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11 Excellent Rewards Credit Cards of 2021

A rewards credit card can help you earn cash back, travel rewards, and other perks with everyday purchases. Compare these deals, some of which are from our partners, to find the one for you.

NerdWallet's Excellent Rewards Credit Cards of 2021

Excellent for

Cash-Back Pairing with Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

on Chase's website

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

on Chase's website

Pros

  • High rewards rate and no minimum redemption
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR period on Purchases

Cons

  • Has foreign transaction fee
  • Requires good/excellent credit

Excellent for

Airline Miles and a Large Bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

1x-2x

Points

Intro offer

80,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

on Chase's website

Pros

  • A large bonus
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Cool factor - metal card
  • Earn more points on travel and dining at restaurants
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Cons

  • $95 annual fee

Excellent for

Flat Rate Cash Back

Citi® Double Cash Card

on Citibank's application

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Citibank's application

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-2%

Cashback

Intro offer

$0

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

on Citibank's application

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR period on Balance Transfers

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus
  • No 0% APR for purchases
  • $25 minimum redemption

Excellent for

Everyday Spending

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

on American Express's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on American Express's website

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Rewards Rate

1%-6%

Cashback

Intro offer

$300

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

on American Express's website

Pros

  • Leading cash-back rewards at U.S. supermarkets
  • Rich bonus offer for new cardholders
  • Intro APR period on Purchases

Cons

  • Has annual fee — but if you spend more than $31 per week at U.S. supermarkets, the rewards offset the fee
  • American Express isn’t accepted at as many merchants as Visa or Mastercard
  • $25 minimum redemption

Excellent for

Customizable rewards

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Bank of America's website, or call (877) 754-6706

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

on Bank of America's website, or call (877) 754-6706

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap

on Bank of America's website, or call (877) 754-6706

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Cash bonus offer
  • Cash rewards

Cons

  • If you're a big spender with excellent credit and willing to pay an annual fee, there are cards with higher rewards

Excellent for

Bonus offer + 0% period for purchases

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

on Capital One's website

Pros

  • High rewards rate and no minimum redemption
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee
  • Intro APR period on Purchases
  • Sign-up bonus

Cons

  • Other cards have longer 0% periods
  • No bonus rewards categories
  • Requires good/excellent credit

Excellent for

Bonus Categories and First Year Cashback Match

Discover it® Cash Back

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

4.8

NerdWallet rating 

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

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Recommended Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
  • No annual fee.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • View Rates and Fees

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

Pros

  • Cash back match at the end of your first year
  • Bonus cash back categories
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

Cons

  • Slightly less merchant acceptance for Discover in US - acceptance outside of US can be an issue
  • If you value simplicity, a flat rate cash back card may be better

Excellent for

Low Intro APR and No Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Flex

on Chase's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

on Chase's website

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 5% rewards on rotating categories
  • Access to Chase’s Ultimate Rewards® site to earn more cash back

Cons

  • If you value simplicity, a flat-rate cash-back card may be better
  • A foreign transaction fee

Excellent for

Everyday Spending With No Fee

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card

on American Express's website

4.3

NerdWallet rating 

on American Express's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

on American Express's website

Pros

  • Bonus rewards at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations
  • No annual fee
  • Bonus offer for new cardholders
  • Intro APR period on Purchases

Cons

  • American Express isn't accepted at as many merchants as Visa or Mastercard
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • $25 minimum redemption

Excellent for

Relationship rewards

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Bank of America's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

1.5x-2x

Points

Intro offer

50,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
  • Receive 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $100 in Airline Incidental Statement Credits annually and TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry Statement Credits of up to $100, every four years
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap

on Bank of America's website

Pros

  • Sign-up bonus
  • Earn more points on travel and dining
  • Premium travel protections
  • Higher rewards rates for Bank of America and Merrill customers

Cons

  • Annual fee
  • Highest rewards rate limited to certain customers

Excellent for

Bonus offer, 0% period, cell phone protection

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card

on Wells Fargo's website

4.7

NerdWallet rating 

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$150

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 14.49% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • 1.8% cash rewards on digital wallet purchases including Google Pay™ or Apple Pay® during the first 12 months from account opening
  • $0 annual fee
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
  • View Rates and Fees

on Wells Fargo's website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Intro APR period on Purchases and qualifying Balance Transfers
  • Offers cell phone protection when bill is paid with card

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit