The Best No Annual Fee Travel Rewards Credit Card: Benefits, Pros, and Cons

best no annual fee travel rewards credit card

Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Selina Parker

The Best No Annual Fee Travel Rewards Credit Card: Benefits, Pros, and Cons (AUDIO)

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know that finding the best no annual fee travel rewards credit card is essential. These cards offer great benefits like points for every dollar you spend and sign-up bonus rewards, which can add to free flights and hotel stays. But not all travel rewards cards are created equal. This article will discuss the best travel rewards card on the market and why we think it’s the best option for travelers.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is the best no annual fee travel rewards card available. It offers a generous sign-up bonus of 25,000 points. You’ll also earn 1.5 points after you spend one dollar. This card also has no foreign transaction fees, so it is best to use when traveling abroad and for travel purchases annually.

Annual Fee: $0
Intro APR: 0% Intro APR For 15 Billing Cycles On Purchases
Regular APR: 4.24% – 24.24% Variable APR on Purchases and Balance Transfer
Recommended Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  • Earn uncapped rewards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 75% more cashback on every purchase if you’re a Preferred Rewards Client

Cons

  • There are no bonus categories to increase points earnings
  • APR is high depending on your creditworthiness
  • There is no lost luggage insurance

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Discover it® Miles

The Discover it® Miles is another great no-annual-fee travel rewards card. At the end of your first year, Discover gives you an unlimited number of matches for all the miles you’ve amassed. For example, if you earn 35,000 miles, you’ll get 70,000 miles. There is no registration, minimal spending, or maximum benefits required.

Annual Fee: $0
Intro APR: 0% Intro APR For 15 Months On Purchases and Balance Transfers
Regular APR: 12.24% – 23.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  • Earn 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on all purchases
  • Introductory 0% APR for 15 months

Cons

  • Acceptance is limited internationally
  • If traveling abroad, secure another credit card of two

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Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is best for people who don’t want to be tied down by an annual fee and still want to earn rewards. You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on all purchases with the Venture Rewards credit card.

Annual Fee: $0
Intro APR: 0% Intro APR For 15 Months On Purchases and Balance Transfers
Regular APR: 15.24% – 25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  • Earn a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles when you spend $500 during the first three months from account opening
  • You may use miles to get a statement credit for travel purchases worth 1 cent per mile, and there are no restrictions on when you go.

Cons

  • The rewards rate is lower than what the competitors are offering

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Chase Freedom Flex℠

This card can handle all of your spending needs. The best aspect about this card is that there is no annual charge. Yet, it offers a significantly increased earnings structure that covers a wide range of costs, including travel, drugstores, dining, and rotating quarterly bonuses and annual ultimate rewards categories in areas many households are interested.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: $200
Regular APR: 14.99% – 23.74%

Recommended Credit Score: 700-749

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • When you activate the quarterly categories, you’ll receive 5% rewards for each quarter that you use it, up to a combined quarterly $1,500 maximum.
  • Some of the most acceptable premium travel cards have comparable reward rates.
  • There are several other categories in which you can earn good rewards

Cons

  • To earn 5% cashback, you must book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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United Gateway℠ Card

The United Gateway℠ Card is best for people who frequently fly with United Airlines. It offers a decent return on your spending across all categories. Still, the best thing about it is United’s Visa Signature perks, which are available only to loyal United casual fliers.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: 20,000 Miles
Regular APR: 16.49% – 23.49% Variable

Recommended Credit Worthiness: 700-749

Pros

  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on United purchases, at gas stations, and using the local transportation
  • Increased United travel options
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • For non-bonused purchases, you can only earn 1 mile for every dollar spent
  • There are no free checked bags or boarding passes for extra legroom, no hotel loyalty programs access

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Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

The Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card is best for people who want to earn rewards on their spending, focusing on cashback. You’ll earn an unlimited 2% cashback reward on all purchases, with no annual fee.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: $200
Regular APR: 15.24% – 25.24% Variable
Recommended Credit Score: 700-749

Pros

  • Earn an unlimited 2% cashback reward on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Earn a welcome bonus
  • Introductory APR

Cons

  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Balance transfer fee

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Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card

This card is best for people who want to focus their spending on one card and reap generous rewards, as the Alliant credit card’s 2.5% return on purchases is difficult to match if you consistently rack up your monthly balance.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: None
Regular APR: 12.24% – 22.24% Variable
Recommended Credit Score: 750-850

Pros

  • For certain accounts, you may earn a nearly unrivaled 2.5% cashback rate on up to $10,000 in monthly purchases (then 1.5%)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Generous credit line

Cons

  • There is no intro APR offer
  • No welcome bonus
  • Requires an excellent credit rating to apply

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JetBlue Card 

The JetBlue Card is a fantastic method for occasional Jetblue passengers to get started and earn points per dollar. The JetBlue Plus Card is a worthwhile investment if you travel frequently and want unique benefits.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: 10,000 Bonus Points
Regular APR: 15.99% – 24.99%
Recommended Credit Score: 750-850

Pros

  • Earn unlimited mileage that will never expire
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • There are no JetBlue itineraries with blackouts
  • Points pooling feature

Cons

  • The balance transfer fee of 5%
  • There are just a few redemptions available
  • You can’t use the miles to purchase flights with layovers

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American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

The $0-annual-fee American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card is a cost-effective way to earn miles on everyday purchases for frequent but loyal American Airlines travelers.

Annual Fee: $0
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: 16.24% – 25.24%
Recommended Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  • You’ll earn 2 AAdvantage miles for each $1 spent on groceries or eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • Spend $1 on other eligible purchases and earn one AAdvantage mile
  • Get a discount on food and beverage purchases made with the card on flights

Cons

  • It doesn’t offer free checked bags
  • A foreign transaction fee of 3%

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Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is best for people who fly Delta Airlines at least a few times per year. You’ll earn miles for each dollar you spend, and you can use those miles to book free flights on Delta or its partners.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: N/A
Regular APR: 15.99% – 24.99% Variable

Pros

  • Earning 2 miles for each dollar spent on meals throughout the world and on purchases directly made with Delta
  • Earn 1 mile for each $1 spent on other purchases
  • When you use the card to buy food, drinks, or audio headsets onboard, an air onboard may receive a 20% discount in statement credit.

Cons

  • It doesn’t offer free checked bags or priority boarding
  • Has limited acceptance abroad

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United Gateway℠ Card

The United℠ Explorer Card is best for people who frequently fly United Airlines and want to rack up rewards quickly.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: 20,000 Bonus Miles

Intro APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 Months
Regular APR: 16.49% – 23.49% Variable APR

Pros

  • You earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on United purchases, gas stations, and local transportation.
  • Earn 1 mile per dollar on another spending
  • Decent signup bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Needs excellent/excellent credit
  • It doesn’t offer free checked bags
  • Limited flexibility on rewards

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Final Words

Our top picks for the best no annual fee travel rewards credit cards. Depending on your needs, one of these cards could be the perfect fit for you. Do some research to find the best card for your spending habits and travel goals.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Selina Parker

“What began as a life and career coaching services company to aide entrepreneurs through the early-stage challenges and tough transformations of starting a social venture has evolved over the years to include mergers and acquisitions, organizational consulting, and business growth advisory services to mission-driven organizations that strive to improve access to basic physiological, safety, and security needs while increasing their profit margin. Clients include founders and organizations with the purpose of addressing deficiencies in delivering quality healthcare and mental health services, sufficient employment, access to clean water and air, safe shelter, adequate food, and more.”

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