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What are the Best Credit Cards of 2022?

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

The rates and bonuses quoted in this post are subject to change at the discretion of the issuing companies. All offers and links are as of April 2022; see the respective websites for current offers.

Credit cards are important financial tools that can provide you with flexibility, rewards, and, most importantly, can help you build credit. However, like most tools, you can hurt yourself if the tool is low quality or if it is used improperly.


This post highlights some of the best credit cards currently being offered in April 2022. Whether you are a student looking to open their first credit card or a couple excited to upgrade their wallet, we hope you find this post helpful.


If you wish to learn more about any of these cards, click the links below to bring you to their respective websites. I also encourage readers to do further research into other third-party reviews on any cards and/or issuing companies before applying. The Points Guy, Nerd Wallet, and other big finance websites can be useful resources, but also know that many of their reviews are supported by referral links or paid sponsorships that may affect recommendations in their categories.


Silverstone gets no compensation from any of the links you find in this post. These best-of lists are based on our own opinions and the cards' standings are subject to change in the future. All offers and links are likely to change at the discretion of the issuing companies; please see their respective websites for current offers.


In this post, we will focus mostly on no annual fee cards. Credit cards with high annual fees are more difficult to justify without very high spending in a specific category. We urge caution when considering credit cards with annual fees, as most Americans would be better served considering their no annual fee counterparts.


Any credit instrument comes with risk and can lead to considerable debt if misused. Opening new credit card accounts can lower your credit score significantly and may affect your ability to be approved for a subsequent mortgage, HELOC, auto loan, or other personal line of credit. We recommend paying off credit cards in full each billing period; failure to do so may lead to high interest charges and/or penalties. Please speak with your financial advisor before opening new lines of credit.


 

These credit cards offer some of the best value in each of the following categories:

Best Everyday (No Category) Card (2% cashback)

Best for Dining (4% cashback)

Best for Grocery (6% cashback)

Rotating Category Cards (5% cashback)

Customizable Category Cards (3% to 5% cashback)

Single Store Cards (5% cashback)

Best Student Credit Card

Best for Building / Rebuilding Credit


Credit Card Churning


Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses. Credit card churning involves signing up for a new no annual fee credit card every three to six months to capitalize on their intro bonus. Credit card churning is an advanced strategy. It’s not for everyone; many people will not want to go through the hassle. But it can earn you a few extra hundred dollars every few months and it can help you grow your credit score more quickly over the long term, while hurting your score in the short term.


An average intro bonus you should look for is around $100-$200, with a spending requirement of $500-$2,000 in the first 90-180 days of opening the account. As long as you naturally spend that amount each month, it is worthwhile to put that spending on a new credit card for the intro bonus. However, if you are spending extra money and justifying it with the intro bonus, you are not saving money. Be purposeful with your spending, saving, and investing.


Here is a suggested order to get cards for someone starting out:


First, get a solid base card that you never plan to close to start your credit history. I would start with Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (5% quarterly rotating card). The student version is great for anyone in college. If you are unable to be approved for the Discover card, try one of the Secured credit cards from the list above. If you already have some credit cards, you can skip this step.


Second, after you get the Discover card, I would get the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Card (4% dining card). This is one of the absolute best value credit cards I have ever seen; 4% cashback with no annual fee is amazing. Great for restaurants, delivery apps, gas, and streaming services. U.S. Bank also offers a Secured version of this card if you have trouble being approved.


Third, I would get a grocery card. The average American spends a lot on groceries each year so the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card (6% grocery and 3% gas card) is a great deal even with its $95 annual fee, as long as you spend at least $3,000 on groceries each year. If you don't spend that much, the higher rate of the preferred card does not make up for its annual fee, so instead consider the Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card (3% grocery and entertainment card). One thing to note about Capital One is that they may not approve you for the great SavorOne with no annual fee and with an intro bonus, however, they may instead approve you for a lesser card with no intro bonus or even one with an annual fee. The Savor / SavorOne card is not worth it if it has an annual fee or if it does not have an intro bonus. I would instead try for the Amex Blue Cash Everyday® Credit Card (3% grocery card) if I wasn't approved for the SavorOne with no annual fee and with an intro bonus.


Fourth, I would open any Chase credit cards that I am interested in. Chase has a 5/24 rule that states that anyone applying for a new Chase credit card will automatically be rejected if they have opened 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months. I would open two Chase cards as my fourth and fifth cards before I get locked out of applying for Chase cards. I would first open the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card (5% quarterly rotating card) and then either the Chase Amazon.com & Whole Foods Market Credit Card (5% single store card) or the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card (1.5% no category card) if you do not have Amazon Prime or use Amazon.com regularly.


Fifth, I would get an everyday (no category) card or a customizable category card as long as it has a good intro bonus. Remember, you would have to spend $40,000 on a 2% card with no intro bonus to make up for a $200 intro bonus on a 1.5% card. Getting a good intro bonus is key. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card (2% no category card) and Citi Custom Cash Card (5% customizable category card) are both offering great $200 intro bonuses currently.


Sixth, based on your unique situation, I would then consider opening an individual store card, a customizable category card, a premium card with an annual fee, or just start credit card churning for intro bonuses, based on my needs. I have included a few good credit cards with intro bonuses below for your reference. Please consult with a financial advisor to determine which, if any, of these debt instruments or strategies are right for you.

Cards with Intro Offers & Category Value

Additional Cards with Intro Offers for Churning



 

DISCLOSURE: Silverstone Financial LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Please see our disclosures page for additional information.

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