Having a reliable rewards credit card is essential in today’s digital era. A rewards credit card provides purchase protection, insurance, a free 30-day interest free loan, rewards points, cash back and so much more.
If you’re going to spend money, you might as well use a credit card to rack up rewards points. For example, every year we use our rewards points to pay for two round-trip tickets to Hawaii, our favorite place on Earth. We also use our rewards points to buy electronics.
My wife and I have spent dozens of hours reviewing over 100 credit cards so you don’t have to. Here’s our selection of the best credit cards today.
Today’s Best Credit Cards By Card Type
Understanding all of the main credit card types available today can help you find the best card for your needs and narrows down the choices quickly.
Here’s a list of the most popular credit cards categories. Some cards fall into more than one category of course, but you can quickly gravitate to the category that’s the most attractive for your spending style and needs.
- Travel Rewards
- Cash Back
- Small Business
- 0% APR / Balance Transfer
- Premium / Luxury
- No Annual Fee
Best Cash Back Credit Cards
Who doesn’t love cash back? Our favorite cash back card is the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card. Cardholders get 1.5% cash back on all purchase. Both my wife and I use this card as are go-to card for all personal expenditures.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- No annual fee
- 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months
- Balance transfer fee = 3%
- 0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months as well!
- Get a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months
- Redeem cash back with no minimums
- Rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open
It’s helpful to know there are four main types of cash back credit cards that can help put more money in your bank account. The best cash back offers have no annual fee.
- Flat Rate – These are the simplest; they offer a set percentage of cash back on any purchase.
- Tiered – Rewards % vary by purchase categories, ex. 1.5% on gas and 6% on groceries.
- Rotating – A combo of flat rate and tiered cards, these offer a flat rate on all purchases plus bonuses on varying categories each quarter.
- Cardholder’s choice – A mix of tiered and rotating types, these let you choose your own categories for extra rewards.
Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Back when traveling was the norm, we always used our Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to book flights, hotels, and more.
Travel rewards credit cards are a wise choice for travel lovers because you can earn more rewards towards trips for each dollar you spend versus most other credit cards. We’ve been to over 60 countries so far.
When you sign up, you 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®.
You also get 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
When it comes to the best travel rewards credit cards, you’ll find large incentive bonuses, typically for miles or points towards travel.
Look for cards with zero or waived foreign transaction fees like Chase Sapphire Reserve. This is an important feature that can add up to a lot of savings when you travel overseas.
Favorite Small Business Credit Card
Our favorite small businesses credit is the Ink Business Cash Credit Card. I’ve used this card for over 10 years and it is a reliable small business credit card offers many important benefits.
- Get $750 cash back if you spend $7,500 in the first three months
- 0% intro APR for the first year on purchases
- Earn 5% cash back on office supplies, internet/cable/phone each year ($25,000 combined limit)
- 2% cash back rewards on gas and restaurants each year ($25,000 combined limit)
- 1% on all other purchases, unlimited rewards
- No annual fee to worry about
- Employee cards are free
- Set personalized account alerts and spending limits for each employee
- Flexible rewards can be redeemed for cash, travel, gift cards, Apple purchases and more
- Built-in fraud and purchase protections covering newly bought items for 120 days against damage or theft (up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account).
- As a cardmember you’ll also enjoy extended warranty for eligible purchases, as the card extends the US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year (on eligible warranties of three years or less).
- A final perk of holding the Ink Business Cash Card is that it offers an auto collision damage waiver. Essentially, when you rent a car for business purposes and charge it to this card, you can decline the rental car company’s collision insurance and be covered by the card in the case of theft or collision damage. This is valid on most rentals both in the US and abroad — make sure to check the fine print for more details.
Best 0% APR Credit Cards
Do you have a large upcoming purchase, want to balance transfer, or need some breathing room in your budget in the short-term? Choose a 0% APR credit card so you have extra time to pay off your bills without paying any interest.
Our favorite 0% introductory APR card is also the Chase Freedom Flex credit card. The 0% APR is good for the first 15 months after account opening.
- Credit score needed: good to excellent
- Sign up bonus: Earn a generous $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- High cash back rates on select categories: For example, get 5% cash back on grocery store purchases of up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Cash back promotions: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in rotating categories each quarter
- 5% cash back on travel purchased in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal,
- 3% cash back on eligible dining at restaurants and drugstore purchases.
- 1% unlimited cash back on everything else
- Annual fee: $0
- Intro APR: You get 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases.
Once you get your card, set yourself some reminders before the introductory period expires and relax.
Best Luxury Credit Card
We love Chase credit cards and our favorite luxury credit card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Here are the many great features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That equates to $750 in travel rewards when you book in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal
- Receive a $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. This is free money that knocks down the fee just for having the card.
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning the $300 travel credit
- 3X points on eligible dining at restaurants and delivery/takeout
- 1X points per every $1 you spend on everything else
- No foreign transaction fees
- $550 Annual Fee. This is easily offset by the $300 annual travel credit and sign up bonus.
Best Credit Card With No Annual Fee
If you are frugal like me, you don’t like paying annual credit card fees. I like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card if you’re looking for the best credit card with no annual fee.
- Introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months
- Credit Score Needed: Good to Excellent
- Welcome Bonus: $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within three months
- Rewards Rate: Flat-rate 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual Fee: $0
The Best Credit Cards
Owning a couple rewards credit cards is smart business. If you are going to buy something, you might as well get rewarded for it. The purchase protection program is also very important given money scams are on the rise during the pandemic.
Never carry a credit card balance after the 0% introductory period is over. Otherwise, you’re letting credit card companies take advantage of you. Spend responsibly and always pay your bill on time. Before you know it, you’ll be collecting a tremendous amount of freebies!
Track Your Net Worth And Put Your Credit Card Rewards To Good Use
Responsible credit card use is great for the convenience and rewards. To help keep easier track of your credit card balances, cash flow, bank accounts, and more sign up for a free account with Personal Capital. Their free and secure online software lets you monitor all of your accounts in one place.
In addition, they have excellent financial tools that help you track your net worth, cash flow, and easily plan for retirement. Check it out for free today.
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About the Author: Sam worked in investment banking for 13 years at two major finance firms. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $265,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, figuring out how to get the best credit card rewards benefitsd, and taking care of his family.
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