Looking for the best credit cards? You’re in the right place. Whether you want cash back, rewards, miles, low interest or no annual fee, our experts have collected the top credit card offers from our partners in one place. Check them out below and keep coming back - this list is updated monthly.
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Updated: March 21, 2018
The card you choose for your financial life is as individual as the clothes you wear or the car you drive. You might be on the hunt for the perfect balance transfer card. Or you could have your eye on the right travel card for you. Whatever the reason, the best card for you awaits. At CreditCards.com, we researched and evaluated hundreds of offers to help you find the best credit cards across several different categories. Along with our picks for the best cards, we go over a few things to know about the world of credit cards. Here, we look at:
Whether you aren't sure how many cards you should own or you want to understand what factors to consider when choosing the best credit card, we can help.
|Credit Card||Category||Best Uses|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card||Travel Rewards||Hotel bookings and large sign-up bonus|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Overall Rewards||Flexible rewards and large sign-up bonus|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||Everyday Spending||Purchases at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations with no annual fee|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Flat-rate Rewards||Flat-rate cash back with no annual fee|
|Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card||No Annual Fee||No annual fee and cash back in common spend categories|
|The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express||Balance Transfers||Long 0% intro APR period and no balance transfer fee|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||0% Intro APR||Long 0% intro APR period and flat-rate cash back|
|Chase Sapphire ReserveSM Card||Sign-up Bonus||Large sign-up bonus and airport lounge access|
|Discover it® Cashback Match™||Low Interest||Low variable APR and rotating quarterly bonus categories|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card||No Foreign Transaction Fee||Flat-rate travel rewards with no foreign transaction fee|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||Airline Miles||Airline-specific rewards and sign-up bonus|
|Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business||Business||Unlimited flat-rate cash back for your business on every purchase|
|Capital One® Platinum Credit Card||Fair Credit Applicants||Building your credit with no deposit required|
|Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®||Bad Credit Applicants||Building your credit with cash back rewards|
|Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®||Student Applicants||Unlimited cash back for students and no annual or foreign transaction fees|
Credit cards analyzed: 3,300
Banks analyzed: 600
Criteria used: Rates and fees, rewards rates, sign-up bonuses, redemption options, credit needed, miscellaneous benefits, customer service, security, ease of application
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 8 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.
Paying a lot of interest 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.
Credit not its best? Cards for consumers with bad or thin credit can help with this.
Willing to strategize your spending? A couple of cards offer quarterly categories of 5% cash back – such categories as home improvement stores, wholesale clubs and Amazon.com. Load up on spending each quarter for rotating categories.
Specific categories you often use? Some cards, such as the Amex Blue Cash cards, 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.
Your credit score is basically your financial report card. It's used by lenders to assess your creditworthiness to decide what lending products to grant you and the terms of those products. For example, if you have a FICO score of at least 740 on a scale of 300-850, you have a greater chance of getting the best interest rates on a car loan.
Here's how it works:
On-time payments, or payment history, figure heavily into the dominant scoring model, FICO, making up 35% of the score's criteria pie. Payment history is extremely influential in the VantageScore model.
How much you owe compared to how much credit you have available makes up 30% of the FICO pie. It's highly influential in the VantageScore, while available credit is less influential. Total balances or debt are considered moderately influential.
How long you have been building credit is a consideration to a lesser degree, making up 15% of the FICO scoring model. Age of accounts is highly influential with VantageScore.
This metric makes up 10% of your FICO score, which means you'll want to avoid opening new accounts unnecessarily. VantageScore ranks this as less influential.
Ten percent of your FICO score, you are encouraged to have a mix of credit types such as revolving (typically credit cards) and installment (such as mortgages and car loans). Credit mix is highly influential in VantageScore.
|FICO Category||FICO Range||VantageScore Category||VantageScore Range|
Credit cards offer a host of benefits, ranging from lost luggage reimbursement to access to the card issuer's travel portal, complete with boosted points.
Whether you are on the road or traveling by plane, travel cards can provide unexpected benefits worthy of your attention. The result? Hassle-free travel and even saved dollars with such benefits as Chase Sapphire Reserve's $300 annual travel credit. Here are 8 top travel benefits:
Products such as travel cards, general-purpose rewards cards and cashback cards can provide superior savings with outstanding sign-up bonuses on most rewards cards, free breakfast at select hotel brands such as Hilton Honors, and even access to special events through such programs as Mastercard's World Elite program.
Cards on the market today have a multitude of features and advantages, from no foreign transaction fee to U.S.-based customer service. Look carefully at what the cards you are eyeing have to offer, because the possibilities may surprise you.
We asked cardholders what they love most about their favorite credit cards and why they chose them. Overwhelmingly, rewards ruled. In the poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates Jan. 19-22, 2017, 1,003 consumers were polled, with a subset of 670 cardholders.
|Card Benefit||Who Loves It|
|Accepted most places||16%|
|Easy to get||8%|
|Reason to Choose Card||How Many Choose It|
|Low interest rate||18%|
|Easy to get||14%|
|Accepted most places||12%|
|Brand of card||7%|
How you use your card depends on the type of card you go with. For example, you'll want to use a secured card primarily for building credit, while a travel card is great for earning miles. Here are 8 types of cards and how best to use them.
Rather than using this card for convenience, focus on building your credit. Just make sure the card issuer will report your good credit habits to the 3 major credit bureaus.
This is a good card to practice on. Take advantage of the rewards, but pay in full at the end of each payment period.
An excellent option for building credit while earning rewards. Make sure you pay on time and in full each month.
Check out whether there is a balance transfer fee (some BT cards don't have one) and make sure you choose a card with terms you can live up to.
Look at whether the card has an annual fee and if the categories are ones you'll actually use.
Study the sign-up bonus and make sure you can spend (and pay back) the minimum limit within the required timeframe. Also, see if the rewards are ones you will actually use and enjoy.
This type of card can have nice travel rewards, although the annual fee can be steep. Check out the benefits, such as priority boarding and preferred seating, to see if they are experiences you will use.
A great card for the traveler who doesn't love it. Superior benefits can include room upgrades, access to airport lounges, high-end gifts and 24/7 concierge service. The annual fee will likely be pricey.
If you look at the best credit cards on the market, you will be sure to find many rewards cards among them. There are several different ways to take advantage of rewards credit cards and maximize your earnings; below are some of the most popular reward categories and our research on the best credit cards in each one.
No matter how rewarding your card, it's crucial that you understand the rates and fees you could face depending on how you treat the card and how the card treats you. Don't let an annual fee sneak up on you or allow a late payment to slam you with a late fee. Here are 13 of the most common rates and fees.
Some rates or fees can be waived or lowered by simply picking up the phone and calling. In fact, we found that of those who asked, up to 89% of people asking for a credit limit increase got what they wanted. Our poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, found that just asking can be rewarding:
|Rate or Fee||Requested the Waiver||Granted to Those Who Asked|
Some fees, such as late fees, should be avoided at all costs. But others may be worth your while, depending on the type.
For example, a card with an annual fee will frequently have more robust rewards, and the annual fee may be waived the first year:
|Card||Sign-up Bonus||Ongoing Rewards||Annual Fee||End of First Year Total|
|Capital One Venture Rewards||50,000 miles/$3,000 spend in 3 mths||2X miles x $1,000/mth=24,000||$95 waived first yr||$500+$240=$740|
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards||20,000 miles/$1,000 spend in 3 mths||1.25X miles x $1,000/mth=15,000||$0||$200+$150=$350|
In the same way, the advantages of a balance transfer card may outweigh the expense of a balance transfer fee. For example, you might want to look at the intro period's length or whether there is an intro period for purchases:
|Card||BT Fee||0% Intro APR Period||Monthly Payment|
|Chase Slate||$0/first 60 days||15 months||$1,500/15 mths=$100/mth|
|Citi Double Cash||$5 or 3% ($45 for $1,500)||18 months||$1,500/18 mths=$83.33/mth|
So you can see that even though you pay a $45 balance transfer fee with the Citi Double Cash, your monthly, interest-free payment for the limited-time offer is $83 compared to $100 for the Chase Slate. This makes it worth your while if you need more time to pay off your balance transfer.
FICO discovered a bit of a surprise in 2012 when it looked at what it calls "high achievers," or consumers with a score of greater than 785 out of a possible 850. These consumers:
What does this mean? Simply that it isn't that the most successful consumers are debt-free, but that they are responsible with their debt. Also, fewer accounts aren't necessarily better; rather it's how you handle the account that matters.
You can have one card, and it's too many, or 5 and it's just enough. It all has to do with how you manage your cards and what you are using them for.
|BankAmericard Rewards||Oldest account||Build credit|
|Gold Delta Skymiles from American Express||2X miles on eligible Delta purchases||Earn Delta Skymiles|
|Capital One Platinum||Free authorized users||Let authorized users build credit|
As you can see, each card has a purpose. But how do you keep up with payments and annual fees when you have this many cards?
Here's an example of a spreadsheet you can create to keep track of your credit card accounts. Below that, we've listed some tips to get you started with managing multiple credit cards.
|Card||Amount Owed||Due Date||When Paid|
|BankAmericard Rewards||$500||Due 4/1/18||Pd in full 3/10/18|
|Gold Delta Skymiles from American Express||$25 min. due/$225 balance||Due 4/1/18||Need to pay|
|Capital One Platinum||$0||Due date 4/2/18||$0 owed|