More than ever before, credit card companies are throwing cash, points, and miles at consumers to entice them to sign up for new credit cards. We’re talking bonuses worth hundreds of dollars just for signing up for a new credit card. Many of these cards don’t even have an annual fee!
Here are a couple of things to note about finding the best rewards credit cards:
1. Most lists are outdated. Be careful which lists you’re looking at when it comes to rewards credit cards. Many, such as the lists from Consumer Reports, are outdated. Those cards have long been replaced with even better offers.
2. Many lists leave out the best cards. Of course, it’s not practical to list every one of the thousands of great credit card options out there. But here, we’re really trying to distill it down to the best offers at the time of this writing.
3. A lot of lists don’t include alternative strategies. You’re probably not going to get alternative strategies that can help you maximize your cashback. As a result, it’s important to plan ahead and look for complementary services, like Earny, that can work with virtually any credit card to help you take advantage of programs like price protection and help you boost your cashback.
Here, we'll list our editor's picks of the best overall rewards credit cards.
1. Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express is an excellent way to earn cash back on your everyday expenses. In fact, unlike most cards weighted more towards dining, entertainment, and travel, this one is weighted towards gas and groceries.
With this card, you’ll get 6% cash back on up to $6,000 per year spent at U.S. supermarkets and on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; then earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit; plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can redeem your Reward Dollars as a statement credit. For new cardmembers, spend $3,000 on purchases within six months of account opening, and get a $300 statement credit. Terms Apply.
The $95 annual fee for this card isn’t fun to pay, but it’s waived the first year, so it’s definitely not the worst option among high-rewards cash back cards. It also offers a 12-month 0% introductory APR on purchases (then an ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable applies).
2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one I’ve carried for years. It has several excellent features. First, you can earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. These miles are worth $750 when used for travel if you hit the 75,000 mile bonus.
Second, you earn 2 miles for every dollar spent. Use these miles for travel, and this card offers a 2% rewards rate one every purchase. You can earn 5X on hotels and car rentals when booked through Capital One Travel. Many other travel rewards credit cards lure you in with the promise of 3x-5x rewards miles, but that only applies to travel spending. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card gives you 2% every time.
The annual fee for this card is $95.
3. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is listed in the best-of lists on plenty of websites, and not without reason. Right now, it’s offering a great bonus: 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in your first three months after account opening - Offer ends Tuesday, 6/1 at 6pm EST.
On an ongoing basis, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 5 points per $1 spent on travel and 3X points on dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other categories.
Other perks include 25% more value on travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and a 1:1 point transfer program. This lets you transfer your Chase points into other travel rewards programs, which can let you leverage your rewards more easily.
The card also offers no foreign transaction fees, and it’s chip-enabled for more security and worldwide acceptance.
The main drawback to this card is that it has a $95 annual fee. If you don't spend enough money on the card to out-earn that $95, then this card may not be worth your while. But if you want to reap excellent rewards on everyday spending, then this could be the rewards card for you.
- Another Option: Another option is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Plus it now offers a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. The big benefit of this card vs. the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that it has no annual fee so if you’re a lighter spender, you may earn more overall.
4. Chase Freedom Flex
The Chase Freedom Flex is considered one of the best cash back rewards cards available today. After signing up and making just $500 in purchases during the first three months, you’ll receive a cool $200. This card offers 1% cash back on all purchases with 5% cash back on select categories each and every quarter.
Those categories include things like gas, groceries and at department stores but there's a slight catch. Only $1,500 can be spent per quarter in these categories before your cash back rate defaults to 1%. Cash back never expires, and there is no limit to what you can earn.
You’ll also receive a generous 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After this expires, the ongoing variable APR becomes 15.24% - 23.99% Variable.
There is no annual fee to own the Chase Freedom Flex.
5. Brex 30 Credit Card
Unlike the other cards on this list, the Brex 30 Credit Card is a business charge card. That means you need to own a small business to qualify. Your business must also have $50,000 in its bank accounts if the money is invested. Otherwise, the business must have $100,000 available.
If you can qualify, this card can be a great choice.
You can earn:
- 7x points on rideshares
- 4x points on flights and hotels through Brex Travel
- 3x on dining
- 1x on everything else
You can redeem points for cash back, gift cards, or travel. You can also transfer your points to airline loyalty programs.
On top of its rewards, the card offers useful tools to manage your company’s finances and thirty-day payment terms. Plus, it has no annual fee.
6. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card pays a solid 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The card also offers a one-time $200 bonus (after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening) and 0% APR introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (the everyday APR is 15.24% - 25.24% (Variable), with $0 annual fee.
Perhaps the biggest benefit for Capital One users is that no foreign transaction fees are charged. This means that when you use your and the merchant processes transactions in a different currency, you are not charged a fee. The transaction can be done in person or online; and Capital One will always handle the currency conversion free of charge.
7. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
If you were scared away by the annual fee of our top card on this list, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is right up your alley. 3% cash back is earned at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back spent on all other purchases.
New cardmembers will receive a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first six months or card membership. Terms Apply.
Also included with this card is a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After this expires, there is an ongoing variable APR of 14.74% - 24.74%. There is no annual fee to own the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
8. Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card
Are you worried a lack of credit history could make it hard to get a good rewards card? The Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card—issued by WebBank, Member FDIC—is here to help. Instead of relying solely on credit scores, Peral uses what they call “Cash Score” to help make a decision on your application.
The “Cash Score” is determined by looking at your bank account. You link your account during the application process using a secure portal. Petal will look at your income and expenses to help determine if you qualify for the Petal 2 card.
If approved, the Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card is great to help you build credit while also earning cash back on purchases. The Petal app gives you access to your credit score as well as budgeting tools to make managing your spending easier. There are no fees of any kind with the card, including annual fees, foreign transaction fees, or late payment fees.
As for rewards, the Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card comes with 1% cash back to start. As you make your monthly payments on time for 12-months, this amount is increased to up to 1.5%. While this may not seem like a lot compared to other rewards cards, you’ll also get access to special offers from local Petal partners in the app. Special cash back offers from select merchants could give you up to 10% cash back.
If you don’t want to pay fees for your card, earn cash back, and don’t have a lot of credit history, the Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card could be a great option.