How to Earn 2% in Credit Card Rewards on Every Purchase

If you have good or even average credit, you can qualify for cards that offer 2% or more back in the form of cash back, travel or store rewards.
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Written by Kimberly Palmer
Senior Writer/Spokesperson
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Edited by Kenley Young
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If you’re not earning at least 2% back on every purchase with your credit card, it might be time to shop around for a new one. That rewards rate used to be relatively hard to come by, but not so anymore.

And earning 2% back on every purchase can really add up: If you put $1,000 worth of expenses on your card every month, the rewards add up to $240 a year. Spend $1,500 a month, get $360 worth of value. That's money you can put aside for your future, pay toward your debt or spend on things that make life more enjoyable.

Options for those with good credit (typically FICO scores of at least 690) include cash back cards and travel cards, but also store cards — and in that last category, assuming you're super-loyal and do almost all of your shopping with one retailer, you can do even better than 2% back on "everything."

Here are some of our top choices.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Among flat-rate rewards cards, 1.5% back on everything is the minimum you should settle for. Make sure you're earning at least that much.

Flat-rate cash back: Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi® Double Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Rewards: 2% cash back on purchases, distributed in two stages:

  • 1% cash back for every dollar spent.

  • 1% cash back for every dollar paid off.

Interest rate: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-29.24% Variable APR.

It’s hard to beat the flat-rate cash back rewards from the Citi Double Cash® Card when it comes to every day spending: Since you earn 1% back for every dollar spent and then an additional 1% back when you pay off the purchases, you can earn 2% back on your spending without thinking too hard about it. If you like simplicity, this card could be the one for you.

Ready for a new credit card?
Nerdwallet+ members can earn $100 in rewards for paying their first bill on time with an eligible credit card.

Travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Rewards: Unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 19.99%-29.99% Variable APR.

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you can earn double miles on every purchase, which you can then put toward your next trip. With 15 transfer partners as of this writing, you have plenty of options and flexibility. You can book flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages through the issuer’s travel portal.

Store cards: Apple, Amazon, Walmart, Target

The Apple Card

Annual fee: None

Sign-up bonus: None


  • 3% back on Apple purchases and when you use the Apple Card with Apple Pay at select merchants including Nike, Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens, and T-Mobile stores.

  • 2% back on all other purchases made with Apple Pay.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Interest rate: Variable APRs range from 12.49% to 23.49% as of March 2020.

The Apple Card’s cash back rewards show up immediately in the form of Daily Cash, which means you don’t have to wait until the end of a billing cycle to enjoy your rewards. And as long as you use Apple Pay to make your purchases whenever possible, you'll earn at least 2% back on everything, and potentially more depending on the merchant.

Prime Visa

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
NerdWallet rating 

Annual fee: $0, but you must be an Amazon Prime member. Membership costs $139 annually ($69 a year for students).

Sign-up bonus: Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members.


  • 5% back at and Whole Foods Market.

  • 2% back at restaurants and gas stations.

  • 2% back on local transit and commuting (including rideshare).

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

APR: The ongoing APR is 20.49%-29.24% Variable APR.

Amazon sells basically everything, so on many purchases the Prime Visa can earn you much more than 2% back. And that doesn't even take into account the card's elevated rates on other categories.

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

Annual fee: $0


  • 5% back on purchases at and items purchased through the Walmart app. This includes items you buy online for in-store pickup as well as for Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery. (Gift cards earn 2% back regardless of where they are purchased.)

  • 2% back on in-store purchases, including those made at Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations.

  • 2% back at travel and restaurants.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Sign-up offer: Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card in Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval.

APR: The ongoing APR is 17.99%-26.99% Variable APR.

Walmart, too, sells pretty much everything, and as such the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® is a great card for loyalists: With 5% back on all purchases and purchases with the app, including for Grocery Pickup and Delivery, and an elevated rewards rate for purchases at Walmart stores, restaurants and travel, it’s easy to see how the rewards can add up.

Target Circle™ Credit Card

Target Circle™ Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Rewards: 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 29.95% Variable

Target is another big-box retailer so large that you could feasibly do most of your everyday shopping there. And if you have the Target Circle™ Credit Card, you'll get a discount on most purchases that's worth more than 2% back. The card is also easy to manage, since you don’t have to consider different categories with varying rewards rates and you receive the discount at checkout.

Earning more than 2%

Earning 2% back on most or all purchases is great, but it's possible to earn even higher rewards rates if you're willing to juggle multiple cards.

For example, several credit cards pay 5% back in specific spending categories that rotate quarterly. Or you can pick a card that pays higher rewards in the areas where you spend the most, like groceries and gas, then use your 2% card on everything else.

Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

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