Top Rewards Credit Cards 2022
Best for travel rewards:
A rewards credit card defined as a credit card that rewards you when you spend with the card can be a great way to earn a little extra on purchases you were going to make anyway. Depending on the flavor of rewards that suit you best cashback, points or miles the right rewards credit card can help you pad your savings account or help you finance a dream vacation.
For those looking to maximize their purchases to earn the most points or miles, any of these cards provide excellent value. The best rewards credit card for you will reward you for your highest spending categories. Whether you want travel or cash back, these cards are best for savvy cardholders who don’t mind spending the extra time deciphering all of these rewards rates.
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Requirements To Earn A Welcome Bonus
There are many ways to earn credit card welcome bonuses. Some credit card issuers have a set amount of money that you must spend within the first few months to qualify for the bonus. You can get a bonus worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the credit card. Other sign-up bonuses require you to make specific purchases to qualify. You should know what the requirements are before signing up for a new credit card.
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Determine Your Redemption Flexibility Needs
Not all points are created equal. In general, airline points are primarily used to book flights for a specific airline and hotel points are used to reserve hotel rooms for a specific hotel chain. Some airline and hotel loyalty programs partner with other businesses to allow you to redeem your rewards for other uses.
Flexible point programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, tend to have the greatest number of redemption options, including cash back, booking travel or transfering to airline and hotel partners.
Note that when you redeem your points for cash back instead of travel, the value of your rewards is often lower.
If you have specific goals in mind, then you should pick a card that earns rewards towards that goal. If not, then a flexible points card tends to be best because of the greater number of redemption options that it provides.
Time Card Applications Around Major Purchases
If your usual monthly spend is $1,000, but you need to spend $4,000 in three months, time your application around periods where you expect to spend more than usual, such as a month where you anticipate buying that new laptop in addition to your usual purchases or perhaps around the holidays for gift buying.
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How To Use A Credit Card To Make Money And Earn Extra Cash
Modified date: Jan. 25, 2022
Back in 1986, Sears debuted the Discover Card with a radical idea: If were charging merchants a transaction fee, why dont we give our cardholders a little kickback?
Thus, the rewards card was born.
Applications for the Discover Card skyrocketed 400%, and as one Cold War ended, another began the revolutionary Discover kicked off a credit card arms race to see who could have the most rewarding credit card.
Today, the amount of cash back and perks your card has borders on comical.
Today, credit cards have bursting arsenals of perks. Cash back, signup bonuses, you name it. There are even perks buried in the fine print you may not have known you had and could be worth $10,000+ in the right context.
Cash back used to be simple 1% back on every purchase. Nowadays, you need an accounting degree to track all the tiers, quarterly bonus categories, and more.
Some cards are still super straightforward. The Citi® Double Cash Card offers a blanket 2% cash back on everything, you dont really have to worry about how you use your card on a daily basis.
But your card may be more complex. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example, has six reward tiers, some as granular as 3X points on online grocery shopping.
So if youve got a card with messy, scattered rewards, whats the best way to track it all and maximize your cash back?
Hacks To Boost Your Credit Card Rewards
By on August 24, 2016
The experts share their secrets on how to juice up your loyalty points game
How many loyalty programs are you signed up with? The average Canadian keeps adding more, reaching almost 14 in 2016, according to research from Bond Brand Loyalty. How about if we were just talking loyalty credit cards? Odds are its still way too many.
- See cards tailored for you from over 12 banks and card issuers
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- Get an answer in under 60 seconds
Some of us will spend years, even decades, collecting points that well never redeem. One easy way to improve your benefits is to reduce your loyalty credit card count and focus on the one that best matches your spending habits. But the bigger problem is that for the ones you already have, you are probably using them wrong. Its time to stop wasting your time and leaving money on the table.
There is a whole subculture around collecting points and MoneySense spent time exploring the forums and talking to some of the savviest point collectors in Canada to learn the secrets of the game.
What did we learn? That among the various loyalty programs, those tied to credit cards offer the most upside for points hacking its possible to collect up to a million points in a year with minimal spending. An average cardholder might spend years to collect 200,000 reward pointsthats childs play for the pros.
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Charge Every Bill You Can To Your Credit Card
Whenever possible, opt to pay for bills with a credit card. You can start with your phone, internet, cable bills, and various subscriptions, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify. Then you can try adding your car and home insurance. If you own a Triangle Mastercard, you can use it to pay for utility bills, property taxes, and tuition expenses, enabling you to acquire points on things typically off limits for credit cards.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the official recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. Were Motley! Questioning an investing thesis even one of our own helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fools board of directors. owns shares of Amazon and Netflix. Tom Gardner owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. Fool contributor Mark Gregorski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
Use Your Credit Card For Everything That Doesnt Charge A Fee
Whenever possible, use your credit card to rack up rewards. Check your automated payments and make sure your Wi-Fi bill and Netflix subscription is linked to your credit card rather than something like a debit card that doesnt earn points.
And often, you dont even need to carry around the physical credit cards. Set up your smart device to make mobile payments using apps such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. Even if youre out on a run and dont have your wallet, you could still pop into a convenience store that accepts mobile payments to grab a Gatorade simply by paying with your smartphone or Apple Watch.
Just beware: some expenses, like rent, may trigger a fee if paid with a credit card. In those instances, its generally better to forego the rewards, as the fee is probably higher than the value of the points you would earn.
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For Flat Rate: Td First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card*
Some people want to earn points when they travel, as well as on an ongoing basis. If this sounds like you, then the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card is our top choice. You can rack up TD Rewards points throughout the year and then easily make a redemption through Expedia for TD. With this card, youll get 3 points per $1 spent on all your everyday purchases and 9 points per $1 spent when you make online purchases through Expedia for TD. That means youre earning a 1.5% and 4.5% return respectively in travel points. Expedia For TD is just like the regular Expedia platform, so youll have no problem finding ways to redeem your points.
With the annual fee of $120 rebated for the first year and a welcome bonus of up to 80,000 pointswhich has a travel value of up to $400 when you book travel purchases through ExpediaForTD.comthis is one of the best travel credit card offers available right now.
Purchase Points Or Miles
Typically, you wont want to buy points or miles unless you have a planned redemption in mind and have found the award space you need. After all, your points or miles could suddenly drop in value if the program devalues its awards.
Even so, purchasing points or miles with a credit card can be an excellent way to hit a minimum spending threshold, especially if youll be able to use these points soon. However, if you plan on going this route, its best to wait for a bonus-points promotion.
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Transfer Balances To Reduce Interest
If you’re currently carrying a balance on a credit card with a high interest rate, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars by transferring that balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate.
Taking advantage of a 0% APR balance transfer offer will give you time to pay off your balance without accumulating interest. For example, you can save almost $400 by moving a $3,000 balance at 17% to a credit card with a 0% APR for 12 months.
Just be sure you can pay enough each month to bring your balance back down to zero within the introductory period. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing money by still paying significant interest.
Check Out Special Offers And Deals
On top of the rewards you might earn in any particular category, many credit cards provide opportunities for you to earn even more with additional offers and benefits. Every American Express credit card, for instance, comes with access to Amex Offers.
These offers come from a wide variety of merchants and include savings and bonuses on dining, streaming services, clothing stores, hotels, gift card purchases, and more.
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Pay Your Rent Or Mortgage
The first method to consider is paying your rent or mortgage with your new card. You may be able to find a landlord, apartment complex or bank that will allow you to pay your rent or mortgage by credit card without a fee, but this is relatively rare.
However, you could use a service like Plastiq, which currently charges a 2.85% fee for the privilege of using a card to pay bills you usually wouldnt be able to pay with a card. So, it usually only makes sense to use this service to meet a minimum spending requirement or to earn a card perk that requires a high spending threshold.
How To Use Your Card Responsibly
Before you whip out your card for every purchase, no matter the price, keep in mind that the rewards you earn will only be worthwhile if you use your card responsibly and are able to make payments on time and in full every month. Not doing could result in late fees and interest charges that will cost much more than the value of any rewards points you earn. Not only that, but over-utilizing your card and amassing a balance that’s near your credit limit will be a red flag for lenders. Carrying a high balance can lower your credit score and prevent you from taking advantage of other lucrative credit card offers in the future. The key to earning credit card points fast is to find a card that fits your financial habits and racks up bonus points or miles on the kinds of purchases you make the most, and by spending responsibly on day-to-day expenses. By finding a card that offers bonus-earning opportunities and other benefits you can take advantage of, you can start accruing rewards points faster than you think. You can find personalized credit card options through Experian CreditMatchTM to help you maximize your earning.
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The Dangers Of Credit Cards
Before you put anything on a credit card, understand that its wise to only use credit cards if you can pay them off in full.If you plan to carry a balance, the interest you pay will almost certainly outweigh any rewards you might earn.
can be a slippery slope. Strive to only use credit cards for wedding expenses if you have the savings to quickly pay off the debt in full.
What Is A Credit Card Point Worth
The value of a credit card point depends on the program.
Different programs let you redeem your points for different rewards, after all. And even within the same program, sometimes points are worth more depending on how you choose to redeem them.
If you want to know the actual dollar value of a credit card point, check out this detailed comparison of different rewards programs.
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The Points Guy Shares 5 Ways To Earn Credit Card Points And Make The Most Of Them
It’s time to stop writing off points and start putting them to good use.
Most credit card companies offer some type of points program to make your money go further and it’s a mistake to opt out, said Brian Kelly, aka The Points Guy.
“If you’re not earning points on every purchase, essentially, you’re paying for points for everyone else because they’ve already built that into the price,” Kelly told TODAY’s Jill Martin
Bank Of America Premium Rewards Credit Card
As the lone Bank of America card on our list, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card packs a punch, with a sign-up bonus worth 50,000 points . It also includes an up to $100 annual airline incidental fee statement credit, meaning you come out ahead every year you keep the card open after paying the $95 annual fee.
Points can be redeemed for travel, cash back or even a cash deposit into a linked Bank of America or Merrill account. The card earns 1.5 points per dollar on non-bonus spending and 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, which means this is a decent but not exceptional card for everyday purchases. However, the card becomes more attractive when combined with Bank of Americas Preferred Rewards program.
To significantly increase the value of your spending return, youll need an eligible Bank of America checking account with an average daily balance of at least $20,000. The largest bonus is available to customers with a balance of $100,000 or more at that level, youll earn 3.5 points per dollar spent on dining and travel, and an impressive 2.62 points per dollar spent on non-bonus spending.
Read the Bank of America Premium Rewards review for more details.
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Use Your Cards For Everyday Purchases
Aside from maximizing bonus categories, you can earn rewards points even faster simply by using your cards for most of your everyday purchases rather than just occasional buys or large items. A point or mile per dollar here and there adds up quicker than you think. Using a credit card rather than cash or a debit card is not only a great way to accrue rewards faster, but some credit cards offer protections for purchases you make in case something is lost or stolen. Using a card responsibly is also a great way to build your credit history and improve your credit score.
How Much Are Credit Card Rewards Points Worth
The value of flexible rewards points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, will depend on the type of card you have and how you use the points. In general, you can expect a minimum of 1 cent in value from most types of points, with some uses yielding 1.5 to 2 cents per point.
The value of an airline mile or hotel point will depend on the type. Not all points are created equal. Some values are pegged to the cash price: For instance, Southwest Rapid Rewards and JetBlue TrueBlue points are worth about 1.5 cents per point. In the same vein, Hilton Honors points average 0.5 cents per point.
Other airline or hotel point values will vary with each booking. For instance, if a flight or hotel room costs 50,000 miles and the flight is $500, youre getting 1 cent per mile in value. If the flight or hotel room costs $1,000 for the same 50,000, youre getting 2 cents per mile. The value of a point will vary with each redemption.
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