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The 8 best credit cards with annual fees under $100

March 07, 2023
17 min read
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Editor's Note

This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. 

Annual fees are generally worth it when you can maximize a credit card’s benefits and earning structure. But it’s understandable if you’re hesitant to add many premium travel rewards cards with high annual fees to your wallet.

Luckily, with competition fierce among card issuers for new customers, many of the best credit cards have annual fees of under $100. Here are our top picks.

Best credit cards with annual fees under $100

The information for the Capital One Savor and Amex EveryDay Preferred cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Comparison of the best credit cards with annual fees under $100

CardWelcome offerEarning ratesAnnual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred CardEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.5 points per dollar on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

3 points per dollar on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.

3 points per dollar on select streaming services.

3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).

2 points per dollar on all other travel.

1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

$95.
Ink Business Preferred Credit CardEarn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months of account opening.3 points per dollar on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines (on up to $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year).

1 point per dollar on everything else.

$95.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardEarn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.2 miles per dollar on every purchase.$95.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American ExpressEarn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months.6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1%).

6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.

3% on transit and U.S. gas stations.

1% on other eligible purchases.

Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

$0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95 (see rates and fees).
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit CardEarn a $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.4% on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services.

3% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target).

1% on all other purchases.

$95.
Citi Premier CardEarn 60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first three months of account opening.3 points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.

1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

$95 (see rates and fees).
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit CardEarn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months of account opening.Up to 17 points per dollar at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores and dining.

2 points per dollar on everything else.

$95.
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American ExpressEarn 15,000 points after you spend $1,000 within your first three months of account opening.3 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1 point per dollar).

2 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations.

1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

$95.

Now that you have a snapshot of how these cards stack up against one another, here are the details on each.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $95.

Current welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Why it’s worth it: You could argue that this card ignited the sub-$100 market segment when it started offering 3 points per dollar on dining and 2 per dollar on travel (plus several other categories). The Chase Sapphire Preferred consistently makes any list of best travel credit cards, which is no surprise because you can get great value from Chase Ultimate Rewards points by transferring to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also gives you 1.25 cents per point in value when you redeem for travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal. There are no foreign transaction fees.

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For more information, see the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review. And, before applying, check out what credit score is needed to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and why the Chase Sapphire Preferred still has a top spot in my wallet.


Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $95.

Current welcome offer: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Why it’s worth it: The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is one of the best small-business cards on the market. It offers you 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on up to $150,000 spent each account anniversary year in combined purchases on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. You earn 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere.

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer points to airline and hotel programs and receive 1.25 cents per point when redeeming your points for travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal. This card comes with plenty of travel insurance and purchase protections, including a cellphone protection plan. There are no foreign transaction fees.

For more information, check out the full Ink Business Preferred Credit Card review and take a look at five reasons to get the Ink Business Preferred credit card.


Official application link: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card


Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $95.

Current welcome offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Why it’s worth it: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is excellent for casual travelers and those looking for a card that will earn consistently on everyday purchases. After all, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.

There are plenty of ways to use your Capital One miles for maximum value. While you can redeem your miles by transferring to airline and hotel partners, you can also redeem at a fixed value for eligible purchases — including some travel expenses that generally wouldn’t be covered by rewards, such as Blade helicopter rides.

Moreover, the card offers a statement credit of up to $100 once every four years for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, which means you can certainly get more value from it in the first year, at least, than it costs to carry.

For more information, see the full Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review. And before you apply, check out five ways Capital One Venture is winning the credit card game, plus these five reasons to apply for the Capital One Venture Card right now and seven types of purchases you should make with your Capital One Venture card.


Official application link: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card


Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95 (see rates and fees).

Current welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months.

Why it’s worth it: The Blue Cash Preferred is one of the best cash-back cards out there. You’ll earn 6% on select U.S. streaming services and on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets per calendar year (then 1%). You’ll also earn 3% on U.S. gas stations and transit and 1% on everything else.

A 6% return is great for a card with a low annual fee.

To learn more, check out the full Blue Cash Preferred Card review. And, before applying, read nine lesser-known benefits of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card and who should (and who shouldn’t) get the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card.


Official application link: Blue Cash Preferred Card


Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $95.

Current welcome offer: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months from account opening.

Why it’s worth it: The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is a cash-back credit card. Specifically, you’ll earn 3% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.

However, if you also have the Capital One Venture Rewards card, you can convert your cash-back earnings to miles. So, you could earn 4 miles per dollar on dining and entertainment and 2 miles per dollar at grocery stores if you have both the Capital One Savor and the Capital One Venture Rewards.

To learn more, see the full Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card review, and check out our card comparisons for Capital One Venture versus Capital One Savor and Capital One Savor versus Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Related: Best ways to use the cash back from your credit card


Citi Premier Card

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees).

Current welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 with the card within the first three months of account opening.

Why it’s worth it: The Citi Premier Card accrues 3 points per dollar spent on air travel, hotels, gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants. Cardholders also receive a once-per-calendar-year perk: a $100 credit on any single hotel stay costing $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, when booked through the Citi ThankYou travel portal.

There are various ways to redeem Citi ThankYou Points for maximum value, but the best option is to transfer your Citi ThankYou Rewards points to its transfer partners. There are no foreign transaction fees.

To learn more, read the full Citi Premier Card review. You can also check out four reasons the Citi Premier Card should be on your shortlist and one reader’s argument that Citi ThankYou Rewards is the most underappreciated and misunderstood program.


Official application link: Citi Premier Card


Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $95.

Current welcome offer: Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months of account opening.

Why it’s worth it: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card comes with automatic Silver Elite status, 15 elite-qualifying nights each year and a free night certificate on each account anniversary that’s valid at any Marriott property costing 35,000 points or less.

You’ll earn up to 17 Bonvoy points per dollar spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores and dining, 2 points per dollar spent everywhere else.

Marriott Bonvoy points are easy to redeem for both hotel awards and transfers to airline partners.

To learn more, see the full Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card review. You can also read about why you need both a personal and business Marriott Bonvoy credit card and what credit score you need to get the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card.


Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card


Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $95.

Current welcome offer: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in your first three months.

Why it’s worth it: The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express earns 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1 point per dollar); 2 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Those bonus categories are already respectable, but if you make at least 30 transactions during your monthly billing cycle, you get a 50% points bonus, which allows you to earn 4.5, 3 and 1.5 points per dollar, respectively.

There are several ways to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for maximum value, but the best use of Amex Membership Rewards points is usually to transfer to select airline programs and hotel programs. The card has a $95 annual fee and Amex imposes a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

For more information, see the full Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card review, and check out Amex EveryDay Preferred versus Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Chase Sapphire Preferred versus Amex EveryDay Preferred.

Related: The best ways to earn a 50% point bonus on the Amex EveryDay Preferred card

Are credit card annual fees worth it?

Without a doubt, it is essential to evaluate whether a credit card with an annual fee makes sense. Many credit cards — including those on this list — have an annual fee, but the money-saving perks and associated value often offsets what you have to pay each year. After all, each of these cards has a welcome offer or sign-up bonus that helps offset the cost. And all of these cards earn points or cash back.

For instance, although the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee, you’ll earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Those 60,000 points can be redeemed for travel directly with Chase for a value of $750. Or you can transfer them to one of Chase’s travel partners, like United Airlines or Hyatt.

Then, let’s say you spend $6,000 on the card throughout the rest of the year — $2,000 each on dining, online groceries and travel. Based on the card’s bonus categories, you’d end up with 16,000 bonus points, worth $240 when redeemed on the Chase travel portal, which is more than double the cost of the card’s annual fee. These assumptions don’t even include the potential value of transferring points to Chase’s airline and hotel travel partners, which TPG pegs at 2 cents per point, which makes the card even more worthwhile.

If you use your card to spend in its bonus categories and redeem worthwhile awards, you can reap much more value than its annual fee.

Related: Why you’ll want to pay the $95 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Bottom line

Although this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the credit cards with low annual fees, these are our favorites and some of the best on the market. By picking up one of these cards and maximizing its respective bonus categories (and welcome offer), you’ll be well on your way toward your next travel adventure. Sometimes, it pays to have a card with a small annual fee, whether moving up from a no-annual-fee card or pairing it with a premium travel rewards card.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred, please click here.

Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Katie Genter and Eric Rosen.

Featured image by JGI/JAMIE GRILL/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.