We at GET.com look through and research hundreds of credit cards in the US, using the latest updated offers directly from banks. After thoroughly reviewing each card and taking into account the rewards, benefits, APR and fees, we tell you which are our best rated credit cards in different categories: Rewards, 0% balance transfer, cashback, hotel & airline, business, student. We will also show you our best rated credit cards for bad credit. When you click 'Apply Now', we send you off to the card issuer's official online application.
Cash back credit cards give you back a certain percentage of what you spend in the form of cash rebates which is cold, hard cash. It is like getting a discount every time you spend on your card. Most of the cash back cards below have no annual fee.
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Chase Freedom® is one of our highly rated cash back credit cards in the US, and it is issued by JPMorgan Chase. You get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter, which can save you quite a bit of money if you plan your spending in advance. 5% categories change every 3 months, so you can earn cash back on things like gas stations, restaurants, select grocery stores and wholesale clubs. You have to sign up in order to activate the category. You will earn unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. New sign-ups to Chase Freedom: Get a $150 Bonus after spending just $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, and a $25 Bonus after you add an authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period. There is nothing we don't like about this card at all!
This $150 cash back Bonus is, in fact, one of the largest in the market right now. Click on this link to apply for Chase Freedom®.
Click here to read our detailed Chase Freedom® review.
0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases AND for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on purchases. 13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on balance transfers
No annual fee
Click here to read our detailed review of BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card.
0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
11.24% - 23.24% Variable*
Click here to read our detailed review of Discover it®.
Read our full review of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express here.
0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
13.24% - 23.24%* (Variable)
Read our review of Citi® Double Cash Card here.
13.24% - 23.24% Variable
Read our review of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
Hotel and airline credit cards not only let you earn points when you stay at a particular brand of hotel or fly on a particular airline, they also give you points on your everyday spending, which you can later use to redeem for air tickets or hotel stays.
0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases
15.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on purchases. and balance transfers
Read our review of BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card.
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
Click here to read our detailed Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review.
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review here.
Read our full Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card review here.
Got an existing credit card or store card debt? Consolidate all your high-interest debt by moving it to another card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers for a specific period of time so that you can pay off your existing debt interest-free during that period. All the 0% balance transfer cards below don't have any annual fee.
0%* intro APR on purchases* and balance transfers* for 21 months
13.24% - 23.24% (variable)
No annual fee.
Click here to read our detailed Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever review.
0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
Find out more in our detailed review of Chase Slate® here.
0% on purchases for 6 months and 0% on balance transfers for 18 months
Here's our review of Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer.
Rewards credit cards let you earn points on your spending so that you can later redeem all those points for rewards ranging from free air tickets, hotel stays to merchandise, gift cards or even cash.
0%* on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months*
Here's our Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card review.
0% on purchases until April 2017
12.24% - 22.24% (Variable)
Read our review of Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.
Are you an entrepreneur or a small business owner? Business credit cards are useful as they not only give you a line of credit for your business expenses, they also reward you when you spend on your card.
0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
13.49% - 19.49% Variable
Here's our Ink Cash® Business Credit Card review.
0% on purchases until January 2017
13.24% - 21.24% (Variable)
Here is our Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business review.
Unlike debit cards, student credit cards can help you establish a credit history, and if you make purchases with it and pay your bills on time, you would build a good credit score over time, which is important when you find employment in the future or apply for loans. All the student cards below have no annual fee.
0% intro APR on purchases for 7 months
14.24% - 24.24%* (Variable)
Here is our detailed review of Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students.
0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months
13.24% - 22.24% Variable*
Here's our Discover it® for Students review.
If you have a bad credit score or don’t have any credit history, you can rebuild or establish your credit with a secured credit card, which is an actual credit card, not a prepaid debit card (debit cards do not help build credit). You can apply for it even with bad or no credit.
10.99% on balance transfers for 6 months
$0 annual fee
Read our full review of Discover it® Secured Credit Card - No Annual Fee* here.
Here's our Capital One® Secured MasterCard® review.
What Makes A Good Credit Card?
On the outside, most credit cards look almost identical. A sliver of plastic, decorated with various logos and designs. You can usually tell if it’s a Visa, MasterCard, Amex or Discover, but what does that really mean?
Here we list the most important things to consider when choosing a credit card:
1. What’s The APR?
Credit cards provide a flexible payment solution, because you can buy the things you need even if you don’t have immediately-available cash. If you don’t pay off your credit card bill in full each month, you will have to pay the Annual Percentage Rate (APR).
You should always know exactly what your APR is. Different credit cards have different APRs, and most of them have a range of APRs (e.g: 12.99% - 22.99% APR) that depend on your creditworthiness. That means that if you have a better credit score you could end up paying less APR. The lower your APR, the less interest you will pay if you carry a balance. Some cards have a 0% intro APR period, these cards are good for big ticket purchases or balance transfers.
2. Does It Have A Low Introductory APR Period?
Some credit cards give you a special introductory period during which you have a lower APR, or even a 0% APR. Sometimes this intro period applies to balance transfers, sometimes to purchases, and sometimes both.
Cards with long introductory low balance transfer APR periods are very useful if you have a credit card balance that you would like to pay off. These cards are generally referred to as balance transfer credit cards. For example, if your card has an 18 month 0% intro APR on balance transfers, that would give you 18 months to pay off your debt, interest free. Make sure to pay off your debt in full before the 0% intro APR period ends, or you will have to pay the ongoing APR on the balance that you still haven’t paid off.
If a credit card offers a 0% intro APR period for purchases, you can use the card to make purchases and avoid paying any interest on them during that time period. These low interest credit cards are useful if you plan to make a large purchase and pay it off during the intro period. Just remember to pay your balance off in full before the intro APR period ends to avoid paying the ongoing APR.
3. Can You Earn Rewards?
Many credit cards now offer rewards when you use them to make purchases. This is really like getting part of what you spend back, and you can save a lot of money by using a rewards credit card that lets you earn rewards that you really use. These rewards may be in the form of points, miles, or even cash back. Earning rewards is one of the biggest advantages of using a credit card.
Discover credit cards are good examples of solid rewards cards.
4. Does It Come With A Bonus Offer?
Many credit cards let you earn a bonus when you successfully apply. You will usually have to make a certain amount of purchases with your new card within a limited time after account opening.
But in some cases, you may only have to make a single purchase, add an authorized user, or fulfil some other requirement to get this bonus. Some cards let you earn several bonus offers, by fulfilling different requirements.
For example, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months after account opening. That bonus is worth $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You can earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months after account opening, so altogether you could earn 55,000 bonus points.
You can earn a lot of rewards just by taking advantage of these bonus offers. If the card has an annual fee, check if the bonus offer is large enough to make up for it. Many times issuers offer a bonus which is worth much more than the annual fee.
5. What Benefits Does It Offer?
Credit card companies often provide special benefits when you make purchases using their credit cards. Benefits may include travel insurance like trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage insurance and travel accident insurance.
Some cards also let you benefit from shopping perks like extended warranties, price protection (if you find a cheaper price somewhere else), return guarantee and purchase protection (get reimbursed if something you buy is damaged or stolen).
Some credit cards give customers of specific companies unique benefits. For example, United MileagePlus® Explorer Card lets you check your first bag and the first bag of a traveling companion on the same reservation for free (save up to $100 per round trip for standard bags) and enjoy priority boarding privileges. You also get two one-time-use passes to United Club airport lounges every year.
6. What Payment Network Does It Use?
No matter which bank your credit card is issued by, the payment network will determine where you can use it. For example, if you have a Visa credit card, you will only be able to use it at merchants or ATMs that accept Visa.
Both Visa and MasterCard have very large networks, and you will find merchants and banks that accept these cards in almost every country in the world. American Express and Discover are widely accepted in the US.
Each payment network also provides it’s own set of benefits, like insurance coverage, discounts, hotel or dining privileges, or even concierge services. These perks make a nice addition to the benefits you get from the credit card issuer (bank or credit union).
Visa and MasterCard give you different levels of benefits depending on what type of card you have. Visa Signature gives you more benefits than a regular Visa card. World MasterCard gives you more perks than a regular MasterCard. Discover gives many of the same benefits to all cardholders. American Express perks vary from card to card.
7. What Fees Does It Charge?
Some credit cards have an annual fee, and you should carefully consider whether the benefits you get outweigh the fee you pay to use the card. Usually cards with an annual fee offer benefits that make paying that annual fee worth your while.
With some cards, the annual fee is waived if you make a certain amount of purchases with your card every year. Other cards have the annual fee waived for a certain period of time (usually a year).
A lot of good cards do not charge an annual fee, but still offer solid benefits. For example Chase Freedom® has no annual fee. And it’s one of our best rated cash back credit cards.
Other fees you should look out for are foreign transactions fees (when you use your card to pay outside of the US), balance transfer fees and late payment fees. If you're looking for a travel credit card you should shoot for a no foreign transaction fee credit card to avoid paying fees when using your card abroad.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an example of a credit card that charges $0 on foreign transaction fees. Chase Slate® has a $0 introductory balance transfer fee for transfers you make during the first 60 days of account opening. That means you can avoid the 3% - 5% balance transfer fees that you pay with most cards.
Most cards charge you a late payment fee (usually $20 - $30) when you make a late payment. Discover it® doesn’t charge you a late payment fee for your first late payment. This card does not have any overlimit fee, so unlike many other credit cards, you won’t pay a fee when you go over your credit limit.
8. Choose The Right Card For Your Lifestyle
When choosing a credit card it's important to pick a card that will suit your spending. For example, if you spend most of your money on groceries and gas, you will want to look for a card that rewards you for those specific types of purchases. Or if you travel a lot you might prefer to get a card that lets you earn and redeem rewards for plane tickets or hotel stays.
Some credit cards reward you the same on all purchases, and others let you earn extra rewards (points, cash back, miles) on different types of spending. Some cards have rotating bonus categories that change every quarter (three months).
Apart from picking a card that lets you earn the most rewards for your lifestyle, you also want a card that lets you redeem those rewards for useful things. Some cards only let you redeem your rewards for specific things like flights from a specific airline, or gift cards and merchandise. Other cards (the most flexible ones) let you redeem your points for a lot of different things, and sometimes even for cold hard cash.
If you're not quite sure about the kind of rewards that are right for you, it may be a good idea to get a cash back credit card that lets you redeem your rewards for cold hard cash (real money). Because you can use that money to buy anything you want.
Not all cards offer rewards, some cards are especially made to transfer balances. If you're paying a crushing APR on your current cards and struggling to get rid of credit card debt, you can consolidate your debt in a single balance transfer card.
Balance transfer cards generally offer a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for a certain period of time. For example, if your card comes with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months, it means that you have a whole year to pay off your balance interest free. This is one of the best ways to get rid of credit card debt.
There are other cards that are specially made for students. Student cards generally help college students build their credit scores. Some of them even offer rewards and special perks.
If you own a business, you can save money by using a business credit card that offers rewards or cash back on your spending. Some of these cards even offer no-annual-fee employee cards.
As a general rule, it's a good idea to get a no-annual-fee card, unless the card offers benefits and rewards that make the fee worth it. Although there are some top tier cards with high annual fees that also come with benefits to match (like concierge services, travel insurance, car rental insurance, special access to events, etc).
The next thing to consider is the APR. Check if the card comes with a low intro APR (shoot for 0%) for a certain period of time. This is useful if you need to make a large purchase and pay it off little by little. Just make sure to pay off your purchase in full before the intro APR period ends or you will have to start paying the standard APR.
One of the most important things to remember when using a credit card is to pay your balance off in full before the due date. If you stick to this rule, you will benefit from everything that credit cards have to offer without falling into debt. Using a credit card responsibly is the best way to improve your credit score.
Your credit score affects your life significantly - an excellent credit score can open many doors (better chance of getting loans, a good job, renting a house or paying less for insurance), and a poor credit score can hinder your possibilities of employment or make you pay higher insurance premiums or higher interest rates on your credit cards.
To sum it up, when looking for a credit card make sure to analyze your spending habits and choose a card that suits them. Sometimes it's a good idea to have several cards that reward you for different types of purchases. This way you can maximize your rewards. Always check the fees, the APR and the potential benefits that the card offers. It's a smart idea to get a card with no annual fee, then all rewards are pure savings. Your balance should always be paid off in full before the due date to avoid paying the APR.
At GET.com, we rate credit cards based on value for money. We look at rewards, benefits, bonus offers, introductory low APR periods, and flexibility (how and where the card can be used, how rewards can be redeemed, etc). We also look at the annual fee, standard APR, and other card fees. Our ratings are based on the value that we feel a card gives you compared to the potential cost of using the card.
updated Apr 27, 2016
Daniel Dreier is a staff writer at GET.com, a lifestyle and personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
At GET.com it's all about your saving and getting experience. There's nothing more helpful for all of us Getters than a true life experience, a tip or a trick relating to a reviewed product. Read more about comments.
Lois C Smith
WHY WASN'T "USAA" CREDIT CARD AMONG UR LIST??? I'M DISAPPOINTED!!
September 15 2014 at 17:01
Leslie Susan Kling
Chase Freedom credit cards are great. I use mine for all purchases and receive cash back every month.
October 18 2014 at 22:02
I keep filling it out and it keep telling me it is wrong...I know I did it wright....
December 15 2014 at 03:50
Bob Soloway, could be because you're saying 'wright' instead of the correct 'right'!!!!????
December 24 2014 at 01:14
I'm surprised American Express plum card isn't on here. That card is so incredible.
December 28 2014 at 23:12
Charles Richard Cozzens
Where is USAA MasterCard in this line up?
December 30 2014 at 23:47
Thanks for all the great info. I will share this too
January 01 2015 at 07:48
Best one is the Capitol one Venture card yellow one with no extra fees.
January 05 2015 at 04:04
Virgil E. Matthews
I do not want any more credit cards . Cannot afford ones I have.
January 05 2015 at 04:15
What about BECU credit card?
January 18 2015 at 16:35
Chipper Kelli Jo Hill
Wells Fargo gave us 9.9%. With 1% cash back.
January 22 2015 at 04:26
Karen Reynolds Humphries
We enjoy our Chase Visa SWA rewards card. We receive many free SWA vouchers and are able to fly our family free to one of our annual vacations. We pay off our balances monthly so we incur no interest payments. There is a $29 annual fee. So, basically we receive 4 free SWA tickets for $29. We use our AAdvantage MasterCard for our international flights each year, but usually only receive one free ticket per year (But, that one free ticket is worth about $1,200).
January 22 2015 at 13:56
Check out the hyatt chase card...2 free nights any where in the world
January 24 2015 at 18:17
What about US Bank visa......20,000 points get you up to a 400.00 ticket on any airline at any time...
January 24 2015 at 19:41
These are all Bank Cards...What about Store Cards? I love my JCPenney & Lowes cards! I get great rewards and 0% interest on big purchases. I don't keep a balance so I'm not concerned with interest rate
January 25 2015 at 20:07
Tried to get a credit card can't get one what's wrong with United States ort to give u a chance Joyce turner blanton
February 03 2015 at 15:47
The best card is no card. Pay cash and live free!
March 22 2015 at 06:32
Check out the interest rate on reward cards.
March 23 2015 at 21:27
Sign up to get our newsletter with money saving tips, deals and coupons - no spam.
discounts & deals from all banks in one app?
At GET.com we compare credit cards and rate them objectively based on the credit card's features, interest rates and fees.
Cards are rated by our team based primarily on the basis of value for money to the cardholder. The GET.com team rates each card based on its annual fee, rewards, benefits, bonus, introductory APR, ongoing APR, flexibility (in how its benefits can be used and how rewards are earned and redeemed), and other card features.