Top Credit Cards of 2015
It is difficult to list the best all-around credit cards, because different consumers prefer different benefits. Some credit cards have excellent introductory interest rate offers, some are great for balance transfers, and some have the opportunity to earn excellent rewards. With that in mind, here are some of the best credit cards of 2015 in each category.
Top credit cards for balance transfersIf you have other credit card debt you'd like to consolidate, or if you simply want to stop paying interest, a credit card designed for this purpose could be right for you.
One great balance transfer card is the Chase Slate, which offers a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. And, while you can find similar offers with other products, the $0 balance transfer fee makes this card superior. Cardholders are also entitled to a free FICO score, and pay no annual fee.
Or, if you'd like a little more time to pay, the Citi Simplicity card offers a 0% APR for an industry-leading 21 months on both purchases and balance transfers, but does charge a fee of 3% of the transferred amount (or $5, whichever is greater). The card not only has no annual fee, but also has no late fees or penalty APR- hence the name "simplicity".
Top credit cards for earning cash backMany people prefer credit cards that they can actually make money by using.
One example is the Citi Double Cash card, which have an effective cash back rate of 2%. Cardholders get 1% back on all purchases, and then receive another 1% as they pay off the balance. The Double Cash card has no annual fee, and also gives cardholders a generous 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (with a fee).
If you spend a lot of money on gas and groceries, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card may be a better option. The standard cash back rate is 1%, but jumps to 2% for groceries and 3% for gas. Cardholders receive a $100 cash back bonus after spending $500 within the first three months, and also can take advantage of a 12-month introductory 0% APR. Plus, customers who have other Bank of America accounts may qualify for an additional bonus.
Top credit card for low interest ratesIf you aren't too concerned with introductory deals, and simply want a card that has a low interest rate all the time, consider the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard, which has no annual fee, no balance transfer fees, and comes with a free FICO score. While you won't get any rewards or bonuses, the card comes with an unheard of 8% regular interest rate.
Top credit cards for travelersIf you like to travel; one card you should definitely look into is the Capital One Venture Rewards card. The $59 annual fee is waived for the first year, and new cardholders can get a 40,000 mile bonus (good for $400 in travel) after $3,000 in spend in the first three months. The standard reward rate of two miles per dollar is rather generous, and points can be redeemed for travel rewards on any airline or hotel.
If you want perks on your favorite airline, consider a card like the Delta SkyMiles American Express (other airlines have similar products). This card comes in three levels -- gold, platinum, and reserve -- and even the basic gold card has perks like priority boarding, free checked bags, and a 30,000 mile bonus after $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Cardholders also receive a $50 statement credit after their first Delta purchase. So, while the $95 annual fee (waived for the first year) may be high compared to some of the other cards on the list, the benefits could make it well worth it for people who fly often.
If hotels are your thing, my personal favorite is the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express. For the $65 annual fee, which is waived for the first year, cardholders earn up to 5 Starpoints per dollar for hotel stays, and get a 25,000 point bonus after $3,000 in spending. Other hotel chains have similar credit card products, but I prefer the Starwood card for the ability to transfer points at an excellent rate to leading frequent flyer programs. For example, if you transfer 20,000 points to your Delta SkyMiles account, you'll receive a 5,000 mile bonus, for a total of 25,000. For this reason, I value Starpoints higher than those of other hotels.
Top credit cards for youThis is by no means an exhaustive list, and the best credit card for you depends on which benefits you value the most. It's worth researching current offers, as credit card companies frequently have even more generous sign up promotions available for a limited time in order to one-up each other.
The takeaway here is that credit card benefits have become more and more generous as banks try to build their business, and when credit card issuers compete you win.
Note: All offers and card info is current as of July 16, 2015
The article Top Credit Cards of 2015 originally appeared on Fool.com.
Matthew Frankel owns shares of American Express and Bank of America. The Motley Fool recommends American Express and Bank of America. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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