Best Credit Cards

Our best credit card offers are listed below. These are popular selections from top credit card issuers, with some of the best terms available. Check out our Editorial Rankings for these cards, which are based on a card's popularity and features. Apply for a card after comparing these cards and finding one that's a fit for your needs. We also offer credit card detail information and reviews if you need more information to make your decision.


TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express


This card from American Express & Costco is a popular cash back rewards card that allows you to earn up to 3% cash back anywhere. There's no annual fee but you'll have to be a Costco member to become a cardholder. You can sign up as a member once you apply for the card.

Intro APR Intro Period Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfers Credit Needed
0% 6 Months on Purchases 15.24% variable No Annual Fee with your paid Costco Membership Yes Excellent
See Terms for TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

bill October 24, 2011 at 6:01 am

These are all big bank credit cards. I would never use any of them. they are great teasers in the beginning but then the fees ad on. I stay with credit union credit cards. low-interest and travel rewards. For a bank, I use Amalgamated Bank of Chicago.

The Digerati Life October 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

I don’t own any credit union cards, but I believe they are certainly good options for many customers, especially those who already bank with a credit union. The cards we have here are up to date and reflect the latest in the market (particularly those with rewards and bonuses). We also maintain a credit union category in our card section.

J.R. December 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I screen for credit cards based on assumptions of how I’m to use the card. For a great majority of people, choosing a credit card would primarily involve checking the interest rates. I prefer to use this selection criteria — no annual fees, good rewards, online access, reasonable grace period, no transaction fees and is rated “high” in terms of public ratings. Notice no mention of interest rates in that list.

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How To Choose The Best Credit Card For Your Needs

So what kind of card should you apply for? Here are a few guidelines:

  1. If you have good credit, you can be eligible for cards with the best credit card rates. Your credit score is a gauge for your credit worthiness.
  2. If you don’t have your credit report or score at hand, you can try a FICO score estimator to determine how good your credit is.
  3. Know your credit card requirements by understanding your profile and spending patterns. Are you a student? Perhaps a student card is just the ticket. Do you travel on the road a lot? Maybe gas rewards cards are for you. Do you travel out of the country often? Travel rewards cards may be suitable.
  4. If you’re not happy with your credit card terms, try working things out with your credit card company. Otherwise, consider switching to a card that offers lower rates.
  5. Before applying for a credit card, take a look at the rates, fees and grace period for the card. Will you be penalized if you go against any of the terms for your card? Find out what happens if you go over your credit limit.

Tips For New Credit Card Owners

When you get your first card, you may not immediately anticipate some of the ways you could save money with it.  As card customers, we should take note of those habits that will keep us out of credit card trouble. Here are some tips:

  • Be aware of your credit limit. If your credit card's limit is $2,000 and your balance is $1,700, you shouldn't turn around and book those $500 airline tickets just yet.  That's because if you go over your limit, you might run into an over-the-limit fee or your transaction might be declined.

 Work on reducing that balance before you charge the tickets for your next vacation and you'll save yourself some hassle.

  • Know your APR and be familiar with the card's terms. Many card users sign up for a card without going through the fine print. Remember that being forewarned is being forearmed! When you use your credit card, you are borrowing from the creditor.  If you maintain a balance, the creditor will charge you interest, also referred to as the APR (annual percentage rate).  Most of the time, these rates are subject to change. Your credit card company may hike rates and fees due to any number of reasons -- some within your control (late or missed payment penalties) and some beyond (economic or interest rate environment, or issuers wanting to improve profit margins). If you don't like the changes, you should be offered a way to opt out. 

If your card has an introductory rate, make note of when your rate will change.  That way, you can prepare your spending plan to absorb any higher payments you might encounter.

  • Always pay bills on time. This is one of the most important mantras you'll hear as a card holder. If you don't pay your credit card bill, the company might prevent you from being able to use it again.  If you make a late payment, you'll rack up late fees and possible incur a higher interest rate.  As an example, the BankAmericard Power Rewards Visa Signature Card has a $39 late fee if your balance is over $250.00. 

If your bank or credit card company offers automatic bill pay, sign up for it.  Check to make sure the payment is applied each month, and sign up for alerts to be emailed or sent to your phone.

  • Pay more than the monthly minimum. Even when your minimum payment is less than the cost of a good dinner out, you should pay more if you're carrying a balance month to month.  Using this strategy can save you hundreds or more each year. 

Let's say you have a $2,000 balance on a card with a 12.99% APR and your minimum payment is $80.  If you just make the minimum payment, it will take you 6 years and 4 months to pay off this card, and you'll pay over $600 in interest.  However, if you bump up your payment by $20 each month, you'll pay off your debt in 1 year and 11 months and you'll only pay $238.76 in interest.
 That's quite a difference!
  • Rewards may not always be available. Cards with rewards programs for airline miles or cash back have been popular in the past.  However, those rewards may dry up if you're late paying your bill or if the lender changes their terms and conditions.  Keep an eye on your rewards summary each month and move to use your benefits sooner rather than later.
  • Some fees, like cash advances, can be astronomical. Cash advances can cost you at least 19.99% in interest, if not more.

 Some credit cards charge a cash advance fee of 3% of the cash advance, and there may be no grace period for those transactions. The ATM you're using will probably charge you a fee, too.  In the long run, it's less expensive to skip cash advances altogether.
  • Ask for help when you need it.  If you're having trouble paying your credit card bill, you are not alone.  But instead of ignoring the bill the next time it shows up, you can take action.  If it's possible, you might be able to ask a family member or friend for a loan.  You can also try to call the credit card company and ask for options.
 It's better to bring up concerns with your issuer rather than ignore a snowballing problem, as the card issuer will most likely want to work with you towards a positive resolution.

Having a new credit card can give you the spending power you enjoy, but stay alert to changes to your account as you develop your credit history.