While setting up your yearly savings plan for 2017 (you know, figuring out how to stop wasting money and start pocketing more cash), optimizing your credit card usage should be a major part of the strategy. Whatever your lifestyle, credit history, or spending habits, there's a card out there that will benefit you the most.
The editors at WalletHub have analyzed a vast array of credit card options and whittled them down to a list of the crème de la plastic. Find a card to suit your needs below and make 2017 the year you become one of those people with enviable credit.
Best Card For Travel Rewards
Barclaycard Arrival Plus
For wanderlusting jet-setters with excellent credit and the ability to meet the $3,000 initial spending requirement, this card is hugely rewarding. It provides the miles equivalent of two percent cash back on all purchases — as long as it's redeemed for travel — and there's a $500 rewards bonus after meeting the spending requirement within the first three months.
For travel-lovers with good credit (but not excellent), the Capital One Venture Card is also a good bet, providing that same two percent cash back on all purchases (redeemable for travel) and 40,000 bonus miles (after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days), which can be redeemed for a $400 statement credit applicable to any travel-related costs charged to the card.
Best Card For Cash Back
Citi Double Cash
With no annual fee, one percent cash back on all purchases, and an additional one percent cash back on bill payments, this card is a clear winner in the money-earning category. And by literally rewarding you every time you pay your bill, it promotes healthy financial habits. It's a real win-win situation.
Best Card For Zero-Percent Purchases
Citi Diamond Preferred
For folks planning big-ticket purchases, the Citi Diamond Preferred card offers relief in the form of zero percent on purchases for 21 months. As WalletHub points out, "That's just about the longest zero-percent term on the market, giving you ample time to get out from under your forthcoming debt before a regular APR that can be as high as 22.24 percent takes effect." The icing on top: no annual fee.
Best Card For Zero-Percent Balance Transfers
Chase's Slate card offers zero percent on balance transfers for 15 months, making it an excellent option for anyone currently struggling with a hefty debt. In addition to zero percent on that transferred debt, there's no annual fee, and no sneaky transfer fee (many cards with similar offers quietly charge a 2-4 percent transfer fee). This card is the best choice for efficiently getting out of debt — and without incurring yet more debt.
Best Card If You Have Limited/Fair Credit
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards
Although there is a yearly fee of $39, this card has the best rewards-earning potential for people with fair or limited credit by providing 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. If you use (and pay off) this card regularly, you'll eventually boost your credit score and make up that annual fee several times over.
Best Card If You Have Bad Credit
Discover It Secured
If you're harboring a not-so-great credit score, you may think beggars can't be choosers — and you'd be wrong! In contrast to the usual cards available to bad-credit bearers, the Discover It Secured card actually provides rewards: two percent cash back on the first $1,000 spent at restaurants or gas stations each quarter and one percent cash back on everything else. There's also no annual fee and a low minimum deposit of $200.