ADVERTISEMENT: products from our partners

13 Excellent Credit Cards of 2021

From huge sign-up bonuses to generous rewards, we've picked credit cards that stand out from the crowd. Compare these deals, some of which are from our partners, to find the right one for you.

NerdWallet's Excellent Credit Cards of 2021

Excellent for

Cash back — high flat rate + incentives

Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Regular APR

14.99%-24.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • New! Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5

  • $0 annual fee

  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open

  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge

  • 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 Active Cash℠ Card

  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on Wells Fargo's website

  • New! Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5

  • $0 annual fee

  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open

  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge

  • 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 Active Cash℠ Card

  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on Wells Fargo's website

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • No bonus categories

Read full review

Excellent for

Everyday Spending

Apply now

on American Express's website

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Regular APR

13.99%-23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%

  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).

  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.

  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).

  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on American Express's website

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Bonus categories

  • Intro APR period

  • Cash rewards

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

Read full review

Excellent for

Lucrative rewards for everyday spending

Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Regular APR

13.99%-23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.

  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.

  • No Annual Fee

  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per person.

Apply Now

on Citibank's application

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • 5% bonus categories

  • Intro APR Period

Cons

  • Low rate outside bonus categories

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review

Excellent for

Flat-rate travel rewards

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$95

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.99%-23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel

  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day

  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get our best prices on thousands of trip options

  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel

  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

  • No foreign transaction fees

Apply Now

on Capital One's website

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Rewards have limited flexibility

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review

Excellent for

Cash back on everyday spending

Apply now

on American Express's website

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

4.3

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Regular APR

13.99%-23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 15 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.

  • 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% Cash Back on other purchases.

  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.

  • No annual fee.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on American Express's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate

  • Intro APR period

  • Bonus categories

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

Read full review

Excellent for

Airline Miles and a Large Bonus

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.99%-22.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.

  • 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.

  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories

  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.

  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

Apply Now

on Chase's website

Pros

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Bonus categories

  • Primary rental car coverage

  • Flexible rewards redemption

  • Transfer partners

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review

Excellent for

Bonus Categories and First Year Cashback Match

Apply now

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

Discover it® Cash Back

4.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

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

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

11.99%-22.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.

  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.

  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.

  • No annual fee.

  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.

  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

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

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • Bonus categories

  • Cash rewards

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review

Excellent for

Cost-Effective Balance Transfer

Apply now

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

BankAmericard® credit card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

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

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and on any balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening

Regular APR

12.99%-22.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • New Offer! $100 statement credit online bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • 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, 12.99% - 22.99% 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

  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap

  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Apply Now

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

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No ongoing rewards

Read full review

Excellent for

Cash-Back Pairing with Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

14.99%-24.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services

  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases

  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 24.74%.

  • No annual fee

Apply Now

on Chase's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • High rewards rate

  • No minimum redemption amount

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review

Excellent for

Flat Rate Cash Back

Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Regular APR

13.99%-23.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.

  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.

  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.

  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.

  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Apply Now

on Citibank's application

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate

  • Intro balance transfer fee

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No bonus offer

  • No bonus categories

Read full review

Excellent for

Long 0% interest periods for balance transfers

Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

4.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

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

Regular APR

13.74%-23.74% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.

  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.

  • Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.

  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Apply Now

on Citibank's application

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • Intro balance transfer fee

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No rewards

Read full review

Excellent for

Long 0% period for transfers and purchases

Apply now

on US Bank's website

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on US Bank's website

Annual fee

$0*

Intro APR

0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers*

Regular APR

14.49%-24.49%* Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 14.49% - 24.49%.

  • Great offer from U.S. Bank, a 2021 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2021.

  • No Annual Fee*

  • Flexibility to choose a payment due date that fits your schedule.

  • 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 U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on US Bank's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • Cell phone insurance

Cons

  • No rewards

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No bonus offer

Read full review
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers

Regular APR

12.99%-24.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods. 12.99% to 24.99% variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min $5

  • $0 Annual Fee

  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).

  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can earn cash back in the form of a statement credit while you shop, dine, or enjoy an experience simply by using your eligible Wells Fargo Credit Card

  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on Wells Fargo's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • No rewards

Read full review