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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The top 10 credit cards in America

If by 'top credit card' one is referring to  low fixed interested rates  no hidden fees member benefits and  banking services, then there are several credit cards that stand out as being among the best in America. 

That said, banking policies can change and credit card plans compete over time so the following credit cards aren't set in stone as the be all and end all of credit cards. Rather, these credit cards, at the time of this review, meet performance and quality benchmarks that measure quality, usability, service, cost and incentive in 5 categories of 2 cards each and specifically look for the following characteristics.

• Balance transfer rates and periods
• Introductory Annual percentage rate
• Low Annual percentage rate
• No annual fee, and member friendly terms of agreement
• Percentage cash back, airline miles or shopping rewards
• Member services, and additional benefits

Airline miles credit cards


There are many airline miles credit cards to choose from. The two cards below take into account annual fees, cost per mile and bonus miles. These cards may be beneficial to individuals who frequently plan and purchase travel itiniaries.

Capital One No Hassle Miles Rewards: No annual fee, 2 miles per dollar over $1000.00
Miles by Discover Card: No annual fee, up to 12,000 first year bonus miles, 2X miles options

Low interest rate credit cards 


The following two cards take into account interest rates for purchases only, as purchases often comprise a large amount of credit card use. These rates do not necessarily apply to transfer of credit and cash advances. For those persons who don't plan on paying back all their credit purchases immediately, these cards might be worth considering.

Simmons First Visa Platinum: 7.25% Fixed APR on purchases, and no annual fee.
IberiaBank Visa Classic Card: 8.75% and up, no annual fee, long grace period

Cash rewards credit cards


For those individuals seeking to lower their cash costs, pay off credit balances fast and who don't travel a lot, a cash rewards credit card may be just the thing. Combining cash rewards credit cards with discount store and credit card affiliate stores reduce essential purchase costs and can assist with individual budget goals.

Chase Freedom Visa: 1-20% cash back, no annual fee, $50 cash back bonus program
Discover More Card: Up to 1 % -20% for exclusive online purchases, no annual fee

Credit union credit cards


Credit Union credit cards are only available to select members. This limits these card's availability. However, for those persons lucky enough to have access to these types of credit cards the following two offer great interest rates with no annual fee at long established credit unions with assets in excess of $1 billion dollars. These cards may be useful for debtors seeking below average cost of credit.
Apple Federal Credit Union- Visa Platinum: Prime rate + 0%, no annual fee
Navy Federal Credit Union-Visa Platinum Master Card: 7.9%, no annual fee

Gas cost savings credit cards


Gas savings are important and with the regular use of automobile gas used by many households, a consistent flow of savings can be achieved through responsible use of a gas rewards credit card. The two cards below offer beneficial incentives for travelers and can lower monthly gas costs.

Discover Open Road (SM) Card: No annual fee, 1%-5% cash back, Fraud protection
Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards: 2% gas and grocery reward, no annual fee

Identifying the best credit cards in America is dependent on a number of factors such as  limited time offers, debtor objectives credit ratings and creditor terms. As with many credit providers, maximum credit benefits often require strong credit ratings, however, for some debtors, the best credit card offers may only be available to those with the highest credit rating. Consequently the above cards may be the best only for specific people.

Additionally, different credit card users can benefit from different cards depending on their credit rating, spending habits, budgeting skills, expectations etc. That said, cards which offer financially optimal rewards for the lowest cost with the fewest terms and best customer service(s) can be considered among the best. The ideal credit card offers can change upon offer expiration making the above card's benefits variable with time and competing offers.

Sources:

1. http://www.creditcards.com
2. http://www.askmrcreditcard.com/
3. http://www.lowcards.com/
4. http://www.creditcardguide.com
5. http://freemoneyfinance.com