Best Rewards Credit Cards 2021

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of rewards credit cards. You’ve probably heard of them already or maybe even have one (or more!) in your wallet. Just as the name says, they are credit cards that offer rewards on purchases. The three basic types are cashback, points, and travel miles. Currently, there are dozens of them on the market, with different features, so it can be overwhelming to choose one. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation, which means there’s not a single best credit card that will fit everyone. It all depends on one’s needs and financial situation. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how rewards credit cards work and you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

By Hanna Volkava
Updated August 02, 2021
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Best Credit Cards for Rewards in August 2021

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Evolve℠ from Sallie Mae Bank

Evolve℠ Sallie Mae Bank
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 25% Bonus on any Cash Back rewards earned from your top two purchase categories each month.
    • 1.25% Cash Back on all purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 2.5% Cash Back on every purchase for your first 12 months.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Sallie Mae Bank
  • Details:

    The Sallie Mae Evolve℠ card offers 2.5% Cash Back on every purchase (for 12 months) and 1.25% Cash Back on all purchases thereafter. Plus, get an extra 25% on Cash Back rewards earned in two top spending categories each month.

    The card offers 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months, then 12.99% - 24.99% (Variable APR).

    The Sallie Mae Evolve℠ card has no annual fee.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Benefits:
    • 2.5% Cash Back on every purchase (for 12 months);
    • 1.25% Cash Back on all purchases;
    • 25% on Сash Back rewards;
    • $0 liability;
    • Digital Wallets;
    • Cell Phone Protection.
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Capital One Venture Rewards best for Travel, Daily use

Venture Rewards Capital One
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.63 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2x Miles on all purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 100,000x Bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening.
    • 50,000x Earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual Fee:
    $95 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    17.24% - 24.49% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    17.24% - 24.49% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers rewards of 2 miles for every $1 spent on all purchases.

    Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

    The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card's Regular APR: 17.24% - 24.49% (Variable). The card has an annual fee of $95.

    When using your Venture card to cover the application fee, you can receive up to $100 in credit for your Global Entry or TSA Precheck application.

    As a travel card, your primary redemption options are to book travel through the Capital One rewards portal, receive a statement credit for recent eligible travel purchases (within the last 90 days) or transfer miles to partner airline and hotel programs.

    Capital One’s assistant program, Eno, is like your account management system rolled into one helpful assistant. It monitors your account for fraud, sends alerts, creates virtual credit card numbers and provides useful account info like your balance.

    Perhaps the most interesting of these abilities is its virtual credit card number storage. Virtual credit cards are getting harder to come by, and Eno provides another layer of protection when you shop online by saving a unique virtual card number for each merchant you transact with.

  • Pros:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • High rewards rate
    • Flexible rewards redemption
    • Sign-up bonus
  • Cons:
    • Annual Fee
    • No intro APR offer
    • Miles transfer to airline partners is less than 1:1
  • Benefits:
    • 2x miles on all purchases;
    • Up to 100,000 bonus miles;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • 24/7 Customer Service;
    • The Eno assistant;
    • 24-Hour Travel Assistance Services;
    • Global Entry or TSA Precheck Credit;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Travel Accident Insurance;
    • Transfer Your Miles;
    • Capital One Shopping;
    • Shop With Your Rewards;
    • Premier Culinary Experiences;
    • Big-time Sports Events;
    • Must-See Music Events.
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Citi Double Cash best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Double Cash Citi
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Cash Back on every purchase with unlimited 1% Cash Back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Citi
  • Details:

    The Citi® Double Cash Credit Card offers a few concrete ways in which you can better your financial situation, improve your credit card habits and enjoy cash back rewards without the fuss of tracking rotating categories.

    In order to receive an additional 1 percent cash back rewards for your purchases (on top of the automatic 1 percent cash back you earn), you must pay off the balance you owe.

    In addition to being a cash back card, the Citi Double Cash doubles as a balance transfer credit card. The 18-month 0 percent introductory APR offer on balance transfers (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR after) is one of the longest balance transfer periods currently available. Keep in mind, if you take advantage of the offer, you’ll still owe either $5 or a 3 percent fee, whichever is greater. Additionally, balance transfers must be made in the first four months of account opening to qualify for the rate.

    For reference, if you had $2,000 in credit card debt and transferred it to the Citi Double Cash, you could pay just over $111 a month for 18 months and completely wipe out your debt — all without paying a dime in interest. Bear in mind, you’d also owe a balance transfer fee.

    The Citi Double Cash extends a myriad of security and fraud protections.Get $0 fraud liability, 24-hour fraud protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions and Lost Wallet Service — meaning Citi will replace your lost card within 24 hours and provide you with emergency cash in the meantime.

    Citi Entertainment gets you access to presale tickets, events and more, whether it be a music festival, professional football game or high-end restaurant experience.

  • Pros:
    • Flat-rate Cash Back Rewards on Everything
    • High Rewards Rate
    • No annual fee
    • Attractive Intro APR on Balance Transfers
  • Cons:
    • No welcome bonus offer or introductory APR on purchases
    • Losing your 1% Cash-Back Is Pretty Easy
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Balance Transfer Fee
  • Benefits:
    • Citi Entertainment;
    • 2% Cash Back on every purchase;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • The Lost Wallet Service;
    • $0 Liability for Unauthorized Charges.
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American Express Blue Cash Preferred® best for Gas, Groceries, Streaming services, Daily use

Blue Cash Preferred® American Express
Apply now
Our Rating:
4.56 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 6% Cash Back on groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
    • 6% Cash Back on streaming.
    • 3% Cash Back on transit. Transit includes taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more.
    • 3% Cash Back on gas.
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 20% Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
    • $200 Earn $200 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee:
    $0 for the first year. $95 thereafter.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 12 months from the date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    The Blue Cash Preferred provides high rewards at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, and for streaming services and transit expenses. It has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

    The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers a 0% introductory APR promotion. You’ll pay no interest on purchases for 12 months and then an APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable. The Blue Cash Preferred Card's Penalty APR is 29.99%.

    The Card also has 0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 12 months after account opening. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.33% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors.

    The Blue Cash Preferred has a welcome bonus where cardholders earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on the new card within the first six months of card membership.

    When you purchase a product with your Blue Cash Preferred card, return protection covers you if the seller won’t accept a return for the item, up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

    The card’s Pay It Plan It feature can be helpful in paying down small balances but dangerous for larger purchases. With Pay It, you can quickly tap a purchase in the mobile app that is for less than $100 to make payments throughout the month. Plan It is the reverse of this: You can select purchases that are $100 or more and have them split up to make monthly payments for a fixed monthly fee instead of interest charges. This can be a good deal if the monthly fee is less than you would pay in interest. Of course, an even better strategy would be to pay off your balance in full every month so you never have to pay more than necessary for your purchases.

  • Pros:
    • Excellent cashback bonuses
    • 0% purchase APR in the first 12 months
    • Great introductory bonuses
  • Cons:
    • Cashback cap
    • Annual fee
    • Foreign transaction fee
  • Benefits:
    • Up to $400 Back;
    • 6% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets;
    • 6% Cash Back on streaming subscriptions;
    • 3% Cash Back on transit;
    • 3% Cash Back on gas;
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases;
    • $300 statement credit;
    • Extended warranty;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • Return Protection;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • Global Assist® Hotline;
    • Pay It Plan It®;
    • American Express Experiences.
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Chase Freedom Flex℠ best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • 3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Chase Freedom Flex card offers Cash Back in a wide variety of categories.

    You’ll earn 5% Cash Back on travel (through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel service, and also for Lyft rides). You’ll get 3% Cash Back on restaurant purchases, on drugstore purchases and 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.

    The card offers a 15-month 0% annual percentage rate for purchases, after which the APR is 14.99% - 23.74% Variable. Unfortunately, the card does not offer an introductory APR on balance transfers. The card charges no annual fee but 5%, or a $5 minimum fee, on balance transfers.

    My Chase PlanSM Fee is 0% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan while in the 0% Intro Purchase APR period. After that, monthly fee of 1.72% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan. The My Chase Plan Fee will be determined at the time each My Chase Plan is created and will remain the same until the My Chase Plan is paid in full.

  • Pros:
    • $200 sign-up bonus
    • High cash back rewards on quarterly rotating bonus categories
    • Decent cash back rewards on select spending categories
    • 0% intro APR on purchases
    • No annual fee
  • Cons:
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Rotating spending categories require activation
    • No intro APR on balance transfers
  • Benefits:
    • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories;
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards;
    • 3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services;
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • $200 Cash Back;
    • Zero Liability Protection;
    • Extended Warranty Protection;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Cell Phone Protection;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services.
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Chase Freedom Unlimited® best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • 3% Cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
    • 1.5% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 0% introductory APR period (14.99% to 23.74% Variable after that) and a sign-up bonus that’s worth far more than most Cash-Back cards offer — all for an annual fee of $0.

    My Chase PlanSM Fee is (monthly fee) of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan while in the 0% Intro Purchase APR period. After that, monthly fee of 1.72% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan. The My Chase Plan Fee will be determined at the time each My Chase Plan is created and will remain the same until the My Chase Plan is paid in full.

    The card offers 3% Cash Back on restaurants and drugstore purchases, 5% back on travel booked through Chase and 1.5% back on other purchases. Plus earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Pros:
    • Introductory APR on new purchases
    • High rewards rate and no minimum redemption
    • No annual fee
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
    • Extra Fees
    • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Benefits:
    • Zero Liability Protection;
    • $200 intro bonus;
    • 5 percent Cash Back on all travel purchased via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal;
    • 3 percent back on dining;
    • 3 percent back at drugstores;
    • 1.5 percent Cash Back on general purchases;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services;
    • 24/7 Fraud Protection;
    • Redeem for Cash Back;
    • Gift cards.
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American Express Gold Card best for Cash Back

American Express® Gold Card
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.15 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 4x Points on dining.
    • 4x Points on groceries.
    • 3x Points on flights.
    • 1x Points on other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 60,000x Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee:
    $250 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    The American Express® Gold Card's annual fee is $250. The card offers 4x points on dining and griceries, 3x on flights and 1x on all other purchases.

    There is a 15.99% to 22.99% variable APR.

    As a new cardholder, you have the chance to earn an impressive 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within your first six months. New cardholders will also have the chance to obtain the alternate Rose Gold art.

    There are no foreign transaction fees with this travel card.

    Add your Gold Card to your Uber account, and you’ll automatically get $10 in Uber Cash each month, for a total of up to $120 per year. You can use your monthly Uber Cash on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S.

    Dining from the comfort of your home can save you up to $120 annually. Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed and other participating partners. Enrollment required.

    By booking two consecutive nights or more through the American Express Travel portal at any of 600+ eligible properties with your card, you can receive up to a $100 hotel credit in addition to a possible room upgrade if eligible. The expenses that this credit can cover varies by property, but you can expect money back on qualifying dining, spa services, resort activities and things of that nature.

  • Pros:
    • High rewards rate for select categories
    • Introductory Bonus Points
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • UberCash Credit
    • $120 Dining Credit
  • Cons:
    • Complicated Rewards System
    • High Annual Fee
    • Limited International Acceptance
    • Relatively High Credit Score Requirements
  • Benefits:
    • $120 Uber Cash to Dine or Ride;
    • $100 hotel credit with The Hotel Collection;
    • 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points;
    • 4x Membership Rewards® Points on dining;
    • 4x Membership Rewards® Points on groceries;
    • 3x Membership Rewards® Points on flights;
    • 1x Membership Rewards® Points on all other purchases;
    • Additional Cards;
    • American Express Experiences;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • Baggage Insurance Plan;
    • Global Assist® Hotline;
    • The Hotel Collection.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® best for Travel, Restaurants, Daily use

Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Apply now
Our Rating:
4.16 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2x Points on dining and travel.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 100,000x Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    $95 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2x points on travel and dining. Get 25% more value when redeemed for travel.

    The Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee. The card’s variable APR is 15.99% to 22.99%.

    My Chase PlanSM Fee is 1.72% (monthly fee) of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan. The My Chase Plan Fee will be determined at the time each My Chase Plan is created and will remain the same until the My Chase Plan is paid in full.

    With this card, you can move your rewards to a wide variety of loyalty programs, such as United Airlines or Hyatt, at a 1:1 ratio. This makes it possible to get far more than 1 cent out of each point with strategic redemptions. For travelers who can benefit from these valuable redemption options — and especially for those who delight in finding ways to get the most value out of their rewards — it's a must-have.

  • Pros:
    • Excellent sign-up bonus
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • 25% more redemption value
    • Unique “My Chase Plan” offer
    • Great Referral Program
  • Cons:
    • There is an annual fee
    • Steep penalty APR of 29.99%
    • No 0% intro APR offer
  • Benefits:
    • 100,000 Bonus Points;
    • 2x points per $1 spent on travel and dining;
    • 25% more redemption value;
    • 1:1 Point Transfer;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Baggage Delay Insurance;
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services.
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Chase Sapphire Reserve® best for Travel, Restaurants, Daily use

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Chase
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.82 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3x Points on dining and travel worldwide.
    • 1x Points on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 60,000x Bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    $550 annually. $75 annually, for each authorized user.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    16.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    16.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    Earning rewards with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is very straightforward. You’ll earn 3x points per dollar on travel and dining.

    New cardmembers can Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The bonus points are worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards for airfare, hotels, car rentals, or cruises.

    Transfer your points to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs at 1 to 1 value. That means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.

    Cardmembers receive a $300 credit each card anniversary to be used toward travel. This credit is applied as a statement credit for travel purchases automatically. The card also offers a $100 statement credit every four years toward the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® Fee.

  • Pros:
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • High rewards rate
    • High value benefits
    • Metal card
  • Cons:
    • High annual fee
    • Extra Fees
  • Benefits:
    • 60,000 bonus points;
    • $300 Annual Travel Credit;
    • Zero liability protection;
    • 3x Points on dining and travel worldwide;
    • 50% more redemption value;
    • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit ;
    • Complimentary Airport Lounge Access;
    • The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Lost Luggage Reimbursement;
    • Emergency Evacuation & Transportation.
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Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Young couples, Daily use

Discover it® Cash Back Discover Bank
Apply now
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 2x New cardmembers get double Cash Back in the first year (awarded after the first year).
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    11,99% - 22,99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    11,99% - 22,99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Discover Bank
  • Details:

    The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card offers 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on rotating bonus categories like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, each time you activate them. However, you’ll only receive 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Instead of extending a traditional sign-up bonus to new cardholders, Discover will match all the Cash Back you earn during the first year.

    Discover it Cash Back doesn’t offer some of the benefits that come standard with many other credit cards, including price protection and extended warranty coverage. However, as a cardholder, you have zero-liability fraud protection, plus free access to your FICO credit score and alerts if your Social Security number shows up on a risky website. If someone steals your credit card or you lose it, you can freeze your account from your mobile app or online account, plus get free overnight delivery for your replacement card.

    The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card has a generous introductory offer: 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. The balance transfer fee is an introductory 3% of the amount transferred, but can be as high as 5% on future balance transfers (see terms). That's on par with other balance transfer cards.

  • Pros:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • Bonus Cash Back categories
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers
  • Cons:
    • Extra Fees
    • Low rewards rate for most purchases
  • Benefits:
    • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Only Discover® Cashback Match;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • FICO® Credit Score;
    • 24/7 customer service line.
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Discover Bank Discover it® Secured best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Young couples, For bad credit

Discover it® Secured Discover Bank
Apply now
Our Rating:
4.13 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 2x Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    22,99% Regular APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    10,99% The APR for 6 months from date of first transfer. 22,99% The APR after 6 months from date of first transfer.
  • Issuer name:
    Discover Bank
  • Details:

    The Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers 2% Cash Back on gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 in combined spending per quarter, and 1% on everything else, but Discover will match dollar-for-dollar all those rewards at the end of the first year.

    The Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires you to put down a refundable security deposit. That deposit becomes your credit line. Minimum deposit is $200. The maximum credit limit is $2,500.

    The Discover it® Secured Credit Card reports to the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian).

    The interest on the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is not very attractive: It comes with 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months, and then 22.99%.

  • Pros:
    • Multiple rewards programs
    • No annual fee
    • Monthly credit reviews
    • Double cashback for the first year
    • Upgrade to an unsecured credit card
  • Cons:
    • High APR
    • Minimum deposit requirement
    • Not widely accepted internationally
  • Benefits:
    • Refundable security deposit;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Unlimited Cashback Match;
    • 99% nationwide acceptance.
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American Express Blue Cash Everyday® best for Cash Back, Gas, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Families, Shopping, Groceries

Blue Cash Everyday® American Express
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3% Cash Back on groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
    • 2% Cash Back on gas.
    • 2% Cash Back at select department stores.
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $300 Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $150 back.
    • $150 Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months from the date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers strong, year-round cash back on crucial bonus categories like groceries and gas.

    0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months after account opening. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.33% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors.

    Your Card gives you the option to carry a balance with interest or pay in full each month. So, whether you're managing your monthly expenses or making a large purchase, you can have the payment flexibility you need while continuing to earn rewards.

    You’ll be eligible for 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the card in the first 6 months (up to $150 back). Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

    When you use your Card to reserve and pay for the Entire Rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental Company counter, you can be covered for Damage to or Theft of a Rental Vehicle in a Covered Territory.

    Stay in the know with exclusive access to ticket presales and Card Member-only events in a city near you. Check out Broadway shows and concert tours, family and sporting events, and more.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • Provides Gas and Grocery Rewards
    • 0% Intro Offer
    • Welcome Bonus
  • Cons:
    • Balance Transfer Limited
    • Limited Redemption
    • Bonus Cash Backs Capped
    • Card not Ideal for Travelling Abroad
  • Benefits:
    • 3% Сash Back at U.S. supermarkets;
    • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Earn 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com (up to $150 back);
    • $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your card within the first 6 months;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • 24/7 Global Assist® Hotline;
    • American Express Experiences;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • Pay It Plan It;
    • Additional Cards.
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Capital One QuicksilverOne best for Fair credit

QuicksilverOne Capital One
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.42 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Fair (580-669)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    $39 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    22.99% Regular APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    22.99% Regular APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The QuicksilverOne Card from Capital One is unlimited.

    Enjoy 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase and get access to valuable benefits.

  • Pros:
    • Unlimited high rewards rate
    • Average credit score required
    • Automatically considered for a higher credit line after 6 months
    • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cons:
    • Annual fee
    • High APR
    • No bonus rewards categories
  • Benefits:
    • Cash Back;
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • Autopay;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Card Lock;
    • ATM Location Services.
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Capital One Spark Cash best for Small business

Capital One Spark Cash
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.32 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Get unlimited Cash Back on all purchases and you could be putting thousands of dollars back into your business. Redeem at any time with no minimums.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $500 Earn a one-time bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    $0 for the first year. $95 thereafter.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    20.99% Regular APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Capital One Spark Cash for Business has an annual fee of $0 (intro for the first year), then $95. The card offers unlimited 2% Cash Back on all purchases.

    There also isn’t a 0 percent intro APR for purchases or balance transfers. The regular APR for both purchases and transfers is 20.99%.

    The Capital One Spark Credit Card offers $500 Cash Back after spending $4,500 in the first three months.

    The Capital One Spark Cash for Business doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

  • Pros:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • High rewards rate
  • Cons:
    • $95 Annual fee after the first year
    • No intro APR on new purchases
  • Benefits:
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • $500 cash bonus;
    • Unlimited 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase;
    • Free employee cards;
    • Roadside Assistance;
    • Spend Limits;
    • Extended Warranty and Protection.
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Citi Costco Anywhere Visa® best for Cash Back, Young couples

Costco Anywhere Visa® Citi
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.71 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 4% Cash Back on eligible gas, including gas at Costco for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter.
    • 3% Cash Back on restaurants and eligible travel purchase worldwide.
    • 2% Cash Back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    15.24% Regular APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    15.24% Balance transfers must be completed within 2 months from date of account opening.
  • Issuer name:
    Citi
  • Details:

    The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi carries plenty of goodies in its cart.

    The card can indeed be used anywhere, not just at Costco, and it offers impressive rewards rates across a wide variety of categories. Its annual fee is $0.

    But there are a couple of economy-size caveats there: You have to be a Costco member to get the card (or to realize any benefit from it), and that does require a yearly membership fee. And while the card’s rewards rates are generous in some categories, they aren't particularly high for Costco purchases, and redemption isn’t straightforward.

    In addition to the 2 percent cash back you’ll earn on Costco/Costco.com purchases, you’ll also earn a whopping 4 percent on eligible gas purchases (on up to $7,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent), 3 percent on eligible restaurant and travel purchases and 1 percent on all other purchases.

    With purchase protection, You may be reimbursed if your purchases are stolen or damaged within three to four months after you bought them.

  • Pros:
    • Excellent rewards rate for gas
    • Great rewards for dining and travel
    • Decent APR rate
    • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cons:
    • Costco membership required
    • No welcome offer
    • Limiting redemption policy
  • Benefits:
    • Cash Back Rewards;
    • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection;
    • Extended Warranty;
    • Citi Entertainment®.
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Discover Bank Discover it® Student chrome best for College

Discover it® Student chrome Discover Bank
Apply now
Our Rating:
4.12 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases like books, groceries and college staples with the student Discover® card designed for your lifestyle in college and beyond.
  • Intro Offer:
    • Unlimited Cashback Match:
    • Match all Cash Back earned at the end of your first year.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for 6 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    12,99% - 21,99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    10,99% The APR for 6 months from date of first transfer. 12,99% - 21,99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Discover Bank
  • Details:

    The Discover it Student chrome gives college and university students a way to establish a credit history.

    With no annual fee, this card is a convenient way to pay for those common purchases, where you’ll get 2% Cash Back rewards when you fuel up or go out to eat. That isn’t a whole lot compared to some other cards. But since Discover will double your rewards in the first year, that makes 4% back on those categories. Plus you’ll get 2% back on every other purchase in that first year, which is better than most cards. That’s pretty good for a card with no annual fee.

    Discover also forgives your first late fee if you fall behind on one payment. Paying late won’t raise your APR, and you won’t incur a fee if you happen to exceed your limit. After excusing that first late payment, the fee going forward is up to $40. Cash advance fees are either $10 or 5 percent of the amount, whichever is greater. Finally, balance transfers have a fee of 3 percent intro balance transfer fee, up to 5 percent fee on future balance transfers, with a 10.99 percent APR balance transfer offer for the first six months. After that the variable APR of 12.99 percent to 21.99 percent applies.

    There are some handy perks for students, like a good grades statement credit and the ability to monitor one of your FICO credit scores. The interest rates and fees are quite favorable too, good for first-time cardholders.

    Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends' recommendations.

    You'll also get $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.

  • Pros:
    • Good Grade Reward
    • Unlimited Cashback Match
    • 0% Intro APR
    • No Annual Fee
  • Cons:
    • There are earning caps on some categories
    • Less coverage outside of the U.S
  • Benefits:
    • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants;
    • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Unlimited Cashback Match;
    • $20 statement credit each school year;
    • FICO credit score;
    • $0 Fraud Liability.
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American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ best for Hotel

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®
Apply now
Our Rating:
2.54 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 6x Points on hotels. For eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
    • 3x Points on dining. At restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
    • 3x Points on flights.
    • 2x Points on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 75,000x Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • $200 Earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases made on your new Card at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee:
    $450 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    If you frequently stay at Marriott hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a great option for making your stays more luxurious and accelerating your points earning toward the next award stay.

    The Card's Regular APR: 15.74% to 24.74% (Variable).

    It has a $450 annual fee, which means it's geared toward Marriott Bonvoy loyalists who stay at the chain's properties several times a year. If that describes you, it's not hard to get significant value from this card. Up to 1.33% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors.

    You'll earn 6 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at Marriott hotels, 3 points per dollar spent on airline tickets and at US restaurants, and 2 points per dollar spent everywhere else. You'll also earn a free night certificate every year after your account anniversary, which you can redeem at Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 50,000 points per night. Especially if you use this free night at an expensive Marriott hotel, you can get some great value from this benefit alone.

    The card also offers an annual credit of up to $300 toward Marriott Bonvoy hotels. It applies to room rates as well as on-site purchases like room service or spa treatments. If you max out this annual credit, you're effectively reducing the card's annual fee to $150. The current offer includes complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which is normally available only after staying 25 nights in one year.

    The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card also provides some helpful protections, including baggage insurance, rental car protection, and a host of purchase protections.

  • Pros:
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • High earning rate
    • Annual statement credit
    • Annual free night award
    • Transfer partners
    • Prized travel protections
  • Cons:
    • Annual fee
    • Most redemption options outside of hotel stays have a very poor value
  • Benefits:
    • 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points;
    • Up to $200 in statement credits;
    • 6x points on hotels;
    • 3x points on dining;
    • 3x points on flights;
    • 2xpoints on all other purchases;
    • $300 Marriott Bonvoy Statement Credit;
    • Gold Elite status;
    • Free Night Award;
    • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit;
    • 15 Elite Night Credits;
    • Priority Pass Select;
    • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®;
    • Premium Internet Access;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • Premium Global Assist® Hotline;
    • Baggage Insurance Plan;
    • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance;
    • Trip Delay Insurance;
    • American Express Experiences;
    • Return Protection;
    • Fraud Protection.

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WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® best for Beginner, No history

Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® WebBank
Apply now
Our Rating:
2.57 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Fair to Excellent (580-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1% - 1.5%:
    • Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
    • 2% - 10%:
    • Cash Back from select merchants.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    12.99% - 26.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    WebBank
  • Details:

    Petal 2 has no fees of any kind and is designed to help you build credit.

    The credit limit is from $500-$10000.

    Grow your credit score with responsible spending and on-time payments.

    Get 1% cash back right away. Earn up to 1.5% when you pay on time. Plus 2% - 10% bonus cash back at select merchants.

    Freeze your card at any time to protect your account. And rest easy knowing your data is safe and encrypted.

  • Pros:
    • No annual fee
    • No returned payment fee
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • You can apply even if you have no credit history
    • No late fees
  • Cons:
    • No signup bonus
    • Cash advances are not permitted
    • Those who filed for bankruptcy may be rejected
    • Balance transfers are not allowed
    • No intro APR offer
  • Benefits:
    • No foreign transaction fee;
    • Petal 2 reports to all 3 major credit bureaus;
    • Qualify with average credit.
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Chase World of Hyatt best for Hotel

World of Hyatt Chase
Apply now
Our Rating:
3.28 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 9x Points for Hyatt stays.
    • 2x Points for dining out.
    • 2x Points for flights.
    • 2x Points for gym memberships.
    • 2x Points for getting around.
    • 1x Points on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 30,000x Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • 30,000x Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
    • 2x Points per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 Bonus Point, up to $15,000 spent in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    $95 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    For a relatively minimal $95 annual fee, Chase’s World of Hyatt card offers a comprehensive rewards structure, especially for a co-branded hotel card.

    Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent. You'll also get 4x World of Hyatt points per dollar from the card and 5x points from your automatic Discoverist membership, for a total of 9x on eligible purchases at Hyatt.

    The card’s APR is a variable 15.99 – 22.99 percent.

    If you’re redeeming for a point value of 1 – 2 cents, your cash back equivalent would be 9%–18% in the 9x category. That’s quite the return on spend. Your cash back equivalent with the same redemption value for the 2x categories would be 2% – 4%, which is still pretty solid.

    The World of Hyatt card offers additional benefits, like travel and purchase coverage, no foreign transaction fees. Additionally, with your automatic enrollment into the Discoverist membership tier, you’ll get a 10% bonus to the Base points earned for Hyatt hotel and resort bookings. You’ll earn that 10% bonus on the eligible rate and incidental charges.

  • Pros:
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • High-value rewards
    • Free night every anniversary year
    • Solid shopping and travel protections
    • Automatic elite status
  • Cons:
    • Annual Fee
    • Extra Fees
    • High regular APR
    • No intro APR offer
    • No worthwhile redemption options aside from Hyatt properties
  • Benefits:
    • Up to 60,000 Bonus Points;
    • A 10% bonus on points earned on eligible room rates and incidental charges;
    • Premium in-room internet;
    • 2pm late check-out upon request where available;
    • 5 qualifying night credits;
    • 2 additional qualifying night credits;
    • One free night each card anniversary year at a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort;
    • An additional free night at a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after spending $15,000 in an anniversary year;
    • Automatic elite status;
    • Concierge Service;
    • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance;
    • Trip Delay Reimbursement;
    • Travel Accident Insurance;
    • Lost Luggage Reimbursement;
    • Baggage Delay Insurance;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver.
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Short Review of Best Credit Cards for Rewards

NameBest forReward RateIntro OfferAnnual FeeApply
Evolve℠ from Sallie Mae Bank
5
  • 25% Bonus on any Cash Back rewards earned from your top two purchase categories each month.
  • 1.25% Cash Back on all purchases.
  • 2.5% Cash Back on every purchase for your first 12 months.
  • NoneApply now
    Venture Rewards from Capital One
    3.63
    Travel, Daily use
  • 2x Miles on all purchases.
  • 100,000x Bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening.
  • 50,000x Earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • $95 annually.Learn more
    Double Cash from Citi
    5
    Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use
  • 2% Cash Back on every purchase with unlimited 1% Cash Back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for purchases.
  • No current offer.
  • NoneLearn more
    Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express
    4.56
    Gas, Groceries, Streaming services, Daily use
  • 6% Cash Back on groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
  • 6% Cash Back on streaming.
  • 3% Cash Back on transit. Transit includes taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more.
  • 3% Cash Back on gas.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • 20% Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
  • $200 Earn $200 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $0 for the first year. $95 thereafter.Learn more
    Freedom Flex℠ from Chase
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
  • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • NoneLearn more
    Freedom Unlimited® from Chase
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use
  • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3% Cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
  • 1.5% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • NoneLearn more
    Gold Card from American Express
    3.15
    Cash Back
  • 4x Points on dining.
  • 4x Points on groceries.
  • 3x Points on flights.
  • 1x Points on other eligible purchases.
  • 60,000x Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $250 annually.Learn more
    Sapphire Preferred® from Chase
    4.16
    Travel, Restaurants, Daily use
  • 2x Points on dining and travel.
  • 100,000x Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $95 annually.Learn more
    Sapphire Reserve® from Chase
    3.82
    Travel, Restaurants, Daily use
  • 3x Points on dining and travel worldwide.
  • 1x Points on all other purchases.
  • 60,000x Bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $550 annually. $75 annually, for each authorized user.Learn more
    Discover it® Cash Back from Discover Bank
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Young couples, Daily use
  • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • 2x New cardmembers get double Cash Back in the first year (awarded after the first year).
  • NoneLearn more
    Discover it® Secured from Discover Bank
    4.13
    Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Young couples, For bad credit
  • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • 2x Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
  • NoneLearn more
    Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express
    3.5
    Cash Back, Gas, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Families, Shopping, Groceries
  • 3% Cash Back on groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
  • 2% Cash Back on gas.
  • 2% Cash Back at select department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • $300 Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $150 back.
  • $150 Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • NoneLearn more
    QuicksilverOne from Capital One
    3.42
    Fair credit
  • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • No current offer.
  • $39 annually.Learn more
    Spark Cash from Capital One
    3.32
    Small business
  • 2% Get unlimited Cash Back on all purchases and you could be putting thousands of dollars back into your business. Redeem at any time with no minimums.
  • $500 Earn a one-time bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $0 for the first year. $95 thereafter.Learn more
    Costco Anywhere Visa® from Citi
    3.71
    Cash Back, Young couples
  • 4% Cash Back on eligible gas, including gas at Costco for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter.
  • 3% Cash Back on restaurants and eligible travel purchase worldwide.
  • 2% Cash Back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • No current offer.
  • NoneLearn more
    Discover it® Student chrome from Discover Bank
    4.12
    College
  • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants.
  • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases like books, groceries and college staples with the student Discover® card designed for your lifestyle in college and beyond.
  • Unlimited Cashback Match:
  • Match all Cash Back earned at the end of your first year.
  • NoneLearn more
    Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ from American Express
    2.54
    Hotel
  • 6x Points on hotels. For eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 3x Points on dining. At restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
  • 3x Points on flights.
  • 2x Points on all other purchases.
  • 75,000x Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • $200 Earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases made on your new Card at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $450 annually.Learn more
    Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® from WebBank
    2.57
    Beginner, No history
  • 1% - 1.5%:
  • Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
  • 2% - 10%:
  • Cash Back from select merchants.
  • No current offer.
  • NoneLearn more
    World of Hyatt from Chase
    3.28
    Hotel
  • 9x Points for Hyatt stays.
  • 2x Points for dining out.
  • 2x Points for flights.
  • 2x Points for gym memberships.
  • 2x Points for getting around.
  • 1x Points on all other purchases.
  • 30,000x Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 30,000x Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
  • 2x Points per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 Bonus Point, up to $15,000 spent in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • $95 annually.Learn more

    Capital One Venture Rewards

    If you like to travel then you’ll like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and new cardholders can expect to get an attractive sign-up bonus. There’s no limit to the rewards you can earn and no minimum redemption amount. You’ll have several redemption options to choose from. One mile is worth 1 cent and it’s valid for any travel purchase. Also, you don’t have to commit to particular airlines or hotel brands. All of this comes with a 95$ annual cost.

    Read more about Capital One Venture Rewards

    Citi Double Cash

    The 2% cash back rate and the None annual fee make Citi Double Cash Card hard to top. You earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay for it. Although it lacks some standard rewards card benefits like an introductory 0% APR period or a sign-up bonus, we believe the generous cash back rate compensates for it. There is no cap to the cash back you can earn.

    Read more about Citi Double Cash

    American Express Blue Cash Preferred®

    The outstanding 6% cash back rate on groceries and streaming services make Blue Cash Preferred® Card perfect for family people who often shop at traditional supermarkets. Commuters will appreciate the 3% rate on transit and gas purchases. During the first year, there is a 0% APR period and a $0 annual fee. Throw in the sign-up bonus and you have a card that stands out from the crowd. Still, there are some minor drawbacks like the $95 annual fee after the first year and the $6,000 cap on grocery rewards.

    Read more about American Express Blue Cash Preferred®

    Chase Freedom Flex℠

    The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns you a generous 5% cash back rate on rotating quarterly categories and travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. There is also a 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1% on all other purchases. It has a nice bonus offer and a 0% APR intro period. This is great, considering it’s a no-annual-fee card. However, if you go for this card, you’ll have to activate the bonus categories each period. This won’t be much of a stretch, as you’ll get an activation notification.

    Read more about Chase Freedom Flex℠

    Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    If you want a card with no annual fee, but with worthwhile rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a great choice. It will earn you a 5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. A 0% APR intro period is part of the deal too and new cardholders can get a $200 bonus.

    Read more about Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    American Express Gold Card

    The American Express Gold Card Card offers 4 points for every dollar spent at restaurants and supermarkets and 3 points per dollar on flights. Along with the $120 dining credit it can be of great value to foodies. However, it should only be considered by those, whose spending on dining and groceries is on the high end. This is because of the hefty 250$ annual fee.

    Read more about American Express Gold Card

    Chase Sapphire Preferred®

    With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll earn 2x points on travel and dining purchases. You have several ways to redeem your rewards, but if you redeem them through Chase, they’ll be worth 25% more. There is also a dazzling welcome bonus. You can get all that for a relatively low 95$ annual fee.

    Read more about Chase Sapphire Preferred®

    Chase Sapphire Reserve®

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is probably the best premium rewards card. That is because of the unmatched combination of the $300 annual travel credit, excellent additional benefits, and its 3X points on travel and dining, which are worth 50% more if redeemed through Chase. If you are a frequent traveler, outweighing the 550$ annual fee will be an easy target.

    Read more about Chase Sapphire Reserve®

    Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back

    The Discover it® Cash Back is a great choice for those who want to earn top rewards without paying an annual fee. You’ll earn a 5% cash back rate on quarterly rotating categories, which have previously included grocery purchases, restaurants, gas stations, Amazon.com, PayPal, and Walmart.com. Maybe activating the categories each quarter sounds like a bother to you, but we’re sure the automatically matched cash back bonus will make up for it.

    Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back

    Discover Bank Discover it® Secured

    You don’t often find a secured card that offers decent rewards. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card targets those with bad credit and helps them build it while earning them cash back rewards. It has a 2% cash back rate on restaurants and gas station purchases. With responsible use, you can get your deposit back, then upgrade to an unsecured card. And have we mentioned that there is no annual fee?

    Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Secured

    American Express Blue Cash Everyday®

    The American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card is Blue Cash Preferred® Card’s little brother. It offers a 3% rewards rate on the first $6,000 purchases at supermarkets, and 2% at gas stations and selected department stores. A great choice for the more modest spenders in those categories, who are not fans of annual fees.

    Read more about American Express Blue Cash Everyday®

    Capital One QuicksilverOne

    The Capital One QuicksilverOne is for those with average credit who’d like a taste of excellent credit rewards. The 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases is rarely found on cards with this target group. So, it’s certainly worth the 39$ annual fee.

    Read more about Capital One QuicksilverOne

    Capital One Spark Cash

    This card is a simple, but a great choice for small businesses. It offers an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases and the annual fee is waived the first year. Afterward, it’s $95, but you’ll easily offset it with only around $400 monthly spending. The generous welcome bonus makes it even more appealing to business owners.

    Read more about Capital One Spark Cash

    Citi Costco Anywhere Visa®

    This is a card for Costco members and it offers them generous cash back rewards in several categories. These include 4% on gas (for the first $7,000 spend), 3% on restaurants and travel, 2% on Costco purchases, and 1% on everything else. There is no annual fee, but the Costco yearly membership costs $60 or $120, depending on the membership type. You get your rewards certificate once a year, in February, which can be redeemed only at Costco, in the same year, by December 31st.

    Read more about Citi Costco Anywhere Visa®

    Discover Bank Discover it® Student chrome

    The Discover it® Student chrome is an excellent card for students as it offers them many worthy features. The 2% cash back rate applies to restaurants and gas purchases for up to $1,000 spent on both quarterly. The categories need no activation and Discover it® will match the cash back you earned, valid for the first year only. The good grades incentive and the fact that it lacks an annual fee make it even better.

    Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Student chrome

    American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™

    The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ Card is for the elite who enjoy spending their time at the Marriott Bonvoy. This card offers many attractive perks, like a free night for every cardholder’s anniversary year and up to $300 annual statement credits for eligible Marriott purchases. The rewards include 6 points per dollar spent at Marriott and 3 points per dollar at restaurants. All these lux treats come at a 450$ annual fee cost.

    Read more about American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™

    WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®

    Yes, you’ve read it right. This card has absolutely no fees. It does earn you 1% cash back that you can gradually grow to 1.5% by regularly meeting your payments during a 12 months period. It’s a great choice for newbies to start building their credit. Another thing worth mentioning it’s that there is no security deposit too.

    Read more about WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®

    Chase World of Hyatt

    This is the card for those who frequent the Hyatt Hotels. They’ll love the many premium benefits, which go from an automatic elite status and free anniversary night to high earning rewards and welcome bonuses. These perks make the 95$ annual fee negligible. However, in order to get them you’ll have to do all your bookings with the Hyatt.

    Read more about Chase World of Hyatt

    How do rewards credit cards work?

    How does cash back work?

    Simply put - with a cash back credit card you get some cash back from every purchase. The cash back rate is given in percentages, for example, if the cash back rate is 1.5%, you get $1.5 for every $100 you spend.

    The most straightforward credit cards within this type are the ones with flat-rate cash back on every purchase. There are also cards with tiered rates for several spending categories, and some rotate different categories throughout the year. For example, during the first quarter of the year, you get a higher cash back rate on grocery purchases, during the second quarter it’s applied on entertainment purchases and so on.

    As for the categories, they are usually defined according to the merchant category code, which is used to identify the type of business. This is important because it determines the cash back rate you’ll get if your credit card’s program has categories. So, if you buy milk at the gas station this purchase won’t be recognized as a grocery purchase, but as a gas station one. While some cards recognize only gas as a purchase at gas stations (for example PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card) - there is no common rule for this type of spendings so it’s always better to clarify it separately for each card while applying.

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    When redeeming your rewards, you’ll typically have several options to choose from. These can include checks, direct deposit, a statement credit, miles, gift cards, merchandise, or even a donation. With most credit cards you can redeem your rewards through your account on their website or app. Some of them allow you to set an automatic redemption at a specific period of time or when you reach a certain threshold. You should pay attention to whether and when the rewards expire, so you know when to use them.

    Another type of cash back rewards card is a store card. They usually offer an attractive rewards rate on purchases made at the store, although they might offer rewards for other purchases too. Rewards are typically redeemable at the same store. These cards are targeted for store’s loyalists who are most likely to benefit from them. A great store card is the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card , which besides a 2% cash back for Costco purchases, offers you 3% and 4% cash back in the travel, dining and gas categories.

    See our top picks for cash back credit cards.

    How do travel rewards work?

    Most travel rewards function on a points-based system. Basically, you earn a point (or a mile) for each dollar spent. Depending on what credit card you have, you can also earn extra points on some purchases. You can then use those points or miles to rent a car, purchase flights, hotel stays, cruises, etc.

    Travel rewards programs can be general or loyalty (co-branded). With general travel rewards programs, you usually have a wider range of options and a simple rewards system. They’re flexible because you don’t have to commit to a particular airline or a hotel brand.

    If your card has a loyalty travel rewards program it means that you’ll earn your rewards by using it at the appropriate partner brands. So, you earn points at a specific airline or a hotel brand and that is where they are redeemable too.

    Of course, not all points have the same value, they vary based on the credit card you have. If it’s stated that the card earns you 3x points on travel, that means you get 3 points for each dollar spent. Particular airlines or hotels value the points differently.

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    Usually, points can be converted into some kind of service. For example, Delta allows using miles in order to reduce the price of the flight you book, Hilton Honors program’s points are a convenient instrument for paying for your Hilton hotel room. It’s almost impossible to find out the real price of the points, as card issuers don’t indicate it anywhere. But according to market experts and reliable sources Delta values one point somewhere between 0.9-1.1 cents, and the Hilton Honors hotels’ program values one point as 0.4-0.6 cents. Some credit card issuers, like American Express, have a points calculator, which can be a handy tool to help you manage your travel rewards.

    There are several ways to redeem your travel rewards. You can transfer your points to your selected airline or hotel. This is usually the case with general-purpose travel rewards. Although they offer you flexibility, in most cases the rewards are not a 1:1 transfer. Instead, if you have 15,000 miles, they might become 10,000 miles once you convert them to a particular airline. While with co-branded, loyalty credit cards you can expect to get the full value of your miles. It’s also simpler to redeem your points or miles, you just need to go to the airline or hotel website, as your credit card is already connected to your loyalty account.

    Other redemption options include statement credit or using a travel shopping portal. If you wish to use statement credit just make your travel purchases and then apply your points to them. Some credit cards allow you to use your points by purchasing through their travel shopping portal.

    See our top picks for travel rewards credit cards.

    Which rewards type is better for you?

    First, you need to think about the structure of your spendings (you can even create a spending chart). If you are someone who enjoys fine dining or entertainment, you should look into credit cards that offer higher rates for these categories. If you have a big family so your grocery bills are high and you drive your kids to school every day, a credit card that offers a higher rewards rate for everyday purchases would give you the highest value. While a travel rewards credit card is a good choice for a travel addict.

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    If you don’t want to bother with keeping up with rotating categories or you don’t have a favorite one, there are plenty of flat-rate credit cards you can choose from.

    Finally, if you feel like you’ll benefit from different types of rewards cards – just get a bigger wallet to fit them all! Once you’re set on the type of rewards card that suits your needs best, you can start looking into the other features and benefits.

    How many credit card rewards points can you earn?

    Normally, there isn’t a limit on how many points you can earn with your credit card. However, some of them have a threshold limit for spending in a bonus category.

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    For example, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers a 5% rewards rate on up to $1,500 total purchases in bonus categories each activated quarter. After you spend $1,500, a 1% cash back is applied. That means if you reach the threshold amount, every quarter you’ll earn $75 in cash back, which totals $300 a year. And that’s without the rewards you’ll earn with the 1% rate.

    How to compare rewards credit cards?

    The process of choosing the right card is very individual. As it was said before, the starting point is to examine your spending habits. Once you’ve narrowed your choice to a specific rewards category, it’s time to make a comparison of those credit cards based on their other perks. Here’s a guideline on things to take into account when comparing several credit cards:

    • Annual fee – This is the cost that cardholders pay to keep their account open. Some credit cards with rewards have no annual fee, some might have a ridiculously high one. So, if a credit card has no annual fee you don’t have to worry whether you’ll earn enough rewards to justify it. If you have to pay an annual fee for a particular credit card, carefully analyze how much you spend yearly and in which categories. Check our top picks for credit cards with no annual fee to know more about them.
    • Interest rates – You’ll find that many rewards cards have a promotional 0% APR period. However, after that, the interest rates can be quite high. This means if you’re not careful to pay off your balance on time, debt can quickly pile up and it will offset the rewards you’ve earned. In our blog you can learn how to calculate credit card interest.
    • Sign-up bonus – Certain credit cards offer a sign-up bonus. Although some might sound like a sweet deal, make sure you check whether you can achieve the requirement for it, before you commit.
    • Card benefits – You’ll encounter standard benefits, like no fraud liability, with almost all credit cards. While some of them have additional top perks, like a concierge service, travel insurance, or extended warranties. Some credit-building credit cards offer incentives for good spending habits. Look into their specific benefits and that’ll help you decide which one will be the most valuable for you.

    What are the pros and cons of rewards credit cards?

    Rewards cards sound like a great deal, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for everyone. Let’s go through their pros and cons and see why.

    Pros

    • Rewards – pretty obvious, whether they come in cash back or points, rewards are the greatest benefit these cards offer. You go on with your regular daily spending, as usual, only now it earns you extra rewards that could be potentially worth hundreds of dollars.
    • Bonus categories – you can easily find a credit card tailored for your specific needs.
    • Additional perks – we’ve already mentioned some in the previous section. A variety of them are offered by different credit cards and they can make your shopping experience much more enjoyable.
    • Introductory bonuses – no one would mind getting some extra cash with their new credit card. Still, remember to check the requirements, you don’t get it just by getting the card.
    • Better lifestyle – with smart use and carefully following the most lucrative deals your card offers, you can get things that you cannot normally afford.

    Cons

    • Time-consuming – not everyone has that much time on their hand to research all the credit cards and always be on top with all the deals. To get the most out of a rewards credit card, you need to invest a considerable amount of time into it.
    • Higher-than-average APRs – Watch out because rewards cards have a higher APR than other types of credit cards. It’s not a good idea to carry a balance on your rewards credit card.
    • Higher credit score needed – rewards credit cards usually require a high credit score. Not that there aren’t some credit-building rewards cards targeted at those with poor credit. It’s just that they rarely pay off since they come with lower credit limits and higher annual fees.

    Are rewards credit cards worth it?

    Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. When answering it, several factors like spending practices and annual fees, need to be taken into consideration. If you think you’ll likely carry a balance, it’s better to go for a low-interest, no-rewards credit card. Also, after getting it you need to continue to spend as you were before the rewards credit card. Be cautious not to overspend, and remember – it is still money gone.

    Now, what about rewards cards with annual fees? Credit cards with the best rewards and benefits are also those with the highest annual fees. To answer this right away: they are worth it if the value of your rewards earnings plus any extra benefits is higher than the annual fee.

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    We’ll do an example to give you the idea behind this. Let’s take the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card which has a 550$ annual fee. This probably seems like a lot, but don’t jump to any conclusions until you carefully go through our calculations.

    First, you automatically get a $300 annual travel credit on account opening anniversary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics if you’re part of an average U.S. household you spend around $3,000 a year on dining out. With this card, you earn 3x points on dining out, which means you can earn 9,000 points. An average domestic trip of 4 days costs around $581 per person. If you are a family of four that takes such a trip once a year, you’ll earn 6,072 points. Note that you’ll earn 3X on travel after earning the $300 travel credit (581 x 4 = 2324, (2324 – 300) x 3 = 6072).

    This makes in total 15,072 points earned with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card in the travel and dining categories. Your points are worth 1:1 if you redeem them for statement credit, but they’re worth 50% more if you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That amounts to 1.5 cents per point, which means your points will be worth $226 you can use towards travel. Together with the travel credit, it sums to $526 a year, which is very close to the $550 annual fee.

    Take note that we didn’t take into account the rewards earned on other purchases, nor the 60,000 bonus points you get if you spend $4,000 in the first three months upon account opening. That’s $900 in travel rewards through Chase Ultimate. Also, many other premium perks go with this card. It’s a top card that only high-spending families or individuals who travel frequently will consider. They will easily offset the annual fee and will even gain much value from the card.

    How to make the most of the rewards credit card?

    There are several ways to maximize the rewards from your credit card. If you have a credit card with bonus categories, make certain you are taking advantage of them by following the rotating quarters or reaching the maximum limit. The sign-up bonuses usually have a deadline which is a few months after the account opening, so meet the threshold amount needed to get it.

    Do not carry your balance on this card if it has a high APR. Use this one for your rewards and find another one with a lower interest for your debt. Unless your card offers an introductory 0% APR period, in which case it’s okay.

    We’ll give you a list of a few more tips with examples on how to make the most out of your rewards credit card:

    1. Keep up with the offers by your credit card’s partners.
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    Capital One Bank’s credit cards have usually valued miles as a 1 cent for 1 mile. However, they have introduced a transferable points program. This means you can transfer your miles directly to their partners, which all value the miles differently. One of their most notable partners is the Emirates, where 1 mile is worth 2 cents. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has an offer of 60,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases during the first 3 months upon account opening. That will earn you a $1,200 ticket if you redeem through the Emirates Skywards. Also, they occasionally have great transfer bonuses.

    1. Make your purchases on an online shopping portal.
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    Online shopping portals enable you to earn miles, points, and other rewards when you make a purchase through them. A great example here is the AmEx Offers, available for American Express cardholders. It’s an excellent program that lets users receive statement credits or bonus rewards points for purchases at selected retailers. There is a wide range of industries, including shopping, travel, restaurants, and others. The list and the offers are changing all the time, but if you keep up with them you could potentially earn hundreds of dollars in rewards.

    Also, Chase has the Ultimate Rewards travel portal which earns extra points on purchases made through it.

    1. Use your rewards credit card(s) smart and anytime you can.
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    Not only you should use your card for every eligible purchase, but you should also be strategic about it. For example, assume you have two rewards credit cards, the Citi Double Cash Card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. The first one effectively earns you a flat 2% cash back rate on all purchases. While the second one earns you a high rewards rate of 6% on grocery and streaming services purchases, 3% on transit and gas, but 1% on everything else. So, you’ll maximize your rewards by using the Blue Cash Preferred® for grocery, streaming services, transit, and gas purchases, and the Citi Double Cash Card for all purchases that are outside those categories.

    1. Carefully go through all the benefits your card offers to not miss out on anything.
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    For example, many cards, including Capital One Venture Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and Citi Double Cash Card, have concierge services. Concierge service is a very convenient credit card perk that allows you to get products, services or information, by contacting the representatives. Some things they can do for you include ticket purchases, hotel and restaurant reservations, help with travel planning, and others.

    What credit score do you need to get a rewards credit card?

    This varies from card to card, as each has its distinct requirements. Commonly a good credit score of at least 670 is required. However, those with a credit score above 740 will probably get the best deals. For top cards like the Chase Sapphire, an excellent credit score of above 720 is usually recommended.

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    Yet, there are some, like the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® that offer a 2% cash back and target people with bad credit. Some cards targeting students or young adults, like the Discover it® Student chrome, won’t require a FICO score for approval.

    We’d advise you to check out your credit score before applying and don’t apply for a credit card that is out of your reach. Getting denied won’t hurt your credit, but your application might result in a hard inquiry and that’s what will take away a few credit points.

    FAQ

    • What are other credit cards to consider?

      Other rewards credit cards we’d recommend you consider are the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card (great rewards rate on restaurants and grocery purchases for no annual fee), the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card (easily obtainable sign-up bonus) and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (great sign-up bonus and 3X points on dining and delivery for the first year).
    • Who should apply for a rewards card?

      If you have a good credit score, meet all your payments when they are due and you’re okay with the terms and conditions of the card, we’d say – go for it! Rewards credit cards are a great way to earn extra cash with, basically, doing nothing. We’re not saying that those with lower credit scores shouldn’t apply, but they should definitely be more careful. They’ll need to take their time to decide which card would be worth it, considering their financial situation. If they decide to apply for a credit card, they should apply for those designed for people with bad credit, like the Discover it® Secured.
    • Do rewards credit cards build credit?

      If you make all your payments on time and keep your balance low, rewards cards can help you improve your credit score.
    • Will applying for a rewards credit card affect my credit score?

      It might have only a little effect on your credit score. Unless you apply for many credit cards, in which case many inquiries may be interpreted as financial struggles.

    Financial and product expert

    hv@myfin.us