Experts: These Are Top Credit Cards For 2019

Managing Director of The Ascent. Brendan has conducted interviews with influential businesspeople, written hundreds of personal finance articles, and provided analysis on TV outlets including CNBC and Fox.

We've vetted hundreds of credit cards to bring you the select few that we think are leaders in their categories. 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.

Apply Now
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On Discover's Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • Bonus cash back
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR offer
  • FICO® Score for free
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 13.49% - 24.49% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0.00%, 14 months Balance Transfers: 0.00%, 14 months
Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
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Rates & Fees

Apply for Discover it® Cash Back to:

  • Double all the cash back you earn in the first year
  • Pay a $0 annual fee
  • Avoid paying interest on purchases and balance transfers well into 2020

Imagine paying no interest well into 2020 and having your cash back matched in the first year! Both are possible with Discover it® Cash Back. First, you can earn 5% cash back (on up to $1,500 of spend each quarter) in rotating categories you activate quarterly. Such purchases have included gas, groceries, restaurants, and even Amazon. Best yet, Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year! What's more, the 0% intro APR for 14 months applies to both purchases and balance transfers. Note, the go-to variable rate applies after the promo so be sure to pay off balances before the offer expires. The cash rewards program and 0% APR offer, alone, are best-in-class but you get both in one card.


Apply Now
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On Chase's Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • Innovative sign up bonus
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back
  • 0% intro APR offer for 15 months
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 16.74% - 25.49% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 15 months Balance Transfers: 0%, 15 months
Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
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Apply for Chase Freedom Unlimited® to:

  • Avoid paying credit card interest for 15 months on both purchase and balance transfers
  • Secure a sign-up bonus worth $150
  • Pay a $0 annual fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the Swiss Army knife of credit cards with its deep bench of perks that makes the card a perfect option for cardholders wanting the best card for all their needs. Max out Chase's sign-up bonus by spending $500 in the first three months after account opening to secure $150 in cash back. Other essentials are included as well, such as unlimited 1.5% cash back with no minimum redemption, a 0% Intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a $0 annual fee. Few offers on the market can tout this combination of perks, making Chase Freedom Unlimited® a potential no brainer pick for you.


Apply Now
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On Capital One's Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • Earn up to 3% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Big sign-up bonus
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.74% - 25.74% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, for 15 months Balance Transfers: 0%, for 15 months
Highlights
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
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Apply for Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card to:

  • Secure a $150 bonus when spending $500 within three months
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on groceries
  • Avoid paying credit card interest for 15 months
  • Pay $0 foreign transaction fees

Get ready to haul in an overloaded plate of cash rewards, not tapas-like rewards that many competing cards offer for dining purchases. This card is a slam dunk for cardholders seeking both a big bonus and unlimited dining rewards. That's because there's a big $150 bonus, made sweeter by the fact that you can earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment. Not only is this cash back rate among the highest we've seen, but it also isn't capped like some competing cards, much like the 2% cash back you'll also earn for groceries. Those features make it a no-brainer pick for cardholders with sizable food budgets, whereas the inclusion of $0 foreign transaction fees makes the offer versatile for travel as well. What's more, you can look forward to a $0 annual fee and a long 0% intro APR offer for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers.


Apply Now
Secure lock icon.

On Discover's Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • Balance transfer offer
  • Rotating bonus cash back
  • No annual fee
  • FICO® Score for free
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 13.49% - 24.49% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0.00%, 6 months Balance Transfers: 0.00%, 18 months
Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
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Rates & Fees

Apply for Discover it® Balance Transfer to:

  • To pay off debt faster with a long balance transfer APR offer
  • Double all the cash back you earn in the first year
  • Pay a $0 annual fee

This is the ONLY 5-star rated credit card currently on The Ascent website. That's because it packs in both a best-in-class cash back program and a long 0% intro APR offer for 18 months for balance transfers (note, the go-to variable rate applies after the promo). You can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, plus 1% on all else. Discover will also double your cash back in the first year -- that makes 5% categories worth a sky-high 10% cash back. Just be sure to take action and don't delay any longer as you watch interest charges pile up on your existing credit card balances. To take advantage of the balance transfer promo after potential approval you must transfer balances by the deadline to qualify for the 0% APR on balances transferred.