Rewards credit cards are increasingly being used by Americans to supplement their travel, supermarket, shopping, and even day-to-day expenses. Credit card rewards are aplenty these days, especially since many credit card issuers are dangling them as incentives to sign you up as a new customer. According to a survey by Capital One, this ‘free money’ is consumers’ top motivation for using rewards credit cards. If you pay off your card balance in full each month, and have good to excellent credit score, I strongly recommend you use a rewards card to help you save and earn money at the same time. Below are two of the best rewards cards that I personally recommend:
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express gives you $100 Reward Dollars after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Earn Cash Back: 6% at US supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases (1% cash back thereafter), 3% at US gas stations & select US department stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases during the first 15 months (12.99%-21.99% variable APR thereafter). $75 annual fee. Click here to read our Blue Cash Preferred® Card review.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card gives you 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, as well as 5,000 bonus points when you make a purchase and add an additional cardholder within the first 3 months. You will earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1 point per dollar on the rest of your purchases. Introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95. Click here to read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review or Chase Sapphire review.
I myself hardly use cash anymore, and try to only use my rewards card when buying things. Not only does it give me a credit line, it also gives me many extras just for using my card, such as giving me cash back, reward points or miles, which I can later redeem for gift cards, merchandise, air tickets, hotel stays, VIP experiences or pure, hard cash. To help you choose the best rewards card for your needs, we have compiled the best rewards credit cards below in the following categories:
“Cash is king. I prefer getting discounts and cash rebates”
Discover it Card, issued by Discover (NYSE:DFS), offers 5% rebate on quarterly bonus categories, and 1% rebate on all other purchases and it has no annual fee. One feature that we’ve not seen in other cards is that you can double the value of your cashback if you redeem for vouchers from participating merchants such as Carnival Cruise, Hyatt, Samsonite and many others. This Discover Card also has a 0% special APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. No foreign transaction fee.
Click here to read Discover Card review.
Chase Freedom – $100 Bonus, issued by JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), gives you 5% rebate on quarterly rotating categories and 1% rebate on all others. It doesn’t have any annual fee and even lets you earn a $100 bonus after you spend $500 within the first 3 months of account opening and a $25 bonus when you make a purchase and add an authorized user in this same 3-month period. Unlike many other rewards card that don’t offer any 0% promotional APR, Chase Freedom offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After that intro period, there is a variable APR of 13.99% to 22.99% on both purchases and balance transfers.
Click here to read Chase Freedom review.
“I like staying at a particular hotel or flying with a particular airline”
United MileagePlus Explorer Card by Chase is one of the top airline credit cards when it comes to travel perks. Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on United air tickets and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. Earn 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 during the first 3 months. No foreign transaction fees. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Click here to read United credit card review.
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (NYSE:AXP) is a popular Delta card among Delta frequent flyers. You get 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. Earn 30,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95. Terms and limitations apply.
Click here to read Delta Card review.
Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card from Citi (NYSE:C) is the card to get if you stay at Hilton often, whether as a leisure or business traveler. It doesn’t have any annual fee, and gives you 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 4 months, which is worth 8 free hotel nights. You get 6 points per dollar spent on Hilton HHonors locations, 3 points on groceries, gas and drugstore purchases, and 2 points on all others. This Hilton card doesn’t have any pre-set spending limit, which is useful for big spenders.
Click here to read the Hilton Card review.
“I want flexible travel rewards since I’m not a loyal fan of any particular airline or hotel”
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card, issued by Capital One, is the card to get if you want to chalk up air miles really quickly as it gives you 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, whether you are buying toothpaste or air tickets. You can earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. The miles you earn are not capped by any limit, and they don’t expire! A benefit which I find really useful is that miles are redeemable for airfare, hotel accommodation, car rentals, gift cards, and more, so you have that flexibility there. This card has no foreign transaction fee. $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that.
Click here to read our Venture card review.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has an amazing offer for new sign-ups whereby you will receive 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, and 5,000 bonus points when adding an additional cardholder and making a purchase within the first 3 months. It lets you earn 2 points per dollar on dining and travel purchases and 1 point on all others. It is a very flexible travel rewards card as you can redeem points for travel, cash, gift cards, merchandise, unique experiences. Chase Sapphire Preferred has many travel-related benefits, plus it has an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95.
Click here to read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review or Chase Sapphire review.
“I want a 0% balance transfer card which also comes with rewards”
Discover it Card – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer offers a special 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, which is one of the longest 0% periods we’ve encountered. This is great for people who want to pay off their existing credit card debt with no interest by transferring it to this Discover Card. Like other Discover cards, this card offers 5% rebate on quarterly changing categories and up to 1% on all other purchases. I strongly recommend you use this card to pay off your card balance first before using it to purchase things.
Click here to read Discover it Card – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer review.
“I’m a business owner & I want to earn rewards on my business expenses”
Ink Cash Business Card – $200 Bonus Cash Back from Chase is an excellent card as it gives you 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on wireless services, office supplies, landline and cable services, 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on dining and gas, and 1% unlimited rebate on everything else. No annual fee for you or any extra cards for your employees. Has 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (13.24% variable APR thereafter). Earn $200 cash back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Click here to read review of Chase Ink Credit Card.
“I’m a big spender; I have discerning taste and I prefer a prestigious card”
The American Express Platinum Card has many valuable benefits that, in our opinion, will suit the affluent frequent traveler. You can earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months. This card lets you earn 2 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases through the American Express travel website, and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. To us, what we really like is the airport lounge access around the world when you enroll in the complimentary Priority Pass Select program. You can receive up to $200 Airline Fee Credit to pay for incidental airline fees (just make sure you select the airline first). Redeem your points for a wide range of rewards. You also get to enjoy savings on a companion ticket when booking qualifying international Business or First Class air tickets with the American Express travel website. The American Express Platinum comes with many travel, shopping and luxury hotel benefits, and also concierge service. $450 annual fee. Terms and limitations apply.
Click here to read American Express Platinum review.