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18 Apr 2018

10 Best Credit Cards for Racking up Rewards

Are you looking for the best credit cards for rewards? There are tons of great options, but the best ones make every day feel like payday.

Choosing a great credit card and rewards program isn’t a decision to take lightly.

Some rewards programs are more generous than others. Some will cost you about as much to use as you’d receive in rewards. Others simply aren’t worth your time.

We’ve done our homework (and yours, too) to help you find the best credit cards for rewards. Take a look for yourself and start earning today!

How Did We Choose the 10 Best Credit Cards for Rewards?

There’s a lot that determines the best credit cards for rewards. Truth be told, they’re not all worthwhile. We can’t just consider the rewards themselves.

We also take into account the annual fee versus the potential rewards, how quickly rewards can accrue, the complexity of the program, signup bonuses, and additional incentives. Credit requirements should also be considered when selecting a rewards card.

So, do you love hotel stays or airline miles? Gift cards or points for prizes? No matter your preference, you’ll want to check out our picks for 10 best credit cards for rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is every traveler’s and foodie’s dream. You rack up points on travel and dining costs with every swipe.

However, if you don’t travel or eat out much, this won’t be one of the best credit cards for rewards for you. It will be a long time before you’re able to see any benefit from your purchases, if ever.

Annual Fee

This card comes with a $95 annual fee. To find out if it’s worth it, consider the ROI on your investment.

You earn 2.5% in points when you use your card on eating out or travel expenses. You also get 1.25% back on all other purchases.

A single round-trip flight, two nights at a hotel, and a few restaurant meals can easily earn you a couple thousand points or more. A few trips like this example and your card rewards can more than outweigh what you pay to use it.

Rewards and Incentives

When you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you get an automatic 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in your first three months.

Also, your $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. This gives you every incentive to try the card and experience the benefits firsthand.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday Card uses a tiered point structure to accrue rewards. Cardholders get 3% back on U.S. grocery stores (up to $6,000, then it’s 1%), 2% on gas stations, and 1% on all other purchases.

Unlike some rewards cards, these categories never change so you always know what to expect. This factor alone makes it one of the best credit cards for rewards.

Annual Fee

There is no annual fee for this card, giving you an immediate ROI with every purchase.

Rewards and Incentives

When you sign up for this card, you get a low intro APR for the first 15 months. After that, you get a variable interest rate that ranges from 14.24%-25.24%.

Reward dollars can be redeemed for gift cards, statement credits, and merchandise.

Discover it For Students

As the name implies, this credit card was created specifically for students. Unlike other student credit cards, this one offers better-than-average cash back bonuses.

Annual Fee

This card does not have an annual fee.

Rewards and Incentives

Students get 5% cash back on rotating categories throughout the year. All other purchases receive 1% cash back.

In addition, students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher get a $20 reward per school year. This is a reward no other card offers.

Even better, Discover will match your cash back rewards at the end of your first year.

Discover it Cashback Match

Similar to its credit card for students, the Cashback Match card offers some of highest cashback rates available.

Annual Fee

There is no annual fee for this card.

Rewards and Incentives

Each quarter, you receive 5% cash back in rotating categories, including gas stations, grocery stores, Amazon.com purchases, and restaurants. All other purchases qualify for 1% cash back.

At the end of your first year, Discover will match your cash back dollar-for-dollar. This means you could earn up to 10% cash back on some of your purchases.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Calling all foodies–you might want to read up on the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards. If you love to eat out, this is one of the best credit cards with rewards you’ll find.

Annual Fee

No annual fee means you can enjoy your rewards immediately.

Rewards and Incentives

Eating out is the biggest cash grabber with this card. You get 3% back at all restaurants with no limit. Also, you can enjoy 2% on groceries and 1% on all other purchases.

In addition, you get 0% APR for your first nine months and a $150 one-time bonus if you charge $500 in your first three months.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

If you like options, you’ll have plenty to choose from with this card. What makes this card unique is that you get to pick the categories that earn you the biggest rewards. These categories cover gyms, movie theaters, grocery stores, car rentals, cell phone bills, and fast food restaurants, to name a few.

Annual Fee

This card has no annual fee.

Rewards and Incentives

Every quarter, you choose two bonus categories that will give you 5% cash back on all your purchases. You also get to choose an everyday category that gives you 2% cash back. All other purchases offer 1% cash back.

You can also score an extra $150 sign-up bonus if you spend $500 in your first three months.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

This card is similar to the Blue Cash Everyday card, but it offers bigger rewards and comes with an annual fee. The good news is the rewards rack up quickly, especially if you use it for the majority of your purchases.

The grocery benefit alone makes it one of the best credit cards for rewards.

Annual Fee

There is a $95 annual fee for this card.

Rewards and Incentives

There are a ton of rewards that come with this card:

First, you get a whopping 6% back on groceries up to $6,000. After that, you get 1% cash back.

They offer a sign-up bonus of $200 if you spend $1,000 in your first three months.

You also get 3% back on gas stations and some department stores, and 1% on everything else.

The Platinum Card from American Express

This is the Cadillac of all travel rewards cards.

If you’re a heavy traveler, particularly in air travel, you get some of the best benefits and rewards available. Things like zero foreign transaction fees and zero APR make the rewards even sweeter.

Annual Fee

This card carries an annual fee of $550. There is also a charge of $175 per additional card.

Rewards and Incentives

This feature-rich card is one of the best credit cards for rewards because of its seemingly infinite generosity.

For starters, you earn five points for every dollar on airline flights and eligible hotels. You get a point per dollar on everything else.

Also, you get 60,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 in your first three months.

Cardholders receive $15 in Uber credit each month and a bonus $20 credit in December. This feature alone is worth up to $200, which can greatly offset your annual fee.

The card also offers a $200 airline credit for incidentals, like checked baggage fees. A TSA Precheck statement credit is available up to $85.

You can also score discounts and other incentives from their network of hotels.

Citi Double Cash Credit Card

This card is one of the best credit cards for rewards because its program is unlike any other. Not only do you earn cash back on every purchase, you also get another cash back incentive when that purchase is paid off.

Annual Fee

This card has no annual fee.

Rewards and Incentives

This is one of the few rewards cards that offer no sign-up bonuses. However, the cash back you receive can add up quickly.

To start, you get 1% cash back on everything you buy. Then, you get another 1% cash back when you pay off your purchase.

Discover it Secured Card

Most secured credit cards don’t offer rewards programs, but this one isn’t one of them.

This card is ideal for individuals with poor credit and want to boost their score. You get cash back on every purchase.

Since it’s a secured card, you will need to provide a deposit of at least $200 to open your line of credit.

Annual Fee

This card is annual fee-free, so every purchase is an immediate ROI.

Rewards and Incentives

Cardholders get 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on purchases up to $1,000 each quarter. You also get 1% cash back on all other purchases.

At the end of your first year, Discover gives you a dollar-for-dollar match on all the cash back you earned.

What to Look for When Choosing a Credit Card with Rewards Program

Each of the credit cards above has its own unique rewards plan. There is no single best one that will give you the biggest ROI.

A few things you might consider before applying for a rewards card:

  • Does the card offer incentive on every purchase or just specific categories?
  • How long will it take to accumulate points?
  • Do I have to pay a fee to redeem certain rewards, such as airline tickets?
  • Do my points expire?
  • What if I have no credit?
  • What happens to unused points if I cancel my credit card?

Knowing these things upfront can help you make the best decision on how to spend your money.

Which Rewards Card Will You Choose?

There you have it–our picks for top 10 best credit cards with rewards. Which one will you pick?

If you can’t decide, read our guide to discover which types of credit cards will work best for you.