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2019's Best-Of Specialty Credit Cards

NerdWallet's ratings formulas for Credit Cards take into account the type of card being reviewed (such as cash back, travel or balance transfer) and the card's rates, fees, rewards and other features. Most of the products we feature are from our partners.

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on American Express's secure website

Great for: Everyday Spending

Securely with American Express

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees
See card details

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
See card details

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Details

6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.

Bonus Value

$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

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on Capital One's secure website

  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
See card details

  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Details

Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases

Bonus Value

Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
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on Capital One's secure website

Great for: 2% cash back on all purchases

Securely with Capital One

  • 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
See card details

  • 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
See card details

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Rewards Details

Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere

Bonus Value

Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
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on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees
See card details

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
See card details

Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Details

5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Terms Apply.

Bonus Value

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

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on Deserve's secure website

  • No SSN required for International students.
  • Available to students (enrollment verification is required).
  • Amazon Prime Student on us (get reimbursed for subscription fees up to a lifetime total of $59).
  • 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • Credit limits up to $5,000.
  • $0 annual fee & no foreign transaction fees.
  • No security deposit or co-signer required.
  • Helps students build credit history and gain financial independence.
  • Use anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted.
  • Includes Mastercard Platinum Benefits like Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Roadside Assistance, Travel Assistance Services, Price Protection, Extended Warranty and ID Theft Protection.
  • Complimentary cellphone insurance up to $600.
See card details

  • No SSN required for International students.
  • Available to students (enrollment verification is required).
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Details

1% cash back on all purchases

Bonus Value

None

Recommended Credit Score

630 - 850

Average - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
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on Bank of America's secure website

  • NOW - 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
  • Get Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ every year! EACH YEAR on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don't expire on active accounts.
  • NEW! Enjoy 50% off day passes at the Alaska Lounge and 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases when you pay with your new card.
  • Redeem miles with no blackout dates on any of Alaska's 1,200 daily flights or choose from over 900+ destinations with more than a dozen global airline partners. Plus, get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Alaska Airlines Hotels.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $75 annual fee.
See card details

  • NOW - 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
See card details

Annual Fee

$75

Rewards Details

Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Bonus Value

Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
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on Wells Fargo's secure website

  • Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 16.24%-28.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
See card details

  • Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
  • $0 Annual Fee
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Details

Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in; Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit; Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals; Earn 1X points on other purchases

Bonus Value

Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $300 cash redemption value

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
Want to see more winners?
  • Check out our pick for 2019's Best Store Card, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa.

    The information related to Amazon Prime Rewards Visa credit card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
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