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Best new credit cards in 2021

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If you’re considering a new credit card for 2022, you should know that some of the newer options on the market won’t disappoint. The fact is, card issuers love to come out with new credit card offers to keep their customers engaged. Some new credit cards for 2022 even come with generous welcome offers worth $500 or more, surprisingly good rewards rates and intro APR offers that can last for up to 21 months.

As you try to decide which credit card to sign up for, it makes sense to compare the best new credit card offers (and newly refreshed offers) to rewards cards that have been around for a while.

If you’re in the market for a new credit card and want to see which cards are new for 2022, taking a closer look at these top picks could pay off.

Best new cash back credit cards

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Cash: Best flat-rate cash back credit card

  • Welcome bonus: $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months
  • Rewards: Unlimited 2 percent cash rewards on purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

Why it’s best for flat-rate cash back: Introduced during the summer of 2021, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers one of the most lucrative rewards rates of all cash rewards credit cards available today. Cardholders earn a flat 2 percent cash back for each dollar they spend, and that’s on top of the $200 cash bonus they can earn after spending $1,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.

This card also comes with an intro APR offer that is worth looking into. Specifically, new cardholders qualify for a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 17.24 percent, 22.24 percent, or 27.24 percent. Best of all, there’s no annual fee.

Citi Custom Cash: Best for earning bonus cash back

  • Welcome bonus: 20,000 ThankYou points (worth $200 in cash back) after spending $750 on purchases in the first three months
  • Rewards: 5 percent cash back (on up to $500 each billing cycle, then 1 percent back) on your top spending category each billing cycle
  • Annual fee: $0

Why it’s best for earning bonus cash back: The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card was also introduced during the summer of 2021, and, with this offer, Citi decided to take a different approach to bonus rewards. This card lets users rack up 5 percent cash back within a top eligible spend category on up to $500 spent each billing cycle (then 1 percent back), as well as 1 percent back on all other purchases. However, the 5 percent category will automatically change each billing cycle based on where you spend the most money.

Eligible categories that qualify for 5 percent back include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment—so, there’s something for everyone.

Also, note that this card comes with no annual fee and an introductory zero-interest offer on purchases and  qualifying balance transfers. Specifically, new cardholders can enjoy a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent.

Best new travel credit cards

Capital One Venture X: Best for travel rewards and perks

  • Welcome bonus: 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months
  • Rewards: 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $395

Why it’s best for travel rewards and perks: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card surprised travel lovers everywhere when it was introduced in November 2021—mostly due to its generous rewards and perks with a reasonable annual fee of $395. This card has an exceptional 75,000-mile welcome bonus (earned after spending $4,000 within the first three months, as noted above) and some solid earning rates for travel booked through Capital One Travel. All other purchases rack up an elevated rate of 2X miles for each dollar spent, which is a better base rate compared to other travel cards on the market.

Best of all, the Venture X comes with benefits like a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass Select membership, access to Capital One airport lounges and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership. Cardholders also get 10,000 bonus miles when they renew their card on their cardmember anniversary.

Aeroplan Card: Best for frequent flyers

  • Welcome bonus: TBD (previous welcome offer, which ended April 20, 2022, of two Welcome Flight Rewards Certificates—up to 50,000 points each—after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening)
  • Rewards: 3X points on groceries, dining at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and purchases made directly with Air Canada; 1X points on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $95

Why it’s best for frequent flyers: First launched in December 2021, the Chase’s Aeroplan credit card is the newest airline credit card on the market today. This card offers 3X points in a wide variety of everyday spending categories, and cardholders can earn 500 bonus points for every $2,000 they spend in a calendar month. As an added bonus, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is included, and cardholders get their first checked bags free when they fly with Air Canada.

The Aeroplan card is excellent for frequent flyers because it lets them redeem points for awards with Air Canada and partner airlines. There are no cash surcharges on flight rewards with Air Canada, and you can book any available seat with rewards (and with no restrictions).

Best new secured credit cards

Capital One Quicksilver Secured: Best for building credit

  • Welcome bonus: None
  • Rewards: 1.5 percent cash back on all eligible purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

Why it’s best for building credit: The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is new on the secured card scene as of October 2021, and it stands out due to its rewards rate with no annual fee. Cardholders have to put down a minimum cash deposit of at least $200 to secure their line of credit, but this card lets users earn a flat 1.5 percent cash back on all their purchases while building credit along the way.

There are no hidden fees with this secured credit card, and cardholders can qualify for an automatic credit line increase in as little as six months. Once someone’s credit score has improved enough, they can also upgrade to an unsecured credit card and get their security deposit back.

Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard: Best for businesses

  • Welcome bonus: $300 online bonus cash rewards after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days
  • Rewards: Earn 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

Why it’s best for businesses: Bank of America just introduced a new secured business credit card in February 2022—the Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card. This Bank of America Business card requires a minimum security deposit of $1,000, but it helps small business owners build credit with the three major credit bureaus.

In the meantime, cardholders earn a flat 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases with no limits, and there’s a welcome offer of $300 online bonus cash rewards after spending $3,000 within your first 90 days of card ownership.

Further, this card doesn’t charge an annual fee and comes with travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, emergency ticket replacement, lost-luggage assistance and travel emergency assistance services.

Best new balance transfer credit card

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card: Best for debt consolidation

  • Welcome bonus: None
  • Rewards: None
  • Intro APRs: 0 percent for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (up to 21 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro period)
  • Variable APR: 15.24 percent to 27.24 percent
  • Annual fee: $0

Why it’s best for debt consolidation: The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card doesn’t offer any rewards, but it does offer one of the longest intro APR offers for purchases and qualifying balance transfers on the market today.

Introduced in October 2021, the Wells Fargo Reflect automatically grants new customers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 18 months. However, cardholders can extend this period when they make on-time payments during the introductory and extension period. This means that, when all is said and done, cardmembers can skip interest on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for up to 21 months (followed by a variable APR of 15.24 percent to 27.24 percent).

There’s no annual fee, and the lengthy zero-interest introductory period makes this card ideal for consolidating debts from other credit cards.

How credit card benefits are changing

While rewards credit cards have always made it possible to earn points, miles or cash back, credit cards have focused a lot of effort on rolling out unique statement credits over the last few years. For example, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express rolled out a ton of statement credit offers from companies like Indeed, Adobe and Dell over the course of last year. Several premium credit cards have also introduced statement credit offers from Equinox, a luxury fitness club.

We’ve also seen changes like the SoulCycle credit added to The Platinum Card® from American Express, and the Peloton credits that were added to several Chase credit cards last year.

Credit card statement credits tend to be specific, so it’s important for cardholders to understand how they can be used, when they can be used and whether any benefit rolls over from year to year.

The bottom line

While the best new credit cards at the moment are from the second half of 2021, we may see new or refreshed credit card offers as 2022 progresses. Either way, it always makes sense to compare all the best credit cards on the market before you apply. If you don’t like the best new credit card offers launched so far, an oldie but goodie might be a better fit.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards, loyalty and insurance topics. In addition to writing for Bankrate and, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.
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