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cheatgame.info’s Best Mastercard Credit Cards of 2019

Feb. 5, 2019
cheatgame.info’s Best Mastercard Credit Cards of 2019
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Mastercard credit cards are accepted widely, even internationally. If you’re in the market for a new Mastercard, options abound — and there’s no such thing as a single “best” Mastercard card for everybody.

To decide which card is best for you, consider your spending, debt and rewards preferences. Here are our top picks for credit cards bearing the Mastercard logo.

» MORE: Visa credit cards vs. Mastercard: Does it make a difference?

For flat-rate cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • No sign-up bonus
    • No 0% APR for purchases
    • $25 minimum redemption

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy 1% as you pay
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness*
    • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
    • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

Why we like it

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is one of the best rewards cards on the market, partly because it’s so simple: You get straight cash back — there are no points or bonus categories to keep track of. Cardholders can shop as they normally would and get a high rewards rate on every purchase.

Pros and cons

Pros: The card offers a 2% cash-back rate on all purchases: You get 1% back on every dollar you spend and another 1% back when you pay off your purchases, for an annual fee of $0.

Cons: This offer does not include a sign-up bonus, nor does the card have any bonus categories. Higher cash-back percentages can be had on different cards for specific categories. There’s a minimum cash-back redemption of $25.

» MORE: Read our review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

For flat-rate travel: Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Apply Now on Barclays's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate on all purchases, not just bonus categories
    • Sign-up bonus
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee
    • Minimum redemption required for travel

    Annual Fees

    $89 (waived first year)

    APR

    • APR: 18.24% - 22.24% APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

    Intro APR

    • 0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening
  • Additional Information
    • Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
    • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
    • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
    • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
    • View Rates and Fees

Why we like it

Light on flash but loaded with value, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is an excellent companion for travelers who value flexibility in their rewards.

Pros and cons

Pros: This card earns an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Miles can be redeemed for statement credit against travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent apiece. Just book travel however you want, then use miles to pay for it. Plus, when you redeem miles, you get 5% of those miles back as a bonus. This is the rare U.S.-issued card with chip-and-PIN functionality. That’s a big deal when traveling overseas because you often need a PIN to use a credit card at self-service terminals.

Cons: The minimum redemption amount for statement credit against travel expenses is 10,000 points, or $100, which is fairly high. Also, this card lacks some perks you’ll find on similar cards in its category, such as airport lounge access or reimbursement for TSA Precheck or Global Entry application.

» MORE: Read our review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

For bonus rewards cash back: Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Cash bonus offer
    • Cash rewards

    Cons

    • If you're a big spender with excellent credit and willing to pay an annual fee, there are cards with higher rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: up to 29.99% APR

    Bonus Offers

    $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • Additional Information
    • No annual fee
    • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
    • NEW OFFER: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings
    • Now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
    • You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the Mobile banking app or Online banking, or do nothing and it stays the same.
    • No expiration on rewards
    • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases AND for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
    • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can get a 25% - 75% rewards bonus on every purchase

Why we like it

The option to pick a 3% cash-back category among a list of six makes this card a flexible pick, and it can become even more valuable if you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program.

Pros and cons

Pros: With an annual fee of $0, this card offers useful categories for triple points, including gas, online shopping and dining. Bonus spending categories, including 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, are capped at $2,500 per quarter before earning just 1% back. Cardholders eligible for the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program earn higher rewards rates.

Cons: It has a complicated rewards structure, and spending caps make it most appealing for low spenders. If you’re a big spender with excellent credit and willing to pay an annual fee, there are cards with higher rewards. Even a flat-rate cash-back Mastercard might be better.

» MORE: Read our review of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

For bonus rewards travel: Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier<sup>℠</sup> Card

Citi Premier Card

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 720
    850
    Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee
    • Needs excellent credit

    Annual Fees

    $0 for the first year, then $95

    APR

    • APR: 16.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
    • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment
    • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
    • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
    • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Why we like it

While we’re not crazy about a card at this rewards level having an annual fee, triple points on travel is a nice feature, especially because it includes gas.

Pros and cons

Pros: By paying 3 points per dollar on travel, the Citi Premier Card has an edge on competitors that offer only 2 points per dollar in that category. Citi’s definition of “travel” is broad and includes gas station purchases. Citi ThankYou points are worth 1.25 cents per point when you redeem for airfare booked through Citi.

Cons: An annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95 and lackluster point-transfer options to U.S. travel partners are clear downsides.

» MORE: Read our review of the Citi Premier Card

For balance transfers: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity<sup>®</sup> Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No late fee
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • No rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months
  • Additional Information
    • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER
    • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
    • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
    • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
    • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
    • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month

Why we like it

The long 0% intro APR period for balance transfers on the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever makes this a solid card if you need breathing room to pay off debt.

Pros and cons

Pros: This card is for someone who needs extra time to pay down debt. It has an annual fee of $0, and it offers an intro 0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR, not to mention no late fees.

Cons: The card charges a balance transfer fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater. You can’t transfer balances from other Citi accounts, and you won’t earn rewards. The 0% intro APR period for purchases is significantly shorter than for transfers.

» MORE: Read our review of the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

For fair/average credit: Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now on Capital One's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 630
    689
    Average
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Qualify with average credit
    • High rewards rate
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee
    • High APR

    Annual Fees

    $39

    APR

    • APR: 26.96% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.96%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
    • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
    • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
    • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
    • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
    • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
    • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
    • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app

Why we like it

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers those with average credit a chance to earn rewards and gain access to a higher credit line after making the first five monthly payments on time.

Pros and cons

Pros: The card offers a solid ongoing rewards rate with no need to track bonus categories. You simply earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Cons: The card charges an annual fee of $39. You would need to spend $2,600 per year on the card to make that back. And unlike some other cash-back cards, it doesn’t allow you to boost your rewards earnings with bonus categories.

» MORE: Full review of the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

For small business: Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 720
    850
    Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Unlimited flat-rate rewards
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases

    Cons

    • Requires excellent credit

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: See Terms

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 25,000 bonus points when you make at least $1,000 in net purchases within 60 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases for 9 billing cycles
  • Additional Information
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases everywhere, every time-no matter how much you spend. Points don't expire.
    • Earn 25,000 bonus points when you make at least $1,000 in net purchases within 60 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases.
    • Earn 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center - powered by Expedia®.
    • No annual fee and no international transaction fees.
    • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
    • Redeem points for travel with no blackout dates, cash back or gift cards.
    • Plus, if you're a Business Advantage Relationship Rewards client, you can get up to a 75% rewards bonus on the base earn of every purchase you make. Your rewards bonus is based on your enrolled tier – Gold 25%; Platinum 50%; or Platinum Honors 75%.

Why we like it

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card is just right for business owners who want a travel card with robust ongoing rewards but no fee.

Pros and cons

Pros: This card with an annual fee of $0 offers generous rewards of 1.5 points for every dollar spent, and 3 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases booked through Bank of America®. It also comes with a plum sign-up bonus for a no-fee card: Earn 25,000 bonus points when you make at least $1,000 in net purchases within 60 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases. It charges no foreign transaction fees.

Cons: Higher reward rates are available on other no-fee small business cards. Other cards — especially cards with annual fees — also offer larger sign-up bonuses.

» MORE: Read our review of the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

For college students: Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

Apply Now on Deserve's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 630
    850
    Average - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Qualify with limited credit
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • High APR

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • Purchase: 20.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • No SSN required for International students.
    • Available to students (enrollment verification is required).
    • Amazon Prime Student on us (get reimbursed for subscription fees up to a lifetime total of $59).
    • 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.
    • Credit limits up to $5,000.
    • $0 annual fee & no foreign transaction fees.
    • No security deposit or co-signer required.
    • Helps students build credit history and gain financial independence.
    • Use anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted.
    • Includes Mastercard Platinum Benefits like Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Roadside Assistance, Travel Assistance Services, Price Protection, Extended Warranty and ID Theft Protection.
    • Complimentary cellphone insurance up to $600.

Why we like it

This is an excellent option for students who can’t qualify for a credit card because they lack a U.S. credit history, a Social Security number or both.

Pros and cons

Pros: The card is ideal for students who can’t get approved for other cards because they lack a credit history. International students who don’t have a Social Security number may be able to qualify. That’s because the issuer uses its own underwriting process to evaluate applications based on alternative criteria. Cardholders get unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, a statement credit for a 12-month Amazon Prime Student subscription (up to $59) and a $30 statement credit every time you refer a friend who qualifies for the card.

Cons: Rewards are redeemable only for statement credit, and you’ll have to wait until you have $25 in rewards (equal to $2,500 in spending) before you can redeem. Other cards offer higher rewards rates, if you can qualify for them.

» MORE: Read our review of the Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

For dining and entertainment: Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now on Capital One's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Bonus cash back categories
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months
  • Additional Information
    • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
    • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
    • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.24% - 25.24% variable APR after that
    • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.24% - 25.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • No annual fee

Why we like it

If a night out is more than a once-in-a-while proposition, the Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card will fit neatly in your wallet.

Pros and cons

Pros: The card pays 3% cash back on restaurant dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. It has an annual fee of $0 with no foreign transaction fees or minimum requirements for redeeming.

Cons: The card offers a good rate at grocery stores, but not extraordinary. If you buy most of your food at a supermarket, a card that pays 3% or more on grocery store purchases would be better.

» MORE: Read our review of the Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card