For example, the best no fee credit card for a student who loves to travel and always pays his or her bills in full would be very different from the top card for someone with excellent credit who’s in the market for a balance transfer.
With that in mind, our editors compared more than 900 offers with no annual, monthly or one-time fees in search of the best offers for the most common consumer needs. You can find their picks for the year’s best no annual fee credit cards below.
Here are 2017's best no annual fee credit cards
|Best For…||Card Name||Annual Fee||Minimum Credit Required||Editors’ Rating|
|Cash Back||Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer||$0||Good||5 Stars|
|Travel Rewards||PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Credit Card||$0||Excellent||Not Listed|
|Big-Ticket Purchases||Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card||$0||Good||5 Stars|
|Balance Transfers||Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®||$0||Excellent||4.7 Stars|
|Rebuilding Credit||Capital One® Secured Mastercard®||$0||Bad||5 Stars|
|Students||Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®||$0||Limited||5 Stars|
|Small Business||Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business||$0||Good||3.9 Stars|
The lower your credit score is, the more important it is for you to get a no annual fee credit card. After all, low-cost credit improvement should be your top priority. Things aren’t so clear cut for people with good or excellent credit, however. Many of the best rewards credit cards charge annual fees, at least beginning the second year your account is open, but their generous terms can more than make up for the cost if you use your card regularly.
If you’re looking for a specific type of no annual fee credit card, here are the top cards in some of the most popular categories:
|Rank||Best No Annual Fee Rewards Cards||Best 0% APR Credit Cards with No Annual Fee||Best Low Interest Credit Cards with No Annual Fee||Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards for Bad Credit|
|1||Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer||Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card||Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum||Capital One® Secured Mastercard®|
|2||PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Credit Card||Chase Slate®||First Command Bank Platinum Visa® Credit Card||Discover it® Secured Card – No Annual Fee|
|3||Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®||Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®||Dollar Bank Low Rate Credit Card||Harley-Davidson® Secured Credit Card|
|4||Chase Freedom Unlimited℠||HSBC Platinum Credit Card||Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Rewards||First National Bank of Omaha Secured Visa® Credit Card|
|Honorable Mention||More Cards||More Cards||More Cards||More Cards|
For your reference, the average credit card charges a $16.78 annual fee, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. And the highest annual fee on the credit card market right now is a whopping $995, belonging to the MasterCard Gold Card.