Update: Some offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer available. View current credit card offerings from our partners at CardCritics Here or on the issuer’s website.
We are a nation brimming with credit cards. According to the American Bankers Association, as of the end of 2020, there were 365 million open credit card accounts in the country. As of 2018, there were 1.12 billion credit cards in 2018, with the number expected to jump to 1.25 billion in 2023. Of all these credit cards, only a dozen or so lenders reign supreme. This number includes Visa, Mastercard, Capital One, Chase and Citibank, just to name a few.
Between all these banks — and in addition to them — consumers can find troves of credit cards that aren’t as well known as say, the popular Chase Sapphire Rewards Card or the Platinum Rewards Card from American Express; and just because they aren’t as famous, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth possessing. Indeed some lesser known credit cards can reap holders tons of benefits that can come in handy for a variety of spending needs.
Here’s a look at 7 of the best credit cards you might not have heard about, based on the opinions of professionals in the finance and budgeting space.
GOBankingRates’ Best Credit Cards:
The US Bank Visa Platinum Card
Dave Herman, president of EZ Surety Bonds, hails the US Bank Visa Platinum Card as being perfect for consumers getting started with credit cards.
“You’ll receive a 0% APR right off the bat, lasting for almost two years,” Herman said. “After that, your APR jumps to ; however, in that time frame, you can really increase your credit score and apply for the lower APRs.”
There is no annual fee to use the US Bank Visa Platinum Card.
Petal 2 Visa Credit Card
“The Petal 2 Visa Credit Card is objectively one the best cards for building positive credit,” said Giovanni Braghieri, CEO and co-founder of MyConsultingCoach.
“It’s one of the few credit cards that have no annual fees (or any other fees) attached but are nonetheless available to people with average credit scores,” Braghieri said. “If you want to start building better credit, Petal 2 is the way to go. It rewards responsible financial behavior by providing a 1% cashback on all purchases. If you have no late payments within a year, that cashback bonus increases to 1.5%.”
APRs for the Petal 2 Visa Credit Card range between variable.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
“One card that many people have not heard of that is very good is the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card,” said Darren Nix, founder of Steadily Landlord Insurance. “There are great rewards for these cards including 5% on two select categories not limited to: clothing stores, gyms, furniture, and even utilities which can change every quarter to fit a customer’s spending needs. In addition, the card offers 2% on gas, food, and restaurants. In addition, there is no annual fee and a moderate variable APR from 13.99% – 23.99%.”
Holders can earn a $200 rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of opening an account and there is no annual fee with this card.
Visa Titanium Signature Credit Card
“The most underrated credit card is the Visa Titanium Signature Credit Card,” said Jim Pendergast, SVP of altLINE. “This card offers one of the lowest APRs in the business. This card is exclusive, though — usually only offered to Andrews Federal Credit Union members. You can get it for free if you join the American Consumer Counsel.”
The APR starts at 9.49% — pretty low considering the national average APR is 12.82%, and there’s no annual fee attached to the Visa Titanium Signature Credit Card.
Discover it Student Cash Back Card
“The most underrated credit card is the Discover it Student Cash Back,” said Cliff Auerswald, president of All Reverse Mortgage. “Building credit is difficult when you have none, but this card allows you to build credit easily while you’re in college. You’ll also get 2% on quarterly purchases $1,000 and up and 1% back on other purchases.”
Most uniquely, with the Discover it Student Cash Back card, students get an incentive for performing well in school. The Good Grade Reward, available to new cardmembers who note on their application that they are currently enrolled in college, can get a $20 statement credit if they hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the next five years. The APR starts at 0% for the first six months, then , and there is no annual fee attached to this card.
The Brex Card
“Lately I’ve been a fan of the Brex card,” said Chris Motola, financial and credit card analyst at MerchantMaverick.com. “Startups often find themselves in a catch-22 situation when it comes to credit, so it’s nice to see a card that caters specifically to their needs.”
Motola explained that there are quite a few perks with Brex.
“You get 8x points on rideshares and taxis, 5x on travel, 4x at restaurants, 3x on recurring software bills, 3x on Apple products. And you’ll get numerous discounts on tech-related services,” Motola said. “During COVID the company even added additional perks: 8x on collaboration and 4x on food delivery. After signing up, you’ll get 50,000 points after spending your first $1,000. There’s also no credit check in the application process, and there’s no annual fee.
The Brex card is only available to C-corps, S-corps, and LLCs/LLPs, which is the only major downside with this card.
The Disney Premier Visa Card
“After you sign up for The Disney Premier Visa Card from Chase, you can get a cash bonus of $300 when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months from account opening,” said budgeting expert Andrea Woroch. “Plus, you can use your new card to pay for a select Disney vacation package and you won’t have to worry about paying it off right away or getting slapped with interest since cardmembers get 0% promo APR for 6 months from the date of travel purchase.
“Other perks include 2% rewards in Disney Rewards Dollars on card purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations and then 1% on all other transactions,” Woroch added.
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Last updated: Oct. 26, 2021