Top Rewards Credit Cards of May 2024


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The information for the following product(s) has been collected independently by Business Insider: Citi Prestige® Card, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card†, Citi Premier® Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, Citi® Double Cash Card. The details for these products have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Introduction to Rewards Credit Cards

Many of the best rewards credit cards provide you with valuable points, miles, or cash back on your purchases. If you qualify and can pay your statement balance in full each month to avoid incurring interest, opening a rewards credit card is a great way to maximize your spending and work toward an award flight or hotel stay, or put some cash back in your pocket.

Compare the Top Rewards Credit Cards


Best travel rewards card overall

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.4/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠. Earn 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries. Earn 2x on all other travel purchases. Earn 1x on all other purchases.


Regular APR

21.49% – 28.49% Variable

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. High intro bonus offer starts you off with lots of points
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Strong travel coverage
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Doesn’t offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit


Product Details

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC


Best travel rewards card for beginners

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.55/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 5x miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Earn unlimited 2x miles on every purchase.


Regular APR

19.99% – 29.99% variable


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. No bonus categories to keep track of
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Includes up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Other credit cards offer higher rewards in certain categories of spending


Product Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase-or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs


Best travel rewards card with luxury benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express The Platinum Card® from American Express

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.4/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Limited time offer: Earn 10X Membership Rewards® Points at restaurants worldwide for three months, on up to $25,000 in purchases when eligible card member refers a friend and the friend applies by May 22, 2024 and gets the card (terms apply). Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year) and on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Earn 1X Points on other purchases.


Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required)
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Bonus categories leave something to be desired
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards


Product Details

  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.


Best premium travel rewards card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.85/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn unlimited 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Earn 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel. Earn unlimited 2 miles on all other purchases.


Regular APR

19.99% – 29.99% variable


Recommended Credit

Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Excellent welcome bonus and miles earning
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Premium perks including airport lounge access and credits for certain purchases
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Visa Infinite benefits including travel and shopping protections
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. High annual fee
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Annual travel credits only apply to Capital One Travel purchases


Product Details

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®


Best card for flat-rate cash rewards earning

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.3/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.


Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening


Regular APR

20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable

Earn $200 cash rewards bonus


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Good welcome bonus for a $0 annual fee card
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Straightforward 2% cash rewards on purchases with no categories to track
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Strong benefits including cell phone protection, Visa Signature perks, and an intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. If you’ve opened a Wells Fargo card in the past six months, you may not qualify for an additional Wells Fargo credit card
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Foreign transaction fees


Product Details

  • Select “Apply Now” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • Find tickets to top sports and entertainment events, book travel, make dinner reservations and more with your complimentary 24/7 Visa Signature® Concierge.
  • Up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft. Subject to a $25 deductible.


Best premium rewards card if you spend a lot on travel and dining

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.4/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 5x points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1x point per $1 spent on all other purchases.


Regular APR

22.49% – 29.49% Variable

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Annual travel credit can effectively shave $300 off the annual fee if you use it
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Strong travel insurance
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Strong bonus rewards on travel and dining
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Very high annual fee


Product Details

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC


Best card for earning travel rewards on dining and groceries

American Express® Gold Card

American Express American Express® Gold Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.3/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Limited time offer: Earn 10X Membership Rewards® Points at restaurants worldwide for three months, on up to $25,000 in purchases when eligible card member refers a friend and the friend applies by May 22, 2024 and gets the card (terms apply).
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Earn 1X Membership Rewards® points on all other purchases.


Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Great rewards for dining and for shopping at US supermarkets
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Monthly statement credit for eligible dining purchases recoups some of the annual fee
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Underwhelming welcome bonus


Product Details

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

 

Best Rewards Credit Cards of May 2024

Best Rewards Credit Card Reviews

The best credit cards for rewards will offer you more than 1% back on any purchase, whether that comes in the form of travel rewards or cash back. You’ll also get benefits such as purchase protection or travel insurance, and bonus categories for quickly earning rewards. The best cards even offer luxurious privileges such as airport lounge access and elite status with airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. 

These are the very best rewards credit cards of 2024, as chosen by our team of credit card experts at Business Insider.

Best travel rewards card overall: Sapphire Preferred Card

It’s hard to recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve® as the best travel card overall now that it comes with a hefty $550 annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, on the other hand, has broader appeal with many similar features, all for a significantly lower $95 annual fee.

The Sapphire Preferred Card earns 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠ (2x points on all other travel purchases) and 3x points on dining instead of the Reserve’s 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Travel℠ (after earning the $300 travel credit) and 3x points on other travel and dining.

Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece on travel booked through Chase, and you can transfer them to airline and hotel partner loyalty programs. You don’t receive an annual travel credit, but you’ll still have car rental primary coverage, as well as trip delay coverage and purchase protection. And each year on your account anniversary, you’ll receive a points bonus equal to 10% of all purchases made in the previous year.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s benefits, such as airport lounge access, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could be a better choice for you. If you eventually decide that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is worth it, you can ask to upgrade your card.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred card review here.

Best Travel Rewards Card for Beginners: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

If you’re new to credit card travel rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an excellent starting point. It offers a generous welcome bonus of 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening (worth $1,275 based on Business Insider’s valuation of Capital One miles). 

What makes this card so appealing is its straightforward earning structure and its flexibility in redeeming rewards. Cardholders earn 5x miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel Portal and 2x miles on all other purchases. 

On the redemption side, you can keep it simple by using your Capital One miles to offset travel purchases made with your card at a rate of 1 cent per mile — no fussing with award charts or availability. Alternatively, you can transfer your miles to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners to book award travel and potentially get even more value.

You’ll also get an impressive range of perks, including up to $100 in credit toward the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, purchase assurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and more.***

Read our Capital One Venture card review here.

Best Travel Rewards Card for Luxury Benefits: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express has a high $695 annual fee, but offers a long list of benefits to match. The Amex Platinum Card is also one of the best options for paying for flights because you’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased directly with airlines and with American Express Travel (starting January 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year).

Like Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can use Amex Membership Rewards points to purchase travel, gift cards, or products directly from the issuer, or transfer points to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs. The best value comes from that latter use. If you redeem points by using them to book flights through Amex, you’ll get a value of 1 cent per point.

The Platinum Card® from American Express gives you access to the same Priority Pass airport lounges (enrollment required) as the Sapphire Reserve, plus Delta Sky Clubs when you fly Delta, as well as the proprietary American Express Centurion Lounges.

Amex Platinum Card members also get exclusive access to major events and experiences, including once-in-a-lifetime “By Invitation Only” events.

Of course, $695 is a lot to shell out each year. Up to $200 in annual airline fee credits** and up to $200 in annual Uber Cash credits (including Uber Eats)** certainly help offset that cost, but the airline credit can be difficult to use if you aren’t checking bags or buying drinks on flights. 

Read our American Express Platinum card review here.

Best Value Premium Travel Rewards Card: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One’s travel rewards program has become very competitive, with expanded card benefits, new transfer partners, and occasional transfer bonuses. The transfer value has improved as well, with most partners offering a 1:1 transfer ratio, and Capital One miles are easy to earn and redeem.

Along with earning 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on all other purchases, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with top-notch benefits.

Cardholders receive $300 per year in credits toward travel booked through Capital One, Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, and Capital One airport lounge access (even for authorized users), a 10,000-mile bonus on each account anniversary (worth $100 in travel), and Visa Infinite travel and purchase benefits.

You can redeem miles at a fixed rate toward a statement credit to cover travel purchases with Capital One. For example, if you buy a $500 plane ticket, you can apply 50,000 miles to cancel that charge. Or, for potentially even more value, you can transfer miles to over a dozen Capital One airline and hotel partners.

Read our Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card review here.

Best Flat-Rate Cash Rewards Card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

All the other top picks in this guide earn credit card rewards that can be redeemed in a variety of ways, and they’re especially valuable when you redeem for travel. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a cash-back card, on the other hand — this option may be a better option if you prefer the ultimate in flexible rewards or don’t know for sure that you’ll be traveling.

Cardholders earn 2% cash rewards on purchases, and there’s a solid welcome bonus offer of $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first three months from account opening. On top of that, the card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR). 

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a great choice if you want a card that earns a high rate of cash rewards without having to worry about keeping track of bonus categories. You’ll earn a flat 2% cash back on what you buy.

If you want to get maximum value out of your spending, a rewards card will get you a higher return. For instance, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2x miles on non-bonus purchases, but 2x miles isn’t equal to 2% cash back. Our points and miles valuations peg Capital One miles at 1.7 cents each, because you can redeem them for travel through a variety of airline and hotel programs. Travel redemptions will usually get you more than 1 cent per mile or point in value. But if cash back is the most useful to you, this probably doesn’t matter.

See our guide to the best cash-back credit cards for more top picks.

Read our Wells Fargo Active Cash card review here.

Best Premium Rewards Card for Travel and Dining: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

With 5x points on air travel and 10x points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Travel (after earning the $300 travel credit), 3x points on other travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on everything else, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® makes it easy to maximize your everyday spending, and it comes with a slew of perks. It used to be our top travel rewards card pick, but now that it has a $550 annual fee, it’s harder to recommend to everyone.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee is offset by a travel credit of up to $300 each year, good for things like taxis, subway fares, parking, tolls, and flights. This effectively decreases the annual fee to $250, so you’ll have to decide whether the card’s other benefits are worth it for you.

You now get a complimentary two-year Lyft Pink All Access membership, $5 per month in DoorDash in-app credit (along with complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership through December 2024), and up to $15 per month in Instacart credits (activation required by July 31, 2024). If you use these services frequently you may be able to justify the higher annual fee — but that’s not the case for everyone.

Check out our guide to the best travel credit cards for more options like the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Read our Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card review here.

Best Travel Rewards on Dining and Groceries: American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card earns a massive 4x points at restaurants and on up to $25,000 per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (and 1x points after that), 3x points on flights booked directly through the airline, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Based on the fact that you can easily redeem Membership Rewards points for more than 1 cent of value each when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners, this is one of the highest-earning available cards for everything food-related.

The American Express® Gold Card offers up to $120 in dining credits per year (after enrollment), broken into chunks of $10 each month. Credits are good for purchases through food delivery services Seamless and GrubHub, and at Milk Bar, Goldbelly, Wine.com, The Cheesecake Factory, or participating Shake Shack locations. Cardholders also receive $120 per year in Uber Cash (this is only applicable to U.S. Eats orders and Rides, and the card needs to be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit).

These credits can offset most of the card’s $250 annual fee even before factoring in the value of the rewards you’ll earn.

Read our Amex Gold card review here.

How to Choose the Best Rewards Credit Card

Rewards credit cards give you something back for every dollar you spend — whether that’s points or miles for travel, or cash back that you can use to lower your monthly bill or to treat yourself to a splurge.

But if you currently carry a balance on your credit card, prioritize paying off that debt as soon as possible before getting a new card, since any rewards you could earn will be wiped out by high interest rates from your existing card debt. 

On top of that, many cards offer high welcome bonuses to new cardholders who meet a spending requirement in the first few months after opening a card. Some cards also include benefits like travel and purchase protection. 

Rewards Credit Card Bonus Categories

This guide can help you find your best reward credit card if you already know what you want. But what if you’re not sure which type of credit card best suits your spending habits? 

If you’re looking to maximize rewards on your everyday spending, look no further than the following credit cards. We’ll break it down by spending category — from dining to gas to groceries.

Dining

Dining is a spend category most people will want to maximize since the average American spends $3,030 each year on dining out, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Luckily, lots of cards offer generous rewards for dining.

The Citi Prestige® Card
(no longer available to new applicants) offers the highest return on dining spending, with 5x points on these purchases. You may notice that some cards, like the Hilton cards below, offer more than 5x points — but keep in mind that the points multiplier is only half of the equation.

You also need to know how much each point is worth. We recommend using Business Insider’s points and miles valuations to get a sense of how many cents you’ll get in value with different loyalty currencies. These valuations are based on all the different ways you can use a given type of points or miles, from redeeming them as statement credits to transferring them to a travel partner to book a flight.

Below, we’ll rank the best dining credit cards in order of highest to lowest return based on how many rewards you earn per dollar spent, and the value of those rewards based on our estimations.

Based on the numbers, the Citi Prestige is the most rewarding card for dining purchases on most days, but it’s not taking applications anymore. And the Bilt Mastercard is a great option if you strategically dine out on the first of each month to take advantage of 6x dining returns.

The American Express® Gold Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are better options for you if you prefer to earn Amex or Chase points.

You can transfer Citi ThankYou points to over a dozen airline transfer partners including Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, and Virgin Atlantic. But Amex and Chase’s loyalty programs partner with airlines and hotels that are arguably more useful for many U.S.-based travelers, such as British Airways, Delta, and Marriott with Amex and Hyatt, United, and Southwest with Chase. In fact, Business Insider values Citi points (1.6 cents per point) a bit lower than Amex points and Chase points (1.8 cents each)

Gas and EV Charging

If you have a car, gas is a big spending category — and it’s one that many cash-back credit cards pay out big rewards on.

  • American Express® Business Gold Card: 4 points per dollar spent at the two categories where you spend the most each month, including U.S. gas stations, on up to $150,000 per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar (7.2% return on spending)
  • Citi Premier® Card
    : 3 points per dollar spent on restaurants, supermarkets, air travel, hotels, and gas stations (4.8% return on spending)
  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: 4% back on eligible gas purchases and EV charging on the first $7,000 spent per year, then 1% (4% return on spending)
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: 6 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations (3% return on spending)

Again, not all points are created equal, and whether 6 Hilton points are equivalent (or higher than) 4% cash back or 4 Membership Rewards points depends on how you redeem your rewards. Most people will be best off going with the American Express® Business Gold Card for gas rewards.

Thanks to a vast list of hotel and airline transfer partners, you can redeem Membership Rewards points for some incredible travel experiences. If you have a business-class trip to Europe in mind, Membership Rewards transfer partner All Nippon Airways (ANA) offers one of the best deals out there at 88,000 miles round-trip.

However, if you’re saving up your Hilton points for a high-end resort in the Maldives, it could be worth channeling gas spending toward the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.

Groceries 

With 4x points on the first $25,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets, the American Express® Gold Card offers the most generous payout on grocery spending. Considering the average U.S. household spends $4,445 on groceries per year, these limits shouldn’t be problematic for most consumers.

Earning 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a good option if you prefer cash back to rewards points. When maxed out, the 6% back equates to $360 cash back, which is enough for most people to book at least a couple of hotel nights or a round-trip transcontinental flight.

Flights and Other Travel 

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel on up to $500,000 in spending a year, 5 Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel (9% return on spending)
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: 5x points on air travel (9% return on spending) and 10x points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (after earning the $300 travel credit) (18% return on spending) and 3x points on other travel purchases (5.4% return on spending)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 5 points per dollar on all travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal (9% return on spending)
  • American Express® Gold Card: 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com (5.4% return on spending)
  • Citi Prestige® Card (no longer available to new applicants): 5 points on air travel, 3 points on hotels and cruise lines (4.8%-8% return on spending)
  • Citi Premier® Card: 3 points on air travel and gas stations (4.8% return on spending)
  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: 3% cash back on eligible travel purchases

If you’re looking for lots of rewards for flights, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great choice. The card earns 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines and through Amex Travel. Prepaid hotel bookings made with American Express also earn 5 points (starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). One reason I’d recommend this card over the Citi Prestige is that the Amex Platinum now offers trip delay insurance, while Citi has done away with these on its cards. 

While the American Express Platinum is a great option, not everyone will get enough value out of the 5x bonus categories to justify $695 annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a great alternative. While it earns a lower 3 points per dollar spent (outside of the Chase Travel Portal, where it earns 10x points on hotels and car rentals and 5x points on air travel), this bonus applies to all travel purchases, not just flights. Plus, the card’s annual fee is partially offset by the $300 travel credit.

Unlike American Express, Chase doesn’t restrict its travel credit to a specific airline. The credit automatically applies to any purchases coded as travel. That’s why the Chase Sapphire Reserve is such a popular card for earning and redeeming travel rewards.

Other Spending

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: 1.5% cash back on most things, bonus cash back on eligible travel and drugstore purchases, can be combined with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to boost your value 
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠
    : 1% cash back, bonus cash back on eligible travel and drugstore purchases, 5% rotating quarterly category bonuses for up to $1,500 in combined spending (requires activation), can be combined with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to boost your value (1.5%-3%) (1%-9% return on spending)
  • Discover it® Miles: 1.5 miles per dollar spent, and Discover will match the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year (3% return on spending)
  • Discover it® Cash Back: 1% cash back, with 5% in rotating quarterly categories on the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter you activate; then 1% cash back (1-5% return on spending) (from April 1 to June 30, 2024, you can earn 5% cash back at gas stations & electric vehicle charging stations, home improvement stores, and public transit on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%)
  • Citi® Double Cash Card
    : 1% when you make purchases, 1% as you pay (2% return on spending)

Lots of cash-back credit cards offer at least 1.5% cash back on everything, which is a great benchmark to keep in mind on purchases that aren’t eligible for bonus points. The Discover it® Miles is a great option for those looking for a no-annual-fee card with accelerated earning power. Cardholders earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, which is equivalent to 1.5% cash back. Discover will match all the rewards you earn at the end of your first year and can be redeemed for statement credits toward travel purchases or transferred to your bank account.

For those looking to maximize long-term earnings, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another great option. It earns 1.5% cash back on most things, with bonus cash back on eligible travel and drugstore purchases. If you have a Chase travel credit card like the Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can convert your Freedom Unlimited rewards to fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points. Essentially, you could earn 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on everything outside of the bonus travel and drugstore categories, which equals a very solid return on every dollar you spend.

If you want the flexibility of earning occasional category bonuses, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Discover it® Cash Back are worth considering. Both cards earn 1% cash back along with 5% on select category bonuses. Bonus categories rotate every quarter and cardholders can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 worth of spending when they activate the bonus each quarter. Be sure to check the cash-back bonus calendar for Discover and Chase quarterly bonus categories for a better idea of where you can expect to earn more points (for Discover it® Cash Back, you can earn 5% cash back at gas stations & electric vehicle charging stations, home improvement stores and public transit from April 1 to June 30, 2024 on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%).

For a more straightforward option, the Citi® Double Cash Card is solid. Cardholders earn 1% cash back on purchases and another 1% when they pay them off. Because you can convert your cash back to ThankYou points, the Citi® Double Cash Card is a great way to earn 2 ThankYou points on every dollar spent.

Best Rewards Credit Card Frequently Asked Questions

The Chase Ultimate Rewards loyalty program is incredibly flexible and easy for most people to use. A number of credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, including our recommendation for the best rewards credit card overall: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a simple credit card that earns 2% cash rewards on purchases.  

The best rewards credit card is absolutely worth keeping in your wallet. The right card for you will reward you on everyday purchases, either in the form of cash back or travel rewards. Many credit cards do not charge an annual fee, so you won’t have any additional costs to consider. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is Business Insider’s top choice for best rewards credit card overall. This card offers great rewards and benefits with a low $95 annual fee. Best yet, this card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are extremely valuable for their flexible redemption opportunities. 

Why You Should Trust Us: How We Chose the Best Credit Cards with Rewards

The best rewards credit card for you should offer benefits you can use, that are worth the annual fee to you (if there is one). Look for perks such as statement credits that cover travel purchases, and travel protection benefits such as trip delay and trip cancellation insurance.

Some strong criteria to consider when evaluating your next rewards credit card can include the following questions:

  • Does this card earn bonus points or miles where I spend the most?
  • Can those points or miles be applied to rewards I’d actually want, such as airlines I typically fly or hotels I want to book?
  • Is it easy to redeem my rewards, or will I get lost in a maze of draconian rules, restrictions, and blackout dates?

With these guidelines in mind, our editorial team of experts purposely left out many rewards credit cards currently available to new applicants in order to narrow down our list to the very best options.

We define “very best options” as those that offer concrete value through benefits like annual statement credits and airport lounge access and through rewards such as bonus points on your everyday spending.

This list doesn’t include any of our best airline credit cards or best hotel credit cards. If you’re specifically interested in travel rewards rather than cash back, check out our full list of the best travel rewards credit cards.

Read Business Insider’s guide to how we rate and review credit cards for more information on our methodology.



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