Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2020

Take advantage of miles, points and perks with a card that best fits your lifestyle.

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A rewards card can unlock savings on your spending in the form of cash back, miles, points and exciting travel perks. The strongest rewards go to stronger credit, but even a good score can land you a top card that fits your lifestyle and everyday spending. Narrow down the best for you with our rewards guides, expert reviews and strategies to getting the most out of your new card.

Our pick for a rewards credit card

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

  • 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 14.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee — either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • 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.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
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Best rewards credit cards

Below are the top rewards cards in the industry that have stellar features such as high rewards earning rates, common spending categories, and no fees. If you’re still unsure which card to pick, compare cards using the helpful table below.

Best for premium travel: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express
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The Platinum Card® from American Express is more expensive than most premium travel cards (see rates & fees). However, it’s often the go-to choice for those who want to travel in style, offering fantastic value for the price

Annual fee$550
Purchase APRN/A
Balance transfer APRN/A
Welcome offer60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
Rewards5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
Rates & feesrates & fees
Pros
  • Rewards. Earn 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. And earn 5x points when you book prepaid hotels through American Express travel. These are top-notch rates for travel purchases. Earn 1x points on other eligible purchases.
  • Fee credits.
    Every calendar year, you can receive up to $200 in airline fee credits and up to $200 in Uber credits. You’ll also receive statement credit every four to four and a half years for your Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • Premium travel perks. Receive complimentary benefits like daily breakfast, room upgrades when available and property amenities when you book stays at properties in the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program.
  • Annual fee. You’ll pay $550 annually to use this card.

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Best for everyday purchases: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
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If you spend a lot on everyday purchases, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could be the right pick. You’ll pay an annual fee, but you’ll find stellar rewards on groceries and select US streaming subscriptions, as well as a strong rewards rate on gas and transit.

Annual fee$95
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.49% to 25.49% variable)
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.49% to 25.49% variable)
Welcome offer$250 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Rates & feesrates & fees
Pros
  • Rewards. Earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to 6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%. Earn 6% cash back on select US streaming subscriptions, as well as 3% cash back at US gas stations and 3% cash back on transit such as rideshare and parking. Earn 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.
  • Welcome offer. Earn $250 back after you make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of card membership.
  • Intro APR. Get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months following your account opening. After that, your APR reverts to 14.49% to 25.49% variable (see rates & fees).
  • Overseas limitations. As an American Express card, you might have trouble finding merchants that accept this card overseas.

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Best for flat-rate cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

If you consistently pay your balance in full, you’ll find solid rewards with the Citi® Double Cash Card. When you pay off your purchases, you’ll earn a better cashback rate than you’ll find with other no-annual-fee, flat-rate cashback cards.

Annual fee$0
Purchase APR15.49% to 25.49% variable
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 18 months (then 15.49% to 25.49% variable)
Welcome offerN/A
Rewards1% cash back when you make purchases and 1% cash back when you pay off your card
Pros
  • Rewards. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% as you pay them off.
  • No annual fee. You’ll get a strong cashback rate without having to pay an annual fee.
  • Intro APR. Enjoy 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months following your account opening and 15.49% to 25.49% variable after that. This is an excellent intro APR for balance transfers — one of the best on the market.
  • High late payment fees.You’ll pay up to $39 in fees for late payments.

Compare 1.5% cashback credit cards

Best for travel rewards with no annual fee: PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

This card offers tremendous value for no annual fee: a strong signup bonus, top-notch rewards, an intro APR and travel credits.

Annual fee$0
Purchase APR12.74% to 17.99% variable
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 12.74% to 17.99% variable)
Welcome offer25,000 points after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days
Rewards3x points on travel or 4x points if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member and 1.5x points on all other purchases
Pros
  • Rewards. Earn 3x points on all eligible travel purchases — an already strong rate. If you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member, you’ll bump that rate up to 4x points on all travel purchases. On all other purchases, you’ll earn 1.5x points.
  • Travel credits. Each calendar year, you’ll receive $100 in statement credit toward incidental air travel fees. And every five years you’ll receive a $100 statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application.
  • Welcome offer. Earn 25,000 bonus points after you make $2,500 in purchases within the first 90 days of card membership.
  • No intro purchase APR. While this card offers a balance transfer intro APR, this offer isn’t extended to purchases.

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Best hotel credit card: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Please note: All information about Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected independently by Finder and this card is no longer available through this site.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Few hotel cards charge as high an annual fee as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (see rates & fees). Then again, few offer as many high-value perks. Not only will you earn excellent points on Marriott Bonvoy purchases, you’ll also enjoy benefits that can offset a large portion of the card’s annual fee.

Annual fee$450
Purchase APR17.24% to 26.24% variable
Balance transfer APR17.24% to 26.24% variable
Welcome offer75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases
Rates & feesrates & fees
Pros
  • Welcome offer. Earn 75,000 bonus points after you make $3,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of card membership.
  • Rewards. When you make eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties, you’ll earn 6x points. Earn 3x points at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. And you’ll earn 2x points on other eligible purchases.
  • Statement credits. Every year, you’ll receive $300 in statement credits for purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and $100 in statement credits every four years for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • Annual fee. You’ll pay $450 annually to use this card.

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Best for dining: Citi Prestige® Credit Card

Citi Prestige® Credit Card

With the card’s market-leading 5x points on dining, you can earn a 10% effective reward rate after point transfers to select airlines. The card is also a stellar choice for travel, with strong rewards in this category, as well as travel credits and a fourth-night-free benefit.

Annual fee$495
Purchase APR17.24% to 25.24% variable
Balance transfer APR17.24% to 25.24% variable
Welcome offer50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards5x points on flights and dining, 3x points on hotels and cruises and 1x points on all other purchases
Pros
  • Rewards. Earn 5x points on air travel and restaurants. Earn 3x points on hotels and cruise lines, and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Luxury perks. Get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership and up to $250 in travel credits every calendar year. Get your fourth night free when you stay at least four consecutive nights through a ThankYou.com booking — a benefit that’s capped at two times each calendar year.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you make $4,000 in purchases on your card within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Annual fee. You’ll pay $495 annually to use this card.

Compare more credit cards for restaurants

How we selected our top cards

We compared several features among available rewards cards, including rewards categories, points earned per dollar spent, the average value of points upon redemption, welcome offer value, annual fees, introductory APRs and other perks or benefits a consumer might weigh when looking for a rewards card. The cards that stood out above the rest in one or more of these categories earned a spot on our list.

What’s changed in 2020

The revamped Uber Visa Card now offers 5% back on Uber, Uber Eats and JUMP purchases, but only 3% back on dining. When it was known as the Uber Visa Card, it offered 4% back on dining — a killer combination with a $0 annual fee. We now give the crown to the Citi Prestige® Credit Card. Though it has a $495 annual fee, it offers the highest reward rate on dining and a suite of luxury travel perks.

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  • Why trust us? Finder’s credit card experts close to 400 hours each week steeped in the heart of credit card news and practices. With so much experience on deck, we know when a rewards card is a must have, or when a card is a better fit for just a few types of consumers. We share this knowledge to help consumers find a card that not only offers value, but best fits their financial needs. To help us accomplish this, we follow editorial guidelines that keep our content up-to-date, accurate and without bias.

Compare rewards credit cards

Updated February 17th, 2020
Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Citi Rewards+℠ Card
Earn 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Earn 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on all other purchases
$0
The only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
$150 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
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How do rewards credit cards work?

With a rewards credit card, you get a percentage back of what you spend, typically in the form of cash back, points or miles. You can redeem this earned currency through your card provider’s rewards portal. These points and miles represent a certain value in cash which can range depending on the rewards program.

For cashback cards, rewards are usually expressed as a percentage. If a card offers 2% cash back on all purchases, for example, you’ll receive $2 back for every $100 you spend.

For other cards, rewards are usually expressed as a point or mile multiple. A card might offer 2x points on all purchases, for example, which means you’ll receive 2 points for every dollar you spend.


1. Compare & apply for a card

Find a card that best suits your spending and reward preferences.


2. Earn rewards

Purchases made using your rewards card will automatically post points or cashback to your account. Depending on the type of rewards card, you might earn more rewards for spending in a certain category.


3. Redeem rewards

Earn enough points and you can redeem them on products, gift cards and more. Depending on your card, you might be able to simply redeem your points as a statement credit.

How to compare rewards cards

In addition to the card’s APR, here are a few big items to review when comparing rewards cards:

Signup bonus

Many rewards cards offer bonus points to new customers to help you kick start your rewards cache.

Earning categories

Does the card earn points on all purchases or just some purchases? And do some categories offer more points than others?

Transfer opportunities

Big name reward cards allow you to transfer your points to travel reward programs. This flexibility is highly valuable when used correctly.

Perks

Reward cards can come with a terrific selection of additional benefits. These can prove valuable provided they suit your needs.

Annual fee

Many cards offer decent rewards for no annual fee. Expect to pay a bit more, however, if you’re looking to get the highest rewards rate, the most generous welcome offer or a host of premium perks.

Intro APR

This can help you save money on interest if you want to make a large purchase and pay it off in 12 months or more. This can also help if you want to transfer some of your other credit card balances and use the 0% interest to pay off your debt.

When is a rewards credit card worth it?

Even the simplest of rewards credit cards can offer value if you use it properly, so it’s no surprise that rewards cards are one of the most popular types of credit cards out there.

A reward card’s annual fee is the primary concern when you’re evaluating whether the card is worth it. Some of the more luxurious rewards cards out there can come with steep fees, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. To make using this card worth it, you’ll need to use enough perks and earn enough rewards to overcome the $550 annual fee. Thankfully, this card and others like it make it easy to create that value thanks to generous benefits.

PerksValue
Statement credit-$300
Two Priority Pass staysNone ($160 value)
Total$460

Pros and cons of using a rewards credit card

Pros

  • Rewards. You can choose a card that fits your lifestyle and earn rewards on purchases you would have made anyway.
  • Redeeming rewards. Redemption options vary from card to card. You may be able to earn cash back, travel benefits, merchandise, gift cards and more.
  • Global acceptance. Most rewards cards are affiliated with Visa or Mastercard, and you can use these cards in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. While American Express and Discover credit cards aren’t as widely accepted internationally, they can be used in many locations around the world.
  • Extra perks. Many rewards cards offer extra perks, such as complimentary travel and rental car insurance. Compare your options to see which features work best with your lifestyle and spending habits.

Cons

  • Cost. You may have to pay an ongoing annual fee, or your card may have a higher APR than your basic, no-frills product.
  • Limitations. Your card provider might not let you earn more than a certain number of points in a calendar year, and your points may expire after a set time.
  • Temptation to spend. Rewards are always enticing. But if you aren’t careful, you could find yourself in snowballing debt. If you consistently carry a balance on your card, the interest could offset any rewards you earn.

Types of rewards credit cards

Here are a few types of rewards credit cards that you might encounter. Some card offer accelerated rewards, which is cash back, points or miles that you earn at a higher rate than the base rate.

Remember that while a card may offer stronger accelerated rewards for one category, it can also offer lesser accelerated rewards for other categories. For example, a card might offer 1% cash back on all purchases as its base rewards rate. But it might offer 3% cash back for gas. This means the card offers accelerated rewards for gas.

Retail

Retail cards offer benefits and rewards tied to a particular retailer. You might only be able to use your card with the affiliated company.
Here’s an example: With the Forever 21 Credit Card, you’ll earn points for your spending, which you can redeem for rewards certificates at Forever 21. You’ll also receive perks like discounts and exclusive promotions. The card is valid only at Forever 21.

Cashback

You’ll receive your rewards in the form of cash back, which you can usually redeem for statement credit or a deposit into your bank account. Some providers let you redeem for travel, gift cards and merchandise.
Here’s an example: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase. You can redeem points for statement credit and bank deposits. Gift cards, travel and experiences are also available through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Category-specific — Gas, grocery, dining, etc.

You’ll receive accelerated rewards when you use your card for a certain category, such as restaurants or streaming services. For example, you might receive 3% cash back for one category instead of 1%, which is the normal rewards rate for purchases. Some cards have spending caps for the highest rewards rates.
Here are examples of credit cards for certain categories:

Airline

You’ll typically earn bonus miles when you spend on flights with a cobranded airline. Later, you can redeem miles for rewards like flights and car rentals through the airline’s rewards portal.
This card type often includes airline-specific perks like priority boarding and free checked baggage.
Here’s an example: United℠ Explorer Card

Hotel

A hotel credit card offers bonus points when you spend with a certain hotel chain. You can often redeem points through the chain’s rewards portal for hotel stays, travel packages, point transfers and more. Here are a few of our favorite hotel loyalty programs on the market.
Usually, this card type also includes hotel-specific perks like loyalty-program upgrades and resort credits.
Here’s an example: Hilton Honors American Express Card. Earn 7x points at the Hilton Portfolio of hotels and resorts. Earn 5x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations and 3x points on all other eligible purchases.

You asked, we listened: Top 5 common questions

With so many airline credit cards to choose from, it’s only natural to have some questions. Here are the 5 most common questions we receive on the subject.

  1. How much are credit card reward points worth? The most common value of a reward point is 1 cent per 1 point. However, this can vary greatly depending on the specific loyalty program and how you redeem your points.
  2. Can I redeem my reward points for cash back? In many cases, yes. Many reward cards offer cash back statements as a redemption option for points.
  3. What types of reward cards are there? There are three kinds of rewards cards: cards that earn cashback, miles or points. Cashback cards are typically the easiest type of card to use, but cards that earn miles or points give you the opportunity to redeem for higher value.
  4. Which type of rewards card should I get? This depends on how you use your card, and we have a full guide on how to pick a rewards card type. In general, pick a card that rewards you for your regular everyday spending.
  5. How many rewards cards should I have? Many consumers find it useful to have a few rewards cards, usually one with strong earnings for each type of major purchase category.

Read more about rewards credit cards

Steven Dashiell

Steven Dashiell
Credit Cards Writer

Hi, Steve here! Before I decided on the Chase Freedom, I had a ton of questions about how Chase Ultimate Rewards worked, whether this card could transfer points and just how this card differed from other issuers’ rewards cards. Here are some of the articles that answered my questions and helped me make my decision.

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Bottom line

There’s no shortage of rewards credit cards to choose from. Think about what rewards you want and how you typically spend, then compare a few cards before settling on the winner.

If you’re not sure you want a rewards card yet, consider other options like 0% APR cards.

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