Posted by William Charles on December 29, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on December 29th, 2017 | by William Charles

48

Best New Credit Card Of 2017 Goes To….

I thought it might be fun to hand out some awards for different things. The first award we’re giving out is for the best new credit card of 2017. The only requirements was that the card had to be released in 2017 and it has to be a credit card.

The Short List

This was fairly easy to put together as we already maintain a list of new credit cards with dates. The cards we’ve covered on this site that were released in 2017 are as follows (in order of newest to oldest)

The Finalists

Of those I narrowed it down to the following cards:

Quick note: I should have included the Blue Business Plus from American Express but I forgot.

The Medalists

Bronze – Barclaycard Uber

The sign up bonus of $100 is relatively weak, but 4% cash back on eateries is as good as it gets. One of the nice things about restaurant spend is for a lot of business people it’s a reimbursable expense and it can be easy to spend a lot monthly on this category. Obviously if you don’t spend much on eating out then a card that with a small sign up bonus like this is fairly useless. If Barclaycard adds airline partners as rumored, this card would be even stronger but I didn’t take that into consideration yet.

Silver – Alliant Cashback Visa

3% cash back on all purchases in the first year is the same value proposition as the Discover it Miles. The upside to this card is the fact you can earn 2.5% cash back on all purchases year two onwards. This makes it one of, if not the best card for every day spend. The lack of any sign up bonus does hurt it though and this card certainly isn’t for everybody.

Gold – U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve

This card is just insane value in the first year, you get a bonus worth $750 and then you also get another $325 in travel credits. It does have an annual fee of $400, but I’ll pay that when I’m getting $750 + $325 back and other benefits. I had even higher hopes for this card with the 3x mobile wallet category but saying they have been strict with this is an understatement. For me this is one of those cards that is a no brainer to apply for for the first year bonuses and then it’s equally a no brainer to cancel the card after the first year as the long term value proposition isn’t there.

Final Thoughts

I think that the Bank of America card was unlucky to have missed out on a medal and I could easily see some people replacing the Uber/Alliant card with the Premium Rewards. My reasoning behind not having it medal was the fact that it actually replaced the Merrill+ card and I think that was actually better value with the sign up bonus being worth up to $1,000. I’d love to hear readers feedback and thoughts on this list, feel free to share your top 3/5 in the comments below and also why you agree or disagree with my list. I’d also love feedback on what people think of these awards and what other categories you’d like to see. Here’s hoping to an even better selection for 2018!



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48 Comments on "Best New Credit Card Of 2017 Goes To…."

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usernamechuck
usernamechuck

I thought altitude credit was per cardmember year.

Superchurn
Superchurn

me too. if it’s per calendar year, I have some Delta e-gift cards to buy tonight!

Avi
Avi

One little mistake – you mention the US Bank Altitude Reserve issues credits by calendar year, though it is indeed by card member year for this card.

Blue
Blue

I was about to kick myself in the ass for missing that since I had a preapproval letter sitting on my desk for a couple of months.

AKSF
AKSF

Might be able to get second travel credit after second AF and then cancel and get AF back.

JoeY
JoeY

The US Bank Altitude Reserve $325 annual credit is per membership year, not calendar year. Can’t double dip. Let me know how if you know any different.

AKSF
AKSF

Might be able to get second travel credit after second AF and then cancel and get AF back.

Ewejay
Ewejay

Tie-Bronze – BB+. If you were one to get targeted for the signup bonus and plan to eventually cash out via Schwab it was worth $250 plus 2.5% on the first 50k, an additional $250 over putting that spend on a 2% card. Value proposition is potentially greater than Altitude if you consider the 0% APR and 2nd year with 2x MR.

Tie-Bronze – USB Altitude. As above posters point out the travel reimbursement is per cardmember year making it worth (to me, on Team Cash Back) $500 + $325 – $400 = $425. Plus my old phone and their strictness with mobile payments make it a limited earner. I didn’t bother applying.

Silver – Alliant. Great earner and prior to November 3rd I would have prized it. I was denied back in March and am hoping to get a targeted signup bonus on their lower-level card eventually to product-change.

Gold – BofA PR. Signup of $500 + $100 – $95 = $505. Can be a decent earner with the Rewards levels.

Blue
Blue

BB+ is such a great card if for no other reason than it is a no-AF holder for MR AND is a great earner at the same time.

But I agree with you, if you are PR with BOA I think it is the strongest card released this year.

Chucks
Chucks

“Plus my old phone”

I mean you can’t just go handing out medals based on your own personal idiosyncrasies, right?

And if one card is nicer for you, great, I guess?

David
David

I got the Uber and the BoA Premium Rewards (although mine is labeled as a ML card) this year.

For 2.625% on everything and the potential to “sock drawer” a lot of other cards, I give it the GOLD for 2017

Darv
Darv

Is there a way to double dip the travel credit for the Altitude Reserve? Are you or is anybody else thinking of going for the $325 credit again after cardmember anniversary and then get refund of annual fee inside of 30 days?

slu427
slu427

That’s what I’m wondering. Can’t hurt to try I suppose. No one has a datapoint yet since the card is less than 1 year old. I don’t see a post about what constitutes reimbursable expense on the Alt Reserve. DoC usually has a post about which charges (mainly airline gift cards) are reimbursable. I don’t see one for Alt Reserve.

R Johnson
R Johnson

I used the card right after I got it in May. Took a trip in June. They reimbursed pretty much anything travel related – hotel room, uber, baggage fees…pretty easy. And they did it very quickly.

Darv
Darv

Good to know, thank you

Adam

good post DoC! … but you missed a few cards, didnt the AMEX BBP rls this year? surely thats considered a new product. I would go so far as to include the SimpyCash Plus which basically kicked into high gear this year (after being launched last yr)

Jeff H
Jeff H

Honorable Mention goes to the BAC BankAmericard – Not really a churner card – No signup, but for those who leverage bank money, 0% APR for over a year helps. Since the money sits n a bank, payoff when due should not be a challenge.

Jimbo
Jimbo

I’m interested as to why the Cathay Pacific card made the list. Was it because it’s the first card in the US to directly offer Asia Miles as a sign-up bonus?

I got the card when the bonus was 50k, but I am truly curious when there are so many other great cards out there. Maybe this was an off year?

Aidan
Aidan

From U.S. Bank:

“Automatic statement credit(s) totaling up to $325 will be applied to your Account when a Card is used for purchases made directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines. Credit(s) apply to eligible Net Purchases that post to your Account on a Cardmember-year basis (based on Account opening date).”

Superchurn
Superchurn

phew. i’m glad this is in the fine print. i was just about to go crazy on the Delta eGC’s tonight if it was per calendar year

Avi
Avi

BBP’s 2x MR earned per $ could easily translate to ~4-5% cash back if transferred to partner airlines. Add to this

– a no AF (unlike the Alliant card)

– 0% APR for 15 months

– Amex’s easier approval than Alliant, also might not lead to a HP

– it is a business card (meaning it won’t show up on personal credit report).

– 20k MR for 3k spend.

This way I see it excel over the Alliant cash back card and even the BoA Premium card to an extent (if you ignore the sign up bonus). What do you think?

Biggie F
Biggie F

Yeah, I was going to say all of this, but others have said it.

Only thing not noted yet (I think) is how well it goes with the Business Platinum (i.e., generates MR points that you can use for airline tickets at a minimum of 2.7 cents per point [or 3 cents per point, if you plan to stay in the game infinitely]).

True, does not have the additional annual 0.3 MR points that the Blue fo Business card it is replacing has (had), but getting a fresh 20,000 MR points in the “refreshening” went a long way to compensating for that.

And, yeah for those of us trying to stay under 5/24 with Chase, a business card like this that you can use for everyday spend is not to be dismissed lightly.

Mark Ostermann

I would say Blue Biz Plus wins it hands down….surprised it isn’t anywhere to be found.

Grant

I agree, that card is my top new card for this year. Great long term value with no annual fee. It’s the only new card from that list that I use on a daily basis.

Charlie
Charlie

I think the three that you picked for medals are good cards. I only signed up for one of this year’s 20 cards, and that was the PenFed Power Cash. I needed a good 2% card, and PenFed has been my primary bank for 25 years, so it was a no-brainer. If I had not already been a PenFed member, I would have gone with the Alliant Cashback card.

I might have been tempted by the US Bank Altitude Reserve or the Bank of America Premium Rewards, but I already had the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and my spending level does not support more than one high-end card.

The Uber card was also tempting, but even though 4% for dining is good, 4.5% for dining on the CSR is even better.

pr8shen
pr8shen

Don’t think the Altitude card’s airline credit is calendar anymore. it should be card member year.

Greg T
Greg T

Good post. I would give the B of A Premium the gold for this year with the $500 cash sign up bonus plus being able to use the $100 incidental in both 2017 and 2018 along with getting TSA pre-check for the $95 fee. I guess everyone’s opinion will differ some based on how you can use the benefits. I like points but I also like cash!

David
David

I strenuously object to this, PenFed credit union power cash visa signature credit card should have won instead of Alliant credit union 2.5% cash credit card.

After 10 years with the Alliant credit union credit card including the first AF waiver you’ll rack up in $531, with the PenFed credit union power cash visa signature credit card you just maintain $500 In your checking account to maintain 2% cash back.

In order to be eligible for the Alliant credit union credit card you have to make 100k gross income, plus you need to spend $2,360 just to break even with the AD.

Sorry but the PenFed credit union power cash visa signature credit card wins hands down!!

Ewejay
Ewejay

I disagree with you David. There are other 2% cards out there such that PenFed’s addition does not stand out. Since most readers of this blog already have one of those cards (Fidelity, Double Cash, Paypal 2% MC, Barclaycard A+, CapOne Venture, etc.) the PenFed offers no additional benefit to use and a low $100 signup bonus. If you’re a cashback type of person or have a spouse that wants a single card to use, meeting the $12k/year to break even with Alliant’s AF is pretty easy to meet.

I haven’t seen that income requirement for the Alliant card before, can you share where you read that?

David
David

Well in regards to the Alliant credit union credit card I called the bank representative and he said you need to make 100k to qualify.

PenFed credit union power cash visa signature credit card is superior for the following reasons:

2% unlimited cash back on everything as long as you maintain $500 In checking

No annual fee

No foreign transaction fee

Sure sign up bonus is weak as would the 5 year cash back expiration, although it shouldn’t take 5 years to redeem cash back.

R Johnson
R Johnson

I picked up the Altitude Reserver card in May when it was issued. I am a long time US Bank account holder for checking and savings. I think the card is great. They seem to be very broad in allowing for the $325 credit. It posts automatically. Spent a weekend in Chicago in June and hotels, Uber, even a restaurant posted as a credit. Very easy. On the negative side I went to the website to use some of the points I have and it seems the points assigned to various travel items are quite high. Not sure about the value there. 35K points for one week of car rental seems very high to me, especially when you are consider a Ford Fusion for that amount.

I would agree that the AMEX Blue Business Plus is the #1 card right now. We’ve been picking up about 10K MR points per month on that card, which for us is a good deal. I’m hoping the 100K bonus for the Amex Bus Platinum will return in January. I’m going to lose the AMEX Everyday Preferred and the Green Card as well to make room for the Bus platinum.

J. Grant
J. Grant

I thought you were going to make a poll and get us involved. Then offer up your thoughts and whether you agree with your readers. There’s always 2018!!

sybloc
sybloc

Uber card. Nothing else even comes close.

Nearly all of my organic spend is at restaurants, breweries, wineries, food delivery services, etc. so I’m getting 4% cashback on basically everything. Effortlessly.

$100 sign-up bonus.
$600 cell phone insurance
$50 streaming credit
1% BT fee
NO ANNUAL FEE

Hope Barclay’s can maintain this…

Avi
Avi

I second you. Uber card is the best daily driver out there.

Charlie
Charlie

I share your same worry about whether Barclay can maintain the great benefits on the Uber card. The past 18 months have seen three cards with benefits so good that they seem to be at risk of being cut back: Chase Sapphire Reserve, USAA Limitless, and now the Barclay Uber. Chase has already made a few changes to the CSR and may make more. USAA seems to have retreated on the Limitless. I sure hope Barclay can make money on the Uber card.

James
James

But then that means you spend way too much on those places so you lose out in the long run.

DD
DD

And the worst deal? “Discover To Remove Many Card Benefits After February 28th, 2018“

jf
jf
Thats actually not entirely true with the Alliant Visa. You dont have to make $100k+ annually in order to qualify for it. It just helps your approval. I’ve seen countless folks get this card, but the best deal for that card, is to get their regular one with the 40k signup bonus and then product change to the 3%, then 2nd yr change it if the AF doesnt make sense. I mean it depends a lot on a persons level of natural spending too. Despite category spending and so forth, yeah, but even not category spending generally speaking I’d like to always be working on a next bonus or some type of offer… The only thing that lightly grinds my gears here with this writeup, and no offense DOC, but lets look at the 3 contenders here. 1. Uber … Barclays… they will love or hate you as you know. I’m talking, having a person, including myself and several friends and family, be mandated to submit copies of professional licensure, utility bill/bank statement, SS card, and ID/DL…. not once, but 3 times. Oh, and you can’t send it certified either. So there goes all your information in the wild multiple times. Ok! Then get accused of falsifying information or that your voice sounds different than a previous call. Its crazy! 2. US Bank Altitude Rewards- Us Bank, enough said. And as previously stated, you can’t really just go HAM on this one with its best feature. And now that they have or will modify how the points interact with flex perks, it diminishes the value even more …And good luck getting approved, even if you try the gold checking account thing just to get established. I’ve had a half dozen people try this technique, and not one of them get a stated limit or specific apr…… 3. Alliant- have been great to me using their shared secure loan technique for a little credit score boost, but not once have I ever got a good offer in the mail from them like I’d hoped. I think my favorite this year would be the biz plat when the 50% was easier, fnbo travelite no AF, and also getting the Bank of America Better Balance Rewards like 2 weeks after it was discontinued using an app link dump, and of course the two Merrill+ cards. I mean honestly I do really love my… Read more »
Darv
Darv

Altitude Reserve is easy to get approved for if you ask a branch banker to do it. Both wife and I got it that way after being quickly shot down with online/recon applications. Saw on Reddit back when the card launched, a us Bank banker was on there and believe he said in branch applications go to different group. We’re both far above 5/24.

sloebrake
sloebrake

Although I don’t use the doublecash it also has Citi’s price protection which is SOOO overlooked.

I bought gifts from amazon with ATT access more this year. Saved almost 30% with Earny.

I purposely bought some computer equipment that was OOS from an overpriced 3rd party and submitted the paperwork – got it at retail.

Hundreds of dollars saved.

Charles Mann
Charles Mann

Happy New Year and thanks for all the great info during 2017. Let’s hope 2018 will be even better!

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