It’s 2018 — time for a new credit card. But with so many options, which should you pick?
We’ve got you covered with a breakdown of 2018’s best credit cards. Click on a category from the list below to get on your way to finding the perfect card.
What type of card are you looking for?
These cards set the benchmark for the best of 2018. See the reviews, offers and who wins in eight categories like cash back, bad credit, rewards and more.
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Best credit cards for balance transfers
Credit card debt can pile up quickly, often with overwhelmingly high interest rates. To get a break from high interest and get ahead of your debt, consider a balance transfer credit card. A good one will offer:
- A long 0% APR period.
- Potentially no balance transfer fees.
- Potentially a low ongoing rate for balance transfers once the promotional rate ends.
Best for longest intro APR period on balance transfers: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
If you’re looking for a credit card to use exclusively for balance transfers, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card could be the right choice. You’ll get one of the longest intro APR periods on balance transfers and an intro APR period on purchases that lasts for a year. Furthermore, you won’t pay an annual fee to own the card, which makes it an excellent choice to save money and consolidate your debt.
Best card for no balance transfer fees: BankAmericard® Credit Card
The BankAmericard® Credit Card may not have the longest intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases, but it comes with other cool perks that can help you save money. Enjoy no annual fee, no penalty APR and no balance transfer fees for transactions made within the first 60 days of card membership.
Best welcome offer: Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
If you’re looking to make balance transfers and earn rewards on everything you buy — especially at supermarkets — the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card could be an ideal choice. You’ll get a decent welcome offer, and you won’t pay any balance transfer fees.
Best for cash back: Chase Freedom® credit card
The Chase Freedom® credit card could be a solid choice for anyone looking for an intro APR period on balance transfers. Not only will you save money on interest, but you’ll earn cash back on everything you buy. Also, you’ll get an easy-to-earn signup bonus and increased cash back on selected categories each quarter. And the best part is — there’s no annual fee.
Best credit cards for cash back
If you’re looking to save money on all of your credit card purchases, a cashback card can be a great choice. But to pick the right one, consider whether you spend a lot in any particular category or if you need an intro APR period on purchases or balance transfers.
Best for dining: Uber Visa Card
The no-annual-fee Uber Visa Card could be an ideal choice if you spend a lot of money at restaurants and bars or you often get takeout. This will earn you the highest number of points, which you can redeem for cash back, gift cards and Uber credits.
In addition, you’ll earn high points on travel purchases, online shopping, Uber rides, streaming services and digital purchases. And the cool thing is — you’ll earn points even on purchases made abroad.
Best for groceries: Blue Cash Preferred® Card
Families that spend up to $6,000 per year on groceries could find the Blue Cash Preferred® Card extremely useful. You’ll get to earn one of the highest cashback rates on this category, plus you’ll earn high cash back on gas and at select department stores.
Also, you’ll get a decent welcome offer, a long intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases, cell phone coverage, travel insurance and a whole lot of purchase benefits.
Best for unlimited cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card
If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card with unlimited cash back, the Citi® Double Cash Card could be an excellent choice. You’ll get to earn the highest cash back on all purchases when compared to competitor cards, and you’ll get one of the longest intro APR periods on balance transfers.
Best for rotating categories: U.S. Bank Cash+ ™ Visa Signature® Card
The U.S. Bank Cash+ ™ Visa Signature® Card is a solid option if you want to earn cash back on rotating categories. Competitor cards usually offer one or two categories per quarter — like dining, groceries or gas — with a cap of $1,500 in combined purchases.
This is where the U.S. Bank card shines — you earn the highest cash back on two categories of your choosing with a quarterly cap of $2,000. This means you can earn $100 more annually if you reach the cap when compared to similar cards. You’ll also earn accelerated rewards on an everyday category of your choosing, with no limit to how much you can earn.
Every quarter you can maximize the cash back you earn based on your spending habits. For example: Planning to buy electronics? No problem. Choose electronic stores for your quarterly cashback category and earn 5% back on stores like Apple, Newegg, Best Buy and more. Next quarter add furniture stores, department stores or any of the other supported categories to make the most of your card.
Best travel credit cards and cards with no foreign transaction fees
A travel card is your best friend when you’re on vacation. Great travel cards will likely offer:
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Strong earnings and flexible redemption for points or miles.
- Travel perks for cardholders.
Best for premium travel: Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is designed for those who want to travel in style. It comes with a high annual fee, but you’ll earn the highest number of membership rewards points on travel purchases. Plus, you’ll get a number of benefits and perks that can make the card worth it if you travel often.
Best for hotels: Venture® Rewards from Capital One®
If you’re looking for a travel card with a simple rewards structure, the Venture® Rewards from Capital One® could be a solid choice. You’ll earn unlimited miles on everything you buy, and for hotel accommodations booked through Venture’s Hotels.com website, you’ll earn up to 10% back in miles redemption value.
Best for travel perks with no annual fee: PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card
Getting the benefits and perks of a premium travel card without paying an annual fee may sound impossible, but it’s not — with the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card, you get all that and more.
You’ll earn points on both travel and everyday purchases, and you’ll earn even more if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member. Plus, commuter transportation, taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, bus lines and tolls all count toward travel purchases, which can help you score even more rewards.
Best for flexible redemption: Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card could be a perfect card for travelers who often dine out. You’ll earn 2x points on dining and travel purchases, and you can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio with Chase’s airline and hotel partners including United Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Marriott hotels, World of Hyatt and more.
And as a bonus, you’ll get 25% more redemption value for travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. If you have another card with the program, you’ll get even more points to redeem.
A no-annual-fee credit card is a breath of fresh air. You can use it as much or as little as you want because it costs nothing to maintain it. Of course, you’re crossing your fingers for more than just a $0 annual fee — namely, extra perks you don’t have to pay for.
Best for everyday rewards: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
If you want to earn the highest number of points on popular categories like gas, dining, travel and streaming services, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card could be a great choice.
You also get a decent signup bonus, an intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers, cell phone protection and more — all without paying an annual fee.
Best for travel: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card could be a great choice for those who want a simple travel rewards card. You’ll earn unlimited points on everything you buy — and if you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you’ll get 10% more points. This bonus goes up to 75% if you’re a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.
In addition, you’ll get a long intro APR period on purchases, a generous signup bonus and pay no annual fee to own the card.
Best for longest intro APR: U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
For those who are stuck paying high interest on another card or plan on making a large purchase — the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card could be an excellent choice.
You won’t get any cool perks and features that other cards offer, but you’ll get an incredibly long interest-free period to consolidate your finances. And you’ll get that without paying an annual fee.
Best for cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card has one of the highest cashback rates that you can get with a card without an annual fee. In addition, you’ll get one of the longest intro APR periods on balance transfers. This could be ideal if you want to consolidate your debt and transfer your balances from other accounts.
Best low-interest credit cards
If you plan on carrying a balance for a long time, you might want a card with a low interest rate. To that end, take a look at the Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® and Simmons Visa®. Neither card has an annual fee, and each offers a low interest rate.
Best for intro APR on balance transfers: Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® is a simple but solid credit card with low interest on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. There’s no annual fee, and you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees. That’s pretty much it as far as features go — but that’s enough to make it an excellent low-interest card.
Best signup bonus: PenFed Gold Visa® Card
The PenFed Gold Visa® Card can be a great choice for those looking for a low-APR credit card with a decent signup bonus. And that’s not the only perk that sets this card apart from the competition. You also get a long intro APR period on balance transfers, a low cash advance APR and no fees for cash advances, foreign transactions or owning the card.
Best for lowest guaranteed APR: Simmons Visa®
If you’re looking for a simple card with a low APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances, the Simmons Visa® could be worth considering. You won’t get an intro APR period, but the APR you do get is one of the lowest out there. You also won’t pay any balance transfer fees, which can help if you’re looking to move large balances, or an annual fee to own the card.
Best for earning rewards: Simmons Rewards Visa Signature®
The Simmons Rewards Visa Signature® can be a good choice for those looking to earn rewards on all of their purchases while saving on interest. You’ll get one of the lowest APRs on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances, and you won’t pay an annual fee to own the card.
Best credit cards with 0% APR
Whether you’re looking for a long interest-free period, strong travel rewards or flexible cash back, there’s a 0% APR card for you.
Best for balance transfers: Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card is a solid card that lets you make balance transfers without paying balance transfer fees. It also comes with rewards on all of your purchases and an easy-to-earn welcome offer — all without paying an annual fee.
Best for longest intro APR on purchases: U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is a simple card that doesn’t come with many perks and benefits. But what it does offer is one of the longest intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers you can get. And you won’t pay an annual fee.
Best for no late fees: Citi Simplicity® Card
If you’re looking for a card with minimal fees and a long intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers, the Citi Simplicity® Card may be just what you’re looking for.
Aside from the long intro APR period, you’ll pay no late payment fees and you won’t incur a penalty APR. You can also choose your own due date to get more flexibility in paying your balance.
Best for unlimited cash back on all purchases: Quicksilver® from Capital One®
For those interested in utilizing a long intro APR period on purchases using a cashback card — the Quicksilver® from Capital One® may be worth a look. You’ll save money on interest and could earn a signup bonus — all while earning cash back in the process. And there’s no annual fee to offset the rewards you’ll earn.
If you have bad or nonexistent credit, a secured credit card can help. This type of card requires you to put money down as collateral in case you fail to make payments.
Best for lowest APR: Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card
The Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card can be a decent choice for those looking to build their credit while paying a low APR on purchases. With this card, you’ll get full control over your credit line, as that is the sum you deposit to an FDIC-insured account at Green Dot Bank.
However, the card has many fees. Make sure you read the fine print to avoid any surprises.
Best for cash back: Discover it® Secured Credit Card
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card can be a great card if you’re trying to build your credit and earn cash back at the same time. And with responsible use, you’ll not only build your credit, but you could graduate to an unsecured card from Discover after eight months of account opening.
No credit history needed: OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
If you’re having a poor credit or no credit history at all, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card can be a good choice for you. They won’t pull your credit, so the chances are high that you’ll get approved. After that, you’ll make a security deposit that will act as your credit line, and you can start using your card responsibly to build your credit.
Best for lowest deposit: Secured Mastercard® from Capital One®
The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One® could be a good choice for those who are looking to get a secured card with a minimum deposit. With responsible use of the card, you’ll get to build your credit, and after a few months of timely payments, you could get a higher credit line without depositing new funds.
Best business credit cards
As a business owner, your purchases keep your operation running. That’s when business credit cards come in handy. They reward you for spending on business-related expenses, and they often let you accrue points or miles on cards you open for employees.
Best for luxurious travel: Business Platinum Card® from American Express
For business owners who want to enjoy premium perks in their travel, the Business Platinum Card® from American Express could be an excellent choice. You’ll get complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, a 24/7 concierge services and a number of other useful perks and benefits.
You’ll also get to earn the highest number of points on amextravel.com booking, which you can redeem for cash back, gift cards, travel rewards and more.
Best signup bonus: Ink Business Preferred℠ credit card
If you’re looking to get a business card with the highest signup bonus, then Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ credit card could be worth taking a look. The card can be a great option for earning rewards on a variety of spending categories. But to get the highest redemption value, you should use your points toward travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Best for unlimited cash back: Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Businesses that spend more than $200,000 per year and businesses that don’t spend much money on any particular category, could use a card like the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. You’ll earn unlimited cash back on everything you buy, and with free employee cards, you’ll earn even more cash back.
Best for low APR: SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
If your business spends up to $50,000 annually on office supplies and on one of the selected categories, like gas, travel, dining and more — a card like the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express could be a great choice. In addition to cashback rewards, you’ll get a short APR period on purchases and you’ll be able to buy above your credit line, all without paying an annual fee.
A student credit card might be your first credit card. That said, it should whet your appetite for more powerful cards you’ll apply for later. Some cards are forgiving for mistakes you might make as a new cardholder; others aren’t so lenient but offer attractive rewards.
Best for intro APR on purchases: Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students can be a decent choice if you’re looking to establish your credit history and earn rewards in the process. You’ll also get an intro APR period on purchases, and you won’t pay an annual fee.
Best for good grades: Discover it® Chrome for Students
If you’re looking for a decent secured card to help you build your credit and earn rewards while going to college — the Discover it® Chrome for Students could be a good choice. You’ll get to earn higher cash back on dining and gas, you’ll get a short intro APR period on purchases and you’ll get a reward every year for your good grades.
Best for unlimited cash back: Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One®
The Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One® could be an ideal card for students who want to build their credit and earn the highest cash back on all purchases. But there’s a catch — you have to pay your balance on time every month. And that’s not bad; you’ll get to earn more cash back and you’ll build your credit. Now that’s an incentive.
Best for international students in the US: Deserve® Edu Card
The Deserve® Edu Card doesn’t discriminate between domestic and foreign students — everyone is welcome to apply as long as they’re enrolled in a US university. The card can help you build your credit and you’ll earn cash back on all of your purchases.
Furthermore, you’ll find this card to be one of the rare secured cards that doesn’t require a security deposit.