Credit Cards: Find the Best Credit Card Offers & Deals – November 2017



Updated October 3, 2017
The best credit cards can help you earn $2 or more for every $100 you spend – an easy way to make $100s or even $1,000s a year. When done properly, low rate credit cards are also the cheapest way to borrow. You can get 0% interest for up to 2 years. And credit cards are the best way to build, rebuild or maintain an excellent credit score, without paying fees.
But if you get it wrong, you can easily end up buried under a pile of expensive debt. This is a step-by-step guide that will help you find the best credit cards while avoiding expensive traps.

Best Credit Cards of 2017
Best Cash Back Cards

Best Flat-Rate
Best Category Bonus

Gas
Grocery
Travel
Dining



Best Travel Cards

Best for U.S. Travel

Best No Annual Fee Travel Card – Miles Can Be Used Anywhere
Best No Annual Fee Travel Card – Earn Airline Miles & Hotel Points


Best for International Travel

No Annual or Foreign Transaction Fee + Chip and Pin Functionality
Best Foreign Travel for Fair Credit



Best Low Rate Cards

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Best 0% Purchase Credit Cards
Best Low Interest Credit Cards

Best Cards to Help Build or Rebuild Your Credit Score

Best Secured Credit Cards if You Have Bad or No Credit
Best Credit Cards if You Have Fair Credit



In This Guide
How to Choose and Use a Rewards Credit Card
How to Choose and Use a Low Rate Credit Card
How to Choose and Use a Credit Card to Build or Rebuild Your Score
A Special Note: Beware Predatory Companies
Other Benefits of Using a Credit Card
Should You Get a Credit Card?
Which Type of Card is Best for You?
FAQ





How to Choose and Use a Rewards Card
It is now easy to earn great rewards when you use a credit card for your spending. You should earn at least 2% cash back, and can earn even more with a bit of work. The money can add up quickly. If you spend $1,000 a month, you can earn $240 a year. It is not very often you can get something for nothing. But if you make the right choice and follow the rules, you can earn significant rewards.
How to Choose
If you only want to use one credit card, you should choose the best cash back credit card for your credit score.
If you are willing to carry another credit card in your wallet, consider adding a card that pays a much higher bonus in certain cash back categories (like gas, for example).
If you want to earn free travel, including airline miles or hotel points, you should use a travel rewards credit card.
If you plan on traveling abroad, you should make sure you have a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. Ideally, it should also have chip-and-pin functionality.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards
Cash back credit cards are a great way for you to earn money back from everyday purchases. There are two types of cash back credit cards — flat-rate and category. Flat-rate cards offer the same cash back rate for all purchases, while category cards offer higher rates for certain purchases like gas, grocery, travel, and dining. Below we break down the best cash back credit cards.

Best Flat-Rate
These are the top cards offering a flat cash back rate.






1% When You Buy + 1% When You Pay
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer



The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is the best overall cash back credit card. So long as you pay your statement balance in full and on time every month, you will earn 2% cash back. You earn 1% unlimited cash back on all of your purchases. You then earn an additional 1% on payments based on your purchases. The bonus cash back can take up to two billing cycles to post.







Transparency Score

No caps on how much cash back you can earn.
Cash back earning formula is easy to understand
There is a range of interest rates. You won’t know yours until after you apply




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent Credit
Purchase Interest Rate : 14.49% – 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : None
Intro Purchase APR : None
Intro Balance Transfer : 0% for 18 months
BT Fee : 3% or $5, whichever is greater



Tip: Make sure you pay your statement balance in full and on time to maximize your cash back.

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Unlimited 2% Cash Back on Every Purchase
Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card



The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card offers Fidelity customers a generous 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limits or category restrictions. The cash back you earn must be deposited into a Fidelity account, but you don’t need to have a Fidelity account to apply for the card. If you do not have a Fidelity account, they will open a Fidelity Cash Management Account to deposit your cash back. It works like a checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees.







Transparency Score

Simple cash back earning formula
No caps on how much cash back you can earn
You need to have a Fidelity account in order to redeem your cash back




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Excellent Credit
Purchase Interest Rate : 14.99% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : None
Intro Purchase APR : None
Intro Balance Transfer : None
BT Fee : 3% or $5, whichever is greater



Tip: You don’t need to keep your retirement or stock accounts with Fidelity to qualify for this card. Anyone can apply.

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Best Category Bonuses
Here are the top cash back cards that pay much higher rates in certain bonus categories, which can be a great way to boost your returns.







Unlimited 5% Cash Back on Gas
Fort Knox Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card



If you spend a lot of money on gas, there is no better card than this. You can earn unlimited 5% cash back on spending at gas stations. You will earn 1% on all other spend. You must be a member of the credit union, but anyone can join. Pay $5 to join the American Consumer Council of Kentucky ( you can do that here ) and you will be eligible to join.







Transparency Score

No limit to the cash back you can earn, even in the bonus category
You have to be a member of the credit union to get the card




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : as low as 10.25%
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : None
Intro Purchase APR : None
Intro Balance Transfer : None
BT Fee : None



Tip: If you are not yet a member, you can use the non-member application process. Once approved, you can join with your $5 contribution to American Consumer Council.

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6% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets (Up to $6,000 of Spend)
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express



The unparalleled 6% cash back rate at U.S. Supermarkets makes this one of the best cards on the market for heavy grocery shoppers. Even with the $95 annual fee, most grocery shoppers will come out ahead. You will also earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% at select U.S. department stores and 1% on all other purchases. You’ll earn the sign up bonus of a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.







Transparency Score

Simple, easy to understand bonus offer
There is an Annual fee




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : 13.99% – 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee : $95
Sign-on Bonus : $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases  within the first 3 months of account opening.
Intro Purchase APR : 0% for 12 months
Intro Balance Transfer : 0% for 12 months
BT Fee : 3% or $5, whichever is greater



Tip: If you spend less than $200 a month on groceries, you will earn less than 2% cash back (after taking into account the fee) and would be better with Citi Double Cash or Fidelity American Express. But, if you spend more each year, this is a great option.

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4.25% Cash Back on Airfare Expenses
PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card



If you buy a lot of plane tickets every year, this card can be particularly lucrative. You will earn 5 points for every $1 spent on air travel. When you convert those points to a prepaid Visa card, those 5 points turn into a 4.25% earn rate. You earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and 20,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 within three months of account opening.







Transparency Score

No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
The conversion from points to $ can be confusing
You must be a member of the credit union




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : 9.74% – 17.99% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : 20,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 within 3 months of opening an account.
Intro Purchase APR : None
Intro Balance Transfer : 0% for 12 months
BT Fee : 3%None



Tip: Keep an eye open on the redemption opportunities. You can sometimes find better deals than just prepaid Visa® cards.

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3% Unlimited Cash Back at Restaurants
AARP® Credit Card from Chase



You do not have to be over 55, or a member of the AARP®, to apply for this credit card. When applying, you just need to keep the “AARP® Membership Number” field blank. You can earn unlimited 3% cash back on your dining expenses. So, if you are a foodie, this is a great card. You also get a healthy 3% cash back on gas and 1% on all other purchases. You can learn more about the offer by visiting AARP.org .
The information related to AARP® Visa credit card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.







Transparency Score

No limit to the cash back you can earn
You do not need to be an AARP member to get the card




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Ongoing Purchase APR : 17.24% to 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : $200 bonus cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Intro Purchase APR :  None
Intro Balance Transfer Offer :  None
BT Fee : 3% or $5, whichever is greater



Tip: Joining AARP® at a younger age isn’t as crazy as it sounds. There are a lot of benefits and discounts available to members.

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Do you spend a lot of money in other categories? You can find the best cash back credit cards for every category here.


Best Travel Credit Cards
If you would like to earn free travel, there are a number of credit cards designed specifically to help you earn free flights quickly. Here are the best travel rewards credit cards.

Best Credit Cards for U.S. Travel







Best No Annual Fee Travel Card – Miles Can Be Used Anywhere
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card



With this card, you earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend. There are no restrictions and no blackout dates. Every 100 points can be redeemed for $1 worth of travel. The rewards get even better if you have “Preferred Rewards” at Bank of America®. If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you could increase your points earned with a bonus of 25% – 75%.
There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. You can use your points for a wide range of travel options, including flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars and even pesky baggage fees.







Transparency Score

Simple introductory bonus
No limit to the points you can earn
There is a range of interest rates. You won’t know yours until after you apply




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : 15.99% – 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : 20,000 bonus points after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days.
Intro Purchase APR : 0% for 12 months
Intro Balance Transfer Offer : None
BT Fee : 3% or $10, whichever is greater



Tip: The Preferred Rewards program offers excellent rewards. If you rollover your old 401(k) or IRA to Merrill Edge®, you can get up to a 75% credit card bonus and ATM fee reimbursement with a Bank of America® checking account.

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Best No Annual Fee Travel Card – Earn Airline Miles & Hotel Points
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express



You can earn 2 points for every $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases. You will earn 1 point on all other purchases, including supermarket spending above $6,000. There is an added bonus if you use your credit card for 20 purchases per month — you will get a bonus of 20% more points on those purchases. That means you would get 2.4 points on grocery store spend (up to $6,000) and 1.2 points on everything else.
You will be earning Membership Rewards Points, which have a wide variety of redemption options such as conversion into frequent flier miles. Participating airlines include Delta, Virgin America, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and more. You also have the option to convert points into hotel programs, including Hilton and Starwood.







Transparency Score

Simple introductory bonus
The 2-point bonus on grocery store spending is capped
You need 20 transactions each month to get the the 20% bonus




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : 13.99% to 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Intro Purchase APR : 0% for 12 months
Intro Balance Transfer : 0% for 12 months
BT Fee : 3% or $5, whichever is greater



Tip: Make sure you use this card for all of your everyday spend. The 20% bonus is based upon the number of transactions made, not the value of those transactions. Even buying a package of gum in the grocery store counts.

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Best Credit Cards for International Travel
These are the best credit cards for use when traveling outside of the country. None of these cards have foreign transaction fees. And some of them even have chip and pin, helping to increase acceptance.







No Annual or Foreign Transaction Fee + Chip and Pin Functionality
First Tech Credit Union Platinum Rewards MasterCard®



This card is a great companion for overseas travel with no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Even better, the card offers chip and pin functionality. Most major credit card issuers in America have rolled out chip and signature, which can be problematic overseas. If you try to use your card at a ticket machine or with a waiter’s portable payment device, you have a good chance of being rejected.
It’s easy to join the credit union —membership is free if you work for a sponsor technology company, work for the state of Oregon or live in Lane County, Oregon. Otherwise, you just need to join the Financial Fitness Association  with a one-time fee of $8. There is a sub-par rewards program: 1 point for every $1 you spend.







Transparency Score

No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
You have to be a member of the credit union




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : as low as 10.99% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : $200 bonus cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Intro Purchase APR : None
Intro Balance Transfer APR : 0% for 12 months
BT Fee : None



Tip: Use this card for foreign travel, not for rewards since you earn a very low rate.

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Best Foreign Travel for Fair Credit
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card



This card is designed for people with average credit. If you have defaulted on a loan in the past five years (but not more than once), or if you have had limited credit history (at least one account for less than three years), you would be considered “average.” With this card, you can earn 1.5% unlimited cash back. There is also no foreign transaction fee, but be aware of the $39 annual fee.
You can use this card to build your credit score by keeping your utilization low (ideally below 20%) and make your payments on time and in full every month. Capital One® provides free access to your FICO score so you can track your score and see when you are eligible for an upgrade to a no-fee card.







Transparency Score

No limit to the cash back you can earn
No confusing categories or limits
No annual fee or foreign transaction fee




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Average
Purchase Interest Rate : 24.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee : $39
Sign-on Bonus : None
Intro Purchase APR : None
Intro Balance Transfer Offer : None
BT Fee : None



Tip: Use this credit card to build your score and avoid expensive foreign transaction fees.

 
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How to Use
In order to maximize your cash back, make sure you follow these suggestions:

Use your chosen cash back card for ALL of your spending. Your goal should be to replace cash, checks, automatic debits and debit cards completely. For example, you can automate bill payments (like your cell phone) to be debited from your credit card. This will make your life easier (only one payment to make each month) and it will make budgeting easier (you can set a target for spending and track it easily).
Set up automatic monthly payments for the statement balance, not the minimum due. If you set up automatic payments, you will ensure that your payment will be on time every month. And if you set up the automatic payment for the statement balance, you will ensure that you are never charged interest and only charge what you can afford to repay.
Avoid cash advances. If you use your credit card to take out cash, most companies will charge a cash advance fee that averages 3%. The interest rate on cash advances is usually above 20%. And there is no grace period, which means interest starts accruing right away.


Best Low Rate Cards
If you’re someone who carries a balance month-to-month, a low rate credit card can be a great way for you to save money. Whether you want to complete a balance transfer, finance a large purchase, of simply have a low rate card in your wallet, there is a card for you. See below for our top picks.



How to Choose and Use a Low Rate Credit Card
When done properly, credit cards can be the cheapest way to borrow. Just make sure you choose the right credit card for your situation and automate a plan to pay off the debt as quickly as possible.
How to Choose
If you already have credit card debt and you are looking for a lower interest rate to help you pay off the debt faster, you should find a balance transfer credit card.
If you need to finance a purchase with a credit card, you should look for a credit card with a long 0% purchase offer.
You might want a credit card with a consistently low interest rate. In case an emergency springs up unexpectedly, you will have a lower cost way of borrowing in your pocket. If you want a card for emergencies, review the low rate credit cards.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
With a balance transfer credit card, you can transfer debt from a high interest rate credit card to a 0% introductory promotional rate. You can find no fee balance transfers for up to 15 months. If you are willing to pay a fee, you can find balance transfers for 18 or 21 months. The fee is usually worthwhile – if you want to do the calculation, you can use the calculator on our interactive tool.
Remember: You cannot transfer debt between two credit cards of the same bank.
Here are the best 0% balance transfer offers in the market today. All of these credit cards waive interest – which means there is no retroactive interest charge to worry about.






No Fee – 0% on transfers for 15 months
Chase Slate® credit card



With the Chase Slate® credit card you can enjoy a balance transfer offer for 15 months and pay no balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. The intro $0 transfer fee is a great way to save money when completing your transfer. In addition to the balance transfer offer, you pay no interest on purchases for 15 months — great for those who want to pay off a large purchase over time without accruing interest.







Transparency Score

Interest is waived, not deferred during the promotional period.
Interest rate is not known until you apply.




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : 15.99% – 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : None
Intro Purchase APR : 0% for 15 months
Intro Balance Transfer Offer :  0% for 15 months
BT Fee :  Intro $0 when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. After, 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5.



Tip: Compete your transfer within 60 days from account opening to take advantage of the intro $0 transfer fee.

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0% intro APR on transfers and purchases for 21 months; 3% balance transfer fee
Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever



Citibank has a strong intro balance transfer offer, with a long 21 months. In addition, the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever has some added perks. There are no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee. Although you should always try to pay on time, it is nice that this card will not punish you for the occasional mistake. In addition to the balance transfer offer, you pay no interest on purchases for 21 months.







Transparency Score

No late fee, no penalty APR and no annual fee
Interest is not deferred during the introductory promotional period. It is waived.
There is a range of interest rates. You won’t know yours until you apply.




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : 14.99% – 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : None
Intro Purchase APR : 0% for 21 months
Intro Balance Transfer Offer : 0% for 21 months
BT Fee : 3% or $5, whichever is greater



Tip: Make sure you transfer your balance within 4 months of opening the card, otherwise you lose the promotional offer.

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Paying off credit card debt sometimes requires more than one balance transfer credit card. If you want even more choices, check out our full guide to the best balance transfer cards , or use our balance transfer calculator to see which cards will save you most.


Best 0% Purchase Credit Cards
With a 0% introductory purchase offer, you will not be charged interest for purchases made on the credit card during the promotional period. This is a great way to finance a purchase. Even better, none of these top cards charge retroactive interest if you don’t pay off the balance during the promotional period. (A lot of store credit cards offer 0%, but then hit you with a big penalty. But don’t worry – these recommendations don’t do that).






0% intro on Purchases for 21 Months
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases



If you are looking to finance a purchase, Citibank offers the longest 0% intro purchase promotion of any credit card in the MagnifyMoney database. The intro APR on purchases will be 0% for the first 21 months after opening the credit card. This is a fantastic length of time for you to pay off your balance. Additionally, Citi® Diamond Preferred® has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months. There is also no annual fee and the ability to choose your payment due date from any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.







Transparency Score

Interest is waived, not deferred during the promotional period.
Interest rate is not known until you apply.




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : 13.99% – 23.99%
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : None
Intro Purchase APR : 0% for 21 months
Intro Balance Transfer Offer : 0% for 21 months
BT Fee : 3% or $5, whichever is greater



Tip: The 21 months starts from when you open the credit card, not when you make the purchase. So make sure you time your application with your planned purchase.

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0% Intro on Purchases for 18 Months – Credit Union Membership Required
TruWest Visa® Signature



TruWest is a credit union with restricted membership. Unfortunately, you need to live in certain regions of Texas or Arizona, or work for a few select employers  to join. You can learn about membership eligibility here.  If you are able to join, you will find a long 18-month 0% intro APR period. Even better, the credit card has reasonable credit union interest rates after the promotional period ends. There is no annual fee on the card.







Transparency Score

Interest is not deferred during the introductory promotional period. It is waived.
There is a range of interest rates. You won’t know yours until you apply.




Key Information
Credit Score Required : Good or Excellent
Purchase Interest Rate : 8.90% – 9.90%
Annual Fee : $0
Sign-on Bonus : Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first 90 days of account opening.
Intro Purchase APR : 0% for 18 months
Intro Balance Transfer Offer : 0% for 18 months
BT Fee : 3%



Tip: Make sure you check your membership eligibility before you apply.

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Best Low Interest Credit Cards
Having a credit card with a rate that stays low is a good idea. In case of an emergency, you will always have access to a low cost way to borrow. Here are some great low interest rate options:






As Low as 8.00% APR from a Credit Union Anyone Can Join
Langley Select Visa® Platinum



Anyone can join Langley Federal Credit Union by joining an association during the signup process for $5. If you have excellent credit and just want a place for emergency spending with no rewards, consider keeping this card on hand. Although the rates start as low as 8.00% Variable, not everyone will get a rate that low. It’s more of a hassle than a regular bank card, but if you insist on the very lowest rate you may get it with this card.







Transparency Score

Interest is not deferred during the introductory promotional period. It is waived.
There is a range of interest rates. You won’t know yours until you apply.
You have to join the credit union.

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