Best Credit Card for International Travel with No Annual Fee

If you’re planning on traveling and are budget-conscious, you’d naturally want to maximize your benefits while minimizing costs. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by opting for a travel rewards credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. Especially when banks such as HDFC, IndusInd, and RBL are offering such gems, why miss out on them? In this guide, let’s unveil the best no-annual-fee travel cards and discover their endless perks.

Best No-Annual-Fee International Travel Cards

Card NameKey FeaturesAlternate Card to Consider
Discover it Miles

Offers 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase. At the end of your first year, Discover matches all the miles earned.Chase Freedom Flex for better cashback offers.
Chase Freedom Unlimited

5% back on travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining, and up to 6.5% on travel in the first year. Also, it offers a 15-month 0% introductory APR.Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express for supermarket purchases.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points on spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Earns up to seven points per dollar on Hilton purchases.Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card for those who prefer Marriott stays.
Discover it Chrome

0% APR for 15 months. Earns 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on specific purchases.Discover it Miles for those looking to earn miles over cash back.
United Gateway Card

30,000-mile bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Earns 2 miles per dollar on United Airlines and other specific purchases.American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card for frequent American Airlines passengers.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp10,000 bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 in the first 3 months. Earns 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines and grocery store transactions.United Getaway Card for non-American Airlines travelers.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Travel Cards With No Annual Fee?


  • Save Money: Zero annual fee means upfront savings.
  • Earn Rewards: Enjoy high rewards for common spending.
  • Additional Perks: From extended warranty to credit monitoring tools, there’s a lot to gain.


  • Limited Top-tier Perks: Premium benefits often come with cards that have a fee.
  • Potential Better Earnings Elsewhere: Heavy travelers might benefit more from cards with an annual fee.

How to Compare the Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Credit Cards?

Choosing the right card may seem daunting, but these guidelines will simplify your search:

  1. Calculate Earnings: Base your choice on your spending habits and where you’ll earn the most.
  2. Consider Other Factors: Look for no foreign transaction fees and other benefits.
  3. Assess Additional Perks: From concierge service to travel accident insurance, weigh your options.
  4. Explore Alternatives: Don’t assume no annual fee is always better; some fee cards may offer more value.

How to Get a Travel Credit Card with No Annual Fee?

Applying for a no-annual-fee travel card is as easy as applying for any other card. Typically, online applications are the fastest method, but phone and mail options are available. Before diving in, be sure to:

  • Know your credit score and history.
  • Review the card’s terms and conditions.
  • Consider using preapproval tools for an initial assessment.


Travel rewards cards without annual fees offer a blend of savings and perks. While they may lack the premium features of high-fee cards, their benefits can be substantial for the budget-conscious traveler. From earning miles to getting cashback, these cards provide diverse options for every kind of traveler.


1. What is a lifetime free credit card?

A lifetime free credit card essentially does not charge any annual fee, ever. While they might levy charges for certain extra services or come with specific conditions for card acquisition, fundamentally, they don’t charge annual or joining fees.

2. Can I use 100% of my credit card?

While technically possible, maxing out your credit card is discouraged. Financial experts suggest maintaining a credit utilization rate below 30%. Maxing out can impact your credit score negatively, especially if the balance remains unpaid for an extended period. If unable to pay in full, consider making multiple payments monthly or even contemplating a credit limit increase, given your credit score is in good standing.

3. How do I avoid international card charges?

To prevent those pesky international card charges, consider these strategies:

  • Opt for banks with low or no international fees.
  • Seek banks with international partnerships to waive out-of-network ATM fees.
  • Consider prepaid travel cards, but be mindful of their limitations and fees.
  • Use credit and debit cards instead of International Money Transfers or withdrawing cash abroad.
  • Avoid currency exchanges at airports.
  • Communicate with your bank before traveling to prevent unexpected card freezes.


More Posts

Send Us A Message