The Best No Annual Fee Rewards Credit Card

I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

I’m willing to pay annual fees for credit cards that provide me with superior value, like airline lounge access or elite status.

I’m also willing to pay annual fees for credit cards if the value of the points I earn from those cards is going to be better (by more than the amount of the fee) than anything that I would get without a fee. To me, for instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a no brainer (here’s why).

But for folks who don’t spend as much on credit cards as I do, a no annual fee card may make more sense. And there are plenty of readers who just will not pay a credit card annual fee. One comment recently was, ‘a credit card should pay you not the other way around.’

So these are the very best no annual fee cards in the market.

Amex Everyday – The Only No Annual Fee Personal Card Whose Points Transfer 1:1 to Miles

The Amex Everyday Credit Card is the only no annual fee card whose points transfer directly one-to-one into airline miles. The card earns real Membership Rewards points.

In fact, when you make 20 charges per billing cycle on the card you earn a 20% bonus on all of the points you’ve earned for that month. And the card earns double points at US supermarkets (up to $6000 spend per year). Your 20% monthly bonus applies to these double points, also.

The card is also a good option if you have a premium American Express Membership Rewards card like the Platinum Card or Premier Rewards Gold and you decide it no longer makes sense to keep a card with an annual fee. Instead of transferring your Membership Rewards points to miles (to avoid losing your points if you don’t keep a card), just get an Amex Everyday card. It’s a no annual fee card, you keep your Membership Rewards points, and the flexibility to decide where to transfer them to later.

Citi Double Cash — Great Cash Back Value Proposition

The Citi Double Cash Card is a no annual fee card that gives you 1% back when you make a purchase and an additional 1% back when you pay for the purchase.

That blows most cash back cards out of the water with a standard 1% or even 1.5% rebate.

For people who aren’t looking for premium cabin award travel, whose travel is likely to be in domestic coach, it’s a great option to just use cash to buy the ticket you want (or anything else you want, naturally) and not worry about award availability at all. You just buy the right flight, and earn miles for your travel even.

Blue Business Plus – 2 Points Per Dollar on Everything, Transfer to Miles

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

The card earns 2x Membership Rewards points on your first $50,000 in purchases per year (1 point per dollar thereafter). That makes this the best most rewarding card for otherwise-unbonused spend.

Amex Everyday Credit Card
Citi Double Cash Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Oh man you totally punted by failing to mention the ACTUAL best card for those with $100,000 in equities/IRA/etc.

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