When it comes to expanding storage for smartphones, tablets, cameras, handheld gaming systems and various other types of gadgets, most utilize memory cards. It gets confusing, however, when you consider there are at least a dozen types of memory cards, and once you pinpoint the type you need, you still need to choose a storage capacity, read/write speed, figure out if it offers data protection capabilities, and whether or not its made to be durable.
Making things even more confusing, the best memory cards often come with adapters that allow one type of memory card to be used with devices that work with a different type of memory card, and some devices support two or more types of memory cards, so you’ll need to figure out which is the best to utilize. To help make the memory card selection and buying process easier, let’s take a look at nine of the best memory cards you can buy for any device you have.
- Best Overall SD Memory Card: SanDisk 128GB Extreme Pro UHS-I SDXC
- Best Overall microSD Memory Card: Samsung EVO Select 512GB
- Best Overall CompactFlash Memory Card: SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB CompactFlash
- Best Memory Card for GoPro HERO Action Cameras: SanDisk Extreme A2 U3 128GB microSDXC
- Best Memory Card for the Nintendo Switch: Gigastone Gaming Plus 512GB microSD
- Best Memory Card with the Fastest Read/Write Speed: SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro UHS-II SDXC
- Best Large Capacity Memory Card: SanDisk 1TB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I
- Best Budget-Friendly MicroSD Memory Card: SanDisk Ultra 128GB SDXC UHS-I
- Best microSD Memory Card with SD Adapter: Kingston Canvas React Plus USH-II
Best Overall SD Memory Card
Speed And Reliability
SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I
Available in32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB (shown), 512GB or 1TB storage capacities, the Extreme SD memory cards from SanDisk offer read speeds up to 170MB per second and write speeds up to 90MB per second—which is more than adequate for shooting and storing 4K video with your digital camera. These cards are temperature proof, waterproof, shock proof and X-Ray proof, and comes with a free code to download the Rescue Pro Deluxe data recovery software (for Windows and Mac computers).
Best Overall microSD Memory Card
Plenty Of Storage
SAMSUNG EVO Select Micro SD Memory Card with Adapter
Before purchasing a memory card with a 512GB (or higher) storage capacity, make sure the device you’ll be using it with supports it. From this card, you can achieve up to a 100MB per second read speed and 90MB per second write speed. The memory card is water, temperature, shock, magnet and X-Ray resistant, so it’s made to be durable, while offering enough storage to hold up to 24 hours worth of 4K video, more than 150,000 photos, or up to 7,300 songs. It’ll be the ideal companion for your smartphone or digital camera, for example.
Best Overall CompactFlash Memory Card
Your Digital Camera’s Performance Will Shine
SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB CompactFlash
If you’ve already invested in a high-end digital camera that supports CompactFlash memory cards, it makes sense to also invest in the best memory cards you can get for the camera. Yes, a memory card will impact your camera’s overall performance and speed.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro offers 256GB of storage and data transfer speeds up to 160MB per second (160MB per second read speed and 150MB per second write speed), along with the durability and reliability that pro photographers need and have come to expect from their memory cards.
The 256GB capacity is enough to hold upwards of 16,000 photos (16MP) or up to 224 minutes of 4K Ultra HD video. Should something go wrong, a free download for the Rescue Pro Deluxe 2 data recovery software (for Windows and Mac computers) is at your disposal.
Best Memory Card for GoPro HERO Action Cameras
Durability, Speed And Capacity
The GoPro HERO 10 Black action camera is capable of shooting video at up to 5.3K resolution (at up to 60 frames per second), but to ensure you’re able to save this content with no data loss, you’ll want a memory card that’s designed for an action camera that can be used in harsh environments.
Designed to be ultra durable and used in a wide range of harsh conditions, the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXX memory cards offer a data transfer speed up to 170MB per second, which make them perfectly suited for use with GoPro’s highest-end HERO 10 camera.
Keep in mind, while the GoPro HERO 10 Black supports memory cards that have a V30 or UHS-3 rating (with up to a 512GB of storage capacity), most older model GoPro HERO action cameras are not compatible with microSD memory cards with a 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB storage capacity, and require a memory card with a Class 10 or at least a UHS-1 rating, so check the owner’s manual for your action camera (or visit GoPro’s website) before purchasing this higher-end card.
Best Memory Card for the Nintendo Switch
For Gaming On The Go
Gigastone Gaming Plus 512GB microSD Card
While your Nintendo Switch comes with 32GB or 64GB of internal storage (depending on the model), if you want to store a larger collection of downloaded games and game related data within the handheld console, you’ll defiantly want to use an optional memory card.
Nintendo itself recommends using an officially licensed SanDisk microSDXC card with a 128GB storage capacity with the Switch (available on Amazon for $21), but you have other options—such as this Gigastone Gaming Plus 512GB card, which provides a lot more storage space, a read speed of 100MB per second and a write speed of 60MB per second. This will ensure fast data transfers and reduced wait and load times, especially when you’re playing high-action games.
If you can’t afford the Gigastone Gaming Plus card with a 512GB storage capacity, the same memory card is available with a 128GB storage capacity for less than $19 on Amazon. Either version will work perfectly and reliably with any version of the Nintendo Switch.
Best Memory Card with the Fastest Read/Write Speed
When You Need The Ultimate Speed
Depending on how the memory card is being used, you’ll often benefit from the fastest read/write speed available. When the need for speed arises, this Sandisk Extreme Pro SD card offers a data transfer speed up to 300MB per second. As its name suggests, this card is manufactured to withstand extreme environments and will have no trouble recording video at up to 8K resolution. For about $50 more, you can purchase a 128GB version.
Best Large Capacity Memory Card
When You Need The Most Space Possible
SanDisk 1TB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter
If you’re willing to accept a data transfer speed up to 160MB per second, but have 1TB of storage space at your disposal, this durable SanDisk Extreme MicroSDXC memory card will serve you well, even when you’re shooting or transferring 4K UHD resolution video content. This card has a UHS-3 and V30 speed class rating.
The card works seamlessly with the SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader (sold separately on Amazon for less than $13) when you want to quickly transfer content from the memory card directly to your computer. Make sure the device you’ll be using this memory card with can support a 1TB card capacity.
Best Budget-Friendly MicroSD Memory Card
Get The Storage You Need Without Paying A Fortune
SanDisk 128GB Ultra SDXC UHS-I Memory Card
The price of memory cards varies greatly, but depending on what device it’ll be used with and how it’ll be used, you can sometimes take advantage of a card with a lower data transfer rate and/or smaller data storage capacity in order to save significant money.
For example, this SanDisk 128GB Ultra SD memory card is priced less than $20 and offers a data transfer speed up to 120MB per second with a Class 10 and UHS-1 speed rating. While you might not want to use it with a camera that depends on high memory card performance, it will work nicely to store apps and app-related data on your smartphone or tablet, for example.
If you’ll be using it to store video, stick with Full HD 1080p (or lower) resolution and avoid using a digital camera’s burst shooting mode (since this feature requires a faster write speed to achieve maximum camera performance).
Best microSD Memory Card with SD Adapter
One Memory Card, Multiple Devices
Kingston 128GB microSDXC Canvas React Plus
Some devices that utilize memory cards have several different memory card slots, allowing them to utilize different types of memory cards. Meanwhile, if you have two cameras or devices and one supports an SD card and the other supports a microSD card, you can take advantage of a microSD card with an adapter to use the one card with both devices.
The Kingston 128 microSDCX Canvas React Plus is just one example of a microSD card that comes with an SD adapter and a MobileLite Plus USB card reader as a discounted bundle.
With its 128GB storage capacity, plus its U3, V90 and UHS-II rating, this particular Kingston memory card boasts a data transfer speed up to 285MB per second and a recording speed up to 165MB per second, so it’s suitable for shooting video at up to 8K UHD resolution. You can use this memory card to get the most out of higher-end action cameras, for example.