Expect These Best Credit Cards To Perform Well Again In 2024 – Forbes Advisor

Forbes Advisor Staff

Published: Nov 8, 2023, 9:00am

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Undoubtedly, 2024 will usher in changes to credit cards. Existing cards will get refreshes, some cards will be retired and others introduced. While it’s impossible to control what’s coming, we’ve studied the credit card market extensively and analyzed conditions that may help certain cards rise to the top. Here’s what we expect to be the best credit cards in 2024.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Ongoing surveys conducted by Forbes Advisor consistently show that cash back is—by far—most Americans’ preferred type of credit card rewards. And while there’s a cash-back credit card to fit any type of spending habits, cards earning a flat 2% cash back manage to balance a healthy rewards rate with the simplicity of being able to carry a single credit card.

Sure, there are plenty of 2% cash-back cards to choose from, but one we specifically expect to perform well in 2024 is the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. You don’t need to join a specific bank or credit union to apply, for one thing. But it also stands out for offering a welcome bonus to qualifying new cardholders and throwing in a decent introductory APR offer, too.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (rates & fees) has been a staff favorite ever since it was introduced. Despite being a premium travel card with coinciding premium perks, the $395 annual fee is lower than its closest competitors. Eventually, that may go up—but applying now locks you into the current rate for at least the first year.

The ongoing benefits, including an annual $300 travel credit and 10,000 anniversary miles are incredibly valuable to travelers. One perk that’s only going to improve in 2024 is the airport lounge access offered with the card. The card provides a Priority Pass membership with unlimited visits for you and up to two companions traveling with you. Better yet, Capital One branded lounges are finally popping up in major airports within the U.S, with more on the way. Unlimited visits there are also included.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card hasn’t changed much since it was originally launched and that consistency is exactly why we expect it to continue to be a great option for travelers who don’t want to commit to an ultra-premium card in 2024. It focuses on the basics and executes well while maintaining fair earning rates and a reasonable annual fee.

What it does offer should catch your eye. This card grants access to Chase Ultimate Rewards®, one of the best flexible currencies. You can redeem rewards for travel (without complicated structures) at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through Chase, transfer them to partners at a 1:1 ratio or even stick with cash if you prefer. Additionally, an annual $50 credit for use on hotel reservations made through Chase and an anniversary 10% points bonus makes this a great pick for the upcoming year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase’s highest-end flexible rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is due for a refresh. The Forbes Advisor team is optimistic that it will be in cardmembers’ favor. While we don’t know what’s to come, if anything, even the current version of the card is likely to be a top performer in your wallet.

We love that the card’s annual $300 travel credit is the easiest to use in the industry and that points are worth a whopping 50% more when used to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®—another industry leader. And while we’re at it, the built-in travel protections (when eligible) also lead the pack compared to the competition, making this a credit card worth considering in 2024.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express has been adding features and benefits and credits with no end in sight to The Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply, see rates & fees). Admittedly, not all of them are easy to use and there’s a good chance not all of them are relevant to your lifestyle, but there’s enough potential for outsized value that you don’t have to use every perk to break even on the $695 annual fee.

Assuming you’re willing to pony up that charge, cardmembers have access to over $1,000 in annual credits applied toward eligible digital entertainment, hotel, airline incidental and retail purchases after enrollment. There are other travel benefits, too: Enjoy upgraded hotel and rental car status, airport lounge access and fee credits toward airport security programs including Global Entry or TSA Precheck and CLEAR® Plus.

Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express*

The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express* was just updated, meaning cardmembers should know what to expect in 2024. The card’s most recent changes won’t be for everyone, but it can definitely be the right card for some Hilton Honors members, especially given the gigantic welcome offer currently available: Earn 180,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of opening an account.

Unlike most hotel credit cards, this one actually offers decent earning rates on most travel and dining purchases. Cardmembers will earn 14 Hilton Honors bonus points at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio, 7 points per dollar on eligible purchases for flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and U.S. restaurants and 3 points per dollar on other eligible purchases. Plus, the card’s included annual resort and flight credits add up to more value than the cost of the annual fee… and that’s before factoring in the value of an annual free night award and automatically being bumped up to top-tier Diamond elite status.

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card is really only useful for one thing, but it does that exceptionally well. The card offers 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. A 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% variable APR applies thereafter. Balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro APR and a balance transfer fee of 5%, min $5 applies. If you need a little financial breathing room in 2024, this is your opportunity to pay things down over time without worrying about accruing interest. There’s a $0 annual fee.

Someone who doesn’t need a 0% APR card should look at other options, since the card doesn’t earn rewards, offer a welcome bonus or include many benefits. It tacks on foreign transaction fees, too. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a longer promotional period if you’re in need of a low introductory APR.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Students often get the short end of the stick when applying for credit cards because they don’t have a long credit history or credit score to qualify for the best credit cards. Luckily, the Discover it® Student Cash Back presents you with a great option for 2024 and the remainder of your educational career with no annual fee.

What makes this card so strong is the ability to earn rewards on every purchase. You’ll earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and more, up to the quarterly maximum once activated. Plus, automatically earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. In the first year, you can also take advantage of an Unlimited Cashback Match™ – Discover will automatically match all the cash back earned at the end of the first year. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. There’s also a short introductory APR offer, though we recommend students get in the habit of paying bills in full and on time right from the start to build good habits.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Below-average credit doesn’t have to preclude you from getting a credit card, which is why we think the Discover it® Secured Credit Card will continue to be one of the best credit cards of 2024. Instead of offering subpar rewards, Discover treats you like a valued customer. Cardholders can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The issuer’s signature Cashback Match™ is also available to new cardholders in the first year.

Keep in mind this is a secured credit card, which means you’ll need to front a cash deposit if you’re approved. Use 2024 as the year you rebuild your credit. After on-time payments and responsible use for as little as six months, Discover will re-evaluate your credit profile to see if you’re eligible for a full deposit refund and the chance to switch to an unsecured credit card.

Bottom Line

We expect all of these cards to keep delivering in 2024—but if you’re focused on the here and now, you might be more interested in a wider assortment of cards. Our credit card guides feature the best products for dozens of scenarios so that you can narrow options based on your credit score, preferred types of rewards, purchase scenarios or other factors.

As you’re considering your options, you might notice a lot of the best cards of 2024 overlap with what’s best right now. That’s not a coincidence. For the most part, a card that’s a good fit today will still be a good card in the year to come, so you can take comfort in knowing that you’ll have plenty of choices regardless of when you choose to apply.

Find the Best Credit Cards for 2023

No single credit card is the best option for every family, every purchase or every budget. We’ve picked the best credit cards in a way designed to be the most helpful to the widest variety of readers.

To view rates and fees for Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card please visit this page.
To view rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please visit this page.

*The information for the following card(s) has been collected independently by Forbes Advisor: Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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With more than 50 million redeemed miles under her belt, Becky Pokora is a rewards travel expert. She’s been writing about credit cards and reward travel since 2011 with articles on Forbes Advisor, BoardingArea, The Points Guy and more. Her redemptions have helped her travel to more than 50 countries and all seven continents.

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