Key takeaways

  • The best credit card deal for you is the one that fits into your regular budget and spending and aligns with your credit score and rewards goals.
  • Don't automatically apply for the first credit card you see or for the one that sends you a glossy flier. Instead, do your homework to find the credit card deal that’s best for you.
  • The deal is important, but remember to weigh the full features and benefits of the card against its fees to ensure it's the right fit for you.

The best credit card deals come packaged in many different ways — some with a high rewards rate, others with an exceptional welcome bonus, lengthy intro APR offer or exclusive perks. All of these offerings can make holding a credit card even more valuable.

To help you make your decision, we compiled a list of the best credit card deals of 2024 in a number of popular categories. For rewards cards, we considered factors including the rewards rates and spending categories as well as how easy it is to redeem those rewards. For intro APR cards, we looked at the length of the offers and the value of the card beyond that intro offer. In all cases, we took rates and fees into consideration.

These cards aren’t the only excellent cards out there — they are simply the ones that rose to the top for us. Your unique budget and lifestyle could mean a different card best meets your needs, so take a look at our CardMatch tool for tailored options if you don’t see what you want here.

Best cash back credit card welcome bonus

Discover it Cash Back

Learn morein our Bankrate review

Alternative choice: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is also a top cash back credit card option due to its high rewards in categories that align well with common U.S. household spending. And it comes with an attainable welcome bonus opportunity, thanks to a lengthy six months to meet the spending requirement.

Even with a $95 annual fee, you should have no problem extracting value from this card if you spend 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.

  • Welcome bonus: $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 within the first six months of card membership
  • Intro APR: 0 percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account is opened (then 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent variable ongoing APR)
  • Rewards rate: 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1 percent); 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3 percent cash back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases; and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7 percent

Best flat-rate cash back credit card deal

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Learn morein our Bankrate review

Alternative choice: Citi Double Cash® Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card effectively offers 2 percent back on every purchase, but in the form of 1 percent back when you make purchases and another 1 percent back when you pay for them. It’s designed to encourage you to pay your credit card balance off, but it also means there are terms attached to earning your rewards. Still, this is a perennial favorite cash back card.

Unlike the Wells Fargo card, Double Cash rewards can be combined with those earned through other Citi cards, including converting your rewards to valuable ThankYou points if you also hold a premium Citi card, such as the Citi Premier® Card (No longer available).

  • Welcome offer: $200 cash back when you spend $1,500 on purchases within six months of opening the card. Cash back is awarded as 20,000 ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for cash back.
  • Intro APR: 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from account opening, followed by a 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable ongoing APR. Balance transfers must be made in the first four months to qualify.
  • Rewards: Up to 2 percent cash back with no limit — 1 percent cash back when you make purchases, and 1 percent back as you pay them off. For a limited time you can also earn 5 percent cash back on travel-related expenses including car rentals and hotel rentals booked through Citi Travel through Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3 percent

Best travel credit card deal

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Learn more in our Bankrate review

Alternative choice: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Venture Rewards card is a simple, straightforward travel rewards option. It doesn’t offer quite as many opportunities to combine rewards across multiple cards and rack up extra points as the Sapphire Preferred does, but it’s still a solid travel choice. In fact, if you value simplicity over maximum rewards value, this could be a better credit card deal for you. That’s because it’s simple to redeem your miles for statement credit to cover a wide array of travel purchases. Just book your RV, cruise, flight, rental car or any number of other purchases under a broad “travel” heading, and redeem your points to offset that cost.

If you want to get more complicated, Capital One does offer a variety of travel partners to which you can transfer your rewards and potentially increase the value.

  • Welcome offer: 75,000 bonus miles for new cardmembers who spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account
  • Intro APR: None
  • Rewards: Unlimited 5X miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booked with Capital One Travel and 2X miles per dollar on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Best luxury travel credit card deal

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Learn morein our Bankrate review

Alternative choice: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve shook up the luxury card market with its debut several years ago by offering a superb welcome bonus alongside unparalleled perks and benefits. These days, the welcome bonus is lower than that debut offer, but the benefits remain excellent and can justify the $550 annual fee for the right cardholder. For instance, Sapphire Reserve cardholders’ points are worth about 1.5 cents per point when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal.

In addition to top-notch travel protections, a $300 annual statement credit to cover travel purchases and credits to cover your Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee, this is one of the few luxury cards with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that still includes restaurant credits and access to non-lounge experiences.

  • Welcome bonus: 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months — worth about $1,125 in travel through the Chase portal
  • Intro APR: None
  • Rewards rate: 10X points on hotel stays, car rentals and Chase Dining purchases through Ultimate Rewards as well as on on Lyft purchases (through Mar. 31, 2025); 5X points on air travel through Ultimate Rewards (after earning your annual $300 credit); 3X points on dining and other travel (again, after earning your annual travel credit); and 1X points on other purchases
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Best intro APR credit card deal

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

Learn morein our Bankrate review

Alternative choice: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

If you’re looking for a lengthy intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, but can sacrifice a couple of months in favor of more perks and ongoing rewards, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is worth a look. It offers an intro 15 billing cycles of 0 percent APR on purchases and on balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open, then 4%). Beyond that intro offer, cardholders can earn a nice welcome bonus and healthy cash back rewards. Plus, if you’re a qualified Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can earn 25 percent to 75 percent more rewards on every purchase.

  • Welcome offer: $200 online cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days. Thereafter, a 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR applies.
  • Rewards: 3 percent cash back on purchases in a category of the cardholder’s choosing from among a list of six categories: travel, online shopping, dining, gas, drugstores and home improvement stores; 2 percent cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases (3 percent and 2 percent earnings are on the first $2,500 combined 3 percent and 2 percent spending quarterly); and 1 percent cash back on other purchases.
  • Annual fee: None
  • Foreign currency conversion fee: 3 percent

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).

  • Applying for a credit card usually requires a hard credit inquiry so issuers can take a look at your credit history and determine your creditworthiness. Be one step ahead of them, so you only apply for cards for which you have a reasonable shot at approval.

    Also, make sure you know your budget and have a firm grasp on managing your finances. Credit cards are powerful personal finance tools, but they can also lead to mountains of debt if you don’t manage them well. If you have a tendency to overspend, get that impulse in check before adding a credit card to your wallet.
  • 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 an airline rewards credit card, though a general travel card could still be a good fit. Either way, you should look into one of the top grocery store credit cards, which will reward you for stocking up your pantry.

    Don’t know what you spend the most on? Take a look at your current credit card or bank statements for the month and divvy up your purchases into categories like groceries, gas, dining out and travel. If it’s a clean tie, you may want to consider a general rewards card that earns a flat rate on every purchase you make.

    Whatever you do, don’t apply for a card with a great bonus hoping you’ll “make it work.” You won’t — and that card will become a drag on your wallet. There are enough credit cards out there to find an excellent credit card deal that fits naturally into your lifestyle.
  • 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 to six 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 only $1,500 over three months.
  • 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 hold. 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

With so many credit cards on the market, it can be tough to settle on the best deals. We did the hard work for you and crunched the rewards, fees, perks and more to provide our short list of cards that just can’t lose.

Category Card Why we like it Other options
Best welcome bonus deal Discover it® Cash Back Your welcome bonus can be as valuable as you want to make it thanks to Cashback Match™ Best cash back credit cards
Best flat-rate cash back deal Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card A flat 2 percent cash back on your purchases keeps it simple and lucrative. Best cash back credit cards
Best travel credit card deal Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Earn valuable and flexible Ultimate Rewards points with a card that has a reasonable annual fee and solid welcome bonus. Best travel rewards credit cards
Best luxury travel card deal Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card The annual fee is manageable for a card with plenty of luxury pop, including travel credit, airport lounge access and an annual points bonus. Best travel rewards credit cards
Best intro 0% APR deal Wells Fargo Reflect® Card An industry leading intro APR period for both purchases and balance transfers make this hard to top Best 0% interest APR cards

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 deals out there, but they won’t be all that valuable to you if they don’t match your spending habits. Everyone’s situation is different, so if you don’t see just the right card here, don’t despair. Take a look at Bankrate’s Cardmatch tool for additional options suited to your specific needs.

Issuer-required disclosure statement
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.

The information about the Bank of America cards was last updated on May 8, 2024