Best Credit Cards of 2024

CREDIT CARDS
Whether you’re looking for travel rewards, cash back, or 0% intro APR, take a look at these top cards from our partners.
Updated May 24, 2024
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There's a credit card for everyone and every occasion, but before you can start enjoying the perks credit cards can offer, you need to find the right one. Whether you're looking for a travel card to earn points for a fabulous vacation, a cash back card to earn money back on your purchases, a starter or student card to build your credit, a balance transfer card to pay down debt, or a business card, you've got plenty of options.

Keep reading to learn more about our editors' picks for the best credit cards and find your match.

In this article

Best travel cards

Great for Flexible Travel Rewards

4.9

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Premium Travel Rewards & Perks

4.9

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$395

Rewards Rate

2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Incredibly Flexible Rewards

4.7

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

4.1

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Earn Valuable Travel Points Even Faster

4.9

Citi Strata Premier ℠ Card

Current Offer

Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

10X points on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked on CitiTravel.com; 3X points on air travel and other hotel purchases, at restaurants, supermarkets, gas and EV charging stations; and 1X points on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Premium Travel Benefits

5.0

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Current Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Rate

5X points on flights and 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually; 3X points on other travel and dining & 1X points per dollar on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Cell Phone Protection + Annual Streaming Credit

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
4.5

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Current Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening

Annual Fee

$95 (waived first year)

Rewards Rate

5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center; 4X points on travel, gas stations, EV charging stations through 9/8/24, after that 4X on your first $1,000 each quarter (wholesale clubs and discount stores/supercenters excluded); 2X points on dining, streaming services and at grocery stores; and 1X points on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Free checked bags & more

4.3

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Current Offer

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$99 (waived first year)

Rewards Rate

2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases; and 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details


Best cashback credit cards

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Unlimited Cash Back

4.5

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Cash Back in Categories You Choose!

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
4.5

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Current Offer

Earn a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on two categories you choose (up to $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter) and on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Center; 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations/EV charging stations, grocery stores, or restaurants; and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Up to 5% Cash Back

4.8

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Choose Your Cashback Category

4.4

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Earn Cash Back Twice

4.8

Citi Double Cash® Card

Current Offer

Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Unlimited Cash Back

4.7

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Current Offer

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details


Best balance transfer credit cards


Extra Long Intro APR on Purchases & Qualifying Balance Transfers

4.9

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Current Offer

Benefit from a long introductory APR period on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

0% introductory APR

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
4.9

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Current Offer

0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 18.74% - 29.74%

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases

4.5

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details



Best credit cards for building credit

A+ for Students

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Current Offer

Rewards Rate

1% cash back on all purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details


Best business cards

Up to 5% Cash Back

4.8

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Flexible Payment Options with Unlimited Rewards

5.0

Ink Business Premier® Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn $1,000 bonus cash back after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$195

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; unlimited 2.5% cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more; unlimited 2% cash back on all other business purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Unlimited Cash Back

4.8

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Hot Welcome Bonus

4.8

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

3X points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year; and 1X points per $1 on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back

4.4

Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details


How to choose the best credit card

Choosing the right credit card for you generally comes down to six different factors.

1. Your credit score and credit history

Lenders use your credit score and credit history from the credit bureaus to help determine whether they should give you any money in the form of credit. Many lenders check your FICO score, which is a type of credit score. FICO scores typically use these ranges:

  • Excellent: 800 to 850
  • Very good: 740 to 799
  • Good: 670 to 739
  • Fair: 580 to 669
  • Poor: 300 to 579

You usually need at least a good credit score for many of the better credit card options out there, including credit cards with elevated rewards and benefits. And with excellent credit, you have the best chance of being approved. 

But there are also credit cards available if you have a fair or poor credit score or you're a beginner and need a credit card with no credit history. And creditors look at more than just your credit score. Having a certain score does not guarantee approval. 

2. Welcome offers

A welcome offer or welcome bonus is typically an offer for new card members that’s available on rewards credit cards. These offers can vary, but they often follow the format of giving new cardholders a substantial amount of rewards for spending a certain amount of money on the applicable card within a few or more months of signing up.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides this sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Credit card offers can provide loads of value and should be considered if you’re comparing multiple credit cards. If two credit cards generally offer the same benefits, the one with the higher welcome bonus might be the better choice.

3. Types of rewards

You can typically earn credit card rewards in the form of points, miles, or cash back. Points and miles are often best suited if you prefer to redeem rewards for travel, such as flights or hotel stays. Cashback rewards are likely best for you if you don’t need travel redemption options and prefer the opportunity to save money on everyday expenses.

Tip
Cards may offer other benefits such as a discount or extra points for using Uber or Lyft, fee credits if you apply for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, or access to exclusive events.

4. Rewards categories

Along with earning different types of rewards, you can also earn reward points in different ways:

  • Flat-rate rewards: You earn the same rewards rate on every purchase.
  • Bonus categories: You earn more rewards on specific purchases.
  • Rotating categories: You earn more rewards on specific purchases at certain times of the year.

You might prefer a card with flat-rate rewards because it’s simple and you likely wouldn’t have to carry more than one card in your wallet.

But you might discover that your everyday spending habits typically align with certain types of purchases, such as groceries, gas, or streaming subscriptions. If that’s the case, having a card that earns more rewards in those bonus spending categories could provide more value.

Tip
Note that some cards that offer higher cash back rates for grocery stores may not include stores like Walmart and Target in the grocery store category.

If you find your expenses tend to vary, a credit card with rotating bonus categories might make sense. The rotating categories often align with common expenses, so you can potentially earn plenty of rewards on your everyday purchases throughout the year.

You may also want to consider reward card program programs. Some like Chase Ultimate Rewards, for example, while others prefer American Express Membership Rewards. 

5. Annual fees

Some credit card accounts have annual fees, while others don’t. Cards with annual fees tend to have more benefits, but you have to consider the annual cost against the value of the benefits to see if it’s worth it for you.

Keep in mind that both credit cards with no annual fee and cards with a fee could be worth it depending on your situation. So don’t be thrown off immediately if a card has an annual fee.

6. Interest and other fees

We don’t recommend using credit cards if you plan to carry a balance that will end up collecting interest. Or making late payments and having to pay fees. But sometimes things happen and it’s reasonable to be aware of a credit card’s interest rate and other fees like late fees.

And if you’re looking for a low-interest credit card, it could make sense to find a card with a 0% intro APR on purchases and/or balance transfers. This could help you avoid interest charges if you have an upcoming large purchase or want to pay down an existing balance.

If you're planning to travel abroad, consider looking for a card with no foreign transaction fees. 

Note that in some cases, you might choose a credit card depending on the payment network, such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. For example, Visa and Mastercard credit cards are typically accepted worldwide, but Amex cards aren’t as globally accepted.

5 types of credit cards

Credit card companies provide many different types of credit cards to help people meet their specific financial goals. For example, you might want to earn rewards on everyday purchases, so you could be interested in comparing the best rewards credit cards to find the right card.

But do you want to earn bonus rewards in the form of cash back, points, or miles? And are you interested in earning a welcome bonus after spending a certain amount on your card within a few months of account opening? Or can you float an annual fee?

It can get slightly overwhelming trying to narrow down the type of credit card that might be right for you. To make it simple, we’ve separated the different types of cards into five primary categories and who they might be best for:

1. Travel credit cards

Travel credit cards focus on earning travel rewards in the form of points or miles and providing travel-related benefits. You can typically redeem your points or miles toward many types of common travel expenses, including airfare, flight upgrades, hotel stays, and rental cars. 

Travel rewards can typically be redeemed when you book travel through the card issuer or when you transfer points to the issuer's travel partners. You can typically also redeem your points or miles for statement credits. 

Travel benefits vary by card, but could include:

  • Airport lounge access like access Priority Pass lounges
  • Travel credit, such as a hotel credit that you can use through the card's travel platform
  • Elite status with a loyalty program such as Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy

Some travel credit cards also include travel perks like statement credits to help cover TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees. 

You should choose a travel credit card if you want to earn rewards that you can redeem toward travel and you want benefits that can enhance your travel experiences. You should also consider the card's redemption options and travel partners before you settle on the right one for you. 

2. Cash back credit cards

Cash back credit cards are a type of rewards card that earns cash back rather than points or miles. Cashback redemptions vary by card but could include:

  • Statement credits
  • Deposits into a linked bank account
  • Mailed checks
  • Gift cards

You should choose a cash back credit card if you prefer earning cash back over points or miles. This typically means you’re not as interested in redeeming rewards for travel. 

3. Balance transfer

Balance transfer credit cards often provide a 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers for a certain amount of time, usually between 12 and 18 months. This type of offer gives you an opportunity to move debt from another credit product onto your new credit card and not have to pay interest on the balance for the specified amount of time.

Note that you typically have to pay a balance transfer fee to do a balance transfer, regardless of whether you have an introductory period with a 0% APR.

You should choose a balance transfer credit card with the longest 0% APR if you need some time to pay off debt without worrying about interest charges for a while.

4. Credit cards for building credit

Credit cards for building credit are designed to help you build your credit history and improve your credit score if you have fair credit, bad credit, or no credit. Just about any credit card can help you build your credit, but you likely won’t qualify for all types of cards if you have little or no credit history.

Fortunately, secured credit cards exist, as well as other unsecured cards that don’t have strict credit requirements. These types of cards don’t typically have high credit limits or many benefits, and secured credit cards typically require a security deposit. But they can help you build your credit score and qualify for better credit cards and other credit products.

You should choose a credit card for building credit if you don’t qualify for other credit cards with elevated rewards and benefits.

5. Business cards

Business credit cards are for small business owners with business expenses. There’s not much difference between personal credit cards and business credit cards, but you might find specific business-related benefits and rewards on a business card.

Business credit cards also typically have little impact on your personal credit score, even though you often need a decent credit score to qualify for many business cards. Additionally, business credit cards can help you separate personal and business expenses for tax purposes.

You should choose a business credit card if you’re a small business owner who wants to separate personal and business expenses while benefiting from specific business-related card perks.

FAQs

Does opening a credit card hurt my credit?

Opening a credit card could negatively impact your credit score in two ways:

  1. Lenders check your credit reports with a hard inquiry that can cause a small drop in your credit score.
  2. A new credit card lowers the average age of your credit accounts and potentially your credit score as well.

Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for two years, but they typically only affect your credit score for one year.

How often should you use a credit card to build credit?

Credit card issuers and other lenders typically report your credit usage on a monthly basis, so it makes sense to use your credit card each month. This will help build your credit score and keep your credit account active as long as you’re making full and on-time payments.

Does closing a credit card hurt your credit?

Closing a credit card could hurt your credit. This is because it lowers the amount of credit you have available, which increases your debt-to-income ratio. In general, it's best to keep accounts open unless there is a compelling reason to close them. 

For example, you might close a card that's charging excessive fees. 

Bottom line

The best credit card for you depends on your preferences and financial goals. Be sure to look at multiple cards, their benefits, and their credit score requirements to select the best card for you.

Methodology

We evaluated cards from our partners on a variety of factors to determine which cards to feature in each category. These factors include intro APRs, ongoing APRs, rewards programs, fees, and overall consumer value. We did not evaluate or include all cards available.

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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