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The Best Credit Card Rewards in 2024

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  • Post last modified:June 4, 2024

In today’s world, credit cards offer much more than just a convenient way to make purchases – they provide an opportunity to earn valuable rewards. Whether you’re a frequent traveler, an avid shopper, or simply looking to maximize your everyday spending, the best credit card rewards can help you save money, earn free travel, or even score exclusive perks and experiences. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top credit card rewards programs for 2024, helping you find the perfect card to suit your lifestyle and spending habits.

Skale Money Key takeaways

  • Credit card rewards programs allow you to earn valuable benefits like cash back, points/miles for travel, and bonuses for spending in certain categories like dining, gas, groceries, etc.
  • Travel rewards credit cards are ideal for frequent travelers, offering points/miles that can be redeemed for flights, hotels, and other travel expenses, along with perks like free checked bags and airport lounge access.
  • Cash-back credit cards provide a straightforward way to earn a percentage back on your purchases, typically ranging from 1-5% depending on the card and spending category.
  • Many credit cards offer lucrative sign-up bonuses for new customers, such as bonus points/miles or statement credits after meeting a minimum spending requirement.
  • When choosing a rewards credit card, consider factors like your spending habits, desired rewards type (cash back, travel, etc.), annual fees, and your credit score to find the best fit.

History of credit card rewards programs

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Credit card rewards programs have evolved significantly over the years, offering a wide range of benefits to cardholders. From cash back credit cards that provide a percentage of your spending back in the form of cash or statement credits, to travel reward credit cards that allow you to earn points or miles for flights, hotels, and more, the options are virtually endless. 

Additionally, many cards offer sign-up bonus credit cards for new customers, providing a lucrative incentive to join their rewards program.

How do reward credit cards work?

Reward credit cards work by offering cardholders the ability to earn points, miles, or cash back for every dollar they spend on eligible purchases. The rewards earned can then be redeemed for a variety of benefits, such as statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, or travel expenses. 

Most reward credit cards have different earning rates for different categories of spending, allowing you to maximize your rewards based on your spending habits.

What types of reward cards are there?

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Cashback credit cards

Cashback credit cards are among the most straightforward and popular types of reward cards. These cards provide a percentage of your spending back in the form of cash or statement credits, typically ranging from 1% to 5% depending on the card and spending category.

General points credit cards

General points credit cards allow you to earn points for every dollar you spend, which can then be redeemed for a wide range of rewards, including travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more. 

These cards often offer bonus points for specific spending categories, such as credit card rewards for dining, credit card rewards for gas, credit card rewards for groceries, credit card rewards for online shopping, credit card rewards for entertainment, and credit card rewards for streaming services.

Supermarket/department store reward scheme cards

Some credit cards are co-branded with specific supermarkets or department stores, offering enhanced rewards for shopping at those retailers. These cards can be particularly valuable if you frequently shop at the associated stores.

Travel and air mile credit cards

Travel and air mile credit cards are designed for frequent travelers, allowing you to earn points or miles that can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and other travel-related expenses. These cards often come with additional travel perks, such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and access to airport lounges.

Best Credit Card Rewards

Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards of 2024

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 20.24% – 27.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $395
  • Regular APR: 19.24% – 28.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Regular APR: 20.24% – 27.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee: $695 (Rates & Fees)
  • Regular APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 19.24% – 28.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Best Credit Cards With Category Bonuses of 2024

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (Rates & Fees)
  • Regular APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

American Express® Gold Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Annual Fee: $250 (Rates & Fees)
  • Regular APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Prime Visa

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn $100 in Amazon.com gift cards when you are approved for the card.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 16.49% – 25.49% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2024

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

  • Welcome Offer: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.99% – 27.99% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

  • Welcome Offer: No bonus offer.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 18.99% – 28.99% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Best 0% APR Credit Cards of 2024

Citi Rewards® Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 16.99% – 26.99% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Best Cash-Back Credit Cards of 2024

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 17.99% – 26.74% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Best Airline Credit Cards of 2024

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Aeroplan® Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 70,000 Aeroplan points. Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 10,000 points after you transfer a balance of $1,000 or more within 180 days.
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 18.99% – 27.99% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

United Quest℠ Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Regular APR: 19.49% – 26.49% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios. Earn 75,000 bonus Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 19.24% – 26.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2024

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Regular APR: 19.24% – 26.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 18.24% – 25.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Excellent/Good

Best Student Credit Cards of 2024

Discover it® Student Cash Back

  • Welcome Bonus: Unlimited Cashback Match – Discover will automatically match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.24% – 24.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Fair/Limited

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card for Students

  • Welcome Bonus: $200 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 16.24% – 26.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Fair/Limited

Best Credit Cards for Customers With Fair Credit of 2024

Citi Custom Cash® Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 17.99% – 27.99% Variable
  • Credit Score: Fair/Good

Best Credit Cards for Customers With Bad or No Credit of 2024

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Discover it® Secured Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Unlimited Cashback Match – Discover will automatically match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 26.24% Variable
  • Credit Score: Bad/No Credit

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Annual Fee: $49
  • Regular APR: 14.99% Variable
  • Credit Score: Bad/No Credit

Bottomline

Finding the best credit card rewards program for your needs can be a game-changer when it comes to maximizing your spending and earning valuable rewards. Whether you’re a frequent traveler looking for top travel reward credit cards for frequent flyers, or a shopper seeking the best cash-back credit cards for everyday spending, there’s a card out there for you. 

Don’t forget to consider credit cards with huge sign-up bonuses for new customers, as well as those offering credit card rewards for dining out at restaurants and credit card rewards for online grocery shopping. With the right credit card in your wallet, you can enjoy the benefits of your hard-earned rewards for years to come.

FAQs

What are the different types of credit card rewards?

The most common types of credit card rewards include cash back, points/miles for travel, and rewards specific to certain retailers or brands.

How can I maximize my credit card rewards?

To maximize your rewards, choose a card that aligns with your spending habits, take advantage of bonus categories, and consider sign-up bonuses. Additionally, pay your balances in full each month to avoid interest charges that can outweigh the value of your rewards.

Are credit card rewards worth the annual fees? 

This depends on your spending habits and how much value you can extract from the rewards program. Generally, if you can earn rewards worth more than the annual fee, it may be worth paying the fee. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine if a particular card’s rewards outweigh its fees for your situation.

Can I have multiple credit card rewards programs? 

Yes, you can have multiple credit card rewards programs, as long as you meet the credit score requirements and can manage the accounts responsibly. This can help you maximize rewards across different spending categories.

How do I redeem my credit card rewards?

Redemption methods vary by card issuer but typically involve logging into your online account and selecting the desired redemption option, such as statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, or travel bookings.

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