Best credit cards for 2018As a new year rolls around, you’re probably starting to evaluate your personal and financial goals. Although credit cards may be the last thing on your mind this time of the year, it’s actually the perfect time to get a new credit card. That’s because in 2018 card issuers are offering incredibly impressive bonuses, rewards and perks — like a 21-month 0% intro APR, an intro bonus worth $420 in travel, cash back rewards of up to 6% and more! So while your current credit card may have been great for 2017, kicking off the new year with one of best credit cards for 2018 detailed below is a smart move that could put some extra cash in your pocket, and give you a little breathing room to pay off any purchases and balance transfers.

Best balance transfer card: BankAmericard Credit Card

best credit cards for 2018Balance transfers are a breeze with the BankAmericard Credit Card because the card not only offers a 15-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers made within the first 60 days, but it also has a $0 intro balance transfer fee during the same 60-day period (after that, the fee is $10 or 3%, whichever is greater). As if that isn’t enough, the 15-month 0% intro APR also extends to purchases, which means you’ll pay no interest for over a year! Add in the $0 annual fee, no penalty APR, which means paying late won’t increase your APR, and access to your FICO scores for free every month, and you have one well-rounded balance transfer credit card. The BankAmericard Credit Card is available to those with good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher).

Best 0% intro APR card: Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever

best credit cards for 2018Need more time to pay down your balance transfer or purchase? If so, the Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever is for you. This card offers a whopping 21-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers — yes, you read that correctly! Although the card has a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, this one-time fee is nothing compared to the high interest you’re probably paying on your current credit card. Plus, you’ll enjoy almost 2 years of interest-free time to pay off your balance, making this the longest 0% intro APR we’ve ever seen. Other perks of the card, which is available to those with good to excellent credit, include no annual fee, no penalty APR and no late fees — ever! 

Best cash back card: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

best credit cards for 2018Looking to earn significant cash back rewards? The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) is the card you want in your pocket. That’s because it earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000/year in purchases, then it’s 1% back), 3% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores as well as 1% back on all other purchases. On top of that, you can earn a $200 statement credit when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening — use our free Pre-Qualification Tool to see if you pre-qualify for an even better intro bonus! The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express also offers a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a $5 or 3% balance transfer fee, whichever is greater), which gives you some time to pay off any big purchase or balance transfer you plan to make, and it’s also available to those with good to excellent credit. There is a $95 annual fee, but if you frequently shop at grocery stores and fill up on gas it should be easy to make this back and more.

Prefer a card with no annual fee? Consider the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, which has a $150 intro bonus opportunity and earns 3% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000/year in purchases, then it’s 1% back), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% back on all other purchases. This fee-free sister card also has a longer 0% intro APR period of 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (with a $5 or 3% balance transfer fee, whichever is greater).

Best travel card: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

best credit cards for 2018The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is best for those bit by the travel bug. That’s because it holds the No. 1 spot in our Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis with an average flight and hotel redemption value of $2.10 per $100 spent. In terms of ongoing rewards, the card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases, making things easy. Next, when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, you’ll get a 40,000 bonus miles — that’s worth $400 when redeemed for travel. Earned miles can be redeemed for travel, statement credit, gift cards or merchandise, and every time you redeem your rewards, you’ll get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption. When you take the 5% redemption bonus into consideration, you’re earning an effective 2.1% back on all purchases and a 44,000-mile intro bonus, equal to a whopping $440 in travel! The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard has a 12-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers made within the first 45 days of account opening — a rare perk for travel rewards cards — and the $89 annual fee is waived for the first year. The card is also available to those with excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 750 or higher).

Best for average credit: Discover it – Cashback Match

best credit cards for 2018Those with average to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 670 or higher) will want to consider the Discover it – Cashback Match, which is another top-notch cash back credit card with a unique intro bonus opportunity. You’ll earn 5% back on rotating categories each quarter you activate (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,500, in combined purchases, then it’s 1% back) and 1% on all other purchases. Activating the 5% rewards every quarter might seem like a pain, but Discover makes it easy with automated alerts, plus rotating categories give you the opportunity to earn cash back on a number of purchases. For example, 2018’s categories include gas stations and wholesale clubs from January through March 2018, grocery stores from April through June 2018, restaurants from July through September 2018 as well as Amazon.com and wholesale clubs from October through December 2018. On top of that, Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year as a cardholder — meaning if you earn $600 back in the first year, Discover will match that $600 and give you a total of $1,200 back! The Discover it – Cashback Match card has a 14-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee) — that’s a good length for those looking to make a large purchase or complete a balance transfer. Cardholders will also get a number of added perks, including free identity theft alerts and special offers from hundreds of different merchants, and pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, a perk that’s ideal for world travelers.

Best for rebuilding credit: Discover it Secured Card

best credit cards for 2018Just because you have bad or limited credit doesn’t mean you can’t get a credit card. The Discover it Secured Card makes building credit a reality since it reports your payments to all 3 credit bureaus — most credit cards only report to one or two of the credit bureaus. Since it’s a secured credit card, Discover it Secured Card requires a deposit of at least $200 to establish your line of credit. The deposit will be used in the event that you miss or default on your payments. Discover will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if you can be transitioned into an unsecured line of credit, meaning you’ll get the security deposit back. The Discover it Secured Card also offers a unique perk for a secured card — cardholders can earn cash back on their purchases! You’ll earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,000, in combined purchases, then it’s 1% on all purchases) and 1% on all other purchases. Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year as a cardholder — for example, it can turn that $200 back you earn in the first year into $400 back! Rounding out the Discover it Secured Card are a the same added perks as the previously mentioned Discover it – Cashback Match and no annual fee.

Best business card: Ink Business Cash Credit Card

best credit cards for 2018Business owners can earn some serious cash with the Ink Business Cash Credit Card. Kicking things off is a $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Next, you’ll earn 5% cash back at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, Internet and cable TV services (up to $25,000/year in combined purchases, then it’s 1% back), 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $25,000/year in combined purchases, then it’s 1% back) and 1% on all other purchases. Cardholders will also pay no annual fee and get free employee cards. Additionally, the card has a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a $5 or 5% balance transfer fee, whichever is greater), which is great for businesses wanting to make a large purchase or ones just getting off their feet. Something to note about the Ink Business Cash Credit Card is it’s only available to those with excellent credit. If you have less-than-perfect credit (good to excellent credit), you’ll want to look into the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, which offers a $500 intro bonus to cardholders who spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months and earns 2% cash back on all purchases. It should be noted that the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.

Best student card: Discover it for Students

best credit cards for 2018College is the perfect time for young adults to build credit because it could set them up for success in their post-college life, and Discover it for Students is a great card to do exactly that. Cardholders not only earn cash back on a number of purchases, but they also get access to tools that help them learn about credit, including free access to their FICO credit score. In terms of rewards, students earn 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter they activate (up to the quarterly maximum, then it’s 1% back) and 1% on all other purchases. Similar to the other Discover cash back cards in this post, Discover it for Students includes the Cashback Match bonus, which matches all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year as a cardholder. Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher will also get a $20 cash bonus each school year (up to 5 years). Discover it for Students also has no annual fee and a 6-month 0% intro APR on purchases, allowing your college student to ease into their first credit card.

Want to learn more about the best credit cards of 2018? Visit our credit card reviews to see how they compare to other cards on the market and fill out an online application.

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.