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Credit Card Reviews

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credit card reviews

If you’re looking for more information about the credit cards on NerdWallet, you’ve come to the right place. With these in-depth reviews about the most popular plastic featured on our site, you can find the perfect fit for your spending needs and lifestyle. Read the highlights, then follow the link for a full review.

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Cash-back credit cards 
Travel rewards credit cards
General rewards credit cards 
Balance transfer and low-interest credit cards 
Airline credit cards 
Hotel credit cards
Business credit cards 
Student credit cards 
Secured credit cards for bad credit 

Cash-back credit cards

Cash-back cards provide fast savings and easy-to-redeem rewards. Some pay a flat rate on all purchases, while others shell out higher rewards in certain categories, such as gas or groceries.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card — Earn extra rewards on gas, groceries and more. If you’re an existing Bank of America® customer, you could earn bonus rewards of 10% to 75%. Read more.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® — Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase; then, when you redeem, get a 5% bonus toward your next redemption. Read more.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — This card provides industry-leading rewards at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and department stores. There’s a steep annual fee, but the stellar cash-back rates are worth it. Read more.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express — You get great supermarket and gas station rewards for a card with an annual fee of $0. Read more.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card — This is the card that made 1.5% cash back the standard. The rate isn’t the highest you can get, but it’s a solid option for easy rewards earning and redemption. Read more.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card — The best rewards card around for those with average credit: Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases for an annual fee of $39. Read more.

Chase Freedom® — Earn 5% cash back in categories that change every three months, plus an unlimited 1% back on all other purchases. The sign-up bonus is pretty sweet, too. Read more.

Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ — With an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, this card can be a great companion to the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — or all by itself. Read more.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer — This card’s revolutionary earning structure gives you 1% back on all your purchases, then another 1% back when you pay them off. Read more.

Discover it® - Cashback Match™ — Some pretty enticing terms here: rewards of up to 5%, a $0 annual fee, a great bonus for newcomers and access to a fantastic bonus mall. Read more.

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card — If you’re a Fidelity investments customer, this card gives you 2% back on every purchase to put toward retirement savings or other long-term goals. Read more.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card — Unlike other bonus category cards, this one lets you decide where you earn higher rewards. For flexibility, you can’t do much better. Read more.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card — True to its name, this is a wise choice with plenty of benefits: 1.5% back on all purchases, $0 annual fee, a sign-up bonus and more. Read more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best cash back credit cards


Travel rewards credit cards

If you’re a wanderer but don’t want to declare loyalty to just one airline or hotel chain, these credit cards let you redeem rewards your way. Say bye-bye to blackout dates.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card  The best $0-annual-fee travel card, it gives you an unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases. Points are redeemable for credit against any travel purchase.  Read more.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® — Looking for a travel card with a high rewards rate, a stellar signup bonus, a redemption bonus and chip-and-PIN capability? This is it. Read more.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card — The best flat-rate travel card gives you an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, redeemable for any travel expense, and a great sign-up bonus for an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $59.  Read more.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — If you spend a lot on travel and dining at restaurants and typically fly or stay with one of Chase’s travel partners — like United, Southwest, Marriott or Hyatt — this is a fantastic card. Read more.

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ — The best premium card on the block. A jumbo sign-up bonus, bonus rewards for dining and travel, outstanding redemption options and generous perks make the $450 annual fee worth it. Read more.

Citi Prestige® Card — Big spenders looking for a card that suits the luxury lifestyle will want to take a look at the Citi Prestige® Card. Read more.

Discover it® Miles — This card offers an innovative promotion in place of a traditional sign-up bonus, unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases, an annual fee of $0 and an in-flight Wi-Fi credit to keep you plugged in. Read more.

Expedia®+ Card from Citi — Get rewarded handsomely with points, upgrades and amenities for flights and hotels you book through the site.  Read more.

The Platinum Card® from American Express — The original superpremium card’s $550 annual fee can pay for itself, and then some, if you use everything the card has to offer. Read more.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express — An excellent choice for frequent flyers who want a travel rewards card with redemption flexibility and big earning potential. Read more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best travel credit cards


General rewards credit cards

General rewards cards are an in-between option for people who don’t want to go all-in on a cash-back card or a travel card.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express — Probably the best thing about this card is that it recognizes the value of small, frequent purchases and rewards them accordingly. Read more.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — If you spend a lot on entertainment and dining out, this is a good option. Read more.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card — Get rewarded with a wide range of redemption options and extra perks if you enjoy splurging on travel, dining and entertainment. Read more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best rewards credit cards



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Balance transfer and low-interest credit cards

A card with a 0% annual percentage rate period, a low ongoing rate or both can save you money on interest as you pay off credit card debt.

BankAmericard® credit card — This simple option is best for existing Bank of America® customers who want to keep all their accounts in one place and are looking for a long 0% APR period for balance transfers. Read more.

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® — Vote on product features and terms with this unique card that charges no balance transfer fees, has an annual fee of $0 and offers a lengthy 0% APR period. Read more.

Chase Slate® — A long 0% period, a $0 annual fee and no balance transfer fee for the first 60 days. Read more.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card — This gem offers an ultra-long 0% period on purchases and balance transfers, with a $0 annual fee and a few perks, too. Read more.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever — Get an industry-leading 0% period on purchases and transfers, with no late fees or penalty APR if you miss a payment (but still, pay on time). Read more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best balance transfer credit cards


Airline credit cards

If you fly regularly on a particular airline, carrying its co-branded credit card can unlock loyalty perks — not least of which is a free checked bag for you and possibly others traveling with you.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card — You can earn decent rewards for everyday expenses, but you’ll get the most value if you use the card for British Airways purchasesRead more.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® — American Airlines passengers avoid foreign transaction fees with this card. They also get priority boarding, free checked bags and other extras. Read more.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express — Regular Delta customers will want to check out this card’s attractive sign-up bonus and the potential to earn free flights on Delta and its partners.  Read more.

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card — If you’re a dedicated United customer, hate paying to check your bags and wouldn’t mind using the lounge once in a while, consider this card. Read more.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card — This card has a lot to offer Southwest devotees — a high rewards rate, an anniversary bonus and a nice sign-up bonus for a head start toward a Companion Pass. Read more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best airline credit cards


Hotel credit cards

If it matters where you stay when on the road, you may earn more rewards with one of these cards.

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card — This card comes with automatic Honors Gold status that includes benefits such as a 25% bonus on all the Honors Base Points earned, a fifth night free on Standard Room Reward stays of five nights or more, late checkout and other complimentary features. Read more.

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card — It’s not the fanciest card on the market, but if you frequently stay at Hilton portfolio hotels, it could save you a bundle in the long run. Read more.

Club CarlsonSM Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card — If you regularly stay at Radisson or other hotels in the Club Carlson network, give this one a look. Read more.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card — Earn bonus points not only at Marriott and SPG properties, but also at hotels, rental car agencies and restaurants. Read more.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express — Long the Nerds’ top-rated hotel card, it pays you with the highest-value points in the businessRead more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best hotel credit cards


Business credit cards

Offering large sign-up bonuses and lots of rewards, these cards can help you cover your small-business expenses.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN — This customizable rewards card lets you choose how and where you earn bonus points. Read more.

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN — This card offers flexible payment options for businesses whether their cash flow is consistent or unpredictable, including a discount for paying early. Read more.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN — For frequent business travelers, this card’s extensive perks can make up for a high annual fee. Read more.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business — Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, plus a sign-up bonus. Read more.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business — A no-frills cash-back credit card for small-business owners — unlimited 1.5% cash back and a $0 annual fee. Read more.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business — If you travel a lot and your business also spends a lot on nontravel expenses, this card offers a high rewards rate, flexible redemption and no foreign transaction fees. Read more.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card — Its simplicity and high rewards rate make it one of the most popular small-business cards on the market, though it may not be ideal for bigger spenders. Read more.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card — A great choice if you value a hefty sign-up bonus, bonus rewards in common business categories and a slew of perks. Read more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best small-business credit cards


Student credit cards

Student credit cards make it easier to establish credit early on. If you’re under 21, though, you’ll generally need substantial income or a co-signer to get approved for a credit card.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students — Earn rewards for going out, plus a modest sign-up bonus. Read more.

Discover it® for Students — This starter card offers cash-back rewards, a bonus for good grades and a convenient on/off switch if your card goes missing. Read more.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® — Earn 1% cash back, which bumps up to 1.25% when you pay on time. Read more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best college student credit cards


Secured credit cards for bad credit

These cards require a security deposit. They’re a good place to start if you’re trying to rebuild your credit or you’re new to credit.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® — This card offers the potential for a low deposit and lets you pay your deposit in installments; plus, you could get access to a higher credit line after making your first five payments on time. Read more.

Citi® Secured Mastercard® — A straightforward option for credit newbies with a $0 annual fee. Read more.

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card — Your best bet if you’re looking for a secured card with low fees and low interest. Read more.

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee — Cash-back rewards on a secured credit card? Yes, and a clear path to upgrading, too. Read more.

Secured Visa — The annual fee is waived the first year and $29 every year thereafter, and it has a higher minimum deposit requirement than some other cards, so it’s not the best secured card on the market — but it offers flexible bill pay options and a somewhat longer grace period. Read more.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit cards for bad credit

Information related to the Chase Slate®, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ and the British Airways Visa Signature® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Updated April 14, 2017.