This article has been just updated: January 18, 2024

A credit card can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on how well you choose and how responsibly you use it. The best credit cards available in December 2024 offer a plethora of perks, such as discounts and travel insurance, and we’ve done the necessary research for you, narrowing down the overwhelming number of available credit cards to just seven.


How to Choose the Right Credit Card in 5 Steps

When choosing a credit card, keep in mind that you’re entering into a long-term relationship. A survey revealed that 25 million credit card users in the United States have been using the same credit card for at least 10 years, and another 20 million have never changed their preferred card. 

The sad truth is that most credit card users who never change their card don’t remain loyal because they have nothing to complain about; they remain loyal because changing a credit card can be a lot of work.

By making the right choice at the very beginning, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and hassle down the road.

Step 1: Check Your Credit Score

The best credit cards are available only to people with excellent credit. It’s always better to check your credit score at the very start of the selection process and avoid unpleasant surprises later.

Remember that your credit score is calculated based on your payment history, amounts owned, length of credit history, new credit and recently opened accounts, and types of credit in use. 

If your credit isn’t top-notch, it’s always one of these five factors that’s dragging it down. Each of the three major credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—provides one free credit report per year, so you can get up to three free credit reports per year.

Step 2: Evaluate Your Financial Needs and Habits

You won’t be able to find the best credit card for you unless you understand your financial needs and spending habits. For example, if you don’t intend to carry a balance, there’s no reason to worry about interest rates too much. Instead, you should look for a credit card with no annual fee.

If you already have a credit card that you use for day to day purchases and would like an additional credit card for emergencies, minimal fees and a low-interest rate should be very high on your list of priorities. Some credit cards can even help you improved damaged credit, which can be extremely helpful if you’re considering applying for a mortgage.

Step 3: Research Available Credit Cards

This is where the fun begins. Now that you understand your financial needs and spending habits, you can start researching available credit cards, including travel credit cards, balance transfer credit cards, business credit cards, cash back credit cards, secured credit cards, and premium credit cards, just to name some available options.

Because we’ve done all the research for you, you can just skip to the next part of this article and read our list of the top 7 best credit cards in December 2024.

Step 4: Narrow Down Your Options

There are several questions you should answer to narrow down your options to a more manageable number. To start with, find out how much it costs to open and maintain an account. If you would like to transfer an existing balance, look up the card’s balance transfer policy and associated fees.

Ask yourself which rewards would fit your current lifestyle the most. If you travel a lot, you should consider a credit card that rewards you in travel mileage and hotel stays. If you want a credit card for day to day shopping, a credit card that lets you earn rewards on every purchase anywhere you shop is a great choice.

Step 5: Apply for a Credit Card

After you have picked the card that’s best for you, it’s time to apply for it online. These days, a typical credit card application process takes just a few minutes, especially if your credit history is spotless.


Top 7 Best Credit Cards in December 2024

After evaluating over 100 different credit cards, we were able to create this list of the top 7 best credit cards in December 2024. All that’s left for you to do is pick the one that suits your lifestyle the most and apply for it online.

1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

 Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is our favorite credit card in December 2024 because it offers unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase and 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. There’s no fee for the first year, but expect to pay $95 a year after that. APR is variable (17.49% – 24.74%) on purchases and balance transfers, and there are no foreign transaction fees to worry about when relaxing on a sunny beach in an exotic country. Should you ever lose your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you can get an emergency replacement card and a cash advance thanks to Capital One’s 24-hour travel assistance services.

2. Citi Double Cash Card

citi double cash card

The Citi Double Cash Card is a no-fee credit card that allows you to get 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. All you have to do to earn cash back rewards is to pay at least the minimum due on time. What separates it from many other cash back credit cards is the fact that there are no restricting categories to keep track of or enroll in. As with most other credit cards from Citi, you get to enjoy 24-hour fraud protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions, the Lost Wallet service, and the Citi Entertainment package, which includes presale tickets to thousands of events annually.

3. Petal Visa Credit Card

Petal Visa Credit Card

The Petal Visa Credit Card is widely considered to be one of the best credit cards for building credit, and for a good reason: Petal reports to all three major bureaus–TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. In addition to building your credit, the card can offer a 1% cash back on purchases, support for over 14,000 financial institutions, a freeze card feature that allows members to temporarily freeze their accounts at any time, and higher limits tailored to your finances to keep your utilization low. There are no fees to surprise you at the worst possible moment, meaning no annual fees, no late payment fees, and no foreign transaction fees.

4. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card is perfect for people who drive a lot because it rewards 5X points on gas. However, it also rewards 3X points on groceries and 1X points on all other purchases, so it’s not like drivers are the only group of users that benefits. If you spend $1,500 within 90 days from getting the credit card, PenFed will reward you with $100. The only downside is that it takes some extra steps to get the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card because you have to be a PenFed member to qualify for it. That said, applying for a PenFed membership is a small hurdle to overcome considering how much you can get.

5. Discover it Student Cash Back

Discover it Student Cash Back

As a student, you want a credit card with great rewards on the things you actually buy, low or non-existing fees, and protecting against unauthorized purchases so you can rest assured that one night of partying and one lost wallet won’t ruin your credit. The Discover it Student Cash Back offers all this plus a statement credit of $20 for each school year when you manage to achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Depending on where you spend your money, you can earn cash back rewards up to 5%.

6. Chase Sapphire Reserve

chase sapphire reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card offers exceptional travel rewards and benefits, allowing its holders to earn 3X Points on travel and dining from airfare and hotels to fine dining and cafés. If you manage to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, you’ll be rewarded with 50,000 bonus points, which translates into $750 toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The biggest downside is its $450 annual fee, which makes this credit card suitable only for avid travelers.

7. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a fantastic credit card for avid Amazon shoppers that offers a 5% cash back at and Whole Foods Market, a 2% cash back at restaurants gas stations, and drugstores, and a 1% cash back on all other purchases. The credit card is available exclusively for customers with an eligible Prime membership. There is no fee for purchases made outside the United States, and all Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card holders are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.


The Chase Sapphire Preferred, American Express Gold Card, Citi Double Cash Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, Bank of America Premium Rewards Visa Credit Card, and Discover it Cash Back were among the top credit cards to consider due to their rewards programs, sign-up bonuses, and various benefits fit for different spending habits.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred stood out for its generous sign-up bonus, double points on travel and dining, and flexible redemption options through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Moreover, it was well-regarded for its travel protection benefits.

In 2024, the American Express Gold Card was recommended for its high reward rates on restaurant and supermarket purchases, making it a particular favorite for foodies and those who frequently dine out or cook at home. Additionally, it offered a valuable welcome offer and various dining credits.

The distinguishing factor of the Citi Double Cash Card was its straightforward cash-back program, offering 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. This made it one of the best flat-rate cash-back cards for everyday use without complex reward structures.

Travel enthusiasts favored the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card because it earned unlimited double miles on every purchase, which could be redeemed on any airline or hotel without blackout dates. Also, the card included a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees.

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card was unique because it provided triple points on dining, travel, gas stations, and select streaming services with no annual fee. Moreover, it came with an attractive introductory APR period for purchases and balance transfers.

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Visa was a solid choice for individuals looking for a mix of travel and dining rewards, along with the added advantage of flexible redemption options. It also boasted a significant bonus points offer after qualifying purchases and offered additional benefits for Bank of America banking customers.

The Discover it Cash Back card was included for its rotating 5% cash-back categories each quarter (up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up) and its unique Cashback Match feature, which matched all cash back earned at the end of the first year for new cardmembers.

Yes, the rewards rates played a definitive role in their appeal, as each card catered to different spending habits and offered competitive returns in various categories such as travel, dining, and everyday purchases.

Several of these cards offered significant sign-up bonuses that enhanced their value proposition, incentivizing new cardmembers to meet an initial spending requirement.

Annual fees were an important consideration, as they affect the overall benefit you get from a card. Some cards, like the Wells Fargo Propel, eliminated the annual fee, whereas others justified it with ample benefits that outweighed the cost.

Yes, both the Citi Double Cash Card and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card offered competitive rewards programs without any annual fee.

Travel benefits significantly influenced the ranking, as several of these cards offered perks like travel credits, lounge access, travel insurance, and no foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for frequent travelers.

Some cards, such as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, offered special introductory APR rates, which could be quite advantageous for individuals planning significant purchases or wanting to transfer balances from other credit cards.

Cash back was common among these cards, with several offering generous cash-back rates in various spending categories or even flat-rate cash back on all purchases.

Cardholder satisfaction and quality customer service were key factors affecting these recommendations, as responsive support and efficient problem-resolution are crucial to a positive credit card experience.

Cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture were especially well-suited for international travel, offering benefits like no foreign transaction fees and broad acceptance abroad.

Eating out, traveling, grocery purchases, and in some cases, gas and streaming services were among the most rewarded spending categories by these credit cards.

Many of these cards included additional benefits like purchase protection, extended warranties, and return protection to safeguard your purchases and offer peace of mind.

While most of these top-tier credit cards required good to excellent credit, they were representative of a range of options that could potentially accommodate consumers with different credit profiles.

For a comprehensive comparison of credit card options, websites like or serve as reliable resources to research and compare numerous credit card features, rewards, and benefits.