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$450 a year for a credit card and it’s sign up bonus is a tough consideration for some. $95 a year, even for a large stack of miles still stifles people. A big fat zero, for a handsome stack of miles, travel benefits and the ability to earn for every purchase should be a no brainer however. Quite a few of the best credit cards out there waive the annual fee for the first year, so we’ve chosen a few of the very best in the US and UK….

a lounge area with chairs and a television

Amex Premier Rewards Gold (US + UK)

Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $195/£145 thereafter.

Sign Up Bonus: 20,000 points for £2k (UK), up to 50,000 points for $2k (US) in first 3 months.

Top Benefits: 3x points on airfare (US), 2 lounge passes (UK), travel delay protection (UK).

a plane with a seat and windows

Chase Sapphire Preferred (US)

Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $95 thereafter.

Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 points after spending $4k in 3 months.

Top Benefits: Primary rental car insurance, trip delay coverage, 2x points on travel and dining.

a beach with many people on it with Ipanema in the background

BarclayCard Arrival Plus (US)

Annual Fee: $0 for the first year. $89 thereafter.

Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 cash back points worth $500 after spending $3k in 3 months.

Top Benefits: 2x points on all purchases, 5% back when you redeem your points.

a bedroom with a staircase and a bed

Starwood Preferred Guest Amex (US) (UK*)

Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $95 thereafter (US). *UK fee not waived, but worth it.

Sign Up Bonus: 25,000 points after spending $3k in first 3 months + 10,000 after $2k more.

Top Benefits: Most valuable points which convert to airline miles, 5x points at Starwood.

a room with a television and a table

Hilton HONORS Visa (UK)

Annual Fee: $0 annually. No annual fee.

Sign Up Bonus: 1 free weekend night at ANY Hilton property worldwide after £750 in 90 days.

Top Benefits: Hilton Gold after £10k in spending. 3 Hilton points per dollar at Hilton.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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