Compare Credit Cards and Find the Best One to Earn Cashback or Rewards

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Finding the right card can be a difficult task, which is why we’re here to help you compare credit cards. There are a lot of quality cards available for different types of consumers, so we’ve put the best cards in head-to-head matchups in a variety of categories. Whether you’re a traveler, a cashback junkie or a small business owner, we’ve got you covered.

Compare Cashback Credit Cards: Citi Double Cash vs. Alliant Cashback Visa

Is cash still king? Some would argue that it is, which would make a cashback card your best option. Cashback rewards can be used for just about anything, offering the ultimate in flexibility.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
11.74% to 14.74% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $59
Bonuses & Rewards
  • % 3% on all purchases in the first year
  • % 2.5% on all purchases after the first year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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Citi® Double Cash Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
15.24% to 25.24% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Citi® Double Cash Reward Program
Bonuses & Rewards
  • % 2% on All Purchases
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
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Comparing our first two cards, it may seem obvious which of these two cards is better. The Alliant Cashback Visa earns an impressive 3 percent back on all the purchases you make your first year as a cardholder, while the Citi Double Cash earns 2 percent back. Certainly, Alliant wins in year one.

But in year two, the Alliant card has a $59 annual fee, while the Double Cash does not have a fee. Even though it earns 0.5 percent more on every purchase (for a total of 2.5 percent back), you’d need to spend an additional $11,800 on the Alliant just to offset that annual fee.

TO SUM UP

So unless you’re a big spender, the Double Cash card likely wins in year two and every year after.

Compare Rotating Category 5% Cashback Cards: Discover it Cashback Match vs. Chase Freedom

Getting 5 percent back on select purchases each quarter is fantastic, so you can see why these cards are popular. At first glance, the Chase Freedom and Discover it cards may seem identical, but looking closer you’ll see they have a few distinct differences.

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Discover it® Miles Card
How to apply
To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank
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INTRO APR on Purchases
0% intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
0% intro APR for 14 months from date of first transfer, for transfers under this offer that post to your account by August 10, 2018
Regular APR
13.49% to 24.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Cashback Bonus®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • % 5% in rotating categories each quarter like Gas, Dining, Amazon.com, Wholesale Clubs and more
  • % 1% on Travel
  • % 1% on Groceries
  • % 1% on All Other Purchases
  • Up to 5% cash back
  • Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earn dollar for dollar at the end of your first year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • % 3% balance transfer fee
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Chase Freedom® Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles that your Account is open
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
0% Intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles that your Account is open
Regular APR
16.49% to 25.24% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Ultimate Rewards®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • % 5% cash back each quarter on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in that quarter's bonus categories
  • % 1% on all other purchases
  • $150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months
  • $25 bonus after you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
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The Freedom has a sign-up bonus of $150, while the Discover it card has no sign-up bonus. However, the Discover it card doubles all the cash back you earn your first year as a card member.

Think about that for a minute. During your first year you’re really earning 2 percent back on every purchase with 10 percent back on the quarterly bonus categories. That’s huge! If you like to have one card for all your purchases, this could be it.

But before you rush to sign up, you need to know the Freedom has one major advantage over its rival: the ability to pool your points with other Chase cards. You can combine your Freedom Ultimate Rewards points with one of Chase’s premier cards (like the Sapphire Preferred). By doing so, your points can be worth quite a bit more than one cent each because you can transfer to travel partners or buy travel through the online portal at a discount.

TO SUM UP

If you have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card, the Freedom card is probably a better choice. But if you don’t, the first year bonus that comes with the Discover card is hard to beat.

Compare Travel Rewards Credit Cards: SPG Amex vs. Citi ThankYou Premier

Next, we’ll compare credit cards with flexible travel rewards and a mid-level $95 annual fee. Both the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card and the Citi ThankYou Premier card earn valuable points, but the earnings structure and variety of travel partners are very different.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% to 26.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Rewards Program
Starwood Preferred Guest®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 6x Starpoints at Participating Starwood and Marriott Rewards Hotels
  • 2x Starpoints on All Other Purchases
  • + 1 Free Night Award every year after Card account anniversary
  • 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months
  • Receive a 5,000 Starpoint bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a participating frequent flyer program
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
16.24% to 25.24% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Rewards Program
ThankYou®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3x Points on Travel, including Gas, Airfare, Hotels, Cruises, Car Rentals and More
  • 2x Points on Dining and Entertainment
  • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
  • 60,000 bonus points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • 25% bonus when points are redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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The SPG Amex earns one point per dollar on every purchase and double points on Starwood and Marriott purchases (as the two companies have now merged). Meanwhile, the ThankYou Premier card earns triple points on all travel purchases, as well as double points on dining, bars and entertainment.

Their sign-up bonuses are vastly different, too. The Premier card gives you 50,000 points worth up to $625 in airfare, while the SPG Amex gives you just $200 in statement credits.

Is this even a competition? The answer may surprise you. While sign-up bonuses and earnings structures are key to a good card, the type of points you earn is equally important.

With the Citi card, you can redeem your ThankYou points toward travel through the online travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point, or you can transfer to one of their 15 airline partners. Meanwhile, the Starwood card allows you to redeem your points toward hotel stays with SPG or Marriott, or you can transfer to a whopping 34 different of airlines. Starwood also offers a transfer bonus of 5,000 miles for every 20,000 points that you transfer.

In the end, it will depend on what you want to do with the points you earn. If you want to be able to transfer them to a wide variety of airline partners, the SPG Amex is the clear winner. If you know how to maximize the value of your points through airline frequent flyer programs, it’s hard to go wrong with this card.

TO SUM UP

But the Citi Premier card still offers a lot of redemption flexibility, particularly with the ThankYou travel portal as an option. Plus it has a bigger bonus and better earning. If you’re relatively new to the points and miles game, this is probably the better choice.

Compare Premium Travel Credit Cards: Amex Platinum vs. Citi Prestige

American Express and Citi both offer excellent premium cards, but these two couldn’t be more different from each other. Let’s compare these credit cards.

American Express® Platinum Card®

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Rewards Program
Membership Rewards®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 5x Points on Airfare and Hotels
  • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
  • + Complimentary access to Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and Priority Pass Select lounges
  • + Gold elite status with Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton Honors
  • 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • $200 in annual Uber credits
  • $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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Citi Prestige® Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% to 25.24% Variable±
Annual Fee
$450
Rewards Program
ThankYou®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3x Points on Airfare and Hotels
  • 2x Points on Dining and Entertainment
  • 1x Points on Gas
  • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
  • Complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive night booking through ThankYou.com
  • $100 Global Entry fee credit every 5 years
  • $250 air travel credit
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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While both cards offer lounge access through Priority Pass, the Platinum card has the leg up. You can enter Amex’s Centurion Lounges as well as Delta SkyClubs when you’re flying Delta.

While the Platinum has great lounge access, the Citi Prestige has the Fourth Night Free benefit that can save you a ton of cash. When you book a four-night stay through the Citi Concierge with this card, you’ll get a statement credit equivalent to one night’s stay. Best of all, there are no caps or limits to how many times you can use this benefit, saving you potentially thousands of dollars each year.

Additionally, both cards offer a variety of statements credits that help offset the hefty annual fee. But the way you can maximize them is different. With the Platinum card, you’re confined to using your $200 airline credit for ancillary fees on one pre-selected airline, and it also offers $200 worth of Uber credits each year.

That sounds great, but the Prestige’s $250 credit can be used toward airfare with any airline, making it much easier to use.

Both cards have tremendous value, so think about how you travel to help you decide which is the better choice. Can you take advantage of Amex’s lounge network, or are you looking for a solid card that earns lots of points along with an awesome rebate program on hotel stays?

TO SUM UP

It’s probably safe to say that the Platinum card just edges out the Prestige, though, thanks to its big sign-up bonus (the Prestige has none), better airline transfer partners and $400 in credits (even if they are a bit more limited).

Compare Airline Credit Cards: Gold Delta SkyMiles vs. AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

Airline cards continue to be very popular because they often have great sign-up bonuses, as well as valuable benefits with their co-branded carriers.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% to 26.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Rewards Program
SkyMiles®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2x Miles on Delta Purchases
  • 1x Miles on Dining
  • 1x Miles on Gas
  • 1x Miles on All Other Purchases
  • 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first 4 months
  • $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • % 20% in-flight savings
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Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% to 25.74% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $99
Rewards Program
AAdvantage®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2x Miles on American Airlines Purchases, Dining and Gas
  • 1x Miles on All Other Purchases
  • 50,000 bonus miles after making $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines flight discount after spending $20,000 in a year and renewing your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • % 25% savings on purchases on American Airlines flights
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Unlike some of our other credit card comparisons, the Gold Delta card and AAdvantage Platinum card are quite similar. Both offer priority boarding, free checked bags and no annual fee the first year.

That being said, the AA card gives you back up to 10 percent of the miles you redeem each year for up to 10,000 miles. Meanwhile, Amex offers a one-time $50 statement credit with the Gold card if you make a purchase with Delta within three months of signing up. And, each year you spend $25,000 on the card, you get an MQD waiver toward earning elite status. That means you won’t have to spend a certain amount of money with Delta to earn status.

Are there any downsides?

Both AAdvantage miles and SkyMiles are only valuable if you can use them. If American or its partners don’t fly where you want to go, you’re out of luck. If you hate that Delta doesn’t publish an award chart, it’s hard to determine how many miles you need for that dream trip.

TO SUM UP

Again, these cards are very similar (it’s a tie!), so you need to ask yourself which airline you fly more and which carrier’s loyalty program you can better utilize.

Compare Business Rewards Credit Cards: Amex Business Gold Rewards Card vs. Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Business credit cards have really become valuable, and they are an excellent way for business owners to earn rewards. In fact, you don’t even have to have a proper business to get many of these cards. Independent contractors and pretty much anybody who has an independent revenue stream, such as Ebay or Etsy sales, can qualify.

Business Gold Rewards Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $175
Rewards Program
Membership Rewards®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3x Points on one of the following: Airfare, Gas, Shipping, Advertising or Computer Hardware and Software
  • 2x Points on the remaining four categories
  • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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Capital One® Spark® Miles Business Credit Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
18.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Rewards Program
Venture® Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2x Earn 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • + Redeem miles for travel, cash back, gift cards and more
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The Spark Miles card from Capital One effectively earns cashback. Their miles function the same as cashback rewards. But the 2X rate you earn them at is very good. Plus, you’ve got the flexibility to use these rewards toward travel on any airline or hotel. Unfortunately, they cannot be transferred to any travel partners.

Not to be outdone, the Amex Business Gold card earns triple points on one of five categories of your choice, double points on the remaining four categories and one point per dollar everywhere else. These Membership Rewards can be combined automatically with your other MR cards and can be transferred to any of Amex’s hotel or airline partners.

While both cards waive the annual fees the first year, you’ll have to pony up starting in year two ($95 for Spark Miles and $175 for Amex).

If you like no hassle rewards, the Spark Miles card is very straightforward. But if you value Amex Membership Rewards more, the higher annual fee is probably worth it, especially if you can maximize the bonus categories.

TO SUM UP

So, more experienced credit card rewards hounds will probably get more out of the Amex card. But the Spark Miles is easy to use and offers great value. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity!

It’s Time to Start Earning Rewards

Whether you prefer cash back, airline miles, travel perks or rewards for business expenses, there’s a card out there for you. We hope our comparisons of the top picks for these types of cards will help you get out there and start earning rewards.