From the thousands of credit card offers on the market, these offerings stand out as the best credit cards so far in 2010:
Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards
Two credit cards have kept interest rates low, despite industry trends to the contrary:
Iberiabank Visa® Classic
Iberiabank eliminated overlimit fees before new laws mandated the practice, even while offering cardholders some of the lowest interest rates in the industry.
Simmons Visa® Platinum
Simmons First has roots in Arkansas community banking, and it uses the Internet to attract creditworthy Americans looking for low interest rates.
Best Cashback Credit Cards
Few banks risk losing profits by offering straight cash bank rewards, but a pair of affinity cards add value through key partnerships.
TrueEarnings® from Costco and American Express
Costco members earn 1% rewards from participating merchants who accept American Express. Cashback rewards can reach 3% for qualifying gas or travel purchases.
Schwab Bank Invest First® Visa® Credit Card
Schwab One brokerage account holders may qualify 2% rebates from this straightforward Visa Signature card.
Best Airline and Travel Credit Cards
Travelers may cringe at frequent flyer restrictions, but two credit cards make reward travel easy to enjoy.
Citi Premier® Pass
No annual fee and a simple redemption program run by Expedia make it easy to claim rewards that add up to about 1% of purchases.
PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card
Pentagon Federal Credit Union offers members discounted access to airport executive lounges worldwide and special deals on hotel upgrades. Any American can join this credit union, not just veterans.
Best Low Introductory Interest Rate Credit Cards
You can still find great teaser rate promotions if you look hard enough:
PenFed Visa Gold Credit Card
Credit union membership qualifies you for a simple credit card with a 5% balance transfer interest rate for two years.
Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
Citibank still offers a 0% APR on balance transfers, with just a 3% transfer fee.
Best Reward Points Cards
Many reward cards closed down in 2009, but you can still find great benefits from two strong performers:
Bank of America WorldPoints MasterCard
WorldPoints MasterCard remains one of the few reward cards with a no-interest balance transfer option. Cardholders can redeem points for airline tickets, gift cards, and merchandise, while enjoying access to a dedicated concierge for personal shopping and entertainment booking.
Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card
Cardmembers earn two points for every dollar spent, converting 5,000 points into a $50 deposit to qualifying Fidelity brokerage accounts. You can even redeem points for specially selected travel and luxury retail rewards, for up to five years after qualifying purchases.
Best “Poor Credit” or “Bad Credit” Cards
Two credit card issues win kudos for helping customers rebuild their credit without gouging them for fees.
Bryant State Bank MasterCard
Some of this small banks proposals for treating customers fairly became part of the Credit CARD Act. Bryant State Bank doesn’t require customers to leave a deposit for an affordable, second chance MasterCard.
Citi Secured Credit Card
Citi pairs its secured card with an eighteen-month certificate of deposit that earns competitive market rates. Completing the contract with no major account issues can qualify you for a traditional, unsecured credit card.
Most Innovative Credit Cards: Citi Forward & Discover Motiva Card
Citi’s Forward Card reduces interest rates up to 2% for making payments on time, while earning bonus points in Citi’s Thank You Rewards program. Discover refunds up to two months of Motiva finance charges after a year of on-time payments.
Most Innovative Program: Chase Blueprint
Chase Blueprint cardholders can select repayment terms on individual charges, with varying interest rates and minimum payments. The service even offers a “Finish It” option that assigns a special payment plan to get out of debt on a timetable.
Even though credit card issuers have publicly groaned about new banking regulations, this handful of top products proves that the market still finds ways to reward customer loyalty with quality service and strong value.
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