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CNET Money's mission is to help you maximize your financial potential. Our recommendations are based on our editors' independent research and analysis, and we continuously update our content to reflect current partner offers. How we rate credit cards

Best Rewards Credit Cards for October 2022

You'll want to consider the redemption value of a credit card's rewards -- not just the face value.

Rewards cards earn you cash back, points, miles or even cryptocurrencies on your spending, but you're comparing apples to oranges when you consider the rewards rates in conjunction with their redemption values. The cards below offer the best rewards and redemption rates for most people, but you'll want to compare the rewards to your own spending habits before choosing the best option for your wallet. Many of these cards also offer welcome bonuses, introductory APRs and other benefits.

Best cash-back card with no annual fee

5.5/10 CNET Rating
See Rates and Fees Terms Apply
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
APR16.99% - 27.99% Variable
Intro Purchase APR0% on purchases for 15 months
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • New! 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% on balance transfers for 15 months
Balance Transfer APR16.99% - 27.99% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Penalty APR 29.99% Variable
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • New! 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

Our Take

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers particularly high cash-back rates across several major spending categories, particularly for a card with no annual fee. For groceries at U.S. supermarkets, clothes shopping at U.S. online retailers and gas at U.S. gas stations, the 3% cash-back rate is one of the best you'll find regardless of annual fees (note that you'll have a $6,000 spending cap per year for each of these rewards categories -- after which you'll earn only 1% cash back.) Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Besides the rewards, this card also offers a very competitive welcome offer and an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers that can help spare you from interest charges.

For more details, see our full review of the Blue Cash Everyday card.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Best rewards program for a modest annual fee

7/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferFor a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
APR18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Annual Fee$95
Additional Details
Balance Transfer APR18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Late Payment Fee Up to $41
Foreign Transaction Fees 0%
Penalty APR Up to 29.99% (Variable)
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Our Take

The Citi Premier Card is a points-earning card that encompasses boosted rewards for several popular spending categories for a $95 annual fee. You earn 3x points at gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, air travel and hotels, and 1x points on all other purchases. When redeemed through the ThankYou Rewards portal for a statement credit, points are worth $0.01 each, netting you 3% back at gas stations if redeemed properly. 

But you need to be careful in redeeming these rewards, as there are other ways to redeem your rewards that may net a lesser value. Check out the details in our full review of the Citi Premier Card.

A simple but fruitful rewards program

9.5/10 CNET Rating
See Rates and Fees
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
APR17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Balance Transfer APR17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% Variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee up to 5%; min: $5
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR None
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Our Take

With the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, you don't need to worry about activating rewards categories, rotating categories or which card gives you the most back. Things are kept simple via a 2% cash rewards rate on purchases -- and no annual fee. Most credit cards offer only a 1% blanket cash rewards rate if at all, so you're in good shape with this card. 

If you spend at least $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months of account opening, you earn a $200 cash rewards introductory bonus. Yet another perk is 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR thereafter).

Check out our full review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card for more details.

Read our Wells Fargo Active Cash Card review.

 

Best travel rewards card

9/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
APR18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining.
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
Annual Fee$95
Additional Details
Balance Transfer APR18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign Transaction Fees $0
Penalty APR Up to 29.99%
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining.
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

Our Take

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers the best rewards program of travel credit cards at the $95 price point, particularly if you're willing to redeem your rewards for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Chase Ultimate Rewards is Chase's online platform where you can book hotels, flights, car rentals, experiences and more. When you redeem your points for travel through this portal, you'll get a 25% redemption boost. This means your points would be worth 1.25 cents each, versus 1 cent each if redeemed for a statement credit instead. 

Effectively, you can net 6.25% on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards (5x points on travel booked through Chase), 3.75% for dining (3x points on dining), and at least 1.25% for other purchases (at least 1x points on other purchases) when redeeming for travel through the platform. You'll also get other perks you can use for your travel like the welcome bonus, lack of foreign transaction fees and some travel insurance coverage.

For more details, see our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

 

Rewards for dining and entertainment

7.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro Offer$300 after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
APR17.49% - 25.49% Variable
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services
  • Earn 3% at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases
Annual Fee$95
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APRN/A
Balance Transfer APR17.49% - 25.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee None for balances transferred at the Transfer APR.
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR None
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services
  • Earn 3% at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases

Our Take

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card* boasts a headline rate of 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, which includes bars and restaurants, as well as tickets to movies, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions, theme parks, aquariums, zoos, dance clubs, pool halls and bowling alleys. But the rewards don't end with dining and entertainment: You can pick up another 3% cash back on your grocery store purchases (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% on everything else. And as long as you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening your account, Capital One will give you a $300 welcome bonus.

Read more: Best Restaurant Credit Cards

FAQs

How do you value points and miles to compare cards?

To keep our comparisons accurate and consistent, all point valuations come directly from the issuer. Point valuations may fluctuate over time so past experiences may not necessarily equate to future point valuations.

Is cash back better than points?

While cash back is a more accessible concept, cash back and points both have their strengths and weaknesses. While cash back can be more universally applicable, points are often worth more in value than their cash-back equivalents. Depending on your shopping preferences and plans, you may find points or cash back to be more valuable to you.

Are there other rewards cards I should consider?

Everyone has different needs -- if you would like to consider more cards that offer good benefits and rewards, you can check out our analysis of the best cash-back credit cards, best travel credit cards and best airline credit cards.

Our methodology

CNET reviews credit cards by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each major category, including cash-back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We take into consideration the typical spending behavior of a range of consumer profiles -- with the understanding that everyone's financial situation is different -- and the designated function of a card. 

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, click here.

*All information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.