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Best Credit Cards of 2021

If you’re looking for the best credit cards out there, then you’re in the right place.  The team here at CashBlog has scoured the earth to find the best of the best. 

For a number of the credit cards we’re highlighting, we have firsthand experience with them.  We’re not just telling you that they’re the best credit cards based on research; we actually have some of these cards ourselves because we know they’re the best ones out there.

The word “best” might mean different things to different people, so what’ve done here is break down the best credit cards for different categories. And without further ado, here are the results:

Credit Card with the Best Rewards Catalog

American Express

Best Credit Card for Cash Back

Citi Double Cash

Best Credit Card for Instant Approval

Milestone Gold Card

Best Credit Card for Bad Credit

Destiny Mastercard

Best Credit Card for Amazon Purchases

Amazon Prime Rewards Card

Please note:  for each of these cards, there are terms and conditions that you can view on their websites.  We do not explicitly enunciate every term and condition for each credit card in this article.  Make sure to review those before you submit an application.

Also, if you want to check your credit score for free to know which credit card is best to apply for, you can do that here with myFICO.

Credit Card with the Best Rewards Catalog

The honor here goes to American Express.  Speaking from personal experience, I can say that between me, my wife, and the small businesses I’ve owned, I’ve managed more than 20 different credit cards in my life.  American Express’s rewards catalog far and away outpaces every other one I’ve ever seen.

A lot of credit cards have pretty paltry rewards offerings.  There might be a smattering of seemingly random rewards that most offer, but unless you happen to want hair clippers or a robot vacuum, the rewards catalog for most cards might leave you unimpressed.

But with the American Express, their rewards catalog is quite extensive.  Literally hundreds of thousands of rewards are at your fingertips.

In my case, I always loved using points for travel.  With American Express points, you can get plane flights, rental cars, and hotels.

With an American Express business card I had, I generated enough points to pay for a two-week family vacation to Europe.  I also use points to pay for trips with my wife to Hawaii and Aspen.  My family basically traveled the world just by using our American Express points.

We also like using points for gift cards.  There was a period of my life where almost every time I went out to eat at a name brand restaurant, it was paid for by a gift card from our credit card points stash.

If gift cards and travel aren’t your thing, they also have a deep catalog of tangible products available.  They cover dozens of categories from furniture and appliances to crafts and pets.  They even have an automotive section.  That section alone has several thousand products.

One more note about their rewards program is that if you’re looking to convert your points to cash, American Express has a program where if you open a Schwab brokerage account you can transfer the points into the brokerage account at a 1.25 points-to-cash ratio.  I don’t see that program mentioned very often, but it sure proved valuable to me.

The bottom line here is that if you want a credit card that has a rewards catalog that makes you feel like you just won a shopping spree, then American Express takes the cake.  It’s the best credit card that we’ve found for that purpose.

Best Credit Card for Cash Back

This award here goes to Citi Double Cash.  This one is simple:  you get 2% cash back on every purchase you make.

What I love about this card is that the cash back program is so simple.  I’ve seen a number of cards that have a cash back program where you get 1% back on groceries, 2% back on gas, 3% back on utilities, or something stepped system like that.  That in and of itself is confusing and hard to remember, but the kicker is that with many cards, they rotate the cash back discount categories each month!  That’s something that I don’t want any part of.  I’m not looking for a new part time job trying to keep track of my cash back discount categories here.  I just want it to be simple and to be assured that I’m getting a big old chunk of cash back just by using the same card over and over.  And that’s what this credit card offers.

It’s worth noting that you need to have stellar credit in order to lock this card down.  I had a period in my life when my credit cards were maxed out and I wouldn’t have had a chance of getting a card like this.  But since then, I was able to clean up my credit, wipe out all my balances, and get my FICO score above the mid-700s.  That type of credit score will open doors for you to opportunities like this.  You can’t have the best credit card for cash back if you don’t have a solid fico score.

Best Credit Card for Instant Approval

We like the Milestone Gold Card when it comes to getting an instant approval.  They have a really quick pre-qualification process that does not affect your credit score.  So rather than taking the time to fill out an entire application without knowing if you even have a shot at getting the card, these guys let you do the quick pre-qualification to find out up front what your odds of success are.  In a matter of minutes you should know if it’s worth your time to fill out the application.

And then once you fill out the application, you typically will find out instantly if you’re approved.  The Milestone Gold Card is designed to be easy to get approved for too.  So if you’re looking for a credit card that gives you quick access to spending power, Milestone is our choice for the best one available.  This isn’t going to be the cheapest card you can find, but it’s going to give you goods odds for a quick approval with easy qualification criteria.  Make sure to check their current fees before submitting your application.

Best Credit Card for People with Bad Credit

We like the Destiny Mastercard for people who don’t have great credit scores.  One reason we like this credit card is because they specifically cater to people who have low credit scores.  They understand the situation and they want to help people who are looking to build back up their credit history.  It’s nice to know up front that you’re working with a company who specializes in lower credit scores.

Keep in mind that these are unsecured credit cards, too.  So they aren’t going to require you to collateralize the credit card in any way.  If you get approved, they’ll mail you the card and your only obligation thereafter is to make the scheduled payments on any balance that you incur.  It’s important to understand that this card won’t come cheaply.  Make sure to check out the fees involved before submitting an application. 

We also like it that Destiny has a really quick pre-qualification available.  You can fill out a short form to check if you’re pre-qualified before taking the time to do the full-scale application. 

So if your credit score isn’t the best but you still really want to lock down another credit card, we consider this Destiny Mastercard to be the best credit card available to you.

Best Credit Card for Amazon Purchases

This one may seem intuitive, but it’s worth pointing out since it’s such a good deal.  If you regularly shop on Amazon like we do, then the Amazon Prime Rewards Card is a killer deal. 

You get 5% back on every purchase you make at Amazon.  That alone makes the card worth it in our opinion, but they also give you a $150 Amazon gift card if you get approved.  In addition, you get 5% off at Whole Foods and there are no annual fees.

This card may not be the best card ever for purchases at other businesses, but for Amazon purchases, this is the cream of the crop.  From what we’ve seen, it’s the best possible credit card you could use to make Amazon purchases.

In the case of my family, we buy a lot of food and household products on Amazon.  It’s like a normal recurring monthly expense.  So this offers a way to save 5% on our normal monthly bills.  We spent just under $1,000 on Amazon in the last month, so that means we got almost $50 of savings just by using this card.  That’s a sweet kickback to earn on a monthly basis.

Conclusion

Doing your own research to find the best credit cards can be a painstaking, mind-numbing process.  We hope that this article gave you some unique and helpful insights that make the task easier.


This article was written by a staff writer at CashBlog.com. Our staff has years of experience in fields like stock market research, investing, and real estate.



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