Best Annual Fee waiver cards

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Best Annual Fee waiver cards

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Credit card Annual Fee Waiver

Many believe financial institutions don’t offer free products such as credit cards. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. Numerous card issuers offer credit cards with no annual fees.

You can apply for a credit card with no annual fee and enjoy the benefit of paying zero fees for a lifetime or predetermined period. With such a card, cardholders won’t have to worry about additional expenses building up and breaking their budget.

Most people looking for credit cards worry about credit card annual fees as these expenses tend to build up quickly.

You can tap into some of the best credit card issuers and apply for free-for-life credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

With that in mind, let’s talk about a credit card annual fee waiver and where to find cards with no annual fees.

While you can find financial institutions that offer credit cards without annual fees, banks and other card issuers have specific requirements that cardholders must follow to qualify for an annual fee waiver.

The most common waiver requirements for credit cards without annual finance charges include a pre-set number of transactions made with the card or a minimum limit a cardholder must spend in a determined period to become eligible for the benefit of avoiding an annual fee.

A typical credit card waiver allows you to avoid paying annual finance charges for one or a few years, depending on the financial institution.

Some banks offer credit cards with no yearly finance charges for the first free years, while others offer the benefit of no annual fee for the first year only.

Although many see this benefit as an advantage and would rather opt for no annual fee credit cards, fee waivers aren't a bad alternative.

People prefer free credit cards because they help save some cash by simplifying their spending habits.

It all comes down to personal preferences and waiver requirements. Most financial institutions have simple requirements that cardholders can easily follow.

Here are some of the benefits of no-annual-fee credit cards:

  • Easy qualification for first-time applicants – first-time applicants may find it easier to qualify for a credit card with no annual fee than premium cards.
  • This type of credit card targets people with recently-established or poor credit, allowing them to tap into major rewards programs without paying hefty annual fees and presenting excellent credit scores.
  • Improve credit history – getting a no-annual-fee credit card could help you improve your FICO score and establish a good credit history. However, you'll need to use it responsibly to accomplish this goal. That means you should avoid making a late payment or exceeding your limit.
  • Save on expenses – since there's no annual fee to worry about, this type of credit card is an affordable way to save some cash on the side.
  • Earn rewards – designed for general spending, credit cards with no annual fees often come with generous rewards. You can earn award bonus points for everyday purchases like gas, travel, or groceries.
Below, we'll provide some insights on the top-grade cards with annual fee waivers and free-for-life credit cards.

For people new to credit and first-time applicants, a credit card with no annual fee is an excellent starting point toward building credit and establishing a healthy credit score.

This type of card requires simple maintenance and responsible spending behavior to take your credit history to the next level.

Since different credit cards have specific requirements, here's our overview of the best free-for-life and annual fee-waiver credit cards.

Free-for-life credit cards (no annual fee)

  • Maybank Shopee Visa Platinum – use the card to earn 5x Shopee Coins on Special Days.
  • AmBank Cash Rebate Visa Platinum – earn cash back rewards up to 8% on online transactions, pharmacy, and groceries.
  • BSN G-Card Visa Credit Card-i – earn rewards points on overseas retail transactions and local spending.

Free for the first-year credit cards

  • Standard Chartered Smart Credit Card (spend a minimum annual limit to avoid an annual fee) – earn 15% cash back on Zalora, Taobao, Shopee, Lazada, FavePay, Boost, Touch & Go e-wallet, and GrabPay, including 6% cashback on digital transactions.
  • Public Islamic Bank Gold Mastercard Credit Card-i (swipe 12 times to keep the card free) – 2% cash back on overseas and online transactions.
  • Alliance Bank Visa Infinite (after the first year, you must spend a minimum limit to keep the card free) – up to 8x bonus points on online shopping, 3x rewards on dining, groceries, and overseas, and 1x bonus points on other retail transactions.
  • AEON Platinum Visa (use the card 12 times a year to avoid an annual fee) – get a cash rebate on movie tickets, travel insurance coverage, and access to Plaza Premium Lounge.
  • CIMB e Credit Card (a minimum limit spending requirement) – earn 12x bonus points for spending from e-wallet, online retail, etc.
  • Hong Leong AirAsia Gold & Platinum Visa (minimum limit spending requirement) – earn rewards points from flying overseas and online AirAsia bookings, get bonus AirAsia points, and more.
  • RHB Shell Visa Credit Card (use the card 24 times minimum to keep the card free) – up to 12% cash back on gas at Shell stations nationwide, 5% cash back on online transactions, and more.
  • UOB YOLO Visa (make one monthly retail transaction to keep the card free) – earn 5% cash back on spending categories like contactless spending, dining, utilities, groceries, travel, and online transactions by using the card five times per category.

Free for the first three years credit cards

  • Citi Cash Back Mastercard – up to 10% cash back on Grab, dining, groceries, and gas, and unlimited 0.2% cash back on other retail transactions credited into your account.
  • Affin DUO Mastercard Rewards (12 annual retail transactions requirement) – earn 3x rewards on gas, groceries, and dining.
  • OCBC 365 Mastercard – 1% unlimited cashback on monthly retail transactions.
Choose One Now


A credit card is a convenient tool for people to pay for purchases today, offering many perks and rewards that can add up to more savings for the cardholders.

Today, consumers often use credit cards as payment for their purchases since they are convenient and often come with benefits and incentives that can result in additional discounts for cardholders. With a wide variety of these cards with various advantages, you might ask how to pick the ideal one for your financial needs. We have collected the following FAQ to enable you to understand the most relevant questions regards credit cards, including user conditions, interest rates, and primary payment terms.

Here’s a short guide LOANPANDA has compiled to help you understand the credit card requirements, interest rates and basic payment terms.

A credit card with no annual fee allows you to avoid paying the cost of a yearly fee. Your credit card with no annual fee allows you to keep your credit affordable while enjoying various perks such as lower interest rates, cash back on general spending, and other rewards.

You can get an annual fee waived if you meet the requirements, such as swiping your card as many times as required or spending a minimum monthly or yearly limit.

Using your card responsibly is vital to avoid paying fees and penalties.

Getting an annual fee waived helps you save money in the long run while earning various rewards. In addition, it helps improve your credit and establish a positive credit history.

People new to credit cards or cardholders with bad credit can qualify for credit cards with no annual fee.
Regular credit cards typically charge an annual fee but offer generous rewards in return. Cards with no annual fee don't require you to pay a yearly fee but offer limited rewards compared to regular credit cards.

Minimum requirements for qualifying for a card with an annual fee waiver vary from issuer to issuer.

Most financial institutions have two main requirements:

  • Minimum annual income – depends on the issuer;
  • Minimum age – 21 for primary card, 18 for supplementary card.
Yes, all credit cards have a credit limit of some sort. You can check your credit card limit with your card issuer.

According to the Malaysian bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, people can own as many credit cards as they wish if they earn more than the minimum annual income requirement.

However, they can't hold more than two credit cards if they earn less than the minimum income.

Many no-annual-fee cards offer new cardholders low or no intro APR on balance transfers and new purchases for a certain period (12-24 months). After the set amount of time expires, a variable APR will be charged.

You can pay your credit card balance early or on time. Making timely payments every month allows you to keep your credit card and avoid additional fines and charges like interest, fees, and penalties. Making a late payment could also harm your credit score.

Here's how to pay your credit card balance:

  • Online payments – transfer funds from the banking account to a credit card account.
  • Phone payments – pay your bill over the phone by calling the number on the back of your credit card. Follow the instructions to transfer money to your card.
  • Cash payments – visit the nearest branch office and pay your balance with cash.
You can use your credit card to withdraw money from ATMs. However, ATM transactions are subject to additional fees and interest.
If you miss making a payment by one day, you'll probably receive a notice or a phone call from your credit card company. However, if you're more than a month late with your payment, it could show on a credit report, harm your credit score, and expose you to additional charges.
The no-annual-fee card may carry other fees, such as a fee for making late payments, foreign transactions, balance transfer fees, etc.
The most common rewards include cashback and bonus points on everyday and online transactions, such as buying gas, purchasing groceries, dining, traveling, etc.

You can use an online application form to apply for a no-annual-fee card. Employed customers will need a copy of their ID, the latest income slip and EA statement, the EPF statement, and a copy of the employer's confirmation.

If you're self-employed, check the document requirement with your financial institution.