How to Get a Unsecured Credit Card Without Monthly Fees

Research different cards before applying for one.

Research different cards before applying for one.

Unsecured credit cards are the common everyday credit cards that most people use. The terms and benefits vary from card to card. Some financial institutions offer no-interest cards, which help to eliminate any monthly fees that would normally be accrued from carrying a balance. While a no-interest card is certainly a benefit, consumers should be forewarned that these terms are usually temporary and a high interest rate will likely kick in at some point in the future.

Establish a positive credit history to earn a high credit score. Financial institutions tend to award unsecured credit cards to those that have shown they can handle debt responsibly. Paying your debts on time -- whether it's a utility bill or a student loan -- can help you to earn a good credit score.

Research the different credit cards that are available. A no monthly fee card is one with zero interest. However, some financial institutions will offer a card with no interest for only a certain amount of time, such as six months. Though a card without monthly fees sounds attractive, make sure you find out when the interest rates kick in and at what percentage. Also make sure that the card does not have any hidden monthly fees attached to it, such as a late fee for not paying off your entire balance every month.

Apply for the card by filling out the application and submitting it to the financial institution. Provide your personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, email address, Social Security number, job title, employer and employer's contact info. Specify the desired credit limit, if applicable. Most financial institutions will determine your credit limit based on your debt history.


  • Spend responsibly when you get your no-interest card. It can be tempting to live above your means when you have a credit card at your disposal. However, allowing your spending to spin out of control can quickly add up to a high balance, which will only increase when the interest rate kicks in. Determine a monthly budget and stick to it.
  • Apply for a secured credit card if you do not qualify for a no-fee unsecured card. A secured card requires that you place a certain amount of money into an account. The card works similar to a debit card in that your limit becomes equal to the amount of money in the account. For example, if you place $200 in the account, then your credit limit is $200. The money remains in the account throughout the duration of the use of the card, acting as collateral. You pay for charges on the card as you would an unsecured card. Making regular payments on time every month can help to raise your credit score, which should make it easier to get an unsecured card in the future.

About the Author

Based in San Francisco, Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis," "American Fitness" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.

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