Americans with an excellent credit score have on average three open credit cards in their wallet. They also have an average of their closed cards on their credit reports. Chances are good they chose a card because it offers some perk that made it irresistible—maybe cash-back for each purchase, airline miles, hotel points or a 0% introductory APR for 12 or 15 months.
There’s a lot out there to make a certain piece of plastic—or multiple pieces—in your wallet enticing. But with all the choices, picking the perfect credit card can be confusing. There are dozens of cards—and credit card offers—to choose from. How do you know which one is the best credit card for you? And is it possible to be sure you’re making the right decision when you apply for one?
Reality is, it’s impossible to name one card as the “best” option for everyone. Instead, you want to choose a card that’s the “best” for you, your personal financial needs and your spending habits. Every card has its benefits and drawbacks. A card that works great for one person might not work for the next.
When picking a card, your credit score comes into play too. You may be in love with bonus points you can get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, but not have the good or excellent required to get approved for it. You may love the idea of the bonus miles with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, but not really fly all that often to make it worth your while. Or you may just want to earn cash back for your purchases and currently have a fair credit rating and be eyeing the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card.
To help make wade through your options and make your search and decision process a bit easier, the Credit.com editorial team has picked a few of our favorite credit cards deals of the year.
Best Credit Card Deals of 2019
The Credit.com editorial team’s picks for the top credit card deals of 2019 are:
- Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card—the best intro APR deal out there for both purchases and balance transfers and if you have good to excellent credit.
- Capitol One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card—the best cash bonus deal for a cash rewards card for those with good to excellent credit.
- Credit One Bank Platinum Visa with Cash Back Rewards—the best cash card for people with bad, poor or fair credit.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card—the best intro bonus points deal for those with excellent or good credit and who use their credit card a lot.
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®—the maximum bonus miles deal available if you have good or excellent credit.
- Petal Visa Credit Card—the best deal for you if you have no credit history but spend responsibly.
The Best Introductory APR Sign-On Bonus Deal
Benefits: The average American household has $5,700 in credit card debt. And one smart way to pay down some of that debt is by transferring balances to a card with a .
If aren’t looking to do a balance transfer, you can still get on purchases with this card.
Top it off with no annual fee and this card is pretty solid if avoiding interest is how you see your best credit card deal.
Another thing that makes this card a great deal is the credit card protection option. If you pay your monthly cell phone bill using this card, you get up to $600 in protection for your phone for covered damages or theft. You will pay is a $25 deductible, if applicable.
Drawbacks: The card’s ongoing APR is , which is fairly consistent with similar cards, but could get you in trouble after your intro period ends if you carry a high balance each month.
You need an excellent or good credit score to get one of these cards. Not a drawback if you fall into one of those categories, but a definite one if you don’t.
If you don’t know your score, you can find your Experian score for free on Credit.com.
The Best Cash-Back Bonus Deal
Benefits: What makes this card the best cash-back card deal is its $300 bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months as a cardholder.
Top that with a full unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1%on everything else and this card is pretty amazing even without the $300 bonus. Plus, many cash-back rewards cards force you to sign up for categories each quarter to earn added cash back—not this card. This card has no rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards. And you cash back won’t expire for the life of your account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
Add in no foreign transaction fees, and a $95 annual fee that’s waived in the first year but that’s also easy to make up for with your cash back, and this is a great credit card for active spenders.
Drawbacks: The card’s ongoing APR is 16.74% - 25.74% (Variable), which is consistent with similar cards. And it doesn’t offer a 0% intro APR period. So, you’ll want to avoid letting your balance get too large. If you do, you’ll quickly negate the cash back you earn.
The $95 annual fee, though waived your first year, is a bit steep. Make sure you’re comfortable with that before you apply.
You need an excellent or good credit score to get this card too. Not a drawback if you have good or excellent credit, but a definite drawback if you don’t.
The Best Cash-Back Bonus Deal If You Have Fair, Poor or Bad Credit
Benefits: Earning cash back for your purchases shouldn’t be restricted to those with better credit. Everyone should have the chance. And this card does just that—gives people with fair, poor or bad credit the chance to earn cash back too. While the rewards don’t come close to some other cash rewards card, you still earn 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase with some terms that apply.
This card is also a great option if you need to build some credit history or improve your credit.
Responsible cardholders who make their payments on time can later request a higher line of credit.
Don’t mistake this card’s entry-level position for being weak or lacking other great cardholder benefits. You’ll also get zero fraud liability, purchase protection, extended warranty offers, 24/7 roadside assistance, free online tracking of your credit score, rental car collision coverage and more.
Drawbacks: The worse your credit score, the higher annual fee you’ll pay for this card. Its annual fee ranges from . And, as with many cards for those with poorer credit, you’ll pay a higher ongoing APR of with this card.
The Best Intro Bonus Points Deal
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- 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
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Benefits: If you’re looking for a great travel rewards deal, this card lets you earn 60,000 bonus rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s $750 you can use toward travel if you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
You also earn 2X points on travel and dining purchases around the globe and 1X point on every other dollar you charge.
There are no foreign transaction fees, no blackout dates or other travel restrictions, which make this card a traveler’s dream card.
Drawbacks: Much like other rewards cards, this one has a somewhat hard to afford ongoing APR of 18.24% - 25.24% Variable. There’s no intro APR. And there is an annual fee of $95 right from the start.
Nonetheless, if you’re a serious traveler, this card is a great fit for your purse or wallet.
The Best Bonus Miles Deal
Benefits: If you’re looking for a great miles bonus deal, you can earn 70,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of having this card. And you earn 2X miles on every purchase too boot. Miles can be redeemed for a travel statement credit that can be used for airlines and hotels. You also get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption each time you redeem your miles.
This card also has no foreign transaction fees; no restrictions on which airline, see or hotel you choose; and miles never expire. With all that, this card is perfect for domestic or international travelers.
Drawbacks: The card’s steeper APR of is a bit of a downer. And there’s no introductory APR for purchases—there is an intro: 0% for first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. And there is an annual fee of $89, but Barclaycard waives that fee your first year.
The Best Deal If You Have No Credit History But Spend Responsibly
Petal Visa Credit Card
- Up to 1.5% cash back after making 12 on-time payments
- 1% cash back on all purchases - right away
- No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee.
- $500 - $10,000 credit limits
- No credit history necessary for approval
- Build credit by using responsibly.
- Petal reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
- Petal's mobile app makes it easy to manage your money, track your spending and automate payments
- See if you're pre-approved within minutes without impacting your credit score.
- No deposits required. Card issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
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Benefits: The Petal Visa credit card is a true unsecured credit card. It’s the best deal out there for those with poor, fair or no credit, but good spending habits. Petal has you link your bank accounts to the application process to decide whether to approve you.
If you don’t have credit or don’t have great credit, but spend responsibly, this card is your best deal. It has no annual fee, no fees of any kind and a good ongoing APR of 15.24% - 26.24% Variable APR.
If you’re looking to establish a credit history so that you can become eligible for great deals like these, check out these 7 tips for getting credit when you don’t have any next.
Drawbacks: There’s no intro APR offer on this card and you won’t earn miles, points or cash-back. But, if you can’t qualify for other cards, this one is a solid deal.
Before You Apply
Applying for multiple cards can hurt your credit score. Each application puts a hard inquiry on your report. The only exception is if a card issuer states that it won’t check your credit score when you apply or get pre-approved. So, pick one card you really want and are sure you can get and then apply instead of applying for multiple cards at once.
If you don’t see your best deal here, check out other credit card options for you.
Editorial disclosure: Reviews are as determined solely by Credit.com staff. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewers and aren’t reviewed or approved by any advertiser. Information presented is accurate as of the date of the review, including information on card rates, rewards and fees. Check the issuer’s website for the most current information on each card listed.
Advertiser disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this website are from credit card companies that Credit.com receives compensation from. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers.
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