The best credit cards for points are Chase Sapphire Preferred if you want a big initial bonus at a decent price, the SPG Amex for hotel points, the JetBlue Plus Card for airline points, and the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card if you want a 0% APR. There are others, too. Credit cards with points are one of just three types of rewards credit cards, along with cash back and miles cards. So you’ll typically have plenty of options to consider.
WalletHub’s editors compared all of the points credit cards in our database of 1,000+ offers to identify not just the top cards overall but also the best choices for applicants of all types.
Here are the best credit cards for points:
|Best For…||Points Card||Initial Bonus||Regular Rewards Rate||Annual Fee|
|0% APR||Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card||N/A||1 - 2 points / $1||$0*|
|Initial Bonus||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||50,000 points||1 - 2 points / $1||$0 Intro for the First Year, $95 after|
|Hotel Points||Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express||75,000 points||2 - 6 points / $1||None 1st yr, $95 after|
|No Annual Fee||PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card||25,000 points||1.5 - 4 points / $1||None|
|Airline Points||JetBlue Plus Card||40,000 points||1 - 6 points / $1||$99|
|Fair Credit||TJX Store Card||10% discount||5 points / $1||$0|
|Bad Credit||Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards® Secured Credit Card||N/A||1 point / $1||None|
|Students||Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students||25,000 points||1.5 - 3 points / $1||$0|
|Small Business||Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||80,000 points||1 - 3 points / $1||$95|
|High Rollers||Chase Sapphire Reserve®||50,000 points||1 - 3 points / $1||$450|
You can get a sense of how these offers compare to the top cash back and miles cards by seeing which made the cut for WalletHub’s best rewards credit cards of 2018.
Credit cards with points vs. cash back vs. milesThe main difference between credit cards with points, cash back and miles is transparency. You know exactly how much cash is worth, but you can’t say the same thing for most credit card points and miles. The value of a point or mile often varies based on how you choose to redeem it. Credit card companies can also increase the number of points or miles needed to redeem for a particular item, such as a flight, thereby devaluing any rewards you’ve saved.
Cash back rewards give you more flexibility, too, as you can use them for anything. Points and miles, on the other hand, may require you to redeem a certain way – such as for reservations at a particular hotel – if you want full value.
But that’s not to say miles and points credit cards are bad. In fact, many of the market’s best overall rewards cards offer miles or points. It all comes down to personal preference. If you want to maximize your rewards, a points or miles card is probably your best bet, especially if you like to travel. And if you value simplicity more, a cash rewards card is right for you.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to choose. For example, you could get a credit card with points or miles for travel purchases and a cash back credit card for everyday expenses. Splitting up your spending across multiple credit cards in order to get the best collection of rewards, rates and fees is called the Island Approach. And you can’t go wrong with any of the options listed below, which represent the three major credit card rewards currencies quite well.
|Category||Card Name||Annual Fee||Min. Credit Required||Editor’s Rating|
|Best Credit Card for Points||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||$0 Intro for the First Year, $95 after||Excellent||4.5 / 5|
|Best Credit Card for Miles||Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||$0 for 1st yr, $95 after||Good||5.0 / 5|
|Best Credit Card for Cash Back||Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer||$0*||Good||5.0 / 5|
In case you’re wondering, market averages don’t reveal much of a difference between the major rewards currencies. The average cash rewards card offers a $139 initial bonus as well as 1.06% back on all purchases, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. The average card with points or miles offers a 15,732-point/mile bonus as well as 1.17 points/miles per dollar spent. Credit card points and miles are worth about a penny apiece, on average.