Best of

Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards of 2019

NerdWalletJuly 3, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

NerdWallet's Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards of 2019

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card

on Citibank's application

on Citibank's application

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

recommended credit score

Pros

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer earns a stellar 2% cash back on all purchases: You get 1% back on every dollar you spend and another 1% back when you pay off those purchases. That's best in class for a flat-rate cash-back card with an annual fee of $0.

Cons

There's no sign-up bonus or 0% APR period on purchases, nor is there a chance to earn higher rewards in different categories, which you might find on some other cards. You have to accrue a minimum of $25 in rewards before you can redeem them. It charges a foreign transaction fee, so it's not ideal for using internationally.
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.*
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

Our pick for

Bonus category cash back

Discover it® Cash Back

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

recommended credit score

Pros

The bonus categories have historically included popular everyday spending areas like supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants. It comes with a good 0% APR period as well as Discover's unique bonus for new cardholders: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

Cons

You have to remember to activate the bonus categories each quarter. If your spending doesn't match the bonus categories or you tend to spend significantly above the $1,500 quarterly cap, you might fare better with another card.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Travel rewards

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Propel American Express (R) Card Credit Card

on Wells Fargo's website

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.24% - 28.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% APR for 12 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

recommended credit score

Pros

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is about as generous a no-annual-fee travel card as you can get. Spending on gas, travel (which includes hotel, airfare, rideshares and transit), restaurants and popular streaming media services earns a fat 3 points per dollar. All other spending earns 1 point per dollar. There's even a 0% intro APR period and a sweet offer for new cardholders: Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $300 cash redemption value.

Cons

There are no plush perks like lounge access, travel credits or travel transfer partners, which may be worth the trade-off of not forking over a hefty annual fee. And, since it's an American Express card, you may find limited acceptance abroad.
  • Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 16.24%-28.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

Our pick for

Flat-rate travel rewards

Bank of America BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card Credit Card

on Bank of America's website, or call (800) 211-3740

on Bank of America's website, or call (800) 211-3740

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles

recommended credit score

Pros

Rewards are flexible and can be used to wipe out the cost of any type of travel you book with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. Bank of America®'s definition of travel is extremely broad and includes not just airlines, hotels and car rentals, but also campgrounds, zoos and amusement parks, to name just a few options. If you bank with Bank of America® or invest with Merrill Lynch, you may be eligible for a rewards boost, too, via the Preferred Rewards program.

Cons

While points are worth a penny apiece when redeemed against travel purchases, they're worth only a little over half a cent each when redeemed for cash.
  • 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
  • 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 flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more points on every purchase

Our pick for

0% intro APR period

US Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card

on US Bank's website

Rates & Fees

on US Bank's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

12.24% - 20.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0%* on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles*

recommended credit score

Pros

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers a long interest-free period on both purchases and balance transfers. When that offer ends, the annual fee of $0 lets you keep it open. Plus, it comes with cell phone insurance.

Cons

There's a balance-transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5). That's at the low end of the industry's typical range, but you still can find cards with a fee of $0. There are also no rewards on this card, giving you little incentive to keep using it after the 0$ period.
  • 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles. After that variable APR currently 12.24% - 20.24%*
  • No annual fee*
  • Zero fraud liability* protects you against unauthorized transactions
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Dining and entertainment rewards

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

recommended credit score

Pros

The Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back on dining out, takeout and entertainment, including movies, bowling, concerts, and tourist attractions. Eating at home gets rewarded, too, as the card also pays 2% cash back at grocery stores. All other spending earns 1%.

Cons

Although it clearly has it charms in the rewards department, the benefits of the Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card are sweet only if you frequently spend in the card's bonus categories. If going out isn't your thing, take a pass.
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

Our pick for

Small business

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.49% - 21.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 months

recommended credit score

Pros

Bonus rewards of 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on cable, internet and phone service. Also, earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other spending. There's also a sweet sign-up offer: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Cons

If you aren't spending much in the bonus categories, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card isn't a good fit. And if your business spends well above that $25,000 bonus category cap, you'll fare better with a different card, potentially one that offers unlimited flat-rate rewards.
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee

Our pick for

Airline card

The United℠ TravelBank Card
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

You earn an unlimited 2% back in TravelBank cash per $1 spent on United airline tickets and 1.5% back on other purchases. You also get 25% back as a statement credit on food and beverage purchases on United flights. Redeem $1 in TravelBank cash for $1 toward a United ticket — no fussing with award seat availability or blackout dates. There's also a decent sign-up bonus.

Cons

You won’t receive free checked bags or priority boarding with this card — or any no-annual-fee airline card. Your rewards also aren't part of the regular United MileagePlus frequent-flyer program, so there’s no chance for scoring outsized value when redeeming them.
  • Earn 2% in TravelBank cash per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United.
  • Earn 1.5% in TravelBank cash per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi onboard United®-operated flights when you pay with your United TravelBank Card.
  • TravelBank cash is easy to use. $1 in TravelBank cash = $1 when used toward the purchase of a United ticket.
  • Your TravelBank cash accumulates in your United TravelBank account on United.com.
  • $0 Annual fee
  • The information related to the United℠ TravelBank Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Information related to the United℠ TravelBank Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Last updated on July 3, 2019

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.