Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » The Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2021
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The Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2021

Find the right rewards credit card for you, based on your spend and needs - whather it's cash back, points or miles. Compare our best picks.
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Some products that appear here are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This compensation allows us to maintain a full-time, unbiased editorial staff. Our opinions are our own.

Rewards credit cards are cards that actually pay you a predetermined percentage of the amount of every transaction you have. These cards come in two main options, either cash back or travel cards.

Trave cards give you points, or miles, for every dollar you spend. These rewards can be used to pay for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel related purchases.

Cash back cards give you a percentage of every purchase in the form of cash, hence the name cash back credit card.

These types of credit cards make up over 60 percent of all the credit card offers on the market. The cashback cards make up over 30 percent of offers and 63 percent are points or miles cards.

When you go looking for the best rewards card, you will soon find that there are a lot of options out there to choose from. This is why we have gathered together information for the best reward credit cards available.

Here are The Smart Investor Select’s picks for the top rewards credit cards:

American Express Blue Cash

On AMEX Secure Website

American Express Blue Cash Preffered

Reward details

Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
1-6% cashback

Current Offer

$250
$300 statement credit

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

$95

0% Intro

12 months

APR

13.99% to 23.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

This card offers an outstanding 6% cashback rewards for streaming services, and spending’s at the supermarkets, an amazing 3% rate on transit purchases and gas, making it a suitable choice for commuters and a 2.7 % fee on foreign transactions.

However, warehouse clubs and superstores are not included. The American Blue Cash Preferred Card charges an annual fee of $91, but you can justify this if you can spend $31 a week on groceries alone. This makes the card suitable for individuals that buy or purchase their groceries at traditional supermarkets. New cardmembers can earn up to $300 statement credit after making a purchase of $3000 or more within the first six months of being a member.

  • Rewards Plan: Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
  • APR: 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.70%
  • Sign Up bonus: $300 back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate Months: 12 months
  • Sign-up cash back bonus: $250
 
  • $250 Cash Back Sign-Up Bonus
  • 6% Cash Back at Supermarkets, 3% at Gas Stations
  • 3% at Selected Department Stores, 1% on All Other Purchases
  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases in the First 12 Months
  • Redeeming Options
  • Extended Warranty on Purchases
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • High APR
  • Short Introductory Rates
  • Balance Transfer Fee
  • Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Minimum Redemption Amounts
  • Not as Widely Accepted as Other Cards

Bank of America Travel Rewards

On Bank Of America Secure Website

Bank of America Travel Rewards

Reward details

Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points.
Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points.

Current Offer

25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
25,000 online bonus points

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

None

0% Intro

12 months

APR

14.99% – 22.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

This card is a must-have if you are a customer of Bank of America is a zero fees card that customers can use when they travel to earn points and gain rewards. To gain access to this card, you will need a solid credit score of between 690 to 850.

Although most cardholders feel this is a bit much, the rewards are worth it. If you spend $1000 within the first three months of acquiring the card, you gain 25,000 bonus points you can use for purchases and other travel expenses. You're also not limited when you want to make travel arrangements as the card grants you flexibility. The issuer has a J.D. Power rating of 798 for the year 2019.

  • APR: 14.99% - 22.99%
  • Annual fee: None
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Rewards Plan: Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points.
  • Sign Up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 12 months
  • 25,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus
  • Rewards
  • Bonus points
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Preferred Rewards, No Expiration
  • Minimum Redemption
  • There are Better Rewards Cards
  • High APR and Excellent Credit
  • Limited Travel Protections
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate on Purchases in the First 12 Months

Capital One Venture Rewards

On Capital one Secure Website

Capital One Venture Rewards

Reward details

Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase
Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase

Current Offer

60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
60,000 miles

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

$95

0% Intro

None

APR

17.24%-24.49%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

The Capital One Venture Rewards is a low-cost travel card that worth’s its value. It allows you to earn rewards and bonus points while traveling for business, leisure, or pleasure. It requires holders to have a credit score of between 690 and 850. It attracts no annual fees, and once you spend up to a thousand dollars, you get 20,000 bonus miles to use as you please.

For the first 12 months, you get zero percent on purchases. This card's issuer has a J.D. power rating of 808, which places it Fifth among all major issuers (fifth out of 11 major issuers).

  • APR: 17.24%-24.49%
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 3%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Rewards Plan: Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase
  • Sign Up bonus: 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
  • Flexible Rewards Redemption
  • Great Sign-Up Bonus
  • No Blackout/Expiration Dates
  • No Accumulation Limit on Miles
  • High Variable APR
  • Airline Partners Limitations
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • Redeem Points for a Statement Credit

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred review
On Chase Secure Website

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Reward details

2X on travel and dining at restaurants and 2X points on grocery store purchases (till April 30, 2021 and up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month ), 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Up to 2X points for every $1 you spend

Current Offer

60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
60,000 bonus points

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

$95

0% Intro

None

APR

15.99%–22.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a travel rewards card issued by Chase Bank. This is a very popular travel rewards card because it offers a large sign-up bonus and the card is built around traveling. Many travel rewards cards have higher annual fees for the same kind of rewards.

This card is on our top spot in regards to the best traveling and dining cards as they offer you 2X more points compared to other cards. In addition, Chase Bank offers a 25% point’s bonus, whenever you redeem the points for travel.

The card offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points when you spend more than $4,000 on any purchases in the first 90 days. This is equivalent to $750 in travel costs when you redeem your travel rewards.You shall also earn 2x points while traveling and dining at a variety of restaurants around the world and one point on the dollar on any other purchases.

  • Rewards Plan: 2X on travel and dining at restaurants and 2X points on grocery store purchases (till April 30, 2021 and up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month ), 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • APR: 15.99%–22.99%
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Sign Up bonus: 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate: None
  • 60,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus
  • Bonus Points
  • No Blackout Dates
  • 25% More through Ultimate Chase Rewards
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • Low Merchandise Rewards
  • High APR
  • No Introductory 0% on APR Balance Transfer
  • 5% Balance Transfer Fee

Discover It Cash Back

Discover It Cash Back review

On Citi one Secure Website

Discover It Cash Back

Reward details

5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum + 1% cash back on all other purchases
1-5% cash back

Current Offer

2x cash back with cashback match, get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically
Match Bonus for the first 12 months

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

None

0% Intro

0% Intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers.

APR

11.99% – 22.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

Discover It Cash Back was awarded the 2020 U.S. News Best Credit Card for the cashback rewards card. This card offers a very high rewards rate on some categories that rotate every few months. The card gives a 5% cashback on any purchase that is up to $1,500, which is spent each quarter on the rotating bonus category. Some of the categories include; restaurant, gas station, online shopping and many more each time you activate them. However, on all other purchases, excluding the ones in the category selected, you will only receive a 1% cashback.

This card is best for individuals who want to have a high reward rate on every purchase they made and also individuals who love a more straightforward rewards program.

  • Rewards Plan: 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum + 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • APR: 11.99% – 22.99%
  • Annual fee: None
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Sign Up bonus: 2x cash back with cashback match, get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 0% Intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers.
 
  • 14 Month 0% Intro APR Period
  • Balance Transfer Fee
  • 5% Cash Back for Select Spending Categories
  • Matches Cash Back in the First 12 Months
  • No Annual Fee
  • Less Merchant Acceptance
  • No Sign-Up Bonus or 0% APR Introductory Rate
  • Limit on Cash Back Spending Per Quarter
  • Keeping Track of Bonus Categories

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card review 2019

On Chase Secure Website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Reward details

6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
Up to 6 points per $1 spent

Current Offer

75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
75,000 Bonus Points

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

$95

0% Intro

None

APR

15.99% – 22.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

This credit card is as the name implies. It is a bold choice for users who want to have a new lease on spending without consequences. To qualify for this card, you need a credit score of between 690 and 850.

The card attracts zero fees, and you earn 30,000 bonus points for every thousand dollars spent within the first 90 days of opening the account. There are no annual fees, and you get three points for every $1 you spend on the card. You also do not pay any transaction fees when you use the card abroad, making it an excellent travel card. 

  • Rewards Plan: 6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • APR: 15.99% - 22.99%
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Sign Up bonus: 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
  • Sign-up bonus of points: 100,000
  • Sign-Up Bonus
  • Annual Reward
  • Ongoing Points Rewards
  • Transfer to Airline Points
  • Automatic Silver Status
  • 5th Night Free
  • 95$ Annual Fee
  • Chase Restrictions
  • 5th Night Free Conditions
  • High APR
  • Confusing Rewards

Sam's Club Mastercard

Sam's Club Mastercard review

On Sam's Secure Website

Sam's Club Mastercard

Reward details

5% cash back on gas. (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1% after), 3% cash back on dining & travel, 1% on all other purchases
1-5% cash back

Current Offer

Get a $55 statement credit when you open a new account and make $55 in Sam's Club purchase within 30 days
$55 statement credit

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

None ($55 yearly memebership fee)

0% Intro

None

APR

14.90% – 22.90%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

The Sam’s Club Mastercard is a great card for Sam’s Club shoppers. It has very competitive cashback rewards and benefits in some spending categories.

Sam’s Club Mastercard has 5% cash back on gas purchases up to $6,000 in purchases a year, and then 1% after that. It also has 3% cash back for any spending on restaurants and travel and % cash back on all other spendings with no limit. The rewards categories do not change and are great for those who spend a lot on gas and traveling and who are Sam’s Club members.

The card does not have a foreign transaction fee or annual fee as long as you are a Sam’s Club member (Membership starts at $45 a year). This card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, not just at Sam’s Club.

  • APR: 14.90% - 22.90%
  • Annual fee: None ($55 yearly memebership fee)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Unknown
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Rewards Plan: 5% cash back on gas. (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1% after), 3% cash back on dining & travel, 1% on all other purchases
  • Sign Up bonus: Get a $55 statement credit when you open a new account and make $55 in Sam's Club purchase within 30 days
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
  • Cash Back on Gas, Restaurants and Travel & Other Spending
  • No Annual Fee
  • Sign-Up Bonus
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Earn More Rewards
  • Redemption Restrictions
  • No Sign-Up Bonus or 0% APR Introductory Rate
  • Rewards Cap
  • There are Better Cashback Cards
  • High APR

Wells Fargo Propel American Express

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card review

On Wells Fargo Secure Website

Wells Fargo Propel American Express

Reward details

Earn 3 points per $1 spent on selected gas stations, rideshares, transit, Flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals and popular streaming services. 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases
Up to 3 points for every $1 you spend

Current Offer

20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
20,000 bonus points

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

None

0% Intro

15 months

APR

14.49% – 24.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

The Wells Fargo Propel card does not charge any annual fee and stands out by it offers. For example, in the popular spending category, including restaurants, travel, gas and some very popular streaming services, the Well Fargo Propel American Express gives a 3 point dollar, making it outstanding. They also offer a decent bonus for a card with no annual fee and an introductory 0% APR with a cash bonus.

For individuals who do not have any insurance on their cell phone, this card may be the best for them because it extends a $600 coverage on your cell phone, only if you pay your cell phone bill with the Well Fargo. Wells Fargo ranked 9th out of 12 companies that issue cards with a score of 783 according to the J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Survey in 2019.

  • Rewards Plan: Earn 3 points per $1 spent on selected gas stations, rideshares, transit, Flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals and popular streaming services. 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases
  • APR: 14.49% - 24.99%
  • Annual fee: None
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Sign Up bonus: 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months
  • 20,000 Points Sign-Up Bonus
  • Higher Points on Certain Categories Including Streaming Services
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Points on All Other Categories
  • No Annual Fee
  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases
  • Minimum Redemption Amounts
  • Longer Introductory Rates
  • Not as Widely Accepted as Others
  • Balance Transfer Fee
  • High APR
  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.