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Best Mastercard Credit Cards

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by Sean Bryant | Updated Jul. 1, 2020

Overview of the Best Mastercard Credit Cards

Anyone looking to add a MasterCard to their wallet has plenty of cards to choose from. As one of the largest payment networks, there is a card available for everyone. You will have your choice of rewards cards, student cards, business cards, and card that have a primary focus of building healthy credit habits. To help make your decision process a little easier, we have gone through and broken down each card and figured out the best MasterCards for cash back, travel, balance transfers and for those with poor credit. See More



Best MasterCard Credit Card for Cash Back

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  • Receive 2% cash back on all purchases. This breaks down to earning 1% when you buy and another 1% as you pay for those purchases
  • To be eligible to earn cash back you must pay the minimum due on your account, without paying late
  • 0% Intro APR for the first 18 months on Balance Transfers. Afterward, the ongoing variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based on your creditworthiness
  • If you choose to transfer a balance, a fee of either $5 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater will apply
  • Certain transactions do not earn cash back i.e., balance transfers, cash advances, items returned for credit, lottery tickets, and more
  • Standard APR when taking part in the Citi Flex Plan is a variable 13.99% - 23.99% depending on creditworthiness

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% for 18 Months (for balance transfers completed within first 4 months)

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable

Benefits

If you are looking to get a new Mastercard credit card that will help you earn cash back rewards, check out Citi Double Cash Card. This card will reward you twice. To start you will receive 1% cash back on every purchase that you make. Then when you pay off the purchase you will receive another 1%.

In addition to being a great cash back card, Citi Double Cash Card also has one of the industry's longest introductory 0% APR on balance transfers. If you need to move an existing balance from a high interest card in the first 4 months, you will receive 0% APR for a full 18 months. Once the introductory period is complete, the APR will switch to 13.99% - 23.99% Variable.

Things to Consider

Citi Double Cash Card has one of the highest cash back rates available. Unfortunately it does not include a sign-up bonus. Plus, you will not have the chance to earn extra cash back on bonus categories.

Verdict

If you are looking for a cash back card from Mastercard®, then you can’t go wrong with Citi Double Cash Card. Not only does it have a simple, easy-to-understand cash back system, but it also has no annual fee.

Compare Similar Cash Back Offers

Best MasterCard Credit Card for Balance Transfers

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  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers from the first date of transfer. If you plan on completing a balance transfer, you must do it in the first 4 months of card membership. After your intro period has ended, the APR will be a variable 14.74% - 24.74% depending on your credit.
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases from the date of account opening. After your intro period has ended, the APR will be a variable 14.74% - 24.74% depending on your credit.
  • If you choose to transfer a balance, a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater will apply
  • Receive free access to your FICO® Score, so you can monitor your credit score
  • Gain access to purchase tickets to thousands of events such as concerts, sporting events, dining, and more through Citi Entertainment.
  • Receive dependable shopping protection benefits with the Diamond Preferred Card, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi Identity Theft Solutions.
  • Standard APR when taking part in the Citi Flex Plan is a variable 14.74% - 24.74%, depending on creditworthiness.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 18 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% for 18 Months (for balance transfers completed within first 4 months)

Regular APR

14.74% - 24.74% Variable

Benefits

When looking for a balance transfer credit card, one of the most important things is the length of time you will receive 0% APR. Citi Diamond Preferred Card knocks it out of the park and is one of the industry leaders. When you transfer a balance to this card, you will receive an introductory 0% APR for the first 18 months. Once that’s over, it will become a 14.74% - 24.74% Variable.

Having such a long introductory 0% APR is one thing, but this card also comes with no annual fee. This makes Citi Diamond Preferred Card an affordable card to keep in your wallet for the long term.

Things to Consider

One thing to keep in mind if you are going to do a balance transfer, is that there will be a fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. You will want to do the math to make sure this will be the best choice for your situation.

Verdict

If you are looking for a balance transfer credit card and would like a Mastercard, Citi Diamond Preferred Card is a great choice. It has no annual fee and one of the longest 0% APR periods available.

Best MasterCard Credit Card for Poor Credit

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  • With responsible card use, this card can help you build credit – all with no annual fee
  • This card regularly reports to the 3 major credit bureaus - unlike a prepaid card
  • The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is accepted at millions of places worldwide
  • A security deposit of $49, $99, or $200 is determined based on your creditworthiness. Access to an authorized bank account is required for deposit.
  • Capital One® will automatically review your account and consider you for a higher credit line in as little as six months
  • Manage your account 24 hours a day from anywhere – by phone, online, or on the Capital One mobile app

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

26.99% Variable

Benefits

If you are looking to rebuild your credit, then a great card to have is Secured Mastercard® from Capital One. Most secured cards will require cardholders to put a deposit down on their account. This will act as their credit limit. With Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, things are a little different.

With this card you will have a more flexible option. Depending on your creditworthiness, you can put down $49, $99 or $200 and receive a $200 credit limit. Once you’ve made your first five monthly payments ontime, Capital One can elect to increase your credit limit without requiring an additional deposit.

This card will also come with several Platinum MasterCard benefits. Some of these include extended warranty on purchases, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance and price protection.

Things to Consider

Secured Mastercard® from Capital One comes with no annual fee, but it does have a very high APR of 26.99% Variable. Because of this, it’s crucial that you do your best to pay your balance each month and avoid any unnecessary finance charges.

Verdict

If you are looking for a credit card that will help you rebuild credit, Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is a great option. You will receive a flexible deposit based on your credit score, but you will also have the chance to have your credit limit increased with good payment habits.

Compare Similar Poor Credit Offers

Best MasterCard Credit Card for Travel

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  • If you spend $2,500 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership you will earn 50,000 bonus miles
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar that you spend at restaurants and gas stations
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar that you spend on eligible purchases with American Airlines
  • If you spend $20,000 or more in purchases in the first year and renew your card, you will earn a $125 American Airlines Discount
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases overseas
  • Check the first bag free for you and up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation on domestic American Airlines itineraries
  • As a cardholder, enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • Standard APR when taking part in the Citi Flex Plan is a variable 15.99% - 24.99% depending on creditworthiness. Flex Plan offers are made at Citibank’s discretion.

Annual Fee

$99, waived for the first 12 months

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.99% - 24.99% Variable

Benefits

If you are looking for a new travel credit card, look no further than Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. This card is perfect for travel lovers that enjoy flying American Airlines or their partners.

When you sign up, you will receive 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months. You will also receive 2x miles per dollar at gas stations, restaurants, and when you use your card on eligible American Airlines purchases. Use the card on any other purchase and you will receive 1x miles.

You will receive your first checked bag for free and group one boarding.

Things to Consider

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard has an annual fee of $99, but it’s waived the first year. Because American Airlines is part of the OneWorld alliance, you are limited on how you can redeem your miles. You can’t use them on airlines that are part of the Star Alliance or SkyTeam partners.

Verdict

If you are a frequent traveler on American Airlines, then Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is a great card to have in your wallet. You will receive a high signup bonus, the ability to earn bonus miles on American Airlines flights and great flight benefits.

Compare Similar Travel Offers

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 cash back 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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