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Top Credit Card Offers With No Annual Fee

by on June 23, 2014 · 30 comments

in American Express, Barclays, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Credit Cards, Discover, Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Chase Freedom Visa has expired. View the current offer here

So far 2014 has been a great year for new credit cards and increased sign up bonuses. Most notably, American Express came out with the first Membership Rewards earning card with no annual fee, the Amex Everyday. While we used to only see no annual fee cards that offered base level sign up bonuses or small amounts of cash back, there are now a a number of great credit cards that earn you points to use for travel or cash back and won’t charge you a cent to carry them in your wallet. 

Here are the top 9 credit cards that offer no annual fee:

200

Chase Freedom is currently offering 20,000 points after spending only $500 in 3 months.

Chase Freedom Card
Current Bonus: 20,000 
points with $500 spend in 3 months. 
Other Benefits: 
Rotating quarterly bonuses that allow you to earn 5 points per dollar in certain categories, up to $1,500 per quarter. Current 5x categories until June 30th are restaurants and Lowe’s home improvement stores. Q3 (July 1 – September 30th) bonus categories include gas stations and Kohl’s and Q4 (October 1 – December 31st) categories will be Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores. Earn 1 point per dollar on other spending. Points can be transferred into the Ultimate Rewards account for your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus or Bold cards. For more on the current offer, check out this recently updated review.
Bottom Line:
This bonus recently doubled from 10,000 points to the current 20,000 point bonus on just $500 spend. Chase Freedom is a worthy option even for those who aren’t necessarily limited to no-fee cards. Combined with cards in the Ultimate Rewards program, this card is potent. 

Make sure to transfer your Amex points before you close the account otherwise you will lose them.

Amex Everyday earns valuable Membership Rewards points.

Amex Everyday
Current 
Bonus: 10,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months. 
Other Benefits: 
Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (excluding warehouse stores like Costco) on up to $6,000 of spending annually (1 point per dollar after that), and earn 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent elsewhere. Make 20 or more purchases in a billing cycle and earn 20% more points. Smart Chip technology. 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
 
Bottom Line: 
This is the first ever Membership Rewards earning card with no annual fee. Amex Everyday is a great option if you’re thinking about canceling your current Membership Rewards earning card because you can maintain your relationship with Amex and keep the points you have already earned; otherwise you’d have to transfer them to a partner or lose them. 

Barclaycard Arrival
Current Bonus: 20,000 miles 
with $1,000 spend in 90 days.
Other Benefits: 
Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on travel and dining, and 1 mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Receive 10% of your miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits. Miles do not expire. 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening – after that, a variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%,based on your creditworthiness. No foreign transaction fees. Complimentary online Fico score access. For more information about this card, check out this post for details on its Travel Bonus Category and Redemption Options, and this one for ideas on the Top 10 Ways To Maximize Barclaycard Arrival Miles
Bottom Line: 
With the 10% rebate for travel statement credits, Barclaycard Arrival effectively offers 2.2% back on all travel and dining when redeeming for travel. Considering there are no foreign transaction fees, this card is currently my top all around no fee option for travelers.

Chase Ink Cash Card
Current Bonus: $2
00 cash back with $3,000 spend in 3 months.
Other Benefits: 
Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services, 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back on everything else. This card comes with 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months; then 13.24% (Variable).
Bottom Line: The best part about Ink cards is earning 5x at office supply stores, which you can maximize by buying retail gift cards. If you have another Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points like the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus you can turn the points you earn from the Ink Cash into transferrable points instead of cash back. If you’ve already gotten the sign-up bonuses for the Ink Bold and Ink Plus, the Ink Cash card is a great way to boost your Ultimate Rewards balance. 

hhonors

The Citi Hilton HHonors card earns 6 points per $1 spent at Hilton hotels.

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature
Current Bonus: 40,000 Hilton HHonors points
after $1,000 spend in 4 months. 
Other Benefits:
6 points for every $1 spent at hotels within the Hilton HHonors portfolio; 3 points for every $1 spent at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations; 2 points for every $1 spent elsewhere. Automatic HHonors Silver Status. Fast track to Hilton HHonors Gold status (with 4 stays within first 90 days). Visa Signature benefits. 
Bottom Line: 
Although Hilton Silver status isn’t very valuable, this card offers a fast track to Gold status where if you complete four stays within the first 90 days, you qualify and get benefits like a 25% points bonus on stays and free internet. Visa Signature offers some great benefits as well, like concierge service and CLEAR for expedited airport security. A superior option is the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, which comes with a much more valuable sign-up bonus of 2 free weekend night certificates when you spend $2,500 in 4 months, plus a $100 statement credit after your first qualifying Hilton stay. However, the Reserve card has a $95 annual fee. Those two free nights could be worth up to 190,000 points depending on which hotel you stay in. You can also earn an additional free night if you spend $10,000 on your card within a year, but if you can’t reach that spend threshold then I would suggest getting the no fee card.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Visa Signature
Current Bonus: 20,000 miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 1.25 points per dollar on every purchase. Redeem points for flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, gift cards and more at a rate of 1 cent per point. Miles do not expire. No foreign transaction fees. 0% APR for the first 12 months.
Bottom Line: These aren’t points to redeem for premium travel, but are good for people who are looking to purchase economy airfare on fixed dates without any blackout periods.

Citi Thank You Preferred
Current Bonus: 20,000 ThankYou Points after $1,500 spend in 3 months.
Other Benefits: 
Earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment; earn 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere. Redeem points for travel, gift cards, and other options. 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for first 12 months.
Bottom Line: 
Citi ThankYou points are generally worth 1 cent each, but those who hold the Citi ThankYou Premier card (the Preferred card’s big brother) can redeem points for travel at 1.25 cents each. Since you can pool ThankYou points between your various accounts, that makes the ThankYou Preferred card a great stepping stone to the fitter, happier, more productive Premier.

ShopDiscover allows you to earn 5-20% Cashback from over 200 retailers.

ShopDiscover allows you to earn 5-20% cash back at over 200 retailers online.

Discover it
Current Bonus:
None
Other Benefits: 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories; 1% cash back on all other purchases. 5-25% back on purchases through the ShopDiscover online mall. Free Fico score on your monthly statement.  No foreign transaction fees.
Bottom Line:
With no signup bonus and often underwhelming 5% categories, you might be surprised to see this card on the list. Its value is mainly that it provides access to the ShopDiscover online mall, which features enough big name retailers to make the discounts notable. The free Fico score is useful too, especially to those who are building their credit history in the pursuit of bigger and better cards. Discover It has offered a $150 signup bonus in the past, so it may be worth waiting to apply in case the improved offer returns.

Top Credit Card Offers With No Annual Fees- Image Courtesy of ShutterStock

Top Credit Card Offers With No Annual Fees Image Courtesy of ShutterStock

Penfed Premium Travel Rewards
Current Bonus: 20,000 
points with $2,500 spend in 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 5 points per $1 spent on airfare; earn 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere. No foreign transaction fees. Free membership to Lounge Club (2 free lounge visits per year) after spending $15,000 annually. Amex branded card with travel offers and discounts through American Express Travel Privileges program.
Bottom Line:
This is the only card available to consistently offer such a high return for airfare purchases. PenFed recently devalued their points from 1 cent to around 0.85 cents each (values vary slightly depending on redemption amount). Still, 4.25% back on airfare is respectable. You can sometimes beat that by using 5% category bonuses to purchase airline gift cards, but this card makes saving easier. Points are best redeemed for a wide selection of gift cards (including Marriott, American Airlines, Hertz, many major retailers, and more).

 

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Eric

    With Chase Freedom they have been quite aggressive doubling the sign up bonus in recent months. Would it be foolish to wait around for a more appetizing sign up bonus for the Amex Everday card to come down the pipeline anytime soon? I know its a new card, and it has quite a bit of perks but its such a small sign up bonus I can’t see myself getting it now.

  • mpeterson78

    How long do we expect the Chase Freedom double bonus to last? I called Chase and they couldn’t give me a date but said offers like this usually are around 4-5 months. I want to get this card but am doing spend on the SPG Amex right now…

  • Brenton

    Another card worth mentioning if you already bank with Wells Fargo is the Wells Fargo Signature Visa. I was able to get 20,000 bonus points with $1000 spend in the first 3 months in addition to the 5x points for the first 6 months. It has the added benefit of free cell phone protection if you use it to pay the bill. https://www.wellsfargo.com/credit-cards/features/cell-phone-protection/

    May not offer the most points, but if it can save you up to $600 with only a $25 deductible, that’s worth it to use to pay one month of the bill…

  • Ben

    No mention of the Fidelity Amex? Great 2% cash back for non-category spend. No annual fee. Paying an extra $89 for an extra 0.2% is hard to justify

  • gongjjatravel

    The Discover IT card currently offers a $75 Amazon gift card after first purchase. Obviously not as good as $150, but if you’re in a rush to get this card, a $75 Amazon gift card isn’t bad.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AW3IXZO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00AW3IXZO&linkCode=as2&tag=gongtrav-20&linkId=J42YDTKRXNLDW2I2

  • thepointsguy

    It has no signup bonus, which makes it less attractive than a lot of these cards in my opinion. But I’ve written about it before and it is a solid cash back card

  • thepointsguy

    June 30 is the end date that I have been given

  • thepointsguy

    I could see it increasing… But you never really know!

  • Joe

    So how would you rate the Barclay no-fee against the SPG Amex with a $65 fee? I’d only be interested in SPG points, which are usually valued at about 2.2 cents per point, not the other transfer partners.

  • Vea

    Marginal, but yes there are Fidelity AMEX sign-up bonuses

    1) $75 bonus for $500 spend – Used to be a link (which I used last month), but per FT: “Call 1-800-551-0839 quote the following offer code: VAB2BP. Make sure you confirm the offer details over the phone and get a reference number just in case.”

    2) Credit FT: $50 for $500 spend plus an additional $50 after $2500 spend along with 2% of $2500 https://www.applyonlinenow.com/USCCapp/Ctl/entry?sc=VAB2RZ#b

  • http://www.tipsforfreetrips.com/ Tips For Free Trips

    No sign-up bonus but what about the American Express Blue Cash card? It offers 5% at grocery stores, drugstores and gas stations. Using it to buy GC’s for Bluebird can earn you about $20 per $500 card. Pretty good deal in my book!

  • Vea

    Do you still have to spend $6000 in order to get the 5% cash back?

  • http://www.tipsforfreetrips.com/ Tips For Free Trips

    Yes Vea you do so that will drag down the cash back at first but getting over that hurdle should be no problem at all with certain MS techniques.

  • Vea

    Also, no mention of the most lucrative non-AF card – Sallie Mae WMC. 5% Gas, 5% Grocery – $250 spending cap (Walmart coded for most as grocery) and 5% “Bookstores” – $750 cap (Amazon purchases are coded as bookstores)?? What about the new Sams Club MC – 5% on gas, 3% on dining and airfare??

    The Citi TYP is really a dismal card points-wise, along with a high spending cap ($1500) for 20k points as opposed to the Freedom at $500 spend. Capital One hits all 3 bureaus so it really isn’t worth it for the points churner. No AF Arrival is useless since you can get the points from the AF arrival and potentially downgrade before the first year. Penfed is OK, but it’s also hit or miss. Spending cap is very high for 20k points. Also, your EQ has to be squeaky clean in order for them to offer you any credit products. Not to mention it is a seperate EQ pull for membership and a credit card.

  • Pingback: Top Credit Card Offers With No Annual Fee | The Points Guy | Travel Points Central

  • abraham

    the 150 signup bonus is still available

  • Mikey8088

    Responded to a targeted Chase Freedom sign up offer of 20, 000 points and was instantly approved. Right away called up Chase customer service and asked for the 20, 000 point bonus for 500 in minimum spend in 90 days since I consider it two separate offers. The rep put me on hold and came back in a few minutes and told me she was escalating it up to marketing dept. Got a letter in the mail 10 days later that said that they would be adding the 20, 000 bonus points to my 20, 000 targeted sign up offer after 90 days. Letter said to call back and reference the letter for the accommodation. $400 cash for spending $500. Not bad for a newbie in the game!

  • qs

    The Capital One Venture One seems a REALLY bad card compared to the QuickSilver. OK, just $100 bonus, but earning 1.25 points rather than a straight 1.5% cashback makes the Venture One seem pointless.

    Agree with Vea on Citi TYP, and what’s so good about the Premier with iits high annual fee and no airline transfer? Prestige, yes, Premier, no!

  • http://www.businessfundingmakeover.com/ Andrea Jackson

    American Express has been very innovative this year.

  • stevo

    Chase Freedom Card: Can I transfer points from a Sapphire or Ink card into the Freedom card? Wondering if I can use the Freedom card to “house” or bank points from other cards like the Sapphire or Ink should I decide to close them after I obtained the sign up bonus.

  • Matt

    Yes you can do that. However one of the best features of chase is its transfer partners like British avios, united and southwest miles. You can pool your points from your cards to the ink or sapphire preferred cards to do this. If you don’t plan on using any of the transfer capabilities, then yes you can transfer points to freedom.

  • greg

    HI everyone, I’m interested in getting a card with an annual fee of 95$ first year waved. Is it respectable if I sign up for the card spend the money for the bonus then cancel it in good standing before the annual fee sets in the following year

  • Patrick

    Chase keeps referring to $200 bonus and 5% cash back. Is this really just points instead of an actually credit of $$ to your card?

  • James Coleman

    If I get the AA Citi card and purchase tickets to get double miles if I use my Dividend Miles Acct do I still get double miles or is it only if I use my AAdvantage acct

  • Wesley Pipes

    i call shenanigans on that claim

  • Mikey8088

    Pic of chase letter if you care to see it…no reason to pull schenanigans. Not worth the time…just thought other targeted freedom cardholders might want to know what is possible.

  • Wesley Pipes

    kudos to you. None of these credit card companies ever send me targeted offers in the mail. just balance transfer check offers which I want no part of.

  • Mikey8088

    That’s what I get most of the time too. I was shocked it actually worked.

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  • spidermentomen

    hi, point guy!

    I have a question on canceling card.

    1> If I cancel marriot,united credit card, then my mileage will be disappear?

    although its point is not in the chase UR point?

    2> if i have a AMEX no anual fee credit card, then my MR point from AMEX SPG card will not be expired?…..

    please answer

    thank you

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