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Best Mastercard Credit Cards: 2019 Editors' Picks

Our editors combed through hundreds of offers to find the best Mastercard credit cards on the market, and categorized them according to categories that fulfill a certain need. For consumers who would like to do the groundwork themselves, we also put together a tool that helps you compare dozens of Mastercard cards based on your inputs. Either of these resources can help you find the ideal card for your wallet.

2019's Best Mastercard Credit Card Offers

Often times there is more to a credit card than simply its rewards value. Our editors put together a list of their favorite Mastercard credit cards that take into account all their features — even those that are harder to quantify.

MastercardBest For…Annual Fee
Citi® Double Cash CardCash Back$0
Citi® Diamond Preferred® CardBalance Transfers$0
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®Bad Credit$0
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®Travel Rewards$89 (waived first year)
Citi Prestige® CardLuxury Travel$450

Best Cash Back Mastercard: Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card will be the best Mastercard credit card for most people, since it has fantastic rewards and no annual fee. The card offers one of the highest all-around rewards rates. Cardholders get 1% cash back whenever making a purchase, then another 1% back when that purchase is paid off — hence the name "double cash". While most credit cards can get you rewards rates above 2% they do so in just one or two categories. The Citi Double Cash Card bests most other cards, including Visa and Mastercard, when it comes down to these long-term rewards.

The biggest downside to getting the Citi Double Cash card is the fact that it has no signup bonus. Most cards today, including those on this list, come with some added reward for those who apply. These bonus can be worth $150-$200 on no fee cards. If you are getting a card for the long-term, this one negative shouldn't matter. The Double Cash is still an excellent rewards card because of what we described above.

Highlights

  • 1% cash back at the time of purchase, plus another 1% back when that purchase is paid off
  • No Annual Fee
  • No signup bonus
  • Read Full Review

Best for Low Interest: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

If you're struggling with credit card debt, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is one of the best Mastercard offers for you. This card provides 21 months of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and 12 months for purchases. After the intro period, your APR will be 14.99% - 24.99% Variable, based on your creditworthiness. This is one of the longest zero percent balance transfer periods of any Mastercards we've come across. Given that the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card also has no annual fee, this is a great way to minimize the cost of any debt you take on.

Highlights

  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer when transfers are completed within 4 months from date of account opening
  • After that, your APR will be 14.99% - 24.99% Variable, based on your creditworthiness
  • Read Full Review

Best Mastercard for Rebuilding Credit: Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Generally speaking, people with poor credit aren't given the best credit card offers. However, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is an exception to that rule, coming with decent terms that can help cardholders rebuild their credit score painlessly. Unlike most of the cards targeted at subprime borrowers, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and no penalty APR. Where most cards try to gauge those with poor credit with fees, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® stays above this mess. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® also has one of the most flexible security deposit among cards of its type. You can put down as little as $49 to get a $200 line of credit. With most other secured cards, whether they're on Visa or Mastercard, your deposit is usually equal to your credit limit. This added bit of flexibility can be great for someone with a tight budget.

The only catch is this card's high APR. You shouldn't get the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® to carry debt month to month. The card comes with an extremely high APR of 26.99% (Variable) — that is 10 points higher than the average. While this is the case, we don't fully hold it against the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. High interest rates are par for course when it comes to secured credit cards.

Highlights

  • No annual fee
  • $49, $99 or $200 refundable deposit based on your creditworthiness
  • Access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time. No additional deposit needed
  • Read Full Review

Best Mastercard for Travel Rewards: Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is one of our favorite travel credit cards thanks to having a fixed rate on all purchases and a fantastic bonus. This card provides cardholders with a fixed 2.1% rewards rate on all purchases (the card actually offers 2 miles for every $1 you spend, but we value each mile at $0.0105), and offers 70,000 bonus miles that are worth around $700 in travel statement credit. To get this bonus, cardholders need to spend at least $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. Though the annual fee is steep — $89 — these rewards are likely to outweigh it for frequent travelers. Being a World Elite Mastercard, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® comes equipped with additional perks such as a concierge service.

Highlights

  • 2.1% rewards rate on all purchases
  • 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Read Full Review

Best for Luxury Travel: Citi Prestige® Card

The Citi Prestige® Card is one of the most expensive Mastercard credit cards you can get, but it's well worth the price tag for anyone who wants to add luxury to their travel. Cardholders who pay the fee get things like Priority Pass airport lounge access and a $250 annual general travel credit. Arguably the best perk you get with the card is the complimentary 4th night at hotels. When you book a 4-night stay using ThankYou.com or the Citi Prestige® Concierge, the 4th night is refunded (upto twice a year).

This card also provides a lot of points on everyday purchases. You get 5 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on air travel and dining, 3X points on cruise lines, and 1X point on entertainment and everything else. We value ThankYou points at about $0.0125 each, making the rewards rate on the Citi Prestige® Card between 1.25% and 3.75%.

Highlights

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, Amazon Business American Express Card, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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.

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® Card 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).