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Best Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards From Our Partners

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There's no "one size fits all" credit card that's good for every user, but certain cards stand out among the competition. Our editors hand-picked a collection of credit cards from our partners that offer the best value in the categories below.

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This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the advertiser's affiliate programs.

Here are the CreditDonkey picks for "Best Credit Cards" from our partners in the following categories:

Cashback Rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Apply for Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited lets you earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. You earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is also a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. The balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum. The cash back rewards will not expire as long as your card account remains open. There is no annual fee.

Travel Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. You can transfer points to participating frequent travel programs at full 1:1 value. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Plus, you can 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®.

Low Interest Offer

Apply for HSBC Gold Mastercard credit card
HSBC Gold offers a 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from Account opening. Then a variable APR of 12.24%, 16.24% or 20.24% will apply. There is no penalty APR, no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee.

Want to learn more about balance transfers? Read our guide on how balance transfers work.

People with Bad Credit

First Progress Secured Credit Card
Apply for First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card
Made some financial mistakes? First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured is designed for people with bad credit. No credit history and no minimum credit score is required for account approval. The credit line is secured by a refundable deposit of $200 to $2000 (submitted with your application). There is a $29 annual fee.

Need help rebuilding your credit? Read our guide on how to build credit with a credit card.

How to Choose a Credit Card

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Although we highlighted cards above, it's always smart to do your own comparison as well. When you start shopping for a new credit card, the number of available choices can be startling. Thankfully, despite the array of choices, zeroing in on the right card for your wallet may be easier than you think. All it takes is a bit of time and consideration, as outlined by the following steps:

  1. Consider your short-term and long-term plans

    Before you start wading through your options, take some time to jot down your short-term and long-term financial plans. This list should include everything from vacations to paying off debt and building your savings.

    Some people may think this exercise is a hassle but consider this: with so many offers and deals available these days, there’s bound to be one that will help you accomplish your long-term goals while also making it easy to pay for your immediate needs. Why not put in a little extra time to help simplify your future situation?

  2. Understand your financial habits

    Similar to the first step, taking the time to consider your spending habits will help you better determine the type of card that meets your needs. When evaluating your financial patterns, remember to take the following into account:

    • Do you pay your statement balances in full each month?

      If you answer “yes,” then you won’t have to focus on the lowest rate cards, giving you the freedom to look for a card that has other perks, like rewards.

    • Do you have a steady income?

      If your monthly income changes by season, then you will likely want to look for a card that has a lower rate, so you can minimize interest in the months when your budget is tight.

    • Do you have an established credit history, and if so, how does it compare to others?

      If you are new to credit or have a troubled credit history, then you may want to include secured credit cards in your search. Secured cards are tied to a savings account, reducing the card issuer's liability and increasing the likelihood that the company will give you credit. These cards also provide you with the opportunity to establish a responsible credit history to help boost your credit score.

    • Do you use your card only for emergencies and large purchases, or is it your everyday payment method?

      The answer to this question will help you determine if you should look for a high limit card and what types of rewards would be most helpful for your lifestyle.

  3. Decide whether it will be used for business or pleasure?

    One of the last factors to consider before you start browsing the available cards is whether you’ll be using your credit card for business or personal expenses.

    While it can be tempting to use just one card for all expenses, especially if you’re trying to accrue rewards points for an upcoming vacation, it’s smart to keep your business and personal expenses separate. This distinction will help reduce accounting headaches. Thankfully, quite a few cards are specifically designed for small business, so if it’s a business credit card that you need, you have plenty of decent options.

  4. Know the players

    These days, credit cards can be classified into quite a few different categories. Now that you’ve evaluated your goals and spending behavior, you should be able to narrow your focus to the category that meets your needs:

    • Traditional: These are the “plain vanilla” cards. They may have a couple of perks, like rental car insurance or identity theft protection, but for the most part are devoid of fancy bells and whistles. This doesn’t mean that you should automatically discount these cards – often, they don't have annual fees and they offer competitive rates.

    • Student: These cards are designed for younger consumers who are part-time or full-time students. Many of these cards have rewards programs oriented toward the wants and needs of younger 20-somethings. They also tend to have lower fees.

    • Cash Back: These cards provide cardholders with the opportunity to earn back a small percentage of the money they charge to their card. This is a great option for consumers who are looking to reduce their expenses or save toward a specific goal.

    • Rewards: There is a wide array of rewards cards now available, with rewards ranging from travel to gas to merchandise. If this is the route you are likely to go, be sure to research the available rewards programs to find the ones that you are most likely to truly use.

    • Balance Transfer: Designed for the consumer with existing credit card debt, a balance transfer card allows you to transfer over your existing debt to your new card. Often, these cards offer fantastic introductory programs that will give you anywhere from 6 to 18 months interest-free. This provides you the opportunity to pay down your debt to reduce your interest payments.

    • Business: As mentioned previously, a whole set of offers are designed with businesses in mind. The business category includes many cash-back and rewards options, so you’ll want to take your time when choosing the right card for your business.

  5. Examine the costs

    When you start to explore the cards that match your needs, don’t forget to pay attention to the costs of the cards, including their annual fees and interest rates. If you’re an international traveler, you’ll also want to compare foreign transaction fees.

    Many cards have special introductory offers that include 0% interest on new purchases and balance transfers during the first several months of the card. While these offers can help you start off on the right foot, you’ll also want to know the fees and rates that you’ll be charged once the introductory period ends.

    Just because a card has slightly higher fees or rates than another card doesn’t mean you should eliminate it from the list. Instead, take the time to evaluate the benefits that come with the card. If you will truly take advantage of the deals, rewards, or other perks associated with the card, then those benefits may just outweigh the costs.

Choosing a credit card is a very personal experience. You can’t rely on someone else to tell you which card is best for you. But with the five steps outlined above and your intimate knowledge of your needs, the decision doesn’t have to be difficult. After a little bit of reflection and research, you’ll have the right card in your wallet in no time.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.