A wrapped gift with a pink bow

Rewards credit cards are desirable for one obvious reason: They earn you travel, cash back and gift cards for your spending. They also frequently come with valuable benefits, like travel insurance or extended warranties. Those can save you hundreds of dollars and countless headaches.

The best rewards credit card for you depends on a variety of factors, like your spending habits and what type of rewards you want. Maybe you want a simple, cash-back card. Or maybe you spend a lot on your credit card and want to fund the vacation of your dreams.

Start your search by checking out the rewards credit cards we’ve listed, read the answers to some frequently asked questions, and then try the CardCruncher tool to see which card matches best with how you already spend your money. With the right card, you’ll start cashing in—and who doesn’t like being rewarded?

Discover it Card

Discover it®

Discover it®

View card details Apply Now At issuers secure site.

Annual fee: $0

APR: 0% for 14 months, then 13.99% to 24.99%

Bonus: Cash-back match for your first year

Rewards: 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories; 1% back everywhere else.

Redemption options: Cash back

Pro: The high rewards rate on the bonus categories and the first-year cash-back match makes this a lucrative card for everyday spending.

Con: You have to activate the 5% categories each quarter, or you’ll receive only 1% back on those purchases.

Read full card details here.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Annual fee: $95

APR: 17.49% - 24.49% Variable

Bonus: 60,000 points

Rewards: 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Redemption options: Travel, partner transfers or statement credits

Pro: You can redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or transfer points to valuable hotel and airline partners.

Con: You won’t receive complimentary perks like priority boarding or airport lounge access.

Read full card details here.

Citi Double Cash Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

Bonus: $0

Rewards: 2% cash back on every purchase—1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your minimum balance on time.

Redemption options: Cash back

Pro: There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn, and no rotating categories to activate.

Con: New cardholders and big spenders aren’t eligible for any bonus rewards at signup.

Read full card details here.

Uber Visa Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: See terms

Bonus: $100 in Uber Cash after spending $500 in the first 90 days

Rewards: 4% cash back on dining, 3% back on travel, 2% back on Uber and online purchases, and 1% back on everything else.

Redemption options: Uber Cash, cash back, gift cards

Pro: In addition to a unique rewards system, the Uber Visa Card offers up to $600 of cell phone protection and a $50 annual credit for streaming services.

Con: Rewards on Uber rides are surprisingly low.

Read full card details here.

American Express Gold Card

Annual Fee: $250

APR: See Pay Over Time APR

Bonus: 35,000 points

Rewards: 4 points per dollar on dining and groceries, 3 points per dollar on airfare, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Redemption options: Travel, partner transfers, cash back, gift cards

Pro: In addition to rewards, the card offers annual travel and dining credits worth a total of $220, plus travel protections like rental car and baggage insurance.

Con: The American Express Gold Card is a charge card, and you can only carry a balance on eligible charges of $100 or more.

Read full card details here.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 0% for 15 months, then 16.24% to 26.24%

Bonus: $200

Rewards: 3% cash back in the everyday category of your choice, 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in purchases each quarter, then 1%), and 1% back everywhere else

Redemption options: Cash back

Pro: Bank of America customers automatically receive a 10% cash-back bonus when they redeem rewards to a Bank of America account.

Con: You earn bonus 2% or 3% back on only the first $2,500 in combined purchases within these categories each quarter.

Read full card details here.

Discover it Secured Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 25.24%

Bonus: 100% match on cash back your first year

Rewards: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% back everywhere else.

Redemption options: Cash back

Pro: Earn rewards while also building your credit, and track your progress with a free FICO score.

Con: You must provide a refundable security deposit of at least $200 for approval.

Read full card details here.

Discover it Student Cash Back Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 0% for 6 months, then a 14.99% to 23.99%

Bonus: 100% cash back match your first year

Rewards: 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, plus 1% back everywhere else

Redemption options: Cash back

Pro: Earn a $20 statement credit for every school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to five years.

Con: You must activate rotating bonus categories in order to earn 5% cash back.

Read full card details here.

How do credit card rewards points work?

Different rewards credit cards have different rewards structures, but generally speaking, you earn points, miles or cash back whenever you pay for something with your card. Some cards earn a flat rewards rate on all purchases, like 1.5% cash back or 2X points on all purchases. Others offer bonus categories where you can earn as much as 5X points or 5% cash back, while all other purchases earn just 1% cash back or 1X points.

Typically, bonus categories have a quarterly or annual limit. For example, if your card offers 5% back on the first $1,500 you spend at gas stations this quarter, you’ll receive a maximum of $75 in rewards ($1,500 x 5%) at the bonus rate. Any additional spending at gas stations in this quarter will earn only the standard 1% back. It’s crucial to consider these limits when evaluating a rewards credit card’s value.

When you’ve accumulated enough points, cash back or miles, you’ll be able to redeem them for rewards through your credit card account online. Redemption options will depend on your rewards credit card. Those usually fall into one of two categories: travel rewards cards, or cash-back cards. Travel cards let you redeem rewards for airfare, hotel stays and other travel expenses. Cash-back cards offer rewards in the form of statement credits, checks, or gift cards to popular retailers.

Which credit card has the best rewards in 2020?

There’s no single best rewards credit card. The right rewards credit card for you will depend largely on how you spend your money, how often you use your credit card, and the type of rewards you’re hoping to receive.

Travel rewards credit cards

While you might be tempted by the lure of a free vacation or a premium-class flight, that doesn’t mean a travel rewards card is right for you. Travel rewards credit cards are only a good fit if you travel regularly. You can choose between a general travel rewards credit card that lets you book with any airline or hotel, or a brand-specific credit card that offers rewards for only one airline or hotel. Brand-specific cards place more restrictions on when and how you can travel, but they also offer better perks, like free checked bags or automatic room upgrades.

Cash-back credit cards

Cash-back credit cards are a better choice if you don’t travel often and want more redemption flexibility. You can usually redeem your points for a statement credit, a check, or gift cards to popular retailers. Some cash-back card issuers offer cardholders better value for redeeming rewards for gift cards instead of cash back, so keep this in mind when redeeming rewards.

To find the best rewards credit card for you, consider your spending habits and your desired rewards. Choose a card that aligns with these. If you plan to use the card mostly for gas and groceries, for example, choose a card that offers bonus rewards in these categories. On the other hand, if you travel regularly, you may get more out of a card that rewards travel and dining expenses.

ALSO READ: CardCruncher’s Guide to the Best Restaurant Credit Cards

How do I maximize my credit card rewards?

There are a number of different aspects of rewards credit cards to focus on when it comes to maximizing your rewards.

Sign-up bonuses

Most rewards credit cards offer a sign-up bonus for new customers. That bonus is usually triggered by spending a set amount within the first three months of account opening, i.e. you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 on your card. Sign-up bonuses usually outpace a card’s standard rewards-earning rate, so take advantage of a bonus if your budget allows. Look up how much you need to spend to trigger the sign-up bonus, then divide that amount by the number of months in the bonus period to figure out how much you need to charge to your card per month.

Bonus categories

The bulk of your rewards come from using your card often and focusing on bonus categories. For a card whose main feature is an increased rate in a given category, like 3X points on dining, just be sure to use that card whenever you dine out.

Additionally, rewards credit cards with rotating categories often require you to activate the bonus categories each quarter. That’s crucial, or else you’ll only earn the standard rate—typically just 1%—on all purchases, including in that bonus category. Fortunately, many card issuers send out email reminders, but it’s still on you to sign up or activate.

Rewards expiration

Many rewards credit cards have points or miles that won’t expire, so long as your account is in good standing. Other cards may force you to use your points within a certain time period, or you risk losing them. Read through the cardholder agreement before you sign up for a card to ensure you understand the rules surrounding rewards earning and redemption. You’d hate to earn a sign-up bonus, do nothing with your rewards for a year, and then find out they expired

Are rewards credit cards worth it?

When considering the value of a rewards credit card, you have to weigh your expected rewards against the cost of owning the card. It’s entirely possible for a card’s cost to outweigh its benefits.

If the card charges an annual fee, it’s only worth getting if the rewards you’ll earn each year are greater than the annual fee. For example, let’s say a card has an annual fee of $95 and offers you 5% cash back at grocery stores. You’ll have to spend at least $1,900 on groceries to offset the annual fee. Anything more, and you’re making out. Anything less, and you’re costing yourself money. That doesn’t factor in other rewards—like any amount you’d earn at the standard 1% cash back—but if you don’t spend enough in the bonus categories to offset the annual fee, you’re probably better off with a card that has no annual fee.

Estimate your average annual spending in the bonus categories the card offers to see if it’ll be worth your while. If the card offers any travel credits or similar perks, you’ll need to factor these in as well.

Additionally, if a card has a high annual percentage rate (APR) and you carry a balance, it might not be worth its rewards. The APR determines how quickly your balance will accrue interest, and rising interest charges can pile up quicker than rewards. If you carry a balance regularly, it’s best to choose a card with a 0% introductory APR period and a low standard APR. Then, do your best to pay off the debt as quickly as possible.



Rewards credit cards are powerful tools when used wisely. They can give you cash back for stuff you already spend money on, or they can even finance the trip of a lifetime. The key is determining your goals, what rewards best fit your spending, and how to make the most of the rewards you earn. That’s no simple task, but you owe it to yourself to spend just a few minutes figuring out if you could get more. That’s what the CardCruncher tool is for—because everybody wants more, and there’s no reason not to get more. Try it out, and you could soon be on your way to earning rewards you never even imagined.

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