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Best credit card for October 2021: Best card of the month for November 2022

Best credit card for October 2021: Best card of the month for November 2022

Not only is a credit card incredibly convenient for paying for things, but when used responsibly, it can also assist you build credit and earn extra cash or travel rewards. But not every card is suitable for every situation and budget, and opening a new credit card also comes with risks. If you're the type of person who pays your credit card bill late or spends more than you can afford, you may hurt your score and end up in a vicious cycle of debt.

That's why you shouldn't jump at the first credit card offer that arrives in your mailbox -- and that'' is where this best credit cards list comes in. To help you choose the best credit card for your needs, we grouped our top picks of the top credit cards by category -- from the finest rewards creditcard to the most suitable credit score for Apple Pay users -- taking into consideration interest rates, credit limits, and whether the card issuer offers rewards or a cash advance.

Below, you'll find our current top picks for the best credit card. We'll keep our eyes peeled for more options as new ones become available, and update this best credit card list as we monitor these cards. If you're searching for a credit card based on even more specific criteria, you can browse our selections of the best student credit cards, best travel creditcard, and best secured credit credit plan, among other things.

Best cash-back card for cashback

Card Highlights
Intro Bonus After spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, you'll receive a $200 Bonus.
APR: APRIL Variable 14.99 - 23.74% Variability 14.00 -24.74 Variability
Credits With Recommendation Excellent/Good/Excellent/Beautiful/Elegant/Favorable/Perfect/Great/excellent/Poor/Note Excellent
Reward Rates are calculated based on Rewarded Points.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 3% on dining and drugstores.
  • Earn unlimited 1,5% cash back on all other purchases.
Fees Per Annum (AKA Fee) $0 to $0.00
Intro Purchase APR For 15 months, 0% APR on All Purchases.
Additional Details Further Details Additional Information
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Balance Transfer APR ADR APRI Variable 14.99 - 23.74% Variably variable Variability
Foreign Transaction Fees 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars is paid in dollars.
APR APT for AMR Penalty Up to 29.99% accuracy.
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 3% on dining and drugstore purchases.
  • Earn unlimited 1,5% cash back on all other purchases.

Most of the top cash-back cards have a flat, easy, and no annual fee. The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card provided all of that until recently -- a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases, no spending limit, and flexible redemption policies. In September 2020, however, the credit card company improved on that deal, adding a little extra complexity and raising the rewards rates on travel (5%) purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, dining (3%), and drugstore purchases (3%). While it's no longer the simplest cash rewards card, we believe it is the most popular cash-back card for most people.

Check out the complete review in CNET's list of the top cash-back credit cards.

Apply Now.

Best credit card for travel rewards for rewards

Card Highlights
Intro Bonus: Intra Bonus If you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, you'll receive 60,000 miles, equivalent to $600 in travel.
APR: ARP is a category that is increasingly used in the industry. 15.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Credit Recommendation Credit is required for each credit. Excellent, Good, Excellent.
Reward Rates are calculated based on the Rewarded Rate.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
Fees: Annual Fee $95,95 dollars.
APR for Intro Purchase ARP is $9.95. N/A N.B. NON-A.
Additional Details Additional Information
APR for Intro Balance Transfer ADR N/A N.B.
Balance Transfer Fee $0 at this Transfer APR.
Balance Transfer APR APRI Balance transfer APM 15.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Late Payment Fees Up to $40 per transaction.
Foreign Transaction Fees None.
Penalty APR APRI None.
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per purchase, every day.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card* is a straightforward, easy-to-use travel rewards credit card for booking travel with rewards miles. And those rewards travel credit card miles are generated whenever you spend -- so there's no need to worry whether a certain category is eligible.

Check out CNET's comprehensive list of the top travel credit cards for more information.

Apply Now.

The best credit card for students is the Student Credit Card.

Rates and Fees are listed under Rate and Charges.
Highlights of Card Highlight Highlight
Intro Bonus: Free Intra Bonus Only from Discover's Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match. Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. You could turn $50 in cash into $100. Or, turn $100 into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
APR (As of January 1st) is the most recent APRIL-related event. Variable between 12.99% - 21.99% Variability
Credit - The Recommended Credit is 2.75. Credit should be obtained at the following credit scores: Fair/New to Credit
Reward Rates Are Based On Rewarded Remarks.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.
Fees for the Year: $0 (0 $) (0% $ 0)
Intro Purchase APR (intro purchase APRI) A PR of 5% is indicated on the Intra Purchase Agreement. 6 months, 0% interest.
Additional Details Additional Information
Intro Balance Transfer APR APE For 6 months, the rent is 10.99%.
Balance Transfer Fee is based on Balance Payment Fee. *Intro balance transfer fee of 3%, and up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see conditions)*
Balance Transfer APR APB APRI Variable between 12.99% - 21.99% Variabile between 12.99% 21.99%) Variably
Late Payment Fee The first time you pay late, none of your bills will be corrected. After that, the amount could be up to $40.
Foreign Transaction Fees None.
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.

The Discover it Student chrome* offers a combination of cash back and other rewards, as well as lenient terms for first-time credit card holders. You won't be slapped with a late payment -- at least the first (up to $40) -- or have to pay an exorbitant penalty APR. And getting 1 to 2% cash back in rewards each month is a nice bonus (2% on gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%; 0% on other purchases). Note that Discover offers a similar card, the Discover it Student Cash Back*, but the constantly changing bonus categories make the process difficult, especially for first-time cardholders.

Check out the entire review in CNET's list of the best student credit cards.

Apply Now!

Best credit card for balance transfers for debt payments

Highlights of Card Highlight Highlight
Intro Bonus N/A N.B.
APR APT: 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
Credits with a Requirement for Credit are: Excellent/Good/Excellent/ Good/Beautiful / Excellent /10/excellent/good/poor/favourable
Reward Rates are calculated by calculating Rewarded Rate. N/A NON NAMA
Fees Annual Fee $0**
Intro Purchase APR AFR 20%* for 20 billing cycles on purchases*
Additional Details Additional Information
APR for Intro Balance Transfer ATR is $1.49 for each additional transaction. For 20 billing cycles on balance transfers*, you'll get 0%* for each billing cycle.
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the transfer amount or $5 minimum, whichever is greater, is the maximum transfer sum.
Balance Transfer APR (APR for Balance transfer) APRI 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
Foreign Transaction Fees are incurred for transactions outside of the United States. 2% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in U.S. Dollars 3% of every foreign buy transaction and foreign AM advance transactions in a Foreign Currency 1% of any foreign transaction OR foreign MRT advance purchase transactions and each Foreign ATM Advance transaction is in US Dollar.

Paying down credit card debt can be challenging. A balance on a bank account with inflated interest rates can take years to pay off -- or worse, it can spiral out of control. A balance transfer credit card, when used properly, can provide you with a relatively cost-effective means to catch up. The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card* has one of the longest 0% introductory APR periods -- 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases (14.49% to 24.499% variable ARP thereafter) -- as well as one among the lowest balance transfer fees, 3% ($5 minimum).

Learn more about the top balance transfer credit cards in CNET's list of the best balance transfers.

Apply Now to get started.

Best credit card for Amazon and Whole Foods shoppers.

Card Highlights
Intro Bonus: Intra Bonus Upon approval, you may receive up to $150 Amazon Gift Card instantly.
APR (Aapr Variable between 14,24% and 22,26% 14.27% to 22,244%
Credits with a Recommendation Credit (recommended credit) is advisable. N/A N/3 N./B N/4
Reward Rates are calculated on a monthly basis.
  • Prime members who purchase an eligible Prime membership can get 5% off at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.
  • *Restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores get a 2% bonus back*
  • *On all other purchases, you'll receive a 1% discount*
Fees for the Annual Fee $0 to $00
APR for Intro Purchase APC N/A N.B.
Additional Details Additional Information
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the total transfer amount, whichever is greater.
Balance Transfer APR ADR Balance transfer A PR Variable between 14,24% and 22,22% 14.27% to 22,24% Variability
Late Payment Fees Up to $39,99 per month.
Foreign Transaction Fees None.
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market will give you 5% back with a Prime membership.*
  • *At restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, you'll get a 2% discount*.
  • *On all subsequent purchases, you will be reimbursed 1%*

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* is a must-have for anyone who shops on Amazon. And given that you can buy just about anything on Amazon -- 5% discount on all eligible purchases there is pretty impressive. The rewards card also offers 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, as well as 1% on everything else. (Note that Amazon offers a basic, non-Prime member card, the Amazon Rewards Visa Card*, which gives 3% cash back on Amazon purchases; but if you're spending more than $250 per month at Amazon or Whole Foods, you should be enrolled.)

Check out the complete review in CNET's list of the best cash-back credit cards.

Learn More.

Best credit card for Apple Pay super users (and privacy enthusiasts)

Highlights of Card Highlight Highlight Cards
Intro Bonus - Intra Bonus N/A N.B. N/1 A N/10 A
APR (APR for Applied Research and Evaluation) is a term used to describe the importance of APRI. (Variable) 10.99% to 21.99% (Available), or 10.9% to 11.99%.
Credit Recommendation Credit N/A N.B. NON-ASSISTANCE NMB N0A
Reward Rates are based on Rewarded Remarks.
  • On everything you purchase at Apple, you'll get a 3% Daily Cash back guarantee.
  • With every purchase you make using your Apple Card with Apple Pay, you'll receive 2% Daily Cash back.
Fees: Annual Fee $0 to $0-$0.
APR for Intro Purchase ADR N/A N.B. N-A
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • The Apple Card gives you a 3% Daily Cashback on everything you buy at Apple.
  • With every purchase you make using your Apple Card with Apple Pay, you get 2% Daily Cash back.

The Apple Card is a beautiful, but odd duck. The credit card is made of sleek titanium and looks like it was created from a MacBook Pro slot. On all purchases that use Apple Pay, the firm's digital wallet and touchless payment technology, you'll receive 2% cash back. (The Citi Double Cash Card offers up to 2% on everything, 1% when you buy and another 3% when paying for those purchases, no matter how you pay.) Otherwise, the Apple Card's rewards system is a jumble of cash rewards: 3% cash back on eligible Apple gear and services purchases, Uber and Walgreens purchases and 1% cash bonuses on everything else.

There are, of course, a few other impressive features. Apple offers cash-back rewards at the end of each day instead of a month-long billing cycle, according to its privacy statement. Apple does not charge late fees, an annual fee, or foreign transaction fees.

Check out the full review in CNET's roundup of the best cash-back credit cards.

Apply Now.

FAQs

How do I choose a credit card?

Whether you're opening your first card, or you have excellent credit and are expanding your personal finance arsenal, it's important to first understand the landscape. You must know what variable APR means when a card has varying AVR and be prepared to deal with credit card interest. Learn about the credit card company and what people like and dislike about working with it. You need to familiarize yourself with your own personal credit history and how your card will affect your credit rating with the credit bureau. Finally, you'll want to examine reward points, both how you earn them on everyday purchases and how to redeem them for gift cards or statement credit.

How do I obtain a credit card?

The more favorable the benefits, the more hoops you'll have to jump through to be eligible for certain credit cards. Credit cards with attractive rewards programs or cashback rewards require more credit than more basic credit card varieties.

If you have poor or poor credit, you may only be eligible for credit builder or secured credit cards. If you have good to excellent credit, you may easily qualify for any credit card you want. But if you don't have the correct score, you may not be eligible for the card you desire.

Will having a credit card increase my credit score?

When used correctly, credit cards may give your credit score a boost. However, not all credit cards are approved by credit bureaus.

If you're trying to improve your credit, having a card that doesn't report to credit bureaus won'treat you as if you were building your reputation. For example, the Apple Card doesn't report to credit bureaus. While this cash rewards card and others like it may be convenient to use, they aren't helping your credit grow. This may not be a bad thing if you have excellent credit, but putting it off can keep you from boosting yours.

What's the best credit card to get for first-time users?

The best credit card for beginners is the one that will help you establish credit. You'll want to determine how you plan to use a credit card. Are you expecting to carry a balance from month to month, or can you pay the credit card issuer easily and affordably? Are you a student who needs to finance dozens of back-to-school purchases? One credit card issuer may be superior to another depending on what you require. But there are also some that just tick all the right boxes -- offering more generous terms and conditions, more reward points, cash rewards, a lower interest rate, higher credit limit, an welcome bonus, less fees, and more consumer-friendly privacy policies. If you don't have a card with the most travel rewards or cash back benefits yet, dont worry. You'll want to start with a starter card, and then you're ready to go on to obtaining oblivion with an improved card later.

What kind of credit cards did CNET look at?

In 2021, we've evaluated dozens of credit cards and identified the best options across a variety of categories. We've examined rewards credit cards -- including those that give cash back on every purchase, give you points and miles for all kinds of travel purchases, or focus on a certain airline. Which credit cards are best for students, ideal for Amazon Prime shoppers, and worth considering for Apple Pay aficionados?

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*All information on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card (U. S.), Discover it Student chrome, Discover It Student Cash Back, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Rewards Rewards Card was collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not affected by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or requested by any third party. However, when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners, we may receive compensation.

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