Best Visa Credit Cards of July 2020

The Best Visa Credit Cards for Travelers, Students, and Cash-Back Seekers

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The best Visa credit cards can help you build credit, earn rewards, save on interest costs, and pay business expenses, depending on which one you choose. Visa is the largest payment network in the world, and its cards are issued by most major banks, so choosing can be a challenge. Low APRs, hefty bonuses for new cardholders, valuable rewards, and few fees are some of the card qualities we prioritize when evaluating all credit cards, and our list of the best Visa cards accounts for all that and more.

Best Visa Credit Cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Best Overall

,

Best for Cash-Back Rewards

,

Best With No Annual Fee

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.7
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Current Offer

$200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.99% - 23.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This is a simple and rewarding card with no annual fee, which puts it at the top of our list. You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on each dollar spent. Or, if you’d rather, you can use your rewards (issued as points) to book travel, shop online, or purchase gift cards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. To round out this quality Visa card, new cardholders will get 15 months to finance purchases at 0% interest and can earn a $200 cash bonus by spending $500 within three months of opening an account.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Easy-to-earn and competitive welcome bonus
    • Good 0% APR offers for purchases
    • No annual fee
    • Several ways to redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, including for travel

    Cons

    • Unlike comparable cards, this card still charges a foreign transaction fee
    • APR may be above average, depending on your credit
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
    • Earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Runner-Up

,

Overall

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.6
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
Current Offer

Get $150 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.49% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash rewards on everyday purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    Much like the card in our top spot, this card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, no annual fee, and a 15-month-long introductory 0% purchase and balance transfer APR offer for new cardholders. Its cash bonus is a bit smaller—$150 for spending $500 within three months of opening an account—but we love how this card incentivizes digital wallet payments. Link this card to your Google Pay or Apple Pay account to earn 1.8% cash back on all your mobile transactions during your first 12 months.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Unlimited and competitive cash back rewards
    • Decent welcome bonus
    • No annual fee

    Cons

    • Cash back can only be redeemed in $20 or $25 increments
    • APR may be well above average after promotional interest rate offers end
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • $150 cash rewards bonus after $500 in spend during the first 3 months.
    • 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases.
    • During the first 12 months from account opening you'll enjoy 1.8% cash back on eligible digital wallet purchases.
    • Pay your monthly cellular bill with your card and get up to $600 worth of coverage on your cell phone (subject to a $25 deductible) against eligible losses.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best Bonus for New Cardholders

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.5
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Current Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    Chase's offer to new cardholders is the best among our top-ranking Visa cards and makes up for the annual fee several times over. The 60,000-point bonus is worth $750 when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and possibly more if you transfer your points to another eligible airline or hotel rewards program. Now, you must spend $4,000 within three months to earn those points, but open this card right before your next trip and you can easily meet the spending requirement while earning double points on your adventure expenses.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Good bonus compared to other travel cards with similar annual fees
    • Option to transfer points to eligible airline and hotel programs, often at a 1-to-1 ratio
    • Points are pretty valuable when redeemed for travel
    • Some premium travel insurance benefits

    Cons

    • No credits to cover incidental airline fees or other travel-related costs
    • Few everyday purchase categories earn extra points
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
    • Transfer points 1:1 to eligible Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partner programs.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Best for Students

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.5
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card is a great learning tool for those who are new to borrowing. It encourages smart habits by increasing your credit limit if you make your first five monthly payments on time. And when you pay your bill on time, you’ll earn 1.25% cash back (as opposed to the normal 1%) on the purchases made the previous month. Cardholders also have access to Capital One’s CreditWise tool, which will show you how card use impacts your credit score and credit report over time. And don’t worry about extra costs either, since there’s no annual or foreign transaction fee.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Higher rewards rate and credit limit available if you make on-time payments
    • Few fees, which helps keep costs low
    • Rewards that are easy to earn and redeem

    Cons

    • No bonus or 0% introductory APR offer for new cardholders
    • High APR if you carry a balance
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • With Credit Steps your account will be reviewed for a credit limit increase after making your first 6 monthly payments on time.
    • Enjoy unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile with CreditWise.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Best for Cost-Conscious Travelers

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.5
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card is our top pick for cost-conscious travelers. You can use it to travel the world without extra costs like foreign transaction charges or an annual fee. And there’s always the option to transfer your miles to eligible travel partners such as JetBlue and Wyndham. Plus, no matter where you go (or how close to home you stay), you’ll get a consistent 1.25-mile-per-dollar earning rate on every purchase.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Simple and predictable rewards
    • Rare option (for a no-annual-fee card) to transfer miles to eligible airline and hotel partner programs
    • Flexible redemption options
    • Travel insurance not common with a no-annual-fee card

    Cons

    • Low rewards-earning rate
    • Limited number of travel partners, especially U.S. airlines
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 1.25X miles on all purchases. Earn unlimited miles with no caps.
    • Earn 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
    • Use miles as a statement credit against any airline or hotel booking with no blackout dates. Or, transfer miles to eligible travel loyalty programs.
    • Enjoy an introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best for Luxury Travelers

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.5
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Current Offer

50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $550
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit, 3X points on dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card has all sorts of bells and whistles, which make it a top travel rewards card even beyond the universe of Visa cards. In addition to generous rewards, you’ll enjoy premium travel benefits such as airport lounge access, primary rental car insurance, and Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement. There’s a hefty annual fee, but for those who travel constantly and use the card benefits, it’s more than worth it.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Earn extra points for travel and dining purchases
    • Many different purchases count as travel spending, which makes earning rewards easier
    • Several valuable ways to use points, including transfers to partner loyalty programs
    • Jam-packed with valuable travel credit and travel insurance benefits

    Cons

    • Massive annual fee
    • High ongoing APR
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Receive 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Get an annual $300 travel credit for eligible purchases charged to your card each anniversary year.
    • Earn 3 points on travel (excluding purchases eligible for the travel credit), restaurants, and dining. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
    • Points are worth 50% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal.
    • Transfer points 1:1 to eligible Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partner programs.

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Best With a Low Ongoing APR

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.3
PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Current Offer

$100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.99% - 17.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with your card, and 2% total cash back for PenFed Honors Advantage Members.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    Everyone knows you should avoid carrying a credit card balance, especially if you want the full benefit of earning rewards. But if you have to, this card offers a very low ongoing APR of 14.99% for the most creditworthy applicants. (And even 17.99%, the highest APR offered, is well below average for a cash-back card.) You’ll also earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases (or 2% if you’re in the military or have a PenFed checking account), and a $100 statement credit if you spend $1,500 within 90 days of opening your account. Note: PenFed membership is required, but anyone can join with minimal expense.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Lower-than-average APR
    • Very few fees—and those charged are low
    • 2% cash back—available to certain cardholders—is stellar for a flat-rate card

    Cons

    • Credit union membership is required to apply
    • High spending requirement for a small bonus
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with your card.
    • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.
    • EMV chip-enabled for added security.
    • Contactless payment enabled.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Best for Businesses

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.3
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card offers a very competitive bonus for new cardholders, and you’ll earn points on a wide range of business expenses. Spend $15,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account to get 100,000 bonus points worth $1,250 if redeemed for travel through Chase’s rewards portal (and possibly more, if you transfer points to an eligible airline or hotel rewards program.) Plus, business owners can take advantage of the card's expense management tools, cellphone protection, and travel insurance. All this makes the card well worth the annual fee.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Outstanding bonus for new cardholders
    • Extra rewards points on many different types of business expenses
    • Many ways to redeem rewards
    • Option to transfer points to eligible airline loyalty programs, in some cases getting more value per point

    Cons

    • No rewards on dining or gas
    • Rewards tiers and caps, which are higher maintenance
    • Steep spending requirement to earn bonus
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.
    • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Stay on top of your business with Fraud Protection, Purchase Protection, personalized Account Alerts, and more.
    • Employee cards at no additional cost.

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

Best for Financing Large Purchases

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
3.4
Wells Fargo Platinum Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Intro fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for the first 120 days your account is open, then 5% ($5 minimum).
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 18 Months
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    It may be a simple card with no rewards, but the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card is the best Visa for financing a big purchase or two. After opening this card, you’ll get 18 months to pay down your purchases under the promotional APR of 0%. Just make sure that whatever you charge is something you can actually pay off in that period, because after that, interest charges could quickly wipe out this card’s value.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Very long 0% APR offer
    • Promotional interest rate offer applies to purchases and balance transfers
    • Cell phone insurance perks add some long-term value

    Cons

    • No rewards program
    • Balance transfer fee goes up 120 days after opening account
    • Ongoing APR may be above average, depending on your credit
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Low intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • Account protection features such as $0 Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions, alerts, and cell phone protection.
    • My Money Map tools to help you manage spending and create a budget with ease.
    • Access to your FICO Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online.

Is Visa a Card Issuer?

No. Visa doesn’t actually issue or manage credit card accounts like banks and credit unions do. Visa is a card network, which means it dictates where the cards can be used and it helps connect merchants and card-issuing banks for payment processing. Card networks like Visa also support a number of the benefits offered on their cards, such as travel insurance and emergency card replacement (more on this below).

Does the Credit Card Network Matter?

Sometimes. Acceptance of the network’s cards may vary depending on where you use the card. For example, while there are four major payment networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover), small local stores may only accept card payments from a couple of those networks. American Express and Discover network acceptance is also limited outside the U.S.

However, Visa is one of the most widely accepted payment networks both in the U.S. and internationally, so while you should never open a credit card just because of the payment network, having a Visa is never a bad idea. 

Visa Credit Card Statistics

  • Visa cards are accepted in more than 200 countries and territories
  • Nearly 54 million merchants accept Visa cards worldwide
  • Visa cards generated $165.3 billion of purchases worldwide in 2018—far more than any other network
  • Visa credit cards were used for more than half (57.30%) of all U.S. credit card transactions in the first quarter of 2018

Here’s another look at our picks for credit cards you should consider if you want a card in the Visa network:

Best Visa Credit Cards
Credit Card Category Annual Fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited Best Overall $0
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card Runner-up, Overall

 

$0
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Best Bonus for New Cardholders $95
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One Best for Students $0
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Best for Cost-Conscious Travelers $0
Chase Sapphire Reserve Best for Luxury Travelers $550
PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card Best With a Low Ongoing APR $0
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Best for Businesses $95
Wells Fargo Platinum Card Best for Financing Large Purchases $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited Best for Cash-Back Rewards $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited Best With No Annual Fee $0

What Are Common Visa Credit Card Benefits?

In addition to determining payment card acceptance, payment networks also support some credit card benefits. Visa consumer cards have three levels of benefits: Traditional, Signature, and Infinite. Signature and Infinite benefits are typically offered on premium credit cards, so you’ll need good credit to access them. Visa business cards have two tiers: Business and Signature Business.

Important

Benefit terms and coverage limits will vary among cards and issuers, so refer to your card’s benefits guide or contact the issuer to learn more. 

The benefit line-up of each Visa card will vary depending on the card program and issuer, but overall, Visa benefits may include:

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Insurance coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay
  • Insurance coverage for lost luggage
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Rental car collision insurance
  • Extended warranties
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Emergency cash disbursement
  • Travel and emergency hotline 
  • Emergency medical and transportation assistance
  • Roadside assistance hotline 

Methodology

We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it's our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

Our reviews are always impartial. No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

About This List

The Balance editorial team curated this list following the same process used for our best overall card rankings, but focused just on Visa cards—more than 65 of them, actually. We excluded co-branded airline and hotel cards from this list.

What We Score

Rewards, annual fee, and regular APR are the most important things people consider when choosing a credit card, so we weigh those features most heavily. Beyond limiting this list to cards on the Visa network, we applied the same methodology we use to determine our best overall credit cards. For full details on how we evaluate credit card attributes, check out our full methodology.