The Best Visa Credit Cards of 2019

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Visa is the largest payment network in the world, and its cards are issued by most major banks. Visa cards can help you build credit, earn rewards, save on interest costs, and pay business expenses, depending on which one you choose. 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 reflects that.

Editors' Picks

Best Overall

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
4.7
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 (%) 16.24% - 26.24% variable
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5 % Cash Back on every purchase, every day.
Intro Purchase APR 0%
Intro Purchase APR Length (number of months) 15
Foreign transaction fee 0%

Why We Chose This Card

This straightforward card is perfect for everyday use thanks to several award-winning qualities. You get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, which can be redeemed at any time, for any amount. The sign-up bonus is easy to earn, too. New cardholders have more than a year to make interest-free purchases and balance transfers. Oh, and there’s no annual fee. It’s the top overall Visa card, and the best one for cash-back rewards and financing large purchases.

Best for Cost-Conscious Travelers

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
4.7
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 (%) 14.24% - 24.24% variable
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase.
Intro Purchase APR 0%
Intro Purchase APR Length (number of months) 12

Why We Chose This Card

You can use this card to travel the world year after year without extra costs. There’s no annual or foreign transaction fee. This card also offers a consistent miles-earning rate on each purchase and an option to transfer miles to several airline frequent flier programs, which makes it a stand-out Visa card among other no-annual fee travel card offers.

Best Sign-Up Bonus

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
4.5
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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% - 25.74% variable
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Intro Purchase APR 0%
Intro Purchase APR Length (number of months) 15
Foreign transaction fee 3%

Why We Chose This Card

Instead of a more traditional one-time bonus award, this card offers new cardholders 3% cash back on all purchases, up to $20,000, made during the first year. This bonus has a maximum cash value of $600, which is great. There’s no annual fee to counteract the bonus value, either. If you open this card, use it daily to max out this fruitful offer ASAP.

Best for Luxury Travelers

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
4.2
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 (%) 18.99% - 25.99% variable
Annual Fee $450
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 makes it a top travel rewards card even outside the Visa card network. In addition to generous rewards, you’ll enjoy premium travel benefits such as unlimited 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.

Best for Airline Loyalty

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
4.2
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus 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 (%) 17.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $69
Rewards Earning Rate 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Why We Chose This Card

Southwest fans will love this card. It offers 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases plus 3,000 bonus points each year. Spend only $1,000 within three months of opening this card to get a 40,000-point bonus, which makes this a lucrative airline card for a low $69 annual fee. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 points after you spend $12,000 total on purchases within the first year. You’ll enjoy some solid Southwest perks, too, like free checked bags and unlimited reward seats with no blackout dates.

Best for Hotel Loyalty

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
4.1
World of Hyatt 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 (%) 17.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 4X points for Hyatt stays, 2x for eligible transit, restaurants, gym memberships, and airfare purchased directly from the airline. 1x on other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee 0%

Why We Chose This Card

This hotel card knocks it out of the park. Use it to pay for Hyatt hotel stays and you’ll rack up points very fast, and you’ll also get extra points on other useful purchase categories, like airfare and dining out. Cardholders are automatically upgraded to an elite reward program status that offers extra Hyatt perks, and also get one free hotel stay each year, which makes up for a low annual fee. All in all, it’s one of the best co-branded hotel cards available right now, let alone among Visa cards.

Best for Businesses

Ink Business Unlimited

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
3.8
Ink Business Unlimited
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 (%) 15.24% - 21.24% variable
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Intro Purchase APR 0%
Intro Purchase APR Length (number of months) 12
Cash Advance APR (%) 26.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Why We Chose This Card

Unlimited cash back and year-long 0% introductory purchase APR make this a solid Visa card option for small business owners. It’s a simple and easy-to-use card, since there aren’t purchase categories or spending limits to keep tabs on, there’s no annual fee, and your employees can get and use cards for free. This card also offers several business expense management tools to track spending, grow business credit and simplify bookkeeping.

Best for Students

Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
4.0
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 (%) 13.15% - 23.15% variable
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Intro Purchase APR 0%
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 with this card, and they’ll also get a 0% introductory purchase APR for 6 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.

Best for Balance Transfers

Chase Slate®

Our Rating Among Visa Credit Cards Cards
3.8
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 (%) 16.99% - 25.74% variable
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Ongoing Balance Transfer APR (%) 16.99% - 25.74%
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Intro Balance Transfer APR (%) 0%
Intro Balance Transfer Fee There is an introductory fee of $0 during the first 60 days your account is open.
Intro Balance Transfer APR Length (number of months) 15

Why We Chose This Card

This is a top balance transfer card overall, let alone among Visa cards. Not only do new cardholders will 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 an extremely rare (and good) cost-saving offer which makes this card worth a look if you’re trying to pay off pricey debt.

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

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

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

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—80 of them, actually. 

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.