The best credit cards are those which match your lifestyle needs. We at GET.com research and review hundreds of the latest credit card offers in the US, taking into account the rewards, benefits, APR and fees, to come up with our list of Best Credit Cards for 2017 in different categories: Rewards, 0% balance transfer, cash back, hotel & airline, business, student. We will also reveal our best credit cards for bad credit. When you click 'Apply Now', we send you off to the card issuer's official online application. Start your search for the best credit card now.
GET.com's best credit cards
|Best For||Credit Card|
|Travel Rewards||Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card|
|Unlimited Cash Back||Chase Freedom Unlimited℠|
|5% Cash Back||Discover it® Cashback Match™|
|Balance Transfer||Chase Slate®|
|Repairing Credit||Discover it® Secured Credit Card - No Annual Fee|
Best Credit Card With Flat-Rate Travel Rewards
Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card is a very straightforward travel credit card that lets you earn unlimited 1.5x rewards on each purchase you make. This means that for each $1 spent, you earn 1.5x Miles without having to keep track of any rotating categories or spending caps. You can redeem the rewards you earned in any amount for a travel credit or even for cold hard cash. You will get $1 for every 100 Miles you've earned. If you're a new cardmember you can benefit from this card's exclusive offer for new members: Discover will automatically give you a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, so if you're going to make a big ticket purchase it will be in your advantage to do it within the first year of having this card. This exclusive offer doesn't require signing up and there is no limit, purchase caps or minimums, meaning that the more you spend during this first year, the more you can earn in rewards. Another good thing about this card is that it lets you access your FICO® Credit Score for free on your monthly statements, on mobile and online. It has 100% U.S. based customer service and you'll be able to talk to a real person - although you may imagine that all issuers' customer service comes with a real person speaking your language, the truth is that many use machines or have customer service centers overseas which can make it frustrating and hard for you to communicate and solve your problems which is why this is quite a good perk. Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and 10.99% intro APR on balance transfers for 14 months (11.49% - 23.49% variable APR after). It has a 3% fee for balance transfers. No annual fee.
Click here to read our review of Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card.
Best Credit Cards With Cash Back
Cash back credit cards give you back a certain percentage of what you spend in the form of cash rebates which is cold, hard cash. It is like getting a discount every time you spend on your card. Most of the cash back cards below have no annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ gives you unlimited 1.5% cash back automatically on every purchase you make, and you can redeem any amount for cash anytime. You earn a $150 Bonus after charging $500 of purchases to this card within your first 3 months after account opening. That makes this a very solid credit card for flat rate cash back on all your purchases. 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, there is a 15.49% - 24.24% variable APR. The balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum. This card can help you avoid wasting money on interest for a long period of time. Best of all, it has no annual fee.
Read our detailed Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ review here.
Discover it® Cashback Match™ is a cash back credit card. This Discover card gives you 5% cash back on purchases in bonus categories that change each quarter after you sign up for 5% cash back, up to $1,500 in combined category purchases each quarter. You get unlimited 1% cash back automatically on everything else you purchase. Offer only for new cardmembers: Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically! Discover it® Cashback Match™ offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months (11.49% - 23.49% variable APR after). It has a 3% fee for balance transfers. No annual fee.
Click here to read our detailed review of Discover it® Cashback Match™.
With Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, a partner card, you can earn cash back twice: you will earn unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To be eligible for the second cash back you will need to make at least the minimum required payment. There is no cap on the amount of cash back you can earn and you don't have to enroll in any program in order to earn it. You can redeem your cash back for statement credit, gift cards, or checks. You will benefit from a 0% intro APR for 18 months on Balance Transfers. After the intro period is over, the regular 13.99% - 23.99% variable APR (depending on your creditworthiness) applies. Click on the 'Apply Now' button to see the applicable balance transfer fee and learn about how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases directly on the secure Citi website. This card has no annual fee.
Read our review of Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer here.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card is a cash rewards credit card with no annual fee for those of you who like to earn cash rewards when you make purchases. With this card, you will earn a $100 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days. As for cash rewards, you will earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3% cash back on gas on the first $2,500 you spend in combined grocery store, wholesale clubs and gas purchases each quarter. For all other purchases, you will earn 1% cash back. Unlike many other credit cards, you don't have to enroll in any rewards program to receive your cash back & there are no changing categories. Your cash back doesn't expire, and you can choose to redeem it in the form of a statement credit, check, or directly into a Bank of America® checking or savings account. Balance transfer fees equal 3% of each transaction (minimum $10). Bank of America customers can earn a 10% customer bonus each time you redeem cash back into a Bank of America® savings or checking account. That bonus can be increased to 25%-75% if you are a Preferred Rewards client (Click "Apply Now" to learn more about Preferred Rewards). You'll enjoy 0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After that, 13.49% - 23.49% variable APR.
Click here to read our detailed review of BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser, is a cash back credit card with which you can earn $100 back after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You'll receive this $100 back in the form of a statement credit. Limited time offer: Earn 10% cash back on purchases at restaurants made in the first 6 months of account opening if you apply by 5/3/17. Earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 spent in purchases per year, then 1%), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations, and 1% cash back on your other purchases (terms and limitations apply). No enrollment is required to earn cash back and you will receive it in the form of Reward Dollars. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (after that there is a 13.49% - 23.49% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers, based on your creditworthiness as well as other factors). No annual fee. Terms apply.
Read our review of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser. As a limited time offer, if you apply by 5/3/17 you can earn 10% cash back on purchases at U.S. Restaurants in the first 6 months, up to $200 back. Plus earn $150 back as statement credit when you make $1,000 in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent per year in purchases you make at U.S. supermarkets (then 1% cash back after you hit that cap). You also earn 3% cash back on purchases from U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. The rest of your eligible purchases earn 1% cash back. Terms and limitations apply. You will receive this ongoing cash back in the form of Reward Dollars. Benefit from a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months based on your creditworthiness and other factors. Terms apply. This card has a $95 annual fee, but if you use it as your primary spending card for everyday purchases, the cash back you could earn can make this a rewarding credit card.
Read our full review of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express here.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card lets you earn $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. During the first 12 months earn 1.8% cash rewards on Android PayTM or Apple PayTM mobile wallet purchases. This card also lets you earn an unlimited flat rate of 1.5% cash rewards on everyday purchases. As an extra perk, these cash rewards don't expire! You can get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) on covered damage or if your phone gets stolen if you pay your monthly phone bill with Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card. Enjoy 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers and 13.49% - 25.49% variable APR thereafter; balance transfer fees apply. $0 annual fee.
Read our review of Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card.
Best Credit Cards For Travel
Hotel and airline credit cards not only let you earn points when you stay at a particular brand of hotel or fly on a particular airline, they also give you points on your everyday spending, which you can later use to redeem for air tickets or hotel stays.
Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review here.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card lets you earn a one time bonus of 40,000 miles (worth $400 in travel) when spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval as well as 2 miles per dollar spent on any purchase, which means that your mileage will increase twice as fast! Use your miles to travel whenever you want, with no blackout dates. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that!
Click here to read our detailed Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card could work for you if you like to earn points that can easily be redeemed towards travel purchases. Earn 20,000 online bonus points after you use your new credit card account to make at least $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of the account opening date. That can be a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases. This card lets you earn 1.5 unlimited points per 1 dollar spent on all purchases. If you are a Bank of America customer with an active Bank of America® checking or savings account, you will benefit from an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase. That bonus can increase to 25% - 75% if you're a Preferred Rewards client (click "Apply Now" to learn more about Preferred Rewards). There is no limit to the total amount of points you can earn, and points do not expire. Just book travel as you would normally, and then call or go online to redeem your points for a statement credit toward all or part of your travel purchases. Make purchases outside of the US with no foreign transaction fees. No annual fee.
Read our review of BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card.
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card lets you earn 2 weekend night certificates valid at select resorts and hotels in the Hilton Portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within the first 4 months of card membership. Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per dollar for hotel stays within the Hilton Portfolio and 5 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 you spend on airline and car rental purchases. You will earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per dollar on all your other eligible purchases. Enjoy travel benefits like no foreign transaction fees on purchases and chip technology. Enjoy HHonors Gold status for as long as you are a Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card cardmember. This Hilton credit card has a $95 annual fee.
Read our full Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card review here.
Best Credit Cards With 0% Balance Transfer
Got an existing credit card or store card debt? Consolidate all your high-interest debt by moving it to another card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers for a specific period of time so that you can pay off your existing debt interest-free during that period. All the 0% balance transfer cards below don't have any annual fee.
Chase Slate® is a balance transfer card that lets you transfer a balance within the first 60 days after account opening with a $0 intro balance transfer fee. After those 60 days are over, there is a 5% balance transfer fee on the amount transferred or a $5 minimum, whichever is greater. The majority of credit cards usually charge a 3-5% balance transfer fee right from the start, so this intro offer is a good benefit for those who need to transfer a balance. You will also enjoy a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, there is a 15.49% - 24.24% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers, based on your credit score. There is a $0 annual fee.
Find out more in our detailed review of Chase Slate® here.
Discover it® 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer has a longer intro period for balance transfers. For new sign-ups who apply, you get 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months. That means you can have up to 21 months to pay off your existing card debts at no interest. You still have to pay a balance transfer fee of 3% even though you pay no interest. This card also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 6 months of card membership (11.49% - 23.49% variable APR thereafter) for both purchases and balance transfers. As it is also a rewards card, it lets you earn 5% cash back (up to a quarterly maximum) in categories that change each quarter when you sign up for 5% categories. On all your other purchases you will earn 1% cash back, giving you more savings on your spending. Offer for new cardmembers only: Discover gives a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
Here's our review of Discover it® 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer.
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is one of our top rated 0% balance transfer cards as it offers one of the longest duration of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months. After this introductory period there will be a 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable). For each balance transfer, you pay just 3% of the amount you transfer as fees, or $5 minimum. Some credit cards charge up to 5% balance transfer fee. This card doesn't have any rewards program though.
Click here to read our detailed Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever review.
Best Credit Cards With Rewards And No Annual Fee (Including Travel)
Rewards credit cards let you earn points on your spending so that you can later redeem all those points for rewards ranging from free air tickets, hotel stays to merchandise, gift cards or even cash.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card is one of our top rated no-fee rewards card that rewards you on your spending. It gives you 2 ThankYou® Points for each dollar spent dining at restaurants and on entertainment purchases as well as 1 ThankYou® Point for every $1 you spend on all your other purchases. You can redeem your points for merchandise, travel rewards and gift cards.
Here's our Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card review.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of approval. These bonus miles are equal to $200 in travel! You will also earn 1.25 miles on every purchase you make, every day, and you can earn unlimited miles. There are no blackout dates when you redeem your miles for travel, and there are no foreign transaction fees when you make purchases in another currency or while you're abroad. Benefit from 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then a 12.49% - 22.49% variable APR. $0 annual fee.
Read our review of Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.
Best Credit Cards For Businesses With No Annual Fee
Are you an entrepreneur or a small business owner? Business credit cards are useful as they not only give you a line of credit for your business expenses, they also reward you when you spend on your card.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business is a good business credit card for travel savings, as it gives you 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend on all your purchases, and offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months (after the intro period there is a standard 13.49% - 21.49% variable APR). You will also receive a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of approval. There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn, and your miles don't expire. You can get your miles whenever you want. You can get additional credit cards for your employees for free and set spending limits on them so that you can keep tabs on your employees. You also get $0 fraud liability protection if your card is lost or stolen, and a free itemized year-end summary. No foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. This Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business card is ideal for new business owners.
Here is our Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business review.
Best Credit Cards For Students
Unlike debit cards, student credit cards can help you establish a credit history, and if you make purchases with it and pay your bills on time, you would build a good credit score over time, which is important when you find employment in the future or apply for loans. All the student cards below have no annual fee.
Discover it® for Students is an excellent choice of card for students as it gives you 5% cash back in quarterly rotating bonus categories (such as gas, restaurants, Amazon.com, and more) on up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up for 5% cash back. You get automatic 1% cash back for every other purchase you make. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 6 months (13.49% - 22.49% variable APR thereafter). There is no limit to the total amount of cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire. Receive $20 cash back each school year as a reward for your good grades when your GPA is 3.0 or higher. New cardmembers can also benefit from this special offer: Discover will give you a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year - automatically.
Here's our Discover it® for Students review.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is our best rated student card for those who like earning rewards, as you can earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points when you spend $500 in purchases within the first 3 months. Every dollar you spend dining at restaurants and on entertainment will earn you 2 ThankYou® Points, and you'll earn 1 ThankYou® Point for each dollar you spend on other purchases. You'll also enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 7 months, and a 14.49% - 24.49% variable APR thereafter.
Here is our detailed review of Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students.
Best Credit Cards For Repairing Credit
If you have a bad credit score or don't have any credit history, you can rebuild or establish your credit with a secured credit card, which is an actual credit card, not a prepaid debit card (debit cards do not help build credit). You can apply for it even with bad or no credit.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card - No Annual Fee is a solid secured credit card from Discover that lets you earn cash back on all you purchases. Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, for the first $1,000 of combined purchases you make in these categories every quarter. You earn 1% cash back for other purchases you make. Discover will automatically give you a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (for new cardmembers only). The security deposit you put down (minimum $200) establishes your line of credit, up to the amount Discover can approve. Discover reviews your creditworthiness monthly, starting at 7 months, to see if you are eligible to get your security deposit back while still enjoying all card benefits. Discover reports to the 3 biggest credit bureaus, so you can build or rebuild your credit if you use this card responsibly. Perks include free access to see your FICO® Credit Score online or on your monthly statements, access to Discover Deals, and the Freeze It® on/off switch which lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers on your misplaced or stolen card in moments by mobile or online (and unfreeze your account just as quickly). This card has 23.49% variable APR, which you can avoid by making your payments in full by the due date every monthly billing period. Benefit from no foreign transaction fee and a no annual fee.
Read our full review of Discover it® Secured Credit Card - No Annual Fee here.
Capital One® Secured MasterCard® is our choice of credit card to get if you want to rebuild or build your credit. The minimum refundable security deposit is $49, $99 or $200 depending on your credit score. This minimum security deposit gives you a $200 credit line, but credit lines of up to $3,000 are available. You may get access to higher amounts of credit without increasing your deposit based on your creditworthiness and payment history. As this is an actual credit card, your payment information is reported to the 3 major US credit bureaus, so if you pay on time each month, your credit should improve. As long as you make your payments in full by the due date each month, you can avoid the 24.99% variable APR. No annual fee.
Here's our Capital One® Secured MasterCard® review.
How To Choose The Best Credit Card
On the outside, most credit cards look almost identical. A sliver of plastic, decorated with various logos and designs. You can usually tell if it's a Visa, MasterCard, Amex or Discover, but what does that really mean?
Here we list the most important things to consider when choosing a credit card:
1. What's The APR?
Credit cards provide a flexible payment solution, because you can buy the things you need even if you don't have immediately-available cash. If you don't pay off your credit card bill in full each month, you will have to pay the Annual Percentage Rate (APR).
You should always know exactly what your APR is. Different credit cards have different APRs, and most of them have a range of APRs (e.g: 12.99% - 22.99% APR) that depend on your creditworthiness. That means that if you have a better credit score you could end up paying less APR. The lower your APR, the less interest you will pay if you carry a balance. Some cards have a 0% intro APR period, these cards are good for big ticket purchases or balance transfers.
2. Does It Have A Low Introductory APR Period?
Some credit cards give you a special introductory period during which you have a lower APR, or even a 0% APR. Sometimes this intro period applies to balance transfers, sometimes to purchases, and sometimes both.
Cards with long introductory low balance transfer APR periods are very useful if you have a credit card balance that you would like to pay off. These cards are generally referred to as balance transfer credit cards. For example, if your card has an 18 month 0% intro APR on balance transfers, that would give you 18 months to pay off your debt, interest free. Make sure to pay off your debt in full before the 0% intro APR period ends, or you will have to pay the ongoing APR on the balance that you still haven't paid off.
If a credit card offers a 0% intro APR period for purchases, you can use the card to make purchases and avoid paying any interest on them during that time period. These low interest credit cards are useful if you plan to make a large purchase and pay it off during the intro period. Just remember to pay your balance off in full before the intro APR period ends to avoid paying the ongoing APR.
3. Can You Earn Rewards?
Many credit cards now offer rewards when you use them to make purchases. This is really like getting part of what you spend back, and you can save a lot of money by using a rewards credit card that lets you earn rewards that you really use. These rewards may be in the form of points, miles, or even cash back. Earning rewards is one of the biggest advantages of using a credit card.
Discover credit cards are good examples of solid rewards cards.
4. Does It Come With A Bonus Offer?
Many credit cards let you earn a bonus when you successfully apply. You will usually have to make a certain amount of purchases with your new card within a limited time after account opening.
But in some cases, you may only have to make a single purchase, add an authorized user, or fulfil some other requirement to get this bonus. Some cards let you earn several bonus offers, by fulfilling different requirements.
For example, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months after account opening. That bonus is worth $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You can earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months after account opening, so altogether you could earn 55,000 bonus points.
You can earn a lot of rewards just by taking advantage of these bonus offers. If the card has an annual fee, check if the bonus offer is large enough to make up for it. Many times issuers offer a bonus which is worth much more than the annual fee.
5. What Benefits Does It Offer?
Credit card companies often provide special benefits when you make purchases using their credit cards. Benefits may include travel insurance like trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage insurance and travel accident insurance.
Some cards also let you benefit from shopping perks like extended warranties, price protection (if you find a cheaper price somewhere else), return guarantee and purchase protection (get reimbursed if something you buy is damaged or stolen).
Some credit cards give customers of specific companies unique benefits. For example, United MileagePlus® Explorer Card lets you check your first bag and the first bag of a traveling companion on the same reservation for free (save up to $100 per round trip for standard bags) and enjoy priority boarding privileges. You also get two one-time-use passes to United Club airport lounges every year.
6. What Payment Network Does It Use?
No matter which bank your credit card is issued by, the payment network will determine where you can use it. For example, if you have a Visa credit card, you will only be able to use it at merchants or ATMs that accept Visa.
Both Visa and MasterCard have very large networks, and you will find merchants and banks that accept these cards in almost every country in the world. American Express and Discover are widely accepted in the US.
Each payment network also provides it's own set of benefits, like insurance coverage, discounts, hotel or dining privileges, or even concierge services. These perks make a nice addition to the benefits you get from the credit card issuer (bank or credit union).
Visa and MasterCard give you different levels of benefits depending on what type of card you have. Visa Signature gives you more benefits than a regular Visa card. World MasterCard gives you more perks than a regular MasterCard. Discover gives many of the same benefits to all cardholders. American Express perks vary from card to card.
7. What Fees Does It Charge?
Some credit cards have an annual fee, and you should carefully consider whether the benefits you get outweigh the fee you pay to use the card. Usually cards with an annual fee offer benefits that make paying that annual fee worth your while.
With some cards, the annual fee is waived if you make a certain amount of purchases with your card every year. Other cards have the annual fee waived for a certain period of time (usually a year).
Other fees you should look out for are foreign transactions fees (when you use your card to pay outside of the US), balance transfer fees and late payment fees. If you're looking for a travel credit card you should shoot for a no foreign transaction fee credit card to avoid paying fees when using your card abroad.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an example of a credit card that charges $0 on foreign transaction fees. Chase Slate® has a $0 introductory balance transfer fee for transfers you make during the first 60 days of account opening. That means you can avoid the 3% - 5% balance transfer fees that you pay with most cards.
Most cards charge you a late payment fee (usually $20 - $30) when you make a late payment. Discover it® Cashback Match™ doesn't charge you a late payment fee for your first late payment. This card does not have any overlimit fee, so unlike many other credit cards, you won't pay a fee when you go over your credit limit.
8. Choose The Right Card For Your Lifestyle
When choosing a credit card it's important to pick a card that will suit your spending. For example, if you spend most of your money on groceries and gas, you will want to look for a card that rewards you for those specific types of purchases. Or if you travel a lot you might prefer to get a card that lets you earn and redeem rewards for plane tickets or hotel stays.
Some credit cards reward you the same on all purchases, and others let you earn extra rewards (points, cash back, miles) on different types of spending. Some cards have rotating bonus categories that change every quarter (three months).
Apart from picking a card that lets you earn the most rewards for your lifestyle, you also want a card that lets you redeem those rewards for useful things. Some cards only let you redeem your rewards for specific things like flights from a specific airline, or gift cards and merchandise. Other cards (the most flexible ones) let you redeem your points for a lot of different things, and sometimes even for cold hard cash.
If you're not quite sure about the kind of rewards that are right for you, it may be a good idea to get a cash back credit card that lets you redeem your rewards for cold hard cash (real money). Because you can use that money to buy anything you want.
Not all cards offer rewards, some cards are especially made to transfer balances. If you're paying a crushing APR on your current cards and struggling to get rid of credit card debt, you can consolidate your debt in a single balance transfer card.
Balance transfer cards generally offer a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for a certain period of time. For example, if your card comes with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months, it means that you have a whole year to pay off your balance interest free. This is one of the best ways to get rid of credit card debt.
There are other cards that are specially made for students. Student cards generally help college students build their credit scores. Some of them even offer rewards and special perks.
If you own a business, you can save money by using a business credit card that offers rewards or cash back on your spending. Some of these cards even offer no-annual-fee employee cards.
As a general rule, it's a good idea to get a no-annual-fee card, unless the card offers benefits and rewards that make the fee worth it. Although there are some top tier cards with high annual fees that also come with benefits to match (like concierge services, travel insurance, car rental insurance, special access to events, etc).
The next thing to consider is the APR. Check if the card comes with a low intro APR (shoot for 0%) for a certain period of time. This is useful if you need to make a large purchase and pay it off little by little. Just make sure to pay off your purchase in full before the intro APR period ends or you will have to start paying the standard APR.
One of the most important things to remember when using a credit card is to pay your balance off in full before the due date. If you stick to this rule, you will benefit from everything that credit cards have to offer without falling into debt. Using a credit card responsibly is the best way to improve your credit score.
Your credit score affects your life significantly - an excellent credit score can open many doors (better chance of getting loans, a good job, renting a house or paying less for insurance), and a poor credit score can hinder your possibilities of employment or make you pay higher insurance premiums or higher interest rates on your credit cards.
To sum it up, when looking for a credit card, make sure to analyze your spending habits and choose a card that suits them. Sometimes it's a good idea to have several cards that reward you for different types of purchases. This way you can maximize your rewards. Always check the fees, the APR and the potential benefits that the card offers. It's a smart idea to get a card with no annual fee, then all rewards are pure savings. Your balance should always be paid off in full before the due date to avoid paying the APR.
How We Rate Credit Cards
At GET.com, we rate credit cards based on value for money. We look at rewards, benefits, bonus offers, introductory low APR periods, and flexibility (how and where the card can be used, how rewards can be redeemed, etc). We also look at the annual fee, standard APR, and other card fees. Our ratings are based on the value that we feel a card gives you compared to the potential cost of using the card.
Pedro Pla is co-founder of GET.com. He has been around the globe several times and considers collecting air miles and points from credit cards to be a hobby, if not, an obsession. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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Lois C Smith
WHY WASN'T "USAA" CREDIT CARD AMONG UR LIST??? I'M DISAPPOINTED!!
September 15 2014 at 17:01
Leslie Susan Kling
Chase Freedom credit cards are great. I use mine for all purchases and receive cash back every month.
October 18 2014 at 22:02
I keep filling it out and it keep telling me it is wrong...I know I did it wright....
December 15 2014 at 03:50
Bob Soloway, could be because you're saying 'wright' instead of the correct 'right'!!!!????
December 24 2014 at 01:14
I'm surprised American Express plum card isn't on here. That card is so incredible.
December 28 2014 at 23:12
Charles Richard Cozzens
Where is USAA MasterCard in this line up?
December 30 2014 at 23:47
Thanks for all the great info. I will share this too
January 01 2015 at 07:48
Best one is the Capitol one Venture card yellow one with no extra fees.
January 05 2015 at 04:04
Virgil E. Matthews
I do not want any more credit cards . Cannot afford ones I have.
January 05 2015 at 04:15
What about BECU credit card?
January 18 2015 at 16:35
Chipper Kelli Jo Hill
Wells Fargo gave us 9.9%. With 1% cash back.
January 22 2015 at 04:26
Karen Reynolds Humphries
We enjoy our Chase Visa SWA rewards card. We receive many free SWA vouchers and are able to fly our family free to one of our annual vacations. We pay off our balances monthly so we incur no interest payments. There is a $29 annual fee. So, basically we receive 4 free SWA tickets for $29. We use our AAdvantage MasterCard for our international flights each year, but usually only receive one free ticket per year (But, that one free ticket is worth about $1,200).
January 22 2015 at 13:56
Check out the hyatt chase card...2 free nights any where in the world
January 24 2015 at 18:17
What about US Bank visa......20,000 points get you up to a 400.00 ticket on any airline at any time...
January 24 2015 at 19:41
These are all Bank Cards...What about Store Cards? I love my JCPenney & Lowes cards! I get great rewards and 0% interest on big purchases. I don't keep a balance so I'm not concerned with interest rate
January 25 2015 at 20:07
Tried to get a credit card can't get one what's wrong with United States ort to give u a chance Joyce turner blanton
February 03 2015 at 15:47
The best card is no card. Pay cash and live free!
March 22 2015 at 06:32
Check out the interest rate on reward cards.
March 23 2015 at 21:27