Because each credit card offers its own unique set of perks, the top credit card for one person may not be the same for another. Some families might benefit more from a solid travel credit card, while others would get more value from cash-back rewards. Others still might need a balance transfer credit card that could help them get out of debt.
The fact that each of the top credit cards is so different makes it crucial to conduct due diligence before you sign up. By comparing the top 10 credit cards side-by-side, you can find the best offer that matches your goals and spending habits.
The Simple Dollar’s Top 10 Credit Cards Available Today
To make this process a bit easier for you, we created a list of what we consider the top 10 credit cards available today. Browse the offers below to find cards with the biggest signup bonuses and best ongoing perks.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best Travel Credit Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is consistently named the top travel rewards credit card, and for good reason. Not only does this card make earning points a piece of cake — the points you earn are immensely valuable for all types of travel.
Racking up points is easy. Once you start using your card, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend and two points per dollar on dining and travel purchases. If you want, you can also shop online through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to earn additional points for every purchase you make.
Once you score the huge signup bonus and start earning points, you’ll have a world of options when it comes to redeeming them. Depending on your needs, you can transfer your points to one of the many popular Chase travel partners at a 1:1 ratio, book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for 25% more value, or redeem your points for cash back, merchandise, or gift cards.
The ease of earning points and the flexibility you get when you redeem them has made the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card a clear winner in our book. Here are some additional highlights to consider, along with details on this card’s current offer:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for Groceries
If you’re mostly looking for a way to earn cash back on your regular purchases, it would be hard to find a better offer than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. With this card in your wallet, you’ll score an amazing 6% cash back on your first $6,000 spent in U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%). By maxing out this benefit alone, you’ll earn a whopping $360 a year.
As an added bonus, you’ll also earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, then 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can redeem your points as a statement credit, then spend your “bonus dollars” on anything you want.
The only downside to this card, however, is the fact that it charges an annual fee (See Rates & Fees). The rewards will certainly outweigh the costs of the annual fee if you use it at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets for purchases, but that’s still worth considering.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Chase Freedom®: Best Bonus Categories
When it comes to no-annual-fee, cash-back cards with rotating categories, you can’t beat the Chase Freedom®. With this card, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend, and five points per dollar on your first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate every quarter. These bonus categories change each year, but they usually include things like dining out, gas and transportation, and holiday shopping. Read our review of the Chase Freedom® for details on this year’s categories.
Since this card doesn’t charge an annual fee, you can score big with rewards without paying a dime as long as you never carry a balance or pay interest. And once you start earning, you can redeem your points for cash back, gift cards, or purchases made through Amazon.com in almost any increment you want. Keep reading to learn more.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best Ongoing Rewards
If you want to earn cash-back rewards without keeping track of rotating bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another top credit card to consider. With this card, you’ll earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Once you start earning cash back, you can cash them in for straight-up cash back, gift cards, or purchases made through Amazon.com.
Like the traditional Chase Freedom®, this card also pairs well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. When you have both, you can pool your points in your Sapphire account and use them for travel.
The fact that this card doesn’t charge an annual fee helped it land on our top cards list, along with additional perks like fraud liability protection, purchase protection, and auto rental collision damage waiver. More details are listed below.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Discover it® Miles: Best Spending Bonus This Year
While the Discover it® Miles card doesn’t offer a traditional signup bonus, you can earn a ton of rewards thanks to the huge spending bonus you’ll get after 12 months. Look at the whole package, and you’ll see why it ended up on this list.
Here’s how it works: The Discover it® Miles offers 1.5 “Miles” for every dollar you spend, but Discover promises to match that amount after the first 12 months. As a result, you’ll really earn big – with no limits or caps – for your first year. It’s hard to beat that.
Since the Discover it® Miles doesn’t charge an annual fee, this is a card you can keep in your wallet forever, too — long after they match your miles in your first year. You’ll continue to earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back in every subsequent year you use the card. Check out our review of the Discover it® Miles, then keep reading to learn more.
Discover it® Miles
Ink Plus® Business Credit Card: Best Card for Business
If you’re on board the Chase bandwagon already, you know how lucrative Chase Ultimate Rewards can be. Truthfully, getting the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card is a no-brainer if you’re a Chase cardholder and own a small business.
With this card, you’ll get all the benefits offered by premier Chase cards. First, you’ll be able to transfer the points you earn to popular Chase travel partners (such as Southwest Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, and more) at a 1:1 ratio. Second, you can use your points to book travel through the Chase portal and score a 20% discount in the process. And if you don’t like either of those options, you can also redeem your points for cash back, gift cards, or merchandise instead. With all of those options, it’s hard to go wrong.
Beyond the card’s affiliation with Chase Ultimate Rewards, its huge signup bonus helped it land on our list of top credit cards right now. All in all, this card is a great option if you want to pair a couple of Chase cards for optimal earning capacity and the most rewards.
*This offer is currently unavailable
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®: Best Card for ‘Travel Credit’
If you love to travel but don’t like dealing with traditional rewards programs, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® should be at the top of your list. With this card, you’ll earn fixed-value rewards that can be used to book any type of travel.
In addition to its huge signup bonus, this card also lets you earn 2X miles on every purchase. Once you start earning, you can redeem your miles for any type of travel with no need to worry about blackout dates or capacity controls. Book a cruise, a hotel room, or a flight to anywhere with your card, then redeem your miles to cover the purchase. It’s as simple as that.
If you hate navigating complex rewards programs, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is easily the top option out there. Plus, there are other benefits to consider.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card: Best Airline Miles
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card offers the best deal for families who travel domestically and to the Caribbean. With this card, you’ll earn a huge signup bonus that can easily be worth several flights on its own. Plus, you’ll earn one point for every dollar spent and two points on all Southwest Airlines purchases.
When it comes to redeeming your points, you’ll find a ton of value. That’s because Southwest Airlines redemptions are fare-based, meaning you can shop around for the best deal. If you’re willing to fly in the middle of the week or at unpopular times, you can easily stretch your points pretty far.
As an added bonus, the Southwest Rapid Rewards program has no blackout dates and no capacity controls. Even better, your first two checked bags are free. Read below to find out more about this card, and why we consider it the top airline card for domestic travel available:
Please Note: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is currently unavailable through this site.
Chase Slate®: Best for Balance Transfers
If you’re carrying a lot of high-interest debts and want a way out, look no further than the Chase Slate®. With this card, you’ll get 0% Introductory APR on transferred balances for the first 15 months. Plus, there’s no balance transfer fee if you move your balances within the first 60 days. After that, 5% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.
Since most balance transfer cards charge a fee of 3% or more to transfer balances upfront, this is easily the top balance transfer card out there. Best of all, it doesn’t charge an annual fee, either.
If you’re in debt, you should consider using this top balance transfer credit card to help you get out of debt. With 0% Introductory APR for 15 months, you can save money on interest and pay down your debt a whole lot faster.
Please note: The Chase Slate® offer is currently unavailable through this site.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card: Best Hotel Credit Card
Looking for a hotel credit card that pays off? We suggest starting with the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. There are a few factors that helped this card land on our top cards list. First, you can use your points to book a stay at more than 4,600 InterContinental Hotels Group properties around the world (including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Klimpton, and other brands). Second, this card has an extremely low annual fee, and even that’s waived the first year. Third, this card doles out a free night at any IHG property worldwide on each account anniversary.
If you’re looking for a hotel credit card to keep for the long haul, you won’t find a better deal than this. Read our review of the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card before you sign up.
Please Note: IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card offer is currently unavailable.
The Bottom Line
The top credit card for your wallet depends on your spending habits, preferred rewards, and overall credit health. Before you choose a card that you might keep for a decade or longer, make sure to check out our guides on the top credit cards in each area. The more information you have, the more likely you are to find the ideal card for your needs.
- Best Rewards Credit Cards
- Best Travel Credit Cards
- Best Cash Back Credit Cards
- Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Choosing just the top 10 credit cards is no small feat. To create this list, we compared an array of factors and benefits offered by each type of card, then assessed how valuable those benefits would be to the average consumer. On top of that, we factored in other perks that sweetened the deal – things like signup bonuses, special promotions, and rewards programs. Finally, we rounded out our analysis by considering ongoing APRs and annual fees.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
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