Finding the right card can be a difficult task, which is why we’re here to help you compare credit cards. There are a lot of quality cards available for different types of consumers, so we’ve put the best cards in head-to-head matchups in a variety of categories. Whether you’re a traveler, a cashback junkie or a small business owner, we’ve got you covered.
Compare Cashback Credit Cards: Citi Double Cash vs. Alliant Cashback Visa
Is cash still king? Some would argue that it is, which would make a cashback card your best option. Cashback rewards can be used for just about anything, offering the ultimate in flexibility.
Comparing our first two cards, it may seem obvious which of these two cards is better. The Alliant Cashback Visa earns an impressive 3 percent back on all the purchases you make your first year as a cardholder, while the Citi Double Cash earns 2 percent back. Certainly, Alliant wins in year one.
But in year two, the Alliant card has a $59 annual fee, while the Double Cash does not have a fee. Even though it earns 0.5 percent more on every purchase (for a total of 2.5 percent back), you’d need to spend an additional $11,800 on the Alliant just to offset that annual fee.
TO SUM UP
So unless you’re a big spender, the Double Cash card likely wins in year two and every year after.
Compare Rotating Category 5% Cashback Cards: Discover it Cashback Match vs. Chase Freedom
Getting 5 percent back on select purchases each quarter is fantastic, so you can see why these cards are popular. At first glance, the Chase Freedom and Discover it cards may seem identical, but looking closer you’ll see they have a few distinct differences.
The Freedom has a sign-up bonus of $150, while the Discover it card has no sign-up bonus. However, the Discover it card doubles all the cash back you earn your first year as a card member.
Think about that for a minute. During your first year you’re really earning 2 percent back on every purchase with 10 percent back on the quarterly bonus categories. That’s huge! If you like to have one card for all your purchases, this could be it.
But before you rush to sign up, you need to know the Freedom has one major advantage over its rival: the ability to pool your points with other Chase cards. You can combine your Freedom Ultimate Rewards points with one of Chase’s premier cards (like the Sapphire Preferred). By doing so, your points can be worth quite a bit more than one cent each because you can transfer to travel partners or buy travel through the online portal at a discount.
TO SUM UP
If you have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card, the Freedom card is probably a better choice. But if you don’t, the first year bonus that comes with the Discover card is hard to beat.
Compare Travel Rewards Credit Cards: SPG Amex vs. Citi ThankYou Premier
Next, we’ll compare credit cards with flexible travel rewards and a mid-level $95 annual fee. Both the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card and the Citi ThankYou Premier card earn valuable points, but the earnings structure and variety of travel partners are very different.
The SPG Amex earns one point per dollar on every purchase and double points on Starwood and Marriott purchases (as the two companies have now merged). Meanwhile, the ThankYou Premier card earns triple points on all travel purchases, as well as double points on dining, bars and entertainment.
Their welcome bonuses are vastly different, too. The Premier card gives you 50,000 points worth up to $625 in airfare, while the SPG Amex gives you just $200 in statement credits.
Is this even a competition? The answer may surprise you. While sign-up bonuses and earnings structures are key to a good card, the type of points you earn is equally important.
With the Citi card, you can redeem your ThankYou points toward travel through the online travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point, or you can transfer to one of their 15 airline partners. Meanwhile, the Starwood card allows you to redeem your points toward hotel stays with SPG or Marriott, or you can transfer to a whopping 34 different of airlines. Starwood also offers a transfer bonus of 5,000 miles for every 20,000 points that you transfer.
In the end, it will depend on what you want to do with the points you earn. If you want to be able to transfer them to a wide variety of airline partners, the SPG Amex is the clear winner. If you know how to maximize the value of your points through airline frequent flyer programs, it’s hard to go wrong with this card.
TO SUM UP
But the Citi Premier card still offers a lot of redemption flexibility, particularly with the ThankYou travel portal as an option. Plus it has a bigger bonus and better earning. If you’re relatively new to the points and miles game, this is probably the better choice.
Compare Premium Travel Credit Cards: Amex Platinum vs. Citi Prestige
American Express and Citi both offer excellent premium cards, but these two couldn’t be more different from each other. Let’s compare these credit cards.
While both cards offer lounge access through Priority Pass, the Platinum card has the leg up. You can enter Amex’s Centurion Lounges as well as Delta SkyClubs when you’re flying Delta.
While the Platinum has great lounge access, the Citi Prestige has the Fourth Night Free benefit that can save you a ton of cash. When you book a four-night stay through the Citi Concierge with this card, you’ll get a statement credit equivalent to one night’s stay. Best of all, there are no caps or limits to how many times you can use this benefit, saving you potentially thousands of dollars each year.
Additionally, both cards offer a variety of statements credits that help offset the hefty annual fee. But the way you can maximize them is different. With the Platinum card, you’re confined to using your $200 airline credit for ancillary fees on one pre-selected airline, and it also offers $200 worth of Uber credits each year.
That sounds great, but the Prestige’s $250 credit can be used toward airfare with any airline, making it much easier to use.
Both cards have tremendous value, so think about how you travel to help you decide which is the better choice. Can you take advantage of Amex’s lounge network, or are you looking for a solid card that earns lots of points along with an awesome rebate program on hotel stays?
TO SUM UP
It’s probably safe to say that the Platinum card just edges out the Prestige, though, thanks to its big welcome bonus (the Prestige has none), better airline transfer partners and $400 in credits (even if they are a bit more limited).
Compare Airline Credit Cards: Gold Delta SkyMiles vs. AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
Airline cards continue to be very popular because they often have great welcome bonuses, as well as valuable benefits with their co-branded carriers.
Unlike some of our other credit card comparisons, the Gold Delta card and AAdvantage Platinum card are quite similar. Both offer priority boarding, free checked bags and no annual fee the first year.
That being said, the AA card gives you back up to 10 percent of the miles you redeem each year for up to 10,000 miles. Get a $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase within 3 months of signing up.
And, each year you spend $25,000 on the card, you get an MQD waiver toward earning elite status. That means you won’t have to spend a certain amount of money with Delta to earn status.
Are there any downsides?
Both AAdvantage miles and SkyMiles are only valuable if you can use them. If American or its partners don’t fly where you want to go, you’re out of luck. If you hate that Delta doesn’t publish an award chart, it’s hard to determine how many miles you need for that dream trip.
TO SUM UP
Again, these cards are very similar (it’s a tie!), so you need to ask yourself which airline you fly more and which carrier’s loyalty program you can better utilize.
Compare Business Rewards Credit Cards: Amex Business Gold Rewards Card vs. Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Business credit cards have really become valuable, and they are an excellent way for business owners to earn rewards. In fact, you don’t even have to have a proper business to get many of these cards. Independent contractors and pretty much anybody who has an independent revenue stream, such as Ebay or Etsy sales, can qualify.
The Spark Miles card from Capital One effectively earns cashback. Their miles function the same as cashback rewards. But the 2X rate you earn them at is very good. Plus, you’ve got the flexibility to use these rewards toward travel on any airline or hotel. Unfortunately, they cannot be transferred to any travel partners.
Not to be outdone, the Amex Business Gold card earns triple points on one of five categories of your choice, double points on the remaining four categories and one point per dollar everywhere else. These Membership Rewards can be combined automatically with your other MR cards and can be transferred to any of Amex’s hotel or airline partners.
While both cards waive the annual fees the first year, you’ll have to pony up starting in year two ($95 for Spark Miles and $175 for Amex).
If you like no hassle rewards, the Spark Miles card is very straightforward. But if you value Amex Membership Rewards more, the higher annual fee is probably worth it, especially if you can maximize the bonus categories.
TO SUM UP
So, more experienced credit card rewards hounds will probably get more out of the Amex card. But the Spark Miles is easy to use and offers great value. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity!
It’s Time to Start Earning Rewards
Whether you prefer cash back, airline miles, travel perks or rewards for business expenses, there’s a card out there for you. We hope our comparisons of the top picks for these types of cards will help you get out there and start earning rewards.