10 Best NO ANNUAL FEE Rewards Credit Cards of November 2019

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With all the no-annual-fee rewards credit cards on the market, how do you decide which one is best for you? The obvious answer is to choose one that offers the most rewards.

We searched our list of rewards cards to find the very best credit cards in the top categories. While you might find credit cards with an annual fee can give you the best rewards, we’re sticking to no-fee cards, even if you don’t have excellent credit (good credit should be fine for most of these).

The first cards we list here offer unlimited double rewards on everything you purchase, while the remaining offer 3% or better rewards on spending in popular categories so you can mix and match to maximize your rewards, or they offer the chance for better earning if you use your rewards for travel.

1. Double Rewards on Everything, $0 ANNUAL FEE – Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Regular Purchase APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Citi offers you rewards twice. First, you earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. All with a $0 annual fee and no spending cap. Read our review for more details on the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

If you want to maximize your earning potential, consider pairing the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer with a card that offers bonus rewards in specific spending categories. See which no-annual fee cards we recommend below.

2. Honorable Mention: Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, $0 ANNUAL FEE

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

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on Fidelity’s secure website

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.74% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Unlimited 2% cash back on everyday purchases.
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card provides a $0 annual fee and unlimited 2% cash back on everyday purchases. — but only if you deposit the cash you earn into a Fidelity account. However, you don’t need to have any stocks or investments to have an account. Fidelity has no-fee cash accounts where you can deposit your rewards, then withdrawal when you’re ready to spend. Be aware, though, this card is designed for people with excellent credit, while the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer might be easier to get.

Both cards offer you the flexibility to earn double rewards on anything you purchase; so either one of these is a nice addition to a rewards strategy. The advantage of the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card over the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is that its foreign transaction fees are just 1% versus 3% for the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. But setting up the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card and rewards is more cumbersome than the dead simple Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Read our review of the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

If you want to earn more than 2% cash back, here’s a rundown of the best no-fee rewards credit cards that earn 3% or more in the most popular categories. You can click on each category for our take and details:

  • Rotating 5% categories: Chase Freedom®, Discover it® Cash Back, Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union
  • Restaurant spending: Uber Visa Card – 4%
  • Travel spending: AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card – 3%
  • Gas spending: Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card – 5%
  • Grocery shopping: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express – 3% (up to $6,000 of spend annually, then 1%), Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards – 3%

And if you’re interested in traveling, here are the best no-annual-fee rewards credit card deals:

If you like to dig, we also have a complete (and long) list of cards that earn more than 3% on purchases in many more special categories, including cards with an annual fee.

3. Restaurant Spending: Uber Visa Card – 4% Rewards, $0 ANNUAL FEE

Uber Visa Card

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The information related to Uber Visa Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Uber Visa Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.24% - 27.99% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% back in Uber Cash on Uber rides, Uber Eats, and JUMP, 3% in Uber Cash on restaurants, bars, hotels, and airfare, and 1% back in Uber Cash on all other purchases.

If you frequently dine out, the Uber Visa Card offers a great 5% back in Uber Cash on Uber rides, Uber Eats, and JUMP, 3% in Uber Cash on restaurants, bars, hotels, and airfare, and 1% back in Uber Cash on all other purchases. To learn more about the Uber Visa Card, check out our review.

4. Travel Spending: AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card – 3% Rewards, $0 ANNUAL FEE

No need to be a AAA member to take advantage of this rewards card. You earn points when you shop at travel merchants including airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, cruise lines and travel agencies. You earn 3 points for eligible travel & AAA purchases, 2 points on gas, grocery store, wholesale club and drugstore purchases, and 1 point per $1 everywhere else. Learn about the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card here.

The information related to AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

5. Gas Spending: Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card – 5% Rewards

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

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on Fort Knox Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

Regular Purchase APR
11.50% - 18.00% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Unlimited 5% cash back on gas and 1% cash back on all retail purchases.

Spend a lot of cash at the pump? The Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card lets you earn unlimited 5% cash back on gas and 1% cash back on all retail purchases. Anyone can join the Fort Knox Credit Union by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council for $5.

6. Supermarket Shopping: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express – 3% Rewards

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Intro Purchase APR
0% for 15 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 15 months
Regular Purchase APR
14.49%-25.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Read our review of the card for more detail.

7. Honorable Mention: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card – 5% at Whole Foods Market

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card

The information related to Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% to 23.99% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

If you frequently buy groceries at Whole Foods Market, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card earns a great rate on your purchases there. Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. This cash back program is very competitive and earns loyal Amazon and Whole Foods Market shoppers great rewards. Keep in mind that while there is a $0 annual fee, this card requires a Prime membership — annual plans cost $99 or $49 for students.

5% Cash Rewards in Rotating Categories: NO FEE

Cards with a rotating rewards program can give you 5% cash back rewards with no annual fee, but you’re limited to spending in special categories each quarter and there’s a cap on how much spending earns the 5% rate. You also have to opt into the 5% cash back category each quarter.

8. Chase Freedom® – 5% in rotating categories, $0 ANNUAL FEE

Chase Freedom®

The information related to Chase Freedom® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Chase Freedom®

Regular Purchase APR
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Check out our review for more benefits of the Chase Freedom®.

9. Discover it® Cash Back – 5% in rotating categories, $0 ANNUAL FEE

Discover it® Cash Back

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
With the Discover it® Cash Back, earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate (The 5% is limited to $1500 spending per quarter, 1% after that. Activation is required). Earn 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. You can redeem your cash back for any amount at any time. And your cash back never expires.
Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up, and no limit to how much is matched. Our review explains the other features of this card.

10. Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union – 5% in rotating categories, NO FEE

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

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on Nusenda ’s secure website

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

Regular Purchase APR
11.00% - 15.00% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 3 bonus points, or 5% cash back, respectively, for every dollar they spend on purchases for movies, restaurants, and home improvements (up to $1,500 per quarter).
Earn 3 bonus points, or 5% cash back, respectively, for every dollar they spend on purchases for movies, restaurants, and home improvements (up to $1,500 per quarter). This quarter, cardholders will earn cash back on gas and education expenses. There’s a cash back cap of $1,500 per quarter. Anyone can join the Nusenda Credit Union by donating $10 to the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance; contact a customer representative for details. The advantage of this card is that its categories tend to be more broad, and not store-specific like those on the Chase Freedom® and Discover it® Cash Back, so it’s a great way to get you closer to 5% rewards on everything you spend.

If you’re going to go through the effort of enrolling in a rewards program, consider all three cards to see which categories will benefit you the most. But, if you’re looking for freedom to spend without restrictions, sticking with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer may be your best bet.

Honorable mentions for travelers

No foreign transaction fees with plain cash back: Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card – 1.5% Rewards

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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on Capital One’s website

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives you 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. And like all Capital One credit cards, there are no foreign transaction fees. Even though you earn less rewards than the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer or Fidelity American Express, this card is a better option for your international spending, since you avoid fees of 1 to 3%. To learn more, read our review.

Real airline miles: The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a $0 annual fee rewards credit card that earns Amex Membership Rewards® points. Those points can be transferred to 18 airline loyalty programs. Read our review for more information.

Beyond the rewards program, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has the longest intro period for purchases of any no-fee travel card on this list, at 0% for 15 Months (after, 14.99%-25.99% Variable APR). This gives you the opportunity to not only pay for new purchases over the course of many months without accruing interest but also earn rewards on those purchases that can be redeemed in a wide variety of ways, like the airline miles mentioned earlier.

The information related to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Points for travel on any airline: Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card allows you to Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, and you can use the points to erase travel purchases from your statement. Every 10,000 points is worth $100 when you use them for travel, so each point is worth one cent. Where the card gets interesting is if you’re a Bank of America customer with a checking, savings, or IRA account.  Even better, if you’re a Platinum level member of Bank of America® Preferred Rewards (which you get by keeping a lot of your money with them), you can earn up to 2.625x points per dollar, which is an incredible deal. There are also no foreign transaction fees to worry about.
The information related to Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

How can you get the most value from a rewards credit card?

In order to best benefit from no annual fee rewards credit cards, follow these tips:

  • Narrow your focus: Before choosing a no-annual-fee rewards credit card (or cards), take a look at your budget and several months’ worth of bank statements. Then, pick cards that’ll offer you the most cash back for things you already buy. You shouldn’t change your spending habits to match a rewards program.
  • Give your rewards cards a job: Don’t spread out your spending onto too many cards without a purpose or you risk making less cash back overall. Choose a few cards and assign them a job so you know what purchases to make on each one to maximize your cash back.
  • Don’t get overzealous: Rewards shouldn’t justify overspending, especially if you’re struggling with debt. It’s a reward for making legitimate purchases. After all, you won’t make enough back to put a big dent in your monthly statement. For instance, $2,500 spent on the Fidelity American Express card equals a $50 deposit. It’s a great perk, but it shouldn’t be your sole reason for buying something.
  • Read the fine print: Understand the implications of each rewards program. For the rotating category cards, you get a huge amount of cash back, but you’ll have to strategize your spending each quarter to earn it. And you have to enroll into the program by the deadline to qualify. Set a reminder on your smartphone or calendar if necessary. You don’t want to miss out on a cash back category for an entire quarter.

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Benét J. Wilson
Benét J. Wilson |

Benét J. Wilson is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Benét J. at [email protected]

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