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Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2024

  • Our top 3 picks for the best rewards credit cards are the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express, and Chase Freedom Unlimited?.
  • Choosing a rewards credit card can be overwhelming, but CardMatch can help. Answer a few questions and you’ll get matched with cards that meet your needs. Using CardMatch will not affect your credit score.
  • Rewards cards offer generous points, cash-back, or miles-earning ability on your purchases. Many also come with added benefits such as sign-up bonuses, travel statement credits, and consumer protections.

Our top picks for the best rewards credit cards

Advertiser Disclosure

Best for Flat-rate Travel Rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X miles per dollar on hotel stays or rental cars booked through Capital One’s portal and 2X miles on all other purchases.

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Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
75,000 miles
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
For travelers who want to minimize the hassle of earning rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card delivers. It offers a straightforward reward rate of 2X miles on all purchases, along with an upgraded rate on eligible travel purchases, all for a low annual fee.
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Card Details

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  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Pros
  • Travel insurance protections incuded
  • Earn flexible rewards for travel
  • Reasonable $95 annual fee
Cons
  • Requires good or excellent credit
  • No everyday spending bonus categories
  • High APR
Bottom Line

The massive sign-up offer and generous, flexible rewards make this card a great option for casual travelers.

Best for Grocery & Gas Rewards

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

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Up to 6% Reward Rate

Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0 the first year, then $95
Welcome Offer
$250
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
For families and frequent shoppers, The Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express is an excellent option. With 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), you can be rewarded well for your weekly grocery runs. It also has great rewards on select streaming services, purchases at U.S. gas stations, and transit spending.
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Card Details

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  • 0% Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers during the first 12 months (then 19.24% to 29.99% variable)
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred? Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred? Card. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, transit and more
  • 0% APR on purchases for a limited time
  • Don’t need to activate categories
Cons
  • Rewards can only be redeemed for a statement credit or at Amazon.com
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • Has an annual fee
Bottom Line

Although this card has an annual fee, most families will be able to easily get enough value out of the everyday categories to make it worth it.

Best for Flexible Cash Back Rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited?

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Up to 6.5% Reward Rate

Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
Up to $300 cash back
Regular APR
20.49%-29.24% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Chase Freedom Unlimited? card is a great option for those looking for flexible, easy-to-earn rewards. It offers a flat cash-back rate on all purchases and generous cash-back in other useful categories, so you can earn without even having to think about it. To make it even better, it has a spectacular welcome offer and doesn’t charge an annual fee. Freedom Unlimited is often advertised as a cash-back card, but it actually offers much more. The rewards you earn with this card are part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, so they’re highly flexible and easy to redeem. Despite the abundance of credit cards available in the market, the Chase Freedom Unlimited? stands out as one of the best options out there.

Best for Rewards on Everyday Spending

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

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Up to 3% Reward Rate

Earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000/year spent at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year at U.S. gas stations (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year on online retail purchases (then 1%), and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
We like the Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express for its generous reward structure for spending in useful, everyday categories. It also has no annual fee, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
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Card Details

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  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after account opening, then 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Everyday? Card. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy up to $15 back per month when you purchase a Home Chef meal kit subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday? Card.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR on eligible purchases for 15 months
  • Generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations & online shopping
Cons
  • Rewards cap on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retail purchases
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Low rewards rate outside of bonus categories
Bottom Line

For a no-annual-fee option, the reward rate on this card is pretty solid, but for heavy spenders, other cards may offer more value.

Best for Premium Amex Travel Rewards

The Platinum Card? from American Express

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X Membership Rewards? points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$695
Welcome Offer
80,000 points
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The American Express Platinum card, though it comes with a $695 annual fee, provides an array of valuable travel benefits. With complimentary airport lounge access, over $1,000 worth of statement credits, and so much more, this card can help elevate your travel experience to the next level.
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Card Details

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  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts? or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card?. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card? on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection? can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card? to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card?.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR? Plus Credit: CLEAR? Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck? application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck? official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card?. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card?. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card? to your Resy profile.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards rate for travel purchases
  • Qualify for $1,500+ in statement credits
  • Very generous welcome offer
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695
  • Many statement credit offers are too specific and hard to use
  • Non-travel-perks aren’t spectacular
Bottom Line

This is quite a spectacular card with incredibly valuable benefits, but the annual fee is objectively very high.

Best Premium Capital One Travel Rewards

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn 10X miles on hotel and rental car purchases made through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on airfare purchased through the portal, and 2X miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

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Annual Fee
$395
Welcome Offer
75,000 miles
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
The Capital One Venture X is an excellent choice for frequent travelers. With perks like airport lounge access, annual travel credits, and a flexible rewards program, it has the potential to be tremendously valuable for those who like exploring the world.
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Card Details

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  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?
Pros
  • Miles can be redeemed for travel purchases, transfers to international airlines, and more
  • Can qualify for hundreds of dollars in credits each year
  • Huge welcome offer
Cons
  • $395 annual fee
  • Large spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus
  • Excellent credit required
Bottom Line

With a lower annual fee than some premium cards and extremely valuable benefits, this card can easily be worth the annual fee for the frequent traveler.

Best for Dining and Entertainment Rewards

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 3% Reward Rate

Earn 3% cash back on dining purchases, entertainment, and popular streaming services. Earn 3% cash back at grocery stores, and earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the best cards for earning rewards in everyday categories like dining, entertainment, streaming services, and grocery stores.
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Card Details

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  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR).
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% for the first 15 months; 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time
  • 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
Pros
  • No rotating categories that you need to sign up for
  • No spending cap
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High APR
  • Good or excellent credit recommended
  • Low sign-up bonus
Bottom Line

The cash-back categories and welcome bonus are pretty solid, especially for a card without an annual fee.

Best for Flexible Travel Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X points on Chase Travel purchases, 3X points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services, and 1X points on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
75,000 points
Regular APR
21.49% to 28.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a spectacular credit card for earning rewards, especially due to Chase Ultimate Rewards, the flexible reward program that allows cardholders to earn and redeem points with unmatched flexibility. Through this program, points can be redeemed for travel, cash back, gift cards, and more. Additionally, the Sapphire Preferred has an incredibly generous sign-up bonus for new cardholders who can meet the spending requirement. On top of that, it also provides extra perks like trip cancellation/interruption insurance, rental car insurance, no foreign transaction fees, an annual hotel credit, and various partner benefits. This card is loaded with reward potential, and it only charges a low $95 annual fee.

Best for Hilton Rewards

Hilton Honors American Express Card

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Up to 7X Reward Rate

Earn 7X Hilton Honors Points on eligible Hilton purchases, 5X points on eligible U.S. restaurant, U.S. supermarket, and U.S. gas station purchases, and 3X on all other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
80,000 Points
Regular APR
20.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
For travelers who semi-frequently stay at Hilton hotels, the Hilton Honors American Express Card offers solid Hilton rewards for no annual fee.
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Card Details

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  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors? Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors? Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • Automatic Hilton Silver status
  • 20% bonus points on eligible stays
Cons
  • Low point redemption value
  • Need good or excellent credit to qualify
  • Fewer perks than some travel cards
Bottom Line

If you’re opposed to paying an annual fee for a hotel card, this one offers decent rewards for no yearly charge. It’s pretty lackluster on other benefits, though.

Best for Premium Chase Travel Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn 10X points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase Travel, 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, 5X points on flights booked through Chase Travel, 3X points on non-Chase travel and dining, and 1X points on all non-bonus spending.

Annual Fee
$550
Welcome Offer
75,000 points
Regular APR
22.49% to 29.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
The Chase Sapphire Reserve stands as a premium credit card, delivering an exceptional array of benefits for frequent travelers. It offers an impressive reward rate on travel, with up to 10X points on eligible purchases (Note: You won’t start earning points until the $300 annual travel statement credit is fully spent. The first $300 spent on travel each year will automatically go towards the statement credit). It also boasts a $300 yearly travel credit that can help justify the bulk of the annual fee. Outside of that, cardholders can take advantage of complimentary airport lounge access, great travel insurance perks, valuable partner benefits, and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit. If you’re looking for a card with a huge travel rewards rate and generous travel perks, and you don’t mind paying a substantial annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card may fit the bill.

Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back

Wells Fargo Active Cash? Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash? Card
2% Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Wells Fargo Active Cash? Card offers high, unlimited, flat-rate cash-back rewards on all purchases, meaning there are no confusing categories to keep track of. It also comes with a slew of other benefits to sweeten the deal.
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Card Details

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  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening, then a variable APR of 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99%.
  • No categories to track, activate, or remember
  • Cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open
  • Find tickets to top sports and entertainment events, book travel, make dinner reservations and more with your complimentary 24/7 Visa Signature? Concierge.
  • Up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft. Subject to a $25 deductible.
Pros
  • Unlimited 2% back on all purchases
  • Intro APR offer
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • No bonus categories
  • Smaller welcome offer than some cards
  • Charges 3% in foreign transaction fees
Bottom Line

The lack of an annual fee coupled with high flat-rate rewards makes this card a valuable asset to any wallet.

Best for Delta Airlines Rewards

Delta SkyMiles? Gold American Express Card

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Up to 2X Reward Rate

Earn 2X miles on restaurant purchases (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 2X miles at U.S. supermarkets and on Delta purchases, and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0 the first year, then $150
Welcome Offer
40,000 miles
Regular APR
20.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
If you make a habit of flying with Delta Airlines, the Delta Skymiles Gold credit card can reward you handsomely for your travels.
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Card Details

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  • Delta SkyMiles? Gold American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • $200 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • You can check your first bag free on Delta flights, saving up to $60 on a round-trip Delta flight per person. For a family of four that’s a potential savings of up to $240 per round-trip flight.
  • Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • $100 Delta Stays Credit: Delta SkyMiles? Gold American Express Card Members can earn up to $100 back annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings on delta.com.
  • Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases after using your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • With Send & Split?, you can send money and split your Card purchases with any other Venmo or PayPal user, directly from the Amex App. Enroll today.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Ability to earn a Delta Flight Credit
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Free checked bag
Cons
  • Comparatively high annual fee after the first year
  • Requires good to excellent credit
  • No Sky Club access
Bottom Line

The perks this card delivers can easily make up for the annual fee but may not be worth it if you aren’t a Delta enthusiast.

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Let's compare the best rewards credit cards of 2024

Advertiser Disclosure
Card name
Best for
Reward rate
Annual fee
Welcome offer
Best for Flexible Cash Back Rewards
1.5%-6.5% cash back
$0
Up to $300 cash back
Best Premium Capital One Travel Rewards
2X-10X miles
$395
75,000 miles
Best for Flexible Travel Rewards
1X-5X points
$95
75,000 points
Best for Premium Chase Travel Rewards
1X-10X points
$550
75,000 points
Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back
2% cash back
$0
$200
Best for Delta Airlines Rewards
1X-2X miles
$0 the first year, then $150
40,000 miles

Best rewards credit cards of 2024: Editorial reviews

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Best for Flat-rate Travel Rewards
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the perfect mix of spectacular travel rewards and a comparatively low annual fee. This card allows you to earn 2X miles per dollar on every purchase and 5X miles on eligible Capital One Travel purchases, so you can earn rewards on everything from flights to a new wardrobe. On top of that, this card also has a high welcome bonus and some excellent travel benefits, making it easy to justify the $95 annual fee.

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

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Best for Grocery & Gas Rewards
If you spend a significant amount on groceries every year, the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express can reward you well for your purchases. With 6% back on purchases made at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), an intro APR offer, and no annual fee for the first year (then $95/year), this card is an all-around spectacular option.

Chase Freedom Unlimited?

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Best for Flexible Cash Back Rewards
The Chase Freedom Unlimited? is marketed as a cash-back card but it actually earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Those points are redeemable for cash back, travel, etc., and if you have a card that’s already a part of the program, you can pool your points for even more value. The reward rate of this card is also solid, with up to 5% back in various categories and a fallback rate of 1.5%. Plus, it has no annual fee and a very generous (albeit unique) welcome offer.

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

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Best for Rewards on Everyday Spending
The Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express is a pretty solid option for rewards on everyday purchases. Its rewards rate is quite nice, with 3% back on up to $6,000 in everyday categories. Then it becomes a bit lackluster; after meeting the spending cap, the reward rate drops to 1%. If you spend a ton on groceries, the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express may hold more value, but the lack of an annual fee on this card still puts it pretty high on our list.

The Platinum Card? from American Express

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Best for Premium Amex Travel Rewards
Rewards, rewards, rewards. Namely, statement credits. The Platinum Card? from American Express comes with almost $2,000 worth of statement credits, a high earning potential on eligible travel purchases, airport lounge access, and more. Few cards come loaded with just as many rewards as this one, but it might take some planning on your part to make sure you can utilize enough of them to offset the $695 annual fee.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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Best Premium Capital One Travel Rewards
Don’t discount the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card just because of its almost $400 price tag. Comparatively, that’s a lower annual fee than many premium travel cards, and it still has a long list of valuable benefits. Namely, cardholders get complimentary Capital One airport lounge access, $300 worth of annual travel credits, a Priority Pass Select membership, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and more, in addition to a high rewards-earning potential on eligible travel purchases.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Best for Dining and Entertainment Rewards
In the realm of rewards credit cards, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a very solid option, especially considering its lack of an annual fee. If you spend a lot of money on dining, entertainment, streaming services, and even grocery stores, you can earn without even thinking about it, as this card has a higher-than-average earning rate in those categories.

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

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Best for Flexible Travel Rewards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points— a generous, yet flexible program that allows you to earn and redeem rewards in many ways. And if you choose to redeem your rewards toward travel, they’re worth 25% more (1.25 cents per point vs. the usual 1 cent per point). We think its $95 annual fee is a great deal when you take into account these rewards, its additional travel benefits, and its huge welcome offer.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

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Best for Hilton Rewards
Most hotel credit cards charge lofty annual fees, so the Hilton Honors American Express Card stands out. It comes with a generous welcome offer, high points-earning capability, complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status, and more; a great set of perks for no yearly cost.

Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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Best for Premium Chase Travel Rewards
When it comes to travel rewards, there’s a reason so many people love the Chase Sapphire Reserve? card. This card comes loaded with high-end perks and charges a hefty annual fee, but it can be easy to justify that fee if you consider the benefits this card allows you to access. Consider the $300 annual travel credit alone, and the fee is effectively dropped to $250. Consider its other perks on top of that, and it could be a great deal for the frequent traveler. If you don’t travel a ton, though, it may be difficult to fully utilize what this card has to offer.

Wells Fargo Active Cash? Card

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Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back
If cash-back is your favorite type of reward, paying an annual fee doesn’t sound worth it, and you don’t want to track any spending categories, the Wells Fargo Active Cash is perfect for you. This card has the simplest reward structure possible: 2% back on everything. No categories— just the sweet, sweet knowledge that you’re earning 2% back with everything you buy. It doesn’t offer a ton beyond that, but sometimes that’s okay.

Delta SkyMiles? Gold American Express Card

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Best for Delta Airlines Rewards
For the casual Delta flyer, the Delta SkyMiles? Gold American Express Card is a solid option. With 2X miles on Delta flights and in everyday categories, it’s easy to earn rewards on this card. Additionally, it provides priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to 8 other traveling companions. For a card with a low $150 annual fee after the first year, it’s chock-full of high-value perks.

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Other rewards cards we love:

Airline (learn more in our guide to the best airline credit cards)

United Club? Infinite Card
United? Explorer Card
Aeroplan? Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards? Priority Credit Card
Delta SkyMiles? Platinum American Express Card

Hotel (learn more in our guide to the best hotel credit cards)

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant? American Express? Card
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass? Card
IHG? Rewards Premier Credit Card

Cash-back (learn more in our guide to the best cash-back credit cards)

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Business (learn more in our guide to the best business credit cards)

American Express? Business Gold Card
The Business Platinum Card? from American Express
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Ink Business Unlimited? Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred? Credit Card

Travel (learn more in our guide to the best travel credit cards)

American Express? Gold Card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

What is a rewards credit card?

A rewards credit card lets you earn rewards for each dollar you spend.

Some rewards cards offer a flat rate of points, miles, or?cash back on everything?you buy, whereas others offer more points in specific categories people shop in. In some cases, bonus rewards can be capped based on a specific amount of spending each calendar year or in certain billing cycles. In other cases, the rewards you can earn are unlimited.

Many cards in this niche also offer extra perks like consumer protections, travel insurance benefits, statement credits, and third-party memberships.?The best rewards credit cards of 2024 may also offer generous welcome bonuses, an opportunity for new cardholders to earn extra rewards after spending a certain amount in a set period.

How do rewards credit cards work?

Rewards cards?work similarly to other credit cards. They offer a line of credit you can borrow against, and you can choose to carry a balance month-to-month. However, if you don’t pay your credit card balance in full before your due date, you’ll be charged?your credit card’s interest rate?on revolving balances.?

After making an eligible purchase on a credit card with rewards, you’ll receive a portion of that purchase back in the form of cash back, points, or miles. These rewards will likely be redeemable through your account on the credit card issuer’s website or mobile app.?

For example, let’s say you make a $200 purchase on an eligible hotel stay using the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You’ll receive 1,000 miles (worth approximately $14) as a reward.?

Types of rewards credit cards

There are several types of reward cards to be aware of, which include the following:

Cash-back credit cards?

These cards let consumers earn a specific percentage of cash back on their spending, often between 1% and 6%. Some offer a flat rate on all purchases and others have bonus categories, such as dining or grocery purchases. Usually, the rewards on these cards are given to you in the form of a statement credit.?
Our pick:?Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

Flexible rewards credit cards?

On a flexible reward card, you can earn points that can be redeemed in multiple ways, including gift cards, travel, merchandise, and more. A flexible rewards card is often the best credit card for points.?
Our pick:?Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card (See our detailed comparison of Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture).

Travel credit cards?

Premium, flexible travel cards offer various rewards redemption options, including the chance to transfer points to airline and hotel partners. These cards often offer rewards on everyday purchases, as well as eligible travel purchases. They typically aren’t affiliated with a specific brand, giving you flexibility when earning or redeeming points.?
Our pick:?Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Airline credit cards?

Cobranded airline cards let users earn airline miles and enjoy frequent flyer perks with programs like Southwest, United, or Delta. Some of these cards offer top-of-the-line perks like airport lounge access, in-flight discounts, companion tickets, and more.
Our pick:?Delta SkyMiles? Gold American Express Card

Hotel-specific rewards cards?

Co-branded hotel cards let users earn points in specific hotel loyalty programs, such as Wyndham Rewards or the Marriott Bonvoy program. Some cards offer perks like elite status, annual night rewards, travel insurance, and more.
Our pick:?Hilton Honors American Express Credit Card

Business rewards credit cards

Business rewards cards work similarly to other rewards cards, allowing you to earn points, miles, or cash back on purchases. Many of these cards have business-specific reward categories, others offer flat-rate cash back, and others offer travel rewards. They can help build business credit and keep your business and personal expenses separate.
Our pick:?The Business Platinum Card? from American Express

The vast majority of rewards credit cards let you earn unlimited rewards, although some cap bonus category rewards each calendar year (or each quarter). Before you earn credit card rewards, make sure you understand the type of card you signed up for and how its rewards program works.

Pros and cons of rewards credit cards

Pros
  • Numerous rewards cards have?no annual fee.
  • Rewards credit cards are available for all levels of credit history.
  • Many cards come with high-value points or miles.
  • Reward cards can come with initial bonuses.
Cons
  • High regular APRs are common.
  • Some reward programs have minimum redemption amounts.
  • Rewards can often expire.

Reasons to get a rewards credit card

Should you get a rewards card? That depends, but if the following statements sound like you, you may want to consider it:

These are just some of the reasons to pick up a rewards credit card, but there are plenty of others. Most people can benefit from a rewards credit card, as even 1% back on purchases can add up quickly.?

Unlock valuable strategies to maximize your cash back or points, and explore the seamless process of directing these rewards into an account like a?Marcus Savings Account?or?Synchrony Savings Account?for amplified savings.

Reasons to?not?get a rewards credit card

Although most people can benefit from a rewards credit card, they aren’t right for everyone.?

Earning credit card rewards: What to watch out for

Here are some of the potential problems to be aware of before you pick up a new rewards card:

How to choose a rewards credit card

Choosing a rewards card can be tricky, but there are plenty of factors that can help narrow down your choices.

Here are the main rewards card factors you should think about before you decide:

1

Decide on the type of rewards you want to earn.

Whether you want to earn cash back or flexible points like Chase Ultimate Rewards, you need to decide on this factor ahead of time. After all, the type of rewards you want the most can help you narrow down card options considerably.

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2

Look for earning rates that align with your spending.

Also look for credit cards that offer bonus categories that make sense with your spending, whether you spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets or you splurge on travel purchases. Finally, look for cards that offer a generous earning rate on other purchases you make with your card.

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3

Decide if you want 0% APR.

If you want a rewards card that offers zero interest on purchases,?balance transfers, or both for a limited time, this factor can also help you narrow down your choices.

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4

Determine whether you want travel perks.

If you spend a lot on travel purchases or traverse the globe fairly often, look for cards that offer airport lounge access, travel statement credits, and affordable travel insurance.

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5

Look at cards with consumer protections.

If consumer protections are important to you, look for cards that offer purchase protection against damage or theft and extended warranties on items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

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6

Compare annual fees and transaction fees.

Finally, make sure you’re only paying an annual fee if you’re getting something in return. Also, watch out for transaction fees that can eat away at your rewards haul.

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Making the most of your credit card rewards

After choosing your perfect rewards credit card, it’s time to ensure you maximize those rewards.?

How we selected our top rewards cards

We looked at more than 100 rewards credit cards on the market today to find the?best credit cards?overall. We compared credit cards with sign-up offers, rewards for all purchases, rewards for travel purchases, rewards earned in bonus categories, and annual fees. We also compared cards based on their benefits, with preference given to cards that offer generous perks for a reasonable annual fee.

Best rewards credit cards of 2024 Learn more about your rewards card options Credit Cards with Mouse Cursor LEARN MORE

Best rewards credit cards FAQ

Are cash back credit cards or travel rewards cards better?

The best credit card varies from person to person. However, cash back credit cards are typically best for people who want to earn points they can redeem for statement credits, gift cards, or a check. Meanwhile, travel credit cards are geared to people who want to redeem their points for travel-related redemptions such as airfare, hotel stays, or upgrades.

Can I have more than one rewards card?

You can have more than one rewards credit card provided you have the income and credit score to qualify.

Which credit card has the best rewards program?

The right credit card rewards program depends on your goals. However, we believe flexible programs like Capital One Miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards are best due to their overall flexibility.

Are credit card rewards taxable?

Credit card rewards are considered a rebate on your spending, so they’re not counted as taxable income.

Are store rewards cards good?

Store rewards cards can be “good” since they let you earn points and score special discounts. However, store cards can be limiting since you can only use them in specific stores or families of stores. By contrast, credit cards from networks like Visa and Mastercard can be used at millions of retailers, restaurants, and vendors around the world.

Will I qualify for a rewards credit card?

Most rewards credit cards require good or excellent credit to qualify, but there are options for those with poor credit, no credit history, and students. The perks may not be as spectacular as other rewards cards, but they still offer you something, especially while you are building or rebuilding your credit.

Do they make rewards cards for business use?

Yes! Capital One Spark Miles for Business is our pick for travel rewards and the American Express? Business Gold Card has 4x rewards on the first $150,000 spent! You can read more about these cards and the other business cards we recommend on the Best Business Credit Cards page.

Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Finance Expert

Holly D. Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who covers topics like insurance, investing, credit and family finance. As a leading voice in the travel and loyalty space, Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries over the last decade.

The author has also written extensively on the power of household budgeting, and she even co-authored a book on the topic. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love was originally published in 2017, and it teaches families how to use zero-sum budgeting to reach their financial goals. She is also the co-owner and founder of the family finance and travel website, ClubThrifty.com.

Johnson’s 10+ years of writing have focused on helping families make important financial decisions at each stage of their lives. The author also applies the financial principles she teaches to her own life, and she is currently on track to retire in her late 40’s with her partner. She currently lives in Central Indiana with her husband and children, and she is a regular contributor for Bankrate, CNN, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report Travel and many other notable publications.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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