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SmartAsset’s Best Credit Cards of 2018

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by Chris Thompson | Updated Feb. 1, 2018

Overview of the SmartAsset’s Best Credit Cards of 2018

As with other consumer and financial products, there are credit cards designed specifically to meet a variety of needs. Those who need to rebuild their credit need a secured credit card, while those who have existing debt can benefit from a balance transfer card that offers 0% APR promotional financing. And if you're concerned about interest charges on your future purchases, you can apply for a card with a 0% APR financing on new purchases. Alternatively, you can use a reward card to earn travel rewards, or a small business card to earn rewards from your company's purchases. Here are the best cards for each of these categories. See More

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Best Gas Rewards Credit Card

More Details

  • No annual fee
  • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
  • Easily add your Mastercard® credit card to any digital wallet for a simple, secure, and convenient way to pay online, in-app, and in-store

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Regular APR

14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Benefits

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives you the opportunity to earn cash back on everyday buys. You’ll get 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, though you can only earn these rates on up to $2,500 of combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

You can kick off your cash back earnings by receiving $150 for spending $500 during your first 90 days as a cardholder. Bank of America customers can receive a 10% bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account. If you are a Preferred Rewards client, your bonus will increase to 25% - 75%.

With such a solid rewards program it’s a wonder that this card doesn’t come with high fees and APRs. Not only is there no annual fee, but you’ll also receive a 12-billing cycle 0% introductory APR on purchases and on balance transfers made within 60 days of your account’s opening.

Things to Consider

The most obvious rewards-based drawback of this card is the combined cash back spending limit of $2,500 on gas station, grocery store and wholesale club purchases each quarter. While it shouldn’t significantly weaken what you can earn, this cap will definitely affect some.

The penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable is also worth keeping an eye on. If you make a late payment or miss paying your minimum balance for 60 days or more, this penalty APR will apply on top of the regular APR.

Our Verdict

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card is an excellent option for those looking for a no annual fee credit card that rewards spending on everyday purchases. The card’s generous cash back rate on gas purchases is especially noteworthy.

Best Airline Credit Card

More Details

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember's first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card

Annual Fee

$99

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles (for balance transfers posted within first 45 days)

Regular APR

13.24%, 21.24% or 26.24% Variable

Offer is no longer available through our site.

Benefits

Few, if any, airline credit cards can match the JetBlue Plus Card’s extraordinary rewards rates. Cardholders will earn 6x points for eligible JetBlue purchases, as well as 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores and 1x point on all other buys. If you spend $1,000 during your first 90 days as a cardholder, you’ll earn an astounding 30,000 bonus points. Not bad!

Whenever you redeem the points you’ve earned, you’ll get 10% of the points back as a redemption bonus. You’ll also earn 5,000 points each year after your account’s anniversary.

There’s no foreign transaction fee with the JetBlue Plus Card, so feel free to use your card while traveling overseas. A 0% introductory offer is available on balance transfers posted within 45 days of account opening for 12 billing cycles, making this card a great choice for transfer candidates.

Things to Consider

The $99 annual fee is really the only big potential drawback with the JetBlue Plus Card. This charge will take a bite out of your yearly rewards earnings just to remain a cardholder. Unlike many other credit cards, this fee is not waived for the first year.

Our Verdict

Loyal JetBlue customers and frequent flyers alike could stand to benefit from the JetBlue Plus Card. If used correctly and paid off consistently on time, the card could become your main plastic payment option, thanks to its high rewards rates. You can also use this card overseas with ease, as there’s no foreign transaction fee to worry about.

Best Low APR Credit Card

More Details

  • Get 0% Intro APR Purchases for 12 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49%-24.49% based upon your creditworthiness.*
  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 21 months. Balance transfers must be completed in the first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49%-24.49% based upon your creditworthiness.*
  • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases: you can get back up to $500 per item and $2,500 a year.*
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • No annual fee*
  • Free access to FICO® Scores*

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 12 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% for 21 Months (for balance transfers completed within first 4 months)

Regular APR

14.49%-24.49% Variable

Benefits

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is uniquely angled to give you a 0% introductory APR for much longer than what many of its competitors can offer. You’ll receive a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers made within four months of your account opening for a whopping 21 months.

This card also has no annual fee, so you can enjoy the intro APR without worrying about having to pay a fee. There is a balance transfer fee, however, which is $5 or 3% of the amount you transfer, whichever is greater.

Citi Bank includes the Citi® Price Rewind service with this card as well – a benefit that will allow you to save on anything you buy with your card if the price of the purchased item drops within 60 days.

Things to Consider

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card does not have a rewards program. This is a major selling point for other cards out there, but you’ll have to do without that with this one.

The card also has a high penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable. This could add significant interest to your bill if you make a late or returned payment on a statement. If this is something you’ve had a problem with in the past, it’s worth considering.

Our Verdict

This card offers a 0% introductory APR for 21 months. That’s almost heard of! Plus, there’s no annual fee making this card virtually unbeatable when it comes to low APR offers.

Best No Annual Fee Credit Card

More Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Benefits

If you’re in the market for a rewards card with no annual fee, Bank of America has your back with its Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card. Every purchase you make with this card (regardless of category or type) will earn you 1.5 points per dollar spent. There are no limits or expirations placed on your rewards total.

You can get a pretty simple 20,000-point boost by spending $1,000 during your first 90 days as a cardholder. Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients are eligible for 25% - 75% bonus points, depending on their client level.

As is befitting a travel rewards card, this card has no foreign transaction fees meaning you can use it overseas without worrying about racking up additional charges.

In addition to the low fee structure and solid rewards program, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card also offers a 0% introductory APR on all purchases for 12 billing cycles.

Things to Consider

As we mentioned this credit card has a generous 12-billing cycle 0% APR on purchases, however this intro APR does not extend to balance transfers. So if you’d hoped to make a balance transfer, this is likely not the card you’d want to use.

In addition the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card has an up-to 29.99% variable penalty APR. This could become troublesome if you make a late payment or miss paying your minimum balance for two months or more.

Our Verdict

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card is a solid rewards card with no annual or foreign transaction fees, making it a great option for travelers and everyday credit card users alike. The 1.5% unlimited rewards rate makes it easy to earn points without having to keep track of rotating categories.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Card

More Details

  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • See monthly updates to your FICO® Score and the reasons behind your score for free
  • No Penalty APR – Paying late won’t raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 15 months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% for 15 months

Regular APR

16.24%-24.99% Variable

Benefits

Anyone in the market for a balance transfer credit card should consider the Chase Slate® credit card. You won’t be charged a balance transfer fee on balances you transfer during the first 60 days you have the card. You’ll also receive a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.

There’s no annual fee with the Chase Slate® credit card and you’ll have unlimited, free access to your FICO® credit score free.

Things to Consider

The 15-month, 0% introductory purchase and balance transfer APR of the Chase Slate® credit card begins at account opening. On the other hand, the $0 introductory balance transfer fee is only available during the first 60 days.

Unlike many of its competitors, this card doesn’t offer the opportunity to earn any rewards.

Our Verdict

In a hurry to make a balance transfer? The Chase Slate® credit card could be right for you. With 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers and the added benefit of the first 60 days being free of a balance transfer fee, this card stands out in a crowded field.

Best Travel Credit Card

More Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card’ by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

17.24%-24.24% Variable

Benefits

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can help you do it cheaper. Any travel or dining purchases you make with this card will result in 2x points per dollar spent, while every other dollar you spend will earn 1 point.

Building up a large points base quickly is doable with this card as spending $4,000 during your first three months as a cardholder will earn you a 50,000-point bonus. And when you book your travel plans through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll get 25% more value for the points you’re redeeming. You can also transfer your points to partner travel programs typically at a 1:1 ratio. Partner airline programs include British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus® and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and partner hotel programs include IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and World of Hyatt.

You won’t have to pay an annual fee for the first year you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, opening up a real chance to boost your rewards right off the bat. And feel free to take your card with you when you’re traveling abroad, because you won’t be subject to a foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside of the U.S.

Things to Consider

While you’ll get an introductory annual fee rate of $0, that will jump up to $95 following your first year. For some, an annual fee is a real drawback so you’ll have to decide if the card’s many benefits are worth it to you.

It’s also worth noting that there are no introductory APRs with this card, a perk that many other travel-centric cards offer. This means you’ll face a variable APR between 16.99% and 23.99% right off the bat.

Our Verdict

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers some of the best and most sustainable travel rewards benefits of any such card on the market. If you like to travel, and do it often, you’ll want to consider this option. You can chose to redeem points at a number of travel partners, so you don’t need to worry about being loyal to a single airline or hotel. Alternatively, you can book your travel directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and earn extra value for the points you’re redeeming.

Best Hotel Credit Card

More Details

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $85
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year after your account anniversary date!
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get Free Night Stays faster
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants. Plus 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better.

Annual Fee

$0 intro first year, then $85

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

17.24%-24.24% Variable

Benefits

If you’re already a Marriot loyalist, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is likely a smart addition to your wallet. Every purchase you make with the card at any Marriott Rewards® or SPG® hotel will earn you an impressive 5 points per dollar spent. You’ll also receive a free night at any Category 1-5 Marriott® or SPG® hotel every year as a gift back for each account anniversary.

You’ll earn 2 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly with an airline, dining out and car rentals and 1 point per dollar on all other buys.

This card also has one of the best bonus offerings out there: You can earn 80,000 bonus points by spending $3,000 during your first three months as a cardholder.

Don’t worry about needing to leave your card at home if you’re staying abroad for business or a vacation, as there are no extra fees charged for using your Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card while outside of the U.S.

Things to Consider

The $85 annual fee associated with this card puts a bit of a damper on the rewards you can earn. As far as credit card annual fees go, it isn’t particularly high but you’ll have to decide for yourself if the card’s benefits outweigh the fee.

Our Verdict

If you’re a frequent traveler looking to earn rewards on your overall trip costs, including hotel stays, airfare, car rentals and more, look no farther than the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

Best Student Credit Card

More Details

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts-- Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 6 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% for 6 Months

Regular APR

14.49% - 23.49% Variable

Benefits

Students and younger people in general typically have a harder time getting a solid credit card, as they usually haven’t had the chance to build up much credit history. However, the Discover it® for Students is beginning to shift that script.

First of all, there’s no annual fee with this card, which is a positive for students who may be on a tight budget. Second the card has a six-month 0% intro APR on purchases. While it’s always best to pay your credit card in full (and on time) every month, this is not always possible. This 0% intro APR gives students a little wiggle room at the beginning should they need it.

Each quarter, cardholders can earn 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate up to a specified amount. Outside of those categories, cardholders earn 1% cash back. Then at the end of your first year with the card, Discover will match your overall earnings, doubling your cash back total. Keeping your grades high has a major incentive as well, as those with a GPA of 3.0 or higher will get $20 cash back each school year, for up to five years.

Things to Consider

There aren’t many negatives to this student-focused card, but its 13.99% to 22.99% variable APR range could afford some young cardholders with a possibly expensive interest rate. Discover will forgive your first late payment though.

Our Verdict

Students are usually forced to stick to debit cards or cash, but the Discover it® for Students is an excellent option for young people looking to start building credit and learn how to use credit wisely. The card has no annual fee and gives students the opportunity to earn some cold hard cash back for their spending.

Best Secured Credit Card

More Details

  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone, or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

24.99% Variable

Benefits

For those looking to build their credit from the ground up or repair their damaged credit, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® offers a safe and beneficial way to do just that. You’ll start off by making a $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit to Capital One to cover your opening credit line of $200. You can deposit more money before your account opens to receive a higher credit line. Your security deposit amount will depend on your credit score and history.

If you make your first five monthly balance payments on time and without incident, you’ll be given the chance to raise your credit limit without having to lay any more money on the line. There’s no annual membership fee for cardholders, giving you a prime, low-cost opportunity to make sure you improve your credit.

Capital One also offers a helpful credit monitoring service called CreditWise®, which cardholders get unlimited access to. You can use this whenever you’d like to see how your recent decisions are forming your credit’s future.

Things to Consider

The 24.99% variable APR that all cardholders receive is pretty solid in comparison to other secured credit cards, but it’s still considered a high interest rate.

This is likely the “missing piece” of any secured card, but it’s worth noting that the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® does not come with any rewards system.

Our Verdict

As far as secured credit cards go, the Capital One® Secured® Mastercard offers a simple credit-building program that affords plenty of benefit to cardholders who use it correctly.

Best Credit Card for Small Businesses

More Details

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

17.24%-22.24% Variable

Benefits

As a small business owner, you’re likely looking for ways to save money or get a return on your many investments, and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card will allow you to do just that. Every dollar you spend up to a combined $150,000 on travel, shipping, internet/phone services and advertising on social media and search engines will earn your 3 points with this card. All other purchases will yield 1 point per dollar.

If you charge $5,000 or more to your card during your first three months as a cardholder, you can quickly boost that total by 80,000 points. Then, redeem your earnings through Chase Ultimate Rewards® to cover any travel costs you might have, and receive 25% more value on your point total.

If you’d like to have connected cards given to your managers or other employees, there’s no extra fee to do so. And if you or your employees’ trips are ever abroad, you can bring your Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card with you as there are no foreign transaction fees to fret about.

Things to Consider

There is a $95 annual fee for this card. That’s not a particularly high fee for a business card but it’s still one you should be aware of.

You’ll also want to make sure that you stay on top of your payments as there is an up to 29.99% variable penalty APR if you miss making a minimum payment or your payment is returned.

Our Verdict

If traveling is an overbearing expense for you and your small business, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card can help significantly ease that strain by giving you rewards points that will eventually lower your overall cost.

Best Bonus Cash Back Card

More Details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 15 months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% for 15 months

Regular APR

16.24%-24.99% Variable

Benefits

If you’re someone who enjoys keeping track of rotating bonus rewards categories, the Chase Freedom® card is likely the perfect fit for you. With this card, you’ll have the opportunity to earn 5% cash back in rotating categories – as long as you activate. This applies for up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter. You’ll earn 1% cash back on purchases in all other categories.

You can also earn $150 cash back if you spend $500 during your first three months with the card.

Cards with so much direct cash back potential often have higher maintenance costs to offset those rewards, but that isn’t the case here. Not only is there no annual membership fee, you’ll also receive a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers.

Things to Consider

The 5% cash back rate is simply unmatched in most other cash back cards. However, because that rate only applies to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter, that earnings rate will cap at $6,000 each year. Plus, rotating categories must be opted into each quarter, or you will receive the base earnings rate of 1%.

Our Verdict

The Chase Freedom® card offers cardholders a significant amount of bonus cash back on specific categories that change throughout the year. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. This is an impressive rewards system, especially given the fact that there’s no annual fee on this card.

Methodology SmartAsset has developed a quantitative and independent system for evaluating the relative value of a credit card offer versus other offers in the marketplace. Our system evaluates cards based exclusively on their features, such as their rewards earning rate (if applicable), fees, perks, and rewards program redemption options. The annual rewards values on this page are calculated using annual spending assumptions in various categories such as, but not limited to, gas, restaurants, airfare, and US supermarkets. These spending assumptions are built on research that SmartAsset has conducted on existing 0% APR credit cardholders. Our promise with our credit card recommendations is that we will always strive to have the most comprehensive, accurate, and objective method of evaluating credit card offers. Any recommendations are solely determined by the result of this research and model, and is never influenced by any fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation that SmartAsset may receive from credit card issuers for leads generated on our website.

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Best Places to Apply for a Credit Card

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where people have the lowest credit risk and are most likely to be approved for their next card. Click between states and the national map to see the best places to apply for a credit card.

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Rank City Credit Score Credit Utilization Late Payments Rate

Methodology Our study aims to find the best places to apply for a new credit card. To do this, we analyzed three factors: credit score, credit utilization and late payments rate. These are three of the factors used by credit card issuers to determine whether an applicant is approved or denied for a new credit card.

To calculate our rankings, we indexed each factor and calculated an overall index by taking a weighted average of each of these indices. We weighted credit score as 40%, credit utilization as 30% and late payments rate as 30%.

The top-ranking cities and states had a high credit score, low credit utilization and a low late payments rate. This means people there are a low credit risk and more likely to be approved when applying for a credit card.

Sources: Experian