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What Credit Card Should You Get?

What Credit Card Should You Get?

*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 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 Apr 10, 2019, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

More than 200 million Americans use credit cards, at a rate of 2.3 cards per consumer, according to a study by MagnifyMoney.com, another LendingTree-owned site. With so many credit cards available on the market, there’s a lot of confusion about which ones you should get and why. Your credit score, interest rates, rewards, payments and perks are all factors you should consider when deciding what card is best for you.

Because the industry is so competitive, there’s a credit card for just about every type of customer. We help you cut through the noise by answering questions that will ensure you get the best credit card for you needs.

Here’s how to choose the best:

Flat rate cashback cards

It’s simple — when you’re looking for a card that offers you straight-up cash back for all your purchases, a flat rate cashback card is a good option.

Who they’re best for: This card is right for someone who’s not worried about getting travel or purchase perks that you’ll never use — you just want the cash back. Those who want a no-fuss all-around card that gives you cash back on everything. You don’t want to worry about quarterly rotating categories or wonder how much cash you’ll get back when you spend on certain items.

What to watch out for: You don’t want to lose the cash back you earn with cards that have high annual fees or charge foreign transaction fees. Do the math to see if you’ll earn enough cash back to justify those fees before you sign up. Also, look for cards that let you earn unlimited cash back that doesn’t expire.

Good flat rate cash back cards:

  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back*

  • Earn $150 cash rewards bonus*

  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards with Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months*

Highlights
  • Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google PayTM, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • $0 Annual Fee

See additional details for Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

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It lets you earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases. That rises to 1.8% cash back when you buy things on the card using a qualified mobile wallet, like Apple Pay® or Google PayTM, during the first year after account opening. Best of all, the card has a $0 annual fee.

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases

  • 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers*

  • 15.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.*
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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There’s no sign-up bonus with this card, but it does have a $0* annual fee. You earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases with the card. There’s no maximum on the total amount of 1% cash back you can receive when spending or making payments with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, as long as you make your minimum payments. The card’s Citi® Private Pass® lets you buy presale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, sporting events and dining experiences. Citi® Concierge experts help with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and other needs.

  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day

  • 0% for 15 Months on Purchases and Balance Transfers

  • No minimums for redeeming and cash back won't expire for the life of the account

Highlights
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

See additional details for Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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You earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. There’s a $0 annual fee. The card allows you to earn a flat 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. Of the three flat rate cashback cards, this one has the most perks, under the Visa Signature® banner. That includes auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty, access to Visa Signature® Concierge services and free upgrades and special savings at hotels, resorts and spas.

Check out our roundup of the best cashback cards.

Grocery and gas cashback cards

If you use your card regularly to buy groceries or gas, then you’ll want a card that gives higher cash back per $1 spent. If you can get a card that does both, that’s even better.

Who they’re best for: These cards are best for those who regularly spend money in larger volumes in these categories. Plus, you also want that higher cash back without waiting for quarterly rotations or signing up for them.

What to watch out for: There may be limits on how much cash back you can earn at the higher rewards rate. Make sure that if the card has an annual fee, it covers the cash back you can earn. Check to see if you pay foreign transaction fees when traveling outside the U.S.

  • $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.*

  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

  • 1% back on other purchases*

Highlights
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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The best supermarket card: The biggest appeal of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. This is pretty generous, especially since it also offers good cash back for U.S. gas spending. The welcome offer is a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

The card also offers – NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more

The card has a $95 annual fee, so be sure you spend at least $1,585 on groceries each year in order to justify that fee. You get your cash back as reward dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit in increments of 25 whenever your total balance is 25 or more.

The best gas cards: We have two picks in this category. For those with a Costco membership, you know their gas prices tend to be noticeably lower than those at independent stations – see how our staff member, John, takes advantage of this perk. You can get even better value if you have a Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. You earn 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases. While it has a $0* annual fee, you do need to have a Costco membership, which starts at $60 a year for the Gold Star level.

The only potential downside with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is that you only get your cash back once a year as a reward certificate — and you have to spend it in one transaction at Costco for either merchandise or cash back.

  • 4% on gas, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco, 1% everywhere else

  • 0% fee for transactions while traveling abroad

  • $0* annual fee

Highlights
  • Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership*
  • No matter where life takes you, experience no foreign transaction fees on purchases*
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico

See additional details for Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

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If you don’t want to join Costco but still want to earn rewards for spending on gas, we like the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer for its simplicity. You earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, 1% on all other purchases  That’s pretty good for a card that covers gas and groceries and has a $0 annual fee.

  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles

  • 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days

  • 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Highlights
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back on gas or your choice of one of five other popular categories, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and unlimited 1% on all other purchases (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases)
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase

See additional details for Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer

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Another big plus is you’re not required to sign up every quarter to get the cash back. And, if you’re a Bank of America® Preferred Rewards member, you get a 25%-75 % bonus when redeeming cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.

Check out our roundups of the best gas and grocery cards.

Rotating category cards

Sometimes you might want some variety in higher cashback spending categories — there are cards that offer 5% cash back in rotating categories like restaurants, groceries, gas and wholesale clubs.

Who they’re best for: These cards are best for those who want different ways to earn higher cashback rewards every quarter. If you plan accordingly to a card’s quarterly calendar, it’s a great way to get the biggest bang for your cashback bucks.

What to watch out for: You have to sign up every quarter to get the higher cashback rate. Check the higher quarterly categories to ensure that they’re ones that you spend in regularly. Make sure you’re OK with the cashback limits on quarterly spending. Look for cards that offer unlimited cash back outside of the higher categories.

The best rotating category card: We chose the Discover it® Cash Back because it offers 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. But what really makes this card stand out from others with similar benefits is that Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.*

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • Any amount, any time. Cash back rewards never expire*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

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Current rotating categories are:

  • January-March 2019: Grocery stores
  • April-June 2019: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft
  • July-September 2019: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October-December 2019: Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com

Your cashback bonus can be redeemed for gift cards, charitable donations, credited to your account or use it to pay for items at select merchants. You can also use them at the Discover Deals website, where you earn more cashback bonuses when you shop for deals from top brands.

Intro 0% APR balance transfer cards

These cards are a good option for those who want to lower the regular purchase APR rate on their current cards. The trick is to find one that has a 0% APR for the longest amount of time possible.

Who they’re best for: If you’re looking to finance a purchase and pay it off over time, a 0% intro APR card can give you room to do so without worrying about interest charges piling up. Likewise, these cards can also be a good tool to use to consolidate and pay down high-interest credit card debt from others cards.

Let’s say you have a credit card that has a balance with a higher regular purchase APR rate. A way to pay less on the interest is to open a new credit card that has a 0% intro balance transfer rate for a term of at least 12 months, especially if you think you can pay it off within the specified term.

What to watch out for: Check out what it will cost for you to do a balance transfer. Many cards charge fees for balance transfers, typically 2% to 5% of the balance transferred, although some offer no-fee transfers. Go for ones that offer intro $0 balance transfer fees, which usually require good or excellent credit. The longer you get the intro rate, the better. Make sure you’re comfortable with the regular balance transfer APR rate once the intro rate expires. And make sure you read the fine print — typically, these cards require you to transfer funds in a set period of time or you lose out on the intro APR offer.

The best balance transfer card: We like the Discover it® Balance Transfer because it has one of longest periods for a balance transfer. There is an intro 0% for 18 months on balance transfers and an intro 0% for 6 months on purchases (after the intro periods end, 14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR applies). There is also a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*.

  • 0% for 18 months on balance transfers & 0% for 6 months on purchases*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • 14.24% - 25.24% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Balance Transfer

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Check out our roundup of the best balance transfer cards.

Travel rewards credit cards

These cards give you points for spending in popular categories like airline and train tickets, hotels, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages. We’ll give you the scoop on premium and regular travel cards.

Who they’re best for: If you’ve got good credit, travel and dine out frequently and can pay off your card in full each month, then these cards may be best for your needs. You want a card that earns you the most points in the travel and dining categories.

Perks: Competition is fierce in the travel card space, so sign-up bonuses are getting higher, as noted in a study done by MagnifyMoney.com; you want a card that gives you the most bonus points as a new cardmember. The card you choose should also have perks like the ability to transfer points to airline or hotel loyalty programs, travel and purchase protections and airport lounge access. Lastly, you want a card that gives you a high reward for doing what you love most — traveling.

What to watch out for: These cards may offer a sweet sign-up bonus, but make sure you read the fine print. Many require you to spend a certain amount of cash upfront in order to qualify for the offer. Avoid cards that charge foreign transaction fees if you travel outside of the country regularly. Make sure the annual fees balance with the points you earn when you spend on the card.

The best premium travel credit card: The Platinum Card® from American Express is our pick, even with its $550 annual fee. The $550 fee may be steep, but remember — you’re paying for the card’s elite features and personalized service. And if you take advantage of all the card’s perks and credits, you can almost cover the $550 annual fee.

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*

  • Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*

  • No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express

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The card starts with a welcome offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. You earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. The card comes with a $200 credit each for airline fees and Uber rides and a $100 credit for the TSA Precheck or Global Entry enrollment fee. There’s also free access to airport lounges, including Centurion Lounge, international American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass for those who travel regularly. Terms apply.

You can transfer your Membership Rewards points to 16 airline or three hotel loyalty programs. You get automatic gold status at Starwood and Hilton hotels.

Other perks include free Boingo internet access, platinum travel counselors that specialize in custom itineraries and tailored recommendations, access to reservations and experiences at restaurants under the Global Dining Collection program, along with travel and purchase protections and no foreign transaction fee. Terms apply.

The best regular travel credit card: If a luxury card is a little too rich for your blood, a good alternative is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. New cardmembers earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Once you spend what’s required to get the bonus points, you’re left with $750 to spend toward travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website. You can earn another 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user and making a purchase in the first three months of opening an account.

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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The points per $1 spent are higher in the popular travel and dining categories, at 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. A big benefit with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the ability to transfer your points 1:1 to nine airline and four hotel loyalty programs, which gives you the flexibility to choose your favorite. The card gives you 25% more value on points when you use them in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal for things like airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with the usual like auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, purchase protection and extended warranty protection. Conditions apply.

Check out our roundup of best travel cards.

Airline credit cards

With these cards, it’s all about earning status, along with the perks that make travel go more smoothly. But the key is finding the best ones that have the perfect balance of the things most important to you.

Who they’re best for: If you’re loyal to one airline, this is a great way to get perks and benefits that non-cardholders might not get. Any card you choose should have a good sign-up bonus, the chance to earn elite status, strong redemption value, generous perks and flexibility to cash in your miles.

Perks: Any airline credit card worth its salt will have a mechanism that allows you to earn those all-important qualifying dollars that go toward elite status. You want to be able to redeem miles on your carrier along with access to a global airline alliance and other partners. You also want things like priority check-in and boarding, a free checked bag, in-flight discounts and free airport lounge access, along with travel and purchase protections.

What to watch out for: The annual fee must justify the perks and benefits with any card. Look for a card that helps you to earn miles that go toward elite status. Ensure that any card offers travel, rental car and purchase perks if that’s important to you.

The best airline credit card: Our pick in this category is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. New cardmembers Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. After you hit the spending requirement, that may be enough for a roundtrip economy ticket to Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America.

  • 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® 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 guests traveling with you
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
  • 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

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

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The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® does come with a $450 annual fee. But it also comes with a $100 statement credit every five years to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

The most important perk with this card is how it helps you earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) on American Airlines. EQMs help you earn — and maintain — your gold, platinum, executive platinum and platinum pro elite status on American. You can earn 10,000 EQMs after you spend $40,000 on the card within a calendar year.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® also comes with a free Admirals Club airport lounge membership, priority check-in, priority airport screening (where available), early boarding and the first checked bag free for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation. There’s a 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights.

There’s no foreign transaction fee, which is great if you travel internationally. You can use your miles on American Airlines’ 12 partners in the oneworld alliance and 22 hotel partners.

Check out our list of roundup of the best airline credit cards.

Credit Cards for rebuilding credit

While many credit cards on the market target those with good to excellent credit, there are also others that are designed to help those trying to get back on their feet. These cards tend to offer few perks and charge higher interest rates. But they also offer a way for people to rebuild their credit and hopefully move up to cards with more perks and lower interest rates.

Who they’re best for: If you’ve had credit problems in the past and want to improve your FICO® score these cards — secured and unsecured — can help.

What to watch out for: Both types of cards typically charge higher annual fees that are taken out of the credit limit. Credit limits tend to be low, although with secured cards, it’s based on what you put down as a deposit. Purchase APRs tend to be higher. These cards don’t always give you the travel and purchase protections that come with higher credit limits. Some cards offer pre-qualification, which performs a soft pull of your credit. This does not hurt your credit score if you’re not eligible for the card and can help you compare offers. Note: once you apply, a hard credit pull will be performed.

The best unsecured credit card: Our pick in this category, hands down, is the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which targets those with average/fair/limited credit. While other cards in this credit card category require a deposit, this one doesn’t. If you’re accepted for the card, you’ll get at least a $400 limit.

  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back

  • No rotating categories, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and no limit to how much you can earn

  • 26.96% (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app

See additional details for Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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The card has a very reasonable $39 annual fee. Unlike other cards in this category, you actually earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. You don’t need to keep track of quarterly changes, because the cash back comes every time you use the card.

Again, unlike other cards in this credit category, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card actually comes with perks like price protection, and car rental and travel accident insurance. Plus there’s no foreign transaction fee.

The best secured credit card: If you’re not eligible for an unsecured credit card, then a secured card might be your best option. And our pick in this category is the Discover it® Secured, which also caters to those with poor/new to credit. There’s a $0 annual fee, but you are required to put down a refundable deposit of at least $200.

  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

  • Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*

  • No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*

Highlights
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit from $200-$2500 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Secured

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The card offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases. And unlike the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Discover it® Secured comes with a new cardmember offer where Discover will automatically match ALL the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. If you make your card payments on time for eight consecutive months, your account will be reviewed and possibly moved to an unsecured line of credit. It also allows you a free FICO® credit score on your monthly statement.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to build your credit score but don’t have credit history, consider the Petal Visa® Credit Card.


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