The Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

Some of the most common questions I get are, “What credit card should I get if I am just starting out” or “What are the best travel credit cards with no annual fee?”  I get these types of questions a lot, so this post is probably long overdue.

The people who ask me these questions are in lots of different situations and stages of life.  Some are fresh out of college and just starting to establish credit or pay off debt.  Some are established, but are scared to hurt their credit (a common misconception), and some just don’t want to hear about any credit card with an annual fee regardless of the benefits (I used to fall into this category…shocking, I know).

No matter which of these categories you are in I’ve got you covered.  Even those of you who are seasoned travel hackers should pay attention.  Credit cards with no annual fee are smart to keep around long term.  These cards will help extend the length of your credit history since you will never have to close them to avoid paying a fee.  Here are my picks for the best travel credit cards with no annual fee.

The Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee | No Fee Travel Credit Cards | No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Travel | Travel Tips

 

1.  Chase FreedomThe Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee | No Fee Travel Credit Cards | No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Travel | Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom earns 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on select rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 – any purchases in the bonus category over $1,500 will earn 1% cash back).  You can either take the cash back or redeem your points for travel through the Chase travel portal at a rate of 1 cent per point.

If you also have a premium card from Chase like the Sapphire or Ink, you will have the ability to transfer these points to partners like Hyatt or United.  This card currently has a $150 cash back sign up bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.  This card does have a foreign transaction fee so avoid using this outside of the U.S.

2.  Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases.  You can either take the cash back or redeem your points for travel through the Chase travel portal at a rate of 1 cent per point.

The Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee | No Fee Travel Credit Cards | No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Travel | Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you also have a premium card from Chase like the Sapphire or Ink, you will have the ability to transfer these points to partners like Hyatt or United.  This card currently has a $150 cash back sign up bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months. This card does have a foreign transaction fee so avoid using this outside of the U.S.


Chase Freedom vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited


 

3.  Hilton Honors American ExpressThe Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee | No Fee Travel Credit Cards | No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Travel | Hilton Honors American Express

The Hilton Honors American Express card is fairly unique because it is a co-branded hotel card without an annual fee.  This card earns Hilton Honors points that can be used for hotel stays throughout the world.

  • 7x points at Hilton properties
  • 5x points at U.S restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations
  • 3x points on all other purchases

The current public offer is 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, but my referral link offers 75,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months!

 

4.  Amex Everyday Credit Card From American ExpressThe Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee | No Fee Travel Credit Cards | No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Travel | Amex Everyday

The Amex Everyday Credit Card from American Express earns valuable American Express Membership Rewards points which can be transferred to their hotel and airline partners.  This card earns:

  • 2x points at U.S Supermarkets (Up to $6,000 per year)
  • 1x points on all other purchases

You can also earn a 20% bonus on your points if you make 20 or more transactions in a billing period.  This card is offering a 10,000 point sign up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

 

5.  Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit CardThe Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee | No Fee Travel Credit Cards | No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Travel | Capital One Venture One Rewards

The Capital One Venture One Rewards card earns 1.25 miles on every dollar spent.  These can be redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per mile as a statement credit for any travel purchase including airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limo services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares .  The current sign up bonus offer is 20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. This card also has no foreign transaction fees.

 

6.  Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card earns:The Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee | No Fee Travel Credit Cards | No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Travel | Bank Of America Travel Rewards

  • 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases
  • 3 points per dollar spent in their online Travel Center (1.5 base points, 1.5 bonus points)
  • 10% bonus on all base points if you hold an active, personal checking, savings or retirement account

You can redeem these points (2,500 minimum) for a travel credit on your statement.  The travel category is very broad and even includes tourist attractions like art galleries, amusement parks, carnivals, circuses, aquariums and zoos!  The current sign up bonus is 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

 

7.  Discover it Miles Travel Credit CardThe Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee | No Fee Travel Credit Cards | No Annual Fee Credit Cards For Travel | Discover It Miles Travel Credit Card

The Discover it Miles Card earns 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases.  One of the cool things about this card is that they will match all the miles you earn for the first year.  So, in essence, this card earns 3x miles for the first year!  You can redeem these miles as a statement credit of 1 cent per mile towards travel purchases including airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites and commuter transportation.  This card also has no foreign transaction fees, however there is no sign up bonus.

I hope you can see that even travel credit cards with no annual fee can reap valuable rewards!  While I am a firm believer in many travel credit cards with hefty fees, I totally get that they aren’t for everyone!  If you are looking for a travel credit card with no annual fee, I hope you found something on this list that will work for you.  Whichever card you choose, Happy Travels!

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**I am not financially compensated by the credit card companies (I wish!) however a few of these are my personal referral links.  I earn bonus points if you choose to sign up through one of my links, but no cash.  If you do plan to get one of these cards, I really appreciate it when you use my link!  Thanks!

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