Best New Credit Cards — January 2021

Credit card companies are always looking to attract new customers. That’s why so many offer generous rewards programs, travel benefits, and more. Sometimes they even offer brand new cards, which may come with even more appealing offers.

If you’re considering getting a new credit card, you might be tempted to jump on one of those new cards. But before you do, make sure you look past the bells and whistles. That way, you can compare them for what they are. After all, just because something is new doesn’t mean it’s the right choice (and the other way around). 

So before chasing after a new credit card, check out US News My Money’s top picks for the best new credit cards for January 2021.

Best Cash Back Credit Card

Chase Freedom Flex

Annual fee: $0

Credit score requirement: Good to Excellent (670 – 850)

Intro purchase APR: 0% for 15 months

Regular APR: 14.99% – 23.74% (variable)

Penalty APR: None

Balance transfer fee: $5 or 5% of the amount transferred, depending on which is more

Foreign transaction fee: 3%

Welcome offer: Yes

Rewards program: Yes


You’ve probably seen the Chase Freedom Flex on many lists of the best credit cards, but with good reason. When you sign up and spend $500 or more within three months, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus. 

This card also offers an attractive rewards program that gives you 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend in combined spending categories every quarter. And since categories rotate, you always have a new opportunity to score.

In addition, when you book your travel through Chase’s online portal, you’ll earn 5% cashback on your purchases plus an extra 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1% on everything else. 

Cashback never expires for the life of your account, and there is no minimum to redeem. And since there’s no annual fee, you can keep more of your rewards to yourself. 

Best Fee-Free Credit Card

Upgrade Visa Card With Cash Rewards

Annual fee: $0

Credit score requirement: Fair to Good (580 – 740)

Regular APR: 8.99% to 29.99% (variable)

Penalty APR: None

Balance transfer fee: See terms

Foreign transaction fee: No

Rewards program: Yes


With the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards, you can enjoy the convenience of a credit card and the affordability and certainty of a loan. It offers unlimited 1.5% cash back for everyday purchases while you build your credit. And with zero annual, activation, service, or maintenance fees, the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards is one of the most affordable cards on the market. 

This card offers convenient contactless payment options and immediate prequalification without damaging your credit score. Once approved, you can use a digital card until your physical copy comes in the mail.

The low interest rate makes the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards ideal for big-ticket purchases that you can pay off easily. Track your spending and account with the intuitive mobile app while having peace of mind knowing you have $0 Fraud liability.

Best Flat-Rate Cashback Credit Card

Credit One Bank American Express Card

Annual fee: $39

Credit score requirement: Fair to Good (580 – 740)

Regular APR: 23.99% (variable)

Penalty APR: None

Balance transfer fee: See terms

Foreign transaction fee: 3% or $1, depending on whichever is greater

Cash advance fee: $5 or 8% of the withdrawal, whichever is more

Rewards program: Yes


The Credit One Bank American Express Card is a no-frills credit card for those looking to build their credit. You can enjoy several features that many credit cards for excellent credit offer, including unlimited 1% cash back on the purchases you make every day while protecting you from fraudulent activity with $0 Fraud Liability. In addition, you’ll also get access to Retail Protection, which protects your purchase if a qualifying product is damaged or stolen during the delivery process.

Besides that, you can also enjoy exclusive discounts on dining, travel, shopping, and entertainment thanks to the Amex Offers program. That includes VIP access to sporting events, concerts, and other exciting events. This card also extends valuable travel benefits such as Travel Accident Insurance, which can give you peace of mind on your next vacation.


  • “Best New Credit Cards.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report,