Best of

Best Mastercard Credit Cards of April 2020

NerdWalletMarch 18, 2020

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

NerdWallet's Best Mastercard Credit Cards of April 2020

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card

on Citibank's application

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Recommended Credit Score
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is one of the best rewards cards on the market, partly because it’s so simple: You get straight cash back — there are no points or bonus categories to keep track of. Cardholders can shop as they normally would and get a high rewards rate on every purchase.

Pros

The card offers a 2% cash-back rate on all purchases: You get 1% back on every dollar you spend and another 1% back when you pay off your purchases, for an annual fee of $0.

Cons

This offer does not include a sign-up bonus or a 0% intro APR period on purchases, nor does the card have any bonus categories. Higher cash-back percentages can be had on different cards for specific categories. There’s a minimum cash-back redemption of $25.
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Our pick for

Balance transfers

Citibank Simplicity Credit Card

on Citibank's application

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months

Recommended Credit Score
The long 0% intro APR period for balance transfers on the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever makes this a solid card if you need breathing room to pay off debt.

Pros

This card is for someone who needs extra time to pay down debt. It has an annual fee of $0, and it offers an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR, not to mention no late fees.

Cons

The card charges a balance transfer fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater. You can’t transfer balances from other Citi accounts, and you won't earn rewards. The 0% intro APR period for purchases is significantly shorter than for transfers.
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, No Annual Fee… Ever.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges.

Our pick for

College students

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

on Deserve's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

20.24% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is an excellent option for students who can’t qualify for a credit card because they lack a U.S. credit history, a Social Security number or both.

Pros

The card is ideal for students who can't get approved for other cards because they lack a credit history. International students who don't have a Social Security number may be able to qualify. That's because the issuer uses its own underwriting process to evaluate applications based on alternative criteria. Cardholders get unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases and a statement credit for a 12-month Amazon Prime Student subscription (up to $59).

Cons

Rewards are redeemable only for statement credit, and you’ll have to wait until you have $25 in rewards (equal to $2,500 in spending) before you can redeem. Other cards offer higher rewards rates, if you can qualify for them.
  • No SSN required for International students.
  • Available to students (enrollment verification is required).
  • Amazon Prime Student on us (get reimbursed for subscription fees up to a lifetime total of $59).
  • 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • Credit limits up to $5,000.
  • $0 annual fee & no foreign transaction fees.
  • No security deposit or co-signer required.
  • Helps students build credit history and gain financial independence.
  • Use anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted.
  • Includes Mastercard Platinum Benefits like Travel Assistance Services, Extended Warranty, and ID Theft Protection
  • Complimentary cellphone insurance up to $600.

Last updated on March 18, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.