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
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR13.49 - 23.49% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 13.49-23.49
rewards 1 2 3 points per $1 +20% monthly

basic card:

  • get 2x points at US supermarkets with a $6,000 limit in purchases annually (then 1x)
  • earn 20% bonus on your points if you use a card at least 20 times a month

Preferred card:

  • get 3x points at US supermarkets with a $6,000 limit in purchases annually (then 1x)
  • 2x points at US gas stations
1 point per $1 on all other purchases for both card versions

no annual fee for basic card

$95 annual fee for Preferred card

up to 2.2-4.5x points on every dollar

10,000-15,000 intro bonus

free Amazon Prime membership

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.24 - 15.24% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.24-15.24%
rewards 1 2 5 points per $1 +60,000 pt intro bonus
  • earn 5x points on office supplies and telecom purchases (up to 50,000 annual combined purchases)
  • earn 2x points on gas and hotel bookings (made directly with hotel)
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 60,000 points bonus after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months   

 

$95 annual fee

20% bonus on your points when redeemed for travel 

redeem for travel, cash or gift cards

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read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR15.49 - 23.49% (V)
intro BT APR 15.24-23.24% 3% min $10
rewards 1.5 points/$1 +20,000 intro bonus
  • earn 1.5 points for every $1 on all purchases
  • get 20,000 signup bonus after spending $1000 in the first 3 months
  • redeem points as a statement credit to offset your travel spending balance 

no annual fee

1.5% rewards rate on all purchases

20,000 intro bonus

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.49%, 20.49% or 23.49%* Variable
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening) 3%, Minimum $5
rewards 2x miles on all purchases + 50,000 miles on sign up

$89 - waived first year

Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit

Earn 2X miles on all purchases

Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary

Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem

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

No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country

0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.49%, 20.49% or 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers

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read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% Variable
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 2x miles on travel and dining, 1x miles on all other purchases, 20,000 sign up bonus

Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit

Earn 2X miles on travel & dining and 1X miles on all other purchases

Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem

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

No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country

0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness

Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

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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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