Top 5 credit cards for 2020

With endless options and sub-options for things like cash back, travel and rewards, finding the right credit card might seem impossible. But it could help to sort them by category.

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New data from CardRatings.com does just that. In its annual best credit cards report, the website polled 1,500 credit card users on their opinions of 65 different cards. Researchers then selected 19 categories for the best cards, including travel, family and student cards.

Here are the best credit cards for 2020 in five popular categories:

Travel rewards

Top pick: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Big perk: Get 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months

Annual fees: $95

Foreign transaction fees: $0

Credit needed: Excellent or good

Flat-rate cash back

Top pick: Citi Double Cash Card

Big perk: Get rewards for purchases and for paying down your credit card bill.

Annual fees: $0

Foreign transaction fees: 3 percent on each purchase

Credit needed: Excellent or good

Families

Top pick: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Big perk: Earn rewards for purchases at supermarkets, streaming subscriptions and transit

Annual fees: $95

Foreign transaction fees: 2.7 percent of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars

Credit needed: Excellent or good

Student credit card

Top pick: Discover it Student Cash Back

Big perk: Discover will match all cash back you earn at the end of your first year

Annual fees: $0

Foreign transaction fees: $0

Credit needed: Fair or new cardholder

Low interest

Top pick: Simmons Visa

Big perk: Low ongoing interest rate

Annual fees: $0

Foreign transaction fees: 2 percent of the amount in U.S. dollars

Credit needed: Excellent

The Pew Research Center polled 13,000 adults in 2018 and found a third of Americans made no cash purchases in a typical week, and the share of respondents who said all of their purchases were made with cash fell to 18 percent last year from 24 percent in 2015.

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That means the use of credit is rising, but so is credit card debt, which hit more than 1 trillion in 2019.

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If you’re considering one of these cards, be sure to keep an eye on your credit score and usage, particularly going into the holiday season. Americans are expected to spend up to $730 billion on the holidays this year, data from the National Retail Federation show. That’s up 4 percent from 2018 and more than $1,000 per person.

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