The best credit cards of 2017

It’s 2017. Time for a new credit card. But with so many options — which should you pick?

We’ve got you covered. Here are 2017’s best credit cards. Click on a category from the list below, and you’re on your way to finding the perfect card.


Balance-scale-transfer-credit-card-icon

Best credit cards for balance transfers

Credit card debt can pile up quickly, not to mention the overwhelming high interest rates. To get a break from crushing interest, 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.

Best balance transfer credit cards

Credit CardIntro balance transfer APRBalance transfer ongoing APRPurchase APRBalance transfer feeAnnual fee
Chase Slate credit card

Chase Slate

0% for 15 months13.24% to 23.24%0% for 15 months; then 13.24% to 23.24%$0 for transfers in first 60 days, then greater of $5 or 5%None
Discover it credit card

Discover It

0% for 14 months after your first transfer11.49% to 23.49%0% for 14 months; then 11.49% to 23.49%3%None
Chase simplicity credit card

Citi Simplicity

0% for 21 months after your first transfer (must transfer in first 4 months)13.49% to 23.49%0% for 21 months; then 13.49% to 23.49%Greater of $5 or 3%None
NASA Federal Credit Union credit card

NASA Visa Classic

7.9% on transfers in first 90 days7.9% for transfers in first 90 days; otherwise, 12.9% to 17.99%12.9% to 17.99%NoneNone

Chase Slate®

Chase Slate offers the best of many worlds. It offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months — not the longest intro period out there, but substantial. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay pesky fees for balance transfers you make in the first 60 days. Add in a $0 annual fee and a 0% intro APR for purchases, and you have the right blend for a top-notch balance transfer card.

What you’ll like

  • Intro balance transfer APR. 7.9% for transfers made in the first 90 days.
  • No annual fee.
  • No balance transfer fees.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes 24-hour travel assistance and extended warranties.

What to watch out for

  • Balance transfers made after the first 90 days come with an APR of 12.9% to 17.99%.
  • No intro APR for purchases.
  • Higher APR of 14.9% to 18% for cash advances.
  • Cash advance fee is $5 or 3% (whichever is greater).

Discover It®

As a balance transfer card, Discover It is slightly outclassed by the Chase Slate. But it’s still a good one, with a 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers.

Where Discover It wins, however, is strong cash-back options. You’ll receive 5% cash back in categories rotating every three months. On everything else, you’ll receive 1% cash back. Finally, as a sweetener, Discover will match the cash back you earn over your first year.

Though transferring balances comes with a 3% fee, you can receive an ongoing purchase and balance transfer APR as low as 11.49%.

What you’ll like

  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% for 14 months after your first transfer.
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for 14 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories. Includes Amazon.com, restaurants and gas stations.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
  • 100% match for all cash back you earn during your first year.

What to watch out for

  • Cash-back match is only for the first year.
  • Balance transfer fee of 3%.

Citi Simplicity®

The Citi Simplicity doesn’t pack a ton of features, but it offers one of the longest 0% APR promos for balance transfers at 21 months. Consider it if you want nothing else than to pay off your debt in peace.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% for 21 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes car rental insurance and purchase protection.

What to watch out for

  • Balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% (whichever is greater).

NASA Federal Credit Union Visa Classic

If you’ll transfer balances and keep them on your new card for a long time, consider the NASA Federal Credit Union Visa Classic. There’s no 0% intro APR here — instead, you get a low 7.9% APR on transfers you make in the first 90 days. No balance transfer fees, no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees round out an excellent balance transfer card.

To qualify for the card, you’ll need to become a member of the NASA Federal Credit Union.

What you’ll like

  • Intro balance transfer APR. 7.9% for transfers made in the first 90 days.
  • No annual fee.
  • No balance transfer fees.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes 24-hour travel assistance and extended warranties.

What to watch out for

  • Balance transfers made after the first 90 days come with an APR of 12.9% to 17.99%.
  • No intro APR for purchases.
  • Higher APR of 14.9% to 18% for cash advances.
  • Cash advance fee is $5 or 3% (whichever is greater).

best 0 APR credit cards 2017

Best credit cards with 0% APR

Whether you’re looking for a long intro APR period, strong travel rewards or flexible cash back, there’s a strong 0% APR card for you.

Credit CardSignup bonusIntro purchaseOngoing purchase Balance transfer APRAnnual fee
Citi Diamond Preferred®

Citi Diamond Preferred

N/A0% for 21 months12.49% to 22.49%0% for 21 months, then 12.49% to 22.49%None
BankAmericard Travel Rewards®

BankAmericard Travel Rewards

20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days0% for 12 billing cycles15.49% to 23.49%15.49% to 23.49%None
Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

$150 after spending $500 in first 3 months0% for 15 months14.24% to 23.24%0% for 15 months, then 14.24% to 23.24%None
Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday

10% cash back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months (up to $200); $100 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months0% for 12 months13.49% to 23.49%0% for 12 months, then 13.49% to 23.49%None

Citi Diamond Preferred®

With the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, you pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers for almost two years.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% for 21 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • Citi Private Pass. Access to cardmember-exclusive ticket sales.
  • Purchase and travel benefits. Includes price protection and travel accident insurance.

What to watch out for

  • Higher 25.74% APR for cash advances.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.99% for late or returned payments.
  • Balance transfer, cash advance and foreign transaction fees.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards®

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards is a great travel card with a solid 0% intro period of 12 months. Its 1.5 points per dollar spent is a decent rate, letting you build a trove of points you can later use as travel statement credit.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for the first 12 statement closing dates.
  • Signup bonus. 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.
  • No annual fee.
  • 1.5 points on all purchases.
  • Use points for travel statement credit.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for balance transfers.
  • Higher 18.49% to 25.49 APR for cash advances.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.99% for late payments.
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fees.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

If earning travel rewards isn’t your thing, try the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It offers cash back on your spending and a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% for the first 15 months.
  • Signup bonus. $150 after spending $500 in the first three months.
  • 1.5% cash back on all spending.
  • No over-limit fee.

What to watch out for

  • Higher 25.24% APR for cash advances.
  • Fees for balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions.

Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday Card might be a good choice depending on your spending. It offers 3% cash back on groceries, 2% on gas and department store purchases, and 1% on everything else.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% for the first 12 months.
  • Signup bonus. 10% cash back on Amazon.com purchases in the first six months (up to $200); $100 back after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets. Maximum $6,000 per year, and then 1% cash back.
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and some department stores.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes car rental insurance and extended warranties.

What to watch out for

  • Higher 25.74% APR for cash advances.
  • Penalty APR of 29.74% for late or returned payments.
  • Fees for balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions.

low-interest-calculator-credit-card-icon

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 Bank Visa Platinum. Neither card has an annual fee, and each offers a guaranteed low interest rate.

Rates last updated April 28th, 2017
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Balance Transfer Rate (not intro) Annual fee
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
Low interest rate on purchases, balance transfer and cash advances.
13.74% Variable 13.74% Variable $0 p.a. More info
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Rewards
Excellent Credit Required - Applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved
9.75% 9.75% None p.a. Go to site More info
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
Excellent Credit Required - Applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved
7.75% 7.75 None p.a. Go to site More info

Have we missed anything in the comparison table? Tell us

  • If the provider quotes a different rate to the one above please let us know

Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard

The Barclaycard Ring is a no-frills but quietly attractive card. You’ll get an 8.25% APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. There’s no annual fee, and you won’t have to pay foreign transaction fees. That’s pretty much it as far as features go — but that’s enough to make the Barclaycard Ring an excellent low-interest card.

What you’ll like

  • Low interest rate. 8.25% APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
  • No annual fee.
  • No balance transfer fees.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

What to watch out for

  • Cash advance fees of $3 per transaction.
  • No intro APR.

Simmons Bank Visa Platinum

The Simmons Bank Visa Platinum gives the Barclaycard Ring a run for its money. It wins on interest rates, offering a 7.75% APR for purchases and balance transfers (no such luck for cash advances, which come with an 11.75% APR). Like the Barclaycard Ring, it comes with a $0 annual fee and no balance transfer fees. You will need to pay foreign transaction fees, but in return you’ll receive travel perks like accident insurance and car rental coverage.

What you’ll like

  • Low interest rate. 7.75% APR for purchases and balance transfers.
  • No annual fee.
  • No balance transfer fees.
  • Travel accident insurance up to $1 million.
  • Car rental coverage.

What to watch out for

  • 11.75% APR for cash advances.
  • Cash advance fee of 3% (at least $4 but not more than $50).
  • Foreign transaction fee of 2%.

business credit card icon

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.

Credit CardSignup bonusIntro purchase APROngoing purchase APRAnnual fee
Chase Ink Business Cash

Chase Ink Business Cash

$300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in first 3 months0% for 12 billing cycles13.49% to 19.49%None
Spark® Cash Select from Capital One

Spark Cash Select

$200 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in first 3 months0% for 9 months13.49%, 17.49% or 21.49%None
SimplyCash® Plus Business from American Express

SimplyCash Plus Business

N/A0% for 9 months12.74%, 17.74% or 19.74%None

Chase Ink Business

Chase Ink Business gives you 5% cash back for spending at office supply stores and on phone and Internet bills. That’s pretty generous. Also a nice touch is the 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. $300 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% for the first 12 billing cycles.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend on business services and office supplies. On cell phone, Internet, landline and cable TV services and at office supply stores combined.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend at restaurants and gas stations (combined).
  • 1% unlimited cash back on everything else.
  • Travel and purchase coverage. Includes accident insurance and purchase protection.

What to watch out for

  • Penalty APR of up to 29.99% for late or returned payments.
  • Higher 25.24% APR for cash advances.
  • Fees for balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions.

Spark® Cash Select from Capital One

Spark Cash Select has a simple cash-back structure: 1.5% on all purchases. It’s easier to keep track of, and it’s especially helpful if you make purchases in different categories.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. $200 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for the first nine months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost. With cash-back rewards on all employee cards.
  • No balance transfer fees.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes rental car coverage and purchase protection.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for balance transfers.
  • Higher 23.49% APR for cash advances.
  • Cash advance fees.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.9% for late payments.

SimplyCash® Plus Business from American Express

SimplyCash Plus Business is similar to the Chase Ink Business. But perhaps the biggest difference is its 3% cash back on one of eight categories. That’s a potential game changer, because you can earn cash back in categories that include airfare, hotel stays, car rentals and even computer hardware.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for the first nine months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 5% cash back on business supplies and services. At office supply stores in the U.S. and on wireless phone services from U.S. providers.
  • 3% cash back on a category you select. Choose from eight categories.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • Option to make purchases above your credit limit.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Including car rental insurance, Roadside Assistance Hotline and purchase protection.

What to watch out for

  • No balance transfers or cash advances.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.74% for multiple late or returned payments.
  • Foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.

best student credit cards 2017

Best student credit cards

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.

Credit CardSignup bonusIntro purchase APROngoing purchase APRAnnual fee
Discover It credit card

Discover It

Cash-back match at the end of your first year0% for 6 months13.49% to 22.49%None
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ for Students

BankAmericard Cash Rewards

$100 online cash reward after spending $500 in first 90 days0% for 12 billing cycles13.49% to 23.49%None
Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One

Journey Student Credit Card

N/AN/A20.49%None
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

2,500 ThankYou Points after spending $500 in first 3 months0% for 7 months14.49% to 24.49%None

Discover It® for Students Card

Discover It for Students is immediately attractive because of its cash-back match for the first year, 0% purchase APR for six months and 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly. But it’s the features behind the scenes that make the card ideal for students: No penalty APR, the first late fee waived and no over-limit fee makes Discover It forgiving for first-time cardholders.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. Cash-back match at the end of your first year.
  • Intro APR for purchases. 0% for six months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories. Includes Amazon.com and gas stations.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
  • $20 cash back for a GPAs of 3.0 or higher. Each year for the next five years.
  • No penalty APR.
  • First late fee waived.
  • No over-limit fee.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for balance transfers.
  • Higher 25.49% APR for cash advances.
  • Fees for balance transfers and cash advances.
  • After first waived late fee, up to $37 for late payments.
  • Returned payment fee of up to $37.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ for Students

The BankAmericard offers generous cash back on things students might need, like gas and groceries. It also comes with a solid intro APR for purchases and balance transfers: 0% for the first 12 billing cycles.

The only thing to note is that BankAmericard isn’t as lenient on mistakes as the Discover It for Students. Paying late just once can result in a penalty APR as high as 29.99%, for example, and the first late fee isn’t waived.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. $100 online cash reward when you spend $500 in the first 90 days.
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for the first 12 billing cycles.
  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% for 12 billing cycles on transfers you make in the first 60 days.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Up to $2,500 combined quarterly.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
  • Access FICO score for free.

What to watch out for

  • Limited cash back at gas stations, grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.99% for late payments.
  • Higher APR of up to 25.49% for cash advances.
  • Fee of up to $37 for late payments.
  • Fee of up to $27 for returned payments.

Capital One Journey®

You’ll find better cash-back options elsewhere, but the Capital One Journey is still a good student card. It rewards responsible use of credit by giving you a higher credit line if you pay on time for your first five payments.

It’s a helpful companion on vacation or while studying abroad, since it waives foreign transaction fees and offers travel benefits that include auto rental insurance and travel accident insurance. And though late payments will come with fees, they won’t result in a penalty APR.

What you’ll like

  • 1% cash back on all purchases.
  • On time payments for the month gets you 1.25% cash back for that month (instead of 1%).
  • No annual fee.
  • Higher credit line when you pay on time for your first five payments.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Travel and purchase protection. Includes auto rental insurance and extended warranties.
  • No penalty APR.

What to watch out for

  • 20.49% APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
  • No introductory APR period.
  • Fee of up to $35 for late payments.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

If you don’t want cash-back rewards, you might prefer the Citi ThankYou Preferred. It offers 2x ThankYou Points for spending on dining and entertainment and 2x ThankYou Points on everything else. Later on, you can trade these points for rewards like electronics, gift cards and vacations.

The $0 annual fee and 0% purchase APR for seven months are helpful to any college student. Just watch out for fees and penalty APRs for late and returned payments.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in the first three months.
  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for seven months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment.
  • 1 ThankYou Point per dollar spent on everything else.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes car rental insurance and extended warranty.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for balance transfers.
  • Higher 25.74% APR for cash advances.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.99% for late or returned payments.
  • Balance transfer, cash advance and foreign transaction fees.
  • Late and returned payment fees of up to $35.

best travel credit cards 2017

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 airline credit cards
Best hotel credit cards

Credit CardSignup bonusIntro purchase APRPurchase APRForeign transaction feeAnnual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred

50,000 points after spending $4,000 in first 3 monthsN/A16.24% to 23.24%None$0 for first year, then $95
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™

50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in first 90 daysN/A16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24None$0 for first year, then $89
BankAmericard Travel Rewards®

BankAmericard Travel Rewards

20,000 points after spending $1,000 in first 90 days0% for 12 statement closing dates15.49% to 23.49%NoneNone
Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

50,000 points after spending $4,000 in first 3 monthsN/A16.24% to 23.24%None$450

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the star of the show is its point redemption. When you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards, your points are worth 25% more — that means 50,000 points aren’t worth $500, but $625. And the 1:1 point transfer means you can use your points at hotel and airline programs like Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards and Hyatt Gold Passport.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
  • Annual fee waived for the first year.
  • 2x points on dining and travel; 1x points on everything else.
  • Points worth 25% more when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 1:1 point transfer to select hotel and airline loyalty programs.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

What to watch out for

  • No intro purchase or balance transfer APR.
  • Higher 25.24% cash advance APR.
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fees.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™

One best features of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is its flexibility. Unlike, say, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you redeem your miles for travel statement credit. This means you can use your card for travel purchases and be reimbursed for your spending. You’ll quickly rack up miles too, thanks to the 2x mile multiple on all purchases.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.
  • Annual fee waived for the first year.
  • 2x miles on all purchases.
  • 5% miles back when you redeem them.
  • Use miles for travel statement credit.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for purchases.
  • Higher 25.74% APR for cash advances.
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fees.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards®

The word that comes to mind for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards? Simplicity. It’s the card for you if you want something easy to use and don’t need hardcore travel perks.

The BankAmericard is similar to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus in a few ways. You get one point multiple on everything you spend (1.5x), and you can use your points as statement credit. Unlike the Arrival Plus, though, there’s no annual fee. That’s a nice add-on for a solid, low-maintenance card.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for the first 12 statement closing dates.
  • Signup bonus. 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.
  • No annual fee.
  • 1.5x points on all purchases.
  • Use points for travel statement credit.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for balance transfers.
  • Higher APR of 18.49% to 25.49 for cash advances.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.99% for late payments.
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fees.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

With a $450 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve doesn’t come cheap. However, it may be the most powerful travel card you’ll find anywhere.

Though the annual fee is hefty, it’s worth paying after you scoop up the card’s 100,000-point signup bonus. Further, the $300 annual travel credit lets you recoup much of the fee each year. Best of all, your points are worth an impressive 50% more when you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards — a benefit you won’t find with any other card.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
  • $300 annual travel credit.
  • 3x points on travel expenses; 3x points on dining; 1x points on everything else.
  • Points worth 50% more when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 1:1 point transfer to select hotel and airline loyalty programs.
  • Priority Pass Select membership for access to 900+ airport lounges.
  • Car rental discounts. At Avis, Silvercar and National Car Rental.
  • Cardmember perks at the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection properties. Includes daily breakfast, room upgrade, early check-in and late checkout.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

What to watch out for

  • $450 annual fee.
  • No intro APR for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Higher 25.24% APR for cash advances.
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fees.

best no annual fee credit cards 2017

Best credit cards with no annual fees

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.

Credit CardSignup bonusIntro purchase APROngoing purchase APRBalance transfer APRAnnual fee
Quicksilver® Rewards from Capital One

Quicksilver® Rewards

$100 after spending $500 in first 3 months0% for 9 months13.49%, 18.49% or 23.49%0% for 9 months, then 13.49%, 18.49% or 23.49%None
Citi® Double Cash

Citi® Double Cash

N/AN/A13.49% to 23.49%0% for 18 months from first transfer, then 13.49% to 23.49%None
BankAmericard Travel Rewards®

BankAmericard Travel Rewards®

20,000 points after spending $1,000 in first 90 days0% for 12 statement closing dates15.49% to 23.49%15.49% to 23.49%None
Discover it credit card

Discover It

100% cash-back match for everything earned in first year0% for 14 months11.49% to 23.49%0% for 14 months, then 11.49% to 23.49%None

Quicksilver® Rewards from Capital One

The Quicksilver Rewards is a simple card, offering 1.5% cash back on all purchases. That’s a great haul for a no-annual-fee card, especially considering you also get a 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers.

What you’ll like

  • Signup bonus. $100 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.
  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% for nine months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes concierge service, travel upgrades and extended warranties.

What to watch out for

  • Higher 23.49% cash advance APR.
  • Fees for balance transfers and cash advances.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Another solid no-annual-fee option is the Citi Double Cash Card. It offers 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases. It’s also a great option for balance transfers, on which you’ll get a 0% APR for an impressive 18 months.

What you’ll like

  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% for 18 months.
  • No annual fee
  • 1% cash back on every purchase; additional 1% cash back when you pay for purchases.
  • First late fee waived.
  • Citi Private Pass. Access to cardholder ticket sales.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes travel accident insurance and price protection.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for purchases.
  • Higher 25.74% APR for cash advances.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.99% for late or returned payments.
  • Balance transfer, cash advance and foreign transaction fees.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards®

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards has made appearances throughout our best credit cards list, and that’s a testament its versatility. Along with a $0 annual fee, the card offers 1.5x points per dollar spent everywhere — points you can later use as travel statement credit. If you prefer travel rewards, you can’t go wrong with this card.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for the first 12 statement closing dates.
  • Signup bonus. 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.
  • No annual fee.
  • 1.5x points on all purchases.
  • Use points for travel statement credit.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for balance transfers.
  • Higher APR of 18.49% to 25.49 for cash advances.
  • Penalty APR of up to 29.99% for late payments.
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fees.

Discover It® Card

Consider your spending habits and see if the Discover it Card is right for you. The card offers 5% cash back in rotating categories and 1% cash back on everything else.

The 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months is a sweet deal. Even sweeter is Discover’s cash-back match for everything you’ve earned at the end of your first year. That’s incredibly attractive for any card, especially one with no annual fee.

What you’ll like

  • Intro purchase APR. 0% for 14 months.
  • Intro balance transfer APR. 0% for 14 months after your first transfer.
  • No annual fee.
  • 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories. Includes Amazon.com, restaurant and, gas stations.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
  • 100% match for all cash back you earn at the end of the first year.

What to watch out for

  • Cash-back match is only for the first year.
  • Fees for balance transfers and cash advances.

Best secured credit cards for bad credit 2017

Best secured credit cards

If you have bad or nonexistent credit, a secured card can help you out. This type of card requires you to put money down as collateral in case you fail to make payments.

Since your main goal with a secured card is to build credit, look for cards that offer payment history reporting to all three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Credit CardMinimum depositPurchase APRBalance transfer APRAnnual fee
Discover it credit card

Discover It

$20023.49%10.99% for 6 months, then 23.49%None
Capital One® Secured MasterCard

Capital One® Secured MasterCard

$49, $99 or $20024.99%24.99%None
State Department EMV Visa Platinum Secured

State Department EMV Visa Platinum Secured

$2507.49%7.49%None

Discover It® Secured Card

The Discover It Card is a solid pick with no annual fee, no penalty APR and your first late fee waived. But what really sets it apart are its cash-back features — rare bonuses in this category.

What you’ll like

  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants. $1,000 maximum.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
  • 100% match for the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
  • No annual fee.
  • No penalty APR.
  • No late fee the first time you pay late.

What to watch out for

  • Fees for balance transfers and cash advances.
  • After the first late payment, paying late comes with a fee of up to $37.
  • Returned payment fee of up to $37.

Capital One® Secured MasterCard

With the Capital One Secured MasterCard, you can get an initial credit line of $200 with less than a $200 deposit. Depending on your creditworthiness, you’ll pay $49, $99 or $200.

Also attractive is the possibility of graduating to a semi-unsecured card. When you pay on time for your first five monthly payments, you’ll get a higher credit line without having to put down an additional deposit.

What you’ll like

  • Possibility to receive a $200 credit line for $49, $99 or $200.
  • Get a higher credit line by paying your first five monthly payments on time.
  • No annual fee.
  • Travel and purchase benefits. Includes travel accident insurance and price protection.

What to watch out for

  • Cash advance fees.
  • Late fees of up to $35.

State Department EMV Visa Platinum Secured

The State Department EMV Visa Platinum Secured is the sleeper hit on this list. It deserves its place mainly because of its low purchase and balance transfer APR (7.49%) — especially helpful if you plan on carrying a balance month to month.

To qualify for the card, you’ll need to become a member of the State Department Federal Credit Union. Here’s more information on how to join.

What you’ll like

  • 7.49% APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
  • No annual fee.
  • No balance transfer fees.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No cash advance fee for over-the-counter withdrawals.
  • No over-limit fees.
  • Flexpoints Rewards Program. 1x Flexpoint per dollar spent that you can redeem for travel, event tickets, gift cards and more.

What to watch out for

  • $3 cash advance fee for ATM withdrawals.
  • Fee of up to $25 for late and returned payments.

Your questions about the best credit cards, answered

What’s the best way to apply for a credit card?

To apply for any of the cards you see on this page, click the green “Go to site” button next to the card in our comparison table. Fill out the application on the provider’s website, and you should receive an answer on your application within a few minutes to a few days.

What makes one credit card better than another?

There are a variety of reasons that a particular card will be better for your situation. Of course, the most important are those that work for your needs and spending habits.

Often there is a primary factor that differentiates cards. For example, you may be looking for a balance transfer card. In that case, the primary consideration might be how long the 0% APR transfer period is.

When multiple cards are strong in that primary factor, compare the secondary features. Does a card offer a $0 annual fee? A 0% intro APR for purchases? Excellent cash-back options? Chances are you’ll find a well-rounded card that’s attractive for you in every respect.

What does my credit score need to be before I apply for a card?

Required credit scores can vary. Typically, however, you will qualify for most cards with a good or excellent score (680+). If you have fair, bad or nonexistent credit, you may be limited to secured cards. These require initial deposits but will help you build your credit as long as you make timely payments.

What is an APR?

Short for annual percentage rate, it’s a card’s interest rate expressed yearly. Basically, it’s the fee you’re charged for the privilege of borrowing money through your credit card company.

What are cash back, points and miles?

With cash back, a percentage of your spending is paid back to you. For example, if you get a 1.5% rate on $100, you’ll get $1.50 cash back.

Points and miles are based on the same concept, except you trade them for other rewards. For example, you may get 2x miles per dollar you spend — that’ll net you 200 points if you spend $100. You can later redeem those miles for rewards like vacation getaways and travel statement credit.

What is an intro APR period?

An intro APR period means that you’ll pay a special interest rate for a certain period of time. For example, “0% APR on purchases for 15 months” means you’re not charged interest on any spending in the 15 months after you open your card.

Keep track of when your intro APR expires. If you haven’t paid off your purchases by the end of your intro APR, you’ll immediately accrue interest on your balance.

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