What to Expect from Your Credit Card Rewards

Reading time: 8 minutes

8 minutes read

Last updated: 01/27/2023
What to Expect from Your Credit Card Rewards

Rotating Rewards Credit Cards

Rotating rewards credit cards allow customers to earn rewards when they use their cards to make purchases at certain stores, vendors and e-commerce websites. Every quarter, the reward categories are rotated; so, what gets you bonuses from April to June won’t from October to December. 

Discover It® Cash Back Card is one of the best rotating rewards credit cards in the market, and from April 1st to June 30th, cardholders get 5% cash back on payments to gas stations, Uber and Lyft (capped at $1500).  There’s also a 1% cash back bonus on other purchases. The Discover It card charges no annual fees, and the average user earns $351 per year. Rewards may be redeemed at any time and may be collected via credit to account, direct deposit, donations and gift cards. 

Credit score requirement: 670 - 850

APR: 15.74% – 26.74% variable (0% intro APR for 15 months)

Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards

With cash back rewards credit cards, holders get points for every payment they make with their cards, and points are redeemable as cash. Cash back cards are ideal for frequent users; if you hardly make purchases, this may not be a good option for you. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card offers new users as much as $600 in credit card rewards during their first year. Cardholders get 3% cash back rewards on all purchases (for the first $20,000 spent). They also get unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases after the initial $20,000. No annual fees are charged, and extra benefits include concierge service, mobile pay ready, purchase protection, zero fraud liability, etc. 

Credit score requirement: 670 - 850

APR: 18.74% - 27.49% variable (0% intro APR for 15 months)

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If you have a large debt balance on a credit card with a high APR, you have two options. One, you pay off the debt gradually and over a couple of years. Conversely, if you have good enough credit, you may qualify for a balance transfer credit card. These allow you to transfer your balance to another card with a lower interest rate and better terms than your current card. 

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers 2 of the most prominent features that people look for in balance transfer cards. It comes with a 0% intro period of 18 billing cycles (billing cycles usually last for 27-31 days), and cardholders are allowed to choose their payment due date. 

Additionally, there’s a transfer fee of $5 or 3% (whichever option is higher) and a $0 annual fee. Twenty billing cycles give you enough time to pay off your balance, and if you don’t, you get to leverage a user-friendly APR afterward. 

Credit score requirement: 670 - 850

APR: 18.74% - 28.74% variable

0% Interest Credit Cards

In truth, most credit cards now offer customers an introductory period during which they pay zero interest on their balance. However, the best 0% interest credit cards are those that provide other benefits as well. 

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with a 15-month 0% APR intro period for purchases and balance transfers. Also, cardholders get a $200 introductory bonus on spending $500 within three months of opening an account. Additionally, there’s an unlimited 1.5% cash back bonus on all purchases. Points earned do not expire, no annual fees are charged and no fees are charged for foreign transactions. 

Credit score requirement: 670 - 850

APR: 19.24% - 29.24% variable

Travel Rewards Credit Cards

If you travel a lot for work or leisure, there’s significant value to be found in travel rewards cards. Cardholders earn points for flying with certain airlines, lodging in certain hotels and eating at select restaurants. Accumulated points can be redeemed via flight ticket discounts, reduced luggage fees or cash. 

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has a straightforward - yet extensive - rewards system. In their first three months, cardholders get 30,000 points when they spend $3,000; this translates to a cash amount of $300. Afterward, they get 3 points per dollar spent eating out, ordering in, at gas stations and on ride shares. There’s also a 3x points offer for flights, hotels, pay-tv services, car rentals and home stays; as well as unlimited 1x points for other purchases. 

Propel comes with a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and qualified balance transfers, no annual fee, no fees for foreign transactions, auto rental insurance, cellphone insurance and many other perks. 

Credit score requirement: 670 - 850

APR: 16.24% - 27.24% variable

Student Credit Cards

Most college students have no credit cards or credit histories. Therefore, it’s essential that they start on the right foot and build impeccable credit profiles. A student credit card makes this possible, and the best ones send regular updates to the major credit reporting bureaus. They also allow the students to earn points from their purchases.
Discover It® Student Cash Back Card is a combination of a student credit card and a rotating reward credit card. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on payments made to gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores and even Amazon.com - the categories are rotated every quarter (purchases are capped at $1,000 per quarter). There’s also an unlimited 1% cash back on other purchases. Discover matches all cash back earned after the holder’s first year of use and there’s no limit to the amount matched. 

The card also offers rewards for good grades, no annual fee, 6-month 0% intro APR for purchases and a feature that allows the cardholder to switch off their account within seconds. 

Credit score requirement: No credit history

APR: 16.74% - 25.74% variable

Choosing the Right Card for You

All the credit cards above are suited to specific groups of people. If you don‘t travel a lot, you won’t maximize the benefits of the travel credit card rewards. If you don’t patronize the vendors listed by a rotating reward credit card, it may be smarter not to apply for one. The great thing about credit card rewards is that there’s one for everybody; make sure you find yours. 

Also, remember to make your monthly payments on time and without fail. If you don’t, you run the risk of damaging your credit score and rendering yourself ineligible for the best credit card offers in the market. 
Finance Guru

Finance Guru