Best Visa Credit Cards of January 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 sign-up offers, 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

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best Overall

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Best for Cash-Back Rewards

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Best With No Annual Fee

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.6
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards 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
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%

Why We Chose This Card

This straightforward no-annual-fee card is perfect for earning cash back everyday. For every purchase, you’ll get unlimited 1.5% cash back that can be redeemed at any time, for any amount. You can even set up automatic redemptions ahead of time. What’s more, the $150 cash sign-up bonus is easy to earn. Just spend $500 within three months of opening an account. 

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Best for Cost-Conscious Travelers

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.6
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards 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
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.49% - 23.49% 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 year after year without extra costs like foreign transaction charges or an annual fee. And there’s always the option to transfer your miles to eligible frequent flyer programs such as JetBlue and Air Canada. 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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best Sign-Up Bonus

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® 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 (%) 17.49% - 24.49% 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

The sign-up offer 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.

Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠

Best for Students

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.2
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠
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
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.65% - 22.65% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 6 Months
Rewards Earning Rate 3% cash rewards earned for up to $2,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months. 1% cash rewards for each $1 spent on virtually all other purchases with your card.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%

Why We Chose This Card

We love that students can earn cash-back rewards on everyday purchases like gas and groceries for their first six months with this card. They’ll also get a 0% introductory purchase APR for six months, which makes this a competitive student card offer overall. Access to several resources, like free FICO credit scores and Wells Fargo’s credit education hub, make this a solid tool for building credit, too. Just note that you need to be an existing Wells Fargo customer to apply.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best for Luxury Travelers

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
3.8
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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 (%) 18.49% - 25.49% 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.

Chase Slate®

Best for Balance Transfers

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.2
Chase Slate®
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 (%) 16.49% - 25.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee $0 intro fee for the first 60 days your account is open, then either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 15 Months

Why We Chose This Card

This is a top balance transfer card overall, let alone among Visa cards. Not only will new cardholders get 15 months to pay off transfers interest-free, but transfers made within 60 days of opening an account won’t be charged a balance transfer fee. That’s a good cost-saving offer that makes this card worth a look if you’re trying to pay off pricey debt.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Best With a Low Ongoing APR

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
3.5
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® 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 (%) 11.74% - 17.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5x back at gas stations, 3x back on groceries, and 1x back on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%

Why We Chose This Card

For a rewards card with no annual fee, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card has a very reasonable interest rate for those with excellent credit. Even the high end of the variable APR range is less than the average for all cash-back cards we survey. Carrying a balance is never a good idea, but if having a low-interest card gives you that “just in case” peace of mind, this is a good Visa option. Before you apply for this card, you'll need to become a PenFed Credit Union member. (You can open a savings account with as little as $5.)

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

Best for Financing Large Purchases

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
4.0
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 (%) 16.99% - 26.49% 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 card 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 to this card during that time is something you can actually pay off in that period, because after that, interest charges could quickly wipe out this card’s value.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Best for Businesses

Our Rating Among Visa Cards
3.5
Ink Business Preferred℠ 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
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 22.49% 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 (%) 26.49%
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 sign-up bonus, and you’ll earn points on a wide range of business expenses. Spend $5,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account to get 80,000 bonus points worth $1,000 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.

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

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.