Updated: 05/14/2017

Best Credit Cards to Earn Rewards

Today the best of rewards credit cards are the most popular credit cards on the market. Getting rewards on your credit card purchases is so common concept now that it hard to imagine that some time ago it was not so widely adopted. The first card that offered incentives for spending was AT&T Universal Card, and then Discover bank followed up with its cash back program in 1986. 

Today a mere 60% of all US issued cards offer some type of rewards:

  • Points rewards
  • Airline frequent miles
  • Cash back rewards

You can find the best airline rewards or cash back cards hand-picked by our editors and compared side by side on other sections of our site.

Here are our top rewards credit cards picks - cash back, air miles or point rewards.

You can filter cards by category - with no annual fee, secured, cash back or for a specific credit quality.

Calculate and Compare Card Rewards

Points rewards lack the simplicity of cash back and the attractiveness of the flyer miles, but you shouldn't overlook them for these reasons. Sometimes points are more valuable than cash or miles and can be easily exchanged for cash or transferred to popular frequent miles or hotel rewards programs.

Our leader cards in this category are:

  1. American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card – not easy to get approval, but the Starpoints can be worth from 2 to 5 cent each depending on the way you transfer them to one of the frequent flyer program and use them for buying tickets.
  2. American Express EveryDay Basic or Preferred cards – you earn up to 2.2-4.5 points on your spending (with all bonuses added); then you can redeem this Membership Rewards points to more than 20 frequent flyer program with a great value up to 2 cents each.
  3. Another good example is a Barclaycard Arrival Plus – you earn points that Barclaycard call ‘miles’ and you can redeem them for travel, getting 2X rewards rate on all purchases. 


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