Best Visa Credit Cards [September 2020]

Visa credit cards are known for their excellent benefits and reliability around the world. See which one best suits your lifestyle and financial goals.
Last updated Sep 11, 2020 | By Ben Walker

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Visa partners with the world’s largest credit card companies to provide consumers and businesses with a vast array of quality credit cards. Browse through Visa credit cards, and you’ll find many of the best cashback credit cards and best balance transfer credit cards available.

Here are some of the best Visa credit cards and who they’d benefit the most.

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The best Visa credit cards

Card name Best for Why it’s special
Chase Sapphire Preferred Travel Generous 80,000 points sign-up bonus; points transfer to travel partners; travel insurance; purchase protection; extended warranty protection; travel redemptions worth 25% more
Chase Sapphire Reserve Luxury travel Generous 50,000 points sign-up bonus; $300 annual travel credit; airport lounge access; Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit; travel insurance; purchase protection; extended warranty protection; travel redemptions worth 50% more
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Flat-rate travel rewards Generous 100,000 miles welcome offer; earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Air travel Generous 40,000 points sign-up bonus; $75 annual Southwest travel credit; 7,500 anniversary points each year; upgraded boardings; 20% back on in-flight drinks and Wi-Fi
The World of Hyatt Credit Card Hotel stays Generous 50,000 points sign-up bonus; free anniversary night each year; automatic elite status
Costco Anywhere Visa Card Gas and dining Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (up to $7,000), 3% on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% on all other Costco purchases, and 1% on everything else
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card Adjustable cash back Generous $200 cash back sign-up bonus; earn 5% cash back on two chosen categories (up to $2,000 quarterly), 2% cash back on one chosen everyday category, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
Chase Freedom Unlimited Groceries Generous $200 cash back sign-up bonus; earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases; bonus offer for new cardholders of 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year)
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card Balance transfers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 20 billing cycles; 0% intro APR on purchases for 20 months
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Business owners Generous 100,000 points sign-up bonus; earn 5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Best for travel

The Chase Sapphire Preferred provides cardholders with 5X on Lyft rides, 2X points on eligible dining and travel, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases. You can also earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

Why this is best for travel: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are among the most valuable and flexible travel rewards available. Redeem them for travel through the Chase travel portal or transfer them to over 10 Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners. Even better, your points are worth 25% more if you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

#1 Travel Rewards Card

Benefits

  • 80,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 5X points on select streaming services (up to $1,500) until September 30, 2020
  • 3X points with Instacart (up to $3,000), and at gas stations (up to $1,500) until September 30, 2020
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards


Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for luxury travel

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the older brother of the Sapphire Preferred, and it comes loaded with benefits. 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else. You can also earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee.

Why this is best for luxury travel: Every year, you receive a $300 travel credit with this card, which immediately cuts out a large portion of its $550 annual fee. You also receive a Priority Pass membership, up to $100 in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee reimbursement, and exclusive benefits from The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. And that’s not even mentioning up to $120 in DoorDash credits, a free DashPass subscription, complimentary Lyft Pink membership, and plenty of travel and purchase coverages.

#1 Premium Travel Credit Card

Benefits

  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 10X points on select streaming services (up to $1,500) from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • 5X points with Instacart (up to $3,000), and at gas stations (up to $1,500) from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • 3X points on travel and at restaurants
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access

Drawbacks

  • High annual fee
  • Excellent credit required


Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for flat-rate travel rewards

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you can earn 100,000 miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months. In addition, you’ll earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Venture miles can be redeemed on flights and hotels, or transferred to more than 10 Capital One transfer partners. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a $95 annual fee.

Why this is best for flat-rate travel rewards: Most travel rewards cards offer varying bonus categories to earn points or miles, but with the Capital One Venture Rewards, earning is a lot more straightforward. You don’t have to worry about categories like travel, groceries, or restaurants — you get a flat 2X miles on every purchase, every day. This makes it easy to focus on earning rewards, regardless of what purchases you make. You also get up to $100 of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit and pay no foreign transaction fees with this card.

Incredibly Flexible Rewards

Benefits

  • 100,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Requires excellent credit


Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card: Best for air travel

For Southwest travelers, there’s no card better than the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card. With this card, you can earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 2X points with Southwest and on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases and 1X points on all other purchases. Use your points to book airfare to Southwest destinations all over the U.S., Caribbean, and Central America. The best part? There aren’t any blackout dates on Southwest award flights, so you can book for whenever you want. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card has a $149 annual fee.

Why this is best for Southwest travel: The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority’s 40,000 points sign-up bonus and earning potential should be enough to offset its $149 annual fee, but this card also comes with fantastic benefits. Each year, you get $75 Southwest travel credit and 7,500 anniversary points, making it easy to fly for free on Southwest. You also get four upgraded boardings each year and 20% savings on in-flight purchases. And of course, all Southwest passengers get two free checked bags.

Double points on Southwest Airlines flights

Benefits

  • 40,000 bonus point sign-up offer
  • 2X points on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • 7,500 points every year on Cardmember anniversary
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit
  • Four upgraded boardings per year when available

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee


The World of Hyatt Credit Card: Best for hotel stays

For stays at Hyatt properties, The World of Hyatt Credit Card has you covered. Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points: 25,000 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus an additional 25,000 after spending a total of $6,000 in the first 6 months. Also, you’ll earn 9X points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels; 2X points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining, and health purchases; and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. The World of Hyatt Credit Card has a $95 annual fee.

Why this is best for Hyatt hotel stays: The amount of points you can earn with the World of Hyatt card is enough to offset its $95 annual fee, but you can also get plenty of value from its other card benefits. For instance, a free anniversary night each year can be worth a lot, depending on where you use it. Also, the automatic Discoverist elite status can get you room upgrades, late checkout, premium internet, and waived resort fees.

Big bonus points on Hyatt stays

Benefits

  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • Up to 9X points per $1 spent on Hyatt stays
  • 1 free night every year
  • Automatic elite status

Drawbacks

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks some perks of costlier hotel cards
  • No intro 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers


Costco Anywhere Visa Card: Best for gas and dining

For rewards on gas and dining purchases, consider the Costco Anywhere Visa Card. With this card, you can earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (up to $7,000), 3% on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% on all other Costco purchases, and 1% on everything else. Cashback rewards can be redeemed for cash or merchandise at any U.S. Costco Warehouse. The Costco Anywhere Visa Card has a $0 annual fee.

Why this is best for gas and dining: If you’re visiting the gas station frequently enough, the purchases can begin to pile up. With the Costco Anywhere Visa card, you get to put some of that money back into your wallet. There aren’t many cards that can match the 4% cash back oneligible gas purchases (on up to $7,000 per year) or the 3% cash back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases, which is why this card can be so beneficial.

Earn up to 4% cash back

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Benefits

  • Up to 4% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Must be a Costco member
  • Cash back is only redeemed once a year


U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: Best for adjustable cash back

With the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card, cardholders can earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 90 days. For everyday spending, you can also earn 5% cash back on two chosen categories (up to $2,000 quarterly), 2% cash back on one chosen everyday category, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Cash back can be redeemed as a deposit into your U.S. Bank account, a statement credit, or a rewards card. The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has a $0 annual fee.

Why this is best for adjustable cash back: The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa is unique in that cashback credit cards don’t typically have the option to choose which categories you get to earn bonus cash back on, but this benefit is perfect for getting the most out of your rewards. Since you can pick and choose your categories each quarter, you get to adjust your cash back according to your spending habits and maximize your rewards.

Big bonus points on Hyatt stays

Benefits

  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • Up to 9X points per $1 spent on Hyatt stays
  • 1 free night every year
  • Automatic elite status

Drawbacks

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks some perks of costlier hotel cards
  • No intro 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers


Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for groceries

The Chase Freedom Unlimited provides $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months. New cardholders also receive a 5% cashback rate on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year). And with this card, you can always earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. Cashback rewards can be redeemed for a statement credit, direct deposit, gift card, or travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a $0 annual fee.

Why this is best for groceries: It’s hard to beat 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year). And with a $0 annual fee, it’s easy to focus on earning big rewards. 

Unlimited Cash Back

Benefits

  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • 5% cash back grocery store purchases for the first year (up to $12k)
  • Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee


U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card: Best for balance transfers

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card doesn’t offer any rewards because its value lies in its benefits. Cardholders can take advantage of 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 20 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on purchases for 20 months. The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card has a $0 annual fee, although there is a balance transfer fee with this card. At the end of the balance transfer period, your rate will increase to a regular variable APR.

Why this is best for balance transfers: Credit cards with low interest rates, like the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum, can help you manage your debt if you use them correctly. With a balance transfer, you can transfer existing debt onto this card and avoid interest on the balance for 20 billing cycles. This can provide you with the time you need to pay down your debt, instead of watching interest accrue and seeing your debt begin to snowball.

0% introductory APR

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Cell phone protection
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • No rewards program
  • Balance transfer fee applies


Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Best for business owners

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is one of the best business credit cards available. With this card, earn 5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else. Cardholders can also earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in thefirst 3 months. The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has a $95 annual fee.

Why this is best for business owners: This card offers a huge 100,000-point sign-up bonus and gives small business owners the opportunity to earn rewards on common business expenses. Additionally, you also receive employee cards at no added cost, and your points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Hot Sign-up Bonus

Benefits

  • 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and common business spending categories
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Additional employee cards at no extra cost

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No intro 0% APR promotion offered
  • Limited business-specific benefits


How we chose these cards

Visa has a wide variety of credit cards available that are issued by numerous credit card companies. It’s not easy to narrow down the best Visa credit cards, but it makes a lot more sense when you separate them into different categories.

For instance, there may be multiple rewards Visa cards, but certain ones might offer benefits that others don’t or one card could have a better rewards rate or a larger sign-up bonus. As we compared the sign-up bonuses, rewards, and benefits across travel cards, cashback cards, and others, it became a lot simpler to see which cards rose to the top.

What is Visa?

Visa is a global payments company that helps credit card issuers process card transactions in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. Visa got its start in 1958 with BankAmericard, the first general-purpose consumer credit card, from Bank of America. In 1976, BankAmericard became Visa; and in 2007, Visa Inc. was formed as a global corporation.

Today, there are more than 3.3 billion Visa cards in use around the world, helping people process transactions in over 160 currencies. Also, more than 46 million merchants use the Visa payments network.

Visa isn’t a credit card issuer, so you won’t see any specific Visa-branded cards. Instead, you’ll typically see the Visa logo and a credit card issuer’s logo, like Chase or U.S. Bank, on a card. In these partnerships, both Visa and the partner offer benefits to the customers they serve. Visa employs over 18,000 individuals and had a net revenue of about $23 billion in 2019.

What are the different Visa credit card tiers?

Visa offers valuable benefits on each of its cards, which means that any Visa cardholder will get benefits from both the card issuer and Visa. For example, a Visa card issued by Chase provides benefits from both Chase and Visa.

Visa benefits are separated into three different credit card tiers, with the benefits increasing in value as you move up the tiers. These are the Visa credit card tiers and the benefits they offer:

Traditional

Visa Traditional cards are designed for everyday use, whether you’re shopping for groceries or ordering a gift online.

With a Visa Traditional card, you may receive these benefits:

  • Zero liability: You aren’t liable for unauthorized transactions made with your card.
  • Cardholder inquiry services: Get product and service information from the 24/7 global customer service team.
  • Roadside dispatch: Access pay-per-use roadside assistance services.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Get built-in credit card rental car insurance when you pay for a rented vehicle with your card.
  • Emergency card replacement: Get a replacement card shipped globally within 24 to 72 hours.
  • Lost or stolen card reporting: Access toll-free, 24/7 phone numbers to report your card lost or stolen.
  • Emergency cash disbursement: Get a wire cash transfer to a nearby Western Union within two hours of bank approval.
  • Special offers: Access special offers and discounts from different retailers, like Fanatics.com, Fila, Godiva, and New Balance.

Signature

Visa Signature cards are designed to offer premium benefits and access to special experiences.

With a Visa Signature card, you may receive these benefits:

  • Visa Traditional benefits: Receive all the benefits found on Visa Traditional cards.
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: Receive exclusive benefits at more than 900 Visa Signature Luxury Hotel properties around the world.
  • Rental car privileges: Save on Audi car rentals with Silvercar.
  • Sonoma wine country: Access year-round benefits from over 50 Visa Signature wineries.
  • Golf: Save on golf fees and merchandise with Troon Rewards.
  • Concierge: Receive personal concierge service to help plan trips, buy tickets for entertainment venues, and more.
  • Fine wine and dining: Access exclusive celebrity chef and winemaker experiences.
  • Extended warranty protection: Extend the manufacturer’s warranty by up to one additional year on eligible purchases.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: Access 24/7 global and multilingual assistance wherever you are, whether at home or abroad. Get help with medical referrals, emergency transportation, prescription assistance, lost luggage, and more.

Infinite

Visa Infinite is the top-tier of Visa credit cards. This tier is designed to offer the utmost personalized service and unique benefits.

With a Visa Infinite card, you may receive these benefits:

  • Visa Signature benefits: Receive all the benefits found on Visa Signature cards.
  • Global Entry: Receive a $100 statement credit for your Global Entry application fee.
  • Priority Pass: Receive complimentary Priority Pass membership and access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.
  • Car rental privileges: Get exclusive amenities and discounts with Avis, Hertz, National, and Silvercar.
  • Airline incidentals: Receive rebates for various travel-related fees, including baggage fees, in-flight food, and more.
  • Purchase security: Get eligible items replaced, repaired, or the cost reimbursed if they’re stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase.
  • Return protection: Get return protection for eligible purchases you’re unhappy with and the merchant won’t accept back. This applies to the first 90 days after you’ve purchased an item.dela
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Receive reimbursement for stolen or lost baggage.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Receive up to $500 when your air travel is delayed more than six hours due to a covered reason.
  • Trip cancellation / trip interruption reimbursement: Get help with reimbursement for non-refundable purchased transportation tickets if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip.

How does Visa compare to other credit card companies?

Visa may be a well-known and respected company in the financial industry, but it still has to compete with other large companies, like American Express, Mastercard, and Discover. Each company has its own strengths and weaknesses, but how does Visa stack up against the competition?

Visa vs. American Express

Both Visa and American Express operate as payments networks, so they partner with credit card issuers to help process their transactions around the world. American Express, though, is also a credit card issuer while Visa is not.

Overall, Visa credit cards and American Express credit cards are widely accepted throughout the U.S., but Visa cards are more accepted worldwide. In terms of company size, Visa has over 18,000 employees while American Express has over 64,000.

Visa vs. Mastercard

Visa and Mastercard are the two powerhouse payments networks that most people are familiar with. The majority of credit card issuers use Visa and Mastercard to process their transactions, so their logos are a common sight. Both Mastercard and Visa are accepted virtually everywhere that accepts credit card payments.

Mastercard credit cards are issued by other credit card companies, like Chase or Citibank. Visa operates the same way, partnering with large credit card issuers to help facilitate their payments. Overall, Mastercard and Visa are similarly sized companies. Mastercard has about 19,000 employees while Visa has 18,600.

Visa vs. Discover

Discover is a payments network like Visa, but also offers banking services and issues credit cards. While Discover credit cards are accepted throughout the U.S., they aren’t as accepted worldwide as Visa credit cards. There also aren’t as many Discover cards available as there are Visa cards.

Visa and Discover are close in size. Discover has about 17,000 employees while Visa has 18,600.

Which Visa credit card should you choose?

The right Visa credit card for you is the one that best suits your lifestyle and meets your financial needs. Since Visa partners with many major credit card issuers, there’s a wide variety of Visa credit cards to choose from.

If you want a simple card you can use for everyday purchases, consider a cashback card. These cards earn cash back on every purchase, so you know you’ll earn rewards no matter what your spending habits are.

To travel more while spending less money, travel rewards cards make the most sense. These cards earn valuable points or miles that you can redeem for airfare and hotel stays. Many travel cards are also easy to use on your daily purchases, like getting food from restaurants.

Not all credit cards are about rewards. With a balance transfer credit card, you can avoid accruing interest for a while so you can pay down your credit card debt. These low interest cards can help you with your existing debt, but just be aware of the balance transfer fees involved and how long the 0% APR introductory period is.

To choose the best Visa credit card for you, compare the benefits on the cards we’ve provided to see which ones would suit you the best. If the benefits align with what you’re looking for, you may have found the next addition to your wallet.

FAQs about Visa credit cards

What's the Visa credit limit?

Visa doesn’t set credit limits on its cards because it’s not a credit card issuer. Visa partners with other companies, including Chase and Citibank, and they set the credit limits on their Visa-branded cards. Each card’s limit will be different and may depend on the credit score, credit history, and other factors of the individual applying for a card. Typically, Visa Infinite cards will have higher credit limits. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, a Visa Infinite card, has a minimum credit limit of $10,000.

Is Visa better than Mastercard?

Visa isn’t necessarily better than Mastercard, but likewise, Mastercard isn’t necessarily better than Visa. These are the two most recognized payments networks in the world, and their credit cards are accepted on a global scale. Both companies also partner with the biggest credit card issuers in the country, so there’s no clear winner. It would likely come down to your preference if you think a specific credit card that’s only Visa or Mastercard is better than another.

Which card issuers has Visa partnered with?

Visa partners with the majority of large credit card issuers, including these companies:

  • Bank of America
  • Barclays
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • U.S. Bank
  • USAA
  • Wells Fargo

Bottom line on the best Visa credit card for your wallet

Visa credit cards are easily some of the best cards in the world, providing loads of different options and benefits to consumers and businesses. With these cards, it’s easy to find one that aligns with your financial goals.

If you’re interested in applying for a new Visa credit card, there are plenty of terrific options to choose from. Consider your spending habits and what you’re looking for in a credit card, then refer to our list of the best Visa credit cards to find the right one for you.

Unlimited Cash Back

Benefits

  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • 5% cash back grocery store purchases for the first year (up to $12k)
  • Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases