9 Premium Credit Cards With The First Year’s Annual Fee Waived

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Nowadays there are more great credit cards to choose from than ever before. Whether you’re looking for a card that earns cash back or points, or a card that has an annual fee or doesn’t, you have many choices.

Personally I think there’s a lot of value in picking up an annual fee credit card that has rich benefits. They key is to make sure that the benefits are valuable in categories that matter to you. In other words, some cards offer a lot of bonus points on dining and travel, while others offer bonus points on grocery stores and gas stations, so make sure you pick a card that matches your spend profile.

For those who have previously only had no annual fee cards, often a premium credit card is more approachable if it has the annual fee waived for the first year, since you can try out the card for its benefits before committing to paying an annual fee.

So in this post I wanted to look at nine great credit cards with premium benefits that still have the annual fee waived for the first year. Five of them are personal cards, and four are business cards. In no particular order:

Premium personal cards with the first year’s annual fee waived

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a welcome bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months. The card offers double points on travel and dining, and lots of other perks, including travel protection, no foreign transaction fees, and more.

This card ordinarily has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.


Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for a stay at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® (see terms)

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus has a welcome bonus of 70,000 miles after spending $5,000 within 90 days. The card offers double miles on all purchases, and each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase. Furthermore, you get a 5% refund on points whenever you redeem.

This card is ideal for anyone who is looking for miles that can be redeemed as cash towards a travel purchase. The card also has no foreign transaction fees and is even Chip & PIN, making it the only card on the list to have that feature.

This card ordinarily has an $89 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year. This is a new offer as of yesterday.

Redeem Arrival miles towards the cost of virtually any purchase, including a car rental

Citi Premier℠ Card 

The Citi Premier℠ Card has a welcome bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months. The card offers triple points on travel and gas, and double points on dining and entertainment. It also offers great travel protection, no foreign transaction fees, and more.

This card ordinarily has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.


Redeem Citi ThankYou points for travel in Singapore Airlines’ business class

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express 

The Starwood Preferred Guest Card is offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months.

This card comes with some useful perks, including an anniversary free night certificate every year on your account anniversary valid at a property costing up to 35,000 points per night, 15 elite nights towards status annually, and more.

This card ordinarily has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.


The anniversary free night certificate is redeemable at the Marriott Kigali

Venture® from Capital One®

The Venture Card is offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 Venture miles when you spend $5,000 within the first three months.

Venture miles can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or can now be transferred to select airline loyalty programs at a ratio of up to 2:1.5.

This card ordinarily has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.


Redeem Venture miles for travel in Etihad business class

Premium business cards with the first year’s annual fee waived

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business 

The Spark Miles is offering a tiered welcome bonus of 50,000 Spark miles when you spend $5,000 within the first three months, plus an additional 150,000 bonus Spark miles after spending $50,000 within the first six months, for a total of 200,000 bonus Spark miles after completing minimum spend

Spark miles can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or can now be transferred to select airline loyalty programs at a ratio of up to 2:1.5.

This is a card I recently picked up, and that I think is well worthwhile.

This card ordinarily has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

The Spark Cash is offering a tiered welcome bonus of $500 cash back when you spend $5,000 within the first three months, plus an additional $1,500 cash back after spending $50,000 within the first six months, for a total of 200,000 bonus Spark miles after completing minimum spend

Spark miles can be redeemed for one cent each, and the card earns unlimited 2% cash back. So if you spend $50,000 within the first six months you’d receive a total of $3,000 cash back, which is the equivalent of a 6% return. That’s excellent.

This card ordinarily has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.


You can earn up to 6% cash back with the welcome bonus

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card has a welcome bonus of 70,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $4,000 within the first four months. 70,000 miles is enough for a one-way business class ticket from the US to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, India, etc.

This card also comes with some useful perks when flying American, including free checked bags, priority boarding, and more.

This card ordinarily has a $99 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.


Redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel in Qatar Airways Qsuites

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express 

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card is offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months.

This card comes with some useful perks, including an anniversary free night certificate every year on your account anniversary valid at a property costing up to 35,000 points per night, 15 elite nights towards status annually, and more.

This card ordinarily has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.


The anniversary free night certificate is redeemable at the Four Points Nairobi

Bottom line

There’s a lot of value in having a premium credit card that offers useful perks (like travel protection and no foreign transaction fees) while also offering bonus points in categories you spend the most in. The above are some of the best cards out there that have the annual fees waived for the first year.

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