Rewards Credit Cards

Today, credit card companies are literally throwing cash, points and miles at consumers if they’ll sign up for a new rewards credit card. We’re talking bonuses worth hundreds of dollars just for getting a credit card, many of which have no annual fee. I’ve written about many of these deals over the past few months. For this article, I decided to do some more research to come up with the best rewards credit cards you’ll find anywhere.

I learned two things from my research. First, most articles you find are outdated. For example, even the venerable publication Consumer Reports lists rewards cards that have long since been replaced with better offers. And second, many lists leave out some of the best cards. In fairness, I should add that it’s not practical to list every offer available (there are literally thousands). But I’ve tried to include the rewards cards that are the absolute best.

The list is organized by type of reward (cash, miles or points):

Discover it®

Editor's Pick

Discover it®

Apply for the Discover it®
  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 14 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • Over 5,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and now Discover "Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies in a Tie" by J.D. Power*.
  • 5% cash back for online shopping and department store purchases on up to $1,500 - Oct. through Dec. 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements*.
  • No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment - APR won't go up for paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee*.
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.
  • 100% U.S.-based customer service-anytime, day and night.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking "Apply."
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases - Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
  • Chip card for increased confidence and convenience to pay abroad as easily as you do at home
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival Cardmembers
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
N/A N/A 0%* 12 Months 14.99% or 18.99%* Variable $89 - waived first year
735 Average credit score approved for this card† 679 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Credit Card
Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Credit Card
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after your first purchase
  • Earn 5X points on Priceline.com purchases
  • Earn 1 point on everything else. And there’s no limit to the number of points you can earn!
  • Plus, earn an additional 5,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on qualifying transactions in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Your points can act like cash - Redeem points for statement credits against purchases made on your account
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
0% 12 Months 0% 12 Months 14.99% or 21.99%* Variable $0
714 Average credit score approved for this card† 644 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

The Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card
The Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after your first purchase
  • Earn an additional 5,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on eligible Travelocity purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Points can be redeemed for statement credits towards Travelocity purchases for Flights, eligible Hotels and Vacation Packages, with no blackout dates
  • No Annual Fee
  • Please see Terms and Conditions for complete details
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
N/A N/A N/A N/A 14.99%, 21.99% or 24.99%* Variable $0
0 Average credit score approved for this card† 0 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®
The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee*
  • First checked bag FREE on eligible bags for you and up to four companions on domestic US Airways operated flights
  • One companion certificate good for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways operated flight at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
  • Priority boarding Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights
  • Redeem miles for award travel on US Airways and American Airlines booked through usairways.com or US Airways Reservations
  • Earn miles on every purchase with 2 miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways purchases and 1 mile for every $1 on purchases everywhere else
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
N/A N/A 0%* 15 Months 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%* Variable $89
709 Average credit score approved for this card† 607 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®
Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival Cardmembers
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
N/A N/A 0% 12 Months 14.99% or 18.99%* Variable $0
714 Average credit score approved for this card† 677 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

If you know of a rewards card that is better than what’s listed here, please leave a comment and let us know about it.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are authors alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the “Apply Now” button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer’s website.

Discover is a paid advertiser of this site.

Published or Updated: October 2, 2014
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. k says:

    thanks for these tips and this webpage. i used it to find a good credit card and so far the chase card has worked out fine. thanks!

    • Gary C says:

      PenFed Pentagon Federal Credit Union has the best Reward card. Fuel 5%, Groceries 3%, and 1% everything else. It is easy to join if you’ve ever been in the military, or worked for the Federal government. I haven’t checked in a while, but it might also be open if you have worked for a state, county, or city government.

  2. Credit Card Education says:

    I completely agree with the assessment about the Starwood Card — it’s one of my favorite rewards cards too because you can really stay at a range of hotel levels and the sign-up bonus is pretty nice. My wife and I stayed at a level 1 hotel for two nights for a wedding and it cost us very few points. Going forward we’re hoarding points to help subsidize the cost of our dream vacation to Bora Bora as there is a sweet spot in the Starwood network, although sadly that will be about 10 years worth of points because we’re trying to have it pay for the whole trip (air/hotel).

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