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Credit Card Comparison

Compare up to three credit cards from our partners using the side-by-side card comparison tool below. Search for a credit card you have in mind or browse our list of top picks.

How To Use the Credit Card Comparison Tool

Begin by selecting two or three cards from the search options above. The tool will display several factors to help you make your decision:

  • Recommended credit score for approval
  • Annual fee
  • Card network
  • Credit card provider
  • Introductory APR offers on purchases and/or balance transfers
  • Ongoing APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Welcome offers
  • Rewards-earning rates
  • Other fees (such as balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees or cash advance fees)
  • Other card highlights or benefits

This tool makes it easy to find all the information you need at a glance. You will still need to consider the factors independently and prioritize what’s important to you.

Compare Credit Cards

With no two cards created equal, comparing credit cards is the first step to finding the right one for your wallet. While it might seem overwhelming to get started, breaking it down into a few defining features makes it an approachable task.

When you’re ready to compare credit cards, here are a few things to consider.

Type of Credit Card

All credit cards have some common benefits, including the ability to make and track purchases easily and the opportunity to build credit. This is true for both personal and business credit cards.

Beyond that, the benefits will vary based on the type of credit card you hold. For example, a 0% APR credit card allows you to make purchases and pay over time without accruing interest during the promotional period. Rewards credit cards earn miles, points, cash or other incentives with every purchase. Travel credit cards may include perks while you’re on your trip and store cards may offer discounts when shopping with that brand.

Defining the benefits you’re looking for can help you choose the type of credit card that’s best for you.

Pro Tip
Choosing the right credit card for you depends on your lifestyle, spending habits and financing requirements. Make a list of what’s important to you before gathering card information so you’re not distracted by fancy marketing.

Credit Score

Although credit scores aren’t the only factor in determining whether you’re approved for a card, they are a big part of it and can be a first indicator of your approval odds.

Often, premium credit cards require good or excellent credit. These cards may come with higher credit limits, strong welcome offers, high rewards earning rates and built-in benefits.

Someone with poor or no credit may need to look for cards specifically catering to this type of customer. Secured credit cards can be a good way to build your credit. If you don’t have a credit history yet because you’re attending school, student credit cards may also be a good fit.

Pro Tip
If you have below-average credit and don’t need a card immediately, you may be better off spending some time improving your credit score so you have access to more card options when you apply.

Annual Fee

Annual fees on credit cards can range from $0 to hundreds of dollars. But before you restrict yourself only to cards with no annual fee, keep in mind that the benefits and rewards included on some cards can more than offset the cost of a fee.

Mid-range cards tend to have annual fees in the neighborhood of $95 per year, but may come with benefits easily worth that amount or more. Additionally, cards with an annual fee may earn rewards at a higher rate.

Premium credit cards usually have fees starting around $250, but can easily hit $500 or more. They may include perks like airport lounge access, statement credits toward purchases with select partners or benefits that treat you like a VIP. When considering cards with a high annual fee, ensure you’ll actually be using the benefits and credits so you get your money’s worth.

Pro Tip
Some card benefits may have restrictions that make them difficult to use. Be sure to read the fine print so you can evaluate how often you’ll actually use them.

Bonus

Numerous credit cards include a welcome bonus to new cardholders as a way to attract new applicants. These bonuses can be relatively small—such as a discount off a retail purchase—but some limited-time offers reach values of $1,000 or more on select cards.

Cards may also include an anniversary bonus to renew your card and pay the annual fee each year. Additional bonuses for spending a set amount of money in subsequent years may also be included.

Pro Tip
Spending bonuses, including welcome offers, are usually an all-or-nothing affair. Track your dollars spent carefully. Being off by even a penny means you won’t earn the bonus.

Rewards

Rewards credit cards are popular for good reason. Customers can earn rewards in the form of points, miles or cash back with every purchase. For cardmembers that don’t carry a balance or otherwise accrue fees, this is a great strategy to earn a rebate on all your spending.

Reward structures vary greatly depending on the card, both in the type of reward you earn and in the amount you earn for every dollar spent. Some cards offer flat-rate earnings on every purchase while others offer higher rewards but only on specific types of purchases.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to defining the best rewards structure, which is one reason it’s important to compare credit cards based on your own personal spending habits and earning preferences.

Pro Tip
Just like different currencies, differently-branded points have varying values. Many credit card points are worth one cent each, but some may be only worth half a cent and others could be worth two cents each. Take these redemption values into account when comparing two different credit cards. Some cards offer multiple types of redemptions where the value you get will be different depending on what you choose.

APR

A card’s APR, or annual percentage rate, is the amount of interest charged if you carry a balance on your card. In a perfect world, you’ll pay your bill in full and on time every month so that you don’t have to pay these charges. Unfortunately, that’s not always reality.

Some cards may offer limited-time 0% APR, which means you won’t accrue interest during the promotional period even if you haven’t yet paid the balance in full. However, most credit cards have APRs in the double-digits, some topping 20% or more. Since this adds up quickly, looking for a good credit card APR can be an important part of your card comparison.

Pro Tip
Unless you pay your bill in full each month without fail, credit card interest rates are incredibly important. It’s an expensive way to get a loan (or as cards put it, pay over time). Keep an eye on rates—and ideally, only charge what you can afford to pay off each month.

Pros and Cons

While the above items are common among many credit cards, each card also has individual quirks that you may want to consider.

Other advantages of certain credit cards may be if it’s with an issuer you already have an account or relationship with, making it more convenient to manage. The card may also include benefits like cellphone insurance, trip protections or other factors to include in the pro column.

Cons can include a long list of additional card fees (beyond the annual fee and APR), such as foreign transaction fees or balance transfer fees. Other cons may include having an online or mobile banking interface that’s difficult to use or being issued on a network that isn’t as widely accepted as powerhouses Visa and Mastercard.

Overall, balancing the pros and cons of each credit card is about finding what works for you and being educated about a certain card’s strengths and weaknesses.

What Is the Most Important Feature You Require?

Everyone will have a different credit card characteristic that is most important to them, such as:

  • Accessibility: If you have poor credit, the best card may be the one you qualify for.
  • Fees and interest rates: If you can’t pay your bill in full, look for 0% intro APR offers.
  • Rewards: If you’re using credit responsibly, card rewards can essentially be free money.
  • Benefits: Some cards come with valuable built-in perks, credits and memberships.

Maximize Credit Card Rewards

Maximizing your credit card rewards will require you to find a card that earns at generous rates in categories that align with your common purchase types. Additionally, you’ll want to have redemption options that are appealing to you, whether that’s cash, travel, gift cards or otherwise.

Avoid Credit Card Fees

Avoiding credit card fees when possible can save you money. Late fees, returned payment fees and foreign transaction fees can easily be avoided. Some fees, however, might make sense to pay. For example, you may be willing to pay a balance transfer fee if your card includes a 0% APR on balance transfers: It could save you money in the long run. Similarly, annual fees might make sense if the card’s benefits outweigh the costs.

Save Credit Card Interest

Paying your statement balance in full and on time each month is the obvious way to avoid credit card interest. Strategically choose to use your card to pay only for things you can afford. If that’s not possible, look for 0% APR credit cards. These cards offer no interest for a limited time so you can pay the bill in installments without accruing interest right away.

Build or Rebuild Credit

All cards can be used to build or rebuild credit if they are used responsibly. But not all cards will accept applicants with no existing credit history or one riddled with previous mistakes. Some cards are designed specifically for these types of customers with no credit or bad credit and may come with extra features like credit score monitoring to help you on your journey.

Build Your Business

A small business credit card provides both convenience in making charges as well as easy access to capital. Getting a business card also helps establish a business credit score (rather than relying on a personal score alone) which can help later with other forms of loans, real estate and other financial contracts.

Find the Best Credit Cards for 2023

No single credit card is the best option for every family, every purchase or every budget. We've picked the best credit cards in a way designed to be the most helpful to the widest variety of readers.

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Compare Credit Cards

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Partner Offer

Forbes Advisor created additional star ratings so that you can see the best card for specific needs. This card shines for this use, but overall the star ratings may differ when compared to other cards.
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(700 - 749)

Excellent

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Additional Information
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*The information for the following card(s) has been collected independently by Forbes Advisor: . The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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