Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2019

Review the best rewards credit cards to earn points, cash rewards, and more when you use your card.

Mike Brown
Mike Brown
Updated: June 26, 2019

Note from the editor: Our research, news, ratings, and assessments are scrutinized using strict editorial integrity. In full transparency, our company may receive compensation from partners listed on our website. Learn more about how we make money by visiting our advertiser disclosure.

Credit cards have become increasingly popular in recent decades. As more and more people turn to credit cards for everyday spending, more credit card issuers have entered the space, and they’re willing to compete for their customers.

With so many different rewards credit cards to choose from, deciding which is right for you can be difficult.

To help, we’ve analyzed the top rewards credit cards using weighted averages across eight data categories to determine which cards have the most to offer. Here are our picks.

LendEDU’s 14 Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2019

Platinum Card from American Express

Platinum Card from American Express

$550 annual fee 60,000-point sign-up bonus

Platinum Card from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in three months
  • Earn 5x points on travel booked through Amex
  • Up to $200 in statement credits for incidental travel purchases, such as baggage fees and in-flight purchases
  • Statement Credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

Charge card, see below

Annual Fee

$550

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The Platinum Card from American Express is a very expensive card with a $550 annual fee. But, it provides the ultimate in rewards and perks to cardholders. Not only can you earn 5 points per $1 on hotels booked with amextravel.com and on flights booked through airlines or through American Express, but you also get many other perks as well.

Other cardholder benefits include a $15 credit each month for Uber rides in the U.S., access to more than 1,200 airline lounges, room upgrades at participating hotels, and a $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges.

And to top it all off, new cardmembers will get 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months after account opening.

If you travel often and will use all the perks that the Platinum Card offers, this card provides unparalleled rewards that far exceed most competitor offerings.

APR & Fees

  • APR: This is a charge card, so you must pay off your balance each month. However, cash advances and come with a variable APR of 27.49%
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Balance transfer fee: No balance transfers available
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the transferred amount with a $10 minimum
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

Unless you fly often, stay at hotels regularly, and will take advantage of all the statement credits and other perks this card provides, the $550 annual fee isn’t worth paying. But, if you make the most of the cardholder benefits, you couldn’t ask for a better card than the American Express Platinum.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

$95 annual fee $250 sign-up bonus

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

  • Earn $250 after spending $1,000 within the first three months
  • Earn 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% at gas stations, and 1% everywhere else
  • Pay 0% for 12 months
Intro APR

0% APR for 12 months

Regular APR

15.24% – 26.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$95

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card has an average $95 annual fee, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. You can earn $200 as a new cardmember after spending $1,000 on your card within the first three months. You also get 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at U.S. supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations, and 1% cash back on other purchases.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, new cardholders will pay 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, so you can earn rewards and manage existing credit card debt at the same time.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% for 12 months, then a variable APR of 15.24% to 26.24%
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the transferred amount with a $5 minimum fee
  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the advanced amount with a $5 minimum fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%

Bottom Line

If you do the bulk of your spending at grocery stores and gas stations, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is a great choice for you. You’ll pay an affordable annual fee but can earn ample rewards to make up for it. Unfortunately, if you’re a traveler, the foreign transaction fees make this card a costlier option for you, so you may want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a card to take abroad.

UBS Visa Infinite Card

UBS Visa Infinite Card

$495 annual fee $250 annual credit for qualifying airfare

UBS Visa Infinite Card

  • Get a $250 annual credit for qualifying air travel experiences
  • 3x points for qualifying air travel, 2x points for gas and groceries, 1x points elsewhere
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges, plus a $500 credit for other lounges
  • $100 application credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
  • Service credit of up to $700 at Villas of Distinction properties
Intro APR

0% on balance transfer for 12 months

Regular APR

17.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$495

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

Like the American Express Platinum, the UBS Visa Infinite Card comes with a hefty fee but plenty of rewards and perks to make it worth it. You’ll pay $495 per year to be a cardholder, but will get a $250 credit for qualifying air travel expenses, complimentary in-flight WiFi on 12 flight segments annually, premium hotel benefits at hotels in the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, up to a $700 credit for services at Villas of Distinction Properties, and more.

You also earn 3 points per $1 for commercial air travel, double points for gas and groceries, and one point for all other eligible purchases.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 17.49% variable APR for purchases; 0% APR for balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles if the transfer is made within 90 days of opening the account.
  • Annual fee: $495
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the transferred amount with a minimum fee of $10
  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the transferred amount with a minimum fee of $10
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

If hotel travel is your thing, the UBS Visa Infinite Card is the ideal choice for you. If you’d prefer your rewards more focused around air travel, you should consider the American Express Platinum as an alternative. Both the Amex card and UBS Visa Infinite Card provide very generous rewards, but you’ll need to make sure you’ll take advantage of enough cardholder perks to offset the costly annual fee that these cards charge.

Everyday Preferred Card from American Express

Everyday Preferred Card from American Express

$95 annual fee 15,000-point sign-up bonus

Everyday Preferred Card from American Express

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in three months
  • 3x points at supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in spending) and 2x points at gas stations.
  • Get 50% extra points when you make 30 or more transactions in a billing period
Intro APR

0% for 12 months

Regular APR

15.24% – 25.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$95

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The American Express EveryDay Preferred Credit Card come with a generous 15,000 member rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in your first three months of opening the card. You’ll also benefit from a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 full months, and you have the flexibility to either pay your card in full each month or carry a balance with interest—an option not available for many American Express credit cards.

The card also provides the chance to earn triple points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases annually, as well as double points at U.S. gas stations and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. As if that wasn’t enough, cardholders who use their card at least 30 times per billing period can earn a 50% bonus on rewards points earned on purchases.

All this is available on a card with a relatively low $95 annual fee, which is competitive with other premium rewards cards and well below many of the most exclusive cards.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 15.24% to 25.24% based on creditworthiness.
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the transferred amount with a minimum fee of $5.
  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the cash advance amount with a minimum fee of $5
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7% of each transaction

Bottom Line

When you spend a lot on gas and groceries and don’t want a card with a high annual fee, the American Express EveryDay Preferred Card is a great choice. For just $95 a year, you get lots of cardholder perks including triple rewards on up to $6,000 in grocery store purchases. Unfortunately, frequent travelers should consider other competitor cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees and that offer more travel-focused perks such as lounge access or hotel upgrades.

Citi Prestige Card

Citi Prestige Card

$495 annual fee 50,000-point sign-up bonus

Citi Prestige Card

  • Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months
  • 5x points on air travel and restaurants and 3x points at hotels and cruise lines
  • 1x points on everything else
  • Complimentary 4th night free at qualifying hotel reservations
  • Up to $250 in travel credits annually, plus VIP lounge access
Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

17.99% – 25.99% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$495

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The Citi Prestige Card is another premium travel card with a hefty annual fee but a generous rewards program and many cardholder perks. With the card, you’ll pay $495 per year but can earn 5 points per $1 on air travel and restaurants; 3 points on hotels and cruise lines; and 1 point on all other purchases.

You’ll also get up to $250 in travel credits each year for eligible purchases; a complimentary fourth night hotel stay after booking four consecutive nights through ThankYou.com, and VIP lounge access through Priority Pass Select.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 17.99% to 25.99% for purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual fee: $495
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the transferred amount with a minimum $5 fee
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the amount of the cash advance with a minimum $10 fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

If you want a premium card that provides a good mix of benefits including both airline perks and hotel upgrades, the Citi Prestige is a great card to choose. Just make sure that the $495 annual fee is worth it by asking yourself if you’ll really use all the cardholder perks prior to signing up.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve

$450 annual fee 50,000-point sign-up bonus

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

  • Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • 3x points on travel (after using full travel credit) and dining purchases worldwide, plus 1x points everywhere else
  • $300 annual travel credit, Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit, and VIP lounge access
Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

18.99% – 25.99% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$450

Credit Needed

Excellent

Card Highlights

Like many of the other cards on this list, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium card with a big annual cost and lots of perks to help make the fee worth it. For your $450 annual fee, you’ll get $300 in annual travel credits; 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining purchases; and a 50% bonus on points redeemed for travel rewards. You also get complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges as well as special hotel upgrades at participating resorts worldwide, making this one of the best travel rewards cards available.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 18.99% - 25.99% variable for purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual fee: $450
  • Balance transfer fee: 5% of the transferred amount with a minimum fee of $5
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the transferred amount with a minimum fee of $10
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

The rewards and perks offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve are hard to beat. To choose between the Chase Sapphire Reserve and other premium cards on this list, you’ll need to determine if you’d prefer the lounge access and statement credits this card offers or if you’re better off with the hotel upgrades or Uber credits provided by other cards. With any of these options, you can’t go wrong as long as you actually take advantage of the cardholder benefits the premium cards provide.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Card

Bank of America Cash Rewards Card

$0 annual fee $200 sign-up bonus

Bank of America Cash Rewards Card

  • Earn $200 after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice (including gas, online shopping, dining travel, and more)
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% back everywhere else
Intro APR

0% for 12 months

Regular APR

16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

Unlike many of the cards on our list, the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card charges no annual fee. But it still provides you with plenty of rewards—and flexibility in how bonus rewards points are earned.

You’ll benefit from a $200 bonus offer once you spend at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of your account opening. You’ll also get 3% cash back in one spending category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Your bonus 3% and 2% cash back are limited to the first $2,500 in combined spending, though.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases and on balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening your account. After that, standard variable APR will be 16.24% to 26.25%, based on creditworthiness.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of each transaction with a minimum fee of $10
  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the cash advance amount with a minimum fee of $10
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each transaction in foreign currency

Bottom Line

When you don’t want to pay a fee for a credit card and you want flexibility in which spending categories you earn your bonus rewards, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card is the ideal choice for you. But if you’d prefer bonus rewards on more than $2,500 in spending, or if you want other cardholder benefits, competitor cards will be a better option for you.

SunTrust Cash Rewards MasterCard

SunTrust Cash Rewards MasterCard

$0 annual fee Up to 5% cash back for the first 12 months

SunTrust Cash Rewards MasterCard

  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at gas stations and grocery stores for the first 12 months
  • Unlimited 2% cash back on gas and groceries after the first year, plus 1% on all other purchases
  • 10% – 50% cash rewards bonus for SunTrust clients
Intro APR

0% for 15 months

Regular APR

13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The SunTrust Cash Rewards MasterCard also comes with no annual fee, and it provides a higher bonus cash back reward than the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card. During your first year as a cardholder, the rewards program is comparable to the Everyday Preferred Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred—but rewards points go down afterward. You’ll get 5% cash back on up to $6,000 in gas and grocery purchases in the first 12 months, then 2% cash back thereafter. For all other purchases, you’ll get 1% cash back.

If you’re a SunTrust customer, you also get either a 10%, 25%, or 50% Loyalty Cash bonus if points are redeemed into a SunTrust account. Finally, if you transfer a balance to your SunTrust card, you’ll pay no interest for the first 15 months.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% APR for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers, then 13.49% to 23.49% based on creditworthiness.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% with a minimum fee of $10
  • Cash advance fee: 4% with a minimum fee of $10
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

This card is a great option for a no annual fee card, but the rewards program is the most competitive during your first year as a cardholder. After that, your bonus rewards aren’t as good as what many competitors offer. However, SunTrust customers will love the Loyalty Cash Back Bonus, which makes this card a much better deal for people who redeem cash back into an existing SunTrust account.

World Wildlife Fund Card

World Wildlife Fund Card

$0 annual fee $200 sign-up bonus

World Wildlife Fund Card

  • Earn $200 after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, and more
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, plus 1% everywhere else
  • The World Wildlife Fund receives ongoing donations from BoA every time you renew and use your card
Intro APR

0% for 12 months

Regular APR

16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The World Wildlife Fund Credit Card is very similar to the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. However, when you open this account or renew it each year, the World Wildlife Fund gets $3. The fund also receives 0.08% of all retail purchases made with this card. Other than the ability to donate to charity, this card’s other features—including its 3% bonus cash back and 2% bonus cash back categories—are the same as the Bank of America Cash Rewards card.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% APR for 12 billing cycles on all purchases and on balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening your account. After that, standard variable APR of 16.24% to 26.24% based on creditworthiness.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of each transaction with a minimum fee of $10
  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the cash advance amount with a minimum fee of $10
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each transaction in a foreign currency

Bottom Line

If you like the features of the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, including no annual fee and flexibility in bonus rewards, but you want your purchases to help a good cause, this is the card for you. But keep in mind that the card has the same drawbacks as the Bank of America Cash Rewards, including a low spending limit for earning bonus rewards—so big spenders may wish to look elsewhere.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

$0 annual fee (Amazon Prime subscription required) $70 Amazon.com gift card sign-up bonus

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

  • Get a $70 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
  • 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, plus 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee, but an Amazon Prime subscription is required ($119)
Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.49% – 24.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0 (Amazon Prime required)

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a great choice for frequent Amazon and Whole Foods customers, as well as those who want a card with no annual fees or foreign transaction fees. You’ll need to have an Amazon Prime membership, though, or this isn’t the card for you.

Cardmembers get 5% cash back at both Amazon and Whole Foods Markets. The card also provides 2% cash back at gas stations and drug stores and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits, as well as for purchases at Amazon.com.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 16.49% to 24.49%
  • Annual fee: None, but an Amazon Prime subscription ($119/year) is required
  • Balance transfer fee: 5% of the transferred amount with a minimum fee of $5
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the transferred amount with a minimum fee of $10
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

If you’re not an Amazon Prime Member, this card isn’t a good option for you. But, if you’re already a Prime Member, you enjoy shopping at Amazon and Whole Foods, and you don’t want to pay an annual fee for a credit card, you should give this one a close look. The ability to earn 5% back on an unlimited amount of groceries at Whole Foods makes this card a very competitive one compared with other grocery cards that limit the bonus cash back you can earn.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

$0 annual fee $150 sign-up bonus

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card

  • Earn a $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 in the first three months
  • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% elsewhere
  • Extended warranty, travel accident insurance, and virtual shopping numbers from Eno
Intro APR

0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

15.74%, 21.74% or 25.74% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

With no annual fee and the chance to earn unlimited cash back on dining, entertainment, and groceries, the Capital One SavorOne is a great rewards card option.

New cardmembers are also eligible for a $150 cash bonus after $500 in spending within three months of opening an account, and they’ll get a long 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers. The card does charge a balance transfer fee, but no foreign transaction fees apply.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a standard variable APR of 15.74% - 25.74%
  • Annual fee: None
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% fee on balances transferred within 15 months.
  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the cash advance amount with a minimum fee of $10
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

If you want to earn bonus cash back on dining, entertainment, and groceries without low spending caps, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Card is a great choice. You can also take this card abroad without worrying about foreign transaction fees. But, as a free card, it doesn’t offer all the travel perks its more expensive competitors provide, so frequent travelers may wish to consider a premium card instead.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

$0 annual fee 30,000-point sign-up bonus

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 3x points on dining; gas, rideshares, and transit; flights, hotels, and car rentals; and streaming services
  • 1x points on everything else
Intro APR

0% for 12 months

Regular APR

16.24% – 27.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card is a no-fee credit card with 30,000 bonus points if you make at least $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. As a cardholder, you'll also earn some solid rewards rates.

You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on eating in and ordering out; gas, rideshares and transit services; flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals; and popular streaming services. All other purchases give you 1 point per dollar spent. There’s no limit on points you’re eligible to earn and no blackout dates on air travel.

Although the 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months isn’t as long as some other cards on this list, it still gives you a long time when you don’t have to pay for purchases or pay interest on transferred balances.

Finally, this card charges no foreign currency conversion fees, so you don’t need to worry about using your card outside the U.S.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a standard variable APR of 16.24% to 27.24% based on creditworthiness.
  • Annual fee: None
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the transferred balance with a minimum fee of $5
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the cash advance amount with a minimum fee of $10
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

This card provides bonus cash back on different spending categories than many other cards on this list, including rideshares, transit services, and popular streaming services. You also benefit from a reasonable 0% introductory APR, no foreign transaction fees, and no annual fee. But, if you want a travel rewards credit card or to avoid balance transfer fees, this isn’t the right card for you.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

$0 annual fee $150 sign-up bonus

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

  • Earn $150 after you spend $1,000 in the first three months
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases
Intro APR

0% for 15 months

Regular APR

15.24% – 26.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The Blue Cash EveryDay is one of the best American Express credit cards available. The credit card offers a $150 cash bonus after you spend at least $1,000 on purchases within three months of opening your account. You’ll earn 3% back at supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year and 2% cash back at gas stations and U.S. department stores, then 1% back on everything else. The card also has no annual fee and offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, which makes it an affordable card for those currently paying down a balance.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a standard variable APR of 15.24% to 26.24% based on creditworthiness
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the transferred amount with a minimum fee of $5
  • Cash advance fee: 3% of the cash advance amount with a minimum fee of $5
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%

Bottom Line

Although similar to the other Amex cards on this list, the Blue Cash Everyday is a good choice because the rewards come as cash back and there’s no annual fee. If you want a low-cost card that rewards department store purchases as well and gas and groceries, this card is for you. But, of course, it doesn’t have many of the travel benefits that the American Express Platinum or other premium cards offer, so whether this card is right for you will depend on how you spend.

Discover it Cash Back Card

Discover it Cash Back Card

$0 annual fee Double cash back after year 1

Discover it Cash Back Card

  • Discover doubles your cash back after your first year
  • 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories, up to $1,500 in spending per quarter
  • 1% cash back on everything else
Intro APR

0% for 14 months

Regular APR

14.24% – 25.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Needed

Good/Excellent

Card Highlights

The Discover it Cash Back is the best Discover credit card available, and one of the best cash back credit cards overall. It allows you to earn 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories, such as gas stations, purchases at Amazon.com, grocery stores, and restaurants. All other purchases net you 1% back. And after your first year as a cardholder, Discover will match all your cash back you’ve earned over the year. This automatic bonus can significantly boost the total rewards this card provides to you. The card also doesn’t charge an annual fee, and its 0% promotional period on purchases lasts for 14 months, which makes it competitive with other cards on the list.

APR & Fees

  • APR: 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then standard variable APR of 14.24% to 25.24%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of each transferred amount before August 10, 2019, then 5% thereafter
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the cash advance amount with a minimum $10 fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Bottom Line

If you don’t mind keeping track of rotating cash back categories and you want to earn a generous 5% back on different kinds of spending, the Discover it is a great card for you. Although it’s not a premium card and lacks the benefits of more expensive alternatives, it’s an affordable card with no annual fee and could be a good choice for anyone who just wants to earn rewards and not pay for a ton of cardholder perks.

The Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2019

CardBonus OfferAnnual Fee
Platinum Card from American ExpressEarn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in three months$550
American Express Blue Cash Preferred CardEarn $250 after spending $1,000 within the first three months$95
UBS Visa Infinite CardGet a $250 annual credit for qualifying air travel experiences$495
Everyday Preferred Card from American ExpressEarn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in three months$95
Citi Prestige CardEarn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months$495
Chase Sapphire Reserve CardEarn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months$450
Bank of America Cash Rewards CardEarn $200 after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening$200
SunTrust Cash Rewards MasterCardEarn 5% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at gas stations and grocery stores for the first 12 months$0
World Wildlife Fund CardEarn $200 after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days$0
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature CardGet a $70 Amazon.com gift card upon approval$0 (Amazon Prime required)
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards CardEarn a $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 in the first three months$0
Wells Fargo Propel American Express CardEarn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months$0
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American ExpressEarn $150 after you spend $1,000 in the first three months$0
Discover it Cash Back CardDiscover doubles your cash back after your first year$0

How We Chose the Best Rewards Credit Cards

To find the best rewards credit cards, our Editorial Team analyzed each card by regular APR (10%), purchase APR (5%), balance transfer APR (2.5%), annual fee (10%), late fees (2.5%), foreign transaction fee (2.5%), cash advance fee (2.5%), introductory bonus (15%), and rewards (50%).

Learn more about our ratings and methodology here.

What You Need to Know About Rewards Credit Cards

There are three broad categories of credit card rewards, including cash back, points, and bonus miles.

  • Cash back rewards credit cards are often the easiest to understand. For each dollar you spend, you earn a percentage of the total amount spent as cash back. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit, as a direct deposit to a bank or brokerage account, or for merchandise.
  • Points reward credit cards work in a similar fashion, but you earn points for spending instead of cash back. For example, you may earn one point per dollar spent. Most points are redeemable for merchandise or gift cards available through the card issuer’s online store.
  • Rewards credit cards offering airline miles are ideal for the travel-focused spender. Miles are earned like points, and accrued miles balances may be used to offset the cost of travel-related purchases, including hotel stays and airfare. Miles often have no- or a reduced-cash value, so you'll want to redeem them within travel loyalty programs or according to the best redemption options available. The number of miles earned per dollar spent varies for each card issuer.

Determining the Value of Rewards

Each credit card issuer designs its rewards program differently, and the value of rewards differs from one card to another. This makes it a challenge to compare credit card rewards programs. However, you can use a simple rule of thumb to calculate the value of your rewards: just consider how many points are required to make a $10 purchase. For most rewards credit cards, that number is 1,000 points, so each $1 you spend generates 100 rewards points.

The higher the number of points or miles it takes to make a $10 purchase, the less your rewards are worth. If a card requires 1,250 points to receive rewards worth $10, points aren’t as valuable. The opposite is also true: if it only takes 750 rewards points to make $10 purchase, your rewards are worth more.

Can You Get One of the Best Rewards Credit Cards with Bad Credit?

Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for the best credit cards. Credit cards that offer generous rewards typically require good or excellent credit.

Fortunately, there are options for rewards credit cards even if your credit score isn’t perfect. Some credit cards issuers even offer secured credit cards with rewards programs. These cards require a deposit, typically ranging from $100 up to $500, and your credit limit equals your deposited amount.

>> Read More: Best credit cards for bad credit

Understanding Rotating Rewards Categories

Some rewards credit cards may have rotating rewards categories. Rotating rewards mean only certain purchases qualify for the best rewards rate and the categories for extra rewards change periodically.

For example, a credit card issuer may offer 5% rewards on gas station purchases for the first quarter of the year, then 5% rewards on grocery store purchases the next quarter.

Most issuers with these rotating rewards categories cap how much you can spend in each category to earn bonus rewards. For example, you may be limited to $1,500 in purchases that earn you extra rewards. Any amount over that threshold will earn the standard rewards rate.

Card issuers offering rotating rewards categories provide details in your credit card agreement about the maximum spending amounts, purchases that qualify for the extra rewards, and the number of extra points or miles that can be earned. In most cases, cardholders must sign up for the rotating categories each quarter to ensure they receive the bonus rewards offered.

Can You Have Too Many Rewards Credit Cards?

Several hundred rewards credit cards are available today, with more options added often. Because different cards reward different kinds of spending, it’s common for people to have more than one rewards credit card.

>> Read More: How many credit cards should you have?

For most people, having multiple credit cards is beneficial to maximize rewards they can earn for spending. However, it’s possible to have too many cards. If you’re using multiple rewards credit cards each month, you may find it challenging to keep up with on-time payments or manage spending responsibly.

Opening too many new cards in a short time can also negatively impact your credit, so consider these potential issues before applying for several rewards credit cards.

Rewards on Cash Advances

Most card issuers offer cash advances, either up to the full extent of their available credit line or as a percentage of available credit. Cash advances can be helpful in accessing cash quickly for major expenses that cannot be paid for with a swipe.

Cash can be transferred to a checking or savings account and withdrawn as needed when you take a cash advance. However, cash advances come with higher interest rates than purchase transactions on credit cards and you may be charged a one-time fee for taking a cash advance.

In addition to these downsides, credit card cash advances typically don’t earn rewards.

Rewards on Balance Transfers

Balance transfers can be a beneficial tool for many consumers. When you take a balance transfer, you can move an outstanding balance from one credit card to another. Often, you’ll pay a small fee to transfer the balance, which typically ranges from 1% to 5% of the amount transferred.

A balance transfer makes sense when you can transfer debt to a credit card charging a lower interest rate. Most balance transfer credit cards offer you 0% interest for a period of time – often six to 18 months – which can save you a fortune in interest.

While balance transfers are beneficial in reducing the total cost of borrowing during the 0% promotional period, cardholders don’t receive rewards on most balance transfers.

Using Rewards to Pay a Bill

Credit card rewards can be redeemed for a variety of purposes. With many cash back credit cards, a statement credit is one option for redemption. This statement credit can reduce your outstanding balance due. This can be a good strategy for paying off debt. However, if the minimum payment due is less than the statement credit amount, a payment is still required. And, some card issuers require minimum payments even if the statement credit is large enough to cover the required payment, so be sure to check with your card issuer.

Authorized Users and Earning Rewards

Adding an authorized user to your rewards credit card can help you earn even more rewards over time.

Most rewards credit cards allow the primary cardholder to add an authorized user without that individual having to go through a full credit evaluation. And, most provide the same rewards for purchases made with the additional user’s credit card – although authorized users aren’t always entitled to all of the additional perks that cards can offer.

Minimum Spending to Earn Rewards

Credit card issuers typically do not impose a spending minimum to earn rewards. However, there are times when minimum purchase amounts must be met to receive a bonus reward.

For example, credit card issuers often provide opportunities for new credit card holders to earn significant sign-up rewards bonuses. To earn these extra rewards, cardholders must spend a minimum amount within a specified timeframe. For example, a new credit card holder may have to spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening an account to earn 10,000 rewards points.

It’s also important to note that most cards only allow you to redeem rewards after you’ve accrued a certain amount of points or cash back.

Rewards and Missing a Payment

Missing a credit card payment can have serious negative consequences, including a lasting ding to your credit report. Some credit card issuers also require cardholders remain in good standing to continue to earn and redeem accumulated rewards.

Credit card companies have varied policies regarding how a late payment impacts rewards, but some will take away rewards points when an account is delinquent. However, most also allow rewards to be reinstated if you pay the amount due plus any late fees. There may also be a fee for reinstating rewards if the credit card issuer allows it.

Rewards and Closing an Account

Credit card rewards may be forfeited if you close an account, but only in certain circumstances.

For rewards credit cards that offer miles or hotel loyalty program points, any rewards earned are generally transferred to your loyalty or frequent flyer account at the end of each statement period. Once rewards are in your account with the hotel or airline program, the points you earned are safe even if you close the account in the next billing cycle.

However, for cash back cards and some points rewards cards, closing an account may mean you lose any accumulated rewards at that time.

To ensure you don’t lose access to your rewards if you plan to close a credit card account, redeem the points beforehand.

What if Rewards Expire?

Some credit card issuers put an expiration date on rewards, but these policies vary significantly from one company to the next and some card offer rewards that never expire.

When rewards do expire, you usually have at least a year to use them. Unfortunately, once expired, there’s usually no way to get your lost rewards back.

Gifting Credit Card Rewards

Gifting credit card rewards points can typically be accomplished in two ways: either by purchasing a gift card for another person through the card issuer’s site or by actually donating the points or miles to another person.

Not all cards allow you to gift rewards points, so it is necessary to review your card issuer’s policies before attempting to gift rewards to someone else. This strategy, however, is a great way to use rewards that are about to expire if you’re not planning to cash them in.

Limits on Earning Rewards

Some cards impose limits on the points you can earn, either for specific bonus categories or by billing cycle or by year. When your card has a limit, no rewards points are available after the maximum earning threshold is reach. You’ll need to read your cardholder agreement to find out what limits, if any, apply to you.