- If you’ve ever wondered what the most popular credit card is, there’s a definitive answer based on web search volume.
- The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is by far the most-searched credit card, with about 935,000 monthly searches. No other cards even come close.
- Household names like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are are also in the top ten, with tens of thousands of monthly searches.
- Airline credits cards are the most popular type of card based on search volume, and Chase is the most popular card issuer.
- See Business Insider’s list of the best rewards credit cards you can get »
When Chase introduced the metal Chase Sapphire Reserve in 2016, it catapulted rewards credit cards into the public eye. There are more cards with eye-catching designs than ever before, and it’s not unheard of for friends to argue over who gets to grab the bill for dinner to earn those valuable points — while requesting everyone’s share via Venmo, of course.
While the Sapphire Reserve may be one of a small handful of cards to attain “household name” status, it’s far from the only popular credit card. We wondered what other cards were on people’s minds, so we turned to search traffic data to come up with the following list.
The most popular credit cards:
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- Southwest credit cards
- Discover it® Cash Back card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Chase Freedom
- American Airlines cards
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- Apple Card
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
We came up with this list of the 10 most popular credit cards by pulling search traffic estimates from the SEO research website Ahrefs as of December 15. We limited the top search results to seven credit card issuers: American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, and Wells Fargo.
The Costco Anywhere Visa is the most-searched credit card by far — with 935,000 monthly searches. By comparison, the second-most popular credit card search, for Southwest credit cards, racked up just 171,000 monthly searches.
Our thoughts on the most popular credit cards
1. Costco Anywhere Visa
Costco is a hugely popular brand, so it’s not surprising that its co-branded cash-back card from Citi shows up so frequently in web searches. The Costco Anywhere Visa has no annual fee — you just need a Costco membership, which starts at $60 per year.
The card earns 2% back on Costco purchases, as well as 3% back on eligible travel purchases, and 4% back on gas (up to $7,000 per year, then 1% back). You’ll earn 4% back at both Costco and non-Costco gas stations, so it’s a great option for maximizing your spending at the pump.
Read more: The best credit cards to use at Costco
2. Southwest credit cards
Southwest credit cards as a whole come in at No. 2 on the list of most-searched cards, but anyone looking to open a co-branded Southwest card will quickly discover there are five options to consider.
If you’re looking for a consumer Southwest card, your options are:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee)
If you fly Southwest more than once or twice a year, the Southwest Priority card could be worth its annual fee, because you get up to $75 in annual credit to use with Southwest, plus four upgraded boardings per year and 7,500 redeemable Southwest Rapid Rewards points on your account anniversary.
There are also two Southwest business credit cards:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card ($99)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card ($199)
The Southwest Performance Business card offers more bonus points (3x on Southwest purchases vs. 2x on the Southwest Premier Business card) along with an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and four upgraded boardings per year.
3. Discover it Cash Back card
Along with branded credit cards from the likes of Southwest and Costco, cash-back credit cards pull in high search numbers. It’s not hard to see why; if you’re looking for a straightforward return on your spending, cash back is hard to beat.
The Discover it Cash Back is a particularly valuable cash-back card, because it offers 5% back at different places each quarter (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter) and 1% back on everything else. Not only that, but Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first account year, so you can effectively earn 10% back on the 5% categories. Plus, there’s no annual fee.
4. Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has been around for more than a decade, and it remains one of the best travel rewards credit cards, especially for beginners thanks to its sub-$100 annual fee. You earn 2x points on all travel and dining purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Plus, the card is offering a stellar sign-up bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
5. Chase Freedom
The Freedom is another great cash-back card with no annual fee, and like the Discover it Cash Back it earns 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter on rotating bonus categories (and 1% back on everything else).
While the Freedom card doesn’t offer the same cash-back matching at the end of your first year, it does have another nifty feature. If you have another Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can combine your cash-back rewards from the Freedom with your Ultimate Rewards and redeem them for travel. This could get you more value than the flat cash-back rate of 1 cent per point.
6. American Airlines credit cards
Another airline makes it into the top 10. Like with Southwest, there are several American Airlines co-branded credit cards with different levels of annual fees and perks.
In our guide to the best airline credit cards, we name the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® as the best credit card for American Airlines flyers. You get benefits like a free checked bag and preferred boarding in exchange for the $99 annual fee, and you only have to make a purchase in the first 90 days to earn the card’s sign-up bonus — no minimum spending requirement to worry about.
If you want a more premium credit card with American Airlines benefits, consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, which offers Admirals Club airport lounge access and carries a $450 annual fee.
7. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Sapphire Reserve is our pick for the top travel rewards credit card because it earns 3x points on travel and dining (two of the most common spending categories) and comes with up to $300 in travel credits each year. In short, it lives up to the hype. There is a $450 annual fee, but when you factor in that $300 annual travel credit — as well as perks like Priority Pass airport lounge access, trip delay protection and primary car rental insurance — it can be well worth it for frequent travelers.
8. Citi Double Cash card
The Citi Double Cash card is unbeatable if you value simplicity — you get 1% back on every purchase when you buy, plus another 1% back when you pay your bill. That works out to a total of 2% back on all your spending if you’re paying off your balance in full (which you should be, to avoid interest rates). There isn’t much in the way of extra benefits, but there’s also no annual fee. It’s a great option for those who want to see cash back add up over time without having to put any effort into their credit card strategy.
9. Apple Card
Apple’s brand cachet extends to its credit card, released in August 2019 in partnership with Goldman Sachs. The card stands out in a few key ways. For one, there’s no physical card number — you’ll find that in your iPhone’s Wallet app instead. There are also no fees, from annual fees to late fees. The Apple Card isn’t the most rewarding option among cash back cards — not to mention among the best rewards cards — but it’s an interesting addition to the credit card space and unsurprisingly one of the buzziest cards to launch in quite some time.
10. Capital One Venture Rewards card
The Capital One Venture card used to be what’s called a fixed-value points credit card, meaning you could only use the rewards you earn for cash back or to erase travel purchases from your statement. It’s since added some new features, including the ability to transfer Capital One miles to more than a dozen airline programs and up to a $100 statement credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Considering its $95 annual fee is waived the first year, this card can offer great value.
Other interesting credit card stats we found
Chase is the most popular credit card issuer
Chase gets the most search traffic of all major credit card issuers, with a median monthly search traffic count of 45,600. The next most-searched issuer was Discover, with a median of 24,400.
Airline credit cards are the most popular type of card
People search for airline credit cards more than any other type of credit card, including travel rewards cards, hotel credit cards, and cash-back cards. Not only are airline miles one of the easiest loyalty currencies to understand, but airline cards can also get you benefits like a free checked bag and preferred boarding.
Balance transfer cards are popular, too
While they didn’t make the cutoff for the top 10 most-searched credit cards, two cards that allow for balance transfers racked up more than 60,000 monthly searches each. The Chase Slate Card and the Citi Simplicity® Card both let you consolidate your debt by transferring a balance from another card. With the Slate, there’s no fee for transferring a balance in the first 60 days, and with the Citi Simplicity you get one of the longest intro APR periods available — 21 months of 0% APR on balance transfers (and all transfers must be completed in the first four months), then a variable rate of 16.24% to 26.24%.