These days, most of us use credit cards to pay for everything from coffee to airline tickets to Amazon shopping. If you want to stretch your wallet to the max, you need a credit card that offers solid rewards that match your spending habits.
- The best cashback card
- best travel card
- Best Guaranteed Card
- best business card
- The best credit card for students
- The best balance transfer card
- how we choose
Fortunately, there are many options, from simple cashback cards to more complicated travel cards, with lots of generous credits but also significant fees. And if your main concern is getting credit or paying off debt, there are options for you too, between secured and balance transfer cards.
To help you earn rewards with whatever type of card you're interested in, we've rounded up all the WSJ Buy Side picks across multiple card categories. Read on to see all of our best credit card options.
The best cashback card
Tarjeta Wells Fargo Active Cash®
- Base Rewards Rate: 2% cash rewards on purchases
- Welcome Offer: $200 cash reward bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months
- Annual Fee: $0
- TAE: 17.99%, 22.99% or 27.99% TAE variable
- Select "Order Now" for more information on product features, terms and conditions.
- View Rates and Charges
why did we choose it: LosTarjeta Wells Fargo Active Cash®It is an annual feecredit card backwhich offers unlimited 2% cashback on everything you buy. This is the highest cash back rate you can get on all your credit card spending without restrictions like a spending limit. You can also earn a $200 sign-up bonus if you spend at least $1,000 in your first three months with Wells Fargo Active Cash.
Are the rewards worth the fees?Wells Fargo Active Cash does not charge an annual fee that affects your reward earnings. If you spend $3,000 a month on the card, which is an average spend for a Wall Street Journal subscriber, you'll earn $920 in cash rewards for the first year, including the $200 sign-up bonus. annual reimbursement of $720 at the same expense.
However, if you don't mind jumping a few hoops to get higher returns, you might be able to find a cashback card that will net you more. For example, heAlliant Reimbursement Visa Signatureoffers 2.5% back on all your expenses, but there is a monthly spending cap of $10,000. Additionally, you must be an Alliant member to sign up, open a credit union checking account, and meet certain requirements to take advantage of the 2.5% cash back fee.
You might also do better with a different card if you spend too much on certain categories like food or gas. For example, heCapital One SavorOneoffers 3% back on restaurants and grocery stores, excluding big-box stores like Target and Walmart, and on streaming and entertainment services.
best travel card
Capital One Venture Rewards credit card
- Basic reward rate: 2x
- Bonus rewards: 5x on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One
- Sign-up Bonus: 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months ($750 value when redeemed for penny-per-mile rides)
- Annual Fee: $95
- APR: 18.99% - 26.99% variable
- Foreign transaction fee: 0%
why did we choose it: LosCapital One Venture Rewards credit cardIt's a great option if you want to earn travel rewards without having to deal with a complicated rewards structure or high annual fees. At $95 a year, the card earns points per dollar on all your spending, as well as five points per dollar on hotels and car rentals if you book through Capital One.
You can also get a decent 75,000 mile sign-up bonus if you spend $4,000 in your first three months with the card. This works out to $750 when redeemed for travel.
Plus, you can enjoy the card's travel benefits, including airport lounge access, rental car coverage, and a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every four years.
Are the rewards worth the fees?: If you spend $3,000 a month oncapital of a company, you'll earn 147,000 miles in your first year on the card, including the introductory bonus. Altogether, this is worth $1,470 worth of travel. In subsequent years, you'll earn 72,000 miles for the same spend, which equals $720 worth of travel and more than enough to offset the card's $95 annual fee.
But then again, if certain categories take up more room in your budget, you might do better with atravel credit cardwho earns higher rewards in those categories. For example, if you spend a lot on food, theChase Sapphire Preferred Cardcan be a great choice as you earn points per dollar on food and groceries online excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs. The card's annual fee is also $95.
If, instead, the benefits of luxury travel are your priority when choosing a travel credit card, check out theAmerican Express Platinum Cardthat comes with premium benefits like multiple insurance protections, airport lounge access, concierge service, advance ticket options and an extended warranty on qualifying purchases. You can also get up to $1,500 in annual value from the numerous statement credits the card offers. That said, Amex Platinum comes with a much higher annual fee of $695.
Best Guaranteed Card
Discover it® Insurance
- No credit history required
- Annual Fee: None
- Base rewards: 1% cashback
- Additional Rewards: 2% Cash Back at Gas Stations and Restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter)
- Introductory Offer: Cashback Match - All cash back earned in the first year is doubled on the anniversary of the card
- APR: 25.99% variable
why did we choose it: Discover it® Secured is a great credit building tool, thanks to monthly account reviews that begin after seven months on the card, as well as an ongoing path to a standard unsecured credit card. Plus, you'll also receive 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 of combined purchases each quarter. All other purchases receive 1% back.
In addition, Discover it Secured is the onlysecured credit cardto submit an introductory bonus offer. That is, the issuer will match all the cash back you earn in the first year with the card.
Are the rewards worth the fees?When it comes to a secured credit card, building credit rather than earning rewards should be a priority. In addition, the credit limits on this type of card are often low, which can make it difficult to accumulate cash back.
Still, Discover it Secured can be very rewarding, especially since there is no annual fee. For example, if you spend $500 a month outside of the bonus categories, you'll earn $60 cash a year, or $120 your first year with the card. If $200 of that monthly budget went to dining out and groceries, you would earn $83 in annual repayment, or $166 in the first year.
That said, there are other secured credit cards that can potentially net you more. If you have fair credit or a FICO score between 580 and 669, consider Capital One Quicksilver Guaranteed Rewards, which earns 1.5% on all purchases.
Or, if you're ready for a more complicated cash rewards structure, the Bank of America® Customized Secure Cash Rewards Credit Card is worth a look. This card offers 3% cashback in the category of your choice and 2% cashback in supermarkets and wholesale clubs. Bonus rewards are capped at $2,500 in combined quarterly spend.
best business card
Tarjeta Business Gold American Express®
- Base Rewards: 1x
- Bonus Rewards: 4x combined spend of up to $150,000 in the two categories you spend the most each month: airfare purchased directly from the airlines; advertising purchases; gas; purchases of hardware, software and cloud solutions; restaurants; Shipping.
- 70,000 point welcome bonus after spending $10,000 in the first three months.
- Book your flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards Pay with points and get 25% of those points back.
- $295 annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- APR: 17.99% - 25.99% variable
- Applicable terms.Check rates and fees.
why did we choose it: LosTarjeta American Express Business Goldcan provide exceptional value, thanks to its points-per-dollar-spent ratio in either of the two categories where it spends the most.
Eligible categories should come in handy for many business owners and include airfare, advertising, gas, computer hardware and software, shipping, and more. Unlike some cards with bonus levels where you have to manually select where you will receive rewards, this card automatically determines rewards based on your spending. The bonus rate is capped at $150,000 in combined annual expenses.
The card also offers a generous welcome bonus: you can earn 70,000 points after spending $10,000 in the first three months. That's a value of $700 when redeemed for airfare with Amex. In addition, you can enjoy card benefits such as various travel and shopping protections.
SonAre the rewards worth the fees?Amex Express Trading Goldcharges an annual fee of $295 per year. Fortunately, the high rate of bonus rewards can make clearing easier.
Let's say your business spends $10,000 a month. If you spent just outside the eligible bonus categories, you'd earn 120,000 points a year, which would be worth $1,200 if redeemed for travel. In the first year, your earnings would be 190,000 points, including bonus 70,000 points or $1,900 in airfare.
If half of your spending was in the bonus categories, your annual rewards earnings would be 300,000 points or 370,000 points with the introductory bonus in the first year. That's worth $3,000 and $3,700 worth of airfare, respectively.
You can also redeem rewards for gift cards or at select online retailers, but your points may lose some value. If you'd rather just get a cash refund, consider a different option.business credit cardlike himCapital One Spark Cash Plusoffering unlimited 2% cashback on all purchases and a lower annual fee of $150.Chase Ink Business Unlimited® credit cardis another decent option with a 1.5% cashback rate on everything you buy and no annual fee.
The best credit card for students
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Base Rewards Rate: 1% cash back
- Bonus Rewards: 3% on Restaurants, Entertainment, Popular Streaming Services, and Grocery Stores
- Signup Bonus: $100 if you spend $100 in the first three months
- no annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- TAE: 17.99% - 27.99% variable
why did we choose it: LosCapital One SavorOne for StudentsIt can be a great option for students, earning additional rewards in categories that students shouldn't have a problem reaching the most. The card offers 3% back at restaurants, entertainment, streaming services, and grocery stores, except Walmart and Target. All other purchases receive 1% back.
Plus, you'll receive 5% back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel. Until January 2023, you can also receive 8% back on purchases through Vivid Seats, a ticket resale platform.
Plus, the card sign-up bonus is easy to earn. You can get $100 by spending just $100 in your first three months with the card. In addition, Capital One SavorOne for Students will give you access to benefits such as travel accident insurance, extended warranty coverage and concierge service, all of which are not common for astudent credit card.
ONEAre the rewards worth the fees?Like most student credit cards, Capital One SavorOne for Students has no annual fees. This means that if you avoid carrying a balance and paying interest, the card can generate significant earnings.
For example, let's say you spend $1,000 on the card every month. If all of these expenses were outside the bonus categories, you would earn $120 cash back annually or $220 the first year. But if you spent that money on groceries, meals, entertainment, and streaming, you'd make $360 a year, or $460 the first year.
If you prefer a student credit card with a simpler rewards system, check out theCapital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students, which offers 1.5% cashback on all purchases. Or, if you want your credit card to encourage responsible card handling, consider another card from the same issuer: theCapital One Journey Student Rewards🇧🇷 With the Journey card, you will receive 1% cashback on all expenses, but every time you pay your bill on time, your cashback rate will increase to 1.25% for that month.
The best balance transfer card
Unlimited rewards in Bank of America cash
- Introductory APR Offer: Offers 0% APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, then regular APR applies
- Introductory APR applies to balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening your account
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3% (min. $10)
- Annual fee: $0
- APR regular: 16,99% a 26,99%
why did we choose it: Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards offers the ideal combination of ongoing rewards and a lengthy introductory offer on balance transfers and new purchases. The card earns 1.5% on all purchases and comes with an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 18 billing cycles. After that, the current variable APR applies.
Plus, you can earn a $200 sign-up bonus when you spend at least $1,000 on the card in your first 90 days.
Are the rewards worth the fees?Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards has no annual fee. But keep in mind that this card, like most balance transfer cards, comes with a 3% fee (minimum $10) on any balance transferred.
If your goal was to pay off $5,000 of credit card debt during your introductory interest-free period, you would be paying $286 a month. That said, it's about $57 less than a typical balance transfer with a similar balance transfer fee and a more standard 15-month interest-free offer.
If you're looking for a balance transfer card with no balance transfer fee, check out the Wings Financial Credit Union Wings Visa Platinum Card. Keep in mind, however, that the 0% interest term is shorter: just 12 months.
If you don't mind losing a few months of 0% APR, Wells Fargo Active Cash can also be a good option. You get 2% back on all your expenses and you're offered 15 months interest free on balance transfers, after which the continuously variable APR kicks in.
how we choose
To choose the buy side of WSJ Best Rewards credit cards, he analyzed hundreds of credit cards in different categories, from cash back to business and travel. In general, we looked for cards with generous rewards that were also easy to use, as we assume that most readers aren't obsessed with credit cards and are willing to keep and track a dozen cards.
There were exceptions in the guarantee and balance transfer categories, where we favored cards that offer the clearest path to getting credit or paying off debt.
To learn more about how we choose credit cards and meet our expert panel, you can also check out the Buy Side on the full WSJ website.best credit card methodology.
— Additional reporting by Aaron Hurd, Beth Pinkser, Ian Salisbury and Geoff Williams.
Which credit card is best for reward points? ›
- SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card. (5/5) ...
- American Express SmartEarn Credit Card. (4.5/5) ...
- Citi Rewards Credit Card. (4.2/5) ...
- IDFC FIRST Select Credit Card. (4.7/5) ...
- RBL Bank ShopRite Credit Card. (4.6/5) ...
- HSBC Smart Value Credit Card. Apply Now. ...
- Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card. (4.6/5) ...
- Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card. (4.7/5)
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card *: Best for Amazon.
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best For Groceries.
- Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card: Best for Bad Credit.
- Discover it® Secured Credit Card: Best Secured Card.
- Citi Premier® Card: Best for good credit.
- Capital One Platinum Credit Card: Best for fair credit.
- Discover it® Secured Credit Card: Best for no credit history.
- Discover it® Student Cash Back: Best for students.
- Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card: Best for bad credit.
50,000 Chase points are worth $535 with most Chase credit cards, whether you spend them on travel, cash back, gift cards, experiences or shopping.Are rewards cards really worth it? ›
Are rewards credit cards worth it? In most cases, yes, as long as you're not carrying a balance and the annual fee (if the card charges one) is less than the value of the rewards you earn each year.Is it worth getting a credit card for reward points? ›
The value of a rewards point.
In addition to higher annual fees and interest rates, often the points you earn aren't worth much and you need to meet a minimum spend (which is often a lot) in order to earn enough points to redeem them for something.
- The American Express Centurion Card is the most exclusive credit card in the world and is commonly known as the “Amex Black Card.” ...
- The Centurion card is so exclusive that American Express won't release the card's full details or say how one can become a cardholder.
It's generally recommended that you have two to three credit card accounts at a time, in addition to other types of credit. Remember that your total available credit and your debt to credit ratio can impact your credit scores. If you have more than three credit cards, it may be hard to keep track of monthly payments.What card will give me the highest credit limit? ›
On our list, the card with the highest reported limit is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which some say offers a $100,000 limit. We've also seen an advertised maximum credit limit of $100,000 on the First Tech Odyssey Rewards™ World Elite Mastercard®, a credit union rewards card.How much money is 100k points worth? ›
100,000 Chase points are worth $1,070 with most Chase credit cards, whether you spend them on travel, cash back, gift cards, experiences or shopping. With a few Chase cards, 100,000 points can be worth 25% - 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
How many dollars is 150000 points? ›
We generally value Membership Rewards points at about 2.2 cents per point, which means that a 100,000-point bonus offer is worth ~$2,200, a 125,000-point bonus is worth ~$2,750, and a 150,000-point bonus is worth $3,300.How much is 100000 Amex points worth? ›
100,000 points are worth $2,200 per our valuations, and you can use them in a variety of different ways. Think international business class, free domestic airfare, and stays in luxurious hotel suites.Is it better to have 2 credit cards or 1? ›
Low credit utilization ratio: Having more than one credit card can boost your credit score by helping to lower your credit utilization ratio. Your credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you're using compared to the amount of credit available. Most lenders prefer to see it at 30 percent or lower.What credit cards use millionaires? ›
Millionaires use credit cards like the Centurion® Card from American Express, the J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card. These high-end credit cards are available only to people who receive an invitation to apply, which millionaires have the best chance of getting.Is it better to have 3 credit cards or 1? ›
Having more than one credit card may help you keep your credit line utilization ratio per card lower than the recommended 30% by spreading charges. There are potential benefits to having multiple cards, such as pairing various types of rewards cards to optimize earnings on all categories of spending.How many rewards cards should I have? ›
The Points Guy recommends the ideal number of credit cards ranges somewhere between 3 and 10 cards. This is an answer specifically geared to those who want to earn points and miles for travel rewards. While 10 credit cards can seem like a lot, many cards pair well together.How much is 10000 daily rewards worth? ›
$200 gift card: 4,000 Everyday Rewards Points (worth $20 or 2,000 Qantas Points). $500 gift card: 10,000 Everyday Rewards Points (worth $50 or 5,000 Qantas Points).Do rewards cards affect credit? ›
Using a rewards card responsibly can be part of building credit and improving your credit score. And that's true of any credit card, whether it offers rewards or not.What is the smartest way to use a credit card that has rewards? ›
- Use the right card. Using a rewards card for all your purchases can help you earn cash back, points or miles. ...
- Earn the welcome bonus. Most rewards credit cards offer a welcome bonus after account opening that can help you jump start earning rewards. ...
- Check for limited-time offers. ...
- Combine points. ...
- Pay your bill in full.
Generally speaking, it's better to redeem your points for travel. You're likely to get more value from a travel redemption than cash back for the same number of points. It's best to aim to get at least 1.5 cents value from each point.
What is the smartest way to use credit card points? ›
Airline flights and cash back for travel are usually the most valuable ways to redeem your points. Gift cards and merchandise are usually the lowest-value ways to redeem your points. You can calculate the value of your points by dividing the dollar value of the reward by the number of points needed to get it.Why do rich people use Amex? ›
It offers new cardholders 80,000 points for spending $6,000 in the first 6 months. Plus, it makes for a great travel companion as it offers 1 - 5 points per $1 spent on purchases. Among its many perks, it also provides concierge service and access to a host of worldwide airport lounges.Who qualifies for a black card? ›
Generally, a card issuer invites only their most loyal customers who spend upwards of six figures or more a year to become a black cardholder.Which credit card is the most difficult to get? ›
Why it's one of the hardest credit cards to get: The hardest credit card to get is the American Express Centurion Card. Known simply as the “Black Card,” you need an invitation to get Amex Centurion.What is a 5 24 rule? ›
What is the 5/24 rule? Many card issuers have criteria for who can qualify for new accounts, but Chase is perhaps the most strict. Chase's 5/24 rule means that you can't be approved for most Chase cards if you've opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months.Is it better to close a credit card or keep it open and not use it? ›
In general, it's best to keep unused credit cards open so that you benefit from a longer average credit history and a larger amount of available credit. Credit scoring models reward you for having long-standing credit accounts, and for using only a small portion of your credit limit.How many credit cards does the average person own? ›
How many credit cards does the average person have? According to the latest figures from Experian, the average American has 3.84 credit cards with an average credit limit of $30,365. And their credit journey usually begins early, with the average Gen Z consumer having 2.1 credit cards.How do you get a 900 credit score? ›
- Maintain a consistent payment history. ...
- Monitor your credit score regularly. ...
- Keep old accounts open and use them sporadically. ...
- Report your on-time rent and utility payments. ...
- Increase your credit limit when possible. ...
- Avoid maxing out your credit cards. ...
- Balance your credit utilization.
- Pick the right card. Some credit cards are known for having higher spending limits than others. ...
- Review your credit report. ...
- Improve your credit score. ...
- Keep your credit utilization ratio below 10% ...
- Update your income and assets. ...
- Request a credit limit increase.
- Make a request online. Many credit card issuers allow their cardholders to ask for a credit limit increase online. ...
- Call your card issuer. ...
- Look for automatic increases. ...
- Apply for a new card.
Does Amex still have a black card? ›
The American Express Centurion Card is the official name of the Amex Black Card. The Black Card is a high-end, exclusive charge card issued by American Express. Platinum Card holders must meet certain criteria to be extended an invitation. The American Express Black Card comes in personal and business variants.How much money is 2 million Amex points? ›
The good news is that AR has 2 million MR points which can be cashed out for $20,000 in gift cards through American Express.Is Amex Platinum worth it? ›
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual card credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.How to get Amex Platinum 150k? ›
Try a Personal Referral Link
Don't give up hope yet. You may be able to find an offer to earn 150,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first six months of card membership by using a personal referral link for the Platinum Card from a friend or family member. Click here to apply for this targeted referral offer.
We generally value Membership Rewards points at about 2.2 cents per point, which means that a 100,000 Membership Rewards points bonus offer is worth ~$2,200, a 125,000-point bonus is worth ~$2,750, and a 150,000-point bonus is worth $3,300.Is Amex Platinum 150k worth it? ›
Sure, a 150,000-point bonus sounds great … but those points aren't worth a dime if it means you're digging yourself into debt to earn them. If you can't afford to pay off every dollar you charge to your card to earn these points, it's not worth it.Is Amex platinum hard to get? ›
Most Amex Platinum cardholders have a credit score of 670 or better, and relatively high income. But your score alone does not fully decide whether or not you will be approved. If you have a strong credit score with a few years of credit history and a decent annual income, you stand a good chance of being approved.What will 200000 Amex points get you? ›
200,000 Amex points typically only gives you about $2,000 in value when shopping for flights in the Amex travel portal but we seek out more valuable solutions that can sometimes include First or Business Class flights — that normally cost over $10,000 — for 200k points, or less, when transferring points to frequent ...Is 1 million Amex points a lot? ›
While earning 1 million Membership Rewards points requires a lot of spending, you can get there much faster with credit card category and welcome bonuses. While it may be tempting to apply for all of the high welcome bonuses at once, keep in mind that Amex does limit the number of cards you can have at once.How much is 100000 reward points worth? ›
100,000 points are worth $2,200 per our valuations, and you can use them in a variety of different ways. Think international business class, free domestic airfare, and stays in luxurious hotel suites.
What are 1000 credit card points worth? ›
1,000 Chase points are worth $10.7 with most Chase credit cards, whether you spend them on travel, cash back, gift cards, experiences or shopping.How much is 150k Amex points worth? ›
We generally value Membership Rewards points at about 2.2 cents per point, which means that a 100,000-point bonus offer is worth ~$2,200, a 125,000-point bonus is worth ~$2,750, and a 150,000-point bonus is worth $3,300.How do billionaires use credit cards? ›
Just over half of wealthy respondents open a new credit card at least three times per year. Only a third of respondents pay off their statement balance every month. Wealthy credit card holders prefer cash back cards and put a strong emphasis on no annual fees.Is it good to have a credit card and not use it at all? ›
While having a zero balance on your accounts is great for your utilization rate, it's also important to keep them open and active. That means you may have to use them for more than just emergencies.What brings your credit score up? ›
Factors that contribute to a higher credit score include a history of on-time payments, low balances on your credit cards, a mix of different credit card and loan accounts, older credit accounts, and minimal inquiries for new credit.What is the highest credit score points? ›
A credit score ranges from 300 to 850 and is a numerical rating that measures a person's likelihood to repay a debt. A higher credit score signals that a borrower is lower risk and more likely to make on-time payments.How many dollars is 60000 credit card points? ›
For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 when redeemed for travel purchases, or $600 when redeemed for cash.Is Chase Sapphire Preferred worth it? ›
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent card for travelers in general. It even has a few travel perks, such as primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance and lost luggage insurance.How can I raise my credit score 70 points fast? ›
- Lower your credit utilization rate. The fastest way to get a credit score boost is to lower the amount of revolving debt (which is generally credit cards) you're carrying. ...
- Ask for late payment forgiveness. ...
- Dispute inaccurate information on your credit reports. ...
- Add utility and phone payments to your credit report.
- Pay credit card balances strategically.
- Ask for higher credit limits.
- Become an authorized user.
- Pay bills on time.
- Dispute credit report errors.
- Deal with collections accounts.
- Use a secured credit card.
- Get credit for rent and utility payments.
How can I raise my credit score 500 points fast? ›
- Pay Your Bills on Time. Payment history is an important factor in calculating your credit scores. ...
- Maintain a Low Credit Utilization Ratio. ...
- Consider a Secured Credit Card. ...
- Look Into Credit Counseling.