Best Credit Cards — January 2021

Do you have any goals for 2021? What are the chances that they have something to do with improving your finances? If so, you might consider getting a credit card that lets you get more out of your money.

With the new year almost here, now is the time to apply for a credit card that will help you save on the things you buy most. Whether you want to get out of debt, cash back rewards, or just want to build your credit, there’s a card out there that’s perfect for you.

The Balance found the best credit cards for January 2021 to make it easier to find the best card for your needs. They ranked their choices based on features that give cardholders the most benefits depending on their needs. 

Here are the best credit cards for January 2021.

Best Overall Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Recommended credit score: 670 – 850 (Good to Excellent)

Regular APR: 15.49% – 25.49% variable

Annual fee: $0

Rewards program: Yes

Intro purchase APR: 0% for 15 months

Foreign transaction fees: None


The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card is one of the best options overall, thanks to its straightforward cash back program. You can earn 1.5% cash back for every dollar, with no spending categories or other limitations. Additionally, you can get $200 if you use your card for $500 worth of purchases within three months of opening an account. If you have a big-ticket purchase, you have 15 months to pay it off with no interest. All of this, plus no annual fee, is why The Balance put the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card at the top of its list. 


Best Student Credit Card

Wells Fargo Cash Back College

Recommended credit score: None

Regular APR: 11.15% – 21.15% variable

Annual fee: $0

Intro purchase APR: 0% for six months

Rewards program: Yes

Foreign transaction fee: 3%


Between classes, work, and socializing, college students have their hands full. But with the Wells Fargo Cash Back College card, learning financial literacy and responsible credit card use is a breeze.


New cardholders can earn 3% cash back on the first $2,500 they spend at the gas station, supermarket, and drugstore for the first six months. This welcome offer also includes zero interest on all purchases. Once you meet the $2,500 limit, you can start earning 1% back for every dollar you spend on everything else. 


Wells Fargo also offers extra perks such as free FICO score monitoring and a credit education portal to help those who are new to credit get the most out of their card.


Best Secured Card

Discover it Secured

Recommended credit score: None

Regular APR: 22.99% variable

Annual fee: $0

Minimum deposit requirement: $200

Upgrade to an unsecured card: Yes

Deposit payment options: None


Are you new to credit or trying to get back on your feet after your credit nosedived? You might have a hard time finding a worthwhile secured card, but your search ends with the Discover it Secured. Unlike most secured cards, you can earn cash back on everyday purchases. Not only that, but Discover will double your cash back rewards after your first year — no restrictions or limits.


In addition, Discover doesn’t charge an annual fee, which is something you won’t find with many secured credit cards. And if you make a late payment, the company will waive your first one. After eight months of responsible use, you’ll even be eligible for an automatic upgrade.


Best Balance Transfer Card

Citi Simplicity

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

Regular APR: 14.74% – 24.74% variable

Annual fee: $0

Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, depending on which is more

Intro balance transfer APR: 0% for 18 months


The name says it all — the Citi Simplicity is an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand credit card that has one of the longest introductory APRs for balance transfers available. A lengthy welcome period can go a long way to help you catch up on outstanding debt while saving on interest. Not only that, but you can consolidate your debt at an even lower cost during the first four months you have the card. 


  • Kossman, Sienna. “Best Credit Cards of January 2021.” The Balance, 2 Dec. 2020,