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Best Visa credit cards

By Mitch Strohm · Bankrate.com
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Posted: 6 pm ET

Best visa credit cards

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Some of the best Visa credit cards offer outstanding rewards and perks. But there are a lot of options available, and it can be difficult to narrow them down. You'll have to decide what type of awards you want and whether a hefty annual fee is worth it.

The experts at CreditCards.com have picked their favorite credit cards from a number of categories. Here are the best Visa credit cards on their list.

CARD SEARCH: Reward yourself. Pick up a great credit card today.

Best Visa credit cards
Card Why it's good Category
Chase Freedom Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase Overall rewards
Chase Sapphire Reserve 3 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining Travel and airline rewards
Chase Slate Save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee and get 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers Balance transfer
Chase Sapphire Preferred 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining Points rewards
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa 1.5% cash back on all purchases No annual fee
BankAmericard Travel Rewards 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases No foreign transaction fee
BankAmericard Cash Rewards 3% cash back on gas Gas card
Chase Ink Business Preferred Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on select categories up to $150,000 annually Business card
Credit One Bank Unsecured Platinum Visa 1% cash back on gas and groceries Unsecured card for bad credit

Chase Freedom Unlimited

This card ranks among the best rewards cards available. It offers generous rewards and a decent sign-up bonus.

Highlights:

  • Earn an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.
  • Earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
  • Cardholders can redeem rewards for cash in any amount at any time. Rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open.

Who should get this card
This card is a good choice for anyone who wants a straightforward rewards program. It's also useful for anyone who already owns a Chase rewards card, since Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transferred between cards.

It comes with a 0 percent, 15-month introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, making it a good option for someone trying to pay down high-interest debt. After the initial intro period, the card has a variable APR of 15.74 to 24.49 percent.

Its cashback rate, while good, isn't the highest flat-rate available. This card also has no bonus categories, a downside if you spend frequently in one area where you want to maximize rewards.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Substantial bonus point opportunities, an annual travel credit and a top-notch rewards program puts the Chase Sapphire Reserve at the top of the list among travel and airline cards.

Highlights:

  • Earn three points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive up to $300 in statement credits annually as a reimbursement for travel purchases.
  • Earn 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening the account. That's $750 in travel rewards when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Who should get this card
If you spend big on travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Reserve can be a good option.

It also offers top-of-the-line perks, as well, like access to more than 900 airport lounges worldwide and reimbursement for enrolling in TSA PreCheck.

While it has significant perks, this card's hefty $450 annual fee can certainly eat into rewards if you're not spending heavily on travel and dining out. It comes with a variable APR between 16.49 and 23.49 percent.

Chase Slate

Its long introductory period and lenient stance on late payments make the Chase Slate a standout option among balance transfer cards.

Highlights:

  • You'll pay no interest for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Transfer your balance for free during the first 60 days the account is open. The standard fee is $5 or 5 percent of the transfer, whichever is higher
  • Standard APR is a variable 15.74 to 24.49 percent based on creditworthiness.

Who should get this card
If you're looking for a balance transfer card with a good no-interest introductory period, no fee to transfer a balance and flexibility on late payments, the Chase Slate is a solid choice.

On the other hand, you are limited in how much you can transfer to the card: $15,000 or your credit limit, whichever is lower. You also can't transfer debt from another Chase account.

RATE SEARCH: Get rid of high-interest debt. Find the best balance transfer cards today.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

This card's generous rewards, stellar sign-up bonus and low annual fee are hard to beat. It's a solid card for people scared off by the Sapphire Reserve's big annual fee.

Highlights:

  • Earn two points per dollar on travel and restaurants worldwide and one point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of opening the account. That's $625 toward travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
  • Earn 5,000 points when you add an authorized user within the first three months of opening an account and make a purchase.

Who should get this card
This card is ideal if you're looking for an everyday, low-fee travel card with great perks. It's especially useful if you're comfortable using the Chase Ultimate Rewards program -- when redeemed through the program, points are worth 25 percent more.

There's no introductory fee for the first year. After that, the fee is $95 per year. It has a variable APR from 16.74 to 23.74 percent.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa

Outstanding cash rewards, bonus opportunities and nice perks -- all without an annual fee -- put the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card on the list as the top no annual fee card.

Highlights:

  • Earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.
  • For purchases made with Android Pay or Apple Pay earn 1.8 percent cash back for the first 12 months.
  • Earn $200 after spending $1,000 during the first three months after account opening.

Who should get this card
If you're in the market for a straightforward card with solid cash rewards and no annual fee, this is a good choice. The cash rewards don't expire as long as you keep your account open, there are no category restrictions and no quarterly sign ups. It's an especially good option if you're already a Wells Fargo customer, since you can manage all of your accounts from one place.

But while the simplicity and cash-back rate of this card is attractive, it doesn't offer the highest flat-rate cash-back rewards around. The Citi Double Cash Card offers 1 percent back on every purchase and an additional 1 percent when you pay your balance.

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa comes with a zero percent introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months. And it's regular APR is a variable 13.74 percent to 25.74 percent.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards

This card's generous points rewards, easy redemption options and online bonus opportunity put it in the top of its class among Visa cards.

Highlights:

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Earn 20,000 points after making $1,000 in purchases during the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Points can be redeemed to pay for flights, hotels, rental cars, vacation packages and other travel-related purchases. You're not limited to specific websites or blackout dates.

Who should get this card
This card is a standout option for those who want an easy-to-use, well-balanced travel card, particularly for overseas use. This card will be particularly appealing to existing Bank of America customers with a checking or savings account, who can earn an extra 10 percent bonus. Those who qualify for the Preferred Rewards program can increase their bonus to 25 percent to 75 percent.

In addition to the rewards perks, cardholders who carry a balance, or who have a large purchase to make, will enjoy the zero percent introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles. Its regular APR is a variable 15.74 percent to 23.74 percent on purchases and balance transfers. There's no annual fee.

CARD SEARCH: Getting away? Get a top travel credit card today.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards

Substantial cash back on fuel purchases make this a top pick on CreditCards.com's list. And it's a great all-around cash-back card to boot.

Highlights:

  • Earn 3 percent cash back on gas purchases, 2 percent at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. Earn grocery, wholesale club and gas rewards on spending up to $2,500 each quarter.
  • Earn a $100 bonus after spending $500 within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Pay no interest for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.

Who should get this card
This card is ideal if you spend big on gas, grocery stores and wholesale clubs. It's also a good fit if you plan to redeem cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account, which will get you a 10 percent bonus. That bonus increases anywhere from 25 percent to 75 percent if you're a Preferred Rewards client.

This serves as a great gas credit card, but if you're looking for a solid cash-back rate on all purchases, there are some better deals available.

This card comes with no annual fee. It has a variable APR of 13.74 to 23.74 percent.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Ample bonus opportunities and points on business-related spending put the Chase Ink Business Preferred at the top of its class.

Highlights:

  • Earn three points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent annually on select categories, one point per dollar spent on all other purchases with no limit.
  • Earn 80,000 points when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account.
  • Points are worth 25 percent more when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program

Who should get this card
This card is a solid option if you spend heavily on the card's bonus categories. It's also worth consideration if you plan on spending at least $5,000 within the first three months to earn the bonus, which is equal to $1,000 toward travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

While it offers generous perks, this card comes with an annual fee of $95. You'll need to make sure you spend enough to earn rewards that cancel out the fee.

It has a variable APR of 16.74 to 21.74 percent.

CARD SEARCH: You own a business. It's time to get a top business card.

Credit One Bank Unsecured Platinum Visa

This card's lack of a deposit requirement, cash back rewards, flexible payment policy and the ability to build or rebuild credit put it at the top of CreditCards.com's list of best unsecured cards for bad credit.

Highlights:

  • Earn 1 percent cash back on gas and groceries.
  • Pay an annual fee of between $0 and $99.
  • Receive free online access to your credit score and credit report summary.

Who should get this card

This card is ideal for the individual who wants to build credit while earning cash-back rewards for gas or grocery purchases. But if you often miss payments or typically carry a balance, the high fees on this card could quickly cancel out any rewards earned.

The Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa Credit Card includes an annual fee that ranges between $0 and $75 for the first year and between $0 and $99 for each following year.

It has a variable APR of 16.15 to 24.65 percent.

CARD SEARCH: Compare the best credit cards right now for bad credit.

Follow me on Twitter: @MitchStrohm

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