To choose the best rewards credit card, you must consider your spending habits. Do you travel often? If so, a card with good travel rewards may be best. However, there are other cards for general spending with great bonuses and point structures that provide cash back and gift cards. These are some of the top picks.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
This is rated as the best versatile rewards card among consumers. It earns this distinction mostly because of its generous bonus reward potential of up to $500 after signing up. It offers cardholders 50,000 free points if they spend $4,000 within the first 90 days of activation. Also, the card offers travel perks in the form of two points for every dollar spent on hotels and flights. All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent. Another benefit is 5,000 bonus points for adding an authorized user. One of the things many people did not like about this card was the $95 annual fee. However, it is waived during the first year.
Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash card earns high ratings for general spending rewards. This card’s earning structure is simple. For every purchase, cardholders earn 1 percent cash back. When the purchase is paid off, an extra 1 percent cash back is earned as an incentive, which totals 2 percent cash back. Also, consumers rate the card highly because there is no annual fee. However, it is not rated as a good card for international travel since there is a considerable foreign transaction fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
In comparison with the Sapphire Preferred card, this one is better for smaller budgets. New cardholders only have to spend $500 during the first 90 days to receive the reward offer of $150 cash back or 15,000 points, which can be traded for gift cards to popular retailers, restaurants and hotels. All purchases yield 1.5 percent cash back. Many cardholders like this card for its additional cash back potential of 5 percent with rotating rewards from qualified vendors. However, users must manually opt in for the rewards each quarter. There is no annual fee for this card.
Blue Cash Preferred
This AMEX card is ideal for people who spend most of their money at supermarkets and gas stations. Although it earns 1 percent cash back for any purchase, it affords 6 percent cash back at qualified grocery stores and 3 percent cash back at major gas stations. Many people rated this card highly for its introductory bonus of no interest for a year. Also, they liked the bonus of $150 for spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. Another unique feature is the opportunity to earn 10 percent cash back from Amazon purchases during the first 180 days. Many cardholders were disappointed about the $95 annual fee. Also, some people rated this card poorly since several supermarket chains do not accept American Express.
This card is good for Amazon shoppers by rewarding them with 3 percent cash back on site purchases. Two percent cash back is earned on hotels, restaurants, gas and several other purchases. Every other purchase earns 1 percent cash back. Since students can get a Prime membership for 50 percent off, this is also rated as a great card for college students. However, many cardholders reported higher-than-average interest rates.
Always compare at least three credit cards, their point structures and their interest rates before choosing one. Also, consider the APR and penalty APR. Most low-interest cards require good or excellent credit for approval.