Credit cards are as ubiquitous as cash at this point — the average American has around 4 cards in their name, so you’re in good company if you’re in the market for a new card. Used responsibly, credit cards are a useful tool to have in your financial utility belt, bridging the gap when you’re cash-strapped.

With credit card companies loading up their cards with heavy incentives like cash back and rewards, choosing which card is best for you is no easy feat. Benzinga’s list puts you ahead of the game and narrows your choices down to the cream of the crop.

1. Capital One QuickSilverOne Rewards Credit Card

Annual Fee
About $39
Regular APR
Variable APR 26.99%
1 Minute Review

What makes the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards so unique is that it offers 1.5% cash back on purchases and higher-quality services while remaining relatively attainable for lower credit scores. The card works with fair or limited credit. For example, the credit card offers beneficial tools such as CreditWise, which allows you to keep track of your credit score for free. The credit card provides fraud coverage and automatic credit line reviews to more quickly increase credit lines and allow for larger purchases. The credit card includes annual fees and a higher-than-usual APR at around 26.99%. The credit card also charges annual fees.

Specs
  • Annual Fee: About $39
  • Regular APR: Variable APR 26.99%
  • Minimum Deposit: None
  • One Time Fee: No member fee
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Rewards: 1.5% cash back
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
Pros
  • Provides automatic credit line reviews
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud coverage
Cons
  • A $39 annual fee
  • Penalty late fee of up to $40
  • Includes higher APRs

2. Luxury Card

apply now securely through Luxury Card’s website
Disclosure: Terms and Conditions apply*
Annual Fee
$495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account). Terms and conditions apply*.
Regular APR
Ongoing Purchase APR 15.74%
1 Minute Review

There’s something uniquely satisfying about the crisp click a weighty credit card makes when you set it down on the counter to pay. It just feels like luxury.

Weighing in at 22 grams (the heaviest cards out there), Luxury Card’s heavy metal credit cards deliver a VIP experience to its cardholders 24/7. Unlike other executive-level cards, anyone can apply for 1 of its 3 cards instead of waiting for an invitation.

With premium rewards, industry-high airline and cash back value redemption, dedicated concierge-style customer service and more, the Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card, Mastercard® Black Card and Mastercard® Titanium Card will make you feel like a million bucks (even if you’re still working on that 1st million).

Terms and Conditions apply.*

Specs
  • Annual Fee: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account). Terms and conditions apply*.
  • Regular APR: Ongoing Purchase APR 15.74%
  • Minimum Deposit: N/A
  • One Time Fee: N/A
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Rewards: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
Pros
  • Earn one point for every dollar spent
  • Industry-high reward redemption values
  • Top-tier customer care with Luxury Card Concierge
  • Flexible rewards
Cons
  • Higher annual fees

3. Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
23.24%
1 Minute Review

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® credit card offers a few perks that other cards don’t. For instance, once you become a cardholder, you will have access to your FICO score, an important feature when trying to build your credit. You can also sign up for account alerts to help you stay on top of your payments and know when you are reaching your credit limit. You can manage your account via the phone, online, or with Citi’s® mobile app.

Specs
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 23.24%
  • Minimum Deposit: N/A
  • One Time Fee: N/A
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Rewards: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
Pros
  • Reports to all three credit reporting agencies
  • Choose your payment date
Cons
  • Deposit required
  • Credit check required

4. SoFi Credit Card

get started securely through Sofi Credit Card’s website
Annual Fee
None
Regular APR
13.24% – 25.49%
1 Minute Review

Earn 3% cash back for a year when you set up direct deposit with SoFi. After that, earn 2% unlimited cash back on purchases when redeemed toward investing, saving, or paying down an eligible loan with SoFi. Plus, redeem points toward crypto. There is no annual fee with the SoFi credit card.

Specs
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Regular APR: 13.24% – 25.49%
  • Minimum Deposit: N/A
  • One Time Fee: N/A
  • Intro APR: None
  • Rewards: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: None
Pros
  • Smart spending and budgeting tools
  • Mastercard ID theft protection
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
Cons
  • No intro APR

5. Indigo Platinum Mastercard®

apply now securely through Indigo Credit Card’s website
Annual Fee
$0 to $99 based on credit worthiness
Regular APR
24.9%
1 Minute Review

The Indigo Mastercard® is designed to give you a quick answer when you apply and serve your needs irrespective of your career path, hobbies or financial situation. Even if you have a difficult credit history or no credit at all, you can apply and start a new journey building or rebuilding your credit. The card reports to the credit bureaus every month to improve your score, and there’s no security deposit due when you are approved.

Specs
  • Annual Fee: $0 to $99 based on credit worthiness
  • Regular APR: 24.9%
  • Minimum Deposit: ~10% of total balance
  • One Time Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Rewards: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
Pros
  • Pre-qualification doesn’t affect your credit score
  • Use the card wherever Mastercard® is accepted
  • No security deposit
Cons
  • No rewards program

6. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Learn More securely through Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card’s website
Annual Fee
None
Regular APR
15.24% – 25.24%.
1 Minute Review

  • 0% APR on transfers for the first 15 months, plus a 3% fee. After that, the transfer variable cash advance APR is 25.24%
  • Cash advance fee is $3 or 3%, whichever is greater
  • 3% cash back on groceries, dining, entertainment and streaming services
  • 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment tickets and purchases purchased through Vivid Seats

Specs
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Regular APR: 15.24% – 25.24%.
  • Minimum Deposit: $25 or 1% of your balance plus interest and late fees
  • One Time Fee: N/A
  • Intro APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Rewards: Cash Rewards
  • Welcome Bonus: $200 cash back when you spend $500 using the card in the first three months from account opening
Pros
  • A sign-up bonus that equals almost half the required expenditure
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • Can’t use rewards to book travel

7. First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard®

Get started securely through First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card’s website
Annual Fee
$49
Regular APR
10.24
1 Minute Review

With the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card doesn’t have a minimum credit score to qualify, and you don’t need a credit history to get started. This is a good card to use when you want to build your credit, and there’s only a $49 annual fee so you can buy into the card without laying out too much cash. Accepted nationwide, the card has a low APR of 10.24%.

Specs
  • Annual Fee: $49
  • Regular APR: 10.24
  • Minimum Deposit: N/A
  • One Time Fee: $200
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Rewards: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
Pros
  • Low annual fee
  • No credit history needed to be approved
  • Accepted anywhere Mastercard® is accepted
Cons
  • No rewards program

8. Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card

learn more securely through Mission Lane Credit Card’s website
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
26.99 – 29.99 (Variable)
1 Minute Review

Get an instant decision on your Mission Lane Visa®Credit Card application. No more waiting for days or weeks to find out if you’re approved. With no activation fee, no hidden fees, no over-the-limit fees, no security deposit and a powerful mobile app, you can track your spending, build credit and gain some financial freedom.

Specs
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 26.99 – 29.99 (Variable)
  • Minimum Deposit: $25 or $35 + 3% of new balance or 1% of the new balance depending on your card agreement + interest charges
  • One Time Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Rewards: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
Pros
  • Accepted globally where you see the Visa® logo
  • No over-the-limit fees
  • No security deposit
  • No activation fee
Cons
  • There is currently no rewards program

9. Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card

Annual Fee
None
Regular APR
Variable between 20.24% and 29.74%
1 Minute Review

The credit card named Petal is offered by WebBank. The company offers two different cards called Petal 1 and Petal 2. The APRs tend to be high with limited rewards. The card offers cash-back deals between 1% and 10%.

Specs
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Regular APR: Variable between 20.24% and 29.74%
  • Minimum Deposit: None
  • One Time Fee: None
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Rewards: Cash back about 1%
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
Pros
  • No annual or deposit fees
  • Designed to build credit
  • Offers cash back
  • Credit limits can be increased
Cons
  • APRs can up to around 29.74%
  • Not able to transfer balance

10. BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Visa® Credit Card

get started securely through BlockFi’s website
Best For
Bitcoin rewards
N/A
1 Minute Review

BlockFi, a leading wealth management platform for cryptocurrency investors, is releasing its Bitcoin Rewards Visa Credit Card in early 2021 — the first credit card program to offer cashback rewards in bitcoin. You can get on a waitlist registration and get access to the card at launch. It’s an exciting opportunity to tap into bitcoin. Learn more in Benzinga’s review.

Best For
  • Crypto enthusiasts: If you’ve dabbled in buying alternative assets like crypto or know enough to be interested, you may not be able to resist this exciting credit card opportunity.
Pros
  • Speeds up the process of integrating with Visa
  • Lets Visa leverage its reach, capabilities and security
  • Users can accrue rewards from purchases at businesses worldwide
Cons
  • Will appeal mainly to crypto enthusiasts and not mainstream public
  • Must get on a waitlist until January

How to Compare Credit Cards

When deciding which credit card you should apply for, there are several ways you can assess how useful a card will be to you. Before all else, research which cards you are likely to qualify for. Look for cards you can prequalify for or use a comparison service like Credible to compare cards you are likely to qualify for side-by-side.

Fees

The most common type of credit card fee is the annual fee. While this may seem like something you want to avoid, keep in mind that cards with annual fees often have worthwhile rewards and bonuses. If you know you’ll use your card heavily, what you reap in kickbacks like miles or cash back may offset the annual cost.

Don’t worry if you’re more of the fee-free type — many lenders, including some of our partners, offer cards with no annual fees, so you’ll have no trouble finding one that meets your specifications.

Rewards

With many cards, you have the opportunity to earn cash back or points for travel when you spend. If you travel frequently or have your eye on a big trip down the road, a card that earns miles could be beneficial. But if you use your card frequently for smaller purchases at places like grocery stores and gas stations, getting cash back in your pocket for everyday expenses may be the sweeter deal.

Rewards cards sometimes come with higher fees or annual percentage rates (APRs), the amount of interest you’re charged to use credit. If you’ll spend enough to earn sufficient rewards and quickly pay off your balance, these cards may offer you higher returns than you’ll pay in interest. It’s best to carefully weigh the costs versus the rewards (literally, in this case) when selecting a credit card.

Perks and Bonuses

In addition to rewards, credit cards can come with a ton of perks and bonuses. Your card may offer priority boarding on flights or discounts at your favorite merchants. Many cards offer protections and insurance on travel, lost or stolen goods and purchases, including refunds if something you ordered somehow never makes it to your doorstep.

If you’re a college student, you can look for cards that offer special perks for your school. Or if you’re a high roller who is always on the move, a credit card with a concierge service can act as your in-wallet butler, ready to fulfill your every whim. 

APR

A huge factor in choosing a credit card is comparing annual percentage rates. If a card has a really high APR, your purchases could end up costing you way more than the ticket price in interest if you let your balances get out of control. Some cards offering hefty rewards or perks can come with equally hefty APR rates — just be sure you can afford to pay down your balances monthly to ensure you’re not spending more in interest than you’re getting back.

Using Credit Cards Responsibly

The rush of having a shiny new credit card is real, but don’t let it go to your head. Using credit is a serious responsibility. We’re not saying don’t make a little celebration purchase, but make sure you pay it off quickly and keep your monthly balance low. This will keep you from getting trapped under a mounting pile of interest. And it’ll keep your credit score intact — high card balances can impact your credit negatively by raising your credit utilization. 

Building Credit

If you haven’t had a chance to build credit or need to repair bruised credit, a credit card can help boost your score if used correctly. We recommend getting a secured card to start out with. You’ll secure your balance with a deposit or a linked bank account, so you can only spend what you actually have. Making regular monthly payments and keeping a low balance on a secured card can boost your credit.

You could also consolidate debt at a lower interest rate by transferring your credit card balances to one low APR credit card, although a personal loan may be a better option for this depending on your circumstances.

How to Apply for a Credit Card

Anyone over 18 can apply for a credit card (and people younger than 18 may be able to become an authorized user on someone else’s account).

Once you’ve decided on a credit card, see if you can prequalify. This will give you a solid idea of if you’re eligible for the card without hurting your credit score with a hard credit pull.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and apply for a card, follow the direction on a lender’s website to apply or give them a call if applicable. Usually, you’ll have to provide some basic identifying information and undergo a credit check, although this varies between cards. 

Maximize Your Credit Use With the Right Card

Anybody can feel indecisive when trying to choose from an endless list of equally impressive sounding credit cards. Once you know what matters most to you about a card, whether it’s low fees or hefty rewards, you’re on the right path. Benzinga’s list of the best credit cards is a great place to go from there — we’ve selected an all-star roster to make your decision easier.

Once you’ve chosen a card, see if you are able to prequalify to assess your eligibility risk-free. Use a credit card comparison service to shop around for credit cards without hurting your credit score.