- Click here to find these cards. Or here’s a category breakdown:
|Bank||Name of Card||Type||Annual Fee||Typical Sign-Up Bonus||Why?|
|Chase||Freedom||Visa||None||10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||5% quarterly categories, baby! What other card earns 5 United/British Airways miles or Hyatt points per $1 spent with NO annual fee?
When used in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and/or Chase Ink Plus, it gains superpowers.
A forever keeper.
|Chase||Freedom Unlimited||Visa||None||15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening||1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases with NO cap.
An amazing deal if you pair if with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus.
|Chase||Sapphire Preferred||Visa Signature||$95 (waived 1st year)||50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||The original workhorse, and still the best all-around points credit card.
Powerful, valuable points, a great shopping portal, and a few promos here and there.
Highly recommend to anyone.
|Chase||Ink Plus||Visa Signature||$95 (waived 1st year)||Earn 60,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards pointsafter you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for office supplies, phone, internet, and cable: wow.
This card has been a points-earning machine since Day 1. Love it!
|Chase||Ink Cash||Visa Signature||None||20,00 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Same 5X categories as the Chase Ink Plus, but also 2X at restaurants... and NO annual fee.
Limit for 5X is "only" $25K.
Needs Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus to transfer to airline and hotel partners, but a good no fee option.
|Chase||Hyatt||Visa Signature||$75 (waived 1st year)||2 free nights at ANY Hyatt (sometimes with a $50 or $100 statement credit) after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account||For $75, you get an award certificate to use at any Hyatt Category 1 through 4 hotel. I've used these for outsized value.
Platinum status is occasionally useful.
|Chase||IHG Rewards Club||World MasterCard||$49||70,000 IHG points (targeted offers exist for 80,000 IHG points, and sometimes a statement credit) after spending $2,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account||A free night each year at ANY IHG hotel, regardless of category for $49. That's awesome!
Plus, I got Spire Elite status from the sign-up bonus alone!
|AMEX||Platinum Card||AMEX||$450||40,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points (there have been targeted offers for up to 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points) after spending $3,000 within 3 months of account opening||Yeah, I know. Hefty fee. If you use the benefits, it's worth it.
The Centurion Lounges are the best lounges domestically, and the annual $200 airline credit is handy.
AMEX needs to add something more to this card to keep it worth its salt, but it still has a lot to offer.
|AMEX||EveryDay Preferred||AMEX||$95||15,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 on purchases with your new card in the first 3 months||Probably my fave after the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Earns up to 4.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points at grocery stores, 3X on gas, 1.5X everywhere else with 30+ purchases each month.
|Citi||AAdvantage Platinum Select||MasterCard||$95 (waived 1st year)||30,000 AAdvantage miles (sometimes goes up to 50,000 AAdvantage miles) after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening||Get 10% of your American Miles back, up to 10,000 a year! That's worth $200 right there.
Citi Price Rewind is an industry leader in purchase protection, IMO.
Also, great retention offers.
|Citi||Prestige||World Elite MasterCard||$450||50,000 Citi ThankYou points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open||An amazing card.
Citi has been revamping their ThankYou points program for a few years now, and this card is the crown jewel.
Lots and lots of benefits: $250 annual airline credit (good on ANY airline) 4th night free on hotel stays, 3 free rounds of golf a year, 3X Citi ThankYou points on hotels and airfare, and 1.6 cents of value on American Airlines flight bookings.
If you use the benefits, get outsized value.
|Citi||Hilton||Visa Signature||None||40,000 Hilton points after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening||NO annual fee, Hilton Silver status, spending thresholds for status if you're into Hilton.
Good to keep points from expiring, age credit accounts, keep up relationship with Citi.
|Discover||It||Discover||None||$50 statement credit after first purchase||DOUBLE CASH BACK for new card members after the 1st 12 billing cycles.
Get up to 30% cash back with quarterly bonus categories. Get an easy $600 the 1st year.
No annual fee and no forex fees.
A no-brainer if there ever was one.
|Elan/U.S. Bank||Fidelity||Visa Signature||None||None (goes up to $100)||My fave cashback card.
Easy, no BS 2% back on every purchase.
Eligible for AMEX Sync offers on Twitter.
All-around great card.
On the other side of the coin, I’d skip these completely:
Are there any you’d add to (or take off) this list?