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Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards in 2019 (Including 2 Unbelievable $500 Cash Back Offers)

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Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards in 2019 (Including 2 Unbelievable $500 Cash Back Offers)

Joseph HostetlerBest No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards in 2019 (Including 2 Unbelievable $500 Cash Back Offers)Million Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: Opening no-annual-fee credit cards can potentially help your credit score in the long run. They’re free to keep, so you never have to cancel them. That’s an effortless way to build your credit history!

Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards

Below are our picks for the best no-annual-fee credit cards. The best card for your wallet depends on your finances and travel goals!

Opening a no-annual-fee rewards credit card can be a terrific first step to getting your feet wet in the miles and points hobby. I’ve learned a lot since opening my first no-annual-fee card and now rack up lots of miles and points with other top travel credit cards to use for incredible vacations.

Most miles and points enthusiasts keep no-annual-fee cards in their wallets because you can keep them open forever without paying a dime. This can increase the length of your credit history, which can potentially boost your credit score.

Plus, certain no-annual-fee cards have phenomenal welcome bonuses. For example, you can earn $500 cash back when you apply for the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and meet minimum spending requirements. This is an EXCELLENT deal for a card with no annual fee.

You can avoid annual fees and still earn valuable rewards, like cash back or miles and points, to save on travel! One of the best no-annual-fee credit cards has a $500 cash welcome bonus!

There are many excellent credit cards with no annual fee that earn cash back or travel rewards. I’ll share the best no-annual-fee credit cards!

Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards

 Card Name Bonus
Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Card for Rotating 5% Cash Back CategoriesChase Freedom

$150 cash back (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Card for Everyday PurchasesChase Freedom Unlimited

3% cash back on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent; then 1.5% cash back

Best No-Annual-Fee Small Business Credit CardInk Business Cash Credit Card
$500 cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Best No Annual Fee Card for American Airlines MilesAmerican Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card10,000 American Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
Best No Annual Fee Card for Cash Back on Travel and Gas station PurchasesWells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months

Some of the best credit cards with no annual fees are for folks with small businesses and you might qualify for a small business card without realizing it.

You don’t need to have employees, multi-million dollar revenue, or even an office to be eligible for a small business credit cardSide hustles like selling products online for a profit through eBay or Etsy can do the trick. You can apply for a small business credit card with your social security number instead of an official business identification number.

Here’s a closer look at the top 10 no-annual-fee credit cards. All of these cards offer an introductory bonus worth at least $150 in cash back or travel rewards. We generally suggest skipping offers that don’t have a bonus because welcome bonuses are the quickest way to earn rewards!

Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Card for Rotating 5% Cash Back Categories:   Chase Freedom

Apply Here: Chase Freedom

Read our review of the Chase Freedom

Many readers think Chase Freedom is one of the top no-annual-fee cards because you can earn 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on up to $1,500 in spending in rotating categories each quarter when you activate the bonus. If you spend the maximum each quarter, you can earn $300 in bonus cash back during the year!

On their own, you can only redeem the points you earn with the Freedom card for 1 cent each for cash back or toward travel. However, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are much more valuable if you have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred CardChase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

When you have one of these cards, you can combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points and transfer them to lots of great airline and hotel partners!

Earn easy bonus points with the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom card. Then, combine points with another eligible Chase card and transfer to travel partners like Hyatt for free nights at Hyatt hotels!

When you apply for the Chase Freedom, you’ll earn $150 cash back (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Card for Everyday Purchases: Chase Freedom Unlimited

        Apply Here: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you don’t want to bother with rotating bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a great option for earning valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

With this card, you earn 3% cash back for the first year, up to $20,000; then 1.5% cash back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) you spend on all purchases with NO limit.

This is one of the top five cards I’m currently using. I usually take this card out to pay if another card in my wallet doesn’t earn me a bonus for the purchase.

Earn 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on ALL Amazon purchases (and every other purchase) with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card

You also can combine points with other eligible Chase cards, which helps you save lots of money on travel!

Note:   The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card is the small business equivalent of this card. It has no annual fee, and earns 1.5% back everywhere (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points). Plus, you’ll receive $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Best No-Annual-Fee Small Business Credit Card: Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Apply Here: Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Read our review of the Ink Business Cash Credit Card

With the highest-ever Ink Business Cash welcome bonus, you’ll earn $500 cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points!) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Earning $500 in cash from a card with no annual fee is an unbelievable deal!

It also comes with:

  • 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on phone, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year
  • 2% cash back (2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% cash back (1X Chase Ultimate Rewards point) on all other purchases
  • Primary car rental insurance when renting for business purposes, covering damage from collision or theft to your rental car when you pay with your Chase Ink Business Cash card, or secondary coverage when renting for personal reasons

If you have other annual fee Chase Ultimate Rewards point earning credit cards, you can combine points to use for amazing travel experiences!

Earning bonus rewards with the Ink Business Cash card helps when I’m booking comfortable Business Class award seats!

Million Mile Secrets team member Scott has kept his Ink Business Cash card for many years because he earns 5% cash back on his monthly internet bill, and 2% cash back at restaurants. Those are fantastic benefits for a no-annual-fee card!

Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Card for American Airlines Miles: Citi American Airlines MileUp Card

Apply Here: American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card 

Read our review of the Citi American Airlines MileUp

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is a new no-annual-fee card that comes with a 10,000 American Airlines mile bonus and a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Current Citi American Airlines cardholders should know the MileUp card is exempt from the welcome bonus restrictions on other Citi American Airlines credit cards. This means you are more likely to be eligible for this offer! Applying for the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card can give your frequent flyer account a nice boost without having to add another annual fee card to your wallet!

Apply for the no-annual-fee Citi American Airlines MileUp Card to give your frequent flyer account a nice boost!

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp card also offers bonuses for everyday purchases.  You’ll earn:

  • 2 American Airlines miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 2 American Airlines miles per $1 at grocery stores, including eligible grocery delivery services
  • 1 American Airlines mile per $1 for all other purchases

And cardholders save 25% on inflight purchases of drinks or snacks when you use your card on American Airlines flights.

Best No-Annual-Fee Card for Cash Back on Travel and Gas Station Purchases: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Apply Here: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Read our review of the Wells Fargo Propel

With the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points (worth $300 in cash back, travel, gift cards, or other rewards) after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card opening.

You’ll also get:

  • 3 points per $1 spent on travel purchases (flights, hotels, home stays, and car rentals)
  • 3 points per $1 spent on eating out and ordering in
  • 3 points per $1 spent on gas stations, ride shares, and transit
  • 3 points per $1 spent on eligible streaming services, like Apple Music, Hulu, and Netflix
  • 1 point per $1 for all other purchases
  • Cell phone insurance (up to $600 per claim with a $25 deductible)
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • NO annual fee
  • Terms Apply

Earning 3% back on categories like travel and gas station purchases is an excellent deal, especially for a card with no annual fee! Plus, your points are worth 1 cent a piece when you redeem them for cash back, travel, gift cards, and more!

If you have the Wells Fargo Visa® Signature® Card, you can redeem your points for 1.5 cents each toward airfare through the Wells Fargo portal, which means you’ll effectively get 4.5% back toward airfare for purchases like travel, dining, and at gas stations (3X points X 1.5 cents each)!

The information related to the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card has been collected by Million Mile Secrets and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

Bottom Line

If you want to earn valuable rewards without having to pay an annual fee, these are the best cards to consider:

The Chase Ink Business Cash card has an unbelievable welcome bonus for a no-annual-fee card. You can earn $500 cash back after meeting minimum spending requirements.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the cards on the above list. The best card for your wallet depends on your spending habits and travel goals.

If you’re just starting out in the miles and points hobby, a no-annual-fee card can help you learn the ropes. Plus, these cards can help increase the length of your credit history, which can potentially boost your credit score!

Sign-up for our newsletter for more fun credit cards analysis posts like this:

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I can’t help but wonder: Are merchants increasing their prices because of credit card processing fees? Are the rewards we are getting just a refund of that extra expense?

I prefer the Amex Blue Business Plus as the Best No Annual Fee Credit Card for Everyday Purchases as it offers 2 MR points per $ on 1st 50k annual spending. After 50k I’d go with the Chase Freedom Unlimited 1.5 UR per $

I have a referral offer for $250 blue cash everyday. leave a reply with your email and I can send it to you.

I used to receive Emails but they stopped 2 months ago. I thought U closed the shop…

Chase freedom and AMEX blue everyday are my favorite .

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