The Best Credit Cards for 2020
There are so many credit cards out there today it can be challenging to choose which one is the best fit for you. With the wide variety of options aligned to specific people and their lifestyle, you are bound to find one that is right for you from this list of some of the best rated credit cards.
The best-rated credit cards
- Best cash-back credit card – Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card
- Best rewards credit card – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Best travel credit card – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Best no annual fee travel credit card – Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
- Best no annual fee credit card – Citi Double Cash Card
- Best balance-transfer credit card – Amex EveryDay Credit Card
- Best low interest credit card – Visa Titanium Signature Rewards Card from Andrews Federal CU
- Best secured credit card – Discover it Secured
- Best rated for building credit – Petal Visa Credit Card
- Best for college students – Discover it Student Cash Back
- Best rated for dining rewards – American Express Gold Card
- Best gas rewards credit card – PedFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card
- Best grocery rewards credit card – Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
- Best entertainment rewards credit card – Capital One Savor Cash Rewards credit Card
- Best for average credit – Petal Visa credit Card
- Best Credit Card with no foreign transaction fees – Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
- Best Credit card for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Next, we will be looking at the best rated credit cards in their categories from travel to food.
The best Travel credit cards
Many people use travel credit cards to maximize their rewards and get the most money back in the form of points; there are many different perks that can be taken advantage of with some of these cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – best overall card, has an overall high rating of great points and perks for a lower fee.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – best rewards for higher earners.
- American Express Platinum – best perks for travel.
Travel cards are fantastic in terms of reward points some of the better perks that you can use to your advantage from these cards include:
- Points that you can redeem for international business-class flights or amazing rooms at five-star hotels
- TSA Pre-Check credits
- Uber Credits
- Companion fares on airlines
- Airport lounge access
- Hotel perks such as a free breakfast, late check-outs and or room upgrades
Within the space of travel credit cards there are so many options to choose from: most of the major banks have multiple options; all the airlines have 3-4 cards; and the three major hotel chains such as Hilton Worldwide, Marriot International and Hyatt Hotels also have multiple cards. It can be overwhelming…
Where do you start?
In order to start the process, get one “general” travel credit card. This card is your starting point and will be your default card that you can use for most of your spending. This will help jump start your point-earning system that you can use to redeem airline tickets and hotel rooms.
A great card to begin earning points is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Not only does it have a low $95 annual fee, it also includes some fantastic perks and has a real solid point system. However, if you are a high earner and want a high top-tier card as soon as possible, the Chase Sapphire Reserve would probably be the better option. The points are slightly better and there are a few extra perk options to choose from.
When you pay the annual fees in turn you will be eligible to get access to great travel credit cards. You’ll even possibly get your money back in points and perks. Mid-tier travel cards tend to have a $95 annual fee and the top-tier cards range anywhere from $400-$600 annually.
You might also like jobs that you can do while traveling.
Best cash back credit cards
Essentially the main goal of cash back cards is simplicity. For those who would rather not think about credit cards or manage points, these cash back cards are a great option.
- Citi Double Cash – best overall cash back card
- Chase Freedom – best card with optional rotating categories
- Blue Cash Preferred Amex – best option for groceries and gas
Usually, you would want a cash back card with a higher than average cash back percentage on all your purchases. The best option would be to avoid cards that include annual fees, rotating categories and just different cash back returns across categories. Cash back cards really show their worth when you use that card for all your purchases and never think about it again, plain and simple.
Attempting to optimize your cash back rewards only really make sense if you would like to get as much value as possible from your rewards and you have zero interest in using it for travel. In this case, travel cards won’t have any appeal to you – it could be worth the effort to get several cash back cards in order to max out your rewards.
One of the major weaknesses of cash back cards is that a large majority of them have foreign transaction fees. It’s important to take note of these fees if you plan on travelling where it will be best to pick a travel card.
Best rated business credit cards
- The Business Platinum Card from American Express – rated the best card for business travel
- Chase Ink Business preferred – best rated for online ad budgets
- Capital One Spark Cash for Business – best rated for business cash back
Business credit cards take the point system to a whole new level. This is how many people earn millions of points and never really have to pay for business class travel or luxury hotel suites in their lives. Look at it like this, if you take a business that has $1 million in expenses that go through credit cards annually. That results in a million extra points, easily.
However, not everyone can earn up to a million points in personal expenses each year, businesses on the other hand can manage this quite easily. The best part about it is that the IRS doesn’t really consider points or cash back to be a taxable income, if they’re triggered by some type of transaction. So, you can potentially use business points for personal trips, but it would be important to check all this with your accountant just to be on the safer side.
With ad budgets, points can be accumulated exceptionally fast. For example, if you have a large presence in social media which all goes through a credit card, you can potentially generate a large sum of points. If you do spend money on online marketing ads, it would be an option for you to get a business credit card that collects those points for you.
When deciding on the right business credit card, find the one that accumulates the most points for the most common current expenses. For example, if you spend a large sum of money on travel, try get a card with bonus points on travel expense.
Or, if you spend a lot on online ads, try and get one that gives you the most bonus points through ad revenue. However, if you don’t want to think about managing points, a good cash back card with a small discount on all your credit card expenses might just be the better option.
The best credit cards for bad or no credit
- Capital One Platinum Credit Card – best rated option for building better credit
- Capital One Secured Mastercard – best rated overall for bad credit rating
- Discover It Secured – best rated for reward options and security
Credit cards can potentially help you get out of a bad credit score, or even help you build credit when you don’t have any. However, you must pay off the balance every month: it wouldn’t be a great option to get a new card if you can’t keep up with the current cards that you already have.
If you’re paying off these cards every month, credit cards are then the easiest way to improve your credit score over time. Even if you only have one card and use $50 worth of charges every month, that’s more than you need to get started.
However, with low credit, the primary goal is to get any credit card that will approve you with ease, and one that doesn’t take advantage of you with overcharged fees. Points don’t really matter here; bonuses and perks don’t matter either. If you do have a low credit score, then you shouldn’t need to worry about any of that stuff for now.
Look for a credit card that has a $0 annual fee from the best bank that will potentially take you in as a customer. Apply for each of them one at a time until you find a bank that accepts your application. Then attempt to start building credit by using your credit card and by paying it off in full every month.
Another option would be to get a secured credit card. These cards do, however require you to pay a deposit when you sign up for the card. Then If by some reason you can’t pay the fee, the bank then collects your deposit. This allows banks to give credit cards to those who wouldn’t qualify otherwise.
If these cards are the only cards you are eligible for, try and get it, build up your credit, then attempt to get a better card later. Once your credit score has improved, you’ll have a much easier time getting your hands-on better cards.
How to find the right credit card for you?
With so many options out there, how could you possibly pick the right one without the right information? There are a few steps you need to take in order to help you find the best credit card suited for your needs.
Step 1: Build your credit score:
This is extremely important your access to higher rated credit cards is determined by your credit score. This should be the first initial step for you. Even if you’re just beginning or you had some bad luck, try not get disheartened if you get declined by the higher rated cards.
The important thing would be to begin paying off your cards every month and try to stay current on all your payments and debts. Whatever card you start with, use it for a few years and try to build up a solid credit history, then apply for a slightly better card and do it again until you have the best card for your needs.
Do you know how to determine your tax bracket?
Step 2: Simplicity VS Maximization:
Let’s take the best possible scenario and say that you have a good enough credit score to be eligible to get almost any card you want. It’s important to decide which is the more important for you, simplicity or maximizing the value of your rewards. For simplicity, a cash back card is the most straightforward way to go as you’ll get the most percentage back on every purchase you make which is simple.
However, if you would like to maximize the value of your rewards, you’ll want to get your hands on a travel rewards card. The only exception is if you don’t really enjoy travelling. Travel reward cards focus on people who travel, so if you don’t it would be best to stick with a cash back card.
Step 3: Consider the number of cards that you already have
When you’re working on building credit, having one card is extremely recommended. Only get new cards once your credit has improved and you’re ready to upgrade to a higher tier card.
When you’ve reached the point where your credit score is good enough to get a good rewards card, start with one general rewards card that offers an above average cash back percentage across all your purchases.
Steps for Business Owners
If you own a business, you would generally want to repeat this process for your business credit cards. Even a hobby business should keep business and personal transactions separate. Which in turn makes taxes and expenses tracking so much easier. It’s possible to accumulate many rewards when running all your business transactions through a business card.
The same concept applies. First, decide if you want rewards maximization or simplicity. Cash back cards are fantastic for simplicity and travel cards for maximization. Second, it would be a good idea to start with one general rewards card that can cover most of your spending. Then consider additional cards only if you really want certain perks or want to maximize your rewards value even further.
12 of the Best Reviewed Credit Cards
- Main travel card – Chase Sapphire Preferred
- High point earning machine – Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Large options for travel perks – American Express Platinum
- Most cash back – Blue Cash Preferred Amex
- No rotating categories, no bonus categories, no points, purely simple with a 2% cash back on ever purchase – Citi Double Cash
- Rotating Categories up to 5$ on up to $1500 in combined purchases in the selected bonus category for the quarter – Chase Freedom
- If you have an average credit score, no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees – Capital One Platinum Credit Card
- If you are dealing with a bad credit score – Capital One Secured Mastercard
- 5x points on airlines and hotels, access to centurion airport lounges, access to fine hotels and resort programmes – the Business Platinum Card from American Express
- If you have a large ad budget and regularly spend money on Facebook or Google Ads – Chase Ink Business Preferred
- If points aren’t your thing. 2% cash back on every purchase. No limits however, in order to get this card, you will need to pay the $95 annual fee – Capital One Spark Cash
- Great cash back program with no annual fee – Discover it Secured Card