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Best Credit Cards to Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2021

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The start of a new year is an excellent time to take stock of where we’ve been and where we’re going. As the full fiscal impacts of holiday excesses come into focus, it’s the ideal time to resolve, once and for all, to put our finances on a sounder footing in the months and years ahead.

Plenty of common New Year’s resolutions don’t directly reduce spending or encourage saving. But many of the most popular – such as traveling more or joining a gym – are financially burdensome.

Whether your resolutions qualify as fiscal net positives or negatives – or a mix of both – the right credit card can help magnify the potential savings or mitigate the damage. This year, consider pairing your top resolution with the best credit card to help you pull it off.

Popular New Year’s Resolutions & the Best Credit Cards for Each

These eight perennial favorite New Year’s resolutions pair nicely with multiple credit cards.

Resolution 1: Pay Down Existing Credit Card Debt

Few New Year’s resolutions are more practical or urgent than getting your finances back on track after holiday overspending. And thankfully, there’s an entire credit card category devoted to limiting the long-term fiscal damage caused by high-interest credit card balances: balance-transfer credit cards.

The best balance-transfer credit cards charge no interest on transferred balances for 18 to 21 months from your account opening date. However, they may insist you pay off the entirety of the transferred balance during the promotional period to avoid retroactive interest charges at the regular APR. Read through the cards’ terms-and-conditions literature for details.

Many popular cash-back credit cards also have 0% APR balance-transfer promotions stretching to 15 or even 18 months. If you’re in the market for a card that rewards you for use long after you’ve paid off transferred balances, one of these is a better fit than a pure balance-transfer card.

1. Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card  exists for one reason and one reason only: to help cardholders pay down high-interest balances racked up elsewhere. Its extremely long 0% APR purchase and balance-transfer promotion matches the best offers on the market today.

  • Balance-Transfer APR: 0% APR for 18 months, then regular variable APR applies.
  • Purchase APR: 0% APR for 18 months, then regular variable APR applies.
  • Key Fees: Diamond Preferred has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. The balance-transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of the transfer amount.

For more information, read our Citi Diamond Preferred card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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2. Citi® Simplicity® Card

The Citi® Simplicity® Credit Card has much in common with Diamond Preferred, including the very long 0% APR purchase and balance-transfer promotion.

  • Balance-Transfer APR: 0% APR for 18 months, then regular variable APR applies.
  • Purchase APR: 0% APR for 18 months, then regular variable APR applies.
  • Key Fees: Simplicity has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. The balance-transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of the transfer amount.

For more information, read our Citi Simplicity card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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3. Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash card has the longest 0% APR balance-transfer promotion of any cash-back card available today. Pair that with a cash-back rate up to 2% when you pay your purchase balance in full, and you’ve got one potent card.

  • Balance-Transfer APR: 0% APR for 18 months, then regular variable APR applies. You must complete qualifying balance transfers within the first four months.
  • Purchase APR: There’s no purchase APR promotion. Regular variable APR applies from the day you open your account.
  • Key Fees: Double Cash has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. The balance-transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of the transfer amount.

For more information, read our Citi Double Cash card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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4. Wells Fargo Platinum Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Platinum Credit Card‘s 0% APR promotion is the same length as Double Cash’s. Though it lacks a rewards program, Wells Fargo Platinum may be suitable for cardholders with less-than-perfect credit.

  • Balance-Transfer APR: 0% APR for 18 months, then regular variable APR applies (currently 16.49% to 24.49% variable, depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates).
  • Purchase APR: 0% APR for 18 months, then regular variable APR applies (currently 16.49% to 24.49% variable, depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates).
  • Key Fees: Wells Fargo Platinum has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. The balance-transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer for 120 days from account opening. After that, it’s the greater of $5 or 5%.

For more information, read our Wells Fargo Platinum Visa review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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5. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Whoever’s behind the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card has made it very difficult to argue with the one-two punch of 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • Balance-Transfer APR: 0% APR for 15 months from your account opening date. Then regular variable APR applies (currently 14.49% to 24.99% variable, depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates). Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 120 days of account opening to qualify for the promotional rate.
  • Purchase APR: 0% APR for 15 months from your account opening date. Then regular variable APR applies (currently 14.49% to 24.99% variable, depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates).
  • Key Fees: Cash Wise has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. The balance-transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer for 120 days from account opening. After that, it’s the greater of $5 or 5%.

For more information, read our Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card review. Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply for this card here.

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6. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is a rare find in the travel rewards world for its a 12-month 0% APR balance transfer promotion that matches a 12-month purchase promotion. From day one, earn 3 points per $1 spent on most eligible travel purchases, including gas, rideshares, transit, airfare, car rentals, and hotels.

  • Balance-Transfer APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months from your account opening date, then variable regular APR applies (currently 14.49% to 24.99% variable, depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates). Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 120 days of account opening to qualify for the promotional rate.
  • Purchase APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months from your account opening date, after which variable regular APR applies.
  • Key Fees: Propel has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. The balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% during the 120-day promotional window. Afterward, it’s the greater of $5 or 5% thereafter.

See our Wells Fargo Propel Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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Resolution 2: Build or Improve Credit

The Discover Credit Health Survey 2019 found that nearly all millennials (93%) know where their credit stands. That compares to about 3 in 4 boomers (77%).

It’s great news that consumers in their 20s and 30s are more credit-aware than their parents, but don’t pop the Champagne just yet. Burdened by student loan debt and housing costs that far outpace the rate of inflation in opportunity-rich cities, many millennials struggle to make ends meet. Impaired credit is a common consequence of using credit cards out of necessity – to afford food, clothing, and transportation when housing and debt service eat up the lion’s share of one’s take-home pay.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that consumers with impaired or limited credit have more starter credit card options than ever before. Some cards even cater to consumers without credit scores at all.

These cards go out of their way to assist folks in various stages of the credit-building or credit-rebuilding process. All report to each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.

1. Deserve Edu Card

The Deserve Edu card is a leading student credit card that earns 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. Unlike most credit cards, Deserve Edu doesn’t require applicants to have credit scores. If you apply without a FICO credit score because your credit history is limited, Deserve may consider noncredit factors when evaluating your application.

  • Credit Required: Deserve Edu isn’t for people with impaired credit (FICO scores under 600). However, if you don’t have a credit score or substantial credit history, Deserve may utilize noncredit underwriting (such as income and bank account verification) to approve your application.
  • Additional Benefits: Enjoy Amazon Prime Student free for one year – a $59 value. Earn $100 in your first month when you sign up for a Feather furniture subscription. Get a $10 statement credit when you use your Deserve card to make three consecutive payments on your Lemonade renters’ insurance policy. And enjoy a cellphone protection policy worth up to $600 per incident after you pay the $25 deductible.
  • Key Fees: Deserve Edu has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Deserve Edu card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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2. Secured Mastercard® from Capital One

The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is a no-annual-fee secured credit card intended for those rebuilding their credit. Though initial credit limits can be quite restrictive, you may qualify for access to a higher credit line after making five consecutive payments on time.

  • Credit Required: This card is for applicants in the process of rebuilding their credit.
  • Additional Benefits: Enjoy 24/7 travel assistance, complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars paid in full with your card, travel accident insurance, and extended warranties on select items purchased with your card.
  • Key Fees: The Secured Mastercard from Capital One has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Capital One Secured Mastercard review. Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply for this card here.

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3. Citi® Secured Mastercard®

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is another secured credit card with no annual fee. It’s best for applicants with below-average credit, including those with delinquencies and other adverse events in their past. It’s not appropriate for those who’ve recently declared bankruptcy.

  • Credit Required: Citi Secured Mastercard is for applicants with below-average credit.
  • Additional Benefits: This card comes with zero liability for unauthorized charges.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3% of the total transaction amount.

For more information, read our Citi Secured Mastercard review. Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply for this card here.

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4. Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card

The Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card is an unsecured credit card that earns up to 10% cash back on purchases with select partner merchants.

Other Petal 1 features worth mentioning include:

  • No annual fee
  • $500 to $5,000 credit limits
  • Variable APRs ranging from 19.99% to 29.49%
  • Up to 10% cash back from select merchants
  • No international fees

Like Deserve Edu, Petal 1 may consider noncredit factors when evaluating your application. And its $5,000 maximum credit limit is far more generous than most entry-level credit cards’, making Petal 1 appropriate for cardholders with good income but limited credit.

  • Credit Required: Petal 1 is not for applicants with FICO scores under 600. But it may consider noncredit factors to approve your application.
  • Additional Benefits: Get up to 10% cash back on select purchases with Petal partner merchants.
  • Key Fees: The Petal card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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5. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® cash rewards credit card isn’t for applicants with impaired credit. But it does have a very long 0% APR purchase promotion that makes it easier to build credit responsibly without incurring high interest charges. Plus, all eligible purchases earn unlimited 1.5% cash back every day. And the $200 early spend bonus (when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months) is a nice incentive too.

  • Credit Required: This card requires good to excellent credit.
  • Additional Benefits: This card has a slew of consumer-friendly benefits, including the option to use points on Amazon purchases.
  • Purchase APR: 0% APR for 15 months from your account opening date. Then regular variable APR applies.
  • Key Fees: Quicksilver has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. For balance transfers that post to your account during the first 15 months your account is open (or during any other promotional APR period), the balance transfer fee is 3%. Otherwise, there’s no fee for balance transfers.

For more information, read our Capital One Quicksilver cash rewards credit card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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6. Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card matches a long 0% APR promotion — great for building credit — with an excellent rewards program featuring quarterly rotating 5% cash-back categories and a handful of attractive, permanent 3% and 5% cash-back categories (drugstores and dining and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, respectively). Don’t miss the amazing sign-up bonus, either. Like Quicksilver, it’s an ideal card for folks looking to build on already-solid credit foundations.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: When you make $500 in qualifying purchases within three months of opening your account, you get $200.
  • Credit Required: This card requires good to excellent credit.
  • Additional Benefits: Enjoy a host of Visa-backed benefits, including loss and damage coverage on rental cards paid in full with your card.
  • Purchase APR: 0% APR for 15 months from your account opening date. Then regular variable APR applies.
  • Key Fees: This card has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.

For more information, read our Chase Freedom credit card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now


7. Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card dispenses with Freedom Flex’s quarterly rotating 5% cash-back categories, replacing them with near-universal 1.5% cash back. But the bonus 3% and 5% categories remain, as does the long 0% APR purchase promotion, category-leading sign-up bonus, and generous Visa-backed perks.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: When you make $500 in qualifying purchases within three months of opening your account, you get $200.
  • Credit Required: This card requires good to excellent credit.
  • Additional Benefits: Enjoy a host of Visa-backed benefits, including loss and damage coverage on rental cards paid in full with your card.
  • Purchase APR: 0% APR for 15 months from your account opening date. Then regular variable APR applies.
  • Key Fees: Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.

For more information, read our Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now


Resolution 3: Eat Healthier Food or Eat Out Less Often

Talk about low-hanging fruit. Cutting back on professionally prepared meals is an easy and relatively painless way to trim discretionary spending after the holidays. Countless consumers treat the holiday spending hangover with a self-imposed “restaurant diet,” avoiding meals not cooked at home.

Because restaurant food is often laden with fat, salt, and sugar, substituting home-cooked meals for commercial chow is also a pillar of another popular New Year’s resolution: eating healthier food.

In either case, you need a credit card that rewards supermarket spending. These are among the best.

1. Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® card from American Express is the gold standard in grocery rewards, promising up to $360 in annual bonus cash on the U.S. supermarket purchases you were going to make anyway.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months of card membership.
  • Supermarket Rewards: Earn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent on eligible U.S. supermarket purchases each year – a total potential cash-back haul of $360. Supermarket purchases above the annual spending cap earn 1% cash back.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Earn 3% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations and with transit providers, including public transportation, rideshare, commuter rail, tolls, and parking. All other eligible purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 each year thereafter. Foreign transactions cost 2.7% of the transaction amount.

For more information, read our Blue Cash Preferred card review. Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply for this card here.

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2. Blue Cash Everyday® Card From American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday® card from American Express is an annual fee-free version of Blue Cash Preferred. In exchange for saving $95 each year, you earn 50% less cash back on your first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases each year. Still, $180 off your annual grocery bill isn’t bad.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn $200 cash back after you make at least $1,000 in qualifying purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Supermarket Rewards: Earn 3% cash back on the first $6,000 spent on eligible U.S. supermarket purchases each year – a total potential cash-back haul of $180 at U.S. supermarkets. Supermarket purchases above the annual spending cap earn 1% cash back.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. All other eligible purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Key Fees: Blue Cash Everyday has no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 2.7% of the transaction amount.

For more information, read our Blue Cash Everyday card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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3. Capital One® Savor® Rewards Credit Card

This offer is no longer available.

The Capital One® Savor® Rewards Credit Card promises a strong rate of return on grocery store purchases, making it a natural fit for home cooks with ample budgets. On nights out, its dining and entertainment cash-back tier is even better. And new cardholders earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after spending at least $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

  • Supermarket Rewards: Earn unlimited 2% cash back on purchases at grocery stores.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $95.

For more information, read our Capital One Savor cash rewards credit card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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4. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card rewards grocery spending within Amazon’s sprawling retail ecosystem: online, through services like Amazon Prime Pantry, and in-person at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market locations. But be warned: You must be a paying Amazon Prime member to earn the full cash-back rate on grocery purchases with this card. A limited-time opportunity to earn a $100 Amazon gift card immediately upon approval could help dull the pain.

  • Supermarket Rewards: Amazon Prime members earn unlimited 5% cash back on eligible purchases made at Whole Foods Market locations and on food purchases through amazon.com, including services such as Amazon Prime Pantry. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you still earn 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants, drug stores, and gas stations and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Key Fees: Although this card doesn’t charge a separate annual fee, it does require an Amazon Prime subscription to earn the full 5% cash back on grocery purchases.

For more information, read our Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card reviewFind out how you can apply for this card here.

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Resolution 4: Start Cooking Ahead

When incorporated into home-made make-ahead meals, bulk-purchased ingredients save time on busy weeknights, especially for larger families. It’s also one of many common strategies to save money on groceries. And while it’s more drastic than switching to store-brand products, its fiscal impact has the potential to be much more significant.

When you’re ready to give cooking ahead a serious try, invest in a standalone freezer and compile a list of freezer meals your family will enjoy.

Then, consider applying for one of these bulk-friendly cards that reward spending at popular warehouse clubs and superstores. In addition to bulk ingredients – and cheaper ingredients in general – these stores sell other items you need to cook ahead successfully, like food storage containers, slow cookers, pressure cookers, and multicookers like the Instant Pot.

1. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

The Costco Anywhere Visa® card by Citi is the committed Costco member’s go-to credit card for Costco and costco.com purchases – not to mention gas, restaurant, and travel purchases. The catches: Cash back only comes once per year (as a Costco store credit you can convert to hard cash) and cardholders must maintain Costco membership, which carries a recurring annual fee.

  • Rewards: Get 2% cash back on all eligible purchases, including groceries at Costco warehouse stores and costco.com.
  • Additional Rewards: Get 4% cash back on gas purchases – up to the first $7,000 per year in gas purchases – then 1% cash back on all additional gas purchases. Earn 3% cash back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases. All other eligible purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Key Fees: Although this card doesn’t charge a separate annual fee, it does require a Costco membership.

For more information, read our Costco Anywhere Visa card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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2. Target REDcard™ Credit Card

The Target™ REDCard Credit Card has fewer additional benefits but a straightforward reward program. It provides an across-the-board discount on Target and target.com purchases, including groceries.

  • Rewards: Take 5% off all Target and target.com purchases, including grocery purchases.
  • Additional Rewards: None.
  • Key Fees: REDCard does not charge an annual fee.

For more information, read our Target REDCard Credit Card review. Find out how you can apply for this card here.

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Resolution 5: Cut Out Needless Spending

Cutting out needless spending sounds fine – until you stop to think about what it entails: giving up your morning latte, your food truck lunch, or your seven streaming video subscriptions.

Before forcing yourself to cut discretionary spending on things you’d prefer not to do without, reduce spending you won’t miss, such as the cost of your daily commute, which is almost certainly not the high point of your day.

These gas credit cards and travel rewards credit cards can reduce your net transportation spending by perhaps 2% or 3% – a nice marginal benefit that might let you hang onto your morning latte and make the trip a little more bearable.

1. Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® card from American Express earns an excellent return on purchases at U.S. gas stations and with transit providers – both private providers like Uber and public ones like your local rapid-transit authority. Even if you don’t hit the annual grocery spending max, the commuting break might justify the annual fee.

  • Commuter Rewards: Earn 3% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations and 3% back on purchases with transit providers, including public transportation, rideshare, commuter rail, tolls, and parking.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 6% back on the first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases each year.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 each year thereafter. Foreign transactions cost 2.7% of the transaction amount.

For more information, read our Blue Cash Preferred card review. Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply for this card here.

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2. Blue Cash Everyday® Card From American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday® card from American Express earns 1% less cash back on U.S. gas station purchases than the Blue Cash Preferred card. Still, that’s not bad for a cash-back card with no annual fee. Transit purchases aren’t included in Everyday’s transportation tier, though, so public transit commuters should stick to Preferred.

  • Commuter Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations.
  • Additional Rewards:  Earn 3% cash back on the first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases each year. Earn 2% cash back on purchases at select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%.

For more information, read our Blue Cash Everyday card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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3. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

The Costco Anywhere Visa® card by Citi earns a fantastic return on the first $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year, then a solid payback on all additional gas purchases. Yes, cardholders must be current Costco members, but an annual membership is a small price to pay for $280 or more in gas savings each year.

  • Commuter Rewards: Earn 4% cash back on gas purchases, up to the first $7,000 in gas purchases each year.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 3% cash back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases. Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases at Costco warehouse stores and costco.com. Earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases, including gas purchases above the annual spending cap.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee, but cardholders must be active Costco members and pay the annual membership fee.

For more information, read our Costco Anywhere Visa Card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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4. Citi Rewards+℠ Card

The Citi Rewards+℠ card rewards gas station and supermarket purchases in equal measure. If your commute is a bigger or more noticeable financial drain than your grocery bill, use Rewards+ exclusively at the gas pump.

  • Commuter Rewards: Earn 2x points on the first $6,000 in combined gas station and supermarket purchases each year.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 1x point on all other eligible purchases, including 2x category purchases above the annual spending cap. Plus, Citi Rewards+ is the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase with no cap.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.

For more information, read our Citi Rewards+ card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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Resolution 6: Travel More

The right travel credit card can limit the fiscal damage of travel and may even change how you make financial decisions like paying for airport lounge access or staying at a four-star hotel.

Most of the cards on this list are either general-purpose travel cards, which reward most or all travel spending equally, or hotel credit cards, which reward loyalty to specific hotel brands and families. As you evaluate each, look beyond the rewards to the value-added benefits, like annual travel credits and elite status. That’s often where the real value lies.

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card offsets its admittedly hefty annual fee of $550 with a $300 annual credit against virtually any travel purchases.

After exhausting this credit, you’ll earn an excellent rate of return on eligible travel purchases. Points are worth 50% more – $0.015 each – when redeemed for travel booked through Chase’s travel portal (and, through April 30, 2021, as statement credits against certain other purchases as well, including dining and grocery store purchases). Plus, the sign-up bonus is worth $900 when redeemed for travel and the temporary bonus category purchases (it’s worth $600 otherwise).

  • Travel Rewards: Earn unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on all eligible travel purchases after reaching your $300 annual travel credit. Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on all eligible dining purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Select Travel Benefits: The $300 annual travel credit is good against any travel purchase that would typically earn 3x points with Sapphire Reserve. Enjoy complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges in the Priority Pass Select network. Get a credit of up to $100 against your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee. Transfer points to participating partner loyalty programs at a coveted 1-to-1 ratio, potentially doubling or tripling their value.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $550. The authorized user fee is $75 per user per year. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Chase Sapphire Reserve card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

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2. The Platinum® Card From American Express

The Platinum® card from American Express earns a fantastic rate of return on flights booked through American Express Travel or the airlines themselves, as well as on hotels booked through American Express Travel. A $200 annual airline fee credit (enrollment required) and benefits like lounge access and Uber credits help offset a $550 annual fee.

  • Travel Rewards: Earn 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through the American Express Travel portal. Earn 5x points on hotels booked through the American Express Travel portal. Earn 10x points on eligible U.S. gas station purchases too.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 1x point on all other eligible purchases (except U.S. supermarket purchases, which earn 10x points).
  • Select Travel Benefits: Each year, get a $200 airline fee credit, which is good against incidental purchases with one airline of your choice (enrollment is required). Enjoy complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges in the Global Lounge Collection and take up to $200 in Uber credits per year (enrollment is required). Get a statement credit up to $100 against your Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee. Enjoy exclusive perks and discounts at hotels in the Fine Hotels & Resorts Collection.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $550.

For more information, read our American Express Platinum card review. Find out how you can apply for this card here.

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3. Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige card has a super-generous program that rewards eligible air travel purchases ahead of other types of travel. But it doesn’t forget about hotel and cruise line purchases.  The $250 annual travel credit goes a long way toward offsetting the $495 annual fee.

  • Travel Rewards: Earn 5x points on eligible air travel purchases and 3x points on eligible hotel and cruise line purchases after applying your $250 travel credit.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 5x points on eligible restaurant purchases and 1x point on all other eligible purchases.
  • Select Travel Benefits: Get an annual travel credit worth $250 against virtually any travel-coded purchase, including local commuting purchases. Enjoy complimentary access to hundreds of VIP airport lounges worldwide through Priority Pass Select. Get your fourth night free on eligible award stays when you stay at least four consecutive nights, with a limit of two free nights per calendar year. Transfer points to select airline partners, often at 1-to-1 ratios.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $495 for the primary cardholder and $75 for each authorized user.

For more information, read our Citi Prestige card review.


4. Capital One Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture® rewards credit card earns the same solid rate of return on all eligible purchases, making it a perfect general-spending card for frequent travelers not loyal to particular hotel or airline brands. Redeem miles for travel to fix their value at $0.01 each (other redemption options may devalue miles).

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

  • Travel Rewards: Earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on all eligible purchases (an effective 2% rate of return when redeemed for travel).
  • Additional Rewards: None.
  • Select Travel Benefits: Get a statement credit of up to $100 against your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 each year after that. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Capital One Venture rewards credit card review. Find out how you can apply for this card here.

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5. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card pairs a low annual fee of $95 with a more modest return on spending and no travel credit. But points are worth 25% more when redeemed for bookings at the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. And like Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred has an extremely generous sign-up bonus.

  • Travel Rewards: Earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on all eligible travel purchases.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on all eligible dining purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Select Travel Benefits: Transfer points to participating partner loyalty programs at a 1-to-1 ratio.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $95. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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6. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card From Chase

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card from Chase comes with complimentary Silver Elite status. Benefits include a 10% boost to base point earnings on qualifying Marriott stays and flexible checkout. The annual free night award can be worth hundreds of dollars, depending on where it’s redeemed. And the sign-up bonus is among the most generous in the hotel rewards category.

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending at least $3,000 in eligible purchases within three months of account opening.
  • Travel Rewards: Earn 6 Bonvoy points per $1 spent at more than 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Select Travel Benefits: Get one free night award each year after your account anniversary. It’s good for a one-night stay at a property that requires no more than 35,000 points to redeem for a free night. Get automatic Silver Elite status in the Bonvoy loyalty program and 15 Elite Night Credits toward Gold Elite status.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $95. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

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7. World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt credit card entitles cardholders who average $1,250 per month in purchases to two free nights at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts each year.

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 2 bonus points per $1 spent on eligible purchases that earn 1 bonus point, up to $15,000 in total eligible spending, during the first 6 months.
  • Travel Rewards: Earn 4 bonus points per $1 spent on purchases at Hyatt hotels. Earn 2 bonus points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit purchases, and commuting purchases.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 2 bonus points per $1 spent on restaurant purchases, fitness club purchases, and gym membership purchases.
  • Select Travel Benefits: Get one free night at a participating Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your card member anniversary. Get an additional free night after your card member anniversary when you spend $15,000 in purchases in the previous card member anniversary year.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $95. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our World of Hyatt credit card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

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8. IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card confers automatic Platinum Elite status. Benefits include complimentary room upgrades where available, a 50% boost to base point earnings on qualifying stays, exclusive room rates, and spa credits (subject to restrictions). There’s a fantastic sign-up bonus available for new cardmembers here as well.

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn 125,000 bonus points plus a reward night after spending at least $3,000 in eligible purchases within three months of account opening.
  • Travel Rewards: Earn 25 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels and resorts: 10 base points earned as an IHG Rewards Club member, 10 bonus points earned as a Rewards Club Premier cardholder, and 5 bonus points earned as a Platinum Elite status-holder.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Select Travel Benefits: Enjoy complimentary Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a cardholder in good standing. Get a free reward night when you redeem points for a stay of four or more consecutive nights.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $89. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

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9. Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card qualifies cardholders in good standing for Silver Elite status – without the annual fee.

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within three months of account opening.
  • Travel Rewards: Earn 3 Bonvoy points per $1 spent on purchases at more than 7,000 Marriott Bonvoy locations worldwide. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on other eligible travel purchases, including airfare and local transportation.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Select Travel Benefits: Get 15 Elite Night credits each year, enough to qualify for Silver Elite status.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.

Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now


Resolution 7: Try New Foods

If this is your year to break out of your culinary rut and introduce your taste buds to new cuisines, choose a credit card that reduces the costs of dining out more frequently and home-cooking more meals with expensive exotic ingredients.

These popular dining credit cards all reward spending on dine-in and take-out meals. Some may also reward grocery spending for the home cooks eager to experiment in the new year.

1. Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

This offer is no longer available.

The Capital One® Savor® cash rewards credit card has a fantastic – and unlimited – cash-back return on restaurant purchases. That makes it the top-earning cash-back card for serious diners.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

  • Dining Rewards: Get 4% cash back on eligible restaurant and dining purchases.
  • Additional Rewards: Get 4% cash back on eligible entertainment purchases. Earn 2% cash back on purchases at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 each year after that. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Capital One Savor Cash rewards credit card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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2. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card rewards dining spending just as well as travel spending – minus the annual credit, unfortunately. Points are worth $0.015 each when redeemed for travel booked through Chase.

  • Dining Rewards: Earn unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on eligible dining purchases.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $550 for the primary cardholder and $75 for each authorized user. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Chase Sapphire Reserve card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

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3. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card also rewards dining like travel and values points at $0.0125 each when you redeem them for travel booked through Chase.

  • Dining Rewards: Earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on eligible dining purchases.
  • Additional Rewards: Earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $95. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Chase Sapphire Preferred card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Apply Now


Resolution 8: Start a Business or Side Hustle

Are you finally ready to make the leap from freelancing as an individual to formally incorporating a small business? Even if you’re still living the solopreneur life, unencumbered by employees and contractors, formally incorporating can help insulate you from legal liability arising out of your work and could carry significant tax benefits.

Still happily employed in a 9-to-5? That’s no barrier to a part-time side gig, like driving for a ride-hailing app, sharing your car on Turo, or renting out your spare bedroom to Airbnb guests.

In either case, you’re ready for a small-business credit card. These are among the best on the market.

1. The Business Platinum® Card From American Express

The Business Platinum® card from American Express is a business-friendly version of the consumer Platinum card. It’s more generous thanks to elevated rewards on major purchases and a slew of benefits unavailable to consumer cardholders. With Business Platinum, you’re that much closer to the big-time.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending at least $15,000 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of opening your account.
  • Business Rewards: Earn 5x membership rewards points on airfare purchases and hotel purchases made through the American Express Travel portal. Earn 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more and 1x point on all other eligible purchases. Get 35% of your points back when you use points for flights.
  • Select Business Benefits: Get a $200 airline fee credit each year to cover incidental purchases with the airline of your choice (enrollment is required). Enjoy complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges in the Global Lounge Collection and elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors (enrollment is required). Get up to $200 in statement credits each year against purchases made with Dell (enrollment is required). Get a statement credit up to $100 against your Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee. Enjoy exclusive perks at hotels in the Fine Hotels & Resorts Collection.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $595. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our American Express Business Platinum card review. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.

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2. Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Preferred® credit card promises outstanding rewards on everyday business purchases, including travel. A massive sign-up bonus is worth $1,250 when redeemed for bookings at the Chase travel portal.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points, worth up to $1,250 on travel and $1,000 in cash, when you spend at least $15,000 within three months of account opening.
  • Business Rewards: Earn 3 points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 in combined annual purchases of travel, shipping, Internet, cable and phone, and advertising via social media sites and search engines. All other eligible purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel bookings at the Chase travel portal.
  • Select Business Benefits: Transfer points to participating travel partners at a 1-to-1 ratio.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $95. There is no foreign transaction fee.

For more information, read our Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now


3. Chase Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business UnlimitedSM credit card is the business version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Like Capital One’s Spark cards, it’s an excellent choice for business owners with eclectic expenses. Though it’s not for cardholders with impaired credit, it may be appropriate for new business owners seeking to build credit for the first time.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
  • Business Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
  • Select Business Benefits: Easily separate business and personal expenses with Chase’s account-management tools.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.

For more information, read our Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

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4. Chase Ink Business CashSM Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business CashSM Credit Card has no direct consumer analog, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a lifesaver for business owners who spend heavily at office supply stores and on telecommunications and for those who expense mileage and restaurant meals – in other words, most business owners.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
  • Business Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and with Internet, cable, and phone services providers. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants. Earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Cash back is tracked from the start of your card member anniversary year.
  • Select Business Benefits: Stay on top of your employees’ spending with Chase’s complimentary account-management tools.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.

For more information, read our Chase Ink Business Cash credit card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now


5. American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card has no annual fee, and the $50,000 yearly spending cap on its bonus cash-back category might be all the light- to moderate-spending business owner needs.

  • Business Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent on eligible purchases each year, then 1% cash back on subsequent purchases.
  • Select Business Benefits: Enjoy complimentary account and expense-management tools at no additional charge.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%.

For more information, read our American Express Blue Business Cash card review. Find out how to apply for this card here.

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please visit this rates and fees page.

Apply Now


Final Word

The right credit card can reduce the fiscal impact of less budget-friendly New Year’s resolutions. And if you’ve resolved to get your financial life back on track this year – or merely trim nonessential expenses – the right card can also provide a lift.

The world has no shortage of resolution-card pairs. It’s a safe bet at least one of the cards on this list can help you start the new year off on the right foot – if you commit to spend responsibly and avoid accruing interest absent a true emergency.

Here’s to a more prosperous 12 months ahead!

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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