Best Credit Cards with the Annual Fee Waived the First Year

By Jason Steele. Last updated 3 August 2023. 0 comments

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No one likes to pay annual fees, but these charges can be worth it when compared to the benefits of some credit cards. Fortunately, many of the most valuable cards with annual fees offer to waive the first year for new applicants, giving you an opportunity to see just how much you can benefit from the card and its rewards.

So if you would like to try out a new card, without paying an annual fee for the first year, consider one of these leading rewards credit cards.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. It also comes with benefits such as your first checked bag free on Delta flights, priority boarding, and 20% savings on in-flight food, alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets. Savings do not apply to any other in-flight purchases, such as in-flight wireless internet access and associated services, and charitable contributions. This card offers 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. See Rates & FeesWelcome Offer: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms apply. 

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

United℠ Explorer Card

The United℠ Explorer Card waives the $95 annual fee for the first year. It also offers double miles on tickets purchased from United and at restaurants and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. You also earn one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Benefits include free checked bag for the cardholder as well as one companion traveling on the same reservation, so long as they purchase their ticket with this card, priority boarding, and two free United Club passes each year. New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. There is no limit to the number of miles you can earn, and your miles don't expire as long as your credit card account is open. 

Info about the United℠ Explorer Card has been collected independently by Wise Bread. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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