The October issue of Money Magazine has once again named their picks for the best credit cards of 2015-2016, and cards from Citi, Discover, and Barclaycard have taken top honors in the cash back, shopping, and travel categories.
Fourteen cards were deemed best-in-class, in categories like best cash back card, best frequent flyer card, best hotel rewards card, best card for carrying a balance, best card for students, and best business credit cards. They considered factors like introductory and ongoing interest rates, sign-up bonuses, fees, and reward offerings.
Here’s the rundown on Money’s choices, along with key features of each:
• Citi Double Cash Card – best cash back card, with 0% introductory APR on purchases, no annual fee, and 2% cash back on all purchases.
• Discover It – best online shopping card, with 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, no annual fee, and 5% cash back in certain categories that change each quarter.
• American Express Blue Cash Preferred – best for maximizing cash back, with 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, a $75 annual fee, and 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in grocery store purchases.
• Barclaycard Arrival World – best travel rewards card, with no annual fee and two miles for every dollar spent on travel and dining. Also offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles when cardholders spend $1,000 in the first 90 days they have the card.
• Chase Sapphire Preferredand Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite – tied for best frequent flyer card, these cards have annual fees of $95 (Chase) and $89 (Barclaycard), both waived for the first year. Chase offers a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, and Barclaycard offers a bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
• Starwood Preferred Guest – best hotel rewards card, with an annual fee of $95 and a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.
• Northwest FCU FirstCard – best student card, with no annual fee, an ongoing APR of 10%, and a fixed credit limit of $1,000 designed to keep students from getting too deep into debt.
• Discover It Chrome for Students – best student cash back card, with no annual fee, a 0% APR for the first six months, and 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter.
• Digital Credit Union Visa Platinum – best card for carrying a balance, with an APR starting at 8.5% and no balance transfer fee.
• Chase Slate – best for balance transfers, with 0% on transfers for the first 15 months and no fee for transfers in the first two months.
• Citi Simplicity – best card for big purchases, with a 0% APR on purchases for 21 months and no annual fee.
• Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business – best card for small businesses, with no annual fee and 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
• U.S. Bank Business Edge Platinum – deemed the best card for businesses borrowing money, this card offers 0% on purchases and balance transfers for a year, and has no annual fee.