BEST OF

Best Visa Credit Cards of October 2021

NerdWalletOct 20, 2021

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ALSO SEE: Best credit cards of 2021 || Visa || Mastercard || American Express || Discover || Bank of America® || Capital One || Chase || Citi || US Bank || Wells FargoVisa 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 2021

Our pick for

Bonus category cash back

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® was already a fine card when it offered 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Now it's even better, with bonus rewards on travel booked through Chase, as well as at restaurants and drugstores. New cardholders get a great bonus offer, too.

Pros

  • This card earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase; 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores; and 1.5% back on other purchases. New cardholders can snag this sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Cons

  • While you can earn big rewards on travel bookings with this card, it also charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, so it's not a good companion abroad.

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 unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% 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

Customizable categories cash back

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Apply now

on Bank of America's website, or call 877-754-6706

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Bank of America's website, or call 877-754-6706

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-3%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

The option to pick a 3% cash-back category among a list of six makes the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card a flexible pick, and it can become even more valuable if you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program.

Pros

  • This card offers useful options for your 3% cash back category: gas, travel, dining, drugstores, online shopping or furniture/home improvement stores. You also get 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. (The 3% and 2% rewards are capped at $2,500 in combined spending per quarter; all other spending earns 1% back.) Cardholders eligible for the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program earn higher rewards rates. The annual fee is $0.

Cons

  • It has a complicated rewards structure, and spending caps make it most appealing for low spenders. If you're a big spender with excellent credit and willing to pay an annual fee, there are cards with higher rewards. Even a flat-rate cash-back Visa might be better.

Read full review
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases

  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.

  • No annual fee and no expiration on rewards

  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.

  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap

  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Our pick for

Flat-rate travel rewards

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

Rewards rate

2x

Miles

Intro offer

60,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Simple rewards and flexible redemption have rightly made the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card one of the most popular credit cards on the market.

Pros

  • Earn 5 miles per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar spent on everything else. Redeem miles for statement credit against most travel expenses. You’re not restricted to one airline or hotel, as is the case with co-branded cards. Just book your own travel, then pay for it with rewards.

Cons

  • You won’t find airline-specific perks with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. If you’re loyal to one particular airline or hotel chain, for example, it might be worth comparing this card with its co-branded cards.

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 a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get our best prices on thousands of trip options

  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel

  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

  • No foreign transaction fees

Our pick for

Bonus travel rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

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 5 points per $1 spent on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3 points per $1 spent on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout), select streaming services, and online grocery purchases (not including Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2 points per $1 spent on travel not purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases. 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 60,000 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®.

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.

Read full review
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.

  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.

  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories

  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.

  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

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

    Get Pre-Qualified

Our pick for

0% interest period

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*

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

If you need to spread out payments on a purchase as long as possible without interest, here's your card.

Pros

  • The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card gives you a good long time to pay off a major purchase. You get 0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers*, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 24.49%* Variable APR.

Cons

  • This card offers no rewards, so there's not a very compelling incentive to keep using it after the 0% intro period runs out.

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

Premium features

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$550

Rewards rate

1x-10x

Points

Intro offer

50,000

Points

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 10 points per dollar spent on Chase Dining purchases, hotel stays, and car rental purchases made through Ultimate Rewards®; 5 points per dollar spent on air travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®; 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining not booked with Chase; and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. 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.

Read full review
  • 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. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit

  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • 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

  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Our pick for

Small-business cash back

Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$150

Rewards rate

2%

Cashback

Intro offer

$1,000

Recommended Credit Score

With unlimited 2% cash back, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a great deal on its own and can be a powerful complement to the other cards in your wallet.

Pros

  • Flat-rate rewards cards are like khakis: boring, but they go with everything. When you pair this 2% cash-back card with a tiered rewards card, you’ll always earn more than the “1% back on everything else” that most cards promise. If you’re a one-credit-card type of entrepreneur, a flat-rate card like this will likely offer better long-term value than a tiered rewards card.

Cons

  • You’ll break even on the annual fee only if you put more than $7,500 on the card per year. If you plan to spend less, consider a no-annual-fee card instead.

Read full review
  • Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere—with no limits or category restrictions

  • Earn an annual $200 cash bonus every year you spend $200,000 or more

  • Comes with no preset spending limit, so it can adapt to your needs based on your spending behavior, payment history and credit profile

  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount

  • Add employee cards for free, and earn unlimited 2% cash back from their purchases

  • $150 annual fee

  • Spark Cash Plus has no APR because your balance is due in full every month

Our pick for

Small-business travel

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Apply now

on Chase's website

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

100,000

Points

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.

Read full review
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $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 Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.

  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.

  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open

  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

  • $95 Annual Fee

Our pick for

Gas

Pentagon Federal Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card
Apply now

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

15,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

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.

Pros

  • If you’re willing to endure a little hassle in joining this credit union and using its points, it’s hard to beat the return in points on this card, which has an annual fee of $0. Each $1 spent on gas earns the equivalent of 4.25 cents when redeemed for gift cards, which is a superb return. It also helps at the supermarket. The card isn’t issued by a megabank, if that appeals to you.

Cons

  • To apply, you need to join the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, an organization that caters to military and government employees. (You can also join by making a charitable donation.) There is no cash-back option; just merchandise, gift cards and travel. Also, points generally aren’t worth the traditional penny apiece. You’ll typically get a value of 0.85 cent each, although points can be worth more than a penny when used for travel.

Read full review
  • Rate and offers current as of October 1, 2021 and subject to change.

  • New Acquisition Bonus: 15,000 points after $1,500 spend during first 3 months of card open date

  • Earn 5x points for gas purchases at the pump and electric vehicle charging stations

  • Earn 3x points for supermarket purchases, restaurants/dining, and cable, satellite and other television/radio/streaming services

  • Earn 1x point on all other purchases

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • No cash advance fee

  • Chip and Contactless ‘Tap to Pay’ enabled for added security, ease and convenience at the point of sale

  • Click and Pay eligible, via Secure Remote Commerce, so you can enjoy easy and secure online buying checkout

  • Digital wallet capable

  • Purchase variable rate as low as 13.49% APR

  • 0% promotional rate for 12 months on balance transfers made between now and March 31, 2022. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be a non-variable rate of 17.99%. 3% balance transfer fee per transaction. Subject to credit approval. If you take advantage of this balance transfer, you will immediately be charged interest on all purchases made with your credit card unless you pay the entire account balance, including balance transfers, in full each month by the payment due date.

  • Cash Advance APR 17.99%

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 Unlimited® was already a fine card when it offered 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Now it's even better, with bonus rewards on travel booked through Chase, as well as at restaurants and drugstores. On top of all that, new cardholders get a 0% introductory APR period and the opportunity to earn a sweet cash bonus. Read our review.

Our pick for: Customizable categories cash back

The Bank of America® Customized 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 5 miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases. 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

For a reasonable annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 5 points per $1 spent on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3 points per $1 spent on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout), select streaming services, and online grocery purchases (not including Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2 points per $1 spent on travel not purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel booked through Chase, or you can 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. Cardholders earn 10 points per dollar spent on Chase Dining purchases, as well as hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Ultimate Rewards®; 5 points per dollar for air travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®; 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining not booked with Chase; and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, cardmembers get a fat sign-up bonus, annual travel credits, airport lounge access, and a 50% boost in point value when redeeming points for travel booked through Chase. 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 Plus is an excellent option for business operators whose expenses 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. Just make sure that you can pay off your spending in full each month, as this is a charge card that doesn't let you revolve a balance. 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 October 20, 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.