CardRatings Unveils Its List of Best Credit Cards for 2021
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For reasons that do not need to be explained, 2020 proved to be an interesting year in the world of credit cards. While some products proved more useful than ever, others felt the need to pivot in order to prove their worth to cardholders and retain customers. Now, looking ahead to the new year, CardRatings has named their top credit cards for 2021 across a number of categories.
The Best Credit Cards for 2021 by Category
Best Flat-Rate Cash Back Card
First up, the winner of the “Best Flat-Rate Cash Back” should really come as no surprise: the Citi Double Cash Card. Famously, this offering earns customers 1% cashback when they make purchases and another 1% cashback when they pay off their purchase. While that bests many of its competitors, the trade-off is that the Double Cash card forgoes a traditional sign-up bonus. Meanwhile, CardRatings’ runner-up pick, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, features a straightforward 1.5% cashback on purchases but also currently offers new cardholders a $200 bonus after they spend $500 on the card in their first three months.
Best Card for Families
Turning to one of the more interesting categories — “Best Card for Families” — the crown went to the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. While this pick does carry a $95 annual fee, it allows cardholders to earn 6% cashback at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in annual spend. Additionally, it also offers 6% cashback on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cashback at U.S. gas stations as well as on transit (such as parking, tolls, taxis, bus fares, and more), and 1% back on everything else. Plus, the current welcome bonus allows members to earn a $250 statement credit when they spend $1,000 on the card in their first three months. Incidentally, the runner-up in this category was another popular Amex: the American Express Gold Card. This is likely due to the 4x Membership Rewards points the Gold card earns on up to $25,000 in annual spend at U.S. supermarkets and because of the enhanced welcome bonus that currently offers 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 on the card in your first six months of membership.
Best Luxury Credit Card
From practical to luxury, Amex also saw a win in the “Best Luxury Credit Card” category as The Platinum Card from American Express beat out the equally popular Chase Sapphire Reserve. The word “luxury” is appropriate as the Platinum card commands a $550 annual fee. However, for that price tag, cardholders will enjoy such perks as access to the Global Lounge Collection, complimentary Gold status for both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton, $200 a year in Uber credits, $100 a year in statement credits for Saks Fifth Avenue, and much more. In terms of points, the Platinum card earns 5x points on flights booked directly through airlines or via Amex Travel (capped at $50,000 in annual spend starting January 1st, 2021), 5x points on prepaid hotel bookings made through Amex Travel, and 1x points on everything else. Yet, it was likely the unique welcome bonus that the Platinum Card is currently offering that helped send it over the top. For a limited time, cardholders can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after they spend $5,000 on the card in their first six months and will also earn 10x points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases) for their first six months of card membership.
Keep in mind, these are just some of the categories and winners featured on this year’s CardRatings list. To view the complete Best Credit Cards of 2021 list and learn more about each pick, visit CardRatings.com
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