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Navigating the many different credit card options can be daunting, especially when each card is geared towards a different consumer profile and perks can wildly vary. To help, we created this list of the top credit cards to consider based on their respective categories.

 

Best Credit Cards of May 2024

 

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card from Chase

 

Why We Like It

This is one of the best credit cards for small business owners and freelancers, especially ones that do a lot of traveling or online sales and marketing. It boasts one of the best welcome offers we’ve seen from Chase, let alone any other business credit card. New cardholders are eligible to earn a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $8,000 within the first three months from account opening. You can earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each year in the following bonus categories: travel, advertising, shipping or telecommunication providers. This $150,000 threshold resets on your account anniversary year, so you can access the benefits each time you renew your card. Your rewards points offer the most value when redeemed for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program.

Among the myriad of benefits this card offers, one of the rarest and most standout benefits is cellphone protection, which offers up to $1,000 per claim in the event of phone damage, theft or loss for you and any employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill. Cardholders must file a claim within 60 days of a covered incident to qualify.

With a relatively low annual fee, comprehensive bonus categories and the generous sign-up bonus, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a standout choice to add to your business’s arsenal.

 

PROS

  • Exceptional new cardholder bonus offer of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $8,000 within the first three months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Relevant bonus categories (travel, shipping, advertising and telecommunication providers)
  • No additional cost for employee cards
  • Cellphone protection
  • Primary car rental coverage
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance of up to $5,000 per person
  • Purchase protection of up to $50,000 per card account per calendar year, within the first 120 days of the purchase date

 

CONS

  • Annual fee of $95
  • No introductory 0% APR period
  • High minimum spending needed to qualify for sign-up bonus
  • Other cards offer more rewards points specifically for travel

 

American Express® Gold Card

 

Why We Like It

This credit card offers some of the best point-earning opportunities for those that spend frequently on dining and food categories, which even include delivery services and U.S. supermarkets. The rewards rates are some of the highest we’ve seen in these categories, making it a standout choice for foodies or those that spend frequently on dining and grocery purchases. You can transfer your points to American Express travel partners (usually at a 1:1 value), however certain partners offer a higher transfer ratio which can help you maximize your points value and get even better discounts.

The card’s $250 annual fee is easily offset by the very generous benefits in the food, dining and travel categories. You can earn 4X points on up to $25,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1X points thereafter) and 4X points at restaurants (U.S. takeout and delivery included!) and Uber Eats purchases. You also can earn 3X points on flights that are booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel. All other purchases earn you 1X points.

 

PROS

  • Welcome offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership (which can easily be achieved at about $667 per month)
  • Cardmembers can earn up to $10 in monthly statement credits when using the card at participating dining partners (enrollment through Amex website is required)
  • Generous perks including up to $120 in Uber Cash Credits annually (up to $10 per month) and up to $120 in dining credits annually (up to $10 per month)
  • Can transfer rewards points to airline and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees

 

CONS

  • High annual fee may not be worthwhile for those who don’t spend frequently on food categories
  • The card benefits are more focused on food than on travel when compared to competing travel cards
  • Benefits terms can be complex and challenging for some to keep track of
  • Must have good to excellent credit to qualify

 

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

 

Citi Custom CashSM Card

 

Why We Like It

This credit card is an excellent choice for those who want a high rewards rate without paying an annual fee, making it a must-have in your multi-card strategy. You can earn 5% cash back on up to $500 (then 1% cash back thereafter) on purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle, plus an unlimited 1% on all other purchases. The eligible rewards categories are very comprehensive: restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

You can redeem your ThankYou points for cash back in a few different forms: direct deposit, check or statement credit – however, your points must equal to at least $5 in cash back to redeem for a check. You can also redeem your points for gift cards, travel bookings through Citi or for eligible Amazon purchases via Shop with Points.

 

PROS

  • No annual fee
  • Welcome offer of 20,000 ThankYou points (worth $200 in cash back) after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months
  • Wide variety of rewards categories
  • 5% cash back (up to $500 each billing cycle, then 1% thereafter) on your top spending category each billing cycle
  • 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of membership
  • 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable ongoing APR

 

CONS

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 5% bonus category has limited spending per billing cycle, which you could cap out on easily if you spend heavily in one category
  • Points must equal a minimum of $5 in cash back to redeem for a check
  • Basic ThankYou points cannot be transferred to Citi travel partners unless you also have a Citi Premier or Prestige card to redeem the Custom Cash’s points

 

 

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.