If you’re looking to get more from your credit card in 2019, we’re here to help.
We’ve compiled a list of the best available credit cards in the U.S. in 8 different categories.
Curious how we came to these choices?
This way, each card is selected free of judgement or compensation.
Whether you’re looking for:
- the best overall travel credit card,
- the best no fee travel rewards credit card,
- the best hotel points credit card,
- the best airline miles credit card,
- the best cash back credit card,
- the best cash back credit card with no annual fee,
- the best credit card for balance transfers,
- the best secured credit card, or
- the best credit card for military members.
…There’s a credit card on this list to suit everyone’s taste.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the best credit cards for 2019.
Best credit cards for travel rewards
Travel rewards credit cards come in many different forms:
- cards that earn airline miles,
- cards that earn hotel points, and
- cards that have their own rewards programs.
There’s a variety of options to choose from, so we’re breaking down the travel credit cards into several categories, and we’ll let you know what we consider to be the best overall card at the end.
One great feature of all these cards? They have no foreign transaction fees. It’s a great way to save money (roughly 3%) when you’re traveling abroad.
Best overall travel credit card
Looking for the travel card that stands out from all the rest? The
When redeemed for travel on Amtrak, each point is worth 2.5 cents. With every dollar spent earning you one point, you’ll get a minimum of 2.5% return on all of your spend. No other card can say that.
You’ll also earn 2 points on restaurant purchases and 3 points on Amtrak purchases.
On top of that, every time points are redeemed on Amtrak, you’ll get a 5% rebate to be used towards your next redemption.
Plus, as part of signing up, you’ll get these great one-time use Amtrak perks:
- 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months,
- a Companion Coupon,
- a One-Class Upgrade, and
- a Single-Visit Station Lounge Pass.
Add it all up, and Bank of America and Amtrak give you a great reason to travel by train.
But if you want a travel card that gives you plenty of points and doesn’t tie you down to one train, or program, or airline…
It starts by giving you an unlimited 2 miles on every dollar you spend.
These miles can be used to pay for any travel purchase made to the card – with no restrictions on the provider. Simply find your travel deal of choice and use your points to pay for it.
When redeemed for travel purchases, it means you get a 2% return on all of your spending.
But wait, it gets better.
Every time you redeem your miles, you’ll get 5% right back in your pocket to be used toward your next redemption. This effectively means you’ll be earning 2.05 miles per dollar spent.
Plus, you’ll get 70,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 90 days. That’s $700 you can take off your next trip.
All for an annual fee of $89…which gets waived for the first year.
If you want a card that has no travel restrictions, this could be the card for you.
Best credit card for travel with no annual fee
If you’re looking for a travel credit card with no annual fee, the
Why? It earns the most rewards of any no fee travel card. Earn plenty of points at these rates:
- 7 points per $1 at Hilton hotels,
- 5 points per $1 at restaurants, gas stations, and groceries, and
- 3 points per $1 everywhere else.
With a Hilton Honors point worth roughly 0.6 cents, you’ll be getting a 1.8% return on your base spend, and a 3% return on restaurant, gas station, and grocery store purchases. No other no fee travel card can match it.
As a welcome bonus you’ll get 75,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
And you’ll have access to some great perks, such as automatic Hilton Honors Silver status and 6 types of travel and purchase protection.
Looking for a no fee travel card that can be used for any travel purchase?
You’ll be able to use these miles to help pay for any travel purchase made on your card at a rate of 1 mile = 1 cent.
A great part of this card – if you’re a Bank of America customer and have an active checking or savings account with them, you’ll get a 10% boost in rewards.
Plus, as part of signing up, get 25,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
And it’s all for no annual fee.
Best credit card for hotel points
Or maybe you’re looking for a card that will give you free hotel nights. If so, the
Every year on your cards anniversary, you’ll earn a free night at a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel.
Then, if you spend $15,000 per year on the card, you’ll get an additional free night.
FYI: A category 4 hotel requires 15,000 points, and a Hyatt point is worth approximately 1.8 cents.
Which means you’re looking at up to $540 annual savings with these 2 free nights.
And it doesn’t stop there. On your purchases you’ll earn:
- 4 points per $1 spent at Hyatt Hotels,
- 2 points per $1 spent on restaurants, airline tickets, transit, fitness clubs, and
- 1 point spent everywhere else.
As if that wasn’t enough, new cardholders get up to 50,000 bonus welcome points – 25,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and another 25,000 points when you spend 6,000 in the first 6 months.
All for an annual fee of $95.
With the ability to get 2 free nights, and earn plenty of points on the side, free hotel night stays are waiting for you.
Chase and Hyatt are on top when it comes to hotel rewards.
Best credit card for airline miles
Are you looking for a card that earns airline miles and gives you some free flights and airline perks? The
To start, you’ll get a great sign up bonus.
Earn 40,000 AAdvantage miles when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months, and another 10,000 miles when you spend $6,000 in the first year.
Keep earning even more miles with these earn rates:
- 2 mile per $1 spent on American Airlines, restaurants, and gas, and
- 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else.
With extra earnings on basics like restaurants and gas stations, you’ll be able to watch your miles bank grow quickly.
Of course, we can’t forget about the American Airlines perks you’ll get:
- 1 bag checked for free for you and up to 4 others who are travelling on the reservation,
- priority boarding,
- 25% savings on in-flight food and drinks, and
- a $100 flight discount after you spend $20,000 per year.
Add it up and not only are you getting a lot of miles, but this card will make your flying more convenient as well.
All for an annual fee of $99 that gets waived in the first year.
If you live in (or travel to) New York, Boston, Florida, or Long Beach, the
You’ll get a sign up bonus of 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months – a great start to your next free flight.
Then you’ll earn points on your everyday spending:
- 6 points per $1 spent on JetBlue,
- 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and grocery stores, and
- 1 point per $1 everywhere else.
And you can’t forget the JetBlue perks that come with this card. You’ll get:
- 1 bag checked for free for you and 3 companions on the same reservation,
- 50% off in-flight food and drink purchases,
- $100 statement credit when you purchase a JetBlue vacation package of $100 or more, and
- 5,000 points on your card anniversary every year.
For an annual fee of $99.
Best cash back credit cards
Are you looking for a credit card that will give you cash bank rewards instead? The
Why? It’s all in the earn rate. You’ll get 1% cash back on all of your purchases, plus another 1% when you make your payments on time.
A straight 2% return on your spending, for no annual fee. Plus, it includes a robust insurance package, with 9 different kinds of purchase and travel protection.
It might not have a sign up bonus, but it’s a card that deserves consideration for everyone’s wallet.
Looking for a card that has some higher earn rates? The
It gives you:
- 6% cash back on groceries up to $6,000 per year (1% after),
- 3% on gas, and
- 1% everywhere else.
6% on grocery purchases? One of the best earn rates for a credit card, period. Spend $6,000 in groceries per year and that alone gets you $360 in cash back.
Plus, with the ability to earn 3% cash back on gas and 1% on everything else, you’re looking at some serious cash back earned.
To top it off, American Express will give you $200 in cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
All for an annual fee of $95.
Best cash back credit cards with no annual fee
You might be surprised to see it here again, but the
That’s right, not only is this the best cash back card, but it has no annual fee.
A straight 2% return on your spending – giving premium cards a run for their money. Without question, this card blows all the other no fee cards out of the water.
Best credit cards for balance transfers
Balance transfer cards offer you a way to save on interest if you carry a balance on your card.
Instead of paying your usual rate, you can move your balance to your new card that has a balance transfer promotion. This way, you’ll get an interest rate of 0% and get a breather on heavy interest payments.
And while you’re paying off your debt, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases.
All for no annual fee.
Or, if you don’t really care about rewards and just want 0% APR balance transfer for longer, the
That’s almost 2 whole years free of interest on your current credit card balance.
It’s a great way to save yourself some serious cash and get your credit card debt under control.
Best secured credit cards
If you have bad credit, a secured credit card can go a long way in helping you repair it.
And while they’re all largely the same, the
For starters, it has a slightly lower annual fee than other secured cards, at $25. Then, it also offers some basic insurance coverages such as mobile device protection and travel accident insurance.
A few features on a secured card go a long way, and that’s what makes it our choice for best secured card of 2019.
Want a secured card that earns rewards? The Discover it Secured does exactly that.
In fact, it’s the only secured card that offers you rewards on your purchases. Not only do you get to rebuild your credit, but you can earn some cash back rewards as well:
- 2% on gas and restaurant purchases (up to $1,000 per quarter), and
- 1% on everything else.
All for no annual fee. Rebuild your credit and earn rewards? Discover has you covered.
Best credit card for military members
If you’re a military member, USAA has cards that are tailored for your specific needs.
Our favorite is the
This card has some great earn rates:
- 5% on gas and purchases made on base (up to $5,000 spent per year, 1% after),
- 2% on grocery purchases (up to $3,000 annually in purchases, 1% after), and
- 1% on everything else.
Just by maximizing the base and grocery spend, you’ll earn $310 in cash back right there.
Also, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of 7 types of travel and purchase insurance and a 4% APR on account balances while you’re deployed.
And as one last bonus, there are no foreign transaction fees, helping save you money while you’re deployed or stationed abroad.
All for no annual fee.
Related: Best USAA Credit Cards
We’d love to hear from you
There’s a variety of credit cards on the market right now. From travel to cash back, from low fees to low interest…
But what credit card is your favorite?
What do you consider to be the best card for 2019?
Let us know in the comments below.