The 4 Best Credit Cards to Get and Keep

Happy couple using new credit card to shop online on laptop
Dean Drobot /

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Choosing a new credit card — whether it’s your primary card or another card you’re adding to your wallet for its rewards and benefits — is rarely an easy choice.

The offers that lenders put out to compete with each other for your loyalty are constantly evolving, and can be difficult to compare. It can also be tough to separate the appeal of an introductory offer from the long-term benefits you’ll get from keeping a card.

And that’s before considering that you need to weigh that benefit against the cost of annual fees and juggling extra plastic.

That’s why we’ve taken a look at the current credit landscape and identified the cards we think are the best long-term additions to your wallet. (A key factor: No annual fees.)

We’re not saying to get all these — just that you should take a look at these first if you’re in the market and don’t already have a specific benefit in mind.

Blue Cash Everyday from American Express

Why we like it: The Blue Cash Everyday card lives up to its name as a great value all the time — but especially for new cardholders. You can earn $100 back by making $2,000 in purchases in the first six months. You can also earn 20% back on purchases in the first six months for up to $150 back.

What to know:

Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
American Express
  • 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets per year, and 1% cash back after that amount.
  • 2% cash back on purchases at select U.S. department stores.
  • 2% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations.
  • 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months. (See rates and fees)
  • No annual fee. (See rates and fees)

Note: Cash back is redeemed as statement credits.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Why we like it: With no annual fee to worry about, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a top-tier choice for grocery or general cash-back rewards, offering at least 1.5% cash back on every purchase and more in certain categories. You also earn an extra 1.5% cash back on every purchase on up to $20,000 spent in the first year. For example, that extra 1.5% would boost the 5% cash back normally available for travel up to 6.5%.

What to know:

Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • 5% cash back on travel-related purchases through Chase.
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases.
  • 1.5% cash back on every other purchase.
  • No expiration on cash-back rewards.
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months, then a variable rate of 15.24% to 23.99%.
  • No annual fee.

Note: This card has a foreign transaction fee, so plan accordingly for international travel.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Why we like it: This is a great all-around credit card with 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It also offers a $200 cash bonus after you spend just $500 within the first three months of opening the account.

What to know:

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
Capital One
  • Get 1.5% cash back on every purchase — no limits, and no expiration on cash-back rewards for the life of the account.
  • Get a $200 statement credit after spending $500 on the card within the first three months.
  • Pay 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers within the introductory 15-month period.
  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Citi Double Cash

Why we like it: We’ve called this “The Best Cash-Back Credit Card for Everyday Use” since it earns 1% cash back on every purchase, then earns another 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. If you want the peace of mind that you’re earning good cash-back rewards on everything, with no gimmicks or expiration dates, this is your card.

What to know:

Citi Double Cash
  • Get a total of 2% cash back on every purchase.
  • No limits or caps on cash back.
  • No confusing categories; everything earns cash back.
  • No annual fee.

Note: This card offers 18 months of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers.

Whatever you need in a credit card — whether it’s a balance transfer, reward points, cash back or a low interest rate — you can find it with our credit card search tool. Click here to search for the plastic that best fits your needs.

See rates and fees for the Blue Cash Everyday from American Express.

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