On the hunt for a new credit card?
A credit card is one of the best ways to pay for things, especially when your cash flow isn’t quite what you want it to be. Moreover, using your card can actually work out positively for you in other ways as it can even pay you back.
However, with lots of credit cards on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? What’s going to give you the most perks and the best interest rate? Which cards will hit you in the pocket if you pay late, and which will let you be more flexible with your payments?
The first thing to do is understand your main need. For example, if you’re a student, what you want out of a credit card will be different to someone who’s spending the next year travelling. For this reason, we’re going to take a look at the best credit cards for different usages in order to help you make a better, more informed decision. We’ll be helping students and young adults get started, and we’ll also show you our top credit cards for travel and cash back.
Benefits Of a Credit Card
To Help You Build Credit
If your credit score is super low, or if it’s down to zero, it’s really important that you find ways of building it up.
Using a credit card regularly (and responsibly) will boost your credit score, making you more appealing to lenders in the future. For example, a high credit score will improve your chances of securing a mortgage later down the line.
They’re Universally Accepted
Lots of individuals prefer to play it ‘safe’ with a debit card instead of a credit card. However, while a debit card has its advantages it’s not always universally accepted around the world.
A credit card, on the other hand, is. If, for example, you need to rent a car in a foreign country, you can whip your card out and pay for it.
You Get Automatic Insurance
Even if you do manage to rent a car in a foreign country with your debit card, there’s no guarantee you’ll be insured. With your credit card, you will be automatically insured for things like that.
Credit Cards Help To Keep Vendors Honest
Imagine paying for plastering work on your house … only for the whole thing to fall apart a week later? If you paid with a check, you’re probably not getting that money back.
If you paid with a credit card, though, you can dispute the charge. The card issuer will withhold the funds and you will get your cash back.
Best Credit Cards For 2019, By Category
What Is The Best Credit Card For Students?
Being a student is often great fun but there are a lot of challenges, too. These range from keeping on top of school work to managing our budgets.
A key part of staying on top of your finances is getting the most out of your credit card. If this is your first ever credit card, you might be feeling a bit dazed with all the options in front of you. Here’s our top pick:
Best Credit Card For Students – Discover It Student Cash Back
This credit card for students has super rewards potential, with the possibility of earning up to 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter. On top of that, you can also get 1% back on literally anything and everything else.
To get the most out of the Discover It Student Cash Back credit card, you need to sign up to the bonus categories.
What we think students will really appreciate about this card, though, is that it matches – cent for cent – all the $$$ you earn back at the end of year one of being a student.
There are more bonuses. If you finish each year with a 3.0 GPA (or higher), you’ll get a $20 cash back bonus dropped onto your card. In terms of the best credit card offers, this is right up there.
To get approved for the Discover It Student Cash Back credit card, you need good credit. There’s no annual fee involved, and zero percent APR on purchases for the first six months.
Top Credit Card For International Students – Deserve Edu Mastercard
The Deserve Edu Mastercard is the best credit card for international students for a few reasons. But perhaps the best reason is that you don’t need a social security number to get approval. All you need is an I-20 form, your student Visa, passport and documentation that shows proof of your U.S. bank account balance (a screenshot should suffice).
With 1% unlimited cash back on any purchase you make using the credit card, the Deserve Edu Mastercard is a major win. And provided you keep using it responsibly, you could even upgrade to the Deserve Pro Mastercard which grants you all kinds of perks, including 2% cash back on restaurants.
As a final bonus, you only need an average credit score to get approved.
What Is The Best Credit Card For Travel?
Thinking of taking a year off to go travelling? Even if you hit the open road for just a few months, exciting times still lie ahead. And if you pick the right credit card, you’ll have greater peace of mind to focus on your new surroundings.
A good travel card shouldn’t charge fees, and it won’t hit you with hidden charges. It will also have near-perfect spending rates and will make travelling an even greater pleasure.
Best Credit Card For Travel – The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express’ Platinum Card offers lots of value to travellers. It bags you:
- $200 Uber credits each year
- $200 annual airline fee credit
- Delta Sky Club access each time you fly with Delta
These are some of the best credit card offers we’ve seen, and you can also earn 5x points each time you book your airfare directly with Amex Travel.
Then there’s the Membership Rewards program, which has 20 exclusive partners, including Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. This alone makes it one of the best credit card deals right now.
Make sure to check out the top 10 things to do when you get the Platinum card.
Top Credit Card For Travel Perks – Chase Sapphire Reserve
While the Platinum Card from American Express certainly has some of the best credit card offers around, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card has even more for travellers.
Here are some of the top ones:
- Zero transaction fees abroad
- $300 travel credit each year
- If you need to cancel your trip, you’re covered
- Ultimate Rewards travel portal allows you to redeem points at 1.5 cents each
- For each dollar you spend on travel, you get 3 points added to your card
- Primary car rental insurance
Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card charges a $400 annual fee but it’s well worth your money. It’s already won awards for premium credit cards, and if you use it alongside other Chase cards, you get to earn more and more points. This means that your credit cards and money are working for you.
What Is The Best Credit Card For Cash Back?
When it comes to credit card rewards, cash back is probably the standout one. You don’t need to calculate any points – instead, you get real cash in your pocket that can be used straight away on other things. Cash rewards can start out from 1% and rise to as much as 6% of the amount your pay on each transaction.
There’s quite a bit to understand when it comes to cash back credit cards, including the three types:
- Bonus category
While you can read more about the in’s and out’s of cash back credit cards here, we’re going to cut through the noise by taking a look at the best credit card for cash back.
Best Credit Card For Cash Back – Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card allows you to earn 1% cash back each time you buy something and 1% cash back each time you make a payment. It’s double the win, and while earning the first reward is super easy, so is earning the second one. All you need to do is meet the minimum payment required each month and you’re in.
That said, we of course recommend that you pay your balance in full each month to stay on top of things.
Moreover, you won’t see any cash until you’ve reached the $25 cash rewards balance. Once you’ve met this, you can then do one of four things:
- Send credit to a linked Citi checking or savings account
- Redeem in the form of a gift card
- Ask for a cheque of at least $25
- Ask for a statement credit to your card account of $25 or more
This is a flat-rate cash back credit card that’s super popular with consumers, but we must stipulate that there is no sign-up bonus. You will also be met by a 3% foreign transaction fee.
On the other hand, you get 2$ cash back on every single purchase you make and there are zero limits. This is one of the best credit card deals right now.
What Is The Best Credit Card For Young Adults?
Young adults seemingly have it so much easier than older adults. They have less responsibilities, they’ve still got their hair – and their credit cards have no annual fees. Brilliant. Plus, credit cards give you the opportunity to put some major gasoline in your credit score.
And yet 23% of millennials don’t have a credit card. We’ve already outlined the benefits of having a credit card above, but here is the best credit card for young adults:
Best Credit Card For Young Adults – U.S. Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card
What we love about credit cards is that you can make money each time you use it. With the U.S. Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card, you get to pick which cash back categories you want to focus on. For example, you can pick a pair that bags you 5% cash back, and a further one that bags you 2%. All remaining categories get you 1%. Not bad.
You can also redeem rewards online as a U.S. bank account deposit or as a statement credit. There is no annual fee involved and this is one of the best credit cards right now.
Best Credit Card For Young Adults For Payment Flexibility – Citi Simplicity
We thought we’d give the Citi Simplicity Card a mention as it deserves it for its payment flexibility. You won’t be charged anything for late payments, nor will your interest rate soar. Moreover, you can decide your own bill payment schedule so that you don’t get stressed.
There is also no annual fee and zero percent intro APR on all new purchases made during the first year.
Knowing what you need a credit card for makes choosing the right one easier, but before choosing a card, you should also consider your spending habits, as well as the rewards that will work for you. And while we’ve outlined the best credit cards available right now for a few purposes, it’s still important that you research each one thoroughly before making your final decision.