14 Best “No Fee” Credit Cards (Balance Transfer, Prepaid, Annual & More)

By: Amber Brooks • November 1, 2017

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For me, one of the most frustrating things about moving to a new apartment (besides hauling my couches around while my brothers complain) is all the fees that get tacked on. “There’s a cleaning fee,” my old apartment complex tells me, so I pay that. “There’s an early move-in fee,” my new apartment complex explains, so I pay that too, using a debit card, which adds another fee.

Then, there’s the dog fee, the turning-on-your-power fee, the security fee, the paperwork fee, the shipping-and-handling fee, the we-just-want-your-money fee, and, sure, I’m making some of those up but only because I lost track of all the bogus fees I paid by the end of my move.

Fees just make it that much harder to budget and save your money. When it comes to credit cards, all the different fees can be confusing and overwhelming. To save you some time and frustration, we’ve listed the 14 best no-fee credit cards available.

Annual Fee | Balance Transfer Fee | Foreign Transaction Fee | Bad CreditPrepaid

Best “No Annual Fee” Credit Cards

Thanks to the Credit CARD Act of 2009, issuers must be transparent about credit card fees and can’t pile on hidden clauses meant to siphon away your money. This means that anyone can easily find out what annual fee, if any, is attached to any given card.

If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, you can try any of the following five top-rated credit cards:

Sometimes an annual fee is on a card to balance out the rewards and perks associated with it, but other times it’s an unnecessary cost. The reasons why credit card companies charge annual fees will vary, but it’s simple enough to avoid them altogether and get a “no annual fee” credit card.

Best “No Balance Transfer Fee” Credit Card

A balance transfer is a good way to consolidate your debt on a single account, but it often comes coupled with a 3% to 5% transaction fee. However, the Chase Slate® provides no-fee balance transfers. That can be a huge help to cardholders looking for an easy way to save money while making a balance transfer.

The Chase Slate also comes with no annual fee and a free FICO score every month, making this credit card a uniquely affordable and responsible choice. The no-fee-for-transfers policy is good for the first 60 days of opening your account, so don’t dawdle!

Best “No Foreign Transaction Fee” Credit Cards

When you’re traveling abroad, the last thing you need is foreign transaction fees eating up money you could be spending on souvenirs. You should be giving your hard-earned cash to tourist traps, not banks.

To travel without unnecessary and costly complications, check out the following three travel rewards cards with no foreign transaction fees:

These are some excellent credit cards to take with you on your travels, not just because you skip foreign transaction fees, but also because of the miles and cash back deals you can earn abroad by using these travel-friendly credit cards.

Best “Bad Credit” Cards with No Fees

Credit One is an issuer that prides itself on nixing out-of-pocket costs to open an account. For people with bad credit, these cards are an option for easy approval. Annual fees range from $0 to $99, depending on your credit score. Below, we’ve listed three cards for people with less-than-perfect credit that have no fees and require no deposit.

+ See more cards for bad credit

Best “Prepaid” Cards with No Fees

Prepaid cards are not like traditional credit cards because cardholders must put up the funds toward their balance, just like a debit card. These cards are paid for in advance and typically come with perks like no credit checks and no risk of overdraft. We’ve picked out two of our top prepaid cards with no monthly or transactional fees attached.

+ See more prepaid cards

Say Goodbye to Hidden Costs with a “No Fee” Credit Card

Whether you’re moving to a new place, building credit, or just trying to make ends meet, fees can be a real drag on your finances. Getting a “no fees” credit card is a smart way to avoid unnecessary spending and save money.

You can take control of your budget by choosing a credit card that charges no annual fees, foreign transaction fees — or by getting a prepaid credit card with no fees. Even people with bad credit have options to get a credit card without putting down a deposit.

Our list of the 14 best no-fee credit cards is a great place to find a valuable deal on your next line of credit. Choose wisely!

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

About the Author

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is a Contributing Editor at Digital Brands. She spends her days consulting with financial experts to bring readers the best recommendations and tips on the web. She's interviewed financial leaders from all around the world. With a background in writing, she's uniquely suited to diluting complex jargon into terms that are easily understood. When not obsessively budgeting and storing away savings like a squirrel stores nuts, Amber can often be found with her nose in a book.