Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards of 2018
- September 26, 2016
- Posted by: Melissa Horton
- Category: Credit Cards
Many people do not understand the nuances of credit cards (especially college students), but many cardholders know that they want to avoid the extra expense of an annual fee.
Fortunately, today’s market offers numerous credit cards with no annual fee. As a tradeoff, many of these cards come with fewer benefits. Still, a credit card with no annual fee is usually essential for new credit card users.
When looking for a credit card with no annual fee, the secret is to find the card that offers the most benefits and lowest annual percentage rate (APR). In some cases, it will be a clear-cut decision between greater rewards or lower costs. Even better – some no annual fee credit cards offer a refreshing middle ground between those two extremes.
Here is a list of the best no annual fee credit cards on the market to help you find the card that works for you.
The 14 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards for 2018
Blue Cash EveryDay Card
APR: 14.74%–25.74% (0% for first 15 months)
Rewards: 3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% cash back at department stores and gas stations, 1% cash back on all other purchases
Bonus Rewards: $200 credit for spending $1,000 in first 3 months
Fees: No annual fee, $5 or 3% on balance transfers, $38 late payment fee, 2.7% foreign transaction fee
American Express credit cards strive to provide options that fit many types of user’s needs. If you are looking for a card with solid rewards that has no annual fee, consider the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. This Amex card offers many worthwhile benefits to cardholders with good credit.
American Express offers an introductory bonus of $200 for spending at least $1,000 in the first three months with the Blue Cash Everyday Card. Aside from the introductory bonus, there are several different standard cash-back rates for this no annual fee credit card. First, 3% back is offered on purchases made at supermarkets, but this rate is only eligible for the first $6,000 of purchases in a year. Second, 2% back is earned on gas station and department store purchases. Finally, 1% back is applied to all other purchases.
APR & Fees
Of course, there is no annual fee. Despite this luxury, this card still has plenty of other fees to keep in mind. Balance transfer and cash-withdrawal transaction fees are $5 or 3%, and the foreign transaction fee is 2.7%. Late and returned payment fees are $38.
The Blue Cash Everyday Card comes with an annual percentage rate (APR) since cardholders are not required to pay each month’s balance in full. After a 15-month 0% introductory APR, there is an APR range of 14.74%–25.74% for balance transfers and regular purchases. The cash advance APR is 26.99% while the penalty APR is 29.99%.
Overall, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is a great card that has the added benefit of no annual fee. This could be an excellent choice for someone who wants good benefits at a low cost.
APR: 13.74%–23.74% (0% on regular purchases for first 12 months)
Rewards: 1.25 miles/$1 spent on regular purchases
Bonus Rewards: 20,000 miles for spending $1,000 in first three months
Fees: No annual fee, $10 or 3% on cash advances, $38 max late payment fee, no foreign transaction fee
Potential cardholders in need of a credit card with no annual fee are in luck with the VentureOne from Capital One. It offers solid benefits to its holders which makes it a shining example of a no annual fee travel option. It also happens to be one of the most popular Capital One credit cards, which is no coincidence.
To kick things off, VentureOne users who spend $1,000 in the first three months receive 20,000 miles. This bonus offer is worth $200 which is applicable to travel purchases. This is effectively an introductory rate of 20% towards travel purchases.
When making day to day purchases, cardholders earn 1.25 miles for each dollar spent. This is effectively a 1.25% rate since every 100 miles is worth $1 in travel redemptions. These miles do not expire, and there are no limits to how many miles can be saved.
APR & Fees
Cardholders can expect no annual fee if they are maintaining a Capital One VentureOne credit card, but the same cannot be said about some of the other fees. Cash advances are subject to a fee that is either $10 or 3%. Additionally, up to $38 is charged on payments that are late.
After an introductory APR of 0% in the first year, regular purchases are paired with an APR that falls between a range of 13.74%–23.74%. The same exact range is used for balance transfers, but there is no introductory offer. Cash advances involve an APR of 24.74%.
With no annual fee, the VentureOne credit card is a good deal for people who intend to redeem their rewards for travel benefits. For any other purpose, however, the worth of the benefits package is significantly decreased.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
APR: 16.49%–25.24% (0% for first 15 months)
Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Bonus Rewards: $150 for spending $500 in first three months
Fees: No annual fee, $5 or 5% on balance transfers, 3% foreign transaction fee, $37 max late payment fee
Chase Bank offers its own no annual fee credit cards. One of the first and foremost examples is the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card. Chase beneficiaries in need of a low-cost card with benefits would do well to look into this credit card.
Cardholders who spend at least $500 within the initial three months of receiving the credit card earn a $150 credit. This introductory bonus is equivalent to a 30% cash-back rate. In addition to this benefit, those who add an additional authorized user to their account are eligible for a $25 bonus credit, but this addition needs to be made during the three-month introductory period. All in all, this is a total credit of $175.
A general rate of 1.5% back is offered on day-to-day purchases that are made with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. These earnings cannot expire so long as the cardholder has the account open, and there is no limit, hence the term “unlimited.”
APR & Fees
There is no annual fee with this card, but it does have other low-cost fees. The transaction fees are standard. Balance transfers are charged $5 or 5%, depending on which value is greater. Cash advances are subject to a fee of either $10 or 5%. On top of these fees, there is an additional foreign transaction fee of 3%. The maximum late payment and returned payment fee is $37.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card makes its name as a low-cost credit card with a low APR. Both balance transfer and regular purchase APRs are 0% for the first 15 months with the card. When this introductory period ends, the APR ranges from 16.49%–25.24%. The APR for cash advances and overdraft advances is 26.49%.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has some good general benefits, but it stands out with extremely low APR offers and no annual fee. At the end of the day, this card is good for anyone in need of a low-cost credit card with no annual fee.
Discover it Card
APR: 13.74%–24.74% (0% for first 14 months)
Rewards: 5% back on niche categories, 1% back on regular purchases
Bonus Rewards: Cash Back Match: double cash back for the first year
Fees: No annual fee, 3% on balance transfers, no foreign transaction fee, $37 late payment fee
Discover offers its own competitive product in the field of no annual fee credit cards. While this is a competitive market, Discover found a way to offer a unique product through the Discover it Card. This card brings low cost and attractive cash benefits that appeal to a wide array of customers.
The headline offer of the Discover it Card is the cash back match offer. As cardholders spend money throughout the first year with the card, they accrue points. At the end of this initial year, every point earned is doubled by Discover through their match offer. In other words, cardholders get double the points back for the first year with the card.
There are several different rates to consider. The standard rate for regular purchases is 1%, which is one point for every dollar spent. There is a special rate of 5% back for niche purchases that change every quarter. These niches can include purchases made at grocery stores or gas stations.
APR & Fees
Of course, there is no annual fee for the Discover it Card, but the same cannot be said for other transactions. Balance transfers are charged a simple flat rate of 3%, but cash advances are charged either $10 or 5%, depending on which is greater. There is no foreign transaction fee, but there is a maximum fee of $37 for late payments.
Discover offers a nice introductory annual percentage rate of 0% on balance transfers and regular purchases during the first 14 months of holding the Discover it Card. After this period is over, cardholders can expect an APR of 13.74% to 24.74% A slightly higher APR of 26.74% is applicable to cash advances.
While most of the other best no annual fee credit cards offer similar benefits, the Discover it Card spices things up a little bit with the cash back match offer. In addition to a low-cost membership, new cardholders enjoy a bit of leeway with 0% APR for the first year.
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card
APR: 14.99%–24.99% (0% APR for first 12 months)
Rewards: 3% back at gas stations, 2% back at grocery stores, 1% back on regular purchases
Bonus Rewards: $150 credit for spending $500 in first 90 days, 10% cash back redemption bonus
Fees: No annual fee, $10 or 3% on balance transfers, 3% foreign transaction fee, $38 late payment fee
Bank of America also offers its own no annual fee credit card, and it happens to have some fairly similar benefits to the competition. In this case, the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card is tailored for individuals who want to earn for their purchases.
The introductory bonus reward offer is essentially a 30% rate on initial purchases. If the cardholder spends $500 during the first 90 days with the credit card, then they receive a $150 credit. When cardholders redeem their points, they receive a 10% bonus which is deposited into a linked checking or savings account.
Luckily, cardholders of the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card can look forward to several different rates. The best rate is 3% back on purchases made at gas stations. The next best rate is 2% back at grocery stores. Keep in mind that these rates are only applicable to the first $2,500 of combined purchases made at gas stations and grocery stores, but the cap limit resets every quarter. All other purchases earn 1% back.
APR & Fees
Once again, there is no annual fee associated with this credit card, but there are a few transaction fees. Balance transfers have a fee of $10 or 3% while cash advances have a fee of either $10 or 3% to 5% depending on the transaction type. Foreign transfers are charged a flat rate of 3%. The max late fee is $38, while the max returned payment fee is up to $27.
The Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card starts out with a 12-month introductory APR of 0% for both balance transfers and regular purchases. Afterward, the APR can increase to 14.99% –24.99%. An APR range of 17.99%–26.99% applies to direct deposit and check cash advances. Bank cash advances are subject to a 26.99% APR while the penalty APR is 29.99%.
Bank of America’s Cash Rewards Credit Card offers solid cash-back rates, but it has few other features that help it stand out, aside from the 10% redemption bonus. With that said, the card still competes well with other no annual fee credit cards.
Suntrust Cash Rewards Credit Card
APR: 12.99%–22.99% (0% for first 15 months)
Rewards: 2% cash back at grocery stores and gas stations, 1% cash back on regular purchases
Bonus Rewards: 5% cash back at grocery stores and gas stations for first 12 months
Fees: No annual fee, $10 or 3% on balance transfers, no foreign transaction fee, $37 late payment fee
SunTrust Bank has a promising credit card with no annual fee, the SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card. It offers competitive rates (though no introductory bonus offers) with solid low interest rates, and it all comes with no annual fee.
As mentioned earlier, the SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card does not offer a massive bonus points offer for initial spending, but it does come with a special introductory cash-back rate.
Cardholders can take advantage of 5% back for purchases made at gas stations or grocery stores during the first 12 months with the card. This rate is eligible for up to $6,000 of purchases, which puts the value of this offer at $300. If the cardholder has a savings or checking account with SunTrust, then this offer gets even better with the Client Exclusive offer, which adds a bonus 10% or 25% depending on the cardholder’s deposit relationship with SunTrust.
In addition to this introductory rate, there are two standard rates to consider. The first, a 2% back rate, is offered on purchases made at gas stations and grocery stores after the introductory rate expires. All other purchases generate a 1% return.
APR & Fees
A fee of either $10 or 3% is charged for balance transfers. Cash advances are charged a bit more with a fee of either $10 or 4%. There is no foreign transaction fee. The late payment or returned payment fee is $38.
Since this is a low-cost credit card, there are two attractive intro APR offers for balance transfers and regular purchases. This offer is 0% for the first 15 months with the Cash Rewards Credit Card from SunTrust. When the introductory period is over, cardholders can expect an APR from 12.99%–22.99% for regular purchases and balance transfers. There is a cash advance APR of 26.74%.
While the SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card lacks a big introductory bonus offer, it still comes with a way to earn extra benefits during the first few months with the card. Aside from this, the card has low fees across the board which makes it a solid option for anyone who needs a cheap credit card with no annual fee.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Credit Card
APR: 15.74%– 24.74% (0% on balance transfers for first 12 months)
Rewards: 5% cash back on select niche categories, 2% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores, 1% cash back on regular purchases
Bonus Rewards: N/A
Fees: No annual fee, 3% or $5 on balance transfers, 2% to 3% foreign transaction fee, $38 late payment fee
U.S. Bank offers plenty of credit cards, so it definitely has the no annual fee category covered. The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card offers benefits and low costs, but there is a little more emphasis on the low-cost aspect.
Unfortunately, there is no introductory bonus offer with the Cash+ Visa Signature Card. Despite this missing benefit, there are benefits that redeem this credit card’s value. A special rate of 5% back is offered on certain niche categories, and the cardholder must choose these niches each quarter. Keep in mind that this rate only applies toward $2,000 in purchases.
This may sound typical, but cardholders receive two points for every dollar spent at a gas station or grocery store. One point is awarded for each dollar spent on regular purchases. These points have no limit, but they do expire after five years.
APR & Fees
The main feature of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card is its $0 annual fee along with other low-cost charges. Balance transfers are charged a fee of 3% or $5, and cash advances have a fee of 4% or $10. Foreign transactions come with two possible fees: 2% on foreign transactions using U.S. dollars and 3% on foreign currency transactions. The maximum late payment penalty is $38 while the maximum returned payment penalty is $35.
The Cash+ card comes with an introductory balance transfer APR flat rate of 0%, but after 12 months, this rate increases to 15.74%–24.74%. That range applies to regular purchases, but there is no introductory rate. The cash advance APR is 25.74% with no promotional offer of any sort.
U.S. Bank provides a decent card that is a combination of good cash back and low-cost rates. The lack of an annual fee makes this credit card eligible for this list, but the benefits package is what helped this card make the cut.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
APR: 14.74%–24.74% (0% APR for first 15 months)
Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Bonus Rewards: $150 credit for spending $500 within first 3 months
Fees: No annual fee, 3% on balance transfers, no foreign transaction fee, $38 maximum late payment fee
Capital One offers another credit card with no annual fee that makes the cut. This time the product is designed specifically for earning back cash on purchases. The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Credit Card offers good benefits with moderately low rates and costs.
After spending at least $500 during the first three months with the Quicksilver Rewards Card, a special one-time credit of $150 is awarded to the cardholder’s account. This is basically an introductory offer of 30% on three months of purchases, but consumers need to spend the $500 minimum.
After this introductory rate expires, cardholders are left with a much lower, but fairly standard rate of 1.5% on all purchases. Points do not expire as long as the account is open and in good standing; additionally, there is no limit on the amount you can earn.
APR & Fees
There are no annual fee requirements with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, but there are a couple of other fees to point out. 3% of a balance transfer amount is charged when such a transaction takes place. For the cash advances fee, either $10 or 3% is applied to the transaction amount. There is no foreign transaction fee, and late payments are charged up to $38.
A 0% introductory APR on regular purchases and balance transfers is offered for the first 15 months with the credit card. Despite this intro rate, balance transfers are still charged a 3% fee. Once the introductory period ends, cardholders can expect an APR ranging from 14.74% to 24.74%. The cash advance APR is simply a flat rate of 24.74% instead of some value within a range.
Overall, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with good benefits, but it lacks a bit in terms of cheap introductory APRs. Regardless, this credit card is competitive when compared to the best no annual fee credit cards on this list.
Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card
Rewards: Unlimited 2% cash-back on net purchases, with no restrictive categories and no expiration date on rewards
Bonus Rewards: No sign-up bonus
Fees: No annual fee, 1% foreign transaction fee for purchases outside the U.S.
The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card is a no annual fee card that offers a variety of benefits to its cardholders. First, it is a flat-rate card meaning cardmembers earn 2% back for every dollar spent on the card without limits.
These earnings do not expire, nor are there categories to keep track of while accumulating points. This card offers the most value to Fidelity account holders because the rewards earned from the credit card can be redeemed as a deposit into an eligible Fidelity account. Cardholders can select up to five accounts to receive a deposit, including a Fidelity brokerage, cash management, 529 College Savings, retirement, Fidelity Go, Charitable Giving, or Fidelity HSA accounts.
In addition to this unique redemption feature, cardholders also enjoy travel discounts at specific hotels and transportation partners, as well as exclusive offers from specific retailers. The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card also comes with access to 24-hour concierge from Visa and U.S.-based customer service.
This Fidelity credit card does have some stand-out benefits for cardholders, but it only offers value to those who currently or plan to have an eligible Fidelity deposit account. While rewards do not expire, they are limited in that they can only be redeemed as a deposit into another Fidelity account.
APR & Fees
The card has no annual fee and a lower variable APR of 15.74%. The card does charge a foreign transaction fee of 1%, but that is low compared to other cards that do have a foreign transaction fee.
The no annual fee is also a nice benefit, particularly for the benefit potential. Additionally, there is no sign-up bonus for new cardmembers, but cardholders can maximize rewards by using this as an everyday credit card.
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express Card
APR: 12.24%–17.99% (0% first 12 months)
Rewards: 3 points per dollar on all travel purchases, 4 points per dollar on travel if a PenFed Honors Advantage member, and 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases without limits
Bonus Rewards: A sign-up bonus of 25,000 points is available to new cardholders when they spend at least $2,500 in the first three months
Fees: No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express Card from Pentagon Federal Credit Union is a no annual fee card best fit for frequent travelers. Cardmembers earn three times the points on all travel-related purchases, with the potential to earn four times the points as a PenFed Honors Advantage membership.
The Honors Advantage program is available to cardholders who have military service or those who have an existing PenFed checking account. All other purchases earn 1.5 times the points without limits. Cardholders also receive a $100 annual travel credit toward baggage fees, lounge access, and in-flight purchases, as well as a $100 TSA application fee credit.
Cardholders can maximize points with the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards card through the sign-up bonus, worth 25,000 points when a minimum of $2,500 is spent in the first three months. Rewards earned can be redeemed for gift cards, travel purchases, and online shopping with select retailers, and earnings do not expire.
APR & Fees
In addition to no annual fee, the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards card has a variable APR ranging from 12.24% to 17.99%, depending on creditworthiness. Cardholders get a 0% promotional APR for the first 12 months for purchases and balance transfers. The card has no foreign transaction fee.
While the card offers higher-than-average rewards for travel purchases for Honors Advantage Members, cardholders only reap these benefits when they use the card frequently. Also, the credit card is only available to Pentagon Federal Credit Union members at this time.
Amex EveryDay Credit Card
Rewards: Cardmembers earn two times the points on all U.S. supermarket purchases, up to $6,000 per year, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases, without limits; 20% more points if they make 20 or more purchases in a billing cycle
Bonus Rewards: 15,000-point sign-up bonus for spending at least $1,000 in the first three months after opening an account
Fee: No annual fee, but foreign transactions incur a fee of 2.7%
The American Express EveryDay Credit Card is a no annual fee card that caters to individuals who use credit for everyday purchases. The credit card offers two times the points on purchases made at supermarkets in the U.S., with a $6,000 limit each year. All other purchases with the card earn one point per dollar spent without restrictions. Cardmembers can earn an additional 20% by using the card for at least 20 transactions each billing cycle.
New cardmembers may also earn an additional 15,000 points by spending at least $1,000 within the first three months after establishing an account. Earnings with the Amex EveryDay credit card can be redeemed for statement credits, online shopping, or transfers to frequent travel programs from hotels, airlines, or cruise lines.
Cardmembers also receive several benefits for using this card, including car rental loss and damage insurance, roadside assistance, and travel accident insurance.
APR & Fees
This card has no annual fee, but it does charge a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. It charges no balance transfer fee for transactions made in the first 60 days. It also offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable APR of 14.74% to 25.74%.
While the card has no annual fee, the foreign transaction fee might make this option a poor choice for international shoppers or travelers. Additionally, the limit on the two-times rewards category restricts earning potential for some cardmembers. The Amex EveryDay Card offers the most value for cardmembers who use it on a consistent basis each month, specifically to earn the 20% increase.
Uber Visa Card
Rewards: 4% cash-back on restaurant purchases, takeout, bars, and UberEATS purchases; 3% cash-back on airfare, hotel, and vacation home rental purchases; 2% cash-back on online purchases, including Uber, and video and music streaming services and 1% on all other purchases
Bonus Rewards: A sign-up bonus of $100 is available to new cardholders when at least $500 is spent within the first 90 days after establishing an account
Fees: No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee
The Uber Visa Card offer by Barclays is a bonus category rewards credit card with no annual fee. Cardmembers earn the most on restaurant, takeout, and bar purchases, including UberEATS transactions, at a rate of 4% back. Purchases on airfare, hotels, and vacation home rentals earn 3% back, and online purchases including Uber, online shopping, and music and video streaming services earn 2% back.
All other purchases earn 1% back. Cardmembers who are new to the Uber Visa Card may also earn a $100 bonus when at least $500 is spent within the first 90 days. There is also a $50 credit available when at least $5,000 in net purchases is spent during each 12-month period which can be used toward a digital subscription service. Points can be redeemed for gift card purchases, statement credits, or Uber transaction credits.
APR & Fees
There are no annual fees and no foreign transaction fees. For purchases and balance transfers, the variable APR is 16.74% to 25.49%, and the variable APR for cash advances is 26.74%. Balance transfers are charged 3% or a minimum of $10. Cash advance fees are 3% or a minimum of $10.
The Uber Visa Card is geared toward cardmembers who spend the most on bonus category transactions. Because there are no limits to the number of points earned in any category, the card can benefit cardmembers who spend a significant amount each billing cycle. The sign-up bonus is smaller than other credit cards, but the no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees makes this card a potentially good value.
Citi Double Cash Card
Rewards: 1% on all purchases made with the card, plus 1% on all payments made toward a balance
Bonus Rewards: A sign-up bonus of $100 cash back is available for new cardmembers who spend at least $500 within the first three months after opening an account
Fees: No annual fee, 3% foreign transaction fee
The Citi Double Cash Card is one of the only credit cards that offers cash back on purchases as well as payments. Cardmembers earn 1% back for every dollar spent, and 1% on every dollar paid on a balance due.
New cardmembers also have the opportunity to earn an additional $100 bonus when they spend at least $500 in the first three months after opening an account. Rewards from the Citi Double Cash Card may be redeemed for checks or statement credits, and they do not expire.
Cardmembers with the Citi Double Cash Card also have benefits like 24-hour fraud potential, access to Citi Identity Theft Solutions, a late fee pass for the first late payment, and Citi Private Pass which offers special access to entertainment events.
APR & Fees
There is no annual fee, but a foreign transaction fee of 3% applies to purchases made outside the U.S. The variable rate for purchases ranges from 15.24% to 25.24% APR. Meanwhile, balance transfers get a 0% intro APR for the first 18 months then go to the standard aforementioned APR. The cash advance APR is 26.99%.
Although the credit card has no annual fee and no limit on how many rewards can be earned, the flat rate for purchases and payments is not as high as some other credit cards with no annual fee.
Additionally, the foreign transaction fee might make this card less than an ideal choice for cardholders who travel or shop outside the U.S. frequently. The card also restricts rewards redemption to checks and statement credits, meaning it offers the most value to those who want a simple credit card to use for everyday purchases.
Citi Simplicity Card
Rewards: No rewards
Bonus Rewards: No sign-up bonus
Fees: No annual fee, 3% foreign transaction fee, no late fees
The Citi Simplicity Card is designed for cardholders who want lower interest rates on their purchases and balance transfers. The no annual fee card offers a 0% APR on purchases for the first 18 months after account opening, as well as 0% on balance transfers that are completed within the first four months. The balance transfer APR lasts for 18 months once initiated.
Cardmembers with the Citi Simplicity Card have access to valuable benefits, like access to Citi Identity Theft Solutions, 24/7 customer service, and $0 liability protection for unauthorized purchases.
Cardmembers also get to select their due date with the card and sign up for automatic account alerts regarding balance levels, payment due dates, and credit limits.
APR & Fees
There is no annual fee, but there is a foreign transaction fee of 3%. The introductory 0% APR extends for the first 18 months on purchases as well as on balance transfers that are made within the first four months after opening an account. Then, the standard variable rate ranges from 15.74% to 25.74% APR. Balance transfers come with a fee of $5 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater. There are no late fees.
Although the Citi Simplicity Card has no annual fee and no late fees, it does have a foreign transaction fee, which make it less valuable to cardmembers who shop or travel outside the U.S. Additionally, without the opportunity to earn on purchases, this card caters more to those who want low interest on purchases or balance transfers for a set period of time.
Frequently Asked Questions About No Annual Fee Credit Cards
Should You Open Multiple No Annual Fee Credit Cards?
Credit cards with no annual fee are valuable when they offer certain perks that fit the purchase needs of the cardmember. Having more than one credit card with no annual fee makes sense when the benefits of each card do not overlap.
However, opening too many credit cards at once may have an adverse effect on credit score, as numerous inquiries do count against the cardmember. It can also be a challenge to manage various payments over time with multiple credit cards, even when there are no fees. It is important to recognize the downsides of having multiple no annual fee credit cards, along with the benefits, before applying. If you already applied for a card, be sure to consider how long you should wait until you apply for another credit card.
Can You Downgrade an Annual Fee Credit Card to a Credit Card With No Annual Fee?
Many of the best credit cards come with annual fees. And while these charges can be overcome by earning rewards, there are some instances where credit cards with no annual fee makes more sense. For cardmembers who prefer a credit card with no annual fee, downgrading a current card with a fee to one without may be a good option. To downgrade a credit card to a no annual fee option, do not simply close the account and apply for a new card. Cancelling a credit card can hurt your credit score, and even negatively impact any rewards you have earned on your card.
Instead, work directly with the credit card company to see if a no annual fee card is available under the same issuer. If so, check if earnings from a current fee card are transferrable with a downgrade. When these important factors are available, ask the issuer to downgrade the card to a no annual fee option within the same family of credit cards. Be sure to check that the credit limit was not reduced and the interest rate remained the same before finalizing this request.
What is the Minimum Credit Score and Income to Get Approved?
Credit card issuers of no annual fee credit cards vary widely when it comes to the credit qualifications they need to approve a new application. Some credit cards have less stringent credit requirements than others. Generally, a good to excellent credit score is needed to qualify. For most credit card issuers this means a credit score ranging between 640 and 850.
Card issuers also look at income as a factor in determining credit card eligibility. Regulations for credit card companies dictate that approval can only be provided when the issuer has taken into account the applicant’s ability to repay the debt.
In most cases, no annual fee credit cards have lower income requirements than annual fee cards, but this differs from issuer to issuer. In general, having steady income compared to other outstanding debts, creating a low debt-to-income ratio, is beneficial in getting approved for a credit card with no annual fee. If you think your credit score is lower than the minimum, you can compare some of the best secured credit cards to help build up your credit score.
Do Authorized Users Earn Points On Credit Cards With No Annual Fee?
An authorized user is a secondary cardholder on a credit card account, linked to the primary cardholder’s credit line. Adding an authorized user to a credit card with no annual fee can be a smart way to earn additional points. The purchases made on the authorized user’s credit card most often earn the same level as the primary user’s card. In some cases, credit card issuers also offer a bonus to the primary cardholder when an authorized user is added to an account and they make purchases within a certain timeframe.
However, the credit card issuer dictates if authorized-user cards are available and if rewards are earned on those transactions. When an authorized user is allowed, the primary cardholder should consider not only the points potential on transactions but also the responsibility level of the secondary cardholder. You can review the best credit cards for authorized users if interested in learning more.