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Smartly used credit cards serve a variety of needs. They help with managing older debt, bridging blips in cash flow and building credit, and they provide benefits, savings and rewards.
As we approach the holiday shopping season, a variety of new and recent credit card offers can help in each of these areas. Here’s a quick look at the top cards available right now.
Best cash-back card
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
Why we like it: For a low annual fee, the Blue Cash from American Express Card offers an easily attainable introductory offer worth $350, plus as much as $360 back on groceries each year. And that’s before you start racking up rewards from your travel, entertainment and every thing else.
What to know:
- Earn a $350 statement credit when you make $3,000 in purchases during your first six months.
- Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year.
- Earn 6% back on select streaming subscriptions.
- Earn 3% back on transit purchases and gas.
- Earn 1% back on other purchases.
- $95 annual fee. (See rates and fees)
Note: This card has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee (after converting to U.S. dollars).
Best overall card bonuses
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Why we like it: The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 with the card within the first three months. Redeeming those points for travel through the Chase website adds 50% to their value, for a bonus worth $750.
What to know:
- Get 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Earn 10 points per $1 spent on Lyft rides through March 2022.
- Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining.
- Earn 3 points per $1 spent on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month through April 2021.
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
- $300 annual travel credit.
- A free year of Lyft Pink membership.
- Complimentary DashPass delivery subscription.
- Global Entry or TSA Pre-check application reimbursement up to $100.
- $550 annual fee.
Note: The annual fee looks high, but is offset by the $300 annual travel credit and other card benefits, including food delivery and rideshare services and airport lounge access.
Best card for travel
Capital One Venture
Why we like it: An early spending bonus offer of 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 within the first three months is worth $750 in travel.
What to know:
- Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 in the first three months of membership.
- Earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
- Earn 2 miles per dollar on every other purchase with no annual cap or expiration.
- Get up to a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
- $95 annual fee.
Note: This card has a $95 annual fee. The Capital One VentureOne card does not, but doesn’t have the same early spending bonus offer and offers a lower rate of return.
Best no-interest card offer
Citi Diamond Preferred
Why we like it: The Citi Diamond Preferred card is a good choice for people transferring a balance, thanks to the introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 21 months. You’ll also get a full 12 months of 0% APR on new purchases.
What to know:
- 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months, with a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is higher.
- 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 12 months.
- Earn $150 in statement credits by spending $500 on purchases in your first three months, for a limited time.
- Free access to your FICO Score.
- No annual fee.
Note: This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so plan accordingly for international travel.
Click here for more details on these cards and to compare them with other offers.
Looking for something else in a credit card? Use our credit card search tool to find the best card for you, no matter what you need or where you’re at.
See rates and fees for Blue Cash Preferred from American Express.
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