Using the best credit cards to accumulate reward points that you can later redeem for cash, travel or goods is an excellent way to earn additional passive income. The concept is simple and sensible: You are going to use your credit card anyway, so you may as well use the ones that offer the best deals on points. Here is an overview of the best credit cards for points.
Why Do You Need the Best Credit Cards for Points?
It’s true, not all credit cards are the same. As a savvy buyer, you’ll want to ensure that you garner all the perks possible when you make your regular purchases. Using a credit card that offers an incentive of generous reward points puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to personal finance.
The best credit cards for points are especially great for those who do not carry a monthly balance. If you pay your balance in full every month, then you really need to use a credit card with a fabulous points-back program.
The 5 Best Credit Cards for Points in 2018
The following criteria are useful when researching the best credit cards for points. Does the card have an annual fee? Do you need a good to excellent credit score to qualify? Do you have to spend a certain amount of money?
As always, pay attention to asterisks and fine print when doing your research. There can be caps, minimum redemption amounts, restrictions or other details you’ll want to know about before you sign up. The following 5 credit cards are the best ones in 2018 to use to keep your personal finances moving in a positive direction with point accumulation.
5. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card
This card from Wells Fargo is rated very highly by the CreditKarma rating site. It’s bound to put money in your pocket with regular use.
How to Qualify: Applications for the card are made directly with Wells Fargo.
Benefits: You earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash rewards on purchases. You also receive a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. In addition, earn 1.8 percent cash back when you use a mobile wallet, like Google Pay™ or Apple Pay®, during the first 12 months. There are no category restrictions on card usage. As long as your account remains open there is no expiration on rewards. Importantly, there is no annual fee associated with this card.
Drawbacks: As with many cards, you’ll need to have your credit history checked prior to approval.
How to Use It: It’s simple. Use this card for any purchases and points will accrue.
4. The Platinum Card from American Express
This American Express product is highly rated, according to The Points Guy, whose site provides an exhaustive analysis of credit card offerings.
How to Qualify: Apply directly with American Express.
Benefits: One of the major benefits of this card is the 60,000 points you will receive after spending $5000 during the first 3 months of enrollment. Users will receive 5 points per dollar on airfare. Holders of this card also receive a $200 annual airline fee credit, $200 in Uber credits yearly, and access to numerous travel lounges across the globe. A TSA pre-check application is also given. With all these positives, it ranks as one of the best credit cards for points.
Drawbacks: The steep annual fee of $550 might dilute the otherwise generous benefits for some users. A credit rating above 690 is required.
How to Use It: This card is best for frequent travelers who will take advantage of the ability to transfer points to 20 airline and hotel partners.
3. Discover It Cash Back Credit Card
This card is highly ranked by the Creditcards.com review agency. It is one of the best credit cards for points you can own.
How to Qualify: Apply for this card at Discover’s secure and easy-to-use website.
Benefits: You will receive 5 percent cash back each quarter at businesses such as dining establishments, grocers, gas stations, Amazon, or wholesale clubs. All other purchases earn 1 percent. Discover will also match all the cash-back points you earn during the first year.
Drawbacks: Only customers with good to excellent credit histories (670 to 850) will qualify.
How to Use It: Use this card like any other credit card to receive a generous 5 percent cash-back on typical everyday purchases.
2. Capital One Venture Rewards Card
Nerd Wallet, a well-known personal finance site, gives high praise for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. This card was also named the best travel card for 2018 by CNBC.
How to Qualify: A good to excellent credit rating (690 and above) is required. Apply for this card directly with Capital One.
Benefits: No annual fee is charged. You earn 2 miles per $1 spent on everything. Miles can be redeemed for credit against most travel expenses. There is no minimum redemption. This card comes with a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Drawbacks: There are no airline-specific points associates with this card. After the first year, you will incur a $95 annual fee.
How to Use It: This card is best for those that travel on a regular basis.
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
According to U.S. News and World Report, The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the best card for points. This card is especially useful for those who use their cards for travel or dining purchases.
How to Qualify: Apply directly with Chase.
Benefits: You earn two points for each dollar spent on travel and restaurant dining. One point is awarded for all other purchases. Points can be transferred to several affiliated partners. If you spend $4,000 with the first three months of signing up, you’ll get a 50,000-point bonus. Additional benefits include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, an auto rental collision damage waiver and extended warranty coverage.
Drawbacks: To qualify you must have an excellent credit rating. After the first year, a $95 Annual Fee is charged.
How to Use It: Use this card whenever purchasing travel tickets and services, as well as when dining out.
It pays to look for the best credit card for points. These elite cards offer generous rewards. They give you a brilliant way to earn credits on every purchase you would normally make using a credit card.
The important thing to keep in mind is to do your research upfront in order to select the best card for reward points ahead of time. Then, simply accumulate your points for later redemption as you normally use your card in a way that aligns with your personal financial situation.