Posted by William Charles on December 29, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on December 29th, 2017 | by William Charles


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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I thought altitude credit was per cardmember year.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

“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?

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

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?

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.

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.

Good to know, thank you

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)

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.

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?

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).”

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

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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!

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