Best Visa Credit Cards of August 2021

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 of August 2021

Best Overall, Best for Cost-Conscious Travelers, Best With No Annual Fee : U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card


Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.8
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
Current Offer

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening That's a $200 value redeemable towards merchandise, gift cards, cash back, travel and more.

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% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 4x points on takeout, food delivery and dining, earn 2x points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Billing Cycles
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

This terrific no-annual-fee card offers an attractive rewards scheme: 4 points per $1 spent on takeout, food delivery, and dining (orders must be categorized by the merchant as a restaurant, fast-food restaurant, or bar purchase to get the extra rewards), plus 2 points per $1 spent on groceries (including delivery orders), streaming services, and gas. The competitive welcome bonus is worth $200 and it’s yours if you spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening your account. We like that there’s a year-long break on interest costs to round out this offer, too. 

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • High earning rates on dining purchases

  • Option to earn extra points and a statement credit on streaming service purchases

  • Decent introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and transfers

  • No annual fee

Cons
  • Few valuable travel or purchase insurance perks

Highlights:
  • Earn 4 points per $1 on takeout, food delivery and dining
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on groceries, gas, and streaming services
  • $15 credit for annual streaming service purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Low Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Points never expire

Read full U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card review

Best for Cash-Back Rewards : Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card


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:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

It’s another no-annual-fee rewards card, but this one offers a simpler rewards program for those interested in easily earning cash back every day. You’ll get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases 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.

Read the full Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card review

Best Low-Interest Card : PNC points Visa Credit Card


Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.4
PNC points® Visa® Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you make $750 or more in purchases during the first 3 billing cycles following account opening of a PNC points Visa Credit 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
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 4 points per $1 on purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

While this is technically a rewards card, we recommend it for those seeking a low-interest Visa card. For starters, you’ll get 0% on purchases for 12 months, which isn’t the best deal on the market, but still decent. The average ongoing interest rate is lower than what many other cards offer, which is something to keep in mind if you don't pay off a large purchase before the intro period ends, or if you need to carry a balance later. Just remember: Carrying a card balance is never a good idea if your intent is to earn rewards, and that’s especially true with this card because its rewards offer poor value. Lean on this one for its APR features and you’ll be in good shape. 

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Below average ongoing APR

  • Decent 0% APR offers

  • Simple rewards earning rate

Cons
  • Terrible rewards redemption values

  • Extra points only available to PNC customers with high account balances

  • Mediocre welcome offer

Highlights:
  • Earn 4 points per $1 spent on purchases.
  • Redeem your points for gift cards, rental car reservations, hotel stays, and more.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.

Read the full PNC points Visa Credit Card review

Best for Students : Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students


Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.4
Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students
Current Offer

25,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening - which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

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 (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Billing Cycles
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

If you want to earn rewards for an upcoming trip or study-abroad adventure and you have good credit, this is a worthwhile student card. You’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases—a very decent rate as student cards go (and an uncomplicated rate for new rewards users). Plus, there’s no annual or foreign transaction fee. To top it off, this card offers some nice introductory incentives. Not only will new cardholders have a 0% APR on purchases for their first 12 months, but there’s an impressive bonus: If you spend $1,000 within your first 90 days, you’ll earn 25,000 extra points worth $250 in travel.

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Nice welcome bonus for a student card

  • Rewards are good for a flat-rate card, plus there’s no limit on how much you can

  • Long 0% purchase APR deal for a student card

  • No foreign transaction fee (typical for a travel card, but not a given among student cards)

Cons
  • You may need good credit to qualify

  • Cash back redemption option cuts point value nearly in half

Highlights:
  • Earn 25,000 points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points.
  • Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend, everywhere, every time.

Read the full Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students review

Best for Businesses : Ink Business Preferred Credit Card


Our Rating Among Visa Cards
3.9
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. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel rewards 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% - 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on shipping purchases, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, internet, cable and phone services, and travel each account anniversary year. Earn unlimited 1 Point Per $1 spent on all other purchases. Points do not expire as long as your account is open.
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:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

There’s a lot to like about this business Visa card, including a 100,000-point bonus for new cardholders who spend $15,000 within their first three months. This offer is worth $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The annual fee is reasonable and there’s a good rewards scheme. In addition to airfare and other travel purchases, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, internet and phone services, shipping, and social media advertising.

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 $1,000 cash back or $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.

Read the full Ink Business Preferred Credit Card review

Best Sign-Up Bonus : Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Current Offer

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 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 Earn 2X points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
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 100,000-point bonus is worth $1,250 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. You need to spend $4,000 within three months to earn those points but open this card 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 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R).
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R). For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to eligible Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partner programs.
  • With Pay Yourself Back(SM), your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.

Read the full Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review

Best for Luxury Travel : Chase Sapphire Reserve


Our Rating Among Visa Cards
3.8
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Current Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 total 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
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:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
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 60,000 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.

Read the full Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Best for Balance Transfers, Best for Financing Large Purchases : U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card


Our Rating Among Visa Cards
3.5
U.S. Bank Visa® 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 (%) 14.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 20 Billing Cycles
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

The 0% APR deals offered by this card are quite generous, and the best available these days. You’ll have 20 months to spread out the cost of a big purchase or save money on high-interest debt you transfer from another card. There’s not much to this no-annual-fee Visa card aside from its APR promotions but those promos are outstanding. 

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Long 0% APR offers

  • Cellphone protection

Cons
  • Few perks or bonuses

  • Limited value after the intro period ends

Highlights:
  • 0% APR for 20 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Read the full U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card review

Compare the Best Visa Credit Cards

Credit Card Annual Fee
U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card
Best Overall, Best for Cost-Conscious Travelers, Best With No Annual Fee
$0
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card
Best for Cash-Back Rewards
$0
PNC points Visa Credit Card
Best Low-Interest Card
$0
Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students
Best for Students
$0
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Best for Businesses
$95
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Best Sign-Up Bonus
$95
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Best for Luxury Travel
$550
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
Best for Balance Transfers, Best for Financing Large Purchases
$0

FAQs

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
  • Over 46 million merchant locations 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:

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.

Article Sources

  1. Visa. "Visa Fact Sheet." Accessed Oct. 13, 2020.