Best Mastercard Credit Card For Credit Card Churning in 2022

For more than a half century, Mastercard has served both businesses and individual consumers as a global payment network, although most of us simply think of the company as the brand behind dozens of credit card options issued by large banks like Citi and Capital One as well as credit unions and other smaller financial institutions.

Best Cards for Credit Card Churning by Brand

Our Picks For The Best Mastercard Credit Card For Credit Card Churning

With a dizzying array of choices—from cards that earn cash back or airline miles to those that reward spending in specific categories—deciding which type of Mastercard credit account to open can be daunting. To make the choice more complicated, each card features adifferent welcome offer, interest rate, annual fee and more.

To help narrow your selection, we’ve assessed multiple Mastercard options and identified the top performersin the six common categories listed below.

Best Premium Travel Benefits Card: Citi Prestige® Card

best mastercard credit card
  • Welcome Bonus: 50,000 Points
  • Annual Fee: $495
  • APR: 16.99% – 23.99%
  • Credit Score: Excellent (750 – 850)

Benefits of The Premium Travel Benefits Card: Citi Prestige® Card

This luxury card from Citibank offers top travel benefits, including two annual fourth-night-free awards for hotel stays, an annual $250 travel credit, Priority Pass Select membership, credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees and high rewards rates on spending with airlines, restaurants and travel agencies. Other premium perks include mobile phone damage and theft protection and extended warranty and purchase protection on eligible items.

Earning Points and Rewards

Travel spending gives Citi Prestige cardholders the most bang for their buck, earning 5 points per dollar on air travel, restaurants and travel agency services. Spending on hotels and cruises yields 3 points per dollar, with all other purchases earning 1 point per dollar.

Welcome Bonus

The Citi Prestige card currently offers a generous welcome bonus of 50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in on the card within the first three months. These points can be redeemed for $500 in airfare on any airline with no blackout dates, or you can also trade them in for $400 in gift cards. Points earned with the card can be transferred to loyalty programs at more than a dozen major airlines or redeemed for hotel stays, car rentals, travel packages and gift cards at popular restaurants and retailers.

Best Frequent Flyer Card: Citi Premier® Card

best mastercard credit card
  • Welcome Bonus: 60,000 Points
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • APR: 15.99% – 23.99%
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good (700 – 749)

Benefits of The Best Frequent Flyer Card: Citi Premier® Card

If your goal is to reap the highest rewards from your everyday spending, the Citi Premier Card gets it done. You’ll earn three points per dollar on groceries, restaurants and gas and the same rate on airline and hotel expenses. The annual fee is reasonable, and the card comes with a slew of other perks, such as a $100 annual hotel credit toward an eligible stay made through Citi’s rewards portal; extended warranty, damage and theft protection on purchases; early access to ticket sales for major concerts, sporting events and other experiences; and opportunities for luxury hotel upgrades and more through Mastercard’s World Elite program.

Earning Points and Rewards

With the Citi Premier card, you’ll earn 3 per $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, airlines and hotels and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. When you redeem points through the Citi ThankYou rewards portal, they’re worth about one cent per point, but applying them to specific airlines’ loyalty programs can significantly boost their value.

Welcome Bonus

When you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening your account, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou points that you can use toward flights, hotel stays and other rewards. Points never expire, and your earning potential is unlimited.

Best Airline-Branded Card: Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

best mastercard credit card
  • Welcome Bonus: 50,000 miles
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • APR: 15.99% – 24.99%
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good (700 – 749)

Benefits of The Airline-Branded Card: Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

For consumers loyal to American Airlines, the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard offers valuable travel perks as well as a fast track to elite status within the airline’s rewards program. Though it carries a steep annual fee, the card quickly pays for itself by including a complimentary Admirals Club membership, valued at up to $650. Cardholders can add up to 10 authorized users to their account, each of whom can access Admirals Club lounges along with two travel companions.

Other enhanced travel benefitsinclude one free checked bag, priority check-in and boarding, a 25 percent discount on in-flight purchases using the card and a $100 statement credit toward application fees for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Earning Points and Rewards

The card earns 2 AAdvantage Miles for every $1 spent with American Airlines and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases.

Welcome Bonus

Make $5,000 in purchases within 3 months of opening your account and you’ll receive 50,000 American AAdvantage bonus miles. If you can reach $40,000 in spending during your first year, you’ll also earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles.

Best Card for Dining Out: Savor® Cash Rewards from Capital One®

best mastercard credit card
  • Welcome Bonus: $300
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • APR: 15.99% – 24.99%
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good (690 – 850)

Benefits of The Best Savor® Cash Rewards from Capital One®

If you prefer going out to dinner and a movie over curling up at home with frozen pizza and a book, using the Capital One SavorCash Rewards card on your entertainment purchases can yield rich rewards. The card offers 4 percent cash back at restaurants, movie theaters, nightclubs, amusement parks, museums, coffee shops, bowling alleys and more.

If you’re more of a homebody, you can still earn the same cashback rate on streaming services and takeout. In addition to cashback rewards, cardholders benefit from extended warranty protection on eligible purchases, travel accident insurance, complimentary concierge service, instant purchase notification and other fraud protection features.

Earning Points and Rewards

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card rewards cardholders with 4 percent cash back on a wide range of dining and entertainment purchases, 3 percent cash back at grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and 1 percent cash back on all other spending.

Welcome Bonus

When you hit $3,000 in spending during your first three months of card membership, Capital One will reward you with a one-time $300 cash bonus.

Best Card for Students: Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

best mastercard credit card
  • Welcome Bonus: One year of Amazon Prime Student ($59 value)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 18.74%
  • Credit Score: Average/Excellent (630-850)

Benefits of The Best Card for Students: Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

For a credit card targeting students, The Deserve® EDU Mastercard offers impressive benefits along with the added value of no annual fee. Though the cash-back earnings rate is modest—1 percent on all purchase categories across the board—its interest rate is lower than many student cards, especially considering applicants with average credit scores can still qualify.

The card also doesn’t require a Social Security number to apply, providing international students with a solid credit option during their U.S.-based studies.

The card’s mobile app makes it easy for tech-savvy students to track their spending, schedule payments and securely freeze their account if the card is lost or stolen. Additionally, the card covers lost or damaged cell phones at up to $600.

Earning Points and Rewards

Cardholders automatically earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases.

Welcome Bonus

When students spend $500 in their first three billing cycles, they’ll receive a year of membership in Amazon Prime Student, which includes free expedited shipping, special discounts at Whole Foods Market and access to Prime Video streaming services.

Best Business Card: Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

best mastercard credit card
  • Welcome Bonus: 50,000 miles
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in first year)
  • APR: 20.99%
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good (700+)

Benefits of The Best Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Perhaps the biggest draw of the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card is the simplicity of its rewards structure. It earns an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, so there’s no need to track spending in special categories like office supplies or advertising. It also offers enhanced benefits for business travel, such as primary collision coverage on car rentals, travel emergency assistance services and a $100 statement credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees for yourself or an employee.

Account management is almost as simple as earning rewards thanks to the card’s suite of tools that allow you to select your own monthly billing date, set up automatic payments, download itemized annual spending reports, and export purchase information to Excel, Quicken, and QuickBooks. You can designate an employee account manager to handle payments, approvals, and other tasks, and you can add additional employees as authorized users and establish individual spending limits for their cards.

Earning Points and Rewards

Virtually all spending earns 2 miles per dollar, although you can earn up to 5 miles per dollar on hotel stays and car rentals purchased directly through Capital One Travel.

Welcome Bonus

Spend $4,500 in the first three months and receive 50,000 bonus miles, good for $500 in travel expenses.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best American Express Card

In general, Mastercard credit cards fall into one of five broad categories, each with its own perks, fees and membership requirements.

Standard Mastercard: These base-level cards are ideal for everyday use, especially for consumers looking to build credit history. They include zero liability fraud and theft protection, and some even offer rewards programs for earning points that can be redeemed for airline flights, gift cards, merchandise or cash. Standard Mastercards usually have the least stringent credit score requirements, but also the fewest perks.

Gold Mastercard: Up a level from Standard, you’ll find Gold Mastercards, which pack more purchasing power and provide greater opportunities to earn rewards. Gold Mastercards are perfect for frequent travelers, as they include roadside assistance, accident insurance and other travel-related perks at no charge.

Platinum Mastercard: These premium-level cards convey luxury benefits and privileges, including travel perks and loss and damage protection on major purchases. Platinum cardholders can also rack up serious rewards in return for their spending.

World Mastercard: International travelers will want to carry a World Mastercard, which includes access to exclusive trips and events and discounted rates on vacation packages and travel upgrades. World Mastercard cardholders can shop with confidence knowing they enjoy price protection, extended warranties and ID theft protection, among other benefits.

World Elite Mastercard: These top-tier cards deliver the most luxurious perks to members, including complimentary upgrades on airfare, car rentals and cruises, and discounts on private flights, chauffeur services, and luxury hotel stay.

Best Cards for Credit Card Churning by Airline or Hotel Travel Partner

Final Thoughts on the Best Mastercard Credit Card For Credit Card Churning in 2022

In addition to the cards listed above, Mastercard issues a long list of co-branded cards with airlines like JetBlue and retailers like Walmart, premium cards that afford luxury travel and entertainment benefits and even secured cards for consumers working to rebuild damaged credit.

When it comes to finding the cards with the best welcome bonuses for churning, it pays to do your homework, as these offers change constantly. No matter your purchasing preferences, credit history or rewards-earning goals, there’s a Mastercard that’s perfect for you.