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With so many options available, finding the best credit card in 2024 can be overwhelming. Although many credit cards offer a wide variety of benefits from rewards to low APR offers to travel and purchase protections and other perks, the most important consideration is finding the card that best fits your spending habits and financial situation.

We analyzed an extensive list of credit cards, from various issuers, to choose the best credit cards in 2024. Here is our selection:

Why trust our credit card experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of credit cards and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best card for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodologyǷ.

  • 250+ cards analyzed.
  • 20+ data points considered.
  • 5-step fact-checking process.

Choosing the best credit card made easy

Short on time? Here’s a few of the top-rated cards hand-picked by our experts

  • Top pick for cash rewards: Chase Freedom Flex℠ * The information for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
  • Top pick for airline travel:
  • Top pick for businesses: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card * The information for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Our top 8 credit card picks of May 2024

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Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card
On Citi’s secure website

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.

$200 cash back

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

19.24% – 29.24% (Variable)

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

Fair, Good, Excellent
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. 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.

Editor’s take

Pros
  • No annual fees.
  • Introductory APR period on balance transfers.
  • Excellent cash-back rewards.
Cons
  • Charges foreign transaction fees.
  • There’s a balance transfer fee.
  • Few additional benefits.
The Citi Double Cash® Card is a top-notch choice for everyday use, due to its simple and generous rewards. Plus, the card’s lengthy introductory APR period on balance transfers makes it a great option for those who need to consolidate debt.

Card details

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • 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).

Best cash-back credit card

Chase Freedom Flex℠

*

The information for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Freedom Flex℠
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are based on specific use cases for each card. We compared this card to others in the same category and developed our rankings based on this criteria, along with our editorial input. Note that although we chose this card as the best in its category, the right card for you will depend on your own financial circumstances.

Welcome bonus

Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening,

$200 bonus

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

20.49% – 29.24% Variable

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

(700 – 749) Good, Excellent
Earn 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly on up to $1,500 when enrolled, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1% on all other purchases.

Editor’s take

Pros
  • Generous cash-back potential if you maximize rotating categories.
  • Can pool rewards with a premium Ultimate Rewards®-earning card.
  • Low intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers.
Cons
  • Rotating categories must be activated quarterly.
  • Not all rotating categories will be a good fit for every cardholder.
  • Takes work to track the various rewards categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex charges no annual fee, earns cash back in a wide variety of categories and offers a generous welcome bonus. It also comes with low intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers. Last, but not least, Chase lets you redeem rewards in a variety of ways — including transferring them to a premium Ultimate Rewards®-earning card and enjoying 25% to 50% more value for travel bookings via Chase’s portal.

Card details

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in categories that rotate quarterly (requires activation), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: Earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • APR: 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% to 29.24%. There is an intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater, in the first 60 days. Then the fee is the greater of $5 or 5% of each transfer.
  • Perks and benefits: Cellphone protection of up to $800 per claim with a $50 deductible, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency services, purchase protection and extended warranty.

Best 2% cash rewards card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are based on specific use cases for each card. We compared this card to others in the same category and developed our rankings based on this criteria, along with our editorial input. Note that although we chose this card as the best in its category, the right card for you will depend on your own financial circumstances.
On Wells Fargo’s secure website

Welcome bonus

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

$200 Cash Rewards

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

(700 – 749) Good, Excellent
Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Editor’s take

Pros
  • 15 months of introductory APR financing on both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers.
  • Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases.
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Cons
  • No purchase protection policies, other than cell phone protection.
  • No travel redemption options.
  • Other cards earn more cash back in specific categories.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers easy, generous and unlimited flat-rate reward on spending with no categories or spending caps to keep track of, Plus a low intro APR offer on purchases and qualifying balance transfers.

Card details

  • Select “Apply Now” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • Find tickets to top sports and entertainment events, book travel, make dinner reservations and more with your complimentary 24/7 Visa Signature® Concierge.
  • Up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft. Subject to a $25 deductible.

Best travel credit card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

*

The information for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are based on specific use cases for each card. We compared this card to others in the same category and developed our rankings based on this criteria, along with our editorial input. Note that although we chose this card as the best in its category, the right card for you will depend on your own financial circumstances.

Welcome bonus

Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Earn 75,000 bonus miles

Annual fee

$395

Regular APR

19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

(750 – 850) Excellent Credit
Earn 2 miles per $1 on all eligible purchases and 5 miles per $1 on flights through Capital One Travel and on purchases through Capital One Entertainment, plus 10 miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel.

Editor’s take

Pros
  • High reward potential.
  • Wide selection of statement credits.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
Cons
  • No hotel or airline-specific benefits.
  • Requires excellent credit.
  • High annual fee.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers premium benefits at a lower annual fee than competing premium cards. With over a dozen airline transfer partners and over $400 in annual recurring perks, it’s well worth the annual fee.

Card details

  • Annual fee: $395.
  • Rewards: 2 miles per $1 on purchases, 5 miles per $1 on flights booked through Capital One Travel and on purchases through Capital One Entertainment and 10 miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel.
  • Welcome bonus: 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • APR: 19.99% to 29.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Other perks and benefits: No foreign transaction fees, 10,000 mile card ownership anniversary bonus, $300 annual credit reimbursement for travel bookings made through Capital One Travel, $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application reimbursement credit, airport lounge access benefits, cellphone protection benefit, transfer miles to travel and hotel partners, Hertz President’s Circle Status.

Best airline credit card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are based on specific use cases for each card. We compared this card to others in the same category and developed our rankings based on this criteria, along with our editorial input. Note that although we chose this card as the best in its category, the right card for you will depend on your own financial circumstances.
On Chase Bank USA, NA’s secure website

Welcome bonus

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

75,000 bonus points

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

21.49%-28.49% Variable

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

(700 – 749) Good, Excellent
Earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x points on dining and 2x points on all other travel purchases, plus more.

Editor’s take

Pros
  • Flexible points that can be transferred to 14 travel partners or redeemed through Chase Travel℠ at 1.25 cents each.
  • $50 annual statement credit toward Chase Travel hotel bookings.
  • Valuable travel protections.
Cons
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Category bonuses are limited and not competitive against other travel cards.
  • Transfer partner list is limited compared to programs like Amex Membership® Rewards and Citi ThankYou®.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred may not have a premium fee but it comes packed with enough benefits to stand tall in a crowded field of travel cards. It earns rewards at generous rates on travel purchased through Chase and on dining, and offers the same lineup of transfer partners as the more expensive Chase Sapphire Reserve®, plus a robust selection of travel protections.

Card details

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC

Best hotel card

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

*

The information for the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are based on specific use cases for each card. We compared this card to others in the same category and developed our rankings based on this criteria, along with our editorial input. Note that although we chose this card as the best in its category, the right card for you will depend on your own financial circumstances.

Welcome bonus

Earn 140,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

140,000 points

Annual fee

$99

Regular APR

21.49% – 28.49% Variable

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

(700 – 749) Good, Excellent
Earn 10X points at IHG® Hotels and Resorts with the card, earn 10X points from IHG® for being an IHG® One Rewards member, plus 6X points from IHG® with Platinum Elite Status (a benefit of this card); Earn 5X points on travel, gas stations and restaurants; Earn 3X points on all other purchases.

Editor’s take

Pros
  • Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent at IHG hotels.
  • Free night after your account anniversary each year.
  • Redeem three nights, get a fourth consecutive night free.
Cons
  • $99 annual fee.
  • Value per point may be low compared to competing hotel chains.
  • Potentially high APR.
If you frequently stay at IHG properties, you’ll love the generous rewards rate you can earn with the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card * The information for the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. . It does charge a low annual fee, but that’s reasonable considering what the card has to offer.

Card details

  • Annual fee: $99.
  • Rewards: Earn 10 points per $1 at IHG Hotels and Resorts, another 10 points per $1 as an IHG One Rewards member, 6 points per $1 from IHG with Platinum Elite Status (a benefit of this card), 5 points per $1 on travel, dining and gas stations and 3 points per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 140,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • APR: 21.49% to 28.49% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. A balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of each transfer, whichever is greater, applies.
  • Foreign transaction fees: None.
  • Perks and benefits: Free night after your account anniversary, redeem three award nights and get a fourth consecutive night free, automatic Platinum Elite status, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, credit of up to $100 to reimburse Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS.

Best intro APR credit card

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

*

The information for the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are based on specific use cases for each card. We compared this card to others in the same category and developed our rankings based on this criteria, along with our editorial input. Note that although we chose this card as the best in its category, the right card for you will depend on your own financial circumstances.

Welcome bonus

N/A

N/A

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% variable APR

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

(700 – 749) Good, Excellent

Editor’s take

Pros
  • Get 21 months of intro APR financing on purchases and qualifying balance transfers.
  • Benefits include cell phone protection, access to roadside dispatch and My Wells Fargo Deals.
Cons
  • You miss out on the full 21 months of intro APR financing if you make a late payment.
  • Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 120 days of account opening.
  • No cash back or other rewards offered.
The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card * The information for the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. offers a long, low APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers making it a great choice to tame high-interest debt or get some breathing room on a big buy.

Card details

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Welcome bonus: None.
  • APR: 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on purchases and on qualifying balance transfers made within the first 120 days, afterwards a 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% variable APR applies. There’s a balance transfer fee of 5% with a $5 minimum.
  • Foreign transaction fees: 3% of each transaction converted to 91Ӱ dollars.
  • Other benefits and drawbacks: The card also offers up to $600 in cellphone protection against damage or theft (subject to a $25 deductible, up to two paid claims per 12-month period). While the card doesn’t offer rewards on every purchase, you can get cash back with select merchants with My Wells Fargo Deals.

Best business credit card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

*

The information for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are based on specific use cases for each card. We compared this card to others in the same category and developed our rankings based on this criteria, along with our editorial input. Note that although we chose this card as the best in its category, the right card for you will depend on your own financial circumstances.

Welcome bonus

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Earn 100,000 bonus points

Annual fee

$95

Regular APR

21.24% – 26.24% Variable

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

(700 – 749) Good, Excellent
Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.

Editor’s take

Pros
  • Significant welcome bonus.
  • Substantial earn rate on travel and business spending.
  • Points transfer 1:1 to over a dozen airline and hotel loyalty programs.
Cons
  • Chase’s 5/24 rule applies.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards® program has fewer transfer partners than competing programs.
  • No intro APR.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card * The information for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. strikes the right balance between earning straightforward rewards and providing valuable perks, like primary auto rental coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, extended warranty and purchase protections and cellphone insurance. And, points earned on the card are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Card details

  • Annual fee: $95.
  • Rewards: 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: 100,000 points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • APR: 21.24% to 26.24% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. A balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of each transfer, whichever is greater, applies.
  • Perks and benefits: 25% increase in points value when booking travel through Chase, no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, cell phone protection.

Best student credit card

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back
BLUEPRINT RATING
Our ratings are based on specific use cases for each card. We compared this card to others in the same category and developed our rankings based on this criteria, along with our editorial input. Note that although we chose this card as the best in its category, the right card for you will depend on your own financial circumstances.
On Discover’s secure website

Welcome bonus

INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

Cashback Match

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

18.24% – 27.24% Variable APR

Credit score

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

Fair, New to Credit
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.

Editor’s take

Pros
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Elevated cash back in rotating categories (upon activation, up to the quarterly maximum).
  • Discover will automatically match all the cash back earned at the end of the first cardmember year.
Cons
  • Elevated cash back limited to a quarterly cap of $1,500 in spending.
  • Must activate bonus categories each quarter to earn the elevated rewards rate.
  • Other purchases earn minimal rewards.
Students looking to build their credit history while earning rewards on their spending should consider the Discover it® Student Cash Back. It offers generous rewards and no credit score is needed to apply.

Card details

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • 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.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 18.24% – 27.24% applies.
  • Terms and conditions apply.

Compare the best credit card offers of May 2024

Credit Card
Credit score
Best For
Annual Fee
Welcome Bonus
Good, Excellent (700 – 749)
Best cash-back credit card
$0
$200 bonus  

Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening,

Good, Excellent (700 – 749)
Best 2% cash rewards card
$0
$200 Cash Rewards  

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Excellent Credit (750 – 850)
Best travel credit card
$395
Earn 75,000 bonus miles  

Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Good, Excellent (700 – 749)
Best airline credit card
$95
75,000 bonus points  

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Good, Excellent (700 – 749)
Best hotel card
$99
140,000 points  

Earn 140,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Good, Excellent (700 – 749)
Best intro APR credit card
$0
N/A  

N/A

Good, Excellent (700 – 749)
Best business credit card
$95
Earn 100,000 bonus points  

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Fair, New to Credit
Best student credit card
$0
Cashback Match  

INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

Best credit cards of May 2024
Best cash-back credit card: Chase Freedom Flex℠ *

The information for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why it’s the best 

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ * The information for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. stands tall among cash-back cards since it combines two ways to earn high rewards: Rewards bonuses on quarterly rotating categories (activation required) and tiered rewards in specific categories. No other card with a $0 annual fee offers this much rewards potential.

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in categories that rotate quarterly (requires activation), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • Foreign transaction fees: 3% of each transaction in 91Ӱ dollars.
  • APR: 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% to 29.24%. There is an intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater, in the first 60 days. Then the fee is the greater of $5 or 5% of each transfer.

Earn more cash back on your spending: Best cash-back credit cards of May 2024

Best 2% cash rewards card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Why it’s the best

Earning simple rewards is twice as nice with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. With this no-annual-fee card, you’ll earn 2% cash rewards on purchases without having to track different categories or spending caps. Plus it goes a step further than other 2% cards with its extras including cellphone protection when you pay your bill with the card and a helpful intro APR offer on both purchases and balance transfers, which can be a boon for anyone trying to save money on high interest rates.

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Rewards: 2% cash rewards on purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • Foreign transaction fees: 3%.
  • APR: 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR applies thereafter. Balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3%. After that a fee of up to 5%, with a minimum of $5 applies.

Keep it simple with flat-rate rewards: Best 2% cash-back credit cards of May 2024

Best travel credit card: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card *

The information for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why it’s the best

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card * The information for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. is our top pick for anyone seeking plush travel perks at a lower cost than competing premium cards. You’ll get access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide through Priority Pass (enrollment required), Plaza Premium Group and Capital One’s own growing lounge network. The card also offers a $300 annual credit for travel booked through Capital One Travel. On top of that, you have the ability to transfer your miles to more than a dozen airline and hotel partners. Considering all these travel perks, this card is well worth the $395 annual fee.

  • Annual fee: $395.
  • Rewards: 2 miles per $1 on purchases, 5 miles per $1 on flights booked through Capital One Travel and on purchases through Capital One Entertainment and 10 miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel.
  • Welcome bonus: 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • Foreign transaction fees: None.
  • APR: 19.99% to 29.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Planning your next vacation? Best travel credit cards of May 2024

Best airline credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Why it’s the best

It may surprise you that our top pick for best airline card isn’t a cobranded airline card. But the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns rewards that can be used to book nearly any flight you’d like through Chase Travel, or you can transfer points to over a dozen Chase travel loyalty airline partners. Given these redemption options, this is a highly flexible airline card, compared to cobranded airline cards that only allow you to redeem your miles on one airline.

You may not get the free checked bag perks that come with airline-specific cards, but this card’s rewards rates beat those of most cobranded airline cards. This means you’ll earn free flights faster — and a free flight saves you a lot more money than a free checked bag.

  • Annual fee: $95.
  • Rewards: 5 points per $1 on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3 points per $1 on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs), 2 points per $1 on all other travel purchases and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: 75,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • Foreign transaction fees: $0.
  • APR: 21.49% to 28.49% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Pack your bags and fly in style: Best airline credit cards of May 2024

Best hotel card: IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card *

The information for the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why it’s the best

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card * The information for the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. comes with sky-high rewards on eligible purchases at IHG Hotels and Resorts since you combine the card’s earning rate with points earned from being an IHG One Rewards member and automatic Platinum Elite status. Add to this the extra perks such as an anniversary night, a fourth night free when redeeming points for four consecutive nights at an IHG property and strong travel and purchase protections and this card delivers stellar value for frequent IHG guests.

Plus, your Platinum Elite status means reward night discounts, room upgrades when available, early check in, late check out and a small welcome amenity when you arrive. If your goal is bonus nights at a hotel, the card lets you earn free nights fast for a modest annual fee of $99.

  • Annual fee: $99.
  • Rewards: 10 points per $1 at IHG Hotels and Resorts, another 10 points per $1 as an IHG One Rewards member, 6 points per $1 from IHG with Platinum Elite Status (a benefit of this card), 5 points per $1 on travel, dining and gas stations and 3 points per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: 140,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • Foreign transaction fees: None.
  • APR: 21.49% to 28.49% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. A balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of each transfer, whichever is greater, applies.

Enjoy room upgrades, free nights and more: Best hotel credit cards of May 2024

Best intro APR credit card: Wells Fargo Reflect® Card *

The information for the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why it’s the best

Whether you need to finance a big purchase or transfer a balance from another credit card, the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card * The information for the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. offers one of the longest introductory APR periods you’ll find anywhere, at nearly two years. This makes it our top intro APR pick for both purchases and balance transfers. It doesn’t offer rewards or a welcome bonus, but it’s a debt-busting go-getter. And, it does have some ongoing value after the intro period thanks to the card’s cellphone protection benefit.

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Welcome bonus: None.
  • Foreign transaction fees: 3% of each transaction converted to 91Ӱ dollars.
  • APR: 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on purchases and on qualifying balance transfers made within the first 120 days, afterwards a 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% variable APR applies. There’s a balance transfer fee of 5% with a $5 minimum.

Get a break from interest: Best 0% APR credit cards of May 2024

Best business credit card: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card *

The information for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why it’s the best

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card * The information for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. is ideal for small business owners seeking a robust rewards program, a generous welcome bonus and benefits including primary rental car coverage, cellphone and purchase protection and extended warranty coverage. Take your earnings as cash back or potentially get outsize value by transferring your points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners to book award travel.

  • Annual fee: $95.
  • Rewards: 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: 100,000 points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • Foreign transaction fees: $0.
  • APR: 21.24% to 26.24% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. A balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of each transfer, whichever is greater, applies.

Boost returns on business spending: Best business credit cards of May 2024

Best student credit card: Discover it® Student Cash Back

Why it’s the best

With no credit score required to apply and a generous cash-back program, the Discover it Student Cash Back is our top pick for students. This card reports to the major credit bureaus, so if you pay on time and keep your utilization low, you can use it to establish and build your credit score.

The card offers bonus cash back on rotating categories. In the past, these featured spending areas have included grocery stores, gas stations, Amazon and more. Note that you have to activate the rotating categories every quarter in order to earn the elevated rewards rate.

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Rewards: 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum once activated and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Welcome bonus: Discover will automatically match all the cash back earned at the end of the first cardmember year.
  • Foreign transaction fees: None.
  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then a variable APR of 18.24% to 27.24% applies. There’s a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms).

Are you ready for your own credit card? Best student credit cards of May 2024

Best rewards credit card: Chase Freedom Flex℠ * The information for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why it’s the best

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ * The information for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. is more than just a cash-back powerhouse. The rewards earned on this card actually come as Chase Ultimate Rewards® which, in addition being redeemable as cash-back, can also be used to book travel through Chase.

Plus, if you hold the Freedom Flex and a qualifying premium Chase card — like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card * The information for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. — you can transfer your rewards to more than a dozen of Chase’s travel transfer partners or use them to book travel through Chase at an increased redemption rate.

Earn big or go home: Best rewards credit cards of May 2024

Best balance transfer credit card: Wells Fargo Reflect® Card * The information for the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why it’s the best

When you need to transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card, you probably won’t find a longer intro APR offer on balance transfers than the nearly two years offered on the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card * The information for the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. . It does charge a balance transfer fee of 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5, but we think most people will find it’s worth it in exchange for the lengthy intro APR period.

Crush debt with no added interest: Best balance transfer credit cards of May 2024

Methodology

Our credit card team has spent hours analyzing hundreds of credit cards. We took a deep dive into the details of each product, and that analysis, combined with our years of experience covering credit cards, informed us as we ranked the best credit cards across a wide variety of categories. You can read our full credit card methodology here.

For rewards credit cards and cash-back credit cards, we focused on earning potential and notable added value, from statement credits to useful protections. These are the main factors we considered in these categories:

  • Estimated annual earnings, rewards value and rewards flexibility.
  • Annual fee and foreign transaction fees.
  • Welcome bonus.
  • Introductory 0% APR offers.
  • Potential credits.
  • Protections like cellphone insurance, return protection, purchase protection and extended warranty.
  • Membership/location requirements.

For travel credit cards, airline credit cards and hotel credit cards, we gave more attention to features designed to enhance travel experiences. While there was some overlap with what we considered for straight rewards cards, the ranking for these travel-specific categories placed greater emphasis on perks for travelers, like travel insurance, elite status and trusted traveler program reimbursements. Here are the various factors that we considered for cardholders with wanderlust:

  • Estimated annual earnings, rewards flexibility and booking flexibility.
  • Specific earning rates with hotels and/or airlines.
  • Annual fee.
  • Free checked bag perk and how many traveling companions are eligible.
  • Airport lounge access and hotel elite status.
  • Annual credits and other potential credits.
  • Application fee reimbursements for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck and/or CLEAR® Plus.
  • Travel insurances like trip delay coverage, trip cancellation coverage and baggage delay coverage.
  • Flight companion certificate with card ownership.

For balance transfer credit cards and 0% APR credit cards, the biggest emphasis was, of course, on the promotional APR each card offered. ’s how we narrowed down the top intro APR credit cards on the market:

  • Length of the introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and/or purchases.
  • Annual fee.
  • Rewards potential.
  • Introductory balance transfer fees.

For business credit cards, we considered the most important outcomes for the average small business owner — offsetting business expenses and protecting purchases. ’s how we broke down the ranking for this category:

  • Estimated annual earnings, rewards rates and rewards flexibility.
  • Welcome bonus and anniversary bonuses.
  • Introductory 0% APR offers.
  • Annual fee and foreign transaction fees.
  • Purchase protections and insurances.
  • Credits for services business owners might find helpful.

For student credit cards, the criteria were focused more on helping those new to credit get a foot in the door and cover relevant expenses while starting to build credit. The most important factors for evaluating the best cards for students were:

  • Estimated annual earnings.
  • Length of the introductory 0% APR on purchases.
  • Annual fee and foreign transaction fees.
  • Welcome bonus.
  • Potential to upgrade to an unsecured card.
  • Specific earning rates with hotels and/or airlines.
  • Cellphone insurance.

How to choose the best credit card for you

When selecting a credit card to apply for, some of the factors to consider include:

“People often ask me ‘What’s the best credit card?’ but that’s a lot like asking what the best car is or the best pizza topping — everyone has their own needs, preferences and comfort levels and that applies to credit cards too. The most important consideration when choosing the best card for you is what your goals are with the card. Do you want simple cash back? Travel perks? To build up your credit score? Start there and then look at other factors to narrow it down further.”

– Robin Saks Frankel, 91Ӱ Blueprint lead editor credit cards.

Types of credit cards

There are many different types of credit cards aimed at people with varying needs. 

“While there are dozens of great credit cards, American Express, Discover and Bank of America are always at or near the top of the annual J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study. They should, at the very least, be on your list of options,” said John Ulzheimer, a long-time veteran of the credit industry and founder of CreditExpertWitness.com.

’s a breakdown of the major types of cards on the market today and who they’re designed for:

TYPE OF CARDWHAT IT'S BEST FORWHO SHOULD CONSIDER IT
Earning points or cash back on purchases
Someone with good to excellent credit
Earning rewards on purchases and sometimes offering benefits such as travel protections or airport lounge access
Someone with good to excellent credit who travels frequently or aspires to travel more
A zero-interest promotional period on purchases and/or balance transfers
Someone who needs to finance a purchase over time or transfer debt from another card
A zero-interest promotional period on balance transfers
Someone who needs to transfer debt from another card
Establishing credit when you have no credit history or a limited credit profile
Someone who hasn’t had their own credit card before
Building credit while a student of an accredited two- or four-year institution of higher education
Someone who is studying at a college or university and wants to start building credit
Repairing credit when you’ve made financial mistakes in the past
Someone with poor or fair credit who might struggle to get approved for other credit cards
Managing business cash flow and in some cases earning rewards on spending
A small business owner (even if your business is a side hustle)

Best welcome offers

Credit card issuers commonly offer a sign-up bonus, sometimes called a welcome offer, as an incentive for you to apply. If you meet a minimum spending requirement on your new credit card within a certain time frame, you’ll be rewarded with cash back, points or miles, depending on what the particular card’s rewards are. 

A welcome offer can be a terrific way to earn a pile of points. However, it’s unwise to sign up for every new card with an attractive offer — issuers may deny your application if they see that you’ve applied for too many credit cards in a short period of time. 

If you’re already in the market for a new rewards card, it makes sense to choose one with a generous welcome offer. Below, we’ve curated this list of the 10 highest welcome offers currently available.

How to apply for a credit card

Applying for a credit card is a relatively easy process, but there are a few things to consider before applying. A healthy credit score can help you get approved for a better, more rewarding card. If you don’t have much of a credit score, apply for a card designed for first-time credit card holders, then improve your credit before applying for a high-end rewards card.

  1. Check your credit. You are entitled to a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. These bureaus keep files on consumers to help lenders evaluate creditworthiness. Your credit will be checked by credit card issuers when you apply, so ensuring your credit report doesn’t contain any errors can lead to a better outcome in the application process.
  2. Compare different cards. You want the best fit for your budget and lifestyle. Consider your goals in getting the card and choose a credit card that aligns with what you need. Knowing your credit score and what cards you realistically have a shot of getting approved for can set you up for success.
  3. Fill out the application. You can apply online, by phone or mail. You’ll need to provide some personal information, such as your name, address and Social Security number. This identifying information is how an issuer can obtain a copy of your credit report to evaluate the risk in extending you a line of credit.
  4. Wait for approval. Applying online is often the fastest way to find out if you’re approved, but some issuers will take a few days to make their decision. If you’re denied, by law the issuer will have to tell you why.
  5. Enjoy your new card. If approved right away online, some issuers may grant you a virtual card number to use immediately. Your physical card should arrive in the mail within a few days. 

Pros and cons of credit cards

Credit cards offer a lot of benefits, but there are some considerations to be aware of. Compare the pros and cons of credit cards to determine if a new card is right for you.

Pros

Cons

How many credit cards should you have?

The number of credit cards you should carry depends on your financial goals and spending habits. There’s no one right number for everyone. You can have as many credit cards as you can manage or no cards at all. If you’re trying to build your credit, one low-limit card may be enough, but if you’re looking to maximize rewards, two or three cards with different rewards programs may be more helpful. 

It can be beneficial to have multiple credit cards if you use them strategically. For example, you might use a credit card that earns elevated rewards at restaurants, a different credit card that earns elevated rewards at gas stations and a 2% cash-back card for all other assorted purchases.

Be careful not to bite off more plastic than your wallet can chew. If you have trouble keeping up with payment due dates or paying all of your cards off in full each billing cycle, you might be better off with just one credit card. One credit card will build credit perfectly fine as long as you keep your utilization low and always pay on time. It’s better to keep things simple than to risk expensive credit card debt and a damaged credit score.

You should also avoid applying for too many cards at once, though, as each application will make an inquiry to your credit report that can have a temporary negative impact on your score.

Credit card tips for 2024

Whether you’re rocking your first credit card or are managing your own stable of tried-and-true cards, it’s important to have a credit card strategy based on sound fundamentals. Here are some ways to make the most out of your credit card lineup this year:

How to get the most out of your credit card

There are a few ways you can make sure your credit card is working for you:

Credit card basics for beginners

What is a credit card?

Credit cards extend you a loan in the form of a line of credit. When you use a credit card, you’re borrowing money from the credit card company to make a purchase, then paying it back. If you don’t pay the balance in full by the end of the billing cycle, you’ll start getting charged interest on the outstanding amount.

How do credit cards work?

You can use a credit card to make purchases, just like cash or a debit card. However, unlike those options, the money is not immediately withdrawn from your wallet or bank account. Instead, the credit card issuer will send you a statement for all the charges you made during the billing cycle.

If you pay off your balance before the billing statement due date, usually three or four weeks after the end of the billing cycle, you’ll avoid paying interest on your purchases. This is known as a grace period. If you don’t pay off your balance before the due date and “carry the balance” forward to the next billing cycle, you’ll accrue interest on the outstanding amount, as well as on every purchase made after that. Failing to make at least the minimum payment each month will have a negative impact on your credit score.

Credit card interest rates are typically expressed as an annual percentage rate or APR. The APR in your credit card agreement shows the interest applied to a balance over the course of a year, although most credit cards actually charge interest on your average daily balance.

The maximum amount you can borrow, or in other words, charge to your account, is your credit limit. In order to maintain good credit, you never want to “max out” a credit card. The amount of credit you use, also known as your credit utilization rate, should be as low as possible. 

Who qualifies for a credit card?

In the United States, you must be at least 18 with proof of income to apply for a credit card. Each credit card issuer also has their own requirements for approval. Generally, an issuing bank will look at your overall financial picture, which includes your income, current debt obligations, history of on-time payments and any other relevant information from your credit report to help them determine how risky it is to issue you a new line of credit.

Those who are new to credit may be able to qualify for a card specifically geared toward those with thin credit profiles, like a student credit card or a credit-builder card. But even those with damaged credit may be able to qualify for a secured card or similar card designed to help rebuild their profile.

How do credit card rewards work?

There are a few main types of credit card rewards and associated redemption options, though the specifics may vary by your issuer and your specific credit card. ’s a basic breakdown:

TYPE OF REWARDS CARDCURRENCY EARNEDCOMMON REDEMPTION OPTIONS
Cash-back card
Cash back
Statement credit, deposit into bank account, paper check
Travel rewards card
Points
Travel bookings through the issuer’s portal, transfers to airline and hotel loyalty programs
Airline or hotel card
Miles or points
Flights or hotel stays with a specific airline (and partner airlines) or hotel chain

How does credit card interest work?

Credit card interest is typically only charged when you carry a balance on your card. The interest rate can vary from card to card, but usually ranges from 10% to 30%. Interest is charged on the outstanding balance each month and is compounded daily. 

If you pay the balance in full each month, you will not be charged any interest. If you fail to pay off a balance, you’ll typically be charged interest on all new purchases until you’ve paid off your balance in full for at least two months.

’s the nitty gritty on APR: How credit card interest works

Important credit card terms

Understanding a few key terms can make you a more informed consumer and help you evaluate what different credit cards have to offer. The following are some of the terms you should understand as you shop around for the best credit card: 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

There’s no one answer to this — the best credit card will depend on your credit profile, your individual needs and more. For example, if you’ve never had a credit card or if you are trying to rebuild your credit after some past mistakes, a secured credit card might be the best choice.

But, if you already have excellent credit and are seeking credit card rewards that can help you book nearly free award travel, you might want to consider a premium travel credit card.

In other words, the best credit card for you is likely to be different than the best credit card for someone else.

What should you look for when it comes to the best piece of plastic for your wallet? ’s how to choose the right credit card

The easiest type of credit card to obtain is typically a secured credit card, which requires a refundable security deposit as collateral for a line of credit. Secured credit cards are usually available to people of all credit backgrounds — including those without any credit — and can help them build or rebuild their credit scores.

Some of the top credit card companies are names you’re likely to be familiar with including:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Barclays
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • Discover
  • 91Ӱ Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Although it’s generally a smart idea to choose a credit card from a reputable bank, the card’s attributes are far more important than who issues it. Look for a card that offers features that align with your goals, whether that means earning rewards, tackling debt or building up a better credit profile.

The best credit card issuer for you will depend on your individual needs. Different credit card companies offer different types of cards with various rewards, benefits and customer service options. It is important to compare specific credit cards available from different issuers, rather than just relying on the company’s name, to find the one that is best suited to your financial needs and goals.

Applying for a credit card can temporarily lower your credit score due to a hard inquiry on your credit report, but the impact is lighter than many other negative actions like skipping or defaulting on your payments. If you apply for too many credit cards in a short time period, it may have a bigger negative impact. 

If you’re approved for the credit card, your credit score will likely increase thanks to the new account and the increased amount of overall available credit you have relative to existing debt. Making on-time payments is the best way to strengthen your credit.

Both Visa and Mastercard are global payment networks that are recognized around the world. Pretty much anywhere that accepts credit cards will accept your Visa or Mastercard. From a consumer perspective, there isn’t much of a difference between the two since they both can be used to make payments for goods and services. There are some differences in the ancillary benefits they offer but much of your credit card’s attributes are determined by the issuing bank itself, and not Visa or Mastercard.

The two other major credit card payment systems in the 91Ӱ are American Express and Discover. American Express and Discover are unique in that they’re both issuers and payment networks. However, American Express lags a bit behind Visa and Mastercard when it comes to international acceptance and Discover is rarely accepted overseas.

In the United States, you must be at least 18 years old to open a credit card account. Those under 21 must prove independent income or provide a co-signer. Some credit card companies allow minors to hold authorized user cards, but the primary account holder must be 18 or older.

Once approved, it generally takes one to two weeks to receive your new credit card in the mail. Some issuers provide a virtual card number you can use while waiting for your physical card to arrive.

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.

Upon enrollment, accessible through the Capital One website or mobile app, eligible cardholders will remain at upgraded status level through December 31, 2024. Please note, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards enrollment process (e.g. at Hertz.com) will not automatically detect a cardholder as being eligible for the program and cardholders will not be automatically upgraded to the applicable status tier. Additional terms apply.

*The information for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Prime Visa and Wells Fargo Reflect® Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Robin Saks Frankel is a credit cards lead editor at 91Ӱ Blueprint. Previously, she was a credit cards and personal finance deputy editor for Forbes Advisor. She has also covered credit cards and related content for other national web publications including NerdWallet, Bankrate and HerMoney. She's been featured as a personal finance expert in outlets including CNBC, Business Insider, CBS Marketplace, NASDAQ's Trade Talks and has appeared on or contributed to The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio, ABC Radio, NPR, International Business Times and NBC, ABC and CBS TV affiliates nationwide. She holds an M.S. in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University. Follow her on Twitter at @robinsaks.

Grace Pilling

BLUEPRINT

Grace Pilling is a deputy editor for credit cards at 91Ӱ Blueprint. She believes credit cards are the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure tools of the financial world and gets excited about helping people discover the best credit card strategy for their unique goals. Prior to joining Blueprint, Grace worked on and led personal finance teams at Bankrate, CreditCards.com, MoneyUnder30 and MoneyGeek. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and writing and a diploma in editing and publishing.

Megan Horner

BLUEPRINT

Megan Horner is editorial director at 91Ӱ Blueprint. She has over 10 years of experience in online publishing, mostly focused on credit cards and banking. Previously, she was the head of publishing at Finder.com where she led the team to publish personal finance content on credit cards, banking, loans, mortgages and more. Prior to that, she was an editor at Credit Karma. Megan has been featured in CreditCards.com, American Banker, Lifehacker and news broadcasts across the country. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and editing.

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