The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, October 29, 2020

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

No Fee Credit Cards

credit card advice

Amber Brooks
By: Amber Brooks
Updated: September 16, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

No-fee credit cards offer a small reprieve from the fees we are hit with on a near-daily basis. In the article below, we’ll take a look at some of the best no-fee cards available today, including options for a range of credit scores.

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:

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

2. Discover it® Cash Back

This card is currently not available.

Discover® Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 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!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

4. Discover it® Balance Transfer

This card is currently not available.

Discover® Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

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.

Chase Slate Credit Card

  • Receive an introductory 0% APR offer on new purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Pay no balance transfer fee during first 60 days
  • Pay  no annual fee

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:

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

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

Usually people assume bad credit will mean high annual fees. This is not always the case, especially if you’re willing to make a deposit with a secured card. Below, we’ve listed three cards for people with less-than-perfect credit that have no annual fees.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad
Fingerhut Credit Account Review

at Fingerhut'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Issuers Website
$0
Poor Credit

12. Discover it® Secured

This card is currently not available.

Bad Credit Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

+ 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.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.6/5.0
  • Move money from your PayPal account to fund your prepaid card account.
  • Earn cash back and personalized offers, just for using your card.
  • With Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • Card issued by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.
  • Click PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® for additional features & program details, and to request a Card.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fee
Not applicable
Bluebird by American Express® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days faster with free direct deposit
  • Cash your checks to your Account with the Bluebird Mobile app. Access your money in minutes for a fee or in 10 days for free if your check is not returned unpaid.
  • Enjoy Card Membership benefits such as Purchase Protection and Fraud Protection when making purchases online or in store with Bluebird
  • Get free ATM access at over 30,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations. You can also pick up cash at over 4,500 Walmart® stores with Cash Pickup Powered by Ria®.
  • Pay no monthly fees or overdraft fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
$0
Not applicable

+ 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!

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