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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 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®
  • 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
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
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

Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

Ongoing APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

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

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

Great for: 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 on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when 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 on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Value

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.

Rewards Details

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Ongoing APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

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on Citibank's application

Great for: Longest 0% APR Period

Securely with Citibank

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, 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 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, 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 standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges.
See card details

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, 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 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Value

None

Rewards Details

n/a

Ongoing APR

14.74% - 24.74% 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 application

Great for: Longest 0% APR Period

Securely with Citibank

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, 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 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, 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 standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges.
See card details

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, 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 14.74% - 24.74%, 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

14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

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

on American Express's website

Great for: Everyday Spending With No Fee

Securely with American Express

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees
See card details

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Ongoing APR

12.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

[object Object] card art

on Chase's website

Great for: Cash-Back Pairing with Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Securely with Chase

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • 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
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
See card details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Ongoing APR

14.99% - 23.74% 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 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®
  • 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
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
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

Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 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 Wells Fargo's website

Great for: Cash sign-up bonus

Securely with Wells Fargo

  • Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
  • View Rates and Fees
See card details

  • Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Value

Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Rewards Details

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

[object Object] card art

on Wells Fargo's website

Great for: Travel rewards with no annual fee

Securely with Wells Fargo

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fee
  • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points on popular streaming services
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
  • View Rates and Fees
See card details

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fee
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Value

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value

Rewards Details

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

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

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

Great for: 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 on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when 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 on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Ongoing APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

[object Object] card art

on Citibank's application

Great for: Longest 0% APR Period

Securely with Citibank

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, 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 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, 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 standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges.
See card details

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, 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 14.74% - 24.74%, 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

14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

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

on Chase's website

Great for: Cash-Back Pairing with Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Securely with Chase

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • 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
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
See card details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
See card details

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Ongoing APR

14.99% - 23.74% 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.