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Best Visa Credit Cards of October 2020

NerdWalletSeptember 17, 2020

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Visa credit cards are widely accepted both in the United States and outside the country. If you’re looking for a new one, options abound — which is good because there’s no such thing as a single “best” Visa card for everybody. To decide which card is best for you, consider your spending, debt and rewards preferences. Here are our top picks for credit cards on the Visa network.

NerdWallet's Best Visa Credit Cards of October 2020

Best Visa Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Bonus travel rewards

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

If you're staunchly loyal to a single airline or hotel, a co-branded card might provide specific benefits that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does not. But if you want flexibility in earning and redeeming rewards for a reasonable annual fee, this is the best card around.

Pros

Unlike with cards tied to a specific airline or hotel brand, you can use rewards from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in many places. You earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Points are worth 25% more when you use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, or you can transfer them at a 1:1 rate to several loyalty programs. The sign-up bonus is a huge plus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Cons

As a general travel card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lacks the special perks — such as free checked bags and free anniversary nights at a hotel — offered by some co-branded cards airline and hotel cards.

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

Our pick for

Premium features

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$550

Regular APR

16.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

The best premium travel card on the market gives you both top-notch rewards (what you get for using the card) and valuable perks (what you get just for carrying the card).

Pros

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives you 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on all other spending. Points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, or you can transfer them on a 1:1 basis to a dozen hotel and airline partners, possibly giving you even more value. You get $300 a year in credit for travel expenses. Add in the big sign-up bonus, and this card can easily pay for itself and then some, even with an annual fee of $550.

Cons

The $550 annual fee is a significant out-of-pocket expense. Much of the value of this card is tied to the $300 annual travel credit; if you don’t travel much, this isn’t the card for you.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

Our pick for

Small-business travel

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

15.99% - 20.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers one of the richest sign-up bonuses available on any credit card, anywhere, and it pays handsome rewards in a variety of categories.

Pros

If your business spends enough to earn it, the sign-up bonus can offer a value of $1,250 if you redeem the points for travel booked through Chase. (You can also transfer points to a dozen or so airline and hotel programs, including United, Southwest, Marriott and Hyatt.) You'll earn 3 points per dollar on up to $150,000 a year in spending on travel, telecommunications (internet, phone and cable), shipping, and advertising on social media and search engines; all other spending earns 1 point per dollar.

Cons

This card's bonus categories aren't a good fit for all business owners. There's an annual fee of $95. After the first year, you’d have to spend at least $2,534 before the rewards make up for the annual fee. This might not matter as much to you, though, if you deduct the fee as a business expense on your taxes.

  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST VISA CREDIT CARDS

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Our pick for: Flat-rate cash back

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is designed for big spenders, although perhaps not the biggest spenders. It offers the highest ongoing rewards rate of any flat-rate cash-back card, but it also charges an annual fee, and it limits the amount of spending that earns rewards. (That limit is high, but it's still a limit.) If you're expecting to put more than $2,500 a month on a credit card, this is an excellent one to put it on. Read our review.

Our pick for: Bonus category cash back

The Chase Freedom® offers bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate. In past years, those categories have included common spending areas like gas stations, grocery stores, department stores and drugstores. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending matches the categories — and for a lot of people, it will — you can rack up hundreds of dollars a year. There's a nice sign-up bonus offer and a 0% intro APR period, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Customizable categories cash back

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gives you a little more control over your credit card rewards by letting you choose which category earns the highest cash-back rate, from a list that includes gas stations, restaurants, travel and others. You also get bonus rewards at grocery stores and supermarkets, plus a great new-cardholder bonus offer. Read our review.

Our pick for: Flat-rate travel rewards

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is probably the best-known general-purpose travel credit card, thanks to its ubiquitous advertising. You earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and miles can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent apiece for any travel purchase, without the blackout dates and other restrictions of branded hotel and airline cards. The card offers a great sign-up bonus and other worthwhile perks. Read our review.

Our pick for: Bonus travel rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2X points on travel and dining for a reasonable annual fee. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel booked through Chase, or you could transfer them to about a dozen airline and hotel partners. The sign-up bonus is stellar, too. Read our review. 

Our pick for: 0% interest period

A lengthy 0% introductory APR period for both purchases and balance transfers has made the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card a NerdWallet favorite. Read our review.

Our pick for: Premium features 

The high annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives many potential applicants pause, but frequent travelers should be able to wring enough value out of this card to more than make up for the cost. A fat sign-up bonus, annual travel credits, airport lounge access, 3X points on travel and dining, and a 50% boost in point value when you redeem for travel booked through Chase all add to the appeal. Points can also be transferred to about a dozen airline and hotel partners. Read our review. 

Our pick for: Small-business cash back 

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is an excellent option for business operators whose expenses are all over the map and don't fall into the bonus categories on other business credit cards. You get a high, flat rewards rate on every purchase, with no limit to how much you can earn. There's a great sign-up bonus offer, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Small-business travel

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card starts you off with one of the biggest sign-up bonuses of any credit card anywhere (assuming you spend enough to earn it), then gives you bonus rewards in common business spending categories. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, or you can transfer them to about a dozen airline and hotel partners. Read our review.

Our pick for: Gas 

For some, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card won’t be an easy card to apply for, and redeeming points might be a hassle. But if you need a sky-high return on your gas spending, it may be the card for you. Read our review.

Last updated on September 17, 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.