Change Your Altitude


No-Fee credit cards are a great way to test the waters in the points and miles game. Just because a credit card doesn’t have a fee, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer some great benefits. Here are our must-haves for no-fee credit cards.


Chase Freedom Unlimited

Best Use: Everyday spend, charges with no bonus earning opportunity on other cards
Annual Fee: None
Sign Up Bonus:
$150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months
Bonus Points: 1.5% cash back on all expenses
Redemption Bonus: None (technically). This card earns cash back, but if you have another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards Benefits (such as the Sapphire cards), cash back earned on this card can be redeemed as 1 point per dollar spent – basically allowing card holders to earn 1.5 points per dollar.
Transfer Options: Transfer to airline and hotel partners (rates vary) – when redeeming points as Ultimate Rewards:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hyatt Gold Passport®
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards®
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®

Other Benefits: Cash back rewards option, purchase protection, 5% cash back on bonus spending categories – opt in quarterly.

Great For: Starters to the points and miles game. People who are great with keeping up with bonus category spending.
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Amex EveryDay 

Best Use: Groceries
Annual Fee: None
Sign Up Bonus:
10,000 points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
Bonus Points: 20% bonus points after using the card 20 times per billing cycle
Redemption Bonus: None. Points earned through this program can be used towards eligible charges on your card, or for rewards as part of the Membership Rewards program.
Transfer Options: Transfer to airline and hotel partners (rates vary) – when redeeming points as Membership Rewards:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Alitalia Millemiglia
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • El Al Matmid
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Flying Blue  (Air France and KLM)
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • jetBlueTrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Americ Elevate
  • Virgina Atlantic Flying Club
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Plenti

Other Benefits: Since this card does not have an annual fee, this is a great card to have if you need to “nest” Membership Rewards points from another card you might have – such as a corporate card (especially if you may leave your company at some point – this would ensure you can keep points earned on a corporate American Express card long after you’ve left).

Great For: Grocery shoppers, frequent travelers earning points on a Corporate American Express card, people who use credit cards at least 20 times a month.
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Other Cards

Once you’ve gotten comfortable with earning points and miles on a no-fee card, don’t forget to look into other credit cards with great travel benefits to find a mix that works best for you and your day to day needs: