Credit cards can be very useful financial tools. They make it easy to track spending, manage large expenses and earn rewards.
However, not everyone needs the same credit card.
One person may want a great balance transfer credit card to help them pay down debt while another may be looking for the best rewards card.
No matter if you're getting your first credit card or you're well-versed in the art of maximizing rewards points, you're sure to find a card that matches your needs below.
Best Overall Credit Card - Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
There are so many credit cards available that it's hard to select just one as the best overall card.
To make our selection, we looked for a card that offers great value, diverse benefits and low fees. We also wanted to find a card that would be beneficial to the greatest range of consumers.
After reviewing dozens of cards, we decided the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the best overall credit card on the market right now.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Basics: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card is unmatched in terms of its cash back offer. It provides 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and U.S. streaming services, both of which are hot spending categories right now.
Plus, you'll get 3% at U.S. gas stations and transit costs and 1% cash back on other purchases.
While the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express charges an annual fee, the value of its benefits far outweigh the cost. Beyond the cash back, you'll get travel and purchase perks simply by having the card.
Bonus: $250 cash back after spending $1,000 within 3 months of opening account
Rewards Rate: 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back on transit purchases such as parking and rideshares, 3% at U.S. gas stations and 1% cash back on other purchases
Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Regular APR: 12.99% - 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee: $95
Credit Needed: Good, Excellent
Comparing the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with car rental loss and damage insurance, access to a global assist hotline, return protection, free two-day shipping through ShopRunner and access to card member-only entertainment events.
- Using the Plan It feature, cardholders can avoid interest charges and pay a fixed monthly fee instead.
- Downside: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express charges a foreign transaction fee so this isn't a good card for international travel or purchases made in a foreign currency.
Best 0% APR Credit Card - Wells Fargo Platinum card
If you carry a balance or need to finance a large purchase, a 0% APR credit card is probably going to be best for you.
Being able to skip interest could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars depending on how much you owe and how long it takes to pay off your balance.
For the top card in this category, we looked for a low-fee card with a long introductory APR period.
Wells Fargo Platinum card
The Basics: The Wells Fargo Platinum card offers a 0% Intro APR for a whopping 18 months on purchases. The balance transfer is also 0% Intro APR for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers.
The card's annual fee is $0 and it has extra perks such as access to a My Money Map budgeting tool and cell phone protection.
Intro APR: 0% Intro APR for a period of 18 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0% Intro APR for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee: The BT fee is 3% for 120 days, then 5%
Regular APR: 15.49%-24.99% Variable
Annual Fee: $0
Credit Needed: Excellent, Good
Comparing the Wells Fargo Platinum card
- The Citi Simplicity Card actually offers a 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers, but its introductory rate for purchases ends after 12 months. As a result, the Wells Fargo Platinum card edged it out in the rankings.
- After the introductory period, the interest rate for the Wells Fargo Platinum card is 15.49%-24.99% Variable depending on your credit worthiness.
- To receive the card's cell phone protection, you need to pay your wireless bill with your card. If an eligible phone is damaged or stolen, you can receive up to $600 worth of protection minus a $25 deductible.
- Downside: You won't get the 0% intro APR if you have opened another Wells Fargo card within 15 months of your application and received an introductory APR, fees or bonus rewards offer with it.
Best Balance Transfer Credit Card - Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Anyone carrying a balance on a high-interest credit card should consider transferring that balance to a lower interest card.
Moving money to a card with a low or 0% APR could save some big bucks and shave months or years off the time it takes to repay the debt. For the top pick in this category, we looked for a card that had a great 0% APR offer as well as a low balance transfer fee.
Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
The Basics: The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer isn't just a great card for balance transfers. It's also a solid choice for cash back rewards if you plan to use it for purchases. The card gives users 1% cash back on everything they buy and another 1% cash back when they make minimum payments on time.
Rewards: The cash back rewards are essentially 2% cash back on all purchases. You get 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Intro APR: N/A
Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Regular APR: 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee: $0
Credit Needed: Excellent, Good
Comparing the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
- The Citi Simplicity Card was another strong contender in this category. Its 0% APR for 21 months beats the 18 months offered by the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer. However, with the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer, you'll only pay a fee of 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. Compare that to 5% with the Citi Simplicity Card, and it could save you $200 on a $10,000 balance transfer.
- After the introductory period, your APR on the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer will be between 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable), depending on your credit.
- There are no caps or category restrictions on cash back earnings, and they can be redeemed for a statement credit, direct deposit or points.
- Downside: You won't earn any cash back for your balance transfer or payments on it.
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
Small business owners need a credit card that gives them not only buying power but also flexibility. Some cards in this category come with significant annual fees, but they provide valuable rewards and perks in exchange. Others are low-fee cards with minimal features. For our pick for the best credit card for small business, we looked for a card that had the best of both worlds.
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
The Basics: The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is an affordable way to earn rewards with a small business credit card. It doesn't charge an annual fee and offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months. The balance transfer intro APR is similar.
The card's other perks include car rental damage and loss insurance and access to a global assist hotline.
Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
Purchase Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR: 13.24% - 19.24% Variable
Annual Fee: No annual fee
Credit Score Needed: Good, Excellent
Comparing the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
- If you'd rather not have cash back, you could earn Membership Rewards points with the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express.
- American Express allows cardholders to spend beyond their credit limit on those occasions when they need additional spending power. This perk isn't guaranteed, though, and depends on factors such as your payment history and credit.
- After the introductory period, this card has a 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR, depending on your credit.
- Downside: There is no special bonus offer for new cardholders. If you want that, consider the Capital One Spark Miles Business Credit Card.
Best Business Credit Card for Gas Rewards - Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Business owners may travel frequently or need to fill up multiple company vehicles. To save on those expenses, it only makes sense to look for a business credit card that offers gas rewards. We reviewed the available options to find a low-cost card that provides extra cash back on fuel purchases.
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
The Basics: You'll earn extra cash back in several common business categories by using the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card from Chase. This card has a generous cash back offer. The annual fee is $0 and it currently has a $500 bonus welcome offer.
Bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Purchase Intro APR: There is a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months
Regular APR: 14.74% - 20.74% Variable
Annual Fee: $0
Credit Score Needed: Excellent, Good
Comparing the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
- The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is currently offering a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months. After that, the interest rate is 14.74% - 20.74% Variable.
- There is no cost for additional employee cards, and business owners can set individual spending limits on each one.
- Downside: The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card charges a foreign transaction fee, so this card may not be a good choice for those who do business internationally.
Best Rewards Credit Card for Gas Rewards - Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Fuel purchases are a significant part of many family's budgets, and rewards credit cards can offer some savings.
While some credit cards offer extra cash back on gas purchases for part of the year, we wanted to find one that had additional rewards all year long. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card does just that.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
The Basics: Purchases made with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card earn points for the Go Far Rewards program. They can be redeemed for cash, gift cards and travel. Gas and transit are two of the categories that always earn 3 points per dollar spent on this card.
Rewards Rate: You can get 3X points on gas stations, transit, dining, travel and popular streaming services; 1X points on other purchases
Bonus: 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within 3 months of opening account
Intro APR: 0% Intro APR
Intro Period: 12 months for 13.99%-25.99% variable
Annual fee: $0
Credit Needed: Excellent, Good
Comparing the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Not everyone wants to earn points. If you'd rather have cash back, try the Discover it Cash Back Card which is offering better cash back on gas station purchases during the second quarter of 2020.
- The 20,000 bonus points offered to new cardholders of the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card have a value of $200.
- A nice perk of this card is its cell phone protection coverage which will help cover the damage or theft of your phone so long as you pay your bill with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card.
- Downside: Go Far Rewards doesn't have any transfer partners so there is no option to move your points to a different loyalty program.
Credit Score You Need for a Credit Card
Every card has its own criteria when it comes to the credit score needed for approval, and a few companies, such as Capital One, make it clear on their website what level of credit they'd like to see in applicants.
In general, rewards cards require higher levels of credit, and applicants may be required to have scores at or above 700. Those with very low credit scores may only be able to get a secured card while student cards are more accepting of those with limited credit history.
We have some tips to help you improve your credit before applying so check those out if you think your score could use a boost.
Credit cards and their terms are constantly evolving. Plus, everyone has different priorities. The benefits that are valuable to one person may not be as important to others. With those caveats in mind, we have worked to compile a list of credit cards that we think will appeal to the greatest number of consumers. When reviewing cards, we weighted them based on the following factors:
- Value of benefits compared to fees
- Availability of a low introductory APR
- Rate of regular APR
- Perks and benefits relating to each specific category listed