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Best Credit Cards for Your Lifestyle

Jason Steele | May 14, 2019

Finding the right credit card is kind of like buying a car...or a pair of shoes. There’s no single product that’s going to work for everyone, and the best one for you will depend on your lifestyle. While you might not want to have as many credit cards as you have shoes, you may still want to have multiple credit cards for different uses.

For instance, you may frequent new restaurants on a regular basis. Or you may still be working your way through an academic program. Or both. Here are the best credit cards for each (plus a few more), so you can live your best life and earn the most rewards while you're at it.

Design by Nary Han

The Foodie

While some people eat to live, foodies live to eat. If you’re the kind of person who carefully considers each meal and spends more money than most others at restaurants and supermarkets, then you need a card that offers the best rewards for those purchases.

Capital One Savor Rewards: This card offers you 4 percent cash back on dining and entertainment purchases and 2 percent cash back at grocery stores. New applicants earn $500 in cash back after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year.

American Express Gold: With this offer you earn four times the Membership Rewards points at restaurants and on up to $6,000 spent each year at grocery stores. You also receive 3 times the points on travel. Other benefits include a $120 annual dining credit at featured restaurants and a $100 annual air travel credit. There’s a $250 annual fee for this card.

Design by Nary Han

The Jetsetter

If you have to check your calendar to know not just what you’ll be doing in a couple weeks, but to remind yourself what city you’ll be in, then you’re probably part of the modern Jet Set. The right credit card for you will offer bonus rewards for travel expenses, plus other valuable perks and benefits when you’re traveling.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: This is an extremely popular travel rewards card that offers you three times the points on all travel and dining expenses. Points are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel reservations, or you can transfer your rewards to frequent flyer miles or hotel points. Relax in luxury at the airport with a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership. You also get a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, and an annual $300 travel statement credit. Both of which go a long way toward offsetting this card’s $450 annual fee.

American Express Platinum: This card has dozens of great features for travelers, including five times the Membership Rewards points for airfare booked through the airlines or Amex Travel, and five times the points for hotels booked through Amex Travel. You also receive access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs, and the Priority Pass Select lounges. Finally, you receive a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, and an annual $200 airline statement fee statement credit. There’s a $550 annual fee for this card.

Design by Nary Han

The Student

Being a student is definitely a lifestyle, and one that graduate students will find themselves in for many years. Students have specific needs for a credit card, starting with being approved with little or no credit history. Other needs include simple terms, low fees, and even modest cash back rewards.

Discover it® Chrome  for Students: This card is available to students with little credit history and offers you cash back on all of your purchases. You earn 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Discover will even match the cash back you earn during your first year, and give you a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher. There’s no annual fee for this card.

The Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One: Here’s a great offer that you can qualify for as a student, and one that rewards you for on-time payments. With this card, you earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases, which rises to 1.25 percent when you pay your bill on time. You also get access to a higher credit limit when you pay your first five monthly payments on time. There’s no annual fee for this card.

Design by Nary Han

The Entrepreneur

From small side hustles to a Silicon Valley startups, having your own business is now more popular than ever. Regardless of the size of your company, or your ambitions, one of the most vital tools you need is a small business credit card. The right card for small business owners will offer bonus rewards for common company expenses and ways to track purchases for accounting and tax preparation.

Ink Business Unlimited: This is a great small business card that offers you 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases and has no annual fee. However, if you also have another Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, like the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, then you can combine your Ink Business Unlimited points with your other rewards. Cardholders can use the Chase Ink app to help manage expenses, organize receipts, and reconcile accounting. This card is also offering new applicants $500 in cash back after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.

Capital One Spark Cash: For slightly larger spending needs, this card offers you unlimited 2 percent cash back, albeit with a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year. You also get quarterly and yearly summaries, which you can download in formats such as Quicken, Quickbooks, and Excel.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.