Frequent Flyer Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Compare credit card offers that let you earn frequent flyer points with no annual fee.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 27 May 2024

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Comparing frequent flyer credit cards with no annual fee

Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

23.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Acquire 1.75 Qantas Points on eligible Qantas products and services.
  • Earn 0.75 Qantas Point for every $1 spent on Card purchases, except for spending at government bodies in Australia, where you will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • Enjoy no annual card fee.
  • Obtain up to 4 Additional Cards for family members or friends with no extra fee.

Pros

  • Ongoing $0 annual fee, a rarity among rewards credit cards.
  • Earn 0.75 Qantas points per $1 spent and 0.5 Qantas points per $1 for government spend.
  • No cap on the number of points you can earn.
  • Add up to 4 additional cards for family members or friends with no extra fee.
  • Complimentary Card Purchase Cover and Card Refund Cover.

Cons

  • There is a 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • Lacks complimentary travel insurance.
  • There is no access to a concierge service.
American Express Velocity Escape Card

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

23.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Acquire Velocity Points while benefiting from a $0 annual card fee.
  • Points accrued on your card seamlessly transfer to your Velocity account monthly and are redeemable for various rewards such as flights, lodging, car rentals, gift cards, and beyond.
  • Earn 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent, except for transactions with Australian government entities, where you'll earn 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent.

Pros

  • No annual fee, but still earn points.
  • Earn 1.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent on purchases with Virgin Australia.
  • Get 0.5 points per $1 when paying tax to the ATO using the card.
  • 55 days interest-free on purchases when the previous balance has been cleared in full.

Cons

  • Doesn't come with complimentary travel insurance.
  • No complimentary lounge access.
  • No access to the concierge service.
  • There is no balance transfer offer for this card.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

On website

Apply by 30 June 2024

Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

6 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Experience 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 6 months. Applicable to Retail Purchases (excluding Cash Advances). Reverts to standard purchase rate thereafter.
  • No annual fee, guaranteed.
  • Earn 1 Flybuys point per $2 spent on qualifying purchases.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on purchases for 6 months.
  • No annual fee ever.
  • Complimentary access to your 24/7 local concierge.

Cons

  • Transactions made in a foreign currency incur a fee.

A frequent flyer credit card with no annual fee is an excellent way to earn reward points without incurring extra costs. These cards offer various benefits, such as earning points in a frequent flyer program or another rewards program with points transferable to a frequent flyer program. Some cards also provide additional benefits, such as no foreign exchange fees or an introductory interest-free period on purchases.

Types of no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards

  1. No annual fee in the first year. Some frequent flyer credit cards offer a reduced or waived annual fee for the first year and charge an annual fee from the second year onwards. This can save you between $50 and $450 or more over the first 12 months. The first-year free period allows you to test the account and its benefits, such as bonus point offers or lounge access, before committing.
  2. No annual fee for life. A limited selection of frequent flyer credit cards have no annual fee for life. These include the Qantas American Express Discovery and Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard. These cards let you earn more points per dollar spent without a yearly fee. However, they often lack travel insurance or airport lounge passes, though there may occasionally be a moderate sign-up bonus for meeting a spending target in the first three months.

How to compare frequent flyer credit cards with no annual fee

When looking for a no annual fee credit card, consider the following factors before applying:

  • Annual fee. Only a few cards that earn frequent flyer points have no annual fee for life, but many offer no annual fee for the first year as an introductory offer.
  • Sign-up bonus points. Sign-up bonus points can be redeemed for various rewards, such as travel, merchandise, or cash back. However, very few no-fee cards offer bonus points.
  • Points per dollar spent. This refers to the number of points earned for every dollar spent using the card. The earning rate can vary widely between cards and is an important factor in choosing a credit card.
  • Interest-free days. This refers to the number of days during which cardholders are not charged interest on their balance. Typically, cardholders have a grace period after each billing cycle to pay their balance in full without incurring interest charges, but this period can vary by up to 11 days.
  • Other benefits. These perks vary widely between cards and can include travel insurance and airport lounge passes. However, such benefits are usually available only on cards with the annual fee waived for the first year, not for life.

Is not paying an annual fee a missed opportunity?

Choosing whether or not to get a frequent flyer credit card with no annual fee is not as straightforward as it may seem. On one hand, these cards can be appealing because you save on the yearly cost of holding the card. However, it's important to consider the potential missed opportunities that come with not paying an annual fee.

The main disadvantage of choosing a card with no annual fee is that these cards often have lower earning rates, meaning you'll earn fewer points per dollar spent. Over time, this can result in a missed opportunity to achieve high-value redemptions, such as a long-haul Business or First Class seat.

Ultimately, deciding to pay an annual fee depends on your circumstances and needs. Before choosing a credit card, consider how much you'll use the card, how many points you hope to earn, and what benefits are most important to you.

If you're a frequent traveller who spends a lot on flights, hotels, and other travel-related expenses, a card with an annual fee and a higher earn rate may be the better option. However, if you only use your card occasionally and don't need the added benefits, a card with no annual fee may be the better choice.

Help choosing a Frequent Flyer credit card with no annual fee

Earn miles without the extra cost - find the perfect Frequent Flyer credit card with no annual fee.

  • Pros & cons

Pros

Save on the annual fee each year

You won't have to worry about paying an annual fee if you're not using your card as much as you initially anticipated.

You'll still earn points

The reduced earn rate might not be an issue if you want to get something for nothing but don't have a specific target in mind.

Cons

Lower earn rate

It will take longer to earn points towards a flight, upgrade, hotel stay, etc.

Fewer benefits and perks

A card with no annual fee is unlikely to come with extra perks like travel insurance or lounge access.