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There are hundreds of credit cards on the market, but who has time to read through all of their terms and conditions?
I do! That’s my job.
If you aren’t sure about which type of card you want, but are just looking for the best deal for your situation, here are the best in five major categories…
1. Best cash back card
Fidelity Investments Reward Card (American Express) – Almost any reward card on the market will offer you 1 percent cash back, and many offer 2 percent or more, but only on some purchases. The Fidelity card offers a masterstroke of value and simplicity by offering 2 percent cash back on all purchases all the time, with no limit. Your cash back will be deposited into a qualifying investment account with Fidelity brokerage, and there’s no annual fee.
2. Best international travel rewards card
Starwood Preferred Guest (American Express) – Among travel rewards gurus, this card is recognized as the ultimate rewards card. Yeah, you get free nights at hotels such as Sheratons and Westins, with no blackouts or capacity restrictions. But the really amazing feature is the ability to transfer points to miles with more than 30 different airlines (and even Amtrak Guest Rewards). Since each of these carriers is partnered with many other airlines, the number of possible awards that you can earn is nearly infinite. This flexibility more than makes up for a $65 annual fee.
3. Best domestic travel rewards card
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier (Chase) – Frugal travelers love Southwest because it doesn’t charge for ticket changes and checked bags. Perhaps its best frequent flier perk is the “companion pass,” which doubles the value of any purchased flight or reward ticket. And the Rapid Rewards Visa makes it easy to earn one. New applicants for the card will receive 50,000 Rapid Rewards points, worth $830 towards airfare purchases. Sign up for both the business and the personal versions of this card, and you’ll earn 100,000 points – almost reaching the 110,000 points needed to earn the companion pass. The $99 annual fee for this card is waived the first year, but it’s still worth paying, since Southwest gives you $100 worth of points when you renew your card.
4. Lowest interest rate card
IberiaBank Visa Classic – Here’s the card for those who occasionally carry a balance. This card offers no rewards and charges no annual fee, but it does offer the lowest interest rate on the market, equal to the prime rate plus 4 percent. Unfortunately, this rate is only available to the most qualified applicants. Those with lower credit ratings may still enjoy this simple card, but at a slightly higher interest rate.
5. Best balance transfer card
Chase Slate. Chase’s Slate card now offers a zero-percent promotional APR on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. On top of that, this card features Chase’s Blueprint program, which gives you powerful tools for saving interest. With Blueprint, you can avoid interest by paying some charges in full, carry a balance on others, and take advantage of powerful budgeting and goal-setting tools. There’s no annual fee for this card.
Some people enjoy shopping around for the best credit card deals, while others simply want the card rated best in class. Once you know which type of card you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with one of these best overall deals.