These three credit card offers are among the best credit cards overall, thanks to impressive rewards, low annual fees, and attractive promotions. They were selected by WalletHub’s editors out of more than 1,500 credit card offers.
As you might expect, the three cards featured above require at least good credit for approval. If you have a lower credit score, are new to credit, or simply want more options, you can check out our editors’ picks in the most popular usage categories below.
Major credit cards are any cards that belong to one of the big four credit card networks: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. That’s what stores mean by “we accept all major credit cards.” A major credit card will almost always show the logo of its network on the front. In some cases it’ll be on the back. If a card doesn’t have such a logo, it’s likely a … read full answerstore card that can only be used at a specific retailer.
Some major credit cards can also be considered more “major” than others, depending on the issuer. The 15 largest credit card companies account for more than 75% of all outstanding balances. So a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover card from one of those companies, like Chase or Capital One, might fit the description of a major credit card best.
There are dozens of other banks and credit unions that issue credit cards, but their products are less popular. Major credit cards from the top issuers are the product of large-scale operations, after all. And they often provide perks to match, from better rates, rewards and fees to an easy-to-use website and free mobile app.
Here’s what you need to know about major credit cards:
Major credit cards are those on the Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover networks.
You can usually see the logo of your credit card network on the front of your card. Sometimes it is on the back. If there is no logo, you likely have a store card that only works at a specific retailer.
Most U.S. merchants accept all major credit cards. But American Express lags behind the others by about 1 million locations.
Visa and Mastercard are accepted virtually everywhere in the world. Discover cards work in 185 countries and territories. American Express cards work in 160+. Discover and Amex aren’t necessarily widely accepted in all the countries that take them, either.
American Express and Discover issue credit cards, in addition to serving as card networks. Visa and Mastercard do not.
Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Citi, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank are among the other major credit card issuers.
When picking a major credit card to use, it’s easy to narrow your search down. If you don’t plan to travel much, any network will do. But if you’re going to use your card abroad a lot, Visa and Mastercard are the safest bets.
By the way, it’s worth noting that Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover aren’t the world’s only major credit card networks. There’s also the likes of India’s RuPay and China’s UnionPay, for example.
The biggest benefits of credit cards are interest-free financing, $0 fraud liability, and the opportunity for credit building. There are also so-called “secondary credit card benefits,” which may include things like price protection, rental car insurance, and extended warranty protection. In other words, the right credit card can give a cardholder much more than simple spending power.… read full answer
Some people find it easier to avoid credit cards out of fear of making credit mistakes. But the more you learn about how credit works, the more you’ll see how credit cards are tools that can help you save money and gain access to great things, as well as make life all-around easier. Here are nine of the best credit card benefits to get you thinking.
Here are the 9 top benefits of credit cards:
Built-In Card Network Perks
The four major card networks – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express – offer baked-in benefits that many cardholders simply aren’t aware of. Visa and Mastercard have different tiers of benefits for their cards. Visa’s tiers include Visa Platinum, Visa Signature, and Visa Infinite benefits. Mastercard offers Mastercard Platinum, Mastercard World, and Mastercard World Elite benefit tiers.
Here are the card networks’ benefits at the standard level, but keep in mind that more benefits come with higher tiers.
Visa: Emergency card replacement and cash disbursement, rental car insurance, $0 fraud liability, and roadside dispatch.
Mastercard: $0 fraud liability, purchase protection, discounts on car rentals and hotels.
Discover: $0 fraud liability, free overnight card delivery, free credit score, year-end summary, the ability to freeze your credit cards, Social Security number monitoring and new accounts alerts, and the option to get cash over your transaction total during checkout.
American Express: Extended warranty, purchase protection, return protection, baggage insurance, rental car insurance, Global Assist, roadside assistance, trip delay insurance, and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Credit cards are the safest method of payment when shopping. All major card networks – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express – offer zero fraud liability, so you can shop knowing you won’t have to pay a single dollar for fraudulent charges. And if you lose your card, it’s easy to cancel or lock it by calling the card issuer. When it comes to theft, stolen cash and debit cards have a much more difficult process, and it may take a long time to track and recover the missing money.
Opportunity for Credit Building
Building good credit is essential to opening doors financially. Having better credit demonstrates to lenders that you are a low risk investment, which, in turn, provides access to better interest rates and loan terms. Having good credit can help you get an apartment lease, or even a job, too. If you don’t intend to finance anything, you will still benefit from having good credit available as a backup for when you need it.
Peace-of-Mind for Potential Emergency Expenses
Credit cards are great for emergencies when funds are short. They can essentially act as a small loan for when you’re caught off-guard by a car breakdown, emergency trip to the vet, or whatever life throws your way. You can pay a credit card balance on your own timeline as long as you make the monthly minimum payment.
Ongoing Rewards & Initial Bonuses
Initial bonuses are a popular perk of signing up for a credit card. You can get a set amount of cash back, miles, or points for spending a certain amount within the first few months of opening certain credit card accounts. Many credit cards also reward users with cash back, points, or miles for every purchase they make.
Cash back is typically applied as a statement credit or can sometimes be redeemed as a paper check or bank account deposit. Points can be used for cash back, merchandise, experiences, gift cards, or travel. Miles can be limited to just flights on certain airlines, at least for the best redemption value. Or, they can cover a range of travel purchases like hotels, cabs, cruises and more. For all the purchases you’re making anyway, there’s no reason to not earn a little extra back.
Potential for a Flexible Payment Schedule
Being able to carry a balance for a week or two allows for flexible budgeting. You can use credit cards to pay for everyday purchases, or even bigger bills, which lets you hang on to your cash longer. Many credit cards even let you pick your payment due date, which can be great if you sometimes need wiggle room with monthly expenses.
Free Credit Score Access
Practically every credit card offers free access to your credit score now. Though the free credit score services offered by card issuers aren’t updated as often as WalletHub’s free credit score – and they don’t give personalized credit advice – it’s still nice to see your credit score when you log into your credit card account.
Possibility of Interest-Free Financing
When you get a new credit card with a 0% APR period, you have the freedom to make large purchases and not worry about interest for a while. The average intro APR lasts roughly 12 months, ranging from 6 to 21 months. Balance transfers are also an option with most credit cards. This allows you to pay down debt faster by transferring at least some of what you owe to a credit card with a better interest rate.
It’s a no-brainer to take a credit card on an international trip. Credit cards are accepted everywhere. And when your credit card has no foreign transaction fee, you’ll save up to 9% in fees and currency exchange costs. Credit cards are also a good way to keep your funds safe, and they’re a solid backup source of money if something goes wrong. Plus, hotels and car rental agencies often require temporary holds on funds as deposits, so using a credit card for these expenses leaves your real money available when you need it.
Credit cards open the door to convenience and savings, especially as you build better and better credit. The flipside is that if you’re not careful with your finances, it’s easy to get into debt and pay extra with interest. So, again, credit is a tool that can make your life easier, but your best bet to succeed with credit cards is to learn how they work and how to use them responsibly.
The best credit cards for a 670 credit score are Capital One Platinum, Petal 2 Visa Card, and Capital One QuicksilverOne. Capital One Platinum is a credit card for people with limited credit, so fair credit should qualify you for this card. It doesn’t have ongoing rewards, but it has an annual fee of $0, which is cheaper than many other starter cards and secured cards. Many credit cards for fair credit are either store cards or have annual fees, so Capital One Platinum stands out among most other credit cards in this category.… read full answer
The Petal 2 Visa Credit Card is another credit card for people with limited or no credit. Petal 2 Visa’s best features are its annual fee of $0 and its ongoing rewards rate. Starting off, cardholders will earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. But after 12 on-time monthly payments, that goes up to 1.5% cash back, which is competitive with cash back credit cards for good credit.
Capital One QuicksilverOne has ongoing rewards, too, but it isn’t free of fees. You’ll earn 1.5 - 5% Cash Back on every purchase, but you’ll pay an annual fee of $39. So you’d have to spend $2,600 on the card each year for the rewards to offset the fee. If you can make the card profitable, it’s a great card to have, and you only need limited credit to qualify.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. This question was posted by WalletHub. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.