The 7 Best Travel Rewards Cards With No Annual Fee
You have plenty of travel rewards credit cards to pick from, but which one is right for you?
Contributing Writer at Tally
December 15, 2022
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or investment advice. Always consult with a professional financial or investment advisor before making investment decisions.
Many want to travel the world, but it’s expensive. There are plenty of travel hacks to help you save. One is using travel reward points to pay for hotel reservations and flights. If you want the best travel rewards card, no annual fee is a key feature.
We put together this list of some of the best travel rewards cards with no annual fee to help you find the best option. We also outline how to earn your reward points without paying a penny of interest.
7 of the best travel rewards cards with no annual fee
You can choose from a wide range of travel rewards credit cards to help lower the cost of seeing the world. But which is a good fit for you?
Below, we outline the 7 best travel rewards cards with one thing in common: no annual fee.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card is a great travel rewards card with perks you'll enjoy from the moment you open the account. As an intro offer for new cardholders, you’ll get the following:
20,000 bonus miles when you spend $500 on the card in the first three months of card membership
0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
No annual fee
Rental car collision waiver
Reward redemption via PayPal and Amazon.com
Capital One Lounge access at airports
Travel accident insurance
Extended warranties on select items
Mile transfers to other programs
You’ll earn rewards at a rate of 1.25 miles per dollar spent on the credit card for all purchases and 5 miles per dollar spent on airfare and hotel stays booked through Capital One Travel.
The annual percentage rate (APR) is variable and is currently set at either 17.99%, 23.99% or 27.99%, depending on your credit score. This rate will fluctuate with the prime rate.
Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card
The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is another of the best travel rewards cards with no annual fee.
Once you sign up, you’re treated to:
0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days for 18 billing cycles
25,000 in bonus points when you spend at least $1,000 on this travel rewards card in the first 90 days of account opening
No foreign transaction fees
25 to 75% more points as you increase in member tiers
The base reward rate on this card is 1.5 points for every dollar spent, but this can go as high as 2.62 points per dollar in higher membership tiers. The variable APR ranges from 16.99% to 26.99%, depending on your credit history.
Discover it Miles
Another of the best no annual fee credit cards for travel is the Discover it Miles credit card. Like other cards on this list, this Discover card has introductory perks, including:
0% introductory APR on all balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months of card membership.
No late fee on your first late payment
No over-limit fee, no foreign transaction fee
A credit scorecard with your FICO score
Matching bonus points at the end of your first year
No blackout dates
Reward redemption at Amazon.com and PayPal
However, it lacks bonus miles for opening the card.
Rewards come in at a flat rate of 1.5 points per dollar spent. The variable APR will range from 14.99% to 25.99%, depending on your credit history.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited is a no-annual-fee travel card with robust benefits that begin with:
0% intro APR for all purchases
Balance transfers as a welcome offer for the first 15 months of account opening. After that, a variable APR between 17.99% and 26.74% will apply.
$200 bonus for spending $500 on the card in the first three months
Another 5% cash back on all supermarket purchases up to $12,000 in the first year. This could be up to $600 in rewards.
Rewards roll in at a 1.5% earning rate on all purchases, but there are bonus categories too. You’ll earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, ordering takeout and all drug store purchases on this cash-back credit card. If you make travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards system, you’ll get 5% cash back on these purchases.
Hilton Honors American Express card
The Hilton Honors American Express card is yet another top-notch travel credit card, though redeeming its rewards is limited to Hilton hotel chains. Regardless of this limitation, it remains a great no-annual-fee travel rewards card for many reasons, starting with its 80,000-point welcome bonus after spending just $1,000 on the card in the first three months.
On top of the bonus points, you also get:
A complimentary upgrade to Hilton Honors Silver Status
No foreign transaction fees, rental car insurance
Free ShopRunner membership
One truly unique feature is the ability to see if you’re approved for the card without impacting your credit score.
The rewards program offers 3 rewards points for every dollar spent, but there are bonus categories too. These bonus areas include 5 points per dollar on U.S. gas station purchases, grocery stores and dining at U.S. restaurants.
There is no intro APR offer on this card and the variable APR will fall between 19.49% and 28.49%.
Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express card
The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express card is similar to the Hilton Honors credit card because its rewards are limited to airline miles through Delta. However, it remains one of the best travel rewards cards with no annual fee for numerous reasons:
10,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 on the card in the first six months
No foreign transaction fees, 20% cash back on in-flight purchases
$50 off flight purchases per 5,000 miles redeemed
Car rental insurance
You get 1 mile for every dollar on all purchases, but bonus spending categories can boost this greatly, including 2X miles on Delta purchases and dining.
This card has no special intro APR and the variable APR ranges from 19.49% to 28.49%, depending on your credit.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is another no-annual-fee travel card with wonderful perks, including:
A 30,000-point sign-up bonus offer after spending $1,000 in the first three months you have the card
15 Elite Night Credits, giving you Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. This upgraded status gives you 10% bonus points through the loyalty program and late hotel checkout.
No foreign transaction fees
Delayed baggage insurance
Lost luggage reimbursement
Trip delay reimbursement
The reward rate starts a 1X points per dollar spent, but there are plenty of opportunities for bonus rewards. You get double points on all travel purchases and up to 14 times points for every dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
Using rewards credit cards the right way
One key to using the best travel credit cards is ensuring you pay no interest, as one month’s interest can easily offset all the points you've earned. So, only charge the amount you know you can pay off every month. As long as you pay the full statement balance by the due date, you’re within the interest grace period and you won't incur any interest charges.
This is how you can turn credit card use into a benefit.
Save cash on travel without really trying
Using travel rewards cards with no annual fee allows you to save cash on travel without really trying. Just use your credit card in place of your debit card and pay off the statement balance by the due date. You can take advantage of these cards' many travel perks, such as airport lounge access, rental car insurance, no foreign transaction fee.
Is excessive credit card debt standing in the way of you securing one of the best travel rewards cards with no annual fee? If so, the Tally† credit card debt repayment app can help. Our app helps you manage your credit card payments, and Tally offers a lower-interest personal line of credit, allowing you to efficiently pay off higher-interest credit cards.
†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 to $300.