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Best Credit Cards of October 2021
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Best Credit Cards of October 2021

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These top credit cards let you rack up serious rewards — often worth $1,000 or more — in a hurry. Consider signing up for one of these credit cards if you have excellent credit and want to take advantage of your daily spending.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred®: Best for Flexible Points
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for Flexible Travel Credit
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash: Best for No Annual Fee
  • The Platinum Card®from American Express. Best Travel sign-up Bonus
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for Flexible Rewards for Business
  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business: Best for Big Business Spenders

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Chase Sapphire Preferred®: Best for Flexible Points

The Chase Sapphire Preferred allows you to earn Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred to airline and hotel programs or used to book a broad variety of travel reservations directly through Chase.

Pros:

  • Earn 100,000 bonus points (worth $1,250 in travel reservations) after spending $4,000 in purchases within three months of account opening
  • Earn 2x points per dollar spent on on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out, and travel
  • Transfer rewards to airline or hotel points, or receive 1.25 cents per point on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Receive exclusive benefits from DoorDash, Peloton and Lyft

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee

Sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within first three months of account opening (worth $1,250 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards). You’ll also earn 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases. You can redeem rewards for gift cards, statement credits, experiences, or travel. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to participating Chase airline and hotel partners. This card has a $95 annual fee, but there are no foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for Flexible Travel Credit

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers you double miles on all purchases, which are worth one cent each as statement credits towards any travel purchases.

Pros:

  • Earn up to 60,000 bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within first three months of account opening
  • Receive 2x miles per dollar spent on all purchases, with no limits
  • Miles are worth one cent each as travel statement credits or can be transferred to airline miles or hotel points
  • Receive up to $100 in credit towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee

Cons:

  • Most point transfers are at the 2:1.5 ratio, although a few are at 1:1
  • $95 annual fee

The Venture Rewards card is great for those who want to make travel reservations the same way they always have, but pay for them with their earned rewards. Venture cardholders can earn a limited-time sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Points can be redeemed for statement credits towards travel reservations at a rate of one cent per point, or you can use your rewards for shopping when you check out with PayPal. This card also lets you transfer miles to participating airline partners like British Airways, Air France, JetBlue and Wyndham hotels. This card also gives you a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.


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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Best for No Annual Fee

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card helps you maximize the cash back you earn by offering unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, a $200 new account bonus and 15 months of 0% APR financing.

Pros:

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.
  • 15 months of 0% intro APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers (then a standard rate of 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable)
  • $200 new account bonus after spending $1,000 on the card within three months of account opening.
  • No annual fee

Cons:

  • Few travel insurance and purchase protection benefits.
  • 3% foreign currency conversion fee.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card simply offers you 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limits. Yet it also offers you a $200 bonus when you use it to spend $1,000 on the card within three months of account opening. It even gives you 15 months of 0% intro APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers. There’s no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign currency conversion fee.

The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best Travel Sign-up Bonus

This offer gives you the chance to earn up to 250,000 bonus miles in the first six months of account opening.

Pros:

  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 on purchases within your account’s first six months.
  • Earn 10x on eligible restaurant and small business purchases (up to $25,000 within six months).
  • Enjoy up to $1,400 in fee credits.
  • Receive airport business lounge access.

Cons:

  • $695 annual fee
  • It’s hard to use all of the the numerous fee credits.

Go big with this Amex Platinum offer including a large new account bonus, big rewards for spending and lots of fee credits. But with these great benefits comes a great fee — $695 per year. When you’re able to earn the new account bonus and leverage all of this card’s rewards and benefits, its annual fee can be worth it.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for Flexible Rewards for Business

This popular small business rewards card offers Ultimate Rewards points and a very generous new account bonus.

Pros:

  • Earn a 100,000 point bonus after spending $15,000 on purchases within three months of account opening
  • Earn 3X points on shipping and other select business categories
  • Points are earned in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program which allows transfers to participating airlines and hotels
  • Points are worth 25% more when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Cons:

  • High minimum spending requirement to earn the new account bonus
  • $95 annual fee

If you’re looking for an excellent credit card deal for your business, look no further than the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. This card offers 100,000 welcome bonus points when you spend $15,000 within first three months of account opening. These points are worth $1,250 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards or $1,000 in cash back. You’ll also earn 3x points on travel, shipping, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, and internet, cable, and phone services, plus 1x points on other purchases.

A $95 annual fee applies with this card, but you won’t pay foreign transaction fees on purchases. Note that all the Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption opportunities are possible with this card, including 25% more when redeemed for travel to book airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can also transfer points 1:1 to participating airline and hotel partners or redeem for statement credits, gift cards, and Apple® Ultimate Rewards Store purchases.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus: Best for Big Business Spenders

The Spark Cash Plus is a charge card that offers small business owners a very easy way to earn a high rate of cash back on all purchases. But as a charge card, you must pay your statement balance in full, each month.

Pros:

  • Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn a $500 cash bonus once you spend $5,000 within the first three months of account opening, and another $500 once you spend $50,000 within the first six months, for a total of up to $1,000
  • $200 bonus each year you spend $200,000 on your card

Cons:

  • Few premium card benefits
  • $150 annual fee

If you use your credit card for a large amount of small business spending, and really want to maximize your rewards, consider signing up for the new Capital One Spark Cash Plus. This card offers a welcome bonus worth $500 when you use your card to make $5,000 in purchases within three months of account opening, and another $500 when you spend a total of $50,000 within the first six months. On top of the bonus cash back, you’ll get 2% cash back on everything you buy with the card.

The Spark Cash Card offers numerous service and protection benefits such as Card Lock, extended warranty and protection, security alerts, and customized spending limits on employee card. Also note that this card is charge card, not a credit card, so you are expected to always pay your entire statement balance. There’s a $150 annual fee for this card, it comes with free employee cards and has no foreign transaction fees.


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Frequently asked questions about the best credit cards

Q. These cards have amazing new account bonuses. What’s the catch? While there are no hidden drawbacks to these cards, you should be aware of the minimum spending required to earn the bonus points, miles or cash back. You should never overspend or incur debt in order to meet these requirements.

Q. Will using a rewards credit card hurt my credit score? Rewards credit cards do not affect your credit any differently than other cards. If you use your rewards card responsibly by avoiding debt and making your payments on-time, you will add positive information to your credit report and improve your credit score.

Q. What’s worth more, points, miles or cash back? It all depends on how your redeem your points or miles. When you can receive exceptional value from redeeming your rewards, it’s possible that they can be worth more than you could have earned in cash back. But if you aren’t very well versed in travel rewards, you’ll likely be better off earning cash back. Or, you can use a simple travel rewards card like the Capital One Venture, which offers statement credits towards travel purchases.

Q. Is it worth it to pay an annual fee? The best reward credit cards will have annual fees. If you’re able to take advantage of these cards rewards programs and their most valuable benefits, they can easily be worth the annual fee. But if you’re a modest spender and you don’t see yourself utilizing travel benefits, then a card with no annual fee might be best for you.

Q. Will opening up a new account hurt my credit score? In most cases, no. So long as you manage your card responsibly, then it will likely improve your credit score. The exception are those who have already opened up several new cards in the last few months. When you apply for multiple new lines of credit in a short period of time, the credit scoring formulas will interpret that as a sign of potential financial problems, and your score may decline for a little while.

How We Found the Best Credit Card Deals of 2021

You can get a bonus offer with any rewards or cash back credit card these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the best. Some may offer inferior welcome bonuses while others make their bonus offers difficult to earn. Here’s everything we considered to come up with our list of the best credit card deals available today.

Generous Bonus Rewards

One of the first things you should look for before applying for a credit card is the number of rewards offered and how much they’re worth. With that in mind, we looked for credit card deals that could be worth several hundred dollars or more, giving precedence to offers that let you earn even more rewards over time.

Flexible Points

We also looked for credit cards that let you redeem rewards in more ways than one, or at the very least, could be redeemed for statement credits to cover purchases. Keep in mind there are a lot of excellent airline and hotel credit cards available too, which you should consider if you prefer to earn points in a specific loyalty program.

Reasonable Spending Requirements

While sign-up bonuses were the main factor we considered, we also made sure cards on this list came with a reasonable minimum spending requirement. For cards with higher requirements, we made sure that the bonus earned would be well worth it.

Understandable Annual Fees

Finally, we took a close look at annual fees and what cardholders could expect in return in terms of benefits and perks. Most of the credit cards that offer the best bonus deals charge an annual fee, so we didn’t count them out. Instead, we made sure the annual fees made sense in terms of the value you could receive in return.

Callout: One factor we didn’t consider in this ranking is each credit card’s annual percentage rate, or APR. Since rewards credit cards that offer bonus deals charge high interest rates, you shouldn’t pursue rewards or bonus deals if you plan to carry a balance. The credit card deals explained on this page only make sense to pursue if you have a plan to pay your credit card bill in full each month.

Summary: Best Credit Card Deals of 2021

Best Credit Card Deals of 2020Best For
Chase Sapphire Preferred®Flexible Points
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardFlexible Travel Credit
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® CardNo Annual Fee
United Quest CardTravel Sign-up Bonus
Ink Business Preferred® Credit CardFlexible Rewards for Business
Capital One Spark CashBig Business Spenders

More From Money:

Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2021

Why I’m Keeping My Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, Even Though It Costs $550 a Year and I Can’t Use Travel Rewards Right Now

Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2021

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