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10 Most Underrated Credit Cards of 2022
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
When you’re looking to open a credit card, you most likely will see the same handful of cards recommended on various sites. Cards such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and The Platinum Card® from American Express are often mentioned as top cashback and luxury travel cards, respectively. But sometimes other great cards are overlooked in the process. With thousands of credit cards available to consumers, there are plenty of cards that offer great benefits, but go relatively unnoticed.
We’ve rounded up 10 of the most underrated cards that can provide you a variety of benefits, such as travel rewards, special financing, instant discounts and more.
|Intro 0% APR credit card for purchases and balance transfers||U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card|
|Airline credit card||Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card|
|Balance transfer credit card||The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express|
|Business credit card||The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express|
|Cashback credit card||Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card|
|Hotel credit card||Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card|
|Low interest credit card||Titanium Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card|
|Store credit card||Target REDcard™ Credit Card|
|Student credit card||Discover it® Student Cash Back|
|Travel credit card||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
1. Most underrated intro 0% APR credit card: U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Why it’s a great intro 0% APR card: The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers one of the longest intro 0% APR periods for purchases with a 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Purchases (after, 16.74% - 26.74% (variable) APR). This can help you finance new purchases without incurring interest charges.
In addition, there’s a $0 annual fee and the same offer for balance transfers — 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Balance Transfers (after, 16.74% - 26.74% (variable) APR).
What to look out for: This card is a great choice for paying off new purchases over time, but otherwise there aren’t many added benefits. There is no rewards program or sign-up bonus, though you can benefit from cellphone protection.
2. Most underrated airline credit card: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
Why it’s a great airlines card: New cardholders can benefit from the ability to buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) and receive 40,000 bonus miles with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. In addition, cardholders are allowed a free checked bag for up to six other travelers on the same reservation — this is often limited to one to four other travelers by other airline cards. Other perks include an elevated earnings rate on Alaska Airlines purchases — Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don’t expire on active accounts.
What also makes this card valuable to travelers is its global partner airlines, including American Airlines, British Airways and Aer Lingus, among others. The airline has an extensive number of U.S. destinations, however, and has a reasonable annual fee of $75 compared with other airline cards.
What to look out for: The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card has a low miles-earning rate for non-Alaska Airlines purchases of 1 mile per dollar. This is similar to other airline-specific cards, but you can find general miles-earning cards that earn you more miles on popular travel categories, such as dining and hotel stays.
3. Most underrated balance transfer credit card: The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Why it’s a great balance transfer card: When trying to save money on a high-interest balance, every penny counts. Most balance transfer cards charge a 3% fee on each transfer you make, which gets added to your balance. While this is often outweighed by the amount you save on interest, you can find cards with no balance transfer fee, such as The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express.
This card doesn’t have the longest intro 0% APR period, but offers a good amount of time to pay off debt from a non-Amex card with an intro APR 0% for 15 months on balance transfers.
In addition, there’s an intro APR of 0% introductory apr for the first 15 months from the date of account opening. on purchases. After both intro periods end, a 14.49% to 25.49% variable APR applies.
On top of the ability to finance new purchases and debt, you can benefit from a $0 annual fee and rewards program. Earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), and 1x points on other purchases. New cardmembers can also earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases in your first 6 months
What to look out for: This card is a solid offering all around, but if you plan to use The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express’s balance transfer offer, you should be careful to avoid new debt. With an enticing intro APR of 0% introductory apr for the first 15 months from the date of account opening. on purchases (after, 14.49% to 25.49% variable APR), it may be tempting to add new debt to an existing balance. However, your primary goal should be to pay off old debt first. Using this card for new purchases may defeat efforts to whittle away a high balance.
4. Most underrated business credit card: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Why it’s a great business card: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has some great features all businesses can benefit from, including no annual fee, a flexible credit limit and free employee cards.
This card’s rewards program is tailored to common business expenses — Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
In addition, there is an intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening, (after, 15.49% - 23.49% variable APR). These special financing offers can help you finance large business expenses.
What to look out for: If you and your employees travel outside the U.S. frequently, this card isn’t the best choice since there’s a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. There are other business cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees and are more suited for travel abroad.
To see rates & fees for The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express please click here.
5. Most underrated cashback credit card: Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card
Why it’s a great cashback card: A flat-rate cashback card is a great way to earn a consistent amount of cash back on all your purchases and the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card offers up to 2.5% cash back on your first $10,000 of qualifying eligible purchases (1.5% for purchases over $10,000).
What to look out for: The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card has a tiered rewards program. You’ll only qualify for the 2.5% rate if you meet requirements for Tier One Rewards (which requires having a Alliant High-Rate Checking account and maintaining an average daily balance of $1,000 or more in that account), otherwise you’ll fall into Tier Two and will earn just 1.5% back on all purchases.
6. Most underrated hotel credit card: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Why it’s a great hotel card: Instead of being tied to a certain hotel chain, you can book or redeem points for stays in a variety of properties. All other purchases earn 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023. In addition, new cardmembers can earn a enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
What to watch out for: Group bookings or reservations including flights or paid at the hotel property do not qualify. Also, know that this card has an annual fee — $95, which may be worthwhile if you travel frequently.
7. Most underrated low interest credit card: Titanium Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card
Why it’s a great low interest card: If you need to occasionally carry a balance month to month, the Titanium Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card offers an ultra-low APR range of 9.49%-16.49% variable APR. This card is offered by the Andrews Federal Credit Union and is limited to members; however, if you currently use or have used a major consumer product or service in the past 12 months such as a vehicle, apparel or education, you can become a member for free by joining the American Consumer Council. Just use promo code “Andrews.”
What to watch out for: There’s no guarantee you’ll receive the lowest APR once you apply for the card. The APR you receive is based on your creditworthiness, so be prepared to receive an APR anywhere from 9.49%-16.49% variable APR.
8. Most underrated store credit card: Target REDcard™ Credit Card
Why it’s a great retail card: If you’re not an Amazon Prime member and prefer to go on “Target runs,” the Target REDcard™ Credit Card can help offset the cost of those purchases. This card has a unique rewards program where you receive a 5% off at Target in-store and online You don’t have to wait until your statement to accumulate points or cash back.
In addition, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card carries a lot of perks for regular Target shoppers — benefit from free shipping, 30 extra days for returns, stacking savings with the store’s Cartwheel app and additional access to promotions and offers.
What to watch out for: The Target REDcard™ Credit Card can only be used in Target stores and online at target.com, and carries a high 23.15% (variable) APR, so this isn’t a good card to carry a balance month to month.
9. Most underrated student credit card: Discover it® Student Cash Back
Why it’s a great student card: Discover offers two student cards — the Discover it® Student Cash Back and the Discover it® Student chrome — that are great cards for novice users looking to build credit in college.
While the Discover it® Student chrome’s rewards program is geared toward commuter students and students that often dine out (2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically), the Discover it® Student Cash Back is more suited for any student with a rotating cashback program — 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
What to watch out for: You need to activate the 5% cashback categories each quarter, or you’ll only earn 1% cash back. However, Discover lets you set reminders so you don’t miss out.
10. Most underrated travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Why it’s a great travel credit card: Compared with the luxury Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card boasts a much more reasonable annual fee of $95 (compared with a $550 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®) with just a few less perks.
Points redeemed for eligible travel at Chase Ultimate Rewards® receive 25% more value. You also have the option to transfer points 1:1 to more than a dozen travel partners, including Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus® and Marriott Rewards®.
What to watch out for: This card is well-rounded and has no major setbacks, but if you plan on making large purchases you want to finance over time, this card doesn’t come with an intro 0% APR offer. While travel cards often lack intro 0% deals, you can find some cards that provide intro 0% APR periods up to 14 months.
To see rates & fees for The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express please click here.