Best Credit Cards of April 2020

What’s the best credit card? Should you opt for cash back, points or miles? Or maybe a balance transfer’s what you need? No matter your situation, the experts at CreditCards.com have you covered. Check out these top picks and offers from our partners and you’re sure to find the best credit card for you.

What’s the best credit card? Should you opt for cash back, points or miles? Or maybe a balance transfer’s what you need? No matter your situation, the experts at CreditCards.com have you covered. Check out these top picks and offers from our partners and you’re sure to find the best credit card for you.

Summary

Best Credit Cards of 2020

Filter Cards by Category

  • All Categories
  • Sign-up Bonuses
  • Rewards
  • Cash Back
  • Balance Transfer
  • Low Interest
  • Travel Rewards
  • More
  • 0% APR
  • No Annual Fee
  • Student
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Bad Credit

Our methodology and research

3,476 Credit Cards Analyzed
600 Banks Analyzed

Criteria Used

Rates and fees, rewards rates, sign-up bonuses, redemption options, credit needed, miscellaneous benefits, customer service, security, ease of application.

Common Benefits:

  • Auto rental Insurance
  • Extended warranty program
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Price protection
  • Lost Luggage reimbursement
  • Concierge service
  • Roadside assistance
  • Free credit score

What factors to consider when choosing the best credit card

When you are ready for a new credit card, you'll first want to identify which type is right for you. With the right card, you can earn hundreds of dollars a year, build your credit or enjoy special travel benefits. Here are 7 questions to ask yourself in your endeavor to choose the best card.

Want to build credit?

Most credit cards, including cards for authorized users, allow you to build credit. But check with the card issuer to make sure they'll report your credit habits to the 3 major credit bureaus. Cards for consumers with bad or thin credit can help with this.

Paying a lot of interest and fees?

A balance transfer card helps take away the sharp edges of credit card debt, although you still need to pay off the balance before the 0% intro APR offer ends.

Willing to strategize your spending?

With new credit cards being offered or revamped every month, it's worthwhile to take a look at what's in the marketplace and how you can maximize your rewards. Four in 10 Americans told us in our 2018 favorite cards survey they have never changed their favorite card, and that's a terrible idea. Instead, by updating your wallet, you can use the best card for the best situation and max out your rewards.

Specific categories you often use?

Some cards, such as the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, offer improved rewards year-round on such categories as gas and groceries.

Want to use it and forget it?

For those of us who don't want to think about our shopping rewards, some travel and cashback cards reward at a flat rate for all spending.

Travel your thing?

If you plan to travel often (or even occasionally), some cards reward for worldwide travel and restaurants, such as the Chase Sapphire cards. Flat rate travel cards are also available.

Have a favorite brand?

Express yourself with a card that delivers miles for using your hotel or airline brand of choice.

Enjoy convenience

Even if you have great credit, a credit card is a great financial choice for the consumer on the go. Imagine just grabbing your keys, driver license and credit card on the way out the door. Nothing easier, right?

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.

All information about Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card have been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.


A Guide to Finding the Best Credit Card Offer for You

The credit cards in your wallet are some of the most important financial tools in your life. You might be on the hunt for the perfect balance transfer offer to help you pay off your holiday spending. Or you could have your eye out for the right travel card offer in preparation for that ski trip in the Wasatch Mountains.

Remarkably, we found in our August 2019 survey that 55% of U.S. consumers either don’t know the last time they shopped for a new credit card or that it’s been more than 3 years. “You have to know yourself, and if you value simplicity, that’s fine too. Just make sure to re-evaluate your strategy often because the best deals are always changing,” says Ted Rossman, CreditCards.com industry analyst.

With offers frequently changing, it can be tough to wrap your head around all of the available options. Or you may be new to credit cards. Well, we’re all over it for you. At CreditCards.com, we’ve compiled thousands of hours of research to help you find the best credit cards of 2020 across the most popular categories. Check this page regularly for the latest information on the best credit cards and how they compare to the field – we update it almost every day!


best credit cards 2020

Best Credit Cards

There are myriad credit card offers for all sorts of purposes, from rewards to credit building. Here, we look at 17 of the top card categories that could serve you well, depending on your goals, credit score and what features interest you most.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Why this is the best credit card for sign-up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred’s 60,000 points after a $4,000 spend within the first 3 months is actually worth an incredible $750 when you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Pros

This card’s ongoing rewards for worldwide travel and dining are tough to match. Also, you can transfer rewards from the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited to redeem more travel rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Cons

The regular APR starts out high at 15.99%-22.99% variable, and the $95 annual fee isn’t waived the first year. Also, the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t have boosted rewards for spending other than worldwide travel and restaurants (although the 1X point offer on all other spending becomes 1.25X points when booking travel through Ultimate Rewards).

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Why this is the best credit card for rewards

The card offers terrific flexibility in how you can earn and redeem rewards. You’ll get 3X points on dining, travel and transit, gas station purchases and select streaming services, and you can redeem points for travel, gift cards and cash back without sacrificing point value.

Pros

The card offers a 20,000-point bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. That’s worth $200 when redeemed for cash back and is solid for a card with no annual fee. You’ll also enjoy a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on both new purchases and balance transfers (13.99%-25.99% variable after that), which could help you finance a large purchase or pay off outstanding debt.

Cons

You can’t transfer points to a frequent flyer or other outside rewards program, which could be a deal-breaker if you’re loyal to a particular airline or hotel. There are also longer 0% intro APR offers on the market, and the card’s high-end APR is very high indeed.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Discover it® Cash Back

Why this is the best credit card for rotating cash back

Not only can you enroll quarterly to enjoy 5% back on rotating categories (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%) with the Discover it Cash Back, you can also earn double back at the end of your first year, a unique feature.

Pros

Categories include such items as everyday spending like restaurants and gas stations, as well as big ticket purchases at Amazon.com and home improvement stores. In addition, you can redeem at Amazon.com checkout.

Cons

While the card’s cash back match could be very lucrative, you’ll have to wait a full year after opening your account to enjoy it. You’ll also have to track and activate bonus categories each quarter, and they may not always line up with your spending habits.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Discover it® Cash Back

Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever

Why this is the best credit card for balance transfer

Nobody comes close to the Citi Simplicity in the balance transfer offer – 0% intro APR for 21 months, long enough to take you well into 2021. It’s 14.74%-24.74% variable after that.

Pros

This card has many great “no’s” – no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee. Also, there’s a moderate 0% intro APR offer on purchases for 12 months (then 14.74%-24.74% variable) if you have a bigger purchase to make.

Cons

The card offers no sign-up bonus and next to nothing in the way of rewards, which severely limits its long-term value. And while its long intro APR period on balance transfers is attractive, the card’s balance transfer fee is on the high end (5% or $5, whichever is greater). You’ll have to do the math to see if you should prioritize a long intro APR or lower balance transfer fee.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Citi Simplicity® Card

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Why this is the best credit card for low interest

In addition to a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, the Cash Magnet offers a super low 12.99%-23.99% variable APR after that, perfect for the consumer with an occasional balance.

Pros

The introductory bonus offers a $150 statement credit after a $1,000 spend within the first 3 months, and there are the ongoing rewards of 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Also, begin using this card immediately upon being approved, provided you are eligible for Instant Card Number.

Cons

While not an issue right now because of the near-shutdown of international travel, you would find that the Cash Magnet isn’t widely accepted overseas because the American Express network doesn’t have much of a presence beyond U.S. borders. Besides, there’s a 2.7% foreign transaction fee with this card (see rates and fees).

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Why this is the best credit card for travel rewards

Unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which only rewards bonus miles in select categories, the Venture Rewards card rewards all spending with 2X miles, making it a great choice if you want to rack up miles with an all-purpose travel card.

Pros

Along with a solid sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, the card offers a few terrific perks for frequent travelers, including a credit of up to $100 to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Cons

The card’s list of airline transfer partners leaves a bit to be desired, missing popular options like United, Delta and British Airways.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Why this is the best credit card for gas rewards

It’s a great fit for families on the go. Not only will you get unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, you’ll also enjoy 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on your first $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1%). With bonuses in such practical everyday spending categories, it should be easy to make up the card’s annual fee.

Pros

A top cash back product for tiered categories, this card offers a new opportunity with 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, one of the first cards to offer this reward. Also, it has a 0% intro APR offer for 12 months from the date of account opening on both purchases and balance transfers (it’s 12.99%-23.99% variable after that), ideal for moderately sizeable purchases or balances.

Cons

The introductory bonus isn’t as robust as other cash back cards, although its required spend is lower. Also, the $95 annual fee isn’t waived the first year.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Why this is the best credit card for 0% interest

The Wells Fargo Platinum is a fine option as a well-balanced 0% intro APR card for both purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 18 months (then 15.49%-24.99% variable).

Pros

This card offers up to $600 protection on your cellphone (with a $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your card. Also, you can get your free FICO score with this card.

Cons

Like the Citi Simplicity, the Wells Fargo Platinum has no sign-up bonus and no ongoing rewards, which might impact your decision-making, if you are looking for a card that offers rewards in the long run.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Wells Fargo Platinum card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why this is the best credit card for flat-rate cash back

You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, no matter where, when or what you buy. No need to track bonus categories or deal with complicated redemptions – redeem cash back in any amount, any time.

Pros

With a serviceable sign-up bonus and a flat rate for spending, this card competes well in the cash back landscape. Unlike the Freedom cards, this card offers no foreign transaction fee.

Cons

If you like the idea of timing your spending to get higher rewards, this is not a good choice for you. Instead, look at the Discover it Cash Back or the Chase Freedom.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Why this is the best credit card for business

In addition to no foreign transaction fees, the Spark Cash for Business rewards you with 2% cash back on all spending for your business, which you can redeem for all manner of things when the time comes.

Pros

If you are looking for a generous sign-up bonus on your new business card, the Spark Cash for Business delivers – earn $500 when you spend $4,500 within the first 3 months of card membership.

Cons

This card has a high regular APR of 20.99% variable when compared to other business cards and unfortunately offers no 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers.

Read CreditCards.com’s full card review of the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Why this is the best credit card for no annual fee

It’s a great fit for someone who loves to travel, but can’t always find the time. Instead of paying a huge annual fee for travel perks you’re unlikely to use, opt for the VentureOne and you’ll snag a generous sign-up bonus and earn consistent rewards on every purchase.

Pros

Since you’ll earn miles at a flat rate on every purchase, you won’t have to juggle multiple cards or worry about tracking bonus category spending. The VentureOne also carries no foreign transaction fee, making it a smart choice if you plan to travel abroad.

Cons

Some other cards – even those with no annual fee – offer a higher rewards rate in popular spending categories and allow you to boost the value of your points or miles when you redeem for travel.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Why this is the best credit card for students

The card is designed for those new to credit, so it gives the inexperienced some wiggle room: You won’t be charged a late fee the first time you miss a payment deadline and you’ll never face a penalty APR. Plus, it’s one of the few cards that rewards good grades, offering students who earn at least a 3.0 GPA $20 each year for up to the next 5 years.

Pros

You can reap cash back rewards even with no credit history. You’ll earn 5% back in an array of rotating quarterly bonus categories upon enrollment (on up to $1,500 per quarter) and 1% on other purchases. Discover will also match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.

Cons

Unfortunately, you may have trouble getting this card if you don’t have independent income, because of federal rules in place to protect consumers under 21 years old.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Discover it® Student Cash Back

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Why this is the best credit card for fair credit

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is the rare card that both accepts fair credit and has no annual fee, allowing you to focus on building your credit.

Pros

In addition to accepting fair credit, this card allows you access to a higher credit limit after 5 months of on-time payments, making it a strong first card.

Cons

This card offers a crazy high regular APR of 26.99% variable, so you don’t even want to think about carrying a balance, and there is no sign-up bonus or ongoing rewards.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Why this is the best credit card for no foreign transaction fee

There are few travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has no foreign transaction fee and 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. Also, you can get access to 1,000+ airport lounges after enrolling in Priority Pass™ Select.

Pros

Enjoy 3X points at restaurants and 1X point on all other purchases. There’s a 50% boost for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards – for example, anything that qualifies for 1X point can become 1.5X points when used to book travel.

Cons

The annual fee of $550 is not waived in the first year, and the sign-up bonus is the same as that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred once redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards. With the Sapphire Preferred, earn 60,000 points after a $4,000 spend within the first 3 months – worth $750 in travel. With the Sapphire Reserve, earn 50,000 points after a $4,000 spend within the first 3 months – also worth $750 in travel.

Read CreditCards.com’s full card review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card

Why this is the best credit card for bad credit

The card has great approval odds and you can check if you prequalify online without affecting your credit score. It also offers access to your Experian Credit Score and the ability to set up custom email and text alerts, which should help you avoid late fees and keep your credit-building efforts on track.

Pros

The Credit One Bank Visa is one of the rare cards that accepts bad credit and offers ongoing rewards at the same time. This makes it a good card in the long term if you are looking for something in your wallet beyond credit-building.

Cons

There’s no sign-up bonus with the Credit One Bank Visa, and you can expect an annual fee of up to $99, which can eat into your budget. Always check the fees before choosing a credit-builder card.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Why this is the best credit card for airline miles

You’ll earn a nice chunk of miles when you apply –  35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in the first 3 months.

Pros

Along with mini-bonuses like discounted access to Delta Sky Club lounges, you’ll enjoy travel perks like priority boarding, no foreign transaction fee (see rates and fees) and a free first checked bag. Even better, the card’s annual fee ($99) is waived for the first year.

Cons

The card offers just 1X miles on non-Delta purchases. If you want to maximize your mileage earnings on everyday spending, you’ll be better off with a general-purpose travel card.

Read Creditcards.com’s full card review of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Compare CreditCards.com’s best credit card offers

Here is a summary of our top picks in an easy-to-read table, with our choice for the best credit card in each major category. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at editors@creditcards.com or leave us a comment below.

Credit Card Category Annual Fee Review Score
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Sign-up Bonus $95 3.9 / 5
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card Rewards $0 3.5 / 5
Discover it® Cash Back Rotating Cash Back $0 4.3 / 5
Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever Balance Transfer $0 3.7 / 5
American Express Cash Magnet® Card Low interest $0 4 / 5
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Travel $95 waived first year 4.2 / 5
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Gas Rewards $95 4.3 / 5
Wells Fargo Platinum card 0% Intro APR $0 4.4 / 5
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Flat-rate Cash Back $0 3.4 / 5
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business Small business $95, waived 1st year 4.1 / 5
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card No Annual Fee $0 3.5 / 5
Discover it® Student Cash Back Students $0 4.2 / 5
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card Fair Credit $0 3.7 / 5
Chase Sapphire Reserve card No Foreign Transaction Fee $550 4.6 / 5
Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card Bad Credit $0-$99 2.2 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Airline Miles $99 waived first year 3.6 / 5

Which type of credit card is best for you?

Cash back, 0% and balance transfer, credit builder – there are a host of card types out there for you to choose from. Here, we look at what types are available and who they might be good for.

Cash back

Cash back cards come in a variety of flavors, including rotating categories, tiered categories and flat-rate cards. At the top of the list of categories are groceries, gas, and dining out and transit. (BTW, we found in our analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2019 data that groceries, gas, and dining out and transit top the spending list of Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., in that order.) See a full list of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards.

Rotating category cash back

  • What is rotating cash back? Rotating category credit cards offer a higher than normal cash back rate, usually 5%, on specific categories that change quarterly. Notably, the Discover it® Cash Back offers 5% on rotating categories up to $1,500 a quarter (with required quarterly sign up), then it’s 1%.
  • Consider this card type if you are interested in maximizing your rewards and are willing to think strategically about your spending.

Flat rate cash back

  • What is flat-rate cash back? Flat-rate cash back cards reward the same for all spending, typically 1.5%. For example, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card rewards with 1.5% cash back on all spending.
  • Consider this card type if you are a shopper who doesn’t want to have to think about which card to pull out at the counter.

Tiered cash back

  • What is tiered cash back? A few cards offer year-round elevated cash back amounts, as much as 6%, sometimes with an annual spending limit on one or more of those categories. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express rewards 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to a $6,000 yearly spend (then 1%), as well as other tiered rewards.
  • Consider this card type if you are interested in maximizing your spending on specific categories such as groceries, gas and other everyday spending.

Rewards

Our July 2019 poll on rewards cards found that 49% of U.S. consumers have at least one cash back rewards card. Gas, retail, airline, hotel, general travel and business cards were also popular, so it’s no surprise that new credit cards are entering the market every day. Used correctly, such rewards cards can earn you hundreds of dollars a year. See a full list of the Best Rewards Credit Cards.

Travel rewards

  • What are general travel rewards? These cards often offer a wide array of travel partners to choose from, and frequently the miles don’t expire. Likely the best of these cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, which rewards 2X points for worldwide restaurants and travel. See a full list of the Best Travel Credit Cards.
  • Consider this card type if you like the idea of flexibility in making your travel plans.

Airline rewards

  • What are airline rewards? These cards reward your loyalty through both purchases and redemptions, as well as travel and shopping benefits. For example, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars each year when you use your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card on Delta travel through the free checked bags offer for you and up to 8 travel companions. See a full list of the Best Airline Credit Cards.
  • Consider this card type if you find yourself turning to a specific airline for your travel needs. In that case, an airline credit card might be a good option for you.

Hotel rewards

  • What are hotel rewards? Like airline cards, hotel cards reward for loyalty to a specific brand and are co-branded with a bank. For that loyalty, you can potentially get complimentary breakfast, early check-in, late check-out and more. For example, there’s the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. See a full list of the Best Hotel Credit Cards.
  • Consider this card type if you favor a particular hotel brand.

0% intro APR

  • What is 0% intro APR? This kind of card is a great way to pay down a balance while avoiding interest charges. A 0% intro APR offer can refer to purchases or balance transfers. Some cards only offer purchase offers, but others offer 0% on both, such as the BankAmericard® credit card, which offers 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days (14.49% – 24.49% Variable APR thereafter). See a full list of the Best 0% APR Credit Cards.
  • Consider this card type if you have plans to make a large purchase and want to avoid interest charges.

All information about Bank of America Cards has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. Bank of America Cards are no longer available through CreditCards.com

Balance transfer

  • What is a balance transfer? Sometimes life takes us for a loop and we end up with card debt that seems to be never-ending with the monthly interest charges. That’s when a balance transfer card comes in, with its 0% intro APR offer for a minimum of 6 months and up to 21 months. For example, the Citi Simplicity® Card offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (then 14.74% – 24.74% (Variable). See a full list of the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards.
  • Consider this card type if you are carrying balances on cards with high interest charges.

Credit builders

Your first stop when choosing a credit card is checking your score, because there’s no point in hankering for a travel card when your credit is in the fair category or below. Here are what the fair, bad, no credit and secured card categories mean for you.

Fair credit

  • What is fair credit? The cards you qualify for tighten considerably when your FICO credit score goes below 670, but there’s hope. (FICO puts fair credit at 580-669.) Some cards that accept fair credit have rewards, such as the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. See a full list of the Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit.
  • Consider this card type if you are looking to experiment with rewards but you don’t have the best of credit.

Bad credit or No credit

  • What is bad credit/no credit? When you have a FICO score below 580, you qualify as having bad or poor credit; when you have no credit file with the 3 major credit bureaus, you have what is called no credit. One solid option is the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card, which offers 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV (terms apply). See a full list of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit and Best Credit Cards for No Credit.
  • Consider this card type if you have poor or weak credit and are looking to improve your score so that you can get a rewards card or take out a mortgage.

Secured

  • What is a secured card? Simply, you will put down a refundable deposit in exchange for your credit limit. While many secured cards may have a variety of fees, some have almost none, including no annual fee, such as the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. See a full list of the Best Secured Credit Cards.
  • Consider this card type if you need to build credit and you don’t have other options.

Student

  • What is a student card? Student cards often offer the same features as their brethren, although they can have special opportunities for the young consumer, such as an annual reward for good grades, as in the case of Discover it® Student Cash Back, which pays you $20 for each of the next 5 years that you have a 3.0 GPA. See a full list of the Best Student Credit Cards.
  • Consider this card type if you are looking to build credit or like the special features that student credit cards sometimes offer.

Business

  • What is a business card? Business cards – which we found in our July 2019 survey to have more than doubled in popularity among consumers compared to last year – can reward the business owner (or even solopreneur) for such categories as office supply stores, advertising and travel. Some offer a flat rate, such as the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, which offers 2% cash back on all purchases.
  • Consider this card type if you are looking to build your business credit, you have business expenditures that you’d like to track, or you need help with cash flow. See a full list of the Best Business Credit Cards.

How to choose the best credit card offer

Yes, it’s tough to pick the right card for your needs, but we’ve made it easier with this checklist of action items.

  1. Choose your card type – At some point, you need to make a call on what you want from your new card. Are you looking for rewards, 0% intro APR, building credit?
  2. Check the credit requirements – Typically the best credit cards require good or excellent credit (for FICO, that’s 670 points or better). While applying for a card only temporarily impacts your credit score by only 5-10 points, applying for multiple cards at once can cause you to take a temporary hit, so only apply for one card at a time.
  3. Evaluate the fees – Many card types have late payment fees and cash advance fees, and cards that allow poor credit often have hidden fees such as charges for getting a new card or documentation fees. We looked at 100 sample cards recently to understand what these fees can look like. In 2018 we found that, 47 cards have such fees as “overdraft protection/overdraft protection cash advance” (20 cards) and “returned check” (14 cards). Then there are the weird ones, like “account re-opening” (9 cards) and documentation fee (2 cards). There are also a few standard fees to be aware of:
    • Annual fee? An annual fee is not necessarily a bad thing, but you should be mindful of them. For example travel cards often have them, while cash back cards and 0% intro APR cards typically don’t. Set against getting a card with an annual fee? Check out our no annual fee cards.
    • Foreign transaction fee? Most travel cards waive this fee, but you’ll need to check at our no foreign transaction fee page. Other card types are more likely to include this fee, including cash back, 0% intro APR and credit builder cards.
    • Balance transfer fee? Most balance transfer cards have a balance transfer fee, but there are a few cards with no balance transfer fee. Also, we have found that it is possible to negotiate a reduction in your balance transfer fee.
  4. Know the interest rates – While in theory you want to avoid interest charges by paying in full and on time each month, sometimes that just isn’t possible. So make sure you are clear about your interest rate, and take a look at our cards that offer low interest.
  5. Check the sign-up bonus – Most rewards cards offer a sign-up bonus, which is a great way to start your card membership, provided you don’t spend more than you can afford to meet the required spend. Also, you’ll want to make sure you’ll be earning enough rewards that second year to justify any annual fee.

How to compare two credit card offers

Here is we put it all together by comparing 2 cards in the first year of card membership, one with an annual fee and one without:

Card: Capital One Venture Rewards
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Comparing Credit Card Features
Card Type: Travel Rewards Travel Rewards
Credit Required: Good to excellent Good to excellent
0% intro APR: N/A 12 months on purchases
Regular APR: 17.24% – 24.49% Variable 14.49% – 24.49% Variable
Foreign transaction fee: N/A N/A
Comparing Credit Card Value
Sign-up Bonus Spend $3,000 in 3 mths,
50,000 miles
Spend $1,000 in 3 mths,
20,000 miles
Ongoing Rewards 2X miles X $1,000/mth =
24,000 miles
1.25X miles x $1,000/mth =
15,000 miles
Annual Fee $95, waived first yr $0
First Year Net Value $500 + $240 =
$740
$200 + $150 =
$350

As you can see, Venture Rewards leads the way the first year. However, in the second year, when the Venture Rewards’ annual fee kicks in, you’ll notice that if you’re an occasional spender, the VentureOne is a better choice.

How many credit cards should you have?

While there’s no hard-and-fast rule as to how many credit cards you should have, it’s a good idea to hold onto at least two cards – each from a different card issuer and each offering a different type of rewards (cash back, travel rewards, etc.). This should make it easier to tailor your earning to your spending patterns and enjoy greater variety and flexibility in how you redeem rewards.

In some cases, you can also “stack” cards from a single issuer to get even more value out of your rewards. For example, you could pair the Chase Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card (which earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase) with a premium Chase card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (which gets you 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases). This would allow you to could convert the cash back from your Ink Business UnlimitedSM card to Ultimate Rewards points and enjoy a 25% boost in point value when you redeem them for travel through the Chase travel portal.

Of course, if you’re still new to credit cards, you should stick to just one or two until you get used to using them, and if tracking your spending from quarter to quarter or swapping out cards between the gas station and grocery store sounds like more of a headache than it’s worth, a card that offers travel rewards or cash back at a flat rate on every purchase may be a better fit.

The information for Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Details on the best credit card issuers

Some of the top card issuers include Discover, American Express, Capital One and Chase. They make the call on whether you are a low enough credit risk to qualify for the card you want.

While issuers are pretty much the same in terms of your relationship with them, they can vary widely according to what they offer the cardholder. Here are special offerings from some of the top card issuers:

Discover: This issuer has among the best security features, including Social Security number alerts, which tell you if your SSN is found on a Dark Web site. Also, Discover can alert you if a new lending product has shown up on your Experian credit report.

American Express: Increasingly card issuers are eschewing travel and purchase benefits for financial reasons and lack of popularity. Not so with American Express, which continues to offer such benefits for eligible cards as price protection, extended warranty, baggage insurance and travel accident insurance.

Capital One: Capital One has led the pack in offering no foreign transaction fees for all of their cards, something that may only be available through certain cards offered by other issuers, such as travel cards.

Chase: Chase cut back on various benefits a little over a year ago, although the ones that remain are among the best out there, such as primary auto insurance on select cards, which means it’s the first collision insurance used, even above your personal auto insurance.

Bank of America: BofA offers a unique feature for some of their cards in that you can earn a boost of 25%-75% more rewards on every purchase when you have a qualifying Bank of America Preferred Rewards account.

All information about Bank of America Cards has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. Bank of America Cards are no longer available through CreditCards.com

The issuers vary widely in their benefits and quality, so it’s always prudent to research your choices. One factor should be what other consumers say about the company. Here is what J.D. Power says about consumers’ feedback on issuers:

America’s favorite credit card issuers…

  • Discover
  • 842 out of 1,000
  • American Express
  • 838 out of 1,000
  • Capital One
  • 807 out of 1,000
  • Chase
  • 807 out of 1,000

J.D. Power 2019 credit card satisfaction survey


Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura’s work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at laura.mohammad@creditcards.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.


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