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Best Mastercard Credit Cards

Best Mastercard Credit Cards

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jul 31, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Mastercard, along with Visa, is one of the two major credit card payment networks that you can typically count on to be accepted throughout the United States and also worldwide. American Express and Discover are working diligently to expand, but it’s still smart to carry a Mastercard or Visa credit card in your wallet to ensure you have a card any merchant will accept.

With that in mind, we selected the best Mastercard credit cards for a variety of needs — chosen from a review of cards available through CompareCards and from top issuers.

Compare the best Mastercard credit cards

CardBest forWhy we like itAnnual feeRegular purchase APR
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offerConsumers who want to earn flat-rate cash back without having to activate categories.Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.$013.99% – 23.99% (variable)
Citi Premier® CardTravelers who fly and drive frequently.Earn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X on all other purchases .$9515.99% - 23.99% (variable)
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®College students who want to build credit history and earn cash back.1% cash back on all purchases; 0.25% cash back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time.$026.99% (variable)
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardConsumers who spend heavily on dining and entertainment.4% Cash Back on dining; 4% Cash Back on entertainment; 2% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through Jan 2022. Earn 4% Cash Back on select streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ through Sept. 30, 2020.$95.15.49% - 25.49% (variable)
Citi® Diamond Preferred® CardPeople looking to save money with an intro 0% APR on purchases and/or balance transfers.Enjoy a long APR of 0% for 18 months on purchases. After, a 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) APR applies. Also, get an APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. After, a 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) APR applies.$014.74% - 24.74% (variable)
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®Travelers loyal to American Airlines who value airport lounge access and other travel benefits.Cardholders get a complimentary Admirals Club membership with this card.$45015.99% - 24.99% (variable)

Best Mastercard for cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Why we like it: Simplicity is king with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back can be redeemed in the following ways:

  • Statement credits
  • Direct deposits
  • Checks
  • Conversion to ThankYou Points

Additional card benefits:

  • Intro APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. After, a 13.99% – 23.99% (variable) APR applies.
  • Get special access to concerts, sporting events and more with Citi Entertainment℠.

What to watch out for: You must pay at least the minimum due on time to earn the full 2%.

Also, statement credits aren’t counted as payments for the purpose of earning cash back. However, should you choose to redeem cash back for a statement credit, the amount of cash back you’ll lose compared to making a regular payment should be minimal.

Read Best Cashback Credit Cards.

Best Mastercard for travel rewards: Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

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on Citibank's secure site

  • Earn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X on all other purchases

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • NEW! Earn 3 Points at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • NEW! Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

See additional details for Citi Premier® Card

More Info

Why we like it: Whether driving or flying, the Citi Premier® Card allows you to earn a handsome amount of ThankYou Points during your journeys. Earn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X on all other purchases .

There’s also a generous sign-up bonus for those who can meet the spending requirement. Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Additional card benefits:

  • 0% foreign transaction fee.
  • Transfer your ThankYou Points to participating airline loyalty programs, including TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
  • Starting Aug. 23, 2020, get an annual hotel savings benefit of $100 when you book a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) through thankyou.com.
  • Get special access to concerts, sporting events and more with Citi Entertainment℠.

What to watch out for: There’s a $95 annual fee. After spending roughly $3,167 on purchases earning the highest rewards rate, you can recoup that amount (if each point is valued at 1 cent). Also, as of Aug. 23, 2020, certain categories don’t qualify for 3X on travel, including cruises, transit and ridesharing.

Read Best Travel Credit Cards.

Best Mastercard for students: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases

  • Earn 25% bonus on cash back you earn each month you pay on time

  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months

Highlights
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone

See additional details for Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

More Info

Why we like it: For college students who want to build credit history early and earn decent cashback rewards along the way, the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® can help you do that.

The cashback program also offers an incentive to use your card responsibly. Earn 1% cash back on all purchases; 0.25% cash back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time.

Additional card benefits:

  • Foreign transaction fee of none.
  • Free VantageScore credit score through CreditWise®.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Extended warranty on eligible items purchased with your card.

What to watch out for: This card has a very high 26.99% (variable) APR. Should you choose to carry a balance, you’ll be hit with sizable interest charges until the balance is paid off. You can typically avoid incurring interest charges by paying off the card in full each month.

Read Best Student Credit Cards.

Best Mastercard for dining: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why we like it: Avid foodies and entertainment buffs will love the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card’s generous cashback rewards program. Earn 4% Cash Back on dining; 4% Cash Back on entertainment; 2% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through Jan 2022. Plus, earn 4% Cash Back on select streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ through Dec. 31, 2020. Finally, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on Uber Eats orders through Jan. 31, 2021.

Additional card benefits:

  • Foreign transaction fee of none.
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 24/7 complimentary concierge to help with dining, entertainment and travel.
  • Extended warranty on eligible items purchased with the card.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Access your VantageScore credit score free with CreditWise®.

What to watch out for: There’s an annual fee of $95. After the first year, you’ll have to spend about $2,375 on purchases that earn 4% cash back to recoup that amount.

Read Best Dining Credit Cards

Best Mastercard for intro 0% APR: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Why we like it: If you’re looking to transfer an existing balance from a high-interest credit card or if you have a big purchase coming up that you want to pay off over time, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is an excellent card for its intro 0% APR offers:

  • Intro APR of 0% for 18 months on purchases. After, a 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) APR applies.
  • Intro APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. After, a 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) APR applies.

Know that a Balance transfer fee applies with this offer: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Additional card benefits:

  • Citi Entertainment℠ offers special access to concerts, sporting events and more.
  • This card works with digital wallets such as Apple Pay®, Google Pay™ and Samsung Pay.

What to watch out for: To take advantage of the intro 0% APR offer on balance transfers, make sure to complete your transaction within four months of account opening.

Read Which Credit Card Has the Longest Intro APR Period?

Best Mastercard for airport lounge access: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases & 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

See additional details for Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

More Info

Why we like it: American Airline travelers who love luxury will appreciate the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, which comes with a complimentary Admirals Club membership. Enjoy access to nearly 50 lounges worldwide and bring up to two guests or immediate family members. Some of the amenities you might get include:

  • Food and drink
  • Personal travel assistance
  • Shower suites
  • Business center access

A new individual AAdvantage membership in Admirals Club costs $650, so even with the card’s $450 annual fee, you’re saving money when you use the complimentary lounge access.

Plus, get a statement credit of up to $100 every five years toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck when you pay the application fee with your Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

And there’s a solid sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Additional card benefits:

  • Foreign transaction fee of 0%.
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases & 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) when you spend $40,000 on purchases within a year.
  • 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases.
  • Dedicated Concierge, which provides a staff of experts to help cardholders with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and household needs.
  • Special access to concerts, sporting events and more with Citi Entertainment℠.

What to watch out for: With an annual fee of $450, this card is only worth it for frequent American Airlines travelers. For those who travel less frequently or fly with other airlines, a more general travel card with a smaller annual fee may be a more flexible and budget-friendly choice.

Read Credit Cards with Unlimited Lounge Access.


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