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SmartAsset's Best Credit Cards of 2017

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by Eric Rosenberg | Updated Mar. 3, 2017
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments.

Best Credit Cards Overview

Advertiser Disclosure

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.

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Best Balance Transfer Credit Card

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  • $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
  • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard 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% APR for 15 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% APR for 15 Months

Regular APR

15.49% - 24.24% Variable

Best Credit Card for Long 0% APR Period

More Details

  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... ever.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period.
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% APR for 21 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% APR for 21 Months

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Best Rewards 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®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 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 for the first year then $95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.49% - 23.49% Variable

Best Cash Back Credit Card

More Details

  • Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% APR for 7 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.74%

Best Cash Back Credit Card with No Annual Fee

More Details

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% APR for 18 Months

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable

Best Travel Credit Card

More Details

  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Receive up to $300 in statement credits annually as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card
  • Earn 3X points on travel worldwide from airfare and hotels to taxis and trains
  • Earn 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide from fast casual to fine dining
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-check®
  • Access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership

Annual Fee

$450

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.49% - 23.49% Variable

Best Airline Credit Card

More Details

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Avios for every dollar spent on British Airways purchases
  • Earn 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Automatic Enrollment in the Executive Club for new members
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa Signature card, you will earn a Travel Together ticket good for two years.

Annual Fee

$95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.49% - 23.49% Variable

Best Secured Credit Card with Rewards

More Details

  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • A security deposit of $200 or more will establish your credit line (up to the amount we can approve). Automatic monthly reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an account with no security deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Tools to assist you; email alerts, text reminders and 24/7 customer service. Plus get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements and online.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • No late fee on your first late payment. And paying late won't raise your APR.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% APR for 6 Months

Regular APR

23.49% Variable

Best Small Business Rewards Credit Card

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

16.49% - 21.49% Variable

Best Cash Back Credit Card for Students

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 in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • 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 & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements & online.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.49% - 22.49%.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% APR for 6 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% APR for 6 Months

Regular APR

13.49% - 22.49% Variable

Our 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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Get Your $200 Credit
Get a travel credit card with massive rewards + $200 Statement Credit
Get Your $200 Credit
Get a travel credit card with massive rewards + $200 Statement Credit
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Data provided by Informa Research Services and CJ Affiliate.
Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which SmartAsset receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). SmartAsset does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
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