Best No Annual Fee Cash Back Credit Cards

Top Picks & Cash Back Calculator
Get our top picks for the best cash back credit cards with no annual fee and calculate which cards earn you the most cash back on your spend.
Last Updated 2022-08-27 By R.Flowers III

If you want to maximize your cash back without dealing with annual fees, there is no shortage of excellent credit cards to choose from. Review our picks for the best no annual fee cash back credit cards and calculate which cards will earn you the most cash back and highest return on your spend.

Jump To Calculator

Best For Automatically Maximizing Cash Back

The Citi Custom Cash Card earns an 5% back up to the first $500 spent, then 1% cash back thereafter on one select category that you spend the most in during the statement period. This is automatically applied to an eligible category and adjusts each statement based on your spend, so you'll always receive the maximum amount of rewards.

Another big benefit of the Citi Custom Cash Card is that it earns ThankYou Rewards Points which can be transferred to airline and hotel partners if you own the Citi Premier® Card. This bumps up the value of ThankYou Points significantly as you'll be able to redeem points for more than just 1 cent each towards cash back.

Intro Bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Best For Supermarket, Gas, and Online Retail

If you frequent spend across the categories of supermarket, gas station, and online retail you'll want to heavily consider picking up the Blue Cash Everyday Card.

It earns 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases per year (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000 in U.S. online retail purchases per year (then 1%), and 3% back on up to $6,000 in U.S. gas station purchases per year (then 1%). All other purchases on the card earn 1% back.

It's one of the best no-annual fee credit cards to have and is typically the better option over the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express if you spend less than $270 per month at U.S. supermarkets.

Intro Bonus: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

Best For Home, Auto, & Health

The Upgrade Triple Cash Visa Card earns 3% cash back on home, auto, and health purchases and 1% back on everything else. This is fantastic because each of these categories typically include large purchases meaning that you will be able to earn rewards quickly.

In addition to earning cash back at an excellent rate, you'll also have the option to convert your purchases into a fixed-rate loan which makes this a good option for paying stuff off over time such as a home project or a medical bill.

Credit lines offered for this card are typically around $20,000 or higher which makes it a great card to have on hand in the case of an emergency purchase such as a car repair which would earn you 3% back as it falls under the auto category.

Overall, I highly recommend the Upgrade Triple Cash Visa Card as it is a great well-rounded credit card that can be very beneficial.

Intro Bonus: Get a $200 bonus when you open and fund a new Upgrade Rewards Checking account and make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days of your Upgrade Card account opening.

Best For Flexibility

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® is a flat-rate cash back credit card that earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no cap on how much you can earn.

Similar to the Upgrade Triple Cash Visa Card, purchases made on the card can be converted into a fixed-rate loan. This provides excellent flexibility if you're looking for a hybrid option that can operate as a credit card or loan.

If you do pick up the card, I recommend pairing it with the Upgrade Triple Cash Visa Card as you'll end up with a nice cash back card combo offering 1.5% to 3% cash back across all purchases.

Intro Bonus: Get a $200 bonus when you open and fund a new Upgrade Rewards Checking account and make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days of your Upgrade Card account opening.

Best For 2% Cash Back

Don't want to have to worry about bonus categories or a complex earning structure? Then the Citi Double Cash Card is as simple and rewarding as it gets.

It earns 1% cash back on all purchases and 1% back when you pay off those purchases for a total of 2% cash back.

If you enjoy travel, you can take the rewards a step further by pairing the Citi Double Cash with the Citi Premier® Card which will allow you to transfer your rewards to Citi's airline and hotel partners.

You can also pair it with the Citi Custom Cash Card or pair all three cards together for maximum value.

Intro Bonus: For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

Best For Bonus Cash Back & Sign-Up Bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the best no-annual fee credit cards in the market and one of the best for earning cash back as well.

It earns 5% back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, and a very generous 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

There aren't many cards that offer bonus categories along with a great return on all other spending which is why this card stands out from the rest.

If you want to maximize your rewards, you can pair this card with an Ultimate Rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® which will give your rewards higher value when redeemed towards travel purchases.

Intro Bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy, up to $20,000 spent during the first year. That's up to $300 cash back.

Best For Customized Rewards Categories

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

If you want the ability to choose a bonus category, there's no better card than the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card.

It earns 3% cash back on one select category of your choice, 2% cash back on grocery and wholesale club purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The category you select, grocery, and wholesale club purchases all share a combined spend cap of $2,500 per quarter and once that cap is hit, you'll earn at the non-category rate of 1% for the remainder of that quarter.

One of the best benefits of Bank of America credit cards is the Preferred Rewards program which can earn you up to a 75% cash back bonus based on how much you have invested with Bank of America and their partners.

This means you can earn as much as 5.25% back on a category of your choice, up to 3.5% back on grocery and wholesale club purchases, and up to 1.75% back on everything else.

Intro Bonus: Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Best For Dining & Entertainment

If you want to earn a great return on your dining and entertainment spending, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is the card for you.

It earns 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) and 1% cash back on everything else.

Like all Capital One credit cards, the SavorOne has no foreign transaction fee which means you will not be penalized for making purchases outside of the United States. This allows you to earn cash back on your purchases worldwide which makes it fantastic for international travel and spending.

Intro Bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Best Credit Cards Summary

Credit Card Annual Fee Best For
Citi Custom Cashâ„  Card $0 Automatically Maximizing Cash Back
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express $0 Supermarket, Gas, and Online Retail
Upgrade Triple Cash Visa Card $0 Home, Auto, & Health
Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards $0 Flexibility
Citi® Double Cash Card $0 2% Cash Back
Chase Freedom Unlimited® $0 Bonus Cash Back & Everyday Spending
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card $0 Customized Rewards Categories
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card $0 Dining & Entertainment

Credit Card Cash Back Calculator

Use the Credit Card Cash Back Calculator to find out which no-annual fee cash back credit cards earn you the most cash back and best return on your spend.

Results will be sorted by net return. This is calculated by taking the average value of the rewards earned adding the average value of card benefits and subtracting any annual fees the card has.

Results will consist of cash back credit cards from our partners as well as other top-rated cash back credit cards in the market.

Loading Calculator...
If the calculator doesn't load after a few seconds, click here to re-load calculator.
Category Spending
Resets all fields in the Category Spending section for all columns. Also clears all saved spend values that carry from calculator to calculator.
Add Categories
Search for categories and click 'Add Category' to add it to the calculator. If you want to be more specific, you can specify domestic or international spend.
Type at least 3 characters.
Currently Selected:
Spend Region:
Income Requirement
Income Type
Select if you're looking for credit cards based on your own individual income or if you're looking for credit cards based on the income of the entire household.
Income Maximum
Select the maximum income requirement you want listed in your top picks.
Calculator Options
Include Intro Bonuses?
If set to yes, intro bonuses will be included in the calculations if you meet the monthly spend criteria based on what's entered into the tool. Do note that we do not have intro bonuses for all credit cards and we cannot calculate intro bonuses for some cards.

Find out which credit cards will offer you the most value based on the spend amounts you entered

No Results. This is usually due to:

  • There's no good card options based on the spend entered.
  • The calculator is having a brain-fart and is not calculating rewards properly.

Enter different values or try again later.

Results

These estimates are to help guide you towards making the best decision when it comes to picking up a rewards credit card. They should be used for illustrative purposes only.

You can click on the estimated earnings to see the calculations or click on the card to learn more and apply for the card through our partners.

Do note that all spend amounts entered into the tool above will carry over to every credit card rewards calculator on the site, so there's no need to re-enter spend if you choose to dive deeper into calculating rewards for credit cards on the site.

FAQ

What are no annual fee credit cards?

Credit cards that have no annual fee means that you do not have to pay an annual fee to hold the card. These type of cards usually offer less rewards and benefits than their annual fee counterparts.

Are annual fees worth it?

Annual fees can be worth paying if the card offers more value than the fee. To find out if an annual fee is worth it, you will need to run the calculations to see if the rewards you earn and the benefits the card offers outweighs the fees.

How can I find out if an annual fee is worth it?

You can use the Credit Card Comparison Tool to calculate the cash value of any credit card featured on the site. This will give you an idea on whether or not a card is worth the annual fee.

What is the best no annual fee credit card?

There is no 'best' card as everyones needs and spend habits are different, but there are cards that stand out above others. I recommend checking out the Top No Annual Fee Credit Cards.