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As someone who used to avoid annual fee credit cards, I've come a long way from my original position on the subject. I now carry at least half a dozen credit cards with annual fees, including two with annual fees that surpass $550. I don't regret my decision to open them because the benefits these far outweigh the cost. In fact, I once received almost $750 in statement credits in a single month.

Statement Credits

Some rewards credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card and The Platinum Card® from American Express (enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply), feature opportunities to earn annual or monthly statement credits. The credits, and other benefits listed below, are key reasons why both the Sapphire Reserve and the The Platinum Card® from American Express (see rates and fees) hold a place in my wallet. And the nice thing is that even if you're not ready to go for a card with a big annual fee, you can often find nice statement credit offers with other rewards cards, too.

Recommended Rewards Credit Cards

Credit Card Rewards Rate Annual Fee Intro Bonus Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 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.

$95 60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn 3 points for every $1 on Southwest Airlines® purchases, 2 points for every $1 on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, 2 points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 2 points per $1 on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming, and 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.

$99 Companion Pass®Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Dollar Equivalent:

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases.

$0 20,000Points More Info

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Dollar Equivalent: $200 (20,000 Points * 0.01 base)

Citi Premier® Card

1X-10XPoints More Info

10X total ThankYou® Points per $1 spend on hotel, car rentals and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024. 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets 1X -- Earn 1 Point on All Other Purchases

$95 60,000Citi ThankYou Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,080 (60,000 Citi ThankYou Points * 0.018 base)

Amex Offers and Chase Offers

In addition to the standard statement credits that come with my Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum Card, both cards feature various offers. Chase Offers and Amex Offers (enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply) are opt-in style benefits you can redeem with a variety of Chase and American Express credit cards, not just the two I mentioned above.

Many consumer credit cards can usually give you access to Chase Offers, such as:

Note that Chase states "certain" consumer and business cards are eligible for Chase offers—you'll need to log in to your Chase account to confirm eligibility, but most business and consumer Chase cards qualify for most people. Likewise, many U.S-issued American Express consumer and business cards are eligible to enroll in Amex Offers as well.

Recommended Cards for Chase Offers

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 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.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

$0 1.5% - 5%Cashback More Info

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

100,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 in the first three months Dollar Equivalent: $2,300 (100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 More info

This fee includes extra cards for authorized users, such as employees, at no additional charge.

1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined spending in a number of key business categories

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after using your card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$550 1x - 10xPoints More Info

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.

Examples of Amex Offers and Chase Offers

Depending on the credit card you hold, you may be able to register online to add new Chase Offers or Amex Offers to your account each month. When you redeem those offers, you may be eligible for either a statement credit or sometimes a higher rewards rate for certain purchases.

The value of these statement credits and higher rewards earnings varies from one offer to the next. The Chase and Amex Offers that I've redeemed in the past have paid me back between $0.25 and $200 per purchase.

These offers typically offer you a dollar amount back when you spend a certain amount, like $60 back when you spend $300 with a certain retailer—or perhaps a percentage off. Offers include discounts on things like:

  • Hotels
  • Big box electronic stores
  • Flower deliveries
  • Jewelry
  • Specialty foods
  • Fitness equipment
  • Tax prep services
  • Cruises and RV rentals
  • Eyewear
  • Home goods

Offers change over time and can cover a much larger range of products and services than the examples here, so it's helpful to check your offers from time to time and see what you can take advantage of.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Related Article

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review: A Travel Rewards Staple With 60,000 Bonus Points

Read More

How I Earned Almost $750 in Statement Credits in One Month

While I've certainly taken advantage of Chase Offers in the past (and will continue to do so), Amex Offers have given me the most bang for my buck. Once, over the span of a single month I earned enough standard statement credits and Amex Offers credits to offset my entire annual fee.

Here's a list of Amex Offers I redeemed a few years ago to earn nearly $750 in statement credits:

One Month of Credits Through Amex Offers

Credit

Monthly Uber Eats credit

$15

Monthly PayPal credit

$30

Saks Fifth Avenue statement credit

$50

Home Depot credits

$100

Best Buy credits

$100

Dell credit

$100

Samsung credit

$200

Hilton credit

$50

Hello Bello credit

$40

Home Chef credit

$50

SCRIBD credit

$10

$745

Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply.

Be True to Your Budget

There were dozens of other Amex Offers I could have redeemed during this period in addition to those listed. But since most of them had a minimum spend requirement to earn the credit (e.g., spend $100 or more to get $50 back), I only took advantage of offers for purchases that wound up being free or those that were already in my budget.

Diapers, for example, were something I was buying for my baby boy every month. That made saving $40 off two cases of Hello Bello diapers an easy choice. The Dell offer gave me $100 back off a $100 purchase, and it was fun to score two free gaming headsets for my older son and husband.

Read the Fine Print

If you want to take advantage of offers like these, it's important to read the fine print up front. Each offer has terms and conditions you may need to meet to earn statement credits or additional rewards.

For example, an Amex Offer for a $40 statement credit with an eligible Enterprise Rent-A-Car purchase required booking your reservation online at Enterprise.com. And the $200 Samsung credit I included in my list above was an Amex Offer that required me to spend $1,000 at Samsung.com to get the $200 back as a statement credit. (In this case, my father's laptop died. So, the ability to get $200 back when we bought a replacement for him came at a great time.)

Enroll in Advance

You must also do the following with an Amex Offer or a Chase Offer to earn the benefit:

  • Add the offer to your credit card: You can do this through your online account portal or via the Chase or Amex app.
  • Pay with the enrolled credit card: If you add a specific Chase Offer to your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, for example, you must pay with that card to redeem the offer.

Some offers have limited availability. Once a certain number of cardholders enroll in the offer, additional cardholders can't register. It's often best to proactively add any offer you might want to use to your credit card. It's better to have access to the offer and not use it than miss out on a potential savings opportunity.

Other Credit Card Benefits

As a holder of multiple credit cards, the primary reason I keep the accounts I have is because of the benefits they give me. Amex Offers and Chase Offers are a great addition (and I hope they stay around for a long time), but the core benefits of many of these cards also make them a wise choice in my book.

Here are a few reasons why I love my rewards credit cards:

  • Rewards: Over the years, I have redeemed the points, miles and cash back I've earned for thousands of dollars' worth of free travel.
  • Airport lounge access: Several of my rewards credit cards give me free access to a variety of airport lounges—making travel a much more relaxing experience.

Every rewards card is different and offers different perks (including valuable sign-up bonuses). So it's best to research what's available and determine which benefits you'll get the most value from before you choose the best card for you.

Recommended Credit Card Bonuses

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

$0 1.5% - 5%Cashback More Info

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 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.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

20,000Points More Info

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Dollar Equivalent: $200 (20,000 Points * 0.01 base)

$0 1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

$200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

$0 2%Cashback More Info

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

ML

Michelle Lambright Black

Michelle Black is founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com. Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.