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Best credit cards for 2018 from our partners

Updated, November 17, 2017

Finding the perfect credit card to fit your situation could take hours of your time – there are literally thousands of options out there, particularly if you have good or excellent credit.

Good thing CardRatings editors do the heavy lifting for you. Each year (and on an ongoing basis) we dig through the flashy advertisements, celebrity endorsements and fine print to bring you a nicely organized, expertly considered list of the best credit cards in a wide range of categories including Best Travel Rewards Credit Card Without an Annual Fee, Best Luxury Credit Card, Best Small Business Card and so many more.

So, make 2018 the year that you add the perfect credit card to your wallet and let us help you do it. Without further ado, here are the best credit cards of 2018. Read our methodology

Best Travel Rewards Credit Card

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Why It's the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card: In a word: Flexibility. Chase Ultimate Rewards® points can be redeemed through the Chase travel portal or transferred directly to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

The Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth up to $625 in travel) when you spend $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. Then, earn another 5,000 bonus points if you add an authorized user and make a purchase in that first three months.

Annual Fee: $95, waived for the first year.

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn two points per $1 spent on travel and dining worldwide. Earn one point per $1 on all your other purchases. In addition, your points are worth 25 percent more when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good

Runner Up: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

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Why We Like It: This is an uncomplicated card with solid rewards-earning and redemption structures.

The Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth up to $500 in travel) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Annual Fee: $95, waived for the first year.

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn two points per $1 spent on all your purchases, meaning you don't have to keep up with tiered categories or wondering whether you've slipped the right card out of your wallet when you go to pay.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good


Best Travel Rewards Credit Card Without an Annual Fee

Winner: Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

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Why It's the Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Rewards Credit Card: Once again, this is a card that offers a simple to understand rewards structure, but it goes above and beyond with a stellar offer for your first year of card membership.

The Bonus: Discover will MATCH all the miles you rack up during your first year of card membership. That means that earning 25,000 miles during your first year effectively means you've earned 50,000 miles. Not too shabby for a no-annual-fee card.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn 1.5 miles on every $1 spent; however, keep in mind that your miles are matched at the end of your first year so that means you're basically earning three miles for every $1 you spend during that first year.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

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Why We Like It: Like it's big brother above, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers simple rewards earning, but you won't pay the annual fee to carry it.

The Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles (worth $200 in travel) after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn 1.25 miles on every $1 spent. When it comes time to redeem your miles, you simply pay for your travel purchase on your card and then request your miles redemption as a statement credit.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good


Best Airline Rewards Credit Card

Winner: British Airways Visa Signature® Card

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

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Why It's the Best Airline Rewards Credit Card: You have great rewards redemption opportunities with this card, from a Travel Together Ticket after spending $30,000 annually to the option to use your Avios for short-jaunt trips with a number of partner airlines.

The Bonus: Earn up to 75,000 bonus Avios. Spend $3,000 in the first three months to earn 50,000 Avios, the spend $10,000 total in your first year of card membership to earn another 25,000 bonus Avios.

Annual Fee: $95

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn three Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and one Avios per $1 spent on your other purchases.

Editor's Note: Don't write off this card immediately just because you don't travel to England regularly. Avios can be used to book flights on a number of partner airlines, including American Airlines. Short jaunt flights can be had for as little as 7,500 Avios with these partner airlines, so you could make a number of short trips on this side of the pond with that intro bonus alone.

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good

Runner Up: Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

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Why We Like It: We like a card that rewards you both when you make your purchases, but also gives you a little something back when you redeem your rewards.

The Bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles, worth up to $400 in travel, after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, you receive 5 percent of your rewards back each time you redeem to use toward a future redemption.

Annual Fee: $89, waived the first year.

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn a flat two miles per $1 spent on all your purchases. Then, when you redeem your rewards, you'll get 5 percent of your miles back to use toward a future redemption.

Editor's Note: We like that this card essentially allows you to "double dip" when it comes to your reward redemption. Here's the deal: Let's say you want to book a flight on American Airlines. Head over to the website and book your flight, paying for it with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. Since you paid for the flight outright, you'll earn AAdvantage miles for that flight (assuming you're a member of the AAdvantage frequent flyer program). Then, use your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® rewards miles and request a statement credit to cover the cost of your flight. You'll receive 5 percent of that redemption back to use in the future, you will have earned AAdvantage miles on your flight AND you'll have paid for your flight with rewards. This system, by the way, also works for hotel loyalty programs.

Credit Needed: Excellent


Best Hotel Rewards Credit Card

Winner: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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Why It's the Best Hotel Rewards Credit Card: There's ton of flexibility with these points, including the ability to transfer your Starpoints® to more than 30 frequent flyer programs. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.

The Bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®s after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $95, waived the first year. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn up to five Starpoints® per $1 spent at Starwood hotels (two base points plus an additional two or three depending upon your Starwood Preferred Guest® Program tier). Earn two points per $1 spent at participating Marriott hotels. Earn one point per $1 spent elsewhere.

Editor's Note: For every 20,000 Starpoints® you transfer to a partner frequent flyer program, you'll receive 5,000 bonus points. That means the signup bonus could be worth as many as 30,000 points.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

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Why We Like It: Cardholders receive a free night stay at a Category 1-5 hotel each year after your account anniversary. That perk alone more than offsets the annual fee.

The Bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months – that's enough for three free nights at category 5 hotels. Earn another 7,500 points if you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first three months.

Annual Fee: $85

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn five points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG (Starwood) hotels; two points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines, at car rental agencies and at restaurants; one point per $1 spent elsewhere.

Credit Needed: Excellent


Best Flat-Rate Cash-Back Credit Card

We've broken down the cash-back credit cards into three award groups: flat-rate, tiered and rotating categories. Each type of cash-back rewards card has its pros and cons and which is right for you will depend largely on your goals for your credit card as well as your willingness to use different credit cards for different types of purchases. Take a look at our Cash-Back Credit Cards 101 article for more information about how these cards work as well as the type of credit card user we recommend consider each type of card.

Winner: Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

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Why It's the Best Flat-Rate Cash-Back Credit Card: This card rewards you both for making a purchase AND for paying your credit card bill. We always appreciate a card that encourages financial responsibility. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.

The Bonus: There's no traditional rewards bonus, but this card does feature an 18-month, 0 percent interest period for balance transfers made within the first four months of opening an account. That "bonus" could save you a bunch of money if you're currently paying interest on a large balance carried on another card.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3 percent of each transaction.

Rewards Rate: Earn 1 percent cash back on every $1 spent. Then, earn another 1 percent when you pay your bill. Effectively, you can earn 2 percent cash back on every purchase.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

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Why We Like It: Many cards offer you bonuses just during the first few months of card membership, but this card rewards you each year after your account anniversary with a 10 percent loyalty bonus on all the rewards you've earned during the previous year.

The Bonus: Receive a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership. Also, you'll earn 2 percent back on all your purchases during your first six months. And, lastly, there's that annual loyalty bonus we mentioned above to look forward to.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn 1.5 percent cash back on every $1 spent. Earn 2 percent back during your first six months and enjoy a 10 percent loyalty bonus each year after your account anniversary.

Credit Needed: Good, Excellent


Best Tiered Rewards Cash-Back Credit Card

Winner: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Why It's the Best Tiered Rewards Cash-Back Credit Card: This is the only card we know of that offers you up to 6 percent back in a category that just about everyone uses at one time or another: supermarkets.

The Bonus: Enjoy a $200 cash-back bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Annual Fee: $95. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees.

Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7 percent on each transaction.

Rewards Rate: Earn 6 percent cash back for every $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1 percent; earn 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; earn 1 percent back on all your other purchases.

Editor's Note: Even if you don't buy a lot of groceries at the supermarket, this could still be a great card for you. Many supermarkets sell a wide range of gift cards, so you could earn 6 percent back on your gift card purchases.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: Uber Visa Card

Uber Visa Card

Why We Like It: This is a new card with a lot to like when it comes to the categories for which you can rack up rewards. Even if you aren't a regular Uber user, you could stand to earn some serious cash back with this one.

The Bonus: Earn a $100 bonus after spending $500 within the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn 4 percent cash back on your dining out purchases including restaurants, takeout and UberEATS; 3 percent back on hotel and airfare purchases; 2 percent back on online purchases including online shopping like with Amazon.com and department stores as well as on your Uber purchases and video and music streaming; earn 1 percent back on all your other purchases.

Additional Info: You can receive a $50 credit for online subscription services after your spend $5,000 on your card each year. You also receive up to $600 of mobile phone protection when you pay your mobile bill with your card.


Best Rotating Categories Cash-Back Credit Card

Winner: Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

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Why It's the Best Rotating Categories Cash-Back Credit Card: Rather than making us wait to find out, Discover released its 2018 quarterly categories in late 2017 and we like what we see. From restaurants to Amazon.com purchases, there are some great opportunities to earn 5 percent back here.

The Bonus: Discover will MATCH all the cash back you earn during your first year of card membership. That effectively means earning $200 cash back is actually worth $400 cash back.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn 5 percent back on the first $1,500 spent in rotating quarterly categories each time you activate; earn 1 percent back on all your other purchases and once you've met that quarterly spending cap.

2018 Categories Calendar: January-March 2018: gas stations and wholesale clubs; April-June 2018: grocery stores; July-September 2018: Restaurants; October-December: Amazon.com and wholesale clubs.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature

Why We Like It: You have the ability to choose where you'll earn top cash back with this card, making it a great choice for people who want more control over their rewards earning.

The Bonus: Earn 5.5 percent back for the first year of card membership on the first $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter in two categories that you choose. Earn 2.5 percent back for the first year in one everyday category and earn 1.5 percent back on all your other purchases for the first year.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 2 percent on each purchases in U.S. dollars; 3 percent on every purchase in a foreign currency.

Rewards Rate: After the first year, earn 5 percent back in two categories that you choose quarterly, earn 2 percent back in an "everyday" category that you choose quarterly and earn 1 percent back on all your other purchases.

Editor's Note: If you don't sign in and select your 5 percent and 2 percent categories each quarter, you will only earn 1 percent for those purchases. So, while you could stand to earn a LOT of cash back with this card, it will require a "hands-on" person to maximize the earning; if you prefer a less involved rewards earning process, you'll likely want to consider another card.


Best 0 Percent APR Credit Card

Winner: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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Why It's the Best 0 Percent APR Credit Card: This was a choice related to nothing more than the length of the 0 percent APR offer. At 21 months, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever can certainly go the distance.

The Bonus: The "bonus" here is the lengthy period of time during which you can pay off your purchases and balance transfers interest-free.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3 percent of each transaction.

Rewards Rate: This isn't a rewards card, but it does offer you 21 months no interest on purchases and on balance transfers. You could consider your reward the fact that you have nearly two years to pay off your balances without drowning in interest charges.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card

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Why We Like It: A lengthy 0 percent APR period combined with some unique perks make this a favorite for us.

The Bonus: Once again, the bonus is really that you can take 18 months to pay off your purchases and balance transfers interest-free.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3 percent of each transaction.

Rewards Rate: You won't earn rewards, but you will enjoy a full year-and-a-half to pay off your balances without racking up interest charges.

Additional Perks: If you pay your mobile bill with your card, you'll be protected for up to $600 in covered damage or theft on your mobile phone. Not a bad perk for a no-annual-fee card.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good


Best Balance Transfer Credit Card

Winner: Chase Slate®

Chase Slate®

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Why It's the Best Balance Transfer Credit Card: A combination of a lengthy zero-interest period along with no balance-transfer fees on transfers made within the first 60 days made this a shoo-in winner for us this year.

The Bonus: The bonus is the lack of interest you'll pay on your purchases and balance transfers on this card.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3 percent of each transaction.

Balance Transfer Details: You can take advantage of 15 months no interest on purchases and balance transfers. That's a long time, but the truly unique feature of this card is that you won't pay a balance transfer fee – usually 3-4 percent of the transfer amount – so you save that money PLUS whatever you'd otherwise be paying in interest.

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good

Runner Up: Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

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Why We Like It: You can snag a solid balance transfer period on a card that allows you to rack up healthy cash-back rewards.

The Bonus: Discover will match all the cash back you earn during your first year as a card member.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly rotating categories each time you activate. Earn 1 percent on all your other purchases.

Balance Transfer Details: Enjoy 18 months of no interest on balance transfers (subject a 3 percent fee on each transfer). You'll also have six months of no interest on purchases.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: BankAmericard® Credit Card

BankAmericard Credit Card

Why We Like It: This is another card that offers a nice zero-interest period without the annoying balance transfer fee.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3 percent of each transaction.

Balance Transfer Details: Take advantage of 15 months no interest on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening. You won't be charged a balance transfer fee on those transfers made within the first 60 days; after that, each transfer will incur a fee of 3 percent with a minimum of $10. You'll also enjoy 15 months of no interest on purchases.


Best Small Business Credit Card

Winner: The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

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Why It's the Best Small Business Credit Card: Sure the annual fee is a bit above average, but the perks, features and rewards opportunities will more than offset that fee for many businesses.

The Bonus: Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 with in the first three months of having the card.

Annual Fee: $175, waived for the first year. Terms and limitations apply. See Rates and Fees

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Choose one category where you'll earn three times the rewards from among the following categories: airfare purchased directly from the airlines; U.S. purchases for advertising in select media; U.S. purchases at gas stations; U.S. purchases for shipping; U.S. computer hardware, software and cloud computing services made directly with select providers. Then earn two times the points on the other four categories and one point per $1 spent on all your other purchases.

Editor's Note: Membership Rewards® points are quite valuable given their flexibility. You can redeem points for travel, gift cards, cash back and more.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

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Why We Like It: The categories in which you can earn the highest amounts of cash back run the gamut from fairly typical to pretty unusual and the spending cap is high enough to make this a reasonable card choice for many small businesses.

The Bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points – worth $1,000 in travel – after you spend $5,000 within the first three months.

Annual Fee: $95

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Receive three points per $1 spent on up to $150,000 combined spending annually on travel expenses; shipping costs; Internet, cable, and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. You'll earn one point per $1 in those categories once you reach the spending cap and on all your other purchases.

Additional Perks: Pay your mobile phone bill on your card and you'll enjoy protection for the primary phone on the account as well as all the other phones on the account (yes, that includes employee phones) for covered damage and theft.

Editor's Note: Your rewards are doled out as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points and they're worth 25 percent more if you redeem them for travel. Furthermore, you can transfer the points to a number of airline and hotel loyalty partners.

Credit Needed: Excellent


Best Small Business Credit Card Without an Annual Fee

Winner: SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

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Why It's the Best Small Business Credit Card Without an Annual Fee: There's opportunity here for healthy (and flexible) cash back without that pesky annual fee to eat into your rewards.

The Bonus: Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 within the first six months of card membership. Then, earn another $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 within the first year for a total of up to $400 in bonus cash back.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7 percent of each transaction.

Rewards Rate: Earn 5 percent back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless phone service (on up to $50,000 spent annually); 3 percent cash back on a category of your choosing from a list that includes, among other categories, airfare, hotels, restaurants and shipping (on up to $50,000 spent annually); and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

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Why We Like It: The rewards categories are typical business-needs categories, but they're broad. That means you can earn a nice chunk of cash back on a variety of needs.

The Bonus: Earn a $300 bonus after spending $3,000 within the first three months of card membership.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3 percent of each transaction.

Rewards Rate: Rack up 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually in combined purchases at office supply stores, as well as on cellular, landline, internet and cable television services. Earn 2 percent back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants annually and earn 1 percent back on all your other purchases.

Credit Needed: Excellent


Best Luxury Credit Card

Winner: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Why It's the Best Luxury Credit Card: If you're paying this much of an annual fee, it better be worth it. And, trust us, the The Platinum Card® from American Express is worth it in perks alone – and that's before you even talk about the rewards.

The Bonus: You'll get 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $550. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn five Membership Rewards® points for every $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. Earn one point per $1 spent elsewhere.

Additional Perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders receive complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection of airport lounges. Additionally, cardholders are eligible for up $200 annually in statement credit to cover incidental airline charges like baggage fees or in-flight refreshments and either $100 or $85 in credit every five years to cover your Global Entry or TSAPrecheck® application fees, respectively. These perks are in addition to numerous other perks and features you'd want to see with a luxury card.

Editor's Note: The Platinum Card® from American Express is technically not a credit card, it's a charge card. That means that you'll be expected to pay your statement balance in full each billing cycle. If you anticipate needing or wanting to carry a balance from month to month, this isn't the card for you.

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Runner Up: Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

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Why We Like It: Again, this card offers the perks and features you'd expect from a luxury card. Plus, it's a metal card, which is just really fun to have in your wallet.

The Bonus: Receive 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® bonus points – worth up to $750 in travel – after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $450; an additional $75 for each authorized user.

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn three points per $1 spent on travel and dining and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Additional Perks: Cardholders have complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide as well special benefits at the Luxury Hotel and Resort CollectionSM. You'll also be eligible for up to $300 in statement credit to cover travel purchases each account anniversary year and statement credit to cover your Global Entry or TSAPrecheck® application fees every five years.

Editor's Note: Your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth 50 percent more when you redeem them for travel and are transferable at a 1:1 rate to a number of airport and hotel loyalty programs.

Credit Needed: Excellent


Best Student Credit Card

Winner: Discover it® for Students

Discover it® for Students

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Why It's the Best Student Credit Card: There aren't many cards that offer this kind of rewards-earning opportunity to students. In fact, we think this is the only one.

The Bonus: Discover will MATCH all the cash back you rack up during your first year of card membership. Earn $250 in cash back and you'll actually pocket $500 in cash back. Plus, Discover will reward you with a Good Grades $20 bonus each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent in rotating categories each quarter you activate. Once you hit the spending cap, you'll earn 1 percent back. You'll also earn that 1 percent back on your other purchases.

2018 Categories Calendar: January-March 2018: gas stations and wholesale clubs; April-June 2018: grocery stores; July-September 2018: Restaurants; October-December: Amazon.com and wholesale clubs.

Credit Needed: Fair

Runner Up: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

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Why We Like It: You'll be rewarded when you make your purchases but also when you pay your bill on time. We appreciate a student credit card that encourages (and rewards!) financial responsibility.

The Bonus: Boost your rewards earning from 1 percent to 1.25 percent when you pay your bill on time each billing cycle.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn a simple 1 percent cash back on all your purchases; however, pay your bill on time and boost that cash back earning to 1.25 percent on every $1 spent.

Credit Needed: Average, Fair, Limited


Best Low Interest Credit Card

Winner: Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum

Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum

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Why It's the Best Low Interest Credit Card: If you're looking for low ongoing interest, this card is nearly impossible to beat AND it's consistently been so.

The Bonus: This isn't a rewards card so you won't earn a traditional bonus with this card; however, paying a low ongoing interest rate on a balance could feel like a bonus to you.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 2 percent of each transaction.

Ongoing Interest Rate: 9.25% (Variable)

Credit Needed: Excellent

Runner Up: PenFed Gold Visa® Card

PenFed Gold Visa® Card

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Why We Like It: This card actually offers an even lower APR than our winner card for those that qualify. It's our runner up because you must qualify to be a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union in order to get this card. You can read more about how to do that here.

The Bonus: Again, there's no bonus. Use the money you save on interest to give yourself a "bonus" of some kind.

Annual Fee: None

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Ongoing Interest Rate: 8.99% to 17.99% when you open your account, based on your credit worthiness.* Your APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Credit Needed: Excellent


Best Gas Rewards Credit Card

Winner: PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

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Why It's the Best Gas Rewards Credit Card: If you're looking for gas rewards, this can't be beat. Plus, there are a nice slate of other perks that go along with those gas rewards to make this a well-rounded card. Once again, you must qualify to be a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union in order to get this card. You can read more about how to do that here.

The Bonus: Earn a $100 bonus after you spend $1,500 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn five points per $1 spent at gas stations and three points per $1 spent at supermarkets. All your other purchases earn one point per $1 spent.

Credit Needed: Excellent

Runner Up: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

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Why We Like It: Great gas rewards are nice, but it's also good to find a high gas rewards rate in a card that offers useful other rewards.

The Bonus: There's no bonus with this card, but new cardholders are eligible for seven months of no interest on purchases.

Annual Fee: None. You will need a Costco membership to apply for this card.

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3 percent of each transaction.

Rewards Rate: Earn four percent back on the first $7,000 you spend at the pump annually; earn 3 percent back at restaurants and on travel; earn 2 percent on your Costco and Costco.com purchases; and earn 1 percent on all your other purchases.

Credit Needed: Excellent


Best Secured Credit Card

Winner: Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

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Why It's the Best Secured Card: This is the rare secured card that offer cardholders the chance to earn rewards. Racking up some cash back while you rebuild your credit is a nice option to have. Plus, after eight months, Discover will automatically begin reviewing your account to determine whether you can be upgraded to a non-secured card.

The Bonus: Discover will MATCH all the cash back you earn during your first year of card membership. Earn $200 cash back and you've effectively earned $400 back.

Annual Fee: None. You will be required to make a security deposit of at least $200 in order to establish your line of credit. This deposit is fully refundable assuming your account remains in good standing and fully paid.

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: Earn 2 percent cash back on the first $1,000 combined spending at restaurants and gas stations each quarter, then 1 percent. Earn 1 percent on all your other purchases.

Credit Needed: Please refer to issuer's website

Runner Up: Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

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Why We Like It: The security deposit to establish your line of credit could be as low as $49 depending upon your creditworthiness (more on this below).

The Bonus: There's not a traditional bonus with this card, but you will get the benefit of having your credit card use reported to the credit bureaus, which is what you need if you're working to rebuild your credit.

Annual Fee: None. You will be required to make a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your creditworthiness, in order to establish your initial credit line of $200.

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Rewards Rate: There are no rewards offered with this card; however, make your first five payments on time and Capital One will evaluate your account for a possible credit line increase with no additional deposit required.

Credit Needed: Limited, Bad


Methodology: CardRatings editors have been rating and reviewing credit cards for nearly 20 years. We bring that two decades of experience to our review process as we consider the rewards, rates, fees, perks and features of each card and how those things relate to each award category. Sometimes the categories and their criteria are straightforward as in, for example, the “Best 0 percent APR credit card.” In others we consider such features as the ease/flexibility of the rewards redemption process in addition to the earning of the rewards themselves. We’re constantly reviewing our list as credit card terms change often – if there’s a better card that rises to the top, we update our lists to reflect that change. Our goal is ensuring the consumer has the most up-to-date information so he/she can make the best possible credit card decision for their lifestyle and needs.