Have you ever wondered what the top 10 credit cards for 2011 were? Some people love this type of information because it helps them make decisions about what types of credit cards to apply for today. Unfortunately, giving you the top 10 is a very difficult task because there are so many variables to look at. Instead, we’ll list some of the top credit cards in various categories as provided by several sources.
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Before we actually get into the top credit cards in America, it’s interesting to note some projections provided by the U.S. Census Bureau based on the 2010 headcount. According to their projections, total credit card debt in 2010 was expected to be in the neighborhood of $929 billion. Total purchases for credit cards during that same year were projected at more than $2.1 trillion. That’s a lot of money changing hands between consumers, merchants, and banks.
Determining the Best Credit Card for You
In trying to figure out the top 10 credit cards, an individual must assess what his needs are. For example, if you’re looking for a cash back rewards card there are some you will definitely look and others you’ll ignore. For the same reason, if you’re looking at travel reward cards you may be more interested in airline miles than accumulated points. As you can see, your own particular needs are going to determine which credit cards are the best for you.
That said, the two things most often looked at by consumers when applying for credit cards are interest rates and potential rewards. The interest rate may end up being the more important in the long run, especially for those who carry a balance from month to month.
Rewards are important to those who employ their credit cards as part of an overall personal economic strategy. If you can find one that combines the two in a very attractive package, you’ll end up with a very good card.
As in interesting side note, Experian reports the average American household has more than two open credit card accounts. Those can be bank cards, gas cards, department store cards, etc.
Top Credit Cards by Category
With all of the preliminary information out of the way, let’s get right to our list of top credit cards by category. Our research comes from several different sources including CBS Money Watch, Kiplinger’s, Daily Markets, and the New York Times.
Top Cash Back Card
Money Watch cites the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express as the best cash back credit card for 2011. Their reasons include the straight 2% reward and no annual limits. While some other cash back cards offer as much as 5% on revolving categories of purchases, they also tend to have annual limits. That makes this card advantageous to heavy users. There one stipulation, you must also have an investment account through Fidelity in order to earn your rewards.
Top Travel Rewards Card
The New York Times likes the Capital One Venture Rewards as the best travel rewards card right now. Its top selling point is that, unlike many other travel reward cards, you don’t need to use it specifically for travel in order to earn points. With the Capital One Venture card you earn points for every dollar you spend, which can then be redeemed as cash payment towards travel expenses. You can apply rewards to airline tickets, hotel rentals, car rentals, and so on. Be aware that it does come with a $59 annual fee.
Best Balance Transfer Card
The Citi Platinum Select MasterCard is the balance transfer card of choice for Daily Markets. They like it because it offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months and a fee of just 3%. Many of their competitors apply the introductory rate only for the six or 12 months and a higher fee of 5% or better. The card doesn’t have any rewards attached to it, so you might want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for rewards as well.
We’ve only scratched the surface in our search for the top 10 credit cards of 2011. As you can see just from the information we’ve compiled, there is a lot more to this than simply presenting a list of arbitrary credit card providers.
Do your best to research the various types of credit cards you’re interested in before making a decision. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask someone with experience in this area.
To find the great choices in a credit card in a specific category, feel free to use our FREE credit card finder today!