There are so many rewards credit cards around now that it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out which one is right for you. So we did some digging to find which are the best rewards credit cards out there, weighing the different rewards and features and picking the cards that give you the most money for your membership. Here’s how we did it:
Criteria We Used to Find Best Credit Cards
Introductory rewards: These are the rewards you get when you first sign up for the card, such as getting 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $500 within the first 3 months. Our top card below gives you $400 when you spend $1,000, which is kind of insane.
Overall rewards: These are any rewards that the card comes with, whether it be their cash back percentage (Discover it offers 5% cash back on certain categories) or other cash back or reward bonuses that you can accrue.
Fees: Does the card have an annual fee or a late fee? Cards without fees are better, of course. We tried to pick cards that have no annual fees, even if it is just for the first year.
Best APR: Many cards give you an introductory period with a 0% APR, so you aren’t paying any interest for up to a year and half. It’s an essential bonus feature to have on any card. Also, having a low APR overall will make it easier on your wallet if you do have to pay interest eventually.
Best Overall Card: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days – that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases
- Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
- Chip card for increased confidence and convenience to pay abroad as easily as you do at home
- Book the travel you want – airfare, hotels, cruises and more and earn miles on your purchase
- Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
- No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
- Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Best for Cashback Rewards: Discover it® Card
- Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. Pay up to midnight ET online or by phone on your due date without a fee. Plus, paying late won’t raise your APR.*
- Generous. 5% cash back at Home Improvement Stores & More on up to $1,500 in purchases from April through June 2014 when you sign up. And 1% cash back on all other purchases.*
- Human. 100% U.S.-based customer service available any time.
- Looks out for you-since each Discover purchase is monitored. If it’s unusual, you’re alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.
- Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*
- 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.
- *Click “Apply” to see rates, rewards, and free FICO® Credit Score terms and other information.
Best for Travel Rewards: The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®
- Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
- Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
- With 50,000 award miles you can redeem for a round-trip award flight to Hawaii, Europe or the Caribbean!
- Cardholders receive a Companion Ticket annually
- Enjoy 2 award miles per $1 on Miles & More integrated airline ticket purchases and 1 award mile per $1 spent everywhere else
- No mileage expiration with monthly qualifying purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Apply for the card here
Best Low APR Credit Card: Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard®
- No Balance Transfer Fees – start saving immediately!
- A low 8% variable APR on balance transfers and purchases
- No Annual Fees
- Choose your card benefits and features
- Get rewarded through the new Giveback(TM) program, where Barclaycard Ring members get money back for good performance
- Get exclusive access to our online community and vote on the card features you like and view the financials of the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard online
- Learn more about personal finance from Barclaycard and other members
- Complimentary FICO® Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
- Apply for the card here.
Best Prepaid Card with Rewards: American Express Serve®
- Get American Express Serve and you could get $50 when you use Direct Deposit. Must enroll in Direct Deposit by 10/30/13.*
- No credit check. No minimum balance. No activation fee.
- Manage your money with the prepaid card, online account, and mobile app.
- Shop online or off and get access to membership benefits like Purchase Protection.*
- Enroll in Direct Deposit to get your paycheck in your American Express Serve Account on payday.
- No need to use a check. Email money to anyone no matter where they have a bank account.
- The safety and security of American Express.
- The 24/7 customer service you expect from American Express.
- *Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.
- Apply for card here.