Credit Card Reviews
If you want an unbiased credit card review or an in-depth take on rewards, interest rates and more, you’ve come to the right place. NerdWallet will help you find the best credit cards for your credit score, spending habits, and tolerance of fees. Here, we’ve assembled our reviews of our most popular credit cards. Whether you’re a jetsetter looking to avoid foreign transaction fees and rack up airline miles, a student looking for your first credit card, or simply trying to shed debt and rebuild your credit score, we’ve got you covered.
Reviews of our favorite credit cards:
Cash back classics:
- Chase Freedom® - $200 Bonus: a no-fee, cash back rewards favorite that’s ideal for any spending profile
- American Express Blue Cash: perfect for families, giving an impressive 6% cash back on up to $6k spent on groceries a year, unlimited 3% on gas and department stores and 1% elsewhere
- Discover it: Get rewards and get out of debt, fee-free!
- Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: No fees, no hassle – just 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent.
- U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card: Power to the people – you can choose your own 5% cash back categories
Travel card mainstays:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: a travel card popular among the NerdWallet staff for its 2% rewards rate on all purchases
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®: a newly re-branded favorite of the travel card world
- BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card: you’ll earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend on purchases – no gimmicks, no complications
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: stellar signup bonus. Enough said.
- American Express Platinum: combines prestige with practicality, perfect for big spenders who like to travel in style
- American Express Blue Sky: A flat 1.33 miles per dollar on every purchase – with no annual fee to boot.
- American Express Gold Card: If you’re not ready to spring for the Platinum’s $450 annual fee, the Gold Card is a good consolation prize.
- Discover Escape: Not the best, but…
- United MileagePlus Explorer: Great for United travelers, with waived bag fees galore.
- US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards: Vying with the Discover Escape for the coveted title of “Most Underwhelming Travel Card”
Ye olde Discover cards:
(Now replaced by the shiny-new Discover It)
- Citi Forward: the top card for urbanites, with 5% back at restaurants, bars, movies and more
- Chase Disney Rewards and Disney Rewards Premier: I mean, it is the happiest place on earth, but still.
- NFL credit card: Not just for fans, the NFL card is good if you have just-this-side-of-good credit.
Airline credit cards:
- Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa: EMV chips, free checked bags and a $100 discount every year? Tell me more!
- Southwest Airlines credit card: Don’t mind declaring your loyalty to one airline? The Southwest card will reward your devotion. (Don’t forget its partner, the AirTran A+ Credit Card.)
- British Airways Visa: If you’re an international traveler looking for a step up from Southwest, the BA Visa offers an unparalleled suite of perks.
- American Express Delta Skymiles card: Check bags? Got a lotta people on your reservation? Oh, the places you’ll go.
- Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard: Say “Aloha” to more frequent and affordable vacations!
Hotel credit cards:
- Starwood American Express: Our favorite hotel card for its estimated 2.3% base rewards rate and numerous, high-end benefits like every 3rd night free
- Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: Great perks and great rewards, without the hefty price
- The American Express Hilton HHonors suite: Depending on what you’re looking for, a good alternative to the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
- Marriott credit card: It’s expensive, but don’t let that fool you – it’s well worth the fees
- Chase Hyatt credit card: A pretty baller card for a pretty baller hotel chain
- Orbitz Rewards Visa credit card: Execllent rewards on hotels booked through Orbitz, with no annual or foreign transaction fee
0% interest cards:
- Citi Simplicity: Pretty much the best 0% card out there, it offers an industry-leading 0% APR promotion period for transfers and purchases, and even better, has no late fees or penalty APR.
- Citi Platinum Select credit card: A perennial favorite for its long 0% purchase and transfer APR periods, the Citi Platinum Select is a great way to get rid of existing debt or make a big purchase and take your time paying it off.
- Citi Diamond Preferred: Yet another industry-leading zero APR promo for transfers and purchases – are you sensing a theme here?
- Chase Slate: Getting you organized so you can get out of debt
- Bank of America Better Balance: Getting paid to do more than the minimum sounds better than it actually is.
- Citi Forward for College Students: An excellent option for any college student who eats out, gets delivery, goes to bars, buys textbooks, shops at Amazon.com or goes to the movies. Which is pretty much every college student.
- Capital One Journey Student Card: With a higher base rewards rate than the Forward, it’s a solid choice if you don’t buy textbooks or eat out, and hate the smiley face on the Amazon boxes
- Orchard Bank credit card: Orchard Bank goes out of its way to help you rebuild your credit, and its secured card offers better terms than pretty much anyone else
- HSBC credit cards: The famed lender to the less-than-stellar borrowers
- Capital One Secured MasterCard: More accessible than the Orchard Bank, it allows you to pay your security deposit in installments and has a minimum deposit as low as $49
- The Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus, the Chase Ink Cash, and how do decide which is best for your business.
- Capital One Spark cards: Another killer suite of cards, these are more versatile, offering 2% back on all purchases with no spending caps or thresholds.
- American Express SimplyCash: We don’t love it, but it’s still a solid card.
- American Express Business Platinum: If you travel for work, this will make your life much, much better – take it from anyone who’s had to wait in a customs line after a flight back from China.
- American Express Plum Card: A charge card from Amex that offers the flexibility of deferring payment or earning rewards.
- The Walmart MoneyCard: A popular choice, but is it the best?
- PerkStreet Financial Debit Card: Earning rewards in a time when free checking seems to be going the way of the dinosaur.