After 20 hours of research evaluating 125 products, we picked Chase Freedom Unlimited as our top choice.
Credit card companies pile on the perks for loyal cardholders. Some of the best credit card offers can include:
With so many impressive offers, it’s often difficult to decide which card is best for your lifestyle. That may explain why the average American has 3.1 credit cards, and some adults confess they have more than 7 cards.
But does anyone really need that many credit cards?
Maybe. A whopping 1 in 3 people say they can’t live comfortably without relying on credit cards. Other cardholders carry multiple cards so they can rack up rewards while building or maintaining credit, even though they aren’t experiencing financial difficulties.
Regardless of which category describes you, we’re here to help you select the right card for your needs. Browse the best credit card offers below to find cards for everyone from frequent travelers, people with bad credit, and folks who primarily use credit for everyday purchases.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and 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.
This article was last updated October 11, 2019 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
Application Process: The usual. Input your personal data in an online app, or call 1-800-505-1675 to apply over the phone.
Many online applicants receive an instant decision.
Fees: Cardholders love that there’s no annual fee for the Citi Diamond Preferred card - ever. However, the card does charge fees for foreign transactions, balance transfers, and cash advances.
Foreign purchases carry a fee of 3% of each purchase total. Cash advance fees cost $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
Balance transfer fees are $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, unless you transfer balances during the promotional period. If you transfer a balance from another credit card during your first 4 months as a Citi Diamond Preferred cardholder, you can enjoy a 0% interest rate for 21 months.
Rewards: None, so check out other cards on our list - like the Capital One Venture and the Discover It Cash Back - if rewards matter to you.
Bonus Offers: None at the moment.Details:Citi Diamond Preferred Card »
Application Process: Apply online for a near-instant decision, or call (800) 347-0264. You typically need credit in the good to excellent range to get approved, so take some time to fix your FICO if you aren’t quite there yet.
Fees: Cardholders appreciate that this Discover card has no annual fee and no monthly maintenance fee. Balance transfers carry a 3% fee per transfer, and cash advances cost $10 or 5% of each cash advance amount, whichever is greater.
Discover kindly waives your first late payment fee. After that, expect to shell out $37 for late payments. There’s also a $37 fee for returned payments.
Rewards: Reward amounts vary with this Discover card, but you’ll always earn at least 1% cash back on qualifying purchases. Each quarter, there are rotating categories that reward you with 5% cash back for eligible purchases.
Bonus Offers: If you have multiple credit cards, you may want to focus on this one for your first year. Discover matches all cash-back rewards from your first 12 months as a cardholder.Details:Discover It Cash Back Card »
Application Process: Fill out the convenient online form, or call (866) 512-6673 to apply. Many applicants receive an instant decision, but sometimes it takes a week or two to hear back from American Express.
Wait to apply if you have bad credit. This card typically requires a FICO score of 690 or higher.
Fees: There’s no annual fee, so this is a great card for everyday purchases. The card doesn’t have a balance transfer fee either, so consider transferring over balances from higher-interest cards.
The AmEx EveryDay isn’t a 100% fee-free card, though. Expect to fork out $5 or 3% of each cash advance amount, whichever is greater. Foreign transactions have a fee of 2.7% for each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Penalty fees are $38 for late payments and $38 for returned payments. There is no overlimit fee.
Rewards: Rewards vary depending on where you shop. Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar at US supermarkets for up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then the rate drops to 1 point per dollar. All other eligible purchases receive cash-back rewards at a rate of 1 point per dollar.
If you use this AmEx EveryDay 20 or more times during a billing period, you earn 20% more points on those purchases (with the exception of returns and credits). You can spend these points on more than 500 brands in the Membership Rewards portal or transfer them to participating travel rewards programs.
Bonus Offers: Score a hefty 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use the AmEx EveryDay card to make $1,000 in purchases during your first 3 months as a cardholder.Details:The AmEx EveryDay Card »
This is a high earning cashback rewards card perfect for people who love dining out. Earn 3% at restaurants and 2% on groceries with no annual fee.Details:Capital One Savor Card »
Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds.
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate; unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Offers: Score a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases during your first 3 months as a cardholder. Get $25 more when an authorized user makes their first purchase in the same 3 month period.
Annual fee: None.Details:Chase Freedom® »
Application Process: Check your approval odds using Capital One’s prequalification tool before you apply. The tool doesn’t leave a hard inquiry on your credit report, so you can use it with no worries.
After that, spend a few minutes answering basic questions about your name, residence, and Social Security Number. You may score an instant approval, or you might have to wait a couple of weeks for an answer.
Fees: Test drive this travel rewards card for 12 months without shelling over money for an annual fee. After that, expect to pay $95 per year.
There’s a transfer transaction fee that totals 3% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR. There is no fee for balances transferred using the standard transfer APR.
You’ll shell out $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater, if you use your credit card like a debit card. You’ll also pay a higher APR on cash advances.
Late payment fees run up to $38, but you can sometimes get your first late payment fee waived.
Rewards: Rake in 2 miles per dollar spent on everyday purchases. Some hotels qualify for as much as 10 miles per dollar spent, so consider that when you plan your next getaway.
Cardholders generally like the rewards offered by the Capital One Venture card. However, there are numerous complaints about the reduced cash value associated with redemptions. If you trade points for cash, expect to collect half the value you’d get for travel perks.
Bonus Offers: Don’t apply unless you plan to book trips with this card right away. New cardholders qualify for a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases during their first 3 months. This equals $500 toward travel expenses.Details:Capital One Venture Card »
Application Process: You know the drill: Input some general info online for a quick decision. If your FICO is below 650, you may want to hold off on applying for now. This card is geared toward people with excellent credit.
Fees: Unfortunately this card has a $95 annual fee after your first 12 months; prior to that, there’s no fee. However, many customers feel the card’s perks justify the annual fee.
Balance transfers cost $5 or 5% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater. Cash advances will set you back $10 or 5% of each transaction amount, whichever is greater.
There are no foreign transaction fees, which makes this card popular with frequent travelers.
Late payment fees work a little differently than most credit cards - Chase considers your balance rather than charging the same amount for everyone. You’ll pay up to $15 if the balance is less than $100, up to $27 if the balance is $100 to less than $250, and up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more.
Returned payments typically carry a $37 fee.
Rewards: Collect at least 1 point for every dollar you spend with this Chase credit card. Travel-related purchases and purchases at restaurants are worth 2 points per dollar.
Points transfer with a 1:1 value to many popular airline and hotel loyalty programs, which makes customers happy. Maximize your rewards by redeeming them through Chase Ultimate Rewards for 25% more value. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 through this portal.
Chase Ultimate Rewards takes care of its members. There are no blackout dates or other restrictions, so you can travel when you want as long as seats are available on your preferred flight.
Bonus Offers: Earn a whopping 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases during your first 3 months as a cardholder. You can also collect 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase during the first 3 months as a cardholder.Details:Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card »
Travelers will appreciate that there are no foreign transaction fees associated with this credit card. Everyone will appreciate that you don’t have to be purposeful to collect your rewards, as the Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card offers a flat, unlimited 1.5% cash back rate on all purchases.
If you’re new to the world of credit cards, this card might be your perfect match. But if you’re a little more of an experienced user, you can certainly find higher percent cash back credit cards for a small annual fee that will likely be more than justified. A related example? The Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card. Additionally, you may be interested in using one of the best Capital One credit cards for balance transfers... until you find out that it comes with a 3% balance transfer fee.
Application Process: Apply online just as you would with the other best Capital One credit cards on this list.
Annual Fee: Absolutely no annual fees! Definitely a perk of this credit card.
Rewards and Redemption Options: It’s very simple: earn an unlimited flat rate of 1.5% cash back, which does not expire. You can redeem this cash back as a statement credit or cheque.
Bonus Offers: Just about anyone using this credit card will earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.Details:Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card »
Application Process: Share basic info like your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number for a speedy approval. You may get rejected if your credit history needs some TLC, as this card focuses on applicants with good to excellent credit.
Fees: The Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee - ever! That’s surprising for a card with unlimited cash-back rewards.
Balance transfers cost $5 or 5% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater. Cash advances are $10 or 5% of each transaction amount, whichever is greater.
Foreign Transactions cost 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars, so you may prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred card instead if you travel overseas frequently.
As with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Freedom Unlimited uses a sliding scale for late fees. Expect to shell out up to $15 if the balance is less than $100, up to $27 if the balance is $100 to less than $250, and up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more.
Returned payments cost up to $37. The card doesn’t have an over-the-limit fee, but you should still spend responsibly.
Rewards: Rack up unlimited cash back rewards with this Chase card. You get 1.5% cash back for every qualifying purchase, and you can redeem your rewards whenever you’re ready - even if you just have a few bucks. There’s no rush to cash out, though; rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.
Unlike some other popular cash-back credit cards, this card doesn’t have rotating bonus categories. Some cardholders dislike this about the card, while others say they enjoy the simplicity. You earn the same cash-back percentage for every purchase, whether you’re dining out at your favorite restaurant or revamping your wardrobe.
Bonus Offers: Collect a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases during the first 3 months your account is open.Details:Chase Freedom Unlimited »