Credit card without annual fee: How to choose the best in 2021
No one doubts that one of the most practical ways to make purchases and make payments is by using a credit card. But what not everyone likes is paying an annual fee to be able to use the card, right?
If you are one of those people, Today, we are going to deal with credit cards without annual fees, a modality that has become increasingly popular in our country.
Offered by some traditional banks and several fintechs, the credit card with no annual fee has several advantages and benefits since, in most cases, it is completely digital and offers lower interest rates. But the fact of not obliging the customer to pay the annuity can have some counterparts.
First, the most important
- Nowadays there are several credit card options with no annual fee available in the Brazilian market. And each has different offers and conditions.
- The great advantage of the zero annuity is that you don’t have to pay anything to have or use the card. And, depending on the operator and the flag, you can have even more benefits.
- Still, you need to be careful when choosing the best credit card with no annual fee, as other fees may be charged.
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Best Credit Cards Without Annuity: Our Recommendations
Credit cards without annual fees are already a reality in Brazil. But, if you are looking for one, it is important to know well the operator that provides it, its conditions and advantages. To assist you in this process, we have created a list of the best non-annual credit cards available today. Check out:
- The most popular credit card of all
- One who offers “remuneration” to customers
- The most practical credit card of all
- Ideal for those who like discounts
Acquisition Guide: What to know about credit cards without annual fees
Choosing the best credit card is never simple. After all, it is necessary to consider the bank’s reputation and, with that, the prerequisites, the conditions, rights and duties that you will need to fulfill when purchasing the credit card.
And the fact is that none of that changes with the purchase of a credit card with no annual fee. What changes is how this whole process unfolds. Therefore, to understand about this process, and to discover the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards without annual fees, we created this Acquisition Guide.
Here we will explain everything you need to know to guarantee the purchase of a credit card without the most appropriate annuity according to your expectations and needs.
What is a credit card and how did it come about?
The credit card is a form of electronic payment and, precisely for that reason, it is one of the most used means in Brazil and in the world.
But although it is very popular, the credit card market has been forced to reinvent itself in recent years to attract and retain customers.
This is because, one of the biggest complaints regarding the credit card is regarding the annuity.
The annuity is part of a fee package that most credit card operators charge customers. But while other fees are charged depending on the form and type of transaction made, the annuity is mandatory. Or it was.
Nowadays, several traditional banks and fintechs invest heavily in a new modality: the credit card with no annual fee.
The annuity is a fee charged to keep the credit card up and running, and the amount of which varies according to the operator. Costing an average of R $ 150 per year, this annual fee is usually charged after the first year of using the card, or even when you use the card for the first time.
But with the evolution of technology, and the emergence of digital banks, the market was opened to the complaint of those who no longer wanted to pay this annuity. After all, with digital banks, maintenance costs decreased and so it was possible to offer a credit card with zero annual fee.
More than that, with this type of card, it is possible to manage all your expenses by digital means, for example, with the applications that are accessed on the smartphone.
What is the difference between a non-annual credit card and a traditional one?
This question may seem obvious, after all the traditional credit card charges an annuity and the other does not. But the fact is that the differences between the two do not end there.
In common, both credit cards work basically the same way. In other words, both types of card have a credit limit and use famous flags.
But, while cards that charge annuities, in general, also offer mileage accumulation programs and discounts on products and services, the same is no longer the case for credit cards without annuities.
The credit card is an electronic payment method that allows you to purchase goods and services at the cash price, in addition to making cash withdrawals. But payment will only occur on the invoice’s due date.
That is, when you choose a credit card without the annual fee you may miss some benefits that are offered by the credit card companies.
Even so, some operators offer some points accumulation programs that can be converted into advantages. But, when this occurs, an extra fee is required.
That is, in theory, the annuity guarantees loyalty programs that guarantee advantages in the purchase of airline tickets and other products and services.
Another difference between the two types of cards is that, in most cases, traditional cards have higher credit limits. Compared to those with zero annuity.
On the other hand, the credit card with no annual fee has many advantages over the traditional card. One is that, although approval is required to purchase the credit card, this process is less bureaucratic and faster.
In addition, with a credit card with no annual fee, the invoice and payments can be accessed and made in real time through applications.
So, for you to get a general idea of the main differences between the non-annual credit card and the traditional one, check out the table we have prepared for you:
Does the credit card without an annual fee have other fees?
As we have seen, apart from the maintenance fee and the loyalty program, the credit card with no annual fee basically works in the same way as traditional cards. Thus, it is worth mentioning that, yes, the credit card that does not have the annual fee has other fees that can be charged.
The first of these is, of course, interest. After all, every purchase made with a credit card generates an invoice with the sum of all expenses made in a given period. Be aware that, even if you don’t have the annual fee, your credit card may have other fees common to all cards.
For example, the credit card company with no annual fee will charge the interest due if you delay payment of the invoice. The difference in this case is that, in general, the operators of this type of card charge lower interest rates than those of traditional banks.
But that is not the only fee that can be charged to your credit card without an annual fee. Although the type, amount and amount of fees vary depending on the credit card operator, it is possible to list the main ones. Look:
- Emergency assessment: When the consumer overflows the card limit, a fee may be charged for the operator to assess the feasibility and risks for granting credit on an emergency basis.
- Bill payment: In general, a fee is charged when payments are made for water, electricity, telephone and gas bills.
- Withdrawal: Withdrawals from ATMs usually come with extra charges.
- Card duplicate: A fee may be charged for making and issuing a new credit card without an annual fee.
How to choose the best credit card operator without annual fees?
The credit card with no annual fee has become popular with so-called fintechs, startups that optimize the services of the financial system, with operating costs much lower than those of traditional institutions.
You can purchase a credit card with no annual fee at a fintech or bank.
And with the success achieved in record time, traditional banks have also started to invest in this sector. Therefore, today you can purchase a credit card with no annual fee at a fintech or bank.
To choose the best option, you need to be aware of some points that will differentiate one operator from another, such as the interest charged and the credit limit offered, for example.
But more than that, we recommend that you also evaluate the company’s reputation. After all, in general, the best operators, in addition to offering the best benefits to their customers and many facilities, also have 24-hour customer service, either by phone or chat.
Credit card without annual fee: Digital or physical?
In general, all operators that offer credit cards without annual fees have two options: the physical and the virtual card. And both are of great use.
The virtual card, also called digital, is used to buy in online stores.
With this card, it is possible to perform all expense management through the application. That is, you will be able to track all purchases and the limit available in real time.
In addition, the virtual card is more secure, as it does not use the same information as the traditional card, such as identification and security number.
Even so, most companies also offer a credit card without a physical fee, which can be used for purchases in cash machines, withdrawals and is accepted worldwide.
How to consciously use the credit card without annuity?
It is not uncommon for people to choose a credit card without an annual fee with the idea that they will spend less. But the fact is that, often, just because you save on the annuity rate, you run the risk of extrapolating your expenses.
To avoid this, financial experts warn that the conscious use of the credit card allows a better organization of the monthly budget.
To help you use your credit card without annual fees in a balanced way, we have collected some tips from the Brazilian Association of Credit Card Companies and Services (Abecs). Check out:
- Always choose to pay the full amount of the invoice. This way, you avoid interest on the next invoice.
- The minimum card payment should only be used in exceptional cases, in emergencies.
- If you pay in installments with your credit card without an annual fee , be careful not to compromise your budget for the next few months.
- Before traveling , inform your account manager to avoid card blocking due to suspected fraud.
- Track and check your credit card bill without annual fee. If you do not recognize any expense , immediately contact the card’s Call Center.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards without annual fees
The credit card with no annual fee offers numerous advantages. Among them, the benefits present in all types of credit card such as the convenience of making purchases and payments without using physical money, in addition to being able to pay in installments and have a longer term to pay.
But, in addition, the most obvious advantage is that it is not mandatory to pay the annual fee to use the credit card. However, it is important to carefully read the conditions and the contract to see if the operator offers an annuity exemption forever or only in the first year of use.
In addition, the operation and control of the credit card without an annual fee is usually all done through a mobile application, from the request to the request for a credit increase. This facilitates access to services and also reduces bureaucracy.
Another advantage is that, as a credit card with no annual fee is usually linked to a digital account, you will most likely have access to two types of cards: virtual and physical.
However, even with so many advantages, the credit card with no annual fee also has some negative points.
The most significant is the fact that this type of card, in general, does not have some common benefits to credit cards, such as loyalty programs. And, when they have these programs, they can only be accessed by paying an extra fee.
In addition, as we have seen, the credit limit of the card with no annual fee is usually lower than that of the traditional credit card.
But for you to have an overview on this subject, check below the main advantages and disadvantages of credit cards without annual fees:
Who can have a card with no annual fee?
As we have seen, another advantage is that the bureaucracy to acquire a credit card without an annual fee is less compared to the traditional card.
This is because, although approval by the card operator is required, the fact is that you do not need to prove income.
That way, anyone can apply for a credit card without an annual fee. The only prerequisite is that you are over 18 and have no restrictions attached to your name.
How to apply for a credit card without an annual fee?
To request your card, simply go to the official website or application of the operator or bank of your choice. There, you will first fill in basic data, such as your name and date of birth.
After registering, the company will contact you, either by email or the app, and will request some documents such as proof of residence, photo with signature and etc.
After this stage, the operator will evaluate the registration and analyze the credit to be granted. In other words, the possibility of a credit card without an annual fee being denied is not totally ruled out. That is, it remains to wait for the communication from the operator, which usually comes by email.
Once approved, the credit card without physical annuity arrives at the registered address within 30 days. But, depending on the operator, you get access to the virtual card instantly.
Purchasing criteria: How to analyze your credit card without annual fees
So far you have had access to a variety of credit card information without an annual fee. And you can see that the first step you must take to acquire a card like this is to evaluate which is the best operator.
That done, you still need to take into account some factors if you want to guarantee the credit card that best suits your needs.
To assist you in this step, we have gathered the main criteria that can differentiate one credit card without an annual fee from another. Are they:
- Exemption forever or not
- Fares value
- Credit limit
- National or International
- Extra benefits
For the avoidance of doubt, below we will explain in detail how you should analyze each of these criteria.
Exemption forever or not
The first criterion that we recommend that you check is that your credit card does not actually charge for the annual fee. This is because some operators offer cards whose annuity is free only for a certain period or is conditional on a counterpart.
For example, in some banks you need to accumulate R $ 100 in purchases for each invoice to guarantee the waiver of the annuity. In another, the annuity is free only in the first year of using the credit card.
Did you know that in the first quarter of 2019 Brazilians spent almost 18% more compared to the same period last year, for a total of R $ 416 billion?
And, according to Abecs, of this total, R $ 260 billion was spent using the credit card in more than 2.5 billion financial transactions. ( 1 )
In order not to be taken by surprise, without you really wanting a zero annuity credit card forever, make sure of these conditions before signing the contract.
Then, assess which of the best operators applies the lowest interest on revolving credit and the installment of the invoice.
After all, it is always worth remembering that credit card operators charge interest if you do not pay the bill or if you only pay the minimum amount. And the fact is that each company has different interest rates.
Another factor that we recommend that you take into consideration when choosing the best credit card without an annual fee, is the amount of the extra charges.
As we have seen, depending on the operator, there may be fees that are charged depending on how you use your card. Consider the rate of international purchases and fines for late payment of the invoice, for example.
The card company determines what your credit card limit will be without an annual fee. And she makes this assessment according to her economic profile and monthly income.
But as there is no standard to define the limit, it can vary depending on the company that operates the credit card. We can say, however, that, in general, the card limit can range from R $ 1,000 to R $ 35,000.
To get a sense of how you can be assessed, a good strategy is to check the current status of your CPF and your Serasa Score. In addition, you can also do credit simulations online to understand what your profile is.
Each credit card operator with no annual fee has a different flag.
The largest are Visa and MasterCard. And each offers different benefit programs, such as restaurant discounts, car rentals, as well as promotions and other benefits.
So, ideally, if these programs interest you, check first which ones are available under the chosen credit card banner.
National or International
Also take into account that some operators offer credit cards without international usage fees. It may be a good option, especially for you who travel frequently.
However, check the fees that are charged on international transactions and also withdrawals in other countries that can be quite high.
Finally, analyze what are the additional benefits that a non-annual credit card offers. For example, some cards offer financial credits if you refer friends to purchase the card.
In addition, there are currently a few operators that have the points accumulation system that can be redeemed for benefits. Others even allow you to purchase more than one credit card at no extra charge, which can be useful for another family member to use as well.
The credit card with no annual fee is quickly becoming popular in Brazil. In addition to the absence of usage and maintenance fees, this type of card is linked to digital banks. That is, with this, it is possible to track the invoice and all transactions in real time, through applications.
And, even though the zero-annual credit card does not have the loyalty and mileage programs present in traditional cards, it is less bureaucratic and more accessible. To choose the best operator, however, it is necessary to analyze the value of other rates, interest, credit limit and additional benefits offered.