This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

New Survey Puts Credit Cards To The Test





If you avoid credit cards that carry an annual fee, you may be missing out on some of the best in the industry, according to a new analysis conducted by the Consumer Reports Money Lab.

The survey, which is featured in the November issue of Consumer Reports, looked at 53 credit cards and identified the best cash rewards, travel and balance transfer/low interest cards. The top cards chosen by the report suggest that consumers shouldn't avoid a card simply because it has an annual fee. Particularly for those who pay off their balances each month, the perks of some rewards credit cards outweigh their costs, the report found.

The report named its best three cards in each category. The results of the Money Lab analysis used the terms offered to those with high credit scores, so consumers may receive different terms based upon their credit history and other factors. In addition, credit card issuers may change program terms at any time.

Best cash-rewards credit cards

For credit cards that offer cash back, the analysis based its findings upon monthly spending that includes $400 on gas, $600 on groceries and $1,000 elsewhere. The following are the top three cards in the category:

  • American Express Blue Cash Preferred
  • Fidelity Rewards American Express
  • Capital One Cash Rewards

The top card in the category, American Express Blue Cash Preferred, comes with a $75 annual fee, but the report also estimated it offers the potential to accumulate cash rewards of $770 over 12 months and $2,010 over three years. The rewards figures take into account upfront bonuses as well as the cost of the annual fee.

Top travel cards

To score travel cards, the report assumed the same monthly spending as with cash rewards cards. For travel cards, top rankings went to the following three cards:

All three of the best travel cards charge an annual fee, although Chase and Capital One currently waive the fees for the first year. A no-annual fee version of each card is also available, but they pay lower rewards.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,253.92 +97.07 0.57%
S&P 500 2,010.72 +9.15 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,593.2790 +31.09 0.68%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs