Compare our best rewards credit cards and treat yourself

Enter the land of the big welcome bonus. Then collect points or cashback as you spend with the best rewards credit cards.

Promoted for Membership Rewards®
The Platinum Card by American Express logo
Finder Award
The Platinum Card by American Express
Check eligibility
704.6% APR representative variable
Up to 40,000 Membership Rewards®
4 ★★★★★
Airport lounge access
Earn points as you spend
Worldwide travel insurance (subject to enrolment)
Best for rewards & perks
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card logo
Finder Award
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
Check eligibility
88.8% APR representative variable
Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards®
4 ★★★★★
No annual fee in first year
Access to pre-sale tickets
4 complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge visits
Best for no annual fee rewards
M&S Bank Credit Card Shopping Plus Offer Mastercard logo
M&S Bank Credit Card Shopping Plus Offer Mastercard
23.9% APR representative variable
4.1 ★★★★★
No annual fee
Earn points on spending
0% purchase and balance transfer period
In this table, we've gathered up the "earn-rates" of different cards. It's crucial to note that how much a point is worth will depend on the card issuer, programme and potentially even how you're redeeming the points.Our top 10 rewards credit cards compared
Table: sorted by length of 0% balance transfer offer, promoted deals first
1 - 10 of 50
Name Product Finder Score Finder score Max. intro bonus Earn-rate with brand Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
M&S Bank Credit Card Purchase Plus Offer Mastercard
4.1
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
N/A
1 point per £1 spent
1 point per £1 spent
£0
24.9% APR (variable)
1 point per £1 spent with M&S and 1 point per £5 spent elsewhere. Enjoy 55 days interest free, preferential rates plus no cash advance fee when buying M&S travel money with the card.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Credit Card Transfer Plus Offer Mastercard
3.9
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
N/A
1 point per £1 spent
1 point per £5 spent
£0
24.9% APR (variable)
1 point per £1 spent with M&S and 1 point per £5 spent elsewhere. Enjoy 55 days interest free, preferential rates plus no cash advance fee when buying M&S travel money with the card.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Santander All in One Credit Card
4.5
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
N/A
0.5% cashback
0.5% cashback
£3 per month
29.8% APR (variable)
0.5% after £1 of monthly spend. Maximum of £10 cashback paid per month. Cashback paid monthly into Card Account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Amex® Cashback Everyday Credit Card
3.8
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
£100
1% cashback
1% cashback
£0
31% APR (variable)
Welcome offer: Get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £100) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Terms and minimum spend apply. 18+, subject to status.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 31% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
British Airways American Express® Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
5,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
1 point per £1 spent
£0
31% APR (variable)
Earn 5,000 points when you spend £1,000 within 3 months of account opening. Terms apply. UK 18+, subject to status. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 31% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
American Express® Rewards Credit Card
3.9
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
10,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
1 point per £1 spent
£0
31% APR (variable)
Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent thereafter. Earn up to 90,000 bonus points per year through refer a friend, 4,000 points awarded for every friend approved. 1 point = 0.45p (min 1,000 points) to shop, other rewards have differing conversions.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 31% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Amex® Cashback Credit Card
3.7
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
£125
1.25% cashback
1.25% cashback
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
36.7% APR (variable)
Limited time offer: Get 5%* cashback (up to £125) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership and the first year free* for new Cardmembers. Offer ends 2 July 2024. Terms apply.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 36.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Nectar Credit Card
Finder Award
Nectar Credit Card
3.8
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
20,000 points
3 points per £1 spent
2 points per £1 spent
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £30 per annum
37.8% APR (variable)
New welcome offer: Earn 20,000 bonus Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months. Earn a minimum of 3 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners, and 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £30 per annum, your representative rate is 37.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
60,000 points
6 points per £1 spent
2 points per £1 spent
£95 per annum
54.8% APR (variable)
Earn 60,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy® points when you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Offer ends 3 July 2024. 18+, subject to status. Terms apply.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £95 per annum, your representative rate is 54.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Yonder Credit Card
Finder Award
Yonder Credit Card
4.5
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
10,000 points
25 points per £1 spent
5 points per £1 spent
1 month for £0, £15 per month thereafter
66.7% APR (variable)
First month free for new members, £15 p/m thereafter. Plus, 10,000 bonus points. Earn 5 points per £1 spent and up to 25 points per £1 at selected partners. Membership includes worldwide travel insurance, no FX fees and use your points towards any flight.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.94% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £15 per month, your representative rate is 66.7% APR (variable).
Go to site
loading

Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

What are rewards credit cards?

Rewards credit cards offer you points for your everyday spending, which can then be redeemed for a variety of travel and lifestyle freebies. You could enjoy free flights and upgrades with a frequent flyer credit card, get rewarded when you shop at your favourite supermarket or get cashback on your account.

As well as offering these benefits, rewards credit cards typically come with a higher interest rate and sometimes an annual fee. So it’s smart to compare your options to make sure the benefits outweigh the costs.

How do credit card rewards programmes work?

Rewards credit cards usually earn you points for every £1 spent on eligible transactions. When you’ve earned enough points, you can redeem them for rewards such as travel, flight upgrades, gift cards, cashback and merchandise.

Most rewards credit cards also have higher standard interest rates than other options, and sometimes also an annual fee, because it costs lenders money to offer a rewards programme. Compare the potential costs of a rewards card against the potential gains, so that you can decide if the card you’re considering is going to actually benefit you.

What rewards do credit cards offer?

The rewards you can get with a credit card depend on the card you choose and the rewards programme. Some of the most popular reward categories include:

  • Cashback
  • Travel rewards: flights, flight upgrades, accommodation
  • Shopping rewards: gift cards, vouchers and instant shopping discounts
  • Fuel vouchers
  • Specific items, such as clothes and electronics
  • Tickets to concerts and other events

How can I use my credit card rewards?

The steps required to use your points to redeem rewards vary depending on the credit card and the rewards programme. But there are a few key factors to remember:

  • Account login. You must log in to your credit card account or rewards programme account to make redemptions. Once you’re logged in, it’s usually a simple process of going to the “Rewards” section, then selecting “Use points” and following the prompts.
  • Required points. Every reward option available for redemption has a specific point value (e.g. 10,000 points for a £50 gift card). This means you need to have at least this amount of points in your account to redeem your chosen reward.
  • Points-plus-pay. Some programmes allow you to use a combination of points and money to redeem your chosen rewards. This gives you more flexibility if you haven’t earned enough points when you want to make redemptions.

Types of credit card rewards programmes

There are a variety of different rewards credit cards you can compare and choose based on the benefits you want. These can be separated into four types of reward programmes, which we’ve outlined below.

Frequent flyer programmes

Frequent flyer (or “air miles”) programmes are traditionally designed to earn you points and other benefits when you travel with a particular airline, such as British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. There are two main ways you can earn frequent flyer points with a rewards credit card:

  1. Direct earn frequent flyer credit cards. These cards are linked with a specific frequent flyer programme and rewards are added directly to your airline loyalty account. Frequent flyer programmes that are linked to direct earn credit cards include Virgin’s Flying Club, Lufthansa’s Miles & More and Emirates Skywards.
  2. Indirect earn frequent flyer credit cards. These rewards credit cards let you transfer the points you earn to frequent flyer programmes used by multiple airlines. For example, Lloyds Bank offers a credit card that lets you collect Avios, which can be redeemed with a number of airlines.

Read our guide to frequent flyer credit cards.

Credit card rewards programmes

These enticing choices grant you the flexibility to exchange accumulated points for a variety of benefits, such as frequent flyer miles for travel, merchandise, gift cards or even credits towards your account balance.

Many of these rewards programmes also offer auto-redemption for specific rewards, such as cashback, gift cards or frequent flyer points. For example, ANZ allows cardholders to opt-in for auto-redemption through Virgin Australia’s Velocity program. With this option, all ANZ Rewards points are automatically transferred to your Velocity account annually, periodically or when you have earned a specific amount of ANZ Rewards points.

Other credit card companies offer instant redemptions with certain retailers. If you have a CommBank Awards credit card, for example, you can redeem your points in-store at Myer or Flight Centre.

Finder survey: Which of the following points do you collect?

Response% of respondents
Virgin points8.33%
Tesco Clubcard points80.00%
Nectar points50.00%
Marriott Bonvoy Points0.00%
M&S Rewards points20.00%
John Lewis Partnership points15.00%
I don't collect any of these13.33%
Avios13.33%
Amex Membership Rewards points6.67%
Source: Finder survey by Finder of Finder members

Cashback with other reward credit cards

Additionally, cashback rewards are a common feature across various frequent flyer, credit card, and supermarket or retail rewards initiatives mentioned earlier. Simply choose the “cash” or “gift cards” section within your rewards programme to explore the array of available options in this category.

Network rewards

In addition to your specific card’s rewards programme, credit card networks offer their own range of benefits such as Mastercard Priceless Cities and American Express Experiences (formerly American Express Invites).

How to compare reward credit cards

Comparing credit cards helps you find the features that suit your lifestyle while also keeping costs affordable. Below, you’ll find a checklist of things to consider when you are comparing reward credit cards.

Best way to earn rewards points with your credit card

There are several ways to unlock rewards with a credit card. We have outlined the most common below:

  • Points per pound. The more points you earn per pound spent, the greater the potential value. A good rule of thumb is to look for a card that offers at least 1 point per £1 for most transactions. But remember to only spend as much as you can afford to repay, otherwise you’ll accrue more interest.
  • Point expiry and caps. Some credit card reward points expire after a certain amount of time, and some accounts have a limit on how many points you can earn in a month or year.
  • Bonus point offers. Reward credit cards often have sign-up deals that give you hundreds or thousands of bonus points. Usually, these offers require you to spend a certain amount of money on the card in the first few months you have it. As these offers only last for a limited time, they should only be considered after you have a clear idea of the type of card you want so that you can get the most value out of the deal and the rewards card you choose.

Redeeming points

  • Points values. To work out the value of your rewards, consider how many points it would take to redeem. For example, if you need 10,000 points to get a £50 gift card and your credit card has an earn rate of one point per £1 spent, you would have to spend £10,000 to make a redemption. Breaking down the rewards like this can help you determine whether it’s worth your time and money.
  • Rewards partners. Rewards programmes often partner with retailers and businesses to provide you with a wider range of redemption options. You may also have the opportunity to earn bonus points when you shop with partner stores. Choose a credit card rewards programme that has partnerships with your favourite brands and products so you can take advantage of these options.
  • Redemption limitations. Some reward programmes have blackout periods when you may not be able to make redemptions. Check the fine print for this information and consider the impact it could have on you.

Rates and fees

  • Annual fees. Some rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. The value of the rewards you are likely to earn should at least be equal to, but ideally more than, the annual fee of a credit card.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Most credit cards apply a charge for transactions made overseas or with an international retailer online, usually worth 2% to 3% of the total transaction. Make sure you consider this fee before choosing a card – especially for any rewards card that offers more points for foreign transactions.
  • Purchase rates. Reward credit cards often have high standard interest rates. If you think you’ll carry a balance, consider how much interest your purchases will accrue and whether the rewards will outweigh the cost of your repayments.
  • Balance transfer rates. Some balance transfer credit cards also come with rewards. These cards allow you to move existing debt to the new card and pay a low introductory interest rate on the balance. Usually, you won’t earn points for the balance that you transfer, and any new purchases will be charged interest at the purchase rate from the time the transaction is made. If you have credit card debt, it may be better to focus on paying it off completely before considering a rewards card.
  • Cash advance rate. If you use a rewards credit card for a cash advance transaction, such as getting money from a cashpoint, you will be charged interest at the cash advance rate, which is usually very high. What’s more, this interest rate is charged from the day of the transaction, so even if you pay off your balance in full that month, interest is still charged. Cash advances usually don’t earn reward points either.

Complimentary extras

Rewards credit cards often come with a variety of additional features that can add value to the account you choose. Popular perks include:

  • International travel insurance
  • Airport lounge access
  • Complimentary flights
  • Hotel stays
  • Purchase protection insurance
  • Extended warranty coverage
  • Price match guarantees
  • Concierge services
Deal

Lounge access with Priority Pass

Access 1,500+ airport lounges and premium travel experiences globally, in 600 cities across 148 countries

Expert analysis: Shift as much everyday spending to reward cards as you can

jordoncox profile pic
Jordon Cox

Contributor

The value you receive from reward credit cards comes when you spend on them. So long as you’re sensible with your money (and are able to pay off your credit cards in full each month to avoid interest), the more of your day-to-day spending that you can put on them, the better!

Monthly subscriptions such as Netflix are an easy one to move over. If you commute to work, you can also pay for that on your credit card to earn some rewards from your travel costs. Even your normal household bills such as those for council tax, water and energy could earn you rewards, if you have the option to ‘top up’ your account balance online with a credit card.

Earning cashback or points on things that need to be paid for anyway is a good way to make the most of your reward credit cards.

Is it worth getting a rewards credit card?

The value of a rewards credit card depends as much on the cardholder as the actual card you choose. So rather than making a definitive statement about whether or not reward credit cards are valuable, let’s take a look at the key factors that make them likely or unlikely to work for you.

A rewards credit card could be worth it if you:

  • Pay off your credit card balance in full every month
  • Currently use or plan to use a credit card on a regular basis
  • Have a clear idea of the type of points you want to earn
  • Are part of, or want to join, an existing reward programme that could be complemented by a credit card (i.e. a frequent flyer programme or shopping reward program)
  • Earn enough to pay a higher annual fee
  • Can regularly make use of the rewards or complimentary extras on the card, such as insurance

A reward credit card might not be right if you:

  • Have a lot of credit card debt
  • Often carry a balance on your credit card
  • Rarely use a credit card
  • Won’t be able to regularly use complimentary extras on the card
  • Can’t afford a higher annual fee
  • Are tempted to overspend in order to earn rewards

It’s worth noting that there are some exceptions to the guidelines above. If you can’t afford a high annual fee, for example, you might still get a lot of value out of a reward credit card with no annual fee. On the other hand, if you regularly use a credit card but also have a lot of debt, it might be better to switch to a balance transfer or low interest rate credit card so that you get value out of paying less interest.

Although rewards credit cards can be a useful way to gain benefits from your purchases, it’s important to bear in mind that you must repay the entire amount (plus interest, unless your card provides an interest-free period for clearing the balance). Additionally, there are annual fees and various other expenses to take into account. Nevertheless, by carefully considering both the perks and costs when comparing reward credit cards, you can find an option that suits your needs.

Bottom line

Rewards credit cards can be hugely beneficial, but only if they are used the right way. Crucially, you should never spend more on a rewards credit card than you can afford to repay and always choose a rewards programme that you’re likely to get the most out of. You should also ensure you pay off your balance in full each month to avoid high interest charges and, if the card has an annual fee, make sure the benefits of the card outweigh this.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

Written by

Chris Lilly

Chris Lilly is Head of publishing at finder.com. He's a specialist in personal finance, from day-to-day banking to investing to borrowing, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more. See full profile

More guides on Finder

Go to site