No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Updated: Sep 10, 2020
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The credit card landscape is vast - and some of the most popular types of cards are no annual fee credit cards. The category of no annual fee cards is relatively self-explanatory.

These cards don't require you to pay a yearly fee. This means that you can save money on costly annual charges. While these cards do come with some common benefits, they're not without their drawbacks. If you aren't too keen on paying the yearly maintenance-free and don't use your credit card for everything, this might be the ideal type of card for your unique needs.

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Editor's suggestion: No Annual Fee Credit Cards - Nov 28, 2020

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Below, you’ll find our transparent overview of the No Annual fee card type – which includes the benefits, drawbacks, and standard features. After that, we’ll answer some of the most common FAQs about these types of cards, so you can decide if it’s the right option.

Make sure to read about many different card types before making your final decision. Opening a card is easy, but closing it will have some consequences. Do your research before you open your credit card to ensure that it’s the right type.

No Annual Fee Cards Features

These types of cards share a lot of standard features. Every card category will have its best selection and the ones that aren’t worth the effort. Some of the most common features found on cards’ offers with No Annual Fee:

No Annual Fee

This might be a no-brainer, but no annual fee credit cards unsurprisingly come with no annual fee. Now, this is the primary and most prominent feature of these cards.

If a card offers a yearly bonus of a particular amount of money, and if it’s made obsolete by the annual fee, it doesn’t provide many rewards. Having no costly fees will allow you to view your finances with much more transparency.

RELATED: Check card offers with rewards


Most no annual fee cards come with excellent cash-back features. This allows you to get back a portion of your cash after spending it. The no fee is usually accompanied by minimal costs in general, which gives you far better cash-back potential.

Some cash-back might be in fixed amounts, and at other times, it’s a preset percentage gained once you make the purchase, and an additional percentage once you pay it off.

Small Monthly Costs

Cards without annual fees are based around saving money. They usually don’t have many monthly costs as long as you pay all of your dues in time. What they do have is a penalty APR, but that won’t be a problem as long as you’re responsible with your payments.

Good APR and Balance Transfer

Aside from having no annual fee, these types of cards usually have a decent APR rate. Now, this means that the cost of using the card is minimal, with the lowest APR rates being as little as 11%.

Transferring your balance is also subject to additional fees. These types of cards have a low (or non-existent) fee placed on balance transfers, meaning they’re optimally the best type of card for saving money in the long run.

RELATED: Canada card offers for Balance Transfers

If you want to save money in the long run, No Annual Fee cards are the way to go. Most of the features and benefits orbit around saving money.

No Annual Fee Cards Pros

There are multiple benefits associated with these credit cards, the most prominent of which are:

No Need To Close It

Closing your credit card is a tough thing to get through. It can leave long-lasting adverse effects on your credit score and will make your credit history far shorter. Your credit history is calculated by adding your total policyholder durations for all of your cards and dividing it by the number of cards you own.

With no annual fee credit cards, you don’t have to pay this fee even if you’re not using it. This means you can keep it open even if you won’t use it, and it’s not going to charge you an obsolete fee every year.

Immense Credit Building Potential

Even if these types of cards usually require a decent credit score, their credit building potential is only matched by unsecured credit cards. These types of cards don’t typically have many fees associated with them, allowing you to focus on making your payments on time.

Most also report to all main Canada major credit bureaus, Experian, and TransUnion. Making a credit-building strategy is far simpler and more productive when using these types of cards.

Low Running Costs

Most no annual fee offers are centered around saving money – and they usually have low fees associated with them. While there is no fee, many issuers also offer an excellent introductory APR and 0% balance transfer fee for a particular amount of time.

Aside from these low costs, other things, such as the foreign transaction fee, late fee, over-limit fee, returned payment fee, and expedited payment fee, are minimal or non-existent.

No Annual Fee Cards Cons

While there are many attractive benefits of using these types of cards, there are drawbacks, such as:

High Requirements

Not all cards in this niche have high requirements, but most of them do. If you want to get one of these cards, you’ll have to get your credit score in order. Most no annual fee card issues require a minimum credit score of 650, which is considered decent.

RELATED: Card offers for Good credit holders

Scarce Bonuses, Rewards, and Perks

While most cards in this category offer decent or excellent cash-back features, that’s practically where their bonuses end. Only the best no annual fee credit cards offer more bonuses, rewards, and perks, and they usually require an excellent credit score of over 750.

Rare Insurance Options

Insurance options are one of the most important features of credit cards. Cards in this category lack essential insurance options such as vehicle insurance, travel insurance, extended warranty insurance, and many more. While some might have these features, they also require an excellent credit score.

We’ve talked a lot about excellent credit scores in this section. If you have an excellent credit score, you might want to go for a more lucrative credit card option than a no annual fee card. While it might not maximize your earnings, it will provide far more perks, bonuses, features, and insurance options.

Should You Use No Annual Fee Cards

If you’re looking to maximize your finances, don’t use your credit card often, or are merely looking to pay as minimal fees as possible, this type of card is for you. They’re handy for saving money and further building up your credit score.

The Bottom Line

No annual fee credit cards are a good option for people looking to improve their financial wellness to a more significant degree. While they do have relatively high requirements, it’s an excellent midpoint for getting your credit to exceptional standings.

They have minimal running costs and great cash-back features, especially when combined with the low APR and non-existent annual fee. When using this card, you’re actively investing in your financial future, and since there is no need to close it – you won’t have to face any future consequences.

No Annual Fee Card Offers Recap

No Annual Fee FAQs. What People Ask About No Annual Fee Cards

What is the minimum credit score requirement for no annual fee cards?2020-08-31T22:40:25-07:00

While most no annual fee card offers have high credit score requirements, some don’t. This depends solely on the unique credit cards you choose. While some may have minimum requirements set at 600, others may require up to 800.

Make sure to check the requirements beforehand, as getting rejected for a card could result negatively on your credit score.

Can I close my no annual fee card?2020-08-15T22:36:56-07:00

While you can close your no annual fee card, you really don’t have to. Since there are no maintenance fees, you won’t have to make continual payments for the card. Once you open it, you don’t have to close it at all. Just make sure to use it from time to time for minimal purchases to avoid the card becoming inactive.

Are no annual fee cards good for building credit?2020-08-31T22:42:01-07:00

Even if their requirements are pretty substantial, no annual fee cards are ideal for building credit. Since they have low general fees, their credit building potential is vast.

Most of them also report all of their statements to the major credit bureaus, meaning you can build your credit score up further in no time.

Are there no annual fee cards in Canada?2020-08-31T22:40:38-07:00

Yes. There are many no annual fee cards in Canada and all around the world as well. This is a very popular type of card globally, as it’s a consumer-orientated money-saving option.

Which is the best no annual fee card?2020-08-31T22:40:47-07:00

The best no annual fee card is the one that serves your unique needs. Everyone needs a card for a different purpose, and informing yourself on your card is key.

Before you open a card, do your own research into it and make sure it compliments your consumer needs, habits, and spending.

What is a three zeroes card offer?2020-09-02T09:56:03-07:00

The 3 Zeroes card offer is such cards that have all of below:

Such cards are usually available for Excellent Credit holders only. However, sometimes Good Credit holders can get approved for a 3 zeros card, too.

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