BEST OF

The Top Credit Cards of 2021

Kenley YoungSep 23, 2021

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped household budgets and realigned financial goals. That reality is reflected in the categories we used for choosing credit cards as part of NerdWallet's Best-Of Awards for 2021.

Perhaps you’re focusing less on dining out and more on cooking at home, meaning you could use a good card for the supermarket — preferably one that also rewards purchases made through grocery-delivery services.

Maybe travel isn’t on your radar anytime soon, so instead of paying a triple-digit annual fee for a card with airport lounge access, you’d rather have a solid cash-back rate on takeout or office expenses. Or it could be that your entertainment spending has shifted from concerts and sporting events to Disney+ and two-day delivery on retail therapy, and you need a card that can keep up.

One thing remains the same, though: There’s no such thing as “the best credit card.” There’s only “the best credit card for you.” Whatever your spending priorities look like now, we’ve picked our top 10 credit card offers for 2021, along with a few more options representing the best credit cards for specific needs.

NerdWallet's The Top Credit Cards of 2021

The Top Credit Cards of 2021 From Our Partners

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

Citi® Double Cash Card
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a long-running champion in this category (it won the same NerdWallet honors in 2019 and 2020), thanks to its rich rewards rate of 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy, and 1% when you pay it off. There's no sign-up bonus, but among no-annual-fee cash-back cards, it continues to reign as a simple but extremely effective tool for everyday spending.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate

  • Intro balance transfer fee

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No bonus offer

  • No bonus categories

Read full review
  • 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

Bonus cash back

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

Chase Freedom Flex
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Flex℠

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Regular APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ debuted in 2020 and immediately leapfrogged the competition with its impressive combination of bonus rewards: 5% rotating categories, yes, but also fixed categories like dining, drugstores and eligible travel. You’ll have to track and activate bonus categories, so it’s not the simplest rewards structure on the market — but it can be among the most lucrative.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Bonus categories

  • Cash rewards

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!

  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

  • No annual fee.

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

    Get Pre-Qualified

Our pick for

Flat-rate travel rewards

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$95

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a repeat winner, largely because it's as straightforward and reliable as a travel card can get: Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on every purchase. Using those miles is also refreshingly easy: Redeem them at a value of a penny each toward any eligible travel purchase — from flights, hotels and car rentals to taxis, timeshares, travel agents and more. (You can also transfer rewards to various travel partners, although the per-mile value varies for that.)

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Rewards have limited flexibility

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel

  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day

  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

  • Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs

  • No foreign transaction fees

Our pick for

Bonus travel rewards

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Credit Card
Apply now

on American Express's website

American Express® Gold Card

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$250

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Recommended Credit Score

The American Express® Gold Card has a healthy annual fee, but you get a lot of value in exchange, including super-rich rewards rates in two of the most popular everyday spending categories: restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. That can help you amass a pile of flexible points toward your next vacation. The card also earns generous rewards on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and it comes with multiple perks, transfer partners and credits.

Pros

  • Bonus categories

  • Transfer partners

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Complicated rewards

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review
  • Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).

  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.

  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.

  • Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

  • Annual Fee is $250.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

0% intro APR and balance transfer

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

US Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card
Apply now

on US Bank's website

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on US Bank's website

Annual fee

$0*

Intro APR

0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers*

Regular APR

14.49% - 24.49%* Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card stands out for its super-long interest-free promotion: You get a 0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers*, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 24.49%* Variable APR. That’s a 0% window approaching two years, and the fact that it also applies to balance transfers is key, given that balance transfer cards in general are harder to find right now. It does charge a balance transfer fee, and you won’t earn rewards. But if your goal is financing a large purchase or paying off debt, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better offer.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • Cell phone insurance

Cons

  • No rewards

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No bonus offer

Read full review
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 14.49% - 24.49%.

  • Great offer from U.S. Bank, a 2021 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2021.

  • No Annual Fee*

  • Flexibility to choose a payment due date that fits your schedule.

  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Airline card

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
Apply now

on American Express's website

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $99

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card snags this award for the first time, in part because it launched two new bonus categories in the past year, making it a more useful card for everyday spending. It earns 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, on top of the double miles it offers on eligible Delta purchases. The annual fee is waived in the first year, and there’s an extremely generous checked-bag benefit that other airline credit cards don’t come close to matching. Terms apply. It’s also worth noting that Delta topped NerdWallet’s list of the best airlines to fly during COVID-19, thanks to its health and safety protocols and flexible booking policies.

Pros

  • Free checked bag

  • Early boarding

  • Rewards don't expire

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.

  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.

  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.

  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

  • $100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.

  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Hotel card

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

World Of Hyatt Credit Card
Apply now

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

A winner here last year as well, World of Hyatt Credit Card continues to offer exceptional value for its $95 annual fee, including most notably a free night every anniversary year that can easily offset that cost — plus a way to earn a second one if you spend enough. It offers automatic elite status, too. There’s a rich sign-up bonus, not to mention high ongoing rewards in everyday categories, and those rewards are worth more than double the value of points you earn with larger rival hotel chains. And in NerdWallet’s analysis of hotels that have handled COVID-19 the best, Hyatt was among the top chains in terms of health and social distancing policies.

Pros

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Automatic free night annually

  • Bonus categories

  • Luxury perks

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Complicated rewards

  • Limited redemptions

Read full review
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent

  • Limited Time offer: Apply by 9/30/21 and upon approval you'll receive 2 Tier-Qualifying Night Credits for each night you stay from 8/16/21 through 12/31/21.

  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort.

  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open

  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year

  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card

  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member

  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

Our pick for

College students

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

Discover it® Student chrome
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Discover it® Student chrome

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Regular APR

12.99% - 21.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Discover it® Student chrome won this award last year, too, and the same features push it to the head of the class again for 2021: simplicity and student-friendly rewards. Unlike some other Discover cards, there’s no tracking or activating of bonus categories — what busy student has time for that? Instead, you earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% back on all other purchases. You’re eligible for Discover’s cash-back match bonus, and if you have good grades you may qualify for a $20 statement credit each year for up to five years. One thing to note, however, if you’re studying abroad: Discover is not as widely accepted outside the U.S. as Visa or Mastercard are.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • Qualify with average credit

  • Bonus categories

Cons

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.

  • Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.

  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.

  • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends' recommendations.

  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.

  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99% applies.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Building credit

Top 10 credit card offers for 2021

Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Regular APR

22.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The $0-annual-fee Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a perennial winner here, and it’s little wonder why. For starters, it’s the rare secured card that offers ongoing rewards on your spending. More important, there’s a clear “graduation” path: After eight months, Discover automatically begins reviewing your account for a possible upgrade to a regular unsecured card, at which point your deposit can be returned to you.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit

  • Earns rewards

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • Requires minimum deposit

  • High APR

Read full review
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.

  • Using your secured credit card helps build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, prepaid and debit cards can’t do that.

  • Establish your credit line with your tax return by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.

  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.

  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.

  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Groceries

Best credit cards for specific needs

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
Apply now

on American Express's website

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

If groceries have become an even bigger expense amid the pandemic, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will reward you like no other card can, with an industry-leading 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year (then 1%). Terms apply. And if you’re ordering groceries online, that rich rate also can apply to eligible third-party delivery services like Instacart, Peapod, Amazon Fresh and more. Plus, the card offers bonus cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, U.S. gas stations and eligible transit spending (1% back on everything else). There is an annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95. But you’ll offset it if you spend just $31 per week at U.S. supermarkets alone. Terms apply.

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Bonus categories

  • Intro APR period

  • Cash rewards

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

Read full review
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.

  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.

  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).

  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.

  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).

  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.

  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.

  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Dining out or ordering in

Best credit cards for specific needs

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
Apply now

on US Bank's website

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on US Bank's website

Annual fee

$0*

Intro APR

0%* intro APR on Purchases for 12 billing cycles* and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 Billing cycles

Regular APR

14.99% - 23.99%* Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card launched in 2020 with an essentially unrivaled value proposition: an eye-popping 4X rewards rate on dining — including takeout and delivery — for a $0* annual fee. To be sure, you can find cards that match or exceed that rate at restaurants, but those products all charge annual fees, ranging from almost $100 to nearly $500. This card costs nothing to carry and is also a solid option for groceries, gas and eligible streaming purchases.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Bonus categories

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. That's a $200 value redeemable towards merchandise, gift cards, cash back, travel and more

  • Earn 4X points on takeout, food delivery and dining

  • Earn 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations and on streaming services

  • $15 credit for annual streaming service purchases such as Netflix and Spotify

  • No annual fee*

  • 1X point per $1 on all other eligible purchases

  • Low Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Points never expire

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Staying at home

Best credit cards for specific needs

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

14.24% - 22.24%, Variable

Recommended Credit Score

In this new category for 2021, the $0-annual-fee Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card stands out for what it delivers on, well, whatever you get delivered. Yes, to get the card you must have an Amazon Prime membership, which isn’t free — but if you’re already among the well more than 100 million users of Prime in the U.S., it's an easy call. It offers 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods, and that applies to purchases through services like Amazon Fresh, Prime Now and Prime Pantry. It also applies to WholeFoods.com. Plus, you’ll earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% everywhere else. Streaming services aren't a bonus category, but Prime video and music streaming services are included with your membership — which you can pay for (and earn 5% back on) with this card.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate

  • Flexible rewards redemption

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • Must be a member/customer

  • No 0% intro APR

Read full review
  • 5% Back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership*

  • 2% Back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores

  • 1% Back on all other purchases

  • No annual credit card fee

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • <i>The information related to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card</i>

TO RECAP OUR EDITORIAL SELECTIONS

TOP 10 CREDIT CARD OFFERS FOR 2021

2021's BEST CARDS FOR SPECIFIC NEEDS

Best flat-rate cash-back card Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Best small-business cash-back card Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Best bonus rewards cash-back card  Chase Freedom Flex℠

Best card for groceries Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Best flat-rate travel rewards card Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Best card for dining out or ordering in  U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

Best bonus travel rewards card  American Express® Gold Card

Best card for staying at home  Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Best no-annual-fee travel rewards card Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card NOTE: This card is no longer accepting applications.

Best 0% intro APR and balance transfer card U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Best airline card Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Best hotel card  World of Hyatt Credit Card

Best card for college students Discover it® Student chrome

Best card for building credit Discover it® Secured Credit Card

PAST YEARS

Top 10 credit card offers of 2020

  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: Best for flat-rate cash back

  • Discover it® Cash Back: Best for bonus category cash back

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for flat-rate travel rewards

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for bonus travel rewards

  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best for no-annual-fee travel rewards

  • Amex EveryDay® Credit Card: Best for balance transfers

  • U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: Best for 0% intro APR

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best premium card

  • ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card: Best for fair credit

  • Discover it® Secured Credit Card: Best for building credit

2020's best credit cards for specific needs

  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business: Best for small-business cash back

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for small-business travel

  • Discover it® Student chrome: Best for college students

  • Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students: Best for international students

  • United℠ Explorer Card: Best airline card

  • World of Hyatt Credit Card: Best hotel card

  • Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®: Best store card

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for families

  • Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and entertainment

  • Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card: Best for gas

Top 10 credit card offers of 2019

  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for flat-rate travel

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for bonus travel rewards

  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best for no-annual-fee travel

  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: Best for flat-rate cash back

  • Discover it® Cash Back: Best for bonus cash back

  • Amex EveryDay® Credit Card: Best for balance transfers

  • U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: Best for 0% interest

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best premium card

  • Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for fair credit

  • Discover it® Secured Credit Card: Best for building credit

2019's best credit cards for specific needs

  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business: Best for small-business cash back

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for small-business travel

  • Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students: Best for college students

  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card: Best airline card

  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card: Best hotel card

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best store card

  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best gas card

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for families

  • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and entertainment

Top 10 credit card offers of 2018

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best flat-rate travel rewards card

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best bonus category travel rewards card

  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: Best flat-rate cash back card

  • Discover it® Cash Back: Best bonus category cash back card

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best family card

  • Citi Simplicity® Card: Best 0% Intro APR card

  • Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best card for fair/average credit

  • Discover it® Secured Credit CardBest card for building credit

  • Discover it® Student Cash Back: Best card for college students

  • SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express: Best small business card

Top 10 credit card offers of 2017

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best flat-rate travel rewards card

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best bonus category travel rewards card

  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: Best flat-rate cash back card

  • Chase Freedom®: Best bonus category cash back card

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best card for everyday spending

  • Chase Slate®Best card for balance transfers

  • Citi Simplicity® Card: Longest 0% Intro APR period

  • Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best card for fair/average credit

  • Discover it® Student Cash Back: Best card for college students

  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business: Best small business card

Top 10 credit card offers of 2016

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for travel

  • (TIE) — Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®: Easiest travel redemption

  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: Best for cash back

  • Chase Freedom®: Best for bonus categories

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for everyday spending

  • Chase Slate®Best for balance transfers

  • Citi Simplicity® Card: Longest 0% Intro APR period

  • Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students: Best for students

  • Ink Plus® Business Credit Card: Best for business

  • Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®: Best for fair/average credit

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, see this page.

Information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

All information about the Capital One Spark Cash for Business has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is no longer available through NerdWallet.

Last updated on September 23, 2021

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.