9 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards of 2020

Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers.

People use credit cards every day to earn valuable travel rewards, cash back, and other perks. Some of these credit cards charge annual fees, some don’t.

Cards with the highest-end perks charge the highest fees —  the Platinum Card from American Express, for example, charges $550 a year. Other cards have more manageable annual fees, like Chase Sapphire Preferred, which charges $95 per year.

For consumers who spend a lot and travel a lot, the benefits they receive from cards like this more than justify paying the annual fees.

But you certainly don’t need to pay that much to get a rewarding credit card. In fact, you don’t need to pay an annual fee at all. Tons of credit cards have no annual fees but still come with great rewards programs.

9 Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

Here are our picks for the best no annual fee credit cards:

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
  • Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • Best For: Transfering to Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Annual Fee: $0

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a favorite of many credit card enthusiasts. That’s because it still delivers tons of value without the hassle of an annual fee.

This Chase card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. If you’re looking for a simple rewards program that doesn’t involve doing anything other than using your card, this is the best one around. Plus, it comes with a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months. If you want to earn rewards for all of your purchases, no matter how big or small, Chase Freedom Unlimited is our recommended credit card.

Something else that makes Chase Freedom Unlimited a valuable card to have is that your cash back rewards can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points. If you have another Chase credit card that is attached to a Chase Ultimate Rewards account, you can transfer your cash back rewards and combine them with your existing CUR points, where they can be used towards travel. Cards that have access to Chase Ultimate Rewards include Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Freedom Unlimited should only be used for purchases made in the U.S., though. It has a 3% foreign transaction fee tied to it.

Learn More: Read our Chase Freedom Unlimited Review.

 

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
  • Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: 3% cash back at U.S. grocery stores, up to the first $6,000 in purchases and then 1% after, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, 1% cash back on other purchases
  • Best For: Introductory APR
  • Annual Fee: $0

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is perfect for people looking to make a large purchase or transfer a balance and pay it off over time. It comes with introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. It also comes with a sign-up bonus of $150 after spending $1,000 in the first three months.,

If you want to earn rewards, this no-fee card does plenty of that. Cardmembers can earn valuable cash back rewards in select spending categories and 1% cash back on everything else.

Learn More: Read our American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card Review.

Pro Tip: See all of the Best 0% APR Credit Cards for 2020.

 

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
  • Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Best For: Everyday Spending
  • Annual Fee: $0

We love the Capital One Quicksilver card because of its rewards earning for everyday purchases. You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with the Quicksilver card, along with a $150 sign-up bonus for spending $500 in the first three months.

Capital One Quicksilver doesn’t have an annual fee to worry about, and it also has no foreign transaction fees. It’s a great card to use if you are traveling outside of the U.S.

This credit card from Capital also offers new cardholders introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfer for the first 15 months.

Learn More: Read our Capital One Quicksilver Review.

Pro Tip: See all of the Best Credit Cards for Everyday Spending in 2020.

 

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom Credit Card
  • Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 combined purchases in rotating spending categories, unlimited 1% cash back on other purchases
  • Best For: Rotating Spending Categories
  • Annual Fee: $0

The Chase Freedom card is another top choice for cards without annual fees. It doesn’t earn unlimited cash back, like Chase Freedom Unlimited, but does offer higher cash back rates in specific spending categories that rotate every quarter. Categories typically include gas, grocery, department stores, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

One con to the Chase Freedom card is that bonus categories need to be activated every quarter, or else they won’t earn extra cash back.

Cash back rewards never expire as long as your Chase Freedom account is open. Cash back can also be converted to a Chase Ultimate Rewards account if you have another Chase card that’s tied to the program.

Learn More: Read our Chase Freedom Review.

 

Citi® Double Cash Card

citi double cash card
  • Sign-up Bonus: None
  • Earning Potential: 1% cash back on all purchases, additional 1% cash back when you pay for purchases.
  • Best For: Cash Back
  • Annual Fee: $0

What’s better than earning cash back rewards? Earning cash back rewards twice!

Citi Double Cash rewards cardholders earn 1% cash back when you spend on your card and 1% cash back when you pay it off. This no-fee card doesn’t cap rewards earning either.

If you want to transfer a balance over, Citi Double Cash offers introductory 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. Some restrictions apply, and there is a fee of $5 or 3% of the transferred balance, whichever is greater.

Learn More: See all of the Best Citi Credit Cards for 2020.

Pro Tip: See all of our Best Cash Back Credit Cards for 2020.

 

Discover it® Cash Back

discover it cash back credit card image

  • Sign-up Bonus: Unlimited cash back matching at the end of your first year
  • Earning Potential: 5% on rotating spending categories like gas stations, groceries stores, and Amazon, 1% for everyday spending
  • Best For: First Year Cash Back Earnings
  • Annual Fee: $0

While it earns rewards as long as you have it, Discover it Cash Back has the most earning potential in its first year of use. That’s because Discover automatically matches all of your first-year cash back earnings. If you earned $300 cash back, you’d get an extra $300 at the end of your first year.

This Discover card earns 5% cash back in popular spending categories that rotate quarterly. You’ll earn 1% cash back on everything else. Rewards can be redeemed at any time, and there’s no minimum. They also never expire.

Learn More: See all of the Best Discover Credit Cards for 2020.

 

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

citi rewards plus
  • Sign-up Bonus: 15,000 ThankYou points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening
  • Earning Potential: 2X points at gas stations and grocery stores for the first $6,000 in combined purchases and 1X points after that, 1X points on other purchases
  • Best For: Gas and Groceries
  • Annual Fee: $0

Citi Rewards+ isn’t the best credit card for rewards, but it does offer high earning potential if you spend a lot on gas and groceries every year.

This no-fee card from Citi earns 2X points on the first $6,000 spent annually at gas stations and grocery stores combines. You’ll earn 1% cash back on gas and groceries after that and 1% on everything else too.

Another nice perk with Citi Rewards+ is that you’ll receive 10% of your redeemed points back (up to the first 100,000 redeemed).

Learn More: Compare all of the Best Credit Cards for Groceries in 2020.

Pro Tip: See all of the Best Citi Credit Cards for 2020.

 

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

no annual fee
  • Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months
  • Earning Potential: Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. 2% cash back at grocery stores. 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Best For: Sign-Up Bonus
  • Annual Fee: $95, waived in the first year

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is the perfect card for people who love being social. It earns unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases.

You’ll also earn 2% cash back on groceries, and 1% on everything else. That’s a ton of rewards earning power for a credit card with no annual fee for the first year (it’s $95 after that).

There’s also a generous sign-up bonus with the SavorOne Cash Rewards card. You’ll earn a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.

Learn More: See all of the Best Capital One Credit Cards for 2020.

Pro Tip: See all of the Best Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses for 2020.

 

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
  • Sign-up Bonus: 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: 3X points at gas stations, on dining in and out, rideshare services, transit, flights, car rentals, homestays, and streaming services, 1X points on other purchases
  • Best For: Travel Rewards
  • Annual Fee: $0

If you want to earn travel rewards without paying a fee every year, check out the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card. First, it comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months.  That’s a $200 cash redemption value.

Spending is rewarded too, with 3X points earned for:

  • Gas station purchases
  • Rideshare services
  • Streaming services
  • Dining Out
  • Ordering in
  • Transit costs
  • Flights
  • Car Rentals
  • Homestays

All other spending earns 1X points. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is one of the most versatile rewards credit cards on the market, and the fact that it has no annual fee makes it even better.

Pro Tip: See all of the Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2020.

 

No Annual Fee Credit Cards FAQs

What does it mean if a credit card has no annual fee?

Some credit cards charge an annual fee to open and maintain an account with them. The annual fee is charged every year whether you use the card or not. In some cases, this fee offsets the cost of offering rewards and benefits. In other cases, cards offered to consumers with poor credit may charge annual fees to account for the additional risk to the lender.

If a card has no annual fee, it simply means you aren’t charged a fee for maintaining an account.

What is the best credit card with no annual fee?

The best credit card with no annual fee depends on what you are looking for in a credit card. As we mention in our reviews above, we like the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver cards because of their unlimited 1.5% cash back earned on all purchases.

Can a credit card annual fee be waived?

Sometimes a credit card company will waive annual fees. For example the Platinum Card from American Express waives its annual fee for certain active-duty military personnel.

Aside from specific policies like that one, however, fee waivers are difficult to get. You’ll need to contact your credit card’s customer service line and ask for your annual fee to be waived. This isn’t an easy task, and you’ll need to supply a reason for having it waived. You may have to call multiple times.

Sign-up for a Credit Card with No Annual Fee Today

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, but don’t want to pay a fee just to have one, survey the list above and find the right card for you.

We’re sure you’ll find one or two that will fit your specific needs.

What is your favorite rewards credit card? Let us know in the comments.

Additional Disclosures: Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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