There was recently a post on Reddit about which credit card would you get if you had to pick just one. I researched the top 20 credit cards Reddit users mentioned and found the best credit cards for 2020.
The best credit card depends on how much you are spending. I don’t recommend getting any credit card with a high annual fee where you feel obligated to spend money to use up the value of the credit card benefits. The best credit cards for travel have a lot of benefits, but only if you are traveling.
Not everyone travels EVERY year so it doesn’t really make sense to keep the benefits. Many credit cards have benefits that expire each year and are renewed the next year. Don’t count on the benefits to rollover and keep adding on as additional credits. The best way to use credit cards with high annual fees is to use up all the credits in 13 months. Because 13 months gets you 2 years of benefits.
Dan’s Top 3 Credit Cards:
1. Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Review
Getting 5% back at Amazon with the Amazon Prime Rewards credit card is pretty awesome. BUT, the true power of the Amazon Prime visa is that you get 5% back on ALL your Amazon purchases which includes gift cards for other retailers! The credit card gives you 2% back on dining, gas and at pharmacies, but the trick is that you can just buy gas, dining and other gift cards for 5% back through Amazon.
If you just want 5% back on anything, you can buy a Visa gift card at Amazon for a $5.95 fee. Here’s the numbers:
- $206.95 gets you a $200 visa and $10.35 in cash back
- Instant profit of $3.40
With no annual fee, getting 5% back indirectly on any of your purchases is the best cashback deal you can get. The card even comes with a $70 sign up bonus. I know that’s pretty low compared to the other credit cards, but you can pay yourself back with the cashback you gain. I’ve talked about this card when I wrote about how to get free stuff on Amazon. With the 5% back from the Chase Amazon Prime credit card, you’ll get free stuff on Amazon and make money. You’re welcome.
How do you get the Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Credit Card?
To get the Amazon Prime Credit card, you’ll need to have Amazon Prime. If you don’t have it, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. That’s my referral link and you’ll be helping my blog out. After getting Amazon Prime, you’ll be eligible to sign up for the Amazon Prime Credit Card.
After your free trial, you can cancel Amazon Prime if you already were approved for the credit card. All purchases made with the Amazon Prime Reward credit card will get 5% back even if you no longer have Amazon Prime.
REMEMBER, the card is the Amazon PRIME rewards credit card. Don’t accidentally sign up for the Amazon Rewards credit card, that gives you a $50 sign up bonus (lower) and 3% cashback (lower) on your Amazon purchases. It still has no annual fee, but this is the credit card shown to non-Amazon Prime users.
2. US Bank Altitude Go
The US Bank Altitude Go card gives you free money every year! With no annual fee and a $15 streaming credit (required to have a streaming service subscription for 11 months) is already an annual win. If I could, I would get 3 of these credit cards just to cover more of my streaming charges. Additionally you get a $200 sign up bonus and an insane 4% cashback on dining.
Please see my US Bank Altitude Go Credit Card Review for all the details. To put it simply, the US Bank Altitude Go is one of the best credit cards you can get and should keep open forever (no annual fee).
3. American Express Blue Cash Preferred
There’s a $95 annual fee but the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card has 6% back on supermarket purchases. The insane thing is that you can buy gift cards at supermarkets! That means you can get 6% back when buying gift cards for dining, Amazon, Nike, gas stations and much more. They even sell Visa gift cards if you just want a general card to spend on.
Just remember that you lose all purchase protection when you use a gift card to make a purchase instead of your American Express credit card. I really love the purchase protection and extended warranty benefits that are provided with AMEX credit cards.
Don’t confuse this card with any of the American Express “Blue” credit cards. It’s Blue Cash Preferred (personal). Each of the other AMEX Blue credit cards offer different cash back and benefits. This card does have an annual fee so you will have to spend some money to break even. Just remember that you might be eligible for a retention offer when your annual fee is due. Just tell them you’re considering closing the credit card and if there are any retention offers available. It’s a very direct way to get to your credit card retention bonus.
Credit Card Advice
Is it bad to have a lot of credit cards?
Having a lot of credit cards actually helps your credit score and can quickly build up your credit history. Many people think having too many credit cards is bad, because they are probably not that responsible. I highly recommend keeping any credit card with no annual fee open and allow it to age. I have a detailed article answering, “is too many credit cards bad?”
How long should I keep a card with an annual fee?
Credit cards with an annual fee should only be kept if they prove to have more value from keeping it open than closing it. You’ll need to factor in the cashback and benefits for your typical spend. By typical spend, I don’t mean forcing yourself to spend money to use the benefits. A lot of the premium credit cards have travel benefits where you’ll force yourself to travel more in order get full value from the credit card. Any time you spend money when you don’t need to, that’s wasting money.
Personally, I close credit cards with annual fees after 1 year. Sometimes I keep them 13 months if there are extra benefits that lead in to my next membership year. ALSO, see my guide on how to get a retention bonus because those annual fees can be waived just by calling the credit card company! Another amazing year of benefits for free!.
Don’t keep cards with annual fees because you’ll lose more money in the long run. Some credit cards like the Hilton Aspire have a free Hilton night and other credits, BUT you also need to factor in the cost of travel. Some of the best credits cards with no annual have cashback that is as good or better in some cases than the premium credit cards.
Be careful with Visa gift cards
Visa gift cards have high risks associated with them. Any time I make buy a Visa gift card I liquidate them immediately. There’s one time I bought $2000 in Visa gift cards from Staples and they arrived empty. It took months of dealing with Chase to get my money back. See my credit card chargeback examples for the full story.
If you do buy a Visa gift card with the intention of using it like a credit card until you’ve used all the funds, just be careful. Transactions online can take your fund and these gift cards have NO purchase protection. I would not use the visa gift card at a restaurant where I don’t see the card. That means if a waiter/waitress takes the card to process the bill.
Are credit card points worth it?
Credit card points are another type of currency and can be valuable depending on which bank and how you use them. The highest value you can get from credit card points are booking hotels and business/first class flights. Not all credit card providers have the option to transfer points to airlines and hotels. Some banks just give you credit card points but are really 1 cent per point…which means it’s just another name for cash back.
Are hotel points worth it?
Hotel points are worth it if you travel. If you don’t travel, some hotel points can be converted into gift cards or other items but at a significantly lower value than what you could get from staying at the hotel. Hilton has a platform called Hilton Honors Experiences, where you can bid for vacations, special experiences and concerts. I’ve used Hilton Experiences in the past to buy sold out concert tickets for 50,000 Hilton points and was able to resell them for $300. When used with the right strategy, hotel points can be very valuable.
Are cash back credit cards worth it?
As long as you end up breaking even or making a profit, cash back credit cards are worth getting. You should only break even on credit cards with no annual fee. That means you spend $0 and gain $0. For cashback credit cards with an annual fee, you’ll want to make a profit. That’s because you have to spend a lot of money just to cover the annual fee. The chart above lists out the lowest potential break even point for the credit cards. I don’t recommend getting any cash back credit cards that have an annual fee, because then you’re obligated to waste money.
Which credit card is the best for cashback?
The best credit card for cashback is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred. It gives you 6% back on supermarkets where you can buy gift cards for other retailers, essentially making it a 6% back on everything credit card. Although, there is a $95 annual fee, you’ll have to spend $1,584 at supermarkets to break even.
Of course, the best credit card for cashback completely depends on where you spend your money. I suggest you look at where your money is spent the most before you get best credit card for cash back. If you spend a lot of money at Amazon, get the Amazon Prime Rewards credit card with 5% back.
The best credit card for cash back on dining is the US Bank Altitude Go which gives you 4% back on all types of dining. The unbelievable part is that the Altitude Go gives you a $200 sign up bonus, $15 streaming credit and no annual fee.
What credit card has the best rewards?
For dining, the US Bank Altitude Go is hard to beat at 4% cash back. While the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card offers up 6% on supermarkets it’s unbeatable in that category. The Chase Amazon Prime Rewards card has 5% on all Amazon purchases.
These are my top 3 credit cards but if you look at my Top 20 Best Credit Cards Reddit Users love, you can find what card might fit your spending habits.
The best credit cards Reddit users recommend vary based on their type of spend. It’s kind of like cooking. A lot of people cook and have different styles to get to similar results. There’s lots of credit cards, but the best depends on how you use the credit card. Please take a look at all the credit cards rated as a “5” in the chart above. When compared to other cards in the industry, these prove to be the best credit cards with no annual fee.