Valuable Initial Perks: One of the ways we track credit card trends is by conducting quarterly credit card landscape reports. Our most recent reports have revealed that credit card issuers are continuing to sweeten their initial rewards bonuses and 0% balance transfer offers, which have the potential to save qualified applicants $400 - $1K+. You can find the best of these offers on our Best Credit Card Deals page.
Photo Credit Cards: We look at our credit cards so often, that it might be nice to diffuse the pain of making payments with a nice to see picture of your family or pet, for example. With that being said, it’s imperative that you don’t settle for inferior terms in order to get it. To compare all of the credit card offers with custom image capabilities, check out our Photo Credit Cards page.
Chip-Based EMV Smart Cards: Many of the aforementioned cards already fit into this category, and the rest soon will. You see, the U.S. is in the process of migrating to a payments system based on computer chips embedded in credit cards and debit cards for added security. Until these cards are fully rolled out, having one might seem pretty cool.
If you want to compare all of the credit cards currently using EMV chips, check out our EMV Credit Cards page. And if you want to learn more about the technology underpinning these products, take a look at our article on the difference between Chip-and-PIN and Chip-and-Signature credit cards.
Apple Pay: Apple Pay obviously isn’t a credit card, but it’s a new way to use your credit cards. Rather than swiping your plastic (or metal) at the check-out counter, you simply waive your iPhone under a special sensor. Apple Pay isn’t widely accepted enough to completely replace your credit card as of yet, but that probably adds to its cool-factor in the meantime.
Cool Credit Cards Comparison
|Credit Card||Best For||Why It’s Cool|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Winner||Metal card with bonus rewards|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Cool Rewards||1.5 - 5% Cash Back|
|Citi Rewards+® Card||Cool Feature||Rewards rounded up on every purchase|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Travel Rewards||60,000 points|
|Wells Fargo Reflect® Card||Cool Rates||Intro APR of 0% for 21 months from account opening*|
|Regions Prestige Visa® Signature Credit Card||Cool Design||Custom Design & Rewards|
If you’re unsure about whether you can qualify for one of the coolest cards, checking your latest credit score for free on WalletHub will give you a good sense of your approval odds.
At the end of the day, it’s important to note that “cool” is subjective. To some people, the coolest thing you can do is get a credit card that will enable you to maximize savings. To others, it’s more about finding cool credit card designs and getting approved for one of the best looking credit cards overall. Then there are folks who want to get a credit card few others have, or a card that showcases a unique affinity.
We recommend focusing on card features that will actually save or cost you money, like rewards, interest rates and fees. By comparing cards based on expected value, you can narrow things down to the offers that help you the most and then use looks as a tiebreaker.
Methodology for Selecting the Coolest Credit Cards
WalletHub’s editors track 1,500+ credit card offers, including any new credit cards to hit the market, the best deals, promotions and more. In other words, we have our fingers on the pulse of what’s hot with credit cards. As a result, we know there are different types of cool credit cards, from those made of metal or other cool materials to cards with unique benefits and uncommonly lucrative rewards.
To help WalletHub users find the coolest credit cards for their particular needs, we regularly update this page based on our analysis of the value and uniqueness of the latest credit card offers’ most interesting features. To make it onto the list of cool credit cards, the cards must have a unique feature or premium rewards compared to competing offers. In addition, our editors consider each card’s two-year cost in making their selections.
How Two-Year Cost Is Calculated
Two-year cost is used to approximate the monetary value of cards for better comparison and is calculated by combining annual and monthly membership fees over two years, adding any one-time fees or other fees (like balance transfer fees), adding any interest costs, and subtracting rewards. Negative amounts indicate savings. When fees or other terms are presented as a range, we use the midpoint for scoring purposes.
Rewards bonuses and credits have been taken into account for two-year cost calculations. However, bonuses applicable to only a very small portion of cardholders are not considered. For example, credits and bonuses awarded for spending or redeeming rewards through a company portal with non-co-branded cards have not been taken into account. Similarly, bonuses and credits related to spending with specific merchants using a non-co-branded card have not been taken into account (for example, if Card A offers credits with DoorDash, this feature would not be factored into calculations because it is hard to assess how many cardholders would use the benefit or exactly how much value they'd get from it).
Cardholder Spending Profiles
Given that different users have different goals and are likely to use their credit cards differently, we identified spending profiles that are representative of different users’ financial priorities and behaviors. For each cardholder type, we have assumed a specific amount of monthly spending by purchase type (e.g., groceries, gas, etc.), as well as an average balance, balance transfer amount, amount spent on large purchases and average monthly payment. Spending assumptions are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.