Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards
- $150 sign-up bonus.
- $360 for everyday spend.
To get the most rewards from your credit cards, you don’t have to worry about finding the single best rewards card. Instead, you can stack them and use multiple credit cards in order to get the best reward rates on every purchase.
Using credit cards in this way can easily help you increase your rewards and get more bang for your buck. Knowing where you spend your money is important in accomplishing this goal. You should have an array of cards. If you have excellent credit, you have all the top options available to you and a bunch of sign-up bonuses to collect along the way.
If you are considering maximizing your credit card rewards by stacking your credit cards, be sure you are good with paying your bills on time and responsible enough to not overspend. Setting up your credit cards for automatic payments for the minimum amount can help avoid missing a payment. However, be sure to pay more than the minimum to avoid carrying a balance and paying interest, which can take away from the value of your rewards.
When comparing the best cashback credit cards, there are a couple of factors to consider. Some cashback cards have variable earning rates. These usually allow you to earn a higher amount in one or two categories and 1 percent on all other purchases. However, other cashback cards give you an across-the-board flat rate on all purchases.
One of the most important variables to consider is where your monthly budget is going. Does the reward system coincide with your spending habits? One of the perks of cashback credit cards is that their rewards systems are a no-brainer. The rewards are fixed and the redemption options are straightforward.
There are some cashback cards that can also help you get the most out of smaller purchases that don’t fall into a larger earning category. If your cashback card is not part of a bigger earning plan, such as spending in bonuses categories or brand loyalty, you should be getting at least 1.5 percent for all purchases.
Up to 5% cash back
Discover it is a solid credit card that should be in just about everybody’s wallet. The card offers a great five percent return on categories that rotate quarterly, and one percent back on all other purchases. The first year as a cardholder can be really good for your bank account because all the rewards you earn will be doubled by Discover, with no limit!
In addition to being a great everyday earner, the Discover it card doesn’t have an annual fee and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees if you want to use the card abroad. Redeeming cash back is super simple with no minimum redemption amount and no restrictions about what you can use the cash back for.
$100 cash back bonus after $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
The Citi Double Cash mostly makes sense under two circumstances. The first is for someone who is seeking simplicity. Since the Double Cash card doesn’t have rotating or any other type of bonus categories to worry about, all you have to do is swipe, pay off your card and reap the benefits!
The second type of person that the Double Cash makes sense for is someone who has a few other rewards cards that cover popular purchase categories, like groceries, gas and travel, but they’re looking for a card for other purchases that otherwise would not earn a bonus. The Double Cash is a great option for that!
The best miles credit cards can reward you with more than just free flights. Miles credit cards that are not branded by an airline may provide you with the flexibility you have been seeking. However, if you get a card co-branded by an airline, you should expect it to come with perks and benefits specific to that carrier.
If you are looking into fixed-value rewards cards, earning points or miles won’t really make a difference. You can look at those rewards as equating to a penny on the dollar. However, when you consider co-branded airline credit cards, the value of your points and miles can differ depending on how you redeem them. If you plan on traveling domestically, you can usually figure out how much a domestic round-trip ticket will be in miles.
The real value, though, comes when you travel internationally in luxury. The actual dollar value can rise tremendously when you travel in style. These types of vacations may cost somewhat more miles than domestic travel, but when you compare the cash price tag to what you pay in miles, it can get exciting.
Unlimited 1.5X rewards on every purchase
The Discover it Miles card is wonderful for two types of people. The first, and most obvious, is for someone looking for a single credit card that’s easy to use and that can do it all. The Discover it Miles card is a great option because it earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and redemptions areone cent per mile toward any purchase. Plus thereare a couple of other nice benefits, like $30 in annual Wi-Fi credits and no foreign transaction fees. As a no-fee card, all of that is essentially free.
The second type of person that the Discover it Miles card is a great option for is someone who is looking to truly maximize rewards. The Discover it is basically a no-brainer for the first year because all miles are doubled , meaning that it effectively earns 3 miles per dollar spent (1.5 when you purchase and 1.5 at the end of the year). After the first year it deserves a spot in the wallet of someone who wants to maximize rewards for purchases not included in the bonus earning categories of their other rewards credit cards.
50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
With a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles and the ongoing earning power of two miles for every dollar spent, there’s a good case for owning the Venture card. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year and you’ll have $460 to spend on travel once you’ve made the required $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. That makes this card a solid contender for your everyday spending. However, if you’re not going to be able to spend a minimum of $3,000 a year on the card, you would be better off selecting a card that has no annual fee.
Having the best co-branded hotel credit cards may get you a lot more than a free hotel stay. Hotel credit cards can help increase your rewards and perks by helping you rise through the ranks of your hotel loyalty program. Some credit cards may instantly upgrade your status just by being a cardholder. Also consider the perks and benefits that may come with your card, such as room upgrades, late check-out, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and guaranteed room availability.
You may want to think about the network the hotel chain is affiliated with to figure out the footprint of hotel locations. Some hotel credit cards allow you to transfer points to partners outside of the hotel circle, such as airlines. If you are not ready to commit to a hotel chain, there are other options as well, including cards that earn flat-rate rewards that you can redeem for travel expenses or credits, or that allow you to transfer points to a hotel loyalty program.
$100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in 3 months
The Starwood Preferred Guest card offers one of the most flexible rewards programs in the industry, making it an excellent choice for many different types of travelers. Since the card doesn’t have an annual fee the first year, you can try it out without any out-of- pocket cost.
The SPG Amex is great for anyone looking to earn free nights with either Starwood or Marriott, because points can be transferred freely between the two programs. It’s an excellent alternative for those who want to earn Marriott points but can’t get any more Chase cards due to the 5/24 rule. The SPG card effectively earns 3 Marriott points per dollar since Starpoints can be transferred at a ratio of 1:3.
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days
The short answer is absolutely. Depending on your travel and spending habits, this card may or not make sense for you after the first year when you start paying the annual fee, but earning 40,000 miles after meeting the minimum spend and earning 2X miles on all purchases are tremendous benefits. Not only that, but if this becomes your go-to card, miles will rack up fast, and with the 5 percent redemption bonus, that’s like earning 2.1 percent back on every purchase, every day. This card is just as good as any other cashback card currently on the market.
The best credit cards for shopping are usually not co-branded store cards. They can put you in an endless loop of shopping at the same place because the rewards are limited to that store. It won’t give you a chance to comparison shop, which can increase your odds of getting better prices. Store credit cards may not be branded by a major payment network, either, which means they can only be used at that store and possibly some affiliated chains. Also consider that being a member of a store’s loyalty program may be a better way to earn points and have access to their promotions.
There are some exceptions, though, if you are considering a co-branded store card. You may want a card that carries the logo of a major payment network to broaden usability and the versatility of the rewards. If a stores credit card does not give any additional benefit outside of their loyalty program, then stick to a general reward-earning credit card and use it in conjunction with the loyalty program to double your rewards. Don’t let your credit card dictate how, when and where you purchase items. Instead, let what you are buying dictate which card you use.
If you’re looking for a credit card that has no annual fee and earns bonus points in multiple categories, then the Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a good option. It’s also a great card for someone who wants to start earning rewards but is intimidated by complicated redemption options and point transfers.
Applying for this card costs nothing and you won’t pay a dime to keep it year after year. There’s absolutely no risk for the cardholder. Earning points means rewards at no cost.
Like to shop at Costco? Then this is definitely a card you should keep in your wallet. Not only do you earn 2 percent back on every Costco purchase, but you can earn cash back for gas, dining out, travel and more. And since there’s no annual fee, all the rewards you earn are yours. You may not want this to be your only card, though, because you will incur foreign transaction fees if you use it outside the United States or if you make purchases in non-U.S. dollars.
If you don’t live near a Costco, you can still use this card for online purchases (assuming you’re a member), but you may not get as much value as those who can get to a nearby store. Also, if you like to have more flexibility with your rewards, this may not be the card for you. And if travel rewards are what you seek, the Costco Visa should not be your first choice.
Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.
If you are looking to make the most of your credit card rewards, there are some basic rewards maximizing strategies that you should consider. There are many ways to get more rewards from your spending and maximize the value of your points and miles. Use these tips to increase your reward earning, and never settle for 1 percent back.
Join all of the loyalty programs at everyplace you use your credit cards. These may include hotels, airlines, retail stores and gas stations. Loyalty programs have so many benefits. One of the top benefits of loyalty programs is double dipping, which is earning rewards from your loyalty program and your rewards credit card at the same time.
Loyalty programs can also give members access to sales and promotions. Loyalty programs are so easy to join. They don’t require a credit check, and you can join many of them on the spot with very little personal information.
Using different cards for different purposes is known as stacking. Instead of trying to get one card that will meet all your needs, try using a combination of cards that get the highest rewards on things you buy the most.
To start with, you should have a card with a good flat rate of at least 1.5 percent to purchase all things that don’t coincide with a bonus category. You should also add a card with rotating categories that can earn 5 percent on certain purchases.
Everyone needs to eat, so it’s imperative to have a card that rewards you highly on groceries and another card that rewards you for eating out. You usually won’t get both on one card. You should also have card that earns at least 2 percent back on the things you buy the most, such as gas.
If you are earning rewards like cashback, the value won’t change. Whether you earn points or miles, it won’t really make a difference. However, when you earn rewards that are transferrable, what you use them on can change their value. When you have varying redemption options, be sure to figure what it would cost in cash and then compare that to the cost in points or miles. Some deals are better than others.
You should also know some of the basic parameters of your cards, like if there is a minimum amount of rewards you need in order to redeem. And if you have a co-branded airline or hotel card, figure out how many miles or points you need for a stay or fly.
Whether you choose to use an app, website or a more low-tech approach like marking your card, figure out a method for keeping your bonus categories for purchases straight. Don’t forget to activate your quarterly bonuses, too. With many cards, you can do this quickly and easily online or through an app.
Know which card you want to use for gas, which card to use for groceries, etc. Also, be sure to have a good general rewards card that earns at least 1.5 percent on all purchases for all spending that does not fall into a bonus category.
Many cards that have a high earning potential will also have limits on what you can earn. For instance, Discover it® - Cashback Match™ has a $1,500 cap on their bonus spending categories. This means that when you spend that amount in that category, you will no longer earn the 5.0 percent. Instead, you will be back down to 1 percent. At this point you should revert to another card.
There can also be other limitations that don’t only apply to rotating categories. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express caps their 3.0 percent rewards on groceries at $6,000 annually.
Above all else, you never want to pay interest. It will immediately take away from the value of your rewards. If you know you need to carry a balance or need to make a large purchase, get a card that has a 0% promotional interest rate.
There are many credit cards that allow shoppers to collect rewards for the purchases they make. Each card provides its own set of benefits and offers its own unique way to get rewarded for purchases. Although there are a lot different rewards credit cards available, the types of rewards can be broken down into five categories:
Cash back is one of the easiest credit card reward systems to manage. When using a cashback card, cardholders will earn cash rewards every time the card is used to complete an eligible purchase. Many cashback credit cards will allow the user to earn at least 1 percent back on the purchases they make.
Some cashback credit cards will allow the user to earn a higher percentage back on purchases in select categories. Many cashback cards do not have an earning limit, so the more you use the card, the more you will earn. When used correctly, cashback credit cards can earn cardholders a significant amount of money.
Gas is something that most people spend a large chunk of their monthly budget on, so there’s no secret that many people enjoy saving money or earning rewards on the fuel they purchase. There are so many gas credit cards available, but they can be broken down into one of two categories: general and co-branded cards.
General gas cards will treat all gas companies equally. A general gas credit card will not bear the logo of a gas station, but it may still allow you to collect 5 percent back when buying gas and 1 percent back on general purchases. A co-branded gas card could also allow you to collect up to 5 percent back when buying from a specific gas station and 1 to 2 percent on all other purchases.
Depending on your spending and travel habits, you may have more need for a specific type of gas card. If you usually find yourself filling up at your local gas station, and you use that brand when you’re on the road, you may benefit from a brand-specific credit card. If you happen to be someone who just stops at whichever gas station is the closest, you’d probably be better off with a bank credit card that has good rewards on gas. A good thing to keep in mind is that some gas brands are not be available in every state.
Commonly referred to as store cards, retail rewards credit cards have been co-branded by a major retailer. Retail rewards cards allow the user to collect points on the purchases they make. However, many retail rewards credit cards are not affiliated with any major payment network, such as Visa or MasterCard. Depending on which one you receive, you may only be able to use the card and earn rewards at the one retailed. Some other downsides to store credit cards are that they tend to carry significantly high APRs and many practice deferred interest, which makes them a horrible option for financing items.
This is a specific group of credit cards that are dedicated to earning rewards with travel goals in mind. Some of these cards are co-branded by a specific airline or hotel, while others are part of a network that allows points to be transferred to airline or hotel loyalty programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou and Amex Membership Rewards. Other travel cards may allow you to redeem your rewards for a statement credit toward travel expenses.
Co-branded airline and hotel cards will usually allow you to earn points or miles on general purchases and award bonus points when using it on purchases made from that specific airline or hotel brand. The points earned with one of these cards can usually be redeemed for award tickets or free hotel nights, as well as give you access to special perks, like room or seat upgrades. More general travel cards will allow cardholders to redeem points for a much wider range of options, including theme park admission and a variety of hotel chains and airlines.
Many of the top travel cards will include an annual fee, since the generous rewards offered can be costly to creditors. These cards are recommended for people who will take advantage of the travel benefits that are included. Paying the annual fee without traveling and making use of the provided benefits will negate the value of the rewards you earn.
General rewards cards will give cardholders points every time they make a purchase. The points earned with general rewards cards can be collected over time and redeemed for a variety of options. Some general rewards cards with variable rates. For instance, a variable rate card might offer higher rewards for purchases made in one or two categories, such as gas, groceries, entertainment or dining out, and then all other purchases will earn 1 percent back.
Redemption options can offer a fixed value or points or miles can be transferable. With fixed-value cards, earning and redeeming is straightforward. With transferrable rewards, the value of points or miles can vary based on what you use them for. Depending on the issuer of your credit card, you may be able to redeem your points for gift cards, hotel stays, plane tickets, jewelry and more.