How To Get Credit Card Rewards Without Paying Anything Extra

Contrary to popular belief, credit card rewards and annual fees don’t have to go together. That said, credit card rewards and annual fees usually do go together. And those fees are usually high.

Of the approximately 100 rewards credit cards on, all but five charge an annual fee, with the average fee being $195.

That compares to an average annual fee of $135 for the approximately 200 credit cards of all types on the website.

Credit card providers are businesses

Why do rewards credit cards charge such high annual fees? Because credit card providers aren’t charities!

They don’t give out all those sweet, sweet deals for nothing, even though their marketing may imply otherwise. You have to indirectly ‘buy’ those deals – partly through annual fees and partly through interest payments.

As a general rule, the more rewards a card offers, the higher its annual fee.

Cracking the rewards code

But there are five rewards credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee (see table at bottom):

One of those cards offers a maximum interest-free period of 44 days, while the others allow up to 55 days. So if you pay off your entire credit bill each month, not only will you never have to pay a cent in annual fees, you will also never have to pay a cent in interest.

That means that you really can get all those sweet, sweet deals for nothing (well, apart from the cost of the purchases that you would’ve made anyway).

Here’s how those five cards compare:


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