Updated 5/22/17

Hands down, we think the following credit cards are the best among the popular offers we’ve vetted. So take a moment to review our handpicked short list, including the best travel, cash-back, and balance-transfer credit cards.

  • Sign-up bonus for a travel credit card - Chase Sapphire Preferred®
  • No-annual-fee travel credit card - BankAmericard Travel Rewards®
  • No-hassles travel credit card - Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
  • No-annual-fee cash-back credit cards - BankAmericard Cash Rewards™,  Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®, and Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT offer
  • No-annual-fee balance-transfer credit card - BankAmericard®
  • $0 introductory balance-transfer-fee credit card - Chase Slate®
  • Balance-transfer credit card for late payments - Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
  • Low APR credit card - Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® 

Chase Sapphire Preferred®
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Chase Sapphire Preferred®

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card offers one of the largest sign-up bonuses we know of for a card with an annual fee below $100. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending at least $4,000 on new purchases in the first three months. All points redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® are worth 25% more than redeeming for cash back, leaving qualifying cardholders with a bonus worth $625 for travel or $500 cash back. What’s more, travel and restaurant purchases earn 2 points per dollar spent, all other purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent, and points can be transferred to a long list of Chase’s participating transfer partners, all with a low annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year). These are just a few reasons we consider Chase Sapphire Preferred® a must-have, best-in-class credit card for sign-up bonuses. We also picked it as one of the best travel credit cards. Read our full review of Chase Sapphire Preferred®.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
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BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

Flexible rewards are a busy traveler’s best friend, and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card punches far above its weight. What stands out most in our mind is the card’s flexible points redemption program. All purchases earn 1.5 points per dollar spent and can be redeemed for travel-related statement credits, making this a powerful travel credit card for cardholders searching for cheap deals using their preferred booking portal. Qualifying new cardholders can also look forward to an offer of 20,000 points bonus – redeemable for $200 in travel-related statement credits -- after spending at least $1,000 on new purchases in the first 90 days, plus no annual fee. Read our full review of BankAmericard Travel Rewards®.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
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Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Cardholders with large credit spending habits may be justified in paying an annual fee, especially with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® credit card. Members can lock in 2 travel miles per dollar on all purchases and redeem miles via our preferred method, statement credits, which gives cardholders much-needed flexibility to land the cheapest travel deals. What’s more, the card carries a massive new cardholder bonus worth $500 in travel-related statement credits (50,000 bonus miles) when spending at least $3,000 on new purchases within the first 90 days. The card also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and it includes a valuable 0% introductory APR offer on balance transfers. That’s why some may find the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® credit card worthy of a spot in their wallets, even with an $89 annual fee (waived the first year). Read our full review of Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
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BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

Cardholders looking for a solid cash-back credit card should expect one packed with valuable features, such as the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ card. This credit card dishes out a lucrative $100 new cardholder cash rewards bonus offer and one of the lower spending thresholds we’ve come across, requiring cardholders to spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. Tons of other perks are available as well, including bonus-category cash back of 3% on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 quarterly in combined bonus category purchases), a low introductory APR offer on both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 12 billing cycles, and free access to your FICO® Score. For these reasons, we think it’s also one of the best cash-back credit cards. Read our full review of BankAmericard Cash Rewards™.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
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Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® ranks among the best no-annual-fee cash-back credit cards we know of because of its deep bench of valuable perks that makes it a versatile card for many needs in one package. Qualifying new cardholders earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on new purchases in the first 90 days, every purchase earns 1.5% cash back, plus the card offers a promotional 0% APR spanning 15 billing cycles for both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Few cards we cover can claim these perks. If you've secured an excellent credit history, there may not be a better no-annual-fee cash-back card. Read our full review of Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® to learn more.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 Month BT Offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 Month BT Offer

The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT offer stands out among cash-back cards because it offers an innovative rewards program that smart use of debt by paying off balances. All purchases earn a total of 2% cash back – technically, 1% when purchased and 1% when paid off. This is among the highest cash-back rates for all purchases on the market. What’s more, Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT offer helps indebted cardholders pay down balances faster when taking advantage of the card’s 18-billing-cycle, 0% introductory APR for balance transfers.  Read our full review of Citi® Double Cash.

BankAmericard® Credit Card
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BankAmericard® Credit Card

The BankAmericard® credit card offers the lowest APR among the suite of BankAmericard-branded credit cards, in addition to a best-in-class 0% APR offer on balance transfers that spans 18 billings cycles. These are a few reasons we also picked it as one of the best balance-transfer credit cards. Further, the card doesn't charge an annual fee and includes free access to a FICO® score each month (worth upwards of $350 annually when tracking your comprehensive credit history with myFICO). It's important to note that the card does require good to excellent credit to qualify for approval. Read our full review of BankAmericard®.

Chase Slate®
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Chase Slate®

Chase Slate® may be one of the best credit cards around for slashing balance-transfer fees. Notably, Chase Slate® offers a 0% introductory APR on both new purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, plus it doesn’t charge an annual fee or balance-transfer fee on transfers made within the first 60 days. That combination of fee-busting features is rare, which is why we think Chase Slate® is a no-brainer to include on our short list of the best credit cards of 2017. Read our full review of Chase Slate®.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Cardholders seeking occasional payment forgiveness may find Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever to be a suitable balance-transfer credit card. Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever doesn’t charge late payment fees, and it doesn’t bump up a cardholder’s APR as a penalty for missed payments. But the card doesn’t skimp on features in favor of a longer leash for payment forgiveness. Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever dishes out a swoon-worthy 21-billing-cycle, 0% introductory APR on both new purchases and balance transfers. Read our full review of Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever.

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
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Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®

Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® has among the lowest APRs we’ve come across for cardholders with excellent credit. Namely, the card carries the same low variable APR for purchases, balance transfers, and even cash advances. In addition to featuring a low APR, Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® has nixed the annual fee, balance-transfer fees, and foreign transaction fees -- a rare combination of perks to cut out-of-pocket costs. Read our full review of Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® to learn why we picked it as one of the best low APR credit cards.


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