Choosing a rewards credit card can be quite a task considering the number of them available on today’s market. Not to mention, the variety of reward types out there! But don’t worry, we’re here to walk you through the rewards credit cards that will give you the most bang for your buck in 2020.
The Best Travel Rewards Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
For those of you who are beginning your journeys across the globe, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a fantastic option.
The rewards scheme is really simple so you won’t get bogged down in fine print. However, it is pretty broad so you will still gain points on hundreds of purchases.
There is an annual fee but compared to the rewards you’ll gain its pretty reasonable. At $95, it’s far less than the Chase Sapphire Reserve rewards card, which is geared towards experienced travelers.
- 60,000 bonus points ($750 towards travel!) if you spend $4,000 or more in the first 3 months.
- Get 5x more points on Lyft rides until March 2022.
- Free deliveries on certain food purchases.
- Points are worth more when redeemed for airfares, hotels, car rentals, or cruises.
- Need an excellent credit score to be accepted
The Best Airlines Rewards Card: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One’s Venture Card has been a crowd-pleaser for years because its rewards system is super easy to understand. You get 2x miles on every purchase. That’s it. Plain and simple.
Once you have earned some points, you can use them as a statement credit or transfer them to one of the company’s airline partners (Finnair Plus, Emirates Skywards, JetBlue TrueBlue, and many more). Plus, you will also receive up to $100 every 4 years, which can be used to pay for your TSA PreCheck application fee or Global Entry.
Recently, Capital One added 2 hotel partners (Accor and Wyndham). This does not make the Venture a direct competitor of the aforementioned Sapphire, but it’s still a fabulous card for both beginners and veterans.
- Simple to understand the rewards scheme.
- 5x miles on hotels and cars booked via Capital One.
- Offers benefits like travel insurance, TSA fee credit, secondary auto rental cover, and more.
- Easy to redeem miles.
- 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
- We found Chase Sapphire offers a better choice of hotels.
- $95 annual fee.
- No starter APR period.
- Need good/excellent credit to qualify.
The Best Dining Rewards Card: American Express Gold Card
There’s no denying that you get an amazing return on your money when you use your American Express Gold Card — 8% when you shop in supermarkets or eat in restaurants, to be precise. Of course, this does come with a higher cost than the Venture or Sapphire cards ($250 per year), but don’t let this put you off!
You can receive a dining credit of around $120 every year, along with an airline credit of approximately $100. Essentially, you’ve just made your annual fee here by doing your weekly shop and eating out a few times a month. Win-win!
Oh, and FYI, it is far cheaper than the American Express Platinum Card but with amazing benefits. Just some food for thought there.
- 35,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.
- 4x rewards at restaurants worldwide.
- 4x rewards at American supermarkets.
- 3x rewards points on flights booked with airlines.
- Max $100 hotel credit yearly.
- Max $100 credit for airline fees yearly.
- Max $120 dining credit yearly.
- No fee for buying goods outside the USA.
- Baggage insurance when traveling.
- $250 annual fee (a lot more expensive than Venture or Sapphire).
- No starter APR.
- Charge card (meaning you have to pay it off in full at the end of each cycle).
The Best Everyday Rewards Card: Citi Double Cash Card
Citi’s Double Cash rewards system is really broad and very easy to understand and remember. Plus, they have given you the option to convert your rewards into ThankYou points. This gives you a much better return than your average no-fee rewards credit card.
For those of you looking for the simplest rewards program, you’ve found it!
- 2% cashback on every purchase.
- No activation or spending caps.
- Longest introduction period (18 months).
- No welcome bonus.
- A minimum cashback of $25.
- 3% fee for purchases made outside the USA.
The Best Rewards Card for Travel Insurance: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Honestly, this card is a world-travelers’ dream come true! You will feel like you’ve just been handed a little slice of heaven.
The rewards are so extensive you probably won’t believe it. Not only do you earn points on basically everything, but you get the following perks as well:
- Airport transfers to/from your hotel
- Access to airport lounges around the world
- Complimentary Lyft Pink for a year
Yep, you get to live the life of luxury with this rewards credit card. However, there is a catch. To enjoy all these amazing benefits, you’ll have to shell out $550 every year!
Now, if your budget allows for it (and you love to travel) you really can’t go wrong with this. But, it is a little pricey for some.
- 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.
- 10x points on Lyft rides.
- 3x points on travel.
- 3x points on dining.
- 1x points on everything else.
- Exclusive access to selected airport lounges.
- $100 credit for TSA or Global Entry fees.
- Complimentary Lyft Pink for a year.
- Airport transfer to hotel with select loyalty programs.
- Expensive annual fee ($550).
- Need excellent credit.
The Best Rewards Card for Cashback: Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card
We haven’t managed to find a cashback rewards card that offers such a fantastic percentage. Alliant has truly set the industry standard!
It is also one of the easiest programs that we’ve come across. There’s no ifs, buts or fine print; just 2.5% on all purchases. Simple yet seriously effective.
We should mention here that you don’t get any bonus categories. But, that shouldn’t be too much of a disappointment considering the cashback percentage.
Okay, here’s the catch (sorry). While it is a very strong contender, it comes with a hefty $99 annual fee (it’s waived for the first year). It’s not the highest we’ve seen but compared with others, it could be cheaper since there are limited rewards.
- No fee for the first year.
- No fee when purchasing goods from outside the USA.
- Simple cashback program.
- No activation or spending caps.
- 2.5% cashback on every spend.
- $99 annual fee.
- No welcome bonus.
- No offers.
The Best Rewards Card for Groceries and Commuters: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
Right, most of us shop at big-brand supermarkets, don’t we? As sad as it is, we’ve succumbed to the convenience of them like a bunch of sheep. However, now it’s time to get something back from all the money we’ve poured into these stores.
This rewards card is fantastic for those who spend a lot in well-known supermarkets or have a long commute. Their cashback is not to be sniffed at — 6% and 3% when you shop in selected establishments.
This comes at a price ($95 to be exact). Although, this is pretty great when you consider Alliant’s card is $4 more!
- 6% cashback when shopping at supermarkets in the USA.
- 6% cashback on certain US streaming services.
- 3% cashback on gas (when bought from US gas stations).
- $250 statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
- Year of zero interest on purchases and balance transfer.
- Car rental loss or damage insurance.
- $95 annual fee.
- 2.7% fee when you buy goods outside the USA.
- Not great for traveling outside the USA.
The Bottom Line
While rewards credit cards are really good for certain people, they don’t work out for others — get even more information on this site. By now you’re probably pretty certain on which card will be your wallet’s new buddy, but we encourage you to think it through properly first. Take a walk. Sleep on it. Never rush into financial situations — trust us, it will make receiving your rewards credit card that little bit more special.
Happy (yet responsible) spending!