Updated: 07/25/2016

Cash Back Credit Cards with no Annual Fee

When choosing a cash back credit card you should be aware of additional costs of an opportunity to earn additional 2-5% on your spending:

  • Typically APR that applies to such cards is higher than you can get with your excellent credit.
  • Some cash back cards charge an annual fee, so you should make enough in purchases to offset an annual fee with a cash back.

Luckily, most of the best cash back cards are now free. Here’s our list of the best no annual fee cash back cards:

intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR14.49 - 23.49% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% min $5 BT fee
rewards 1% 2% 5% +$55 bonus
  • earn 5% back on two categories that you can choose by yourself 
  • earn 2% on restaurants
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • plus you get $25 bonus each time you redeem $100 and more cashback in a single transaction
excellent required

no annual fee

5% on 2 categories you choose quarterly

2% on 1 category you choose quarterly

read review
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR13.49 - 23.49% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% 2% 3% on $1 +$100 bonus
  • earn 3% back at US supermarkets (limited by $6000 spending annually, then 1%)
  • 2% on gas and in selected department stores
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • $100 sign up bonus after spending $1000 in purchases in the first 3 months
good credit required

no annual fee

up to 2-3% cash back

Amazon Prime membership free

read review
intro purchase APR 0% for 14 monthsregular APR11.49 - 23.49% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 14 months 3% BT fee
rewards 1% or 2% 
  • earn 2% cashback on gas and restaurants with $1,000 quarterly limit in combined purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases
good credit / fair credit required

no annual fee

2% on gas and dining out

read review
intro purchase APR 0% for 6 monthsregular APR13.49 - 22.49% (V)
intro BT APR 10.99% for 6 months 3% BT fee
rewards 1%-2% 
  • 2% cash back on restaurants and gas up to $1000 in combined purchases per quarter
  • 1% regular cash back

 

 

fair credit / no credit required

no annual fee

student card - no credit needed

2% cash back on gas and dining

read review
intro purchase APR 0% APR for 9 monthsregular APR12.99, 17.99, or 19,99%
intro BT APR n/a n/a
rewards 1%,3%,5% cash back +$200 bonus
  • earn $200 bonus for spending $5,000 on a card in first 6 months
  • earn additional $200 bonus for spending additional $10,000 during the first year
good credit required

no annual fee

5% cash back on office supplies and wireless phone service

3% cash back on a category of your choice (out of 8) 

1% unlimited cash back on everything else

$200 statement credit after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months

$200 credit after spending additional $10,000 on a card withing the first year

read review
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.24, 20.24, 24,24%
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.24-24.24%
rewards +$100 bonus 3% on dining, 2% on groceries
  • get $100 for spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months
  • 3% cash back on dining
  • 2% on groceries
  • 1% unlimited on everything else
excellent required

unlimited rewards 3% on dining, 2% on groceries, 1% on other purchases

$100 bonus for spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months

no annual fee

no balance transfer fee

read review
intro purchase APR 0% for 6-24 months regular APR17.15 - 23.15% (V)
intro BT APR not allowed 
rewards $25 bonus on opening $5 back on $500
  • 3% back on Walmart purchases
  • 2% on Murphy USA and Walmart gas
  • 1% on all other purchases

 

bad credit required

no annual fee

$25 bonus

read review
intro purchase APR 1.99% for 6 monthsregular APR10.74 - 20.74% (V)
intro BT APR 1.99% for 6 months 5% BT fee $10 min
rewards $10 to your favorite charity for sign up 1% on all purchases goes to your chosen charity

earn tax deductible 1% cash back and automatically send it to the charity of your choice

good credit / fair credit required
  • No Annual Fee
  • Low APR starting at 10.74%
  • World MasterCard benefits
  • Earns 1% Cash Back to ANY nonprofit of your choice including K-12 schools, colleges, & religious organizations
  • Comes with all of the great benefits of a World MasterCard
  • Support up to three nonprofits at once
read review
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR13.49 - 23.49% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% min $10
rewards 1-3% per $1 +$100 intro bonus
  • earn 2% on grocery store and wholesale club purchases
  • earn 3% on gas
  • quarterly limit of $2,500 apply to gas and groceries combined purchases
  • get $100 after spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months
no credit required

no annual fee

2-3% cash back on gas, groceries, and wholesale club purchases

read review
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR20.49 - 20.49% (V)
intro BT APR 20.49 no BT fee
rewards 1-1.25% 
  • get 1% cash back on al purchases
fair credit / no credit required

no annual fee

student card

up to 1.25% cash back

read review

Our long-time favorite is a Fidelity AmEx card that gives you back 2% on all purchases with no limit. The only inconvenience is the need to open Fidelity account, which is free and doesn’t charge you a maintenance fee.

Another card is Citi Double cash – you get 1% cash back on all purchases when and then 1% back after paying off your balance. That means a total 2% cash back on all purchases if you pay your balance in full.

One of the most rewarding options with high cash back categories is a US Bank Cash+ card that offers a top level 5% cash back on 2 categories of your choice and 2% on another category you choose.

With a credit card, it is necessary to know the amount of interest you pay to the bank if you keep a balance on a card. That interest in most cases will offset any benefits of having a cash back or rewards.

The basic rule is if you keep a balance, just go with a low APR credit card – it will save you more in the long run.



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