The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Saturday, April 20, 2024

14 Best Rewards Credit Cards: No Annual Fee (April 2024)

Rewards Credit Cards With No Annual Fee
Matt Walker

Written by: Matt Walker

Matt Walker
Matt Walker

Copywriter and credit card strategist Matt Walker leverages his 15-plus years of experience to cover the finance industry through comprehensive consumer guides and in-depth features. His vast knowledge of the ins and outs of finance allows him to translate complex financial topics into readable articles suited for credit newbies and the most seasoned, tech-savvy investors alike. Matt’s straightforward language highlights the latest developments in the industry — from credit cards to credit unions — and informs consumers on how they can benefit from them.

Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience to the CardRates team. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Florida. Today, Lillian edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

There’s a reason why everyone wants to know what the best rewards credit cards with no annual fee are. People love to be rewarded, but who wants to pay to earn rewards?

If you’re currently putting your money toward an annual fee just so you can earn cash back, points, or miles, you aren’t being rewarded — you’re earning a return on your investment.

If you’d rather invest your money in actual commodities (or just not hand it over to a credit card company), consider adding one of the cards below that will reward your purchases without making you pay for the privilege.

Best Overall
Cash Back | Miles | Points | Students | Business | Bad Credit | FAQs

Best Overall Rewards Card with No Annual Fee

The Discover it® Cash Back card remains one of our favorite credit cards because it offers rich cash back rewards without hefty fees or hidden charges.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

This card is an excellent choice for those seeking to get the most bang for their buck in cash back rewards. With a low APR and friendly introductory terms, it’s also attractive to those who want the benefits of a robust rewards program without breaking the bank on interest payments. What’s more, Discover is known for their unique one-time bonus for new cardholders at the end of their first year.

Best Cash Rewards Cards with No Annual Fees

Cash back cards allow you to earn a percentage back on each purchase you make. Your cash back earnings can add up quickly if you use your card for everyday purchases and then pay your balance in full at the end of the month.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
20.49% - 29.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Make sure you know the basics of your card’s rewards structure so you can maximize your earnings from day one. Some cards give your rewards a boost at certain retailers or on specified categories each quarter. Those increases can equal big savings over the long run.

Best Mile Rewards Cards with No Annual Fees

If you’re an avid traveler, you’re likely used to paying fees. Checked bag fees, choose-your-seat fees, late arrival fees — they seem like they never stop. But a good miles card with no annual fee can help upgrade your travel experience and keep your money in your wallet.

Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Unlimited Mile-for-Mile match for all new cardmembers - only from Discover. Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase
  • No annual fee
  • Turn Miles into cash. Or redeem as a statement credit for your travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% - 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good
 

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X 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
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The cards on our list allow you to redeem your earned miles as statement credits. That means you won’t have to deal with airline restrictions or blackout dates when you’re planning your trip. Plus, you can have greater flexibility in how you redeem your miles since each card has a diverse list of what they consider to be travel expenses.

Best Point Rewards Cards with No Annual Fees

Points are the most flexible credit card rewards option available. That’s because you can turn your points into cash back, travel rewards, merchandise, gift cards, or one of several other options available, depending on your issuer.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 18.24% - 28.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (Balance Transfer Fee 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%)
18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
$0
Excellent/Good

Additional Disclosure: Bank of America is a CardRates advertiser.

 

8. Citi Rewards+® Card

This card is currently not available.

Citi® 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

Additional Disclosure: The information related to Citi Rewards+® Card has been collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

Your points with the above cards never expire, so you can let them accrue in your account until you’re ready to redeem them. You can build up savings that you can cash in all at once to make a big purchase or take a much-needed vacation.

Best Student Rewards Cards with No Annual Fees

College is expensive enough — who has money for annual fees? With a good student rewards card, you can earn cash back and other perks without having to pay an annual fee.

Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 18.24% - 27.24% applies.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
18.24% - 27.24% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit
 
Discover it® Student Chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 18.24% - 27.24% applies.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
18.24% - 27.24% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit
 

Many student rewards cards also provide rewards and introductory APR offers. By calling your issuer’s customer service phone number or contacting them online, you can learn more about what all your card has to offer you.

Best Business Rewards Cards with No Annual Fees

Entrepreneurs know all about the costs associated with running a business, so it’s nice when your business credit card isn’t one of those costs. The following business cards feature rich rewards you can use to pay for –- and earn discounts on — your daily operational expenses, without charging an annual fee to the business.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a $750 bonus when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere — with no limits or category restrictions
  • No annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account
  • Redeem your cash back rewards for any amount
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent
 

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn rewards faster with employee cards at no additional cost. Set individual spending limits for greater control.
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A 12 months
18.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
 

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 10% Business Relationship Bonus If you have the Ink Business Cash card plus a Chase Business Checking account on your first card anniversary
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • No Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
18.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Another perk of a good business rewards credit card is that it will help you build a business line of credit — which is vital in today’s competitive landscape but sometimes difficult to do.

Best Rewards Card with No Annual Fee for Bad Credit

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is rare in the secured credit card space because it offers cash back reward options while helping you build — or rebuild — your credit score.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit history.
  • Your secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit, and your credit line will equal your deposit amount, starting at $200. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. Activate for free.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
28.24% Variable APR
$0
New/Rebuilding

Like all secured cards, the Discover it® Secured requires a refundable cash deposit before you can access your available credit. Discover will review your account after an introductory period to see if you’re eligible to upgrade to an unsecured card, in which case your deposit will be refunded to you.

Which Credit Cards Give the Best Rewards?

We like the Discover it® Cash Back card for its handsome cash payouts on everyday purchases supported through its rotating bonus categories.

On top of that, Discover has an unmatched year-end cash rewards bonus for its new cardholders. By leveraging the quarterly categories and paying your monthly bills in full and on time, you can accumulate a substantial amount of cash back during your first year.

And while some points or travel rewards cards may offer a slightly higher yield on your rewards earnings, cash back is simple and versatile. Discover makes it easy to redeem your earned cash back through its mobile application or desktop website. You can even apply your cash back toward Amazon purchases at checkout.

By simply tapping on your earnings in the Discover mobile app, you can choose to have your money deposited into a linked checking account (which takes approximately one to two business days), sent as a paper check (seven to 10 business days), or applied toward your balance as a statement credit (one business day).

Are Credit Cards with Rewards Worth It?

Absolutely…under two conditions. For one, you have nothing to lose if you’re using a rewards card that doesn’t charge an annual fee, like those listed above. You’ll earn rewards — including cash back — for purchases you’re already making, and you won’t have to pay for your benefits.

Required Spend to Make Up Annual Fee with 1% Rate Differential

The second condition is that you’ll need to pay your balance in full every month. If you carry debt on your credit card from month to month, the interest fees will quickly eat away at the value of any rewards you accrue.

Rewards cards are notorious for having higher APRs to offset the cost of the rewards the issuer is doling out. If you know you’re going to carry a balance, check out cards with low ongoing interest rates instead.

Repayment of $5,000 Credit Card Balance w/ 21% APR

With responsible credit behavior, you can actually make money with a good cash back rewards card. The easiest way to do this is to pay your regular monthly bills using your card.

Many electric, cable, and subscription-based services allow you to pay your balance each month with a credit card. Once the charges clear and post to your card — which can take two to three business days — you can immediately use the cash in your checking account to clear the debt from your credit card.

Even with an entry-level 1.5% cash back credit card, you can still earn $15 each month in cash back if you pay $1,000 in bills, grocery store purchases, or gas station fill-ups. That’s $180 each year for doing what you’re already doing. And your potential savings will only increase with a credit card that offers even greater rewards rates.

Just make sure the bill you’re paying doesn’t charge you an extra credit card processing fee for using your card. If this happens, you’ll essentially forfeit your rewards — and maybe even more — just to use your credit card.

What is the Best Credit Card Rewards Program?

The best rewards program is the one that complements your financial needs and goals. If you’re a frequent traveler (or you want to be one), then a good travel miles credit card can help get you packing and on your way faster and affordably.

But if you’re a homebody who just wants to save money on the things you buy, a top cash back card can not only save you money — but it can actually make you money when used responsibly.

If you’re a jack of all trades and want travel rewards one month and cash back the next, then you may be best served with a points credit card that gives you a plethora of options when you’re ready to redeem. If you go by popular opinion to decide what’s best, cash back reigns supreme, with nearly two-thirds of rewards cardholders opting for cash back benefits.

If you’re looking for a wide-ranging rewards program, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is worth consideration. This portal allows you to take the points you accumulate on every purchase and redeem them for cash back, travel deals, discounted merchandise, and several other options.

Keep in mind your points have varying values based on how you choose to redeem them, and most Chase credit cards include an annual fee. But if you’re looking to maximize your rewards and diversify your benefits, you can’t go wrong with Chase.

How Do You Redeem Credit Card Rewards?

Each credit card issuer offers different types of rewards and different ways to redeem those rewards. The one thing they all have in common is that every credit card issuer tries to make it as easy as possible for you to reap your rewards without wasting your time.

Depending on which card you have, you will likely earn cash back, points, or travel miles. There are differences and similarities among the three, especially in how they’re redeemed.

Cash back is just as it seems. You’ll earn a percentage of each purchase back in the form of cash or a statement credit. Most cards have a mobile application that allows you to make payments, check your balance, and track your spending. The app also typically lets you redeem your cash back rewards.

You’ll likely see the change in your balance within 24 hours if you opt for a statement credit. Whereas if you choose to have your cash back directly deposited into a linked checking account, you can typically access the funds within two business days. Receiving a paper check can take a week or longer to process and receive your money.

Point rewards, on the other hand, work very much like cash back, but with more redemption options. You earn points for every dollar you spend using your card. Many cards allow you to redeem your points for cash back, but you can also earn travel discounts, merchandise, event tickets, and other items.

Each issuer offers varying redemption values on its rewards, as shown in the chart below.

Chart Comparing Values of Common Credit Card Rewards Points

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is a great example of a points reward system. Nearly all the cards in the Chase portfolio allow you to earn points, which you then redeem through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

You can receive more value for your points when you cash them out for travel discounts and gift cards than if you redeem your points for merchandise. Whichever option you choose, you can redeem your points easily through the portal or your card’s mobile app.

How you redeem your travel miles depends on the card you have. You earn miles just like points and cash back — with set amounts for each dollar you spend on your card. Some cards allow you to cash your miles in to directly purchase travel accommodations through an airline, hotel, or rental car agency. Others let you redeem the miles for statement credits that refund you for all or part of a recent travel purchase.

Rewards are Less Rewarding when You Pay for Them

Google defines the word “reward” as “a thing given in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement.” But it seems much less rewarding when you have to pay for your rewards.

Credit card rewards started as a way to earn consumer brand loyalty and incentivize spending on the card instead of paying with cash.

If someone wants your loyalty, they should pay you — not the other way around. But with one of the best rewards credit cards with no annual fee, you can have your cake and eat it too, without getting a bill from the baker when you’re done.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.