11 of the Top No Annual Fee Credit Cards for 2023 Travel

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11 of the Top No Annual Fee Credit Cards for 2023 Travel

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When it comes to credit cards, the best things in life aren't free.

Generally, travel credit cards with annual fee offer bigger bonuses and benefits that can offset whatever fee you are paying. It's the main reason why we encourage readers to do the math before ruling out even cards with a hefty annual fee.

But we get it. Not everybody has the appetite or the budget to pay a fee just for holding a travel rewards credit card.

There are a number of no annual fee credit cards offering travel rewards that are worth a spot in your wallet.

Annual fees or not, credit cards are serious business. You should never apply for a credit card if you’re already in debt, and never charge more to a credit card than you can afford to pay off immediately. That story doesn't change just because your card doesn't charge an annual fee.

Here is our list of the top no-annual fee credit cards for travelers in 2023.

 

 

The Bilt Rewards MasterCard®

If you pay rent (and even if you don't) we think the Bilt Rewards Mastercard® is the best no annual fee travel credit card out there.

But if you are paying a few thousand bucks a month for rent, this card is a no-brainer. It's the only credit card that allows you to pay your rent and earn points on that payment fee-free.

Even if you don't pay rent, the card is still a great no-annual-fee travel credit card option.

You'll earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining, 2x points per dollar spent on travel, and 1x points on other purchases (including rent payments) – so long as you make at least five transactions every month.

 

Bilt Rewards Mastercard

 

The card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees and even offers up to $5,000 reimbursement for non-refundable airline tickets if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason. It provides reimbursement for expenses incurred (including meals) when your trip is delayed more than six hours due to reasons like inclement weather, airline mechanical issues or air traffic control delays.

Finally, the Bilt Rewards Mastercard® provides up to $800 (subject to a $25 deductible) of cell phone protection against covered damage or theft as long as you pay your wireless phone will with your card.

Those are benefits that you'll typically only get on cards with annual fees.

You'll get the best bang for your Bilt bucks by transferring points to one of its 14 travel partners, including World of Hyatt, American Airlines, Turkish Airlines Miles & SmilesUnited Mileage Plus, and British Airways Avios.

Here's the full list of Bilt Transfer partners:

 

ProgramTypeTransfer Ratio
Aer Lingus AviosAirline1:1
Air France/KLM Flying BlueAirline1:1
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1
American Airlines AAdvantageAirline1:1
British Airways AviosAirline1:1
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesAirline1:1
Emirates SkywardsAirline1:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMilesAirline1:1
Iberia AviosAirline1:1
Turkish Miles & SmilesAirline1:1
United MileagePlusAirline1:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubAirline1:1
World of HyattHotel1:1
IHG HotelsHotel1:1

 

Bilt Rewards credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Bilt Rewards Mastercard®

 

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a great card that provides a lot of flexibility in how you use your miles. Venture miles can be transferred to 17 different airline & hotel transfer partners.

Think of the VentureOne Card as the little sibling of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card which both provide a better-earning rate, bonus miles, and credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Capital One Venture Miles are fantastic for many travel expenses you typically can't cover with other points and miles, like cruises, tours, or Airbnb.

  • Welcome Offer: bonus_miles_full
  • Earn 1.25x Miles: Earn a fixed 1.25x miles per dollar spent on every purchase.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

 

capital one ventureone card

 

Learn more about the card_name

 

The Chase Ink Cash Back Business Cards

The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card are two no annual fee cash back business cards that pack a huge punch. And they’re better than ever with huge bonuses.

Small business owners who already have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or even the Chase Sapphire Reserve® should give these two Ink Business cards a long, hard look. With one of those cards in your wallet, the cashback from these two Ink cards can be turned into Ultimate Rewards points, making the rewards much more valuable – especially if your ultimate goal is travel.

Wondering if you are eligible to open a small business credit card to earn more travel rewards? You might be surprised at the answer. And trust me, it’s less intimidating than you may think.

Not sure which one to pick? Chase doesn’t restrict you from having both, so that’s an option. And while they offer some of the same benefits, there are other key differences to be aware of between the Ink Cash vs. the Ink Unlimited cards.

Read More: Chase Ink Cash vs Ink Unlimited: Which Offers the Best Return for Your Business?

Full Benefits of the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

  • $900 cash back (or 90,000 points) after spending $6,000 in the first three months of card membership.
  • The card has no annual fee
  • 5x points (5% cash back) on internet, cable, and phone service; office supply purchases on your first $25,000 of spending each year.
  • 2x points (2% cash back) on restaurants and gas stations on your first $25,000 of spending each year.
  • 1x points (1% cash back) on all other eligible spending
  • Primary rental car collision and damage waiver coverage
  • Lost luggage insurance of up to $3,000 per person per trip
  • Add employee cards at no additional cost

 

chase ink business cash credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. 

 

Full Benefits of the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

  • $900 cash back (or 90,000 points) after spending $6,000 in the first three months of card membership.
  • The card has no annual fee
  • 1.5x points (1.5% cash back) on all purchases
  • Primary rental car collision and damage waiver coverage
  • Lost luggage insurance of up to $3,000 per person per trip
  • Add employee cards at no additional cost

 

chase ink unlimited credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.

 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns a straight 1.5% cashback on all spending with no annual limit.

It’s also easily among the best no annual fee travel rewards credit cards. And it gets better if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, as that allows you to transfer your cashback into Chase points, much like the Ink Business cards. Every cent of cashback gets you 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point.

You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cashback (1.5x points) on every dollar you spend. You’ll also earn 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3% back on dining at drugstores.

And as an intro offer: you'll 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!

Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

Make sure to check out our guide on Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited to help you decide which version is right for you.

 

chase freedom unlimited credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. 

 

The Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is also a fantastic card to combine with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Like the Freedom Unlimited card mentioned above, If you hold a Sapphire card, you can combine the cash back earned from the Freedom card into Chase Ultimate Rewards at a ratio of 1 cent equals 1 point and redeem them at 1.25 or 1.5 cents (depending on the Sapphire card you have) towards travel in the Chase portal. More card details below:

  • Welcome Offer: Earn $200 Bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership.
  • Earn 5% Cash Back: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending in rotating quarterly bonus categories.
  • Earn 5% Cash Back: On travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 3% Cash Back: At restaurants and eligible delivery services
  • Earn 3% Cash Back: On drugstore purchases
  • Earn 1% Cash Back: On all other purchases
  • Affected By The Chase 5/24 Rule: This card is subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so this is something to be aware of before applying.

 

chase freedom flex credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex Card. 

 

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Delta has four different co-branded credit cards, but the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is the only one without an annual fee. But with that comes a lack of benefits. You won’t get free checked bags, lounge access, priority boarding, or access to Delta's new TakeOff 15 benefit which gets you a 15% discount on Delta award tickets.

You will, however, earn 2x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and have foreign transaction fees waived.

We think it's one of the best cards for beginner Delta travelers.

  • Earn 10,000 SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first six months of card membership.
  • Earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases. 
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • No Annual Fee (see rates & fees)

Not a Delta flyer? Check out the United Gateway℠  Card, or the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠  Card. Both cards have no annual fee and offer similar welcome offer bonuses and benefits.

 

delta skymiles blue american express card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card. 

 

Hilton Honors American Express Card

The no annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Card is offering a limited-time welcome offer bonus of 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of Card Membership. This limited-time offer ends on July 19, 2023.

Just for holding the card, you will receive Hilton Honors Silver status. You can earn Hilton's Gold status by spending $20,000 or more in a calendar year.

Here's the full rundown on the card:

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership.
  • Earn Hilton Honors Silver Status: For as long as you have the card.
  • Earn Hilton Gold Status: If you spend $20,000 or more in a calendar year, you will earn Hilton’s Gold status.
  • 7x Hilton Honors Points:  At participating hotels in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 5x Hilton Honors Points: At U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • 3x Hilton Honors Points: On all other eligible purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No Annual Fee (see rates & fees)

Check out our post on all four of the Hilton Honors Credit Cards!

 

Hilton Honors american express card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

 

Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card earns 2% cash back on every single purchase you make. You’ll earn 1% cash back when you make the purchase, and an additional 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases.

And if you hold one of Citi’s top-tier travel credit cards like the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige card, the cashback you earn can be transferred directly into your Citi ThankYou Rewards account.

The card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus but also doesn’t have an annual fee. 

 

citi double cash card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Citi® Double Cash Card.

 

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

*blue biz plus* is one of my favorite no-annual fee credit cards (see rates & fees). It's a business card, but it earns 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday purchases up to $50,000 a year. I place a high value on Membership Rewards because of the flexibility they provide. For example, they can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio directly into your Delta SkyMiles account.

Earning 2x Membership Rewards points on every purchase is an incredible offer. And almost anybody can be approved for an American Express business credit card. Read our guide to applying here.

More card details below:

  • Earn 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
  • Earn 1x Membership Rewards points after the first $50,000 spent each year
  • Buy above your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power. The amount you can spend above your credit limit adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, credit record, and other factors.
  • No annual fee (see rates & fees)

 

*blue biz plus*

 

Learn more about *blue biz plus*

 

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

You won't earn an annual free night certificate like you will with either the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, but you can currently earn 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card membership with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

You'll also earn 3x points per $1 spent at Marriott Hotels, 2x points per dollar spent on other travel purchases, and 1x point on all other purchases.

The Card also doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

 

marriott bonvoy bold credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card. 

 

Bottom Line

While you can typically earn far more points and miles on cards with an annual fee, no annual fee credit cards can still provide good value – especially when pairing them with another card in your wallet that you're paying for yearly.

This list contains our favorites and should be the 11 you focus on if you are considering no annual fee credit cards to earn points and miles for your 2023 travels.

 

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

2 Responses

    • The Freedom Unlimited makes our list because of how it works with the Chase Sapphire cards. And because it has a pretty incredible return on spending for a card with no annual fee.

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