Our Top 10 Credit Cards
Here is a list of our top 10 credit cards that readers apply from our website. No complicated rating systems. This is not our opinion of what we think are good credit cards, just want our readers are getting. Bear in mind that we write reviews on credit cards, and we have a newsletter. But without wasting any more time, here is our top 10 credit cards.
1. Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card
By a considerable margin, this is our most popular credit card. And we are not surprised. This was perhaps the first cash back credit card that paid a 5% rebate on "everyday purchases" - defined as purchases made at standalone supermarkets, gasoline stations and drugstores. For a long time, this was the only credit card with this rebate feature until Chase introduced the Cash Plus Rewards in July 2005. The 5% cash rebate that you got from gasoline stations purchases essentially made many standalone gasoline credit cards that pay less than 5% rebate look "not so good".
There is also no annual fee and the apr is reasonably low. Like many Citi credit cards, the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card has a great introductory apr deal. You get 0% apr on balance transfer for 12 months. However, unlike most credit cards, the 0% deals starts from the date of transfer, not from the date of account opening. Furthermore, you are given 12 months to transfer your first balance.
We recommend the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card to anyone looking for a cash back credit card.
2. Citi® Hilton HHonors Visa® Card
The Hiton HHonors Visa is the second popular hotel credit card on our website. With the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa, you will earn 3 points for every dollar you spend at Hilton hotels and 2 points for every dollar you spend at other purchases. You also get 15,000 points when you make you first purchase on the card. There is no annual fee for the card.
The Hilton HHonors is the only frequent guest program that allows members to earn a combination of hotel points and airmiles when they stay at Hilton Hotels. This is what they term the "double dip" feature.
Before you go about checking out this card (if you are interested and are a Hilton HHonors member), it is also worth checking out the Hilton HHonors Platinum credit card from American Express. In fact, the American Express card pays more points than the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa. You can
compare the two Hilton HHonors credit card here.
3. Blue Cash®
The Blue Cash from American Express is a cash rebate credit card with a tiered rebate formula. This is how it works.
For the first $6,500 in annual spending, you will earn 1% rebate on "everyday purchases" and 0.5% on "other purchases". Once your annual spending exceeds the $6,500 threshold, you will earn 5% rebates on "everyday purchases" and 1.5% on "other purchases". (Recall that "everyday purchases" refers to purchases at standalone supermarkets, gas stations and drugstores).
Though it has a tiered rebate formula, the Blue Cash from American Express is popular because it is the only cash rebate credit card that pays 1.5% on "other purchases" once your annual spending exceeds the $6,500 spending threshold. Furthermore, you can earn rebates for up to $60,000 in annual spending. This is on contrast to the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card and the Chase Cash Plus Rewards card, which only allows you to earn up to $300 in annual cash rebates.
Those who spend a high amount on their credit cards, and want to just carry one cash back credit card will like the Blue Cash®
4. Citi PremierPass® Card
The Citi Premierpass Card is based on the
Thank You Redemptions Network reward program. It is a comprehensive reward program which offers cardholders travel, shopping, cash back and even apr reduction reward.
Citibank has various reward credit cards that is based off this program. However, different card are targeted to different audience and have different reward formulas.
This is the most unique travel credit card in the market today. You not only earn points (1 point for every dollar you spend) for the dollars you spend, you also get to earn points on the miles you fly (at a rate of 1 point for every 3 miles). Furthermore, if you pay for your companion's ticket, you also earn miles that he or she flies! You can still earn your regular frequent flier miles seperately. You can really earn a lot of points if you are a frequent traveller because you can earn more reward points from the miles you fly than from a ticket purchase. If fact, we would argue that even if you are a frequent flier member with a particular airline, you should still get the Citi PremierPass® Card over an airline credit card. We have taken a table from our review page of the Citi Premierpass Card and pasted it below. It shows that you can earn more "points/miles" with this card than a regular airline credit card.
||Frequent Flier Card
||Points & Miles Earned
|Ticket Cost ($350)
||350 ThankYou Points
|Miles Flown (3,000)
|Frequent Flier Miles Earned
|Companion Ticket ($350)
||350 ThankYou Points
|Comapnion - Miles Flown (3,000)
||1,000 ThankYou FlightPoints
|Companion - Frequent Flier Miles Earned
|Total ThankYou Points Earned (if flying alone)
||1,350 ThankYou Points
|No ThankYou Points
|Total Miles Earned (if flying with a companion)
||2,700 ThankYou Points
|No ThankYou Points
The regular Premierpass Card has no annual fee. The Elite version has a $75.00 annual fee (typical of most airline credit cards). However, unlike the regular version, you can earn 1 point for every mile you fly. Hence, you can really rack up those points very fast if you are a frequent flyer. It surprises me that no other credit card issuer has come up with a copy cat version of this card.
5. Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card for College Students
Like the regular Citi Dividend Card, the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card for college students pay a 5% rebate on "everyday purchases". In fact, it has identical features as the regular Citi Dividend Card. You can earn up to $300 in annual rebates (though purchases made at with partners of Citi Dividend Merchant program is exempt from this cap). There is no annual fee and you get a 0% introductory apr for 6 months.
The is the only cash back credit card for students that pays 5% rebates on "everyday purchases". The Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card for College Students is great card to start off for a student and once you graduate, you can easily convert your card to the regular Citi Dividend card.
6. Citi® Diamond Preferred Reward Card
The Citi Diamond Preferred Reward Card is the most popular reward credit card on our site. It is based on Citi's
Thank You Redemptions Network
What I think appeals to most cardholders is that the Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card pays 5 ThankYou points for every dollar you spend on "everyday purchases' - which as explained earlier includes purchases from standalone supermarkets, gasoline stations and drugstores. In fact, this is the
only one of two reward credit cards that pays 5 points for every dollar you spend on "everyday purchases" (the other being Citi's AT&T Universal Rewards Card). There is no annual fee and you also get the same 0% introductory offer on balance transfers for 12 months that many Citi Cards offer.
7. Citi® MTVU Platinum Select® Visa® Card for College Students
The Citi MTVU Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students is the latest innovative credit card from Citibank. It is a reward credit card based on Citi's
Thank You Redemptions Network
You can earn five points for every dollar you spend at (1) bookstores, (2) record stores, (3) restaurants (including fast food), (4) motion picture theaters and (5) video entertainment rental stores and earn one point for every dollar spent on other purchases. You also earn 25 points each time you pay your minimum bills on-time and if you do not exceed your credit limit. You can also earn point twice a year for getting good GPA scores (4,000 points for a perfect score). This card provides the student with a great incentive to develop good money habits and get good grades. The reward program is also very good.
There is simply no other student credit cards quite like the Citi® MTVU Platinum Select® Visa® Card for College Students.
8. Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa
In July 2005, Chase discontinued two of their cash rebate credit cards, the Chase Cash Award Card and the Chase Cashbuilder. Both of these were had tiered cash rebate formula. In their place, Chase introduced the Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa Card which is almost identical to the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card.
Like the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card, the Chase Cash Plus Rewards Card has the following features :
1. It pays a 5% rebate on purchases at groceries, gas stations and drugstores and 1% rebate on "other purchases".
2. You can earn up to $300 in annual rebates
3. There is no annual fee
4. You get a 0% apr on balance transfers for 12 months.
However, there are some major differences. Firstly, unlike the Citi Dividend card, the Cash Plus Rewards allow you to use your cash rebates to exchange for gift certificates from Chase partner merchants. Secondly, though the Chase card also offers a 0% apr on balance transfer for 12 months, the Citi Dividend Card has a better deal because the 0% deals starts from the date of transfer, not from the date of account opening (like the Chase Cash Plus Rewards). Furthermore, you are given 12 months to transfer your first balance. The Chase Cash Plus Rewards uses the 2-cycle average daily balance method to calculate the monthly balance, whereas all Citi Dividend uses the normal average daily balance method.
Hence, those who carry a balance or are looking to transfer their balance are probably slightly better off with the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card. Otherwise, the Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa is just as good and will give the Citi Dividend Card some serious competition.
9. Hilton HHonors® Platinum Credit Card from American Express
As mentioned earlier, there are two Hilton HHonors credit cards, the Hilton HHonors Visa from Citi and the Hilton HHonors Platinum Credit Card from American Express. Of the two, the American Express version is actually the better card because you earn faster points with it. You earn 5 points for every dollar you spend at Hilton Hotels and 3 points for every dollar you spend on "other purchases". In contrast, the Citi Hilton HHonors pays 3 points and 2 points respectively. Both have no annual fees.
Any Hilton HHonors frequent guest member should consider the Hilton HHonors® Platinum Credit Card from American Express
10. Orchard Bank MasterCard®
Those who have poor credit or are looking to establish a credit will not go wrong if they get the Orchard Bank Mastercard. This is perhaps the most reputable sub-prime credit card issuer in the market. Orchard Bank was acquired a while back by Household Bank, which acquired a couple of years back by HSBC Bank. HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp) Bank is one of the largest and most reputable bank in the world. In fact, this is the only sub-prime credit card we know of which is issued by a big global bank.
When you apply for the Orchard Bank Mastercard, you will either be given a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card depending on their assessment of your credit. The secured credit card has an annual fee of $35.00. The regular unsecured credit card has an annual fee that ranges from $49.00 to $79.00. There is also a one-time application fee from $0 to $49.00 (considerably lower than most other sub-prime credit cards). Both the annual fees and apr are very reasonable for this category of cards.
For those with no credit or bad credit, the Orchard Bank MasterCard®
is the first credit card you should be looking at before considering anything else.
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