Best credit card offers: New credit cards for 2018

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In a Nutshell

Looking for your next credit card? Find out which new credit card offers just hit the market and which one may be right for you.

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We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

These offers are no longer available on our site: Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card, The Hyatt Credit Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, Citi Prestige® Card, Target REDcard™

Is it time to add a new credit card to your wallet? Are you looking for the next latest and greatest card?

If you love credit cards and want to take advantage of the newest offers, this is the destination for you.

Here we cover new credit cards on the market, combing through the fine print to give you tricks and tips. We update this page with recent cards, so come back to keep yourself up to date on fresh credit card offers.

Whether you’re looking for a travel rewards credit card or cash back, we’ve got you covered with reviews that detail the pros and cons of these cards.

With all that said, let’s take a look at some of the best credit card offers to hit the market in recent months.

New credit cards for 2018

Best for big spenders loyal to one card Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®
No-annual-fee hotel card Hilton Honors Card from American Express
Hotel rewards Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
Premium travel card Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Business travel card The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
No-annual-fee, premium travel rewards card PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card
Best for coffee lovers Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card
Best for luxury travelers Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card
Best for frequent IKEA shoppers  IKEA® Visa® credit card

  1. Should I apply for a new credit card in 2018?
  2. The new credit card dilemma: Buy into the hype, or wait?
  3. Heads up: Mistakes to avoid when getting a new credit card
  4. How to evaluate credit card offers that are new to the market
  5. How often can I apply for a new card without it hurting my credit score?

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

From our partner

Barclays may be on its way to building a loyal following of cardholders with its new rewards strategy.

Availability

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is available as of April 2018.

Who’s it for?

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is a great option for big spenders who want a credit card that offers to reward them year after year.

Why we like it

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® offers up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles each card-membership year after you spend $25,000 on purchases.

For an idea of whether that’s in your budget, it could average out to spending a little more than $2,000 in purchases each month.

While many travel cards offer a one-time sign-up bonus, this annual bonus may help keep cardholders engaged.

What if you don’t spend that much? No problem. The loyalty bonus is split into two tiers. You’ll earn 15,000 bonus miles each card-membership year after spending your first $15,000 on purchases. Budgetwise, that spend could average out to about $1,250 on purchases each month.

You’ll also earn two miles for every eligible dollar you spend.

You can redeem miles through Barclays or, as a primary card member, transfer them to a number of participating airline travel loyalty programs that you have an account with.

You can also redeem for cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. However, redeeming your miles for travel statement credits offers the best value.

Cardholders can also receive other travel benefits, including a $100 statement credit every five years for the cost of one Global Entry application and no foreign transaction fee.

What to watch out for

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® comes with a $0 intro, $150 after first year annual fee.

While we like the idea of a loyalty bonus that you can earn over and over again, cards with sign-up bonuses can give you incredible value upfront. And since the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, it may be hard to make up for that lost upfront value.

For example, with the loyalty bonus of the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® you could earn 25,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 on purchases each year. But that amounts to only one bonus mile for every dollar you spend. This is a drastically lower earning rate than the sign-up bonuses offered by many other travel cards.

For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, which equals a whopping 12.5 bonus points per dollar.

Keep in mind that individual points values can vary between rewards programs.

Also, spending the $25,000 (or even $15,000) in a year on purchases to get the loyalty bonus from the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® may be out of reach for many people.

Other cards like it

We didn’t find an exact one-to-one comparison with the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® because it is one of the only credit cards to offer a loyalty bonus year in and year out.

But here are a few other premium travel cards.

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening the account.

You’ll also receive an annual $100 statement credit for eligible airline incidental fees and another $100 statement credit towards TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry application fee every four years. The card comes with a $95 annual fee and charges no foreign transaction fee.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® features a 50,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months after opening the account.

The card comes with a $450 annual fee, which is partially offset by a $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.

You’ll also qualify for an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® every four years and access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world after enrolling in Priority Pass™ Select. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® also charges a $0 foreign transaction fee.

From our partner

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

From cardholders in the last year

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Hilton Honors Card from American Express

The new Hilton Honors Card from American Express is impressive for a credit card with no annual fee.

Availability

The Hilton Honors Card from American Express is available as of January 2018.

Who’s it for?

This card is great for travelers who are loyal to the Hilton brand but hesitant to open a credit card with an annual fee.

Why we like it

For a limited time, the Hilton Honors Card from American Express offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus points after you spend at least $1,000 on purchases during the first three months of card membership..

You’ll receive complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status just by opening the card. This qualifies you to receive the fifth night free when you book a rewards stay of at least five consecutive nights at participating Hilton hotels.

If you’re planning a vacation, you’ll receive seven Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every dollar you spend on stays at eligible Hilton hotels and resorts around the world, when you book through Hilton.

But this is more than just a hotel card. You’ll also receive five Hilton Honors bonus points for every dollar you spend on gas at U.S. gas stations, and on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants and U.S. grocery stores. You receive three Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

Unlike many rewards cards, the Hilton Honors Card from American Express doesn’t charge an annual fee.

What to watch out for

The Hilton Honors Card from American Express might throw a lot of points your way, but like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Typically, Hilton Honors Points aren’t worth as much as the industry standard of 1 cent per point. So you might actually be getting less value from this card than you would with other travel rewards cards. And you’re only earning points when spending at Hilton hotels and resorts, which may limit your hotel choices.

Furthermore, you’ll only earn elevated gas, grocery and dining rewards when shopping within the U.S.

Unlike the more elite Hilton Honors credit cards from American Express, you won’t receive an annual complimentary night at a Hilton hotel or a complimentary Priority Pass™ membership that grants you access to airport lounges.

Other cards like it

It’s difficult to find a decent hotel card that doesn’t charge an annual fee.

If you can spring for a slightly higher annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card offers one complimentary weekend night at a participating Hilton hotel or resort after you spend at least $15,000 per calendar year (which works out to $1,250 per month) on eligible purchases.

You’ll also receive 12 Hilton Honors bonus points for every dollar spent at Hilton hotels and resorts and 10 complimentary Priority Pass™ Lounge passes. The card comes with a $95 annual fee.

Not sold on Hilton? The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express  is another popular hotel card from American Express. You’ll receive 75,000 Starpoints® after spending at least $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months after opening the account.

The card has a $0 intro, $95 after first year annual fee.

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Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express

You might pull a double take when you see the lofty rewards offers by the new Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express. But when it comes time to book a rewards stay, those points may not get you as far as you’d think.

Availability

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express is available as of January 2018.

Who’s it for?

This card is geared toward travelers who prefer staying at a Hilton when they travel. You could probably score a better deal with another hotel credit card, but this card may work for you if you’re loyal to Hilton.

Why we like it

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express offers 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend at least $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.

When you stay at a participating Hilton, you receive 12 points for every dollar you spend on the card directly with a participating Hilton hotel or resort.

You’ll also receive six points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations, U.S. grocery stores and U.S. restaurants. Other eligible purchases will earn three points per dollar.

As a cardholder, you will automatically be upgraded to Hilton Honors Gold status, which qualifies you to receive a 25% bonus on the base points you earn, along with a complimentary fifth night when you book a reward stay of five consecutive nights or more using all points at participating Hilton hotels.

Frequent flyers might also appreciate the 10 complimentary Priority Pass™ Lounge passes.

What to watch out for

The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card may offer seemingly high earning rates, but you’ll find those points don’t get you as far as the points or miles you might earn from another rewards card.

Generally speaking, Hilton Honors Points aren’t worth as much as the industry standard of 1 cent per point.

So make sure you’ll use this card enough to earn at least one complimentary night at a hotel before forking over $95 for the annual fee.

Other cards like it

Honestly, we’ve seen a better deal from other hotel cards.

For example, the The Hyatt Credit Card , which has an annual fee of $75, also offers a complimentary night each year after your card member anniversary.

You’ll also receive 40,000 bonus points after spending at least 2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening the account.

From our partner

The Hyatt Credit Card

From cardholders in the last year

And the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 75,000 Starpoints® after you spend at least $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months after opening the account.

The card has a $0 intro, $95 after first year annual fee.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card may be the best option for travelers who frequently stay at Hilton hotels and resorts.

Availability

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is available as of January 2018.

Who’s it for?

This card comes with a $450 annual fee that isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re loyal to Hilton, you may get more value out of this premium hotel card than other Hilton-branded cards.

That said, if looking for the best deal regardless of the hotel, you could probably find a better option if you venture away from Hilton in your search for a hotel credit card.

Why we like it

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend at least $4,000 in purchases during the first three months of card membership.

You’ll also receive one complimentary weekend night at a participating Hilton hotel or resort each year the account remains open. There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars to qualify.

Want more hotel discounts?

You’ll receive up to $250 in Hilton Resort statement credit each year the account remains open. And you will qualify for an additional $100 on-property credit for each booking at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts as well as Conrad Hotels & Resorts if you book a two-night stay through the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card website or with Hilton Honors by phone.

You’ll also be upgraded to Diamond status, which gives you a 50% bonus on the Hilton Honors Base Points you earn. As a Diamond member, you will also get a complimentary fifth night when you book a reward stay of five consecutive nights or more using all points at participating Hilton hotels.

With this card, you’ll receive 14 Hilton Honor bonus points for every dollar you spend at participating Hilton properties, seven points for flights booked through the American Express website or directly with airlines, seven points for select rental car bookings, seven points at U.S. restaurants, and three points on all other eligible purchases.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card also offers a couple of flight perks, including unlimited access to Priority Pass™ Lounges. And as a cardholder, you’ll qualify for a $250 airline incidental-fee credit each year for a selected airline. The credit can be used to pay for things such as checked bags.

What to watch out for

Sure, you’ll earn a lot of points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, but it also costs more points to book a night than it might with other hotel brands. So in the end, the points you earn may not be as valuable as they seem.

Also, the $450 annual fee requires a big commitment. So make sure you have a plan to take advantage of the complimentary weekend night and the other travel credits before you open this card. Otherwise you may not get your money’s worth.

This card gives you up to $250 in Hilton Resort statement credit each year, but don’t be tempted to spend more than you can afford just so you can redeem this credit.

And keep in mind, the $250 airline incidental-fee credit can only be used on a single selected airline of your choice, and it won’t cover the cost of your ticket or any charges you make to upgrade your seat.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card also offers a second complimentary weekend night. To get this benefit, you’ll have to spend at least $60,000 in eligible purchases during a calendar year (or about $5,000 per month) to qualify for it. Don’t bother spending this much unless it fits into your regular spending habits.

Other cards like it

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is comparable to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. It also has a $450 annual fee, but you can score two complimentary nights at a participating hotel after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That beats spending $60,000 in a year to score two nights at a Hilton hotel.

If you’re looking for a hotel card with a more affordable annual fee, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has a $0 intro, $85 after first year annual fee.

It comes with a 75,000-point welcome bonus after spending at least $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

You’ll also receive one complimentary night at a Category 1–5 hotel each year after your account anniversary date.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

If you run a growing business, you might want to consider The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card .

Availability

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is available as of January 2018.

Who’s it for?

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is geared toward business travelers who are loyal to Hilton. Whether you drive for Uber or you’re a traveling salesman, this card might help you turn work expenses into a much-needed vacation.

Why we like it

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offers 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending at least $3,000 in eligible purchases during the first three months of card membership. 

You’ll also earn one complimentary weekend night at a Hilton property after you spend at least $15,000 in eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year, which comes out to spending about $1,250 per month.

The points you earn with this business credit card can be used to score additional hotel stays too.

You’ll earn 12 points for every dollar you spend at participating Hilton hotels and resorts; six points for every dollar you spend on wireless telephone service purchases directly from U.S. service providers, on U.S. purchases for shipping, on flights booked through American Express or directly with the airline, on select rental car purchases, and on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations; and three points for every dollar spent on other eligible purchases.

You’ll also immediately be upgraded to Hilton Honors Gold status, which entitles you to a 25% bonus on the Hilton Honors Base Points you earn. And if you save up enough points for a rewards stay of at least five consecutive nights, the fifth night is complimentary.

When you’re traveling for business, remember to use your 10 complimentary Priority Pass™ Lounge passes if you need a quiet place to work in the middle of a crowded airport.

And don’t be afraid to use your card overseas, because there’s no foreign transaction fee.

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What to watch out for

If your business spends a lot of money, you could earn a second complimentary weekend night after spending at least $60,000 in a calendar year.

This is a high spending requirement, so be careful not to run yourself out of business chasing a reward you can’t afford.

Don’t be fooled by the number of points you’ll earn for spending with the The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. It turns out that Hilton Honors Points may not be as valuable as they seem.

So even though you’re earning more points per dollar than you might with another travel rewards card, you’ll also need more points to book a hotel stay.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card carries a $95 annual fee. That’s not bad for a hotel card, or for a business card — just make sure you have a plan to maximize the card’s rewards and benefits so that you don’t waste your money.

Other cards like it

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is a better hotel card. It offers 75,000 bonus points after spending at least $3,000 on business purchases during the first three months from opening the account.

You’ll also receive one complimentary hotel night each year after your account anniversary. The card carries a $99 annual fee that’s waived the first year.

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card  is a better business card.

It offers 80,000 bonus points after spending at least $5,000 on purchases during the first 3 months from opening the account. The card carries a $95 annual fee.

From our partner

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

From cardholders in the last year

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PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card

It’s rare to find a premium travel card that doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Availability

PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card is available as of January 2018.

Who’s it for?

This card caters to military families who are constantly on the move, but other travelers who don’t mind jumping through hoops might also enjoy this card.

Why we like it

The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card competes with premium travel cards such as the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®  — but PenFed doesn’t charge an annual fee for this rewards card.

You’ll receive 25,000 bonus points after spending at least $2,500 within the first three months after opening the account. You can earn four points for every dollar spent on eligible travel purchases if you qualify as a PenFed Honors Advantage Member (3 points on travel purchases if you are not a member), and 1.5 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Where the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card really shines is the travel credits.

Like with other premium travel cards, you’ll receive up to $100 in statement credit to cover the cost of applying for TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry (every five years), which can help you speed through airport security lines more quickly.

You’ll also receive a $100 air travel credit each year, which can be used to cover the cost of incidentals such as checked bags, lounges, and onboard food and drink purchases.

Furthermore, if you pay with your PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card while traveling abroad, you won’t be charged a foreign transaction fee.

What to watch out for

It’s one thing to use this card for travel purchases, but think twice about doing a balance transfer even though the card offers a 0% introductory balance transfer rate for 12 months on transfers made until March 31, 2018.

After that, the APR will be a variable rate of 12.49% to 17.99%. The balance transfer fee is 3% per transaction.

Warning: If you do make a balance transfer during the promotional period and then make any purchases with the card, you can still be charged interest on the purchases, unless you pay off the entire account balance, including balance transfers, in full each month by the payment due date.

Essentially, if you’re carrying a balance on the card, including from the balance transfer, you don’t get a grace period to pay off new purchases without having to pay interest on them.

It’s a practice that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau frowns upon, and so do we. If you’re considering a balance transfer, look for a card that is specifically designed for balance transfers.

Also, you have to become a PenFed member to open a PenFed card. If you’re not a current or former member of the military, or closely related to someone who is, you can pay what essentially amounts to a one-time $17 membership fee.

To receive the four points per dollar on travel purchases, nonmilitary cardholders must also open a PenFed Access America Checking account. And if you don’t maintain a $500 daily balance, or receive a $500 direct deposit each month, you’ll be hit with a $10 monthly service charge. If you decide not to link your card to a checking account, you’ll only earn three points per dollar on travel purchases.

What’s worse is there are strings attached to the points you earn. PenFed points expire five years after being awarded or upon account closure.

And let’s say you want to use your points to purchase a flight — you’ll be hit with either a $15 fee to book online or a $25 fee to book over the phone.

The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card also charges a pesky $1 paper statement fee each month, which you can avoid if you opt into receiving electronic statements or maintain that $500 daily balance or monthly direct deposit.

Other cards like it

What sets the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card apart from other premium travel cards is that it hands out hundreds of dollars in travel credits without charging an annual fee.

But if you can swallow an annual fee, you might be better off with one of these other premium travel cards.

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card’s $95 annual fee pays for itself with a generous welcome bonus. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after spending at least $3,000 in purchases during the first 90 days of opening the account. You’ll also earn two points for every dollar spent on eligible travel and dining purchases, and 1.5 points for all other purchases.

Just as with the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card, you’ll receive a $100 airline incidental statement credit each year to cover qualifying purchases.

And the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card also offers up to $100 in statement credit to cover the application costs for TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry, but every four years compared with PenFed’s five.

If you can spring for a much more expensive $450 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending at least $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months from opening the account.

From our partner

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

From cardholders in the last year

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Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card

Rise and shine! The Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card will give you your morning coffee fix.

Availability

The Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card is available as of February 2018.

Who’s it for?

The Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card could be tempting for coffee lovers. But if you don’t visit Starbucks at least once a week, don’t waste your time with this card.

Why we like it

The card offers 2,500 Bonus Stars after spending at least $500 on purchases during the first three months from opening the account. You’ll earn an additional 250 Bonus Stars when you use your Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card to digitally load your registered Starbucks Rewards™ card in your Starbucks app.

If you’re not already a Starbucks Rewards™ member, you’ll be automatically enrolled when you apply for the Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card.

You could also earn up to three Bonus Stars for every dollar you spend at Starbucks. So if you qualify for the sign-up bonus by spending $500 at Starbucks, you could earn another 1,500 Bonus Stars.

That’s enough points to buy 32 drinks!

With the Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card, you’ll also get eight complimentary “barista picks” each year, including special drinks and snacks made just for cardholders.

You’ll also receive free refills and a birthday reward as part of your Starbucks Rewards™ membership.

What to watch out for

The Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card comes with a $49 annual fee.

You’ll only earn one Bonus Star for every $4 you spend on purchases outside of Starbucks. But you must redeem your rewards at Starbucks and can’t transfer them to other reward programs or get cash back.

Also, your Bonus Stars will expire six months after being earned. The barista picks expire 30 days after you receive them, and the birthday reward expires one day following your birthday. So if you don’t use them, you lose them.

Other cards like it

The Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card is the first “restaurant” we know of to offer a branded credit card. But you might be able to find another travel rewards or cash back card that offers dining rewards that include Starbucks.

For example,  Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter you activate (and then 1% after). Occasionally the rotating category includes restaurants, which would cover Starbucks purchases.

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The Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back on dining and entertainment. It also offers 2% cash back on groceries and 1% on all other purchases.

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Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card

Starwood Preferred Guest® is branching out with a new premium hotel credit card aimed at luxury travelers. This card adds to the hotel chain’s existing credit card portfolio, which includes the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

Availability

Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card will be available as of August 2018.

Who’s it for?

The Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card is geared toward luxury travelers who are loyal to SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.

Why we like it

The Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card promises a “rich welcome bonus” for new cardholders but has yet to reveal exactly what that entails.

Here’s what we do know about this card’s rewards.

  • You’ll earn six points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.
  • You’ll earn three points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
  • You’ll earn two points for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • You’ll also receive up to $300 each year in statement credits for purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.

You can use those points to book a rewards stay at a participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotel — but that’s not the only way you can earn free hotel nights.

This card also includes an Annual Night Award each year after your account anniversary. You can redeem this award for a one-night stay (including room rate and taxes) at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels with a redemption level at or under 50,000 points. Beginning in 2019, that should be enough for a fancy Category 7 hotel on an off-peak night.

During your stay at participating hotels, you’ll have complimentary access to premium internet in your room. The card will also give you access to Boingo Wi-Fi at airports after setting up an account.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card also comes with complimentary Gold Elite status, up to a $100 statement credit every four years to cover the cost of applying for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®, and Priority Pass™ Select membership after enrollment, which gives you access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world.

Top credit cards for airport lounge access in 2018

What to watch out for

The Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card comes with a $450 annual fee.

That means you’ll have to figure out whether the rewards and benefits outweigh the cost of carrying it in your wallet. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself.

  • Do I stay at SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels often enough to rack up a decent amount of rewards from regular spending?
  • Will I take advantage of the Annual Night Award and $300 hotel credit each year?
  • Will I fly often enough to make full use of Global Entry or the Priority Pass™ Select membership?

If you answered “yes” to the above, the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card might be worth it.

Other cards like it

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card offers rewards that may not be quite as lucrative, but it carries a much more reasonable annual fee of $95. So if you stay at SPG® hotels but maybe not often enough to offset the $450 annual fee of the new Starwood Preferred Guest® luxury card, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card might be a better alternative for you.

On the other hand, there’s the Citi Prestige® Card, which carries an equally high $450 annual fee but with rewards that don’t lock you into a specific hotel network. And with this card, you’ll receive a fourth night free at an eligible hotel of your choice when you book at least four consecutive nights through Thankyou.com or the Citi Prestige® Concierge. You’ll also qualify for a $250 air travel credit each year to cover flight-related expenses charged to your card.

IKEA® Visa® credit card

IKEA may be looking to build customer loyalty with its new rewards card.

Availability

The IKEA® Visa® credit card is available as of May 2018.

Who’s it for?

The IKEA® Visa® credit card is geared toward consumers who want to save even more money on furniture, like college students or young adults.

Why we like it

IKEA has a reputation for selling low-priced furniture, but you could save even more money with the store’s new credit card.

The IKEA® Visa® credit card offers up to a $50 value in potential sign-up bonuses. You’ll receive $25 off your first IKEA purchase if you use the card on the same day you open it. On top of that, you can earn a $25 IKEA rewards certificate when you spend $500 on qualifying non-IKEA, Traemand and TaskRabbit purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Frequent IKEA shoppers could save even more through the store’s rewards program. The IKEA® Visa® credit card offers 5% back in rewards on IKEA purchases. If you need help putting together your new furniture, you’ll also receive 5% back on TaskRabbit assembly services and Traemand installation services.

Unlike some other retail credit cards, this one also earns rewards on everyday purchases. You’ll earn 3% back in rewards on dining, groceries and utility purchases, and 1% back in rewards on everything else.

The IKEA® Visa® credit card comes with no annual fee, and if you apply in-store or online and are approved on the spot, you can use your new account the same day (even before the card arrives in the mail) to begin racking up rewards.

Cardholders also qualify for free shipping on in-store purchases for a limited time.

What to watch out for

Unfortunately, most of the benefits come with strings attached.

For example, free shipping might not do you much good if you have to go to the store to place the order (though it can help if you don’t have a truck or SUV that’ll help you get those bigger furniture purchases home). What’s worse: The free shipping promotion only applies to purchases made through August 31, 2018, and other limitations may apply.

The fine print also rears its ugly head in other places. You’ll only receive $25 off your first IKEA purchase if you use the card the same day you’re approved.

“Purchases made at a later time will not qualify,” according to IKEA.

Also note that IKEA purchases don’t count toward the $500 spending requirement to qualify for the $25 IKEA rewards certificate. If you don’t use the entire $25 rewards certificate in one trip to the store (or one online purchase), the unused funds will be forfeited. Generally, rewards certificates are redeemed in $15 increments on your billing statement and are valid for the next 45 days.

You’ll want to think twice before using this card to remodel your home if you can’t pay off the balance on time and in full. A standard purchase APR of 21.99% could mean steep interest charges if you carry a balance.

Other cards like it

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market to eligible Prime members. Cardholders also receive 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

The card doesn’t have an annual fee, but Prime membership costs $119 per year.

Read our review of Amazon credit card offerings

The  Target REDcard™ offers 5% off eligible in-store and online purchases from Target. The card also comes with free shipping on most items ordered online, and no annual fee.


Should I apply for a new credit card in 2018?

These are exciting times for credit card shoppers, as generous rewards are quickly becoming the norm. According to an American Bankers Association 2015 survey, 83% of credit card users have a rewards program associated with their card. As these programs rise in popularity, the “new” and “now” have taken the credit card world by storm.

Do you remember all the buzz about Chase Sapphire Reserve®?

More than 900,000 people reportedly signed up for that high-earning travel rewards card between September 2016 and November 2016, despite its eye-popping $450 annual fee.

These days, Chase Sapphire Reserve® is old news, but there’s always a fresh crop of new cards to keep rewards-chasers on their toes.

We’re not here to discourage you from joining in that hunt, but let’s not get too carried away here.

It’s important to evaluate your lifestyle and the rewards associated with a new credit card to see if it’s a good fit for you. Applying for a new credit card will likely result in a hard inquiry on your credit, which can temporarily lower your credit score by a few points.

The new credit card dilemma: Buy into the hype, or wait?

New credit cards come with an air of mystery and a lot of hype. It’s easy to get drawn in and think you have to bite as soon as a card hits the market.

Though you may not want to miss out on any special bonuses offered as part of the initial rollout, consider holding off on a new credit card if it doesn’t fit in your financial plan.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself before hitting that “Apply Now” button.

  • Can I afford the annual fee?
  • Do this card’s rewards fit with my lifestyle?
  • Can I pay off my balance in full each month?

You may also want to think twice about applying for a new credit card if you’re hoping to get approved for a mortgage in the near future. Having a hard inquiry on your credit report could mean a slight decline in your credit score, and you’ll likely want that score to be in tip-top shape when applying for something as big as a mortgage.

If you don’t have any other major financial commitments and a newly released credit card easily fits into your financial plan, consider applying for it. If you want to play it safe, you can always wait until the reviews come in.

In any case, do a gut check and make sure you’re getting a new card for the right reasons. What the “right” reasons are, of course, depends on your situation.

Heads up: Mistakes to avoid when getting a new credit card

Applying and getting approved for a new-to-market credit card can make you feel like you’re in on a little secret. But before you rush to apply for a newly released card, here are three common mistakes you may want to avoid.

1. Not reading the terms and conditions

New credit cards can come with some serious perks as credit card companies try to sell you on their new product. But it’s still a credit card and should be used responsibly.

As with all credit cards, we recommend carefully reading the terms and conditions before you apply. A card might sound like it’s a great deal until you find out it has a high annual fee or APR. Also, while some rewards cards waive the annual fee for the first year, it’s always good to know what you’re in for after that.

2. Misunderstanding how the rewards work

Many new credit cards arrive on the market with a host of perks and rewards designed to get you pumped to start spending. But do you really know how those rewards work?

Credit cards may offer points or miles as part of their program. Knowing that distinction is helpful, but what you really want to know is what they’re worth when it comes time to redeem them.

A rewards program that seems lucrative may turn out to be disappointing if you can’t redeem your points for what you want. Do your research and understand the redemption process if you want to avoid an unpleasant surprise down the line.

3. Maxing out your card to earn more points

We get it. You want to meet the spending minimum and qualify for any bonuses associated with a new credit card. That’s all good and fine, but it may backfire if it results in irresponsible spending and a sky-high credit utilization rate.

Allow us to step back and explain a bit: Your credit card utilization — how much of your total available credit you’re using — could negatively impact your credit score if it is high, which is why VantageScore® recommends a utilization rate of no more than 30%.

It’s tempting to max out the rewards on a new credit card to ensure you’re getting the most out of it, but a low credit utilization rate may give you more of an advantage in the long run.

How to evaluate credit card offers that are new to the market

Not all new credit cards are created equal. But how do you evaluate a credit card that’s new to the market? Here are some things you may want to consider.

  • The credit card issuer. What’s the company behind the card? Do they have a strong reputation and good user feedback?
  • The annual fee. Every credit card is a commitment, but plenty of cards don’t come with an annual fee. If your heart is set on a card you’ll have to pay annually to use, make sure the fee doesn’t add up to more than your potential rewards earnings.
  • Rewards. What are the rewards associated with the card? What are they worth in the redemption process? Just as importantly, is the redemption process easy
  • Where it fits in the market. Are there similar credit cards out there already? New-to-market credit cards may have exclusive perks, but some might be comparable to what’s already out there.
  • Approval process. Some new, top-level credit cards may boast “exclusivity” as a selling point. In other words, it may be difficult to get approved. Be sure to understand the approval process and identify the card’s target audience before applying.
  • Extra perks. Aside from the rewards program, what kind of perks and protections are associated with the card? For example, does it offer travel insurance or auto collision coverage? These may seem like afterthoughts, but they could add up to a significant value over time.

Ultimately, you’ll want to closely evaluate a new credit card and see if it stands on its own compared to what’s already out there.

How often can I apply for a new card without it hurting my credit score?

Here’s the thing about credit card companies: They’ll never stop putting out new products to entice and allure their customers. But that doesn’t mean you have to always be on the lookout for the Next Great Card.

If you are interested in applying for one or two (or three?) new credit cards, you might be wondering how all those applications might affect your credit score.

While everyone’s credit score depends on a variety of individual factors, applying for too many credit cards in a short period of time could hurt your credit score. Why? Because it could be a red flag to lenders that you’re a risky borrower.

That may seem like an unfair assumption in your case, but lenders don’t like getting burned. According to myFICO, the consumer division of FICO, consumers with six or more inquiries on their credit reports are more likely to declare bankruptcy. In fact, they’re eight times more likely to declare for bankruptcy compared to people with no inquiries.

While there’s no rule or magic number that covers every situation, a good benchmark is to allow three to six months between credit applications. If you have a shorter credit history or multiple credit cards already crowding your wallet, consider waiting six months or longer.

During this time, you’ll want to make all your payments on time and keep your balances low. Doing so can help your credit health so you’ll be ready to pounce on any new credit cards that hit the market.


Bottom line

Credit cards are like a lot of other things in life. We often get too excited over the prospect of something shiny and new, leading us to take the plunge before considering the consequences and the long-term value.

Before you sign up for one of the great new cards mentioned above, be honest with yourself about your lifestyle, finances and spending habits. When it comes to credit cards, in our experience, there really is something for everyone.


Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors' opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when it’s posted.