The Best Credit Cards of March 2022

The best credit cards available now

Given the wide range of benefits, rewards, and annual fees available, it’s impossible to name one single best credit card. But if you’re looking to find the best credit card for you, breaking it down by category is a good way to approach your search.

For example, if you’re just getting started with credit, a student credit card or a card that doesn’t require a high credit score is an ideal pick.

If you’re looking to earn travel rewards, on the other hand, you’ll want to look at cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Featured cash back credit cards from our partners

Regular APR

14.24% – 24.24% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Regular APR

14.99% – 23.74% Variable APR

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Regular APR

14.99% – 23.74% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

The best credit cards of March 2022


Regular APR


14.99% – 24.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


14.99% – 24.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Offers one of the longest intro APR periods for balance transfers (21 months)
  • No late fees or penalty APR for late payments

Cons

  • Higher balance transfer fee than some other cards
  • Doesn’t offer rewards, so you may want to upgrade to another card once you’re done paying off your debt

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  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 14.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges


Intro APR


0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months and on balance transfers for 21 months

Why the Citi Simplicity card is worth it: The Citi Simplicity® Card has one of the longest 0% APR intro balance transfer offers available today, and it doesn’t charge late fees, penalty rates, or an annual fee.

If you’re looking to transfer your existing credit card balance to a new card that offers a long introductory APR period, you can’t do better than the Citi Simplicity® Card. It offers 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months and on balance transfers for 21 months. (You must complete your balance transfers in the first four months from your account-opening date.) After the 21-month intro APR period on balance transfers ends, there’s a 14.99% – 24.99% Variable rate.  There’s a balance transfer fee of 5%, with a minimum charge of $5.

To get the full benefit out of the Citi Simplicity® Card, you’ll want to make sure you pay off your balance before the 21-month introductory period is over. The key to using credit cards responsibly is to avoid carrying any debt, so the Citi Simplicity® Card can be a useful tool in your strategy to get back on track with good financial habits.

What the experts love: An extra-long intro balance transfer offer that can give you the breathing room you need to get out from under debt

What the experts don’t love: No welcome bonus or rewards

Read more:


Regular APR


14.99% – 23.74% Variable APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


14.99% – 23.74% Variable APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99% – 23.74%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.


Intro APR


0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months

Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited is worth it: Along with a generous intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns up to 5x rewards in popular categories with no annual fee.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a long introductory 0% APR period of 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, after which there’s a 14.99% – 23.74% Variable APR.

Not only does this card help you pay down credit card debt with a generous introductory APR period, but it also offers solid ongoing rewards. You’ll earn 5% cash back (5x points) on travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, 3% back (3x points) on drugstores and dining, and 1.5% back (1.5x points) on everything else with no cap.

If you have a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can combine your rewards balances and gain the option to redeem your rewards in more ways, including transferring points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.

What the experts love: Great earning rates in rotating categories and decent benefits with no annual fee

What the experts don’t love: Foreign transaction fees

Read more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited:


Regular APR


14.24% – 24.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


14.24% – 24.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Simple earning structure without confusing bonus categories

Cons

  • Some cards earn higher rates of cash back on rotating categories
  • No sign-up bonus
  • While it offers a 0% introductory APR for 18 months, that’s only on balance transfers, not purchases, so you can’t use it to fund a major expense without interest. After those 18 months, it’s a 14.24% – 24.24% (Variable) APR.

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  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.24% – 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.24% – 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.


Intro APR


0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months

Why the Citi Double Cash card is worth it: The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of only a few cards that effectively earns 2% cash back (1% when you buy, and 1% when you pay) on every purchase — with no annual fee and a solid intro APR offer to boot.

Not only does the Citi® Double Cash Card offer one of the longest introductory APR periods, but it’s also a great option for earning cash back. In fact, it’s one of our top picks for the best cash-back cards thanks to its straightforward earning structure — you get 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% back when you pay your bill. 

As a new cardholder, you get the first 18 months with 0% APR on balance transfers from the date of the first transfer (which must be completed in the first four months from account opening). After that, there’s a 14.24% – 24.24% Variable APR. 

While the Citi® Double Cash Card is a cash-back card, if you also have a premium Citi card like the Citi Premier® Card or the Citi Prestige® Card
(no longer open to new applicants), you can combine your cash-back rewards with one of those accounts for the opportunity to redeem them as ThankYou points toward travel. 

However, starting March 28, 2022, the Double Cash card will earn Citi ThankYou points instead of cash back directly. But you can still redeem your points for cash back (as well as travel, gift cards, and more) and get the same rate of return.

What the experts love: Generous and straightforward earning on all purchases, ability to convert rewards to Citi ThankYou points

What the experts don’t love: No welcome bonus, foreign transaction fees

Read more about the Citi Double Cash Card:


Regular APR


15.99%-22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99%-22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth it: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent choice for travel credit card beginners and experts alike, with a moderate annual fee, substantial bonus, and great redemption options.

If you want to earn travel rewards, you’ll find that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the most user-friendly of the various bank currencies, which are also referred to as transferable points because you can transfer them over to various airline and hotel partners. In the case of Chase points, you can redeem them with partners like British Airways, Hyatt, United Airlines, and Singapore Airlines, or you can book travel directly through Chase. If you choose the latter, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece — a 25% bonus.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card starts you off with a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Those points are worth $750 in travel booked through Chase, or potentially even more if you decide to redeem with the program’s transfer partners. 

You’ll earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (2x points on all other travel purchases), 3x points on dining, 3x points on


online grocery

purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), 3x points on select


streaming

services, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Beyond the rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers some valuable coverage benefits, including primary car rental insurance, trip delay insurance, and baggage delay insurance.

Recent updates to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card include the addition of a 10% anniversary points bonus and up to $50 per year in statement credits for hotels booked through Chase. If you maximize this credit, you can shave off more than half of the card’s annual fee.

What the experts love: Lucrative welcome bonus, excellent transfer partners and travel insurance

What the experts don’t love: No airport lounge access or Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit

Read more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card:


Regular APR


23.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


New/Rebuilding


Regular APR


23.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


New/Rebuilding

Pros

  • Offers cash-back rewards, which isn’t a given for secured credit cards
  • Discover matches cash back after your first account year

Cons

  • Other secured cards let you start with lower minimum security deposits
  • You must fund the security deposit from a bank account

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  • No credit score required to apply*
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Using your secured credit card helps build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, prepaid and debit cards can’t do that.
  • Establish your credit line with your tax return by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.*
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score.
  • Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click “Apply Now” to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

Why the Discover It Secured credit card is worth it: Only a handful of secured credit cards on the market offer cash-back rewards, including the Discover it® Secured. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade to a non-secured card after showing a history of responsible use.

If you have a very limited credit history or are looking to repair bad credit, many of the cards on this list won’t be available to you. Most of the top rewards cards require credit scores in the 600s or higher — if that’s not where your credit is, you may need to consider a secured card to repair your credit. 

Secured credit cards are easy to get approved for because they require a cash deposit upfront, which minimizes the issuer’s risk. Your credit limit is equal to the cash deposit you put down. 

If a secured card seems like the right option for you, the Discover it® Secured is an especially good option, because it’s the rare secured card to offer rewards. You’ll Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of the first year. With this card, automatic reviews start at seven months to see if Discover can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.

What the experts love: Ease of approval, rare opportunity to earn cash-back rewards on a secured card

What the experts don’t love: No traditional welcome bonus, other cash-back cards earn higher rewards

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Regular APR


27.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Average, Fair and Limited


Regular APR


27.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Average, Fair and Limited

Pros

  • No bonus categories to keep track of; you earn 1.5% back on everything

Cons

  • Other cards offer higher cash-back rates

More Information

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn’t expire for the life of the account
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app

Why the Capital One QuicksilverOne card is worth it: Many credit cards designed for folks with fair or average credit offer modest rewards (or none at all). But the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with a very respectable 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no bonus categories to keep track of.

If you have a credit score in the “fair” range (580-669, according to FICO), you have a good chance of being approved for the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. It offers a respectable 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and there are no foreign transaction fees. 

What the experts love: Solid earning rate on all purchases, no foreign transaction fees or annual fee

What the experts don’t love: No welcome bonus

Read more:


Regular APR


15.99%–20.99% variable APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99%–20.99% variable APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more – your points don’t expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Why the Chase Ink Business Preferred is worth it: For a moderate annual fee, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card comes with a terrific welcome bonus, useful bonus categories for small-business owners, and top-notch benefits including cell phone insurance.

There are lots of great small-business credit cards, and if you travel constantly, it could be worth paying the high annual fee for a more premium option like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
. But if you just want a card that maximizes your returns in popular business spending categories, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a great choice. 

You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 you spend each cardmember year in select categories, including travel, shipping, internet/cable/phone, and advertising on social media sites or with search engines, such as Google Ads. Purchases after you reach $150,000, or in any other category, earn 1 point per dollar.

What the experts love: Massive welcome bonus, great transfer partners and travel coverage

What the experts don’t love: No airport lounge access or TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit

Read more about the Chase Ink Business Preferred card:


Regular APR


13.24% – 22.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Fair/New to Credit


Regular APR


13.24% – 22.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Fair/New to Credit

Pros

  • Earns 5% cash back at Grocery Stores and Fitness Club & Gym Memberships on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment from January 1 to March 31, 2022, then 1% (excludes Walmart and Target purchases)
  • Discover matches your cash back after the first year

Cons

  • Not the most rewarding cash-back card for non-bonus purchases

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  • No credit score required to apply*
  • Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends’ recommendations.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.24% – 22.24% applies.
  • Click “Apply Now” to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information


Intro APR


0% intro APR for 6 months on purchases

Why the Discover it Student Cash Back is worth it: The Discover it® Student Cash Back isn’t a watered-down version of its “grown-up” equivalent — it earns the same generous rewards as the regular Discover it® Cash Back.

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is a pretty rewarding card. It offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter when you activate, and 1% back on everything else (from January 1 to March 31, 2022, you can earn 5% cash back at Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and Fitness Club & Gym Memberships on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%). Discover will even match your cash-back earnings after your first cardmember year. Overall, this card is a great entry point into the world of cash-back rewards.

Read more:

What the experts love: Solid earning rates, especially for a student credit card

What the experts don’t love: No traditional welcome bonus

Other Insider credit card guides

This guide highlights the best credit card option for several different types of users. If you want a to-the-point recommendation for maximizing your spending and enjoying benefits like an intro APR period, this guide will help you find a quick answer. However, if you want to go deeper, check out our in-depth credit card guides for the following categories:

Methodology: How we chose the best credit cards for 2022

Our list of the best credit cards is the result of an in-depth comparison between credit cards in each sub-category. We looked at America’s largest credit card issuers, as well as cards frequently recommended by blogs, forums, and travel communities.

The values we prioritized when coming up with this list were:

  • Simplicity — not everyone wants to invest lots of time and energy into maximizing their credit cards, so we focused on cards that make things as straightforward as possible
  • Affordability — while there’s a case to be made for paying a high annual fee when you’re getting high value in return, most credit card users aren’t looking for a card that costs $450 or more
  • Value — whether we’re talking about a credit card with or without an annual fee, it’s important that the benefits and features are worth it

Credit card frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Why should I get a credit card?

Credit cards can be powerful tools for improving your credit score and earning rewards — if you use them responsibly.  It’s important to only spend what you can afford to pay off each month so you don’t end up in debt and start amassing steep interest fees.

Read more: Using a credit card is as easy as swiping or tapping, but understanding how payments and interest work is key to staying out of debt

Provided you’re in a position to pay off your credit card statements and spend within your means, there are several reasons opening a credit card could be a good idea. For one, credit cards offer better fraud protection than debit cards or cash — if an unauthorized purchase is made with your card, you won’t be on the hook.

Using a credit card responsibly can also help you build and repair your credit, since your on-time payments will be reported to the credit bureaus. Finally, a credit card can help you maximize every dollar you spend, by earning you cash back, points, or miles. 

What is the best credit card?

It’s impossible to name just one best credit card, because there are so many options for so many different types of users. A credit card that earns travel rewards could be the best option for one person, but if you’re looking to earn cash back, you’ll be better served by another pick.

How do I choose a credit card?

Focus on your priorities, and be realistic about what cards you’re able to get approved for. Most of the top rewards cards require credit scores in the high 600s at a bare minimum, so if your credit score isn’t there yet, you’ll want to look at options for bad to fair credit scores so you can focus on building your credit back up. 

Read more: The best rewards credit card is different for everyone, and the best choice for you depends on 2 things

Beyond that, decide what annual fee you’re comfortable paying. Some people avoid paying credit card annual fees completely, and there are several great cards in the no-annual-fee category, but it could be worth paying a modest annual fee of $95 to $99 for a travel or cash-back card that earns you higher rewards. Also, decide whether you want to earn cash back or travel rewards. Keep in mind that redeeming rewards for travel is more work than simply getting cash back in your account – the payoff can be big, but focus on what is the best option for you.

How do I build credit with a credit card?

Your credit card use is a huge factor in determining your credit score — every on-time payment you make is reported to the credit bureaus and shows potential lenders that you’re able to use credit responsibly. The key to building credit with a credit card is to only spend what you can afford to pay off each month. 

How many credit cards should I have?

There’s no one answer to this question — it’s possible to have more than 20 cards and maintain an excellent credit score, but this would probably entail several annual fees. Go slowly, space out your applications, and never bite off more than you can chew. Make sure you’re able to pay off your balances in full each month, because earning rewards is never worth going into debt.

How do you apply for a credit card?

Nowadays, there are lots of different ways to apply for a credit card, including online, by phone, by mail, through the bank’s app, or in person at a bank branch.

Read more: 5 steps you should take when applying for a credit card

Regardless of how you choose to apply, you should have an idea of your credit score before you open a new card to be sure you have a chance of qualifying. In your application, you’ll be asked for personal details like your full name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number, and income. 

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