Welcome to Credit.com's Best Credit Cards in America™ — a quarterly review of the best credit cards for different credit card categories like travel rewards credit cards, cash back credit cards, credit cards for students, and more.
Every three months, our credit card expert, Beverly Harzog, looks at two specific categories and analyzes the best cards in each group. The category winner isn't chosen according to its popularity, nor is it chosen according to its affiliation or relationship with Credit.com. The winner is the card that scores the highest number of points according to a unique formula she designed. The formula considers 41 factors. It gives each card a "benefits/rewards score" and then subtracts the "costs score."
For each card that is in the "competition," she gets knee-deep in the cardholder agreement's details, terms and conditions, and rewards programs. The fine print is never easy to read but that is 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 her 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.
Review the winners:
1st Runner-Up: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
2nd Runner-Up: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
1st Runner-Up: PenFed Platinum Rewards Card
2nd Runner-Up: Blue Cash Preferred Card from AmEx - $150 Welcome Bonus
1st Runner-Up: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
2nd Runner-Up: Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
1st Runner-Up: PenFed Visa Platinum Cash Rewards for Students
2nd Runner-Up: Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
1st Runner-Up: Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Credit Card
2nd Runner-Up: Citi Secured MasterCard
Credit.com has financial relationships with some of the cards mentioned here, and Credit.com may be compensated if consumers choose to apply for these via links in our content and ultimately sign up for them. However, whether or not we are compensated does not determine which products we mention or result in ANY preferential treatment.