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Best Rewards Credit Cards for December 2021

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated November 30, 2021 . Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Best Rewards Credit Cards of December 2021
Best rewards card for travel Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best rewards card for dining and entertainment Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best rewards card for supermarket shopping Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Best rewards card for gas purchases Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Best rewards card for rotating bonus categories Discover it® Cash Back
Best rewards card for general purchases Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Whether you spend a large amount on groceries each month, have a long daily commute to work or travel from time to time, earning credit card rewards on those expenses is a great way to help offset some of those costs.

Rewards credit cards allow you to earn points, miles or cash back on eligible purchases. Depending on the card, you may then be able to redeem those rewards for statement credits, travel, merchandise or other options.

When choosing a rewards credit card, you should first determine what type of purchases you spend the most on and which card can help you get the most value from those purchases. You should also consider the card’s sign-up bonus, annual fee and redemption options for rewards.

In this post, we break down several rewards credit cards to help you determine which one could be the best fit for you based on how you plan to use the card.

Best For Travel

Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $95
Regular Purchase APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card offers a lucrative sign-up bonus that can be used to help offset the cost of future travel. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

When you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get 25% more value from your rewards. So instead of being worth 1 cent each, points will be worth 1.25 cents each.

The card also offers 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.

If you’re a frequent traveler who wants to earn an influx of rewards to use toward free travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an ideal choice.

Along with redeeming points for travel, gift cards, cash and more, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card members can transfer points at a rate of 1:1 to 11 airline partners and three hotel partners. Travel transfer partners include Aer Lingus AerClub, Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card charges an annual fee of $95. The card does not offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases, so it is not ideal if you’re planning to finance a big purchase.

  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card offers a lucrative sign-up bonus that can be used to help offset the cost of future travel. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

When you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get 25% more value from your rewards. So instead of being worth 1 cent each, points will be worth 1.25 cents each.

The card also offers 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.

If you’re a frequent traveler who wants to earn an influx of rewards to use toward free travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an ideal choice.

Along with redeeming points for travel, gift cards, cash and more, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card members can transfer points at a rate of 1:1 to 11 airline partners and three hotel partners. Travel transfer partners include Aer Lingus AerClub, Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card charges an annual fee of $95. The card does not offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases, so it is not ideal if you’re planning to finance a big purchase.

  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Best For Dining and entertainment

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Highlights
  • 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, entertainment and popular streaming services, 3% cash back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2022.
  • 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

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is geared toward consumers with excellent/good credit, and who are looking for a card with robust rewards on dining and entertainment purchases. It does have an annual fee, however — $95, so you’ll need to make sure you reap enough in rewards to justify the fee.

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with a generous sign-up bonus offer: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Additionally, earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases.

Cash back, which doesn’t expire as long as your account is open, can be redeemed as a statement credit or check, as well as for previous purchases, gift cards and more.

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option if you regularly dine out or frequently attend concerts and other entertainment events. Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases.

Here are the types of dining establishments where you can earn the higher rewards rate with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card:

  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains, bakeries

For the entertainment category, these types of purchases also qualify for the higher rewards rate:

  • Ticket purchases at movie theaters, sports promoters (professional and semiprofessional live events). theatrical promoters, amusement parks, tourist attractions, aquariums, zoos, dance halls, record stores, pool halls, bowling alleys

Grocery purchases at these types of establishments also earn a higher rewards rate:

  • Supermarkets, meat lockers, freezers, dairy product stores, specialty markets

Additional benefits include:

  • Extended warranty
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Special access to culinary, music and sporting events
  • Complimentary concierge service for dining, entertainment and travel
  • 0% foreign transaction fees
  • Instant purchase notifications
  • 24-hour travel assistance services
  • Virtual card numbers and account alerts from Eno
  • Credit report change alerts through CreditWise

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is geared toward consumers with excellent/good credit, and who are looking for a card with robust rewards on dining and entertainment purchases. It does have an annual fee, however — $95, so you’ll need to make sure you reap enough in rewards to justify the fee.

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with a generous sign-up bonus offer: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Additionally, earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases.

Cash back, which doesn’t expire as long as your account is open, can be redeemed as a statement credit or check, as well as for previous purchases, gift cards and more.

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option if you regularly dine out or frequently attend concerts and other entertainment events. Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases.

Here are the types of dining establishments where you can earn the higher rewards rate with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card:

  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains, bakeries

For the entertainment category, these types of purchases also qualify for the higher rewards rate:

  • Ticket purchases at movie theaters, sports promoters (professional and semiprofessional live events). theatrical promoters, amusement parks, tourist attractions, aquariums, zoos, dance halls, record stores, pool halls, bowling alleys

Grocery purchases at these types of establishments also earn a higher rewards rate:

  • Supermarkets, meat lockers, freezers, dairy product stores, specialty markets

Additional benefits include:

  • Extended warranty
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Special access to culinary, music and sporting events
  • Complimentary concierge service for dining, entertainment and travel
  • 0% foreign transaction fees
  • Instant purchase notifications
  • 24-hour travel assistance services
  • Virtual card numbers and account alerts from Eno
  • Credit report change alerts through CreditWise
The information related to the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Best For Supermarket shopping

Blue Cash Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
Intro Purchase APR 0% on purchases for 12 months
Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Regular Purchase APR 13.99%-23.99% Variable

With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, cardholders earn a welcome bonus of $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

Additionally, the card offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months (then a 13.99%-23.99% Variable APR applies).

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. However, if you max out the $6,000 spending maximum at U.S. supermarkets in a calendar year, you’ll earn $360 back from those purchases – which more than covers the annual fee after the first year of card membership.

To see the rates and fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

If you spend a large amount on groceries every month, you’ll come out on top with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Along with offering one of the highest cashback rates available at U.S. supermarkets, the card offers a generous cashback rate on U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit and at U.S. gas stations.

The card offers 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply.

Cash back is earned in the form of Reward Dollars, which can be redeemed as statement credits. You can redeem reward dollars for statement credits in increments of $25 whenever your total balance is $25 or more, at a credit of $1 for every reward dollar redeemed.

To see the rates and fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Access to a 24/7 global assist hotline for help with medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services
  • Return protection
  • Year-end summary
  • Pay It Plan It® feature

*Terms apply

With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, cardholders earn a welcome bonus of $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

Additionally, the card offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months (then a 13.99%-23.99% Variable APR applies).

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. However, if you max out the $6,000 spending maximum at U.S. supermarkets in a calendar year, you’ll earn $360 back from those purchases – which more than covers the annual fee after the first year of card membership.

To see the rates and fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

If you spend a large amount on groceries every month, you’ll come out on top with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Along with offering one of the highest cashback rates available at U.S. supermarkets, the card offers a generous cashback rate on U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit and at U.S. gas stations.

The card offers 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply.

Cash back is earned in the form of Reward Dollars, which can be redeemed as statement credits. You can redeem reward dollars for statement credits in increments of $25 whenever your total balance is $25 or more, at a credit of $1 for every reward dollar redeemed.

To see the rates and fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Access to a 24/7 global assist hotline for help with medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services
  • Return protection
  • Year-end summary
  • Pay It Plan It® feature

*Terms apply

Best For Gas purchases

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Highlights
  • Discover one of Citi's best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

If your mouth waters when you think of Costco’s rotisserie chicken and your pulse quickens when you think of the chain’s bulk deals, you might have considered applying for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.

While the card offers solid rewards for Costco and Costco.com purchases, where it truly shines is its generous cashback rate for gas purchases. It also offers a competitive cashback rate for dining and travel, making it a very well-rounded card.

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi comes with a $0 annual fee. However, a Costco membership is required, which runs $60 per year for a Gold Star membership and $120 per year for a Gold Star Executive membership.

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi currently offers one of the highest rewards rates on gas purchases: Cardholders earn 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases. If you max out the spend cap by spending $7,000 on gas, you’ll earn $280 back on those purchases in a year, minus the price of Costco membership.

Note, the gas category includes eligible gas purchases made worldwide – including those made at Costco. However, gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco, as well as fuel used for non-automobile purposes, does not qualify for the bonus cashback rate.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi cardholders can only redeem rewards for merchandise or cash back at Costco warehouses located in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Additionally, rewards are only distributed one time per year (after your February billing cycle) and must be redeemed by Dec. 31 of the year in which they are issued.

  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Citi Entertainment®
  • Convenience of digital wallets
  • Contactless pay

If your mouth waters when you think of Costco’s rotisserie chicken and your pulse quickens when you think of the chain’s bulk deals, you might have considered applying for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.

While the card offers solid rewards for Costco and Costco.com purchases, where it truly shines is its generous cashback rate for gas purchases. It also offers a competitive cashback rate for dining and travel, making it a very well-rounded card.

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi comes with a $0 annual fee. However, a Costco membership is required, which runs $60 per year for a Gold Star membership and $120 per year for a Gold Star Executive membership.

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi currently offers one of the highest rewards rates on gas purchases: Cardholders earn 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases. If you max out the spend cap by spending $7,000 on gas, you’ll earn $280 back on those purchases in a year, minus the price of Costco membership.

Note, the gas category includes eligible gas purchases made worldwide – including those made at Costco. However, gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco, as well as fuel used for non-automobile purposes, does not qualify for the bonus cashback rate.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi cardholders can only redeem rewards for merchandise or cash back at Costco warehouses located in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Additionally, rewards are only distributed one time per year (after your February billing cycle) and must be redeemed by Dec. 31 of the year in which they are issued.

  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Citi Entertainment®
  • Convenience of digital wallets
  • Contactless pay
The information related to the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Best For Rotating 5% cashback bonus categories

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Intro Purchase APR 0% Intro APR for 14 months
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

If you don’t want to be limited to earning rewards in the same two or three bonus categories all year, you may want to consider the Discover it® Cash Back card. Get 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

Discover’s bonus categories for 2021 are as follows:

  • January – March 2021: Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS
  • April – June 2021: Gas stations, wholesale clubs and select streaming services
  • July – September 2021: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December 2021: Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com

Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, charitable donations and more.  

Plus, for new card members, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

If you max out the card’s $1,500 spend threshold each quarter, you’ll earn $300 back in one year. Once you factor in Discover’s cashback match offer, that amount jumps to $600 back at the end of your first year.

The Discover it® Cash Back is a popular rotating spending category cashback card suited for those who don’t mind activating the new cashback categories every quarter. The $0-annual-fee card also offers an intro APR on purchases of 0% Intro APR for 14 months (then a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies), and an intro APR on balance transfers of 0% Intro APR for 14 months (then a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies).

  • Simple cash-back redemption options
  • Ability to turn your account on and off with Freeze it®
  • Free Social Security number alerts
  • Free FICO® credit score
  • No penalty APR
  • Late payment fee waived the first time (After that, up to $40)
  • 25 card designs to choose from

If you don’t want to be limited to earning rewards in the same two or three bonus categories all year, you may want to consider the Discover it® Cash Back card. Get 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

Discover’s bonus categories for 2021 are as follows:

  • January – March 2021: Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS
  • April – June 2021: Gas stations, wholesale clubs and select streaming services
  • July – September 2021: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December 2021: Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com

Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, charitable donations and more.  

Plus, for new card members, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

If you max out the card’s $1,500 spend threshold each quarter, you’ll earn $300 back in one year. Once you factor in Discover’s cashback match offer, that amount jumps to $600 back at the end of your first year.

The Discover it® Cash Back is a popular rotating spending category cashback card suited for those who don’t mind activating the new cashback categories every quarter. The $0-annual-fee card also offers an intro APR on purchases of 0% Intro APR for 14 months (then a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies), and an intro APR on balance transfers of 0% Intro APR for 14 months (then a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies).

  • Simple cash-back redemption options
  • Ability to turn your account on and off with Freeze it®
  • Free Social Security number alerts
  • Free FICO® credit score
  • No penalty APR
  • Late payment fee waived the first time (After that, up to $40)
  • 25 card designs to choose from

Best For General purposes

Chase Freedom Unlimited<sup>®</sup>

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Intro Purchase APR 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 14.99% - 24.74% Variable

Along with offering a generous cashback rate on popular spending categories, like groceries and travel, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with a competitive cashback rate on general purchases. Cardholders earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. This is higher than the 1% rate cashback credit cards typically offer on all other purchases.

The $0-annual-fee card also lets cardholders earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. and earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including target® or walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card comes with a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months on purchases. This gives you more than a year to pay off large purchases without incurring interest charges. Once the introductory period ends, you will be subject to interest charges at an APR of 14.99% - 24.74% variable on any remaining balance.

There is also a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. After the intro period ends, the regular APR will be 14.99% - 24.74% variable. The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days. Then, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

If you want to earn rewards on every purchase, but don’t want the hassle of dealing with rotating categories or spending caps, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card should be on your radar — thanks to its solid cashback rate on general purchases. Additionally, the card currently offers a competitive cashback rate on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and restaurant and drugstore purchases.

While the opportunity to earn 1.5% cash back on general purchases is generous, know that there are other flat-rate credit cards available that offer 2% cash back on every purchase.

  • DoorDash membership
  • Rewards on Lyft
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Free FICO® score through Chase Credit Journey
  • Fraud protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Zero-liability protection

Along with offering a generous cashback rate on popular spending categories, like groceries and travel, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with a competitive cashback rate on general purchases. Cardholders earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. This is higher than the 1% rate cashback credit cards typically offer on all other purchases.

The $0-annual-fee card also lets cardholders earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. and earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including target® or walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card comes with a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months on purchases. This gives you more than a year to pay off large purchases without incurring interest charges. Once the introductory period ends, you will be subject to interest charges at an APR of 14.99% - 24.74% variable on any remaining balance.

There is also a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. After the intro period ends, the regular APR will be 14.99% - 24.74% variable. The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days. Then, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

If you want to earn rewards on every purchase, but don’t want the hassle of dealing with rotating categories or spending caps, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card should be on your radar — thanks to its solid cashback rate on general purchases. Additionally, the card currently offers a competitive cashback rate on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and restaurant and drugstore purchases.

While the opportunity to earn 1.5% cash back on general purchases is generous, know that there are other flat-rate credit cards available that offer 2% cash back on every purchase.

  • DoorDash membership
  • Rewards on Lyft
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Free FICO® score through Chase Credit Journey
  • Fraud protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Zero-liability protection

Best rewards credit cards FAQs

Before deciding which of these cards is right for you, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of how rewards credit cards work. In addition to reviewing our frequently asked questions below, we recommend that you take a closer look at the terms and conditions for the card’s rewards program from the issuer’s website.

Rewards credit cards offer points, miles or cash back on eligible purchases. Depending on the card, you may be able to redeem those rewards for statement credits, checks, travel, charitable donations, cash back, merchandise, gift cards and more.

Many rewards credit cards let you earn rewards when you make eligible purchases using your card and/or when you reach the spend threshold required to earn the card’s sign-up or welcome bonus. Rewards cards may also offer annual bonuses each year on your account anniversary, referral bonuses when you refer a friend to the card and the friend is approved, or when you add an authorized user to your credit card account. Note, you generally cannot earn rewards on cash advances, balance transfers or illegal transactions.

That depends on the card. For example, some cards offer a flat rewards rate on every purchase. Other cards may offer 1 point or mile (or 1% back for cashback cards) per dollar spent on general purchases, and extra points, miles or cash back in bonus spending categories, like gas, dining or airfare. While you may be limited on the amount of extra rewards you can earn from bonus categories, cards typically allow you to earn unlimited rewards on general purchases.

In addition to redeeming rewards for statement credits, travel and more, some cards allow you to transfer your rewards to travel partners.

Again, that depends on the card. For many credit cards, your rewards will never expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. However, there are cards that expire your rewards if you don’t make a charge on your card or redeem your rewards within a given time period.

There are two important reasons why you should never carry a balance on a rewards card. First, rewards cards tend to carry higher interest rates (APRs) than non-rewards cards. So, carrying a balance over from month to month can get expensive as those interest charges are added to your balance. Second, those high interest charges can negate the rewards you are earning with the card. For example, if you earn 2% in cashback for a purchase, but are assessed interest on any unpaid balance, you’re losing money instead of saving money.

If you are in the market for a credit card that offers rewards on the purchases you make, there are certainly plenty of options to choose from. Ultimately, we think the best rewards credit card for you comes down to how you plan to use the card. For example, if you prefer eating in over dining out, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which offers an accelerated cashback rate at U.S. supermarkets, may be your best fit. But if you want to earn rewards to help cover travel purchases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card offers better value when redeeming points through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Tracy Brackman

Tracy joined LendingTree in June 2019 as a senior writer. She began working in the credit card space in 2009 as the editorial department manager for FlexOffers, an affiliate marketing company. She went on to work as product information manager for Bankrate, where she managed the financial and credit card product details for two affiliate networks, as well as Bankrate owned and operated sites. Prior to joining LendingTree, Tracy worked as products editor for CreditCards.com, where she developed the credit card products section and created content focused on breaking credit card news.

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The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available. Check the Issuers’ website for more details.