The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, September 21, 2020

33 Best Credit Card Offers Right Now

Best Credit Card Offers Right Now

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: February 25, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

I don’t think I could face the day without my visit to Starbucks. It’s not that I just want “coffee” — there are dozens of drinks I can order, but I’m quite particular about my go-to beverage.

It’s the same with credit cards — a category of products with a rich variety of choices. Our mission in this article is to name the best credit card offers right now so that you, dear consumer, can get the card that precisely fits your lifestyle, just like a quad extra-hot grande latte macchiato breve suits mine.

The dynamic nature of the credit card market means that offers are constantly changing. But we’re on top of the changes, and what follows gives you the up-to-date specifics that will help you find the card that best suits you today.

APRs: 0% Intro | 0% Transfers | Low Ongoing
Rewards: Miles | Cash Back | Points
Card Type: Business | Prepaid | Secured | Student | Bad Credit

Best “0% Intro APR” Offers Right Now

Big-ticket purchases often require you to schedule payments over a period of many months. In olden times, you may have made an installment purchase, such as layaway, in which you had to prepay for a purchase over a specified time period.

Nowadays, a credit card with a 0% introductory APR is a much better deal. Below are our top-rated 0% intro APR offers currently available:

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Wells Fargo Platinum Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Introductory 0% APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (3% balance transfer fee applies)
  • Account protection features such as Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions, alerts, and cell phone protection
  • My Money Map – tools to help you manage spending and create a budget with ease
  • Access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
16.49% - 24.49%
$0
Good
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The 0% intro APR offer is extended only to new cardmembers. It establishes a number of months from account opening in which you can carry balances from one month to the next without paying interest. This can save you hundreds of dollars in interest on big purchases.

Whether you’re contemplating an extended vacation, a kitchen full of new appliances, or paying for the wedding of your oldest daughter, a 0% introductory APR lets you budget your purchase over many months, avoiding prepayments and interest charges.

Best “Balance Transfer” Offers Right Now

Balance transfer offers appeal to consumers who have outstanding balances on several credit cards. Instead of scheduling multiple monthly payments and ponying up at least the minimum payment for each, you can consolidate your balances by transferring them to one card.

Below are our top-rated balance transfer offers:

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balance, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • 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.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 21 months
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 21 months
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

+ See More Balance Transfer Offers

An introductory balance transfer offer specifies the number of months from account opening in which cardmembers can transfer credit card balances to the new card without paying interest on the consolidated balance. However, you will likely have to pay a fee, usually 3% to 4%, for each transfer.

In return, you need to schedule only one monthly credit card payment. That one payment should be less than the sum of the monthly minimums you previously had to pay while avoiding interest on the balance throughout the introductory period.

Best “Low Ongoing APR” Offers Right Now

Annual percentage rate, or APR, is an interest rate stated on a yearly basis. When you obtain a card with a low ongoing APR, you can expect an attractively low interest rate that continues for the foreseeable future, as the following cards all feature.

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

LOW APR RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.0/5.0
  • Better than Prepaid...Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time - Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR - Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit - Maximum $1,000. * Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
9.99%
$48
Poor/Fair/Limited/Damaged
Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

LOW APR RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, everywhere, every time – no matter how much you spend
  • Earn 3 points per every dollar spent when you book your travel (car, hotel, airline) through the Bank of America® Travel Center
  • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit towards travel purchases
  • Get 75% more points on the base earn of every purchase you make when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you'll earn 2.62 points on all purchases and 4.12 points for every $1 you spend at the Bank of America® Travel Center.
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 9 billing cycles from account opening
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 billing cycles
N/A
12.24% - 22.24%
$0
Good
Business Advantage Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

LOW APR RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back on your choice of one of the following six categories: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services, or business consulting services
  • Earn 2% cash back on dining, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening
  • Get 75% more cash back on every purchase when you're a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you'll earn 5.25% on your selected choice category, 3.5% on dining, and unlimited 1.75% cash back on all other purchases.
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 months
N/A
12.24% to 22.24%
$0
Good

Note that APR includes any fees you pay in monthly installments rather than as a single lump sum. If you are not the type of consumer who pays the entire balance each month, an APR above 21% may make your eyes water.

But if you get a card with a low ongoing APR, you may save several percentage points of interest that can really add up over a year’s time.

Best “Miles” Card Offers Right Now

Nothing can lift the spirits of a weary traveler more than earning a planeload of air miles for flights, car rentals, and hotel stays. The best cards let you redeem those miles for travel with no blackout dates or carrier restrictions.

Alternatively, you can cash out the miles or transfer them to the card’s travel and hotel partners. A card may offer many additional travel-related benefits, such as free baggage check, travel insurance, and lounge access. See our favorites below.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent
The Business Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, 1.5X points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (that's an extra half point per dollar, up to 1 million additional points per calendar year, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of card membership
  • Select one qualifying airline and get up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year for baggage fees and other incidentals charged by the airline to your Business Platinum Card
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries and counting
  • Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and get 35% of those points back, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year
  • $595 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A (Charge Card)
$595
Excellent
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in; gas stations, rideshares, and transit; flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals; and popular streaming services - all other purchases earn 1X points
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from account opening
  • No limit to points you can earn, and points don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Cell phone protection helps protect your cell phone from damage or theft
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
14.49% - 24.99%
$0
Good/Excellent

+ See More Miles Card Offers

When you evaluate miles cards, look at the number of miles you receive for each dollar spent. Consider the different ways you can earn the top reward rate and any caps on mile rewards. Also, check out the redemption rules, including how many miles it takes to earn a free flight.

Some cards enhance the value of miles when you redeem them for travel that you book at the card’s rewards website. Finally, compare the current signup bonuses available.

Best “Cash Back” Card Offers Right Now

Can you ever have enough cash? The best cash back card offers add to your stash by letting you earn cash back in one of several ways.

Some cards offer up to 5% cash back on a set of quarterly rotating merchant categories that you must activate each quarter. Other cards offer two or more reward tiers that provide different cash back percentages on specific purchases, while others offer an unlimited, fixed reward percentage on all purchases.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

+ See More Cash Back Card Offers

All rotating category and tiered rewards cards pay a default cash back rate (typically 1%) on purchases that do not qualify for higher rewards. Always pay attention to any limits on cash back rewards as well as introductory bonus cash back when you spend the minimum required on purchases during the first three months after opening the account.

Best “Points” Card Offers Right Now

Points are a versatile alternative reward to cash back and miles. Their versatility lies in how you redeem points.

One popular option is to redeem points for purchases via a related website. You can also use points for travel redemption, sometimes at a premium rate, or for cash. The best cards offer from 2X to 5X points for each dollar spent on selected purchases.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 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®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

18. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

This card is currently not available.

Bank of America® Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

+ See More Points Card Offers

Look for generous introductory bonus rewards when you spend the required amount on purchases during the first three months. In some cases, points will be worth more if redeemed for travel.

You want a card that doesn’t impose travel restrictions or blackout dates when you redeem the points for travel or hotel stays. Another desirable feature lets you transfer points to leading hotel and airline loyalty programs.

Best “Business” Card Offers Right Now

A typical company spends money on business-related purchases, from office equipment to communications services to business travel. Since your business has to spend the money anyway, why not get rewarded for your purchases?

The best business credit cards offer a wide array of bonuses and rewards in the form of cash back, miles, or points. In addition, the top cards offer many business-related benefits that can help your bottom line.

American Express® Business Gold Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle, including airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio), U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions, and U.S. purchases at gas stations, restaurants, or for shipping.
  • Earn 1X Membership Rewards® points on other purchases
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of card membership
  • Book your flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points and get 25% of those points back
  • $295 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
14.24% - 22.24%
$295
Excellent

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99%-20.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
13.24% - 19.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

+ See More Business Card Offers

Many business cards offer free cards to authorized employees so that you can expand your rewards. Many provide transaction downloads and annual reports that make your bookkeeper’s life a little easier.

Some cards offer substantial introductory bonus rewards as well as high reward rates (with or without limits) on specific categories of purchases. Also, look for an introductory 0% APR on purchases during the first 12+ months after account opening.

Best “Prepaid” Card Offers Right Now

A prepaid card is much like a debit card, except it links to a card-provided account rather than a bank account. You fund the card account with cash, checks, or money orders.

This is a great boon to unbanked consumers who do not want to deal with banks or credit unions. Look for prepaid cards that work with a mobile app to let you manage your account and even make mobile check deposits, such as those below:

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.6/5.0
  • Move money from your PayPal account to fund your prepaid card account.
  • Earn cash back and personalized offers, just for using your card.
  • With Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • Card issued by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.
  • Click PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® for additional features & program details, and to request a Card.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fee
Not applicable
Bluebird by American Express® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days faster with free direct deposit
  • Cash your checks to your Account with the Bluebird Mobile app. Access your money in minutes for a fee or in 10 days for free if your check is not returned unpaid.
  • Enjoy Card Membership benefits such as Purchase Protection and Fraud Protection when making purchases online or in store with Bluebird
  • Get free ATM access at over 30,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations. You can also pick up cash at over 4,500 Walmart® stores with Cash Pickup Powered by Ria®.
  • Pay no monthly fees or overdraft fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
$0
Not applicable
American Express Serve® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Enjoy FREE withdrawals at over 30,000 MoneyPass ATM locations nationwide.2 You can also use non MoneyPass® ATMs, but fees may apply
  • Get access to your money up to 2 days faster with early Direct Deposit
  • With Serve, you can pay anyone, anytime. Use FREE Online Bill Pay or Write a Check online and we'll mail it to anyone you need to pay.
  • Check your balance and recent transactions, pay bills on the go, add checks, get SMS text alerts, and send money to family or friends who have a Serve Account
  • No credit check, no minimum balance, no hidden fees
  • Transfer cash to anyone from anywhere. Cash is ready for pickup in minutes.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
$0 - $6.95 monthly fee
Not applicable

+ See More Prepaid Card Offers

Some prepaid cards accept your paycheck through direct deposit and let you get paid up to two days early. You can never trigger a late fee or interest charges because you aren’t using credit. Unfortunately, prepaid cards do not allow you to rebuild your credit.

The cherry on the sundae: Some prepaid cards, like the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®, offer cash back rewards, perhaps limited to purchases from select merchants.

Best “Secured” Card Offers Right Now

A great way to establish or repair your credit is through a secured credit card. These are real credit cards that require cash collateral deposited into an insured savings account maintained by the card issuer. Your credit limit equals the amount of cash collateral, up to the maximum allowed amount.

The top secured cards charge no annual fee and may offer cash back rewards. They also report your payments to the three credit bureaus, allowing you to build your credit when you repay on time.

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Better than Prepaid...Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time - Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR - Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit - Maximum $1,000. * Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
9.99%
$48
Poor/Fair/Limited/Damaged
Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • Earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account
  • Access your FICO® Score updated monthly for free, within your Mobile Banking app or in Online Banking
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99%
$0
Bad/Limited

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad

+ See More Secured Card Offers

Look for a card that automatically increases your credit limit after you demonstrate a series of timely monthly payments. In addition, many issuers will reward your responsible payment activity by eventually refunding your collateral, converting your card to unsecured.

Best “Student” Card Offers Right Now

It’s not unusual for students to have scant credit histories. Student credit cards overlook your lack of credit and let you build a credit profile by reporting your payments to the national credit bureaus.

The best student card offers below provide you with student-specific benefits, such as rewards for good grades and free access to your credit scores.

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Get Eno®, your Capital One® assistant, to manage your account via text, receive alerts, and shop safer online
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings Learn more
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles (3% balance transfer fee applies)
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
0% for 12 billing cycles
13.99% - 23.99%
$0
None/Limited
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.4/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere
  • No blackout dates or restrictions apply, and points never expire
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 12 billing cycles
  • Earn 25,000 bonus points ($250 value) if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
N/A
14.99% - 22.99%
$0
None/Limited

+ See More Student Card Offers

These cards all charge no annual fee and earn cash back rewards. Other benefits include the ability to instantly freeze or unfreeze your credit card, no late fees on your first late payment, and no APR hikes for late payments.

Best “Bad Credit” Card Offers Right Now

Perhaps the best features of cards designed for poor credit are that they are unsecured and let you build your credit by reporting your payments to one or more credit bureaus. Some of the better cards for bad credit charge no annual fee and allow you to graduate to a better card with consecutive on-time payments.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad
Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • Earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account
  • Access your FICO® Score updated monthly for free, within your Mobile Banking app or in Online Banking
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99%
$0
Bad/Limited
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Better than Prepaid...Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time - Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR - Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit - Maximum $1,000. * Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
9.99%
$48
Poor/Fair/Limited/Damaged

+ See More Card Offers for Bad Credit

Benefits of the cards above include the ability to manage your card and make payments via smartphone apps, free credit score access, and $0 fraud liability protection against unauthorized card usage. At least one top issuer offers a credit card alternative — a store account that lets you buy products from the store on credit.

Expect a modest credit line, at least initially, and the possibility of various fees to open and maintain your card.

How to Compare the Best Credit Card Offers

In the credit card realm, your choices involve decisions about the various rewards and benefits each card offers. In truth, many rewards are there to tempt new cardmembers with signup bonus offers.

If you are looking at specific needs, such as a large purchase or debt consolidation, introductory offers can make the most sense.

But do not ignore the charms of ongoing benefits that will provide lasting value, such as a low APR and no annual fee. Then there are cards geared to particular audiences, such as students, businesses, folks with bad credit, and consumers who eschew bank accounts.

As we detailed above, credit cards come in many varieties pitched to a wide array of consumers and credit types. Nonetheless, you can use lots of shared characteristics to comparison shop your next credit card, including:

  • How much do they cost? Start with the APR and include various fees that may be tacked on. Many great cards charge no annual fee, but some of the top premium cards charge hundreds of dollars in return for generous benefits.
  • What’s the card’s grace period? A grace period is the maximum number of days you have to pay off your card balance without incurring interest charges. In general, the longer the better.
  • Does your credit score qualify? There’s little point in applying for a card that requires excellent credit if your credit score is low (or non-existent).
  • What will be your credit limit? If you have excellent credit, the top cards may offer five-digit credit lines. At the opposite end of the spectrum, your credit line will be quite modest and may even have to be secured with collateral.
  • What rewards and benefits does the card offer? Modern credit cards provide value in many ways, so pick cards that fit your lifestyle. For example, a travel credit card that offers miles or points makes little sense if you never travel.
  • Do you fall into a niche? If you are a business owner, a student, an unbanked consumer, or you have bad credit, you can narrow your card search to the appropriate card categories, as they will usually suit you best.
  • Does the card offer unique features? For example, some cards may offer specialized features such as free access to airport lounges, free travel/baggage insurance, or 1:1 transfer of miles to partner reward programs.

We’ve simplified your card search by recommending the cards with the best current offers for a variety of consumers. Of course, you are a complex creature and may want multiple cards.

However, you shouldn’t apply for several cards at once, as this may lower your credit score. Rather, collect your cards over a period of several months to limit the impact on your credit score.

What is the Best Credit Card Available?

We’re going to assume you want the card that gives you the best rewards within the constraints of your credit score and history. To choose a great card, you need to consider what form your rewards should take and how generous the card is in doling out those rewards.

The major card reward types are cash back, points, and miles. Whereas cash back is always a fine choice, points or miles may better suit you if you frequently travel.

Credit Card Rewards Comparison Chart

Points can be converted to cash back and even to miles, making point cards extremely versatile. But if you spend a lot of time lurking around airports, you may prefer a miles card.

Do you like things simple or Byzantine? If you’re in the former camp, you can select a card that provides a flat-rate cash back reward on all purchases, every day. For example, check out the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card with unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and no annual fee.

But, if your tastes are more esoteric, you may prefer a multi-tier rewards card like Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, with unlimited 4% cash back on entertainment and dining, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on all other purchases. It also offers an introductory cash bonus and waives the annual fee for the first year.

If instead you live life in 50 shades, consider a card that offers high rewards on a quarterly rotating basis. For instance, the Discover it® Cash Back card lets you earn bonus cash back on quarterly merchant categories, up to the quarterly limit, when activated for the quarter.

Then, decide whether you want a quick romance (i.e., introductory offers of bonus rewards and 0% APR) or a lasting relationship (a low ongoing APR, no annual fee). Naturally, if you can find all that in one card, you’ve found a great offer.

Alternatively, the perfect card may support your efforts to repair your credit by offering a period of 0% APR for balance transfers, or accepting applicants with low credit scores, or providing a secured account. Students and businesses may choose a card specifically designed for them.

The bottom line: Choose the card that best matches the unique richness of your own lifestyle.

Which Credit Card has the Best Signup Bonus?

The beginning is a delicate time. It can also be a rewarding time when credit cards provide signup bonuses.

The bonus is yours if you spend the specified amount on purchases in the first three months after opening your account. The bonus can be cash, points, or miles, and will be awarded to your account in a lump sum as soon as you meet the spending requirement.

How to Earn a Signup Bonus

If you like your rewards in the form of points, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card for your consideration. If you can manage to shell out $4,000 on purchases during the first three months, you’ll earn a windfall of 60,000 bonus points.

You can redeem those points for $600 in cold hard cash. But if you prefer, you can use the same points for $750 toward travel when you redeem them at the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website.

Prefer miles? Check out the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which gives you 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases during the introductory three-month period. That’s worth $500 in travel.

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers you $500 cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. It provides higher cash back rewards on specified merchant categories and an introductory period of 0% APR on purchases — and it charges no annual fee.

If you’re contemplating a big-ticket purchase, think of signup bonus credit cards as providing a welcome rebate in return for a spot in your wallet. Even if you don’t plan to use the card beyond the introductory period, don’t close the account, because doing so will raise your credit utilization ratio and can hurt your credit score.

Which Credit Card is the Hardest to Get?

The most elusive credit cards for mere mortal consumers are the ones that demand you have an excellent credit score (i.e., 760 to 850 on the FICO range). Couple that with a high annual fee, and you’ve got a credit card for the elite.

One of our favorites is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which requires an excellent credit score and charges a relatively high annual fee. In return, you can earn a $300 annual travel credit and 3X points on travel and dining and 1X points on all other purchases. In addition, the card is dripping with valuable benefits.

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 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®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

However, if exclusivity is your goal, you may like an invitation for an American Express Black Card. The card is available to 0.1% of the population and will cost you a cool $7,500 initiation fee and a $2,500 annual fee.

In return, you’ll be expected to charge at least $250,000 a year to maintain your good standing. But if you need to know these details, then the card really isn’t for you.

Coming back down to earth, business owners may like to own the American Express Business Platinum® Card. The high annual fee lets you earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotel stays, plus 50% more points on qualifying large business purchases.

You also get up to $200 in credits to reimburse for airline fees. You can earn up to 75,000 points by spending $20,000 on purchases in the first three months.

What are the Best Credit Cards to Build Your Credit?

To build credit, your credit card must report your payments to at least one of the three credit bureaus. Any card that does this can help build your credit. However, some cards are designed for consumers with bad or no credit who may have trouble obtaining most credit cards.

Even with bad or no credit, you can easily obtain a secured credit card. Because you secure these cards with cash collateral and the cards typically have low credit limits, issuers consider them low-risk.

Unsecured vs Secured Credit Cards

For example, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® charges no annual fee and requires a deposit as small as $49. You’ll be eligible for a higher credit line by making timely payments during the first five months.

If you don’t want a secured card, consider the Fingerhut Credit Account. It is exceptionally easy to obtain despite having bad credit, has no annual fee, and allows you to charge purchases from Fingerhut and affiliated websites. The account currently offers a $25 discount on your first order of $100 or more.

Students also frequently need to build their credit profiles. One of our favorite cards is the Discover it® Student Cash Back. It has friendly introductory terms for new cardholders and pays bonus cash back on purchases (up to the quarterly maximum) in quarterly rotating merchant categories that you must activate.

To successfully rebuild your credit, pay your bills on time, pay more than the minimum amount, and reduce your outstanding debt. Over time, creditworthy behavior should pay off with a higher credit score, giving you access to better credit cards and larger credit limits.

Ranking & Methodology

This list of the best credit card offers right now consists of cards from major issuers on the Visa, Mastercard, and Discover payment networks. We assessed the various promotional and ongoing APRs of each card, fees charged, rewards offered, insurance benefits included, signup bonus potential, credit bureau reporting, and overall customer satisfaction based on cardholder reviews to determine the rankings.

CardRates’ reviews undergo a thorough editorial integrity process to ensure that content is not compromised by advertiser influence.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.