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Airline Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Not everyone wants to pay an annual fee for an airline credit card. Thankfully, airlines offer co-branded cards with no annual fee and many credit card issuers have no annual fee travel rewards credit cards as well. Below is a list of these cards.
 

Best Airline Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

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Amex Everyday® Credit Card

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AAdvantage MileUpSM Mastercard®

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Blue Delta Skymiles® Credit Card

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Discover IT Miles

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Capital One VentureOne Rewards

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Bank of America Travel Rewards

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No Annual Fee Airline Credit Cards - In Depth Look

Amex Everyday Card

Annual Fee: $0

Earn Points: You earn 2X points for spending at US supermarkets for up to $6,000 in annual spending. You earn 1X for other regular purchases. If you use the card 30 times a month, you will earn 20% bonus for the points that you earn a month. That means you effectively earn 2.4X on supermarket spending and 1.2X on regular spending.

Reward Program: Membership Rewards - where you can transfer points to airline miles partners.

Why We Like This Card?: This is the only no annual fee credit card that allows you to earn transferable reward points. Other transferable points credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Citi Premier all have annual fees. Aside from transferring points to airline and hotel parters, you can also book your travel through the Amex Travel Portal where you can use your points to pay or partially pay for your travel bookings.



American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card

Annual Fee: $0

Earn Miles - You earn 2X miles for spending on American Airline tickets and grocery spending. You earn 1X miles on other regular purchases.

Why We Like This Card?: Most co-branded airline credit card with no annual fee is not impressive for a variety of reasons. The most common downside to these cards is that the miles earning rate is not very good. However, the AAdvantage Milesup card has good miles earning rates compared to other AAdvantage cards. You can earn double miles on both American Tickets and Grocery Spending. As a no annual fee card, it does not have features like free checked luggage and ability to earn Elite Qualifying Miles. However, this may well suit folks with Elite Status who already enjoy such perks and simply do not want to pay any annual fee for any credit card.



Blue Delta Skymiles Credit Card

Annual Fee: $0

Earn Miles: 2X on Delta Flights and Restaurants.

Strength of This Card: Though this card does not have features like first free checked bags or ability to earn MQMs, some Delta Elite members will want this card because many features that Delta's other annual fee card offer come with Elite membership. This card offers Delta card holders a chance to earn extra Delta Skymiles from spending at restaurants and Delta tickets on a card with no annual fee.



Discover It Miles Card

Annual Fee: $0

How You Earn Miles? - Earn 1.5X Miles on All Purchases which can be redeemed for travel at 100 "miles for $1".

Why We Like This Card? - We like this card for two main reasons. The first is that more airlines like Delta and United are moving towards dynamic award charts. This makes it very difficult to plan how much miles to accumulate. In the past, many folks accumulate airline miles for aspirational business class international tickets. However, with dynamic pricing, you now require so many miles that the return on your miles is just slightly over 1%. It makes no annual fee cards like the Discover Miles card so much more attractive there is just no hassle in earning and redeeming miles.



Capital One VentureOne Rewards

Annual Fee: $0

How You Earn Points?: 1.25X Miles on Every Purchase. 5X Miles when booking hotels and car rentals through Capital One's Travel Portal.

Why We Like This Card?: Aside from having no annual fee, it also has no foreign transaction fee so you can easily use this card overseas. You can also transfer the miles you earn to Capital One's airline partners. Though their partner list is not as comprehensive as the Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards program, it is an option because you could potentially find great deals for aspirational flights.



Wells Fargo Propel American Express

Annual Fee: $0

How You Earn Points: Cardholders earn 3x points on eating out and ordering in; gas stations, rideshares, and transit; flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals; popular streaming services. You will earn 1x points on other regular purchases.

Why We Like This Card?: We like this card because you can earn more points from spending than most credit cards. There are more bonus categories that you can earn 3X points than most other cards. Furthermore, you can redeem your points in a variety of ways. You can use Wells Fargo GoFarRewards portal to redeem points for travel. You can also book your flights with any travel OTA and use your points as cash back.



Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

Annual Fee: $0

How You Earn Points: Earn 1.5X points on all purchases. If you are a Bank of America Preferred Checking Account member, you can earn 25% to 75% more points (bonus points). That means on the high end, you can earn 2.62 points for all purchases.

Why We Like This Card?: This card is really great for Bank of America Preferred Banking customers because you can earn up to 2.62X points for every dollar that you spend on the card. Here is how their points work for redemption. When you book any travel, those items will be offset by your rewards points in your statement. This card is also a Visa and has no foreign transaction fee so you can easily use this card abroad. In our opinion, this is the most underrated no annual fee cards you can get for free airline tickets and travel.



Features You Sacrifice with No Annual Fee Airline Credit Cards

One thing you have to be aware of is that with no annual fee credit cards, you do not get certain perks that come with co-branded airline credit cards with annual fees. Here is a list of stuff that you will miss.

Companion Tickets - Some airline credit cards provide you with an annual companion ticket simply from having the card or having to put a certain amount of spending on the card a year. Examples include the British Airways Visa and Platinum Delta Skymiles Credit Card.

Lounge Access - Many airline and travel cards with annual fee give card members access to airport lounges. For example, the Delta Reserve Credit Card and United Club Infinite Card give cardmembers access to their lounges.

Free Checked Baggage - This perk mainly applies to US based carriers since they charge fees for checked-in luggages. The lowest tier Silver elite levels usually allow a first free checked bags. For those without Elite status, free checked baggages by simply having a credit card can save quite a bit of money since baggage fees tend to be around $30 per bag. Examples of co-branded airline credit cards with free baggages include United Explorer Card and the Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card.

Priority Boarding - Many domestic co-branded cards also give you some form of priority boarding. These perks are available if you are an elite member. But if you are not, these perks are available in almost all domestic airline credit cards.

Help Earn Elite Miles - Many of the domestic airline credit cards help you earn elite status through credit card spending. Some Delta cards allow you to earn MQMs and earn MQD waivers while United credit cards allow you to earn PQPs.
 

 

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