Best Rewards Credit Cards of April 2019

NerdWallet

Last updated on April 10, 2019

At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

NerdWallet's Best Rewards Credit Cards of April 2019

Personalized_recc

Not sure which card rewards you the most?

Take a quick quiz and we'll find out.

Our pick for

Simple travel rewards + Hotels.com

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$95

Waived first year

Regular APR

17.99% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Bonus category cash back

Discover It Credit Card

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Bonus travel rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

on Chase's secure website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash + no minimum redemption

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Easy-to-use travel rewards

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Credit Card

on Barclays's secure website

Rates & Fees

on Barclays's secure website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$89

Waived first year

Regular APR

18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable based on your creditworthiness

Intro APR

0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Premium travel rewards

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

on Chase's secure website

Annual Fee

$450

Regular APR

19.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card

on Citibank's secure application

on Citibank's secure application

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Customizable cash-back rewards

US Bank Cash+(TM) Visa Signature(R) Card Credit Card

on US Bank's secure website

Rates & Fees

on US Bank's secure website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.24% - 25.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Dining and entertainment rewards

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Families (grocery and gas rewards)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

15.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Best airline card

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature®  Credit Card

on Bank of America's secure website

on Bank of America's secure website

Annual Fee

$75

Regular APR

17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Best hotel card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

on Chase's secure website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Fair/average credit

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$39

Regular APR

26.96% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Bad credit

Discover it Secured Credit Card

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

recommended credit score

Summary of Best Rewards Credit Cards of April 2019

Credit CardIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeLearn More
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

N/A

17.99% - 25.24% Variable APR

$95

Waived first year

on Capital One's secure website

Discover It Credit Card

Discover it® Cash Back

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

$0

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

on Chase's secure website

N/A

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

$95

on Chase's secure website

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Credit Card

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

on Barclays's secure website

0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening

18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable based on your creditworthiness

$89

Waived first year

on Barclays's secure website

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

on Chase's secure website

N/A

19.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

$450

on Chase's secure website

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

on Citibank's secure application

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

$0

on Citibank's secure application

US Bank Cash+(TM) Visa Signature(R) Card Credit Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

on US Bank's secure website

0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles

16.24% - 25.74% Variable APR

$0

on US Bank's secure website

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

15.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

$95

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature®  Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

on Bank of America's secure website

N/A

17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

$75

on Bank of America's secure website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

N/A

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

$95

on Chase's secure website

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

N/A

26.96% Variable APR

$39

on Capital One's secure website

Discover it Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

25.24% Variable APR

$0

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Credit CardIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeLearn More
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

N/A

17.99% - 25.24% Variable APR

$95

Waived first year

on Capital One's secure website

Discover It Credit Card

Discover it® Cash Back

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

$0

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

on Chase's secure website

N/A

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

$95

on Chase's secure website

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Credit Card

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

on Barclays's secure website

0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening

18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable based on your creditworthiness

$89

Waived first year

on Barclays's secure website

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

on Chase's secure website

N/A

19.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

$450

on Chase's secure website

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

on Citibank's secure application

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

$0

on Citibank's secure application

US Bank Cash+(TM) Visa Signature(R) Card Credit Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

on US Bank's secure website

0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles

16.24% - 25.74% Variable APR

$0

on US Bank's secure website

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

15.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

$95

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature®  Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

on Bank of America's secure website

N/A

17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

$75

on Bank of America's secure website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

N/A

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

$95

on Chase's secure website

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

N/A

26.96% Variable APR

$39

on Capital One's secure website

Discover it Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

25.24% Variable APR

$0

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

How cash-back rewards work

With a cash-back credit card, you earn rewards equal to a percentage of the amount you spend. Some cards pay a single rate that applies to all purchases; others pay higher rates on purchases in certain categories. Rewards rates range from 1% to 6% — that is, 1 cent to 6 cents per dollar spent — depending on the card and the category. Your monthly statement will show you the rewards you've earned to date; you can also track your rewards online.

When it comes time to cash in your rewards, the easiest way is to apply them to your account as a credit. This directly reduces the amount you owe. Depending on the card, you could also get your rewards deposited directly into your bank account, or you could get a check in the mail. Some cards set a minimum amount to redeem, usually $20 or $25. Other cards have no minimum for redemption.

How travel rewards work

By Joe Cortez, NerdWallet point and miles expert

With a travel rewards card, you earn points or miles every time you use the card, but you can often earn more points per dollar in select categories. Some cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, offer bonus points on any travel spending, while the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card grants bonus points only when you use the card at Marriott and Starwood hotels.

Not all points and miles earned on travel credit cards are the same:

How do we value points and miles? With the rewards earned on general travel cards, it's simple: They have a fixed value, usually between 1 and 1.5 cents apiece, and you can spend them like cash. With airline miles and hotel points, finding the true value is more difficult. How much value you get depends on how you redeem them. As a general rule, airline miles go further if you use them for business- and first-class accommodations on international flights.

To better understand what points and miles are worth, NerdWallet researched the cash prices and reward-redemption values for hundreds of hotel rooms and flights. The tables below show average point values derived from that research.

Average value per point/mile, in cents
AIRLINES Domestic International
Alaska 1.2 1.1
American 1.0 5.0
Delta 1.4 2.7
Frontier 0.8 1.1
JetBlue 1.5 1.7
Southwest 1.6 1.9
Spirit 0.4 0.7
United 1.3 3.3

» MORE: NerdWallet's best airline credit cards

Average value per point, in cents
HOTELS Domestic International
Best Western 0.5 0.6
Choice 0.7 0.8
Hilton 0.4 0.4
Hyatt 1.8 1.5
IHG 0.6 0.5
Marriott 0.8 0.7
Radisson 0.3 0.3
Wyndham 0.7 0.7

» MORE: NerdWallet's best hotel credit cards

How to choose a rewards credit card

There are so many options available among rewards credit cards that picking the right one for you can seem daunting. You can make the process easier if you approach it systematically.

First, decide whether a rewards card is right for you at all. Mainly, choose a rewards card if you pay your bill in full every month and have above-average credit. If you carry a balance from month to month, the interest will wipe out the value of your rewards; you'd be better off with a low-interest credit card.

Next, look for a card that rewards you for the kind of spending you do and that delivers rewards you can use. (Airline miles aren't much good if you never fly, for example.) The right choice also will depend on how much effort you’re willing to exert in learning a rewards program and a card’s built-in perks. Annual fees and sign-up bonuses can also sway your decision.

Because of those factors, there’s no single “best” rewards card for everybody. Best might be a simple, flat-rate cash-back card, a premium travel card laden with benefits, or something in between. If you’re having trouble deciding on a type of rewards card, give special consideration to cash back. A Nerdwallet study has shown cash-back credit cards are better for most people than travel cards.

See more in our guide to choosing a rewards credit card.

Making the most of your card

To get the most from your rewards credit card, you should understand three things: how you earn rewards, how to redeem rewards, and the non-reward perks offered by the card.

  • Earning: Consider paying for everything with the card, including monthly bills, to rack up rewards quicker. That’s the power of a rewards card: getting extra value from your regular spending. Never overspend just for rewards. Consider using complementary cards to extract maximum rewards for your spending. For example, one card might offer high rewards for restaurant spending, while an airline card gives you free checked bags and a third card gives you a nice cash-back rate on all other spending. If you have a card with a sign-up bonus, consolidate spending on that card until you earn that bonus.
  • Redeeming: Redeem your rewards in the way that delivers maximum value. For example, redeeming for cash is almost always a better option than gift cards. Some rewards can be transferred to travel partners, such as airlines and hotels, at a valuable rate. Learn what the options are and what a rewards point is worth.
  • Perks: Beyond rewards, a card might offer perks, or benefits you get just for carrying the card. These include no foreign transaction fees, rental car insurance and extended warranties on items purchased with the card. Premium travel cards are often loaded with benefits, such as travel credits, hotel elite status or refunds for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees.

Optimizing your earning, redeeming and use of perks will ensure that if the card has an annual fee, you’re extracting more value than you pay.

Other cards to consider

Rewards cards come in a variety of flavors to fit different consumer preferences and spending patterns. This roundup highlights the best cards in each particular category, but there may be a better card for you. Find other great cards in our specialized roundups:

How these cards' rewards rates stack up

Card Best for ... Rewards rate
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Bonus travel rewards • 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining
• 1 point per $1 on everything else
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Simple travel rewards + Hotels.com • 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases
• 10 miles per $1 at Hotel.com/venture (through January 2020)
Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card Dining and entertainment rewards • 3% cash back on dining and entertainment
• 2% cash back at grocery stores
• 1% cash back on all other purchases
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Flat-rate cash + no minimum redemption • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card High reward rates and no annual fee • 3 points per $1 spent on dining out and ordering in
• 3 points per $1 on gas stations, rideshares and transit
• 3 points per $1 on travel
• 3 points per $1 on eligible streaming services
• 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® Flat-rate travel rewards • 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Best premium card • 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining
• 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card Best airline card • 3 miles per $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases.
• 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card Best hotel cards • 6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotes
2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer Flat-rate cash back • 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy + 1% when you pay it off)
Discover it® Cash Back Bonus category cash back • 5% back in rotating categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter
• 1% back on all other purchases
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card Customizable rewards • 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter in two categories that you choose
• 2% cash back in an everyday category such as gas or groceries
• 1% cash back on all other purchases
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Families (grocery and gas rewards) • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 a year in spending)
• 3% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
• 1% back on all other purchases
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card Fair/average credit • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Discover it® Secured Bad credit • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined spending per quarter on gas and restaurants
• 1% back on all other purchases

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this page.

Last updated on April 10, 2019

Methodology

NerdWallet's Credit Cards team selects the best rewards credit cards based on overall consumer value, as evidenced by star ratings, as well as their suitability for specific kinds of consumers, including both those seeking cash-back rewards and those interested in travel rewards. Factors in our evaluation include annual and other fees, rewards rates, the earning structure (for example, flat-rate rewards versus bonus categories), redemption options, bonus offers for new cardholders, introductory and ongoing APRs, and other noteworthy features such as airline or hotel perks or the ability to transfer points.