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Credit Card Companies: Which Are Biggest? And Which Are Best?

5 min read
Susan Shain By Susan Shain Mar 02, 2020 | Updated Mar 27, 2020

With so many credit card companies out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. What’s the difference between them? Is one better than the other?

In this article, we offer an overview of the largest credit card companies, according to domestic purchase volume in 2018.

As for whether they’re the best credit card companies, too? That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

What Are the Largest Credit Card Companies?

First, let’s briefly touch on the largest credit card networks, based on their U.S. purchase volume in 2019.

  1. Visa: $2.09 trillion
  2. Mastercard: $910 billion
  3. American Express: $821 billion
  4. Discover: $146 billion

The top two — Visa and Mastercard — are solely networks, which means they facilitate transactions but do not issue their own cards. American Express and Discover, on the other hand, serve as both networks and issuers.

Read more

Credit Card Issuers vs. Networks — What’s the Difference?

If you want a Visa or Mastercard, you’ll need to apply with one of the banks that issues its cards, like Chase or Citi. The issuing bank will also determine most of the important features of your card, such as its annual fee, perks, and interest rate.

The bottom line? While it’s interesting to see which payment networks reign supreme, it’s not particularly useful. That’s why we’ve focused on issuers (or those who are both issuers and networks) for this list of major credit card companies. (Since the most recent data was from 2018 for most issuers, the following volumes for American Express and Discover differ slightly from those above.)

Largest credit card companies by purchase volume

Largest credit card companies by purchase volume. Image credit: Nilson Report

1. American Express: $754.92 billion

As noted above, American Express is both an issuer and a network. It’s the largest credit card issuer by purchase volume, likely because most of its cards are targeted at high spenders with good or excellent credit.

It’s also one of the best credit card issuers for customer satisfaction, according to studies from J.D. Power.

In addition to its premium cards — like The Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers killer airport lounge access and rideshare credits — Amex is known for grocery and gas cards. Its Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, for instance, earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 annually, then 1%) and 3% at U.S. gas stations.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR12.99–23.99% Variable
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  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Don’t wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR12.99–23.99% Variable
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  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • Don’t wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRN/A
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

See Amex's full card selection here

Best American Express Credit Cards

2. Chase: $739.48 billion

Chase, the second largest issuer by volume, is the largest issuer of cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks.

Many of its cards are part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which allows you to earn points redeemable for flights, hotel stays, statement credits, or gift cards.

As with American Express, you’ll mostly need good or excellent credit to snag these cards, many of which come with serious perks and introductory bonuses (that grant a boatload of bonus points for spending a certain amount within the first three months of your account opening).

The Chase Freedom®, for example, earns 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories — and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2X points/dollar on travel purchases and comes with primary rental car insurance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve®, its super premium card, also features lounge access, an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and free membership in Lyft Pink. Chase’s Ink business credit cards are also a solid choice for small business owners.

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$550
Regular APR18.49% - 25.49% Variable
See Chase's full card selection here

Chase Credit Cards

Insider tip

Wondering which cards you might be eligible for? It depends on your creditworthiness (your credit history and credit scores, along with other factors like income). Here’s how to get your free credit scores from FICO — the better they are, the broader your options will be. Don’t worry if they’re not great, however: There are plenty of cards for rebuilding your credit, with several solid options from Capital One and Discover.

 

3. Citibank: $410.43 billion

Coming in a distant third, but still with more than $400 billion of annual purchases, is Citibank. Most notably, this bank issues one of our favorite cash back credit cards: the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which earns a flat 2% cash back on everything.

It also has some interesting co-branded cards, including the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, which earns 2% cash back at Costco and 4% back at U.S. gas stations (the latter up to $7K spent annually), as well as several partner cards with American Airlines.

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
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  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.24% (Variable)
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  • Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

The information related to Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
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  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

See Citibank's full card selection here

Citi Credit Cards

4. Bank of America: $360.73 billion

As one of the largest credit card issuers, it’s no surprise that Bank of America offers a range of cards for people with credit scores from poor to excellent. While you won’t find any premium credit cards here — like you would with Chase or Amex — you’ll find plenty of decent cards with low or no annual fees.

The BankAmericard® Credit Card, for example, is a great choice for balance transfers, as it has a long 0% intro APR period, plus no annual fee and no fee on balance transfers within the first 60 days. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 2%–3% cash back in several major bonus categories, such as groceries, gas, and dining. And the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card is fine for a travel card with no annual fee.

BankAmericard® Credit Card

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.24%–25.24% Variable
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  • 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24%–25.24% Variable,
  • No balance transfer fee for the first 60 days; 3% fee (min $10) after that for all transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.24%–26.24% Variable
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  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • NEW OFFER: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings
  • Now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the Mobile Banking app or Online Banking, or do nothing and it stays the same
  • No expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% – 75% more cash back on every purchase
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.24%–25.24% Variable
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securely on the issuer's website

  • 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
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening – that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 17.24% – 25.24% Variable APR will apply
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% – 75% more points on every purchase
See Bank of America's full card selection here

Bank of America Credit Cards

5. Capital One: $336.91 billion

Capital One is a great issuer for international travelers, as its cards have no foreign transaction fees (a 2%–3% markup on international purchases that many other issuers charge). For serious travelers, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card competes with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

It also has a solid cash back credit card, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, and one of the best cards for rebuilding your credit, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Regular APR17.24% - 24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ leading travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

The information related to Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.49% - 25.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

The information related to Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelBad
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable
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securely on the issuer's website

  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you’ll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It’s a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide

The information related to Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

See Capital One's full card selection here

Capital One Credit Cards

Insider tip

Though we list the purchase APR for every card here, the best approach is to pay your statement in full every billing cycle (unless you have a 0% rate). That way, you’ll never owe any interest!

 

6. U.S. Bank: $145.69 billion

Swooping in at No. 6 on this credit cards list is U.S. Bank, a stalwart that may be better known for its checking and savings accounts than its credit cards.

Still, it has a card for every need: the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card has a long 0% APR, the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card lets you choose two 5% cash back bonus categories (though the biggest players, like grocery stores and gas stations, are excluded).

U.S. Bank also provides a range of co-branded grocery cards at chains like Kroger and Ralph’s, though you’ll often be better off with one of Amex’s general grocery options.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 0% introductory APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, then 14.99%–24.99% Variable
  • Savings at various retailers through Visa Discounts
  • Travel and shopping protections
  • Cell Phone Protection
  • Free VantageScore based on your TransUnion credit report
  • No annual fee
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0*
Regular APR13.99% - 23.99%* Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
  • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
  • No limit on total cash back earned.
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 13.99% – 23.99%
  • No annual fee*
  • Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2020 World’s Most Ethical Company® – Ethisphere Institute, February 2020
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$400
Regular APR17.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 3X points per dollar for travel and mobile wallet purchases.
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of membership, equivalent to $750 in travel redemptions.
  • $325 annual travel credit.
  • Application fee credit for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85), once every four years.
  • Enhanced status at Relais & Châteaux hotels and resorts.
  • 12-month membership to Priority Pass Select for airport lounge access.
  • 12 complimentary Gogo Inflight WiFi passes per year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $400 annual fee, $75 for additional authorized users.
See U.S. Bank's full card selection here

U.S. Bank Credit Cards

7. Discover: $139.03 billion

Like Amex, Discover is both an issuer and a network. According to J.D. Power, it’s also the best credit card issuer in terms of customer satisfaction.

While it has a reputation of being welcomed in far fewer places than Visa, Mastercard, or Amex, Discover claims it’s accepted at more than 95% of credit-card-friendly merchants in the U.S. You’ll likely be fine at most national chains, in other words, but may face more difficulties at local mom-and-pop shops.

Although Discover generally doesn’t offer a ton of perks or rewards, its cards are still worth a look. Since they can be easier to get, they’re a good way to get started with credit cards — especially for students and people who are rebuilding.

Discover it® Secured

Discover it® Secured

Our rating
Min. credit levelBad
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It’s a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can’t help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line with your tax return by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: We automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click “APPLY NOW” to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click “APPLY NOW” to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Discover it® Student chrome

Discover it® Student chrome

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.49% - 23.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.49% – 23.49% applies.
  • Click “APPLY NOW” to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
See Discover's full card selection here

Discover Credit Cards

Insider tip

With a secured card, you’ll need to put down a security deposit that, in most cases, then serves as your credit limit. Secured cards are different from debit cards in that they offer $0 fraud liability — and help you build your credit. Before applying for a secured credit card, just make sure its issuer will report your behavior to all three major credit bureaus (most do, including all the big issuers).

 

8. Wells Fargo: $134.06 billion

Rounding out this list of the top credit card companies is Wells Fargo.

We should note, however, that among top credit card issuers, Wells Fargo ranks near last in terms of customer satisfaction. It’s no wonder, given it has experienced a series of scandals in recent years.

As far as cards go, Wells Fargo’s offerings are fairly run-of-the-mill. We’d say the most noteworthy card is the Wells Fargo Platinum card, which offers a 0% APR for 18 months.

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.49%-24.99% Variable
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%-25.99% Variable
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%-25.99% Variable
See Wells Fargo's full card selection here

Wells Fargo Credit Cards

What Are the Best Credit Card Companies?

Although it’s easy to declare which credit card company is largest, it’s far too subjective for us to say which credit card companies are best.

Among the major credit card issuers, we will note that cardholders are most satisfied with Discover, American Express, Capital One, and Chase — in that order. The rest of the companies on this list received below-average satisfaction ratings. (USAA gets the best ratings, but it’s only for members of the military and their families.)

Best credit card issuers

Best credit card issuers. Image credit: J.D. Power

Ultimately, though, the best credit card company will depend on your needs. If you’re looking for a flashy travel rewards card, Amex or Chase are good bets. If you’re rebuilding your credit, you’ll find fantastic options from Capital One and Discover, or even from your local credit union (or an online union).

What we recommend is choosing the card that works best for you in terms of perks and rewards, annual fee, and credit requirements. As long as it’s from a major issuer, the specific company shouldn’t matter too much.

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At a glance

The largest credit card companies are a who’s who of the finance world. You’ll see a lot of familiar names on the list: credit card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, and credit card issuers such as Chase and Citi.

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