Top 5 Best Credit Cards to Consider for 2024


With the abundance of credit card options available, finding the best credit cards with rewards and benefits tailored to your spending habits can be a daunting task . Whether you’re a frequent diner, a college student, or someone looking for cash back or welcome bonuses, having the right credit card can unlock valuable rewards .

In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 best credit cards to consider for 2024, covering categories such as dining, welcome bonuses, no annual fees, cash back, college students, and grocery rewards . We’ll provide insights to help you make an informed decision and maximize the benefits offered by these credit cards 

Best for Dining

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is an excellent choice for dining and entertainment, earning 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming, and grocery stores (excluding superstores) . It also offers an impressive 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and 5% on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel .

For college students, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option, providing up to 10% cash back on select purchases and no annual fee . It offers the following cash back rewards:

  • 10% back on Uber/Uber Eats
  • 8% back on Capital One Entertainment
  • 5% back on hotels/rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 3% back on dining, entertainment, streaming, and groceries
  • 1% back on all other purchases

Additionally, it comes with a $50 intro bonus.

Other top credit cards for dining out in 2024 include:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • American Express® Gold Card (4x points on restaurants, highest among reviewed cards) 
  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 3x points on dining.”
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® (3x points on dining, $300 travel credit) 
  • Citi Custom Cash® Card (up to 5% cash back on dining, highest rate reviewed) 
  • Citi Premier® Card (3% dining rewards) 

According to NerdWallet, which has reviewed over 250 credit cards, the average U.S. household spent $2,375 on “food away from home” in 2020, and using a 3% cash back card on that spending would earn around $70 in rewards.

Best for Welcome Bonus

When it comes to lucrative welcome bonuses, several credit cards stand out as top contenders for 2024:

  1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Offers a welcome bonus that is up to 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months [9, 10, 11, 12]. This bonus is worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Provides a one-time bonus of around 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months [9, 10, 11, 12]. This bonus is worth $750 when redeemed for travel.
  3. American Express® Gold Card: Offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months [10, 12]. This bonus is worth $600 when redeemed for travel.

Other notable cards with attractive welcome bonuses include:

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: $200 cash rewards bonus after $500 spend in 3 months.
  • U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: $200 cash back bonus .
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠ card: $200 cash back bonus.
  • Citi Custom Cash® Card: Gives $200 cashback bonus.
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: $200 cash back bonus after $500 spend in 3 months [9, 11].
  • Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card: $200 cash back bonus.
CardWelcome BonusMinimum SpendValue
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card60,000 bonus points$4,000 in 3 months$750
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card75,000 bonus miles$4,000 in 3 months$750
American Express® Gold Card60,000 Membership Rewards® Points$6,000 in 6 months$600
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card$200 cash rewards$500 in 3 months$200

While welcome bonuses can be enticing, it’s important to consider factors like annual fees, ongoing rewards rates, and your spending habits to determine the best card for your needs.

Best for No Annual Fee

For those looking to avoid annual fees, several credit cards stand out as top options for 2024:

  • Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card: Offers a no-annual-fee travel points bonus.
  • Discover it® Cash Back: Best for rotating bonus categories, earning 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories (up to $1,500 spend, then 1%) and unlimited 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card: Best for occasional travelers, earning 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1.25X miles per $1 on other purchases.
CardKey Features
Chase Freedom Unlimited®No annual fee, 1.5% cash back on all purchases, can be combined with other Chase cards for more value
Citi Custom Cash® CardNo annual fee, 5% back in your top spending category each month (up to $500 in spend)
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit CardNo annual fee, 1.5% cash back on all business purchases
Citi Double Cash® CardNo annual fee, 2% cash back (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay stuff)

Experts advise that no-annual-fee cards can be a smart choice for those who use their card occasionally or want to avoid a yearly fee. However, these cards may have higher interest rates and fewer premium perks compared to annual-fee cards, but can still provide good value depending on spending habits .

Other notable no-annual-fee cards include:

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: Best overall cash back card, offering 2% unlimited cash rewards on purchases with no annual fee and a 0% intro APR for 15 months.
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠: Best for the household CFO, offering 5% cash back on rotating quarterly bonus categories, 5% on travel booked through Chase, and 3% on dining and drugstore purchases.
  • Chase Freedom Rise℠: Best for students, offering 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases with no annual fee.
  • Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card: Recommended as the overall best student credit card, with no annual fee, a $50 initial bonus, and 1-8% cash back .

Best for Cash Back

For those seeking to maximize cash-back rewards, several credit cards stand out as top options for 2024:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: This no-annual-fee card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and the rewards can be combined with other Chase cards for added value.
  • Citi Custom Cash® Card: With no annual fee, this card provides 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each month, up to $500 in spend.
  • Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card: Designed for businesses, this no-annual-fee card earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Citi Double Cash® Card: Offering a flat 2% cash back (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay), this no-annual-fee card is considered the best for flat-rate cash back rewards.
CardCash Back RewardsAnnual Fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited®1.5% on all purchases$0
Citi Custom Cash® Card5% in top category (up to $500 spend)$0
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card1.5% on all business purchases$0
Citi Double Cash® Card2% (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay)$0

Other top cash back cards for 2024 include:

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for bonus rewards, offering 6% on groceries, 6% on streaming, and 3% on gas and transit.
  • U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: Best for customizable rewards, allowing you to choose your 5% categories.
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Best for bonus rewards, offering 3% on groceries, gas, and select streaming.
  • Discover it® Cash Back: Best for bonus rewards, offering 5% quarterly rotating categories and a cash-back match at the end of the first year.

When comparing cash-back cards, experts recommend calculating your earning potential based on spending habits, considering sign-up bonuses and annual fees, and understanding cardholder benefits beyond just cash-back rewards.

Best for College Students

For college students looking to build credit and earn rewards, several credit cards stand out as top options for 2024:

  • The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is an excellent choice, offering no annual fee and up to 10% cash back on select purchases. It provides:
    • 10% back on Uber/Uber Eats
    • 8% back on Capital One Entertainment
    • 5% back on hotels/rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
    • 3% back on dining, entertainment, streaming, and groceries
    • 1% back on all other purchases
  • The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students is recommended as the best for travel rewards (for those with established credit), offering 1.5 points per $1 spent, a 25,000 point intro offer, and a 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles. It’s also a great option for students studying abroad, with no foreign transaction fees .
  • For those with no credit history and Chase bank customers, the Chase Freedom Rise℠ is recommended, offering 1.5% cash back on all purchases and a $25 intro offer.
CardKey Features
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit CardNo annual fee, up to 10% cash back on select purchases
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students1.5 points per $1 spent, 25,000 point intro offer, 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles, no foreign transaction fees
Chase Freedom Rise℠1.5% cash back on all purchases, $25 intro offer
  • The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is another top choice for students with good credit, offering 2% cash rewards and a $200 bonus.
  • For travel rewards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students is recommended, earning 1.5X points on all purchases with a 25,000 bonus points offer.

Best for Groceries

For those looking to maximize rewards on grocery purchases, several credit cards stand out as top options for 2024:

  • The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is an excellent choice, offering 3% cash back on groceries (excluding superstores). It also provides 10% back on Uber/Uber Eats, 8% on Capital One Entertainment, 5% on hotels/rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 1% on other purchases.
  • The Citi Custom Cash® Card allows you to earn up to 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each month, including grocery stores.
  • The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns up to 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in spending, then 1%.
CardGrocery RewardsOther Notable Rewards
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card3% cash back10% on Uber/Uber Eats, 8% on Capital One Entertainment, 5% on hotels/rental cars
Citi Custom Cash® CardUp to 5% cash back5% in top eligible category each month
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year)

According to industry data, the average U.S. household spent $5,703 on ‘food at home’ in 2022. Using a credit card that offers 2% cash back on grocery purchases could have earned over $114 in rewards for the average household.

FAQs

What is the top credit card to consider?

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is considered the best overall credit card due to its 2% cash rewards on purchases across the board and no annual fee. This is notably higher than the average cash rewards card, which typically offers about 1% back. Additionally, new cardholders have the opportunity to earn a bonus of $200 cash rewards after spending $500 within the first few months.

Which credit card is recommended for everyday use?

For everyday expenses, the following cards are highly recommended:

  • For gas purchases: Citi Custom Cash® Card.
  • For dining out: U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card.
  • For grocery shopping: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • For transit costs: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card.

What is the advisable number of credit cards to have?

There is no specific number of credit cards recommended for everyone, but possessing fewer than five credit accounts in total may hinder credit scoring models from providing a score. This can also make you less appealing to lenders.

Which credit card is considered the most prestigious?

The Centurion® Card from American Express is often viewed as one of the most prestigious credit cards available globally. Although there may be other cards with more extensive benefits, they are generally not as well-known or accessible.

References

[1] – https://www.creditkarma.com/credit-cards/student-cards
[2] – https://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/no-annual-fee/
[3] – https://time.com/personal-finance/article/best-rewards-credit-cards/
[4] – https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/cash-back
[5] – https://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/cash-back/
[6] – https://money.usnews.com/credit-cards/cash-back
[7] – https://fortune.com/recommends/credit-cards/best-cash-back-credit-cards/
[8] – https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/college-student
[9] – https://www.cnbc.com/select/best-college-student-credit-cards/
[10] – https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/restaurants
[11] – https://time.com/personal-finance/article/best-credit-cards-for-restaurants/
[12] – https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/groceries
[13] – https://wallethub.com/best-credit-card-for-groceries
[14] – https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/credit-cards/bonus-offers
[15] – https://time.com/personal-finance/article/best-sign-up-bonus-credit-cards/
[16] – https://wallethub.com/best-credit-cards-for-students
[17] – https://money.usnews.com/credit-cards/no-annual-fee
[18] – https://www.creditkarma.com/credit-cards/no-annual-fee

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