Best credit cards of December 5, 2022

by William

Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

Whether you’re in the midst of holiday shopping or planning a new project for the new year, it’s not too late to open a new credit card to earn cash back or travel rewards on your purchases —  or use an intro 0% APR offer to save on interest. It’s impossible to name one single best credit card, given the wide range of benefits, rewards, and annual fees available. But if you’re looking to find the best credit card for you, breaking it down by category is a good way to approach your search.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

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Insider’s best credit card reviews from our experts

Best card for flat-rate cash rewards earning: Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Why the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is worth it: Between a flat 2% cash rewards rate on purchases and a generous welcome bonus for a no-annual-fee card, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is an excellent choice if you prefer simplicity in earning and redeeming rewards.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card tops our list for its straightforward rewards structure and compelling intro bonus offer. Cardholders earn 2% cash rewards on purchases with no caps and no complicated categories to juggle.

It comes with a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, and you can redeem rewards for statement credits, gift cards, travel, and more. For new cardholders, there’s a 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (followed by a 18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% variable APR), which can be helpful if you have big expenses you want to pay off over several months.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card also offers a decent range of benefits, including cell phone protection, travel emergency assistance services, roadside dispatch, and Visa Signature Concierge access. Keep in mind this card adds foreign transaction fees, so if you’re traveling internationally, it’s best to use a different card.

What the experts love: High rewards rate across all purchases, good welcome offer, no annual fee

What the experts don’t love: Foreign transaction fees

Read our review: Wells Fargo Active Cash card review

Best cash-back card for everyday spending: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited is worth it: Along with a generous intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns up to 5x rewards in popular categories with no annual fee.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a long 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, after which there’s a 18.74% – 27.49% Variable APR.

Not only does this card help you pay down credit card debt with a generous introductory APR period, but it also offers solid ongoing rewards. You’ll earn 5% cash back (5x points) on travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2025, 3% back (3x points) on drugstores and dining, and 1.5% back (1.5x points) on everything else with no cap.

If you have a Chase card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can combine your rewards balances and gain the option to redeem your rewards in more ways, including transferring points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

What the experts love: Great earning rates and decent benefits with no annual fee

What the experts don’t love: Foreign transaction fees

Read our review: Chase Freedom Unlimited card review

Best rewards card for high earning in everyday categories: Wells Fargo Autograph Card

Why the Wells Fargo Autograph is worth it: The new Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, but earns high rewards in terrific categories, including travel, dining, and gas.

The newest in Wells Fargo’s card lineup, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card, is an excellent choice if you want to earn useful rewards in a broad range of categories without paying an annual fee. There’s an excellent welcome bonus too: Limited time offer of 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (offer expires 01/10/2023). That’s worth up to $300 in travel, statement credits, and more.

You’ll earn an uncapped 3x points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The card also offers decent benefits, including a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening (then a 18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% Variable APR), cell phone protection, and car rental insurance.

What the experts love: No annual fee, generous bonus and earning rates, no foreign transaction fees

What the experts don’t love: No points transfer partners

Read our review: Wells Fargo Autograph card review

Best travel rewards card overall: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth it: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent choice for travel credit card beginners and experts alike, with a moderate annual fee, substantial bonus, and great redemption options.

If you want to earn travel rewards, you’ll find that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the most user-friendly of the various bank currencies, which are also referred to as transferable points because you can transfer them over to various airline and hotel partners. In the case of Chase points, you can transfer them to partners like British Airways, Hyatt, United Airlines, and Southwest, or you can book travel directly through Chase. If you choose the latter, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece — a 25% bonus.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card starts you off with a welcome bonus offer of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Those points are worth $750 in travel booked through Chase, or potentially up to $1,080 if you decide to redeem with the program’s transfer partners per Insider’s valuations.

You’ll earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (2x points on all other travel purchases), 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2025, 3x points on dining, 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), 3x points on select streaming services, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Beyond the rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers some valuable coverage benefits, including primary car rental insurance, trip delay insurance, and baggage delay insurance.

Recent updates to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card include the addition of a 10% anniversary points bonus and up to $50 per year in statement credits for hotels booked through Chase. If you maximize this credit, you can shave off more than half of the card’s annual fee.

What the experts love: Lucrative welcome bonus offer, excellent transfer partners and travel insurance

What the experts don’t love: No airport lounge access or Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit

Read our review: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review

Best travel rewards card for beginners: Capital One Venture Rewards

Why the Capital One Venture is worth it: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is ideal for beginners to travel rewards because of its straightforward earning structure, easy redemption options, and good perks for a moderate annual fee.

Whether you’re a loyalty program expert or brand new to travel credit cards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers an easy-to-navigate rewards program and a valuable welcome bonus offer that make it well worth its $95 annual fee.

New cardholders start out with a welcome bonus offer of 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, worth $750 in travel when you redeem miles at a fixed rate toward travel purchases, or potentially $1,275 when you transfer miles to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners (based on Insider’s valuations). You’ll also earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles when booking on Turo (offer ends May 16, 2023), and 2x miles on all other purchases.

The easiest way to use your Capital One miles is by redeeming your miles toward eligible travel purchases made with your card at a rate of 1 cent apiece. It’s possible to get even more value, however, when you transfer miles to partners like Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. 

Cardholders also receive numerous travel and shopping benefits, including up to a $100 credit toward the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, two one-time Capital One Lounge passes per year, car rental insurance***, lost luggage reimbursement***, extended warranty***, and purchase protection***.

What the experts love: Big welcome bonus offer, ability to get outsized value from rewards, decent benefits

What the experts don’t love: No US-based airline transfer partners

Read our review: Capital One Venture card review

Best premium travel card: Capital One Venture X

Why the Capital One Venture X is worth it: With an annual fee lower than most other premium cards, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers incredible value between a high welcome offer, airport lounge access, anniversary bonus, and up to $300 in travel credits each year.

When the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was launched late in 2021, it immediately became popular — and for good reason. Its annual fee of $395 is far lower than similar cards, but it comes with premium benefits — including Capital One, Priority Pass, and Plaza Premium airport lounge access, up to $300 in annual credit toward travel booked through Capital One, and a 10,000-mile bonus each card anniversary worth at least $100 in travel.

Combined, these perks more than offset the annual fee, and the card’s welcome bonus offer is generous, too — 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth at least $1,275 in travel.

What the experts love: Relatively low annual fee for a premium card, excellent travel benefits, substantial bonus

What the experts don’t love: Annual travel credit doesn’t apply to all travel purchases

Read our review: Capital One Venture X card review

Best cash-back card for families: Amex Blue Cash Preferred

Why the Amex Blue Cash Preferred is worth it: If your preference is earning cash back, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers the highest rate for grocery spending, and it earns bonus rewards in other useful categories as well.

Grocery spending can be a big part of the budget, especially for families, so earning rewards for this expense can help save a significant amount of cash. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns 6% back on your first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket spending each year (then 1% back), and offers a welcome bonus of a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months from account opening.

Cardholders can also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back on U.S. gas stations and transit, and 1% back on all other eligible purchases (cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as statement credits). There’s an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, but if you spend a lot in the bonus categories, it’s easy to earn much more than that in rewards. 

What the experts love: Great rewards rate in bonus categories, generous welcome offer

What the experts don’t love: Annual fee

Read our review: Amex Blue Cash Preferred card review

Best card for automatically customizing rewards: Citi Custom Cash

Why the Citi Custom Cash card is worth it: For those who want to maximize rewards based on where they spend the most but don’t want to fuss with activating categories or rotating bonuses, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is hard to beat for earning up to 5x rewards.

A relative newcomer to the rewards credit card space, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a terrific choice if your spending habits change periodically and you don’t want the hassle of switching from card to card to earn the most rewards. It offers 5% cash back on up to $500 in purchases in the eligible category you spend the most in each billing cycle (then 1%), and 1% on all other purchases.

For a no-annual-fee card, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card comes with a good welcome bonus offer: $200 cash back, fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Even though it’s marketed as a cash-back credit card, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card actually earns Citi ThankYou points. Redemption options include cash back, travel booked through Citi, gift cards, merchandise, and more, all at a rate of 1 cent per point.

You can potentially get more value from your points if you also carry the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card
(no longer available to new applicants). When you have one of these cards, you can combine your points into that account and then transfer them to Citi’s travel partners, including JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Choice Hotels.

What the experts love: Automatic maximizing of rewards, no annual fee, plenty of redemption options

What the experts don’t love: 5x earning capped at $500 per billing cycle, foreign transaction fees

Read our review: Citi Custom Cash card review

Best premium card for travel and dining: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Why the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is worth it: Frequent travelers who spend a lot in the Sapphire Reserve’s bonus categories and who can take advantage of generous perks can get a value that far exceeds the card’s $550 annual fee.

Paying a high price for a premium credit card isn’t for everyone, but if you’re able to make the most of the card’s benefits, you can often make up for the annual fee — and then some. That’s the case with the Sapphire Reserve, which charges a hefty $550 per year. In return, cardholders get a huge list of perks, including some of the best travel protections of any credit card.

The card has an excellent welcome bonus offer of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening (worth around $1,080 in travel, based on Insider’s valuations). Each year, cardholders receive up to $300 in statement credits toward travel purchases, 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (excluding the $300 travel credit), and 3x points on all other travel and dining.

As for benefits, you’ll get Priority Passairport lounge access, access to Chase Sapphire by The Club airport lounges, top-notch travel coverage including primary car rental insurance and trip delay coverage, and a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee credit.

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Sapphire Reserve offers a wide variety of redemption options, including booking travel through Chase (1.5 cents per point — a 50% bonus), transferring points to travel partners like United, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Hyatt, or cashing in your rewards for statement credits.

What the experts love: High-earning bonus categories, easy-to-use $300 travel credit, unparalleled travel protections

What the experts don’t love: Very high annual fee might not be worth it for the average traveler

Read our review: Chase Sapphire Reserve card review

Best card for earning travel rewards on dining and groceries: Amex Gold Card

Why the Amex Gold card is worth it: Foodies can do very well with the American Express® Gold Card
because it earns 4x on dining and on up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year at US supermarkets (then 1x), and other benefits nearly offset the card’s entire $250 annual fee.

It’s hard to beat the Amex Gold Card if you enjoy dining out. With an earning rate of 4 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery) and a slew of other useful perks, this card is a must for any foodie’s wallet. And it’s got a great welcome offer: 60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of card membership.

Cardholders get up to $120 per calendar year (up to $10 per month) in Uber Cash credits that can be used toward eligible US Uber rides or Uber Eats purchases (the Gold Card needs to be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit). The card also comes with up to $120 in annual dining credits** (up to $10 per month) valid toward purchases with Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Milk Bar, Goldbelly, Wine.com, and participating Shake Shack locations.

What the experts love: Strong earning rate on dining and at US supermarkets, useful statement credits

What the experts don’t love: Credits are split monthly, high annual fee

Read our review: Amex Gold card review

Best cash-back card for dining, groceries, and entertainment with no annual fee: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards

Why the Capital One SavorOne card is worth it: Few no-annual-fee cards offer a high, uncapped 3% cash-back rate in broadly useful bonus categories — and the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card tops our list.

If you’re a foodie, like going out, or both, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is hard to beat for earning big cash-back rewards. Cardholders earn 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Additionally, the card recently added 5% cash back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases. You can also earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through November 14, 2024. 

You won’t pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fees, and there’s a solid welcome bonus offer, too: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. New cardholders also receive a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months) (then a 17.99% – 27.99% Variable APR), which can save you a lot of money on interest if you have big purchases planned you want to pay off over time.

You might expect a no-annual-fee card to be lean on benefits, but there are a few good perks that can come in handy, like extended warranty, travel accident insurance***, and travel emergency assistance services. 

What the experts love: Excellent earning in top categories, no annual fee

What the experts don’t love: Non-bonus categories only earn 1% cash back

Read our review: Capital One SavorOne card review

Best card for gas and EV charging: U.S. Bank Altitude Connect

Why the US Bank Altitude Connect card is worth it: Earning 4x points at gas stations with the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card is the best uncapped flexible points rate around, and you’ll earn bonus rewards at EV charging stations, too.

A relative newcomer to the credit card scene, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card is a great card to use at gas stations and EV charging stations, earning 4x points with no limits. You’ll also earn 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly through the Altitude Rewards Center, 4x points on other travel, and 2x points on dining, groceries, and streaming, making this an excellent all-around card. 

New cardholders can earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days from account opening (worth $500 in cash back, gift cards, and more). The card also offers perks like a $30 annual credit for streaming service purchases, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and cell phone protection. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

What the experts love: Great earning rates, good benefits, card earns bonus rewards on EV charging as well as gas

What the experts don’t love: Annual fee

Read our review: US Bank Altitude Connect card review

Best card for rotating categories and flexible redemptions: Chase Freedom Flex

Why the Chase Freedom Flex is worth it: With a solid welcome bonus offer, opportunities to earn up to 5% cash back, and surprisingly good benefits for a no-annual-fee card, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great addition to any wallet.

Chase’s lineup of Freedom cards is among the best for earning substantial rewards without incurring an annual fee, and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has the potential to be the most rewarding. Along with a welcome bonus offer of $200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, cardholders can earn 5% (or 5x) in rotating categories each quarter (once activated) on up to $1,500 spent in combined spending. From October 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022, these categories are Walmart and PayPal.

The card also offers 5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2025, 3% back on dining and drugstores, and 1% back on everything else.

Because it’s a World Elite Mastercard, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ comes with an array of top-notch benefits, many of which you don’t often find on no-annual-fee cards. These include cell phone protection, purchase protection, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and extended warranty.

What the experts love: High earning rate in rotating bonus categories, good benefits

What the experts don’t love: Foreign transaction fees, required activation of quarterly bonus

Read our review: Chase Freedom Flex review

Best card for rotating cash-back categories: Discover it Cash Back

Why the Discover it Cash Back is worth it: Along with great rotating bonus categories, the Discover it® Cash Back has a trick up its sleeve that can be very lucrative for big spenders in the first year of account opening.

The Discover it® Cash Back is a winner not only for its ability to earn lots of cash back in popular bonus categories, but also for its first-year rewards. Instead of a traditional intro offer, the card comes with a delayed bonus of sorts: After the first 12 months of account opening, Discover will match all of the rewards you earn from the card through its Cashback Match program.

Cardholders earn 5% cash back in popular rotating quarterly bonus categories when they activate, on up to $1,500 in combined spending (then 1%), and 1% back everywhere else (from October 1 to December 31, 2022, you can earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and on digital wallets on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%). In the first year, this effectively translates to 10% and 2% back, respectively — an incredible rate of return, if you’re able to maximize the quarterly categories.

New cardholders can also take advantage of a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, followed by a 15.74% – 26.74% Variable APR. As long as you have the ability to pay off your balance before the intro APR period expires, this can save you a ton of money on interest.

Like other Discover cards, the Discover it® Cash Back doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees. On the downside, there aren’t many other notable benefits to speak of — but if you’re solely interested in earning cash back and don’t care about extra frills, the Discover it® Cash Back is a solid pick.

What the experts love: Rotating bonus categories, first-year Cashback Match, intro APR offer

What the experts don’t love: No extras like purchase protection or travel insurance

Read our review: Discover it Cash Back cardreview

Best card for choosing your own cash back categories: U.S. Bank Cash+

Why the US Bank Cash+ card is worth it: Among cards that allow you to customize your rewards earning, the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is the most generous, offering up to 5% cash back from a long list of eligible categories to choose from.

Picking a card that the most rewards in the categories where you spend the most is one of the best ways to maximize your spending. The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card makes it extra easy by allowing you to pick two eligible categories (from a list) of your choice that earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1% back). 

You can also choose one “everyday” category to earn 2% cash back (gas and EV charging stations, restaurants, or grocery stores,), and you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

Even better, the card doesn’t charge an annual fee, so there’s no cost to keep it for the long term. New cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening, and also qualify for a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles (then a 18.24 – 28.24% Variable APR). 

This is a Visa Signature card, so it comes with built-in perks including access to the Visa Signature concierge and Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, roadside dispatch, and travel and emergency assistance.

What the experts love: Ability to customize 5% and 2% cash-back categories from a big list, no annual fee

What the experts don’t love: 5% cash back is capped at $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter

Read our review: US Bank Cash+ card review

Why the Capital One QuicksilverOne card is worth it: Many credit cards designed for folks with fair or average credit offer modest rewards (or none at all). But with the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, you can earn up to 5% cash back on your purchases.

When you’re new to credit cards or rebuilding your credit, it can be challenging to get approved for a rewards-earning card. One exception is the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and a very respectable 1.5% cash back on all other purchases, with no bonus categories to keep track of.

If you have a credit score in the “fair” range (580-669, according to FICO), you have a good chance of being approved for the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. While there’s no welcome bonus and a modest $39 annual fee, this card could be the stepping stone to more lucrative rewards cards once you’ve built your credit score a bit more.

What the experts love: Solid earning rate on all purchases, no foreign transaction fees

What the experts don’t love: No welcome bonus offer, annual fee

Read our review: Capital One QuicksilverOne card review

Best cash-back card for balance transfers: Citi Double Cash

Why the Citi Double Cash card is worth it: The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of only a few cards that effectively earns 2% back (1 point per dollar when you buy, and 1 point per dollar when you pay) on every purchase — with no annual fee and a solid intro APR offer to boot. 

Not only does the Citi® Double Cash Card offer one of the longest introductory APR periods, but it’s also a great option for earning cash back. In fact, it’s one of our top picks for the best cash-back cards thanks to its straightforward earning structure — you effectively get 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% back when you pay your bill. 

The Double Cash card now earns Citi ThankYou points instead of cash back directly. But you can still redeem your points for cash back (as well as travel, gift cards, and more) and get the same rate of return.

As a new cardholder, you get a 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers made within 4 months of account opening (which must be completed in the first four months from account opening). After that, there’s a 17.74% – 27.74% Variable APR. 

If you also have a premium Citi card like the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to new applicants), you can combine your rewards from the Citi® Double Cash Card with one of those accounts for the opportunity to transfer them to all of Citi’s airline and hotel partners.

What the experts love: Generous and straightforward earning on all purchases, rewards awarded as Citi ThankYou points

What the experts don’t love: Foreign transaction fees, doesn’t always offer a welcome bonus

Read our review: Citi Double Cash card review

Best card for earning travel rewards in multiple categories: Citi Premier Card

Why the Citi Premier card is worth it: Beyond the welcome bonus offer, the Citi Premier® Card offers great 3x earning categories that just about anyone can take advantage of — and the rewards it earns are incredibly flexible.

Among rewards credit cards, the Citi Premier® Card flies under the radar a bit. Despite not being packed with fancy perks, it’s a valuable card to have if you like earning and using Citi ThankYou points. Cardholders earn a very respectable 3x points in some of the most popular bonus categories: air travel, gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, and hotels. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.

It also comes with a strong welcome offer of 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (worth $800 in cash back, and potentially $1,280 in travel based on Insider’s valuations). Cardholders also get $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) booked through thankyou.com once per calendar year.

As far as redemptions go, you’ll typically get the most value from your points when you transfer them to Citi’s airline and hotel partners to book award travel. But if you prefer a simpler approach, you can always cash in your rewards at a rate of 1 cent each for travel through the Citi ThankYou Portal, statement credits, gift cards, and more.

There’s a $95 annual fee, but you won’t pay foreign transaction fees with this card. Unfortunately, Citi removed most travel protections from its cards a couple of years back, but you’ll still get purchase protection, extended warranty, and World Elite Mastercard benefits from the Citi Premier® Card.

What the experts love: Great bonus categories, rewards flexibility, annual hotel credit

What the experts don’t love: Few travel protections

Read our review: Citi Premier card review

Best for long intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers: Wells Fargo Reflect Card

Why the Wells Fargo Reflect card is worth it: If you’re looking for an ultra-long 0% APR offer for both purchases and qualifying balance transfers, you won’t do much better than the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card.

You might wonder why a card that doesn’t earn rewards appears on our list of top credit cards — and if that’s your priority, you can probably give the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card a skip. Where the card does excel, however, is with its intro APR offer. New cardholders receive a 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (three months intro APR extension with on-time minimum payments during the intro period) (then 16.74% – 28.74% variable). Balance transfers must occur within 120 days of account opening to qualify for the intro 0% APR rate. 

There are a few other cards that come with a balance transfer offer of the same length, but a shorter duration (or none at all) for purchases. And while many similar cards are skimpy on benefits, the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card does come with cell phone protection against damage and theft. That can be a good reason to keep using the card after the intro period ends — especially since it’s unusual to see no-annual-fee cards with that benefit.

What the experts love: Extra long 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, no annual fee

What the experts don’t love: No welcome bonus offer or rewards, and few benefits aside from cell phone protection

Read our review: Wells Fargo Reflect card review

Why the Discover It Secured credit card is worth it: Only a handful of secured credit cards on the market offer cash-back rewards, including the Discover it® Secured. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade to a non-secured card after showing a history of responsible use.

If you have a very limited credit history or are looking to repair bad credit, many of the cards on this list won’t be available to you. Most of the top rewards cards require credit scores in the 600s or higher — if that’s not where your credit is, you may need to consider a secured card to repair your credit. 

Secured credit cards are easy to get approved for because they require a cash deposit upfront, which minimizes the issuer’s risk. Your credit limit is equal to the cash deposit you put down. 

If a secured card seems like the right option for you, the Discover it® Secured is an especially good option, because it’s the rare secured card to offer rewards. You’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of the first year.

With this card, automatic reviews start at seven months to see if Discover can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.

What the experts love: Ease of approval, rare opportunity to earn cash-back rewards on a secured card

What the experts don’t love: No traditional welcome bonus offer, other cash-back cards earn higher rewards

Read our review: Discover it Secured card review

Why the Chase Ink Business Preferred is worth it: For a moderate annual fee, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card comes with a terrific welcome bonus offer, useful bonus categories for small-business owners, and top-notch benefits including cell phone insurance.

There are lots of great small-business credit cards, and if you travel constantly, it could be worth paying the high annual fee for a more premium option like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
. But if you just want a card that maximizes your returns in popular business spending categories, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a great choice. 

You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 you spend each cardmember year in select categories, including travel, shipping, internet/cable/phone, and advertising on social media sites or with search engines, such as Google Ads. Purchases after you reach $150,000, or in any other category, earn 1 point per dollar. Also, through March 2025, this card offers 5x points on Lyft rides.

What the experts love: Massive welcome bonus offer, great transfer partners and travel coverage

What the experts don’t love: No airport lounge access or TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit

Read our review: Chase Ink Business Preferred card review

Best card for college students: Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards

Why the Capital One SavorOne Student card is worth it: Earning 3% cash back in student-friendly categories with the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card can add up quickly, and because it’s geared to students, it can be easier to qualify with limited credit history.

There are quite a few student credit cards on the market, and of those that actually earn rewards, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is most aligned with typical college student spending habits. You’ll earn 3% cash back on dining (including restaurants, bars, cafes, and lounges), at grocery stores (except superstores like Walmart and Target), entertainment (such as movies, professional sporting events, and amusement parks), and popular streaming services (like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+). 

On top of that, it also earns 10% cash back on Uber and Uber Eats (through November 14, 2024), 5% cash back on car rentals and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases. All other purchases earn 1% back.

You might expect a student credit card to be a little thin in the benefits department, but that’s not the case here. Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card cardholders receive price protection***, extended warranty***, car rental insurance***, roadside dispatch***, and travel accident insurance***. And because the card doesn’t add foreign transaction fees, it’s a great choice to use if you’re studying abroad for a semester or taking a backpacking trip overseas during summer break.

What the experts love: Excellent categories for students, good benefits, no annual or foreign transaction fees

What the experts don’t love: There’s not always a welcome bonus offer

Read our review: Capital One SavorOne Student card review

Other top credit cards that just missed the cut

We evaluated dozens of credit cards to narrow down the best picks in various categories. Some of these cards didn’t make our list for one reason or another — for example, only appealing to a very specific group of consumers, or charging an exceptionally high annual fee.

We’ve listed some of our favorite runners-up here, and why they didn’t make our final list:

Other Insider credit card guides

This guide highlights the best credit card option for several different types of users. If you want a to-the-point recommendation for maximizing your spending and enjoying benefits like an intro APR period, this guide will help you find a quick answer. However, if you want to go deeper, check out our in-depth credit card guides for the following categories:

Methodology: How we chose the best credit cards for 2022

Our list of the best credit cards is the result of an in-depth comparison between credit cards in each sub-category. We looked at America’s largest credit card issuers, as well as cards frequently recommended by blogs, forums, and travel communities.

The values we prioritized when coming up with this list were:

The best credit card for you very much depends on your financial situation, spending habits, and how you like to redeem rewards. For example, if you’re just getting started with credit, a student credit card or a card that doesn’t require a high credit score is an ideal pick. If you’re looking to earn travel rewards, on the other hand, you’ll want to look at cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

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