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A strong credit card is a must to maximize personal finance. But with all the different rewards systems and quirks, how do you select the best card for you? When it comes to credit cards, there is no one size fits all policy. Depending on your financial history and spending patterns, there will be certain cards that just make more sense to apply for. The cards above are a list of some of the most well known and sought after cards in the industry. While they are all unique in their own ways, they do share features that make them an ideal choice for many.
To get a truly personalized credit card recommendation, you can sign up for a free BestCreditCard account. Simply securely link your bank and credit card translation data via Plaid (the same system used by Venmo and Acorns), BestCreditCard’s AI will calculate the rewards value you would earn in the first year after opening a card. We’ve done the hard work of calculating rewards value, redemption rates, welcome bonuses and more. When you securely provide your transaction data, BestCreditCard’s AI calculates your annual value for hundreds of credit cards. You can then compare cards by a quantified value estimate -- like: $742 vs $489. It takes one minute and you’ll be sure you’re getting the best card for how you spend.
One of the most important aspects of a credit card is its rewards system, which most of the above cards offer. There are many forms of rewards (cash back, travel, dining etc.). You also have the option to choose between tiered and fixed reward cards. Therefore, it is critical to understand what type of purchases you most often make so that you can make the most of your purchases. If you don’t want to do all this work manually yourself, you can simply make a free BestCreditCard account.
If you are just getting started with credit cards, it’s likely you will want to focus primarily on building your credit. If this sounds like you, then consider credit cards for Limited / No Credit or Student Cards if you’re still in school. You can still start earning rewards with these cards.
Another motivation for seeking out a card is to save on interest. This is common for those who are looking to make a big purchase or want to conduct a balance transfer without paying a higher interest rate. In such instances, it is best to look out for cards with a 0% APR introductory offer or balance transfer cards. Low interest should be considered hand-in-hand with rewards rates since a stronger rewards program often comes with higher APR.
Annual fee is an important component of many cards. Some reward cards have no annual fees and others carry annual fees but may still be justified due to the benefits they offer. It’s not necessarily the card with no fees that will be your most rewarding. BestCreditCard’s AI balances these factors when it makes the recommendation to you. If you are researching, note your spending patterns -- particularly how much you spend on your card each year -- as it will most greatly impact if paying a fee is worth it. We recommend looking into cards both with and without annual fees.
Apart from the various benefits offered by credit cards, you should also consider how they can help you in the future. For instance, if you are a student and are looking for a student card, you should ideally look for one that will help you upgrade to a better commercial card once you graduate.