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Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Cards for 2024

Best no annual fee travel credit cards
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Updated February 18, 2024

Travelers are back in the skies and on the roads, airplanes are taking off full, and there is likely a good chance you’re planning to travel this year or thinking about it. Whether you’re heading off on a much-deserved vacation or just getting away for a weekend, you may be looking to earn rewards on your travel spending.

But most travel credit cards come with an annual fee. That might make sense for road-warrior business travelers who are on a first-name basis with the airport check-in agent, but what if you don’t travel as often? If you’re an occasional traveler, paying an annual fee might not make sense.

In this article, we’ll cover the best travel credit cards with no annual fee.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Cards: Summary

  • Best for cash back on travel: card_name
  • Best for Hilton stays: card_name
  • Best for United miles: card_name
  • Best for American miles: American Airlines AAdvantage® Mile Up® Mastercard®
  • Best for Delta miles: card_name
  • Best for ThankYou Points: card_name

Our recommendations

Best for cash back on travel: card_name

card_name

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Annual fees
annual_fees
Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles

If you want a no-annual-fee card that offers cash back on travel and are a Costco member, the card_name simply can’t be beat. The Costco Anywhere Visa offers 3% cash back on travel categories including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruise lines and Costco Travel. You must be a Costco member to get this card, but if you’re looking for cash back on travel, few other cards offer as much cash back on as many travel categories as the Costco Anywhere Visa.

The one quirk of the rewards earned by the Costco Anywhere Visa Credit Card is that you earn your rewards as Costco Cash. Costco Cash rewards get distributed once your February billing statement closes in the form of a credit card reward certificate. This certificate must be redeemed at Costco for merchandise or cash.

Here are the details of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card:

  • 4% cash back on the first $7,000 spent each year on eligible gas and EV charging purchases worldwide and then 1% thereafter.
  • 3% cash back at restaurants worldwide.
  • 3% cash back on eligible travel purchases.
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases at Costco and at Costco.com.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fee.
  • annual_fees annual fee.

Best for Hilton stays: card_name

card_name

Hilton Honors Card from American Express

Hilton Honors Card from American Express

Annual fees
annual_fees
Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles

If your travel plans have you staying within Hilton’s family of hotel brands, consider picking up the card_name. The card earns seven Hilton Honors Bonus Points per dollar spent at hotel properties within the Hilton portfolio. And you’ll get Hilton points for your everyday purchases like gas and groceries. The card earns five Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations as well. The card is also a great choice if you’re planning to travel abroad as it does not charge foreign transaction fees.

Here are the details of the Hilton Honors American Express Card:

  • 7 Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton portfolio.
  • 5 Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • 3 Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
  • foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fee (Rates & Fees).
  • annual_fees annual fee (Rates & Fees).

Best for United miles: card_name

card_name

United Gateway℠ Card

United Gateway℠ Card

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards full
bonus_miles_full
The card_name offers unlimited 2x United MileagePlus miles on gas station purchases without charging an annual fee. This allows cardholders to earn miles toward their next vacation while commuting to work, running errands around town, and all of their other gas purchases. New cardholders get extra time to pay off their items without incurring interest charges with a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases.

United MileagePlus aficionados wanting to pad their mileage balances without paying an annual fee should take a look at the card_name. The card earns two United miles per dollar spent on United Airlines purchases, at gas stations, and on local transit and commuting.

The benefits of the card_name don’t stop with earning miles. The card also offers 25% back on United inflight and United Club premium drink purchases. And the card offers essential travel insurance coverage such as auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and purchase protection.

Here are the details of the United Gateway Card:

  • 2 United miles per dollar spent on United purchases.
  • 2 United miles per dollar spent at gas stations.
  • 2 United miles per dollar spent on local transit and commuting.
  • 1 United mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fees.
  • annual_fees annual fee.
  • Member FDIC.

Best for American miles: card_name

card_name

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

Annual fees
annual_fees
Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles

If you want to earn American Airlines miles on your purchases with the airline, there may be no better card than the American Airlines AAdvantage® Mile Up® Mastercard®. The card earns two miles per dollar spent with American Airlines—an earning rate that matches even the airline’s most premium card_name, which carries a annual_fees annual fee. In addition to miles on American Airlines purchases, the card earns two miles per dollar spent at grocery stores.

The card_name has a unique feature among airline cards with no annual fee: The card can help you earn elite status with American Airlines. You earn one loyalty point for every one dollar you spend on purchases. Earning just 15,000 loyalty points in a year gets you Group 5 boarding privileges and a handful of preferred seat coupons. Once you earn 40,000 loyalty points in a year, you get AAdvantage Gold status, giving you access to complimentary upgrades.

Here are the details of thecard_name:

  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services.
  • 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent everywhere else.
  • Earn 1 loyalty point for every AAdvantage mile earned from purchases.
  • foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fee.
  • annual_fees annual fee.

Best for Delta miles: card_name

card_name

Delta SkyMilesR Blue American Express Card

Delta SkyMilesR Blue American Express Card

Annual fees
annual_fees
Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles

Delta Air Lines flyers can earn SkyMiles without paying an annual fee if they hold the card_name. The card_name offers two SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants, plus a 20% rebate on in-flight purchases. The card does not levy a foreign transaction fee (Rates & Fees), making it a solid option for international travelers who prefer SkyTeam.

Here are the details of the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card:

  • 2 Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • 2 Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent at restaurants.
  • 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fee (Rates & Fees).
  • annual_fees annual fee (Rates & Fees).

Best for ThankYou Points: card_name

card_name

Citi Rewards+® Credit Card

Citi Rewards+® Credit Card

Annual fees
annual_fees
Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles

The card_name wouldn’t normally make a list of great travel cards, but it currently offers bonus points on some travel. Cardmembers can earn a total of five ThankYou Points on hotel, car rentals, and attractions booked through the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.

If you’re invested in the Citi ThankYou Points ecosystem, the card is a must-have, not for its travel benefits, but for its point bonus on redemptions. The card offers a 10% rebate on point redemptions when you redeem your ThankYou Points. If you hold multiple ThankYou Point-earning cards and combine your ThankYou Points accounts, you get this rebate on any redemption, up to 100,000 points redeemed per year.

Here are the details of the Citi Rewards+ Card:

  • 5 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on hotels, car rentals, and attractions when booked through the Citi Travel℠ Portal through June 30, 2024 (airfare is not included).
  • 2 ThankYou Points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent per year at supermarkets and gas stations for first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter.
  • 1 ThankYou Point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fee.
  • annual_fees annual fee.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Cards Comparison Chart

Card nameAnnual feesCredit score neededBonus rewards
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles

$0

Good, Excellent

15,000 AAdvantage bonus miles
card_name
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles

Our methodology

To find the best travel credit cards with no annual fee, we looked at the offerings from banks, U.S.-based airlines, and the major hotel chains. To be included in our list, cash back cards had to earn greater than 2% cash rewards on travel. Co-branded hotel and airline cards needed to earn at least two points per dollar on purchases with the brand. In most cases, we found that holding the no-annual-fee card that aligns with your travel brand preferences will earn you the most miles and points.

TIME Stamp: Brand loyalty can be rewarding

If you are a Costco member, the card_name offers the best travel rewards across a variety of travel purchases. If you’re not a Costco member and want a travel credit card that offers the best rewards with no annual fee, go with the entry-level card of your most used travel brand.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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