best credit card for your lifestyleUpdated: March 21, 2019

Like so many other things in life, credit cards are not one size fits all. Depending on a host of different factors, such as how often you travel or whether you’ve got a big family with an even bigger grocery budget, one credit card might be a better fit than another. If you’re wondering what’s the best credit card for your lifestyle, wonder no more. We took a look and determined the perfect choices for all different kinds of people. Keep reading to find out which credit card is right for how you live your life.

The debt carrier

Owing money on a credit card can get expensive fast, especially when you factor in interest. If you’re carrying a balance on one or more cards, you might want to consider applying for a new credit card with a long 0% intro APR on balance transfers. This will help you save money in the long run, as you’ll have more time to pay off the balance without any of that money going to interest. While you will likely have to pay a balance transfer fee, it’s likely this one-time fee is a lot cheaper than the ongoing interest you’re paying on your current credit card, which means you will still save money in the long run.

best credit card for your lifestyleIf you’d like a card with a long 0% intro APR, then Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card is the credit card for you. This card has a lengthy 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases (with an intro balance transfer fee of 3% for 120 days, then it’s 5%). What’s more, the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card, which is available to those with good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher), has no annual fee and it provides cardholders with free FICO credit scores. On top of that, cardholders who use their card to pay their monthly cell phone bill will receive up to $600 in mobile protection against covered damage or theft (with a $25 deductible and a maximum of 2 claims per year).

best credit card for your lifestyleThe Discover it Balance Transfer card offers 18 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers (there is a 3% fee per balance transfer) as well as 6 months of 0% intro APR on purchases (after the 0% intro APRs expire, a variable go-to rate applies). But that’s not all, as this credit card also earns cash back rewards, making it one you’ll want to keep in your wallet long after you’ve paid off your balance transfer. You can earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter you activate (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,500, then 1%) as well as unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. At the end of your first year with Discover it, all the cash back you earned will be matched — meaning if you earned $250 cash back, you’ll receive another $250 for a total of $500 cash back! Rounding things out are no annual or foreign transaction fees, free FICO credit scores printed on your monthly statements and the ability to “freeze” your card from your smartphone or computer with the Discover Freeze it feature in the event your card goes missing.

The grocery shopper and/or carpool driver

Whether you’ve got a big family to feed or you just happen to spend a lot of money at the grocery store, or if you have a long commute or kids to shuttle around town, there are credit cards which can earn you significant rewards on those purchases. What can be better than earning rewards on purchases you were already going to make? If you don’t think either of these cards are right for you, you’ll probably want to use our customizable Cash Back Calculator to see which card is best for your spending habits.

best credit card for your lifestyleYou can’t get much better than 6% cash back at the grocery store, which is why the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) tops our list. Not only do users earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases annually at the U.S. supermarkets (afterward it’s 1%), but they also get uncapped 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. On top of that, you’ll earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months. The annual fee is $95, but if you spend a lot at the grocery store and gas station, the cash back rewards you’ll earn with the card will likely balance out the fee (and then some). Still, if paying any annual fee is a dealbreaker, you might want to consider its sister card the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, which has similar (though smaller) rewards, a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee, $5 min) and no annual fee. Both cards also feature great American Express perks, such as roadside assistance and car rental insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty and access to exclusive ticket presales and card member-only events.

best credit card for your lifestyleFor more flexibility when it comes to redeeming your cash back rewards, the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card might be more appealing. In addition to 2% cash back at wholesale clubs and grocery stores, this card also earns 3% cash back on the category of your choice (including (1) gas, (2) online shopping, (3) dining, (4) travel, (5) drug stores as well as (6) home improvement and furnishing) on up to $2,500 in combined choice category/wholesale club/grocery store purchases per quarter. Your other purchases will earn 1% cash back, and cardholders can earn a $150 online bonus after making $500 worth of purchases in the first 90 days of card ownership (note that only online applicants can receive this bonus). Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors Bank of America customers can earn even larger bonuses with this card via an ongoing 25% to 75% cash reward bonus (depending on your account status) when they redeem their cash back rewards directly into a Bank of America account. Additional perks of Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card include no annual fee and a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles, which also extends to any balance transfers made within the first 60 days. Balance transfers made after 60 days will be subject to the variable APR, and all balance transfers made at any point will be charged a fee that is 3% of the amount of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater.

The traveler

Whether you are constantly flying back and forth across the country to visit family or have been bitten by the world travel bug, a travel rewards credit card is the perfect carry on. Not only do these credit cards reward you for purchases you make, sometimes offering extra rewards for travel-related purchases, but many of them also include an array of travel perks designed to help make your trip smooth sailing.

best credit card for your lifestyleThe travel buff’s life is even better with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card in their wallet. Points are earned at a rate of 2 points per $1 spent on dining out and travel, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else, plus you can earn a bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of owning the card — that’s worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel! The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the king of travel rewards redemption flexibility, boasting the ability to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to other popular travel rewards programs for free along with redemption through Chase Ultimate Rewards, as a statement credit or for cash. Although the card’s annual fee is $95, it has no foreign transaction fees.

best credit card for your lifestyleAnother top choice in this category is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, which features a winning combination of no foreign transaction fees and a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months on transfers made within the first 45 days of account opening (note that there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%). All purchases made with this credit card earn 2 miles per $1 spent, and you can earn 70,000 bonus miles — that’s enough for a $700 travel statement credit — after spending $5,000 within the first 90 days. What’s more, every time you redeem miles, you automatically get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption — that’s essentially being rewarded for redeeming your rewards! There is an annual fee of $89 associated with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard, but it’s waived your first year, so you have time to decide if this is the right fit for you.

The student

Students and young adults come to the table with a blank slate, credit-wise. Unlike older adults with no credit who might find themselves having difficulty getting approved, creditors understand that students and young adults don’t have much credit and therefore offer credit cards tailored specifically to them. Starting the credit building process at a young age instills healthy financial habits that can last a lifetime.

best credit card for your lifestyleDiscover it Student Cash Back makes an excellent choice as a credit card due to its cash back earning potential as well as special perks designed specifically for students. In addition to earning 1% cash back on all their purchases, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on purchases made within special categories that rotate on a quarterly basis (up to the quarterly max, then 1%). Plus, all the cash back you earn within your first year will be automatically doubled at the end of the year — that means if you earn $500 in cash back throughout the year, you’ll get another $500 for a total of $1,000 back! Rotating categories range from Amazon.com, gas stations, wholesale clubs and more, making this a great card for the busy lifestyle of a student. As an added bonus, the Good Grades Rewards perk will pay you a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to 5 years! Rounding out Discover it Student Cash Back are no annual or foreign transaction fees, 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 6 months (after the 0% intro APR expires, a variable go-to rate applies) and no late fee charged on your first late payment (plus no APR change for late payments, ever).

best credit card for your lifestyleAnother excellent choice for students is the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, which earns a flat 1% cash back on all purchases plus a 25% bonus on your cash back for each month you pay your bill on time. To encourage healthy financial habits, this credit card also allows cardholders to gain access to a higher credit limit after paying their first 5 monthly payments on time. Other perks of the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One include no annual fee, foreign transaction fees or balance transfer fees as well as the ability to choose your own payment due date.

The credit rebuilder

Not everyone has the best credit, and that’s okay, because there are credit cards designed specifically to help people with poor credit (or no credit) boost their credit scores. How do they do that? By reporting your on-time payments to each of the 3 credit bureaus. Since payment history makes up a significant portion of your credit scores, over time this will give you the leg up that you need to build and improve your credit so you can move on to bigger and better things.

best credit card for your lifestyleA secured credit card like the Discover it Secured card is a great choice for someone looking to rebuild their credit. Since it’s a secured card, it looks and works just like a regular credit card, but there’s no credit check required. Instead, you just have to provide a minimum deposit of $200 to “secure” the purchases you make with the card. It should be noted that Discover requires you to fund your card (or provide the deposit) within 2 weeks of card approval. If you fail to do so, the conditional approval turns into a declined application. Your on-time payments will be reported to each of the 3 credit bureaus, enabling you to build up your credit with responsible use. Not only does the Discover it Secured card not charge an annual fee, but it also lets you earn cash back rewards, which is rare for secured credit cards. You can earn 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then it’s 1%) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, similar to the Discover it credit cards we wrote about above, all the cash back you earn in your first year will be matched at the end of the year!

best credit card for your lifestylePrefer not to use a secured card? The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa with Cash Back Rewards is a credit card specifically designed for those with fair credit (note that it’s not a secured credit card). There is an annual fee of $0 to $99, but it’s a small price to pay if you’ve got bad credit and want a credit card. You can choose your payment date to ensure that you make your payments on time, and Credit One Bank Platinum Visa with Cash Back Rewards also reports monthly to the 3 credit bureaus to help you improve your credit. As an added bonus, you will earn 1% cash back on all purchases, which will be redeemed as a statement credit. Die-hard NASCAR fan? Check out the Official NASCAR Credit Card from Credit One Bank, which offers 2% cash back on NASCAR.com purchases and 1% cash back on everything else.

Don’t see a credit card here to suit your needs? There are plenty more to be found at our credit card reviews.

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.