Looking for the best VISA credit cards? Smart move. VISA is the world’s most widely accepted payment network and offers slightly better benefits than its primary competitor. If you’re looking at the big four (VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover), VISA is almost always the optimal choice. That said, there are tons of VISA cards floating around out there, and, admittedly, not all of them are great. To help narrow your selection, we’ve assembled a list of the best VISA credit cards broken down by category type.
Best VISA Credit Card Overall: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
on Capital One's
on Capital One's
Best Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Another stellar travel card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred gives the Venture a run for its money. Though its base rate isn’t quite as high, it offers a unique array of benefits that combine to provide some phenomenal rewards. To kick off your earnings, you get a signup bonus of Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Then, you get 2% back on travel and dining, while everything else generates a steady 1%. If you use your points to book travel through Chase, they automatically become 25% more valuable. Like the Venture, the Sapphire does not charge a foreign transaction fee, making it a great overseas companion. The annual fee is Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.
Best Cash Back Card: Chase Freedom
Why complicate credit card rewards with complex points systems and convoluted redemption processes? With the Chase Freedom, your rewards come in the form of no-nonsense cash. You don’t have to pay an annual fee, so all earnings result in immediate profit. The base rewards rate is 1% across the board, but the Freedom also comes with rotating 5% bonus categories. These categories change quarterly to reflect seasonal spending habits. Here’s the 2014 bonus category calendar:
- Q1 (January 1 – March 31): Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks stores
- Q2 (April 1 – June 30): Restaurants and Lowe’s home improvement stores
- Q3 (July 1 – September 30): Gas stations and Kohl’s
- Q4 (October 1 – December 31): Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores
Additionally, you can receive up to 20% back when you shop at the Chase Ultimate Rewards online bonus mall. If you sign up right now, you’ll get a nice signup bonus right off the bat: Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening The Freedom, with no annual fee and high cash back rewards, is a tough card to beat.
Best for Debt Relief
So far, all of the cards listed have emphasized rewards. The Chase Slate serves a different purpose. It’s crafted for folks who need a little time to pay down debts without incurring further interest. It’s one of the best deals on the market, offering 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99% (V). It’s that combination that makes the Slate perfect for anyone who wants some time to pay off debt interest-free: Because there’s no transfer fee, no matter how large your debt is, you’ll come out ahead if you can pay off your balance in the 15-month zero APR period. If you carry a balance, look to the Slate for some relief.
Best for Businesses: Chase Ink
on Chase 's
on Chase 's
Citi Platinum Select MasterCard for College Students
Students looking for their first credit card should take a gander at the Citi Forward for College Students. The Citi Forward offers rewards that reflect the college lifestyle. You get 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent on entertainment and dining out, while everything else garners a flat 1%. The 7-month introductory APR period grants a nice cushion of time before interest rates kick in, which can be a real boon to young adults adjusting to the credit card game. We really like the Forward because it rewards students for good financial behavior. If you stay under your spending limit and keep up with payments, you can receive up to 1,200 bonus points and a 2% APR reduction. The signup bonus currently stands at 10,000 points when you spend $650 and sign up for paperless statements.