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The 8 best credit cards with annual fees under $100

Jan. 28, 2022
17 min read
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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 too 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.

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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 opening3 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 for statement credits

 $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 opening4% 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 80,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first three months of account opening3 points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels

1 point per dollar on all other purchases

$95
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit CardEarn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening. Certain hotels have resort fees.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

(Photo by John Gribben for 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 is the card that 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 out of Chase Ultimate Rewards points by transferring to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

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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.

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

(Photo by John Gribben for 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

(Photo by 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 an excellent card 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. Best of all, Capital One recently added a new 1:1 transfer tier and more travel partners. These changes make the Capital One Venture more competitive. What's more, 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

(Photo by 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 such 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

(Photo by 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

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95.

Current welcome offer: Earn 80,000 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 usually to transfer your Citi ThankYou Rewards points to Citi ThankYou 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

(Photo by 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 you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening. Certain hotels have resort fees.

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

(Photo by 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 at 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.

As long as you're using your card to spend on the right categories and redeeming for 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 a low annual fee, 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 you’re 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 Katie Genter and Eric Rosen.

Feature photo by JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images.

Featured image by Getty Images/Tetra images RF
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.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023