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The best credit cards of 2024: Our picks

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Choosing the best credit card for your needs can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of cards to choose from, and the terminology used to describe the cards can seem like a foreign language. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of some of the best credit cards you can apply for today.

Best credit cards by category

Best for Card name
Travel rewards Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Cash back Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card
Sign-up bonus Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Building credit First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
Fair credit Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Card
Entertainment rewards Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Grocery rewards American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card
Gas rewards Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Balance transfers Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Honorable mention Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is our pick for best travel rewards credit card.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now →

See Rates & Fees.

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • 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
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$95 N/A N/A 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Excellent
  • Good

Pros:

  • Valuable sign-up bonus and simple but generous travel rewards
  • Easy to transfer miles to 15+ airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Lower annual fee than competitors

Cons:

  • Competing cards may pay higher rewards rates on airfare and dining

We think the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is hands-down the best travel rewards credit card for most consumers. Competing cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card get more attention, but that’s too bad. Most people will actually earn more free travel with the Venture card thanks to the Venture card’s simple rewards structure: Earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One and 2x miles on all other purchases.

Venture users will also enjoy up to a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® membership. Benefits like this are typically reserved for cards with annual fees 4-5 times higher than the Venture card’s reasonable $95 annual fee.

» MORE: See card details/apply or read more in our Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is our pick for the best cash-back credit card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Apply Now →
  • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$0 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months 20.49% - 29.24% Variable Excellent/Good

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 4.5% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 3% cash back on all other purchases on up to $20,000 spent during your first year
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, 1.5% cash back on everything else after your first year or $20,000 spent
  • 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months (then an APR of 20.49% - 29.24% Variable applies)

Cons:

  • Foreign transaction fee is 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Balance transaction fee of $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a strong everyday rewards card that offers cash back in a variety of categories and never less than 1.5%. We gave this card the top spot because it’s well-rounded and easy to use, with flexible redemption options and extra perks like extended warranty protection and travel insurance. Plus, there’s no annual fee, so you don’t need to worry about putting enough spend on your card each statement period or year to make it worth it.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card always comes with a generous bonus offer that often includes a promotional rate on a specific spending category. Right now, new card members can earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases

This is a great card for anyone with a credit score in the good to excellent range, but we wouldn’t recommend it for those new to credit or looking to avoid foreign transaction fees.

» MORE: See card details/apply or read our Chase Freedom Unlimited® review

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great travel rewards credit card. It’s also our pick for the best sign-up bonus.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now →
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Annual Fee Intro APR Regular APR Credit Needed
$95 N/A 21.49% - 28.49% Variable Excellent/Good

Pros:

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on dining, streaming, and online grocery purchases
  • 2x points on all other travel purchases
  • 1x points on everything else

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee
  • High interest rate

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best travel credit cards you can get your hands on, without a doubt. It offers better reward rates, better redemption choices, and better benefits than most, with a modest annual fee of $95.

Because you’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points instead of miles, you have more options when you cash in rewards whether you choose to redeem them for a statement credit, transfer your points to a hotel or airline loyalty program at a 1:1 rate, or something else. And if you use your points to purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth 25% more. For a mid-tier travel card, the annual fee is relatively low and easily made back with perks like a $50 annual hotel credit and complimentary DashPass and Instacart+ subscriptions.

We chose this card because we think it offers the most value at its price point. Even those who don’t travel often can easily make the most of it with their regular everyday purchases.

That said, this card requires a credit score in the excellent range, which is defined as a FICO score between 750-850. For this reason, we don’t recommend it if you can’t meet the minimum credit score requirements or you can’t justify adding a $95 annual fee to your budget. It also has a pretty high interest rate even for borrowers with great credit, so you definitely don’t want to carry a balance.

» MORE: See card details/apply or read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is our pick for best no annual fee credit card.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now →

See Rates & Fees.

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$0 0% intro on purchases for 15 months 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Excellent
  • Good

Pros:

  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 5% cash back on all hotels and rental cars purchased through the Capital One Travel portal
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Cons:

  • Balance transfer fee applies

There is no shortage of no-annual-fee credit cards these days, but the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, with its flat cash back rate of 1.5% and lack of other fees, stands out. This credit card does not cap points or have rotating rewards categories, so it won’t feel like a hassle to use it for all it’s worth. Plus, it offers 5% cash back on hotel stays and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and a lot of experts will tell you that they prefer this travel portal over others.

This card will also come in handy if you travel because it charges no foreign transaction fees and features free extended warranty (on eligible purchases), Master RoadAssist® Service*, and concierge services.

This is a terrific general-purpose rewards card for anyone looking to redeem rewards for cash or anyone who can’t decide between an everyday rewards card and a travel card. The excellent sign-up bonuses don’t hurt either.

But like many competitive credit cards, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card does require good or excellent credit, which rules out a lot of applicants. This is also not a good pick if you’re looking for flexible redemption as points can only be redeemed for a statement credit, check, or travel. Also, balance transfers are not recommended – they come with a fee.

» MORE: See card details/apply or read our full Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review

First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The First First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is our pick for the best credit card for building credit.

First Latitude Secured MasterCard® Credit Card

  • 1% Cash Back Rewards on payments
  • Choose your own fully-refundable credit line - $100 to $2000 – based on your security deposit
  • Build your credit score.¹ Reports to all 3 credit bureaus
  • No minimum credit score required for approval!
  • If approved, pay the $19.95 Program Fee, and fund your Security Deposit to open your account
  • Secured Cards are a great way to start establishing credit for people with low/no credit scores¹
  • ¹Cardholders who keep their balance low and pay their credit card bill on time every month typically do see an increase in their credit score
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$25 the first year; $35 after* N/A N/A 24.49% Variable No Credit, Rebuilding Credit

Pros:

  • Earn cash back on payments
  • Reduced annual fee the first year
  • User-friendly mobile app

Cons:

  • Annual fee increases after the first year
  • Low cash back rewards
  • No balance transfers

The First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a decent option for building credit. There is no minimum credit score required for approval and your credit will be reported to all three credit bureaus. One unique feature with this secured card is the cash back program. You won’t earn cash back on your purchases; instead you’ll earn 1% cash back rewards every time you pay your bill.

Like most secured cards, you can expect to pay some fees. The annual fee is reduced the first year, at just $25, then bumps up to $35 for each year after. Once approved, you will pay a one-time program fee of $19.95. You can start using your card once you pay the Security Deposit, which acts as your credit line. You can deposit as little as $100 and up to $2,000.

Whether you’re building credit from scratch or working your way back up from a delinquency or bankruptcy, this secured card can help you improve your score with responsible credit use. You” want to make sure you never miss a payment or you’ll be hit with a $40 late fee, which reduces your total credit line. You might want to consider other cards if you need a higher credit limit or want to earn more cash back rewards on purchases.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is our pick as the best credit card for applicants with fair credit.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

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See Rates & Fees.

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or limits to how much you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account. It's that simple
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$39 N/A N/A 30.74% (Variable)
  • Average
  • Fair
  • Limited

Pros:

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 1.5% cash back on everything
  • Automatic credit limit reviews

Cons:

  • $39 annual fee
  • High interest rate for all borrowers

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a rock-solid, no-nonsense fair credit card with a flat rewards rate of 1.5% cash back and a few money-saving, credit-building perks. It pays the same rate on everything with no caps or rotating categories, so it’s an easy card to use and a good one to reach for whether you’re grocery shopping or buying plane tickets. Although this card charges no foreign transaction fees, it might not be ideal for travel as travel benefits are limited.

This card has an annual fee of $39, but this is relatively low and probably worth it for the average spender. If you use it for the majority of your purchases, you’ll probably forget about the fee altogether when the rewards start coming in. This is an unsecured credit card with a low borrowing limit, but you may be eligible for a credit line increase in as little as six months. Capital One will perform an automatic review of your account to determine if you’re eligible.

You can qualify for the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card with a fair credit score and limited credit history, making it a good choice for newer borrowers building credit for the first time and those fixing their credit. But if you have a tendency to forget to pay your credit card bill or spend more than you have in the bank, this is a risky choice with a high APR. If you’re not careful to make monthly payments by the due date, you could be shackled with interest.

» MORE: See card details/apply or read our Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is our pick for best entertainment rewards credit card.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now →

See Rates & Fees.

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$0 0% intro on purchases for 15 months 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Excellent
  • Good

Pros:

  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 8% cash back on purchases made through Capital One Entertainment
  • 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital one Travel
  • 3% cash back on dining, groceries, entertainment, and streaming
  • 1% cash back on everything else

Cons:

  • Balance transfer fee applies

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is for all the foodies out there who want to make money eating. This credit card earns unlimited 3% cash back on dining, on entertainment, at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), and popular streaming services — all uncapped. You don’t need to opt into any of these reward categories to earn, and all of your spending outside of these bonuses is eligible for 1% cash back. If you want to take your dining up a notch, you can use Capital One Dining to find exclusive offers and reservations at top restaurants available only to Capital One members.

With no foreign transaction fees and benefits like Master RoadAssist® Service* and concierge services, this could also be the perfect card to have with you when traveling abroad too. Rewards can be redeemed as cash or a statement credit, used to make Amazon or gift card purchases, or transferred via PayPal.

As you could probably guess, this card would not be a good fit if you don’t go out to eat often or order a lot of takeout, unless you know you could spend a lot in another eligible category. You can also do better than 1% cash back on everyday purchases, so this really makes a better “sometimes” card than a general-purpose card. Finally, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card requires a good to excellent credit score, and as far as interest goes, the rates are pretty average for rewards credit cards.

» MORE: See card details/apply or read our Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review

Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Credit Card

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Credit Card is our pick for best grocery rewards credit card.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Welcome Offer

Earn $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

Rewards

Earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year; 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and; 1% Cash Back point on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee, then $95

Our Thoughts

An excellent credit card for families looking to earn top rewards for everyday spending.

Offer details accurate as of 9/6/23

Pros:

  • 6% cash back on eligible grocery purchases at U.S. supermarkets
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming purchases
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, and on transit and ridesharing
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee (after the $0 intro annual fee expires)
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • $5 or 3% balance transfer fee (whichever is greater)
  • 6% cash back on groceries capped at $6,000 spend per year

If you spend a lot on groceries every month, you’ll find a lot to love about the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Credit Card. This is not your average rewards credit card — it’s a category credit card that pays between 1% and 6% cash back. Bonus categories include groceries, gas, and streaming. These don’t rotate, so this can be your go-to grocery card for the whole year (or at least until you’ve reached the $6,000 limit to earn 6% cash back). It’s also an excellent gas and ridesharing card at 3% cash back for these categories, uncapped.

If you know you can reach that $6,000 in combined purchases at grocery stores without extra effort to max out the benefits of this rewards card, the ongoing annual fee is probably worth it. Plus, top-notch welcome bonuses can usually help you make your money back for the first couple of years. Points earned with Amex are called membership rewards points and for this card, they can only be redeemed as statement credits.

This is probably not the best choice for all of your everyday purchases and travel or for a lot more than $6,000 in groceries a year. It’s also definitely not a good choice for balance transfers or carrying a balance due to fees and interest rates. And while we hope you never have to miss a payment, we understand this can happen. This card comes with a high penalty APR, so avoid it if you think this is possible. You’ll need at least a good credit score, possibly excellent, to qualify.

» Read our Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Credit Card review.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is our pick for the best gas rewards credit card.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Welcome Offer

Earn $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases within the first three months.

Rewards

Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases with no rotating categories or spend caps.

Annual Fee

$0

Our Thoughts

This is a great rewards card if you're looking for a decent sign-on bonus, a flat rewards rate and no annual fee.

Offer details accurate as of 10/23/23

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • 2% cash back on everything
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

Cons:

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $5 or 3% balance transfer fee for first 120 days, then $5 or 5% (whichever is greater)
  • High interest rate ( APR)

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card deserves a spot on just about any list of best credit cards. This is one of the strongest flat-rate rewards cards out there with a cash back rate of 2% on all purchases, and we love it for everything from fueling up to regular spending. There are no rotating bonus categories to opt into or point caps per statement period to hold you back.

You can redeem your cash back for statement credits, gift cards, travel, or use it to pay yourself back for eligible purchases. Or, you can redeem for cash in $20 increments with a Wells Fargo checking account or ATM card.

Some of the most useful features of this card are the included benefits. Beyond earning rewards on your everyday purchases and gas, you’ll enjoy travel and emergency assistance services, Roadside Dispatch, and auto rental collision damage waiver coverage. These benefits are not unique to this card and, in fact, are free for a lot of Wells Fargo customers, but combine them with the cash rewards and you’ve got a fantastic card for going places.

That said, this wouldn’t make a good card for international travel because there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee and very few travel benefits. Wells Fargo will be looking for at least a good credit score on your application. If you’re thinking about getting this card, keep in mind that it has a very high interest rate and try to pay off your balance in full each month.

» Read our Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is our pick for best balance transfer credit card.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Welcome Offer

Enjoy 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months of account opening.

Rewards

This card does not offer any rewards on purchases.

Annual Fee

$0

Our Thoughts

A no-frills credit card meant for those interested in paying off a large purchase or to complete a balance transfer.

Offer details accurate as of 9/6/23

Pros:

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months
  • No annual fee

Cons:

  • Foreign transaction fee
  • $5 or 5% balance transfer fee (whichever is greater)
  • No rewards program

When it comes to balance transfer credit cards, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is one of the very best you can get because it offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (info verified December 27, 2023 – see issuer’s website to confirm latest rates). Most credit cards offer intro APRs on balance transfers only tend to last for 12 or 15 months, so if your goal is to save on interest over the longest possible period of time this is the card to get.

Transferring your high APR credit card debt to another card to save on interest can be a smart addition to your debt repayment strategy, but only if you’re able to pay off your debt fairly quickly. This is true of all balance transfer credit cards. After the intro APR period is up, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card will charge a high interest rate, so it’s crucial that you work hard to repay as much of your balance as possible within that 21-month period.

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card essentially does one thing really well – balance transfers. It is not an ideal rewards card, travel card, or starter credit card. This card is best for people planning to transfer a balance shortly after opening an account. But because it requires good or excellent credit, it won’t be a good solution for those with poor or limited credit.

Card info has been independently collected by MoneyUnder30 to help consumers better compare cards. The financial institution did not provide or approve card details.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card earns our honorable mention. It offers a bunch of premium travel benefits with a more reasonable annual fee than competing premium cards.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now →

See Rates & Fees.

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • 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
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • 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®
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$395 N/A N/A 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Excellent

Pros:

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 10x miles on hotels and rental cars purchased through the Capital One Travel portal
  • 5x miles on flights booked through the Capital One Travel portal

Cons:

  • $395 annual fee
  • High interest rate

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is one of the best credit cards for people who are willing to pay for excellent travel benefits and convenience. It comes with a hefty price tag of $395 per year, but those who spend more than $5,000 on travel annually should have no problem earning this annual fee back and much more. The $300 annual travel credit and $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credits alone might make it worth it for frequent flyers.

Unique features of this card, besides a sky-high rewards rate of up to 10x miles per dollar, include the ability to add extra cardholders for free, and miles transfer to more than 15 travel partners. If you’re looking for a travel credit card to make your life easier and more comfortable, consider the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

This card rewards you in miles, not points, so don’t choose it if you want the option to redeem rewards for straight-up cash. Also, if you don’t like using Capital One Travel for one reason or another, you’ll miss out on most of what this pick has to offer. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is expensive and has a very high interest rate (and no intro APR), not to mention it requires an excellent credit score to qualify, so it’s not for everyone.

» MORE: Learn more/apply or read our full Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card review

Comparing Capital One Venture cards

There are a few Capital One travel credit cards that have similar names but different benefits. We break some of them down on our list of Best Capital One Credit Cards, but we know this can get a little confusing. See below for a quick dive in.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the most premium of Capital One’s travel credit cards. It has a higher rewards rate than the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, but also a higher annual fee. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee, but also fewer perks.

Here’s how the three Venture credit cards compare:

  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card$395 annual fee; $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® Credit, and $300 Capital One Travel credit; 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars and five miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and two miles per dollar on everything else. See Rates & Fees.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card$95 annual fee; $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit; five miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and two miles per dollar on everything else. See Rates & Fees.
  • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card$0 annual fee, 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months (then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) applies); five miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 1.25 miles per dollar on everything else. See Rates & Fees.

We chose the Capital one Venture X Rewards Credit Card because it’s packed with rewards and bonuses, but if you can’t stomach the annual fee, either of the other Venture credit cards make terrific alternatives. Note: You’ll need very good credit to qualify for any of these three cards.

Our methodology

If you’re curious about how we chose the best credit cards, take a look at a few of the strategies we use to inform our selections and separate the good from the great.

We look at flexibility as much as benefits

We searched for cards that offered not only more potential to earn rewards than other cards but also more options for redeeming those rewards. We believe this is an important way to differentiate between good and great options. Redemption flexibility gives our readers the choice to use their rewards in the ways that make the most sense for them.

We compare cards fairly within their categories

We think comparing cards across categories is like comparing apples to oranges. Different cards serve different purposes for different people, and it doesn’t make sense to hold all cards to the same standards. For example, premium cards and secured cards are nothing alike. We chose our pros and cons carefully to reflect the interests of a card’s most likely applicant.

Our research helped us identify standout cards of every kind so our readers can feel confident they’re seeing the best credit cards no matter what they’re looking for.

We don’t give bonuses and promotions too much weight

Sign-up bonuses are always changing. And while bonuses can be nice, they don’t help our readers understand if a credit card is a good fit. Borrowing money is a decision that should be made with careful consideration of advantages and disadvantages, not with the promise of a statement credit.

This is why our reviews of each card focus more on ongoing benefits and less on one-time offers.

We find the most value for the most people

We know not every card is for everyone, but we try to choose credit cards that are going to make sense for the largest percentage of our readers. Cards with overcomplicated rewards programs or benefits that are not likely to be useful for the average person, for example, didn’t make our list.

Understanding Credit Scores and Their Impact on Credit Card Eligibility

Credit scores are numerical indicators of a person’s creditworthiness, which creditors use to decide whether or not to approve a loan or credit card application. Generally, higher credit scores are associated with more favorable credit card offers with greater rewards and benefits.

For those with excellent credit scores (750-850), a world of premium credit cards awaits, with elevated rewards and benefits. Good credit scores (700-749) can still open the doors to several options, including cards with no annual fees and rewards.

If you have fair or bad credit, worry not – secured credit cards and cards designed for these consumers are available.

The key to unlocking the benefits that credit cards offer lies in choosing the right one. Consider what advantages matter most to you, such as sign-up bonus offers, earning structures, bonus categories, annual fees, and redemption options.

Using a credit card can provide a number of benefits, such as building credit, earning rewards, deferring payment, and avoiding financial loss due to fraud. Practicing responsible usage of a credit card can have a positive effect on your credit score, as it entails maintaining a variety of accounts, making timely payments, and establishing a credit history.

If you have a good or excellent credit score, you can access rewards credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers bonus points on travel and dining purchases.

For those with fair credit, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card might be a suitable option, offering cash rewards on everyday purchases. Secured credit cards, such as the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, are available for those looking to build or improve their credit history.

Gaining insight into your credit score and how it affects credit card eligibility equips you to make a well-informed decision when selecting a credit card that aligns with your needs and financial goals.

Making Sense of Welcome Offers

Welcome offers are special offers created to attract new cardholders. These rewards credit cards tend to have enticing bonuses for their customers. Cardholders may receive a range of offers, including:

  • Cash back rewards
  • Travel rewards
  • Bonus points
  • Statement credits

Generally, these involve generous rewards for spending a particular amount on eligible purchases with the relevant card within a few months of signing up.

Here are some examples of some sign-up bonuses available right now:

  1. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  2. The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card offers a sign-up bonus of $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  3. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  4. The Blue Cash Preferred Card presents a sign-up bonus of $250 statement credit when spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Welcome offers often come with enticing bonus rewards including:

  • Cash back
  • Points
  • Miles
  • Statement credits

When two credit cards provide similar benefits, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, the card with a higher welcome bonus often proves to be a better choice. Comparing various credit card offers and their welcome bonuses can help you optimize your rewards and identify the card that best suits your spending habits.

Navigating the Types of Rewards

Credit cards offer various types of rewards, such as points, miles, or cashback, depending on personal preferences and spending habits. Some cards focus on travel rewards, while others provide cashback on everyday purchases. By understanding the different reward structures, you can choose the right card for your preferences.

For example, if you frequently dine out or travel, a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be ideal, as it offers bonus points for spending on travel, dining, and select everyday purchases. On the other hand, if you prefer cashback on your everyday spending, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card could be a suitable option, as it allows you to earn cash rewards.

Taking into account your spending habits and preferences is crucial when selecting a credit card with an appropriate reward structure. Doing so allows you to optimize the benefits and fully leverage your credit card experience.

Evaluating your spending habits and familiarizing yourself with the various reward types offered by different credit cards can guide you to the card that fits your needs and preferences perfectly.

Decoding Annual Fees

Annual fees are fees charged by a credit card issuer for the privilege of using their cards. It is important to consider these fees when evaluating the overall value of a credit card, taking into account both the costs and the benefits provided.

Annual fees may differ depending on the card, such as a card from American Express. Some cards do not include an annual fee, while others may have an annual fee of $95 or more. Additionally, some cards may offer a waived annual fee for the first year.

When assessing the annual fee, one should weigh the cost against the value of the benefits. If the benefits exceed the cost, then the annual fee may be a viable option for the best credit card choice.

For example, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has an annual fee of $395 and can serve as the ideal travel companion with a range of benefits and advantageous earning rates. See Rates & Fees.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an annual fee of $95 and provides a selection of travel rewards. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has a yearly fee of $695; however, the annual advantages and credits are worth the cost.

Careful consideration of the annual fees and the benefits each card offers can lead you to a well-informed decision about the fee’s worth and help you choose the credit card that best suits your needs.

Mastering Interest Rates and Other Fees

Interest rates and fees, such as balance transfer fees, can have a significant impact on the cost of using a credit card. Interest rates may include introductory Annual Percentage Rates (APRs), ongoing APRs, balance transfer APRs, and credit card interest. Fees may include foreign transaction fees, annual fees, and balance transfer fees.

To reduce costs, consider pursuing low-interest cards or cards with no foreign transaction fee, boosting your credit score and ensuring the balance is paid in full and on time each month. For example, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card provides introductory APRs of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months (then a regular APR of 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) applies), as well as no foreign transaction fees. See Rates & Fees.

Understanding the impact of interest rates and fees on the cost of using a credit card empowers you to make informed decisions on card usage, manage costs effectively, and extract maximum benefits from your credit card experience.

Summary

Credit cards should make your life easier, not more difficult. Taking the time to choose the right one for you is the best way to make sure your credit card benefits you as much as possible to help you save money, improve your credit, and take advantage of perks that make sense for your spending habits and lifestyle.

All of the credit cards we’ve featured here are fantastic options that we chose carefully from countless competitors, but each selection is going to be the best for a different kind of borrower. We hope this list of best credit cards helps you narrow down your choices and get your priorities straight so your next credit card is a perfect fit.

Find best credit cards by type

Best credit card FAQs

How many credit cards should you have?

You don’t need any credit cards at all, and there is no magic number of credit cards you should try to meet. We would never tell you that you must have this many cards to be successful with your money because that’s just not good advice and it’s not true.

You can have as many cards as you can comfortably keep track of. A lot of people will have a few cards that they use for different types of spending, such as a cash back card for everyday spending and a travel card when they travel.

Just be sure not to apply for too many new cards in a short period of time. This can be bad for your credit and be tricky to manage.

Which credit card company is best?

There are four main credit card networks: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted, but American Express and Discover are also accepted almost everywhere and regularly expanding their networks. Really, you shouldn’t have any problem finding places to accept any credit card you get. The only restriction to keep in mind is that many payment terminals can’t accept digital cards.

But which credit card issuer is best for you completely depends on your personal spending habits. You might develop a preference for one issuer over another with experience based on things like customer service and mobile apps, but the card itself is what’s important.

What’s the easiest credit card to get?

Secured credit cards tend to be the easiest cards to get. They’re often designed for beginners and people with poor credit scores or no credit history, and qualifying for a secured credit card is usually much easier than qualifying for an unsecured credit card.

There are also many beginner-friendly unsecured credit cards that you might be eligible for with a limited credit history or fair credit score. Often, you can see what credit score range a card issuer is looking for before applying.

How do credit scores impact credit card eligibility?

Having a good credit score is essential for accessing the most attractive credit card offers with the best rewards and benefits. Poor credit scores can reduce or disqualify you from these offers.

What are welcome offers and why are they important?

Welcome offers are promotional deals given to new card members, providing substantial rewards usually for spending a certain amount within a few months. By comparing welcome offers, you can find the best credit card for your needs.

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