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Best Credit Cards of 2017

Jennifer Blocker
Updated on: 11/08/2017

The best credit cards can help you get back some of your hard-earned money. With the heyday of rewards debit cards behind us, credit cards are the best way to get monthly bills and expenses to give something back to you. With the plethora of cards available, it is a no-brainer that you would want one that earns rewards. Credit cards have been and continue to be a great tool for financial management, and earning rewards is the icing on the cake.

Sign-up bonuses have gone higher recently than I have ever seen them, with chart-topping bonuses of over 100,000 points. Plus, rewards nowadays can often rake in a nickel per dollar spent. Get in on the craze as these rewards and bonuses may not last forever. But remember to always spend responsibly because paying interest on card balances takes away from your rewards.

Rated Best for Rewards

Rewards are all the rage. Banks are competing for your business. But with all the options out there you may be asking: Should I be earning points or miles? Should I earn rewards with a fixed value or that are transferable? Should I be focusing on cash back or travel rewards? The answers to these questions will mainly depend on how you spend your money and what you want to do with your rewards.

All rewards are beneficial and useful, but they may not be created equal. One thing to know about fixed-value rewards is that it usually won’t make a difference whether you are collecting points or miles. A point or a mile will usually be worth one cent each. However, if points are transferable, values can change depending on how you redeem them. The most important thing is not what kind of rewards you get, but how you earn and use them.

Discover it® Miles Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

Intro APR on Purchases
0% intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
10.99% intro APR for 14 months from date of first transfer, for transfers under this offer that post to your account by February 10, 2018
Regular APR
11.99% to 23.99% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Discover it® Miles Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 1.5Miles on Airfare Purchases
  • 1.5Miles on Hotels
  • 1.5Miles on Gas
  • 1.5Miles on All Other Purchases
  • Unlimited 1.5X rewards on every purchase offer

    • Miles earned are matched at the end of the first year of cardmembership
    • We will reimburse up to $30 of your in-flight Wi-Fi purchases each year with automatic credits to your statement
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Featured Benefits

$30 In-Flight Wi-Fi Access

You will be reimbursed for up to $30 in purchases of wireless internet access on an aircraft per anniversary year. The statement credit will be issued for the purchase amount in U.S. dollars within seven business days.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Discover miles card does not charge foreign transaction fees so you can rest easy when you are abroad.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: You always earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, which equates to 1.5 percent cash back. Don’t settle for 1 percent! The Discover it Miles card is better.
  • Miles Can be Redeemed for Anything: You don’t have to wait until you have travel coming up to use your miles. Even though the Discover it Miles card earns Miles, it is a cash back card.
  • Miles Doubled for the First Year: At the end of your first year as a card member, Discover will match all of the miles you’ve earned!
  • $30 in Annual Wi-Fi Credits: Next time you have a long flight you can purchase Wi-Fi and have Discover cover the cost up to $30 per year.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Discover it Miles card is wonderful for two types of people. The first, and most obvious, is for someone looking for a single credit card that’s easy to use and that can do it all. The Discover it Miles card is a great option because it earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and redemptions areone cent per mile toward any purchase. Plus thereare a couple of other nice benefits, like $30 in annual Wi-Fi credits and no foreign transaction fees. As a no-fee card, all of that is essentially free.

The second type of person that the Discover it Miles card is a great option for is someone who is looking to truly maximize rewards. The Discover it is basically a no-brainer for the first year because all miles are doubled , meaning that it effectively earns 3 miles per dollar spent (1.5 when you purchase and 1.5 at the end of the year). After the first year it deserves a spot in the wallet of someone who wants to maximize rewards for purchases not included in the bonus earning categories of their other rewards credit cards.

  • Get unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar you spend on purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year (new cardmembers only). For example, 30,000 Miles turns to 60,000 Miles.
  • No blackout dates. Fly any airline, any time.
  • We will reimburse up to $30 of your in-flight Wi-Fi purchases each year with automatic credits to your statement.
  • Freeze ItSM on/off switch for your account.
  • Keep tabs on your FICO® Score.
  • You can always count on 100% US-based customer service, anytime. We will not waste your time selling you other products when you call us.
  • Your Miles never expire.
Citi® Double Cash Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for 18 months from date of first transfer when transfers are completed within 4 months from date of account opening
Regular APR
14.49% to 24.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Citi® Double Cash Reward Program
Bonuses & Rewards
  • %2% on Travel
  • %2% on Dining
  • %2% on Gas
  • %2% on All Other Purchases
  • 3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars

Featured Benefits

Concierge service:

Citi Concierge helps you save valuable time with a staff of specially-trained experts who are ready to assist you with your travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and everyday needs.

Foreign Transaction Fee:

3% of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars.

Why should you get this card?

  • No Annual Fee: You’ll never have to pay anything for this card. That means all of the rewards you earn are pure bonus!
  • 2% Cash Back on Everything: You don’t need to keep track of specific categories that earn more or less cash back; everything earns 2%!
  • No Caps on Your Earning: Some credit cards that offer higher cash back have a cap on how much you can earn, but not with the Citi Double Cash.
  • Late Fee Pass: If you accidentally miss a payment, Citi has you covered and won’t charge you a late fee–but only once.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Citi Double Cash mostly makes sense under two circumstances. The first is for someone who is seeking simplicity. Since the Double Cash card doesn’t have rotating or any other type of bonus categories to worry about, all you have to do is swipe, pay off your card and reap the benefits!

The second type of person that the Double Cash makes sense for is someone who has a few other rewards cards that cover popular purchase categories, like groceries, gas and travel, but they’re looking for a card for other purchases that otherwise would not earn a bonus. The Double Cash is a great option for that!

  • Earn Cash Back TWICE with 1% on purchases and 1% as you pay for those purchases in full or over time.
  • No caps and no Category restrictions.
  • Credit card late fee pass.
  • Citi® Private Pass®.
  • Citi Price Rewind.
  • 24 Hour fraud protection.
  • The Lost Wallet® Service.
  • Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • EMV Chip Technology.
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection.
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance.
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance.

Rated Best for 0% APR

When looking for cards that have 0% introductory interest rates for purchases or balance transfers, there are several key details to consider. First, let's make it clear that credit cards that offer 0% promotional rates on purchases will also come with 0% rates on balance transfers. However, this does not work the other way around. Credit cards that offer 0% rates on balance transfers do not always extend those rates to purchases.

If you are going to make a large purchase or need to finance an item, you will want a card with a 0% interest rate on purchases. These pose a much better financing option than store credit cards that offer special financing because they have deferred interest. It is a much better feeling to get a lump sum of rewards after making a large purchase instead of worrying about being slapped with a lump sum of interest from a store credit card with a special financing agreement.

When comparing cards with no interest on balance transfers, your top factors should be the balance transfer fee and the terms. How much will it cost and how long is the interest free period? The only time it may be worth it to sacrifice earning rewards is to avoid interest. Paying interest will easily devalue your rewards.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Intro APR on Purchases
0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for 15 months from date of first transfer when transfers are completed within 4 months from date of account opening
Regular APR
14.49% to 24.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
ThankYou®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2xPoints on Dining and Entertainment
  • 1xPoints on Gas
  • 1xPoints on Travel
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
  • 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars

Featured Benefits

Citi Private Pass:

Get special access to tickets to many concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more, including presale and VIP packages.

Foreign Transaction Fee:

You’ll pay a 3% fee for each transaction not in U.S. dollars.

Wi-Fi:

Only A-List Preferred status members get inflight Wi-Fi at no charge.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points on all purchases in the dining and entertainment categories. Before you know it, you’ll have a stash of points after a few nights out on the town.
  • No Annual Fees: Earning rewards is fast, easy and costs nothing. They say that nothing in this world is free, except cheese in a mouse trap… and, apparently, ThankYou points.
  • Sign-Up Bonus: For a card with zero annual fees, a sign-up bonus worth $0 is rather generous, and it only requires spending $1,000 in the first three months to earn the points.
  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 12 months: Although I do not recommend opening a new credit card while carrying debt, it’s nice to have the option to consolidate balances and pay them off within a year with no interest.

Our Expert's Conclusion

If you’re looking for a credit card that has a decent welcome bonus and earns bonus points in multiple categories, then the Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a good option. It’s also a great card for someone who wants to start earning rewards but is intimidated by annual fees.

Applying for this card costs nothing and you won’t pay a dime to keep it year after year. The 0- point sign-up bonus is worth $0, so there’s absolutely no risk for the cardholder. And earning additional points means more rewards at no cost.

  • 2x ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment.
  • 1x ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited ThankYou® Points.
  • Redeem ThankYou Points for almost anything, from a large selection of gift cards including dining, entertainment and retail — to an amazing selection of valuable rewards such as electronics, travel rewards, home goods, books and media, charitable donations or even cash.
  • No annual fee.

Rated Best for Business

Business owners have some of the biggest needs for credit. Having the proper credit limit can make or break a business. Be aware that business credit cards are not only for corporations and large operations but also for everyday businessmen and women as well. The sign-up bonuses on these cards make it worth turning one of your hobbies into a small business just to get them.

You can apply for a small business credit card with your personal social security number. Keep in mind that you do not need a large operation to be eligible for a business credit card. If you craft and sell on Etsy, that’s a business. If you buy things to sell on eBay, that is also a business. No matter how small your business is, if you have good personal credit, obtaining a business credit card should be easy.

Although you may already be using your personal credit to finance your business, establishing and building your business credit can be important to the success of your business as well. Business credit cards are one of the best ways to begin to separate your personal life from your business, all while obtaining an identity with a credit score for your business.

Business cards have higher limits than consumer credit cards. By the same token, business owners usually have more costs and higher financing needs than the average Joe. These cards can be especially crucial in times of economic instability, unforeseen circumstances or even keeping business afloat during seasonal changes. You can get all this and access to a whole new line of welcome bonuses.

Spark® Miles Business Credit Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Rewards Program
Venture® Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2xMiles on Travel
  • 2xMiles on Dining
  • 2xMiles on Gas
  • 2xMiles on All Other Purchases
  • 50,000 miles—equal to $500 in travel—once you spend $4,500 within the first 3 months
    • Free Employee Cards
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Featured Benefits

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

Using your card outside the United States won’t incur any extra fees.

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:

Travel with peace of mind knowing your car rental is protected against damage or theft.

Travel and Emergency Assistance

If you’re traveling on business, this card will assist with emergency services, like medical and legal referrals, any time day or not. Third party charges do apply.

Why should you get this card?

  • Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a huge sign-up bonus of 50,000 points that’s worth an easy $500 toward your next trip.
  • Great Earning Potential: Every purchase earns 2X miles. There are no category bonuses to think about and no limits.
  • Hassle-Free Redemptions: Spark miles can be used with any airline, hotel, cruise line, car rental agency and more. There are no award charts to consider as miles can be used for statement credits whenever you choose. Even better, there’s no need to worry about blackout dates or limited award space.
  • No Annual Fee for the First Year: Once you sign up, the annual fee is waived the first year you have the card. After that, you’ll pay just $95 per year.

Our Expert's Conclusion

Capital One’s Spark Miles card is a great way to manage day-to-day business expenses and earn solid rewards at the same time. Unlike other travel cards, you have ultimate flexibility to redeem your rewards however and whenever you see fit.

With no annual fee the first year, this card is a no-brainer. And because every purchase earns double miles, that’s like getting 2 percent back toward travel every time you use the card. If you travel for business and use multiple air carriers, various hotel chains and whatever car agency has the best deal, you’re all set because your miles are good for just about any type of travel. You’re not committed to just one airline or hotel group.

Plus, with the backing of Capital One and great built-in benefits offered through Visa, you can shop with the confidence of knowing that you’ll have the necessary protections.

  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles—equal to $500 in travel—once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase for your business, with no blackouts or seat restrictions, and no minimum to redeem.
  • Add employee cards at no additional cost, and earn all the rewards from their purchases.
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen, and get real-time alerts of fraud attempts via text, email, or phone.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Rewards don't expire, and you can redeem miles for tickets on any airline, any hotel stay, vacation packages and more.
Spark® Cash for Business
Spark® Cash for Business
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Rewards Program
Capital One® Cash Back Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • %2% on Travel
  • %2% on Dining
  • %2% on Gas
  • %2% on All Other Purchases
  • $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months
    • Free Employee Cards
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Featured Benefits

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

Whether at home or abroad, there’s no need to worry about paying extra fees for purchases made in non-U.S. dollars.

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection:

Through the Visa Signature program, book one of the 900 hotels in the Luxury Collection to enjoy premium benefits reserved only for certain cardholders.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get 2.0% back for every purchase you make. Every dollar you spend earns two cents, which will get you a lot of cash back fast!
  • Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a huge sign-up bonus worth $500. That’s $500 toward a future vacation, $500 of holiday gifts or $500 to repair the copier. It’s up to you!
  • Hassle-Free Redemptions: You can redeem your cash back at any time for any amount toward a statement credit or check in the mail. It’s your call.

Our Expert's Conclusion

If you’re looking for a business credit card that earns cash back, the Spark Cash for Business is hard to beat. Getting 2.0 percent back on every purchase is a fantastic rate of return, and knowing you don’t have to juggle multiple cards or keep track of where to use your card is a big plus. And at just $95 per year after the first year, this card has a very reasonable annual fee.

Small business owners that are trying to decide if this card makes sense for them should carefully consider how much they spend on their business cards each year. Although there are some cards (see below) that earn cash back without charging a fee, the additional cash back you can get with this card will likely be well worth the added cost. Don’t forget, the annual fee is waived the first year, so you can try the card out and see if it works for you. Not only that, you’ll get a great sign-up bonus, which is among the highest for a cashback business card.

While this card doesn’t come with a ton of travel benefits, and the rewards can’t be used in conjunction with other travel loyalty programs, you do have the flexibility to use these rewards as you see fit. If this sounds like a good fit for your business needs, you should seriously consider the Spark Cash card.

  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $0 intro for the first year $95 after that.
  • Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase.
  • Free Employee Cards.
  • Fraud Coverage and Alerts.
  • Quarterly and year-end summary.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Rewards don't expire, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount, anytime.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver.
  • Purchase security and extended protection.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services.

Rated Best for No Annual Fee

Avoiding fees on a credit card is one of the easiest ways to keep your out of pocket costs down to nothing. No annual fee cards are a must-have for your credit arsenal as they can benefit you in many ways. They may not have the highest sign-up bonuses or the fanciest benefits, but they are easy to keep open for the long term, which can help you keep your credit score optimal. They are also good for those who are looking to increase the number of revolving accounts in their credit portfolio. Plus, they usually have low spending requirements for welcome bonuses.

Some other fees to avoid are balance transfer fees and foreign transaction fees, which are both usually around 3 percent. Of course, these fees are only relevant if you plan on transferring a balance, traveling abroad or making purchases from a foreign entity. However, everyone should have at least one credit card with no foreign transaction fees as they are offered so widely nowadays by so many banks. One should have several no annual fee cards as well because they make for a good foundation for your credit and help keep your credit healthy.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Barclaycard

Intro APR on Purchases
0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles after the account is opened
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening
Regular APR
15.99% to 25.99% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Barclaycard CashForward™ Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • %1.5% on Travel, Dining and Car Rental
  • %1.5% on Gas
  • %1.5% on Hotels
  • %1.5% on All Other Purchases
  • $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
    • 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Featured Benefits

Foreign Transaction Fee:

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: Every purchase you make generates a 1.5% return at any merchant or service provider. Not that many no-fee cards can beat that earning on all transactions.
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Spending just $1,000 on this card in the first 3 days of account opening will earn you a $0bonus, which is excellent for a no-fee card. Most other cards with this earning potential offer a smaller bonus or no bonus at all.
  • No Annual Fee: Holding a card long term increases the average age of your accounts, and not paying for a card makes it easy to keep. Not to mention, earning cashback rewards doesn’t cost a dime.
  • Double Points: Redemptions start at $50 and can be applied toward a statement credit, gift cards or a deposit into a checking or savings bank account.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard is a solid option for someone who’s not too invested in travel rewards and is looking for a no-fuss cashback credit card. You’ll earn $200 just for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and continue to earn 1.5 points on all purchases, no matter the purchase category or time of year.

This is also a good option for those who cannot qualify for a Chase card because they’ve opened five or more credit cards in the last 24 months. If you fall into that camp, the competitive Chase Freedom Unlimited card is out of reach.

  • Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase.
  • Every time you redeem get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption.
  • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account, a statement credit or gift cards.
  • Cash rewards do not expire.
  • Free online FICO® Credit Score.
  • Chip card technology.
  • Mastercard travel assistance services.
Discover it® - Cashback Match™
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

Intro APR on Purchases
0% intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% intro APR for 14 months from date of first transfer, for transfers under this offer that post to your account by February 10, 2018
Regular APR
11.99% to 23.99% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Cashback Bonus®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • %5% in rotating categories each quarter like Gas, Dining, Amazon.com, Wholesale Clubs and more
  • %1% on Travel
  • %1% on Groceries
  • %1% on All Other Purchases
  • Up to 5% cash back offer

    • Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earn dollar for dollar at the end of your first year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Featured Benefits

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

You won’t be hit with any additional fees for using your Discover card while traveling internationally.

Why should you get this card?

  • Cashback Match: After your first year, Discover will double all of the cash back you earned with no cap!
  • Good Earning Potential: The Discover it card earns 5% back on quarterly rotating categories that include things like dining and gas stations, and 1% back on all other purchases.
  • Hassle-Free Redemptions: Your cash back is worth what you think it is, and there are no minimums or category restrictions to your redemptions.
  • No Annual Fee: You’ll never have to pay anything for this card. That means all the rewards you earn are essentially free. How can you beat that?

Our Expert's Conclusion

Discover it is a solid credit card that should be in just about everybody’s wallet. The card offers a great five percent return on categories that rotate quarterly, and one percent back on all other purchases. The first year as a cardholder can be really good for your bank account because all the rewards you earn will be doubled by Discover, with no limit!

In addition to being a great everyday earner, the Discover it card doesn’t have an annual fee and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees if you want to use the card abroad. Redeeming cash back is super simple with no minimum redemption amount and no restrictions about what you can use the cash back for.

  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earn dollar for dollar at the end of your first year.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash in any amount, anytime.
  • Your cash back never expires.
  • $0 Fraud Liability.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.

Compare Best Credit Cards

Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.

Credit Card
Bonuses & Rewards
First Year Rewards
FEES
RE® value
Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$980
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$980
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

More Details
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$987
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$987
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 30,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$910
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$910
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 60,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,360
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$1,360
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Expedia® + Card from Citi

Expedia® + Card from Citi

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 15,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$244
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$244
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 30,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$826
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$826
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 40,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$926
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$926
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Barclaycard

More Details
JetBlue® MasterCard®

JetBlue® MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 10,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$571
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$571
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Barclaycard

More Details
Discover it® Miles Card

Discover it® Miles Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • match all the rewards at the end of first year
  • 36,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$720
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$720
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

More Details
Spark® Miles Business Credit Card

Spark® Miles Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$980
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$980
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

More Details
VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 20,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 30,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$500
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$500
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

More Details
Spark® Miles Select Business Credit Card

Spark® Miles Select Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 20,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 36,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$560
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$560
How to Apply

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Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $100 sign-up bonus.
  • $360 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$460
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$460
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

More Details

Ten Tips to Help You Get the Best Credit Cards

Before applying for a credit card, there are a couple of things you can do to increase your odds of getting approved. Many of these things you should be familiar with, even if you are not applying for a credit card and are just interested in maintaining general financial health.

Developing a skill or trade is many times about learning to use the tools and not just having the degree or certificate. You can look at your financial health as the skill and credit cards as tools. Once you have learned how to use your tools, the goals you can accomplish become larger and the rewards greater.

  • Tip #1: Know Your Credit Score

    Before you begin applying for credit cards, know your credit score. This is one of the biggest factors a lender will use to decide whether you will be approved for their card. Credit scores generally range from 300 to 850.

    To be eligible for the best credit cards you should have a score of at least 700, which is considered to be good credit. A score of 750 and above is considered excellent credit, which would make you eligible for top rewards credit cards and afford you the most pickings. Scores between 650 and 699 is fair credit. There are still many offers available if you have fair credit, but you should be careful how you use your credit and begin taking steps to improve your score.

    If you have a score of 649 or below, you need to immediately work on improving your credit. Don’t even think about playing the points and miles game if you have bad credit, it will not work. First, work on improving your credit.

  • Tip #2: Check Your Credit Report for Discrepancies and Errors

    One in five Americans find errors on their credit report. Did you know things like a wrong address or misspelling of your name could be a cause for denial? You also want to make sure all you current accounts are correct. Then check the status of balances. Most cards report monthly but some don’t.

    Depending on the time of their reporting, even if you pay your balances in full each month, it may sometimes look like you are carrying some debt. For instance, if they issue their report the day after the statement comes out but you make your payment two weeks after that, there may seem to be a balance when there really is no balance at all. If this is the case, consider adjusting the date of your payment.

  • Tip #3: Don’t Apply for Too Many Cards at One Time

    This can be a red flag for lenders. If you think filling out several applications will broaden your chances of acceptance, you are wrong. If lenders think you are desperate for credit, this can be a cause for denial.

    Not to mention, you don’t want to obtain a new credit card before you have completed any required spending it may take to earn a bonus on the previous card. Trying to meet the spending requirements of several cards at one time can cause you to spend beyond your means. If that happens, you may incur interest which will negate the value of the rewards you earned.

  • Tip #4: Don’t Apply for Cards that You Aren’t Qualified to Get

    Make sure you are familiar with the card you are applying for. Don’t apply for cards that require excellent credit if you only have good credit; don’t apply for cards that require good credit if you have fair credit; and so forth and so on.

  • Tip #5: Keep Card Balances Low

    Your credit utilization determines about 30 percent of your credit score. Your credit utilization is how much of the limit are you using on a particular card. You never want to use more than 30 percent of the credit limit you have been given. The higher you go above 30 percent, the more of a negative impact it will have on your score. If you have a $1,000 limit, anytime you carry a balance of more than $300, it can negatively impact your credit score.

  • Tip #6: Compare Cards

    Don’t apply for just any card that comes in the mail. Being pre-approved does not mean you are guaranteed to get the card. Do your research. Sites like ours make it easy to find a plethora of information on credit cards and make informed decisions.

  • Tip #7: Include All of Your Income

    Be sure to include all the income of your household. You do not need to be married to consider the income of your significant other. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) made an amendment to the CARD Act of 2009 that allows applicants to use any household income that they have access to. Be sure to also include investment income, alimony, child support and disability benefits.

  • Tip #8: Know the Card Issuer’s Specific Restrictions

    Several major banks have set some rules and parameters in order to cut down on credit card churning, which is the practice of opening up new credit cards just for the sign-up bonuses.

    Chase has the 5/24 rule, which means that if you have opened more than five credit cards in the past 24 months you may be denied. This is not only relevant to Chase accounts but refers to all credit card accounts opened in the past 24 months. This rule mostly applies to their cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

    With Citibank, you can’t apply for more than two personal cards in a 65-day period, but you can earn multiple bonuses on the same card. However, there is a waiting period before you can apply for the card again and get a second bonus. For instance, for the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card, you must wait 18 months from the time you last closed the account.

    American Express is among the strictest with their bonuses and only allows one bonus per personal card per lifetime. They also allow cardholders to carry only four of their credit cards at any one time.

  • Tip #9: Don’t Apply for Too Many Cards From the Same Issuer

    Some issuers will have limits on how much credit they will extend to you. Whereas American Express limits the number of cards they will issue a particular patron, Chase and Citibank usually limit the overall amount they wish to lend any one person.

    For instance, if Chase deems that you are eligible for up to $50,000 in credit, and you already have four cards each with limits of $12,500, you will end up being denied if you apply for a fifth card. However, after a call to the reconsideration line, you could shift some credit between cards and still obtain the new card.

  • Tip #10: Call the Reconsideration Line

    In the event that your application is denied, try calling the reconsideration line. It is not rare to be approved by the reconsideration line after an initial rejection. Some bank-specific restrictions trigger automatic denials, but there may be ways around them. If you still don’t get approved, at least you will find out why you were denied. That can ultimately help increase your odds in the future.

FAQs

Need more info? Check out our FAQ. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

  • You should have at least good credit to qualify for the best travel and rewards credit cards. Good credit is considered a score of 700 to 750. If you have excellent credit, which is a score of 750 or better, you will be eligible for the cream of the crop.
    If you have excellent credit and are serious about earning rewards or traveling, don’t be afraid of considering cards that have an annual fee. These cards not only have big sign-up bonuses but come with many benefits and perks that offset the cost of the fee, like free checked bags, lounge access, complimentary upgrades and so much more. The better your credit, the more options you will have.
    A good credit score is important not only for the types of credit cards you can get but for so many more factors of life. Nowadays a credit score is seen as a reflection of a person's level of responsibility. It can affect things like insurance rates. It may also be looked at by a potential employer or landlord.
    It will also affect your ability to get a home and how much the home will cost you. The better your credit score the better interest rates you will get. A couple of points today can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars of interest payments on a mortgage in the future.
  • There are several credit scoring models. The two most well-known and widely used are VantageScore and FICO. If you use an app to keep up with your credit score, you may be more familiar with the VantageScore which is use by consumer reporting agencies, such as Trans Union, Equifax and Experian.
    But did you know that most lenders use the FICO score when determining your creditworthiness? Because your FICO Score is more widely used by those determining your creditworthiness, let us take a look at how a FICO score is determined.
    The most important factor will be your payment history, which accounts for about 35 percent of your score. Next, they will look at your debt and the amounts you owe, also known as your credit utilization, which will account for 30 percent of your score. About 15 percent of your score is determined by the length of your credit history. The types of credit you use and how much new credit you have has less impact, at 10 percent each.
  • It is best to be familiar with your FICO score as this is the scoring model most lenders use to determine your eligibility when reviewing credit card applications. However, you should know your VantageScore as well.
    The scoring models are similar but do have some differences. VantageScore was recently updated and the 3.0 version now more closely matches the FICO scoring system with a range of 350 to 850 (it previously went up to 990). This was one of the major differences; however, there are still some important differences.
    One of the major differences, and what makes VantageScore friendlier to many of those new to the credit world, is that FICO requires at least six months of history to generate a credit report. VantageScore will give you a number after only one month.
    Another difference is that FICO treats all late payments equally. VantageScore has harsher penalization for those who miss a mortgage payment. If you were to miss a mortgage payment, this would have more of an impact on your VantageScore.
    There are also slight differences in the scoring methods when it comes to hard inquiries. Each system has a benefit not provided by the other. They may both treat multiple inquiries within a period time as a single inquiry but in different ways. FICO uses a 45-day span of time, while Vantage uses a two-week period. On the other hand, Vantage applies this across all types of credit, while FICO only does it for mortgage, auto and student loans. Hard inquiries don’t have a major scoring impact, but you should be aware of how they affect your credit.
    The final difference is when it comes to collections accounts. VantageScore 3.0 ignores paid collections accounts while FICO 8 entirely ignores all collections in which the balance was under $100. All in all, the biggest difference to keep in mind is the fact that 90 percent of lenders use FICO, while VantageScore is mostly accessed by the consumers themselves.
  • One of the best ways to help pay off your credit card debt fast is using balance transfer credit cards. They can help in two ways. You can lower the interest you pay while consolidating your debt by lessening the amount of interest you are charged. It will make it easier to put that amount to the bottom line. Over the course of a year, you could easily save hundreds of dollars. Consolidating your debt will allow you to focus your payments and make it easier to make sure you don't miss one.
    Cards that have 0% interest on purchases will also extend that rate to balance transfers. So why would you consider getting a card with the 0% only on balance transfers? If you are comparing cards, you may find that the card that only offers the promotional rate on balance transfers may offer better rewards. This is not always the case but may be a deal breaker for some.
    There is no need to have a card that has a 0% APR on purchases if you are keeping up with your current obligations and just want to pay down your existing debt. A balance transfer fee will usually range between 3 and 5 percent. However, there are cards with no balance transfer fees as well. The Chase Slate® Credit Card, for instance, has no balance transfer fees. But this card does not earn rewards.
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