentary breakfast at all Hilton hotels, 80% bonus points on Hilton purchases, and more.

When spending with this card, you’ll earn 7X points at participating hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio; 5X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3X points on all other eligible purchases. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees on your purchases.

New cardholders have the opportunity to earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months (offer ends 7/31/2024).

Rental car reservations also receive protection from damage or theft when paying with this card.2

Learn more in our Hilton Honors American Express Card review.

American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card doesn’t offer perks like priority boarding and free checked bags and is best suited for when you want to earn miles but aren’t planning to travel right away.

The AAdvantage MileUp Card earns 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services; 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases; and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases. There are no limits to the number of miles you can earn, and you can add an authorized user at no charge, so their purchases earn you miles as well.

New cardholders have the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus of 15,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after spending $500 within the first 3 months.

With the American Airlines web specials, you can find flights for less than 10,000 miles. This means that the sign-up bonus is enough for you to fly for (nearly) free. And if you fly on American, you’ll receive a 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases in the form of a statement credit.

Although the annual fee is $0, this card does have a 3% foreign transaction fee, so it’s best used for everyday spending or during domestic travel.

Learn more in our American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card review.

United Gateway℠ Card

The United Gateway credit card is an excellent choice if you’re a frequent traveler of any sort. You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on United purchases, at gas stations, and on local transit and commuting; plus 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Your point earnings will be added to your United frequent flyer account each month, where you can redeem them for a wide range of items, but chiefly for tickets. United Airlines flies to over 300 cities worldwide and partners with many other airlines, making it a particularly excellent choice if you want to keep your air travel options option.

Read our full United Gateway card review for more details.

Which of these no-annual-fee travel credit cards should you choose?

Picking the right travel credit card for your situation depends on how you use your credit cards and your travel goals. Although none of these credit cards charges an annual fee, each has specific benefits that are best for certain travelers. For example, if you travel internationally, you’ll want a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.

Earning power is another feature to focus on. Do you want a credit card that earns the same number of rewards no matter where you use it because that just makes life easy? Or do you want a credit card that offers extra rewards at the types of stores where you spend the most? There is a best travel credit card with no annual fee that earns valuable rewards based on how you make purchases.

Also, think about what type of rewards the credit card earns. Do you want to earn flexible points that can be used like cash to book travel, or is it more important to earn airline miles or hotel points? Some credit cards offer the best of both worlds by earning flexible rewards that can be transferred to airline and hotel partners.

Consider your spending and your travel goals, and we’re sure there’s a card on this list that will be a great fit for you.

FAQ

Are there travel cards with no annual fee?

Yes, there are many options for travel cards with no annual fee. Each no-annual-fee travel card can help you earn benefits in different ways, so it’s a good idea to consider your spending patterns and what you hope to get out of your card to help you choose the best option.

Which card is best for international travel?

A no-annual-fee travel card that doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees is the best choice if you’ll be traveling out of the country. That way, you can still use your card to make purchases, but you won’t pay any extra fees.

Is an annual fee travel credit card worth it?

If the dollar value of the rewards you’d earn would outweigh the cost of the annual fee, then a travel credit card that costs money may be worth it.

For example, if you could earn $200 in value every year from a travel credit card, then it makes financial sense to pay a $99 annual fee for that card.

Bottom line on the best travel credit cards with no annual fee

Picking a great travel rewards credit card doesn’t mean you have to pay an annual fee. Yes, these cards may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end travel credit cards, but they also don’t charge an annual fee. See our list of the best no annual fee credit cards for even more options.

Some travelers are averse to paying fees; others want to add another card without increasing the number of annual fees they pay each year. These cards are perfect for either situation, and we consider them among the best travel credit cards for beginners.

Which one will be the best travel credit card with no annual fee for you depends on how you travel, where you spend the most, and what benefits are important to you. Also, consider whether you want to earn flexible points, airline miles, or hotel points.

Methodology

To pick the best travel credit card with no annual fee, we looked for cards that offered a balance of the valuable rewards and benefits travelers love. The credit cards on this list have some combination of travel protection, rental car insurance, and/or automatic elite status. They are also all credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

None of these cards will have every benefit you might want, so keep in mind that it sometimes makes sense to have multiple travel credit cards to ensure you receive all the perks you desire.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

Benefits

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
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Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee

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Author Details

Lee Huffman Lee Huffman is a former financial planner and corporate finance manager who now writes about early retirement, credit cards, travel, insurance, and other personal finance topics. He enjoys showing people how to travel more, spend less, and live better. When Lee is not getting his passport stamped around the world, he's researching methods to earn more miles and points toward his next vacation.

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