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:

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR12.99 - 23.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 6 months 3% min $5 BT fee
rewards 1% 2% 5% +$25 bonus
  • earn 5% back on two categories that you can choose by yourself - e.g. dining, groceries, gas and more. $2,000 combined purchases quarterly limit apply. Categories list changes quarterly.
  • earn 2% on one extra category that you choose quarterly
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • plus you get $25 bonus each time you redeem $100 and more cashback in a single transaction

no annual fee

5% on 2 categories you choose quarterly

2% on 1 category you choose quarterly

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read card review
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 6 monthsregular APR15.24 - 15.24% (V)
intro BT APR 15.24% 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% 2% 3% on every $1 
  • earn 3% back on gas ($4,000 annual limit, then 1%)
  • 2% on travel purchases, dining out and Costco purchases
  • 1% on everything else 

the card was discontinued on March 2016

no annual fee with paid Costco membership

up to 3% back

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR12.99 - 21.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% 2% 3% on $1 +$50 bonus
  • earn 3% back at US supermarkets (limited by $1000 spending annually, then 1%)
  • 2% on gas and in selected department stores
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • $50 sign up bonus after spending $1000 in purchases in the first 3 months

no annual fee

up to 2-3% cash back

Amazon Prime membership free

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR11.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 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

no annual fee

2% on gas and dining out

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at issuer’s secured site
no credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 6 monthsregular APR12.99 - 21.99% (V)
intro BT APR 10.99% for 6 months 3% BT fee
rewards 1%-2% 
  • 2% cash back on restaurants and and gas up to $1000 in combined purchases per quarter
  • 1% regular cash back

 

 

no annual fee

student card - no credit needed

2% cash back on gas and dining

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at issuer’s secured site
no credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR13.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% min $10
rewards 1-3% per $1 +$100 intro bonus
  • earn 3% on grocery store purchases
  • earn 2% on gas
  • quarterly limit of $1,500 apply on gas and groceries combined purchases
  • get $100 after spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months

no annual fee

2-3% cash back on gas and groceries

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at issuer’s secured site
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR19.99 - 19.99% (V)
intro BT APR 19.99% no BT fee
rewards 1-1.25% +25% for paying on time
  • get 1% cash back on al purchases
  • and earn +25% on your rewards when you pay on time

 

no annual fee

student card

up to 1.25% cash back

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR 0% APR for 12 monthsregular APR15.24%, 19.24% or 23.24% Variable based on credit worthiness
intro BT APR 0% APR for 12 months greatest of $5 or 3% BT fee
rewards $100 bonus for spending $500 in 90 days 1.5% on all purchases

no annual fee

1.5% cash back on all purchases

$100 intro bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days

5% redemption bonus every time when you redeem your cash back

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
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
  • $5 back on every $500 spent on the card
  • 5¢ per gallon on Murphy USA and Walmart gas

 

no annual fee

$25 bonus

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR23.24% (V)
intro BT APR 10.99% for 6 months 3% BT fee
rewards $1-$2 cash back

$1 cash back on all purchases

$2 cash back on gas and dining with $1000 quarterly limit

 

no annual fee

25 days grace period

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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