If you’ve ever missed a credit card bill payment, you may worry that a late fee is heading your way. Credit card late fees can cost up to $40 and put a serious dent in your wallet if you make a habit of paying past the due date. The exact time a credit card payment is considered late varies, but payments are due the same day and time every month, usually by 5 p.m. (but sometimes later).

Late fees are completely avoidable if you pay your bill on time, whether it’s manually or through autopay. But if you’re facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus or sometimes forget to pay your bill, there are credit cards with no late fees. Some cards may have no late fees whatsoever, while other cards may waive your first late fee.

Below, CNBC Select breaks down what credit cards have no late fees, so you can have some peace of mind that you won’t incur a fee as high as $40 for late payments.

Best credit cards with no late fees

Credit cards that have no late fees whatsoever

The cards listed below have no late fees whatsoever and also do away with many other fees that are characteristic of other credit cards. All of the cards mentioned have no annual fee and some also have no foreign transaction fees and no penalty APR (which means if you pay late, your interest rate won’t spike).

Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

On Citi’s secure site

  • Rewards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 21 months on balance transfers and 0% for the first 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • 21 months of no interest on balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Balances can be transferred within 4 months from account opening
  • 12 months of no interest on purchases

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No rewards program
  • Transfer timeline: Balances must be transferred within 4 months from account opening
  • Estimated total fees and interest on debt repayment: $480

Apple Card

Apple Card

Information about the Apple Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, the Apple online store, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other Apple-owned properties) on Uber and UberEats, at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app and on Walgreens.com, in T-Mobile stores and at Nike, 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    12.49% to 23.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple, on Uber and UberEats, at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app and on Walgreens.com and in T-Mobile stores and at Nike
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • No late payment fee

Cons

  • Apple Pay isn’t accepted everywhere
  • Purchases with the physical card only earn 1% cash back
  • No special financing offers or welcome bonus
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $231
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,156

To calculate the rewards you could earn using your Apple Pay card, we assumed that cardholders will use Apple Pay for 70% of their purchases at a rate of 2% cash back, since 70% of all merchants accept Apple Pay, according to an Apple spokesperson. We also assumed the cardholder would use the physical Apple Card for the other 30% of their purchases at a rate of 1% cash back. You may earn a higher or lower return depending on your spending habits.

Petal® Visa® Credit Card

Petal® Visa® Credit Card

Information about the Petal® Visa® Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    1% cash back on eligible purchases and 1.5% after you make 12 on-time monthly payments

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    14.49% to 25.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No credit history required (if you do have a credit history, that does factor into the credit decision)
  • No fees whatsoever
  • 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments
  • Credit limits range from $500 to $10,000

Cons

  • Card isn’t for rebuilding credit, but it’s good for building credit
  • No special financing offers
  • No welcome bonus
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $249
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,577

PenFed Promise Visa® Card

PenFed Promise Visa® Card

Information about the PenFed Promise Visa® Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

  • Welcome bonus

    $100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    4.99% for the first 12 months on balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    12.49% to 17.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No late fees, penalty APR or foreign transaction fees
  • Relatively low interest rates
  • Decent welcome bonus

Cons

  • No rewards program
  • No 0% APR special financing periods

Credit cards that waive your first late fee

All Discover credit cards waive your first late fee. This one-time fee waiver is a great safety net and should encourage you to make on time payments. Consider setting up autopay for at least the minimum payment so you can ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice. In addition to waiving your first late fee, all Discover cards have no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fees.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover’s secure site

  • Rewards

    5% cash back at different places each quarter after you activate bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%). Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    At the end of your first year, Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earned

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 14 months on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.49% to 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Cash-back program
  • No annual fee
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • Bonus categories must be activated each quarter
  • Cash-back program limits 5% cash-back earnings to $1,500 a quarter
  • Fee charged on balance transfers
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $707
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,120

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Discover it® Balance Transfer

On Discover’s secure site

  • Rewards

    5% cash back at different places each quarter after you activate bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%). Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    At the end of your first year, Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earned

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% APR for the first 6 months on purchases; 0% APR for the first 18 months on balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.49% to 24.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • 18 months of no interest on balance transfers
  • Cash-back program
  • No annual fee
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • Bonus categories must be activated each quarter
  • Cash-back program limits 5% cash-back earnings to $1,500 a quarter
  • Fee charged on balance transfers
  • Transfer timeline: Balances must be transferred by a specific date, refer to your cardmember agreement for the exact date
  • Estimated total fees and interest on debt repayment: $478

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

On Discover’s secure site

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 1.5X miles on every dollar spent on all purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earned at the end of your first year

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% APR for the first 14 months on purchases; 10.99% APR for the first 14 months on balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.49% to 24.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • At the end of the first year, Discover will match all of the miles you have earned
  • No blackout dates where you can’t earn miles for travel purchases
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases for the first 14 months
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn and points never expire

Cons

  • No Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit offerings
  • Travel spending does not receive additional rewards
  • No airport lounge access
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $664
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,991

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back

On Discover’s secure site

  • Rewards

    5% cash back in different categories (gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon and more) each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earned at the end of your first year

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% APR for the first 6 months on purchases; 10.99% APR for the first 6 months on balance transfers

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Generous welcome bonus that doesn’t have minimum spending requirements
  • Intro 0% APR for 6 months on purchases
  • $20 Good Grade Reward when you maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA during the school year (for up to five consecutive years)
  • First late payment fee is waived

Cons

  • The cash-back program requires you to activate bonus categories in order to benefit from earning 5% cash back
  • Discover cards aren’t as widely accepted as cards from Mastercard or Visa
  • You must be a U.S. citizen and college student to apply for this card

Best credit cards with no late fees

Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, CNBC Select analyzed popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company’s data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri’s data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

CNBC Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

While the five-year estimates we’ve included are derived from a budget similar to the average American’s spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

Information about the Apple Card, Petal® Visa® Credit Card, PenFed Promise Visa® Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of the cards prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

Source

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