2021

The Best Rewards
Credit Cards

Trending in Credit
Verified by Fiscal Tiger experts
Author: Kaitie Frank

A rewards card is a credit card with which users can earn cash back, rewards points, or travel rewards as an incentive to use their card more often. These rewards can be redeemed to help pay off a monthly credit card bill, to put towards another purchase, or to redeem for free flights and hotel stays. Depending on your spending habits, rewards credit cards may help you save money every year.

Loading...
Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.9/5

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is ideal for shoppers who want a flat-rate rewards system and limited fees.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
15.49% to 25.49%
Purchase intro APR
0% for 15 months
Rewards
1.5% cash back

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: $39.
  • Sign-on bonus: $150.
  • Credit score: Excellent (800-850).
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Cash-advance fee: 3% ($10 minimum).
  • Credit Limit: $1,000 to $10,000.

Why We Love This Card

The Capital One Quicksilver card not only provides a simple rewards system that is beneficial to new credit card holders, but it also offers no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Many cards have large annual fees that offset the rewards a person can get; with no annual fee, this card provides more earning potential. Additionally, shoppers can experience the accessibility and security that comes with the Capital One credit card app by freezing the card if it’s lost or stolen.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.8/5

The American Express Cash Magnet Card is ideal for shoppers who spend a large amount yearly, as there is no limit on the number of rewards you can earn.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
13.99% to 23.99%
Purchase intro APR
0% for 15 months
Rewards
1.5% unlimited cash back

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: Up to $40.
  • Credit score: Good to Excellent (700-850).
  • Introductory offer: 10% cash back at supermarkets.

Why We Love This Card

The American Express Cash Magnet card is a simple cash-back card with no annual fee. While the cash-back rate is not as high as other rewards cards, people can start collecting more points by adding cards to their account for friends and family. As the main account holder, those points will be yours to redeem. This card also provides fraud protection, and cardholders can gain peace of mind by knowing that they will not be held liable for any fraudulent purchases.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.6/5

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card is ideal for people who spend a large amount each year, especially on travel and dining out.

Purchase intro APR
0% for the first 15 months
Annual percentage rate (APR)
14.99% to 23.74% (variable)
Rewards
5% or 1.5 % cash back

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: Up to $39.
  • Credit score: Good to Excellent (700-850).

Why We Love This Card

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card can earn you points, cardholders can also enjoy the luxury of earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred to other Chase accounts. Additionally, cardholders can earn partner benefits with DoorDash and Lyft if the card account is opened within the qualifying time period. This card is ideal for people who want more cash-back rewards as well as purchase and fraud protection for peace of mind.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.5/5

The American Express Gold Rewards Credit Card is ideal for Canadian shoppers who travel often.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
30%
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
1 to 2 points per $1 spent

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $150 and $50 for a third card.
  • Late fee: 30% APR on the unpaid balance.
  • Credit score: Good to Excellent (700-850).

Why We Love This Card

The American Express Canada Gold Rewards Card card allows users to redeem their points in various ways. For instance, cardholders can cash in points for purchases, gift cards, and travel expenses. If you use a frequent flyer program, you can transfer points to the program or use them to book a vacation. Additionally, this card has complimentary travel benefits for the cardholder, which can come in handy if you are planning to travel frequently.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.3/5

The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard Credit Card is ideal for shoppers who like to spend strategically throughout the year and who travel often.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
12.90% to 22.90%
Purchase intro APR
0% for 12 months
Rewards
1 point per $1 spent

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0;
  • Late fee: Up to $35;
  • Credit score: Good to Excellent (700 or higher).

Why We Love This Card

The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard Credit Card allows cardholders to earn a significant amount of points on rotating categories:

  • January through March: Earn five times the points on qualifying utility, cell phone, cable, and other recurring bills.
  • April through June: Earn five times the points on grocery, restaurants, and transportation.
  • July through September: Earn five times the points on travel purchases.
  • October through December: Earn five times the points on qualifying retail purchases.

 

Additionally, cardholders can choose how to redeem their rewards, including statement credits, airline miles, merchandise, gift cards, or a combination of reward types.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.3/5

The Credit One Platinum Rewards Card is ideal for new cardholders who want to build credit and earn rewards easily.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
17.99% to 23.99%
Purchase intro APR
None
Initial credit limit
$300

Credit Card Basics

  • Rewards: 1%, 5%, or 10% cash back.
  • Annual fee: $95.
  • Late fee: $39.
  • Foreign transaction fee: $1 or 3%.
  • Credit score: Fair to Good (580-730).

Why We Love This Card

The Credit One Platinum Rewards Card gives cardholders an advantage by allowing applicants to check if they meet the qualifying criteria before their credit score is hit with a credit check. This helps people avoid applying for an unrealistic credit card and protects their credit. Additionally, if you do apply for this credit card, you can access your credit score for free and as often as you’d like. This is ideal for people who are trying to raise their credit score or maintain it.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.4/5

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is ideal for shoppers who have a Costco membership and travel and dine out often.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
15.24%
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
1-4% cash back

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: Up to $40.
  • Credit score: Excellent (800-850).

Why We Love This Card

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi provides Costco members with peace of mind, as it offers protection for qualifying purchases. If purchases made with this card are lost, stolen, or damaged within 120 days, the card may cover repairs or a refund. Additionally, cardholders can extend the manufacturer’s warranty on purchases made with this card. Lastly, Citi cardholders can enjoy special access to purchase tickets to events, including presale tickets and exclusive experiences.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.2/5

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card is ideal for shoppers who travel and dine out often as these are the main ways to earn cash-back rewards with this card.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
16.99% to 23.99% (variable)
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
$300 annual travel; 1 or 3 points per $1 spent

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $550.
  • Late fee: $39.
  • Credit score: Excellent (750-850).

Why We Love This Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card offers significant points for people who love to travel. For instance, the card offers a $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases on your anniversary year. Additionally, cardholders can enjoy access to over 1,000 select airport lounges when they enroll in the Chase Priority Pass program. Lastly, Chase Sapphire Reserve partners with DoorDash and Lyft to reduce the service and delivery cost of these apps.

How to Choose a Rewards Credit Card

With a variety of options for rewards credit cards, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you. However, there are some factors to consider when choosing a rewards card that may make it easier for you to make a decision.

 

Should You Get a Rewards Card?

Rewards credit cards are not for everyone, and most cards require the user to be diligent in their payment plans. Typically, people who are successful in using rewards cards meet the following criteria:

  • You have good or excellent credit;
  • You typically don’t carry a credit card balance;
  • You travel frequently;
  • You travel with a particular airline or stay at certain hotel chains;
  • You spend a lot of money on groceries, gas, and restaurants.

 

Rewards cards are ideal for people with excellent credit, although there are some options for people with fair credit. Additionally, rewards cards generally have higher APRs, which can easily accumulate a large amount of interest and cancel out your rewards.

 

Earning vs. Spending Rate

People who want a rewards credit card should consider the earning potential of that card, how much they need to spend to earn rewards, and where they can earn the most rewards. For instance, some cards make you spend a certain amount before you can start earning rewards. On the other hand, certain cards may make you reach a certain rewards limit before you can start spending them. This may not be ideal for people who aren’t planning to spend a large amount on their credit cards.

Additionally, you should look at what kind of rewards you can earn with the card and determine if it’s right for you to make the most out of your rewards card. For example, if you have a rewards card that earns a large amount of rewards on airline miles, but you only travel once a year, then that card might not be the best option for you. Instead, determine your biggest spending category and search for credit cards that offer large rewards for that category.

 

Fee Considerations

Rewards cards offer a lot of value for their rewards, and often companies offset this value with credit card fees. Some rewards credit cards charge annual and foreign transaction fees that can add up quickly. Some cards even charge a fee to redeem rewards.

It’s important to read the fine print in the card’s terms and conditions when choosing a rewards credit card. However, if you plan on spending a large amount on the credit card, your rewards may offset the annual and foreign transaction fees. Cards that charge an annual fee typically have more complex and comprehensive reward systems. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card has a steep annual fee of $550, however, their rewards program offers $300 in travel credit every year.

Rewards credit cards can certainly be beneficial to cardholders, especially if they are planning to spend a certain amount on their card every year. Knowing how these types of cards work can help you determine which card will serve you best.

Compare even more reward credit cards here.