The 8 best Visa credit cards of 2021

Young woman holding a credit card and using a laptop to find the 5 best Visa credit cardsImage: Young woman holding a credit card and using a laptop to find the 5 best Visa credit cards
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 posted.
Advertiser Disclosure

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: Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Visa offers some of the best credit cards out there.

Whether you’re looking for a card that offers cash back, low interest or the opportunity to build credit, we’ll help you find the Visa credit card that’s right for you.

Here are our picks for the best Visa credit cards of 2021.


Card Best for
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Cash back rewards
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card No annual fee
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Travel
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Premium perks
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Low interest
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Gas
Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card No credit
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students Students

Best Visa credit card for cash back rewards: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

From our partner

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

4.4 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

Here’s why: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® gives you a head start on cash back with an attainable sign-up bonus — you could earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases during the first 3 months your account is open.

You’ll also earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases, including on travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, plus 5% back on grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent during your first year.

Plus, you’ll earn 3% back at restaurants and drugstores. And if that’s not enough, you’ll earn a high minimum cash back rate of 1.5% on all other purchases.

To top it off, the annual fee is $0.

Check out our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to learn more.

Best Visa credit card with no annual fee: U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

From our partner

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

4.4 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

Here’s why: For a card with no annual fee, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card offers a lot of rewards.

Initially, you can earn 20,000 bonus points (worth $200) after spending $1,000 on purchases during the first 90 days your account is open.

You’ll also earn points for everyday spending, including …

  • 4 points for every $1 you spend on dining
  • 2 points per $1 on groceries
  • 2 points per $1 on gas
  • 2 points per $1 on streaming services
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card also gives you a $15 annual streaming credit for services like Netflix, once you meet certain purchase requirements.

Check out member reviews of the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card to learn more.

Best Visa credit card for travel: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

From our partner

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

4.1 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

Here’s why: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card makes it simple to earn travel rewards. There are no bonus categories you have to keep track of. You just earn two miles for every $1 you spend.

You’ll also have the opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus: 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases during the first 3 months your account is open.

When redeemed through Capital One, these miles are worth 1 cent each, according to Credit Karma’s point valuations. But you could also transfer them to a handful of airline and hotel partners. You’ll also be eligible for a credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.

Just be aware that you’ll have to balance the value you could get from this card with its $95 annual fee.

See why we think this is such a great travel card in our review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Best Visa credit card for premium perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

From our partner

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

4.6 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

Here’s why: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® spoils you with rewards.

You’ll earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months your account is open.

Through March 2022, you’ll earn 10 points for every $1 you spend on Lyft rides.

You’ll also earn three points per $1 spent on travel and on dining. Beyond that, you’ll earn one point per $1 on all other purchases.

The points you earn from the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can be worth more than cash back when you redeem them toward travel. For example, each point is worth 1.5 cents when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, which is one of our favorite rewards programs. And you could get an even better value by transferring your points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

But as a premium rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers more than points, including …

  • An annual $300 travel credit, which can help offset the card’s $550 annual fee.
  • A credit of up to $100 for application fees when you apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Lyft and DoorDash benefits (for a limited time), including one year of Lyft Pink if you activate by March 31, 2022, and up to $60 in DoorDash statement credits through the end of 2021.

Learn more in our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Best Visa credit card with low interest: U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Here’s why: Whether you’re trying to get out of debt or preparing for an emergency, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card features one of the best low introductory APR offers on the market.

You’ll get a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for your first 20 billing cycles. Just keep in mind, this offer only applies to balance transfers made within the first 60 days from when your account opens. After that, you’ll be charged a variable APR of 14.49% - 24.49% for each. There’s also a one-time balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5). But if you’re serious about getting out of debt, the balance transfer offer might be worth considering.

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card comes with a $0 annual fee.

See our review of the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card to learn more.

Best Visa credit card for gas: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

From our partner

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

3.9 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

Here’s why: If you drive a lot and are a Costco member, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi might be a good choice.

You’ll earn 4% cash back on up to $7,000 per year in gas purchases (then 1%). Best of all, this rewards rate applies not only at Costco gas stations, but also at other gas stations around the country.

Plus, the card offers even more rewards beyond gas. You’ll also get …

  • 3% back on dining and travel
  • 2% back on all other Costco purchases
  • 1% back on all other purchases

Unfortunately, you’ll have to be a Costco member to enjoy the fruits of your labor — cash back can only be redeemed at Costco stores with an annual reward certificate. But if you’re a Costco member, there’s no annual fee for the card.

See why we like this card so much in our review of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.

Best Visa credit card for no credit: Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card

From our partner

Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card

3.3 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

Here’s why: The Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card makes building credit fun.

There’s no annual fee or security deposit.

Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to earn rewards while you build credit. The Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card starts you off with 1% cash back on eligible purchases, which increases to 1.5% cash back after you make on-time payments for 12 months.

Paying on time is one of the most important things you can do to build credit. The issuer also reports your account activity to the three major credit bureaus, which is important as you’re working on your credit.

Take a look at our review of the Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card to learn more about this refreshing approach to helping people build credit.

Best Visa credit card for students: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students

Here’s why: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students gives you the opportunity to earn rewards while you learn healthy credit habits.

You’ll get a head start with 25,000 online bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases during the first 90 days your account is open. Those bonus points can be redeemed for a $250 statement toward travel purchases. Spending that much might sound like a lot of money, but factor in your necessary purchases (like books) to see if this sign-up bonus is attainable.

You’ll also earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend. So if you spent $1,000 on books, you’d get $15 worth of statement credits you can redeem for travel.

Plus, there’s no annual fee.

Look at our review of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students to learn more.


Does Visa issue credit cards?

Visa is a credit card network that banks and other lenders use to issue credit cards.

But Visa doesn’t issue credit cards itself. Instead, it provides a payment processing network that credit card issuers like Chase and Credit One use.

Which one is better, Visa or Mastercard?

Wondering whether it’s better to get a Visa card or Mastercard?

Visa and Mastercard are the two biggest credit card networks, and their cards are widely accepted worldwide. But if you’re looking for the best credit card, it’s less about which network you use and more about the features your issuer offers.

What are Visa credit card benefits?

Visa features three different levels of benefits. The benefits you receive depend on whether your card is a traditional Visa, Visa Signature® or Visa Infinite®.

Depending on the tier of your Visa card, it might include things like …

  • Lost or stolen card reporting
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Zero liability
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Return protection
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Lost luggage reimbursement

How do I apply for a Visa card?

To find Visa cards, visit Visa’s website. The website will have a list of some of the available Visa credit cards out there. To apply, though, you’ll need to go to the issuer’s website.

If you want to narrow the list to Visa credit cards that you’re likely to be approved for, you can sign in to Credit Karma and search Visa cards there.

How we picked these cards

To find the best Visa cards, we started by narrowing our list down to only those cards issued by Visa. That meant we had to cut out some great cards offered by American Express, Discover and Mastercard.

Then, we looked at the different types of Visa cards someone might want. For example, are you looking for a card with cash back, travel rewards, no annual fee, low interest rates, or a card that helps you build credit?

We balanced the highest rewards-earning rates with the cost of annual fees and looked for the best interest rates on the market today. We also looked for acceptance guidelines — for example, a Visa card meant for someone with limited credit may not have the highest cash back rate, but it could still be a great choice for someone with that credit profile.


About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.