The best credit card deals come packaged in many different ways—some with a high rewards rate, others with an exceptional welcome bonus or exclusive perks. All of these offerings can make owning a card more valuable.
If you’re interested in a new card, we’ve compiled a list of the four best credit card deals for 2022 so you can make an informed selection based on the type of card you’re looking to apply for:
- Discover it® Cash Back: Best cash back credit card deal
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best travel credit card deal
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Best balance transfer credit card deal
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best rewards credit card deal
Best credit cards deals for 2022
Discover it Cash Back: Best cash back credit card deal
- Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1 percent, activation required); 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
- Welcome bonus: Discover matches all the cash back you’ve earned during your first year
- Annual fee: $0
If you’re looking to literally double the amount of cash back you’ll earn the first year, the Discover it® Cash Back is the card for you. This cash back credit card comes with Discover’s Cashback Match feature, meaning it will automatically match all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. That means if you earn $300 in cash back, Cashback Match will double your earnings to $600 in cash back.
Along with its stellar welcome bonus, the Discover it Cash Back offers 5 percent cash back on rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1 percent, activation required). Discover’s bonus categories for 2022 include cash back at grocery stores, fitness clubs, gas stations, Target, Amazon, restaurants and more. Check out the full Discover cash back bonus categories calendar for the quarterly breakdown.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best travel credit card deal
- Rewards rate: 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Lyft rides (Lyft offer through March 2025); 3X points on dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs); 2X points on all other travel purchases; 1X points on all other purchases
- Welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
- Annual fee: $95
In terms of bang for your buck, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best travel credit card deals on the market today. For a mere $95 annual fee, you’ll earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 2025); 3X points on dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases; 2X points on other travel purchases; and 1X points on all other purchases.
What’s more, when you redeem your rewards for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, your points are worth 25 percent more. That means the card’s welcome bonus of 80,000 points (earned after spending $4,000 in your first three months) is worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal.
Though the Chase Sapphire Preferred is considered a card for casual to semi-frequent travelers, it offers a few perks usually reserved for more premium travel rewards cards: 1:1 point transfers with Chase airline and hotel partners, no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance and more.
Citi Double Cash Card: Best balance transfer credit card deal
- Rewards rate: 2 percent cash back on every purchase (1 percent when you buy, plus an additional 1 percent as you pay for purchases)
- Welcome bonus: N/A
- Annual fee: $0
The Citi® Double Cash Card is a great balance transfer credit card deal for a number of reasons. First, the card’s 18-month 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers is one of the longest offers available (14.24 percent to 24.24 percent variable APR after). It comes in second to the Citi Simplicity® Card, which has an introductory 21-month 0 percent APR on balance transfers made within four months of account opening (variable APR of 14.99 percent to 24.99 percent after). Even better, this card doesn’t charge an annual fee, so you won’t have to factor the yearly charge into your debt payoff plan.
Next, the card can help you stay on track with its unique earn-as-you-pay rewards structure. The Citi Double Cash provides an unlimited 1 percent cash back when you make a purchase and an additional 1 percent back on that purchase when you make at least the minimum due payment each month. Lastly, the card lets you earn up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase in a world where earning rewards with a balance transfer card isn’t guaranteed.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: Best rewards credit card deal
- Rewards rate: 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent) and on select U.S. streaming services; 3 percent back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases; 1 percent on all other purchases
- Welcome bonus: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months
- Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the best rewards credit card deals thanks to the variety of high-yielding rewards categories it offers for a relatively low annual fee. You’ll have no problem extracting value from this card if your family spends a decent amount of money on U.S. supermarket purchases, select U.S. streaming services (Think: Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu), transit purchases and U.S. gas station purchases.
Additionally, there’s a pretty attainable welcome offer: a $300 statement credit after you charge $3,000 on your new card within the first six months. This is a better welcome bonus than you’ll find with similar cash back cards, which typically offer fewer bonus rewards and only three months to earn the bonus.
How to choose the best credit card deal
Keep these tips in mind to ensure your credit card brings you long-term value (rather than grief).
Select a card that rewards you for the spending you do most often
If you frequently dip, tap or swipe at the grocery store, but only purchase airfare once or twice a year, it probably doesn’t make sense to apply for a travel or airline credit card. Instead, you should look into a grocery store credit card that rewards you for stocking up your pantry.
Don’t know what you spend the most on? Take a look at your credit card or bank statement each month and divvy up your purchases into categories like groceries, gas, dining out and airfare. If it’s a clean tie, you may want to consider a rewards card that earns a flat rate on every purchase you make.
Don’t overspend to hit a welcome offer
Though a welcome bonus is one of the most gratifying perks a credit card can offer, make sure the card you select has a bonus you can realistically meet. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up accumulating credit card debt to meet a bonus that’s unrealistic for your budget.
A good rule of thumb is to compare a bonus’ qualifying spend and the time frame in which you have to meet it (usually three months) to what you’d normally spend over that same time period. For example, a welcome bonus that requires you to spend $3,000 in your first three months wouldn’t be a responsible choice if you typically spend $1,500 within that time frame.
Weigh a card’s annual fee versus the rewards you’ll most likely earn
Luxury credit cards are a luxury for a reason—they offer premium rewards structures and perks for a higher-than-average annual fee. Those who can afford to spend a significant amount on travel, for example, probably won’t have trouble earning enough rewards to cover the annual fee for their premium travel rewards card.
If you’re unsure whether your spending can cover (or preferably more than cover) a card’s annual fee, take a closer look at the spending you do on other credit cards you own. You can also factor in the card’s welcome bonus and perks (such as travel statement credits and airport lounge access) to offset the cost of its annual fee.
The bottom line
While the main selling point of a credit card may be its unique travel benefits or welcome bonus, it’s important that you judge a card based on its overall value to your lifestyle. There are some incredible credit card deals out there, but they won’t be all that valuable to you if they don’t match your spending habits. Choose one that matches your lifestyle and you’ll be reaping rewards in no time.