Best Credit Cards — February 2021

It’s hard to believe that January is more than halfway through. With February less than two weeks away, now is the time to look for a new credit card. Whether you plan on making a large purchase for Valentine’s Day, booking a much-needed vacation for yourself, or just want to build your credit, the right card can make all the difference. To help you get started, check out the top choices from The Balance. 

Best Balance Transfer Credit Card

Citi Simplicity

Annual fee: $0

Regular APR: 14.74% – 24.74% (variable)

Intro balance transfer APR: 0% for 18 months

Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3% per transfer, depending on which is more

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

 

The Citi Simplicity is just that: a plain and simple credit card with no penalty APR, late fees, or annual fee. Not only that, but you can enjoy the longest intro offer for balance transfer of any credit card. The extended zero-APR period helps you put more of your money toward your debt so you can eliminate it faster.

Citi also offers a generous balance transfer offer in addition to the lengthy introductory period, so you have more time to create a strategy to get on top of your old balances. For this reason, The Balance ranks the Citi Simplicity as the best balance transfer credit card of February 2021.

 

Best Travel Credit Card

United Explorer Card

Annual fee: $0 for the first 12 months, then $95

Regular APR: 16.49% – 23.49% (variable)

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

Foreign transaction fee: None

Rewards program: Yes

Welcome bonus: Yes

 

The United Explorer is the best airline travel credit card because of its generous welcome bonus and rewards rate. When you spent at least $2,000 within three months of opening an account, you’ll receive 40,000 bonus miles. You can enjoy double miles for every dollar you spend on dining, hotel stays, and all United purchases. Additionally, you can get one mile per dollar on everything else (according to The Balance, each mile is worth about 2.28 cents).

As a branded airline credit card, the United Explorer card gives you priority boarding access plus two United ClubSM passes good for one use on the anniversary of account opening. You can also save as much as $140 on a roundtrip ticket, thanks to free checked luggage for you and your travel companion. If you’re a frequent flier, you don’t want to pass up these benefits!

 

Best Secured Credit Card

Discover it Secured

Annual fee: $0

Regular APR: 22.99% (variable)

Credit score requirement: None

Minimum deposit: $200

Installments available: No

Upgrade to unsecured card available: Yes

Rewards program: Yes

Welcome bonus: Yes

 

Why is the Discover it Secured one of the best secured credit cards available? For starters, it’s one of the few secured cards that rewards you for everyday purchases while building your credit. And, best of all, you can enjoy the same great welcome offer as unsecured cardholders: Discover Cashback Match. After your first 12 months, Discover will double your cumulative cashback rewards — no limits, no restrictions, and no expiration. So if you earn $150 in cashback, you can turn that into $300.

Besides that, the Discover it Secured charges no annual fee (another rarity for secured credit cards) and has a reasonable opening deposit amount that doubles as your credit limit. It will also waive your first late fee and automatically consider you for an upgrade after eight months of responsible use.

Besides having a great tool to build your credit, you can also get free online access to your FICO Credit Score so you can monitor your account and see areas of improvement. As you can see, the Discover it Secured is a strong contender, despite being a secured credit card.

 

Best Student Credit Card

Wells Fargo Cash Back College

Annual fee: $0

Intro purchase APR: 0% for six months

Regular APR: 11.15% – 21.15% (variable)

Credit score requirement: None

Minimum deposit: $200

Installments available: No

Upgrade to unsecured card available: Yes

Rewards program: Yes

Foreign transaction fee: 3%

 

When you’re a college student, every dollar matters. Luckily, the Wells Fargo Cash Back College card helps you save by rewarding you for the things students regularly need. You can earn 3% cashback on the first $2,500 you spend at the supermarket, gas station, or drug store within six months after opening an account (then 1% on everything else after that). During that time, you can also enjoy zero interest on your monthly purchases.

Wells Fargo will also give you useful tools such as free access to its financial literacy portal and online FICO credit scores (must be a current customer to qualify). Since Wells Fargo reports to the three major credit bureaus, you can build your credit and prepare yourself for life after graduation. 

 

Source
  • Kossman, Sienna. “Best Credit Cards of January 2021.” The Balance, 14 Jan. 2021, www.thebalance.com/best-credit-card-4767704#citi-simplicity.