Rewards for Chase Sapphire Preferred, the highest in the category, were estimated at $850 for one year and $1,560 over a three-year period. However, frequent travelers may find travel cards come with other perks that offer value that can't be priced, such as priority boarding, access to member-only sky club lounges and expedited security clearance.

Best balance transfer cards

The analysis of balance transfer/low-interest cards measured the results of a $10,000 balance transfer and found the best cards came from these issuers:

For those who are able to pay off their balance quickly, the report indicated that the Chase Slate card offers the best value, with no interest for 15 months and no balance transfer fee for transfers made within 60 days of the card's opening.

However, for those who could take two years or more to pay off their balance, the PenFed Promise Visa is a better value, according to the report. Although it comes with a higher interest rate than the Chase and Citi cards, the three-year cost of interest and fees is only $1,500, compared to $2,110 for the other two cards. Consumers must join the Pentagon Federal Credit Union before applying for the PenFed Promise Visa, but it's possible to do so through a number of means, which are detailed on PenFed's website at penfed.org.

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