How to Find the Best Credit Card Deals

By updated on April 24, 2014

There are about as many credit cards out there for consumers as there are banks and credit companies to issue them. Though getting the best credit card deals may require you to sift through volumes of credit card offers, finding the right one is not all that difficult if you know what to look for.

Does the credit card have an annual fee?

For some people with lower credit scores, an annual fee is unavoidable. Others with excellent credit ratings can find the best credit card deals with zero or low annual fees. Some cards, such as popular airline and travel rewards credit cards, charge high annual fees in exchange for the perks associated with those cards. Think about how you are going to use the card most, and what you are willing to pay for, before deciding which credit card best suits your needs.

Do the best credit cards have high annual percentage rates?

The annual percentage rate (APR) determines how much interest you pay on your principal balance. Don't underestimate its importance. Many people with less-than-perfect credit history are stuck with cards that have higher annual percentage rates, while those consumers with excellent credit and no blemishes on their credit report can find credit cards with a low-interest APR. Be aware of low "teaser" introductory rates that swing up to a much higher rate after a certain period of time because, once you account for that fact, it might not be your best credit card offer.

What are the penalties for late payments and other types of fees on the best credit cards?

When signing up for a credit card, consumers do not expect to make their payments late, but sometimes it happens. Late fees can be brutal on the pocketbook. The Credit Card Account, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 was designed in part to curb excessive late fees, which now are capped at $25 unless there are several late payments in a six-month time span. Still, that is a significant penalty. Lastly, pay attention to all of the information listed in the terms and conditions, including payments for balance transfers from other cards or cash advances, to determine the best credit cards.

What type of credit card should I get?

Finding the best credit card deals depends largely upon credit history and planned use of the card. Travelers should look into rewards or frequent flyer credit cards, while business owners should research different types of business credit cards. There are many types of good credit card deals, but determing the best credit card depends on how consumers use the card.

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Chase Freedom®

Editor's Rating

  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99%-22.99%.
Apply Now Credit Needed Good

Special Offer

Earn a $100 Bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period.

Purchase Intro

APR: 0% Intro APR on purchases

Period: 15 months

Purchase APR

13.99% - 22.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Editor's Rating

  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. After that, the APR will be 11.99%-21.99% based upon your creditworthiness.*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer.
  • Citi® Easy DealsSM Get what you want for less. Earn Citi Easy Deals Points for the purchases you make with your card. Redeem your points for great online deals on name-brand merchandise, gift cards and even local deals.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

N/A 

Purchase Intro

APR: 0%*

Period: 18 months on Purchases*

Purchase APR

11.99% - 21.99%* Variable

Annual Fee

$0* 

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Editor's Rating

  • Get 100 Reward Dollars, redeemable for a $100 statement credit, after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
  • Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period.
  • As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items. Terms and Restrictions Apply.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months 

Purchase Intro

APR: 0% on Purchases

Period: 15 months

Purchase APR

12.99% - 21.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$75 

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Editor's Rating

  • Earn up to 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points. Bonus points are redeemable for up to $500 in gift cards, up to $625 for airfare or other great rewards
  • Earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

Earn up to 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points. Bonus points are redeemable for up to $500 in gift cards, up to $625 for airfare or other great rewards

Purchase Intro

APR: N/A

Purchase APR

13.99% - 22.99%* Variable

Annual Fee

$125; fee waived for the first 12 months* 

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard® - Earn 2x on All Purchases

Editor's Rating

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!

Purchase Intro

APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases

Period: 12 months

Purchase APR

14.99% or 18.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$89 - Waived first year 

Discover it®

Editor's Rating

  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. Pay up to midnight ET online or by phone on your due date without a fee. Plus, paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Generous. 5% cash back at Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond® on up to $1,500 in purchases from April through June 2014 when you sign up.*
  • Human. 100% U.S.-based customer service available any time. *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards, and free FICO® Credit Score terms and other information.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

N/A 

Purchase Intro

APR: 0% Intro APR on purchases

Period: 6 months

Purchase APR

10.99% - 22.99% Variable*

Annual Fee

$0 

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Editor's Rating

  • Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM.
  • Earn 5,000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Purchase Intro

APR: N/A

Purchase APR

15.99% Variable

Annual Fee

Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. 

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard® - Earn 1x on All Purchases

Editor's Rating

  • Start by earning 20,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 20,000 bonus miles equates to $200 off your next trip!
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining purchases
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

Start by earning 20,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 20,000 bonus miles equates to $200 off your next trip!

Purchase Intro

APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases

Period: 12 months

Purchase APR

14.99% or 18.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Editor's Rating

  • Earn 50,000 Points after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Receive 1 Free Night Stay after account approval in category 1-4 locations, that's up to 7 Free Nights
  • Receive 1 additional free night stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date!
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

Earn 50,000 Points after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months from account opening

Purchase Intro

APR: N/A

Purchase APR

15.24% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $85 

Blue Sky from American Express®

Editor's Rating

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 7,500 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Unlimited Travel Options: Every 7,500 points that you earn can be redeemed for a $100 statement credit toward any airline ticket, any hotel stay, car rental or cruise.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

Welcome Bonus: Earn 7,500 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

Purchase Intro

APR: 0% on Purchases

Period: 15 months

Purchase APR

17.24% - 22.24% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Editor's Rating

  • Earn 30K bonus miles after you make $1K in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

Earn 30K bonus miles after you make $1K in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

Purchase Intro

APR: none

Purchase APR

15.24% - 19.24% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Editor's Rating

  • Starpoints® bonus: earn up to 25,000 bonus points: 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership
  • That's enough for a weekend getaway to a Category 4 Hotel.
  • Terms and Restrictions apply.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent

Special Offer

Starpoints® bonus: earn up to 25,000 bonus points: 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership

Purchase Intro

APR: None

Purchase APR

15.24% - 19.24% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65 

These quotes are from credit card issuers which have paid for a link to their website. Offers are subject to change without notice and may not be the same for all consumers.