Best MasterCard Credit Cards
Looking for the best MasterCard credit cards? Accepted in over 210 countries and territories worldwide, MasterCard is always a good decision. It may not quite have the reach of VISA, but it’s darn close and still offers some great financial products. There are loads of MasterCards out there, and choosing the right one can be difficult. To help start you on pinpointing the card of your dreams, we’ve assembled a list of the best MasterCard credit cards available today.
Keep in mind, many of these cards are also offered as a VISA. When you apply for your card, make sure the form has an option to choose your preferred payment system. If not, you may want to contact customer service directly to ensure you get the right one.
Best No-Fee Cash Back, Card: Capital One® Cash Rewards - $100 Cash Back Bonus
The Upromise card isn’t just for current or aspiring students – it’s ideal for anyone who wants a great cash back program without the hassle of annual fees. It earns 5% cash back through the extensive Upromise mall (this is on top of the 5% bonus you get normally, so you can get 10% back on Gap, Sephora, and hundreds more). On top of that, you get:
- 4% cash back at participating restaurants
- 3% at Exxon or Mobile gas stations
- 2% on movies
- 1% elsewhere
- A $50 signup bonus
You’ll also get 12 months of 0% interest on purchases and transfers, with no annual fee. Perhaps the best part is how you redeem your cash back: you can get a straight-up check, or you can contribute your rewards to a 529 college savings plan or Sallie Mae high-yield savings account, or pay down a Sallie Mae-serviced student loan. It’s not just for college kids: Anyone can benefit from easy cash and up to 10% back.
Best for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Travel rewards are always in high demand. With plane tickets and hotel rooms as expensive as they are, most people could use a few complimentary flights or free night stays. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is everything you could ever want in a travel card and more. To thank you for signing, Chase delivers a massive The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a signup bonus of 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months... From there, points accumulate at 2% on travel and dining and 1% everywhere else. To really amp up your earnings, points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel booked through Chase. One of the Sapphire’s most unique features is the 7% rewards dividend. Once a year, on the anniversary of your signing, you receive a sum of bonus points equal to 7% of your total earnings over the past 12 months. Pretty awesome. The Sapphire does not charge a foreign transaction fee, meaning out-of-country purchases won’t cost an additional 3% like they would with most other cards. At $95, the annual fee may seem a bit steep, but the Sapphire’s killer rewards easily defeat the cost.
Please note: You’ll have to ask a customer service rep to receive a MasterCard rather than a Visa card for the Chase Sapphire.
Best for Balance Transfers and Debt Relief: Citi Simplicity
Unlike the two aforementioned cards, the Citi Simplicity is not geared toward rewards. Instead, it grants reprieve from interest rates. The Simplicity has a 0% APR introductory period that lasts 18 months–one of the longest intro periods we’ve ever seen. There are two main situations in which the Simplicity would be a godsend. If you need to charge a large sum in the near future, the Simplicity will give you a solid year and a half to pay it off without incurring a penny in interest. Or, if you already have a chunk of debt you’re trying to pay off, you can transfer your balance to the Simplicity and put a freeze on interest rates. Remember, you will have to pay a balance transfer fee when dumping debts onto the Simplicity, but this is often far less expensive than continuing to accrue interest. The fee is 3%, which is a considerable improvement over the standard 5%. If you need to take a vacation from interest, check out the Citi Simplicity.
Best Card for Average Credit: Capital One® Cash Rewards
Let’s face it. We can’t all qualify for top-of-the-line rewards credit cards. If your credit score is just okay, the Capital One Cash Rewards – Average Credit is an excellent choice. The APR is pretty standard, and the $39 annual fee is fairly basic, but the rewards are what making it a worthwhile option. Rewards accumulate at 1% on EVERYTHING–groceries, gas, scuba gear, whatever. Points are not capped and will never expire for the life of your account. Redemption options include checks, gift cards and account credits. Capital One puts you in charge of your own rewards. You choose not only how you redeem, but when. Again, is it the best card in the world? No. But if you’re working your way toward better options the Capital One Cash functions as a pretty stellar stepping stone.
Best for Businesses: Chase Ink
Attention business owners! How’s your business credit card look? If you don’t have the Chase Ink, you may want to give it some consideration. The Ink has a rewards system tailored specifically for business needs. It’s of particular use to small business owners who are just getting the ball rolling. It yields 5% back on the first $25,000 spent annually on office supplies, wireless services, landline communication and cable services. You also get another 2% back on gas and lodging up to $25,000 in purchases. If you need to make a few investments or have a chunk of debt to pay down, you’ll appreciate the year-long 0% intro APR. The Chase Ink, wonderfully enough, is backed by both VISA and MasterCard, giving you the best of both worlds.
Best for Students: Citi Platinum Select MasterCard for College Students
On the hunt for your first credit card? The Citi Platinum Select for College Students is a smart option for young adults entering the world of personal finance. It’s a streamlined, no-tricks, no-frills product great for credit card initiates. You don’t need a cosigner, and there is no annual fee. This card doesn’t offer any rewards, but it does come with 7 months of 0% APR. Students have time to make and pay off purchases without incurring interest charges. After 7 months, the ongoing variable APR kicks in at a very reasonable rate (11.99-18.99%). The Platinum Select is the perfect card for students looking to build credit and acquire a big-kid rewards card by graduation.
Best for Bad Credit: Capital One Secured
If your credit score leaves something to be desired, the Capital One Secured MasterCard provides a helping hand. It is the best card for low credit we’ve yet to discover. For starters, the annual fee is nice and low at $29. The security deposit–which all secured credit cards require–will either be $49, $99 or $200 depending on your credit score. Regardless of the minimum, you’ll start with a $200 credit limit not matter what. You can deposit more money to raise your limit (up to $3,000), and the money is refunded when you eventually qualify for a better card and close your account. The APR might seem a little steep at 22.90%, but that’s actually pretty darn reasonable for a credit card for bad credit. The CapOne secured is extraordinarily consumer-friendly, allowing cardholders to pay the security deposit in installments (up to 80 days). We recommend this card to anyone who can’t qualify for an unsecured option. Take some time to demonstrate responsible spending with the CapOne Secured, and you’ll be eligible for a better credit card in no time.