Best Visa Credit Cards for 2022: How a Visa Card Can Help Maximize Your Spending

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Many credit cards available today are emblazoned with the Visa logo, but Visa itself is a credit card network — not an issuer. If you’ve ever had a credit card from a bank like Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, or others, it was likely on the Visa network.

Visa is also the largest credit card network, accounting for over $2.4 trillion in U.S. purchase volume in 2021, according to a recent Nilson Report. But there’s a wide variety of Visa cards, all with different purposes, benefits, rewards, and terms. If you’re looking for a new credit card, it can help to compare all the card details and benefits from both the issuer and network.

Here are a few of our favorite Visa cards from a range of credit card companies, the different types of Visa cards to look for, and everything else to know before you open a new card account:

Best Visa Credit Cards

Good for Cash Back: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    17.24% – 25.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service. 1.5% on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Flexible, hybrid rewards structure made up of tiered categories and flat cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Valuable first-year bonus
  • Competitive intro APR period can be useful for paying off large purchases over time
Cons
  • Not a great choice for international travelers — you’ll incur a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Travel bonus rewards only apply to travel booked through Chase
The Bottom Line
Chase Freedom Unlimited is NextAdvisor’s pick for the best cash back credit card for its impressive rewards and flexibility for everyday spenders. But the card’s value goes beyond its primary rewards structure. A standout first-year bonus, introductory interest offer, and boosted redemption options make this card one of the best available on the market today.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory interest offer on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after account opening, variable 17.24% – 25.99%. interest thereafter; intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • Complimentary 3-month subscription to Doordash’s DashPass, followed by 50% off DashPass for 9 months (activate by 12/31/24)
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections

Good for Cash Back Category Choice: U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
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U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    16.74% – 26.74% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5% cash back on your first $2,000 in eligible net purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose. 2% cash back on your choice on one everyday category, like Gas Stations, Grocery Stores or Restaurants. 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Pick your bonus rewards categories
  • 0% intro APR offer for purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Cash welcome bonus offer
Cons
  • Quarterly caps limit 5% cash back
  • Introductory APR offer does not apply to purchases
  • Limited rewards redemption options
  • Must reactivate categories each quarter
The Bottom Line
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa takes some thought to maximize, but can offer great savings. You’ll earn 5% back in two categories you choose each quarter, as well as 2% back in one of three everyday spending categories. There’s no annual fee, and an introductory offer for balance transfers can help you save by consolidating debt.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 16.74% to 26.74%
  • Zero fraud liability
  • Contactless payment options
  • Travel and purchase protections through Visa Signature program

Good for Welcome Offer: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
  • Intro offer:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    18.24% – 25.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3x on dining. 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Tiered bonus points categories
  • 25% points boost when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer at airline and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fee
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • High APR
  • Need to spend within bonus categories to maximize rewards
  • Other cards have similar bonus categories with higher rewards rates
The Bottom Line
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a tiered, points-earning rewards card geared toward frequent fliers. Its most valuable assets include a solid welcome bonus, premium points redemption options and access to Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program.

Additional Card Details

  • 25% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
  • Get 10% value of annual purchases back in points every account anniversary
  • $50 in annual hotel credits toward hotel stays booked through Chase
  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections

Good for Travel Rewards: Capital One Venture Travel Rewards Credit Card

Good for Premium Benefits: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $550
  • Regular APR:
    19.24% – 26.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    740-850 (Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Valuable welcome bonus
  • $300 annual travel credit and other added benefits
  • 50% points value boost when redeemed for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Metal card
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • High APR
  • Not a great choice if you travel infrequently
The Bottom Line
Luxe benefits and valuable points redemptions draw many people to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, despite its steep $550 annual fee. But if you travel often and your spending aligns with high-value rewards categories, the Reserve’s benefits can outweigh even the high cost of ownership.

Additional Card Details

  • 50% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Up to $100 credit every four years toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee
  • Complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select membership
  • 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • Complimentary DashPass from DoorDash subscription through 12/31/24
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections

Good for Balance Transfers: Wells Fargo Reflect Card

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
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Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Wells Fargo’s secure site. See Rates & Fees.
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
  • Introductory balance transfer rate:
    0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 27.99% Variable APR
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Long intro APR
  • No annual fee
  • Cell phone protection against damage or theft
Cons
  • No rewards
  • High APR after the introductory offer ends
  • Must meet requirements to get up to 21 months of 0% intro APR
The Bottom Line
The no annual fee Wells Fargo Reflect Card offers an initial 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 18 months from account opening, with the potential for an intro APR extension for 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the introductory period. After that, there will be a variable APR of 15.99% to 27.99%. It’s light on added perks and has no rewards, but carries one of the longest 0% intro periods available today.

Additional Card Details

  • Get a 0% introductory APR for up to 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers — start with a 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then unlock three additional months with on-time minimum payments during the 18-month offer, then a 15.99% to 27.99% variable APR thereafter
  • Cell phone protection against damage or theft worth up to $600 when you pay your bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible)
  • Get access to My Wells Fargo Deals: earn cash back as an account credit when you shop, dine or enjoy an experience using your eligible Wells Fargo card
  • Roadside dispatch

Good for Intro 0% APR: U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
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U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Editor’s Score: (4.1/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Editor’s Score: (4.1/5)
  • Introductory balance transfer rate:
    0% for 20 billing cycles on balance transfers
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    16.74% – 26.74% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Long 0% interest intro offer for purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR
Cons
  • Fees for late or returned payment
  • 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) applies
  • No rewards structure
The Bottom Line
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum is a solid option for a 0% interest intro offer on new purchases as well as balance transfers, and it’s easy to see why: its 20-billing-cycle intro period (16.74% – 26.74% variable APR thereafter) is among the longest available. You won’t earn any ongoing rewards, but for debt payoff or forgoing interest on new purchases, this card is a great choice.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory APR for 20 billing cycles on new purchases
  • 0% introductory APR for 20 billing cycles on balance transfers posted to your account within 60 days of account opening
  • Balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of balance, whichever is greater
  • No penalty APR
  • Cellphone protection for damage or theft up to $600 for up to two claims per year with a $25 deductible.

Good for No Credit History: Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card issued by WebBank

Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
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Petal® 2
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Petal’s secure site.
Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.24% – 29.24% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    (No Credit History)
Rewards rate:

Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments. 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Cash back rewards increase with responsible credit use
  • No annual fee or security deposit
  • Prequalify online without a hard inquiry on your credit report
Cons
  • No welcome bonus
  • No introductory APR
  • Potentially high ongoing variable APR
The Bottom Line
The Petal 2 Visa Credit Card issued by WebBank, is designed to help credit newcomers establish credit and build a good credit score with no annual fee. You’ll earn cash back rewards on your spending, and the card uses an alternative approval process which can help you qualify even with no credit history.

Additional Card Details

  • Earn a baseline 1% cash back on all eligible purchases, and up to 1.5% back after 12 on-time payments
  • Reports payment history to all three credit bureaus
  • Credit limit between $300-$10,000 based on credit worthiness
  • No annual fee

What Is Visa?

Visa is a credit card network. When you have a Visa card, Visa is not your card issuer. Visa cards are issued by banks like Chase and Capital One. Instead, Visa is the electronic payment network that actually facilitates each transaction.

Visa also does not determine your cards rewards structure, redemption options, or rates and fees — those are set by the card issuer. However, some card benefits may be offered by Visa, including many travel and purchase protections.

Pro Tip

If you’re looking for a Visa card, remember that the benefits you receive can vary widely based on the issuing bank. Make sure to compare Visa cards from different issuers, like Capital One or Chase, before you decide.

When you’re approved for a new card account, you can see what type of Visa card you’ll receive. There are three main types of Visa credit cards — traditional Visa cards, Visa Signature cards, and Visa Infinite cards.

Types of Visa Cards

Some credit cards are issued as a single type of Visa card, while others may approve you for different types, depending on your creditworthiness. You can determine what type of Visa your credit card is by looking for the Visa logo on your card or referring to your card agreement.

The type of Visa card you have typically determines which benefits you’ll receive from Visa. Where traditional Visa credit cards are often starter credit cards, Visa Signature and Visa infinite cards are for more established consumers.

  • Traditional Visa: Traditional Visa credit cards are the easiest to qualify for, and they tend to come with no annual fee. They offer the most basic benefits, such as emergency card replacement, zero liability, and some travel protections. 
  • Visa Signature: Visa Signature cards may or may not come with an annual fee, but carry a more robust selection of perks. Benefits can include extended warranty coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, travel and emergency assistance, concierge services, and more. 
  • Visa Infinite: All Visa Infinite cards charge annual fees, with some costing hundreds of dollars per year. In exchange, you’ll get the most premium benefits, which can include airport lounge access, credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, the highest levels of extended warranty and purchase protection coverage, the best travel insurance benefits, and more. 

Not every card of a particular type has the exact same benefits. Even though Visa does list some standard benefits for each card tier, you should check with your card issuer or your individual card agreement to learn more about your specific cardholder benefits.

What’s the Difference Between Visa and Mastercard?

Alongside Visa, Mastercard is one of the other major credit card networks over which transactions are made. Mastercard also does not issue its own credit card, but has a few different card types with differing benefits, like Visa.

Where Visa has Traditional, Signature or Infinite card types, Mastercard options include Standard Mastercard, World Mastercard, and World Elite Mastercard. Similar to Visa cards, these card categories range from basic to premium features and perks. 

Outside of differing card types and features, Visa and Mastercard function very similarly. Card on both networks are accepted by millions of retailers and vendors worldwide. At the end of the day, the card issuer and individual credit card you choose are much more important than the minor differences between Visa and Mastercard alone.

Which Banks Use Visa?

There are many financial institutions that issue Visa credit cards. You can find Visa card options from Bank of America, Capital One, Chase and Credit One, among others. Some examples of popular Visa credit cards from different issuers include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and the Petal 2 Visa Credit Card.

You can even find unique and more obscure Visa cards, such as the BlockFi Rewards Visa Card issued by Evolve Bank & Trust and the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card issued by Capital Bank N.A.

Two issuing banks you won’t find with Visa card options are American Express and Discover. These issuers function as both card issuer and network. In general, American Express and Discover both function as their own payment networks and issue their own credit cards.