Best Credit Cards of 2014

The Best Credit Card Offers For September

At The Simple Dollar, one of our goals is to provide you with the most comprehensive and useful credit card information available on the Internet. Our research started with over 1,600 different credit cards. We collected data on all the best credit cards, organized the cards by type, and then ranked each card based on the features that matter the most.

  1. Credit Cards By Credit Score
  2. Credit Cards By Best Offers
  3. Credit Cards By Card Type
  4. Full Directory Of All Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards By Credit Score

When it comes down to selecting a credit card, you should look for cards that are within range of your current credit score so you can be approved. The top rewards credit cards are only available to those with Good to Excellent credit scores. Other credit cards, both secured and unsecured, can help rebuild credit if you have fair or poor credit.

If you don’t know your score, I recommend reading our article on the credit monitoring or signing up for a top credit monitoring service to get on track and stay informed.

Bad

Bad

Poor

Poor

Fair

Fair

Good

Good

Excellent

Excellent

Credit Score: Below 599

If you have bad credit, you may have experienced financial hardship, be a student, or have just moved to the country. You do have options which you can find here that will get you on the right path to building your credit. You will need a deposit for many of these cards, but the goal is to make your payments on time and eventually move from a secured card to an unsecured card. There is one unsecured card listed below that you can prequalify for prior to applying. If you’re a student, check out our detailed analysis on student credit cards for more information.

Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards

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First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

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Credit Score: 600-649

With poor credit, your options are fairly limited, but things open up a bit more. You can likely get a secured credit card or a select few unsecured credit cards. Unsecured cards may have higher fees or higher interest but don’t require your cash deposit like a secured card does. In all cases, you can expect to have a very low credit limit with the opportunity to increase that limit if you continue to pay your balance on time.

Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards

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Credit Score: 650-699

With fair credit, you’ll have more options for rewards cards or cash back cards, but the best rewards cards will likely be out of reach. Situational factors beyond your score, like household income or current debt, can be the difference between an issuer accepting you with this score. You may experience tighter credit limits to compensate for the perceived risk an issuer takes on by accepting you. These limits can quickly go up with some consistent on-time payment history. Some students may fall in this credit category, which is why you’ll find one of the top student credit cards listed here as well.

Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® – Average Credit

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Discover it® for Students

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Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards

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Credit Score: 700-749

Having good credit opens up your options to quality rewards credit cards. With good credit, you may be able to get approved for some of the top cash back credit cards and rewards cards. At this level, it’s very important to start looking at the cards with rewards programs that will match your spending habits. Check out some of the featured cards below as a starting point. You can always jump right into our credit card tool as a starting point.

Chase Freedom®

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Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® – Average Credit

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Chase Slate® Card

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Credit Score: 750 and above

Congratulations! People with excellent credit can be much more selective with their credit card applications and get just about any rewards card on the market. If you have excellent credit, think about how you plan to use the card and what type of rewards and benefits you want. Browse the top cards below and take a deeper look at the best rewards credit cards page for analysis and tips. If you’re specifically interested in travel rewards, you should go right to our breakdown of the best travel credit cards.

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

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Chase Sapphire Preferred®

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Discover it®

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Best Credit Card Offers

These are the top current offers from the popular credit card issuers. The three main credit card offers are 0% APR offers, balance transfer offers, and sign-up bonus offers. We update these credit card offers on a weekly basis to ensure the information is current and that we are showing the best credit card deals.

0% Intro APR

0% APR

Balance Transfer

Balance Transfer

Sign-Up Bonus

Bonus

These are the top credit cards offering a 0% intro APR. These offers typically last for a period of 6-18 months. This means you won’t have to pay any interest on your balance until the 0% introductory APR period ends. These offers are good for people who want to make a significant purchase with a new credit card and plan on paying off the balance over time. While 0% is a great starting perk, you should never get in a habit of carrying a balance on your card each month when you are charged interest.

Discover it®

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Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

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These are the best credit card offers for balance transfers, which can help you pay off your high-interest credit card debt. The cards listed here will always have 0% introductory offers on balance transfers. Some of the top balance transfer offers include fee waivers or other features that help you manage your high-interest credit card debt.

Chase Slate® Card

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Discover it®

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Read our full analysis on balance transfer credit cards for all the details.

Many of the elite rewards credit cards offer huge sign-up bonuses for new cardholders after you make a certain amount of purchases within the first 90 days. These point bonuses can be lucrative — some point bonuses can reach 40,000 points or higher, which is equivalent to $400. At times, cash back credit cards and other types will offer extra bonuses for a limited time period. We include the current best credit card offers for sign-up bonuses here.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

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Chase Freedom®

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Best Credit Cards By Type

This section displays the top credit cards based on specific types. For example, if you’re looking for a great personal card, check out the rewards credit cards. This group includes a mixture of general rewards, cash back, and airline cards. Students interested in building their credit early on can quickly see the best student cards. Small business owners can find a great card by navigating to the business section. If you want to transfer a balance, you can start by looking at those cards to dig yourself out of high-interest payments.

Rewards

Rewards

Business

Business

Student

Student

Balance Transfer

Balance Transfer

Rewards credit cards pay you back for the common purchases you make. The best credit cards allow you to accumulate two or more points per dollar, then redeem those points for gift cards, travel, statement credit, or physical goods. Cash back cards let you earn higher higher rewards in specific categories, however, the amount you can earn is capped in those categories. Cash back cards are great second credit cards to own and work best when paired with a more general 2x points per purchase rewards card.

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

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Chase Sapphire Preferred®

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Chase Freedom®

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Read more about the specifics of rewards credit cards and learn some of the strategies for using these cards to maximize your rewards. You can also check out our detailed analysis of both cash back credit cards and airline credit cards, if you’re interested in either of those types.

Business credit cards aren’t just for big corporations. Many consultants, doctors, lawyers, financial representatives, or other self-employed service providers want to keep business expenses separate from personal expenses. Even if you don’t have a business set up, you can still get a business credit card by using your Social Security (as long as you are self-employed in any some way). Many business credit cards function like top personal rewards cards, but have different rewards categories.

Ink Bold® Business Charge Card

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Ink Cash® Business Credit Card

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For a comprehensive rundown on these cards, take some time to read our inside look at best business credit cards and see how you can combine a business and personal card to max out rewards.

One of the smartest things you can do while in college is to get a student credit card. You might have heard the opposite, but a credit card is a useful tool for students to establish their credit history. Using a credit card will help you manage your expenses, understand budgeting, and help you build your credit history for when you want to buy a house or car in the future. The best student credit cards have superb online tools to help students manage their spending, payments, and account features while showing them their credit score each month.

Discover it® for Students

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There are specific credit cards that exist for people dealing with credit card debt, but still have good to excellent credit. The way to avoid high-interest credit card payments is to transfer your balance to a new credit card. When you do this, make sure it’s a credit card that will either accept your balance without charging a fee or offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for over a year. That gives you time to pay off your large balance.

Chase Slate® Card

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Discover it®

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If you’re interested in learning more about these cards, read our detailed breakdown of balance transfer credit cards to find the best for you and get an idea of some unique strategies when using these cards.

Research The Best Credit Cards

You will find a simplified summary of nearly two years of research in this directory. Whenever there is a change to any credit card, we are notified by the credit card issuers and we immediately update this page to reflect all new changes.

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About this resource:

Created on: June 13, 2014

Updated on: September 05, 2014

Edited by: Michael Gardon, Sarah Ban

Research by: Mike Jelinek, Michael Gardon

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