Use These Best Credit Cards with Rewards to Make Money on Every Purchase

Cash Back Credit Cards

Do you like the idea of getting paid to shop? The best credit cards with rewards give you bonus cash back on every purchase you make. Depending on which card you choose, you can earn bonus rewards on select purchase categories like groceries or travel.

Although you might benefit more from a store rewards card, these credit cards offer bonus points on purchases from multiple merchants. For example, you will earn bonus points if you buy groceries from any store, not just Kroger.

How to Benefit from the Best Credit Cards with Rewards

There is one small caveat to shopping with a rewards credit card. Never carry a balance!

You only benefit from the rewards when you pay your balance in full every month. Otherwise, the 15-20% interest rate will end up costing you a small fortune and damage your credit score in the process.

You will also need to decide if you want a credit card with tiered purchase rewards or flat rate rewards. A tiered rewards card earns bonus points on select purchase categories, but one point on all non-bonus purchases. Flat rate cards earn the same number of points on every dollar you spend, regardless of the purchase category.

Finally, you should consider a card with no annual fee first to your pocket all the rewards. If you pay a $95 annual fee, the first $95 in rewards are used to offset the annual fee first. Plus, it’s a free way to build your credit score through responsible, on-time payments.

You can still benefit from a rewards card with an annual fee if you spend a lot each month or can use the additional card benefits.

Best Credit Card for Grocery Purchases: Blue Cash Everyday Card

Annual Fee: $0

Your grocery budget is probably a significant portion of your monthly spending. After all, everybody must eat. The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card earns 3% back on grocery purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 annually) and 2% at U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores. All remaining purchases earn 1% back.

Don’t forget to pair your rewards credit card with a cashback app to earn even more cash on every purchase!

Best Credit Card for Restaurants: Capital One Savor

Annual Fee: $0

If you also enjoy going to restaurants, you get 3% back with the Capital One Savor. The Savor rewards card also earns 2% back on groceries and 1% on everything else. You also won’t pay an annual fee on this card or other Capital One cards which lets you keep the entire reward amount on international purchases.

Best Credit Card for Gasoline: Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual Fee: $0

The Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card earns bonus cash back on the following categories:

  • 3% back on gas
  • 2% back at supermarkets and wholesale clubs

You receive the bonus cash back on the first $2,500 in combined quarterly spending then 1% back on all excess spending. All non-bonus purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.

Current Bank of America customers can earn a 10% loyalty bonus by redeeming their rewards into their checking or savings account.

Best Credit Card for Amazon Purchases: Amazon Rewards Visa Signature

Annual Fee: $0

As the largest online retailer, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature is your best option if you make regular Amazon purchases.

This is one of the best credit cards with rewards for online and in-store purchases. You can earn cash back on the following purchases:

  • 3% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores
  • 1% back on everything else

Amazon Prime members can earn 5% back on Amazon.

Best Credit Card with Rotating Bonus Categories: Discover It

Annual Fee: $0

Another popular cash rewards system is to offer 5% bonus cash on rotating quarterly categories. Each quarter, the Discover It gives you the chance to earn 5% back on select purchase categories. Before you dismiss this card, 5% back is high for a rewards credit card that doesn’t have an annual fee.

Some of the bonus categories include gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores. During the bonus quarters, use your Discover It to maximize the 5% bonus. Then, use another card to earn bonus points or continue to use your Discover card to continue earning 1% on every purchase.

Nearly every credit card comes with a sign-up bonus that lets you earn extra cash if you spend a certain amount of money within the first three months. Discover has a unique twist for their new cardholder bonus. They will match your bonus cash for the entire first year! This makes your 5% rewards worth 10% and 1% rewards worth 2% back. How awesome is that?

Best Credit Card for Flat Rate Cash Rewards: Citi Double Cash

Annual Fee: $0

You might benefit more from a flat rate rewards card if most of your spending isn’t in the tiered bonus categories.

There are many excellent flat rate cash rewards cards to choose from, but the Citi Double Cash is one of the best. You earn 2% back on every purchase when you pay your bill each month. Most flat rewards cards only earn up to 1.5% back, so 2% cash rewards are still very much a novelty.

If you do forget to make a payment on time, Citi waives your first late fee free of charge.

Best Travel Rewards Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Annual Fee: $95 ($0 for the first year)

Not everybody prefers cash rewards. Maybe you enjoy traveling and credit card rewards can help pay for your annual family vacation. If you don’t travel on a regular basis, a no annual fee travel rewards card will be more beneficial.

However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can be an exception to the rule as you the flexible point redemption options are easily worth the $95 annual fee. You will earn two points per dollar on travel and dining. All remaining purchases earn one point per $1 spent.

The real value of the Sapphire Preferred is your redemption options. For starters, you get a 25% redemption bonus when you redeem your points for travel. This is a great start, but most Sapphire Preferred owners use the 1:1 point redemption options to their favorite airline or hotel loyalty program.

When it comes to travel rewards, airlines and hotels keep the best deals for themselves. Transferring your points to a travel loyalty program can easily double their redemption value. Some of the Chase transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Marriott.

Summary

Your credit card can either offer cash rewards or travel rewards. If this is your first credit card, a cash rewards credit card without an annual fee is your best option. You get money back with each purchase and never have to pay a fee to use your card.