Best Travel Credit Cards (With NO Annual Fee)
Updated: Mar 4
There are so many great travel credit cards out there, but finding the best for your travel style can be hard. I have laid out the best credit card for flights, hotels, general benefits, and best overall card.
Hi travel friends! This week has been busy planning for our trip to Dallas! We are leaving tomorrow for a road trip down there, eek! I am so excited to travel again. There are so many things we had to plan for to take extra precaution to stay safe, and I just can’t wait to be able to travel again stress free! Anyways! I talked about the best travel credit cards, with an annual fee a while back (check that post out here), and I want to dive back into the travel credit card topic. This time, I set out to find the best travel credit cards with no annual fee*. I have laid out the best card for flight benefits, hotel benefits, general benefits, and overall best benefits card.
Best Credit Card for Flights - Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is the perfect card for a Delta lover who does not want to pay an annual fee for their credit card. Delta was rated best airline in the U.S. for the 3rd year in a row, so this makes the card even more valuable. I have listed a few of the best benefits of this card:
Sign Up Bonus - 10,000 miles after $500 spent in first 3 months ($100 back)
Points Benefits - 2x points on restaurants (worldwide), 2x points on Delta purchases, and 1x points on everything else
Other benefits - 20% off in flight purchases for Delta flights (snacks, drinks, headphones, etc.). No foreign transaction fees.
Final Words - Overall if you are flying a lot and enjoy Delta, this card is the best option if you are strictly looking for a flight card. I wish there was something to do with the lounges with these cards, but I get that they don’t have an annual fee. It is nice that you are able to get double the points on restaurants all over the world and can save some money if you normally buy items on Delta flights!
Best Credit Card for General Benefits - Discover It Miles
So the first every credit card I had was a Discover card for college students. It was a really great beginner card and I loved the user friendly platform that they have. After doing some research on the Discover It Card, it seems like a really great card for a traveler looking for a card without an annual Fee! This card doesn’t have a ton of travel benefits, but it really is the best for general benefits. It is one of the only cards out there that allows you redeem miles for cash with no loss value!! Here are the benefits of this card:
Sign Up Bonus - Unlimited bonus - they match you mile for mile (WOW!) in you first year of having the card, with no limit! This means if you earn 35,000 miles in your first year, they double it to 70,000! (70,000 points = $700)
Points Benefits - 1.5x points on all purchases (no other multipliers for restaurants, travel, etc.)
Other Benefits - You do not lose any value if you want to redeem miles for cash. Most credit cards only give you partial for redeeming. For example, a card may give you 75% if you take cash, but 100% if you redeem for travel. This is a really awesome benefit!
Final Words - This credit card has an amazing sign up bonus that you can really take advantage of if you know you are going to spend a lot of money in a year! However, after that first year, I feel the benefits aren’t as good as some of the other cards. 1.5 points on everything is nice, but it would be great if it could be a little more for restaurants like the other cards! The points will definitely come in slower, but might be worth it for the amount of points in that first year!
Best Credit Card for Hotels - Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card is a credit card that is perfect for someone that travels a lot and stay in hotels frequently. For there being no fee on this card, you get a lot of really great benefits! Here are some of the fun benefits the card offers:
Sign Up Bonus - Earn 30,000 points after $1,000 spent in first three months (~$250 value)
Points Benefits - 3x points on Marriott Hotels, 2x points all other travel, and 1x points on everything else
Other Benefits - Automatically qualify for Silver Status (Late check out, 10% point bonus per stay, free WiFi, etc.)
Final Words - This card has some great things to offer, and if you love staying at Marriott hotels, but do not want an annual fee, this may be the perfect card for you! It has a lot of amazing things to offer. The sign up bonus and points benefits seem to be really fair compared to its competitors. I really like that for no annual feel, you automatically upgraded to that Silver Status. It’s a really great benefit to this card!
Best Overall Credit Card for Travel - Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
After looking at so many different cards, the. Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card may be the best overall credit card regarding travel that also doesn’t have an annual fee. It has so much to offer! Here is a list of some of the best benefits of the card:
Sign Up Bonus - 20,000 welcome bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first three months ($200 value)
Points Benefits - 3x points on SO many things! (Restaurants, gas, ride shares/transit, flights, hotels, home stays, and car rentals.. wow!) and 1x points on all other purchases
Travel Insurance - Lost luggage reimbursement, car rental loss/damage insurance, and roadside assistance
Other Benefits - No foreign transaction fees
Final Words: This card is something really special for not having an annual fee. The sign up bonus of getting $200 back is really nice. I also LOVE how many things you are able to get 3x points back on. It really seems like they are trying to get travelers to get this card who are looking for a card that doesn’t have an annual fee. The points can add up fast if you are on a trip, its awesome! I am really impressed with this Wells Fargo card!
Overall, there are so many great cards that offer amazing travel benefits. There is a card for almost everything, and not all of them offer everything you probably want in a card :) I hope that this gives you a little bit more of an idea of what cards offer out there! I don’t want you to be missing some of the great deals out there if you are traveling a lot! :) I am always happy to talk about any questions you have too!
*I wanted to warn that I rated these credit cards based on the best travel benefits, not with any relation to the interest rates. Also always look into the small print before signing up for any credit card :)*