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11 Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee [Digital Nomad Edition]

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What if you could live your digital nomad lifestyle while traveling for free? With one of these best travel credit cards with no annual fee, it’s absolutely possible! 

Imagine booking a flight to your next destination and not having to pay a dime out of your pocket. Now, what if this same ticket was upgraded to premium or business class status simply because you have a travel credit card? 

That’s every digital nomad’s dream! While there are thousands of travel hacks and tricks to save money while living a remote lifestyle, getting a travel credit card with no annual fee is one of the best. 

I’m in love with my travel credit card, which I’ll recommend later on in this article. I’ve stayed in so many hotels for free, thanks to the points I’ve earned. Plus, my last flight to Italy (originally $400) was completely free! It literally does not get better than this. 

Now, there are a lot of travel credit cards out there, all of them very different. So, how do you know which one is right for you? 

Today, I’m going to help you choose the best travel credit card with no annual fee so you can start saving money and travel the world for free. 

How Does a Travel Credit Card Work?

Before I start listing all of my recommendations, let’s be clear about how travel credit cards work. 

The main concept is that you’ll earn a certain amount of points with each dollar you spend on your credit card. This amount can vary depending on the travel credit card you use. 

You can then use these points to book trips, flights, hotels, and so on. The process of redeeming points also varies, as do what you can use them for. 

That’s the gist of it, though! You spend money, earn points, and redeem them for travel-related expenses. 

Don’t worry; I’m going to dive into detail with each travel credit card on this list to explain how their points systems work and what you can redeem points on. 

Best Travel Credit Card With No Annual Fee

I’m breaking this article down into separate categories of travel credit cards. First, we will discuss overall travel-related cards, which offer the least limitations on how you can redeem your points. 

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: 1.25 points per $1, 5X per $1 on hotels and rental cars through Capital One Travel
  • Sign Up Bonus: 20,000 points when you spend $500 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 0% for first 18 months, 14.99%-24.99% after that 

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card is one of three travel credit cards offered by the bank. With their newly improved travel booking platform, Capital One Travel, you can easily redeem your points while feeling confident you’re getting the lowest price possible, thanks to their partnership with Hopper. 

You can always stay in control of your credit card through the Capital One mobile app and their 24/7 customer assistance. The statements are easy to navigate and understand, making it easy to manage your finances. 

Some other benefits of the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Blackout Dates
  • Unlimited Miles & No Expiration
  • Access to Capital One Lounge in airports
  • Redeem Rewards through PayPal, Amazon, and other programs
  • Automatically save money with Capital One Shopping coupons

See if you qualify for the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. 

best travel credit card with no annual fee - discover it miles

Discover it® Miles 

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: 1.5 points per $1 
  • Sign Up Bonus: Earn double your miles with Discover Match® at the end of your first year
  • APR: 0% on purchases for first 14 months, 11.99%-22.99% after that

The Discover it® Miles is another great travel credit card option for digital nomads who don’t want to pay an annual fee to earn free travel. With flexible redemption programs, you can either pay for travel, get reimbursed for travel expenses, or use points on Amazon or PayPal. 

The unique aspect of the Discover it® Miles credit card is the introductory offer. Discover will instantly double the miles you’ve earned during your first year with the card. So, if you earned 20,000 miles, which is a redemption value of $200, Discover will make that 40,000 miles, a redemption value of $400.

Some other benefits of the Discover it® Miles card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Blackout Dates
  • Unlimited Miles & No Expiration
  • Redeem rewards on Amazon or PayPal
  • No Minimum Spending Amount Required

See if you’re eligible for the Discover it® Miles card. 

Bank of America Travel Rewards

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: 1.5 points per $1 
  • Sign Up Bonus: 25,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 0% on purchases for first 15 billing cycles, 13.99%-23.99% after that

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card is fairly straightforward, but you can definitely find a ton of benefits from using it. With each dollar you spend, you can earn 1.5 points. Let’s not forget the awesome bonus offer, which equals a $250 redemption. 

You don’t just have to use your points for travel, though. You can earn credit statements on restaurant purchases (including takeout) and baggage fees. With their online and mobile banking, you’ll find it’s super easy to manage your finances. 

Plus, the Bank of America card is contactless, which is extremely useful if you’re traveling to destinations in Europe

Some other benefits of the Bank of America Travel Rewards card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Blackout Dates
  • Unlimited Miles & No Expiration
  • Overdraft Protection

See if you’re eligible for the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card. 

best travel credit card with no annual fee - chase freedom unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Cash Back Earnings: 5% on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, 1.5% on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: $200 if you spend $500 in the first 3 months plus 5% cashback on gas station purchases up to $6,000 in the first year
  • APR: 0% on purchases for first 15 months, 14.99%-23.74% after that

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card isn’t necessarily a travel credit card where you earn points to redeem for free travel. However, you can earn cashback through your purchases, which you can use for your travels or any other expenses you may have.

Chase also partners up with large brands to offer even more rewards from time to time. For example, they recently partnered with Lyft so that cardholders can earn 5% back on every ride. 

Unfortunately, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee with this card. So, it’s excellent for digital nomads who plan to travel within the United States, especially van-lifers, thanks to the high percentage rewards at gas stations. 

Some other benefits of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card include:

  • Unlimited Cashback Earnings & No Expiration
  • Travel Insurance on Trips Purchased with the Card

See if you’re eligible for the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card.

Airline Travel Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

You may have a favorite airline that you like to use when you travel. Fortunately for you, many airlines offer credit cards where you can earn points and rewards to get free flights and upgrades. 

Remember, just because the credit card has a specific airline’s name on it, most programs allow you to book flights on their partners’ airlines as well. 

Below are some of the best airline travel credit cards with no annual fee so you can save a ton of money on your next plane ticket.

best travel credit card with no annual fee - american airlines aadvantage

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: 2X miles per $1 spent at grocery stores and American Airlines purchase, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 10,000 miles and a $50 statement credit when you spend $500 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.99%-24.99% 

If you are a fan of flying American Airlines, then you may want to sign up for the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard. With flights to over 1,000 destinations, you can catch free flights, save 25% on in-flight purchases when you use your card, and receive upgrades.

The beauty of using American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp isn’t just that it’s a no-annual-fee credit card, but that you can redeem your miles with 14 airlines. These include British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, Qatar, and more. So, you can travel to even more international destinations using your points. 

There is a 3% foreign transaction fee that you should be aware of too. 

Some other benefits of the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp card include:

  • Unlimited Miles
  • Save 25% on in-flight purchases
  • Earn miles on authorized users
  • Earn loyalty points for every mile 

See if you’re eligible for the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard.

best travel credit card with no annual fee - united gateway card

United Gateway Card

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: 2X miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases, gas stations, public transit, or rideshare, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 20,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 0% on purchases for first 12 months, 16.49%-23.49% after that

The United Gateway Card is an airline credit card offered by Chase. So, you’ll experience the benefits of a large bank plus airline perks. For example, you’ll save 25% on in-flight purchases with United, including onboard wifi connection. 

You’ll also get travel insurance with the card, including trip cancellation or delay protection and car rental collision and damage waiver. 

You aren’t limited to using your points just on travel with the United Gateway Card either. Redeem points on experiences like Broadway shows, Apple products, high-end products from Dyson or Google, hotels, cruises, and more. This is truly a card meant for travelers and digital nomads who want to save on their travel. 

Some other benefits of the United Gateway Card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Blackout Dates
  • Miles Don’t Expire
  • Contactless card to pay
  • Save 25% on in-flight United purchases
  • Redeem points on hotels, experiences, and items through Mileage Plus Awards

See if you’re eligible for the United Gateway Card.

best travel credit card with no annual fee - jetblue card

JetBlue Card

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: 3X miles per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases, 2X miles per $1 spent at restaurants and eligible grocery stores, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 10,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.99%-24.99% regular APR

JetBlue has long been a reputable airline, so you can count on great benefits and service with the JetBlue airline credit card. You can book free travel on any JetBlue flights to their multiple destinations in the US, Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico, and the UK. 

You can also pool your JetBlue points together with friends and family members to book flights or vacation packages. Plus, you’ll save 50% on in-flight food or cocktail purchases when you use your card. 

This straightforward travel card is great for those travelers and digital nomads who routinely fly on JetBlue airlines. It’s fantastic for saving on flights, especially if you plan to travel to the destinations mentioned above.

Some other benefits of the JetBlue Card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Blackout Dates
  • Miles Don’t Expire
  • Pool Miles with TrueBlue
  • Save 50% on in-flight food and cocktails
  • Chip technology for secure payments 

See if you’re eligible for the JetBlue Card. 

best travel credit card with no annual fee - delta blue

Delta SkyMiles Blue Card

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: 2X miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases and dining, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 10,000 miles when you spend $500 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.74%-24.74% regular APR

Delta Airlines was named the #1 airline in the United States. Now you can fly on it for free when you get the Delta SkyMiles Blue Card by American Express. This no-annual-fee credit card gives you access to 20 airlines worldwide where you can redeem your points. 

You’ll also get 20% cashback as a credit statement when you make in-flight purchases with your Delta airline credit card. Cardholders can travel with confidence thanks to the Global Assist® Hotline, which becomes available when you travel 100 miles from home. 

Some other benefits of the Delta SkyMiles Blue Card by American Express include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Save $50 on flights booked through Delta for every 5,000 points redeemed
  • Contactless card payment
  • Global Assist® Hotline 
  • Get 20% back on in-flight purchases

See if you’re eligible for the Delta Skymiles Blue Card.

Hotel Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Let’s face it, the most expensive part of traveling can be paying for a place to stay while living abroad. Of course, this depends on your destination and what type of accommodations you prefer. 

If you enjoy living out of hotels while living the digital nomad lifestyle, then you’ll want to consider applying for one of the hotel credit cards with no annual fees below. 

best travel credit card with no annual fee - marriott bonvoy bold

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: Up to 14X points on Marriott purchases, 2X points per $1 spent on travel, 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.99%-22.99% regular APR

You can stay at any of the 7,000 Marriott hotel locations worldwide for free when you earn and redeem points with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card by Chase. As the largest hotel chain in the world, you can use your points with multiple hotel brands too. 

With the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card, you’ll also receive 15 Elite Night credits every year. This little perk then qualifies you to become Silver Elite status, which comes with even more benefits. 

Some other benefits that you get with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Unlimited Point Earnings
  • Instant Silver Elite Status
  • Travel Insurance and Trip Delay or Cancellation Protection
  • Contactless Card Payment

See if you qualify for the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card.

best travel credit card with no annual fee - ihg traveler

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: Up to 15X points on IHG hotel and resort purchases, 2X points per $1 spent on restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 80,000 miles when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.99%-22.99%

Another fantastic hotel rewards card by Chase is the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card. With an amazing introductory sign-up offer, this card gives you so many benefits for having a $0 annual fee. Just some of the brands you can use your IHG Rewards points include Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton Hotels, Six Senses, and more. 

When you spend $10,000 in one calendar year using your IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card, you’ll be instantly upgraded to Gold Elite Status. Plus, you’ll receive your fourth night free when redeeming points for any stay of at least four nights. 

Some other benefits of the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Travel and Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Free Fourth Reward Night
  • Potential Gold Elite Status

See if you’re eligible for the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card.

best travel credit card with no annual fee - hilton honors

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Point Earnings: 7X points on Hilton purchases, 5X points per $1 spent at US restaurants, US grocery stores, and US gas stations, 3X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 70,000 points + 1 free night when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.74%-24.74%

You can stay at a Hilton hotel in over 500 locations worldwide for free when you sign up for the Hilton Honors American Express Card. With some of the highest point earnings for a no-annual-fee card, you’ll definitely appreciate the rewards the next time you travel.

When you sign up for this hotel credit card, you’ll instantly receive complimentary Silver status. When you spend $20,000 in a calendar year using your card, you’ll be upgraded to Golden status. 

Enjoy traveling with friends and family? You can pool your Hilton Honors points together with up to ten people for free! That’s almost unheard of when it comes to no-annual-fee travel cards. 

Plus, you’ll have access to the Global Assist® Hotline when you travel more than 100 miles away from your home. You’ll always feel safe and secure with your American Express card. 

Some other benefits of the Hilton Honors AMEX® card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Global Assist® Hotline
  • Points Pooling with Up to Ten People
  • Use Rewards on Amazon and AMEX Experiences
  • Instant Silver Status (with Opportunity to Upgrade to Gold)
  • Contactless Card Payment

See if you’re eligible for the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

Travel Credit Cards with Annual Fees Under $100

While you came to this article searching for the best travel card with no annual fee, I want to also touch on some of the best cards with a minimal annual fee. These paid membership cards often make sense for full-time digital nomads who are constantly traveling because they come with more travel perks and opportunities to earn more points. 

Many people say that the cards pay for themselves when they redeem their points and take advantage of the benefits too. 

So, if you are open to spending less than $100 a year on a travel credit card, keep reading. 

best travel credit card with no annual fee - capital one venture

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Point Earnings: 5X points on travel purchased through Capital One Travel, 2X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.99%-23.99%

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is my personal favorite travel rewards card. I’ve been using this for the last three years and have never had anything bad to say about it! 

With a fantastic sign-up bonus and great travel benefits, this card makes traveling abroad and living as a digital nomad so much easier. Firstly, the card pays for itself thanks to the bonus equal to $600 in travel credit, and the $100 credit to sign up for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. 

With the Capital One Travel center, it’s so easy to find hotels, flights, and car rentals to book for your next trip. Plus, when you book here, you earn 5X the points! 

Some other benefits of the Capital One Venture Rewards Card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $100 Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Capital One Airport Lounge Access
  • Unlimited Miles that Never Expire
  • No Blackout Dates
  • Redeem Rewards through PayPal, Amazon, and other programs
  • Automatically save money with Capital One Shopping coupons

See if you’re eligible for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. 

best travel credit card with no annual fee - chase sapphire preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Point Earnings: 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining (including takeout), online groceries, and select streaming services, 2X points on all other travel, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.99%-22.99%

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is another fantastic travel rewards card with some pretty enticing benefits. Not only do are the value of the points 25% more than other rewards cards, but you’ll also get bonus points on 10% of your total spending in a year each time your card renews. 

You don’t have to always spend your points to book travel accommodations. Instead, you can use the Pay Yourself Back® program and get a statement credit for previously purchased travel. 

Let’s also not forget the convenient My Chase Plan® offer, which allows you to break up purchases exceeding $100 into fixed monthly payments with no interest. This is excellent if you want more control over your finances. 

Some other benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 1 to 1 Point Transfer with Brand Partners
  • Travel Insurance and Purchase Protection
  • No Blackout Dates
  • My Chase Plan®
  • Pay Yourself Back®
  • Contactless Card Payment

See if you’re eligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

best travel credit card with no annual fee - citi premier

Citi Premier® Card

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Point Earnings: 3X points on dining, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels, and flights, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.99%-23.99%

The Citi Premier® Card is yet another great travel credit card to consider if you don’t mind paying an annual fee. With a great rewards rate on everyday spending and purchases, you can quickly experience traveling for free. 

Each year you’ll also receive a $100 discount on hotels when you book a stay worth at least $500. You’ll also get access to Citi Entertainment®’s exclusive offers on event and concert tickets and presales. 

Some other benefits of the Citi Premier® Card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $100 Annual Hotel Savings
  • Use points on Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and gift cards
  • Contactless Card Payment
  • Transfer Points to Airline Loyalty Programs

See if you’re eligible for the Citi Premier® Card. 

best travel credit card with no annual fee - ink business preferred

Ink Business Preferred

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Point Earnings: 3X points on shipping, advertising, internet services, and travel, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Sign Up Bonus: 100,000 points when you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months
  • APR: 15.99%-20.99%

Since so many digital nomads have their own businesses that they run while living abroad, I wanted to mention the Ink Business Preferred card by Chase. This business credit card is excellent for small business owners who also want to earn points to redeem for travel and other business expenses. 

You’ll receive 25% more in point value when you book your travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® platform. So, if you receive the sign-up bonus, that’s $1,250 you can use towards travel with the platform. 

Since this is a business travel credit card, you can get free cards for your employees if needed. You can also stay on top of your business with alerts and extra security features. 

Some other benefits of the Ink Business Preferred card include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Redeem points through cash back, gift cards, Apple products, and travel
  • 1 to 1 point transfer to any partner program
  • No Blackout Dates
  • Travel insurance and protection
  • Easily separate business and personal expenses
  • 24/7 Business Insight
  • Contactless Card Payment

See if you’re eligible for the Ink Business Preferred card. 

What to Look for in a Travel Credit Card

I’ve just given you quite a few travel credit card options to consider. You are aware of the benefits for each, but you may still struggle with choosing the right one for you. 

To help you even further, let’s discuss what you should look for and consider when choosing the best travel credit card for your situation and lifestyle. 

Sign-Up Bonus

One of the most enticing things about opening a new credit card is the sign-up bonus. Travel credit cards seem to have the most valuable bonuses too! 

If you’re deciding between two different cards that are essentially the same, take a look at the bonuses each one offers. This could be your deciding factor. 

Keep in mind that most sign-up bonuses require you to spend a certain amount using the card within the first three months of opening the account. 

Interest Rate

The interest rate on credit cards can be quite tricky, especially because it will depend on your credit score. While the interest rate may lower over time, it’s still something you should consider when opening a new account. 

Be careful with using your credit card. A lot of people get into trouble because they don’t fully understand how the interest rate works. 

In my experience, I never leave an outstanding balance on my credit card. I always pay off the amount in full so I never have to pay interest on my purchases. So, I still get the points to travel but don’t have any interest to pay off.

Introductory APR

Since we’re on the topic of interest rate, some travel rewards cards offer a 0% introductory APR for the first year or so. This is excellent news if you plan to make a large purchase that may take a few months to fully pay off. 

If this is your case, look for a no annual fee card with an introductory APR. 

Foreign Transaction Fee

For those digital nomads who like to engage in international travel, you know that foreign transaction fees can really add up. In most cases, banks will charge 3-5% on the dollar amount you spend overseas. 

Luckily, most travel credit cards don’t charge this fee and offer a fair exchange rate when you use your card abroad. This is most beneficial for digital nomads who spend their days traveling internationally.

Rewards Rate

Each credit card has a different rewards rate. Some offer 1 point for every dollar spent while others offer 5X to 7X per dollar spent on certain purchases. 

Take a look at each card’s rate for rewards and consider what you spend most on everyday purchases. This could be a huge deciding factor because you want to get the most out of the money you spend when it comes to earning points and miles. 

Reward Redemption Options

Just because travel credit cards offer points you can redeem for travel doesn’t mean all cards are the same. For example, if you choose an airline card, you’ll be more limited in what you can redeem your points for compared to a general travel card. 

If you want more redemption options than just travel, some rewards programs allow you to redeem points for gift cards, Amazon purchases, technology, and more. 

See How Other Digital Nomads Save Money on Travel

One of the best ways to save money while traveling and find the best travel credit card with no annual fee is by asking other digital nomads about their experience and for recommendations. 

You can easily do this in the Nomads Embassy online community. Join, connect, and engage with other like-minded people to become a more successful digital nomad. 

Don’t forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter to get travel tips and digital nomad news right to your inbox too! 

Brittany

When I'm not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.

Learn more about Brittany

✋Hello world, I’m Brittany!

When I'm not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.

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Learn More About Brittany

Disclosure

We at Nomads Embassy need different ways to make money so we can keep traveling the world to find the newest trends and products that will make your digital nomad life easier, so we promote our favorite products through affiliate links on our blog where we may earn commissions – at no cost to you. Read our full Privacy Policy here.

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