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Best Rewards Credit Cards January

Get more cash back, points or miles out of every swipe with these top credit cards.

Advertiser Disclosure: At Slickdeals, we work hard to find the best offers. Most, but not all, products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation, but this doesn’t change our opinions.

Whether you’re looking for cash back, points or miles, the best rewards credit cards give you the most bang for your buck every time you use them.

There’s no single best rewards credit card out there, though, so it’s essential to pick one based on your spending habits and preferences.

Rewards Credit Cards Deals
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on purchases (up to $20,000 spent in the first year)
Annual Fee: $0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $95
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $550
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee: $95
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 20,000 miles after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $200 after spending $500 in 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening
Annal Fee: $0
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $200 after spending $750 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Citi Premier® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $95
Citi Rewards+® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 20,000 ThankYou Points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $200 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0 | Rates and Fees
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 30,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 3 Free Nights* after spending $3000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $95
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 125,000 points + a Free Night after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $89
World of Hyatt® Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $95
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 40,000 points after making qualifying purchases‡
Annual Fee: $69
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 40,000 points after making qualifying purchases‡
Annual Fee: $99
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 40,000 points after making qualifying purchases‡
Annual Fee: $149
United Gateway℠ Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months | 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months
Annual Fee: $0
United Explorer℠ Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Annual Fee: $95†
United Quest℠ Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 70,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Annual Fee: $250
United Club℠ Infinite Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 80,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
Annual Fee: $525

† Annual fee is waived for the first year of card membership.
‡ Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
* Each free night valued at 50,000 Bonvoy points each

>>Review the methodology Slickdeals’ credit card experts use to evaluate and determine the best credit products from our credit card partners, or skip to the most frequently asked question about rewards credit cards.

Credit Card Deals in January 2022 From Our Partners

There are thousands of rewards credit cards in the U.S., which can get overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. To help you narrow down your selection, here are our top choices from our credit card partners, and how to determine if they’re the right fit for you.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After the introductory period, a variable rate will apply. Balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account membership will be charged a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer. After 60 days, that balance transfer fees increases to either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness. See terms for details.

Rewards Rate: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in rotating categories (when you activate), 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining, including takeout and delivery, 3% back at drugstores and 1% back on everything else.

Sign-Up Bonus: Receive a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want to maximize cash-back rewards with the option to get more value with travel redemptions.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Freedom Flex® Card

We love that the Chase Freedom Flex card expands on an already lucrative offering from Chase. The original Chase Freedom card was already a solid choice for cash-back enthusiasts, and this one raises the bar.

The Freedom Flex also gives cardholders access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is arguably the most versatile credit card rewards platform available. You’ll get plenty of redemption options at good rates. Plus, if you have one of the program’s travel credit cards, you can transfer points from your Chase Freedom Flex to your travel card account and get even more value and flexibility with how you redeem.

The Chase Freedom Flex Card is an excellent cash-back credit card for people who are looking to maximize rewards. Cardholders can take advantage of its excellent rewards rate: 5% cash back on rotating categories when you activate (up to $1,500 each quarter), 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining, including takeout and delivery, 3% back at drugstores and 1% back on other purchases.

As a new Freedom Flex cardholder, you’ll also earn a $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

The Freedom Flex also offers an introductory 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 month from account opening. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex Card review.


Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: Extra 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Intro Rewards Rate: 3%-6.5% Cash Back
Standard Rewards Rate: 1.5%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: This card allows new cardholders to save money with an introductory 0% interest rate on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of account opening.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000) in the first year of account opening. This bonus is valued at up to $300 in cash back, and increases rewards rates to: 6.5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 4.5% back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and drugstore purchases and 3% back on all other purchases.

Rewards Rate: After the bonus 1.5% cash back intro offer period concludes, earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% back at drugstores and on dining purchases and 1.5% back on everything else.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households that prioritize cash-back rewards for everyday spending and Chase loyalists who are looking to maximize Ultimate Rewards earnings.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

You don’t need excellent credit to get the Chase Freedom Unlimited. In fact, many cardholders report getting approved with good credit. We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more.

And that sign-up bonus? Adding extra value to everyday spending categories like dining and travel help elevate this card above its competitors. Add the fact that there’s a 0% introductory APR for 15 months, an extra 1.5% cash back bonus during the first year of account holding and no annual fee, and you’ll see why the Chase Freedom Unlimited is among our favorite flat-rate cards.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a valuable all-around credit card with no annual fee. This cash-back card earns a rewards rate of 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back at drugstores, 3% back on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services and a flat-rate 1.5% back on other purchases. There are no rotating categories to track, caps on how much you can earn or excluded purchase categories.

New cardholders can take advantage of its big sign-up bonus—enjoy an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year. This bonus is valued at up to $300 in cash back, and stacks with all the above rewards rates, meaning you can earn up to 6.5% cash back. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 60,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too. Also, the card earns 5x points per dollar spent on Lyft rides through March 2022.

Sign-Up Bonus: New applicants can earn 60,000 bonus points after using their card to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s $750 when redeeming points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who are beginning with travel rewards cards.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred actually works like having over a dozen different rewards credit cards. That’s because this credit card allows you to transfer your rewards points into miles with 11 airlines and points with three hotel programs.

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers and highest spenders, it’s part of a family of Chase cards that has a built-in upgrade path. So when it comes time to take your travel rewards game to the next level, you won’t have to start from scratch with an entirely different credit card and rewards program.

The card has a $95 annual fee, but the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit effectively reduces that fee to $45. Plus, the credit card allows you to continue earning points through bonus categories and a 10% anniversary points boost. But when it comes time to redeem your rewards for travel, this card really shines. You can take advantage of some really strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can just book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the gold standards for earning travel rewards. This travel credit card helps users earn points quickly with accelerated rewards in everyday spending categories like travel and dining.

Cardholders enjoy perks like a $50 annual hotel credit, 10% anniversary point boost and access to the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal, powered by Expedia.

New cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after using their credit card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. This bonus is worth $750 in travel reservations booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, but potentially more when transferred to airline and hotel partners. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.


Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $550
Bonus: 50,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-10X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $550

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 10x points per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars as well as 5x points on air travel booked directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards immediately after you spend $300 on travel purchases annually. Additionally, earn 3x points per dollar spent on all other travel and dining purchases and 1x everywhere else.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after using your card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Frequent travelers who are serious about earning travel awards.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Right off the bat, Chase Sapphire Reserve features a $300 annual credit for travel purchases. That means the annual fee is effectively just $250 per year for frequent travelers. You also get free access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options around the world. Those lounges usually give you free food and drinks, cleaner bathrooms, fast internet and a comfortable place to sit outside of the ruckus of an airport terminal. Plus, the Sapphire Reserve will get you access to the upcoming Chase Sapphire Lounge network.

If you’re looking to elevate your travel experience, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you first get approved, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — that’s worth $750 in travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially more if you transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is among the top premium travel cards available. While this credit card comes with a hefty $550 annual fee, the Sapphire Reserve is packed with travel perks that more than make up for the expense.

Right off the bat, the Chase Sapphire Reserve features a $300 annual travel credit. You also get free access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options in airports around the world. Those lounges usually give you free food and drinks, cleaner bathrooms, fast internet and a comfortable place to sit outside of the ruckus of an airport terminal.

New cardholders can also earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after they spend $4,000 during the first three months of account opening. This Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus is worth $750 in travel redemptions when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal — where each point is worth at least 1.5 cents. Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve review.


Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 60,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 2X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers a flat 2X miles on every purchase you make, giving cardholders predictability and simplicity. You’ll also earn 5X miles on all hotel and rental car purchases that you make with the card through Capital One Travel, the card issuer’s proprietary travel booking platform.

Sign-Up Bonus: You can earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Travel rewards enthusiasts who want simplicity in credit card rewards and benefits.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture offers a lot of value to beginner and expert travelers alike. The card’s big upfront bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making it a solid option for a large audience. Where it really shines, though, is with the redemption process. When it comes to travel credit cards, it can be really challenging to find a way to use your rewards in the way you want.

With hotel and airline credit cards, for instance, you’re basically stuck redeeming your points or miles with the co-branded hotel or airline partner. And with some general rewards programs, you might get less value if you use your points or miles to book a flight versus a rental car or hotel.

With the Venture card, though, you’ll get a lot of flexibility. Here are some of the top redemption options that are available: redeem for past travel with Purchase Eraser, book travel through Capital One or transfer miles to any of Capital One’s multiple airline and hotel loyalty programs.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of value to beginner and expert travelers alike. This travel rewards credit card’s big upfront sign-up bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making it a solid option for a large audience.

You’ll also get a lot of flexibility when it comes time to redeem your travel rewards including access to booking through Capital One Travel and a long list of transfer partners (both hotels and airlines). Similarly, with no foreign transaction fees, the Capital One Venture Card is ideal for people who regularly make international purchases. Read our full review of the Venture Card.


Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Offer Details
capital one ventureone card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 20,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1.25X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: The card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases. The VentureOne Rewards Card charges a 3% balance transfer fee for transferred balances during the 15-month promotion.

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 1.25x miles per dollar on every purchase you make, giving cardholders predictability and simplicity.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $500 with the card during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Travel rewards enthusiasts who want simplicity in credit card rewards and benefits without paying an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card features several standout benefits. The introductory, 15-month APR of 0% is notable, and so is the 20,000 bonus mile opportunity with a low $500 spending requirement.

But perhaps the most appealing feature of this travel credit card is the ability to transfer miles to Capital One travel partners—an uncommon feature on a card with no annual fee.Plus, the ability to transfer miles to travel partners—both airlines and hotels—is arguably the most attractive feature of this travel card.

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card may work well for travel credit card users who want to earn rewards without the cost of an annual fee.

The ability to transfer rewards miles to travel partners—both airlines and hotels—is arguably the most attractive feature of this travel card. The 0% introductory APR for 15 months, no foreign transaction fees, sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months, give the Venture One Card added value as well. Read our full review of the Capital One credit card.


Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Offer Details
capital one quicksilver card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1.5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: Introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months, variable APR after that. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card charges a 3% balance transfer fee for transferred balances during the 15-month promotion.

APR: Variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back per dollar on every purchase you make, giving cardholders predictability and simplicity.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 with the card during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households that want a simple, flat-rate cash rewards without spending categories or annual fees.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card features several standout benefits. The introductory, 15-month APR of 0% is notable, and so is the $200 bonus opportunity with a low $500 spending requirement for new cardholders. The potential cash back earnings with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card are hard to ignore. While it may not offer higher rates on specific bonus categories, you can maximize your rewards by making it your go-to everyday use credit card.

With no annual fee, all of your spending goes towards earning rewards. It’s even a great card to use when traveling internationally since it has no foreign transaction fees.

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a popular cash-back credit card, offering unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. New cardholders can take advantage of its sizable $200 cash sign-up bonus once you spend $500 within three months of account opening. Additionally, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (Variable APR based on creditworthiness applies after this offer concludes. See details on issuer site).

The benefits of this Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card aren’t limited just to its cash-back rewards. To start out, there’s no annual fee, and the card also offers several key travel perks and purchase protections that help to make it a standout fee-free rewards card to add to your wallet. Read our full review of the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.


Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Offer Details
capital one savorone card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1%-3% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: An introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 15 months of account membership, variable APR after that. The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card charges a 3% balance transfer fee for transferred balances during the 15-month promotion.

APR: Variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 3% cash back per dollar spent on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target). It offers 1% back per dollar on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn a one-time $200 bonus after spending $500 with the card during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who regularly spend on entertainment, dining and grocery stores, but do not want a credit card with an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Foodies and entertainment aficionados alike will find a lot of value with the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. After all, with no annual fee and a big $200 bonus to get started, there’s plenty to gain and little to lose by trying it out. When you carry a Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn cash back rewards every time you swipe, dip, tap or click to checkout. As your cash back balance grows, your biggest question will be how to treat yourself when you cash out your rewards.

Plus, when you sign up as a new cardholder, you won’t pay any interest on purchases for the first 15 months. Once you reach that date, regular variable interest rates begin. Having more than a year interest-free can be a very useful benefit when you’re looking to make a large purchase or undertake a big project at home.

The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is an absolute cash-back powerhouse. It awards 3% cash back for every dollar spent at restaurants, grocery stores, entertainment venues and eligible streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu. Additionally, the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card awards 1% back for each dollar spent on all other purchases. That’s a lot of value for a cash-back credit card with no annual fee.

New Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card users can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on the credit card in the first three months of account opening. You also won’t pay any interest on purchases or balance transfers for the first 15 months. Read our full review of the Capital One Savor One Card.


Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Offer Details
CITI Custom Cash card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR Between 13.99%–23.99% After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 5% Back in Top Eligible Spend Category
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be based on your creditworthiness. Note that there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the transfer, whichever is greater. Furthermore, balance transfers need to occur during the first four months of account opening.

Once the no-interest offer concludes, a variable APR between 13.99%–23.99%, based on credit worthiness, will apply to all balances.

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want flexibility in their spending rewards.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. The credit card offers an impressive 5% cash back on purchases made in your top eligible spending category each month, up to $500 spent per month — no activation required. After that, you’ll earn just 1% back on every purchase because that’s the base rewards rate.

The list of eligible bonus categories includes restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel and transit, select streaming services, drug stores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

Cardholders can redeem their ThankYou Points for cash back as a direct deposit, statement credit or check. Alternatively, they can redeem their points for gift cards, travel and online shopping via Amazon.com. The ThankYou rewards program also partners with a number of airlines, both domestic and international, and you can transfer your points to these frequent flyer programs.

The new Citi Custom Cash Card, from our partner Citi, gives cardholders the chance to earn 5% cash back every month on their top eligible spending category, up to $500 each month — no activation required. This Citi card is technically billed as a cash-back credit card, but you’ll actually earn ThankYou Points, which can be worth more than traditional cash-back rewards.

Citi Custom Cash Card is offering $200 cash back after you spend $750 in the first three months — that’s 20,000 ThankYou Points, which you can redeem for cash back or for a number of other things, including gift cards and travel. Plus, new cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be based on your creditworthiness. Read our full review of the Citi Custom Cash Card.


Citi Premier® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 60,000 ThankYou Points
APR: Variable APR Between 15.99%-23.99%
Rewards Rate: 1X-3X ThankYou Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 3x ThankYou Points per $1 spent at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, air travel and hotels. Beyond that, the card awards 1x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New account holders can earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want to maximize rewards in multiple spending categories and welcome transferring points to airline partners.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier Card, from our partner Citi, is worth considering if you’re looking for accelerated travel rewards, but don’t want to pay a huge annual fee. It earns 3X points per dollar on air travel, hotels and spending at gas stations. You’ll also earn 3X points per dollar at supermarkets and restaurants and 1X point on everything else.

It’s easy to quickly rack up lots of points on this card. While you can redeem ThankYou points for gift cards, you’ll get more value when you redeem points for flights and hotels, and potentially even better value when you transfer points to travel partners.

Citi has dramatically improved the ThankYou Rewards program in recent years as well as the cards that earn those points, especially the Citi Premier Card. To compete with American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi has onboarded new airline partners like Avianca LifeMiles and JetBlue TrueBlue.

The Citi Premier Card, from our partner Citi, is worth considering if you’re looking for a travel credit card, but don’t want to pay a huge annual fee. The Citi Premier Card offers new cardholders a sign-up bonus of 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Additionally, this Citi credit card offers a range of incentives, such as bonus points, gift cards and deals with retail partners. Best of all, you’ll get more value when you redeem points for flights, and potentially even better value when you transfer points to Citi’s travel partners. Read our full review of the Citi Premier Card.


Citi Rewards+® Card

Offer Details
Citi rewards+ card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 20,000 ThankYou Points
APR: Variable APR Between 13.49%-23.49% After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X ThankYou Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. Afterwards, any balances will carry a variable APR based on creditworthiness. Note that there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first four months of account opening. After that, the balance transfer fee is 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR between 13.49%-23.49% will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 2X ThankYou points per dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations up to $6,000 each year (afterwards, the point-to-dollar ratio is 1:1). Beyond that, the card awards 1x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all eligible spending.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who make lots of small purchases.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Rewards+® Card

The Citi Rewards+ Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. It rounds up all purchases to the nearest 10 ThankYou Points. As an example, if you bought a cup of coffee for $2, you’d earn 10 ThankYou Points. Similarly, if a burger and fries cost $15, you’d earn 20 ThankYou Points. Awesome, right?

If you make a lot of small purchases, like a morning cup of coffee, this could be the card for you. The Citi Rewards+ Card also earns 2x ThankYou Points per dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations up to the first $6,000 each year. It also offers introductory 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.

Citi Rewards+ Card, from our partner Citi, is a cash-back rewards credit card with no annual fee. The card includes unique features, including a round-up to the next 10 Thank You Points on any purchase and 10% back on redemptions. New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus Thank You Points after spending $1,500 in the first three months of the account opening date for a limited time. 

When shopping with the Citi Rewards+ Card, you’ll earn 2x Thank You Points per dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations up to $6,000 in annual purchases. That means you can earn up to 12,000 points per year from these bonus category purchases. Any other purchases beyond $6,000 earn the card’s regular rewards rate of 1x point per dollar. Read our full review of the Citi Rewards+ Card.


Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus
APR: Variable APR After Low Intro APR Period
Rewards Rate: 2% Cash Back on Purchases
Details: Full Review

See Rates and Fees

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: The card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then the regular APR is applied to balances. Balance transfers must be made within the first 15 months of membership to qualify for the introductory 0% APR and 3% balance transfer fee. After the promotional period, balance transfer fees increase to 5% (minimum of $5).

APR: After the intro low APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn a one-time $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first three months.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who prioritize simple cash-back rewards and do not want the hassle of tracking bonus spending categories.

Why We Like It

RWhy We Like the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

If you’re a fan of cash back for your everyday spending, then you need a 2% cash-back credit card to get rewarded for purchases outside of popular bonus categories like travel, grocery stores and gas stations. With the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card (Rates and Fees), you earn 2% back for every dollar spent without the fuss of quarterly bonus categories. Additionally, it’s rare for a 2% cash-back card to feature a bonus offer for new cardholders.

Plus, the introductory 0% APR offer for the first 15 months of card ownership will be appealing to households planning on expensive projects like home remodeling or big ticket purchases like appliances and vehicle repair.

Many cash-back credit cards tempt you with bonus rewards for specific purchases, but with the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card (Rates and Fees), you simply receive a 2% cash back on purchases. There’s no need to register for anything, and there is no annual fee to carry this credit card in your wallet.

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card applicants can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $1,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening. Additionally, new accounts receive 15 months of 0% APR promotional financing on both new purchases and balance transfers. Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 120 days of account opening. Read our full review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card.


Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 30,000 Points
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-14X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card offers up to 14X total Bonvoy points per dollar spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains) and 1X point on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: This card offers 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Marriott loyalists who want to earn rewards without an annual fee or for people who are dipping their toes into the Marriott rewards program.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is a solid choice if you’re interested in getting into the travel rewards game, but don’t want to commit to an annual fee. This credit card offers a solid welcome bonus and can be a great place to start, especially if you’re loyal to Marriott. Every cardmember year, you’ll receive 15 Elite Night Credits, which is enough to qualify you for Silver Elite Status with Marriott. This status level comes with 10% bonus points when you book Marriott stays with cash, late checkout when available and ultimate reservation guarantee.

As with other hotel cards, this one offers outsized rewards on purchases made with the hotel brand. You’ll earn up to 14 points per dollar at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels — that includes 3X points per dollar from the card, 10x points per dollar as a Marriott Bonvoy member and 1X point per dollar as a Marriott Bonvoy Silver member, which you get automatically as a cardholder. The card also offers 2X points per dollar on other travel purchases and 1X point per dollar on all other purchases you make with the card.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is the hotel chain’s entry-level credit card. While this hotel credit card doesn’t offer the numerous perks that other Marriott credit cards do, the Bonvoy Bold has no annual fee. So it’s a nice addition to your wallet if you’re fee-averse and just want to dip your toe into Marriott Bonvoy Rewards.

New cardholders can earn a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. Plus, every cardmember year, you’ll receive 15 elite night credits, which is enough to qualify you for Silver elite status with Marriott. This status level comes with 10% bonus points on eligible hotel purchases, late checkout when available, and ultimate reservation guarantee. Read our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold.


Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: Earn 3 Free Nights
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 2X-17X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card offers up to 17X total points for every dollar spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy and 2X points on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: This card offers new cardholders three free nights stays after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Additionally, earn 10X total points per each dollar spent — up to $2,500 in combined purchases — at grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants in the first six months of account opening. (That’s an additional 25,000 point if you max out spending.)

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Marriott loyalists and anyone who will stay in a hotel several times a year.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is a solid choice if you’re interested in getting into the travel rewards game and find yourself staying at Marriott properties several times a year. This hotel credit card offers some solid benefits, including the free elite night credits, a free anniversary night every card membership year, a welcome bonus, Silver Elite Status and more.

A lot of the ongoing value this card provides comes through its rewards program. Cardholders will earn up to 17X points per dollar on eligible purchases at Marriott properties — that’s 6X points per dollar from the credit card, 10X points per dollar as a Marriott Bonvoy member and 1X point per dollar for having Silver Elite Status, which is automatic with the card. You’ll also earn 2X points per dollar on travel and other purchases you make with the card. That base rewards rate is high compared with most travel credit cards, which settle on a 1X point per dollar base rate.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is one of two Bonvoy cards offered by Chase, a card issuer that’s known for its top-of-class credit cards. For a limited time, new cardmembers can earn a sign-up bonus of three Free Nights after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening.

On the whole, the Bonvoy Boundless offers a lot of long-term value through rewards and various perks, including complimentary Marriott Silver Elite Status and a Free Night worth up to 35,000 points, every cardmember anniversary when you renew your account. It’s these types of benefits that make up for the cost of this hotel credit card’s $95 annual fee. Read our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless.


World of Hyatt Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: Up to 60,000 Points
APR:Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 9X-1X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR based on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: Earn up to 9x points total for Hyatt stays – 4x points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and 5x base points per dollar from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member. Plus, earn 2x points per dollar spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2x points total per dollar spent in the first six months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1x point, on up to $15,000 spent.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who travel frequently and want access to status benefits from a hotel loyalty program.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the World of Hyatt Credit Card

Among all of the top hotel rewards programs, World of Hyatt offers the most valuable rewards, and the World of Hyatt puts you on the fast track to enjoying some of the program’s preferred benefits.

The rewards program also offers a range of properties, including all-inclusive resorts. That said, Hyatt has the smallest footprint of any hotel chain on our list, with roughly 1,000 properties in 68 countries.

In addition to a generous sign-up bonus, the World of Hyatt Credit Card also offers a free night every year, as well as automatic Discoverist status, which is the program’s lowest status level. However, there is a path to earn up to Globalist status, depending on how much you spend on the card.

The World of Hyatt Card is the key to unlocking the benefits of arguably one of the best hotel rewards programs, World of Hyatt. Once you reach Hyatt’s Globalist status, you can say goodbye to annoying charges like resort fees, parking and even breakfasts, while enjoying some outstanding room upgrades.

In addition to a generous sign-up bonus, the World of Hyatt Card also offers a free night every year after your cardmember anniversary, as well as automatic Discoverist status, which gets you perks like upgrades to preferred rooms, a 2 p.m. late checkout and free bottles of water during your stay. Read our full review of the World of Hyatt Card.


IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $89
Bonus: 125,000 Points + a Free Night
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-25X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $89

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This hotel credit card awards up to 25X points per dollar at IHG Hotels, 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1X points on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 125,000 bonus points plus a Free Night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Frequent customers of IHG hotels and other people who enjoy earning rewards nights for hotel stays and premium hotel status.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Aside from its astounding sign-up bonus, the IHG Rewards Club Premier offers tons of value, especially for loyal IHG customers. You get a free reward night every year on your account anniversary for use at eligible IHG hotels. When you redeem points for stays of four nights or longer at any IHG hotel, your fourth rewards night is free. Cardholders also enjoy Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member. Plus, it offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® fee credit of up to $100 every four years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card. IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels and Holiday Inn®.

This IHG card is a traveler’s dream, especially if you’re already a loyal IHG customer. The perks accompanying this Chase co-branded credit card are worth way more than the $89 annual fee that comes with it. If you’re in the market for a hotel rewards credit card, look no further than the IHG Rewards Club.

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a traveler’s dream, especially if you’re already a loyal IHG customer. The perks accompanying this co-branded Chase credit card are worth way more than the $89 annual fee. The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card comes with Platinum Elite Status, a free anniversary night every year and a free rewards night for reward stays four nights or longer. It’s great for international travel because there are no foreign transaction fees.

This hotel credit card comes with an attractive offer — new cardholders can earn a sign-up bonus of 125,000 points plus a Free Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.  A sign-up bonus like this can go a long way towards free reward nights at participating IHG hotels around the world, including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, Even Hotels, Indigo Hotels and Holiday Inn. Read our full review of the IHG Rewards Club Premier.


Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $69
Bonus: 40,000 Points
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $69

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: Earn 2X points on Southwest purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who fly Southwest several times a year.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

This is the entry level card for aspiring Rapid Rewards point earners, and new cardholders can earn a 40,000-point sign-up bonus, which can help get you closer to booking flights for your next travel destination. Above all, for a modest $69 annual fee, the Rapid Rewards Plus credit card helps you rack up points as cheaply as possible.

Our favorite Rapid Rewards Plus perk is the 3,000 bonus points that are awarded to cardholders on the anniversary of your account opening. It’s an added incentive to retain the card after you’ve earned the introductory sign-up bonus.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is the entry level card for aspiring Rapid Rewards point earners. This airline credit card earns 2X points per dollar spent with Southwest and on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners. It also earns 2X points per dollar spent on local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing services. Finally, the credit card earns 1X points on all other purchases.

Above all, for a modest $69 annual fee, the Rapid Rewards Plus credit card helps you rack up points as cheaply as possible. Our favorite Rapid Rewards Plus perk is the 3,000 bonus points that are awarded to cardholders on every anniversary year of your account opening. It’s an added incentive to retain the card after you’ve earned the initial sign-up bonus.


Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $99
Bonus: 40,000 Points
APR:Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-3X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $99

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: Earn 3X points on Southwest purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who fly Southwest a couple times a year.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

In addition to perks like no foreign transaction fees and being able to earn A-list flight status, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier also offers a generous 6,000 bonus points every cardholder anniversary. It’s these types of benefits that help round out the value of the $99 annual fee.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card also offers two EarlyBird Check-Ins each year, and all points earned with this card get you closer to a Southwest Companion Pass.

In addition to perks like no foreign transaction fees, two complimentary EarlyBird Check-In vouchers each year and being able to earn A-list flight status, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card also offers a generous 6,000 bonus points every cardholder anniversary, which can often be enough to cover the cost of a one-way domestic flight. It’s these types of benefits that help round out the value of the $99 annual fee.

This airline credit card also earns 3X points per dollar on Southwest purchases and 2X points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car-rental partners. It also earns 2X points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing services. Additionally, this Southwest card rewards 2X points per dollar spent on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. It earns 1X points on all other purchases.


Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $149
Bonus: 40,000 Points
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-3X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $149

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: Earn 3X points on Southwest purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Southwest loyalists and frequent flyers.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

When you look at benefits like a $75 annual travel credit, four upgraded boardings each year, free checked bags and discounts on in-flight purchases, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority is probably the most affordable of all the Southwest credit cards. Similarly, the 7,500 bonus points each cardmember anniversary really pack on the value and offset this card’s $149 annual fee.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is as close to a premium credit card that Southwest Airlines offers non-business account holders. While its rewards-points earnings are the same as the Premier, the $149 annual fee does reward cardholders with a generous 7,500 bonus points on their account anniversary, as well as a $75 annual travel credit.

When you look at benefits like a $75 annual travel credit, four upgraded boardings each year, free checked bags and 25% back on in-flight purchases, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority is probably the most affordable of all the Southwest credit cards. Similarly, the 7,500 bonus points each cardmember anniversary really pack on the value and offset this card’s $149 annual fee.

This airline credit card also earns 3X points per dollar on Southwest purchases and 2X points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car-rental partners. It also earns 2X points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing services. Additionally, this Southwest card rewards 2X points per dollar spent on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. It earns 1X points on all other purchases. Read our full review of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card here.


United Gateway℠ Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 20,000 Miles
Intro APR: 0% APR on Purchases for 12 Months
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders receive 0% APR on purchases for 12 months.

APR: Variable APR depending on creditworthiness at the conclusion of the Intro APR period.

Rewards Rate: The card earns 2X miles per dollar spent on United Airlines purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who fly United 2-3 times a year.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United Gateway℠ Card

The United Gateway Card is the airline’s basic no-annual-fee credit card. It doesn’t offer a lot of perks. But if you’re just looking to dip your toe into airline rewards or want to try out United, it could be a good way to do that.

The United Gateway Card does offer some travel insurance and purchase protections such as rental car insurance, trip cancelation and interruption insurance, extended warranty protection and purchase protection that covers purchases against theft or damage up to 120 days after the transaction date, with up to $500 per claim and $50,000 total coverage.

The United Gateway℠ Card is a strong option for people interested in earning free flights with United Airlines, but who also don’t want to pay an annual fee. The Gateway Card gets new cardholders started off with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 MileagePlus Miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening. Additionally, enjoy 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months (variable APR applies after).

The United Gateway Card doesn’t offer a lot of the perks that other premium United credit cards provide, but for a no-annual-fee airline credit card, you’ll get 25% back on United inflight purchases, such as food, beverages and Wi-Fi, when you use your card to pay. You’ll also have the ability to use your miles to access exclusive experiences that aren’t available to non-cardholders. Read our full review of the United Gateway Card.


United Explorer℠ Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95 (fee waived first year)
Bonus: 50,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95, waived for the first year

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card features 2X miles for every dollar spent on United purchases, at restaurants and eligible meal-delivery services like GrubHub, DoorDash, Seamless and Caviar. You also earn 2X miles for every dollar spent on hotel accommodations booked directly through the hotel. Additionally, you get 1X miles per dollar everywhere else.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 with their new cards in the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? United loyalists who want to earn free and discounted airfare.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United℠ Explorer Card

The United Explorer Card’s benefits are what makes it really stand out from the crowd. Here’s what you’ll get: One free checked bag for each flight, priority boarding, 25% back on inflight purchases, two United Club airport lounge passes every year and Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application fee credit every four years.

The United Explorer Card also offers several trip protections including primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip delay reimbursement. The card’s annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 after that, which will give you some time to confirm that it’s a good fit before the fee hits.

The best airline credit card for you is likely the card offered by the airline you fly with most. For total value, the United Explorer Card is tough to beat. Perks like free checked bags and complimentary airport lounge passes can more than compensate for its $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. The cardholder and a companion can get one free checked bag each way. Use that once per calendar year for a roundtrip flight and you’ve already saved $140 with the card, more than the annual cost.

Additionally, new cardholders can earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 MileagePlus Miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. United MileagePlus Miles can be used for United flights, as well as with partner airlines, upgrades, hotel accommodations, car rentals, gift cards and more. Read our full review of the United Explorer Card.


United Quest℠ Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $250
Bonus: 70,000 Miles
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-3X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $250

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card features 3X miles per dollar on United purchases, 2X miles per dollar on restaurants, select streaming services and all other travel and 1X mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 70,000 miles after spending $4,000 with their new cards during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? United loyalists who travel frequently with the airline.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United℠ Quest Card

The United Quest Card comes with a lot of flair, and it can be an excellent choice for United enthusiasts who don’t travel quite enough to justify paying for the airline’s premium credit card.

Between the annual United purchase credit and award flight bonuses alone, you should be able to recoup the cost of the card’s annual fee. And if you regularly check bags, this card can be a lifesaver — most airline cards only offer the first checked bag free, so this would be a solid card to use for international flights.

Airline credit cards can be incredibly competitive. But in most cases, you have to shell out $450 or more to get the best airline benefits. With the new United Quest Card Card, though, you can take advantage of some of the best perks United Airlines has to offer with an annual fee that’s easier to stomach.

New United Quest cardholders can earn a sign-up bonus of 70,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. You’ll also get a laundry list of travel perks including an annual $125 United purchase credit, two free checked bags for you and a companion, priority boarding and an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® every four years — worth up to $100. Read our full review of the United Quest Card.


United Club℠ Infinite Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $525
Bonus: 80,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-4X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $525

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card earns 4X miles per dollar spent on United purchases, 2X miles per dollar spent on all other travel and dining purchases and 1X mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? United loyalists who can look past the card’s big annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United Club℠ Infinite Card

If you love United Airlines, can fly with the airline often and enjoy benefits like airport lounge access free checked bags and quick trips through airport security on busy travel days, then the United Club Infinite Card is made for you. It’s loaded with travel perks such as statement credits and valuable insurance benefits. Though, the card’s $525 annual fee is one of the highest on the market.

In addition to United Club membership, the card also offers up to a $100 statement credit for your application to TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry every four years, and priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling. Plus, the first and second checked bags free for you and one companion on every United flight — that’s worth up to $320 per round-trip itinerary.

The United Club Infinite Card is the airline’s premium rewards card. Although it carries a $525 annual fee, the United Club Infinite offers a host of luxury perks including complimentary access to the airline’s United Club lounges for you and a companion, two free checked bags for you and a companion, priority boarding, and a $100 statement credit for your application to TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry every four years.

New cardholders can earn a sign-up bonus of 80,000 MileagePlus Miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months of account opening. Read our full review of the United Club Infinite Card.


man looks at mountain
Credit: Twenty20

American Express Rewards Cards

Dollar-for-dollar, many consider American Express to offer the most exciting rewards credit cards on the market.

Amex credit card deals come in the form of high-value Membership Rewards Points earnings, valuable purchase protections and travel benefits, cash statement credits and third-party partnerships with vendors like Uber and Grubhub.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy travel credits with Amex’s flagship Platinum Card or earn accelerated cash-back earnings at U.S. supermarkets, American Express offers some of the best credit card deals.

Amex Credit Cards
Platinum Card® from American Express
Bonus Offer: Earn 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership
Annual Fee: $550
American Express® Gold Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership
Annual Fee: $250
American Express® Green Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 45,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of card membership
Annual Fee: $150
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Bonus Offer: Earn $350 after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months of card membership
Annual Fee: $95
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Bonus Offer: Earn $250 after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months of card membership
Annual Fee: $0
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $200 after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months of card membership
Annual Fee: $0

While American Express offers many co-branded airline and hotel credit cards, its travel rewards and cash-back credit cards offer some of the best value you can get.

In fact, two of Amex’s flagship credit cards don’t charge an annual fee — that’s the Cash Magnet and the Blue Cash Everyday — and the annual fees for the other cards range from $95 to $550. Of course, you can get enough value from each card to make up for its annual fee.

Similar to the Citi® Double Cash Card, from our partner Citi, Amex cash rewards credit cards don’t make you fuss with quarterly bonus categories. Instead, they offer accelerated earnings on popular household spending categories like U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.

  • The Platinum Card: Earn 5x points per dollar spent on flights and pre-paid hotels booked through Amex Travel. Also, it offers 1x point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • The Gold Card: Earn 4x points per dollar on all restaurant purchases worldwide with no limit, 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in annual purchases) and 1x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • The Green Card: Earn 3X points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and on travel, which includes flights, hotels, transit, subway swipes, taxis and ridesharing services. This card also offers 1x point per dollar on all other eligible spending.
  • Blue Cash Preferred: Get 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), unlimited 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit and 1% back on other purchases.
  • Blue Cash Everyday: Earn 3% cash back on the first $6,000 spent per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% back on other purchases.
  • Cash Magnet: Get a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make.

How to Choose the Rewards Credit Card That Is Right for You

With so many different reward cards and travel rewards cards out there, how do you know which is right for you? The easiest way to know which rewards credit card is best is to evaluate your spending.

Where do you spend the most money? Once you know where your money is going, you can choose a card that will reward you the most in that category of spending.

It is also a good idea to consider how much time you want to invest in your reward card. Do you want to keep up with rotating category bonuses and make sure you are getting the best flight deals for your points? Or would you rather something easier like a card that earns 1% cash back on every purchase?

There is no wrong answer, but you need to know these answers to understand which card will best benefit your lifestyle.

Reward Credit Card Risks

Earning rewards for spending money you were already going to spend — what could go wrong? While rewards credit card perks are an amazing way to stretch your spending power, it is also easy to go overboard with buying.

If your reward credit card is going to put you into debt, there is a good chance the interest paid on the debt will negate any rewards. This pressure to spend is multiplied when you are trying to meet a spending limit for a sign-up bonus. Dropping $5,000 in three months on purchases you wouldn’t have made otherwise can create more financial stress. You might have earned $500 worth of free travel, but is it worth scrambling to pay off $5,000 of debt? Consider if you are in a healthy place financially to complete sign-up bonuses before committing to a card.

Methodology

We chose our best rewards credit cards based on the total value they offer to cardholders through ongoing rewards, sign-up bonuses, 0% APR promotions and other perks. We also broke the cards down into clear categories that highlight features that credit card users are typically interested in — for example, premium travel vs. general travel, flat rewards vs. tiered rewards, and so on.

While some cards charge annual fees, we only picked ones that make it easy to make up for them with the value they provide. Before you apply, though, take some time to compare these cards with other top credit card offers to make sure you get the best fit for you.

happy mom and child
Credit: iStock.com/ Drazen Zigic

Best Credit Card Deals FAQ

What Is a Rewards Credit Card?

A rewards credit card is one that gives users incentives when they make qualifying purchases. Rewards vary by card issuer and a card user’s spending habits. Some cards reward you more for spending in specific categories. Many rewards credit cards come with a special sign-up bonus offer after users hit the stated spending limit.

How Do Cash-Back Rewards Work?

Many rewards credit cards offer special rewards bonuses on specific types of purchases. These vary by card, so it is smart to look for one that will reward you the most for your spending habits. Cash-back cards offer rewards in three different ways: flat rate on all purchases, tiered categories and rotating categories.

What Is a Flat-Rate Credit Card?

Flat-rate cards have a set rate, usually 1% or 1.5%. You earn this flat-rate on virtually all of your purchases, from groceries to gas to airline tickets. This type of credit card earning simplifies the process, but it also leaves a lot of rewards on the table when compared to other cards.

How Do Tiered Rewards Cards Work?

Tiered rewards cards offer both a flat-rate spending rate of 1% or 1.5% on some categories and a higher reward rate for select categories, such as 2% back on dining or 4% back on gas purchases. These cards are extremely beneficial for maximizing certain areas of your spending. One downside with these cards is that if you apply for a card that offers higher cash back in a category you don’t spend a lot of money in, such as travel, you aren’t going to see a huge difference over a flat-rate reward card.

What Is a Rotating Category Credit Card?

Rotating credit cards offer rotating bonus percentage on specific categories during specific times of the year. These cards usually come with a standard 1% rewards rate and a 5% reward rate on the quarter’s special category. This could look like 5% back on gas January through March and then 5% back on groceries April through June. These rewards are also capped at a certain purchase amount, such as $1,500.

What Are Bonus Categories?

The terms “bonus categories” and “spending categories” are often used interchangeably. But with cash rewards cards, bonus categories refer to any spending category that offers a cardholder accelerated earnings. While some card issuers offer permanent bonus categories, other rewards credit cards feature rotating bonus categories that often change every quarter. As an example, the Spark Miles earns 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rentals cars booked through Capital One Travel and unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

What Determines Bonus Rewards?

Bonus rewards are typically set by the issuer, though some cards allow users to select between two or three bonus category choices. Rewards credit cards that are branded under a specific airline or hotel chain typically give the most bonus rewards for purchases made through them. Additionally, many credit cards offer promotional bonus offers for spending at a specific retailer.

What Is a Point or Mile Worth?

Generally, points and miles are worth one cent. Therefore, you will need to spend $1,000 to earn $10 in rewards. However, using your points or miles wisely can help you redeem them for two to three cents per point. For example, choose a last-minute flight or a flight during the holidays, and your points could be worth less than one cent each. On the other hand, redeem your points for a less popular flight during off-season and your points can be worth three cents. Always calculate the flight you want to book to make sure you are getting the maximum worth for your points.

What Is a Statement Credit?

A statement credit is money paid to your account by your card issuer. It essentially works the same as a cash payment to your account. Some rewards card issuers like American Express often offer statement credits as a payout for cash rewards or other point redemption. Statement credit can be used to pay down your card balance or they can remain on your statement as a positive account balance for future purchases.

What Is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

A foreign transaction fee is what your credit card issuer — such as Chase or American Express — charges when a transaction you make with your rewards card processes in a foreign currency or passes through a foreign bank. To process these foreign transactions, your card issuer charges you a percentage of the amount of this transaction, typically 3%. You’ll commonly see foreign transaction fees listed on your card statement as a separate charge.

What Are Annual Fees?

An annual fee is a set charge that occurs yearly. For cards with annual fees, the charge is applied to your account as soon as you are approved. You will see that same charge on your card anniversary. If you do not pay the annual fee in the billing statement you receive it, you will start to pay interest on it.

What Is a Credit Score?

A credit score tells lenders about your creditworthiness (how likely you are to pay back a loan based on your credit history). It is calculated using the information in your credit reports. FICO® Scores and VantageScore are the standard for credit scores.

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Ben Luthi
Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.

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