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When it comes to picking the best credit card, there will never be a “one size fits all” piece of plastic. Different consumers have different financial needs, so the best credit card for one person may be a terrible option for the next person. The easiest way to assess which credit cards are truly the best is to break the different offers down into categories and highlight the unique features of each card. If you're in the market for a lower interest rate or a better rewards credit card, then you've come to the right place! Our experts have done all the work and selected the best credit cards of 2016:
Chase Slate® – BEST FOR: No intro balance transfer fees and a 0% intro APR
|No intro balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days*||0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers*||Free access to your FICO score and Chase BluePrint service*|
The Chase Slate® stands alone when it comes to balance transfer credit cards. This credit card is the only one that offers the trifold combination of a long intro APR, no annual fee, and no intro balance transfer fee for the first 60 days. Cardholders will also enjoy a free FICO score and access to the Chase BluePrint service, which helps you layout a plan to pay down their balance as quickly as possible and avoid interest charges. The ongoing APR on this card is 15.49% - 24.24% Variablebased on your creditworthiness.
Citi® Double Cash – 18 month BT offer – BEST FOR: Earning the most cash back on every purchase
|1% cash back when you buy, and another 1% back when you pay your bill*||No annual fee, no cash back limits & your rewards won't expire*||0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers*|
Many credit cards offer bonus cash back in certain spending categories, but the reality is that most of your purchases probably won’t fall into those bonus categories and you’ll only end up earning a measly 1% cash back. But the Citi® Double Cash allows you to earn cash back TWICE on every purchase, no matter what you buy. This card give 1% cash back when you buy, and another 1% back you pay your bill. So if you're looking for the best ongoing rewards rate and don't want to worry about bonus categories, this is the card for you!
Discover it® - 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer – BEST FOR: Earning a huge sign-up bonus in your first year
|Discover automatically doubles all the cash back you earn your first year*||5% cash back in popular rotating categories*||Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases*|
It’s not uncommon for rewards credit cards to offer sign-up bonuses to attract new cardmembers, but Discover certainly broke the mold when they offered to double all the cash back that cardholders earn in their first year. That means there is no limit to how big your cash bonus could be – the more you spend, the more you earn! This card also come with one of the best cash back programs; cardholders earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases in addition to 1% cash bank on all other purchases.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – BEST FOR: Flexible Travel Rewards with no blackout dates
|40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months*||2x miles on every purchase, every day*||Use miles on purchases with any airline or hotel with no blackout dates*|
If you’re fed up with trying to navigate the intricacies of redeeming airline miles and hotel points, then the Capital One Venture is the perfect card for you. The miles you earn with this credit card can be redeemed for purchases with any airline or hotel, and you can even cover other travel expenses like rental cards and baggage fees. In addition to its incredible rewards flexibility, this card offers 2x miles on every purchase, every day. Finally, new cardholders can receive an awesome sign up bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months; that’s equal to $400 in travel!
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever – BEST FOR: Longest possible intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
|0% APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers*||No annual fee, no late fees, and no penalty rate*||View your monthly FICO score online for free with cardmembership*|
Just like some rewards cards offer sign-up bonuses for new card holders, many will also entice new customers with an introductory APR of 0% for a certain period of time. These intro APRs can be a very useful tool if you’re looking to escape a high interest credit card or finance a big purchase. The longer the better, and if you’re looking for the longest intro APR out there, look no further than the Citi Simplicity. With 21 months of 0% APR, cardholders will have almost two years to pay down their balance without paying a penny of interest. There is also no annual fee with this card, no late fees, and no penalty APR.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – BEST FOR: Earning travel rewards with the best redemption value
|Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening*||Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide*||Flexible rewards redemption helps ensure you always get a great value for your points*|
While some credit card users prefer the simplest rewards programs, others are more interested in getting the most bang for their buck on their spending. If you love to travel and are trying to maximize your credit card rewards, then you’ll love the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The points you earn with this credit card can be redeemed in a number of way, but cardholders will often find the best value by transferring points to one of the ten travel partner loyalty programs. Some of the most popular travel partners include Hyatt Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and many more.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – BEST FOR: Earning the most cash back on groceries and gas
|6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets for the first $6,000 spent each year*||3% cash back on gas and 1% on all other purchases*||Earn $150 back*|
Credit Cards that offer bonus rewards in certain categories can be extremely profitable if your spending naturally aligns with those categories. Since groceries and gas are two of the most costly budget items for many Americans the Blue Cash Preferred Card can help you rake in the rewards by giving unbelievable 6% cash back on groceries on up to the first $6,000 each year, 3% back on gas, and 1% back on all other transactions. New cardholders can earn $150 back after spending $1,000 with the card in the first 3 months.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card – BEST FOR: Flexible travel rewards with no annual fee
|Unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases*||20,000 online bonus points if you make $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days*||No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees*|
If you would prefer not to pay an annual fee, but still want a great travel rewards credit card, then look no further than the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card. This card works like the Capital One Venture and allows you to redeem points to cover virtually any travel expense. Cardholders will earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent, and you can also receive a great sign up bonus of 20,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. Finally, there is 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles and there's no foreign transaction fees.
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card – BEST FOR: Earning rewards with fair credit
|Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day*||No rotating categories, cash back doesn't expire and no limit to how much you can earn*||No balance transfer fee and no foreign transaction fees*|
While most of the credit cards on this list are reserved for consumers who have good or excellent credit, consumers with fair or average credit still have a great choice for cash back rewards with the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card offers no balance transfer fee and no foreign transaction fees. Furthermore, cardholders can earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® – BEST FOR: The lowest ongoing APR and fewest fees
|0% intro APR for 15 months*||No annual fee, no balance transfer fee,and no foreign transaction fees*||Free access to your monthly FICO credit score*|
If you're looking to save money on a balance transfer, then the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard may be your best fit. This card comes with a great intro APR of 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers made with the first 45 days. The ongoing APR is a competitive 13.49% Variable. Furthermore, it has no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a flat cash advance fee of $3 per advance. Cardholders will also enjoy free access to their FICO® score and the ability to see monthly updates to their credit.
*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.