The best credit cards with annual fees under $100

Nov 4, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new card benefits and relevant changes.

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

The credit card industry knows you may be wary of high annual fees. So, the industry as a whole has been intensifying its competition at price points just below $100 per year, with $95 emerging as the magic number. And some cards even have a waived annual fee during the first year.

There are many no-annual-fee credit cards. But, today let’s take a look at some of the best credit cards that charge an annual fee of less than $100.

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Best credit cards with annual fees under $100

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

In This Post

Comparison of the best credit cards with sub-$100 annual fees

Card Bonus Earning rates Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening 5x on Lyft rides through March 2022

2x on travel and dining

1x on everything else

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

1x on everything else

$95
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. 5x with Uber Eats through Jan. 31, 2021

2x on everything else

$95
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express  $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 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 all other purchases

$95 (see rates & fees)
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 within 3 months of account opening 8% on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2022

5% with Uber Eats through Jan. 31, 2021

4% on dining and entertainment

2% at grocery stores

1% on all other purchases

$95
Citi Premier Card 60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening 3x at restaurants, supermarket, gas stations, air travel and hotels

1x on all other purchases

$95
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card 75,000 after spending $3,000 on purchases
in the first 3 months of account opening
6x at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties

2x on everything else

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

2x at U.S. gas stations

1x on all other purchases

$95

Chase Sapphire Preferred

(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Current sign-up bonus: 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on the card in the first three months of account opening.

Why it’s worth it: You could argue that this is the card that really ignited the sub-$100 market segment when it started offering 2x on dining and travel. 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 or 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. Through March 2022, you’ll earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft. And card members will earn 2x on up to $1,000 in monthly grocery store purchases between Nov. 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021.

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 Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Current sign-up bonus: 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. It offers you 3x Ultimate Rewards points 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 one point per dollar spent elsewhere.

Like the Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer rewards 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 Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card review. And, take a look at five reasons to get the Chase 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 sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Why it’s worth it: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great card for casual travelers and those looking for a card that will earn across non-bonus purchases. You’ll earn 2x on all other purchases.

There are plenty of ways to use your Capital One miles for maximum value. While you can redeem your miles by transferring to 13 airline and two 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.

For more information, see the full Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review. Before applying, check out 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 Credit Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

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

Current welcome offer: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 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. And, the Blue Cash Preferred is particularly appealing now since the annual fee is waived in the first year as part of the current new cardmember welcome bonus.

To learn more, check out the full Blue Cash Preferred Credit 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 Credit Card

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Current sign-up bonus: 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 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. And, through Jan. 31, 2021, you’ll earn 5% cash back on Uber Eats. The card has no foreign transaction fees.

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

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

Citi Premier Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Current sign-up bonus: 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 offers 3x points 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. As with many of its competitors, 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 short list and one reader’s argument that Citi ThankYou Rewards is the most underappreciated and misunderstood program.

Related: Better together: Why the Citi Premier Card and Citi Rewards+® Card are a great pair

Official application link: Citi Premier Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Current sign-up bonus: 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from 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 6x Marriott points per dollar spent at participating Marriott properties and 2x points 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 12 dream trips I’d take with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless sign-up bonus and why this is the year to push for higher Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95

Current welcome offer: 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 3x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 spent annually; then 1x); 2x points at U.S. gas stations and 1x points 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 4.5x, 3x and 1.5x, respectively.

There are several ways to redeem American Express Membership Rewards 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 this card.

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

Related: Make the most of Amex’s October refer-a-friend offer with these credit cards

Are credit card annual fees worth it?

Without a doubt, it is important 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. First, each of these cards has a welcome offer or sign-up bonus that helps offset the cost. Second, all of these cards also earn points or cash back.

For instance, although the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee, the card earns 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 they can be transferred to one of Chase’s travel partners like United Airlines, Hyatt, and more.

Then, let’s say you spend $5,000 on the card throughout the rest of the year. Of that $5,000, half is spent on dining and travel, while the rest is on non-bonus spending. Since dining and travel earn 2x Ultimate Rewards points and the rest earn 1x points, you’d earn another 7,500 points in total. If you were to use those 7,500 points on the Chase travel portal again, the value is about $94, essentially the cost of the Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee. And, these assumptions don’t include the potential value of transferring points to Chase’s airline and hotel travel partners. TPG actually values Chase Ultimate Rewards at 2 cents per point.

Related: Is your premium travel card offering enough perks during the pandemic? A card-by-card guide

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 rewards card.

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

Additional reporting by Chris Dong, Madison Blancaflor and Katie Genter.

Feature photo by Astrakan Images/Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.