Updated September 21st, 2017.

Hands down, we think the following credit cards are among the best of the popular offers we’ve vetted. So take a moment to review our short list of the best credit cards for travel, cash-back, balance-transfers, and more. Here are The Motley Fool's picks of the best credit cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® - For travel miles and sign-up bonus
  • Capital One Venture® Rewards® Credit Card - For travel miles and sign-up bonus
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card - Travel credit card with no annual fee
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® - Travel miles and 0% intro APR
  • Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card - Cash back with no annual fee
  • Discover it® - Cashback Match™ - 5% cash back with no annual fee
  • Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® - Flat cash back and balance transfers
  • Citi® Double Cash Card - Flat cash back and balance transfers
  • BankAmericard® Credit Card - Balance transfers and intro balance transfer fee offer
  • Citi Simplicity® Card - Balance transfer credit card with no annual fee

Chase Sapphire Preferred®
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Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Good for: Travel miles and sign-up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers one of the largest sign-up bonuses we know of for a card with an annual fee below $100. New cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $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 up to $625. What’s more, travel and restaurant purchases earn 2x points per $1, all other purchases earn 1 point per $1, and points can be transferred to a long list of Chase’s participating transfer partners, all with a low annual fee of $95 (waived 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 Chase Sapphire Preferred® review to learn more.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Good for: Travel miles and sign-up bonus

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a good bang for your buck with its sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening and its $59 annual fee (waived the first year). Few cards we know of offer up such a big bonus for a low annual fee. The cards value is increased with its high, uncapped rewards. All purchases earn 2x miles per $1 and can be redeemed for partial statement credits against travel starting at $25. That combination of rewards and flexibility explains why we think it's one of the best travel cards. Read our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review to learn more.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
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Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Good for: Travel credit card with no annual fee

Flexible rewards are a busy traveler’s best friend, and Bank of America® Travel Rewards punches far above its weight. All purchases earn 1.5x points per $1 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 Bank of America® Travel Rewards review to learn more.

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

Good for: Travel miles and 0% intro APR

Cardholders with large credit spending habits may be justified in paying an annual fee, especially with Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard®. All purchases earn 2x miles per $1. Miles are redeemed via our preferred method, statement credits, which gives cardholders much-needed flexibility to land the cheapest travel deals. The card carries a massive new cardholder bonus worth $400 in travel-related statement credits (40,000 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% intro APR offer on balance transfers. Read our full Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® review to learn more.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
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Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Good for: Cash back with no annual fee

Cardholders looking for a solid cash-back credit card should expect one packed with valuable features, such as Bank of America® Cash Rewards. This credit card dishes out a lucrative $150 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 the first $2,500 quarterly in combined bonus category purchases), a 0% intro APR offer, and your FICO® Score for free. For these reasons, we think it’s also one of the best cash-back credit cards. Read our full Bank of America® Cash Rewards review to learn more.

Discover it® - Cashback Match™
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Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Good for: 5% cash back with no annual fee

Discover it® - Cashback Match™ may be one of the most versatile cash-back cards we know of. Many cardholder essentials are included, such as a lucrative sign-up bonus that matches all cash back earned in the first year for new members, 5% bonus cash-back up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, a 0% intro APR offer, a $0 annual fee, and even a FICO® score for free. We Fools value convenience/versatility in credit cards and we think this card fits that bill. Read our full Discover it® - Cashback Match™ review to learn more.

Want a longer 0% intro APR for balance transfers? Check out Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer to get a 0% intro APR for 18 months for balance transfers, and still get the same cash back rewards and bonus. Read our full Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer review to learn more.

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

Good for: Flat cash back and balance transfers

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® ranks among the best $0 annual-fee cash-back credit cards we know of because of its deep bench of valuable perks. 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 long 0% intro APR 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 $0 annual-fee cash-back card. Read our full Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® review to learn more.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Good for: Flat cash back and balance transfers

The Citi® Double Cash Card 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 helps indebted cardholders pay down balances faster when taking advantage of the card’s 18-billing-cycle, 0% intro APR for balance transfers.  Read our full Citi® Double Cash Card review to learn more.

BankAmericard® Credit Card
Apply Now On Bank of America's Secure Website

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Good for: Balance transfers and intro balance transfer fee offer

BankAmericard® Credit Card stands out among the balance-transfer credit card pack with its $0 intro balance transfer fee for transfers made within 60 days of account opening (3%, $10 min. thereafter). Tack that on to the cards 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfer made within 60 days, and you can start to see why we think it's one of the best balance-transfer credit cards. Read our full BankAmericard® Credit Card review to learn why its 0% intro APR offer is such a precise debt-cutting tool

Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card

Good for: Balance transfer credit card with no annual fee

Cardholders seeking occasional payment forgiveness may find Citi Simplicity® Card 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 dishes out a swoon-worthy 21-billing-cycle, 0% intro APR on both new purchases and balance transfers. Read our full Citi Simplicity® Card review to learn more.


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