Best Credit Cards to Earn Rewards

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 cashback program in 1986.

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

  • Points rewards,
  • Airline frequent miles,
  • Cashback rewards

You can find the best airline rewards or cashback cards hand-picked by our editors on other sections of our site.

Here are our top picks for point rewards cards:

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.65 - 24.15% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.65-24.15%
rewards 1% on gas and groceries, terms apply 

1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply

Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due

Flexible payment date to assist you in making your payments on time

$0-$99 annual fee

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR25.24% Variable
intro BT APR no intro offer BT fee 3% min $5
rewards 1-2 points/$1 
  • 2x points on groceries, gas, utilities (excluding Target and Walmart®)
  • 1 point on all other purchases
  • redeem points towards your statement balance to offset purchases

2X points on gas, utility and grocery store (excluding Target® and Walmart®) purchases. 1x points on all other purchases

No annual fee

Points don't expire as long as account is open, active and in good standing

Redeem points for deposits to a U.S. checking or savings account, statement credits or gift cards, starting at 1,000 points for $10

No limit on the number of points you can earn or redeem

Free online access to FICO® Credit Score lets you keep an eye on your credit and get alerts when we learn that your score has changed

Use your card with confidence, $0 Fraud Liability protection means you're not responsible for unauthorized charges you report to us

Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
good credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APR15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% variable
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 2x on NFL purchases +10,000 points
  • 2x points on NFL and Team purchases - tickets, on-stadium purchases, etc.
  • 1 point/$1 on all other purchases
  • earn 10,000 points after spending $500 in the first 90 days 

 

 

All 32 team cards are available, customized with your favorite team's colors and logo

Earn 10,000 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days, enough to redeem for $100 cash back

20% off purchases at NFLShop.com - that's $20 off every $100 you spend

0% Promotional APR for 6 months on eligible NFL ticket purchases. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness

Earn 2 points per $1 on NFL or Team purchases - eligible game tickets, in-stadium and team pro shop purchases - and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

Redeem points for NFL game tickets, VIP experiences, or 1% cash back beginning at 2,500 points for $25

0% Introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR no 16.24%
rewards 1x-2x points on $1 +50,000 bonus
  • earn 2x points on travel and dining out 
  • get 50,000 bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • get 5,000 bonus miles after adding authorized user in 3 months after account opening
  • only 10,000 points for spending $500 in the first 3 months for a basic no annual fee Sapphire card
  • 20% off for travel related expences

 

$95 annual fee, waived for the first year

or no annual fee for basic Sapphire card

2x points on travel and dining

1 point per dollar on all other purchases as usual

card is made of metal

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.49 - 19.49% (V)
intro BT APR 15.49-19.49% 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1 or 5 points per dollar +25,000 welcome bonus
  • earn 5x points on reservations directly at Starwood Preferred Guest program hotels:
  • you get 3 points as a program member
  • you get 2 points as a cardmember 
  •  1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 25,000 points if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of the card

$95 annual fee, waived for the first year

best hotel rewards program

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Points rewards lack the simplicity of cashback 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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