Best Rewards Credit Cards

Bankrate has carefully reviewed all of the fan-favorites, newest offers and revamped cards to compile what we deem the best credit cards from our partners. There's a rewards card out there for everyone — chances are, yours is right here. Apply for one and take advantage of your 2019 rewards by earning points, miles or cash back.

Best rewards credit cards of 2019


Need more information?

Skip down to read our card profiles and expert advice.

Best for travel

Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day
Welcome Offer:
50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for your first rewards credit card

Chase Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Chase's secure website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Rewards Rate:
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases after initial $20,000 spend in your first year.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR:
17.24% - 25.99% Variable

Card Details

  • New Offer! Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for dining and entertainment

Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment Earn 2% at grocery stores Earn 1% on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
$300 after you spend $3000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for points flexibility

Chase Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Chase's secure website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards Rate:
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Annual Fee:
$95
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
18.24% - 25.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for first year cash back bonus

Discover Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Discover's secure website

Discover it® Cash Back

Rewards Rate:
Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Welcome Offer:
Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 14 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% for 14 months
Regular APR:
14.24% - 25.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
Welcome Offer:
20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 14.24% - 24.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for personalized cash back rewards

U.S. Bank Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good Credit to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On U.S. Bank's secure website

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Rewards Rate:
5% cash back on your first $2,000 in eligible net purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose. 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores. 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
Welcome Offer:
$150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Annual Fee:
$0*
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0%* intro on BTs for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR:
16.24% - 25.74%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
  • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
  • No limit on total cash back earned.
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 16.24% - 25.74%
  • No annual fee*
  • Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2019 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2019

Best for flat-rate cash back

Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Welcome Offer:
$150 after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular APR:
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for rotating cash back categories

Chase Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Chase's secure website

Chase Freedom®

Rewards Rate:
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
Welcome Offer:
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR:
17.24% - 25.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for everyday spending

Citi Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Citi's secure website

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro for 15 months on Purchases
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro for 15 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR:
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • Get 10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points you redeem per year
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.


Author: Claire Dickey

Questions? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.


What you need to know about rewards credit cards

With a rewards credit card, you can unlock value from the spending you do every day. Whether you’re looking to earn rewards on travel, shopping, dining out, filling up the tank or a more specific purchase, there’s a rewards credit card that can help you do it.

Rewards cards and how they work

A rewards card can earn you points, miles or cash back for purchases made with the card. The card can be flat-rate — meaning it offers the same percentage back for every purchase — or offer rotating bonus categories —  meaning you’ll earn different percentages depending on the category in which your purchase falls.

Depending on the issuer, rewards cards offer distinct rewards programs and have specific rules concerning how you can redeem your rewards. Some rewards cards, such as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card, for example, require that you redeem your rewards through the issuer’s portal. In the case of the Propel card, that would be the Go Far® Rewards portal. The information related to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card has been collected by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

There can also be restrictions on what you can redeem your rewards for, such as cash back, statement credit, gift cards, shopping, travel and more. The Citi® Double Cash Card, for example, doesn’t offer a travel redemption option for cash back earnings but does offer statement credit, direct deposit and checks.

Is a rewards card worth it?

When you pay for purchases with cash or a debit card, you’re leaving the potential for rewards on the table.

With a rewards card, you can earn points, miles or cash back while cashing in on the additional perks of whichever rewards program your card falls under. Many rewards cards come with benefits like travel credits, cell phone protection, free checked bags, shopping discounts, travel protections and more.

As long as you have good credit and are a responsible spender, a rewards credit card can be an excellent addition to your wallet. For more information on rewards cards available to you, visit our rewards credit card review page.

Types of rewards cards

Navigating all the rewards card options available to you can be difficult. That’s why we broke out some of the most common types, along with more detailed recommendations from our team on the best cards in each category.

Cash back

With a cash back rewards card, you’ll earn a percentage of cash back on purchases. Your cash back will typically be applied as a statement credit toward your account, yet some cards — such as the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card — can directly deposit the cash back into your U.S Bank checking or savings account.

Travel

Whether it’s a co-branded card with an airline or hotel or a general-purpose travel rewards card, these cards can help frequent travelers earn rewards for their travel-related spending.

With a travel rewards card, you can expect perks like discounted trips, seat upgrades, travel insurance benefits, statement credits and more. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit. Read our guide to your first travel rewards card for tips on how to choose the right travel card option for you.

Co-branded retail cards

Certain co-branded cards are issued through a partnership between a credit card company and a retailer. With co-branded retail cards, you can earn discounts, free shipping and members-only access events.

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, for example, will earn you 4% cash back on eligible gas (up to $7,000 per year, then 1%), 3% on restaurant and eligible travel purchases and 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costo.com. You’ll earn 1% on all other purchases.

Business

With a business rewards card, you can earn rewards for any business-related spending. The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, for example, will earn you an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase for your business.

These cards may offer perks like free employee cards, travel and auto insurance, travel statement credits and more. If you’re interested in applying for a business credit card, read our tips on how to choose the right card.

“I have [a lot of] credit cards and use each of them for specific reasons: free nights, free flights, upgraded hotel rooms, cash back, etc. Overall, though, the goal is to strategically earn rewards, perks, and cash back to allow my family of four to travel as much as we want for as little money as possible. ”
— Lee Huffman, Travel & Lifestyle Writer at Bald Thoughts

Redeeming your rewards

A stash of rewards is only meaningful if you redeem them. Thankfully, many cards offer unlimited redemption and rewards that don’t expire, but it’s still important to consider all the ways rewards can be used prior to applying for a card.

Redemption options

Before redeeming, you should know what your particular card allows you to redeem for. Options generally include statement credit, cash back, gift cards, shopping, travel and donations. If you plan on redeeming for travel, familiarize yourself with your particular card’s rules before doing so.

Rewards portals

Some rewards credit cards allow you to transfer your rewards to partner hotels and airlines, but more commonly, cards will require that travel be redeemed through their portal. Make sure to research which cards require this prior to applying, especially if you value flexibility.

Transferring rewards

If you’re interested in transferring your rewards from your card to an airline or hotel’s loyalty program, some cards allow you to do so and often for increased value. For example, many Chase cards allow you to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to other travel loyalty programs at a 1:1 value.

How to maximize your rewards

Developing a thorough credit card strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Here are a few ways you can maximize your rewards at every stage in your card’s lifecycle.

Determine what your goals are

Before you apply for a card, decide what your goals are for using it. Would you like to do more traveling? Are you interested in saving money on everyday expenses like groceries and gas? Do you want to upgrade your airline or hotel status?

When you establish your long-term goals for your card use, you can then go on to develop a well-coordinated credit card strategy.

Take a look at your spending habits

The rewards card you choose should have a rewards structure centered around what you spend the most on. For example, if you manage a busy family of five, a rewards card that offers a high percentage of cash back on gas and groceries may be a good fit.

Should you already have one or more rewards cards, look for another that accomplishes a new goal or covers a segment of your budget not already accounted for.

Max out your spending categories

To get the most bang for your buck, you’re going to want to max out your card’s spending categories each quarter, should they have them. Cards with unlimited earning potential are an exception.

For example, if you owned the Discover it® Cash Back and spent $1,500 every three months on the 5% cash back rotating category, you’d have successfully maxed out the category at the 5% rewards rate (1% thereafter, activation required).

Double up on cards to earn more

To earn even more rewards, you can pair rewards cards that earn rewards for different types of spending.

Our most important piece of advice when it comes to pairing cards is to start slowly. Applying for multiple cards at once will only hurt your credit score — instead, start with the one that has the widest rewards net and slowly move onto others with more limited rewards categories.

If you’re interested in learning more about pairing cards, read our guide to the best credit card combinations.

“The main thing we look for [in a rewards credit card] is the rate at which the miles are accumulated and which spending habits the card will work best for. Since we rarely eat out having a card pay 2x points on restaurants is not beneficial to us compared to a card with 1.5x points on everyday purchases.”
— Brittany and Kelan Kline, Co-Founders at The Savvy Couple

Top picks for rewards credit cards

Here’s a look at the best rewards credit cards of 2019, according to our experts:

Card Name Best for Bankrate Review Score
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Travel 4.6/5
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Your first rewards credit card 4.6/5
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card Dining and entertainment 4.6/5
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Points flexibility 4.7/5
Discover it® Cash Back First-year cash back bonus 4.8/5
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card Low APR 4.1/5
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card Personalized cash back rewards 4.5/5
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Flat-rate cash back 4.8/5
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card (not currently available) Overall rewards 4.5/5
Chase Freedom® Rotating cash back categories 4.5/5

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

What we love:

  • Receive 10X miles through January 2020 on thousands of hotels booked and paid for via hotels.com/venture
  • Annual fee waived the first year (then $95) and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

This card isn’t for you if: You can’t live without lounge access.

Bottom line: The Venture Card is a solid travel rewards card with plenty of perks for the frequent traveler.

Read the full review and apply on Capital One’s secure website.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

What we love:

  • First-year bonus offer changed from a $150 sign-up bonus to 3% cash back on all purchases your first year (up to $20,000, then 1.5%)
  • No annual fee and an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (17.24%–25.99% variable APR thereafter)

This card isn’t for you if: You frequently travel abroad, due to the 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside of the United States.

Bottom line: The Freedom Unlimited offers both top-notch rewards and flexibility. You can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal and shopping at Amazon.com.

Read the full review and apply on Chase’s secure website.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

What we love:

  • Perfect for the food lovers at heart with an unlimited 4% back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else
  • If summer concerts are the name of your game, you’ll love the 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020
  • $95 annual fee is waived for your first year and you’ll receive a stellar $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 in your first three months

This card isn’t for you if: You don’t frequently spend on entertainment or eating out.

Bottom line: The Savor Cash Rewards Card is the perfect option for food lovers, concertgoers and entertainment junkies.

Read the full review and apply on Capital One’s secure website.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

What we love:

  • 25% boost to your points when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • This boost would make your 60,000-point bonus (earned after spending $4,000 in your first three months) worth $750 toward travel when redeemed through the portal
  • One-to-one point transfer for nine airline and four hotel travel partners

This card isn’t for you if: You don’t like redeeming rewards through travel portals.

Bottom line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card for the semi-frequent traveler.

Read the full review and apply on Chase’s secure website.

Discover it® Cash Back

What we love:

  • Enroll each quarter to earn 5% cash back (up to $1,500 per quarter) on rotating categories, 1% thereafter
  • Discover will automatically match your cash back rewards at the end of your first year
  • No annual fee and your first late payment fee is waived (then up to $39)

This card isn’t for you if: You don’t enjoy keeping up with rotating bonus categories.

Bottom line: The Discover it Cash Back is a desirable no annual fee rewards card, especially due to its first-year bonus.

Read the full review and apply on Discover’s secure website.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

What we love:

  • In addition to 1.25X miles on every purchase, earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels booked and paid for at hotels.com/venture through January 2020
  • No foreign transaction fees for spending abroad
  • This no annual fee rewards card offers a 20,000-mile bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first three months (equivalent to $200 in travel)
  • Low variable APR of 14.24% – 24.24%

This card isn’t for you if: You value a higher rewards rate over no annual fee.

Bottom line: The VentureOne is an appealing travel rewards card with standard Capital One perks, but you can find better rewards structures in other travel cards. Despite the low APR (14.24% – 24.24% variable), the 0% introductory APR on purchases is only 12 months.

Read the full review and apply on Capital One’s secure website.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

What we love:

  • Choose two categories from a list of 12 to receive 5% cash back (up to $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter)
  • Then, choose between gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants to receive 2% cash back and get 1% back on everything else
  • Enjoy a $150 bonus after spending only $500 on eligible purchases within your first 90 days
  • No annual fee

This card isn’t for you if: You have trouble remembering to activate or elect rotating bonus categories or if you plan to use the card abroad (thanks to the 3% foreign transaction fee).

Bottom line: Would you like to choose from more than a handful of bonus categories? The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature can help you get more control over where you earn your rewards.

Read the full review and apply on U.S. Bank’s secure website.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

What we love:

  • Great no annual fee card for earning an unlimited 1.5% cash back
  • $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 within your first three months
  • Receive a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (16.24% – 26.24% variable thereafter)
  • No foreign transaction fees and standard Capital One benefits

This card isn’t for you if: You already own a flat-rate cash back card.

Bottom line: The Quicksilver is one of the better options for those looking for a no-fuss cash back card or who want to transfer a balance.

Read the full review and apply on Capital One’s secure website.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card (not currently available)

What we love:

  • For no annual fee, you’ll earn a solid 3X points on the following: eating out and ordering in, gas stations, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals and popular streaming services
  • Receive a 30,000-point bonus after spending $3,000 in your first three months (worth $300 in cash back)
  • No blackout dates on flights booked through Go Far® Rewards and you can pay with a combination of points and card payment

This card isn’t for you if: You’re looking for a simple rewards redemption option — points must be redeemed through the Go Far® Rewards portal and can’t be transferred to airline or hotel loyalty programs.

Bottom line: The Propel card offers a wonderful rewards structure without the burden of rotating categories or an annual fee, but be prepared to navigate Well Fargo’s online portal.

The information related to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card has been collected by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

Read the full review and apply on Wells Fargo’s secure website.

Chase Freedom®

What we love:

  • Earning 5% rewards on rotating categories is a strong cash back offering
  • The 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (17.24-25.99% variable APR after that) provide both financing and repayment flexibility for cardholders

This card isn’t for you if: You actively budget before each quarter’s categories are announced.

Bottom line: The Chase Freedom® is a viable entry point for cost conscious cardholders looking to explore Chase’s expansive Ultimate Rewards Program, but for those who proactively budget, the rotating categories could be a wildcard to account for every quarter.

Read the full review and apply on Chase’s secure website.

Find the right rewards card for your credit score

Do you know the best rewards card for your credit score? Our experts at Bankrate have identified the top rewards cards for each credit score range.

Excellent credit: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great travel rewards card for excellent credit offering points back for travel and dining at restaurants. This card is known for its massive sign-up bonus — 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months of card ownership — as well as its 25% bonus on points redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Good credit: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

If you’re looking for a straightforward rewards card for good credit with both a solid sign-up bonus and rewards rate, look no further than the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You won’t get the same luxury benefits of an excellent credit travel rewards card, but you will enjoy no foreign transaction fees and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit of up to $100.

Fair credit: Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The QuicksilverOne is the sibling to the Quicksilver and offers the same unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. The difference? You don’t need excellent credit to qualify for the QuicksilverOne, but you will be charged a $39 annual fee. After making your first five monthly payments on time, you may receive access to a higher line of credit.

Poor credit: Discover it® Secured

Not many bad credit rewards cards offer both no annual fee and cash back rewards. With the Discover it Secured, you can start building your credit history or rebuild it altogether.

The card offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 combined each quarter) and an unlimited 1% on everything else. You’ll also receive Discover’s first-year Cashback Match™ offer, meaning your cash back earnings will be automatically matched at the end of your first year.

Learn more about the best rewards cards for your credit score

Additional reading on rewards cards

For more information on all-things rewards cards, continue reading content from our credit card experts:

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.