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Best Rewards Credit Cards

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by Eric Rosenberg | Published Jan. 12, 2017 - Updated Feb. 17, 2017
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments.

Best Rewards Credit Cards Overview

Advertiser Disclosure

Rewards credit cards are great at saving you money on common spending categories, giving you access to exclusive benefits and events, and fueling memorable experience the a vast array of redemption opportunities. Often, the cards come in a variety of flavors including cash back, hotel, airline, and more rewards for shopping at particular types of stores. Using our comprehensive model, we calculated which credit cards would get you the best bang for the buck. Taking into account factors like rewards earning potential and the redemption opportunities available to each card, we estimated how much a typical rewards credit card user can expect to get in rewards each year. To make the comparison experience intuitive, we've also included the dollar value in rewards you should expect to get from each of the cards. Below, you can find the best credit cards currently available in the marketplace based on our internal evaluation model.

Best All-Around Credit Card for Rewards

More Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year then $95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.49% - 23.49%

Best Rewards Credit Card for Flat-Rate Cash Back

More Details

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% APR for 18 Months

Regular APR

13.24% - 23.24%

Best Airline Credit Card

More Details

  • You will get 50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 2.5 points for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases
  • 1.25 points for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Each year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa Signature card you earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Card has global acceptance with Chip and Signature Technology

Annual Fee

$95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.24% - 23.24%

Best Rewards Credit Card for Bonus Categories

More Details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.49-24.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% APR for 15 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% APR for 15 Months

Regular APR

15.49% - 24.24%

Our Methodology

SmartAsset has developed a quantitative and independent system for evaluating the relative value of a credit card offer versus other offers in the marketplace. Our system evaluates cards based exclusively on their features, such as their rewards earning rate (if applicable), fees, perks, and rewards program redemption options. The annual rewards values on this page are calculated using annual spending assumptions in various categories such as, but not limited to, gas, restaurants, airfare, and US supermarkets. These spending assumptions are built on research that SmartAsset has conducted on existing rewards credit cardholders. Our promise with our credit card recommendations is that we will always strive to have the most comprehensive, accurate, and objective method of evaluating credit card offers. Any recommendations are solely determined by the result of this research and model, and is never influenced by any fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation that SmartAsset may receive from credit card issuers for leads generated on our website.

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Data provided by Informa Research Services and CJ Affiliate.
Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which SmartAsset receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). SmartAsset does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
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