The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Compare Credit Cards (10 Categories) – 2020 Credit Card Comparison

Compare Credit Cards

credit card advice

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Updated: November 14, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

If there’s one thing to be said about the current marketplace, it must be that there are plenty of options. Just ordering a pizza comes with dozens of different choices: choose the size, the sauce, the cheese, and toppings; flavored crust? – Which flavor? And how do you want that cooked? You can even order in-store, over the phone, or online.

The world of credit cards is no different, with options for anything you need — or want — your card to do. Cash back on every purchase? There’s a card for that. Do you travel so often pilots know your name? Pick up an awesome travel rewards card.

There are so many options for different types of credit cards that your biggest problem may be that when you go to compare credit cards, it may be hard to decide which card is the best one for you. That’s why we’ve put together a veritable credit card comparison guide. If you already know which type of card you’d like to explore, use the menu below to jump to the best card for you.

Cash Back | Travel | Points & GiftsBusiness | Student | 0% Intro APR | Balance Transfer
Average/Fair Credit | No/Limited Credit | Bad Credit

Compare “Cash Back” Cards

For those of us always looking for a deal, it doesn’t get much better than a cash back rewards card. It’s like having an extra coupon you can apply to every purchase. The amount of cash back on your purchases varies by card, and different types of cards may offer higher percentages in certain categories, like gas or groceries. Some cards even have variable categories, with the higher bonus percentages changing as frequently as by the month. Most cards will let you redeem rewards at any time, but some require a minimum rewards amount. Also, don’t forget that your rewards card is still a credit card – make sure you compare the interest rates and annual fees, too. Can’t decide? Our experts have picked their number one cash back credit card.

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

+Full Comparison of the Best Cash Back Cards

Compare “Travel” Cards

From the chronic jet-setters to the summer vacation junkies, there is a travel rewards card to meet the needs of any traveler. The options for travel cards are many, and can include everything from specific airlines or hotels to rental car coverage and baggage protection. Keep a close eye on blackout dates, and those oft-overlooked annual fees. International travelers should also compare foreign transaction fees, as they can really add up. Our top choice is a great place to start your travel rewards comparison.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

+Full Comparison of the Best Travel Cards

Compare “Points & Gifts” Cards

If you can’t decide between a cash back card or one offering travel miles, try a card that offers points, instead. The best of both rewards worlds, most points cards allow you to redeem your points for cash, gift cards, or travel expenses. When comparing points cards, make sure you look for a sweet sign-up bonus, like extra points for new cards or an introductory double-points period. The types of rewards for which points can be redeemed will vary by card, as will the usual factors like annual fees and interest rates. Also, watch out for expiring points. Take a look at our favorite points rewards card.

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

+Full Comparison of the Best Points Rewards Cards

Compare “Business” Cards

There’s nothing like being a business owner to help you find joy in the simple things — such as becoming truly excited about a delivery of new office supplies. The only thing better? Getting cash rewards for those office supplies! When comparing business credit cards, the rewards programs can be a big incentive one way or the other — but they shouldn’t be your only consideration.

As with a personal credit card, business cards have annual fees and maximum spending limits. While some have introductory offers with low interest rates, watch out that you don’t get sticker shock when the real APR kicks in. Even when comparing rewards programs, keep in mind things like rotating rewards categories, blackout dates on travel, and point expiration dates. See our top pick in business cards for an expert’s opinion.

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

+Full Comparison of the Best Business Cards

Compare “Student” Cards

Ah, every student’s dream: getting paid to get good grades. Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t! Many of the credit cards geared toward students are loaded with education-based perks, including an annual good grade statement credit and cash back on textbook purchases from places like Amazon. Other great features can include choosing your due date, waived annual fees, and late payment forgiveness. While lots of student cards offer big sign-up bonuses, watch out for APRs that skyrocket after the bonus period, or rewards with expiration dates. Our team identified the best student card on the market right now.

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

+Full Comparison of the Best Student Cards

Compare “0% Intro APR” Cards

If the idea of a two-digit interest rate has given you a bad case of credit-card cold feet, try a card that offers a 0% introductory APR. These are like super sign-up bonuses that let you carry a balance without being charged interest. When comparing cards with no interest, make sure to determine the duration of the introductory period – most cards offer 6- to 18-month terms. Don’t forget to check the annual fees, and keep an eye on the after-offer interest rate, as well – these can sometimes be quite high. Check out our top pick below.

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

+Full Comparison of the Best 0% APR Cards

Compare “Balance Transfer” Cards

For many, the biggest sting from the monthly credit card bill is that high interest payment. Even the smallest balance can balloon into a shocking total when left to the mercies of compound interest. If high interest rates have turned your mild-mannered debt into a hulking beast, don’t fear – balance transfer cards are here.

A balance transfer is a process by which credit card debt can be moved from one card to another card – preferably one with a much lower interest rate. The real win is transferring to a card that offers an introductory 0% APR on existing balances. Most credit cards marketed for balance transfer offer free or discounted transfer fees, and many offer cash back or points rewards, too. Here’s our favorite balance transfer card, featuring an introductory 0% APR.

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

+Full Comparison of the Best Balance Transfer Cards

Compare “Average/Fair Credit” Cards

Whether building up your credit for the first time or recovering from a credit mistake, having “middle of the road” credit can open doors closed to those in worse financial shape – but it’s not without drawbacks, either. Many of the cards open to those with stellar credit may still be available to you, but the interest rates may not be quite so appealing. To get a fair deal out of your “fair” credit, make sure to compare offers for the lowest APR and annual fees. Most cards will also have cash, mile, or point bonuses, so determine which type of rewards best fits your lifestyle. Or let us do the work – see our experts’ selection for a great deal.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

+Full Comparison of the Best Cards for Average/Fair Credit

Compare “Limited/No Credit” Cards

Like the age-old catch-22 of business – you need a job to get a job – so tends to go the modern finance world: without an established credit history, it can be a challenge to get new credit. Luckily, there are credit cards just for those with limited, or even nonexistent, credit – many of which offer the same cash back or travel rewards as any other card. Any comparison of credit cards should include the annual fees and sign-up bonuses, as well as any expiration dates for rewards. Many new cards also provide your FICO credit score, so you can keep track of your growing credit. Unsure where to start? Try our top card for those with limited credit.

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

+Full Comparison of the Best Cards for No Credit

Compare “Bad Credit” Cards

There are few things as financially disheartening than trying to get approved for a credit card when your credit score is on the sad-face-emoji side of the rating spectrum, but don’t despair. There are tons of great card offers designed specifically for those with struggling credit. When comparing credit options, one major decision will be whether to get a secured or unsecured card. Your exact credit score may make the decision for you, as unsecured cards have a minimum credit score for approval.

As for APRs, while your interest rate will likely be higher than those folks with better credit, you still want to shop around for the lowest option. Look for cards that let you track your FICO score to monitor improvements. For a jump-start on your comparison shopping, see which card we’ve ranked number one.

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

+Full Comparison of the Best Cards for Bad Credit

One Large Pie, Hold the Miles

The world of credit cards is as full of options as any coffee shop or restaurant, and making the right choice can seem a bit daunting. By knowing your options – and how best to compare them – you can make an informed decision about your credit card future.

After thoroughly comparing my own options, I made a few decisions, too: the large pie, with red sauce, covered in mozzarella cheese. Add pineapple and extra pepperoni – and put it on my points card!

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