In the last five years, credit card rewards have become wildly more popular and mainstream. With lures of large signup bonuses, great perks and the ability to travel either business class, or essentially for free, it’s not hard to see why more people are interested in using a credit card with a rewards program.
Now with so many different rewards programs on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you. Take a look through a few of the top credit cards with reward programs, and see what rewards appeal the most to you and your lifestyle.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Best travel rewards
This credit card has been known for giving out a large welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. This is equivalent to around $1,200 worth of travel. This reward can be used towards a plane ticket (or an upgrade to business class) on one of Chase’s 10 airline partners, as well as with three of their hotel partners.
Known as one of the best beginner credit cards available, the rewards earned are also quite impressive. With 5x points on Lyft, 2x on travel and dining, and points on all other purchases, this card will pay for itself quickly.
Citi® Double Cash Card: Best everyday rewards
Although this card comes with no welcome bonus, there is also no annual fee. The rewards rate on this card is wonderful, giving 2% back on all purchases, (1% when you purchase, and another 1% when you pay your bill. Additionally, this card has a very good list of transfer partners. This ability to convert points to different partners translates to a 3.4% return on every purchase which makes it an amazing card for everyday non-specialized rewards.
American Express Gold Card: Best dining rewards
The fee for this card is a bit higher than many other rewards cards at $250 per year, but the perks, welcome bonus and rewards rate makes up for it. The perks that come with this card include a dining credit of $120 each year and an airline-fee credit of $100.
The welcome bonus you receive is 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, and rewards 4x at restaurants worldwide as well as U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000), 3x on any flight booked through an airline or on amextravel.com, and standard points on all other purchases.
After all your rewards you will generally receive an 8% return on restaurant and U.S. supermarket spending, as well as a 6% return on airfare. This card is great for those who enjoy eating out, or have a large family and spend substantial money at the grocery store.
Chase Freedom: Best category rewards
If you are someone who generally uses your card for a lot of different categories, this card will reward you greatly. This card also offers a pretty great welcome bonus of $150 after spending only $500 in the first few months. This is a much lower purchase requirement than other cards and there is no annual fee.
The rewards on this card are also great, with 5% cashback on the first $1,500 in purchases within each quarterly category (such as department stores or gas stations), and 1% on everything else. If you are willing to be aware of which categories are gathering the most cashback each quarter or seem to spend on a large variety of categories regardless, then this is a great card for you.
Regardless of which gives you the best rewards, it is always good to choose the best rewards for you. Although a card translates to the highest rewards, if it is a travel reward card and you don’t travel, those 100,000 points you have racked up will be pointless.