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No Annual Fee Credit Cards

No Annual Fee Credit Cards

No annual fee credit cards are those that don't have yearly or monthly membership fees for at least the first year and can therefore be free to use as long as you pay your bill in full and on time every month. As such, these cards are popular for a number of reasons, including their applicability to credit building. A no fee credit card that is in good standing provides a free monthly infusion of positive information to all your major credit reports, even when you don’t use it to make purchases. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are times when opening a no annual fee credit card is either not possible or not recommended. For example, all credit cards for people with bad credit have membership fees, but opening one of these cards is a prerequisite to rebuilding credit, so the fee is inescapable. In addition, for people with good or excellent credit, paying an annual fee enables them to get the best possible rewards, which are often more lucrative than a no annual fee rewards card. Therefore, whether or not you should open one of the credit cards with no annual fee listed below ultimately depends on your credit standing, your intended usage, and what credit card characteristics you value most.

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    Chase Freedom®

    chase freedom credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES 15 months
    • 0% TRANSFERS 15 months ;   Fee.....3%
    • REGULAR RATE 13.99% - 22.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS Cash Back
    BONUS $100
    BASE EARN 1%
    MAX EARN 5%
    • Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
    • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between October 1 – December 31, 2014 at Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores
    • You'll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants and Amazon.com. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
    • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases

     
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    3.5

    Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

    capital one ventureone rewards credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES until September 2015
    • 0% TRANSFERS Not Offered
    • REGULAR RATE 11.9% - 19.9% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS Miles
    BASE EARN 1.25 miles / $1
    MAX EARN 1.25 miles / $1
    • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles on every purchase, every day.
    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel.
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime.
    • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases.
    • Travel when you want—no blackout dates.
    • Miles don't expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn

     
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    3.5

    Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card

    capital one platinum prestige credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES until December 2015
    • 0% TRANSFERS until December 2015 ;   Fee.....3%
    • REGULAR RATE 10.9% - 18.9% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS None
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    3.5

    Citi® Double Cash Card

    citi cashreturns mastercard
    • 0% PURCHASES 15 months
    • 0% TRANSFERS 15 months ;   Fee.....3% (min $5)
    • REGULAR RATE 12.99% - 22.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE $0*
    REWARDS Cash Back
    BONUS None
    BASE EARN 1%
    MAX EARN 2%
    • The only card that earns you cash back TWICE on every purchase with:
    • 1% cash back when you buy
    • Plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, whether you pay in full or over time*
    • No Category Restrictions, No Caps, No Enrollments in Rotating Categories

     
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    3.5

    Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

    capital one quicksilver cash rewards credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES until June 2015
    • 0% TRANSFERS until June 2015 ;   Fee.....3%
    • REGULAR RATE 12.9% - 22.9% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS Cash Back
    BONUS $100
    BASE EARN 1.5%
    MAX EARN 1.5%
    • One-time $100 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
    • No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards.
    • Cash back doesn't expire and there’s no limit to how much you can earn

     
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    3.5

    Chase Slate®

    slate credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES 15 months
    • 0% TRANSFERS 15 months ;   Fee.....None
    • REGULAR RATE 12.99% - 22.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE $0
    REWARDS None
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    Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

    blue cash credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES 15 months
    • 0% TRANSFERS 15 months ;   Fee.....3%
    • REGULAR RATE 12.99%-21.99%
    ANNUAL FEE $0
    REWARDS Cash Back
    BONUS $100
    BASE EARN 1%
    MAX EARN 3%
    • Get $100 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit.
    • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
    • Earn Cash Back: 3% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
    • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
    • Terms and restrictions apply.

     
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    3.5

    Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

    barclaycard arrival world mastercard credit card with no annual fee
    • 0% PURCHASES 12 months
    • 0% TRANSFERS 12 months ;   Fee.....3%
    • REGULAR RATE 14.99% - 18.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS Miles
    BASE EARN 1 mile/$1
    MAX EARN 2 miles/$1
    • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit.
    • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases.
    • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.
    • Book the travel you want — airfare, hotels, cruises and more and earn miles on your purchase.
    • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits.

     
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    Citi Simplicity® Card

    citi simplicity credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES 18 months
    • 0% TRANSFERS 18 months ;   Fee.....3% (min $5)
    • REGULAR RATE 12.99% - 22.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE $0*
    REWARDS None
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    3

    Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® - Average Credit

    barclaycard credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES Not Offered
    • 0% TRANSFERS Not Offered
    • REGULAR RATE 24.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS Points
    BONUS None
    BASE EARN 1 point/$1
    MAX EARN 2 points/$1
    • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else.
    • Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you've made.
    • No blackout date, no redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up.

     
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    Ask our Experts
    EXPERT’S ANSWERS

    Why do some of the best credit cards have annual fees?

    By: John Kiernan It’s understandable if you’re confused as to why many of the credit cards catered to people with the best credit scores have annual fees. I mean, one would think that the best consumers would get the best cards and that the best cards would have no fees. While counterintuitive, some of the best credit cards have annual fees because in opening a card with an annual fee, consumers are making an implicit agreement to use their cards often. No one would want pick a fee card vs. a no fee card unless they’re planning on using it. Given that usage leads to additional revenue, banks are willing to give better rewards and benefits in return for the customer’s “commitment.” In other words, you have a win-win situation where both consumers and banks are better off.

    Are there any credit cards without fees whatsoever?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou When people talk about no fee credit cards, they usually mean those without monthly or annual membership fees. However, some consumers are interested in finding a true no fee credit card--one that doesn’t have past due fees, over-limit fees, balance transfer fees or foreign exchange fees in addition to not having membership fees. And while there are indeed certain credit cards--like the Citi Simplicity card--that are devoid of most such fees, everyone interested in one should understand two important things:

    First, if you have reason to want a card without over-limit and past due fees, you shouldn't be looking for a credit card at all because the damage you’ll do to your credit by missing payments or going over limit will surely outweigh the monetary value of any fee levied for these offenses. This is especially true in this post-CARD Act era, where penalty fees have decreased significantly, given that they must be commensurate to the offenses that caused them (e.g. if you exceed your limit by $5, the fee for doing so can be no more than $5).

    Secondly, there’s no perfect credit card. Everything has pros and cons, and credit cards with no fees across the board undoubtedly sacrifice other key account terms. This is the very reason why cards without balance transfer fees have higher transfer APRs, rewards cards without fees have less attractive perks, and so on. When looking for a card, you should therefore focus only on the attributes that will really matter, given your lifestyle and spending habits. After all, if you plan on using your card for rewards, why would you care if it has a balance transfer fee?

    What sets no annual fee credit cards apart from one another?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou Choosing a no annual fee credit card can be difficult, given the obvious similarities between the cards in this genre. However, the no fee card you get simply depends on how you plan to use it. If you aren’t planning on using your card at all, the exact card you get obviously doesn’t matter. On the other hand, if you’re planning on using your card to make purchases and are confident that you will be able to pay your bill in full every month, your sole focus should be on maximizing the rewards that you will earn. Lastly, should you need a way to minimize finances charges, your focus should be on finding the card with either the longest 0% introductory interest rate and/or the lowest regular APR.

    How do issuers make money off credit cards with no annual fees?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou Annual and monthly fees simply represent one of a credit card company’s many revenue streams. Credit card companies also charge interchange fees to merchants whenever credit cards are swiped at their stores, assess interest to customers who do not pay their bills in full every month and apply miscellaneous fees, such as those for late payments and going over limit (if you opt-in for the ability to do so). As long as a customer actually uses his card, credit card companies therefore have a number of ways to make money off no annual fee credit cards.

    Conversely, if a customer does not use his no fee credit card, the issuer is bound to lose money, given the fixed costs of credit card operations (e.g. mailing statements, customer service, etc). That is why credit card companies highly favor membership fees. They provide a consistent, dependable source of revenue, ensuring that credit card companies will make money off their products, even when customers don’t generate any interchange fee or interest revenue.
    COMMUNITY DISCUSSION

    Help others find the best no annual fee credit cards by sharing what your deciding factor was when choosing your card (customer service, interest rate, fees, convenience, rewards, etc.)

     
    October 14, 2014
    Photo of Marino J.
    By: Marino Johns
    I currently use Macy’s AMEX and it has no annual fee. I love it because I don’t need to pay the annual fee which I think is a waste of money. There are plenty of credit cards out there that if you qualify has no annual fees whatsoever. The best part of this credit card is because it’s from AMEX, I am eligible to participate in various AMEX promos like discounts to certain stores or cash back.
    October 7, 2014
    Photo of John H.
    By: John Hardy
    I had a no fee credit card several years ago, but unfortunately, I ran into some problems with being laid off and losing my wife. It went to collections and I eventually paid it off over three years. I tried to reapply, but I was told I could not get a new one. My credit score was below 600, and I was told it would take at least five years of good credit before I could reapply. So I am doing the right things such as paying my bills on time, and balancing my check book. Maybe I’ll be able to get on top of things once again.
    August 18, 2014
    Photo of Kirk D.
    By: Kirk Davis
    I have a Discover Card with no annual fee. There are no conditions that connect annual fees to spending levels. It is great not to have to worry about extra debts piling up due to fees. Along with the bonus rewards and low rates, the no annual fee makes this a very desirable card. I will never get a card with an annual fee again.
    June 28, 2014
    Photo of Jason S.
    By: Jason Scanlon
    I have a Citibank Platinum Select Visa, and it has no annual fee. Whether it's a large fee billed once a year, or divided up into twelve payments once a month, not having this extra fee gives me a lot more freedom and less worry about paying off my debt. It would annoy me to get to a zero balance but still find myself charged an annual fee, and this card skips that, treating me more like a customer rather than a cash machine. To me, having an annual fee is almost like having a secured card - you end up paying for the privilege of using credit. Having a more
    May 30, 2014
    Photo of Shelia K.
    By: Shelia Kersey
    i have a card with no annual fee.i Have to use the card for shopping so much in order not to have an annual fee.in other words at least 30 percent that I have to use my card in order not to have an annual or monthly fee.even when I use my card at an atm card machine I don't have to pay.it's been a good card and I will never change my card service as long as I don't have to have an annual fee.This card is a blessing to me and my family.
    May 10, 2014
    Photo of Jay S.
    By: Jay See
    I have the Chase Freedom card and it's great. having no annual fees is a big selling point for me when it comes to picking out a credit card. this one also has great cash back options and bonus rewards.
    November 23, 2013
    Photo of Sandra E.
    By: Sandra Evans
    What's the catch on Fair, average 0r bad credit?
    November 25, 2013
    Photo of Card H.
    Card Hub
    Hi Sandra. I am not sure what you're asking. Could you repeat your question please?
    November 11, 2013
    Photo of Phyllis H.
    By: Phyllis Hahn
    Low interest rate and no annual fees.