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Best credit cards for 2015

By , Editor-in-chief
Best Credit Cards

Choosing the best credit card to suit your lifestyle and spending habits can equate to significant savings and benefits. On the other hand, select the wrong card and you just might find yourself with skimpy rewards, high rates and fees or — possibly the saddest of all—points that go unused. Once you’ve decided which type of card is right for you, it’s time to start comparing the top card offers.

Our editorial team consistently reviews the latest credit card deals from across the country. We highlight a handful of offers from each category that we think provide the best value for your money. The best credit cards of 2015 are sorted into a number of categories to help you find the right card to suit a specific need. Unlike many credit card-comparison sites, we evaluate both advertiser and non-advertiser cards, including regional banks and credit unions. Only our editor’s favorite cards make the cut—no exceptions.

Cash Back: Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card
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Our editor's take:
For simplicity and cash back, this is the best consumer card out there. Get 1 percent cash back when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay for your purchases--so basically earning you cash back twice on your purchases.

Card Details
Credit Needed Excellent
Cash Back Groceries See Terms
Cash Back Gas See Terms
Cash Back Other See Terms
Annual fee $0*

Citi, a CardRatings.com advertiser, has the Citi® Double Cash Card which is a great offer for those who don’t have time to strategize spending, but still want a lot of bang for their buck. It currently offers cash back twice with— 1 percent cash back at the time of purchase and another 1 percent cash back as you pay for those purchases. There are no quarterly signups, caps, or spending thresholds to keep up with.

Although the rewards program stands out most for this card, it also has some attributes of a competitive value card. For example, this card has no annual fee, waives the first late fee, and offers a zero percent intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99 to 22.99 percent, based on your creditworthiness. There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3 percent of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. You also get some perks that come with all Citi cards including Citi Price Rewind and quick access to a live representative when you call customer service. Compare cash back credit card offers

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Travel:  Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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Our editor's take:
Capital One raised the bar with a flexible travel rewards card that doesn't lock you in to a particular airline or hotel chain. Capital One was also the first to charge no foreign transaction fees, a must for the international traveler. This card comes with a low annual fee compared to other airline cards -- $0 intro for the first year, $59 after that.

Card Details
Credit Needed Excellent/Good
Special Offer (Bonus Offer) Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles
once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel
Points or Miles 2X miles/$1
Annual Fee $0 intro for first year; $59 after that

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been a favorite of our editors since its launch. We love the flexibility and ease of the rewards program on top of the high earn rate. Earn 2X miles per dollar on every purchases and redeem points for virtually any type of travel with no blackout dates and miles don't expire. There is a one-time bonus which currently allows you to earn 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, equal to $400 in travel. That's a nice jump start on your next vacation.

As with all Capital One cards, there are no foreign transaction fees which makes this card a good choice for globe trotters who aren't brand loyal. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, $59 after that. Compare travel rewards credit card offers

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Balance Transfer:  Chase Slate®

Chase Slate®
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Our editor's take:
Quick action with your new Chase Slate could help you knock down debt – no balance-transfer fee for the first 60 days and a zero-percent intro APR for 15 months.

Card Details
Credit Needed Excellent / Good
Balance Transfer Intro APR 0%
Balance Transfer Intro Period 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee $0 Intro fee on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

If you're looking to transfer a balance, and can pay it off in 15 months or less, Chase Slate® is hard to beat. It is the only card in our database that has a long zero-percent introductory offer with no balance-transfer fee. New cardholders enjoy a zero-percent introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers with no annual fee.

Chase recently launched a free credit score product that allows Chase Slate® cardholders to access their FICO scores. Many other cards provide access to credit scores, but Chase has taken it a step further and included insight into why your score is what it is, summary information from your credit report, and tips for managing your credit with Credit Dashboard. Compare balance transfer credit card offers

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Low Introductory:  Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card
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Our editor's take:
This user-friendly card lives up to its name, and an impressive 21-month, zero-percent intro APR for purchases and balance transfers makes it one you won’t want to forget.

Card Details
Credit Needed Excellent
Purchase Intro APR 0%*
Purchase Intro Period 21 months on Purchases*
Purchase APR 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)

Citi, a CardRatings.com advertiser, offers at 21 months, both the Citi Simplicity® Card and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card which have the longest zero-percent introductory offers on the market. Our editors favor the Citi Simplicity® Card because of its consumer-friendly terms. With this card you will never pay late fees, penalty rates, or annual fees. Additionally, cardholders have quick access to live customer service representatives.

New cardholders can take advantage of a zero-percent intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99 to 22.99 percent based on your creditworthiness. Compare low introductory credit card offers

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Low Interest:  Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum

Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
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Our editor's take:
If you have a high credit score and are looking for a low APR, you are not going to beat this card. While not a well-known bank, Simmons has been the best at this for over a decade. No annual fee and no balance-transfer fee are added bonuses.

Card Details
Credit Needed Excellent
Purchase APR 7.25% Variable
Balance Transfer APR 7.25% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee None

Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum has had one of the lowest rates in the country for over a decade. The standard variable APR for purchases and balance transfers is currently 7.25 percent. There is no penalty APR, no annual fee, and no balance transfer fee. Although there is no introductory APR offer, those who need to transfer a balance long-term can benefit from the low ongoing interest rate and lack of balance transfer fee.

If you plan to carry a balance this is a tough offer to beat. However, you will need to have flawless credit to be approved for this card. Compare low interest credit card offers

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Gas:  PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa® Card

Our editor's take:
Road warriors will love the phenomenal cash-back rate on gas purchases, and are sure to also appreciate a lack of annual fee and foreign transaction fees.

Card Details
Credit Needed Excellent
Cash Back Gas 3% - 5%* (See terms)
Cash Back Groceries 1%
Cash Back Other 1%
Annual Fee $0 - $25* (See terms)

The Plus card offers 5 percent cash back on gas purchases paid at the pump all year long, with no cap, is a major win for those who spend a lot of time on the road. The PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Plus Card gives you that with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. It's worth noting that credit union membership is a requirement but not a guarantee than an applicant will be approved for this credit card.

The standard version of this card is nothing to scoff at – you'll pay a minor annual fee ($0 for the first year, then $25), but you'll also earn 3 percent cash back on gas throughout the year. Compare gas rebate credit card offers

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Bad Credit:  DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card
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Our editor's take:
Rarely do you find a secured card with no annual fee – that's what sets the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card apart.

Card Details
Credit Needed Limited/No Credit History/Bad
Purchase APR Rate as Low as 11.50%*
Annual Fee None

If you're ready to build or rebuild credit, credit cards can be a valuable tool. However, many cards geared toward those with poor, bad or no credit history come with a ton of fees and astronomical rates. DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card is a noteworthy exception. It has no annual fee and a variable APR as low as 11.50 percent for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. The 25-day grace period on purchases allows users to avoid interest charges by paying in full each month. Compare bad credit credit card offers

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Student:  Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
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Our editor's take:
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is a great first card for students because it offers 1 percent cash back on purchases plus a 25 percent bonus on the cash back you earn for every month you pay on time. Maintain good payment habits and you're looking at a total 1.25 percent cash-back rate.

Card Details
Credit Needed Average/Fair/Limited
Cash Back Gas1%
Cash Back Groceries1%
Cash Back Other 1%
Purchase APR 19.80% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0

We like this card for students who are first-time cardholders due to the extra incentive to be smart with their card. You can earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases plus a 25 percent bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. With responsible use, students can earn a total of 1.25 percent cash back. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and these cash-back rewards don't expire. Cardholders can also get access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time. Free credit score access through Capital One® Credit Tracker also helps educate students to be more aware of their credit and learn how everyday decisions can affect credit score. Compare student credit card offers

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Business:  Ink Cash® Business Credit Card

Ink Cash® Business Credit Card
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Our editor's take:
Earn higher cash-back rates in popular business spending categories on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases, 1 percent on other card purchases, get free employee cards and pay no annual fee.

Card Details
Credit Needed Excellent
Cash Back Gas 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
Cash Back Other 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. 1% cash back on all other card purchases.
Annual Fee No Annual Fee

Ink Cash® Business Credit Card is our top pick for new business owners. With 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year; 2 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1 percent cash back on all other card purchases, and no annual fee, this card is a great fit for most small-business owners.

Right now, there is a limited time bonus offer, new cardholders can earn $300 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Compare business credit card offers

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1 Responses to "Best credit cards for 2015"
  1. Andrea Listening Deer May 09, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    How does Wells Fargo secured credit card rate

      Reply»  

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