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The #1 credit card to have will be different for each person as we all have differing spending habits and redemption preferences. Whether you want an everyday credit card with maximum purchasing power on most purchases or a specialized product that’s good for mileage or dining, those preferences also make a difference. Here are some of the credit cards to consider first.

What is the #1 credit card to have?

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#1 Credit Card to Have for Travel

Below are the best travel cards for flexible redemptions and valuable add-on benefits.

Travelers should consider these two products first due to a reasonable $95 annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. These two factors make them excellent options for domestic and overseas trips.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can be your best option if you like booking award trips. Booking through the credit card travel portal provides a 25% redemption bonus—making each point worth 1.25 cents—and the chance to enjoy 1:1 point transfers to the Chase travel partners.

You will earn up to 5x Ultimate Rewards on travel purchases and 3x on dining, online grocery orders, and select streaming services. Also, at the end of each card anniversary year, you receive 10% of your total purchases as bonus points.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred travel benefits include an annual $50 hotel statement credit on qualifying nights and several trip protection benefits. This includes trip cancellation/interruption, trip delay reimbursement, and primary rental car coverage. Honestly, there isn’t a better card than the Sapphire Preferred for most people who want to travel.

New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.

The annual fee is $95.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is ideal when you want to earn bonus miles by booking travel directly from the carrier in addition to a third-party booking site. While hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel earn 5x miles per dollar, all other purchases earn 2x miles per $1 spent.

You may prefer this card to competing travel rewards cards as you can redeem Venture Miles as a statement credit for maximum value instead of waiting to book an upcoming trip.

With all that said, you can book upcoming trips through Capital One Travel or make 1:1 point transfers to airlines and hotels with a similar redemption value of 1 cent per mile.

The signup bonus for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the ability to earn 75,000 Capital One Miles ($750 value) after spending $4,000 in the first three months.

A fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is an additional benefit of this $95 annual fee card.

#1 Credit Card to Have for Luxury Travel

A premium credit card is easily the best option if you regularly utilize upscale flight and hotel perks. These cards come with extra benefits that can help offset any annual fees. If you travel several times a year, one of these cards can help take your travel to the next level.

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the most extravagant card available to the general public, as you can get complimentary airport lounge access, accelerated hotel elite status, a host of travel statement credits, and even private jet discounts.

You can earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Prepaid hotels booked through earn 5x points, too. All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1.

Amex points are most valuable for award flight redemptions through American Express Travel or by transferring at a 1:1 ratio to domestic or international airlines.

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees).

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

A budget-friendly premium travel card is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. Card benefits include earning up to 10x Capital One Miles on travel purchases, complimentary airport lounge membership, an annual $300 Capital One Travel statement credit, and 10,000 bonus points on each card anniversary.

You can redeem your rewards as a travel statement credit, upcoming travel, or 1:1 point transfers.

The annual fee is $395, and you can request up to four additional cards for free. Additionally, the $300 annual statement credit can offset your annual fee to $95, the same as the Venture Rewards Card. Visit our comparison of the Venture X vs. Venture Rewards if you want to get a better picture of each card.

#1 Credit Card to Have for Rewards

Paying with the best rewards credit cards can make it easier to garner the most perks from your day-to-day purchases. Consider choosing the card that earns the most points in your most frequent spending categories.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard®, issued by Wells Fargo, is taking the rewards credit card arena by storm as it’s possible to pay rent without processing fees. Cardholders also have valuable travel and cashback redemptions without an annual fee or foreign transaction fee (See Rates & Fees).

In addition to earning 1x Bilt Points per $1 on monthly rent (up to 100,000 points per year), travel purchases earn 2x, and dining earns 3x. Just note that cardholders must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points. All remaining spending receives 1x points. Read more about the Rewards and Benefits to learn more.

Points are worth 25% more at 1.25 cents when booking award traveling using the Bilt App. You can also transfer Bilt Points at a 1:1 ratio to participating airlines and hotels, including the ultra-elusive American Airlines.

There are also several ways to earn bonus points, enjoy limited-time travel perks, and win free rent on the first day of each month with the recurring Rent Day promotions.

Another reason to consider this card is that The Points Guy recently named Bilt Rewards as having the most valuable credit card points.

#1 Credit Card to Have for Cash Back

Cash rewards can provide the most flexibility in using your rewards. These cards help you earn more from daily spending.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns 3% back on these categories:

  • U.S. supermarkets (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • On U.S. online retail purchases (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • U.S. gas stations (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 1% back on all other purchases

Cardholders also get up to $7 back monthly in Disney Plus statement credits (after spending at least $9.99 each month) and up to $15 per month in Home Chef credits. There are many other reasons to get the Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card.

There is a $0 annual fee, but a foreign transaction fee applies (See Rates & Fees).

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 10% Cash Back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024, 8% Cash Back on Capital One Entertainment purchases, unlimited 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply), 3% Cash Back on dining and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), and 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services and entertainment. All remaining purchases earn 1% back.

It doesn’t have an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee. There is no redemption minimum for cash back.

#1 Credit Card to Have for Business

Small business credit cards come in many varieties to earn cash back or travel rewards.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Business travelers can benefit from the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card as it has a 25% travel redemption bonus when booked through Chase Travel℠, 1:1 point transfers, and earns up to 3x Ultimate Rewards on select business purchases.

You will earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 in combined annual spending on these transactions:

  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Shipping purchases
  • Travel

Lyft rides earn 5x points through March 2025. All non-bonus spending earns 1 point per $1.

The annual fee is $95, additional employee cards are free, and there is no foreign transaction fee.

Related: Capital One Spark vs Chase Ink Business Preferred: Which Card Is Better For Business?

What is currently the best credit card to have?

In conclusion, this short list makes it easier for you to find the #1 credit card to have when you travel, buy essentials, get gifts, or make work purchases. You may also consider having a secondary card for its additional benefits, such as airport lounge access or other award travel and lifestyle benefits.

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here

Johnny Jet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Johnny Jet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

1 Comment On "What's The #1 Credit Card to Have?"
  1. Alice Jones|

    Yes, thank You. Just having a savings or checking account is not enough now. I found out I needed a credit card just to apply for a loan. You do what you got to do.

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