Want to save on credit card costs while earning frequent flyer rewards?
Frequent flyer credit cards can be a great way to earn points on everyday purchases and get more value from your credit card. But these cards usually come at the cost of a hefty annual fee which can be up to hundreds of dollars.
With a no annual fee frequent flyer credit card, you don't have to worry about the value of your points being outweighed by a yearly fee. These cards usually come with fewer features, so you should compare them with other frequent flyer cards to find the right option for you.
No Annual Fee Credit Card Offer
The American Express Essential® Credit Card offers Membership Rewards points per $1 spent, no annual fee and Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500.
- Receive $50 credit when you apply online, are approved and spend $750 within the first 3 months of card membership.
- Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases.
- Transfer your points to 8 Airline Rewards Partner Programs including Emirates Skywards and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer.
- Enjoy Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract using your Essential Credit Card.
Compare no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards
The finder.com.au best* no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards
Compare the bonus points and earn rate of frequent flyer cards below.
|Credit Card||Bonus Points||Annual Fee|
|ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Credit Card||50,000||$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter)|
|25,000||$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)|
What are no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards?
A no annual fee frequent flyer credit card allows you to earn points for your spending. The points you earn are added to your frequent flyer program account and can be redeemed for flight tickets, upgrades and other travel rewards. Some airline loyalty programs also allow cardholders to redeem their points for non-travel related rewards, including gift cards, tech gadgets, fashion, cashback and more.
With annual fees for frequent flyer credit cards usually ranging from around $59 to $450 or more, a frequent flyer credit card with no annual fee allows you to earn points on purchases without this cost. Please note that some of these cards only offer $0 annual fee for a promotional period such as the first year.
How you can compare frequent flyer credit cards with no annual fee
The features of a no annual fee frequent flyer credit card can vary between cards, which makes it important to compare a range of options. Here are some of the key features and factors you should consider before applying:
- Annual fee conditions. Does the $0 annual fee apply for the first year or the life of the card? If it is a promotional offer, make sure you know what the standard annual fee is and when it will apply to avoid any surprises.
- Earn rate. Rewards credit cards generally earn points for every dollar that you spend (e.g. 1 point per $1). The higher this earn rate is, the more points you could earn as you spend.
- Purchase rate. Many frequent flyer credit cards have high purchase rates, particularly if there is no annual fee. Make sure you consider the potential interest charges you could face if you carry a balance on the card, and remember that even the smallest variation in the purchase rate could make a big difference to the cost of the card.
- Promotional interest rates. Some credit cards offer low or 0% interest on purchases or balance transfers for new customers during the honeymoon period. While these rates can be great in the short term, check the terms and conditions so that you know what to expect on an ongoing basis.
- Bonus points. Some frequent flyer credit cards offer thousands of points for customers when they sign up and spend money in the first few months. Make sure that the spend requirements align with your budget and ability to repay.
- Reward restrictions. Some frequent flyer credit cards have point restrictions such as point caps (the maximum number of points you could earn), reduced earn rates (which apply after you've earned a specific number of points or spent a specific amount) and expiry dates. Make sure these terms and conditions don't restrict your points earning potential before you apply.
- Complimentary extras. Some of the other benefits available could include complimentary international travel insurance, extended warranties, purchase protection insurance, free flights, airport lounge access and concierge services. However, cards with $0 annual fee are likely to offer fewer extra features than platinum cards with higher annual fees.
- Interest free days. If you pay your balance in full every month, you will get access to an interest-free period which can make using a credit card much more affordable.
Is a no annual fee frequent flyer credit card right for you?
These cards are designed for people who want to earn frequent flyer points using a credit card but don’t want to pay an annual fee for the service. They can also be a good starting point for people who are new to the world of frequent flyer programs, providing an opportunity to test waters without paying any money.
However, if you're a big spender, a card with an annual fee and a higher earn rate could prove more beneficial than the savings you'd get from a $0 annual fee.
How to apply for a no annual fee frequent flyer credit card
Want to take advantage of a frequent flyer credit card with no annual fee? Follow these simple steps to find one and apply now.
- Decide on the frequent flyer program. Is there a frequent flyer program you prefer? This could help you narrow down your search for a good no annual fee credit card option for you.
- Compare frequent flyer credit cards with no annual fee. Look through the range of no annual fee frequent flyer options on this page and find one that suits your circumstances and needs.
- Apply for the card of your choice. Once you have found a no annual fee frequent flyer credit card that you like, just hit the ‘Go to site’ button and you’ll be taken to a secure application page.
- Fill out your application details. The application form will include sections for your personal and financial details, including your full name, date of birth, passport or driver's licence number, debts and assets and employer/accountant information. Keep these details handy and submit any supporting documents as required by the credit card issuer.
- Submit the application. You should hear back in a few minutes, either on the webpage or via email. If you get conditional approval, you can then follow the steps outlined by the issuer to complete the process and get your new card.
If your application is approved, you should expect to receive your card in 5 to 10 working days.
Whether you are new to using a frequent flyer credit card or a seasoned points chaser, considering a no annual fee frequent flyer card gives you a chance to earn points without the expense of a yearly fee. Now that you know more about how these cards work and the different features to consider, you can compare and apply for a no annual fee frequent flyer card that suits your circumstances and points goals.
Questions other user have asked
How can I earn points through a frequent flyer program credit card?
You stand to earn reward points every time you make an eligible purchase, which can be in-store, online, or over the phone. You could also earn bonus points as a new cardholder or when you use your card at partner merchants.
What kinds of transactions don’t earn points?
Generally, cash advance transactions (such as ATM withdrawals) and balance transfers don’t earn points, and most government charges won’t earn you points. For a complete list of ineligible transactions you should go through your card’s terms and conditions.
Can I get a no annual fee frequent flyer credit card with a balance transfer offer?
Some of these cards do offer balance transfers from time to time, giving you an opportunity to save money when you move existing credit card debt to the new card. Just remember that if you use a frequent flyer credit card for your balance transfer, only new purchases will earn you points and they will attract interest from the day each transaction is made.
Do no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards provide airport lounge access?
This depends on the card you choose. Check out our page on credit cards that include airport lounge access for more information.