The best credit cards for young professionals are the Capital One Venture, Citi Double Cash Card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve. They all offer above-average rewards per $1 spent, plus a sign-up deal of some kind, and some come with extra perks for travelers.
Young professionals are likely to have some credit history behind them and to want a credit card that rewards an on-the-go lifestyle while not costing them too much or being too rigid with rewards redemption. You can get to know the top options a bit better below.
Capital One Venture gives 2 miles / $1 spent on all purchases. You don’t have to use these miles for travel - they redeem for cash back and other items like gift cards, too - but they’re worth the most when used for travel. You can use miles to book your travel through Capital One, or you can reimburse travel purchases on your statement. The credit card’s wide definition of “travel” - including airfare, hotels, cruises, train tickets, taxi/bus/limo fare, time shares, and more - make redeeming for travel purchases worth it.
You’ll also get 60,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, worth about $600 in travel redemptions. You’ll need at least good credit to get this card. The annual fee is $95.
Young professionals who don’t do much traveling (and even those who do) might prefer the Citi Double Cash Credit Card. This card gives 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay for it. That’s twice the average rate across rewards credit cards. With cash back credit cards like this one, you don’t have to worry about categories or redemption methods. The annual fee is $0 and at least good credit is required.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card is ideal for the young professional who travels more often than not. That’s because this card has a $550 annual fee, and it may not be worth the fee if you don’t travel a fair amount. But if you do, the fee will pay for itself.
Chase Sapphire Reserve gives 50,000 points ($750 when redeemed for travel) after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, and a $300 travel expense credit each year you renew. You’ll also get an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and a free Priority Pass Select membership. You’ll need excellent credit to get approved for this card, though, which means it’s best for more established young professionals.
Whether you travel frequently or stay put most of the time, credit cards can be rewarding no matter which bracket you fall into as a young professional. Take your time to weigh out what you want in a credit card versus how you spend your money. And whichever rewards you end up choosing, make sure you redeem them often.