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Excellent Credit Cards for 2019

From huge welcome bonuses to generous rewards, we've picked credit cards that stand out from the crowd. Compare these deals from our partners to find the right one for you

Standout Credit Cards in 2018

From huge welcome bonuses to generous rewards, we've picked credit cards that stand out from the crowd. Compare these deals from our partners to find the right one for you

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on Chase's secure website

Great for: Airline Miles and a Large Bonus

Securely with Chase

  • 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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
See card details

  • 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
See card details

Annual Fee

$95

Bonus Value

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®

Rewards Details

2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

Ongoing APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

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

Great for: Cash Back with No Foreign Fee

Securely with Capital One

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • 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
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
See card details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Value

One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Rewards Details

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

Ongoing APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
[object Object] card art

on Capital One's secure website

Great for: Easy Flat Rate Travel Rewards

Securely with Capital One

  • 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
See card details

  • 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
See card details

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Bonus Value

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

Rewards Details

Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day

Ongoing APR

17.99% - 25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Get a card with an intro 0% APR offer and pay off your debt faster. Compare these deals from our partners to find the right one for you

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on Citibank's secure application

Great for: Longest 0% APR Period

Securely with Citibank

  • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
See card details

  • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months

Ongoing APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
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on Bank of America's secure website, or call (800) 322-7707

Great for: Cost-Effective Balance Transfer

Securely with Bank of America

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
See card details

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No annual fee
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Ongoing APR

15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

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

Great for: Cash Back with No Foreign Fee

Securely with Capital One

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • 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
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
See card details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Ongoing APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

Travel & Rewards Credit Cards

With travel and rewards credit cards, you can redeem rewards with multiple airlines and hotel chains, earn cash back and other perks with everyday purchases. Compare these deals from our partners to find the right one for you

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on Chase's secure website

Great for: Airline Miles and a Large Bonus

Securely with Chase

  • 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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
See card details

  • 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
See card details

Annual Fee

$95

Bonus Value

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®

Rewards Details

2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
[object Object] card art

on Capital One's secure website

Great for: Cash Back with No Foreign Fee

Securely with Capital One

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • 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
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
See card details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Value

One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Rewards Details

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
[object Object] card art

on Capital One's secure website

Great for: Easy Flat Rate Travel Rewards

Securely with Capital One

  • 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
See card details

  • 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
See card details

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Bonus Value

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

Rewards Details

Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

Low Interest & Zero Percent Credit Cards

If you have credit card debt or plan to make a big purchase, a low-interest credit card can be a lifesaver. Compare these deals from our partners to find the right one for you

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on Capital One's secure website

Great for: Cash Back with No Foreign Fee

Securely with Capital One

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • 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
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
See card details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Ongoing APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
[object Object] card art

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Great for: 5% Bonus Categories and First Year Cashback Match

Securely with Discover

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • View Rates and Fees
See card details

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Ongoing APR

14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

[object Object] card art

on Bank of America's secure website, or call (800) 322-7707

Great for: Cost-Effective Balance Transfer

Securely with Bank of America

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
See card details

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No annual fee
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Ongoing APR

15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

Credit card basics

A credit card is a plastic or metal card that allows you to access a line of credit offered by the bank that issued the card. Every time you pay for something with a credit card, you’re borrowing money from the card issuer to cover the purchase. You then have to pay that money back, either in full at the end of the month or over time.



HOW DO CREDIT CARDS WORK?



When you’re approved for a credit card, the bank authorizes a credit limit — the maximum amount you can borrow — to be used at your discretion. Your credit limit will depend on such factors as your income, your other debts and how much available credit you have on other cards.


Payment networks — Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express — process credit card transactions. They make sure that the money for the purchase gets to the merchant and that the correct cardholder gets billed.

When your bill comes, you have the option of paying a certain minimum amount, paying the whole balance in full, or paying some amount in between. Paying just the minimum every month is ultimately the most expensive option, since it will cost you the most in interest. Paying in full is the best option; when you pay in full each month, you get a grace period that allows you to avoid paying any interest on purchases at all.


Your credit card issuer reports your payments to the credit bureaus, the companies that prepare credit reports. Your payment history counts for 35% of your credit score — a three-digit number that indicates how risky it would be to lend you money. You must pay at least the minimum by the due date every month to avoid late fees and potential damage to your credit score.



HOW DO CREDIT CARDS DIFFER FROM OTHER CARDS?



A debit card is linked to your checking account; debit card purchases automatically pull money out of your account. You’re using your own money to pay for things rather than borrowing it. Some debit cards earn rewards, but they generally pale in comparison to credit card rewards. Debit cards also have weaker fraud protections.


A prepaid debit card isn’t linked to a checking account; instead, you “load” money onto the card, and you can only spend as much as you’ve loaded. These cards often charge many fees you wouldn’t pay with a regular debit card. Prepaid debit cards offer some protections, and they come with limitations. For example, some prepaid debit cards don’t offer ATM access or mobile banking. Also, not all merchants accept them.


Neither debit cards nor prepaid cards will affect your credit scores, because using them does not involve borrowing money. Only a credit card will affect your credit score.

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A little about us
At NerdWallet, we offer straightforward info and tools to help you make the best possible financial decisions. All for free. So how do we make money? In most cases, when someone applies or gets approved for a financial product we get paid. But that doesn’t sway our opinions.