Best for getting more value from small purchases

Citi Rewards+® Card

Apply Now On Citi's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at
  • Regular APR: 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best flat-rate cash back card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Apply Now On Citi's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Welcome Offer: N/A
  • Regular APR: 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best wholesale club card

Sam's Club® Mastercard®

Apply Now On Synchrony Bank's secure website
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: 5% cash back on gas anywhere (up to $6,000) Plus members earn 3% back on eligible purchases when shopping in-club or digitally through Sam’s Club when they use their Sam’s Club Mastercard and another 2% back from their Plus membership, for a total of up to 5% rewards on eligible purchases. 3% cash back on dining and takeout 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Welcome Offer: N/A
  • Regular APR: 15.65% or 23.65% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

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The information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Bankrate’s guide to Mastercard credit cards

As one of the world’s largest payment networks, Mastercard has the connections to offer some of the top credit cards on the market. Thanks to partnerships with financial institutions like Capital One and Citibank, you can find the Mastercard logo on cards for cash back, credit building, students and more.

Bankrate has the essential information on Mastercard and the benefits of having a card connected to its global payment network.

In this guide:

Best Mastercard credit cards for 2021

Card Name Best for Bankrate Review Score
Citi Rewards+® Card  Getting more value from small purchases 3.2/5
Citi® Double Cash Card Flat-rate cash back card 3.6/5
Sam’s Club® Mastercard®  Wholesale club card 3.7/5
Capital One Platinum Credit Card  People building credit 3.7/5
Citi® Simplicity Card  Best intro APR period for purchases 4.4/5
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card  Average credit 3.4/5
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card  Dining and entertainment N/A
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students College students 2.6/5
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card  Good intro APR on purchases and flat-rate cash back 3.2/5

A closer look at our top Mastercard credit cards

Citi Rewards+® Card

Best for getting more value from small purchases

  • This card is best for: Shoppers who make lots of everyday purchases, especially at gas stations and supermarkets, without necessarily spending a lot of money on each transaction..
  • This card is not a great choice for: People with larger gas station and supermarket budgets have other options that earn higher rewards rates.
  • What makes this card unique? This no-annual-fee card’s round-up feature will take your rewards-earning to another level. Every purchase made will be rounded up to the nearest 10 points, so a $3 coffee is worth 10 points, an $11 lunch will net you 20 points, etc.
  • Is the Citi Rewards+ Card worth it? This card is outshined by competitors in terms of rewards rates and perks, but it’s worthwhile for small-budget shoppers.

Read our full Citi Rewards+ Card review.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Best flat-rate cash back card

  • This card is best for: Someone who wants more incentive, and more cash back, for consistently paying their credit card bill on time and in full.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone who wants a simple way to maximize value if they choose to redeem cash back for travel. To make the Points you earn with this card potentially worth more than 1 cent for travel, you would have to pool them with Points from a premium Citi travel card.
  • What makes this card unique? The earn-as-you-go cash back program: 1 percent when you make eligible purchases plus another 1 percent when you pay for them on your credit card bill.
  • Is the Citi Double Cash Card worth it? This no-annual-fee card can provide consistent cash back returns with responsible payment habits on your part.

Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review.

Sam’s Club® Mastercard®

Best wholesale club card

  • This card is best for: Sam’s Club shoppers and people searching for cash back rewards at the pump and on dining.
  • This card is not a great choice for: People looking for a card that’s not as restrictive on how you can redeem your cash back rewards.
  • What makes this card unique? As wholesale club cards go, the cash back rates and range of rewards-eligible purchases make it stand out.
  • Is the Sam’s Club Mastercard worth it? For Sam’s Club members, absolutely. The generous gas and dining cash back rates make it a worthwhile option.

Read our full Sam’s Club Mastercard review.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for dining and entertainment

  • This card is best for: Those who put activities like dining and entertainment at the top of their agenda after a long season of lockdown.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Frequent flyers and online shoppers, who may be better off with a card that rewards things like Amazon purchases and travel bookings.
  • What makes this card unique? The rewards rates on dining, entertainment and other lifestyle-oriented purchase categories are exceptional.
  • Is the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card worth it? Yes, for anyone who has a food-and-fun lifestyle.

Read our full Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

What is Mastercard?

Mastercard, much like Visa, isn’t a true issuer of credit cards but rather a payment network partnering with well-known banks and credit unions to provide credit card options. It offers products in areas including consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payment systems.

Mastercard also partners with merchants all over the world. Its global presence helped Mastercard earn over $15 billion in revenue in 2020. On their way to this figure, Mastercard was able to process over $6 trillion total dollars in transactions. A multitude of connections allows the network to process transactions in more than 150 currencies and 210 countries worldwide.

What sets Mastercard apart?

Many of Mastercard’s products offer benefits and rewards typical to the credit card business, but there are a few areas where the company distinguishes itself from competitors.

For starters, Mastercard operates on a multi-rail payment network, meaning it may take more time to completely process a payment (typically 1 to 3 days) but the network exchanges data with efficiency and facilitates secure transactions.

In addition to how transactions work, Mastercard stands out with their tiers of credit card benefits and exclusive features. When opening a Mastercard credit card, you have the ability to qualify as a World or World Elite member, bringing you a variety of high-end features. Some of the perks below can be found only with Mastercard:

Mastercard World and World Elite benefits


  • The Priceless Cities travel experience program, an offer unique to Mastercard
  • Identity theft protection
  • Room upgrades, if available
  • Vacation packages
  • Airport concierge service — something not provided at the Visa Signature or Infinite levels

World Elite

Includes all World benefits, plus:

  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • 24-hour concierge
  • Exclusive Mastercard discounts on a variety of airlines, travel expenses, entertainment brands and more

Other Mastercard features

  • SecureCode: A private code made for your Mastercard account, SecureCode helps protect your card in over 122 countries worldwide.
  • True Name™ Cards: To take a stand for inclusion and the LGBTQIA+ community, Mastercard worked with other financial institutions to introduce True Name cards in 2020. These cards allow applicants to choose their desired name without proof of a legal name change.
  • Masterpass: Mastercard’s digital wallet, Masterpass, is designed for online, in-app and in-person shopping. Your card information and address can be stored electronically. Masterpass purchases are a secure way to shop and are also protected by Zero Liability for any unauthorized purchases.

Who are Mastercard credit cards good for?

Mastercard’s credit card options have a selection of different features that you can focus on to find the best option for you.

Rewards for on-the-go families

The Citi Rewards+® Card earns 2x ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 in combined purchases each year, plus 1x ThankYou Points on all other purchases.

Incentive to earn cash back responsibly

The Citi® Double Cash Card has a two-part system for earning cash back: 1 percent when you make eligible purchases and another 1 percent when you pay for them on your monthly statement.

Making fair credit into better credit

With the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, you’ll be automatically considered for a higher credit limit after 6 months of on-time monthly payments. The card doesn’t charge an annual fee, a foreign transaction fee or penalty APR.

Building credit while learning credit

Credit-building can be uncharted territory for students and other young adults, but cards like the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students can help show the way. You can apply with little or no credit history and even earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases.

Food, fun and more

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023 The lack of foreign transaction fees makes it a useful item to pack for your next overseas trip.

How we chose our top-rated Mastercard cards

Bankrate’s personal finance experts have evaluated the top Mastercard credit cards according to our 5-star rating system. The list of criteria for rating credit cards includes:


Whether the card offers cash back, travel points/miles or multi-purpose rewards for eligible purchases and the potential returns based on rewards rate (1 percent cash back per $1 spent, 1 mile per $1 spent, and so on).

Perks and benefits

Whether the card offers extras such as retail discounts, extended warranties on purchases, travel insurance and financial management tools.

Annual fee

Whether the card charges an annual fee and if so, how much the card’s overall value and benefits might offset the fee.

Introductory offers

Whether the card has a sign-up bonus, a zero-interest welcome offer or similar sign-up incentive and how much it adds to the card’s overall value.

Variable APR

How the card’s annual percentage rate (APR) compares with current averages as an indicator of cost and value.

Foreign transaction fee

Whether the card charges a foreign transaction fee for international purchases and how the fee affects the card’s overall value.

Learn more about Mastercard credit cards

Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

about the author
Upon graduating with a Bachelor’s degree concentrated in Finance, Joey worked at “Big Four” (Ernst and Young) accounting firm before exploring the world of credit cards. Over the past two years, he’s shared his expertise and has brought understanding to complex topics as a writer and editor for sites like Bankrate, and NextAdvisor. Hi...
about the editor
Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other personal finance products since 2017. Before joining Bankrate, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina. Send your questions about credit cards (and fantasy baseball) to ...

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.