Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2020
While many credit cards offer some form of rewards, we’ve limited our list to the best current offers. The top rewards credit card is the Capital One Savor card due to its large sign-up bonus and high cash back percentages on multiple categories.
|Credit Card||Best For:||Staff Review||Annual Fee||Top Spending Categories|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Dining rewards||4.8 / 5||$0 first year, then $95||Dining and entertainment|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Large sign-up bonus||3.9 / 5||$0 first year, then $95||Travel and dining|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||Hotel purchases||4.2 / 5||$0 first year, then $95||Everything, especially hotels|
|Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card||Everyday use||3.4 / 5||$0||Grocery stores, wholesale clubs, gas stations|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card||No annual fee||3.5 / 5||$0||Travel, dining, popular streaming services|
|Discover it® Cash Back||Cashback match||4.3 / 5||$0||Changes each quarter,|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Card||General purchases||3.4 / 5||$0||Everything|
|Citi PremierSM Card||Travel rewards||3.5 / 5||$0 first year, then $95||Travel, restaurants, entertainment|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Flat-rate cash back||3.1 / 5||$0||Everything|
|Citi Rewards+SM Card||Bonus rewards points||3.0 / 5||$0||Supermarkets and gas stations|
Research Methodology 2020
The criteria used: Rewards rates, sign-up bonuses, redemption options, redemption flexibility, point values, travel benefits, transfer partners, extra features, rates and fees, customer service, security, credit needed
We’ve looked at 12 factors to identify the best cards for your lifestyle – these factors and more inform our decisions in which cards can work the hardest for you.
Criteria used 2020
Rewards rates – When studying credit cards, you might see rewards as points, miles or cash back. We look at not only the type of rewards, but also how they are doled out, whether as cash back on select categories, such as Discover it Cash Back or multiplied points on every purchase, as in the case of Capital One Venture Rewards.
Sign-up bonuses – These can also come as points, miles and cash back. We study how much the bonus is, as well as the required spend and the time limit. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 within 3 months.
Customer service – Some card issuers stand out for their customer service, such as Discover’s U.S.-based customer service 24/7. We look at that as well.
Redemption options – Card issuers vary in how you can redeem rewards. For example, Bank of America allows you to receive cash back by check and if you deposit your credit into a Bank of America checking or savings account, you can receive a 10% bonus each time you redeem. Issuers typically allow you to receive a statement credit, redeem for gift cards or merchandise, and in the case of the Chase Sapphire cards, earn bonuses when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Redemption flexibility – We also study minimum required redemptions and expirations. In some cases, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards, miles don’t expire for the life of the card and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
Point values – Point valuations on rewards cards can vary widely, from under 1 cent to over 2 cents per point or mile. Also, you can get a bonus when redeeming for travel in some cases, such as the Ink Business Preferred.
Travel benefits – Many travel and other rewards cards offer travel and purchase benefits in addition to points, miles or cash back. These are helpful when you are on a trip and you need extra support, such as lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance with the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card.
Security – Issuers typically take their security seriously, including a number that offer a free credit score each month. Discover offers free Social Security number alerts, for example.
Transfer partners – Well Even if you hold a loyalty credit card, such as an airline or hotel credit card, there may be partners that you can transfer your points or miles to. We look at which and how many partners cards have and the value of the transfers, because some partners have a lower valuation than if you use the points with the original hotel or airline.
Extra features – Rewards credit cards can have additional features, such as free first checked bag and no foreign transaction fees with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express. We study those little pluses that bring added value.
Rates & fees – These range from the annual fee, if there is one, to the regular APR, which can go from less than 10% to more than 25%, depending on the card and issuer. Some issuers offer no late fee, which we study when we ascertain a rewards card’s value.
Credit needed – No matter how much you love a card, the issuer will want to make sure you are a good risk and check your credit before you are granted the product. We note whether each rewards card requires credit from bad to excellent or no credit.
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