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Best Rewards Credit Cards in August 2022

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated July 29, 2022 . Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

The best rewards credit card

Chase Freedom Flex℠

In addition to a valuable sign-up bonus and generous rewards rate, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers a long intro APR on purchases and balance transfers and charges a $0 annual fee.

Citi is an advertising partner.

Best Rewards Credit Cards in August 2022

Whether you spend a large amount on groceries each month, have a long daily commute to work or travel from time to time, earning credit card rewards on those expenses is a great way to help offset some of those costs.

Rewards credit cards allow you to earn points, miles or cash back on eligible purchases. Depending on the card, you may then be able to redeem those rewards for statement credits, travel, merchandise or other options.

Based on our research of cards available through LendingTree, as well as top cards offered by major issuers, we rounded up the best rewards credit cards to help you determine which one could be the best fit for you based on how you plan to use the card.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Intro Purchase APR 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 16.49% - 25.24% Variable

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!

Why we picked this card: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns cash back in a variety of categories at generous rates and comes with an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus on top of that. Plus, it offers a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, after which a 16.49% - 25.24% variable APR applies. And there’s a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months too, after which a 16.49% - 25.24% variable APR applies.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back
  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus
  • Intro APR periods
  • $0 annual fee
  • Cellphone protection
  • Quarterly spending cap on elevated rate for rotating categories
  • Requires activation of quarterly categories
  • Potentially high 16.49% - 25.24% variable APR
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

If you don’t mind keeping track of bonus categories each quarter, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ provides a great opportunity to earn a large amount of cash back rewards. In addition to offering an accelerated cash back rate in ongoing categories — travel, dining and drugstore purchases— cardholders earn a generous cash back rate in categories that rotate quarterly. Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus categories for 2022 include:

  • January-March: Groceries (excluding Target and Walmart) and eBay
  • April-June: Amazon.com and select streaming services
  • July-September: Gas stations, car rental agencies, movie theaters and select live entertainment
  • October-December: To be announced

Just know, you must activate the bonus category each quarter to earn the 5% cash back rate on those purchases. Plus, the rate is capped at $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter.

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Cellphone protection
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance services

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening!

Why we picked this card: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns cash back in a variety of categories at generous rates and comes with an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus on top of that. Plus, it offers a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, after which a 16.49% - 25.24% variable APR applies. And there’s a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months too, after which a 16.49% - 25.24% variable APR applies.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back
  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus
  • Intro APR periods
  • $0 annual fee
  • Cellphone protection
  • Quarterly spending cap on elevated rate for rotating categories
  • Requires activation of quarterly categories
  • Potentially high 16.49% - 25.24% variable APR
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

If you don’t mind keeping track of bonus categories each quarter, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ provides a great opportunity to earn a large amount of cash back rewards. In addition to offering an accelerated cash back rate in ongoing categories — travel, dining and drugstore purchases— cardholders earn a generous cash back rate in categories that rotate quarterly. Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus categories for 2022 include:

  • January-March: Groceries (excluding Target and Walmart) and eBay
  • April-June: Amazon.com and select streaming services
  • July-September: Gas stations, car rental agencies, movie theaters and select live entertainment
  • October-December: To be announced

Just know, you must activate the bonus category each quarter to earn the 5% cash back rate on those purchases. Plus, the rate is capped at $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter.

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Cellphone protection
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
Blue Cash Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
Intro Purchase APR 0% on purchases for 12 months
Annual Fee $95
Regular Purchase APR 16.24%-26.24% Variable

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Welcome offer: Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

Why we picked this card: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has one of the top rewards rates on U.S. supermarket purchases of any credit card on the market, as well as generous rates on other useful spending categories. Plus, there’s an intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months, after which a 16.24%-26.24% variable APR applies.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases
  • Welcome offer
  • Intro APR period on purchases
  • $6,000 annual spending cap on 6% cash back
  • $95 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • Potentially high 16.24%-26.24% variable APR

To see rates and fees for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

If you spend heavily on groceries every month, you’ll come out on top with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Along with one of the highest cash back rates available at U.S. supermarkets, the card offers a generous cash back rate on U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit and at U.S. gas stations. If you max out the annual $6,000 spending cap at U.S. supermarkets, you’ll earn $360 back from those purchases — which more than covers the annual fee.

  • Equinox+ credit of up to $120 per year (enrollment required)
  • Year-end summary
  • Pay It Plan It® feature
  • Terms apply

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Welcome offer: Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

Why we picked this card: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has one of the top rewards rates on U.S. supermarket purchases of any credit card on the market, as well as generous rates on other useful spending categories. Plus, there’s an intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months, after which a 16.24%-26.24% variable APR applies.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases
  • Welcome offer
  • Intro APR period on purchases
  • $6,000 annual spending cap on 6% cash back
  • $95 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • Potentially high 16.24%-26.24% variable APR

To see rates and fees for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

If you spend heavily on groceries every month, you’ll come out on top with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Along with one of the highest cash back rates available at U.S. supermarkets, the card offers a generous cash back rate on U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit and at U.S. gas stations. If you max out the annual $6,000 spending cap at U.S. supermarkets, you’ll earn $360 back from those purchases — which more than covers the annual fee.

  • Equinox+ credit of up to $120 per year (enrollment required)
  • Year-end summary
  • Pay It Plan It® feature
  • Terms apply
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Intro Purchase APR 0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Why we picked this card: The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns cash back at a generous rate in a wide range of categories. Plus, it offers an APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months, after which a 16.49% - 26.49% (variable) APR applies. And it offers an APR of 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months (3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months), after which a 16.49% - 26.49% (variable) APR applies.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back on food purchases
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Intro APR periods
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Potentially high 16.49% - 26.49% (variable) APR

Whether you like to dine at restaurants, order takeout or delivery or craft a delicious meal with groceries you picked up at the supermarket, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card can reward you generously. And in addition to rewarding your inner foodie, this card can net you cash back for streaming services and entertainment purchases with a variety of merchants. Here’s what counts as entertainment:

  • Movie theaters
  • Sports promoters (professional and semi-professional live events)
  • Theatrical promoters
  • Amusement parks
  • Tourist attractions
  • Aquariums and zoos
  • Dance halls
  • Record stores
  • Pool halls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Lock your card in the Capital One mobile app
  • Extended warranty
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Make travel bookings through Capital One Travel
  • Complimentary concierge service

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Why we picked this card: The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns cash back at a generous rate in a wide range of categories. Plus, it offers an APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months, after which a 16.49% - 26.49% (variable) APR applies. And it offers an APR of 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months (3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months), after which a 16.49% - 26.49% (variable) APR applies.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back on food purchases
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Intro APR periods
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Potentially high 16.49% - 26.49% (variable) APR

Whether you like to dine at restaurants, order takeout or delivery or craft a delicious meal with groceries you picked up at the supermarket, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card can reward you generously. And in addition to rewarding your inner foodie, this card can net you cash back for streaming services and entertainment purchases with a variety of merchants. Here’s what counts as entertainment:

  • Movie theaters
  • Sports promoters (professional and semi-professional live events)
  • Theatrical promoters
  • Amusement parks
  • Tourist attractions
  • Aquariums and zoos
  • Dance halls
  • Record stores
  • Pool halls
  • Bowling alleys

  • Lock your card in the Capital One mobile app
  • Extended warranty
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Make travel bookings through Capital One Travel
  • Complimentary concierge service

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Highlights
  • Discover one of Citi's best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico

Credit needed: Excellent

Rewards rate: 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: No bonus.

Why we picked this card: The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers one of the best cash back rates around on gas, as well as solid earning rates on restaurant dining and travel spending.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back on gas, restaurants and travel
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% foreign transaction fee
  • Reasonable 17.49% (Variable) APR
  • Requires a Costco membership
  • Cash back is awarded annually
  • Gas bonus is capped at $7,000 in purchases annually
  • No sign-up bonus

If you’re a Costco member and a road warrior who frequently spends at the gas pump, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi will be a great fit for your wallet. There’s a $7,000 annual spending cap on the elevated gas rate, and if you max it out, that’s $280 in cash back.

However, if you’re not already a Costco member, be aware that memberships run $60 per year for a Gold Star membership and $120 per year for an Executive membership. Also, take note that gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco, as well as fuel used for non-automobile purposes, does not qualify for the bonus cash back rate.

Finally, make sure you’re comfortable with how cash back redemption works on the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: cardholders can only redeem their rewards for merchandise or cash back at Costco warehouses located in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Rewards are also only distributed one time per year (after your February billing cycle) and must be redeemed by Dec. 31 of the year in which they are issued.

  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Citi Entertainment®
  • Convenience of digital wallets
  • Contactless pay

Credit needed: Excellent

Rewards rate: 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: No bonus.

Why we picked this card: The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers one of the best cash back rates around on gas, as well as solid earning rates on restaurant dining and travel spending.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back on gas, restaurants and travel
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% foreign transaction fee
  • Reasonable 17.49% (Variable) APR
  • Requires a Costco membership
  • Cash back is awarded annually
  • Gas bonus is capped at $7,000 in purchases annually
  • No sign-up bonus

If you’re a Costco member and a road warrior who frequently spends at the gas pump, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi will be a great fit for your wallet. There’s a $7,000 annual spending cap on the elevated gas rate, and if you max it out, that’s $280 in cash back.

However, if you’re not already a Costco member, be aware that memberships run $60 per year for a Gold Star membership and $120 per year for an Executive membership. Also, take note that gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco, as well as fuel used for non-automobile purposes, does not qualify for the bonus cash back rate.

Finally, make sure you’re comfortable with how cash back redemption works on the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: cardholders can only redeem their rewards for merchandise or cash back at Costco warehouses located in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Rewards are also only distributed one time per year (after your February billing cycle) and must be redeemed by Dec. 31 of the year in which they are issued.

  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Citi Entertainment®
  • Convenience of digital wallets
  • Contactless pay
The information related to the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $95
Regular Purchase APR 17.49% - 24.49% Variable

Credit needed: Excellent

Rewards rate: 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Why we picked this card: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers excellent value to travelers in the form of flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. You can redeem them for cash back at a value of 1 cent per point, use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and get 25% more value or transfer them at a 1:1 rate to a variety of airline and hotel partners.

ProsCons
  • Earns flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards® points
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Annual hotel credit
  • Travel protections
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee
  • Potentially high 17.49% - 24.49% variable APR

If you’re a frequent traveler, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has much to love. For one thing, you can get a credit for up to $50 each year for hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. You also have a lot of flexibility in how you use your points — redeem them for travel bookings through the portal, and get 25% more value per point, or transfer at a rate of 1:1 to the following partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Credit needed: Excellent

Rewards rate: 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Why we picked this card: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers excellent value to travelers in the form of flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. You can redeem them for cash back at a value of 1 cent per point, use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and get 25% more value or transfer them at a 1:1 rate to a variety of airline and hotel partners.

ProsCons
  • Earns flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards® points
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Annual hotel credit
  • Travel protections
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee
  • Potentially high 17.49% - 24.49% variable APR

If you’re a frequent traveler, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has much to love. For one thing, you can get a credit for up to $50 each year for hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. You also have a lot of flexibility in how you use your points — redeem them for travel bookings through the portal, and get 25% more value per point, or transfer at a rate of 1:1 to the following partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Apply Now
on Citibank's secure site
Intro Purchase APR 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Why we picked this card: Even though there’s a cap on the elevated cash back rate each month, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card‘s 5% cash back rate is generous. If you max out the $500 spending cap, that’s $25 per month — $300 per year — in cash back at the elevated rate.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back
  • Sign-up bonus
  • $0 annual fee
  • Intro APR periods
  • Monthly spending cap on elevated rate
  • Potentially high 16.24% - 26.24% (variable) APR
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is an ideal choice for consumers whose top spending categories may fluctuate from month to month. This earns cash back in the form of Citi ThankYou Points, and will automatically determine your 5% category each month from the following list:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Select travel
  • Select transit
  • Select streaming services
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Live entertainment
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection
  • Citi® Quick Lock
  • Free access to your FICO® Score
  • Citi Entertainment®
  • Use your card with digital wallets

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Why we picked this card: Even though there’s a cap on the elevated cash back rate each month, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card‘s 5% cash back rate is generous. If you max out the $500 spending cap, that’s $25 per month — $300 per year — in cash back at the elevated rate.

ProsCons
  • Earns generous cash back
  • Sign-up bonus
  • $0 annual fee
  • Intro APR periods
  • Monthly spending cap on elevated rate
  • Potentially high 16.24% - 26.24% (variable) APR
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is an ideal choice for consumers whose top spending categories may fluctuate from month to month. This earns cash back in the form of Citi ThankYou Points, and will automatically determine your 5% category each month from the following list:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Select travel
  • Select transit
  • Select streaming services
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Live entertainment

  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection
  • Citi® Quick Lock
  • Free access to your FICO® Score
  • Citi Entertainment®
  • Use your card with digital wallets

Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express

Highlights
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio with your new Card and each year of Card Membership
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass™Lounge passes to ease the airport experience, enrollment required
  • $250 Airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • Access to 24/7 American Express concierge
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply

Credit needed: Information not available

Rewards rate: Earn 14X per $1 of eligible purchases on your card directly with a participating Hilton hotel or resort, 7X for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com; on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies; & at U.S. restaurants, and 3X for other purchases on your card.

Welcome offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Why we picked this card: The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express is a premium hotel card with robust travel benefits. The card awards up to two weekend night awards a year and complimentary Diamond elite status. Cardholders also enjoy a $250 airline fee credit every year (you must select one qualifying airline) and a complimentary Priority Pass™ Select (enrollment required) which provides access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.

ProsCons
  • Earns Hilton Honors points at generates rates
  • Welcome offer
  • Airport lounge access
  • Travel credits and benefits
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • $450 annual fee
  • Potentially high 17.24% to 26.24% variable APR

If you’re a Hilton Honors loyalist, you can earn an extremely generous rewards rate on participating Hilton hotel and resort stays with the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express. The points you earn have many options for redemption — free night stays, experiences, Lyft rides, merchandise or car rentals (and even transfers to airline partners). Plus, the card offers a robust array of credits and travel benefits.

 

  • One weekend night on your card anniversary each year
  • Another weekend night when you spend $60,000 on your card in a year
  • Up to a $250 airline fee credit per year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, enrollment required
  • Complimentary Diamond status
  • Concierge service
  • Return protection
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Terms apply

Credit needed: Information not available

Rewards rate: Earn 14X per $1 of eligible purchases on your card directly with a participating Hilton hotel or resort, 7X for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com; on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies; & at U.S. restaurants, and 3X for other purchases on your card.

Welcome offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Why we picked this card: The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express is a premium hotel card with robust travel benefits. The card awards up to two weekend night awards a year and complimentary Diamond elite status. Cardholders also enjoy a $250 airline fee credit every year (you must select one qualifying airline) and a complimentary Priority Pass™ Select (enrollment required) which provides access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.

ProsCons
  • Earns Hilton Honors points at generates rates
  • Welcome offer
  • Airport lounge access
  • Travel credits and benefits
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • $450 annual fee
  • Potentially high 17.24% to 26.24% variable APR

If you’re a Hilton Honors loyalist, you can earn an extremely generous rewards rate on participating Hilton hotel and resort stays with the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express. The points you earn have many options for redemption — free night stays, experiences, Lyft rides, merchandise or car rentals (and even transfers to airline partners). Plus, the card offers a robust array of credits and travel benefits.

 

  • One weekend night on your card anniversary each year
  • Another weekend night when you spend $60,000 on your card in a year
  • Up to a $250 airline fee credit per year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, enrollment required
  • Complimentary Diamond status
  • Concierge service
  • Return protection
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Terms apply
The information related to the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card

Apply Now
on Citibank's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

Sign-up bonus: No bonus

Why we picked this card: The Citi® Double Cash Card comes with a standard-setting flat cash back rate on all purchases. Plus, cardholders get a lengthy intro APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers, after which a 16.24% - 26.24% (variable) APR applies.

ProsCons
  • Earns flat-rate cash back
  • Long intro APR on balance transfers
  • $0 annual fee
  • Charges a fee for balance transfers
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Potentially high 16.24% - 26.24% (variable) APR
  • No sign-up bonus

If you’re carrying high-interest debt on a non-Citi credit card, doing a balance transfer to the Citi® Double Cash Card can give you a long window of time to pay off what you owe without incurring interest.

Then, once you pay off what you’ve transferred, this card is worth keeping in your wallet for its cash back program — you don’t have to keep track of different rewards rates in different spending categories because every purchase earns a competitive flat rate.

Note that the card charges a balance transfer fee. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening.

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
  • The Lost Wallet® Service
  • Citi Entertainment®

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

Sign-up bonus: No bonus

Why we picked this card: The Citi® Double Cash Card comes with a standard-setting flat cash back rate on all purchases. Plus, cardholders get a lengthy intro APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers, after which a 16.24% - 26.24% (variable) APR applies.

ProsCons
  • Earns flat-rate cash back
  • Long intro APR on balance transfers
  • $0 annual fee
  • Charges a fee for balance transfers
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Potentially high 16.24% - 26.24% (variable) APR
  • No sign-up bonus

If you’re carrying high-interest debt on a non-Citi credit card, doing a balance transfer to the Citi® Double Cash Card can give you a long window of time to pay off what you owe without incurring interest.

Then, once you pay off what you’ve transferred, this card is worth keeping in your wallet for its cash back program — you don’t have to keep track of different rewards rates in different spending categories because every purchase earns a competitive flat rate.

Note that the card charges a balance transfer fee. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening.

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Citi® Identity Theft Solutions
  • The Lost Wallet® Service
  • Citi Entertainment®

Choice Rewards World Mastercard® from First Tech FCU

Highlights
  • Earn double rewards on everyday purchases, like groceries and gas
  • Redeem rewards for travel, merchandise, events, experiences, gift cards and cash
  • Get exclusive access to discounts and special offers, like ride-sharing and food delivery

Credit needed: Information unavailable

Rewards rate: 2 points per $1 spent on groceries, gas, electronics, medical, household goods and telecommunications, and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases

Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days.

Why we picked this card: Many rewards cards charge a high APR, but the Choice Rewards World Mastercard® from First Tech FCU is unique in that it comes with a valuable rewards program and also a reasonable 9.75% - 18.00% (variable) APR.

ProsCons
  • Earns points in useful categories
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Intro APR on balance transfers
  • Regular APR of 9.75% - 18.00% (variable)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • $0 balance transfer fee
  • Credit union membership required

We always recommend paying off your card in full so as to avoid interest charges. But if you have to carry a balance once in a while, a low interest card such as the Choice Rewards World Mastercard® from First Tech FCU can help you save money. You do have to join a credit union, but First Tech Federal Credit Union makes it relatively easy to qualify. If you don’t qualify based on where you live or work, your employer or a family member, you can qualify by joining the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association — which can be done as part of your application to First Tech FCU.

  • Worldwide acceptance
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection™
  • Mastercard Global Service™
  • Ability to manage account via the free mobile app
  • Portland Trail Blazers card option

Credit needed: Information unavailable

Rewards rate: 2 points per $1 spent on groceries, gas, electronics, medical, household goods and telecommunications, and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases

Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days.

Why we picked this card: Many rewards cards charge a high APR, but the Choice Rewards World Mastercard® from First Tech FCU is unique in that it comes with a valuable rewards program and also a reasonable 9.75% - 18.00% (variable) APR.

ProsCons
  • Earns points in useful categories
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Intro APR on balance transfers
  • Regular APR of 9.75% - 18.00% (variable)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • $0 balance transfer fee
  • Credit union membership required

We always recommend paying off your card in full so as to avoid interest charges. But if you have to carry a balance once in a while, a low interest card such as the Choice Rewards World Mastercard® from First Tech FCU can help you save money. You do have to join a credit union, but First Tech Federal Credit Union makes it relatively easy to qualify. If you don’t qualify based on where you live or work, your employer or a family member, you can qualify by joining the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association — which can be done as part of your application to First Tech FCU.

  • Worldwide acceptance
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection™
  • Mastercard Global Service™
  • Ability to manage account via the free mobile app
  • Portland Trail Blazers card option
The information related to the Choice Rewards World Mastercard® from First Tech FCU has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 24.49% Variable APR

Credit needed: Poor/Limited

Rewards rate: 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically

Sign-up bonus: Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Why we picked this card: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card allows you to earn cash back while rebuilding your credit. It charges a $0 annual fee and is accessible with a $200 minimum security deposit. Best of all, after seven months with the card, Discover begins conducting monthly account reviews to see if you’re eligible graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit refunded.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Earns cash back at gas stations and restaurants
  • First-year cash back match
  • Requires a security deposit
  • High 24.49% Variable APR

Whether you’re building credit from scratch or working to rebuild your credit after some past missteps, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card can help you in your journey. It reports payment and spending activity to all three major consumer credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — and offers a clear timeline for when you might get your security deposit refunded. The fact that it also earns cash back on gas and restaurant spending is icing on the cake.

  • Free FICO Score access
  • Discover Identity Alerts
  • Ability to freeze and unfreeze your card
  • U.S.-based 24/7 customer support

Credit needed: Poor/Limited

Rewards rate: 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically

Sign-up bonus: Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Why we picked this card: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card allows you to earn cash back while rebuilding your credit. It charges a $0 annual fee and is accessible with a $200 minimum security deposit. Best of all, after seven months with the card, Discover begins conducting monthly account reviews to see if you’re eligible graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit refunded.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Earns cash back at gas stations and restaurants
  • First-year cash back match
  • Requires a security deposit
  • High 24.49% Variable APR

Whether you’re building credit from scratch or working to rebuild your credit after some past missteps, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card can help you in your journey. It reports payment and spending activity to all three major consumer credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — and offers a clear timeline for when you might get your security deposit refunded. The fact that it also earns cash back on gas and restaurant spending is icing on the cake.

  • Free FICO Score access
  • Discover Identity Alerts
  • Ability to freeze and unfreeze your card
  • U.S.-based 24/7 customer support
Discover it<sup>®</sup> Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Intro Purchase APR 0% Intro APR for 6 months on purchases
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 14.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

Credit needed: Fair/Limited

Rewards rate: 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically

Sign-up bonus: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

Why we picked this card: The Discover it® Student Cash Back is an excellent first credit card for college students. It can help you build credit history while earning cash back at a generous rate, as long as you’re willing to activate a new rewards category each quarter.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • No deposit required
  • Earns cash back on rotating categories
  • First-year cash back match
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Intro APR period on purchases
  • Quarterly spending cap on elevated rate
  • Requires activation of quarterly categories
  • Potentially high 14.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

Building credit early can set you up for success later in life, so you get better rates on financial products such as auto loans and mortgages. The Discover it® Student Cash Back is a tool that allows college students to do just that. You will have to be willing to activate a new category each quarter to earn elevated cash back, but Discover typically sends out reminders.

Just know, to apply for this card, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a U.S. address, have a Social Security number and show proof of education.

  • Free Social Security number alerts
  • Ability to freeze card
  • $0 fraud liability
  • 100% U.S.-based, 24/7 customer service

Credit needed: Fair/Limited

Rewards rate: 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically

Sign-up bonus: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

Why we picked this card: The Discover it® Student Cash Back is an excellent first credit card for college students. It can help you build credit history while earning cash back at a generous rate, as long as you’re willing to activate a new rewards category each quarter.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • No deposit required
  • Earns cash back on rotating categories
  • First-year cash back match
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Intro APR period on purchases
  • Quarterly spending cap on elevated rate
  • Requires activation of quarterly categories
  • Potentially high 14.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

Building credit early can set you up for success later in life, so you get better rates on financial products such as auto loans and mortgages. The Discover it® Student Cash Back is a tool that allows college students to do just that. You will have to be willing to activate a new category each quarter to earn elevated cash back, but Discover typically sends out reminders.

Just know, to apply for this card, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a U.S. address, have a Social Security number and show proof of education.

  • Free Social Security number alerts
  • Ability to freeze card
  • $0 fraud liability
  • 100% U.S.-based, 24/7 customer service

Best For Simple cash back

Wells Fargo Active Cash<sup>®</sup> Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Apply Now
on Wells Fargo's secure site
Intro Purchase APR 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% variable APR

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

Why we picked this card: The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card lets you earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase without tracking categories or having to activate promotions. It also offers a generous sign-up bonus, giving it a leg up over its main competitor, the Citi® Double Cash Card .

ProsCons
  • High rate of cash back on every purchase
  • $0 annual fee
  • No bonus categories to track
  • Attractive welcome bonus
  • Multiple cash back redemption methods
  • No transfer partners
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Higher minimum spend requirement than competing cards

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is best for people who want unlimited rewards without having to remember bonus categories or to activate quarterly promotions. Rewards never expire and redeeming rewards starts at just $1. Cardholders can even redeem rewards at the ATM with their linked Wells Fargo ATM or debit card.

  • Rewards never expire
  • Redeem for as little as $1
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers and 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases (followed by a 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% variable APR)
  • Cellphone protection from damage or theft of up to $600 with a $25 deductible
  • Access to Visa Signature Hotel Collection
  • $0 annual fee

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

Why we picked this card: The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card lets you earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase without tracking categories or having to activate promotions. It also offers a generous sign-up bonus, giving it a leg up over its main competitor, the Citi® Double Cash Card .

ProsCons
  • High rate of cash back on every purchase
  • $0 annual fee
  • No bonus categories to track
  • Attractive welcome bonus
  • Multiple cash back redemption methods
  • No transfer partners
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Higher minimum spend requirement than competing cards

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is best for people who want unlimited rewards without having to remember bonus categories or to activate quarterly promotions. Rewards never expire and redeeming rewards starts at just $1. Cardholders can even redeem rewards at the ATM with their linked Wells Fargo ATM or debit card.

  • Rewards never expire
  • Redeem for as little as $1
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers and 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases (followed by a 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% variable APR)
  • Cellphone protection from damage or theft of up to $600 with a $25 deductible
  • Access to Visa Signature Hotel Collection
  • $0 annual fee

Best For Simple travel rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $95
Regular Purchase APR 17.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023

Sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Why we picked this card: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card makes it simple to earn and redeem travel rewards. You earn 2 miles per dollar on the majority of your purchases, plus bonus miles on a few categories. You can easily redeem miles for travel statement credits against any of your purchases. You can also transfer miles to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

ProsCons
  • Unlimited 2X miles on most purchases
  • Miles are easy to redeem
  • Large welcome bonus
  • Transfer miles to other loyalty programs
  • Other valuable travel perks
  • $95 annual fee
  • Lounge network is limited
  • Rental coverage is secondary
  • Not all transfer partners are 1:1

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is best for travelers that want to earn bonus miles on every purchase while enjoying attractive benefits that are usually reserved for more expensive cards. It includes numerous travel perks that save money, protect your trip and improve your travel experience, including no foreign transaction fees, rental car coverage, airport lounge access and travel accident insurance.

  • Transfer miles to 15+ airline and hotel partners
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Two free airport lounge visits each year
  • Complimentary Hertz Five Star status
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • Get the guaranteed best prices on travel through Capital One Travel

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023

Sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Why we picked this card: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card makes it simple to earn and redeem travel rewards. You earn 2 miles per dollar on the majority of your purchases, plus bonus miles on a few categories. You can easily redeem miles for travel statement credits against any of your purchases. You can also transfer miles to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

ProsCons
  • Unlimited 2X miles on most purchases
  • Miles are easy to redeem
  • Large welcome bonus
  • Transfer miles to other loyalty programs
  • Other valuable travel perks
  • $95 annual fee
  • Lounge network is limited
  • Rental coverage is secondary
  • Not all transfer partners are 1:1

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is best for travelers that want to earn bonus miles on every purchase while enjoying attractive benefits that are usually reserved for more expensive cards. It includes numerous travel perks that save money, protect your trip and improve your travel experience, including no foreign transaction fees, rental car coverage, airport lounge access and travel accident insurance.

  • Transfer miles to 15+ airline and hotel partners
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Two free airport lounge visits each year
  • Complimentary Hertz Five Star status
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • Get the guaranteed best prices on travel through Capital One Travel

Best For Business rewards

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $150
Regular Purchase APR N/A

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 2% Cash Back on every purchase; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

Sign-up bonus: Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening

Why we picked this card: The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is one of the most rewarding and straightforward options for business owners with a lot on their plates, offering a flat 2% cash back on the majority of purchases. There is no preset spending limit, so you can adapt the card to your business needs.

ProsCons
  • Huge welcome bonus
  • High rate of cash back on every purchase
  • No preset spending limit
  • Opportunity to earn a $200 annual cash bonus
  • Annual fee of $150
  • Balance must be paid-in-full each month
  • Late fee of 2.99% if you carry a balance
  • Large minimum spend requirement

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is best for business owners who want to earn cash back and have the ability to pay their balance in full every month. While there is no preset spending limit, it does charge a 2.99% monthly late fee on unpaid balances. This card is best for business owners who can spend heavily on their cards to meet the large minimum spend requirement and earn the $200 annual cash bonus.

  • Export purchase records to accounting software
  • Free employee cards
  • Set customized spending limits on each employee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Extended warranty on eligible items

Credit needed: Excellent/Good

Rewards rate: 2% Cash Back on every purchase; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

Sign-up bonus: Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening

Why we picked this card: The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is one of the most rewarding and straightforward options for business owners with a lot on their plates, offering a flat 2% cash back on the majority of purchases. There is no preset spending limit, so you can adapt the card to your business needs.

ProsCons
  • Huge welcome bonus
  • High rate of cash back on every purchase
  • No preset spending limit
  • Opportunity to earn a $200 annual cash bonus
  • Annual fee of $150
  • Balance must be paid-in-full each month
  • Late fee of 2.99% if you carry a balance
  • Large minimum spend requirement

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is best for business owners who want to earn cash back and have the ability to pay their balance in full every month. While there is no preset spending limit, it does charge a 2.99% monthly late fee on unpaid balances. This card is best for business owners who can spend heavily on their cards to meet the large minimum spend requirement and earn the $200 annual cash bonus.

  • Export purchase records to accounting software
  • Free employee cards
  • Set customized spending limits on each employee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Extended warranty on eligible items

What is a rewards credit card?

A rewards credit card is a card that offers miles, points or cash back based on the amount you spend each month. Depending on the card, the rewards earned may be at a flat rate for all purchases or certain categories may earn bonus rewards. Many rewards credit cards partner with airlines, hotels and other brands to offer specific rewards tailored to those brands. Other rewards cards earn flexible points that can be redeemed in multiple ways, like cash back, gift cards, booking travel or transferring to travel partners.

Types of rewards credit cards

Choosing a rewards credit card is like going to the ice cream shop. There are many different flavors available, but some are better than others based on your tastes. You can narrow down your options by determining where you spend the most and which types of rewards are most important.

Cash back: Cardholders receive a portion of their purchases as cash back. The cash back rewards are usually issued as statement credits, a physical check or a deposit to a bank account. Some redemptions are automatic, while others require you to initiate a request.

Flexible points: Flexible points provide many redemption options, including cash back, gift cards, booking travel and transferring to travel partners. If you have multiple credit cards that earn the same flexible points, most programs allow you to pool your rewards to reach your goals faster.

Airline co-branded: Airline credit cards earn miles towards future travel with the co-branded airline. These cards are issued in coordination with an airline to provide specific benefits for travelers, such as free checked bags, priority boarding and in-flight discounts. Some airline credit cards accelerate your path to elite status based on your spending.

Hotel co-branded: Hotel credit cards offer perks when staying at participating hotels. Cardholders typically receive automatic elite status, bonus points when paying for their stay and an annual free night.

Should you apply for a rewards credit card?

Applying for a rewards credit card is a smart choice for people who are responsible with their credit and won’t be tempted to overspend. Having a good-to-excellent credit score qualifies you for some of the best rewards credit card offers to receive big welcome bonuses, high rewards on spending and attractive benefits.

However, if you are carrying credit card debt or cannot control your spending, applying for a rewards credit card may not be a wise decision. Many people who apply for rewards credit cards spend more than they normally would to chase additional rewards. This leads to credit card debt and other financial worries. No rewards are worth the interest that a bank charges for carrying a balance.

Other card categories to consider:

How to choose a rewards credit card

If you’re ready to choose from the best rewards credit cards, here’s how to find the right card for you.

1. Figure out which cards you can qualify for

Before applying for a new credit card, it helps to know what your credit score is. Many banks, websites and apps offer credit scores for free. Knowing your score helps you focus on the credit cards you’re most likely to get approved for.

Don’t know your credit score? Sign-up at LendingTree to get your free credit score and recommendations to boost your score.

The best rewards credit cards are for people with excellent credit, but there are also good card options for every type of credit. Even people with fair credit or those who are rebuilding their credit can qualify for cards with valuable rewards and benefits until their credit scores improve.

FICO ScoreVantage Score
  • 300-579 is poor credit
  • 580-669 is fair credit
  • 670-739 is good credit
  • 740-799 is very good credit
  • 800-850 is exceptional credit
  • 300-499 is very poor credit
  • 500-600 is poor credit
  • 601-660 is fair credit
  • 661-780 is good credit
  • 781-850 is excellent credit
Before applying, make sure that you read the fine print on who qualifies to receive a bonus or open an account. Many banks exclude current cardholders or those who have received a bonus in the last 24 to 48 months. Understanding the terms and conditions can spare you from the unpleasant surprise of opening and spending a lot of money on a card just to discover that you don’t qualify for the sign-up bonus.

2. Consider your goals for the rewards

Knowing how you want to spend the rewards from your card narrows down your choices to make it easier to pick the right card. Selecting which type of rewards you want to earn enables you to focus on a limited number of cards so that it is easier to compare their bonuses, earnings rates, benefits, and fees.

What type of user are you?Choose a ...
You want the simplest rewards possibleCash back credit card
You want rewards that you can use in a variety of ways to get the best valueFlexible points credit card (ex.: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Freedom Unlimited®)
You want to earn rewards and benefits with a hotel or airline programCo-branded airline or hotel credit card (ex.: United℠ Explorer Card or Hilton Honors American Express Card)

3. Find rewards that match your spending patterns

Matching your spending habits with the bonus categories of your rewards credit card is the best approach. This allows you to maximize the rewards earned on your regular purchases, like groceries, gas, dining and travel.

Some people get multiple cards that earn the same type of rewards to take advantage of each card’s bonus categories. For example, the Chase Trifecta is a strategy that seeks to earn maximum Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase.

Popular bonus categories:

 

4. Do the math to decide which card is best for you

After narrowing down your choices, compare how much you can earn from each card in the first year. Factor in the welcome bonus, rewards earned from spending and annual credits. Then subtract the annual fee to determine your net benefit from each rewards card.

Some people also assign a cash value to other card benefits, like free checked bags, as part of the comparison. Only include these benefits if they actually earn or save you additional money. For example, travelers who only carry on their luggage won’t actually save money with the free checked bags benefits.

The comparison may look different in the second year when there isn’t a welcome bonus. That calculation helps you decide if you should keep the card going forward or switch to a different one.

FeatureCard A (points worth $0.01 each)Card B (cash back card) **Winner**Card C (no-annual-fee cash back card)
Sign-up bonus50,000 points$250$200
Earning rate2X points on every purchase6% cash back on groceries, 3% cash back on gas, 1% cash back on everything else2% cash back on every purchase
Rewards earned on $6,000 in groceries12,000 points worth $120$360$120
Rewards earned on $3,000 in gas6,000 points worth $60$90$60
Rewards earned on $11,000 in other spend22,000 points worth $220$110$110
Annual fee$95$95$0
Rewards minus annual fee$305$465$290

How do you calculate the value of points?

Not all points are created equal. Understanding the value of your points enables you to compare points from different programs.

To calculate the value of an award redemption, first, determine the cost when paying cash. Subtract any taxes or fees that you still have to pay. Then, divide that total by the number of points you’re redeeming. The result is the value per point of that redemption.

Point value = $ value of target redemption option (minus taxes/fees that you still have to pay) ÷ Number of points

Example: ($1,500 laptop computer – $124 in taxes) ÷ 190,000 points = $0.007 point value (less than 1 cent/point)

Features to consider

In order to choose the best rewards credit cards for your wallet, it pays to evaluate the features that each card offers and decide which are most important to you.

Many credit cards offer a welcome bonus to new cardholders when they spend a certain amount within a set timeframe. For example: “Earn 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months”. Earning a welcome bonus is the quickest way to earn a large number of points quickly. Because the rewards are so big compared to the required spending, many people focus on this feature the most.

Some of the best rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. While many people try to avoid paying an annual fee, it can be worthwhile if the benefits outweigh the fees. Often, you’ll earn a larger welcome bonus, get more points on your spending and receive additional benefits from a card with an annual fee versus one without.

Some of the best rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. While many people try to avoid paying an annual fee, it can be worthwhile if the benefits outweigh the fees. Often, you’ll earn a larger welcome bonus, get more points on your spending and receive additional benefits from a card with an annual fee versus one without.

Certain credit cards offer introductory 0% APR promotions on balance transfers, purchases or both to new cardholders. These promotions allow you to eliminate interest on those balances for the duration of the offer’s term. Typical interest-free periods range from 12 to 18 months. Zero percent offers are an excellent way to pay off debt quicker or avoid interest on a large purchase.

Rewards cards often include benefits specific to the co-branded partner or loyalty program that’s issuing the card. Airline cards often include free checked bags and priority boarding, while hotel cards may offer a free hotel night and automatic elite status. Other benefits include rental car protection, trip interruption or cancellation insurance, extended warranty coverage and annual credits at select merchants. The value of some of these benefits could be worth more than the welcome bonus or rewards earned on your spending, so be sure to consider them.

How to maximize credit card rewards

  • Don’t transfer until you’ve verified that there is award space available. Once you’ve transferred points, they cannot be returned.
  • Take advantage of transfer bonuses to loyalty programs. Periodically, different airline and hotel partners offer transfer bonuses to get even more value from your points.
  • Use multiple cards to maximize category bonuses. You can increase the amount of cash back, points or miles that you earn by rotating cards with different bonus categories. On that note, using cards that earn the same rewards currency (e.g., Chase Ultimate Rewards®) can help you maximize your points or miles in that program.
  • Use shopping portals to earn additional rewards on online shopping. When you shop through your card’s shopping portal, you can earn additional rewards on top of the rewards from your credit card. Some programs offer additional incentives during holidays and other sale events, like back-to-school.
  • Register all your credit cards for shopping or dining rewards programs. Programs like Dosh, Bumped and Rewards Network provide extra rewards when shopping or eating at participating retailers and restaurants.
  • Get your spouse or partner involved as your “Player 2.” When your spouse gets involved, you can double up on rewards by getting the same cards or diversify your points by applying for cards that you’re not eligible for.
  • Use credit cards for your business or side hustle. Earn extra rewards by applying for a credit card in the name of your business. Examples of businesses that may qualify for a business credit card include rideshare driver, rental property owner or an Etsy shop owner. In most cases, the rewards earned from your business credit card can be combined with your linked personal rewards program accounts.

Tracy Brackman

  • Expertise: Credit cards, credit scoring, personal finance
  • Education: Ohio State University, Florida International University

 


Tracy Brackman is a senior editor and credit card expert at LendingTree, where she writes and edits educational pieces on credit card-related topics and personal finance using her 12+ years of experience in the field.

Before joining LendingTree in 2019, Tracy worked as a products editor for CreditCards.com, where she developed the credit card products section and created content focused on breaking credit card news.

Prior to that, she worked as a product information manager for Bankrate, where she managed the financial and credit card product details and maintained compliance for two affiliate networks, as well as Bankrate-owned and operated sites.

She began working in the credit card space in 2009 as the editorial department manager for FlexOffers, an affiliate marketing company.

Tracy studied marketing at the Ohio State University and Florida International University.

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The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available. Check the Issuers’ website for more details.