You deserve the best in credit cards
Finding a new credit card is sometimes easier said than done. With a ton of options to choose from and so many features to consider — from rewards and perks to APRs and annual fees — picking the best fit for you can be overwhelming.
But fear not: Our credit card experts rated and reviewed over 250 of the top credit cards on the market to give you our picks for the best cards in every major category. Whether you want to travel the world in luxury, beat inflation with cash back on every purchase, level up your credit score or put debt in the rearview mirror, we’ve got a card for you.
These are the winners of the 2023 Bankrate Awards for best credit cards.
How we rated these cards
- Bankrate ranked each card’s estimated rewards rate, rewards value, sign-up bonus value, average APR, annual fee, redemption flexibility and other relevant features against those of other cards in its primary scoring category (cash back, rewards, balance transfer, etc.).
- We assigned each of these elements a score based on how it stacked up, weighted these scores based on the top priorities of a cardholder in the card's primary category and combined them to give the card an overall rating.
- We compared each card's overall rating against the ratings of all other cards in the relevant Bankrate Awards category (for example, "Everyday use" or "Jet-setters").
Best credit card for everyday use
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the most versatile cards around. It offers both bonus rewards and a higher-than-typical flat rewards rate, which makes it a great standalone option. Frequent travelers will also love how easily it pairs with premium Chase cards.
- Offers both bonus rewards in popular categories and a higher-than-average flat rate on general purchases
- You can redeem points for more than just cash back cards, including for travel, online shopping and gift cards
- You can pool points with other Chase cards and boost the value of your points by 25 to 50 percent when you pair with a premium Ultimate Rewards card and redeem for travel
- Carries a solid list of benefits for a no-annual-fee card
Best credit card for foodies
American Express® Gold Card
The Amex Gold boasts top-shelf dining credits and superb rewards rates on eligible restaurant, U.S. supermarket and delivery service purchases, making it a terrific fit for restaurant lovers and home cooks alike.
- You can nearly offset the annual fee just with the credits included
- Earns some of the most valuable travel rewards on the market
- Few cards reward both dining and supermarkets, let alone at such a high rate
- Plenty of purchasing power via its flexible spending limit and financing options
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Best credit card for jet-setters
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
This is a great pick for travelers who want a taste of luxury travel without the $500-or-higher annual fee that comes with other premium cards. The Venture X not only offers valuable perks like airport lounge access and elite rental car status, but also anniversary credits and bonus miles that help cover the $395 annual fee.
- It has one of the lowest annual fees for a premium travel rewards card
- Luxury perks include lounge access, rental car status upgrade and travel credits
- Travelers earn twice as many miles on general purchases as they would with many other premium cards
- Extra-flexible redemption lets you redeem miles for travel with Capital One or to cover outside travel purchases made within the last 90 days
Best credit card for cash back fans
The Freedom Unlimited card’s unique blend of flat-rate cash back and bonus categories can help it rack up more rewards than its rivals. You’ll earn at least 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase along with bonus cash back in popular categories like dining and travel, making it viable as a standalone card or great for pairing with cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠.
- Can earn more than 2 percent flat-rate cards thanks to its bonus categories
- Points are worth 25 percent to 50 percent more when paired with a premium Ultimate Rewards card
- Carries better perks than many no-annual-fee cards
- Offers great short-term value thanks to its sign-up bonus and intro APR offers
Best credit card for families
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
This card offers some of the best everyday bonus category variety out there for families, allowing you to earn generous cash back on dining, entertainment and grocery store purchases, without worrying about offsetting annual fees or navigating complicated redemption programs.
- Its cash back program is focused on key household spending categories
- Boasts several valuable perks, including a complimentary Uber One membership through Nov. 14, 2024
- Along with ongoing rewards, it boasts lengthy intro APR offers and an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus
- Carries no annual fee and offers straightforward redemption — ideal for low-maintenance cardholders
Best credit card for building your credit
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
This one of the most valuable and consumer-friendly secured cards on the market, offering credit-builders a chance to work on their score while earning rewards and avoiding an annual fee. You even have a chance at one of the best sign-up bonuses around: Discover’s Cashback Match™.
- It’s one of the only secured cards to offer rewards and a sign-up bonus
- Cardholders may qualify for an upgrade to an unsecured card in as little as seven months
- It doesn’t charge a late payment fee the first time you make a late payment (up to $41 after that)
- High credit limit potential could help you keep credit utilization in check
Best credit card for students
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
This student card delivers the same incredible bonus category variety and stellar cash back as the full-fledged Capital One SavorOne card, and few student cards can match its rewards value and simplicity. To make things ultra low-maintenance, you can even set your rewards to redeem automatically.
- Dining, entertainment and grocery stores are especially valuable categories for students
- You can upgrade your credit line after just six months of responsible card use — faster than many starter cards
- Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus of $50 after just $100 in spending in your first three months
- Minimal fees, including no foreign transaction fees or penalty APR, plus a potentially low ongoing APR
Best credit card for debt consolidators
BankAmericard® credit card
This card can play a central role in just about any debt repayment strategy. Its intro APR period is one of the longest available, giving you more time to pay off debt while avoiding the burden of interest charges.
- It offers one of the longest intro APR offers out there for both purchases and balance transfers
- You won’t face a penalty APR if you make a late payment
- Carries a potentially low ongoing APR after its intro APR period ends
- Low balance transfer fee of just 3 percent or $10, whichever is greater (many cards charge a fee of 5 percent)
Best credit card for business owners
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
No other major business card features this many annual credits and valuable perks. On top of the card’s prized travel rewards, small-business owners can take advantage of over $3,500 worth of perks, including extensive airport lounge access, coveted hotel privileges, statement credits and more.
- Includes over $2,500 in annual credits for expenses like expedited airport security, hotel stays, software and more
- Rewards hard-to-find business bonus categories like construction materials and software
- Features excellent travel partners and 35 percent of your points back on points reward bookings with Amex travel (up to 1,000,000 points back per calendar year)
- No preset spending limit and payment flexibility via Pay Over Time
Best credit card for airline loyalists
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
This card’s restaurant and U.S. supermarket bonus categories make it easy to stock up on miles via everyday spending, and Delta perks like a complimentary Annual Companion Certificate make its annual fee easy to justify.
- Includes valuable Delta perks like Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, inflight discounts and a free checked bag
- Comes with Status Boost, getting you closer to elite status benefits like boosted rewards rates and complimentary upgrades
- Discounted Delta Sky Club lounge access and expedited screening credits can improve your airport experience
- Valuable welcome offer that gets you closer to Delta’s elite Gold Medallion Status level
Best credit card for commuters
This card carries some of the best year-round rewards rates available on popular commuter expenses, including gas, public transit and more. It also boasts generous perks like an intro APR offer and cash back in other commuter-friendly categories like audiobook, podcast and music streaming services.
- Rewards a wide variety of commuting and transit costs, including U.S. gas stations, parking, trains, subways, buses, taxis and rideshares
- Its cash back rate at U.S. supermarkets and on streaming services is perhaps the highest out there
- Its list of eligible streaming services includes audiobook and podcast services often excluded from credit card bonus categories
- Annual fee should be no trouble to offset via rewards
Best credit card for hotel loyalists
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Automatically qualifies you for a Free Night Award and Hilton’s highest elite status level
- It comes with annual travel perks like airline credit and unlimited airport lounge access
- Includes a slew of premium Hilton benefits and luxury travel perks
- Though high, the annual fee can be offset if you take advantage of the card’s perks
Best credit cards for stacking
Citi® Double Cash Card, Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, Citi Premier® Card
If you’re an occasional traveler looking to earn rewards in nearly every major spending category without drowning in annual fees, this stack is tough to beat. Used strategically, these three cards make it easy to rack up points and cash back on everyday spending and redeem rewards for cash back or travel, potentially at a high value when you transfer to airline partners.
- The Custom Cash can offer one of the highest cash back rates available in key categories like groceries and gas without charging an annual fee
- Only $95 in total annual fees across all three cards — a low cost for such terrific rewards variety
- Boasts a solid list of airline transfer partners, especially for international travelers
- The Citi Premier offers one of the best sign-up bonuses available on a card in this price range
Best credit card for shopaholics
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday Card provides great value for a no-annual-fee rewards card. It not only offers rewards for online and grocery purchases but also comes with additional bonus rewards, discounts and statement credits from select merchants.
- It earns rewards in some of the most popular everyday categories
- Online shopping is a relatively hard-to-find bonus category
- Its long intro APR offer can help you pay down debt or cover emergency expenses
- Gives you access to Amex Offers, which helps you save money with select merchants
Best credit card for streaming services
The Blue Cash Preferred card is more than just a fantastic grocery rewards card. It also provides exceptional value for household entertainment, offering one of the highest cash back rates for select U.S. streaming services and a credit for the Disney Bundle.
- It offers one of the highest cash back rates for select streaming services and groceries
- It comes with a statement credit worth up to 50 percent off a Disney Bundle streaming subscription
- The bonus rewards and credits help provide exceptional value for households
- Annual fee should be easy to offset for most households
Best credit card for renters
If you’re looking for a way to earn rewards on rent payments, this card is the obvious choice. It not only earns points on rent, but also waives the fees that typically come with paying rent with a credit card. You can also enjoy terrific value via this card’s top-tier travel rewards program.
- Bilt points are some of the most valuable rewards on the market based on Bankrate’s latest point valuations
- It’s one of the only no-annual-fee travel cards to offer top-tier travel transfer partners
- You can redeem points for travel via the Bilt Travel portal, to cover rent or toward a down payment on a home
- Solid perks for a no-annual-fee card
Best credit card for giving back
Sunrise Banks Everyday Rewards+ Card
If you want to support a socially responsible bank without sacrificing rewards, this card is worth a look. It not only charges no annual fee and boasts a great mix of everyday bonus categories, but also earns top marks for corporate responsibility.
- Offers a solid mix of everyday bonus categories, including supermarkets, restaurants and gas — all at no annual fee
- A certified B Corp, Sunrise Banks boasts a terrific B Impact score for its governance, social sustainability and community impact
- Sunrise Banks is Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified, demonstrating a commitment to offering financial services to marginalized communities
- Sunrise Banks reinvests heavily in the local community, offering an estimated $65 of community investments for every $100 customers deposit (via Mighty)