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The 10 Best Rewards Credit Cards Available Now

GOBankingRates logo GOBankingRates 5/11/2021 Gabrielle Olya
bestrewardscards © PeopleImages / Getty Images bestrewardscards

If you’re going to be spending money, you may as well be getting rewarded for it — and for many consumers, these rewards are a major motivator to swipe. A recent GOBankingRate survey found that the No. 1 reason people use credit cards is for the rewards and perks. And with the right credit cards, these rewards can really add up.

Important: Why It’s a Bad Move To Use the Same Credit Cards Indefinitely

GOBankingRates found the Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2021 by analyzing rewards cards across a number of factors: annual fees, purchase APR, promotional APR, sign-up bonuses, and rewards and features. GOBankingRates’ top picks offer a range of rewards, including cash back on purchases or points that can be redeemed for Amazon shopping, travel, gift cards, charitable donations and more.

Find out which credit cards will give you the best rewards — without crazy fees or super-high interest rates.

Our Top Rewards Card

blue_cash_pref_di_480x304 © Provided by GOBankingRates blue_cash_pref_di_480x304

American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card

Why we like it: The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is free of an annual fee for the first year. It offers one of the highest rewards rates available for groceries at 6%. While there is a cap of $6,000 in this category, you can still rake in $360 annually by meeting the maximum threshold each year.

Benefits

  • Earn 6% cash back on groceries, up to $6,000 a year, and 3% cash back on gas
  • $350 bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first six months
  • 12-month promotional 0% intro APR period

Drawbacks

  • This card has a $95 annual fee

Key features

  • 6% cash back on groceries, up to $6,000 a year
  • 6% cash back on streaming services
  • 3% cash back on transit
  • 3% cash back on gas
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

APR

13.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 12 months

Annual Fee

$95

Top Rewards Categories

Groceries and streaming

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to American Express’ application page).

Learn more about what this card has to offer in our full review.

Best Rewards Credit Cards 2021

Keep reading to see the rest of the Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2021.

freedomUtld_card_V © Chase / Chase freedomUtld_card_V

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase
  • 3% on dining, including takeout, and at drugstores
  • 1.5% on all other purchases
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year

APR

14.99% to 23.74%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Rewards Categories

Travel

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Chase’s application page).

Find out more about this card’s perks and benefits.

freedomFlx_card_MC_RFID © Chase freedomFlx_card_MC_RFID

Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase
  • Earn 3% cash back on dining including takeout and drugstores
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year

APR

14.99% to 23.74%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Rewards Categories

Travel

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Chase’s application page).

Read our full review to determine if this card fits your needs.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 5x points on gas paid at the pump and EV charging stations
  • 3x points at the supermarket
  • 3x points at restaurants
  • 1x points on all other purchases

APR

13.49% to 17.99%

Promotional APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

Top Rewards Categories

Gas

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to PenFed Credit Union’s application page).

Discover what else this card has to offer.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 4x points on dining, food delivery, and takeout
  • 2x points at grocery stores
  • 2x points at gas stations
  • 1x points on all other purchases

APR

14.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 12 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Rewards Categories

Dining

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to U.S. Bank’s application page).

Is this card right for you? Keep reading to find out more about it.

Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 3% cash back on dining
  • 3% cash back on entertainment and streaming services
  • 3% cash back at grocery stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

APR

15.49% to 25.49%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Rewards Categories

Dining, groceries, entertainment and streaming

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Capital One’s application page).

Learn more about the perks of this card to determine if it is right for you.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in Altitude Rewards Center
  • 4x points on travel
  • 4x points on gas
  • 2x points on grocery
  • 2x points on dining
  • 1x points on all other eligible purchases

APR

15.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$95

Top Rewards Categories

Prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in Altitude Rewards Center

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to U.S. Bank’s application page).

Check out what other offerings come with this card.

chg_gold_metal_di_480x304 © American Express chg_gold_metal_di_480x304

American Express® Gold Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 4x points on dining
  • 4x points on groceries
  • 3x points on flights
  • 1x points on all other purchases

APR

15.99% to 22.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 12 months

Annual Fee

$250

Top Rewards Categories

Dining and groceries

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to American Express’ application page).

Read our full review to find out more about this credit card.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose
  • 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

APR

13.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

Top Rewards Categories

2 categories of your choice

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to U.S. Bank’s application page).

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of this card.

chg_green_merc_di_480x304 © American Express / American Express chg_green_merc_di_480x304

American Express® Green Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 3x points at restaurants
  • 3x points on transit
  • 3x points on travel
  • 1x points on all other purchases

APR

13.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 12 months

Annual Fee

$150

Top Rewards Categories

Restaurants, transit and travel

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to American Express’ application page).

Check out our full review to see if this card is right for you.

FAQs About Rewards Cards

Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions about rewards cards.

What credit score do I need to get a rewards credit card?

To qualify for rewards cards with the best interest rates, you’ll want an exceptional score, which is at least 800 under the FICO score system. If your score is in the range of 740 to 799, which is considered very good, you are likely to qualify for cards with better-than-average rates. If your score falls in the range of 670 to 739, which is considered good, you’ll still have options when you’re on the lookout for a rewards card.

Can you earn cash back with a rewards credit card?

Most rewards cards offer cash back as an option, though it will vary from card to card.

Do rewards, points and cash back expire with a rewards credit card?

In most cases, rewards do not expire. Points on cards from issuers such as Capital One, Chase and Discover never expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. Points on some travel cards may expire.

Can I use rewards to pay off my credit card?

Yes. You can use your rewards as a statement credit. You will still need to make your minimum payment if you have a balance.

Explore more answers to your top questions about rewards credit cards.

More From GOBankingRates

Karen Doyle contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates identified the best rewards credit cards by analyzing the following factors: (1) annual fees; (2) APR for purchases; (3) promotional APR; (4) sign-up bonuses; and (5) rewards and features. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers’ discretion. Some bonus offers may no longer be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how one accesses the web page. All data was sourced from each financial institution’s website or promotional material and is accurate as of Aug. 11, 2021. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The 10 Best Rewards Credit Cards Available Now

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