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Best Credit Cards of 2019

The Best Credit Card for You


Picking the best credit card for you can be a tough job. A friend, family member, or even a coworker may recommend a card that they love, but is it the right card for you? Every person is going to use their credit card a bit differently.  You may love the ease of cash rewards, or you  might want to travel like a rock star with your spending rewards. We've done the research to help you quickly find the card that works best for you. Our goal is to remove your credit card FOMO. No one should miss out on the card of their dreams.

Why should you trust us? Our picks aren't based on affiliate payments. We picked the cards we felt are best based on card benefits like rewards earning power, annual fees, and interest rates. We also love a good added bonus for new customers. We never recommend a product we wouldn't (or don't) use ourselves.


Cash Back Credit Cards

If you're looking for a new cash back credit card, you're not alone. Cash back is the preferred credit card of most Americans. We broke cash back into three types of card users - casual spenders, optimizers, and high rollers. We've also put together a best wallet for cash back cards guide for power users that are okay signing up for 3-5 cash back cards to optimize their cash back on every purchase, every day.


 For Casual Spenders - Easy cash back


Citi Double Cash     

Citi Double Cash

With the Double Cash you're going to earn 1% cash back you make a purchase and 1% cash back when you pay your bill. It's effectively earning you 2% cash back on every purchase. We will say that this isn't the sexiest card on the market, but for most people, the simplicity of earning cash back is going to be the best way to go. It's the card of the people.

  • $0 annual fee
  • 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
  • No bonus for new customers
  • 3% foreign transaction fee   


For Optimizers - The Best Bonus Categories


Uber Card      

Uber Credit Card

Don't let the name fool you. You don't have to love Uber to love this card. Enjoy 4% cash back on dining, 3% cash back on hotel and airfare, and 2% back for online purchases. Everything else will earn 1% cash back, but if you're spending patterns look anything like ours, there is some serious cash to be earned with this card. The Uber card (issued by Barclays bank) also offers up-to $600 in cell phone coverage if you pay your mobile bill with your Uber card. This card is truly a power house for millennials. 

  • $0 annual fee
  • 17.24-25.99% Variable APR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a $100 bonus when you spend $500 on your new card in the first 90 days. Woot!


For High Rollers - The Best Earning Rates


Bank of America Premium Rewards

Bank of America Premium Rewards

If you're looking to earn the highest cash back rates on all of your purchases, and you have at least $100,000 to park in a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch investment account, this is the card for you. This card earns 2 points on all your travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points on everything else. This might not sound like much, but thanks to your $100,000 in savings, you've earned Preferred Rewards status with Bank of America. This bumps your rewards earnings by 75%, netting you 3.5 points per dollar on travel and dining and 2.62 points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for cash, so we're talking 3.5% and 2.62% cash back

  • $95 annual fee
  • 18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a 50,000 point bonus when you spend  $3,000 on your new card in the first 90 days. That's $500!
  • An added annual $100 bonus for airline incidental statement credits helps take the sting away from the annual fee.

Rewards Credit Cards

Cash back vs. points. It's hard to decide whether you should be focusing your credit card energy on earning sweet cash back, or focusing your energy on scoring some comped trips to your favorite tropical island.  We've assigned you into three groups for this exercise - the one trip a year user that doesn't want to pay an annual fee, the  2-5 trips a year person who is looking to earn the most rewards at a modest annual fee, and the 6+ times a year traveler looking for luxury and is okay with paying a higher annual fee to get it. 


Rewards for the Casual Traveler


Venture One

Capital One Venture One

Capital One has been making some power moves recently, and we are here for them. With Venture One, you'll earn 1.25 miles on every purchase, everyday. Those miles can be transferred to over a dozen eligible  travel partners. You can also redeem your points to erase travel charges on your card, but if you're not going to make use of the travel partners, we'd recommend that you go for a cash back card instead. If you're a risk taker, you can also take a change on the Venture One's older brother, the Venture Card. With that, you'll earn 2x miles on all purchases. The annual fee is waived the first year, then it's $95.

  • $0 annual fee
  • 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 20,000 miles when you spend  $1,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.


Rewards for the 99%


American Express Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Uh-oh. We're going a non-traditional route here. This is the travel card that isn't really even a travel card, so hear us out. The Amex Gold card earns 4x points per dollar on US restaurants and supermarkets, 3x points on airlines, and 1x on all else. Points earned can be redeemed for airfare on Amex's travel site for a value of 1 cent a point, or transferred to a healthy list of travel partners. You'll receive $100 in statement credits each year for airline incidental charges at a qualifying airline of your choice, as well as discounted rates and hotel credits at eligble stays with The Hotel Collection. If dining out is your thing, there's also a $10 monthly credit for purchases at eligible restaurants, like The Cheesecake Factory. This card won't net you any airline lounge access, but it will help you earn the most points to get to where you want to go while providing you with some credits for creature comforts along the way.

  • $250 annual fee
  • No regular APR. This is a charge card.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 35,000 points when you spend  $2,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.


Rewards for the 1%


Citi Prestige Card

Citi Prestige

The Prestige has gone through an identity crisis in recent years, but we still think this card is best-in-class. The Chase Sapphire Reserve gets a lot of love from other travel sites, so why'd we go with Prestige? It's pretty simple. You'll earn 5x points on air travel, travel agencies, and restaurants (including bars), 3x points on hotel and cruise purchases and 1x on all else. Points are worth 1 cent each, and can also be transferred to a small group of transfer partners.  This card also has a 4th night free perk. When you book 4 consecutive hotel nights through ThankYou.com, the fourth night is free (this perk can be used twice a year). Additionally, you'll earn a $250 travel credit each year, which is applied to travel purchases automatically, as you make them. Airport lounge access is provided via a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. The only thing this card is noticeably missing is a credit for TSA precheck/global entry.

  • $495 annual fee
  • 17.99% - 25.99% variable APR
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 50,000 points when you spend  $4,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.
  • Annual $250 travel credit


Best Airline & Hotel Credit Card


American Express Platinum

American Express Platinum

The short answer here is that the best airline card for you is the one that you'll be able to use from your home airport. For example, if you're stuck in Peoria, Illinois you're stuck with United airlines, so an American Airlines card won't do you much good, eh? Visit these pages if you're looking to compare branded airline cards or branded hotel credit cards. Hotel credit cards for brands  That's why we chose Platinum. Platinum offers the most robust array of lounge access, whether it is in Centurion lounges, Delta lounges (when flying with Delta), or through the Priority pass membership, you're sure to find a lounge when you travel. The Platinum card will earn 5x points on air travel and hotels when booked directly, or through Amex Travel. (Sorry Priceline users). All other purchases will earn 1x points, which honestly sucks, so we'd pair this card with a no annual fee card that earns Membership Rewards like the Amex Everyday.

  • $550 annual fee
  • No regular APR. This is a charge card
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 60,000 points when you spend  $5,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.
  • Annual $200 travel credit
  • Up-to $200 in annual Uber credits


0% Credit Cards

If you're looking for a 0% card you are likely trying to accomplish one of two goals. Do you want make a big purchase and avoid paying interest, or are you looking to cut some interest costs on a balance you are carrying on an existing card? Either way, you have options. 


0% APR - Balance Transfers


Citi Double Cash

Citi Double Cash

Yes, we picked the Double Cash for cash back, but it is not a one trick pony. Double Cash also offers an 18 month 0% APR for balance transfers made in the first 4 months of account opening. You'll pay a 3% fee to transfer your balances. There are some cards on the market that offer 21 month 0% APR periods, but most will not offer rewards. We picked the Double Cash because it is a card that offers competitive intro rates and has staying power in your wallet.

  • $0 annual fee
  • 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
  • No bonus for new customers


0% APR - Purchases


Savor
Savor One Rewards



If you're looking to make a large purchase and save some money on interest, this card will provide you with an intro rate of 0% for 15 months. 15 months is more or less the industry standard for best in class on purchases. We chose Savor One to take home the prize because you'll earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% on groceries, and 1% cash back on all of your other purchases. While this card didn't make our best cash back rate, it was the best rewards rate to 0% APR rate ratio that we found. 

  • $0 annual fee
  • 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
  • Earn a $150 bonus when you spend  $500 on your new card in the first 3 months. 

What's Trending?

This is our flavor of the month. What has people talking? What's the tea? What credit card gossip should you know when you're talking to your friends? 

Blispay credit card

Blispay

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. A once favorite pick of ThePennyJar, Blispay has stopped current cardholders from making new credit charges in recent months as they find themselves strapped for cash. This feature rich card offered 2% cash back with the option to finance any purchases over $199 at a 0% interest rate for 6 months. Blispay had a special place in our hearts as a disruptor in the industry, and we hope that they can work out their demons. Come back, Blispay. We miss you already. 



Penny for your thoughts?

There you have it. While there's no best card for every situation, we've done the work to uncover what we believe to be the list of the best credit cards. Are we missing something? Did our list make you sad? Did it make you happy? E-mail us and let us know.


Best Credit Cards in the Universe?
Card Best for
Citi Double Cash Everyday cash back
Uber VisaCash back optimizers
Bank of America Premium RewardsBest cash back rate
Venture OneCasual Traveler
American Express Gold Card Frequent Traveler
Citi PrestigePower Traveler
Amex PlatinumHotel & Airline
Capital One Savor One0% on Purchases 
Citi Double Cash
0% on Balance Transfers
BlispayWhat's Trending