The search for the best credit cards in the U.S. is over. After meticulously researching hundreds of credit card offers in the market, we at GET.com have put together a selection of 10 best credit cards that are excellent for cash back, rewards, 0% balance transfers, travel, business, and students. All cards come with different pros and cons, hence we recommend that you get more than one type of card in order to maximize rewards on your different types of spending. For example, if you're looking for a 0% balance transfer card to transfer your existing balance, you should get a good balance transfer card just to pay off your balance, and use other rewards cards for your other spending. Read on to see the top 10 credit cards in the U.S. this season:
10 Best Credit Cards - GET.com's Picks
|Best For||Credit Card|
|Travel||Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card|
|Cash Back||Chase Freedom Unlimited℠|
|Signing Bonus||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
|Travel With Bonus||BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card|
|Cashback Matching||Discover it® Cashback Match™|
|Low Interest Balance Transfers||Citi Simplicity® Card|
|Rewards And Balance Transfer Card||Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer|
|Business||Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business|
|Miles||Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card|
|Students||Discover it® for Students|
Best Flat-Rate Travel Card: Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card
Read our review of Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card here.
Best Cash Back Card: Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
Best Signup Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best Travel Rewards With No Annual Fee: BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
Best Cashback Matching Card: Discover it® Cashback Match™
Low Interest Balance Transfers: Citi Simplicity® Card
Best Rewards And Balance Transfer Card: Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer
Best Business Credit Card: Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business lets you earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases with this card within 3 months of approval. This bonus offer is very rewarding, and so is the unlimited 2% cash back that you earn on every purchase you make, every day. This flat-rate cash back makes it really easy to calculate your rewards and you won't have to worry about changing categories or spending caps. For example, if you spend $100,000 on this card on your yearly business purchases, then you earn $2,000 cash back. Another very useful perk is that your cash rewards don't expire, and you can redeem them in different ways. There are no foreign transaction fees, and you can get free employee cards. This card also comes with Spark privileges like a $0 fraud liability policy, purchase security and extended protection, downloadable purchase records (including QuickBooksTM Quicken®, Excel®), and quarterly and year-end summaries. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $59 after that, but depending on your spending, the cash back you earn can more than compensate.
Best Air Miles Card: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Best Student Credit Card: Discover it® for Students
What Does A Credit Card Offer?
Most of us think of a credit card as a way to make payments without carrying around a lot of cash. Credit cards do serve this purpose well and are often a safer and more hassle-free alternative than dealing with cash.
Using credit cards to make payments on credit and get easy loans is also popular, though not recommended unless you make your payments in full on time.
Those basics are good and well, but credit cards have come a long way since. There are many benefits that you enjoy when you use the right credit card to pay for purchases. We at GET.com have listed some of the key benefits here:
The internet is loaded with some of the best deals you will find anywhere. Even if you prefer shopping in brick and mortar shops, from time to time you will probably want something that is not available in stores near you. Finding cheap deal on flights and hotels is also easier to do online. Using a credit card is one of the easiest ways to pay for online purchases.
The US runs on credit, and even if you pay everything up front, it's difficult to get around without a good credit history. Even if you save up and pay for your car and house up front, you will usually need a good credit score in order to get a phone or electricity contract. Using a credit card to pay for at least some of your purchases, and then making your credit card payments on time (ideally in full) is one of the easiest ways to build good credit.
Many popular credit cards now let you earn rewards for at least some of the purchases you charge to your card. Depending on how you want to save, you can choose from cards that let you earn store rewards, airline miles, cash back, and points that you can redeem for merchandise, hotel stays, and even gift cards.
If you use a no annual fee credit card, these rewards are pretty much straight savings. Payment networks like Visa and MasterCard also let you get automatic discounts when you pay for purchases at their partner merchants.
Your liability for fraudulent transaction on your credit card is limited to $50. Many credit card companies offer $0 liability for fraudulent transactions, so as long as you report a lost or stolen card in a timely manner, you won't have to pay for any stolen money.
Many credit cards now include chip technology which makes it more difficult for thieves to skim your card information. Discover Financial Services now offers a Freeze It® on/off switch that lets Discover card holders prevent new cash advances, purchases and balance transfers in seconds by simply switching their account on or off using the mobile app & online service.
Probably the best argument for using a credit card to pay for purchases is that many credit cards give you added value in the form of benefits. For example, when you use the right card to pay for a travel purchase, you could get complimentary travel insurance.
Complimentary auto rental insurance is also a common benefit. Perks like purchase protection which covers your purchases against theft or accidental damage, and price protection (lets you get reimbursed for the if you find an item you purchased for a lower price) are examples of shopping benefits you can get with some cards.
Other possible benefits you can get, depending on the card you use, are VIP privileges at hotels, airlines, shops and restaurants.
There are many other benefits that you can get from using credit cards. Even if you prefer using cash and avoid credit like the plague, you should consider using a card to pay for certain purchases in order to take advantage of benefits and savings.
How We Rate Credit Cards
Cards are rated by GET.com's staff based on the added value they offer in relation to card fees. We place a strong emphasis on bonus offers and rewards, and also take benefits like travel and purchase insurance, discounts, unique card benefits, card fee waivers and introductory APR periods into account.
We also rate cards based on their flexibility and usability both in the US and internationally. Potential card fees that we take into account include annual fees, penalty fees, foreign transaction fees, purchase and balance transfer APRs and penalty APR. Through careful research we strive to provide a clear summary of benefits and disadvantages in our ratings.
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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Charlene Borla Lucas
I like my Quick Silver Visa from Capital One 1 1/2 % cash back
October 04 2014 at 21:26
My capitol one spark gives 2% on everything unlimited and gave me $500 for spending $3000 in first 3 months
October 05 2014 at 23:36
Christine Pomianek Wahl
You are not supposed to carry a balance on a credit card.
October 07 2014 at 02:20
No American Express??...
October 11 2014 at 18:11
Why don't you try living on what you make instead?
October 12 2014 at 14:59
My main credo card is an American Express blue card. It does have an annual fee but 6% rebate on grocery stores, 3% on gas stations and 1% on most everything else. I keep tabs on my purchases and pay the puppy off every month. And, for those of you who pay interest on your credit card debt - thank you.
October 16 2014 at 10:43
What about AMEX? We love ours.
October 21 2014 at 03:00
Maika Nkauj Hli Vang
October 29 2014 at 07:58
Jean Tardiff Dougherty
I have my one and only credit card on auto pay. The paper bill arrives so I can review it and then it is auto scheduled to pay. It works out just fine!
October 30 2014 at 03:23
Sears kmart citi card USAA credit card AMEX BLUE
November 01 2014 at 22:55
BarclayCard gives you cashback when you redeem, so the total vig is 2.2%. Plus the switching bonus. But Discover lets you dispute charges online.
November 04 2014 at 21:23
Kris Eisenhauer Rowan
Home Depot does give a 5% discount if you use their card, but you have to ask for it at checkout!
November 05 2014 at 05:25
I'm an accountant and the firm I work for handles High Wealth clients. I only handle 2 but it keeps me more than busy. One of my clients has an Amex Black and I was amazed by that card. $7,500 "initiation fee" $2,500 annual fee Must charge min $250,000 per year Must pay it off every month. The guy doesn't use 1/4 of the perks it provides, just charges 6 figures every month. I thought he used it for the "snob value" at first but I think it's the only card that lets you charge huge amounts monthly. When I bought him his most recent car I tried to put it on the card
November 14 2014 at 17:19
I have an Amex Optima Platinum (which you don't need to pay off monthy thankfully). I had cards for every store I ever shopped in, plus VISAs, Mastercard, Discover. Got into 6 figure debt when I was young. Closed everything but Amex. I use bank debit card almost always now. Never want to spend half a decade digging out of debt again.
November 14 2014 at 17:24
How do you rank the stainless steel Black Card from Barclays? $500 yearly fee but low APR, double the mileage points 25,000 pts for $500 unrestricted ticket, unrestricted cash back, and a free concierge service at your fingertips. Is this card worth it and where would it stack up in your rankings?
November 29 2014 at 17:22
Do you recommend any particular card for someone who is looking to reestablish their credit?
December 04 2014 at 21:15
How about Amex black?
December 06 2014 at 02:42
When booking flights I use Penfed Travel Amex Card. 5x points per dollar. Otherwise I toggle between Discover and Chase Freedom.
December 26 2014 at 21:03
Amex til the day I die. We have 3, and their newest, the everyday card, is the best. And typically, if you don't take Amex, I don't give you business. We have others of each kind (visa, mc, discover) but only use them if absolutely necessary. I'm very surprised the Amex everyday card did not
January 19 2015 at 03:35
Opinions please... I want to get the best credit card, pay my mortgage with it each month and earn miles.
January 19 2015 at 15:40
Sheryl Segota McCoy Beczynski
ALL Credit Cards are EVIL... Cut them up and pay them off!!! If you can't pay cash, you can't afford it!!!!
January 20 2015 at 15:15
Michael Joseph Broland
Nordstrom has their own bank and has a card that pays points on all purchases everywhere!
January 28 2015 at 17:38
Abbiiee Machado Diaz
I have Discover it...High credit limit...Good Card
January 29 2015 at 02:14
Any good recomendations for college students who commute? Spend a lot in food and gas.
January 29 2015 at 03:07
Even Bank of America's regular credit card is decent. Mine is under 10% and reward points add up and the more points you accumulate the more they are worth. In the past 18 months I have received rewards totaling deposits into my checking account for $350, $250, $150 and just last week another one for $100. You can also use the rewards to pay down your card or you can even take cash or other options. Make your payments early and the interest is even less.
July 07 2015 at 20:05