Our pick for

Easy travel redemption

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now on Capital One's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • APR: 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.24%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Bonus Offer

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

  • 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 unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • New! Earn unlimited 10x miles on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • 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
Bonus value
$500
Annual fee
$95
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
Flexible rewards Simple earning structure Simple redemption process Foreign travel

Benefits

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the most flexible travel cards available. You earn 2 miles per $1 spent on everything; miles can be redeemed for a credit against most travel expenses. And you’re not restricted to one airline or hotel, as is the case with co-branded cards. You just book your own travel, then pay for it with your rewards. The annual fee is fairly low relative to other travel cards, and there are no foreign transaction fees, making it ideal to take abroad.

This card also comes with a sign-up bonus: 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.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Large sign-up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now on Chase's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • APR: 17.24% - 24.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Bonus Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 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.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Bonus value
$0
Annual fee
$95
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
Foreign travel Flexible rewards Large sign-up bonus

Benefits

Unlike cards tied to a specific airline or hotel brand, you can use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s rewards in many places. You earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel and 1 point per $1 spent 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 other loyalty programs. Plus, the card comes with a sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Finally, it’s made of metal, rather than plastic, giving it a bit of wow factor.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Online shopping cash back

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Apply Now on Discover's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

APR

  • APR: 13.24% - 24.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards instantly at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.
  • View Rates and Fees
Bonus value
$228
Annual fee
$0
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
Free FICO score Rotating bonus categories New cardmember bonus Optimizing cash back No annual fee

Benefits

This card offers 5% cash back in categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter If you sign up, you can also access the Discover Deals online bonus mall, which offers 5% to 20% cash back on purchases at popular online retailers.

This card has no foreign transaction fees, and it waives the first late payment fee. Finally, there’s a distinctive sign-up bonus: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Bonus category cash back

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

Apply Now on Chase's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

APR

  • APR: 16.24% - 24.99% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

  • 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 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Bonus value
$150
Annual fee
$0
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
Optimizing cash back Rotating bonus categories No annual fee Cash sign-up bonus

Benefits

This card earns 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, which in recent years have included gas, groceries, restaurants and wholesale clubs, and 1% on all other purchases. It also comes with a cash sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

APR

  • APR: 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.49%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

None

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Bonus value
$0
Annual fee
$0
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
High rewards rate Simple rewards Free FICO score Balance transfers No annual fee

Benefits

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer gives cardholders one of the highest overall cash back rates available. You get 1% cash back when you make purchases and an additional 1% when you pay them off. You can redeem cash back as a statement credit, a gift card or a check by mail.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Travel

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

Apply Now on Discover's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases for 14 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 14 months

APR

  • APR: 13.24% - 24.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.

  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • View Rates and Fees
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5 miles
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
No annual fee Simple rewards earning Easy rewards redemption No foreign transaction fees

Benefits

This card gives you an unlimited 1.5 miles per $1 spent on anything. Miles are worth 1 cent apiece and can be redeemed for credit against travel purchases made in the preceding 180 days. Redemption is simple: Book travel however you want — you aren’t limited to any specific airline, hotel, rental car agency or other service provider — and pay with the card. Then go online and apply your accumulated miles to wipe out some or all of the cost. You can also redeem miles for cashback as a deposit into a bank account. There’s a bonus for new cardholders, and unlike most travel credit cards, the Discover it® Miles charges an annual fee of $0.

Drawbacks

Bottom line


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.

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Last updated: 2017/12/18