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Best Credit Cards of 2022: Top Offers & Rewards

Best Credit Cards of 2022: Top Offers & Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our pick for the best credit card overall for 2022. Your rewards are high-value and incredibly flexible, and all of the benefits quickly comp for the ongoing annual fee.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

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Top credit cards of 2022

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

See Rates & Fees. On Wells Fargo's Secure Website

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

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Having the right card can help you achieve your financial goals, whether it's earning cash back, traveling on points and miles, paying down a new purchase with a 0% APR or transferring and paying down a balance.

Consider each card’s limited-time offers and other features from the list of best credit cards for 2022 below so you can spend responsibly and earn rewards quickly.

Compare the best credit cards of 2022

Welcome offer
Earning rate
Annual fee
Best overall: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases$95
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Cash back: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash<sup>®</sup> Card
Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 monthsEarn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases$0
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. On Wells Fargo's Secure Website
Cash back with rotating categories: Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.$0
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Show All Rows

Best credit card overall

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

$95

16.74% - 23.74% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 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.
Earns Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • 2X points on travel and restaurants
  • 25% more value when you redeem rewards for travel
  • Transfer points to a number of travel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • Includes trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • The card has a $95 annual fee – which isn't cheap
  • You have to spend $4,000 within three months in order to receive the sign-up bonus

Unfortunately, rewards cards aren't always rewarding. But the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card is. Whether you're a newcomer to the world of rewards cards or a rewards veteran whose wallet is flush with points-earning plastic, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card inherent flexibility makes it easy to turn today's purchases into tomorrow's perks – especially if you spend heavily on travel and restaurants — making it one of the top credit cards.

In exchange for a very reasonable $95 annual fee, it offers high-value points that are easy to earn and easy to redeem, not to mention solid benefits and an enticing sign-up bonus.

If you'd rather not keep track of bonus categories, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card card might be a better choice; for the same annual fee, its straightforward-earning structure allows you to earn rewards at the same flat rate regardless of purchase category. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card remains a superior choice, because its points are worth more – up to 1.25 cents per point compared to 1 cent per mile for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Rewards credit cards

The best rewards credit cards will be those that earn rewards in everyday spending categories. Rewards credit card categories include cash back, general travel rewards, co-branded airline cards, and co-branded hotel cards. Our favorite rewards credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, is also our top credit card pick.

Best credit card for cash back

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

See Rates & Fees. On Wells Fargo's Secure Website

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

$0

16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% Variable APR

660 - 850

  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5
  • $0 annual fee
  • No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • Strong sign-up bonus
  • High cash back earning rate
  • $0 annual fee
  • Low intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • Unlimited rewards
  • Cell phone protection
  • Zero liability protection
  • Visa Signature privileges
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • High balance transfer fees

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a top credit card for earning cash back. Cardholders can Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases. That's a great flat earning rate across all purchases for those who don't want to worry about varied spending categories. This card also comes with a solid welcome offer: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

In addition to its stellar cash back incentives, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card also offers a long 0% introductory period on both purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Cardholders get a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers. After that, you will have a 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% Variable APR.


Best credit card with rotating categories

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!

$0

15.74% - 24.49% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 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, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.74% - 24.49%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom FlexSM card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

  • High rate of 5% cash back on rotating categories
  • Cash back never expires and can be redeemed in any amount
  • A great option for pairing with other Ultimate Rewards cards
  • You can enroll any time in the quarter to earn the 5% bonus for that quarter
  • Must enroll in categories each quarter to earn 5% cash back

Credit cards are supposed to make it easy to spend money.

The best credit cards, however, also make it easy to earn money. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card is one of those cards, as it lets you 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

As long as you don't mind enrolling in and keeping track of Chase's cashback calendar, you can score big in categories such as wholesale clubs and gas stations. Not to mention, unlike Discover's rotating cashback card, the Discover it® Cash Back, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers an ongoing bonus on restaurants and drugstore purchases. This wide array of earning opportunities makes the Chase Freedom Flex℠ the king of rotating category cards.


Best credit card for restaurants

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Not available on ValuePenguin

Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

$95

16.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% variable APR

660 - 850

  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services, 3% cash back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023.
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more

  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
  • Exclusive culinary experiences and VIP tickets to concerts and sporting events
  • $95 annual fee
  • No 0% introductory APR
  • Useful only to consumers who spend on food and entertainment

If you love dining out, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card belongs in your wallet. Designed for anyone who spends a lot of money on restaurants, sports, concerts and theater, it lets you Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.

Cardmembers also Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening . Not to mention all the other benefits for food and entertainment nuts, including access to exclusive culinary experiences and VIP tickets to concerts and sporting events. The card's annual fee ($95) is a small price to pay for these benefits.


Best credit card for groceries

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

$95

15.49%-25.49% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a fixed monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 15.49% to 25.49%
  • 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 at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

  • High rate of 6% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (redeemable for statement credits)
  • Intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months (then 15.49%-25.49% Variable APR)
  • Terms apply
  • Annual fee: $95
  • The 6% rate at U.S. supermarkets is limited to $6,000 in purchases per year; after that, you earn only 1%
  • Minimum $25 required to redeem cash back
  • Cash back typically can be redeemed for statement credits
  • Terms apply

If there's one thing everybody needs, it's groceries. That's what makes the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card such an attractive card: It offers serious cash back on everyday purchases that almost everyone makes, including supermarkets and gas. Cardholders receive 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 at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply.

There's a $95 annual fee, and cash back typically can only be redeemed as statement credits (although American Express sometimes lets you redeem rewards for gift cards or merchandise, instead). Though its redemption options aren't as flexible as, say, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, it's a solid offering for anyone who wants to profit from their most frequent purchases.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here


Best credit card for business

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

On Capital One's Secure Website

Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening

$150

N/A

660 - 850

  • Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere—with no limits or category restrictions
  • Comes with no preset spending limit, so it can adapt to your needs based on your spending behavior, payment history and credit profile
  • Earn an annual $200 cash bonus every year you spend $200,000 or more
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Add employee cards for free, and earn unlimited 2% cash back from their purchases
  • $150 annual fee
  • Spark Cash Plus has no APR because your balance is due in full every month

  • 2% Cash Back on every purchase; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Cash back doesn't expire and can be redeemed at any time and in any amount
  • Business owners receive free employee cards
  • Extended warranty benefit
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • $150 annual fee
  • Lacks the travel benefits that are common to many other rewards cards

From payroll and inventory to hiring and marketing, small business owners have a lot of balls in the air. Credit card rewards shouldn't have to be one of them. That's why the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card is such a good business credit card.

Simple and straightforward, it offers 2% Cash Back on every purchase; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, with no limit on how many rewards you can earn and no spending categories to keep track of.

A couple of core benefits notwithstanding — there aren't a lot of bells and whistles to entice you. But that's kind of what makes this one of the top credit cards. What business owners need most is one versatile, uncomplicated card that they can use for all of their business purchases in order to make money while they're spending it. And that's exactly what the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card is.


Best credit card to build credit

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Generic art
Not available on ValuePenguin

Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

See terms

See terms

0 - 600

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

  • Earn cash back on all your purchases
  • Matches cash back in the first year for new cardholders
  • Requires a cash deposit of at least $200
  • Low maximum credit line of just $2,500

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card card is one of the best options for cardholders trying to establish or rebuild credit, not only because it makes it easy to build credit, but also because it allows you to earn valuable cash back.

Here's how it works: If you're approved for a card, you'll be asked to provide a refundable cash deposit that's equal to your credit line — for example, a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line, or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. As you use the card, you'll earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. The cherry on top: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year for new cardholders. Finally, if you use credit responsibly (i.e., you consistently pay off your balance in full), you may eventually reclaim your deposit and transition to an unsecured line of credit.

Travel credit cards

Travel credit cards can be excellent tools for frequent travelers. They provide perks like free checked bags, priority boarding and airport lounge access. Points accumulated with these cards can be put toward free flights, hotel stays and upgrades.

Best credit card for travel

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website

New Offer! Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

$550

17.74% - 24.74% Variable

720 - 850

  • New Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® 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 Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 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™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Earns Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Large sign-up bonus
  • Generous 3X rate on travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem points for travel
  • Transfer points to a number of travel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Complimentary airport lounge access
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • The $550 annual fee is substantial
  • No 0% introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is many travelers' favorite card thanks to its substantial features and benefits. The card's hefty $550 annual fee gets returned to you in the form of valuable rewards. For starters, you get 5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. On top of that, you get a $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel-related expenses, reimbursement for enrollment in trusted traveler programs like TSA Precheck, a Priority Pass™ Select membership that gives you complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges, trip and baggage delay insurance and primary car rental insurance.

And when it's time to use your points, you get 50% more value when you redeem them for travel through Chase's Ultimate Rewards® portal, plus the ability to transfer points to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.

"The Chase Sapphire Reserve card can be extremely useful for frequent travelers. Its credits, benefits, and flexible Ultimate Rewards points make it one of the best travel credit cards on the market right now."

Sophia Mendel, Travel Cards Expert


Best credit card for luxury travel

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Earns Amex Membership Rewards

  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and on prepaid hotels
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Largest airport lounge network of any credit card
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Marriott and Hilton Gold status (enrollment required)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Terms apply
  • The card's $695 annual fee is high
  • To maximize the card's travel benefits, you must book travel through amextravel.com
  • Travel credits may be difficult to use
  • Terms apply

In exchange for its $695 annual fee, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers significant value.

That value starts with a generous, pro-travel earning structure: Cardholders receive 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. They also receive 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. You can use points to pay for all or part of an upcoming trip when you book it on amextravel.com, to buy merchandise or gift cards, and to cover your card charges. You can even transfer points to participating airline or hotel loyalty programs.

Ultimately, though, what makes a luxury card are its benefits, and The Platinum Card® from American Express offers plenty of them. For example, you get complimentary access to more than 1,300 airport lounges, including Amex Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Club® and Priority Pass™ Select lounges (enrollment required); reimbursement for enrollment in trusted traveler programs like Global Entry or TSA Precheck; complimentary upgrades and benefits at partner hotels; Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status (enrollment required); Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings ($15 per month and $20 bonus in December) on rides or eats orders in the U.S. annually when you add the card to the Uber app; and get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on The Platinum Card® from American Express. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.

You also get trip delay and trip cancellation insurance, 24/7 emergency travel assistance services, car rental upgrades and insurance and free concierge services. The list goes on, as American Express is one of the best credit card companies out there.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

Unlike typical credit cards, the The Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to carry a balance on some charges, but not all


Best credit card for airlines

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

17.24%-26.24% Variable

660 - 850

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • $100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
Earns Amex Membership Rewards

  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Fee checked bag and priority boarding when you fly Delta
  • The annual fee is waived for the first year
  • Terms apply
  • The card charges an annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
  • If you're a frequent Delta flyer, you probably have elite status already; may be of little value to you
  • High spend required to get $100 flight credit
  • Terms apply

Airline credit cards that bind you to a single carrier can sometimes hinder instead of help your travel goals, limiting your ability to shop around.

A notable exception is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card card, which offers substantial value not only to diehard Delta acolytes, but also to the casual traveler who flies Delta Air Lines only occasionally.

That's because the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card makes it easy to earn miles when you're not flying Delta, and to redeem miles for elite Delta benefits when you are. Case in point: Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. That means you can rack up miles at home and on the road regardless of whether you're flying and with what airline. When you eventually do fly Delta, your card entitles you to a free checked bag and priority boarding. And when you spend $10,000 on your card during a calendar year, you get up to a $100 Delta credit for future travel.

If you fly Delta often, it's a no-brainer. And if you don't, it's still a good value that can make a coveted trip more affordable and more comfortable when you eventually decide to take it.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here


Best credit card for hotels

Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express

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Not available on ValuePenguin

Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

$450

17.24% to 26.24% variable

660 - 850

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio with your new Card and each year of Card Membership
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass™Lounge passes to ease the airport experience, enrollment required
  • $250 Airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • Access to 24/7 American Express concierge
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply
Automatic Hilton Honors elite status

  • Generous rewards structure, including 12X points per dollar on Hilton purchases
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status. Plus, earn Diamond status by spending $40,000 in a calendar year (enrollment required)
  • 10 free visits per year to Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Free weekend night when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Terms apply
  • $450 annual fee
  • Benefits only apply to Hilton properties
  • Terms apply

What makes the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express so great are its generous rewards structure and elite status benefits. If you're the kind of traveler who would rather upgrade your destination than your journey, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is easily one of the best hotel credit cards there is.

The card lets you Earn 14X per $1 of eligible purchases on your card directly with a participating Hilton hotel or resort, 7X for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com; on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies; & at U.S. restaurants, and 3X for other purchases on your card. Those points can be redeemed for free nights at Hilton hotels, or to reduce the rate you pay if you'd rather use a mix of points and cash. You'll also get complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status and a Priority Pass™ Select membership for access to airport lounges all over the world (enrollment required).

Balance transfer and low interest credit cards

If you're already carrying a significant balance on one of your credit cards, transferring your balance to one of these cards can give you a buffer for paying off your debt. Low-interest credit cards also provide a great way to help manage debt.

Best credit card for balance transfers

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

On Citibank's Secure Website

$0

15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% - 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

  • $0 annual fee
  • High flat-rate of cash back
  • Long intro APR on balance transfers
  • No caps and no category limits
  • Rewards are easy to redeem
  • No sign-up bonus
  • No meaningful perks or benefits
  • Half of your cash back isn't earned until purchases are paid for

If you're looking to pay down credit card debt, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer can be a great tool.

The card doesn't offer any unique perks, but it does have one major benefit for cardholders who are carrying a balance on another card: It promises an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers (a 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable) APR applies thereafter), provided transfers are completed within four months of opening an account. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening. Furthermore, transfers don't receive cash back. Nevertheless, it's an attractive offer and one of the best credit cards for young adults, making this a worthwhile balance transfer card for anyone who wants to both save and make money.

Although it doesn't offer a sign-up bonus, its cash back benefits can be incentive enough to open an account: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.


Best credit card with a 0% intro APR

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card

See Rates & Fees. On Wells Fargo's Secure Website

N/A

$0

14.49%-26.49% Variable APR

660 - 850

  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods. 14.49% to 26.49% variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min $5
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can earn cash back in the form of a statement credit while you shop, dine, or enjoy an experience simply by using your eligible Wells Fargo Credit Card
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% intro APR up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (14.49%-26.49% Variable APR thereafter)
  • $600 of cell phone protection
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; min: $5
  • Regular APR is high: 14.49%-26.49% Variable APR
  • No rewards program

The Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card is one of your best options for saving interest over a long period of time.

It's a simple Visa card that's geared toward people who want to take control of their finances and eliminate debt.

The card's principal benefit is a 0% intro APR up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (14.49%-26.49% Variable APR thereafter). That's over a year of interest-free existence during which time you can either finance a big-ticket item or pay down debt that you accrued on other, less forgiving cards.

As with most balance transfer cards, you'll have to pay a balance transfer fee of 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; min: $5. In return, however, you'll get the opportunity to make valuable progress toward your financial goals – not to mention a few other benefits, including up to $600 of cell phone protection and roadside dispatch.

Looking for a credit card deal right now?

Listed below are a variety of rewards credit cards offering excellent deals, from special limited time offers to enhanced welcome offers, earning rates, perks and benefits. Consider the full list of credit card deals here.

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credit card

Credit card beginner? Consider the best beginner credit cards

How to choose the best credit card for you

Not all credit cards are created equal. To find the one that's best suited to your needs and goals, take the following steps:

1. Pull your credit score

Some credit cards are reserved only for applicants who have an excellent credit history, while others have more lenient requirements. In order to qualify, you'll need to have a credit score that meets that card's requirements. Credit card issuers use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness.

This is why it helps to know your credit score going into credit card applications, so you can narrow down your options to only those you have a good chance at qualifying for. Here are some ways to get your credit score for free:

  • Some credit cards offer your free credit score, so check to see if yours does.
  • Capital One's CreditWise is available to anyone, even if you don't bank with them.
  • Experian's CreditWorks Basic subscription is free and includes your credit score and credit monitoring.
  • Your bank or credit union might be able to give you your credit score.

The most common credit score is a FICO® Score, which is calculated using variables such as the length of your credit history, your track record for on-time payments and your credit utilization (i.e., how much of your available credit you use), among other things. FICO® Scores range as follows:

  • Poor credit: Under 580
  • Fair credit: Between 580 and 669
  • Good credit: Between 670 and 739
  • Very Good credit: Between 740 and 799
  • Excellent credit: 800 and above
ficoscorecomponents

We suggest that you have good to excellent credit for your best chances at qualifying for a top credit card.

2. Evaluate your spending needs

You should choose a card that is suited to your spending habits and financial goals:
  • A travel rewards credit card makes perfect sense if you're a frequent traveler, for example
  • A cashback credit card is ideal if you're saving up to buy new clothes or Christmas presents for your kids.
  • If you're struggling with debt, meanwhile, a balance transfer card might be a better choice.
  • And if you've just bought your first home, a credit card with 0% introductory APR might help you afford new appliances or furniture.

3. Decide what type of rewards you want

Assuming you can qualify for one, a rewards credit card is a great way to make money while you spend it. But rewards come in many different shapes, including miles, points and dollars.
  • You might choose one over the other because it's easier to track – if you're considering cash back versus miles, for example, cash back might seem more straightforward.
  • Or, if you do the math, you might find that miles are worth more to you than cash back or points.

4. Evaluate your spending patterns

Your personal spending habits should shape your search for a credit card.

For example, if a credit card offers significant cash back on groceries and gas, but you eat most of your meals at restaurants and take the bus everywhere you go, that's probably not the right card for you.

Likewise, many credit cards come with attractive welcome bonuses that require you to spend a certain amount of money within a certain timeframe. If a welcome bonus mandates that you spend $5,000 in three months, but you typically only charge $1,000 per month, then it may not be worthwhile.

Still other cards charge hefty annual fees. If you spend enough money to accumulate sufficient rewards, the annual fee can pay for itself; but if you don't, the annual fee might prove beyond your reach.

5. Look at other credit card benefits

Like all businesses, credit card issuers compete for customers. Therefore, they often offer a slew of value-added benefits designed to sway you to do business with them instead of their competitors. Common benefits include:
  • Car rental protection that covers you in the event of a rental car collision
  • Cell phone protection that reimburses you for a lost or damaged phone
  • Travel insurance that covers you in case a trip is delayed or canceled
  • Travel credits that you can use toward baggage fees or in-flight refreshments
  • Purchase protection that reimburses you in the event that your newest treasure is accidentally damaged or stolen.

Shop around – if you're going to get a new credit card, you might as well choose one with benefits that appeal to you.

Types of credit cards

Aside from being a convenient form of payment, credit cards frequently offer additional benefits. There are many different types of credit cards, depending on the benefits offered, including:

Travel

A travel rewards credit card is designed for frequent travelers, who can earn rewards when they use the card for travel expenditures and/or later redeem those rewards for travel-related perks, like free or discounted airline tickets and hotel rooms.

Cash back

A cashback credit card gives you a percentage of your purchases back to you in the form of cash rewards. Depending on the card, you might earn:
  • A flat-rate of cash back across all your purchases
  • A variable rate that's higher or lower according to the purchase category – for example, 4% cash back at supermarkets and 2% cash back at gas stations.

Although options vary by card, cardholders typically have a number of redemption choices, including cash rewards for travel, gift cards or merchandise; a deposit into a bank account; or credits against charges on your credit card statement.

Balance transfer

A balance transfer credit card is geared toward people who want to consolidate credit card debt for the purpose of paying it down. Balance transfer cards typically offer a 0% introductory APR for an extended period of time during which you can transfer balances from other cards and allow them to sit – interest-free – while you pay them off. If you don't pay them off, however, transferred balances begin accruing interest as soon as the introductory APR expires.

0% intro APR

When a credit card offers a 0% introductory APR, that means its issuer promises not to charge you interest on purchases and/or balance transfers for a limited time. During that time, you can carry a balance – i.e., defer paying your bill – with no penalty. This can be useful if you need to consolidate and pay down debt from other credit cards, or if you want to make a large purchase and pay for it over time instead of all at once.

Student

A student credit card is designed especially for college students to help them learn how to use and manage credit. Because students typically have no or little credit history and very low incomes, they tend to have higher interest rates and lower credit limits than regular credit cards, and may require a cosigner if the applicant doesn't have sufficient income – from a part-time job, for example – to meet the card issuer's requirements.

Secured

Some credit cards are designed especially for people who need to build credit, including young people who are establishing credit for the first time and people who are seeking to rebuild their credit after previously damaging it. Such cards often are "secured" cards, which means they're backed by collateral in the form of a cash deposit. If you use credit responsibly for a period of time, the issuer eventually will return your deposit and allow you to graduate to an unsecured credit card.

Store

Because they may be easier to obtain and often have more restricted uses, store credit cards – credit cards issued by a retailer for use only at their stores – also can be useful for building credit.

How to use a credit card

A credit card can be a valuable tool with which to build a strong financial future. Or, it can be a flamethrower with which to torch said future. The difference lies in how you use the credit cards that you have. Here are a few tips to help you wield your plastic responsibly:

1. Avoid getting too many cards

Applying for too many credit cards at once can hurt your credit score by making it look like you're having a hard time getting approved, or like you're amassing credit in order to make a big purchase you can't afford. Moreover, having multiple cards means having multiple balances to keep track of. If you limit yourself to just one or two cards, it will be easier to keep tabs on your spending and payments.

2. Use credit often, but sparingly

It's not enough to just have a credit card; if you want to establish a good credit history, you've also got to use it. Doing so shows lenders not only that you can qualify for credit, but that you know how to use it responsibly. You should therefore use your credit card regularly – at least a few times a month. Be careful, though: Credit utilization (i.e., the amount of available credit that you actually use) is a major factor in your credit score, and you should aim to keep it low. How low, exactly? Under 30% is a good rule. If you have a credit limit of $5,000, that means you should never have a credit card balance of more than $1,500 at any one time.

3. Pay your bill on time

Using a credit card is like taking out a loan. Every month, you've got to repay the loan by paying your bill. Your card issuer will give you a minimum amount that's due, and you must pay that amount by the due date; if you don't, your interest rate might go up and you may have to pay late fees, both of which can keep you from reaching your financial goals.

4. Avoid carrying a balance

Although you don't have to pay your balance in full every month, you should. If you don't, the remainder will accumulate interest, which will cost you money and create a debt hole that might be hard to climb out of. Imagine, for example, that your credit card interest rate is 18%, and that you owe $1,000. Your minimum monthly payment is $50. If you stop using the card and only pay the minimum, it will take you five years to pay off the balance, during which time you'll accrue $360 in interest. That means paying $1,360 for $1,000 worth of purchases. Now imagine that you owe more than $1,000, and that you continue using your card; it's easy to see how debt spirals begin.

How to apply for a credit card and get approved

Once you've decided what kind of credit card you want, it's time to set about getting it. Here's how:

Find a card that matches your credit score range

When you're applying for a credit card, you can set yourself up for success by pursuing a card that complements your credit score. Here are our top picks for each credit score range:

Make sure your credit application is complete

When an issuer is deciding whether to grant you a credit card, your credit score is a big factor. But it's not the only factor. Typically, credit card applications also ask you to supply information about your debts and income. Although you shouldn't overstate your income or understate your debt, you can improve your chances of being approved by making sure the information on your application is accurate, comprehensive and complete.

If you earn income outside of your primary employment, for example – from a side gig, perhaps – be sure to include it. Likewise, include income from your partner or spouse; if you're 21 or over, credit card issuers are allowed to consider overall household income as part of your application.

Don't apply for too many cards at once

Be judicious about applying for credit cards. When you apply for a card, the issuer checks your credit history, which creates what's known as a "hard inquiry" on your credit report. If you apply for too many cards at one time, it will create multiple hard inquiries, which can have a negative impact on your credit report by suggesting either that your applications for credit are being denied or that you're preparing to take on a large amount of debt that you might be unable to repay.

Check for prequalified offers

If you apply for credit cards whose requirements are beyond your reach, you can end up shooting yourself in the foot. Not only will your application be denied, but you'll also generate a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can lower your credit score to the detriment of the next application you submit. You can reduce the risk by embracing prequalified offers. Such offers often arrive by mail, but you can also check for them online via bank and issuer websites.

Simply enter your information and the issuer will conduct a "soft inquiry" on your credit report that does not impact your credit score; the issuer will then present you with a list of prequalified offers based on your creditworthiness. Prequalification is not a guarantee that your application will be approved, but it's a good indicator that you might be.

Try applying through your bank

You can apply for a credit card by mail, online or over the phone. You also can apply in person at your bank. If you have a poor or limited credit history, that might be the way to go – especially if you have a good relationship with your banker, in which case they might be willing to personally shepherd your application through the review process and advocate internally for its approval.

Improving your credit score will take time, but the sooner you start to take action, the sooner you will see improvement.

Take these steps:

  1. Pay your bills in full and on time. This will help you avoid accruing debt and can help to establish a positive credit history, which will have a good effect on your score.
  2. Use less of your allotted credit. The credit bureaus want to see that you're only using a small percentage of your available credit, which spans all your open credit cards. Using less credit will help your credit score.
  3. Check your credit score regularly. Checking your own credit score does not result in a hard pull on your credit history, and therefore will not be damaging. You'll need to stay on top of your score to ensure you're taking the necessary steps for healthy maintenance.

Usually secured credit cards and cards that are marketed towards consumers with fair or average credit will be the easiest credit cards to get approved for.

A few of our favorite easy approval credit cards include the following:

What is a good APR for a credit card?

APR stands for "Annual Percentage Rate." Essentially, it's the amount of interest you are charged per year for carrying a balance on your credit card. Credit card issuers determine APR based on your creditworthiness; the better your credit, the better your APR. With that in mind, the best APR is the lowest. The following chart can help you gauge whether your APR is low, high or typical for the type of card you have:

Credit card type
Low
High
Overall
Travel rewards cards15.26%23.35%19.31%
Airline cards15.99%24.26%20.13%
Hotel cards15.67%23.99%19.83%
Low-interest cards12.85%22.03%17.44%
Cash back cards15.08%22.35%18.72%
Student cards15.79%21.79%18.79%

How do credit cards work?

When you use a credit card to make a purchase, you're borrowing money from the institution – a bank, for example, or credit union – that issued you the card. Every time you make a purchase, it's like taking out a loan.

When you make a credit card payment, you're paying that loan back. You can pay it off in full immediately or piecemeal over time. If you choose the latter, interest will accrue each month, such that your purchase becomes more expensive the longer you take to pay for it.

Credit cards are issued by banks, credit unions, and credit card companies (or issuers) in conjunction with credit card payment networks. The issuer brands the card and provides the funds while the payment network facilitates transactions.

There are four major credit card networks:

  1. Visa
  2. Mastercard
  1. American Express
  2. Discover

The major credit card issuers include:

American Express is both a credit card network and credit card issuer. Where you can use your card will depend on the network (i.e., some merchants might not accept Discover). The credit card company will usually determine qualification requirements, rewards, interest rates and other fees.

How to compare credit card offers

Once you know what you're looking for in a credit card – what kind of card you want, for example, what rewards appeal to you and which benefits you want to avail yourself of – you can begin comparing cards to determine which ones offer the best value. Specifically, you should consider the following variables and use your yearly credit card spend as a barometer to gauge potential returns:

Earning rate

If you're comparing rewards cards, it's important to understand how many miles or points your spending can earn you with a given card, or how much cash back.

Redemption value

Earning rewards is one thing; redeeming them is another entirely. Often, rewards are worth 1 cent per point or mile. That can vary, however, according to the card and even according to redemption preference (e.g., for travel versus merchandise or gift cards). Calculating rewards value requires doing some research and some math.

Sign-up bonus

Many cards offer a welcome or sign-up bonus; a side-by-side comparison can help you determine which offers are the most lucrative.

Annual fee

Some of the best credit cards for rewards charge an annual fee. A higher fee, however, often translates to better rewards, in which case the price of admission might be worth it.

Net return

When you add up the value of a card's rewards and bonus and subtract the sum of its fees, you end up with a net return by which to perform an apples-to-apples comparison between cards.

Value of other benefits

Don't forget to consider cards' ancillary benefits, which can add significantly to their value proposition. If a card offers a $200 travel credit, for example, that's like having $200 in your pocket. And if your card offers car rental insurance, that means you can decline the rental company's expensive coverage when it's offered.

Here's an example comparison between two cards – the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. As you can see, though the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express charges a $95 annual fee, it can be a better value in the first year:

Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Blue Cash Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Earning rateEarn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.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 at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. Redeemable for statement credits.
Redemption value (e.g., on $5,000 in supermarket purchases and $15,000 in other purchases)$20,000 x 2% = $400$15,000 x 1% = $150 $5,000 x 6% = $300
Welcome offerNo bonusEarn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Redeemable for statement credits.
Annual fee$0$95. For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
Net return in first year$400$600
Other benefitsNo other significant benefits
  • Car rental insurance
  • Return protection
  • Purchase protection
  • ShopRunner membership (enrollment required)
Apply Now
On Citibank's Secure Website
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Recap of the best credit cards for 2022

FAQs about credit cards

How many credit cards should I have?

Experts say two or three is a good number of credit cards for most people to have. But the truth is: There is no magic number. You can have one card or five. What's most important is that you only charge your credit cards what you can afford to pay back in full every month.

What is a secured credit card?

A secured credit card is a credit card that's backed by collateral, typically in the form of a cash deposit. If you use credit responsibly over time, the credit card issuer eventually will return your deposit and allow you to graduate to an unsecured credit card for which no collateral is required.

What credit score do you need to get a top credit card?

Top cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the The Platinum Card® from American Express will require very good to excellent credit to qualify. These top cards certainly won't be your first credit card, but you can work toward qualification after exercising good credit habits on starter cards first.

How can you get a credit card with bad credit or no credit?

If you have bad credit, or no credit at all, you may still be able to qualify for a credit card. The best credit cards for someone with bad credit are secured credit cards, which you obtain by making a cash deposit that can serve as collateral. Alternatively, you might be able to obtain a card by applying with a cosigner who has good credit and agrees to share responsibility for the card's balance.

What is the best credit card overall?

While we believe that the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the best credit card overall, know that there is no single "best" credit card for everyone. There are, however, top credit cards that are better or worse for you depending on your unique situation, preference and goals. Use the tips in this guide to help you find and choose the card that suits you best.

How do you pick the best credit card for you?

Credit cards are exciting, as they come with a whole suite of perks just for being a cardholder. That being said, you need to consider your spending habits, credit score, preferred rewards type and long-term benefits to find the best credit cards. The best credit card for you will help you optimize your current spending while offering perks that make sense for your lifestyle.

Which bank credit card is best?

Banks are just one type of credit card issuer. Credit unions also issue credit cards, as do payment networks like American Express and Discover. The information in this guide can help you evaluate and compare all credit cards, regardless of who's issuing them.

What is the best first credit card?

If you're looking for your first credit card, a student card is a good choice – provided you're in school. Check out the Discover it® Student Cash Back card, which offers solid rewards, an enticing welcome bonus and application terms that are geared toward first-time credit cardholders. If you're not a student, consider an entry-level rewards card like the Discover it® Cash Back, or a secured card like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card.

How long does it take to get a credit card?

Not long at all: You can get approved for a credit card within minutes of submitting an application online. Your new card typically will arrive in the mail seven to 10 days later but can take up to 14 days.

What are the easiest credit cards to get approved for?

Because they're backed by a cash deposit, secured credit cards generally have the fewest barriers to entry. Ultimately, though, ease of approval depends on your credit score and credit history. Someone with excellent credit, for example, generally will qualify quickly and easily for almost any card they want, while someone with poor credit might struggle to qualify for even the least stringent cards. If you're concerned about being approved for a card, look for prequalified offers: In exchange for some basic information, issuers will conduct a "soft inquiry" on your credit report – which doesn't affect your credit score – and present you with a list of cards that you are likely to be approved for based on your creditworthiness.

How do credit card miles work?

If you have a travel rewards card, you'll likely accrue rewards in the form of credit card miles. You earn miles every time you make a purchase–typically at different rates for different spending categories, depending on which card you have. When you have accrued enough miles in your account, you can redeem them for free or discounted flights, or sometimes even for hotel rooms. How many miles you need before you can redeem them will depend on what card you have, what airline you wish to fly and where you're flying to/from.

How old must you be to get a credit card?

The minimum age to get a credit card of your own is 18, although parents may make children under 18 authorized users on their accounts if they wish.

Should I get a credit card?

For most people, getting a credit card is a good idea. If you use it responsibly, it can help you build a strong credit score that will serve you later in life by making it easier to qualify for a mortgage, get a car loan and maybe even secure a job. And if you have a rewards card, having a credit card can even help you save money. For some people, however, a credit card is more harmful than helpful. If you're prone to debt, lack control over your spending and generally have trouble managing money, it might serve you better to abstain from having a credit card.

What credit cards give you access to airport lounges?

If you're a frequent traveler, airport lounges can be home away from home. Unfortunately, membership can be expensive. That is, unless you have a card that grants you lounge access as one of its benefits. Such cards include The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Does applying for a credit card affect your credit?

Yes. Every time you apply for a card, the issuer checks your credit history. That creates what's known as a "hard inquiry" on your credit report. If you apply for too many cards at one time, it will create multiple hard inquiries, which can have a negative impact on your credit score by suggesting either that your applications for credit are being denied or that you're preparing to take on a large amount of debt that you can't afford.

Methodology

To make choosing the right credit card easier, we've looked at cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best rewards credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the following criteria:

APR

How the card's annual percentage rate (APR) compares to other cards in its category and whether or not there is a low interest intro offer on purchases and/or balance transfers.

Rewards

Whether or not the card offers rewards, the type of rewards (points, miles, cash back), and the rewards earning rate.

Additional perks and benefits

These include things like free checked bags, travel and purchase protections, lounge membership, elite status, and airline and hotel perks.

Annual fee

Whether or not a card charges an annual fee, if the fee is waived for the first year, and if the card benefits offset or outweigh the annual fee.

Sign-up bonus

Whether or not a card comes with a welcome offer or sign-up bonus, how easy it is to earn the bonus, how valuable is the bonus overall.

Foreign transaction fees

Does the card charge foreign transaction fees and, if yes, does that limit the card's overall value.

Transferable points

Whether or not the card earns transferable points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards® or American Express Membership Rewards, how flexible are those points and how many transfer partners do they include.

Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here

The information related to Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Discover it® Secured Credit Card, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, Discover it® Student Cash Back and Discover it® Cash Back has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).