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Best Credit Cards of February 2024

  • When comparing the best credit card offers, the most important points to look at are annual fees, balance transfer fees, transaction fees, annual APR, and if they offer a promotional intro APR.
  • There are many different types of “good credit cards” available and each type will be suited to specific types of users.
  • Always do like-for-like comparisons. It’s important to compare the best credit cards for a certain category against similar types of top credit cards. For example, credit cards for bad credit may have less favorable conditions when compared to travel rewards credit cards.
  • Oftentimes, the best credit card offers come from larger banks. Some of the most popular credit card companies to look at are Chase, American Express, Citibank, Capital One, Bank of America, Discover, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

Our top picks for the best credit cards

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Best for Travel ─ Flexible Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X points on travel booked through Chase, 3X points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services, and 1X points on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
60,000 points
Regular APR
21.49% to 28.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of our favorite cards in existence, offering generous rewards on both travel purchases and everyday purchases, valuable travel perks, and a hefty welcome bonus, all for a low annual fee ($95).

Best for Cash Back ─ Groceries & Streaming Services

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Up to 6% Reward Rate

Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0 the first year, then $95
Welcome Offer
$250
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an excellent card for grocery spending considering you earn 6% in dollar-for-dollar rewards on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back). It also offers excellent rewards on select streaming services, purchases at U.S. gas stations, and transit spending.
Card Details

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  • 0% Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers during the first 12 months (then 19.24% to 29.99% variable)
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, transit and more
  • 0% APR on purchases for a limited time
  • Don’t need to activate categories
Cons
  • Rewards can only be redeemed for a statement credit or at Amazon.com
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • Has an annual fee
Bottom Line

Although this card has an annual fee, most families will be able to easily get enough value out of the everyday categories to make it worth it.

Best for Cash Back ─ Dining & Entertainment

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 3% Reward Rate

Earn 3% cash back on dining purchases, entertainment, and popular streaming services. Earn 3% cash back at grocery stores, and earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
This credit card offers easy-to-earn rewards in everyday categories, including dining, entertainment, streaming services, and even grocery stores. It’s one of the highest-earning cards for dining and entertainment on the market today.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR).
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% for the first 15 months; 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
Pros
  • No rotating categories that you need to sign up for
  • No spending cap
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High APR
  • Good or excellent credit recommended
  • Low sign-up bonus
Bottom Line

The cash-back categories and welcome bonus are pretty solid, especially for a card without an annual fee.

Best for Earning Points ─ Dining & Groceries

American Express® Gold Card

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Up to 4X Reward Rate

Earn 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X) and restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X points on other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$250
Welcome Offer
60,000 points
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The American Express® Gold Card is a fantastic card for travelers who spend a lot of time (and money) at restaurants. It boasts an upgraded rewards rate for eligible purchases, a hefty welcome offer, and an annual fee that can easily “pay for itself” if you strategically utilize the benefits this card offers.
Card Details

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  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Generous welcome offer
  • High rewards potential
  • Many transfer partners available
Cons
  • High annual fee
  • Complicated statement credits
  • Good or excellent credit recommended
Bottom Line

If you like to dine out frequently, the $200+ worth of dining-related annual statement credits can easily help justify the yearly fee.

Best for Cash Back ─ Groceries & Gas

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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Up to 3% Reward Rate

Earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000/year spent at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year at U.S. gas stations (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year on online retail purchases (then 1%), and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
If you’re looking for a credit card that lets you earn cash back on everyday purchases with no annual fee required, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express should be on your list. This American Express card offers generous rewards in categories many families spend the most in like U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retailers.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after account opening, then 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Everyday® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy up to $15 back per month when you purchase a Home Chef meal kit subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday® Card.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR on eligible purchases for 15 months
  • Generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations & online shopping
Cons
  • Rewards cap on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retail purchases
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Low rewards rate outside of bonus categories
Bottom Line

For a no-annual-fee option, the reward rate on this card is pretty solid, but for heavy spenders, other cards may offer more value.

Best for Cash Back ─ Flat-Rate

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5% Reward Rate

Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% back on travel booked through the Capital One Travel platform.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Sometimes the reward structure on credit cards can get confusing, but not with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card’s uncomplicated (and unlimited) 1.5% cash back on all purchases, its upgraded rewards rate on eligible Capital One Travel purchases, and its 15-month 0% APR offer make it one of our top picks.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 19.99%-29.99% variable APR
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% for the first 15 months; 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • No foreign transaction fees
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • No cap on cash back
  • Intro APR offer
Cons
  • Lower welcome bonus than some cards
  • Lower rewards rate than some cards with specific categories
  • Requires good or excellent credit
Bottom Line

This is a solid, straightforward cash-back card for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee or activate categories, but other cards may earn more.

Best for Travel ─ Premium Amex Rewards

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$695
Welcome Offer
80,000 points
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The American Express Platinum card, although a bit on the pricey side with a $695 annual fee, boasts a multitude of premium travel perks. If you’re a luxury traveler who knows how to make the most of a credit card’s offerings, this card can reward you well.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards rate for travel purchases
  • Qualify for $1,500+ in statement credits
  • Very generous welcome offer
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695
  • Many statement credit offers are too specific and hard to use
  • Non-travel-perks aren’t spectacular
Bottom Line

This is quite a spectacular card with incredibly valuable benefits, but the annual fee is objectively very high.

Best for Travel ─ Simple Rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X miles per dollar on hotel stays or rental cars booked through Capital One’s portal and 2X miles on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
75,000 miles
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Some travel rewards cards can have complicated categories, making it difficult to take full advantage of their benefits. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card keeps things simple by offering flat-rate rewards.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Pros
  • Travel insurance protections incuded
  • Earn flexible rewards
  • Reasonable $95 annual fee
Cons
  • Requires good or excellent credit
  • No everyday spending bonus categories
  • High APR
Bottom Line

The massive sign-up offer and generous, flexible rewards make this card a great option for casual travelers.

Best for Travel ─ Premium Chase Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn 10X points on hotels and car rentals through the Chase portal, 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, 5X points on flights booked through Chase, 3X points on travel and dining, and 1X points on all non-bonus spending.

Annual Fee
$550
Welcome Offer
60,000 points
Regular APR
22.49% to 29.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
If you’re looking for a card with a huge travel rewards rate and generous travel perks, and you don’t mind paying a substantial annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card may fit the bill.

Best for Travel ─ Premium Capital One Rewards

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Learn More
Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn 10X miles on hotel and rental car purchases made through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on airfare purchased through the portal, and 2X miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$395
Welcome Offer
75,000 miles
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
This is Capital One’s most premium travel credit card, packed with benefits such as airport lounge access, Priority Pass Select membership, yearly bonus miles, and an elevated rewards-earning rate on travel booked through Capital One’s portal.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
Pros
  • Miles can be redeemed for travel purchases, transfers to international airlines, and more
  • Can qualify for hundreds of dollars in credits each year
  • Huge welcome offer
Cons
  • $395 annual fee
  • Large spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus
  • Excellent credit required
Bottom Line

With a lower annual fee than some premium cards and extremely valuable benefits, this card can easily be worth the annual fee for the frequent traveler.

Best for Businesses ─ Simple Cash Back

Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Card

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1.5% Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases made for your business.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$750
Regular APR
18.49% to 24.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
We love that this card allows businesses to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, so they don’t have to keep track of spending categories, while also offering a nice welcome bonus and 0% APR for the first 12 months. As an additional perk, businesses can take advantage of all this card offers for no annual fee.

Best credit cards of 2024: Editorial reviews

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Best for Travel ─ Flexible Rewards
If you travel semi-frequently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can offer generous, flexible rewards on both travel and non-travel purchases. Moreover, its $95 annual fee is a great deal when you take into account the additional travel benefits and the huge welcome offer you can take advantage of.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Best for Cash Back ─ Groceries & Streaming Services
It’s hard not to love the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, with its high cash-back rate on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, select streaming services, and transit. It also comes with a few travel protections, has a 0% intro APR period, and its annual fee is very modest at $0 for the first year and $95/year after that. For families who spend a lot on groceries and gas every year, this card would make an exceptional addition to your wallet.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Best for Cash Back ─ Dining & Entertainment
If you’re a restaurant or entertainment fiend, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card may be just what you need. With 3% back on dining, entertainment, and even grocery store purchases, this card can reward you handsomely for your nights (or days) out. As an added perk, you won’t have to pay an annual fee so there’s no pressure to “make up” for a yearly cost.

American Express® Gold Card

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Best for Earning Points ─ Dining & Groceries
The American Express® Gold Card is a fantastic credit card option for individuals who frequently dine out and spend a lot on restaurants. With this card, you can earn 4 Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent on restaurant purchases, including takeout and delivery within the U.S. Additionally, you can enjoy dining-related perks like up to $120 in annual dining credits (provided as statement credits) and $120 in Uber Cash every year.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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Best for Cash Back ─ Groceries & Gas
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is like the slightly less exciting sibling of the Blue Cash Preferred, but it doesn’t have an annual fee. Its rewards rate is quite nice, with 3% back on up to $6,000 in everyday categories like purchases made at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retailers. For the average household, those categories could be incredibly useful.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Best for Cash Back ─ Flat-Rate
If you’re not a fan of keeping track of a card’s bonus categories, consider the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card offers unlimited 1.5% back on everything you buy and an elevated 5% back on eligible travel purchases, so you can just swipe it almost anywhere you go (or use it online) and watch the cash back add up.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Best for Travel ─ Premium Amex Rewards
If you saw the $695 annual fee on The Platinum Card® from American Express and said “immediately, no,” don’t count it out just yet. For the frequent traveler who likes to journey in luxury, this card offers a TON of value. It includes over $1,500 worth of statement credits annually, airport lounge access, travel insurance benefits, and way more. If you’re willing to commit yourself to squeezing as much value as possible out of this card, the annual fee is well worth it.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Best for Travel ─ Simple Rewards
Credit card categories can get confusing and difficult to keep track of, so the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card keeps things simple. Cardholders can earn 2X miles per dollar on all purchases, and an elevated rate of 5X miles per dollar on eligible travel purchases. It may not be the highest-earning travel rewards card out there but sometimes it’s nice to earn rewards without having to think too much about it.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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Best for Travel ─ Premium Chase Rewards
Although the Chase Sapphire Reserve® boasts a hefty $550 annual fee, it provides plenty of value for the frequent traveler to make it worthwhile. This card has a high rewards rate on eligible travel purchases, an annual travel statement credit, and access to airport lounges, among other perks. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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Best for Travel ─ Premium Capital One Rewards
As the upgraded sibling of the Venture Rewards card, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers quite a bit more value. Primarily, cardholders can earn roughly twice the amount of miles on eligible travel purchases and have some extra benefits like complimentary airport lounge access. If you can make enough use of those perks to justify the $395 annual fee, it could certainly be worth it. 

Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Card

[ jump to details ]

Best for Businesses ─ Simple Cash Back
The Ink Business Unlimited® Card is a simple, no-frills card, ideal for businesses who don’t want to keep track of spending categories or can’t take advantage of spending categories other cards have. With unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and no annual fee, along with a variety of other business-related benefits, this card would make a worthy addition to any business wallet.

Which provider offers the best credit cards?

There is no one-size-fits-all credit card, much like there is no “best” credit card provider. Each is dependent on your needs and what you want most out of your card.

Some of the most popular credit card providers are American Express, Chase, Citi, Discover, and Capital One, each of which has a variety of options for you to choose from.

American Express

American Express is one of the most popular credit card companies, and it’s easy to see why consumers and small business owners gravitate toward them.

With generous rewards on flights, groceries, and restaurants, Amex members can earn points and cash back with their Amex Membership Rewards account. These generous rewards don’t come easily, though, as American Express requires excellent credit to apply. They also have high annual fees in comparison to other issuers, but for users who are looking for specific perks like grocery rewards or airline credit card benefits, it’s a small price to pay. American Express business cards are also some of the best business credit cards out there.

Best credit cards from American Express

Learn more in our guides to the best American Express credit cards and Marriott credit cards.

Chase

Chase is known for their cash back and exceptional Chase Rewards program, making it one of the best credit card companies around.

With generally lower annual fees than American Express and easily earned points, Chase is a top contender for the best credit cards. While good to excellent credit is still required for many of their cards (making it one of the best credit cards for excellent credit) they also offer cards to help build or rebuild your credit which accept lower credit scores, so there are options for everyone.

Best credit cards from Chase

To learn more, check out our complete article on Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Reserve and in our guide to the best Chase credit cards.

Capital One

If you’re currently rebuilding your credit or have an average but not excellent credit score, Capital One offers cards for that.

While the rewards rates of Capital One aren’t as grandiose as other issuers, they offer opportunities for every credit profile and give you a chance to get your credit to a better place so you can apply for “fancier” cards later on. They even offer cards for students who are looking to start building their credit and do have some competitive rewards on certain cards, making Capital One a great option for many users.

Best credit cards from Capital One

Learn more in our guide to the best Capital One credit cards.

Citi

For co-branded cards with airlines or grocery stores, Citi wins hands-down.

Cards like the Costco Anywhere Visa and Citi AAdvantage cards are highly rated, co-branded cards that offer exceptional rewards on gas purchases and groceries from Costco and rewards on American Airlines flights, respectively. Visa is one of the only payment methods accepted at Costco, so the Citi Costco Visa excels in this category, offering elevated rewards. Citi has rewards that only they offer, like Citi ThankYou points with flexible redemption options and competitive rewards rates. Most of their cards require excellent credit, much like American Express, so be sure to check if you qualify before applying - making it one of the best credit cards for good credit.

Best credit cards from Citi

Learn more in our guide to the best Citi credit cards.

Discover

Discover takes the cake when it comes to variety, with a card for every credit score, rewards preference, and demographic.

With multiple options for students, secured credit cards, rewards cards, and even an NHL-specific branded card, they quite honestly have something for everyone. Discover has perks such as low to no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no fee on your first late payment, giving consumers peace of mind and making Discover a great choice for a credit card.

Best credit cards from Discover

Learn more in our guide to the best Discover credit cards.

Best types of credit cards

There are quite a few types of credit cards out there, each of which is designed to target a different type of consumer.

As you look for the best credit card for your needs, consider the following types of cards and how they might help you meet your goals.

Credit-building credit cards

Credit cards for building your credit can come in the form of unsecured or secured credit cards. Either way, these cards are targeted at individuals with poor credit or no credit, and they tend to offer scarce benefits as a result.

Since these cards are geared to individuals with no credit or bad credit, they tend to charge higher fees and higher variable APRs.

Best cards for building credit

Learn more in our guide to the best credit cards for bad credit.

Travel credit cards

Travel credit cards tend to offer more points on travel purchases, as well as travel benefits like airport lounge access and expedited airport security through Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Some travel credit cards also come with annual travel credits, automatic elite status, and generous travel insurance perks. Some even offer travel medical coverage and medical evacuation insurance but tend to have lower limits than if you were to purchase a travel insurance plan separately.

The most popular travel credit cards also let you transfer your points to airline and hotel partners. Some travel credit cards are co-branded hotel credit cards or airline credit cards, which let you earn points with a specific brand’s loyalty program. Examples include rewards credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Amex Membership Rewards points.

Best credit cards for travel rewards

Learn more in our guide to the best travel credit cards.

Cash back credit cards

Cash back credit cards focus on offering monetary rewards instead of travel rewards. However, some cash back cards let you redeem your rewards for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, travel, and more.

Most of the options in this niche are cards with no annual fee.

Best credit cards for cash back rewards

Learn more in our guide to the best cash back credit cards.

0% intro APR credit cards

Cards that offer 0% intro APR can work well for balance transfers, yet some also extend their introductory APR offers to purchases as well. Cards in this niche don’t typically offer rewards, although you will find cash back cards that come with 0% APR offers.

While 0% APR credit cards typically do not charge an annual fee, you will have to pay a balance transfer fee if you use one of these cards to consolidate debt.

Best credit cards with 0% intro APR

Learn more in our guide to the best 0% interest credit cards.

How we selected our best credit cards

To find the best credit cards on the market today, we looked for different types of cards to suit a variety of circumstances and spending styles.

We also looked closely at all the credit cards on the market today to compare them based on their annual fees, balance transfer fees, transaction fees, regular APR, and intro APR.

Overall, we sought out rewards cards and other types of cards that offer the best perks and features among all cards in their niche.

How do credit cards work?

If you’re new to the world of credit, you may be wondering, how do credit cards work? Credit cards work by extending a line of credit you can use to make purchases or pay bills.

In most cases, applicants who are approved will be assigned a credit limit. This is the amount of money you can have charged to your credit card at any given time. If you use your card responsibly, over time you may be eligible to increase your credit limit.

Credit card interest

If you want to understand how to best utilize your credit card, you need to know how credit card interest works.

Credit cards give you the opportunity to pay your credit card charges in full every month, in which case you won’t be charged any interest on your purchases. On the other hand, you can also pay what is called a minimum payment, or the minimum amount your credit card provider will accept as payment in any given month. You can also pay any amount over the minimum payment if you prefer.

If you don’t pay your balance off entirely by your credit card bill due date, you’ll be charged interest on your purchases. While credit card interest rates vary, the average credit card currently charges a variable APR that around 20%, while a good APR for a credit card is anything below that average.

Reasons to get a credit card

While you may be able to get by in life without ever having a credit card, there are plenty of reasons to pick one up anyway — even if it’s just a one-time move.

After all, credit cards can work as a valuable tool, and they can even save your finances if you find yourself in a cash crunch at the worst possible time. If you’re in a financial pickle or want to be prepared just in case, check out our guide on how to make money fast.

Some of the most common reasons to get a credit card include:

How to build credit with no credit history

There are specific credit cards for people with no credit history.

Most likely, you’ll need to start building credit with a secured credit card — a type of credit card that requires a cash deposit as collateral.

With a secured credit card, you will likely need to put down around $200 in cash as collateral, which would equal your new credit limit. From there, you could make purchases and pay them off every month. As your card issuer reports your on-time payments to the credit bureaus, you get the chance to build a valuable credit history that can improve your score.

While secured credit cards may not sound ideal, they are often the best way to build credit when you have none. And remember, you can get your security deposit back when you upgrade or close your account in good standing.

How to improve bad credit

If your credit isn’t great, you may think another credit card is the last thing you need.

However, credit cards can help you build credit or improve your credit score — that is if you use one wisely.

Best credit cards FAQ

How many credit cards should I have?

The right number of credit cards varies from person to person. Ideally, you’ll have whatever number of cards you want to have without getting overwhelmed or racking up debt that you’ll have trouble repaying.

What is the best credit card?

The best credit card for each individual varies since they have their own unique goals and dreams. Where some consumers want to use a credit card for the purpose of earning rewards for travel, others need a balance transfer credit card that helps them consolidate and pay down debt.

How old do I need to be to get a credit card?

In general, you need to be at least 18 years old with your own income to apply for a credit card. However, you may be eligible to be an authorized user on someone else’s credit card before that age.

Should I always pay off my balance each month?

You should strive to pay off your credit card balance each month, particularly if your card’s regular APR is high. Because of the high interest rates credit cards charge, they are a poor option if you really need a loan.

Will applying for a credit card hurt my credit score?

Applying for a credit card will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report and credit history. This can temporarily ding your credit score, although the impact shouldn’t last long.

Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Finance Expert

Holly D. Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who covers topics like insurance, investing, credit and family finance. As a leading voice in the travel and loyalty space, Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries over the last decade.

The author has also written extensively on the power of household budgeting, and she even co-authored a book on the topic. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love was originally published in 2017, and it teaches families how to use zero-sum budgeting to reach their financial goals. She is also the co-owner and founder of the family finance and travel website, ClubThrifty.com.

Johnson’s 10+ years of writing have focused on helping families make important financial decisions at each stage of their lives. The author also applies the financial principles she teaches to her own life, and she is currently on track to retire in her late 40’s with her partner. She currently lives in Central Indiana with her husband and children, and she is a regular contributor for Bankrate, CNN, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report Travel and many other notable publications.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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