Personal Finance
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Best Credit Cards for June 2024

Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more about it.

updated: June 17, 2024

The best credit cards on the market change over time as card issuers update their promotions and new card offers are introduced. That's why we created this list that's updated on a regular basis. Here you can find out which credit cards are the most promising at the moment, including travel credit cards, cash back credit cards, 0% APR credit cards, and other credit card categories.

Read on to learn about the best credit cards in 2024, why we picked them, and how each card we selected can help you reach your goals.

TIME Stamped best credit cards picks

Best cash-back credit card: card_name

card_name

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles_full

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a solid flat-rate earnings card with annual_fee_disclaimer annual fee. Although the 1.5% cash back doesn’t seem impressive at first glance, it becomes more valuable when combined with other rewards cards from Chase that can be redeemed for a far greater value.

This card is recommended for everyday use, whether for doctor copays or big box store purchases. It can be a large earner for cardmembers who want to get the most out of their everyday spending.

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Up to $20,000 spent in the first year: 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (takeout and delivery services included), 3% on all other purchases. Post $20,000 spent or first year: 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (takeout and delivery services included), 1.5% on all other purchases.

Why we chose it: The card_name was selected as the best cash-back credit card due to its quarterly bonus categories that earn 5% cash-back, its generous rewards for drugstore and dining purchases, and its intro 0% APR offer for purchases and balance transfers.

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • bonus_miles_full.
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • Additional 5x cash back on travel purchased through the Ultimate Rewards program, 3x on dining, and 3x on drugstore purchases.
  • Extra 1.5% earned the first year up to $20,000.

Cons:

  • 5% cash advance and balance transfer fees.
  • 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • Only available for cardholders with a good credit score.

Read our full review here.


Best flat-rate cash back credit card: Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 2% cash back on everything—1% when a purchase is made and another 1% when it's paid off.

Why we chose it: The Citi Double Cash® Card lets cardholders earn 2% cash back on everything—1% when a purchase is made and another 1% when it's paid of —and there is a $0 (Rates & Fees) annual fee.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Lucrative flat-rate rewards on all purchases
  • Rewards come with flexible redemption options
  • Annual Fee: $0

Cons:

  • Charges foreign_transaction_fee in foreign transaction fees
  • Intro APR does not apply to purchases
  • High APR (reg_apr,reg_apr_type) after intro offer ends for balance transfers
  • Requires credit_score_needed credit

Read our full review here.


Best credit card for grocery shopping: card_name

card_name

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other purchases. Terms Apply.

Why we chose it: We picked the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express as best for groceries due to its sky-high rewards rate in this category. The card also has an impressive welcome offer and intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers (Rates & Fees).

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Highest bonus rewards rate for U.S. supermarkets and U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • Generous rewards for U.S. gas stations and transit
  • annual fee (Rates & Fees)
  • Introductory intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration and balance_transfer_intro_apr,balance_transfer_intro_duration (Rates & Fees); then reg_apr,reg_apr_type
  • Comes with purchase protection and return protection
  • Terms Apply.

Cons:

  • Bonus rewards cap at U.S. supermarkets
  • Rewards only redeemable for statement credits
  • High Go-To APR () after introductory APR period ends (Rates & Fees)
  • Charges in foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees)
  • Annual fee after year one (Rates & Fees)
  • Requires credit

Read our full review here.


Best credit card for entertainment: card_name

card_name

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonsu rewards: Earn 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery spending (Excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) and 1% back on other purchases; also earn 8% back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Why we chose it: The offers the best rewards rate on entertainment purchases—including concerts, amusement parks, zoos, professional sporting events, and more.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Profitable rewards rate on entertainment, dining, and more
  • 8% back on Capital One Entertainment purchases
  • annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Flexible redemptions for rewards
  • ; then reg_apr,reg_apr_type and ; then balance_transfer_fees

Cons:

  • Requires credit
  • High APR () after intro APR period ends

Read our full review here.


Best travel credit card: card_name

card_name

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

This card's generous benefits and flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points make it an excellent deal for those who can use them. Users get a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership (retail value $469), a $300 annual travel credit that applies to travel purchases each year, 50% more value when redeeming their rewards for travel through Chase, a fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, and a generous suite of travel insurance benefits.

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel(SM) immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel(SM). For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass(TM) Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck(R)
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 10X points on hotel and rental car purchases through Chase (after the first $300 in travel spending is met), 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, 5X points on flights booked through Chase (after the first $300 in travel spending is met), 3X points on travel and dining worldwide, and 1X points on other purchases; also earn 10X points on Lyft rides through Dec. 31, 2024.

Why we chose it: We chose the as the best travel credit card due to its affiliation with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, its exceptional travel perks, and its generous bonus categories for rewards.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Comes with a $300 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership (valued at $469)
  • 50% more value redeeming points for travel through Chase
  • Points transfer 1:1 to Chase airline and hotel partners
  • Points redeemable for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and more
  • $100 fee credit toward Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck membership
  • Best selection of travel insurance benefits of all travel credit cards
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription
  • Instacart benefits
  • foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • annual fee
  • High APR () if you carry a balance
  • Requires credit

Read our full review here.


Best credit card for travel insurance: card_name

card_name

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles
This card offers many different options for points redemption, so it’s great for cardholders who want flexibility. If you travel or stay with any of the partner airlines or hotels, this can be a good way to take advantage of loyalty programs and redeem points directly for even more value.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel(SM), 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel(SM). For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 5X points on travel booked through Chase (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 annual hotel credit); 3X points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services; 2X points on other travel; and 1X points on other purchases; also, you can earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025.

Why we chose it: The card doesn't have as many travel perks as the , but it offers the same rewards flexibility and its own selection of top bonus categories. Cardholders also get access to a range of travel insurance benefits on a complimentary basis.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Value of 25% more when you redeem points for travel through Chase
  • Points transfer 1:1 to Chase airline and hotel partners
  • Can also redeem points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and more
  • Generous travel insurance benefits
  • Annual hotel credit benefit of $50
  • Rewards anniversary bonus of 10%
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription
  • Instacart benefits
  • foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • High APR () if you carry a balance
  • Requires credit

Read our full review here.


Best credit card for lounge access: card_name

card_name

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on airfare booked with airlines and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on other eligible travel booked through American Express Travel, and 1X point for every eligible dollar spent. Terms Apply.

Why we chose it: The offers superior point flexibility for travel, as well as the most robust airport lounge membership of all travel credit cards. Members get access to Priority Pass lounges, Amex Centurion lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs when they fly with Delta.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Comes with Global Lounge Collection, the best airport lounge membership of all travel credit cards
  • Comes with $1,500+ in statement credits for airline incidentals, eligible hotel bookings, and more
  • Automatic elite hotel status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy
  • Superior rewards rate for eligible airfare and prepaid hotel bookings
  • Points transfer to Amex airline and hotel partners
  • Other redemptions for travel through AmexTravel.com, gift cards, statement credits, and more
  • Terms Apply.

Cons:

  • Very high annual fee of (Rates & Fees)
  • High APR () if you carry a balance (Rates & Fees)
  • Annual credits are notoriously difficult to use
  • Requires credit

Read our full review here.


Best credit card for balance transfer: card_name

card_name

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: None

Why we chose it: The card_name comes with the longest intro APR of all credit cards on the market today (balance_transfer_intro_apr,balance_transfer_intro_duration), and it has annual_fees annual fee.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Lengthy intro APR offer for balance transfers
  • annual_fees annual fee
  • late_payment_fee late fees or penalty rate
  • Free FICO score
  • Choose your own due date

Cons:

  • No rewards
  • High APR (reg_apr,reg_apr_type) after intro APR period ends
  • Shorter intro APR for purchases
  • balance_transfer_fees;
  • Charges foreign_transaction_fee in foreign transaction fees
  • credit_score_needed credit required

Read our full review here.


Best student credit card: card_name

card_name

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on all spending, plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Why we chose it: The is available for consumers with "" credit, meaning FICO scores from 580 to 669. It helps build credit as a result, and student cardholders get to earn 1.5% in cash back on their purchases with annual fee.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Available for fair credit borrowers
  • Builds credit by reporting to the credit bureaus
  • Generous flat-rate rewards for spending
  • Rewards have flexible redemption options
  • Complimentary Uber benefits
  • annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • Must be a student to apply
  • High APR () if you carry a balance

Best credit card for dining:

card_name

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 4X points on dining worldwide, 4X points on up to $25,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1X points), 3X points on airfare booked with airlines or through AmexTravel.com, and 1X points on other purchases. Terms Apply.

Why we chose it: is best for dining due to its lucrative rewards rate for all the best food and drink money can buy. Cardholders earn 4X points on dining worldwide and 4X points on up to $25,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1X points).

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Very high rewards rate on eligible food spending, plus airfare
  • Comes with up to $120 in Uber Cash annually (doled out monthly)
  • $120 annual dining credit (doled out monthly)
  • Points transfer to Amex airline and hotel partners
  • Membership Rewards redeemable for statement credits, gift cards, and more
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • High annual_fees annual fee
  • High APR if you carry a balance
  • Annual credits notoriously difficult to use
  • credit_score_needed credit required

Read our full review here.


Best credit card for building credit:

card_name

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all spending.

Why we chose it: This secured credit card offers 1.5% cash back on all spending and has annual fee, and you can check for preapproval online without a hard inquiry on your credit reports. Note that as this is a secured credit card, a minimum security deposit of $200 is required.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Reports to the credit bureaus help you build credit
  • Cash back on all purchases
  • Flexible rewards redemptions
  • Check your approval odds before you apply
  • annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Automatic credit line reviews after six months

Cons:

  • Security deposit required
  • High APR () if you carry a balance
  • Available for credit

Best credit card for small businesses:

card_name

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

The is the best business card for travel due to its rewards flexibility, foreign transaction fees, and protective consumer benefits.

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: You earn 3X points per dollar on up to $150,000 in combined spending in eligible business categories each year (then 1X points) and 1X points on other purchases. Categories that earn 3x points include shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, select advertising purchases, and travel.

Why we chose it: The is the best small business card for travel due to its rewards flexibility, foreign transaction fees, and protective consumer benefits.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Generous bonus rewards in popular business categories
  • Value of 25% more when you redeem points for travel through Chase
  • Points transfer 1:1 to Chase airline and hotel partners
  • Other flexible redemptions include cash back, gift cards, merchandise, and more
  • foreign transaction fees
  • Free employee cards
  • Comes with primary auto rental coverage when you rent a car for business purposes
  • Has purchase protection and extended warranties

Cons:

  • High APR () if you carry a balance
  • High spending threshold to earn welcome offer
  • credit required

Read our full review here.


Best business cash back credit card: card_name

card_name

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 2% cash back on all purchases and 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Why we chose it: The offers a flat 2% cash back on all spending, and it comes without a set credit limit.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Higher cash-back rate than other business cards
  • Charge card with no preset spending limit
  • Earn a $200 cash bonus when you spend $200,000 or more in a year
  • Free employee cards
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • Must pay your credit card balance in full each month
  • 2.99% monthly late fee when you don't pay your balance in full
  • High annual fee of
  • credit required

Read our full review here.


Best business credit card for limited or damaged credit: Revenued Business Card

Revenued

Revenued Business Card

Revenued Business Card

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: None.

Why we chose it: You may be able to get approved for the Revenued Business Card regardless of your credit, which helps this card stand out from the competition. This business card also comes with no annual fee, no monthly fees, and no hidden fees.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • No hard credit inquiry to apply
  • Approvals based on your business revenue and not your credit
  • No annual fee or hidden fees
  • Access to cash on demand - have cash deposited into your business bank account
  • Reports repayment activity to D&B to help build business credit

Cons:

  • Interest charges based on a "factor rate" that is applied to purchases automatically
  • Substantial business revenue required
  • No welcome or reward bonuses

Best gas credit card: card_name

card_name

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 4% cash back on up to $7,000 spent on eligible gas and EV charging purchases per year (then 1% back), 3% back on restaurants and eligible travel, 2% on purchases from Costco and Costco.com, and 1% back on other spending.

Why we chose it: While the card_name members only, this card offers 4% cash back on up to $7,000 spent on eligible gas and EV charging purchases per year (then 1% back). This means bonus rewards on gas are available at nearly any gas station—not just at Costco.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Exceptional rewards on gas and EV charging purchases
  • Great earning rate for dining, travel, and Costco spending
  • annual_fees annual fee for Costco members
  • foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • No welcome offer
  • High APR (reg_apr,reg_apr_type) if you carry a balance
  • Must be a Costco member
  • Rewards only redeemable once per year
  • Rewards only redeemable for Costco merchandise or cash back in stores
  • Requires credit_score_needed credit score

Read our full review here.


Best credit card for Amazon shopping: card_name

card_name

Prime Visa

Prime Visa

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles

The Prime Visa is one of the most versatile cash back credit cards you can open because of its monster return rate at Amazon and Whole Foods. Between those two brands, you can get just about anything you’d possibly need.

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full

Bonus rewards: Earn 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases, Amazon in-store purchases, and Whole Foods Market spending, 2% back at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% back on other spending.

Why we chose it: The card_name offers an astronomical cash-back rate of 5% back on Amazon.com, Amazon in-store purchases, and spending at Whole Foods Market. It has annual_fees annual fee, and there are foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fees to worry about.

Pros & cons:

Pros:

  • Great rewards rate for Amazon and Whole Foods spending
  • Potential to earn 10% back on eligible purchases with Prime Card Bonus
  • Good selection of travel insurance benefits
  • Comes with Visa Signature perks
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Rewards redeemable for Amazon purchases, gas back, gift cards, travel, and more

Cons:

  • Amazon Prime membership required
  • High APR if you carry a balance
  • Good-to-excellent credit required

Read our full review here.


Our Methodology

Finding the best credit cards is challenging because credit card issuers offer different rewards programs, their own unique selection of perks, and card terms that can change over time. To find the best credit cards, we compared card offers based on the following criteria:

  • Rewards rates (when applicable)
  • Welcome offers (when applicable)
  • Rewards flexibility
  • Introductory APR offers
  • Variable APRs
  • Annual fees
  • Consumer protections included
  • Travel benefits and perks
  • Travel insurance benefits
  • Credit rating required

Ultimately, we looked for credit cards that offer the most lucrative rewards structures and welcome offers, as well as flexibility within their designated rewards programs. Some cards that don't offer rewards were evaluated based on other factors, including their fee structure, introductory interest rates, and regular variable APR. In all cases benefits such as consumer protections and travel insurance perks were taken into account.

Best credit cards comparison chart

Card nameBest forWelcome pointsAnnual feeMinimum credit required
Cash-back
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Groceries
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Gas
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Entertainment
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Travel
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Travel insurance
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Lounge access
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Balance transfer
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Amazon
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Students
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Dining
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Building credit
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Small business
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Unlimited credit limit
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Best business card for bad credit
None
$0
Any credit rating
Flat-rate cash-back
bonus_miles
credit_score_needed

How to choose the best credit card for you

The sheer number of top credit cards on this page can feel overwhelming, and there are many more cards that didn't quite make our ranking. The following steps can help you find the best credit card for your needs among the sea of available options.

Determine your goals

Before you can decide on the best credit card, you have to think about what you're trying to accomplish. After all, you'll pick a different card if you want to earn rewards than you will if you need to consolidate high-interest debt.

Our advice? Think over your credit card goals and what you want out of the process, whether that's earning cash back, racking up travel rewards, or getting 0% APR for a limited time.

Compare rewards programs

If you are interested in rewards, you'll want to look over credit card earning rates and how you can redeem your points. Also note that travel rewards programs can be notoriously complicated, so you may have to do some research to find the best travel credit card for your needs.

Decide which cardholder perks you want

Are you interested in consumer protections such as cell phone insurance or extended warranties? Maybe you want early boarding with your preferred airline, free checked bags, or airport lounge access. Whatever you desire, one of the best credit cards probably offers it.

Look at card fees

While paying an annual fee for a credit card isn't always fun, these fees can be worth it if you're getting exceptional value out of the rewards you earn or the perks you receive. In addition to evaluating annual fees, you should also look for foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, and other hidden fees.

Consider eligibility by credit score

Also consider your personal credit score and which card issuers might work for you based on their minimum credit requirements. Note in the chart below how some card issuers only offer credit cards to consumers with good-to-excellent credit, whereas others offer credit cards for fair and/or bad credit and secured credit cards.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

More about credit cards

What are the different types of credit cards?

There are many types of credit cards, all of which are included in this ranking of the best credit cards. As you compare card offers and look for the right fit for your wallet, consider which credit card types might serve you best.

Cash back credit cards offer generous rewards on all your spending, (usually with no annual fee). Many cards in this niche also offer introductory APRs for purchases, balance transfers, or both, and most offer a sign-up bonus to boot.

Rewards credit cards offer flexible points that can be redeemed for travel in more than one way. In most cases rewards earned with a flexible card can be redeemed for travel through a portal or for points transfers to airline and hotel partners. Many flexible travel credit cards also let users redeem for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, and other alternative redemptions. Examples of flexible travel cards include cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, American Express Membership Rewards points, Capital One Miles, or points in the Citi ThankYou program.

Airline credit cards are credit cards are co-branded with an airline, so they offer airline miles instead of flexible points. As an example, American AAdvanage credit cards earn a rewards currency called "Loyalty Points," whereas Southwest credit cards earn points in theSouthwest Rapid Rewards program. In addition to letting you earn airline miles, many airline credit cards offer benefits such as free checked bags and priority boarding.

There are also hotel credit cards to consider, which are co-branded with hotel loyalty programs such as Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, and Wyndham Rewards. These cards earn hotel loyalty points you can redeem for free hotel nights, room upgrades, and more. Some hotel credit cards also come with automatic elite status and all the perks that come with it.

Balance transfer credit cards

Balance transfer cards offer 0% introductory APRs for debts you transfer from other credit cards and loans. This gives you the chance to pay down debt faster and save money on interest along the way. However, balance transfer fees (typically 3% or 5% of the debt amount transferred) usually apply.

Also be aware that the regular variable APR applies after the introductory offer ends.

0% APR credit cards

Some credit cards offer 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for a limited time. These cards tend to come with no annual fee, and some even offer rewards for spending.

Note, however, that the regular variable APR applies after the introductory offer ends.

Student credit cards

Student credit cards are geared to college students, so they are easier to qualify for than other unsecured credit cards. Some student credit cards offer rewards for spending and other benefits, such as a free credit score. Most student credit cards don't charge an annual fee.

Business credit cards

Business credit cards are geared to small business owners, sole proprietors, side hustlers, and entrepreneurs. These cards let business owners earn rewards on their business purchases, and they help keep business and personal spending separate for tax purposes.

Secured credit cards

Where unsecured credit cardsdon't require any collateral, secured credit cards require a cash deposit to "secure" the line of credit in the first place. With a security deposit, however, consumers with bad credit and even no credit have the chance to qualify. That's why secured credit cards are commonly referred to as "starter credit cards."

While many secured credit cards offer rewards for purchases and don't charge an annual fee, the main benefit of these cards is the fact that they build credit by reporting your payments to the credit bureaus.

How to apply for a credit card

Once you find the best credit card for your needs, you'll need to take a few simple steps to complete an application. Fortunately, all the steps required to apply for a new credit card can be executed online and from the comfort of your home.

Check your credit scores

Before you apply for a credit card, you'll want to have a general idea of where your credit score falls on the spectrum. We recommend taking steps to check your credit score for free, which you can do with any number of platforms including Capital One CreditWise and Chase Credit Journey.

You may also find that some credit cards let you get "prequalified" without a hard inquiry on your credit reports. This step doesn't help you check your credit scores, but it can help you gaugage your approval odds before you apply for a specific card product.

Read over the terms and fine print

No matter which credit card you decide is best, you'll want to read over the terms and conditions and fine print. Make sure you have a full understanding of any fees that are charged, including annual fees, late fees, and more. Also note the credit card's interest rate and how it compares to average, as well as the details of a card's intro APR offer if it has one.

If your preferred credit card has a rewards program, make sure you understand how rewards are doled out, as well as the minimum spending requirements and timeline to earn the card's sign-up bonus.

Gather your personal information

Next up, you'll want to gather relevant personal information that's required on all credit card applications. This includes some details you'll know off the top of your head, like your full name, address, and contact information. However, you'll also need to supply details you may have to look up like your Social Security number (SSN), annual household income, monthly housing payment, and more.

Provide thorough, honest information

Finally, move forward with a credit card application online and fill in the prompts with the best, most honest information you can. Once you're ready, you can hit "submit application" and wait to see your results. Many credit card issuers will process your application while you wait and give you an answer either way within a few minutes’ time. Others will contact you via email and take up to 30 days to approve you or deny you for the card you want.

If you aren’t approved for the card you applied for, don't panic. You may need to work on improving your credit score before you apply again. In the meantime, consider other credit cards you could get approved for now based on your credit profile, including credit cards for fair credit and secured credit cards for credit-building.

Alternatives to credit cards

  • Debit cards: Consider the benefits of using a debit card for purchases, although you'll need an eligible checking account to qualify. Also be aware that unlike credit cards, which let you borrow money, debit cards draw from money in your account to cover your purchases. Note, however, that using debit cards will not help you build a good credit score.
  • Home equity loans: Home equity loans come with fixed interest rates and fixed monthly payments, and they use the value of your home as collateral. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), most lenders will only let you access up to 80% of your home's equity through a first mortgage and a home equity loan.
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs): Home equity lines of credit also use the value of your home as collateral, although they offer a line of credit you can borrow against (instead of a lump sum), and they typically have variable interest rates. With a HELOC, your monthly payment is based on how much you borrow from your credit line.
  • Personal loans: Also called “installment loans,” this type of loan lets you borrow a lump sum with a fixed monthly payment, a set repayment term you agree to ahead of time, and fixed interest rates that are typically lower than you get with credit cards. In fact, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System data shows that, as of February 2024, the average interest rate on 24-month personal loans worked out to 12.49%, while the average rate for credit accounts assessed interest was 22.63%.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How many credit cards should you have?

The right number of credit cards is different for everyone. Ideally, you'll end up with a number of cards that help you maximize rewards and cardholder perks with the lowest interest rates and fees possible.

What is the easiest credit card to get?

The easiest credit card to get is typically a secured credit card, because it requires you to put down a cash deposit as collateral. That said, it's easier to qualify for most credit cards when you have good credit or better, meaning a FICO score of 670 or higher.

What are the best credit card offers right now?

Some of the best credit card offers right now include sign up bonuses which will generate $750 redeemed through travel rewards, like with the card_name.

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