types of credit card rewardsMany benefits may come to mind when you think of credit cards and what they offer, including the convenience they provide, the credit history they build, the extra protection cardholders get and more. But when you’re ready to apply for a new credit card, it’s a good idea to consider the types of rewards a card may offer in addition to the benefits we previously noted. That’s because many cards are famously known for the big rewards they can earn cardholders, and it’s beneficial to pick a card that lets you earn the types of rewards that satisfy your needs and lifestyle. To prevent you from drowning in research about the types of credit card rewards, we’ve broken down the 3 kinds of rewards you can earn with credit cards. Keep reading to learn about these rewards, how they could benefit you and some of the top cards offering them.

Cash back

Earning money back for everything you buy can seem too good to be true, but cash back credit cards enable you to do just that. By using a cash back credit card, you can earn a percentage of cash back on every purchase made with the card. Since different cash back credit cards offer different cash back rates, the key to getting the most from your cash back card is to use it on the purchases that will earn you the most. Some cards offer a flat cash back rate (e.g., 1.5% cash back on all purchases), meaning they’ll earn strong rewards on all purchases, while others offer cash back for certain types of purchases. For example, if a credit card earns 3% on groceries, you’ll want that to be your go-to card at the grocery store. On top of being able to earning cash back, these cards usually also offer intro bonus or 0% intro APR opportunities, depending on the card you get. The following card, our top-rated cash back credit card, offers all of the benefits noted here.

Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card – $200 Cash Rewards Offer

types of credit card rewardsIf you’re interested in earning cash back, one of the top cash back credit cards that should be on your radar is the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card. That’s because this credit card allows you to earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% at wholesale clubs and grocery stores for the first $2,500 in combined gas/wholesale club/grocery purchases each quarter, plus 1% on all other purchases. And the rewards don’t stop there — after spending at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, you’ll earn a $200 online bonus — that’s like earning 40% back! The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card also offers a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases, plus a 12-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers made in the first 60 days (with a balance transfer fee of $10 or 3%, whichever is greater). On top of these rewards, you can get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into your Bank of America checking or savings account (but if you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase the bonus to 25% to 75%). To top things off, the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card comes with no annual fee. How’s that for a well-rounded cash back credit card? The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card is available to those with good to excellent credit, which is usually considered to be those with a credit score of 700 or higher, for approval.

Travel

If you’ve caught the wanderlust bug or find that being airborne is becoming your norm, a travel credit card could loosen a strict travel budget and facilitate your adventures. That’s because travel credit cards give cardholders the chance to earn miles or points that can be redeemed for many things related to travel, including flights, hotel accommodations and more. Since travel rewards can be confusing, as you can never be too sure how much your points or miles are worth, we created our Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis to break down those numbers and make your life easier. Want one of the best travel credit cards with high redemption values? Consider the following option.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

types of credit card rewardsThe Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great option for anyone wanting the perfect financial travel companion. Kicking things off is a 50,000-mile bonus that you can earn after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening — that’s equal to $500 in travel! In addition, this card nets you 2X miles with every purchase and any hotels booked and paid for through Hotels.com/Venture will earn a whopping 10X miles! According to our Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis, rewards earned with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card hold a value of $2.40 for every $100 spent when they’re redeemed for hotels or flights. To redeem your rewards for travel, simply use your card to book your own travel online, via phone or in person, then redeem your miles for a statement credit to cover what you spent or contact the Capital One Rewards Center to book directly through Capital One. Rewards can also be redeemed for cash, gift cards, brand-name merchandise and more – though the redemption rates for these vary. It’s also good to note that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card doesn’t offer a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, but that’s pretty common for travel credit cards. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 after that) and requires good to excellent credit, usually considered to be a credit score of 700 or higher, for approval.

Points

When people think of credit cards that offer points, often rewards credit cards are the first that come to mind. These cards allow you to earn rewards that come in the form of points that can be used for travel (e.g., hotel accommodations, flights), cash back and more. As an added perk, a number of the best rewards cards also come with low intro APR periods. Similar to the previously mentioned cards, rewards credit cards usually offer an intro bonus, a 0% intro APR period or a combination of the two. If you’re looking to earn a wide variety of rewards, a rewards card like our top-rated option below, could offer you the chance to do exactly that.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

types of credit card rewardsLooking to earn big rewards through your credit card? If so, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is one you should keep your eyes on. That’s because it earns an uncapped 3X points for eating out and ordering in, 3X points for commuting purchases (i.e., gas stations, rideshares and transit) 3X points on popular streaming services and 3X points on travel (e.g., flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals). It also lets you earn 1X points on other purchases. On top of that, when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, you’ll get 30,000 bonus points — that’s a $300 cash redemption value! These points can be redeemed for cash, airline tickets, merchandise or gift cards, and you can also use them to pay down eligible Wells Fargo loans and mortgages.

But the rewards that come with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card aren’t limited to just points. Though it charges a 3% intro balance transfer fee for 12 months (after that, it’s 5%), the card offers a 12-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers (note that you must complete a balance transfer within the first 120 days to get the promotional APR), along with a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases. The card, which is available to those with good to excellent credit (usually considered to be those with a credit score of 700 or higher), also comes with a $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. As if all of those rewards and perks aren’t enough, Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card holders who use their card to pay for their monthly mobile phone bill will get up to $600 in phone protection against covered damage or theft (with a $25 deductible and a maximum of 2 claims per year).

While we’ve noted 3 rewards you can earn with a credit card, we should note that some cards offer other perks to fit your needs, like a low APR on purchases or a 0% intro APR on balance transfers. Want to learn more about the types of credit card rewards and credit cards that are best for you? Visit our reviews of the best credit cards for more information.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.