Best of

Best Visa Credit Cards of 2019

NerdWalletJuly 3, 2019

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 Visa Credit Cards of 2019

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

on Alliant Credit Union's website

on Alliant Credit Union's website

Annual Fee

$0 the first year, then $99

Regular APR

12.49% - 14.99% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

The card has an outstanding cash-back rate: unlimited 3% rewards on every purchase in the first year, then unlimited 2.5% cash back thereafter. The card also charges no foreign transaction fees, making it a good option for international travel.

Cons

There's an annual fee of $0 the first year, then $99. After the first year, you'll have to spend $4,000 a year to make up for it. Also, you must be a member of Alliant Credit Union, although anyone can join with a $10 donation to Foster Care to Success.
  • Exclusively designed for those spending $50,000+ a year on their card
  • Unlimited Cash Back: 3% cash back in year one & 2.5% cash back after
  • No limit to the cash back awards you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Generous credit line
  • $99 annual fee, waived the first year
  • Works with Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
  • $0 fraud liability guarantee from Visa

Our pick for

Bonus category cash back

Chase Freedom Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

17.24% - 25.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

recommended credit score

Pros

This card offers 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending, and 1% on all other purchases. Bonus categories in recent years have included gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and wholesale clubs. There's a cash sign-up bonus that’s fairly easy to earn: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Cons

Activating and keeping track of bonus categories can be a hassle. You can opt in to the bonus category at any time and get the bonus for the entire quarter — but if you forget, you won’t get 5% cash back. If you don’t spend enough to maximize the bonus categories each quarter, you might earn more rewards with another card.
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 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!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠

Our pick for

Flat-rate travel rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

17.99% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

You earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on everything, and (through January 2020) a whopping 10 miles per dollar at Hotels.com/venture. You can 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.
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

Our pick for

Bonus travel rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

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 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.
  • 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

Our pick for

0% interest period

US Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card

on US Bank's website

Rates & Fees

on US Bank's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

12.24% - 20.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

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

recommended credit score

Pros

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card gives you a good long time to pay off a major purchase. You get 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 20 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24% - 20.24% 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.
  • 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles. After that variable APR currently 12.24% - 20.24%*
  • No annual fee*
  • Zero fraud liability* protects you against unauthorized transactions
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Premium features

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$450

Regular APR

19.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

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 $450.

Cons

The $450 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®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $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✓®

Our pick for

Small-business cash back

Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card

on Capital One's website

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

19.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

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

After the first year, you’ll break even on the annual fee only if you put more than $4,750 on the card per year. If you plan to spend less, consider a no-annual-fee card instead.
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount

Our pick for

Small-business travel

Capital One Spark Miles Credit Card

on Capital One's website

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

19.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

This card features an industry-leading flat rewards rate of 2 miles per dollar spent on anything. Miles are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel expenses. The sign-up bonus is also a big draw: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Cons

The card has an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. After the first year, you'd have to spend at least $4,750 a year on the card before the rewards would outweigh the cost. But keep in mind that this fee could be deducted as a business expense on your taxes.
  • Earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Free employee cards which also earn unlimited 2x miles from their purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Our pick for

Gas

Pentagon Federal Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

11.99% - 17.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% promotional rate for 12 months on transfers made now through September 30, 2019

recommended credit score

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.
  • $100 bonus after spending $1,500 in purchase transactions within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 0% APR promo balance transfer rate for 12 months now through September 30, 2019. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be 11.99% to 17.99%. APR will vary w/the market based on Prime Rate. 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.
  • Rate and offers current as of July 1, 2019 and subject to change.
  • Earn 5 points on gas purchases at the pump. Fuel purchases for airplanes and boats do not receive cash back rewards.
  • Earn 3 points on supermarket purchases
  • Earn 1 point on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No cash advance fee
  • Chip enabled for added security
  • Federally insured by NCUA
  • Variable rate as low As 11.99% APR

Last updated on July 3, 2019

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.