Everyone should have a no annual fee credit card. And it’s even better when you get a no annual fee credit card that manages to provide fairly decent rewards. I have a Bank of America card that has no annual fee, does little in the way of rewards, but it is important for one reason: My credit score. It’s the card I got when I turned 18, and it’s my longest open credit history.
The perks of a no annual credit card are many. First, there’s no annual fee! Something for nothing- yes indeed! Next, credit history is a huge part of how your FICO credit score is determined. Having a credit card with a long (and positive) credit history can only help your credit score down the road. Finally, as you explore the world of miles and points more, having a no annual fee card helps you create a relationship with a bank, hopefully helping your chances of getting approved for future credit cards.
So what are the best no annual fee credit cards? Below are three of our favorites.
First, we absolutely love the Chase Freedom Card. The card comes with a 5% cash back rotating bonus categories. As we speak, 5% back on gas stations is one offer. 5% on gas? Anyone who lives in a car driven city like LA, 5% on gas? Yes please! You get 1% on all other purchases, and there’s an intro 0% APR for the first 15 months and a $100 bonus after you spend $500 in three months. Finally, if you have a card like The Chase Sapphire Preferred or a Chase Ink product, you can transfer your freedom points to valuable Ultimate Reward points.
There’s a new card on the market, and we’re quite impressed with it. It’s actually most likely going to be the next card I apply for. The American Express Everyday earns Membership Rewards points. These are points that can be transferred 17 airlines partners and 4 hotel partners. Delta and British Airways are probably our two most used, but there’s also some other great options in there. You earn 2x points at Supermarkets, and a 20% bonus on all purchases if you use the card 20 times a month. What this means is this is a card for people who are a bit shy at credit card use, but want to use cards, as the rewards aren’t based on how much you spend on the card, but how often you use it! So essentially, you’re earning at minimum 1.2 points on all purchases and 2 points in supermarkets. The card also comes with 0% APR for 15 months and 10,000 bonus points after $1,000 of purchases in the first 3 months. If you have a membership rewards earning card but are tired of the annual fee, this is a great card to get to ensure you can cancel the other card, and not lose your hard earned membership reward points! Finally, the card gives you all the benefits you expect from American Express, from great access to certain ticketed events to good protection on purchases.
Finally, we really like the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature. What we like most about this card is the guaranteed Silver Elite status with Hilton. Silver doesn’t get you much, but some status is always better than no status, and you’ll get small perks like a 15% bonus points on each stay, complimentary access to health clubs, 2 bottles of water at many properties, late checkout and while you won’t get upgraded to suites, it should ensure you don’t get the worst (read: loudest) rooms on the property. The card provides 40,000 hhonors points when you spend $1,000 in 4 months. You earn 6 points per dollar on Hilton stays, 3 points per purchase at supermarkets, drug stores, and gas stations, 2 points per dollar on everything else. And if you get the card and stay at Hilton properties 4 times in 90 days, you get Gold Status with Hilton, which equates to free breakfast and internet as well as all the parks of Silver. In short, if you’re traveling enough to Hilton-like properties, the card could be a great addition to your wallet!
If none of these perk your interest, check out some of the following: Amex Blue Sky, Chase Sapphire (not preferred), Citi Thank You, Capital One (especially if having a card with no foreign interest fee is important to you), Discover, and finally the Fidelity Investment Rewards which is a great way to save on retirement.
To quote that crazy Capital One Viking, Alec Baldwin, and Samuel L Jackson- what’s in your wallet?
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