Best Credit Cards of 2021

It’s no secret you can earn hundreds of dollars in credit card rewards every year.  

Yet, many people stick with the same card year after year and miss out on valuable benefits they want. Sound familiar?

  • Fact: Banks doubled their spending on credit card rewards since 2010. There’s an excellent chance you can get a much better deal.

Make the switch and start enjoying rewards you will use. Choose a $150 cash sign-up bonus or 80,000 points worth up to $1,000 in travel. As an extra bonus some of these cards offer 0% introductory interest for over a year. That means you could save hundreds of dollars in interest if you’ve got a big purchase coming up or on a balance transfer.

There’s never been a better time to get a new credit card. Stop missing out. Find your perfect fit and apply below. 

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

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If you're looking to earn cash everywhere on everything you buy, this is a card you can't miss. Why? Well, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card pays you unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day in two separate ways. First, earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Second, you'll take home unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. Even better, you have incredible flexibility with those rewards - there's no minimum for redeeming and cash back won't expire for the life of the account.


But it doesn't stop there. Take advantage of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable) APR after that to give you the breathing room to pay off big-ticket expenses without interest charges piling up. Beyond that, this card is a great choice for international travelers with no foreign transaction fees - and did we mention this all comes with a $0 annual fee? Between its compelling benefits, strong rewards rate and amazing cash back potential, it should be easy to see why this card is a top pick for just about anyone.

Discover it® Cash Back

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When it comes to cash-back credit cards the Discover it® Cash Back is in a league of its own. Cardholders will earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. And new cardholders can take advantage of Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.


Log into your Discover account each quarter to activate the 5% cash-back bonus and truly maximize your cash back earning potential. Finance purchases with intro APR 0% Intro APR for 14 months then, 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR after that. Get all this for $0 annual fee.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

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This $0 annual fee card towers above others with one of the longest periods of 0% intro APR on balance transfers available. Take advantage of an ultra-long intro APR of 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers, then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable) APR after that. And if you have a big purchase, event or trip coming up, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card comes with an amazing intro APR of 0% for 12 months on Purchases and then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable) APR after that. Take up to a full year to pay down your balance without worrying about interest piling up. Plus, enjoy extra features that are usually only available on premium high-annual fee cards. Get free access to your FICO® score online. With Citi Entertainment, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.


Bottom line? This is a simple, yet very powerful credit card. If you are interested in transferring a balance to a 0% intro APR card or have a big purchase on the horizon, this is our highest rated card for anyone carrying a large balance. The extra interest-free time could allow you to make significantly more headway paying down your balance. With its long-term 0% intro APR you can save hundreds in interest charges.

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

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It’s not often we see something that completely changes the game when it comes to credit card rewards, but that’s exactly what’s happening with the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card. How is this card re-shaping the rewards landscape? It all starts with its headline feature: cardholders earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases with no restrictions on categories and no expiration date on rewards. Let that sink in – no other card on the market today offers such a high rate of truly unlimited cash back. If you’re looking for a no-maintenance card that can help you maximize your returns on every purchase you make, this is absolutely it. And it gets even better if you’re a new cardholder: you can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account open.


But this no-annual fee card isn’t just good for rewards – it’s also an excellent way to mitigate the cost of a large expense or get out of debt. The Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card offers over a year of 0% intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then 14.99%-24.99% (Variable) APR after that intro period is up. And if you’re transferring a balance from a high-interest credit card, you can get the same period of 0% intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, then 14.99%-24.99% (Variable) APR after that. This gives you incredible flexibility in covering life’s unexpected (and often expensive) developments, and with this card’s already industry-leading rewards program you can feel confident always having this card in your wallet.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

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The Discover it® Balance Transfer credit card offers a blockbuster combination of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers with the opportunity to earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. And that rewards program only gets better when you consider this card's astonishing sign-up feature: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.


While this card has an incredibly competitive suite of rewards, where the Discover it® Balance Transfer credit card really sets itself apart from the competition comes in the form of the long periods of 0% intro APR on offer for both purchases and balance transfers. If you want to transfer debt from a high-interest credit card, you can enjoy an intro APR of 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR after that. Even better, you can use all that extra interest-free time combined with the cash-back rewards you'll earn to pay down your debt even faster! Plus, enjoy added flexibility on purchases with an intro rate of 0% intro apr for 6 months, followed by 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. This card really is the complete package, and with a $0 annual fee there's never been a better time to apply.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

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The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is one of the most innovative cards on the market, offering a rewards program that tailors itself to your spending habits. It all starts with the incredible suite of cash back rewards. Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Unlike many cards that require you to go in and manually select a top cash back category, this card automatically determines the category where you’ve spent the most and applies the highest rate of cash back return, ensuring you’ll always be maximizing your earning potential. And it only gets better for new customers. Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.


The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card also makes for a great everyday card if you have a large purchase on the horizon or are looking to transfer high interest credit card debt. You’ll get 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) APR based on creditworthiness. It's the same for balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) APR after that intro period is up. And as if it couldn’t get any better, this card also sports a $0 annual fee.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

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If you’re looking to take control of how you earn credit card rewards, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is hard to ignore. This card’s stand-out feature is its three-tiered rewards program – you can earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases and, if you’re a new cardholder, $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Since you can change that 3% cash back category each month, you can maximize your cash back without having to wait for the right rewards category to roll around.


But this card isn’t just a winner when it comes to rewards. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card also offers lengthy periods of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR after that to help you pay off big ticket items without running up a large interest bill. And if you’re looking to consolidate debt, get 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days and then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR after that intro period is up. Even better, because this card comes with a $0 annual fee, you can focus on earning cash back and not on paying down fees.

BankAmericard® credit card

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If you're looking for a break on interest, check out this top-tier $0 annual fee card. Finance a new purchase with generous 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases then 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR after that intro period is up - that means no monthly interest charges will pile up for almost two years if you end up carrying a balance month-to-month. Plus, this card also helps you stop paying high interest charges on an outstanding balance with 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 12.99% - 22.99% Variable APR after that.


It's hard to overstate just how powerful the combination of these two benefits is - the lengthy periods of 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers mean that this card helps you regain control over your financial life and puts time on your side to pay down debt faster. And unlike some other cards, there is no penalty APR, so a late payment won’t automatically raise your interest rate. Plus, if you're a new cardholder, you can earn a $100 statement credit online bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. This card might not have a huge suite of flashy rewards, but if you're looking to save money on interest charges the BankAmericard® credit card is hard to beat.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is the perfect card for earning cash back on all purchases without having to follow category restrictions throughout the year. What makes this card so unique is the ability for consumers to earn additional cash back just for making on-time payments.


With this card, you’re basically earning double cash back for doing what you already do on a monthly basis; making purchases and paying your bill. What’s more, you don’t need to enroll in any program and there’s no cap on the cash back you can earn. Cardmembers will also enjoy an intro APR of 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers and then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) APR after that. Rounding out this card is an on-going interest rate of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) APR based on your creditworthiness all with no annual fee - this is a well-balanced card with a compelling rewards program that could find a place in just about anyone's wallet.

Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa®

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The first bitcoin rewards credit card is here and it’s already a standout in the cash back space. The new Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa® card features a rewards program that couldn’t be simpler: with this card, you’ll earn 1.5% rewards in bitcoin when you make payments on the card. As you pay down your balance, bitcoin will be deposited into a wallet provided by the 3rd-party trading platform NYDIG. From there, you can sell any bitcoin you’ve earned to redeem the proceeds as statement credit. This unique hybrid of rewards and investment means your cash back earnings could grow after you earn them – the higher the price of bitcoin, the more statement credit you’ll be able to redeem.


Some of our highest rated rewards cards offer 1.5% unlimited cash back, so the fact that this one is offering the same rewards rate in bitcoin means that this card is an ideal choice if you want to dip your toes into bitcoin without sacrificing elite-level rewards. That continues with this card’s nearly-complete lack of fees – you won’t pay a dime in annual fees or foreign transaction fees with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa® card and you’ll also enjoy peace of mind with $0 fraud liability. Upgrade also makes it easy to manage and use your card: you can integrate your card with Apple Pay™ or Google Pay™ if you want to leave your wallet at home and pay on the go with Upgrade’s mobile app experience. This is a card perfect suited to 2021 with a cutting-edge rewards suite to match.


One important thing to note is that the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa® card isn’t available in certain U.S. states: Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, or Washington. If you live in one of those states, don't fret - check out some of the other cards on this list for excellent rewards offers, no annual fees and more.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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If you want to earn generous cash back without an annual fee and you buy groceries and gas every week, this card could be a perfect match for you. Right out of the gate, new cardholders get access to an amazing welcome offer: $200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. On top of that, your rewards could add up fast when you factor in this card's top-of-the-line rewards program. 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply.


But this card isn't just about rewards. You can save on interest with an intro purchase APR of 0% on purchases for 15 months then 13.99%-23.99% Variable after that - that long 0% APR period means you won't have to worry about interest charges piling up for more than a year. Bottom line, this is a valuable $0 annual fee cash back card that rewards you for things you buy every day - it's just that easy.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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Capital One’s Venture cards have been titans in the travel credit card world for years, so we were incredibly excited to see a new entry hit the market in 2021 with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. This card solidly sits in premium travel rewards territory, with a top-tier rewards program offering 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, plus an additional 10,000 bonus miles rewarded every year, starting at the first anniversary. Cardholders also get access to the Capital One and Priority Pass lounges worldwide, in addition to a $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry. Even better, the rewards numbers could keep growing if you’re a new cardholder: with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn 100,000 miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening.


And while this card has no foreign transaction fees, all these amazing benefits come at a cost: a $395 annual fee. While that may seem high, don’t forget the ongoing benefits and 10X miles multipliers available on travel booked through Capital One – with frequent use, those rewards dollars could add up fast. All in all, this is a sterling new entry in the premium travel cards space – if you’re on the hunt for an amazing new travel card, don’t miss this one.

Citi Rewards+® Card

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Earn more points on every purchase (even the little ones). The Citi Rewards+® Card is the only card that automatically rounds up every purchase to the nearest 10 points. That means when you buy a $2 coffee, you’d earn 10 points back. You also get 10% points back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points redeemed per year. This attractive new rewards card from Citi includes long zero intro interest periods on both purchases and balance transfers, and a nice sign-up bonus, all with $0 annual fee.


Cardholders Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases. There is a low spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus. Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com. Take advantage of intro APR 0% for 15 months on purchases, then 13.49% - 23.49% (variable) APR and intro APR 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, then 13.49% - 23.49% (variable) APR after that intro period is up. Our take? This is a great everyday rewards card.

Citi Simplicity® Card

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Reshape your financial picture with this industry-leading low-interest card from Citi - the Citi Simplicity® Card. For people who want to kick high-interest credit card debt to the curb, this is one of the best get-out-of-debt cards available. Transfer your high interest debt to this card with an intro APR of 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers; after that, an APR of 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) applies. Your payments will go directly to paying down your balance without incurring a pile of additional charges. That could save you hundreds of dollars in interest.


It doesn't just stop with balance transfers though. Cardholders also get a generous intro APR of 0% for 12 months on Purchases, then 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) APR after that. Citi keeps it simple: it’s the only card with no late fees, no penalty rate, and $0 annual fee. If you’re one to forget about a payment or two, this card is perfect for you.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

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With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, you'll unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire. But it gets even better: points can be redeemed for nearly any travel purchase in the form of a statement credit. And if that all wasn't enough, this card also comes with an outstanding welcome offer for new cardholders: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. That could turn into a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases, and it’s one of the few travel rewards cards with $0 annual fee.


This card also offers no foreign transaction fees, making it perfect for keeping costs down while traveling abroad. If you’re a frequent traveler looking for a simple yet powerful $0 annual fee card that won’t restrict your travel to certain airlines, giving you the flexibility to travel on any airline, at any time, with no blackout dates, then this card could be the ideal pick for you.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

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The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card has exploded onto the market with incredibly competitive offers for anyone looking for a great credit card. Earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases. As if that wasn’t enough, this card also has a strong sign-up bonus. Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.


And while this card has very compelling rewards on offer, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card also makes transferring your current credit card balance easy with 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles for balances transferred within 60 days from account opening and a 14.99% - 23.99%* (Variable) rate after that intro period.


Plus, all of this is included with no annual fee and the points you’ve earned never expire. If you’re in the market for a card that covers all the bases with very few compromises, this is an outstanding choice.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers best-in-class cash-back on gas and groceries with no rotating categories. Cardholders start off with a generous welcome offer: $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. This card offers also an extraordinary 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. If you spend $500 per month on groceries, over the course of a year, you'll earn $360 cash back for food you are already buying. You will also get sizable cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, plus 1% cash back on everything else. Even better, get flexibility for your budget with the 0% on purchases for 12 months intro APR on purchases then 13.99%-23.99% variable APR - if you have a big expense on the horizon, that gives you a year without having to worry about interest charges piling up.


These premium rewards come at a cost: a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee after that. But, many people can earn substantial cash-back rewards well beyond that. This card is one of the cases where the benefits can significantly outweigh the annual fee. This welcome offer alone covers the cost of the annual fee for two years.

Discover it® chrome

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If you like 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for over a year, no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no overlimit fee, and a free pass the first time you miss a payment, the Discover it® chrome credit card comes with everything you want! Cardholders get an intro APR of 0% Intro APR for 14 months on both purchases and balance transfers, then 11.99% - 22.99% variable APR after that. With the Discover it® chrome credit card you can ensure you're always ready to hit the road. 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically Rewards can be redeemed at any time and never expire.


As an exclusive offer, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year of cardmembership. In addition to the host of cash back opportunities, this credit card also offers a free Credit Scorecard with FICO® Credit Score.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

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This solid $0 annual fee card is a must-have for foodies with its standout rewards program: 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023. That 3% rewards rate on entertainment and dining is pretty rare among even premium rewards cards, so the fact that cardholders can get so much cash-back on a no-annual-fee card is fairly unique. And it gets even better with the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card’s fantastic welcome offer. Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.


Unlike some cards on this list, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t just focus on rewards – it’s also a great choice if you’re looking to save on interest for a big purchase or expense coming up. Cardholders can get an introductory APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and then 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable) APR after that – that’s over a year of not having to worry about interest payments.

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card

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Every so often a card comes along that really excites us: that’s most certainly the case with Wells Fargo’s newest debt-busting powerhouse, the Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card. Why is this new card such a hit? It’s because it’s laser-focused on just one thing: saving you money in the long run on interest charges by offering some of the longest periods of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers you’ll find out on the market today.


If you’ve got a substantial expense looming on the horizon, the Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card has you covered with 18 months of 0% intro APR on purchases followed by an ongoing 12.99%-24.99% Variable APR after that. But where this card really sets itself apart is by giving you the opportunity to extend that already top-shelf savings period by up to another 3 months if you make all your minimum monthly payments on-time; that has the potential for an outstanding 0% intro APR up to 21 months from account opening - almost two years! And the same offer applies to balance transfers as well – if you’re transferring a balance from a different high-interest credit card, you could get 0% intro APR up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers if you make all your minimum monthly payments, with the same 12.99%-24.99% Variable APR after that. This $0 annual fee card is an exceptional savings tool because it rewards you for what you should already be doing – promptly paying down your credit card debt – and with such generous windows on interest-free time to make that happen, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars in interest fees alone. If you’re looking to get out of debt without getting buried under a massive pile of fees, this could be just the card for you.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

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The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card lives up to its name by having a truly premium rewards program: it all starts with 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases . It may seem simple at first, but the fact that points come from every single purchase you make with this card means that your rewards could add up incredibly fast. And this card’s solid welcome offer could help you ramp up your earnings even faster – if you’re a new cardholder, you could earn 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.


The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card does come with an annual fee of $95, but don’t let that scare you off. The points accumulate deceptively quickly with this card, and the welcome offer alone could cover five years of annual fees without even considering the rewards program. All told, if you’re looking for one of the best rewards programs on the market you cannot afford to miss this one.

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Make a purchase and earn. Maximize the return on your everyday spending and get the rewards you want. There’s no telling when the offers on these top cards might change. Apply now and get one of the best credit cards of 2021. 

Methodology

Each month, the CompareCards team reviews over 100 credit card offers examining the features most valuable to consumers including rewards, sign-up bonus, the interest rate, fees and other features to identify the best offers shown here. 

*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.