In order to determine the best credit cards for each category we considered the costs and benefits of each credit card. Costs of each credit card include: the annual fee, foreign transaction fee and the required spend to qualify for the welcome offer. Benefits include the welcome offer, cash rewards or other rewards, bonus category offers, balance transfer offers, status benefits and other perks.
In addition, each category of credit card had its own criteria. For travel rewards cards we also evaluated the value of miles or points per brand based on how many miles or points are earned and how much they are worth when redeemed.
For cards meant for those who are trying to build credit or improve their credit score we focused on credit card offers that offer the most opportunities to improve your credit for the lowest net cost.
For business credit card offers we evaluated the earnings across categories in relation to the annual fee.
For balance transfer cards we looked at the length of 0% APR and the variable APR after the bonus period ended.