Overview of the Best Credit Cards in 2019
The credit market is a competitive place with every company trying to do everything possible to lure in customers. This has resulted in aggressive marketing strategies some of which paint credit cards to be the ultimate solution to all your problems.
The sad truth is that a big majority of the credit cards from these companies are not as marvelous as advertised. Most of them come with lots of hidden fees some of which are quite high. If you are not careful you could end up with a problematic credit card which will not only be expensive to own but could also damage your credit record.
We, therefore, can’t stress enough on just how vital it is to make sure that you are extra keen when shopping for a credit card.
We also understand that there are a lot of options to choose from and this can be very overwhelming. You can easily end up getting confused and settling for a wrong choice. This is why we prepared this guide that you can use to determine whether the card you are applying for is a decent fit for you or not. We will also highlight the top 3 credit cards of 2019 that come highly recommended to people with decent credit scores.
Choosing a Credit Card
Before applying for a credit card, there are a few crucial factors that you must consider. We usually urge our clients to take all these factors into account before placing their applications. This is because most credit card companies usually place a request on your credit record whenever you make an application. The more the requests the more desperate you look and this may consequently damage your credit score. Taking these factors into account will hence help you understand whether the card is a good fit for you and should also help you know the probability of qualifying for the card.
These factors include:
a. Your Credit Score
Any company that tells you your credit score doesn’t matter or doesn’t play a key role in determining your qualifications is lying to you. Your credit score may not be the only factor being considered but it does contribute a lot in deciding which credit cards you qualify for. If you have a FICO score of more than 720 and your credit history stretches for longer than 2 years, you probably qualify for the best credit cards in the market. On the other hand, a poor credit score and a shorter history will limit your offers but there is still a number of companies that might approve your request.
Make sure that you know your credit score and use that information to apply for cards that you are confident of getting approved. There is no reason to take a chance and apply for something that is clearly out of your reach. You should also avoid making too many speculative applications as these will only damage your credit record.
With a good credit score, you deserve a credit card with good rewards rates. If you have a score of more than 720, you should be getting a credit card with at least 2% on rewards rating. This basically means that your credit card company should return 2% of the expenses you spend in the selected shopping categories. This may include purchases done on groceries, gas, mobile services, satellite TV etc. Any credit card offering you less than that is probably short-changing you. You deserve better.
Different credit cards come with different fees at different rates. Some of the most common fees include annual memberships, foreign transactions, late fees among others. We normally recommend that you avoid cards with high fees but you should know that high fees don’t always mean that a card is a bad choice. You should also consider how much you are getting from the cards and compare it against the charged fees to determine whether the card is worth it. If, for instance, a card provides lots of high rewards and around $300 in travel credit, paying $400 in annual fees won’t sound like too much.
d. Interest Rates
With an above average credit record, you shouldn’t be using a credit card with high-interest rates. The best credit cards should have interest rates of 15% or less. Whatever you do avoid taking a card with more than 20% in interest rates. Finding a card with less than 20% interest rates and a rewards program is a huge plus.
The best credit cards are flexible allowing the owner to redeem points, transfer and use them in different programs. The best companies also don’t limit you too much on where and how you can use the points. For instance, a credit card whose points you can redeem and use to book airfare with over five airlines are much better than one which limits you to just a single airline.
f. Net rewards and return
Calculating net rewards or returns from a credit card can be very challenging to most people. If you are in a position of making these calculations, you should do so as they will help you understand the long-term benefits of the card. The best credit cards will give you rewards and returns worth hundreds of dollars within two or so years. These returns help to offset the annual fee and overall costs of owning the card.
Top 3 Credit Cards 2019
We used the above factors and other minor tips to come up with the following list of the best credit cards of 2019:
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is our top pick for lots of reasons. The biggest one of them all is its 2.5% rewards rate! Yes, unlike most other travel cards in the market that never go beyond the 2% mark, this credit card offers you a 2.5% rewards rate making it, perhaps, unbeatable.
We also loved the card due to the flexibility of the points that you can gain from using this card. The points can be transferred to airline and hotel loyalty programs on 1:1 basis. The points can be used with most of the major airlines and other brands including British Airways, World of Hyatt and Marriott Rewards.
To get the best out of your points, the company has a program known as Chase Ultimate Rewards. Redeeming your points through this programs increases the worth of your points by as much as 25%! How many credit cards offer that?!
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is definitely your best option if you are looking for a travel card.
2. Discover it Cash Back
Discover it Cash Back offers a whopping 5% cash back on different product categories throughout the year. This covers grocery stores, gas stations, Amazon, restaurants among many others. The company also allows you to redeem any amount of these rewards at any time. If you’re thinking that it can’t get any better than that then you are very wrong. At the end of your first year, Discover will calculate and match all the cash back rewards you’ve earned. What does that mean?
Well, if you got around $300 in cash back rewards, the company will give you an additional $300!
The credit card also doesn’t charge any annual fees. The incredible cash back rewards and the favorable terms make the Discover it Cash Back the best credit card for everyday spending.
3. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit card is a great option to everyone with an average credit record. If you have a credit score of between 620 to 670, this amazing card will give you up to 1.5% cash back rewards on all your purchases. This rate is a lot higher compared to other credit cards within the same region some of which don’t even have reward programs.
What makes this card an even better option is how it can rebuild your credit score. In fact, the company has another better credit card known as Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card which comes with an improved credit line, better cash back bonuses and without no annual fees. Use the QuicksilverOne to improve your credit score and Capital One will quickly upgrade you.
Take full advantage of your good credit score and make sure that you are getting the best cards the market has to offer. The three cards discussed above make up the best credit cards for travelers, everyday spending and for everyone with an average credit score. The guide should also help you understand why we rated these cards highly and what you need to know to identify the best credit cards for your specific needs.