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They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but if you carry the right plastic, you might get one at no cost. You might also get free flights, free hotels, free cash back, price protection and interest-free loans. Our credit card search page allows you to see every kind of card with all types of rewards.
But here’s a shortcut to five cards that we think are the best in three categories: travel rewards, cash back and balance transfer cards with long zero-percent introductory periods.
Best travel rewards cards
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Why we like it: This card gives you 60,000 bonus points if you use it for $4,000 worth of purchases in the first three months. Better yet, you can redeem rewards points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program or other leading travel rewards programs.
- The 60,000 bonus points you earn for spending $4,000 in the first three months of having the card is worth $750 in travel when you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards means no blackout dates or travel restrictions. If there’s a seat available on a flight, you can book it with your points.
- Bonus points can also be redeemed on a 1-to-1 basis with other leading loyalty rewards programs.
- You’ll also get 2 bonus points for every $1 spent on travel and dining worldwide, plus 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees.
Note: This card has a $95 annual fee.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card
Why we like it: This card has it all: 2X miles for every dollar spent, a 50,000-point signup bonus (worth $500 of travel), no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee for the first year. If you travel, charge a lot and pay off your balance every month, this one is hard to beat.
- Higher bonus than usual with this card: 50,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of having the card.
- Earns 2X miles for every $1 spent on every purchase with no caps.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Redeem your rewards on any airline or hotel with no blackout dates.
- No annual fee for the first year, $95 after that.
Best cards for cash back
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card
Why we like it: Most cash-back cards give you 1 percent back on purchases; This card gives you 1.5 percent cash back. That’s 50 percent more free money. It also gives you a cash bonus, and you only have to spend $500 within the first three months to get it. Finally, there’s no annual fee.
- Earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.
- $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within your first three months.
- Zero percent APR on purchases for the first 15 months.
- No annual fee.
- No foreign transaction fee.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards
Here’s why we love it: Not only will you get cash back when you use this card to purchase anything from electronics to cocktails, but you’ll get a $150 cash bonus after making $500 worth of purchases within three months of opening this account.
Plus, this card gets top marks for price protection, allowing you to get a refund for the difference between what you paid on an item and a lower price advertised later. “In other words,” WalletHub explains, “credit card price protection can eliminate your fear of missing out on a better deal, allowing you to both buy with confidence and save money.” Yay!
- Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 within three months of opening the account.
- Earn unlimited cash back: 3 percent on dining and entertainment, 2 percent at grocery stores and 1 percent on everything else.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees.
- Pay no annual fee.
Best cards for balance transfers
Why we like it: This card offers an introductory zero percent interest rate on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. It also earns a $150 bonus after spending just $500 in the first three months.
- Get a $150 bonus after $500 worth of purchases in the first three months after opening the account.
- Earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 purchases in bonus categories each quarter. (That’s up to $75 per quarter or $300 a year.)
- Earn an automatic 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
- No annual fee.
Note: Balance transfers are subject to a transfer fee of 3 percent or $5, whichever is greater, when made within the first 60 days of opening the account. The transfer fee is 5% after that.
Most of the cards featured here require a good to excellent credit score. If that’s not you, no worries! Explore the many alternatives on our credit card search page.
Whatever you need in a credit card — balance transfer, low interest rate, travel rewards points, you name it — you can find it in our credit card search tool. Click here to explore.
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.