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Credit Cards

Best new credit cards that were released in 2020

Credit card issuers were busy in 2020 launching a variety of new cards. Here are some of the best credit cards released this year.

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While new doesn't always equal better, some of the credit cards that launched in 2020 are top of their class, whether you're looking for a lucrative rotating cash-back program (Chase Freedom Flex℠) or want to redeem rewards to pay off loans, save or invest (SoFi Credit Card).

This year also saw many big businesses dive into the credit card space, including Verizon, Venmo and Hotels.com. There's also cards for credit newbies and frequent fliers.

CNBC Select covered a dozen new credit card launches, and below, we've rounded up some of our favorites.

Best new credit cards of 2020

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

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

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 24.74% 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%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back in select categories upon activation
  • Rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards card

Cons

  • Bonus categories must be activated each quarter
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $852
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,844

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

On U.S. Bank's secure site
  • Rewards

    4X points on takeout, food delivery and dining, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations and 1X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0*

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases*

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 23.99% (variable)*

  • Balance transfer fee

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

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

*See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • High 4X points on takeout, food delivery and dining
  • Annual $15 credit for eligible streaming service purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

    • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $581
    • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,104

    Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

    Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card

    On Petal's secure site
    • Rewards

      2% to 10% cash back at select merchants

    • Welcome bonus

      None

    • Annual fee

      $0

    • Intro APR

      N/A

    • Regular APR

      19.99% - 29.49% variable

    • Balance transfer fee

      N/A

    • Foreign transaction fee

      None

    • Credit needed

      Fair, Low, No Credit

    See our methodology, terms apply.

    Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Opportunity to earn 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants
    • Earn a credit limit increase in as little as 6 months. Terms and conditions apply.
    • No foreign transaction fees when traveling outside the U.S.
    • Allows fair/low/no credit applicants to apply and build credit
    • No security deposits required

    Cons

    • No welcome bonus
    • Rewards are limited to select merchants
    • No introductory APR offer

    United Club℠ Infinite Card

    On Chase's secure site
    • Rewards

      4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining (including eligible delivery services) and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

    • Welcome bonus

      Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

    • Annual fee

      $525

    • Intro APR

      None

    • Regular APR

      16.49% to 23.49% variable

    • Balance transfer fee

      5%, minimum $5

    • Foreign transaction fees

      None

    • Credit needed

      Excellent

    Terms apply.

    Pros

    • Annual fee waived the first year
    • United Club membership with access to over 45 United Club locations and participating Star Alliance™ affiliated lounges worldwide
    • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit every four years
    • No fee on purchases made outside the U.S.

    Cons

    • High annual fee
    • No intro 0% APR period

     

    Venmo Credit Card

    Information about the Venmo Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
    • Rewards

      3% cash back on the category in which you spend the most, 2% back on the second-highest category and 1% back on all other purchases

    • Welcome bonus

      None

    • Annual fee

      $0

    • Intro APR

      N/A

    • Regular APR

      15.24 to 24.24% variable

    • Balance transfer fee

      N/A

    • Foreign transaction fee

      None

    • Credit needed

      N/A

    See our methodology, terms apply.

    Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Rewards program that adapts to your spending habits
    • No foreign transaction fees when traveling outside the U.S.

    Cons

    • Currently available to a random percentage of Venmo customers who’ve had a Venmo account for at least 30 days and who’ve been active in the last 12 months
    • No welcome bonus
    • No introductory APR offer

    SoFi Credit Card

    On SoFi's secure site
    • Rewards

      Earn 2% unlimited cash back on eligible purchases when redeemed through SoFi Student or Personal Loans, SoFi Money® or SoFi Invest® accounts*

    • Welcome bonus

      Earn up to $100 when you open and fund a SoFi Money and a SoFi Invest account after getting approved for the SoFi Credit Card*

    • Annual fee

      $0

    • Intro APR

      N/A

    • Regular APR

      12.99% to 24.99% variable, with a 1% reduction after making 12 consecutive on-time credit card payments

    • Balance transfer fee

      Either $10 or 5%, whichever is greater

    • Foreign transaction fee

      0%

    • Credit needed

      Good/Excellent

    *Terms apply. See offer details here.

    Pros

    • Earn 2% unlimited cash back*
    • Simple cash-back program that helps you pay down debt, save or invest for the future
    • Opportunity to get a 1% reduction in APR
    • Access to World Elite Mastercard® benefits, Mastercard’s Priceless® Experiences and security features like Mastercard ID Theft Protection™ and Price Protection

    Cons

    • Limited cash-back categories

    Our methodology

    To determine which credit cards offer the best value, CNBC Select analyzed 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.

    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.

    While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

    Petal 1 Visa Credit Card is issued by WebBank, Member FDIC.

    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.