The Best Credit Cards in America: Cash Back and Travel Rewards

by Beverly Blair Harzog on 04/13/2011

best-credit-cards-america-blogWelcome to the first installment of’s Best Credit Cards in America.

Every three months, I’ll look at two specific categories and analyze the best cards in each group. In this first installment, I’m giving awards for the Best Cash Back Credit Card and the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card in America.

The category winner isn’t chosen according to its popularity. The winner is the card that scores the highest number of points according to a unique formula that I designed. The formula considers 41 factors. It gives each card a “benefits/rewards score” and then subtracts the “costs score.”

For each card that’s in the “competition,” I’ll get knee-deep in the cardholder agreement’s details, terms and conditions, and rewards programs. The fine print is never easy to read but that’s where the card’s true value is revealed. Oftentimes, when you look at the details, the card’s costs outweigh its highly touted rewards.

Using my formula, the “perfect” card gets a score of 100. There are certainly no perfect cards out there. But the final score for a card can tell you two things: how close a card is to perfection and how it compares to other cards in the same category.

See the Best Cash Back Credit Cards in America »

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Pages: 1 2 3

Beverly Blair Harzog's Credit Card Expert, Beverly focuses on credit card issues and provides insight about current news that affects the credit card industry and consumers. She's a nationally recognized expert on credit card issues and is also the co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Person-to-Person Lending. Reach Beverly at


{ 4 comments… add a comment }

Linda Clover April 13, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Now THAT is news I can use! Thanks for the information Beverly. This is really helpful for someone like me who travels a lot.


Beverly Blair Harzog April 14, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Linda–I’m glad you found this information helpful!


Melissa April 15, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Such a helpful post, as we have been considering a card. Thanks!


Beverly Blair Harzog April 18, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Melissa–Thanks for your comment! I’m glad this was helpful.


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