The Best Credit Cards For 2016

Credit cards are one of life’s mystery boxes. Whether you view them as good, bad or ugly, they’re necessary. Whether you want to make that impulse buy or you need to be bailed out in an emergency, having access to a credit line is something every adult should have. The fact is there are a million different types of cards with a ton of different types of advantages. From reward cards to cash back cards to frequent flier cards, there’s a dizzying array of options available, all with different perks and drawbacks.

Before we dive in, we’ll skip the lecture and just say this, it’s not free money and shouldn’t be treated that way. Before you dive in, it’s important to dig into your spending habits, reward expectations, and financial goals. Having a good understanding of where you sit financially and what your budget looks like is going to be important in not only choosing the right card but maintaining good credit health and setting yourself up for financial success.

Best Cash Back Credit Card

Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash is the best card out there because it’s the highest flat rate cash back credit card. In fact, it’s the first credit card that pays 2% cash back on all your expenses. First, you earn 1% unlimited cashback on every purchase you make. Then, as you pay for those purchases, you earn an additional 1% cash back on those payments, as long as you pay the minimum due.

Purchase Intro APR: 0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months
Purchase Regular APR: 13.24% - 23.24%
Annual Fee: $0

Best Balance Transfer Card

Chase Slate Card
Over a year of no interest and $0 introductory balance transfer fee made during the first 60 days gives you the ability to make some headway if you’re looking to paydown some existing debt. Just don’t let that no-interest period go to waste, make a dent in your debt and get ahead of the game. Plus, the zero balance transfer fee makes the switch very easy.

Purchase Intro APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months
Purchase Regular APR: 12.99% - 22.99%
Annual Fee: $0

Best Rewards Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
This card has one of the best sign-up bonuses, unbeatable to other reward-based cards. You can earn a whopping 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. In addition, you earn 2 points per $1 on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. If you’re diligent about paying down balances every month, this card will enable you to rack up some great perks.

Purchase Intro APR: 0%
Annual Fee: $0 in the first year, then $95

Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card

The Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
Road warrior? This is card for you. Nearly all airlines have their requisite cards with varying benefits but the Platinum Select is best suited for users of American Airlines. It’s worth checking out because this card offers 2 AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent. It also offers 1 mile per $1 spent on any purchases.

Purchase Regular APR: 14.24 to 22.24% variable
Annual Fee: $0 in the first year, then $95

Best Low Interest Credit Cards

BankAmericard Credit Card
This no-frills card has a low interest rate but no bells or whistles like a hefty bonus offer or rewards and points. Best suited for those looking to build credit slowly but surely, taking advantage of low rates can give you a great foundation if you’re new to the credit card game.

Purchase Intro APR: 0% for 18 billing cycles
Purchase Regular APR: 10.99%-20.99% Variable
Annual Fee: $0

Best Credit Card for Average & Fair Credit

Capital One Quicksilver One Credit Card
Look, there’s plenty of people who have had some setbacks and are looking to build and repair your credit. It starts with choosing a card and maintaining regular balances and not missing payments. If you have average credit, you can still get a credit card of value. The Quicksilver allows you to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. In addition, after making your first 5 monthly payments on time, you can inquire about getting a higher credit line.

Purchase Intro APR: 0% Intro until September 2016
Purchase Regular APR: 22.99% variable
Annual Fee: $39