Select Page

Best Reward Credit Cards (Updated 2017)

Best Reward Credit Cards (Updated 2017)

Reward credit cards award you things such as cash back, air miles or points to be redeemed for products and rebates. In almost all cases, you get rewards every time you make a purchase with your credit card. These cards provide a lot of value when used frequently, and they 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 credit cards based on your needs. Before you read this article, if you are looking for the best travel rewards, then we have just updated our Best Travel Credit Cards review for the year 2017. It gives you all the information you need for picking the best travel credit card for you. Below is our review featuring the very best reward credit cards for US citizens.

The Best Reward Credit Cards Winner For Getting Cash-Back Rewards

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

You earn cash back twice with the Citi Double Cash Card. You earn 1% on purchases when you make your first purchase, and you earn 1% when you pay for your purchases. You get 1% cash back with no limits or restrictions (other than for what may be considered cash forwarding, such as ATM withdrawals, gambling and so forth). When you pay back the money you owe, you also get 1% cash back again.

Benefits

  • You get 0% introductory APR for purchases during the first 15 months
  • You also get a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers during the first 15 months
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase and another 1% when you pay off purchases whether in full or partially
  • There is no annual fee for having your credit card
  • The annual APR is between 14.24% and 24.24%

Pros

  • There is no annual fee and no limit to how much cash back you earn
  • They are giving away a great introductory offer
  • Earn a total of 2% cash back if you do not allow your debt to linger
  • You are not charged a fee the first time you make a late payment

Cons

  • You do not earn the cash-back reward for balance transfers
  • You must complete balance transfers within the first four months to use the 0% APR for 15 months offer
  • Most people will need an excellent credit score to qualify
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3%

Is this card right for me?

  • It is ideal if you are more interested on cash back
  • It is not ideal if you are focused on travel/miles rewards
  • Both big and small spenders will get a lot out of this card

As you make purchases, you earn 1% cash back rewards. When you pay off your credit card, or even if you pay the minimum amount each month, you will earn another 1% on top of what you have already earned. Don’t try to fool the credit card company by making ATM withdrawals because anything that may be classified as a cash advance will not earn you any cash back.

One of the great things about this card is that there is no cap on how much you may earn in cash back. You do not have to enroll in a scheme, and there are no restricting categories so long as your transaction is actually a purchase and not something else.

Comments About This Credit Card

They are going to start you off with a comparatively low credit rating, but you may have it increased over time if you prove that you are a good customer. You will have to wait a minimum of six statement cycles before they let you increase your credit limit. They are very cagy about increasing credit limits. Even people with a credit score of 700 have had trouble having their credit limit increased.

You get a good cash-back rate, but their customer service department is truly awful. If you have a problem, you should probably pay off your balance and cancel your card rather than fight it out with the customer service department. That is unless they owe you money, in which case you should fight until the bitter end.

The Best Reward Credit Cards Winner For Heavy Spenders

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

There was quite a bit of discussion as to if this card should be listed as the top credit card in this review. Citi beat it out because they give people the chance to earn 2% cash back, whereas the Capital One card only gives you 1.5% cash back. Nevertheless, Capital One Quicksilver is a great cash-back choice, especially if you have the credit rating required to gain access to one.

Benefits

  • 0% APR introductory offer on all purchases during the first 9 months
  • 0% APR introductory offer on all transfers during the first 9 months
  • Regular variable APR is between 13.74% – 23.74%
  • Earn $100 for spending $500 during the first three months from opening your account

Pros

  • There are no limits when earning cash-back rewards
  • Reward can be redeemed for cash back as a credit statement
  • There are no fees and no unnecessary terms or conditions
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • The highest you will earn is 1.5% cash back
  • It has a comparatively low introductory cash bonus

Is this card right for me?

  • Ideal if you will use the card for a variety of purchases
  • Ideal if you only use your card occasionally
  • Perfect for people who want a long-term cash-back card
  • Not ideal if you want to earn travel rewards

The Best Reward Credit Cards Winner - capital one perks

Comments About This Credit Card

The QuickSilver card is another where you may have trouble getting your credit limit increased. You will have to wait at least six statement cycles before you can even try, and they may still refuse to increase your limit even if you have a 700+ credit rating.

If you are already a Capital One customer, you probably shouldn’t upgrade to the QuickSilver card. The reason is due to their odd upgrading policy. For example, if you upgraded your Capital One credit card up to a QuickSilver credit card last year, then you would now be paying an annual fee for your credit card (even though new applicants don’t have to pay annual fees). You should probably cancel your Capital One card, go with another credit card, and then come back in 24 months to get this card or whatever they have on offer in two years.

The Best Reward Credit Cards Winner For Cash Back For Light Spenders

Chase Freedom Credit Card

Chase Freedom Credit Card

You may wonder why the Chase Freedom card isn’t listed as the winner for cash back rewards, especially since they give you up to 5% cash back, but Chase are not as flexible as the Citi credit card. You can earn cash back, but the categories that pay back the most will alternate every quarter, and you cannot get cash back if you spend money in Wal-Mart or Target stores. Here are a few of the pros and cons of the Chase Freedom credit card.

Benefits

  • It includes a 15 month 0% introductory APR on all purchases and balances transfers
  • Earn 5% cash back on rotation categories up to $1500
  • Unlimited 1 % cash back in every purchase
  • The regular variable APR is between 15.74% and 24.49%
  • You can see a calendar showing their rotating category offers

Pros

  • There is no annual fee
  • You get up to 5% cash back on rotating categories
  • Spend $500 on purchases within the first three months and get $150 cash back
  • Your cash-back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Authorized users may also earn an extra $25 bonus within the first three-month period

Cons

  • There is a spending limit on the rotating category offer
  • The cash-back offer is only 1% in this case
  • No cash-back rewards if you buy from Target or Wal-Mart

Cons

Is this card right for me?

  • It is ideal if you prefer cash back from the rotating categories that Chase presents
  • It is ideal for infrequent card users
  • It is not ideal if you prefer mainly miles and travel rewards

As I mentioned earlier, this card is better suited to people who do not spend much money on their credit cards because the 5% cash-back reward only goes up to 5%. If you are a heavy credit card spender, then maybe sign up for another card that rewards heavy spenders, and only spend on this card when the category of your preference is selected this quarter.

Comments About This Credit Card

If you read online user reviews about this credit card, you are going to see a lot of angry people who feel cheated. We have financial experts who can pour over the small print to be sure we do everything by the number, but most people do not have the time or patience to slowly go over each line in the terms and conditions. Most people assume that Chase is not going to make things difficult for them, but that is not the case. The Chase Freedom card has numerous terms and conditions that will make it difficult to earn your cash-back rewards if you do not follow their instructions to the letter.

Don’t bother trying to complain to their customer service department because they are the worst we have encountered in the last few months. They told us things and gave us instructions that were contradictory to what their own terms and conditions told us to do. On the whole, the Chase Freedom card is a good one, but you have to play it safe and preferably read their terms and conditions. Go out of your way to become a mini expert in their terms and conditions, especially regarding promotions, because it is the only way you will exploit this card without it turning around and biting you.

The Best Reward Credit Cards Winner For Introductory Benefits

Discover it Cashback Match

Discover it Cashback Match

Overall, the Discover it Cashback Match credit card is not the best for cash back, but their introductory offer is quite enticing. If you have the credit rating for it, you could take advantage of their offer for a year and then dump them and go with another credit card company next year. At the end of your first year with this Discover card, they will give you a cash-back amount that matches the amount you earned over the year.

Benefits

  • Earn up to 5% cash back if you make purchases in categories that rotate every quarter
  • Get 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Discover Deals partners have offers that apply to Discover Card holders
  • Their APR rate is between 11.74% and 23.74%
  • Get 0% starter APR for 14 months on balance transfers and purchases
  • Refer your friends and get an extra $50 cash back

Pros

  • You get 1% cash back even if you don’t buy within Discovers listed categories
  • There are plenty of ways you may receive your cash back
  • A great first-year deal
  • You don’t need a fantastic credit rating to get a Discover card

Cons

  • The travel rewards deals are not so hot
  • Rotating categories makes it difficult to get the highest cash-back rewards
  • It reverts back to a normal credit card after a year

Is this card right for me?

  • If you enjoy taking on credit cards for their introductory offers, then this is the card for you
  • People with okay/good credit ratings can apply
  • Not ideal for people who are looking for travel rewards
  • It is not ideal for people who do not pay off their balance every month

Redeem your cash-back rewards by using your credits to pay at an Amazon.com checkout. Alternatively, you may cash your cash-back by buying gift cards that are worth at least $5. You may have your cash-back deposited into your bank, or you may use it to pay off your credit card bill. They also allow you to make a charitable donation with your credit card cash-back reward points.

Discover It Cash Match Perks

Comments About This Credit Card

Their card is not a bad one, but the dispute process is a joke. If you apply for the Discover It card, make sure the terms and conditions state that you get the Cash Match credit after your first 12 billing cycles, and be sure the terms and conditions say that you get their 0% introduction APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. That way, if they stick you with a high APR, it won’t matter. Simply use the card for 14 months, and when the 0% APR expires, you ask them to lower your APR dramatically. If they do not, then pay off whatever balance remains and go hunting for another credit card.

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. They are just a few tips to help you get started if this is the first time you have taken advantage of rewards cards.

Claiming Your Rewards

When searching for the best rewards card not only is it important to choose a card tailored to your needs, it 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 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.

The Final Word

To sum things up, these were the best of the best when it comes to quality and value. If needs 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!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Posts