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There Are 8 Types of Credit Cards. Which Is Best for You?

We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.
This page includes information about Discover products that are not currently available on NextAdvisor and may be out of date. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for some American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

When choosing a new credit card, you’ll need to consider a few factors, from the annual fee to the card’s APR and rewards process. 

But before you can find the right credit card, check your credit score to see where you stand. Some of the best credit card offers require a good credit score, or typically a FICO score of 670 or higher. And many top rewards and travel credit cards may even have tighter credit requirements than that, so knowing your score can help you figure out what you qualify for. 

Pro Tip

If you’re hoping to keep the initial expenses of getting a credit card at a minimum, look for cards with no annual fee and an introductory APR. Many cards fall in this category, yet they still offer rewards on spending and plenty of perks.

Once you know your credit score, consider additional factors like how you plan to use your credit card, the perks and features you’d get the most value from, and the interest rate and fees you’re comfortable with. These factors can help you narrow down a list of cards that might make the best fit for your wallet. 

To help you get started, here are a few different credit card types to keep in mind throughout your search:

Rewards Credit Cards

A rewards credit card is generally any credit card that offers rewards on your spending. Rewards can come in the form of cash back or points, which you can redeem for statement credits, gift cards, travel, merchandise, and more. 

Rewards cards offer a certain amount of these rewards depending on where you spend — some rewards cards are more geared toward travel while others offer more rewards on everyday spending, or a combination of both.

While rewards credit cards give you something back each time you use them, annual fees can apply and interest rates can be on the high end. Rewards credit cards are offered by all of the major issuers including American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Discover.

Who they’re best for: Rewards credit cards are best for consumers who want to earn rewards for each dollar they spend. They can charge high fees; it’s even more important to pay off your balance in full each month with a rewards card to get the full value of your rewards. But if you have great credit and you want to earn rewards that you can redeem in a number of ways, a rewards card may be a good fit. 

Rewards cards to consider

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

American Express® Gold Card
Learn More externa link icon
American Express® Gold Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
American Express® Gold Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $250
  • Regular APR:
    17.49%-24.49% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

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

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Tiered points system
  • Welcome bonus offer
  • Annual credits
Cons
  • Annual fee
  • Value of points dependent on how you redeem
The Bottom Line
The American Express Gold Card offers a great rewards structure that lets you rack up points when you make everyday purchases on groceries and dining out. You’ll get the most value from your American Express Gold if you use your points to save on travel — especially if you transfer your points to airline or hotel partners. The Amex Gold is one of our favorite travel rewards credit cards, and frequent travelers can get a lot of value from it, even in spite of its $250 annual fee.

Additional Card Details

  • Up to $120 annual dining credit
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides
  • Up to $100 credit on qualifying activities when booking through the American Express Hotel Collection
  • $250 annual fee
  • Amex Offers
  • Car rental insurance
  • Global travel assistance hotline
  • Baggage insurance
  • Extended warranty on covered purchases
  • Purchase protection
  • Dispute resolution
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Learn More externa link icon
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:
    16.74% – 23.74% 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
Citi Rewards+® Card
Learn More externa link icon
Citi Rewards+® Card
Editor’s Score: (3.7/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
Citi Rewards+® Card
Editor’s Score: (3.7/5)
  • Intro offer:
    20,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and then 1 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent thereafter. Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Round up feature helps you earn more points over time
  • Long 0% intro APR
  • No annual fee
  • Ongoing 10% points boost on your first 100,000 redeemed each year
Cons
  • Spending cap for bonus categories
  • Other no annual fee cards may offer higher rewards earn in similar categories
  • Minimal cardholder benefits
The Bottom Line
The Citi Rewards+ Card* offers a modest 2x points on up to $6,000 spent at supermarkets and gas stations each year (then 1x points) and 1x points on other purchases. But its most valuable benefit is the automatic round-up on each purchase. Rewards round to the nearest 10 points regardless of how much you spend. This means a $3 coffee will net you 10 points, and a $23 dinner with friends would yield 30 points.

Additional Card Details

  • Automatically round up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase
  • 10% points back bonus on up to the first 100,000 points you redeem each year
  • 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of transfer and purchases from date of account opening (variable 14.99% – 24.99% APR thereafter)
  • Citi Entertainment access

Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are a form of rewards cards that offer cash back for each dollar you spend. 

Your cash back card will likely offer different rates of cash back in different purchase categories. For example, some cash back credit cards offer a flat rate of cash back on everything you buy, yet others offer higher rewards rates in certain bonus categories or in revolving quarterly categories. Cash back cards can be more straightforward than points or miles when it comes to earning and redeeming your rewards. 

While not always the case, cash back credit cards tend to come with no annual fee. However, interest rates can be on the high side if you carry a balance over the long-term. It’s best to pay your balance in full and on time each month to avoid interest that can wipe out the value of your rewards. 

Who they’re best for: Cash back credit cards are best for anyone looking to earn simple rewards on their spending without a bunch of hassle or stress. If you’re not chasing points or miles travel redemptions, cash back is a good way to earn rewards to redeem toward purchases, statement credits, and more. 

Cash back credit cards to consider

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Learn More externa link icon
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:
    15.74% – 24.49% 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 15.74% – 24.49% 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
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Learn More externa link icon
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.6/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Wells Fargo’s secure site. See Rates & Fees.
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.6/5)
  • Intro offer:
    $200 cash rewards
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% Variable APR
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • Valuable welcome bonus
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% variable APR thereafter)
  • Cellphone and travel protections
Cons
  • High variable APR after introductory offer ends
  • No bonus categories to maximize
  • 3% foreign currency conversion fee
The Bottom Line
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card comes with an enticing 2% cash rewards on purchases, along with a valuable welcome bonus. You won’t pay an annual fee, and can also benefit from the 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (followed by a variable APR of 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49%).

Additional Card Details

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (followed by a variable APR of 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49%).
  • Cell phone protection worth up to $600 when you pay your bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible)
  • Visa Signature® Concierge service
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Roadside dispatch
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Learn More externa link icon
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    $350
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.49%-25.49% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Great rewards in everyday spending categories
  • 0% introductory interest offer for new purchases
  • Competitive welcome bonus
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No intro offer for balance transfers
  • U.S. supermarket 6% rewards capped after $6,000 annual spend
The Bottom Line
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is one of the only cash back cards we think is worth an annual fee, especially for modern families. This card’s excellent rewards on everyday purchases can help you maximize all of your most frequent spending — from dining in to at-home entertainment to the expenses that come with your daily commute.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then 15.49% – 25.49% variable APR
  • Early event ticket access and seating through American Express Experiences
  • Eligible for Amex Pay It, Plan It
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections
  • Minimum $25 rewards redemption

Retail Store Cards

There are two different types of retail cards — closed loop store cards that you can only use at the associated store or family of brands, and open-loop cards that you can use anywhere, but usually offer the best rewards at with associated brand.

Closed loop retail cards are not as versatile as general credit cards. That said, store cards tend to come with perks like in-store discounts or free shipping, and they are easier to qualify for than traditional credit cards. Open loop retail cards offer more flexibility. They’re usually issued by Visa or Mastercard, so you can use them anywhere, but you can get valuable rewards with a retailer you shop with often, like a grocery brand or gas station. 

Many consumers keep store cards just for the discounts they offer on eligible purchases, and this is fairly easy to justify since retail credit cards rarely charge an annual fee. Most retail cards also come with high interest rates so it’s important to only charge what you can afford to pay back in full each month. 

Who they’re best for: Retail credit cards are perfect for anyone who wants to build credit for the first time, as well as frequent shoppers who want access to in-store perks and discounts.

Retail cards to consider

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Learn More externa link icon
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)
  • Intro offer:
    $150 Amazon Gift Card
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.24% to 22.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership* 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores* 1% back on all other purchases*

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Rewards on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases, plus popular everyday spending categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Metal card
Cons
  • Sign up bonus comes in the form of an Amazon gift card
  • No annual fee, but $119 Amazon Prime membership required
  • High variable APR
The Bottom Line
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase is a game-changer for people who spend a lot on Amazon.com or at Whole Foods — both categories net you 5% in cash back. You’ll also earn rewards in other popular everyday categories along with some pretty sweet additional benefits, all for no annual fee (as long as you’re a Prime member).

Additional Card Details

  • Visa Signature Card with benefits like Visa Signature Concierge Service and Luxury Hotel Collection access
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement and baggage delay coverage
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranties
  • Auto rental coverage and roadside assistance
Lowe’s Advantage Card
Learn More externa link icon
Lowe's Advantage Card
Editor’s Score: (3.45/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
Lowe’s Advantage Card
Editor’s Score: (3.45/5)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    No Annual Fee
  • Regular APR:
    See Terms
  • Recommended credit score:
    (No Credit History)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Save 5% off eligible Lowe’s spending
  • Special financing offers for select purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Prequalification
Cons
  • High APR
  • 5% off or special financing, but not both
  • Store card has limited utility
The Bottom Line
The Lowe’s Advantage Card is a store card that grants you access to 5% savings or special financing on eligible purchases with the home improvement retailer, for no annual fee. If you shop at Lowe’s often, or you’re planning to spend a lot on home improvement in the near future, this card is worth considering.

Additional Card Details

  • Earn 5% off every day or sign up for six months special financing offers (on eligible purchases) when you shop with Lowe’s
  • Get 20% off your first purchase (up to $100 discount) through Jan. 31, 2022
  • Retail credit card that may only be used at Lowe’s, in stores or online
  • 26.99% variable APR
Target REDcard™
Learn More externa link icon
Target REDcard™
Editor’s Score: (3.5/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Target REDcard™
Editor’s Score: (3.5/5)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    22.90% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • 5% discount on Target purchases
  • Free two-day shipping
  • Extended returns timeframe
Cons
  • High APR
  • No points-earning capabilities
  • No perks for non-Target purchases
The Bottom Line
The Target REDCard is a solid pick for Target aficionados. For no annual fee, it offers 5% off at Target in-store and online, free shipping, extended returns, and more. But this card is specifically designed for Target shoppers. If you prefer other big-box retailers, or make most of your purchases elsewhere, you may get more value from a more general rewards card.

Additional Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • 5% discount on Target purchases and at in-store Target Starbucks locations
  • Access to “exclusive extras” benefit, offers that may be targeted based on your purchase history or location
  • Free two-day shipping
  • Extra days for returns
  • 22.90% variable APR
  • No foreign transaction fees

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Balance transfer credit cards are useful debt payoff tools if you have an existing balance on a credit card you’re looking to pay off. These cards offer 0% APR on balance transfers for a limited time, usually up to 21 months. A balance transfer fee is required for each transfer, which can add 3% or 5% of the full balance amount transferred. However, the long-term interest savings you can achieve by securing 0% APR can easily outpace that cost.

Balance transfer cards tend to come with no annual fee, and some offer ongoing rewards you can take advantage of after you’ve paid your balance in full. However, cards with the longest 0% APR offers tend to skip rewards altogether. 

Who they’re best for: Balance transfer credit cards are good for people with good credit who need to consolidate and pay down high-interest debts from other credit cards. 

Balance transfer cards to consider

Citi Simplicity® Card
Learn More externa link icon
Citi Simplicity® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
Citi Simplicity® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    16.24% – 26.24% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months for balance transfers and 12 months for purchases (then variable APR 16.24% to 26.24%)
  • No annual fee
  • No late payment fees or penalty APR
Cons
  • No rewards
  • No welcome offer
  • 5% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum)
The Bottom Line
The Citi Simplicity Card has one of the longest 0% introductory periods available for balance transfers, at 21 months from the date of your first transfer. For purchases, cardholders can benefit from 12 months of 0% interest, making this a great card option for consolidating debt or financing planned major expenses (16.24% – 26.24% variable APR thereafter).

Additional Card Details

  • Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening
  • Includes Citi Identity Theft Solutions protection
  • Choose your payment due date
  • Digital wallet compatible
Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card
Learn More externa link icon
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)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.49%-26.49% Variable APR
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Long intro APR
  • No annual fee
  • Cell phone protection
Cons
  • No rewards
  • High APR after the introductory offer ends
  • Must meet requirements to get full 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 of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the introductory and extension periods. After that, there will be a variable APR of 14.49% to 26.49%. 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 up to three additional months with on-time minimum payments during the 18-month offer and the extension period, then a 14.49% to 26.49% variable APR thereafter
  • Cell phone protection 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 in the form of a statement credit when you use your eligible Wells Fargo card with select retailers
  • Roadside dispatch
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Learn More externa link icon
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)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 25.99% (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 (15.99% – 25.99% 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.

Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards let you earn points or miles on your spending which you can put toward future travel. Some travel rewards are flexible, and may be used toward multiple redemption options with flexible programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards. Other travel cards are co-branded with certain travel brands, and earn airline miles or hotel loyalty points to use toward a specific brand

The best travel credit cards tend to come with an array of benefits for users, which can include free checked baggage on flights, lounge access at the airport, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership, annual travel credits, and more.

Some travel cards also let you transfer and redeem your points with airline and hotel partners, which can help boost your redemption value, depending on your itenerary. While travel credit cards tend to offer more perks than other types of cards, they typically come with annual fees and high APRs. 

Who they’re best for: Travel credit cards are ideal for people who want to earn points or miles good for free airfare, hotel stays, rental cars, and more. These cards also work well for people who want travel perks like annual credits or frequent flyer benefits. That said, these credit cards are best for people who travel at least a few times each year, so you can get the full value of the card’s benefits and help offset any fee cost.

Travel credit cards to consider

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Learn More externa link icon
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:
    17.74% – 24.74% 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
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Learn More externa link icon
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Capital One’s secure site.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    75,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    17.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

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. Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Flat 2x miles on every purchase
  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • Flexible rewards redemptions
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • High variable APR
  • $95 annual fee
  • Travel transfer partners options and value aren’t as good as some other programs
The Bottom Line
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great travel credit card option for travel enthusiasts who value flexible rewards over premium benefits or credits. It even ranks among our best credit card picks. Double miles on every dollar you spend, a generous welcome bonus, and numerous redemption options can all go a long way to offset the card’s $95 annual fee — and help you save on future travel.

Additional Card Details

  • Flexible redemption options to use rewards toward future travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Up to $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® membership every four years
  • Two complimentary visits to Capital One Lounge locations each year
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
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Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Editor’s Score: (4.15/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Editor’s Score: (4.15/5)
  • Intro offer:
    90,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $250
  • Regular APR:
    17.24%-26.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Valuable welcome offer
  • Bonus miles in travel and everyday spending categories
  • Earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) toward elite status through credit card spending
  • Additional airport and flight benefits for frequent Delta travelers
Cons
  • $250 annual fee
  • High variable APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • Rewards not as valuable for infrequent travelers or those who don’t usually fly Delta
The Bottom Line
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card is worth considering for anyone who prefers to fly with Delta Air Lines. You can earn a great welcome bonus, plus bonus rewards on Delta purchases, other travel expenses, and even some everyday spending categories. Those rewards, combined with additional frequent flyer perks, can make this card well worth the $250 annual fee if you fly Delta often.

Additional Card Details

  • Annual companion certificate good for domestic main cabin round trip flight (taxes and fees still apply)
  • First checked bag free for you and up to nine companions on the same flight reservation
  • Up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • Earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 with your card in a calendar year (up to two times)
  • Priority boarding
  • 20% back on in-flight spending
  • Delta SkyClub lounge access for a reduced rate of $39 per visit, (See Rates & Fees)
  • No foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees)
  • Travel protections

0% Intro APR and Low Interest Credit Cards

Credit cards that offer 0% APR on new purchases can help you save on a large upcoming expense you want to pay off over time. 

Many 0% APR cards also offer rewards for spending, although you’ll typically sacrifice some intro offer length for ongoing rewards. Cardholder perks can also vary but may include benefits like purchase protection or extended warranties.

While 0% APR credit cards do let you avoid interest for a while, keep in mind that these offers don’t last forever. Typically, credit cards with 0% APR offer high variable rates after their initial offers end. It’s best to pay off as much of your balance as you can before the interest-free period ends, because interest will accrue on any remaining balance. Have a plan to pay your balance in full before you open the card.

Who they’re best for: Credit cards with 0% APR offers work well for people who want to make a large purchase and pay it down over time. Just make sure you’re able to pay your balance in full by the end of the intro period, or else risk taking on high interest on the remaining balance.

0% APR credit cards to consider

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Capital One’s secure site.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
  • Intro offer:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    16.49% – 26.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

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. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • No annual fee
  • Welcome bonus
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 15 months (16.49% – 26.49% variable APR thereafter)
Cons
  • No higher-earning bonus rewards categories
The Bottom Line
The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards card has a great 0% interest intro offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (16.49% – 26.49% variable APR thereafter) and a nice flat cash back rate on everyday purchases.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, then a variable APR of 16.49% – 26.49% based on creditworthiness
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Rewards don’t expire as long as the account is open
  • Unlimited 1.5% rewards
  • Multiple redemption options
  • Access to Capital One Experiences
Chase Freedom Flex℠
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Chase Freedom Flex℠
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
  • Intro offer:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.74% – 24.49% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! 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. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Extensive tiered rewards structure
  • Rotating bonus rewards categories every quarter
  • Valuable welcome bonus offer
  • 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High ongoing APR after intro period
  • Rotating quarterly bonus categories capped after $1,500 in spending
  • Keeping track of rewards categories may be more complex than some other cash back cards
The Bottom Line
The Chase Freedom Flex card offers cash back rewards in rotating rewards categories that will let you save where you spend the most. Plus, you’ll earn rewards in ongoing bonus categories year-round.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (15.74% – 24.49% variable APR 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 qualifying Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Cell phone protection
  • Free credit score and monitoring
  • Access to Chase Offers savings
PNC Core® Visa® Credit Card
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PNC Core® Visa® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
PNC Core® Visa® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0*
  • Regular APR:
    9.99% – 19.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    740-850 (Excellent)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles
  • $100 welcome offer
  • Relatively low ongoing APR after intro period
Cons
  • No rewards or cash back opportunities
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Few added benefits
The Bottom Line
The PNC Core Visa credit card* doesn’t offer cash back or travel rewards, but it does offer a solid 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. This 15-billing cycle no-interest period (9.99% to 19.99% variable APR thereafter) makes it a good option for people who have a large purchase planned or want to transfer a balance from another card.

Additional Card Details

  • $100 bonus after you spend $1,000 or more in first three billing cycles
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater, within the first 90 days
  • Access to travel and emergency assistance services
  • $0 fraud liability and PNC Easy Lock

Student Credit Cards

Student credit cards are geared specifically toward college students who want to build credit while establishing positive credit habits. These credit cards are easier to qualify for than general rewards cards, and they tend to come with no annual fee.

The specifics of student credit cards vary quite a bit from there, but many offer rewards or cash back for each dollar spent as well as intro APR offers. You may also get some benefits specifically geared toward students, like annual credits for earning good grades.

Who they’re best for: Student credit cards are for college students and young adults who want to build credit with a credit card.

Student credit cards to consider

Chase Freedom® Student credit card
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Chase Freedom® Student credit card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Chase Freedom® Student credit card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    $50
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 1% cash back on all purchases plus $20 Good Standing Rewards after each account anniversary for up to 5 years.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • $20 reward each year your account is in good standing (for the first five years)
  • Credit line increase in as little as five months
Cons
  • Lower rewards rate than some other student credit cards
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • High ongoing APR
The Bottom Line
The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card provides college students with a valuable introduction to credit-building. Not only can you begin building your credit history and improving your score with on-time payments, but you can earn a welcome bonus, get rewards on every purchase, and pay no annual fee. If you plan to study abroad though, you will pay a fee for using this card internationally.

Additional Card Details

  • Access your credit score for free through Chase Credit Journey
  • Qualify for a credit line increase after five on-time payments within the first 10 months of account opening
  • Purchase protection against damage or theft worth up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty — an additional year of coverage for items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to $1,500 per person and up to $6,000 per eligible trip
  • Fraud monitoring
  • Can redeem rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Cashback Match™
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.49% – 23.49% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    (No Credit History)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
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Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Editor’s Score: (3.1/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Capital One’s secure site.
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Editor’s Score: (3.1/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Up to $60 in streaming subscription credits
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    26.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    580-740 (Fair to Good)
Rewards rate:

Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Credit-building tool for users with little credit history
  • Earn rewards on spending
  • Automatic credit line reviews after six months
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High variable APR for purchases
  • No cash intro bonus offer
The Bottom Line
The Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card is a great option for students looking to build up a solid credit history while in school. There’s no annual fee, and you’ll earn cash back on every purchase. Take advantage of this card as a tool to build credit you’ll benefit from later in life.

Additional Card Details

  • Each month you pay on time, earn a boosted 1.25% back on all purchases
  • Earn $5 per month in credits toward select subscription services for up to 12 months *Exclusions Apply
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Automatic credit line reviews after six months
  • Prequalify with no hard credit check
  • 26.99% variable APR

Secured Credit Cards

If you check your credit and find out your score is low or nonexistent, a secured credit card may be the only type of credit card you can qualify for.

Secured credit cards require a cash deposit as collateral, which acts as your credit limit. Your payments are reported to the three credit bureaus, which can help you build credit as you use the card responsibly. Once your credit score is in good shape, you can always upgrade or cancel your secured card and get your security deposit back.

Many of the best secured credit cards available today don’t charge an annual fee, may offer rewards on your spending, and even let you get started with a security deposit as low as $49.

Who they’re best for: Secured credit cards work well for people who need to build or repair their credit but cannot get approved for an unsecured credit card.

Secured credit cards to consider

Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.7/5)
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.7/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Cashback Match™
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    24.49% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    (No Credit History)
Rewards rate:

Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Build credit, even with limited credit history
  • Automatic monthly account reviews after 7 months to determine if you qualify for a refunded deposit
  • Earn rewards on your spending
Cons
  • Requires security deposit (minimum $200)
  • High APR
The Bottom Line
With a valuable cash back rewards program, the Discover it Secured credit card stands apart from many other credit-building secured cards. Along with the standard features of a secured credit card — a refundable cash security deposit and payment reporting to the three credit bureaus to help you build credit — the Discover it Secured credit card gives users a way to build their credit and earn cash back rates typically only available with rewards cards that require higher credit scores.

Additional Card Details

  • Cashback Match first-year bonus: Discover will automatically match all the rewards you earn at the end of your first year
  • Refundable security deposit between $200 and $2,500 required, which will act as your credit limit
  • Automatic review your account after seven months to determine if you’re eligible to get your deposit back and upgraded to an unsecured card
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
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Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.5/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Capital One’s secure site.
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.5/5)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    26.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    (No Credit History)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Build credit with no annual fee
  • Available for people with bad credit or no credit
  • Low security deposit requirement
  • Automatic credit line reviews in as little as six months
Cons
  • No rewards on your spending
  • High variable APR
  • Credit limit can be as low as $200
  • Maximum credit limit of $1,000 with equal security deposit
The Bottom Line
The Capital One Platinum Secured Card can help you increase your credit score for no annual fee, whether you have bad credit or no credit at all. A fully refundable security deposit is required, but this card offers a lower required deposit than some other secured cards. And Capital One reports your balances and payments to each of the three credit bureaus, which will help you build a positive payment history.

Additional Card Details

  • Qualify for a line of credit with a security deposit as low as $49, $99 or $200
  • Get pre-qualified online without any impact to your credit score
  • Automatic review for a higher credit line after six months
  • Choose your own due date
  • Free credit score with Capital One CreditWise
  • Emergency card replacement
  • No foreign transaction fees
BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
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BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.3/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    (No Credit History)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • Establish and build credit
  • Can deposit up to $4,900 for a higher credit limit
Cons
  • No intro offer or rewards
  • Must deposit at least $300 upon account opening
  • High variable APR
The Bottom Line
The BankAmericard Secured offers you the chance to secure a larger credit line than many other secured card options — up to $4,900. A higher credit line is useful for building credit because you can keep a lower credit utilization ratio while enjoying more spending power (as long as you don’t spend more than you can afford to pay off). You’ll need to have that cash on hand, though. Your maximum credit limit will be determined by the amount of security deposit you give, your income, and other personal factors. If you provide a deposit with your application that exceeds the maximum line that Bank of America is willing to provide you, you’ll receive a check for the difference.

Additional Card Details

  • Minimum security deposit of $300 (maximum up to $4,900)
  • Periodic account review to determine if you’re eligible to have your deposit returned
  • Secured card available to people with no credit
  • Account alerts and FICO credit score access
  • 3% foreign transaction fee