Best Rewards Credit Cards of December 2022

As high inflation persists, consumers are looking for ways to offset painful increases in the price of groceries, gas and other budget staples. One strategy is to use a rewards credit card that pays you cashback, points or miles on every purchase you make. Our review of the best rewards credit cards found rebates as high as 6% on supermarket spending and 5% on gas. For leisure spending, we’ve uncovered rewards of up to 5% on dining out, travel and shopping. If you want a no-fuss card that pays a solid rate on every purchase, you’ll find options here that offer 2%. Generally, rewards credit cards are best suited to those who pay off their card balance in full each month, especially as interest rates rise. Otherwise, you’ll likely be hit with steep interest charges that stamp out any gains from card rewards. If you’d like to refinance high-rate credit-card debt, check out our guide to the best balance-transfer credit cards. We’ve selected the top cards in ninecategories. Whether you want a cash-back card that offers simple rewards, a card that provides perks for travelers or a suitable card for students, small-business owners or shoppers, you should be able to find a satisfying option here. Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Be a smarter, better informed investor. Save up to 74% Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters Profit and prosper with the best of Kiplinger’s expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more – straight to your e-mail. Profit and prosper with the best of Kiplinger’s expert advice – straight to your e-mail. Our Review MethodologyFor each card, we have calculated a typical annual rebate based on spending patterns in the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey and assuming $25,000 spent on the card annually (unless otherwise noted). For cards that do not waive their annual fee the first year, we’ve subtracted the annual fee from the cash value of the annual rebate. We have also considered factors such as ease and flexibility of earning and redeeming rewards and whether you must be a member of a club or financial institution to apply for a card. Except where noted, rewards do not have expiration dates or caps, and the travel-oriented cards do not charge foreign-transaction fees. Interest rates, fees, rewards and other terms listed in this article are subject to change. Before you apply for a credit card, check its current terms and conditions with the issuer. Best for Flat-Rate Cashback: Wells FargoInterest rate: 0% for 15 months, then 18.74% to 28.74%Annual fee: NoneTop rewards rate: 2% back on everything you buyOther benefits: up to $600 per claim of protection for your cell phone against damage or theft if you pay your monthly wireless bill with the card. Pay a $25 deductible, and get up to two paid claims per 12 months. Redemption: statement credit, cash at the ATM with a Wells Fargo debit/ATM card (in $20 increments), gift cards ($25 increments), or a credit to a qualifying Wells Fargo credit card, checking account or mortgage.Sign-up bonus: $200 back if you spend $1,000 in the first three monthsTypical annual rebate: $500See Kiplinger’s guide to the best cashback credit cardsBest for cashback in rotating categories: US BankInterest rate : 0% for 15 months, then 18.24% to 28.24%Annual fee: NoneTop rewards rate: 5% back in two categories you choose each quarter. Choices include mobile service providers; stores; fast food; TV, internet and streaming services and home utilities (note: some utility providers charge an extra fee if you pay your bill with a credit card). Other benefits: 5% back on prepaid travel reservations made through US Bank’s Rewards Travel Center and 2% back in one category of choice among three options: grocery stores, restaurants, or gas stations and electric-vehicle charging stations. All other spending earns 1% back. Redemption: a statement credit, a deposit into a US Bank checking or savings account, or a US Bank prepaid debit card ($25 minimum redemption). Cashback expires after three years.Sign-up bonus: $200 back if you spend $1,000 in the first 120 daysTypical annual rebate: $530Best for savers: FidelityInterest rate: 17.74%Annual fee: NoneTop rewards rate: 2% back on every purchase when you deposit rewards into an eligible Fidelity accountOther benefits: cashback rates for Fidelity Wealth Management clients are higher: 2.25% for those with $250,000 to $1 million in eligible assets, 2.5% for those with $1 million to $2 million, and 3% for those with $2 million million or more. You can also exchange points for travel, merchandise, gift cards or statement credits, but the points are not worth as much for such redemptions. Redemption: You can divide rewards among up to five accounts—including a brokerage, cash management, health savings, or retirement account, 529 college-savings plan, donor-advised fund, Fidelity Go robo-adviser account—and even direct cashback into the account of a family member or friend (donor-advised funds are excluded). no fee card for travel rewards: Chase FreedomInterest rate: 0% for 15 months, then 18.74% to 27.49%Annual fee: NoneTop rewards rate: Five points per dollar spent on travel reservations made through Chase Ultimate RewardsOther benefits: 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025, three months of free membership to DashPass (usually $10 a month), which waives the delivery fee and reduces service fees on eligible orders through food-delivery service DoorDash. After three months, you’re automatically enrolled for nine months of DashPass membership at a rate of 50% off (you can cancel membership anytime). Cardholders also get three free months of Instacart+ membership, which comes with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders through the Instacart grocery-delivery service ($99 a year) after three months, you’ll be automatically enrolled in an annual membership unless you cancel. Through July 2024, cardholders who are enrolled with Instacart+ get up to $10 in quarterly statement credits for eligible Instacart purchases. Redemption: Redeem points at a rate of a penny each for cash back, gift cards or travel. Sign-up bonus: $200 back if you spend $500 in the first three months. 5% back on grocery store purchases (excluding Walmart and Target) for the first $12,000 spent in the first yearTypical annual rebate: 45,277 points, worth $453Best travel rewards card with fee: Capital One VentureInterest rate: 18.99% to 26.99%Annual fee: $95Top rewards rate: Five miles per dollar spent on certain Capital One travel reservationsOther benefits: Cardholders get two free yearly visits to Capital One’s airport lounges or lounges in the Plaza Premium Group, a credit of up to $100 every four years to reimburse the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck expanded airport security screening and Five Star status with rental-car company Hertz. Redemption: Redeem miles at a penny each for statement credits on travel purchases or to book a new travel reservation through Capital One. Transfer miles to more than 15 travel loyalty programs (including the British Airways Executive Club and the Choice Privileges hotel programme). The value of miles varies if used for cashback or gift cards.Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in the first three monthsTypical annual rebate: 56,000 points, worth $465 after subtracting the annual feeSee Kiplinger’s guide to the best travel credit cardsBest for flexible travel redemptions: Chase SapphireInterest rate: 19.74% to 26.74%Annual fee: $95Top rewards rate: Five points per dollar on travel bookings that you make through Chase Ultimate Rewards and two points per dollar on other travel spending; Three points per dollar on dining, online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs) and select streaming services and one point per dollar on other spending Other benefits: up to $50 in statement credits each year for hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards. On each account anniversary, you get a 10% points bonus on your total purchases made the previous year. Five points per dollar spent on Lyft rides through March 2025 and at least a year of free membership to DashPass (regularly $10 a month). You also get six months of complimentary membership to Instacart+ (regularly $99 a year). Redemption: Points are redeemable at a rate of 1.25 cents each for travel booked through Ultimate Rewards as well as statement credits on purchases in rotating categories through the Pay Yourself Back program; Recently, eligible spending included Airbnb bookings and donations to select charities. Or exchange points at a rate of a penny each for cash back or gift cards Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months Typical annual rebate: 43,291 points, $446 in travel redemptions after subtracting the annual fee Best for worth premium rewards Capital One Venture XInterest rate: 19.99% to 26.99%Annual fee: $395Top rewards rate: 10 miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One TravelOther benefits: Five miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and two miles per dollar on all other purchases, 10,000 bonus miles on your anniversary account each year, up to $300 (statement credit) for bookings made through Capital One Travel, free entry to more than 1,400 Priority Pass and Plaza Premium airport lounges, complimentary access for you and two guests to Capital One’s airport lounges Redemption: Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in the first three months Best airline travel rewards: Southwest Rapid Re wardsInterest rate: 19.74% to 26.74%Annual fee: $149Top rewards rate: three Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on Southwest purchasesOther benefits: two points per dollar on purchases with Rapid Rewards hotel and car-rental partners, local transit and commuting (including ride-sharing services), on internet, cable and phone services, and select streaming services. All other spending earns one point per dollar. Perks also include up to four airline upgrades per year; 1,500 tier-qualifying points toward A-List status for each $10,000 spent on the card; and 25% back on in-flight purchases. Cardholders get a year of free membership to DashPass (regularly $10 a month). One SavorOneInterest rate: 17.99% to 27.99% Annual fee: None Top rewards rate: 3% back on restaurant, entertainment, streaming and grocery purchases Other benefits: Cardholders get 3% cash back on dining, entertainment (including ticket purchases at movie theaters, amusement parks, professional sporting events, bowling alleys and more), certain streaming services and at grocery stores. They also get 8% cash back on purchases through the Capital One Entertainment ticketing platform as well as on Vivid Seats ticket purchases and 5% back on hotel and rental-car bookings through Capital One Travel. All other spending earns 1% back. Redemption: any cashback amount as a check or statement credit sign-up bonus: $50 back if you spend $100 in the first three months Typical annual rebate: $70 (assuming $3,000 spent annually) Read Kiplinger’s guide to the best reward cards for studentsOther best buy credit cards

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