Credit Cards with No Annual Fee - is it a Good Option for the Budget?
It is good practice to have at least one credit card with no annual fee in your pocket. If you keep those cards for a long time, they increase your credit line available and help with your total account age, thus growing your credit score over time.
You can keep a credit card totally free if you pay your balance in full every month, do not withdraw cash, and pay no foreign transaction fees.
Many outstanding cards today do not charge you an annual fee, so you can choose between rewards, cash back or balance transfer cards, excluding only top-tier cards with luxury benefits.
Let’s have a look at different options so you could choose the card to fill your needs.
Cash back credit cards with no annual fee
Best cash back cards with 2% flat cash back on all purchases are Fidelity AmEx and Citi Double Cash.
Fidelity AmEx card can be opened together with a free Fidelity cash management account. This card is a rare 2% no limit cash back card with no annual fee.
CityDouble Cash offers 1% cash back on all purchases, plus additional 1% cash back when you pay your balance in full. It also has an introductory 15 months 0% APR.
Chase Freedom is the most attractive cash back card with 1% regular cash back and 5% back on quarterly changing spending categories. This card is available for people with fair credit, offers $100 intro bonus and 0% APR for the first 15 months.
no annual fee
0% intro APR
5% cash back on quarterly categories
$100 intro bonus
Another good offer with cash back from 2% to 5% on selected categories is the US Bank Cash+ card. No annual fee, no interest for the first 6 months, $25 intro bonus. The card is available for excellent credit customers only.
no annual fee
5% on 2 categories you choose quarterly
2% on 1 category you choose quarterly
Secured cards for bad credit with no annual fee
If you have no credit or bad credit, secured DCU Platinum card with no annual fee is a good choice. This card charges no annual fee but requires $500 minimum deposit.
Another option is Capital One Secured card. Capital One bank updated terms on that card and charges no annual fee currently. Minimum security deposit is $200, with the maximum credit line up to $3000.
Cards for fair credit or no credit
If you have a fair credit or no credit you still can find no annual fee cards for your needs.
One of the best cash back cards for fair credit - Chase Freedom was discussed earlier in the article. Other two good options are Chase Slate and US Bank Visa Platinum
US Bank Visa Platinum card charges relatively low APR and offers no interest for the first 12 months.
Chase Slate card is also a decent balance transfer option with its 15 months intro 0% APR.
Balance transfer cards with no annual fee
There are several cards in this review that offer 6 to15 months free of interest, but the obvious winner is a Citi Simplicity card, which offers 21 months free of interest on both balance transfers and new purchases.
Low APR cards with no annual fee
Low APR cards with a regular APR starting below 8% are Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum and Barclaycard Ring card
Excellent Credit Required - Applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved
Low 9.25% variable standard purchase APR and platinum benefits
No balance transfer fee for balances transferred in response to this online offer
No Annual Fee
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances
No annual fee
No balance transfer fees
No foreign transaction fees
Chip technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
Free online access to FICO® Credit Score
Cards for College Students with no annual fee
Discover it for students card has two versions with no annual fee. Discover it chrome for students offers 2% cash back on gas and dining, Discover it for students earns you 5% cash back on quarterly changing categories. Regular cash back rate for both cards is 1%.
no annual fee
no credit needed
5% cashback on changing categories
double first year cashback
Business cards with no annual fee
Chase Ink Cash is a no annual fee credit card for business. This card has 0% APR for 12 months, 2% cash back on office supplies and telecom, 2% on gas and restaurants. $200 bonus after spending $3000 on the card in the first three months is a plus.
no annual fee
up to 5% cash back
Best For Gas and Groceries
Amex BlueCash Every Day is a good card for everyday grocery shopping and filling your tank. With no annual fee, this card earns you 3% in supermarkets, 2% at gas stations, 2% in selected department stores. $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months is a plus.
no annual fee up to 2-3% cash back Amazon Prime membership free
no annual fee
up to 2-3% cash back
Amazon Prime membership free
First-year-free credit cards
A great majority of cards also waives the first-year annual fee. It is a good way to get customers on a hook, but the next year you start paying a fee.
There is an option to call the bank and tell them that you are about to close the account because of the annual fee. There is a probability hat the bank will waive you a second-year annual fee in order not to lose your business
If you didn’t have any luck with this trick, think twice before closing an unwanted account – it can hit your credit score if that account was one of your oldest or with the biggest credit line. If it becomes your habit to jump from one card to another every year, you will have difficulties in building a solid credit history.
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