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Best Charge Cards

If you’re a big spender looking for a card with no spending limit, a charge card is probably your best option. Charge cards work like credit cards in just about every way, except that they have no set spending limit and require you to pay off the entire balance every month. For business owners and others who spend a lot, charge cards provide flexibility and convenience. Many also provide generous welcome bonuses and amenities that fit a high-spending lifestyle.

Best Charge Cards List

American Express® Green Card

The American Express Green Card is a charge card, meaning you can’t revolve a balance from month to month.It’s designed for travel spending, offering 2X points per dollar on travel purchases through AmexTravel.com and several useful benefits.The Green card is not very rewarding, and you may prefer the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card (Review), which is like an upgraded version of this card.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is a charge card that comes with generous rewards and benefits.This card has been replaced with the new American Express® Gold Card, a metal credit card that’s available in either Gold or Rose Gold. (The Rose Gold is available until 1/9/2019.)If you have the original Premier Rewards Gold card you’ll be automatically upgraded to the Gold Card. To request a metal card, begin the process to report your card as lost or stolen and you’ll find an option to request a metal card.

Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a luxury charge card, complete with perks and benefits fit for jet-setters.From complimentary airport lounge access, personal 24/7 concierge, and a laundry list of other rich benefits, the Platinum Card from American Express delivers on its rare metal namesake.

Rewards Credit Cards

MLB™ BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Mastercard®

  • $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • All 30 team cards are available, customized with your favorite team's colors and logo

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your QuicksilverOne card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $400 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days — that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary

What is a Charge Card?

Charge cards offer one of the easiest ways to pay for goods and services. You hand over your card to pay for what you want, and then clear what you owe in full at the end of the month, so there is no interest to pay.

American Express was the first company to offer plastic charge cards back in 1959, and remains one of the biggest providers of charge cards today, although some banks also issue them.

There is often no spending limit with charge cards. However, you must be certain you can pay off your charge card in full every month, otherwise you risk having to pay late payment charges and fees, and your card may be cancelled.

Many charge cards have an annual fee, but in return for this they often offer a range of benefits, such as concierge services, or travel-related perks such as access to airport lounges.

How do charge credit cards work?

A charge card, typically offered by American Express, allows you to be approved for large sums on the spot. The card issuer bases its decision on your past purchases and payments. While there's no set limit, it's not unlimited. The tradeoff is that you need to pay in full each month, whereas with a credit card, you can pay a minimum.

"The main advantage of a charge card is that you avoid interest fees because you're required to pay the balance in full at the end of every month," says Ted Rossman, who is CreditCards.com's industry analyst. "The main disadvantage of a charge card is that you don't have the flexibility to carry a balance from time to time. Paying the bill in full is an important goal for any credit cardholder, but it's an absolute necessity if you have a charge card."

If you aren't carrying a balance, the average debt per card is $1,154, according to creditcards.com. That means it is charged, but paid off each month. Compare that to $7,527 per card that usually carries a balance. That means that the debt on a card that doesn't carry a balance is typically considerably lower than a card with a balance.

Looking at how many people don't carry a balance – and might do well with a charge card – we've found that about 29% of accounts are paid in full each month, while accounts with a balance are almost 44%

Is a travel credit card right for you?

Business charge cards and credit cards each have their advantages, but in general, you'll want to review the rewards, compare the perks against the annual fee, check your monthly spend and total up your business cash flow. Charge cards are right for people who are organized and might need the convenience of no preset limit and superior benefits. Here are people who might benefit from having a charge card:

1. A business person. The charge card is perfectly suited for a business person who periodically needs to make large purchases and a credit limit won't work. You can be approved in minutes right at the counter.

2. Someone who can pay in full each month. If you can't pay in full each month, this is not the card for you. You'll want to be organized enough to be able to only put on the card what you can afford to pay back by the due date.

3. A person with excellent credit. Charge cards are best for someone who has very good or excellent credit. That's because these cards typically require better credit.

4. Someone who wants rich rewards. Charge cards often come with rich offerings, such as generous rewards for business expenses, say advertising and computer supplies from select vendors with The Business Gold Rewards from American Express Open.

5. A person who doesn't mind a high annual fee. These cards typically have a high annual fee, but at the same time, their rewards can be pretty great, so it's a tradeoff. For example, The Platinum Card from American Express offers up to $200 in Uber rides annually and access to exclusive airport lounges through the Global Lounge Collection.

Selection criteria: what makes a great charge credit card?

The right charge card for you will fit into your spending habits, without causing a hassle or costing you extra.

  • An annual fee that's reasonable, which suits your budget and lifestyle.
  • A high spending limit that lets you make the purchases you need.
  • A good rewards program, offering points for your frequent expenses.
  • Valuable extra benefits and protections when shopping and traveling.
There are many other credit cards besides charge cards. Take a look at some other rewards cards to broaden your options.

Bottom line

Charge cards fill an increasingly small but still popular niche, offering some distinct advantages and drawbacks to the businesses that use them. Though business credit cards have been rapidly closing the gap, charge cards still offer some of the highest rewards tiers, albeit with high annual fees.

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Best Charge Cards Tips

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