2020 Credit Card Selection Guide

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Navigating the financial world of credit cards can feel like an almost Herculean task. With so many different kinds of credit cards available on the marketplace, you need to take a moment to seriously assess what could work for you. Listed below you will find that we have broken down the nine major styles of credit card into easy-to-digest blocks of information. Read up, find the card that fits you, and enjoy credit card enlightenment.

Cash-Back Credit Cards

If you want a simple card that prioritizes quick-savings and accessible rewards, this is the choice for you. As you’ll see below, different cash-back rewards cards offer different perks.

  1. Chase Freedom – Spend $500 in your first three months and you’ll be rewarded with a $150 bonus. You’ll also see a 5% cash back reward on specific categories (groceries, gasoline, food) on a rotating basis.
  2. Discover It Cashback Match – 5% cash back rewards on rotating categories that change every quart. You’ll also get 1% cash back rewards on all of your other purchases. Nice and simple.
  3. Blue Cash Preferred by American Express – This card offers impressive 3% cash back rewards at gas stations, 1% back on all purchases and 6% at all supermarkets.

Travel Rewards Credit Cards

If you live your life on the road or in the air, a travel rewards card might be what you need. These non-branded cards allow you the freedom to redeem rewards via multiple hotels or airlines. Cheap stays, priority reservations and discounted airfare await you.

  1. The Platinum Card by American Express – Stack up points by spending $5,000 in your first three months. get points back on all Uber rides, hotel bookings, and airfare
  2. Bank of America Travel Rewards Card – For users with good credit, this reward card is great for travelers on a budget. No annual fee, a nice sign-up bonus and a great point/dollar ratio.
  3. Capital One Venture Rewards – Spend $3,000 in your first three months and receive a one-time bonus for an eye-popping 50,000 miles.

Balance Transfer & Low-Interest Credit Cards

A balance transfer card offers you either a contractual period of 0% APR or a similarly low rate. These cards are great for staving off interest while paying off debts.

  1. AmEx EveryDay Credit Card – 15 months of 0% APR with zero balance transfer fees. What’s not to like?
  2. BankAmericard – You’ll receive a 0% introductory APR on all of your purchases for the first 15 payment cycles. You’ll also receive 0% on all transfers if they are made within 60 days of opening your card.
  3. Chase Slate – A simple and popular card, the Chase Slate card by Chase offers a moderate APR% after your 0% introductory APR which lasts 15 months. Ta

General Rewards Credit Cards

When you want a card that can do it all, this is your option. General rewards credit cards are great for people who want something that blends the perks of a travel card with the accessibility of a cash rewards card. You’ll typically get a 1% or 2% credit on every purchase.

  1. Citi Double Cash Credit Card – Receive 1% cash back on all purchases without any restrictions. You’ll also receive a 1% bonus credit on all purchases that are fully paid off.
  2. Chase Sapphire Reserve – This unique card blends general rewards with a few travel perks, including Priority Pass at select airlines. Stack up reward points on dining and travel and get a bonus reward at $4,000 spent.
  3. HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard – For lower-spending users, this card offers $150 back in rewards after $500 spent. 1.5% cash rewards on every single purchase.

Airline Credit Cards

Not to be confused with the travel rewards card, airline credit cards are branded to specific companies. If you find yourself using the same airline every time that you travel, this is the choice for you. Expect discounted airfare and other similar perks.

  1. United MileagePlus Explorer Card – Knock out $2,000 in spending over your first 90 days and get rewarded with a 40,000-mile bonus. You’ll get priority boarding on United flights as well as a free checked bag.
  2. Delta Reserve Credit Card From American Express – Travel with Delta and be rewarded with Sky Club access, up to eight free checked bags, and various tiers of bonus miles based on spending.
  3. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card – Spend $1,000 in your first 90 days and get 30,000 free miles added to your account. You’ll also get a free checked bag for you and up to six other guests.

Business Credit Cards

Are you ready to take on the challenges that come with running a business? These cards offer rewards, sign-up bonuses and more, all geared toward helping out your business expenses.

  1. Business Platinum Card from American Express – If your business keeps you out of the office, this card is for you. You’ll rack up massive amounts of points and travel perks on all purchases.
  2. Capital One Spark Cash For Business – Spend $4,500 in your first three months and be rewarded with 50,000 miles. Great rates and low annual fee make this a winner with businesses large and small.
  3. Chase Ink Business Preferred – Score 80,000 points after your first $5,000, provided you spend that much in your first three months. Highest value card on our list.

Hotel Credit Cards

For the brand-loyal traveler, these hotel credit cards offer perks at specific locations. Most hotels offer their own credit cards for frequently visiting guests.

  1. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card From AmEx – Score yourself 2 points for every dollar at all Starwood properties while gaining a point per dollar at every other property. Great general hotel card.
  2. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card – If you plan on spending big on travel, this is the card for you. An eye-popping 75,000 points if you eclipse $3,000 worth of purchases in your first three months.
  3. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card – 5 points per $1 while staying at Ritz-Carlton-affiliated properties. You’ll also be given points for car rentals, airfare, and dining.

Student Credit Cards

When you are a student looking to establish your credit score, a student credit card can be the tool for you. If you are underage, you’ll need a co-signer to get yourself approved.

  1. Bank of America BankAmericard For Students – No Annual Fee, low APR based on creditworthiness. Easy to apply and easier to get accepted — perfect for students trying to build a financial report. Just be careful about carrying a balance and be conscious about paying off all purchases at the end of every month.
  2. Journey Student Rewards From Capital One – A higher APR rate that comes with no annual fee and a 1% cashback reward on all purchases. This is a quality card for students on the move. Capital One is notoriously easy to work with.
  3. Discover It For Students – Discover brings out a quality card for students with a variable APR that pendulums from great to just okay. General cashback rewards, no annual fee. This is a solid card, much like the rest of Discover’s options on our list, and students should take advantage of it in order to build up credit while minimizing expenses.

Secured Credit Cards For Bad Credit

If you need to rebuild your financial history then a secured credit card could be the right choice. Secured credit cards require a deposit and they are typically used to re-establish financial reliability.

  1. Capital One Secured Mastercard – Score a $200 credit line by making a small deposit. Build your credit with regular purchases and careful balance maintenance. No annual fee makes this the perfect card for someone with poor credit score looking to correct their financial trajectory.
  2. OpenSky Secured Visa – With no credit checks, OpenSky makes a point of giving everyone the chance to get their financial situation repaired. Your credit line will match whatever deposit you make and your deposit is refundable, as well. OpenSky works with the three major credit bureaus to help you update your credit score, quickly.
  3. Discover It Secured – Cashback on all purchases makes this an alluring card for people trying to fix their credit while reaping some conventional benefits. After eight months of reliable usage and consistent payments, Discover reviews your account in order to potentially turn your card into an unsecured line. This is a great card for disciplined purchasers.