Best Credit Cards for August 2022

Credit cards

Credit cards play an important role in the way people make purchases and manage their finances. They are used for daily purchases and large ticket items. It has become a common practice for customers to find cards with additional benefits that meet the demands of lifestyle.

The best credit cards can get an award, offer protection for your purchase, provide interest free financing, and other valuable benefits for you. When used correctly, credit cards can also help build your credit. However, with so many credit cards to choose from, it might be difficult to find the right card for your situation.

Final Verdict

Credit cards have a wide range of fees, interest rates, benefits, promotions, welcome offers, and more. Because each credit card is different, finding the right one depends on your budget, how much you spend and where, and what benefits are important to you. While some people avoid paying annual fees, many are willing to do so if the benefits far exceed what they pay each year.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards is our top choice for the best credit card because it offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a $200 welcome bonus that is earned after spending just $500 within three months.

Compare the Best Credit Cards

Credit Card Annual Fee Top Feature
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
Best Overall
$0 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards
Overall Runner-Up
$0 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming, and grocery stores
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Best for Travel
$550 Earn 10x total points on chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 5x total points on flights and 3x on other travel worldwide. Earn 3x points on other dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Travel Runner Up $95 Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, plus 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for Cash Back
$0 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Cash Back Runner Up
$0 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming, and grocery stores
United℠ Explorer
Best Airline
$95 Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, including tickets, Economy Plus®, inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, and other United charges. 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, including eligible delivery services. 2 miles per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Citi® AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Airline Runner-Up
$99 2 miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and American Airlines purchases
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Best for Hotels $95 Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining. Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend. Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy(R) with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless(R) Card. 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Hotels Runner Up $450 6 Bonvoy points for each dollar at eligible hotels
Citi Simplicity® Best for Balance Transfer $0 0% for 18 months balance transfer
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card Balance Transfer Runner-Up $0 0% for 18 months balance transfer
Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students Best Student Credit Card $0 1.5 points for every $1 spent
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards for Students Student Credit Card Runner-Up $0 3% cash back on eligible category of your choice
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card Best for Business $95 3 points per $1 on first $150,000 spent on eligible purchases

Editorial Picks for The Best Credit Cards

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Best Overall

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase without needing to remember categories or registering for rewards. It has no annual fee, offers a good welcome bonus, and has no foreign transaction fees.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards

Overall Runner-Up

This card is our runner-up for the best credit card because it earns 3% on dining, entertainment, streaming services and groceries, and 1% on everything else without an annual fee. Plus, there’s a welcome bonus of $200 after spending $500 within three months.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best for Travel

The Chase Sapphire Reserve earns a high rewards rate on spending and offers a competitive welcome bonus. The points are worth 50% more when booking travel and can be transferred to many airline and hotel partners on a 1:1 basis. Earn 10x total points on chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 5x total points on flights and 3x on other travel worldwide. Earn 3x points on other dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Travel Runner Up

This card earns 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get our best prices on thousands of trip options. The miles can be used to book travel, transfer to 10+ loyalty programs, or “erase” travel purchases with no blackout dates.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for Cash Back

Your purchases will earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back every day. There is no annual fee and you’ll receive a $200 bonus after spending $500 within three months.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Cash Back Runner Up

Earn an unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming services, and groceries. Plus, receive a $200 one-time cash bonus when you spend $500 in three months.

United℠ Explorer Card

Best Airline

The United Explorer offers the highest value per mile earned of any airline credit card and miles can be redeemed in multiple ways. Cardholders receive free checked bags, early boarding, and two one-time United Club passes each year.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select

Airline Runner-Up

Cardholders earn 2x miles per dollar on American Airlines, gas, and restaurant purchases and qualify for a 50,000-point welcome bonus. They receive early boarding, free checked bags, and a 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Best for Hotels

Hotel travelers receive numerous benefits from the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless, including automatic Silver Elite status and one free hotel night each year. For a limited time only, new cardholders can earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Best Hotels Runner Up

Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months. Cardholders get annual hotel and property credits with access to over 1,200 lounges in more than 130 countries when traveling.

Citi Simplicity®

Best for Balance Transfer

The Citi Simplicity card offers one of the best balance transfers at 0% interest for 21 months, with 0% APR for new purchases for 12 months. It has no late fees, penalty rates, or annual fees, so cardholders can focus on paying off their balance before the promotion expires.

Citi Diamond Preferred

Balance Transfer Runner-Up

Customers will enjoy 21 months of 0% APR on balance transfers and 0% APR for new purchases with the Citi Diamond Preferred. There is no annual fee, but balance transfers are subject to a 3% fee.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students

Best Student Credit Card

This card offers a high earning rate on all travel expenses that can be redeemed for travel expenses. It includes a long introductory APR on purchases, no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students

Student Credit Card Runner-Up

Students can earn up to 3% cash back on their purchases with the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students. There is no annual fee, and they’ll earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $1,000 within 90 days.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Best for Business

Earn 3x points per dollar on the first $150,000 you spend each year on popular business expenses. Receive 100,000 points worth $1,000 in cash or $1,250 in travel after spending $15,000 within three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Credit Card?

The best credit card for you depends on your goals, budget, and spending habits. As your financial picture evolves, the best credit card for you may also change. While credit card rewards can be valuable, if you’re focused on paying off debt, they may not be the best choice for you at this time. A card that offers a 0% APR promotion for balance transfers may be the better option until you can pay off your debt.

However, the most appealing credit cards may not be the best one you can actually get right now. People with low credit scores may be able to qualify only for cards that carry higher interest rates and fewer rewards. Those consumers should focus on building their credit until they are eligible for the credit card they desire.

People with excellent credit generally have their choice of travel and other rewards credit cards. Credit cards aimed at those with the best credit scores typically provide the most attractive benefits. These can include lucrative one-time bonuses, significant ongoing rewards on your spending, and additional benefits like elite status, free checked bags, yearly free hotel nights, and airport lounge access.

What Credit Card Is Best for Me?

Finding the best credit card entails both self-assessment and research. You must document your creditworthiness and spending habits, along with reflecting on how you may use the card, whether that’s to build credit, temporarily borrow, or simply employ it as a purchasing convenience and a way to earn rewards.

New to Credit: If you are new to credit or have impaired credit, a secured credit card can be a great option. This type of card requires a security deposit but has the advantage that activity with the card is reported to all three credit bureaus, which helps the cardholder build credit over time. Many secured cards offer an option to graduate to a non-secured card after a period of on-time payments.

Carrying a Balance: Those who are carrying a card balance should consider shifting the debt to a balance transfer card with much lower interest, or even no interest rate at all for a period. These cards provide relief in the form of an extended period of a 0% APR on the transfer, which allows you to pay down the balance more easily. While some balance transfer cards offer rewards as well, it’s best not to add to your balance on the card (or, preferably, any other card) until you have paid off the amount you’ve transferred.

If you frequently carry a credit card balance, avoid cards with high fees and interest regardless of attractive rewards and one-time bonuses. Your priority should be paying down your debt and avoiding accumulating more, not trying to earn rewards.

No Balance: People who tend to pay off their card balance each month should consider getting a rewards card that offers cash back or points rewards. These cards allow you to leverage your everyday spending to earn hundreds of dollars worth of rewards, usually with no annual fee.

Frequent travelers: For those who travel, a general travel card or one issued in partnership with airlines or hotels can make the most sense. These allow you to leverage spending on travel and in other categories to earn rewards that can be used to obtain further travel.

Entrepreneurs and small-business owners: These users can choose among a host of business credit cards designed for their needs. These cards may reward business spending in certain categories, like shipping, or with specific business-related merchants, such as office supply stores.

College students: People in school generally don’t have a credit history, but they do represent a good long-term customer for card issuers. Cards designed for students can provide online resources to instruct new cardmembers on the responsible use of credit and other tips to guide personal finances.

What Credit Scores Are Required?

The higher your credit score, the more credit cards you potentially have available to you, and the better those cards will tend to be in terms of interest rates, credit lines, and rewards programs. To understand your card choices, it’s important to know the broad range into which your credit score fits. Card issuers classify scores as “Excellent/Exceptional” (800+), “Very Good” (740-799), “Good” (670-739), “Fair” (580-669), or “Poor” (below 580). It’s best to only apply for cards that best match the credit recommended by the issuer to reduce the chances of being declined.

If you don’t know your current credit score, it’s available in a number of ways, and at no cost. There are two main credit score types, FICO and VantageScore, both of which have their own distinct scoring algorithms and score ranges that are used by various lenders.

Credit issues also assess other factors beyond credit score in evaluating creditworthiness, including employment status, income, and other credit and deposit accounts you own.

Is It Possible to Qualify for a Credit Card With Bad Credit?

There are credit cards designed for those whose credit is fair, poor, and even very poor or bad. In particular, a secured credit card allows those with bad credit or no credit history to build or rebuild their score. Until they’ve completed that process, they must retain the use of the card through a security deposit that usually serves as the maximum credit line for the account.

What Types of Rewards Do Credit Cards Offer?

Credit card rewards come in a variety of forms, allowing cardholders to earn cash back, points, or miles for each dollar of spending. The earnings rates for rewards often vary by purchase type, with higher rewards available for certain categories of purchases.

Cash back rewards are the most straightforward type and usually rebate a percentage of spending in the form of a check or statement credit. Rewards based on points or miles offer greater flexibility in how they are redeemed, whether as travel, gift cards, merchandise, or more.

Travel rewards credit cards may be general in type, earning points that can be redeemed for travel on any airline or hotel, or partner-specific and co-branded with a particular airline or hotel. Co-branded cards provide less flexibility in redeeming rewards but potentially more value, provided you’re comfortable favoring a particular brand of airline or hotel chain.

What Are Common Credit Card Benefits?

While issuers may prominently tout certain features of their cards, other benefits tend to be buried in cards’ fine print—including some you might not realize the card even offers.

Here’s a quick list of benefits that are commonly offered with a range of card types:

Common Rewards Card Benefits

  • $0 fraud liability
  • Primary or secondary auto-rental collision damage waiver coverage
  • Roadside assistance hotline
  • Price match
  • Purchase coverage if items are stolen or damaged
  • Extended warranties
  • Refunds in cases of merchant dispute

Common Travel Rewards Card Benefits

  • Trip cancellation/interruption/delay coverage
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Lost/delayed luggage coverage

Premium Card Benefits

  • Airport lounge access
  • TSA precheck/Global Reentry Fee Reimbursement every four years
  • Cell phone insurance coverage
  • Concierge service

Methodology

We constantly monitor credit card offers from card-issuer websites and publicly available sources to find the best credit cards for our readers. Each credit card is evaluated based on its fees, rewards, welcome bonuses, introductory offers, features, and benefits so that we can determine a winner for each category. Card issuers update their cards on a regular basis, and when that happens, we update our card listings, reviews, and recommendations so our readers have the most reliable information and advice.

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