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Best Reward Credit Cards

Best Reward Credit Cards

Reward credit cards award you cash back, air miles or points to be redeemed for products and rebates every time you make a purchase with the card. These cards provide a lot of value when used frequently and can be used for a wide variety of items and services. It can be hard to choose the right card for you as  there are several reward cards to choose from. This article will guide you towards the best reward cards based on your needs.

How to Tell if a Reward Card is the Best One For You

If you plan to use your card daily or on a frequent basis then a reward card is certainly right for you. You will get rewarded every time you make a purchase with your card and you can accumulate a good amount of rewards. If you are someone who doesn’t plan on using the card frequently then you may be better suited with just a cash back card or a low interest credit card. In order to qualify for the card you usually need a good to excellent rating. If you have a fair credit card rating then you may not qualify.

There is no one specific card that is the best reward card, several of them are very similar, and it is essential to chose the best type of rewards card that fits you. There are travel cards and cash back cards both competing for your business and it is important not to get lured in by all the fancy introductory offers, its the rewards programs themselves that matter most.

When going through the following list of reward cards keep your personal interest in mind when reading the features and benefits. If you are interested in saving on gas go with a card that offers the most cash back or rebates on gas. If you are interested in accumulating miles then go with a card that has a great miles offer. You will find that all the cards have great introductory offers with some better then others.

How to Best Take Advantage of Reward Cards

Here are our tips on how to best use Reward Cards…and how to take advantage of them.

Claiming your rewards

When searching for the best rewards card not only is it important to choose a card tailored to your needs, it’s is also in your best interest to choose a card that has a simple card redemption program. Cash back cards are usually the easiest, as you can redeem the rewards regularly and often. It can be a little more complicated with rewards programs as there can often be limitations when the miles can be used. Furthermore, the miles can sometimes take a long time to accumulate and if you don’t use them in a  specified time period they can sometimes expire . Some cards rewards expire if not used after 1 year so keep track of your rewards and make sure they are used on time.

Cards with Annual Fees

Some reward cards have no annual fee while some come with an annual fee that can range anywhere from $50 to as high as $450. The cards with the annual fee carry a higher value rate of rewards meaning you can accumulate rewards quicker. If you will use the card often enough to accumulate a high rate of rewards then it is worth paying the annual fee. However if you are unsure or will not use the card often enough to accumulate rewards then choose a rewards card with no annual fee.

Opt In to rewards

Reward cards that have a rewards program where they have rotating categories that will pay a higher percentage of cash back on rewards every quarter. For example the Chase Freedom card pays 5% cash back on rotating categories and requires you to opt in to receive the 5%. Many people do not read the terms and conditions and fail to opt in and miss out on the increased rewards. Furthermore, do not get sucked in to an intro offer that offers you 20 000 bonus after you spend $3000 in the first three months, especially if you aren’t sure if you will spend the $3000.

Furthermore, if you miss a payment the company can take away the points earned for that much, and they may also charge you a reinstatement fee to get the points back.

Book Early

A lot of times when you  want to take advantage of the points to book a flight there will often be black out dates and restricted flights,as there is only a certain number of seats reserved for reward use. To avoid this, attempt to book your flights 1 year ahead of time as there should be more availability. If you try to book a flight 2 months in advance chances are you will see blackout dates etc, and it will be very difficult to find a flight during that time.

We took a journey through all the best reward cards and will now reveal what we believe to be the best cards available for each benefit.

Summary of Best Card’s by Offer

If you want to skip to the chase, here are the best cards by category.

Cash back card with the best rewards                   

Citi Double cash card                                      

  • consistently earn 2 % cash back
  • no difficult category restrictions
  • easy to redeem your cash back

Miles credit card with best rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • earn 1.25 miles unlimited with every purchase
  • no annual fees
  • easy convenient miles redemption system

Best Reward Card Introductory offer

Citi Thank You Premier Card

  • earn a whopping 50 000 bonus points after the first $3000 is spent.

Best Cash back card introductory offer

Chase Freedom Card

  • 0% A.P.R. on all purchases for and balance transfers first 15 months

Best cash back rewards system

Citi Double Cash Back Credit Card

  • earn on average 2 % cash back on all purchases with no limits

Best Miles Reward Credit Card reward system

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • includes the 20 000 bonus points intro offer
  • allows you to earn 2 points on dining and gas and 1 point per dollar spent
  • rewards redemption bonus with ultimate rewards easily

Top 7 Best Reward Credit Cards

We give our detailed picks of the top reward cards below.

1. Bank Americard Travel Rewards Credit Card

Benefits

  • 0% introductory A.P.R. for 12 billing cycles
  • earn 20 000 online bonus points when you make $1000 dollars in purchases within the first 90 days
  • Variable A.P.R. ranges from 14.99% to 22.99%
  • Earn 1.5 unlimited points for every $1 spent on all purchases

Pros

  • no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees
  • you can earn an unlimited amount of points and they do not expire
  • easy to book travel with reward points

Cons

  • if you spend big money with the card there are better options
  • not as flexible as a straight cash back card

Is this card right for me?

  • ideal if you are someone who will use the card frequently but don’t spend huge amounts then it is a good fit
  • ideal if you are looking to save on gas purchases
  • not ideal if you are looking for good travel rewards program as there are cards with better options

2. Citi Thank You Premier Card

Benefits:

  • earn 50 000 bonus points after $3000 in purchases within first 3 months
  • Earn 3X thank you points on travel and gas, 2X points on on entertainment and restaurants,and 1X thank you points on miscellaneous purchases
  • Regular variable A.P.R. ranges from 13.99% to 22.99%
  • $95 annual fee (waived for first year)

Pros

  • points can accumulate fast on travel and gas
  • no foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • has annual fee
  • limited hotels and airline for travel
  • need excellent credit score

Is this card right for me?

  • ideal if you will use this card frequently and will spend large amounts on purchases as this card will be a good fit
  • ideal if you will use card for travel and gas you will accumulate points quickly
  • not ideal if you do not have excellent credit and won’t spend larger amounts of money with this card

3. Chase Freedom Card

Benefits

  • includes a 15 month 0% introductory A.P.R. on all purchases and balances transfers
  • earn 5% cash back on rotation categories up to $1500
  • unlimited 1 % cash back in every purchase
  • regular variable A.P.R. of 13.99% to 22.99%

Pros

  • no annual fee
  • includes high % on rotation category
  • named best card for cash back by money magazine

Cons

  • spending limit on the rotating category
  • low introductory $100 bonus
  • cash back is only 1%

Is this card right for me?

  • ideal if you will prefer cash back and many different rewards
  • ideal for the infrequent and frequent card user
  • not ideal if you prefer mainly miles and travel rewards

4. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Benefits

  • earn 40 000 points after you spend $4000 in purchases in first 3 months
  • earn 2X points on dining and travel, and 1 point for every dollar spent
  • ability to transfer points to frequent travel programs at a 1:1 ratio

Pros

  • no foreign transaction fees
  • great reward redemption program
  • earn huge points with introductory offer

Cons

  • has large annual fee
  • need to be big spender to really benefit
  • most you can earn is 2X points

Is this card right for me?

  • ideal if you will use the card frequently and spend larger amounts with the card as you will benefit the most
  • not ideal if you don’t spend larger amounts of money then this card isn’t for you
  • ideal if you are using to use this card on dining

5. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Benefits

  • earn 20 000 bonus points after you spend first $1000 dollars
  • earn 1.25 unlimited miles on every purchase
  • no annual fee
  • includes Capital One credit tracker to monitor your credit score
  • no foreign transaction fee

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • points earned are unlimited
  • miles do not expire
  • includes a low intro A.P.R. when most rewards card do not include this offer

Cons

  • bonus offer is only 20 000 points
  • need to have excellent credit

Is this card right for me?

  • This is a fantastic card and is great for a infrequent user and frequent user
  • rewards are mainly based on travel so if frequent travel isn’t in your plans there are better suited cards
  • ideal for frequent travellers

6. Citi Double Cash Card

Benefits

  • 0% introductory A.P.R. for first 15 months all balance transfers and purchases
  • earn 1% cash back on every purchase and another 1% when you pay off purchases whether in full or partially
  • no annual fee, no limits
  • annual A.P.R. of 2.99% to 22.99%

Pros

  • no annual fee
  • great introductory offer
  • earn a total of 2% cash back

Cons

  • need an excellent credit score to qualify
  • there is a balance transfer fee

Is this card right for me?

  • ideal if you are more interested on cash back rather then a focus on travel/mile reward card
  • not ideal if you are focused on travel/miles rewards
  • ideal for both big and small spenders

7. Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Credit Card

Benefits

  • earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • 0% introductory offer on all purchases and balance transfers for first 10 months
  • regular variable A.P.R. 12.99% to 22.99%
  • earn $100 after you spend first $500

Pros

  • no limits on earning rewards
  • reward can be redeemed for cash back, credit statement, or check
  • no fees, no gimmicks
  • no annual fee or foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • no rotating categories , highest you will earn is 1.5%
  • low introductory cash bonus

Is this card right for me?

  • ideal if you will use the card for a variety of purchases, other then a few specific categories
  • ideal if you only use your card occasionally
  • not ideal if you want to earn travel rewards

The Final Word

To sum things up, these were the best of the best when it comes to quality and value. If need be,use this guide as a reference when you are choosing the best card.Tailor the benefits to your spending habits and you will find the best card for you. Hopefully you now have a good idea of which card is the best fit for you and you use your knowledge to choose the best card.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. 'He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

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