Choosing a credit card is unlike shopping for other everyday items, as there’s no such thing as a credit card store that you can visit. With hundreds of credit cards offered by many card issuers, it can be hard to select the right one for your needs. Nevertheless, there are some ways to compare top credit cards to determine which one is best for you. Here are some determining factors you can consider when researching top credit cards:


According to a 2016 Gallup survey, about half of all Americans always or sometimes carry a balance on their credit cards. These credit card users may want to find a card with a low standard APR in order to save money on interest charges.

It also can be valuable to find a credit card that offers 0% introductory financing on new purchases, balance transfers or both.

Finally, it’s also important to see if your credit card will impose a penalty interest rate. Most credit cards impose a higher rate if you make a late payment, but some credit cards do not have a penalty interest rate. 1



Credit cards can offer rewards in the form of points, miles or cash back. It’s important to look at how much you will earn in rewards from each purchase, and how easy it is to redeem those rewards.

For example, reward points and miles with some airline and hotel programs may be subject to blackout dates and restrictive capacity controls, making it difficult to redeem your rewards, while others have looser rules. Similarly, when earning cash back, some cards will restrict how and when the cash you’ve earned can be used later, while other cards allow you to redeem your rewards for cash in any amount, at any time. The top credit cards will often provide cardholders with flexibility around their rewards program.


Available cardholder benefits on some credit cards, such as travel insurance and price protection, are another important consideration. For example, a price protection policy can reimburse you for any difference in price found within 90 days of the purchase.


Finally, any credit shopper will want to find a credit card with the lowest possible fees. To help compare, card issuers are required to disclose all of the fees that can be charged in a table that must have a standard format.

Some fees to be aware of include any annual fees, late payment fees and foreign transaction fees. While some credit cards will have lower fees than others, others will not charge certain fees at all.

By carefully considering these four key features, you can find the one the top credit cards in the market to best meet your needs.


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