There are many, many credit cards out there, all vying for your business. The problem is it can be a little overwhelming – not to mention time consuming – to determine which ones are the best. Luckily we’ve done the research for you, comparing the offers, rewards, bonuses and interest rates of popular credit cards. After much in-depth, independent, investigation we’ve come up with our Best Credit Cards of 2014 list shown below. Want to know what we thought of other cards? See all our credit card reviews.
Best Cash Back Card:
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
If you’re in the market for a money-making cash back credit card, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) hits the spot. You’ll earn an amazing 6% cash back at supermarkets (on up to $6K per year in purchases), 3% at gas stations and select department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears, and 1% on all other purchases. There’s also $100 cash rewards bonus and one year of Amazon Prime after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Plus there’s a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. In fact, I like this card so much I have it myself. Although it has a $75 annual fee it could be the right choice for you, especially if you tend to spend more on groceries and gas. Or if you’re interested in a cash back card with no annual fee, take a look at the Citi Double Cash Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser) which offers an effective 2% cash back on all purchases.
Best Balance Transfer Card:
Slate® from Chase
Have you been paying high interest rates on your credit card balances? A better solution is the Slate from Chase. With Slate, you can transfer your balances from other credit cards free of charge, and start enjoying their 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. This will give you time to pay down the balances and will save you money on interest charges in the meantime. The best part is that you won’t have to pay a balance transfer fee or annual fee – you can move your existing balances onto the Slate and start saving money in interest fees without paying a dime. The fact that you don’t have to pay a balance transfer fee if you transfer your balances in the first 60 days is a big deal, as this is the only major card we’ve seen with this feature. And since it also features a 15-month 0% APR on purchases, you can buy gifts, meals and vacations and pay no interest for the first 15 months.
Best Low APR Card:
Citi Simplicity® Card
Anyone interested in a credit card that lets them pay 0% interest for 21 months should take a serious look at the Citi Simplicity Card. 21 months is the longest interest-free period for both purchases and balance transfers that we’ve seen in a card, making Citi Simplicity a great choice for anyone who wants to make a big purchase and carry a balance for a while or anyone looking to transfer a balance from another card. Plus, there are no late fees or penalty rates, a terrific feature for those who may not always pay their statements on time. Add to all this no annual fee and you’ve got our top choice for a Low APR credit card.
Best Travel & Rewards Card:
Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
Like to travel? This is the card for you. Our #1 ranked travel credit card earns 2 miles per dollar (equivalent to 2% cash back to spend on travel) spent on all purchases with no mileage caps or foreign transaction fees. Plus, users will earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days – equal to $400 worth of travel! They make it easy and convenient to use your miles, too; just redeem them for a statement credit. That means you can make your travel arrangement any way you’d like, whether it’s by phone, online or with a travel agent. You can also fly any airline you like and stay at any hotel. Just use the Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard to book the travel, and then redeem your miles for a statement credit against the cost.
In addition to all this, when you use your earned miles to pay for travel you’ll get 10% of the miles back, which means you’re really earning more like 2.2 miles per dollar (or 2.2% cash back for travel). There is a $89 annual fee (waived the first year), but if you spend just $380 a month on the card you will more than make up for the fee.
Best Card for Anyone with Good (but not Great) Credit:
It may seem like most credit cards are only offered to those with excellent credit, but the Chase Freedom card breaks this mold by offering eligibility to those with good credit. A good credit score range is generally between 660 and 724 on the FICO® credit scale. If you don’t know your credit score, it’s a great idea to find out because it can have a large impact on your life. You can get it for free by signing up for one of our highly rated credit monitoring trials.
Not only is Chase Freedom available to those with good credit, it’s a darn good card to boot, even for those with the best of credit. It starts off with a $150 bonus cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months. You’ll also earn 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. This quarter you’ll get 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchase at Amazon.com, Zappos.com and other select stores. Plus Chase Freedom has a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. With its combination of cash back earnings and 0% intro APR, this is a smart pick for those with good credit who want to earn money (via cashback) and also save money (by paying 0% interest for 15 months).
Best Card for Anyone with Average Credit:
Barclay Rewards Mastercard® (Average Credit)
If your credit is more in the Average range, Barclay Rewards Mastercard (Average Credit) is a great card that also offers reward earnings and a 0% introductory APR. We estimate an average credit score to be between 600 and 680 on the FICO® score scale. If you’re not sure what your score is, you can get it free of charge by signing up for one of our top-reviewed credit monitoring trials.
You’ll earn 2 points for every dollar spent on gas, groceries and utility purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The point earnings are unlimited and you use them like cash to pay for purchases you’ve made with your card, like flights, eating out, or whatever.
Best Student Card:
Discover it for Students
Students everywhere take heart – there is a credit card designed for you that features cash back rewards. The Discover it for Students offers 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter), 1% cash back on everything else and no annual fee. Plus, you’ll enjoy a 0% intro APR for 6 month on purchases, enabling you to charge books and tuition costs on the card and pay no interest for 6 months.
Best Business Card:
Chase Ink Cash® Business Card
Business credit cards are a smart way to fund your business and to keep your business and personal expenses separate. Chase Ink Cash Business Card offers the same great rewards you’d find in a personal credit card, but oriented more towards business spending. You’ll earn 5% cash back on office supplies and on mobile phone, landline, internet and cable TV services. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year at restaurants and gas stations, a big perk for road warriors or anyone who frequently takes clients out, and 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases. Add all this to a 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases and no annual fee and you’ve got yourself our #1 ranking business credit card.
Best Card to Help Rebuild Your Credit:
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
If your credit rating has experienced some issues or you’re just starting to build your credit history, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is a smart choice. Its available to those with poor or no credit and can help to build your credit history with responsible use of the card. This is a secured credit card, which requires that you provide a cash collateral deposit to help secured the account. This deposit is usually equal to the line of credit on the card, and will help pay the balance in case of default. But don’t worry – the Capital One Secured Mastercard looks and acts like a regular credit card to every one else. And by making timely payments each month you can help boost your credit history because it reports to all 3 credit bureaus each month.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.