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Credit Cards

The best credit cards of March 2024

We rounded up the best credit cards that can help you build credit, save on interest charges and earn you over $2,000 in five years.

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Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

There are so many credit cards available to consumers that it can be hard to choose the best one. There's no "one size fits all" credit card, but instead options for different types of people — whether you're a foodie, road warrior, traveler, student or someone looking to build credit. A little research can help you find a card that's specifically designed for your lifestyle.

To determine which cards offer the best value, each month, CNBC Select analyzes over 250 credit cards available in the U.S. When comparing rewards cards, we use a sample budget based on spending data available from the location intelligence firm Esri to break down how much money each card could net you over five years. The cards we select also provide numerous additional benefits, such as annual statement credits, sign-up bonuses, discounts at select retailers, insurance and more that make using a credit card truly worthwhile.

Below, CNBC Select rounded up the best credit cards of March 2024 that can help you build credit, save on interest charges and earn you over $2,000 in cash back over five years. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best cards.)

The best credit cards of March 2024

Best cash-back credit card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

On Chase's Secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    20.49% - 29.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Member FDIC. Terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards card
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions

Who's this for? The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card is ideal for consumers who want a robust rewards card with no annual fee. If you're looking to maximize your rewards, there's also a generous welcome bonus: earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back! Cardholders earn 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service), and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

This card has no annual fee, and you can benefit from a 0% intro APR for the first 15 months from account opening on new purchases and balance transfers (after, 20.49% - 29.24% variable). This card also offers 5% cash back on Lyft purchases and complimentary three months of DashPass with 50% off for the next nine months. Simply activate by December 31, 2024.

Check out CNBC Select's best cash-back credit cards.

Best travel rewards card

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • Up to $120 dining credit annually ($10 a month) for purchases made with Grubhub, Goldbelly and other eligible restaurants (after a one-time enrollment)
  • Up to $120 Uber Cash annually ($10 a month) for U.S. Uber Eats orders and U.S. Uber rides (card must be added to Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit)
  • Strong rewards program with 4X points earned at restaurants and 3X points earned on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
  • Baggage insurance plan covers up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage that is damaged, lost or stolen
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • No introductory APR period
  • $250 annual fee
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,074
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,969

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? If you love food and travel, the American Express® Gold Card could be the ideal rewards card for you. Whether you dine out or cook at home, this card earns a competitive 4X points per dollar spent at restaurants and 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Plus, travelers can benefit from the 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

The value of Membership Rewards points varies depending on how cardholders redeem them. You can use them in a variety of ways, from paying with points at checkout at sites like Amazon to redeeming for gift cards or a statement credit to booking travel. See more on how points are calculated.

Cardholders also receive an annual dining credit of up to $120 ($10 in statement credits a month) at participating partners, including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Terms apply. Enrollment required. There are also *no foreign transaction fees.

This card does have a *$250 annual fee, but it can be reduced to effectively $130 if you take advantage of the $120 dining credit each year. Then, the rewards you earn help further "pay" for the card.

Gold Card members can also participate in Amex Offers, where you can earn statement credits or bonus Membership Rewards® points at select retailers. These limited-time offers are location-based and additional terms apply.

*See rates and fees.

Check out CNBC Select's best rewards credit cards and best travel credit cards.

Best credit card welcome bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.49% - 28.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Transfer points to leading frequent travel programs at a 1:1 rate, including: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy™ and World of Hyatt®
  • Travel protections include: auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR

Who's this for? If you want to get a lot of value right out of the gate, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The card is currently offering new cardholders the chance to earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. Those points are worth $750 toward travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® Travel portal. You can even potentially get more value if you transfer Chase points to Chase's travel partners, like Hyatt hotels and United Airlines, and book business-class flights and luxury hotels.

The Sapphire Preferred is also a great travel rewards credit card and has strong earning categories for those who spend on travel and dining. It earns 5X points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, 3X points on dining (including takeout and delivery), 3X points on select streaming services, 3X points on online grocery purchases (excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), and 2x points on all other travel.

The card also offers a $50 annual credit that can go towards booking a hotel in the Chase Travel Portal — this can help offset the already modest $95 annual fee.

Check out CNBC Select's best welcome bonuses currently available.

Best no annual fee credit card

Citi Double Cash® Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    For balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening, an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Fair/Good/Excellent

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
  • Simple cash-back program that doesn't require activation or spending caps
  • One of the longest intro periods for balance transfers at 18 months

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $443
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,213

Who's this for? The Citi Double Cash® Card is a straightforward rewards card that continues to offer one of the best flat-rate cash-back programs since it launched in 2014. Cardholders earn 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you make a purchase and an additional 1% when you pay your credit card bill. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi TravelSM portal through 12/31/24.

There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn and you don't have to worry about activating bonus categories. Cashback can be redeemed for a statement credit or direct deposit.

This card is also a good choice for debt consolidation. There's a 0% intro APR for the first 18 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.24% variable APR). There's an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5). (See more on how to make the most of a balance transfer.)

Check out CNBC Select's best no annual fee credit cards.

Best no annual fee travel credit card

Discover it® Miles

On Discover's secure site
  • Rewards

    Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will match all the Miles earned for all new cardmembers at the end of your first year.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    17.24% to 28.24% Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good / Excellent

  • *See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • Miles program
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit to the amount of miles you can earn and miles never expire

Cons

  • No Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit offerings
  • Travel spending does not receive additional rewards
  • No airport lounge access

Who's this for? The Discover it® Miles card comes with a generous rewards program — all for zero annual fee — that makes it a standout among travel cards.

The Discover it Miles card offers users unlimited 1.5X miles for every dollar spent on all purchases. But for higher spenders, Discover offers a welcome bonus that's hard to beat: It will do a mile-for-mile match of all miles earned the first year (for new card members in their first year only). If you rack up 35,000 miles within the first 12 months, Discover will match you with 35,000 miles. That's a total of 70,000 miles or $700 toward travel. (Based on our calculations, the average card user will earn around 32,777 miles in the first year; see "Our Methodology" below.)

With this card, there are no blackout dates when you pay for travel purchases using your card. And, you can easily redeem miles as a statement credit for travel, restaurant or gas station purchases, as well as a deposit to your bank account. The best part is that miles earned never expire — even if your account is closed.

Check out CNBC Select's best no annual fee travel credit cards.

Best balance transfer credit card

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening.

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Balances can be transferred within 4 months from account opening
  • One of the longest intro periods for balance transfers

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No rewards program

Who's this for? The Citi Simplicity® Card offers one of the longest balance transfer intro periods at 0% for 21 months from the date of the first transfer (after, 19.24% - 29.99% variable APR). Balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening. This is nearly two years to pay off debt, which can be helpful if you have a large balance or if your cash flow doesn't allow you to pay off the debt within the 6-, 12- or 15-month time periods of other balance transfer cards.

This card has no annual fee and comes with an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5). This can be worthwhile if you're paying high-interest charges.

New cardholders have four months to complete their balance transfer (longer than the typical 60 to 90 days). While you have more time to complete a transfer, the intro APR period starts at account opening — so try to make the transfer as soon as possible to get the most benefit of the interest-free period.

This card also never charges late fees (though we always recommend you pay your balance on time and in full). There isn't a welcome bonus or a rewards program.

Check out CNBC Select's best balance transfer credit cards.

Best low-interest credit card

Titanium Rewards Visa® Signature Card from Andrews Federal Credit Union

Information about the Titanium Rewards Visa® Signature Card from Andrews Federal Credit Union has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    3X points on gas and grocery purchases and 1.5X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 10,000 points when you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.74% to 18.00% variable on purchases; 13.74% to 17.99% on balance transfers. 

  • Balance transfer fee

    2.00%, $10 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    N/A

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Low 9.49% to 16.49% variable APR
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • Credit union membership required, though it’s free
  • No special financing on purchases or balance transfers
  • Balance transfer fee of 1.5%, or $50, whichever is greater.
  • Estimated return after 1 year: $543
  • Estimated return after 5 years: $2,314

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? The Titanium Rewards Visa® Signature Card from Andrews Federal Credit Union stands out for offering low interest rates, a strong rewards program and no foreign transaction fees — all at no annual fee.

This card offers a variable APR of 13.74% to 18.00% on purchases. If you carry a balance, you can benefit from low interest charges compared to other cards that have high interest rates. Balance transfers do incur a fee of $10.00 or 2.00% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Beyond interest rates, the Visa® Titanium Signature Rewards Card offers a generous rewards program: Earn 3X points on gas and grocery purchases and 1.5X points on all other purchases. Plus, there's a welcome bonus of 10,000 points after you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days.

In order to open this card, you need to join Andrews Federal Credit Union, but anyone can join. If you don't meet the qualification requirements, you can opt to join the American Consumer Council (ACC) for free with the promo code "Andrews."

Check out CNBC Select's best low interest credit cards.

Best secured credit card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

On Discover's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    N/A on purchases

  • Regular APR

    28.24% Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    New / Rebuilding

  • *See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • Cash-back program
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Starting at seven months from account opening, Discover will automatically review your credit card account to see if you can transition to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit

Cons

  • Cash-back program limits earnings: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%
  • Low credit line prevents cardholders from charging high-cost items or many expenses

Who's this for? The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a well-rounded secured card that offers many benefits that are typically found with unsecured cards. Cardholders can earn cash back, receive a generous welcome bonus, use the card overseas without incurring added fees and more — all for no annual fee.

Cardholders earn a competitive 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%. Plus, you can earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically. The welcome bonus is also unique: For new card members in the first year only, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. So, if you earn $50 cash back at the end of the first year, Discover will give you an additional $50.

This card requires a minimum $200 security deposit, which is fairly standard for secured credit cards. It stands out from the crowd because it gives users a clear path to upgrading to an unsecured card (and getting their deposit back). Starting at seven months from account opening, Discover will automatically review your credit card account to see if they can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit. This takes the guesswork out of wondering when you'll qualify for an unsecured credit card.

Check out CNBC Select's best secured credit cards.

Best for building credit and average credit

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    1% cash back on eligible purchases right away and up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments; 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    18.24% - 32.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Fair, Good, No Credit

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No credit history required (if you do have a credit history, that does factor into the credit decision)
  • No fees whatsoever
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away and up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments; 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants
  • Credit limits range from $300 to $10,000

Cons

  • Card isn't for rebuilding credit, but it's good for building credit
  • No special financing offers
  • No welcome bonus
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $249
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,577

Who's this for? The Petal 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa Credit Card, issued by WebBank, is easier to get approved for because it takes a different approach to the credit card application process. Instead of judging your creditworthiness solely based on credit history, Petal may ask you to link bank accounts during the application process. Then, WebBank analyzes your bank statements and other data, such as bill payments and earnings, to determine your eligibility.

This is especially beneficial for applicants who may not have any credit history. However, if you do have a credit history, that does factor into the credit decision.

The Petal 2 Visa Credit Card is one of the few cards that charge zero fees*: no annual fee, no late payment fee and no foreign transaction fees. And it stands out for consumers trying to build credit because there's no security deposit required.

It also offers a rewards program with 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away, which can increase up to 1.5% cash back after you make 12 on-time monthly payments. This is not only a nice perk, but a great way to encourage responsible behavior. Cardholders also earn 2% to 10% cash back from select merchants.

Check out CNBC Select's best credit cards for building credit and best credit cards for average and fair credit.

Best for college students

Discover it® Student Cash Back

On Discover's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases-automatically.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will match all the cash back earned for all new cardmembers at the end of your first year

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 6 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    18.24% - 27.24% Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Fair / New to Credit

  • *See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • Cash-back program
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • Cash-back categories must be activated each quarter
  • Cash-back program limits earnings: Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back in various categories on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases, then 1%
  • You must be a U.S. citizen and college student to apply for this card

Who's this for? The Discover it® Student Cash Back is a well-rounded card that offers college students enrolled in a two- or four-year college the chance to build credit while earning rewards. You must be over 18 and a U.S. citizen to apply.

Upon activation, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on rotating categories up to a $1,500 maximum each quarter (then 1%). All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back automatically.

There is also an introductory 0% APR for six months on new purchases — perfect for financing dorm room essentials or textbooks. After the intro period, there's a 18.24% - 27.24% variable APR. After you graduate, your Discover it student credit card becomes a regular credit card.

Check out CNBC Select's best credit cards for college students.

Best dining rewards credit card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase’s secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on flights and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Annual fee

    $550

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    22.49% - 29.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit for travel purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every four years
  • Priority Pass™ Select lounge access at 1,000+ VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide
  • Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Special benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Complimentary year of Lyft Pink membership

Cons

  • High annual fee, but it can be offset by taking advantage of all the card’s perks
  • No introductory APR
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,469
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $3,346

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is geared toward foodies and frequent travelers who are looking for luxurious perks, such as free airport lounge access and complimentary hotel room upgrades. Cardholders earn a competitive 3X points on dining and travel worldwide. Based on CNBC Select's calculations, we found the average American using this card could earn an estimated $165 per year in rewards for dining purchases alone (assuming you redeem rewards for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®, receiving 50% more value).

The value of Chase rewards points varies depending on how you use them. If you redeem points for cash and gift cards, each point is worth $.01, which means that 100 points equals $1 in redemption value. (See more on how the value of points is calculated.)

This card has a unique benefit where all points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 redeemed toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This perk is a great way to get the most value for your rewards.

While this card has a robust travel rewards program, it also comes with a steep $550 annual fee. All the card's added credits and benefits provided by Chase can help offset the annual cost. The $300 annual travel credit effectively reduces the annual fee to $150. Cardholders can take advantage of a Priority Pass™ Select membership that has a value of about $429. They also get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit of up to $100 every four years.

Check out CNBC Select's best credit cards for restaurants and dining out.

Best gas rewards credit card

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

On PenFed's secure site
  • Rewards

    5X points on gas purchases at the pump and electrical vehicle charging stations, 3X points on supermarket purchases, 1X point on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    15,000 points when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% introductory APR for 12 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days after account opening.*

  • Regular APR

    17.99% variable on purchases; 17.99% non-variable on balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    3%

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

Pros

  • High 5X points on gas at the pump and 3X on supermarket purchases
  • No bonus category activations
  • Good special financing offer on balance transfers

Cons

  • 3% balance transfer fee
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $513
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,167

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus.

*0% introductory APR for 12 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days after account opening. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be a non-variable rate of 17.99%. 3% balance transfer fee per transaction. Subject to credit approval. If you take advantage of this balance transfer, you will immediately be charged interest on all purchases made with your credit card unless you pay the entire account balance, including balance transfers, in full each month by the payment due date.

Who's this for? Among the cards we analyzed, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card currently offers the highest rewards rate at gas stations with 5X points per dollar spent for gas purchases at the pump.

This card has no annual fee, so road warriors can maximize their savings. In addition to earning high rewards at gas stations, cardholders also benefit from unlimited 3X points for supermarket purchases.

PenFed is a credit union, so membership is required to open the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card. Anyone can join by completing a few extra steps: You need to apply, open a savings account with a $5 deposit and maintain a $5 account balance.

Check out CNBC Select's best credit cards for gas.

Best grocery rewards credit card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. 

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.99% variable. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • High 6% cash back at U.S. supermarket spending (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%)
  • Unlimited 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • Unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit

Cons

  • 2.7% fee on purchases made abroad
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $679
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,397

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? Frequent grocery shoppers will be happy to learn the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers the highest cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets at 6% (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). The average American can earn $310 in cash back each year when they do their shopping at qualifying supermarkets.

If you want to maximize cash back on groceries, this card is for you. In addition to high grocery rewards, there's an unlimited 6% cash back on select streaming subscriptions, unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, unlimited 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

This card has $0 intro annual fee for the first year (then $95), but it can be offset by the cash back you earn and discounts you can get through the Amex Offers. (See rates and fees)

Check out CNBC Select's best credit cards for grocery shopping.

Best for paying rent

Bilt Mastercard®

On Bilt's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn points when you make 5 transactions that post each statement period - up to 1x points on rent payments without the transaction fee (up to 100,000 points each calendar year), 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel, and 1x points on other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    None

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Regular APR

    See Terms

  • Balance transfer fee

    Introductory fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer ($5 minimum).

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates/fees and rewards/benefits; terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Solid rewards on broad spending categories
  • Ability to pay your rent with no transaction fees
  • Transfer points to leading frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 rate, including American Airlines, United and World of Hyatt®

Cons

  • No welcome offer
  • No introductory 0% APR

Who's this for? The Bilt Mastercard® is the only credit card that lets you earn travel rewards on rent payments with no fees.

So long as you make at least five card transactions per statement period, you'll earn 3X points on dining, 2X points on travel 1X points on rent (on up to $50,000 in rent payments every year) and everything else. Thanks to a new partnership with Lyft, cardholders can now also earn up to 5X points on their rideshares.

Thanks to the BiltProtect feature, cardholders are protected from using up their entire credit limit or risk going into debt by charging their rent to their card every month. Other benefits include cell phone protection; Purchase Assurance Plus, which covers your purchases for 90 days; exclusive discounts with brands like Lyft, DoorDash and ShopRunner; and access to the Mastercard Luxury Hotels & Resorts portfolio, which offers amenities like upgrades, free breakfast and property credits.

Bilt Rewards points are extremely flexible. They can be redeemed for travel either by transferring them to airline and hotel partners or by booking through the Bilt Travel Portal at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. Other redemption options include using them to shop online, book fitness classes, pay rent and even make a down payment on a home.

Best entertainment rewards credit card

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 4% on eligible streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.24% - 29.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Unlimited 4% cash back on entertainment purchases
  • Ability to redeem rewards at any amount, unlike some other cards with $25 minimums
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for purchases or balance transfers

Who's this for? Sports fans, movie buffs and adventure seekers will all find a common reason to like the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card*: unlimited 4% cash back on entertainment purchases. Compared to other rewards cards, this is the highest unlimited rewards rate on entertainment spending, whether you're buying movie tickets, taking a family trip to the zoo or spending the evening bowling with friends.

Cardholders can also benefit from exclusive access to entertainment events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the Capital One JamFest.

Beyond entertainment perks, there's also 10% cash back on Uber rides, 4% cash back on dining and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, you can enjoy an Uber One membership through Nov. 14, 2024 and foodie-centric perks through Capital One Dining.

This card does come with a $95 annual fee, but can be offset by the cash back you earn.

Check out CNBC Select's best credit cards for entertainment spending.

Best credit card for Global Entry and/or TSA PreCheck credit

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards

    5 Miles per dollar on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 2X miles per dollar on every other purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    19.99% - 29.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    $0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • 5 miles per dollar on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every 4 years

Cons

  • No introductory APR
  • There’s a $95 annual fee

Who's this for? The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers excellent rewards rates: Earn 5X miles per dollar on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles per dollar spent on all other spending. While Venture does come with a $95 annual fee, that's low compared to some other rewards cards, with some annual fees of up to $550. (See rates and fees)

In addition to rewards, every four years cardholders receive a credit for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, up to $100. Cardholders now also get two free visits to Capital One airport lounges per year. If you travel often, these are great perks that can save you time and money.

This card has no foreign transaction fees and comes with a bunch of additional travel perks, such as 24-hour travel assistance services and an auto rental collision damage waiver. (See rates and fees)

*Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more details.

Check out CNBC Select's best credit cards for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Best for premium perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

  • Annual fee

    $695

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit Needed

    Excellent/Good

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • Up to $200 in annual airline fee credits
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber savings. Benefit renews annually.
  • Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card®  on one or more of the following: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) and receive a statement credit that covers the full cost each month. $12.95 plus applicable taxes. Plus Up Benefits not eligible.

Cons

  • $695 annual fee
  • No special financing offers on new purchases

Who's this for? The Platinum Card® from American Express is for those who want a luxury card with a lengthy list of benefits. Although best known for its travel perks, this card also offers a number of everyday benefits, including digital entertainment, shopping and wellness credits (enrollment required), so you don't need to be a road warrior to benefit from it.

To start, cardholders earn a respectable 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases.

In addition, cardholders can enjoy over a dozen premium travel and lifestyle benefits, including:

  • Up to $200 annual hotel credit. (Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay)
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $300 per calendar year Equinox credit
  • Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit
  • Up to $189 credit to enroll in CLEAR® Plus (subject to auto-renewal)
  • Up to $240 annual digital entertainment credit
  • Up to $155 annual Walmart+ credit. (Plus Ups not eligible. Subject to auto renewal.)
  • Worldwide airport lounge access, including Delta SkyClubs and Amex Centurion Lounges
  • Up to $200 annual Uber credit. Benefit renews annually.
  • $100 fee credit for Global Entry (every 4 years) or up to $85 for TSAPreCheck (every 4.5 years)
  • Automatic hotel elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Complimentary Amex concierge service
  • Terms apply

Its $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) is higher than any other card on this list, but you can definitely come out ahead if you take full advantage of the benefits. And that's before factoring in the card's welcome offer, which many rewards experts value at $2,000. (See more on how the value of points is calculated.)

Check out CNBC Select's best luxury and premium credit cards.

Editor's choice for best overall

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2X miles on all eligible purchases, and 5 Miles per dollar on flights and 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booked via Capital One Travel portal

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $395

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    19.99% - 29.99% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    $0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

  • Foreign transaction fees

    $0

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • Large welcome bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Up to $100 statement credits for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR period

Who's this for? If you value simplicity and want one, strong standalone credit card, it doesn't get much better than the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. It offers a straightforward rewards structure, a myriad of valuable benefits and a lower annual fee than other high-end cards with similar features.

Cardholders earn 2X miles on everyday purchases, plus 5X miles on flights and a whopping 10X miles on hotels and cars booked through Capital One Travel. These miles can be transferred to airline and hotel partners, such as Accor Live Limitless, Air Canada Aeroplan and Etihad Guest. You can also redeem rewards toward travel through Capital One Travel, cash-back, gift cards, experiences and more.

On top of that, the Venture X card offers up to $100 in statement credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®, complimentary cell phone insurance, special perks on hotel stays book through the Premier Collection and access to Capital One Lounges as well as the extensive network of Priority Pass and Plaza Premium airport lounges worldwide. Every year, cardholders receive up to $300 back in statement credits each year for bookings made through Capital One Travel and a 10,000-mile bonus on each account anniversary (worth at least $100 for travel), making it easy to recoup the $395 the annual fee. (See rates and fees)

*Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more details.

Things to consider before choosing a credit card

Having a credit card is an important piece of your financial profile, but with so many options available, it can be hard to find the best one for your needs. Here are some common questions to ask yourself so you can decide what's the best credit card for you.

Do you want to earn rewards?

There are hundreds of rewards credit cards out there, where you can earn cash back, points or miles on every purchase you make.

And if you want to earn rewards, what specific categories are most important to you?

Rewards credit cards come in all shapes and sizes. If you want to maximize rewards in specific categories, check out cards offering bonus rewards on gas, groceries, restaurants, entertainment, travel and more. Or keep it simple and opt for a flat-rate cash-back card.

Learn more: Are credit card points taxable? Here's when you may have to pay taxes on your rewards

Are you looking to get out of debt?

If you're carrying a balance on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring it to a balance transfer credit card offering no interest for up to 21 months. There are even cards with no balance transfer fees.

Do you want to build credit?

Experts agree the sooner you build credit, the better. Credit cards are a great way to do that. Check out secured cards for credit newbies or other cards for building or rebuilding credit.

Do you travel abroad?

A credit card with no foreign transaction fees is essential to save you the typical 3% fee per purchase made outside the U.S. Also, it can be a good idea to consider cards that waive Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees.

Find the best credit card for you by reviewing offers in our credit card marketplace or get personalized offers via CardMatch™.

What credit score do I need to get the best cards?

When you apply for a credit card, the bank or lender will review your credit report from one or more of the three major credit bureaus. It will also typically check your FICO credit score, the top credit cards usually require a very good or excellent credit score.

This is how FICO credit scores are classified according to myFICO:

  • Poor/bad credit: Less than 580
  • Fair credit: 580-669
  • Good credit: 670-739
  • Very good credit: 740-799
  • Exceptional/excellent credit: 800 or higher

Building and maintaining a healthy credit score helps your personal finances in all sorts of ways outside of increasing your chances of getting approved for a great sign-up bonus. Your FICO score is calculated based on the following factors and each is weighted differently:

  • Payment history: 35%
  • Total debt: 30%
  • Length of credit history: 15%
  • New credit: 10%
  • Credit mix: 10%

FAQs

Many people have multiple credit cards, and there are benefits to this. It can help increase your credit score by giving you more available credit and therefore a better credit utilization ratio.

At its most basic, having access to more credit can help you finance more purchases if you don't have enough cash to cover everything up front.

You can also earn more rewards by optimizing which card you use for certain spending categories. For instance, you may make all your dining purchases with a card that earns bonus rewards in that category, but another card with a bonus multiplier for grocery purchases.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide how many credit cards you need. Make sure to evaluate your spending habits and research what card would be best for you.

Applying for a credit card is easy, and you'll often get an instant decision on whether you're approved or denied. To apply for a credit card, you'll generally need to provide the following:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Mailing address
  • Email address and/or phone number
  • Annual income
  • Housing costs

The minimum age to open a credit card on your own is 18. However, it is possible to get a credit card as a minor by being added as an authorized user on someone else's account.

Secured credit cards are generally the easiest credit cards to be approved for. They are similar to traditional cards (they extend credit, can incur interest charges and in some cases can even earn rewards) but require you to put down a security deposit to access a line of credit. The amount you deposit usually becomes your credit limit.

There are four major credit card issuers: American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa.

Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit card networks globally. That said, American Express and Discover still have 99% acceptance rates among U.S. merchants who take credit cards and are increasing their international footprints.

When it comes to credit cards, most billing cycles are one month or 28 to 31 days. After your billing cycle ends, you typically have what is known as a grace period where you can pay off your full balance without incurring any interest charges. However, if you pay off your card balance before the billing cycle ends, it will help to keep your credit utilization down, which boosts your credit score.

Keep in mind that the grace period may not apply to all charges. Balance transfers and cash advances are usually charged interest starting on the transaction date.

Having a separate credit card for your small business or side hustle is important so you can keep your personal and business activities separate. Business credit cards come in all shapes and sizes, there are business cards that offer cash-back rewards, travel rewards and everything in between.

The right business credit card for you should offer bonus rewards that align with your business spending. To keep it simple, you can start your business credit card search at the bank where you currently have your business bank accounts. If you bank with Wells Fargo, Bank of America or Chase, then it may be easiest to have all of your accounts with one institution.

Many of the banks that offer the best consumer cards also have top-notch business cards. For example, Chase has the Ink Business line of small business cards, which includes the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card and the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. Both cards have no annual fee, hefty sign-up bonuses and generous bonus spending categories.

Bottom line

There are hundreds of different credit cards on the market to cater to every kind of consumer. The best card for you will ultimately depend on your personal spending habits, goals and credit history.

To get the most benefit from your card, you want to make sure you practice responsible credit behavior, such as paying off your balance on time and in full each month and avoiding overspending and falling into debt.

Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every credit card review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card productsWhile CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best credit cards.

Our methodology

To determine which cards offer the best value, CNBC Select analyzed over 250 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

We also estimated how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee. Our final picks are weighted heavily toward the highest five-year returns, since it's generally wise to hold onto a credit card for years. This method also avoids giving an unfair advantage to cards with large welcome bonuses.

For balance transfer cards, we used a Bankrate calculator to tally the interest rates and fees you could incur if you transferred $6,028, the average balance Americans carry on their credit cards in 2019, before the pandemic, according to Experian.

If the average consumer with a $6,028 balance on their credit card pays $200 each month, they will spend $1,911 in additional interest, assuming the average 17.7% APR. And it will take them 40 months — more than three years — to pay off that debt.

With four of the five cards featured on this list, if you take full advantage of the intro APR period and pay $200 per month, you'll pay less than $450 in interest and cut your repayment time in half to 20 months. That's a significant savings.

For the cards that offered a rewards program, we also estimated how much cash back you might earn over a five-year period. CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

CNBC Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

It's important to note the value of a point or mile varies from card to card and based on how you redeem them. When we calculated the estimated returns, we assumed that cardholders are redeeming points/miles for a typical maximum value of 1 cent per point or mile. (Extreme optimizers might be able to achieve more value.)

When choosing the best balance transfer card, we focused on the card that provides consumers with the cheapest way to pay off their debt rather than the number of rewards they could potentially earn. When you're in credit card debt, your primary focus should be repayment. Earning rewards should be seen as a bonus, and you don't want to spend beyond your means in order to earn points.

The five-year rewards total and the interest rate and fees estimates are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending and debt. You may earn a higher or lower return depending on your spending habits.

The editor's choice card is independently chosen by CNBC Select's editorial team. While it may not have ranked as the number-one card in any given category, it consistently ranks highly across multiple categories and we believe offers some of the best value overall for a stand-alone card. Its rewards, welcome bonus, APR, fees, ease-of-use and ongoing benefits were all taken into consideration.

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Student Cash Back, click here.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Miles, click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Petal 2 Visa Credit Card issued by WebBank.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

* Information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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