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Best Credit Cards of 2018

Finding the best credit cards is both an art and science. To some extent it’s about the numbers. You look for cards with the lowest interest rates or fees, or the highest rewards. But it’s also about matching the best credit card with your specific financial needs.

As a result, the top card will vary from one person to the next. You should consider what your financial goals are, such as earning rewards, paying down debt with a 0% offer, or just having an everyday card you can use. You also need to consider your credit score.

With those caveats in mind, we’ve assembled a list of the three Best Credit Cards for 2018 by category as selected by the editors of allcards.com. There are, of course, other options. With each category we’ve included a link to a larger list of credit cards. And following this list, you’ll find more details about these offers and information about our ranking methodology.

*I’ve marked with an asterisks those cards that I currently carry and use.

Best Cash Back Cards

There are two approaches to cash back cards. Either you carry one card with excellent rewards, or you carry multiple cards to get the most out of every purchase. The one card approach is simple, but doesn’t maximize your rewards. The multiple card approach is a bit of a hassle, but you get the most cash back.

I opt for the simple approach. And for that reason, the Citi® Double Cash Card is my card of choice. It pays a total of 2% cash back once you’ve paid for your purchases. And that’s why it makes the top of our list.

If you want to maximize your cash, the Chase Freedom and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express are excellent options.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 3% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card, you can start earning cash back. No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Cash back is earned only on eligible purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate based on your creditworthiness and other factors.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Signup Bonus: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Cash Back Rewards–
    • 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; and
    • 1% back on other purchases.
  • Note: Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • No annual fee.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Signup Bonus: $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 9 months
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Signup Bonus:  Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Cash Back: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Intro APR: 0% for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey
  • No annual fee
Click here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited and similar credit cards.

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card offers a similar rewards structure. You earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Wells Fargo ups the ante, however, in two ways.

First, you’ll earn 1.8% cash back for the first 12 months when you use Android Pay™ or an Apple Pay™ mobile wallet. Second, you get a $200 cash bonus when you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months. On top of that, pay your cell phone bill with your card and get up to $600 of protection on your cell phone (subject to a $25 deductible) against covered damage and theft.

There is no annual fee, and you get 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.

Learn more about this card here.

 

Chase Freedom

Sticking with Chase credit cards, another good option is the Chase Freedom® card. It offers up to 5% cash back on categories that change every three months. There is a spending cap of $1,500 each quarter, and all other purchases earn 1% cash back.

Get a $150 bonus when you spend $500 on the card in the first three months. The card also offers 0% introductory rate for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. There is no annual fee.

Learn more about this card here.

Capital One QuicksilverOneLearn More

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is ideal for those with less than stellar credit. It’s designed for those with average, fair or limited credit. It still pays 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It does not offer a cash bonus or introductory APR. On the bright side, it doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Learn more about this card here.

Capital One SavorLearn More

Last on our list in the cash back category is the Capital One® Savor? Cash Rewards Credit Card. This unique offer pays 3% cash back on dining, 2% on grocers, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

You also get a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on the card in the first three months. And the card comes with a 0% introductory APR for nine months on purchases and balance transfers. There is no annual fee.d

Learn more about this card here.

See also: Check out our complete list of cash back credit cards

Best Balance Transfer Cards

Finding the best 0% card for balance transfers is primarily about the numbers. You want a 0% offer that lasts as long as possible. And to the extent available, you’d prefer not to pay a transfer fee.

Learn More

We start with one of two no fee balance transfer offers. This one comes from the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express. You get 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.

For balance transfers, there is no balance transfer fee if you request the transfer within 60 days of opening the account.

In addition, you can earn 10,000 Membership Rewards Points when you make $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months. And there is no annual fee.

Chase Slate

The Chase Slate card is the second offer currently available with no balance transfer fee, and the 0% introductory rate lasts a respectable 15 months. Here’s the deal. There is no balance transfer fee on balance transfers made in the first 60 days of account opening. And the 0% offer lasts for 15 months.

In addition, Chase gives you free access to your FICO credit score. And there is no annual fee.

Learn more about this card here.

Bonus: There are cards that offer 0% on balance transfers and purchases for up to 21 months. You can find these and other offers here.

Our next option is the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card. With this card you’ll get a 0% introductory rate for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. You also get free access to your FICO score and up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) on covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card. And there’s no annual fee.

Learn more about this card here.

Several great cash back cards also offer an excellent 0% balance transfer. One such card is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. In addition to the cash back, you get 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. There is no annual fee.

Learn more about this card here.

Blue Cash Preferred ReviewLearn More

Another great cash back card with a 0% offer is the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The card comes with a 0% introductory rate for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. This is a strong offer, particularly given the $150 statement credit new card members can earn.

And there is no annual fee.

Learn more about this card here.

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card comes with a 0% balance transfer for 12 months. The offer is also good on purchases. Recall that there is no annual fee and the chance to earn a $200 bonus.

Learn more about this card here.

Chase Freedom

Here’s another card with a 15 month 0% offer. In addition to the cash back and bonus cash rewards, you’ll get a 0% introductory rate for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. There is no annual fee, but the balance transfer fee on this one is 5% (3% is standard).

Learn more about this card here.

Capital One QuicksilverLearn More

While not the longest 0% offer, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for nine months.

There is no annual fee.

Learn more about this card here.

See also: A longer list of 0% credit cards

Best Travel Rewards Card

Travel cards represent a diverse universe of rewards. These include general travel rewards that are independent of a specific company, airline miles cards, hotel rewards cards, and even specialty cards. As such, it’s difficult to pick the “best” travel card. A lot will depend on how you use the card and how you travel.

Learn More

With that said, our top pick goes to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. It’s a card I’ve carried for years and for good reason. New card members get a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening Those miles are worth $500 in travel.

Beyond this one-time bonus, you’ll also earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on the card. And you even earn 10x miles on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/venture.

There is a $95 annual fee, but it is waived the first year. And excellent to good credit is required to qualify for this card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Next up is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Here the bonus is potentially larger. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. With Chase, that’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The ongoing rewards are bit different than the Venture card, however. You will earn 2x points for every dollar spent on travel and at restaurants. All other purchases earn 1x point.

There is also a $95 annual fee, but again the fee is waived the first year.

Learn more about this and similar cards here.

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