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Ultimate Guide to the Best Credit Cards of 2015

Ultimate Guide to the Best Credit Cards of 2015

There are several quality credit cards available to the consumer, with new cards always added to the already extensive lineup. Some cards offer incredible value while some are very mediocre in some areas. It can be tough choosing a credit card in this day and age with so many options. However it is best to choose a credit card that fits your specific needs. This article will explain who each card is best for, to help you decide which card is right for you. Below is an outline of the best credit cards available in 2015.

Best Overall Credit Card of 2015

Discover IT Cash Back Credit Card

Benefits:

  • 0% introductory A.P.R. on all purchases and balance transfer for the first 12 months
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 10.99% to 22.99%
  • new cardmembers will be rewarded double all the cash back they have earned after the first year of owning the card
  • earn 5% on rotating, quarterly categories such as gas, groceries, and dining purchases. Earn an unlimited 1 % on all other purchases made
  • no annual fee
  • no over limit, late or foreign transaction fees

Why It’s The Best Credit Card of 2015

This is the best credit card of 2015 because it offers value in many different areas. It has a good introductory 0% offer, it has a sign up bonus which consists of double all the cash back after the first year for new cardmembers, and it has a solid cash back points program. The 5 % categories are terrific, especially for frequent card users as you will accumulate points quickly. The categories are based on common items purchased such as gas and groceries. The other 1% cash back earned on all other categories is unlimited.
Furthermore, this card also features a low interest rate starting as low as 10.99% which is the lowest you will see with a card that offers so many great features. Also, there are a very limited amount of fees associated with this card making it a terrific all around credit card. Many credit cards focus on one area and lack good features for the rest of the credit card, however this is definitely not the case with this card.

See our Credit Card Guide Page for our full list of credit card recommendations by category.

Alternative Pick for the Best Credit Card

Citi Double Cash Credit Card

This is also a great credit card as it offers an average of 2% cash back, 1% when you make a purchase with your card, and another 1% cash back then you pay for those purchases. This is the only card that rewards you for making a payment on your credit card. This card also features  a long 0% introductory offer on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, along with no annual fee.

Best Travel Credit Card of 2015

Travel credit cards allow you to collect miles and points which can be used for flights, hotels and vacations. If you are a frequent traveller then this is the credit card that is ideal for you. Most of the cards come with attractive bonus offers which include bonus miles, or award points after you spend a certain amount of money. Most travel credit cards do not have a 0% introductory offer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Benefits

  • earn 40 000 bonus points when you spend your first $4000 within the first 3 months which is equal to $500 in Chase travel rewards
  • earn 2X the points on all travel and dining and 1X the points on all other purchases
  • earn 5000 bonus points when you another authorized user and first purchase is made within the first 3 months
  • has an annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year)
  • regular variable A.P.R. is 15.99%

Why It’s The Best: This is a very popular travel credit card for a variety of reasons. It has a great bonus offer as well as a steady 15.99% interest rate. Points can be accumulated quickly on purchases made on travel and dining, which can be redeemed for a wide variety of travel expenditures. This card is great for frequent travellers.

Alternative Pick: Bank Americard Travel Rewards Credit Card

This card offers very good value for a travel card that does not have an annual fee. Also it is ideal to use when travelling because of there is no foreign transaction fee. Furthermore you earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent which can accumulate quickly and can be redeemed for essentially anything travel related.

See our Best Travel Credit Card List

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2015

Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer all of your debt from your existing credit cards onto a low interest rate credit card. Balance transfer credit cards are effective because they offer a 0% introductory period on your balance transfers. This means you will not have to pay any interest for transferring your debt to these cards for as long as the introductory period specifies.

Chase Slate Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro A.P.R. for 15 months on all purchases and balance transfers
  • $0 balance transfer fee for first 60 days
  • regular variable A.P.R. of 12.99% to 22.99%
  • do not need excellent credit to qualify
  • no annual fee
  • no penalty A.P.R.

Why It’s The Best: This card receives a lot of praise and for good reason as it is the best card for balance transfers. You do have have to pay a balance transfer fee for any balance transferred in the first 60 days. This can save you a good amount if you have a high balance. Add in the fact that you won’t pay any interest on your transfer for 15 months, and you can’t go wrong. It has won the award for best balance transfer credit card by Money Magazine. Also you do not need to have a great credit score to qualify and is a good card to use to build your credit back up so you can move on to rewards or cash back cards.

Alternative Pick: Bank Americard Credit Card

This card has a very long introductory offer of no interest on balance transfers for 15 months. That gives you a long time to pay down any debts without having to worry about interest. Also, the very low interest rate which can be as low as 10.99% if you have excellent credit card. It is a very simple to use, no hassle credit card with no annual fee.

Best Secured Credit Card of 2015

Secured credit cards allow you to put down a deposit to use as collateral allowing you to use the card. These cards are designed for those with no credit or poor credit and offer the opportunity to re-establish your credit score by paying of the entire balance each month.

Capital One Secured MasterCard

Benefits

  • the minimum security deposit starts with a $200 credit line
  • includes regular credit reporting to 3 major credit bureaus
  • no annual fee
  • access to your credit score with the Capital One Credit Tracker
  • may qualify for a credit increase without having to add another deposit

Why It’s The Best: This is the ideal secured credit card that provides all the tools need to re-establish your credit score. The Capital One Credit Tracker is very useful to monitor and learn how you can increase your score. The increase in credit score, without having to put down any more money as collateral is a great feature. A must have if you need a secured credit card.

Alternative Pick: Open Sky Secured Visa Credit Card

This card does not require any sort of credit check, making it the ideal card for anybody that has a damaged credit score. The credit limit can be as low as $200.

Best Low Interest Credit Card of 2015

Low interest credit cards offer a 0% A.P.R. introductory period as well as a low regular interest rate as well. These cards are ideal of you don’t plan on paying off your bill in its entirety each month, to save you on high interest rate charges. These cards do not come with a rewards program and usually do not have an annual fee.

Bank Americard Credit Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro A.P.R. for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 10.99% to 20.99%
  • no annual fee
  • no late A.P.R., if you make a late payment you won’t be charge extra interest

Why It’s The Best: This card has a very low interest rate which can be as low as 10.99% if you have excellent credit. No card can beat that low interest rate. Furthermore, this card features a long intro period for balance transfers. It is a very simple to use, no hassle credit card with no annual or late fees.

Alternative Pick: Chase Slate Credit Card

This card is a great alternative as it can feature a rate as low as 12.99%. It is not as low as the Bank Americard credit card however, you do not need excellent credit to qualify for this card.

Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2015

Hotel credit cards award you points on purchases made at hotels. Most hotel credit cards are co-branded meaning you earn points with purchases made at a specific hotel.

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

Benefits

  • earn 25 000 bonus points after you spend the first $3000 in the first 3 months
  • no foreign transaction fees
  • earn 3-5 points for every purchase made at participating SPG hotels( includes The Sheraton, The Westin and W hotels)
  • earn 1 point for all other purchases
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 15.24% to 19.24%
  • has an annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year)

Why It’s The Best: This card pays a very high reward rate of 3-5 points on Starwood hotel chain purchases, which is one of the highest reward rates you will see. Starwood chains include The Westin, The Sheraton as well as Aloft. In addition, you also earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases so you can still earn points using the card for everyday purchases. It also features a very good introductory offer of 25 000 bonus points after you spend the first $3000.

Alternative Pick: Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Credit Card

If you like staying at the Hilton or any hotels in their portfolios then this is definitely the credit card for you with the 10 points for every $1 spent at Hilton Hotels. Points can accumulate very quickly with this card. This card has a very favorable rewards system along with no foreign transaction fee making it a easy choice for a travel credit card, especially for the frequent traveller.

See our full Best Hotel Credit Card List for more detailed recommendations

Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2015

Cash back credit cards reward you for making purchases by giving you cash back on your purchases.The more frequently you use your card, the more cash back you will accrue. Some cash back cards even come with bonus introductory offers and revolving categories each category that pay a higher rate of cash back.

Citi Double Cash Credit Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro A.P.R. on purchases and balance transfers for first 15 months
  • earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase
  • earn another 1% cash back when you make a payment whether in full or partial
  • balance transfer fee of 5$ or 3 %
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 12.99% to 22.99%
  • no annual fee

Why It’s The Best: This card has the highest average cash back rate out of any card on the market. You will consistently earn an average of 2% cash back, where most cards offer 1% on all purchases with a hit or miss revolving category. Best of all the amount of cash back you can earn is unlimited. This card also features a long introductory offer of 0% on all balance transfers and purchases for 15 months making a must have.

Alternative Pick: Chase Freedom Credit Card

This card has many great features including unlimited cash back on 1% of all purchases, and can really offer high value card with the 5% cash back depending on the category. A 5% reward for a card with no annual fee is great value. Furthermore this card has a long 0% A.P.R. period that can really be used to your advantage.

See our full Best Cash Back Credit Card List for more detailed recommendations

Best Points Credit Card of 2015

Rewards credit cards offer the most value of all credit cards on the market. You receive many perks and benefits correlated to your spending habits to receive reward points. The reward points can be redeemed for a wide variety of products, dining and travel services.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Benefits

  • earn 40 000 points when you spend $4000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • earn 2X with each $1 spent on dining and travel purchases and 1X the point on all other purchases
  • no foreign transaction fee
  • offers a 1 to 1 ratio points transfer to travel programs at full value
  • has an annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year)

Why It’s The Best: This card allows you to earn double the points on dining and travel which allows you to accumulate points quicker then any other points card if you use it frequently. It also features a great bonus offer of a whopping 40 000 points after you spend $4000. Also the 1:1 point ratio transfer to other travel programs is something most credit cards do not offer.

Alternative Pick: Citi Thank You Preferred Card

This card is a good alternative because of the wide variety of items your points can redeemed for, which include products, cash, rebates, gift certificates and travel rewards. It also features a good bonus offer of 20 000 points after you spend the first $1500.

See our full Best Points Credit Card List for more detailed recommendations

Best Student Credit Card of 2015

Student credit cards are designed for students to begin establishing a credit for themselves. They usually have a low credit limit with some minor rewards. Paying off the bill in full each month, will ensure that student starts building an excellent credit score.

Citi Thank You Preferred Card For Students

Benefits

  • earn 2500 bonus points after spending the first $500 in the first 3 months
  • 0% intro A.P.R. on all purchases for first 7 months
  • earn 2X the points per $1 spent on dining, restaurants, and entertainment
  • earn 1 point per $1 spent all other purchases
  • no annual fee
  • points can be redeemed for a wide variety of items and services
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 13.9% to 23.99%

Why It’s One Of The Best: This card has a great rewards system for a student with the wide variety of items the points can be exchanged for. Earn 2X the points per $1 spent is exceptional for a student credit card. This card has all the features a student would need to start building a credit score. It has a very good bonus offer of 2500 bonus points after only spending $500 making it a terrific card for students.

Alternative Pick: Discover IT For Students

This is a good alternative as it also has a rewards program.The revolving categories can really be a hit especially when the category is based on a item a student would frequently purchase. Also this card  includes no very little fees making this a good card for any student. It includes some neat features and a solid intro offer.

Best Zero Percent Credit Card of 2015

A 0% credit card is a credit card where you will have pay zero interest on your balance transfers and purchases for a specified time period. The interest free period is usually starts at 6 months, and can be as high as 12 months. After the introductory, interest free period expires you will then start paying a regular variable A.P.R. interest rate on your purchases. These cards are designed for individuals who either carry a large balance or plan on making a large purchase.

Citi Simplicity Credit Card

Benefits:

  • 0% introductory A.P.R. on all balance transfers and purchases for the first 21 months
  • balance transfer fee of 3%
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 12.99% to 22.99%
  • no annual fee
  • no penalty or late fees

Why It’s The Best: This card has the longest 0% introductory offer of any credit card on the market. It is 0% on both balance transfers and purchases making this an easy pick. Also, there is no annual fee as well as no penalty, or late fees which ads even more value to this card. You get close to 2 years to enjoy paying no interest on balance transfers and purchases making this a can’t miss card.

Best Alternative Zero Percent Card

Chase Freedom Card

This card has a 0 % introductory period on all balance transfers and purchases for up to 15 months. Also it also includes a rewards program to enjoy as it offers 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.

Best Credit Card For Bad Credit Of 2015

Credit One Unsecured Visa Card

Benefits:

  • can pre-qualify for this card without it effecting your credit score
  • earn unlimited 1% cash back on all gas and grocery purchases
  • regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 17.99% to 23.99%
  • regularly reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • annual fee of $99
  • not a secured credit card
  • annual fee between $35 and $75
  • credit limit starts as low as $300

Why It’s The Best: This card is very unique as you can prequalify without having your credit score looked at. Most cards that do this are secured credit cards, meaning you have to put down a deposit which depicts your credit limit. This card is not a secured credit card so no deposit is required. Your monthly income has to exceed your expenses to qualify for this card. If you have bad credit and want to repair it, then this is the ideal card for you.

Alternative Pick: Open Sky Secured Visa Credit Card

Although this is a secured credit card, it is ideal if you have bad credit as your credit is not reviewed when applying for this card. As long as your monthly income exceeds your monthly expenses you will qualify for this card. If you have a bad credit rating this is a good card.

Best Airline Credit Card of 2015

Airline credit cards work similar to hotel credit card where the highest rate of rewards earned are on purchases with that particular airline. Points can be redeemed for flights with the airline the card is co-branded with.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

Benefits

  • earn 50 000 points after you spend $2000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account
  • earn 2 points for every $1 spent on Southwest airline purchases, as well as any participating car rental partners and hotels
  • earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • regular variable A.P.R. at 15.24%
  • has an annual fee of $99

Why It’s The Best: Not only is this a great credit card for earning 2X points for using Southwest, it also features a wide variety of hotels and car rentals which also award 2X the points. This card was named the Freddie 2015 winner for best loyalty credit card. This is for good reason as you receive 6000 bonus points every year on your card anniversary.

Alternative Pick: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard

This card is a great alternative as it features a good bonus offer of 30 000 bonus miles after you spend the first $1000 within the first 3 months.  Also you can earn 1 mile per dollar spent as well as free checked baggage making this a good all around airline credit card.

See our full Best Airline Credit Card List for more detailed recommendations

Best Business Credit Card of 2015

Business credit cards reward you for purchasing items and services that correspond to your business. They often come with very detailed financial reports so you can keep track of your business expenses.

Ink Cash Business Credit Card by Chase

Benefits

  • receive $200 cash back after you spend your first $3000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • earn 5% cash back on the on the first $25 000 spent, on a combination of office supply stores, cell phone, Internet, tv and cable services on each account anniversary year
  • 0% intro A.P.R. on all purchases and balance transfers within the first 12 months
  • earn 1% cash back on all other purchases with the card with no limits
  • no annual fee

Why It’s The Best : This card is the best because it offers tremendous all around value with up to 5% cash back which allows you to accumulate cash quickly. The 0% A.P.R. is very good for a business credit card along with no annual fee makes this card a must have for businesses.

Alternative Pick: Capital One Spark Miles For Business Credit Card

This is one of the best business cards because of the steady 2 miles earned per $1 spent. This card is ideal for businesses who travel frequently because of the miles earned as well no foreign transaction fee. It includes a low steady interest rate of 16.9% and is a must have for businesses that travel frequently.

Best Credit Card For Those Who Do Not Have Excellent Credit

Chase Freedom Card

Usually the best credit cards that offer the most value require that you have an excellent credit rating. However the Chase Freedom card offers great value without the need of excellent credit. This card offers a great rewards system that pays 5% cash back on revolving categories and 1 % on all other purchases. Furthermore, the rewards earned do not expire and there is no annual fee with this card.

Best Credit Card For Frequent Travellers

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card: 

If you travel frequently, whether for business or leisure this is the ideal credit card for you. This card does everything right when it comes to travelling. You earn double the points on travel and dining purchases, allowing you to accumulate points very quickly. It also comes equipped with a large bonus offer of 40 000 bonus points when you spend $4000 in the 3 months of account opening. Using this card for travel purchases will allow you to save on future travel as this card also has a 1:1 transfer ratio to popular partner travel programs. So 1000 Chase points would equal 1000 miles or points with the travel program. There is no foreign transaction fee making this the ideal card to use when travelling.

Best Card Card for Gas Purchases

Pen Fed Platinum Visa Rewards Signature Credit Card

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This card offers tremendous value when it comes to earning points for gas purchases.You will earn 5 points for every $1 spent on gas purchases. If you are looking for a card to use frequently when paying for gas, then this is the ideal card for you. Many cards that offer high rewards for gas are either, co-branded with a specific gas station, or only offer the high reward on a quarterly revolving category, however this is not the case with this card.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. ‘

He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.

And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

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