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The best credit card company does not exist because all companies have specific advantages against one another. You know what they say, you can’t have it all.
However, this list includes the top 5 credit card companies which we think provides the best value to consumers, specifically to those who are just getting into credit cards and award redemptions.
We’ve considered several factors such as rewards programs, interest rates, and welcome bonuses.
1. JP Morgan Chase
Chase takes 14.84% of the total credit card market share. If you ask any points hacking veteran, they would probably say that Chase credit cards are in their top 5 picks too because of their sign-up bonuses and perks.
The company has a wide selection of cards, especially the co-branded ones with United, Marriott, and Southwest. With a growing number of cardholders, Chase even implemented the 5/24 rule which limits the amount of Chase cards that one person can have.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is a must-have for frequent flyers because its rewards program has the right combination of miles earnings and travel perks. For example, a few of the benefits include earning 3 points per $1 spent on your dining and travel expenses and a $300 yearly travel credit.
Meanwhile, business owners can use the Ink Business Preferred on cable, internet, phone, and travel purchases. You can earn 3 points per $1 spent on these bonus categories.
2. American Express
In 2018, American Express, or commonly known as Amex, was named as the largest charge card issuer, circulating 114 million cards in its network worldwide. In the U.S. alone, there were 53.7 million cards in circulation with each card having a $19,000 average annual.
The company’s incredible customer service plays a significant role in the company’s success. Personally, Amex is easy to work with because they don’t ask a lot of questions like Chase. They also have a big list of airline partners where you can use your points. One minor issue though is that Amex isn’t readily accepted in foreign countries, especially the developing ones.
Amex’s most popular card is the Business Platinum Card from American Express. The annual fee is $595 but it’s fairly compensated with its competitive rewards program and a 100,000 Membership Rewards® welcome offer if you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of getting the card.
Cardholders would earn 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
Another option would be the American Express Business Gold Card which has a lower annual fee of $295, but the rewards system is still competitive and is perfect for travelers.
You’ll get a welcome offer of 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within three months of getting approved for the card. Cardholders will also earn 4 points per $1 spent on two chosen categories where your business spends the most money per month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar year).
Discover was once a subsidiary of Sears, but it later became an independent company in 2007. Now, it’s in the top 5 credit card companies when it hit $99 billion in its total network volume in 2018.
It’s one of the first cashback cards in the U.S. that offered minor rebates on essential purchases. What’s good about Discover is that they have decent rewards with zero annual fees making it the perfect option for beginners.
The Discover It card is one of the company’s most popular cards. It’s known for its 5% rotating categories and cashback match offer. It’s good for consumers who mostly spend their money on gas stations, ride-hailing services, and grocery stores.
If you want fixed points or miles, you can opt for the Discover It Miles card instead. You can earn an unlimited 1.5 miles per $1 spent on every purchase you make.
Barclays is a London-based company that launched its first credit card program in 1966. However, it started catering to the U.S. market 2004 and has established partnerships with JetBlue, American Airlines, and Lufthansa.
A few of Barclay’s most popular cards, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, have been phased out and there’s no certainty whether it’s going to come back soon. However, the bank still has some valuable co-branded cards that don’t have annual fees and comes with 0% intro APR.
The Uber Visa card is a popular choice for travelers. It lets you earn 4% cashback on partner restaurants and Uber Eats, and 3% on airline tickets and hotels.
If you’re a traveler who’s an American Airlines frequent flyer, the AAdvantage Aviator Red is the best option for you. You get to have incredible perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and 25% inflight credits.
5. Bank of America
Playing second fiddle to JP Morgan Chase, as being the largest bank in the U.S, is Bank of America. It’s based in North Carolina and has about 54.6 million credit cards circulating worldwide.
Most of its cards don’t have annual fees and foreign transaction fees, making it a desirable card for travelers and beginners. However, we personally don’t like its customer service because they still practice a few outdated systems. They may have changed it now, but a few years back, you’d need to send an actual form just to set up autopay for your cards.
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card lets cardholders earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel. One unique feature of this card is that you can receive an additional 25%-75% worth of points on your purchases based on your Bank of America investments. For example, if you have a total of $100,000 in assets, you get to earn 3.5 points per $1 spent on dining and travel.
What Points Panda Recommends
We can’t really say that this list is for everyone because we can’t measure other factors like customer service experience and easy approval. However, the cards mentioned here are the ones that ticked off critical points in our criteria for choosing the top 5 credit card companies.
These are some of the best rewards credit cards that you should go for if you wish to have competitive sign-up bonuses, rewards, and interest rates. There are few outliers, such as Capital One and Citi, but we personally don’t think that they bring enough value to make it to the list.