Where to look for good cards

Last reviewed: November 2009

Finding a good credit card takes a bit of work. Check for deals that are offered through CardRatings.com, FatWallet.com, and other Internet sites. Those sites sometimes have a direct link to an offer not generally available or a coupon that will get you a special rate. Also search out affinity cards related to your job or organizations to which you belong.

Credit-union cards

Joining a group can make you eligible for some good credit-union cards. PenFed, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union's card, described in the table below, is available to members of the National Military Family Association, which anyone can join for $20. Your employer might provide access to a credit union. Cards issued by the Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union carry APRs as low as 5.24 percent for employees of Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Agilent Technologies, and other tech companies. The Digital Federal Credit Union offers attractive cards to employees of its more than 700 member companies.

Association cards

USAA offers rewards cards with interest rates as low as 7.75 percent for current and retired military personnel and their families. The NEA Platinum Plus card, available to teachers who are members of the National Education Association, offers a 6.24 percent APR and 0 percent on balance transfers for 12 months, with transfer fees capped at $30.

Specialty rewards cards

The TrueEarnings Costco card from American Express is a good cash-back card if you are a Costco member and pay off your balance in full each month. It carries no annual fee and pays rewards of 1 to 3 percent, depending on what you purchase. Despite a $45 annual fee after the first year, the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express can be worthwhile if you're a frequent traveler and you stay at Starwood hotels.

Credit cards worth holding

These nationally available cards have generally good terms and no annual fees.

Credit cards Ratings